A new “anti-woke” site

There’s a new site called New Discourses that has content similar in style and content to Quillette, but most of the articles, at least so far, appear to be written by the “grievance studies” scholars Helen Pluckrose, Peter Boghossian, and James Lindsay, liberal scholars who have been demonized for criticizing the excesses of the academic Left. You can access the site by clicking on the screenshots below (note the subheadings):

The sub headers give an explanation, a dictionary, three general topics of articles (“academics”, “philosophy”, and “grievance studies”), and two books written by the authors.

An excerpt from “about” at the top:

Welcome to New Discourses! We like to think of this place as a home for the politically homeless, especially for those who feel like they’ve been displaced from their political homes because of the movement sometimes called “Critical Social Justice” and the myriad negative effects it has had on our political environments, both on the left and on the right. If that’s you, welcome, and make yourself at home.

New Discourses is, by design, meant to be apolitical in the usual sense. That means it is not interested in conservative, progressive, left, right, center, or any other particular political stances. It is, in this regard, only broadly liberal in the philosophical and ethical stance. In that case, whether you’re a progressive left-liberal or a conservative right-liberal, traditional or classical in any case, you’re likely to find what we’re doing refreshing. (And if you don’t, we can talk about it! That’s the point!)

The purpose of New Discourses is to meet the need that the problem of political alienation and homelessness has created. It is to be a place where dialogue is possible and encouraged, regardless of differences in politics, aiming to be responsible with our speech and thought while not feeling fettered by restrictions of political correctness in any of its myriad manifestations. It also hopes to inspire dialogue—both new ways to discuss old topics and new conversations in their own right.

In that sense, New Discourses is best thought of both as a media site and as an educational resource. Our aim is to produce high-quality material that can get you up to speed on what’s going on with our present discourses so we can have new ones. Our objective is to give you the tools you need to understand what’s going on around you in the world and talk about it effectively. We want you to understand, and we want you talking to others about what you’re understanding.

There’s also a Social Justice Encyclopedia, which isn’t yet complete but is useful (click on screenshot):

The word is first defined as construed by the “wokish” themselves, and often that is followed by a “New Discourses commentary” that is not sarcastic but analytical.

For example, here is “People of Color”, a term that’s often baffled me (why are “Hispanics” from Spain considered POCs, as well as privileged Asians?):

Social Justice Definition

Source: https://educatenotindoctrinate.org/glossaries/berkeley-usd-glossary/

A term used, primarily in the United States, to describe all people who are not white. The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism. People of color was introduced as a preferable replacement to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority frequently carries a subordinate connotation. (Routledge)

New Discourses Commentary

There are a lot of things that could be said about this term, but for the most part, it is okay—not great or good, but certainly not bad either. The object to pay attention to here, if anything, is the attempt to create “inclusive” language for all people who are not white, so as to unify the not-white groups in a binary that positions them against the white group (see also, deconstruction). This will be for generating a means of effecting identity politics. Since within POC, there is great intersectional infighting and division (e.g., the BIPOC—black and indigenous people of color—split from POC, who BIPOC see as relatively more privileged – see also, settler of color), there are reasons to believe that this coalition-building through applied linguistics isn’t really working that well.

Of note, similarly avoiding the term “minority” (which binaries with “majority”) taps into the same issue. Other attempts to get around this refer to them as “minoritized groups,” which strategically ascribes the theorized power dynamics into the term and also circumvents the possibility that they would lose their oppressed status should they become a plurality or majority.

There are many variations on this term, including students of color, teachers of color, women of color, transwomen of color, settlers of color, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. It is worth noting that these terms are generally benign and commonplace now, but the “of color” construction is the product of a deliberate political project—and it’s probably worth maintaining some awareness of that.

