RIGHT WING'S ANTI-WOKE:
HALF RIGHT AND HALF WRONG
by John Spritzler
June 21, 2023
The URL of this article for sharing it is https://www.pdrboston.org/right-s-anti-woke-1-2-right-1-2-wrong
[Also see "Why Trans Nonsense is Everywhere"]
[Also see "INTRODUCING 21st CENTURY DIVIDE AND RULE ('Woke' vs. Anti-'Woke') and how it relies on the Left to work"]
There is a good way to oppose the woke nonsense, and a bad way to oppose it.
Just to be clear, by woke nonsense I mean absurd beliefs such as the following:
A male human being can become a female, and a female human being can become a male.
A male person who identifies as a female has the right to use the girls/women's locker/shower room, and the right to compete against girls/women in sports.
A surgeon is doing a good thing when he/she performs a radical double mastectomy on a 13 year old girl just because the girl says she wants to look like a boy.
A health professional is doing a good thing when he/she gives puberty blocker drugs (which are known to have very serious and irreversible bad medical effects) to a child just because the male child insists they are a female or the female child insists they are a male.
The way to end systemic racial discrimination against non-whites is to have systemic racial discrimination against whites (as in this Boston hospital.)
White people, just because of their skin color, are racist oppressors (which is what CRT teaches in our K-12 schools, as discussed here.)
It is perfectly correct to denounce such woke beliefs as absurd and indeed dangerous, and when right-wing people do this, they are right.
But when right-wing people insert their denunciation of woke nonsense into a framework that defends class inequality (capitalism is the current form of class inequality in the United States and it means treating the have-nots like dirt, as I discuss in detail here), they are morally wrong.
An example of right-wing denunciation of woke nonsense that defends class inequality is the book, Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation, by Bethany Mandel and Karol Markowicz.
An example of a non-right-wing book that denounces woke trans nonsense--very persuasively, by the way!--is Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism, by Kathleen Stock.
Here is how the right-wing book inserts its denunciation of woke absurdity into a pro-class-inequality framework. In the chapter about how woke nonsense is destroying good medical practice the book writes this:
"In the context of our conversation, Dr. Li was concerned about medical school recruitment, but the idea that there can only be one top priority, and that a focus on politics is corrosive to the overall mission of an organization, played out during a controversy over a national medical panel run through the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS), cohosted by the AAP, in May of 2021. The session was scheduled to focus on caring for babies born severely prematurely, on discussing best practices in the delivery room, and on managing cardiac care and caring for immature lungs.
"But an activist doctor, Dr. Erica Kaye, noticed that the panel was lacking any female voices and lamented this on Twitter, noting “more than 70% of the pediatricians are women.” 26 She went on to question why there was also “not a single Black physician to speak on a topic that disproportionately affects Black women.”
"So what did the PAS do? They groveled at the feet of a social media mob, telling Dr. Kaye, “Thank you, Erica. PAS acknowledges and apologizes for this error. This session has been canceled. It does not align with our values and our commitment to no manels [a panel comprised of just men] and to a diverse and inclusive program. We must—and will—do better.” 28 Another activist, Rhea Liang, celebrated, tweeting, “Advocacy works. The meeting has been cancelled.”
"Given the choice between offering a panel about how to best provide medical care to the most vulnerable newborns and appearing sufficiently diverse, the latter was more important—you can’t have “too many white men” in any one place, even when their expertise could mean the difference between life and death for the 380,000 babies born prematurely every year in the U.S.
"This has terrifying implications for medical care and research. What happens next time the PAS, AAP, or another similar organization is planning a panel of experts? They won’t be looking for the very best in the field; they’ll be looking to check off boxes. “Do we have enough women? Do we have enough black presenters? What about Hispanic or Native American? Can we find a transgender doctor also?” This kind of thinking about identity instead of expertise has real consequences for the future of medical innovation and care.”
The right-wing authors make a good and fair point here (this is where it is half right).
But then the right-wing authors write the following:
"The infestation of this ideology into the inner workings—and priorities—of medical professional organizations isn’t the exception. It’s the norm. In late 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) released “Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts” as part of a multi-year project called the “Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity.” They explain that “fulfilling the AMA’s mission to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health requires an unwavering commitment to equity and a comprehensive strategy for embedding racial and social justice within our organization and domains of influence.”
"The document calls for doctors to change their language to insert progressive politics into everything, even statements of fact. For instance, instead of saying, “Low-income people have the highest level of coronary artery disease in the United States,” members are encouraged to say, “People underpaid and forced into poverty as a result of banking policies, real estate developers gentrifying neighborhoods, and corporations weakening the power of labor movements, among others, have the highest level of coronary artery disease in the United States.” Everything must be modified to fit woke orthodoxy.”