In a perfect example of how Social Justice will eventually problematize everything, even that which it created, and turn it against “dominant” groups, the term “people of color” has recently been recognized by Social Justice adherents as described here—as a way to lump non-white people together as a single identity group that isn’t white. Theory has interpreted this cynically (of course), however, and suggests that the term “people of color” is a way for white people to create a single identity group to be against, all of which is non-white, so they can proceed to ignore the legitimate racial variations therein (see also, BIPOC and erasure). That is, the term “people of color” is beginning to be theorized as yet another form of white supremacy.

One might also notice that avoiding the binary between “white” and non-white “people of color” follows from a Derridean hierarchical view that attempts to position one side as intrinsically favored (white) and hierarchically superior to the other—this being in need of deconstructing. This problem could be avoided simply by calling people by the racial/ethnic/national-origin identifiers that best apply to each individual, as they wish (or not), but this fails to create a coalition under a single banner. Nevertheless, this analysis places the Social Justice understanding and application of the concept of “people of color” squarely within a postmodern framework.

Binary; BIPOC; Deconstruction; Derridean; Dominance; Erasure; Identity; Identity politics; Inclusive; IntersectionalityMinoritizedOppression; Postmodern; Problematize; Settler of color; Systemic powerTheory; White; White supremacy

It’s useful to know about this resource. The articles will change, and I haven’t yet had time to peruse them, but the Wokish Dictionary is already a good resource when trying to decipher the argot. There are also videos.

h/t: Luana

56 Comments

  1. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks; bookmarked the site, shared.

    • RPGNo1
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I did the same.

  2. Posted March 1, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Many new terms to weigh. “settler of color”, “problematize”, and many others.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Interesting

    I’ve recently listened to Andrew Doyle on Dave Rubin’s show and he is careful to specify the criticism is pointed at the *excesses* of the left. Just sayin’.

    I’ve also been thinking about the terms “grievance” and “lived experience”. I think at some point, someone is going to have good reason to lodge a complaint from the way things go for them.

    • Posted March 1, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Yes, yes, that’s clearly what I meant, but I’ll fix what I said above, thanks.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Yes the meaning was clear to me.

  4. Historian
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for discussing this site, which I was not aware of. I read the article by James Boghossian, entitled “The Illiberalism of Social Justice.” I found it abhorrent. Why? It is a vicious smear on the illustrious and noble history of social justice movements in American history such as abolitionism, a women’s right to vote and civil rights. The fact that Boghossian capitalizes social justice means nothing. Perhaps unwittingly, he is trying to create in the public mind an association between those who have fought for social justice and something negative, such as in the 1950s when the right wing tried to associate anyone on the left of the political spectrum with communism or the attempt to associate all labor unions with corruption.

    As I’ve commented before on this site, virtually all social and political movements generate extremist fringes. One can argue with justification that the “woke” folks are the extremist fringe of current social justice movements. But, Boghossian’s piece lacks this subtlety. Regardless of his intent in writing this article, his view serves the far right agenda and represents a threat to necessary social justice movements.

    https://newdiscourses.com/2020/02/illiberalism-social-justice/

    • EdwardM
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      A odd criticism from you Historian. By my reading Bogossian makes no mention of the fight for women’s or civil rights. He is clearly talking about the current state of the social justice movement. You criticize him for capitalizing “Social Justice” but that is exactly who he is talking about; people who capitalize “Social Justice”. Which is why he does it too.

      Honestly, your critique reads like a Republican ideologue complaining that it isn’t fair that his party is thought to be racist as it used to be led by Abraham Lincoln.

      • Historian
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        My point is that his rant is an historical vacuum. If he had said that social justice has a noble history, but that currently certain elements within a necessary social justice movement have perverted the good things that it is fighting for, I would have no trouble. Do you think that everything is so fine in this country that there is no need for a legitimate social justice movement? I stand by my analogy that his piece is the equivalent of trying to accuse any person to the left of center as being a communist as well as my assertion that this seemingly stream-of-consciousness rant will be loved by all right wingers. I would expect much more from a supposed scholar. If I did not know who the author was, my money would have been on Rush Limbaugh.

        • EdwardM
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          In answer your disappointingly loaded question, I do believe we have a need for social justice here as does everywhere in the world. I have my doubts, however, if “Social Justice” is the way to accomplish it.

          • Historian
            Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            I will ask you another question that I hope won’t disappoint you. How many people do you think know the difference between “Social Justice” and “social justice?”

            • Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

              Are you talking about the journal vs the principle? If not, then I don’t know the difference.

            • EdwardM
              Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

              It wasn’t the question that disappointed, it was the implication. As to this one, I don’t know and I won’t guess. It may be that the website we’re discussing will help make the distinction clearer to more. That’s kind of the point of it, I think. I’ll reserve judgement however, as I read more content. I do think Boghossian was somewhat strident and histrionic in tone. I am unsure how helpful it is making the distinction but I’m pretty sure that’s where at lest some of your revulsion stems from.

            • Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

              The authors make that clear in the link to the word “Social Justice” in Boghossian’s first paragraph. (See my longer comment below.) All you have to do is click on that link to see what he’s talking about. And it’s the same kind of “social justice” that I beef about on this site all the time.

              His article is NOT “abhorrent” if you simply read the footnotes (i.e. the link)

            • Ned
              Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

              The difference between social justice and Social Justice is quite clear, I would guess, to most readers of this site and most readers of the new site being discussed here. Just as, ten years ago, there was an obvious distinction between intelligent design (implicit in the beliefs of any theist, including say Ken Miller) and Intelligent Design, a socio-political movement whose goal was to undermine secular culture by attacking the theory of evolution.

              However, I agree that the difference should be pointed out in the article, since not everyone is an avid follower of the “woke wars.”

              • Historian
                Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

                The difference between the terms was not clear to me and I do follow the site regularly. Perhaps I have not been paying attention. As I elaborate in my response to Professor Coyne’s comment below, Boghossian could have avoided easily the confusion. We live in a world where the internet is a breeding ground of confusion, distortion, and outright lies. The creators of this site have added to the confusion. I hope they take the opportunity to end the confusion, which would be in their best interest by decreasing unwarranted attacks.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t read the articles yet but I thought I’d chime in to make the obvious point that this is what happens to movements when radicals take them over. It’s the same with feminism. My feminism is the 2nd wave – the feminism that says that women and men are equal and should be given equal opportunities. This 3rd wave bullshit is a nightmare and now it has left people with the impression that this is what all feminism is about.

          The same with social justice – it fights for all the right things and has all the right beliefs but radicals took it over and ruined it. Now people think this is what social justice is about.

          So, it is important when criticizing the radical sides of these movements that a distinction is made and that gets tiring and sometimes people take short cuts and then it all goes to hell again.

          It’s really a mess what has happened in the last 15 years.

          • dd
            Posted March 1, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            The capitalizing may also be a bit of rib-poking as some in the “studies” world and their followers will capitalize the word “Indigenous” and also the word “White”.

    • Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      ” It is a vicious smear on the illustrious and noble history of social justice movements …”

      I guess Boghossian would reply that it criticises “Social Justice” not “social justice”.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I read that article and found it unpleasantly aggressive and as you say lacking in nuance or complexity. It’s a mission statement I suppose, but even so.

      Social justice activism has a very long and justifiably proud history: anti-racist organisations and charities, women’s rights, the suffragettes, campaigns for the minimum wage, the establishment of trade-unions, etc. The article simply flattens the term down entirely, ignores any subtlety, ignores centuries of historical meaning, and invents a gigantic, existentially dangerous political monolith that is coming to destroy the great, proud nation in which you were born.

      Eg:

      “As Social Justice creeps into everything and rewrites it with illiberalism, accusations, unfairness, and a conspicuous refusal to have a reasoned conversation about anything it proposes, we put ourselves and our societies at tremendous risk of losing the norms civil society needs to function.”

      Whatever the many, many flaws of SJWs and ‘wokeism’, to describe social justice activism in this way is dogmatic and hugely misleading. It ignores the fact that the most politically powerful movement of the moment, by far, is the populist right. If anything is threatening the “norms civil society needs to function” it’s Trump and people like Dominic Cummings.