Do you see what's going on here? The authors wrongly denounce, as "insert[ing] progressive politics into everything, even statements of fact," the perfectly admirable expression of the notion that people (including health professionals) should identify and thereby oppose the injustices of capitalism. This kind of implicit pro-capitalism is a theme throughout the book.
The Right-Wing Explanation of the Woke Nonsense Phenomenon is Wrong, and it Defends Class Inequality
The rightwing authors of this book present a wrong-headed analysis of the motive behind the pro-woke force in society. They say that the pro-woke force's motive is to "destroy America" and replace the wonderful pre-woke America with one where we will no longer have our freedom and will no longer have real democracy.
This is a framework that defends (as the "good old days" pre-woke) the class inequality (and the oppression that enforces it) of the status quo. The key to this framework's deceptiveness is its refusal to acknowledge that what it calls "America" was and is an arena of class conflict, a place in which the haves dominate the have-nots and very immorally treat them like dirt. By using words like "America" the authors obscure this class conflict and thereby treat the oppression of the have-nots by the haves as natural and good and something about which it is wrong to speak critically.
The ACTUAL Cause of the Woke Nonsense Phenomenon
What is the actual motive of the woke force? Contrary to the right-wing theory, it is not to "destroy America"; it is to preserve the class inequality of the United States by using divide-and-rule to make sure that the have-nots--the vast majority of the population--never achieve sufficient solidarity to pose a serious threat to the ruling billionaire plutocracy. This ruling class controls both the liberal and the conservative media. It uses the liberal media (NPR, etc.) to declare that one is a bigot (racist, transphobe, etc.) unless one supports the woke nonsense, and it uses the conservative media (FOX, etc.) to ensure that its audience knows just how horribly absurd and dangerous the woke policies are. The result is the have-nots are passionately divided against each other, the woke people versus the anti-woke people.
The reason the woke nonsense is now being promoted virtually everywhere by all the major institutions--corporations and schools and hospitals and so forth--is because these institutions, as always, need to obtain bank loans (for everything from paying wages and salaries to buying raw materials to capital improvements, etc.) just to operate routinely, and now the big banks require that in order to get good terms for a loan the borrower institution must have a high ESG score, which is only obtainable by being aggressively pro-woke. The big banks are used by the billionaire class to protect class inequality, and this was revealed when the banks orchestrated the violent crack-down on the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.
This is how the woke absurdity is used by the ruling class to divide-and-rule the have-nots. (Read about this here.) The right-wing, just like the ruling billionaire plutocracy, works to keep secret this actual purpose of the woke nonsense.
The Right-Wing is Correct in Pointing Out that Woke is "Neo-Marxism" But Do This to Make a False Point
The woke nonsense is indeed, as the right-wing often points out (this is where it is half right), akin to Marxism (hence "neo-Marxism") because it wrongly defines people as good or bad, oppressed or oppressor, based not on their personal actions but rather on whether they are male or female ("patriarchy oppresses women"), whether they are cis [which means non-trans] or trans ("cis people oppress trans people"), whether they are white or non-white ("whites oppress non-whites") similarly to how Marxists say that when their government rules in the name of the proletariat it must be good and anybody who has a relative who was a member of the bourgeoisie is bad.
Marxist regimes are, as the right-wing says, profoundly anti-democratic. The reason is that Marxism itself is profoundly anti-democratic, as I explain here. Please read more about Marxism in articles here and here and here and here (the part about the Soviet Union) and here (about China).
The right-wing attacks woke nonsense as neo-Marxism in order to falsely frame the conflict today as one side (the right-wing) defending supposed freedom and liberty (the pre-woke America in the "good old days") versus the other side (the woke people) wanting a totalitarian government just like Marxist ones. It is true that the woke ideology leads people who are simply against oppression to condemn good people. For example trans children condemning their parents as transphobic bigots for not agreeing to let them get puberty blockers or radical double mastectomies, or "anti-racists" condemning those who oppose reverse racial discrimination because they (the "anti-racists") buy the woke nonsense that says reverse racial discrimination is required to end racial discrimination. As horrible as this is, nonetheless the woke rank-and-file are not motivated by the goal of establishing a totalitarian government.
The actual conflict in our society is between the have-nots who are the vast majority in wanting egalitarian revolution (described here), versus the upper ruling class of haves who use woke to divide-and-rule the have-nots to remain in power and continue treating the have-nots like dirt. What the right-wing never admits and works hard to cover up is this: the U.S. ruling billionaire plutocracy enforces an oppressive dictatorship of the rich on the vast majority of people today, and in this regard it is the same as the Marxist Communist Party rulers of China and, in the past, of the Soviet Union and the other Eastern European Communist nations.