      …And that’s the common thread with anti-SJW sites; the total lack of proportion in their criticisms, the refusal to acknowledge that there are much, much bigger problems out there. It’s exactly what conservatives want to hear, and that’s why these sites are so popular.
      You get to read exclusively about the horrors of wokeism while the reality of what’s happening with Trump, the recrudescence of the far-right, doesn’t have to come up at all. It’s an ideological safe space.

      Maybe if it was still 2015 I’d be onboard with this kind of website, but it isn’t.

      • EdwardM
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Hmmmm.

        Recognizing that wokish idiocy is far less dangerous than what we get from the right, I think it is far more pervasive and insidious today than it was in 2015. Seems this website may be more relevant now.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          If you’re talking about WEIT then I agree. If you’re talking about New Discourses then I disagree, although it’s only just started so who knows.

          To me it feels like these sites are specifically dedicated to scratching an itch rather than doing anything particularly worthwhile. It’s the political equivalent of websites where they collect unflattering photos of celebrities.

          • EdwardM
            Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            I was speaking of New Discourses but of course you’re correct; WEIT is more relevant now than in 2015 too.

            Just scratching an itch? Maybe. I’m not so sure, Saul. Look at exchanges here. Clearly there is confusion between “social justice”, which of course almost all aspire to and “Social Justice”, worn as a badge by post-modernists who are at best well intentioned benign fools and at worst dangerous demigods. If this website is a repository of quality discussion of “Social Justice” then I think it is better than a scratch. We’ll see.

            • EdwardM
              Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

              Sorry. By “If this website is a repository…” I meant New Discourses.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

              “Clearly there is confusion between “social justice”, which of course almost all aspire to and “Social Justice”,”

              Well, that was the explicit intention of a lot of conservatives who started using the term in the pejorative sense. That was my point, that it just adds to the confusion.

              Maybe a new term altogether would be better. ‘Finger waggism’ or something like that. ‘Smug dealing’. Etc.

      • Laurance
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Maybe we don’t hear about Trump on this site because it’s not about Trump. Maybe the people who created this site created it to talk specifically about the problems with wokeness and see no good reason to discuss Trump.

        We have plenty of sites to discuss Trump. We do not lack for criticisms of Trump.

        Reading your comment puts me in mind of being on an atheist site, and someone complains because we don’t talk about the virtues of Christianity.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          “Maybe the people who created this site created it to talk specifically about the problems with wokeness and see no good reason to discuss Trump.”

          But that would be my political quarrel with them. If they create an entire website about the existential dangers SJWs pose to society…but see “no good reason to discuss Trump” then I find that deeply disproportionate and politically one-eyed.

          They’re free to create as many of these websites(or YouTube channels, or Twitter feeds, or Facebook pages) as they want, no-one’s stopping them. I just question their priorities.

          • Laurance
            Posted March 2, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            I don’t know what *their* “no good reason to discuss Trump” is. My reason is that there’s already so much discussion out there. I’m drowning in information about the horrible problems with Trump, with his Republican buddies, with his base, with his tweets, etc.

            I’d like to be able to read this site and get information on this specific topic without being sidetracked with Trump information that I can and do read elsewhere.

            I’m having a bad time with Information Overload, just Too Much Information. I appreciate that these people can confine their discussion to their topic at hand without repeating other topics that I can get elsewhere.

      • Mike Mayer
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        I read the article as specifically referring to people he has interacted with on his campus, not all fighters for social justice over all time.

        From the article:

        “I have asked my colleagues and the administration at Portland State University, where I teach, to provide evidence for policies and practices that may be institutionalized…”

    • danstarfish
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I looked at the article and I didn’t see it as a vicious smear. Perhaps, he could have been clearer about terminology, but I thought he was referring to the social justice movement of the last decade and didn’t make any reference to the broader civil rights movement that preceded it.

      Many people today use the term “social justice movement” to refer to a group that appeared during the Obama administration. It has roots that go back further, but many of those roots are shared with the other liberal left factions that they separated from. So now a divide has opened up over classical liberal values, you have the illiberal SJW faction and the the classical liberal faction (this faction is less defined and has fuzzier borders) who both have valid claims to be the descendants of the civil rights movement. The different factions both value the civil rights gains of the sixties.

      I see things as more of a schism. Things have become so fractured and splintered that it is difficult to describe simply, but I think when the SJWs started sacrificing free speech and due process, many old school liberals decided they were going too far and that classical liberal principles are the bedrock that the gains of the civil rights movement rest on. I think the SJW faction sees the reductions in free speech and due process as minor tweaks and think the old school liberals are overreacting.

    • Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I don’t think this comment (I’m referring to Historian’s comment, but also now to Saul’s) is at all fair to Boghossian. Even if you don’t know his history as a classical liberal, all you have to do is click on the first link in his essay to “Social Justice” in the first paragraph, which takes you to the “Woke dictionary” definition along with the “New Discourse Commentary”, which reads in part like this:

      “Social Justice” is the ultimate “Trojan Horse” term, where it seems to mean one (good) thing as most people understand it—social justice, a more fair and equal society—but actually means something else. That something else is very specific, and most people, if they knew what they were encountering, would be unlikely to accept it. The idea advertised by the phrase “social justice” doesn’t match the ideology and worldview bearing the seemingly identical name.

      This is because the phrase “social justice,” here intentionally left in the lowercase, means something that most people in society can get behind—more fairness, equality, egalitarianism, and less bigotry, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and the likes. There are very few people today who would say they don’t seek social justice, even amongst conservatives; any disagreements are about how to achieve it and what it would look like. This is because most people today (in the West, anyway) are broadly liberal in orientation (in the philosophical and true meaning of the word, not that in American politics). Indeed, social justice has been profoundly theorized, including in the liberal sense (e.g., by philosophers such as John Rawls), and has roots in religious interpretations of scripture that could be rendered compatible with liberal social politics (especially but not only when left-leaning) and liberal approaches to progressive thought.

      On the other hand, “Social Justice,” here intentionally capitalized, means something more specific. As can be seen above, it means Critical Social Justice. This is, in fact, an ideology that very aggressively pursues the social, cultural, institutional, and political installation and enforcement of a very specific and radical understanding of social justice as derived from various critical theories (see also, Theory, critical race Theory, postcolonial Theory, queer Theory, gender studies, fat studies, disability studies, media studies, critical pedagogy, postmodern, Cultural Marxism, Post-Marxism, Marxian, New Left, and Neo-Marxism) and their specific analyses of socially constructed dynamics of systemic power (see also, social constructivism, structuralism, and poststructuralism). As such, they do not necessarily seek to achieve “social justice” in the broad sense or the sense that many people would assume of the term. Instead, they seek to empower and enforce their particular worldview that revolves around one narrow and authoritarian interpretation of the concept (see also, hegemony).

      Right off the bat Boghossian distinguishes his view of social justice from the “classical” and admirable social justice you are extolling.

      Do you not know his history of distinguishing the kind of social justice he’s criticizing from the kind we all want? It’s almost as if you didn’t read the article, for surely you’d want to click on that “social justice’ link to see what he was talking about.

      • Historian
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Yes, I should have followed the link to the dictionary to understand his differentiation between “social justice” and “Social Justice.” But, unfortunately, I think my negligence would be commonplace among readers of this article. And readers of similar articles at other sites would not have this dictionary to refer to. Thus, the effect if not the intention of this article is to denigrate “social justice” and serve as a tool of the right wing. This confusion could have been avoided easily if Boghossian had included a sentence or two in the article explaining exactly what he meant by “Social Justice.” He should not have expected people to follow links, as nice as that would be. I would have been much less harsh in my criticism if he had done so. It would be helpful for those who write about “Social Justice” to come up with a different term to describe what they don’t like. I think this would help them to a large degree to get their message across.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I’ve nothing against Boghossian, and I understood the distinction he was making…but I think he could have used a better term. I think it’s unnecessarily tricksy to use the exact same two words, only capitalised in one case.

        I also disagree with his definition of capital S capital J Social Justice; I think it overstates both its reach and seriousness.

        • max blancke
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          I have read the definition given in the site, but I have read a better one.

          If justice is facing penalties or rewards for one’s actions, then social justice is about receiving penalties or rewards based on being a member of a perceived group.

          I did find a definition of the phrase from 1922, and it was complicated, to put it mildly. But the current discussion is not really about what the phrase might have meant to previous generations, but instead it is about what the phrase means today. It is certainly a lens through which a great many people view the world.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      “It is a vicious smear on the illustrious and noble history of social justice movements in American history such as abolitionism, a women’s right to vote and civil rights.”

      I’ve never heard any of those three being referred to as social justice until just now.

      I was around in 1964, and I did not hear the phrase “social justice” until it’s recent use as “social justice warriors,” a reference to excessively enthusiastic critics on social media.

      I think it is pretty clear that Boghossian’s article is referring to this 21st century development.

    • TJR
      Posted March 2, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I think the problem is that Boghossian and Lindsay didn’t talk to each other enough (ironically) before publishing.

      If you read Lindsay’s article first

      https://newdiscourses.com/2020/02/naming-enemy-critical-social-justice/

      and then read Boghossian’s with

      Social Justice –> Critical Social Justice

      then it all makes sense.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I personally don’t like the term “settler”. I have been told that people don’t like you to label them and that they like to create their own labels. I respect that. I won’t call someone a name or label them in a way they don’t want to be labelled but it wasn’t whites/non-indigenous people that came up with the term “settler”. I think that same courtesy should be extended to all people, even the whites. I think “settler” others me. Just call me white FFS. There’s no doubting, when you look at me, that I’m white. No one will be confused by looking at a middle aged woman with skin the colour of a fish belly and blue/green eyes if you call her white.

    • pablo
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      “I think that same courtesy should be extended to all people, even the whites.”

      Someone is looking to get herself cancelled.

    • max blancke
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Settler is an antonym of nomad. But the people railing about the subject are unlikely to know that.
      They imagine a static past, where indigenous people live peacefully with their neighbors and in harmony with nature, each in an assigned and uncontested territory, until White colonialists show up to oppress and displace them.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see nomad as a synonym to “settler” but I do see “colonist, pioneer, immigrant, squatter”. I think categorizing me this way is rude and inaccurate. I was born here. Like a slave, does it take so many generations to wash the stigma of colonization off my white skin? If so, how many? Do I suffer for the all white ancestors? What if all my ancestors weren’t white, do I then suffer less? What if some of my white ancestors oppressed others of my white ancestors (I have English AND Irish backgrounds after all). It gets real stupid real fast. I tend to agree with Sam Harris on this – race should become as uninteresting as someone’s hair colour. It’s there. You notice it. You can discuss it but it shouldn’t influence how you think of that person or how you treat them.

      • dd
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Max, I think you are correct.

        I have had at least 2 encounters with highly educated people (including a big Democratic fund-raiser/bundler)who see the word “indigenous” and take it literally.

        In other words that homo sapiens evolved into a distinct species in the Western Hemisphere, as example.

        Put differently, leftist as they are and atheistic as they are, their beliefs here are close to creationists.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Is there room for a Noble Savage in that definition?

  6. rickflick
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The dictionary appears to be an important resource when you hear something woke and can’t quite figure out why it’s seriously flawed.

  7. Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Seems to me it is not a good idea to continue to divide people into groups according to their skin color or the shade of their complexion. This screen I am typing on is white. The white dress shirt I wear is white. I have never seen anyone that color.

    People that classify people that way have an agenda, including to divide and isolate. There are probably other reasons.

    I wonder about the basis on which divisions into groups is being determined. Could be they are using the one eighth rule to determine if someone is black or white or they may be using the one drop rule. Almost everyone in America is a mixture.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      If you met me you’d totally have met someone the colour of a white shirt. 🙂

  8. Posted March 1, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Added it to my blog reader. As you say, the dictionary is going to be a handy resource to decipher things. It’s also obvious that the argot changes quickly as these factions battle for supremacy in woke-space. This will help us keep up.

  9. FB
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    “Social Justice Definition”. I think that’s “POCs definition”.

  10. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Discussion of Wokish reminds me that the
    superstition system known as Islam originated in the towns of Mecca and Medina in what is today Saudi Arabia, and then proceeded in all directions by armed conquest. If follows that nearly all the Islamic regions today, from the Atlantic to the Indian subcontinent, are the historical outcome of a “settler” phenomenon. [Something tells me that this is not widely understood by speakers of Wokish.]

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 1, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Of course it’s not widely understood by those you refer to because it’s not a part of their ‘origin story’, which is: Islam is a religion of peace and people found its message so wonderful that they opened their hearts and accepted it without reservation.

  11. Deodand
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    An interesting little article on Cultural Appropriation…

    https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2020/1/2/how-to-change-your-conversations-about-cultural-appropriation

    And the money quote:

    “…where Chinese and Japanese living in their home countries didn’t understand why Asian Americans cared—because they aren’t used to the minority experience…”

  12. Bruce Lilly
    Posted March 2, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    The site is “new” in geologic time, but it has been around for a while. New Discourses was a co-sponsor of the 2019 “Speaking Truth To Social Justice” conference (https://events.sovereignnations.com/truth-social-justice-conference/).

    If I recall correctly, one of the usually demonized-by-the-woke folks (probably Richard Dawkins) simply noted that the conference existed, and was promptly demonized by the woke crowd (or “w*k* cr*wd” to use their “disemvoweling” tactic on them).

    • Posted March 2, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I can only assume they don’t have infinite writers, writing about infinite topics spread evenly on infinite front pages. They’ll have to emphasise some topics and ignore others and that cannot be apolitical.

      Pluckrose and Lindsay, who I know for a long time and generally appreciated, have teamed up with one Benjamin Boyce. New Discourse interviews are hosted on his YouTube channel, alongside for instance, a recent video that mocks people at a Sanders rally as chanting “Green Nude Eel” (so funny I almost forgot spiritual adviser Paula White prancing about in the White House). There are also quite a few videos with Jonathan Pageau and his Jungian symbology (i.e. the Jordan Peterson crowd).

      The grievance study people as “New Discourse” specifically teamed up with an organization called “Souvereign Nations” for a conference, as reader Bruce noted above. “Speaking Truth To Social Justice October 13, 2019 A conference from Sovereign Nations & New Discourses”.

      What is “Souvereign Nations”? Their website features news like “Thanks to the President, U.S. policy is heading in the right direction. The critics of President Trump’s Iran policy have been proven wrong once again”, “Nationalism is a form of love, not hate”, or “The Left’s Hatred”. The latter is content from a conservative-libertarian think thank, also funded by Koch money (like Prager and Rubin Report), just as Souvereign Nations itself as you learn from their about pages. By extension, New Discourse is therefore funded by them too.

      Since there‘s always an intellectually-challenged person who screams “guilty by association”, let me clarify that this isn’t a fallacious application of association, but they literally work together (and likely get paid).

      In short, that’s not apolitical, but the usual disingenuous trickery i.e. recent Intellectual Dark Web, aka paleo-libertarian and pro-Trump. Paleo-libertarianism is a Breitbart-Randian lovechild of stripping the government, make the rich richer and have everyone obey social authority of whoever makes it to the top; a lobster society with rich, evangelical (and white) rulers and a religious symbological tradition that gives meaning. They fade smoothly (and demonstrably) into New Right, and Alt Right territory.

      There’s a torrent to highlight the woke as deranged and cringeworthy, while ignoring the completely insane Republican party. Let‘s ignore the many foxes that guard the hen house in Trump‘s administration. Let‘s ignore creationists and anti-education people overseeing science and education. And let‘s ignore outright lunatic evangelical miracle workers longing for the rapture from within the White House, or the daily idiocy that floats out of the mouths of Republican politicians.

      Now I still dislike the Woke, and there’s a place to discuss and criticize that ideology, but it requires the exact opposite of what they are doing here. It requires a strong political stance against Republicans and the likes. If they don’t have that, it’s simply another New Right website, and now that I saw the connections, I think they‘ll enjoy the Koch money and smooches from Dennis Prager.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 2, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        +1 – thanks for the info on those political links. Very interesting, but not in the slightest bit surprising.

      • Bruce Lilly
        Posted March 3, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        There are quite a few things to unpack:

        1. Unless there is evidence of some actual connection between Sovereign Nations and New Discourses beyond them being co-sponsors of a past conference (and N.B. co-sponsors itself implies no other connection, else it would have been a single sponsor), there’s no reason to bring up anything about Sovereign Nations here, as the topic is New Discourses, a separate entity.

        2. Contrary to the above, going on at length (without hard evidence) about alleged funding for Sovereign Nations (a separate entity from New Discourses) is in fact a thinly veiled accusation of guilt by (tenuous) association, and your characterization of “intellectually-challenged person who screams ‘guilty by association’ appears to be an even less thinly veiled attempt to stifle justifiable criticism. Likewise for cherry-picked excerpts and claims about politics of Sovereign Nations; it’s a separate entity and therefore irrelevant to New Discourses (unless, as noted above, one can present hard evidence of a connection, as distinct from mere association by way of joint sponsorship of a one-off past conference).

        3. It is a characteristic of many of the “woke” to take an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” (identity politics) approach, which directly results in attempted de-platforming, demonization, etc. that characterizes much of what is reprehensible about “wokeness”. The (so far unsubstantiated) claims of “New Right”, “Alt Right”, “Koch money and smooches from Dennis Prager” sounds an awful lot like the same sort of demonization that the woke crowd engages in. If you have actual evidence of substantive connections, by all means present it; otherwise you’re engaging in a smear campaign largely indistinguishable from wokeness itself.

        • Posted March 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Alas, you made exactly the mistake I warned against. The feature I brought up is shared and the relevant one; it is not (mere) association. There’s nothing fallacious in “they organised a conference together, thus they work/earn money together”. The conference is the “actual evidence”.

          First, they teamed up with an organsisation that is part of the whole paleolibertarian corner, and put up a conference with them. None of this hidden, but printed on their sites. Therefore, their assertions of being “apolitical” flies out the window.

          Second, it is a common sense assumption that they therefore also see this clientele and crowd as their target audience. That’s the political direction they wish to attract. You can protest as you like, it won’t mean much. People don’t organise conferences at random for no reasons. Be sure to provide a plausible alternative.

          Third, I know that Rubin Report, another IDW project also moved under the paleo-libertarian umbrella. Again, there is nothing secret about it. There has been collaboration with Prager, and wikipedia gives sources regards funding from Koch. There‘s effort by paleolibertarian money and their army of “think tanks”.

          Fourth, New Discourse also teamed up with Benjamin Boyce, who has a Youtube channel where also New Discourse interviews are hosted, ergo, they see Boyce’s subscribers as target audience, too. His channel moves in the same direction — it’s all consistent. I.e. the usual Peterson crowd with the usual subjects.

          Fifth, paleolibertarianism is also a likely undercurrent that shows up everywhere across the IDW landscape and that’s where rejection of woke is turned around and becomes pro-Trump politics, narratives about the West vs The Others, how certain groups are (intellectually) inferior, quickly “race realism”, nationalism and even darker into blood and soil terroritory. I found out that many all too happily overlook this.

  13. Posted March 2, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I hope they address the dufference between the “SJW” crowd and *actual* social justice activism and activists. Whatever one might think about the merits of the latter two, it is completely different.


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