Yes people, like it or not, we live in the Woke Age. Hard to put a start date on it but my personal guess is the late 1990’s, but feel free to disagree - a concept which will be conspicuous by its absence in the rest of this article. That’s when a whole raft of issues, which used to be minority concerns, suddenly reared up and became the central focus for many Western governments.
Up to now, this new “age of enlightenment”, as woke followers would call it, is largely constrained to traditional wealthy democracies found in Europe, North America and Australasia. In other words, most of the world, by population, is yet to feel the woke wave or has decided it’s just not for them. Poor ignorant souls, still able to give their misplaced opinions on issues which have been ruled on by our woke leaders as unfit for public debate.
But where did the term “woke” come from? According to Wikipedia, “By the mid-20th century, it had come to mean well-informed or aware, especially in a political or cultural sense. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the earliest such usage to a 1962 New York Times Magazine article titled "If You're Woke You Dig It" by African-American novelist William Melvin Kelley”.
These days, it’s used by brave or foolhardy people who oppose the woke movement as a derogatory term to describe the range of in-vogue “social and racial justice” issues and their virtuous acolytes that have taken over most spheres of public life. As you’ll know, it’s hard to be unwoke and most non-wokees tend to keep their heads down and live a quiet life. You’ll have to forgive me because I’m forced to invent my own negative terms which shows just how popular woke culture is.
It’s hard to tell how many people are secretly unwoke but I suspect it is a very large number indeed. Why don’t they speak out? If there’s one thing the woke brigade does well, it’s bully and intimidate. This is an age-old human tactic for getting your own way but what makes it particularly hypocritical in this case is the endless woke calls for fairness, kindness and freedom of expression. Like most movements born out of an urge for radical change and revolution, these laudable aims only apply to their own supporters. Anyone who dares to disagree or argue an alternative viewpoint is shouted down, vilified and verbally beaten into submission.
You have to give the woke movement its due. Over at least the last two decades, it has implanted its devotees into key positions in national and local government, academic institutions and the media. That has allowed it to take over the levers of state control and fill most public organisations with like-minded believers. Corporates soon towed the line in a craven effort to protect their profit margins.
Traditional non-woke political parties chose to appease the woke movement rather than stand up and fight back. History demonstrates a very poor success rate from this course of action and that has been borne out with the partial assimilation of woke values into most centre-right parties, giving the poor voter limited real choice.
To future-proof their new nirvana, the woke are now attempting to instil the same “values” in our young people by rewriting parts of the national curriculum and re-educating teachers in the virtues of indigeneity, ethnic and sexual minority rights and the evils of white privilege and most majority rights. Most governments only plan about 3-5 years ahead but our far-thinking woke rulers are intending to be around well into the future. Potentially, to the point where annoying and disruptive practices like democracy and elections can be done away with as out-dated relics of capitalism and white colonialism.
One thing we know for certain is that nothing lasts forever. Even the bright beacon that is Woke will eventually fade or be snuffed out by our next “great age”. It would be nice to know when that is going to happen and it would be really nice to know that it is going to happen very soon but I don’t have a crystal ball, or a UN climate computer model, to make meaningless predictions, which is a futile exercise in any case.
In the last 70 - 100 years the great unwashed, that’s you and me by the way, have gained enormous freedoms and opportunities, not least regular baths and showers, which were denied to our ancestors. I don’t believe we will give these rights up easily. Like all radical movements, Woke will degenerate to more extreme and intolerant ideas, continuing to divide us by race, colour, gender and sexual orientation. These policies will become irreconcilable with preaching the same facade of understanding and fairness.
I hope that, despite the indoctrination planned for future schoolchildren, many will rebel and challenge the woke elite. However, this is likely another generation away, at least. In the meantime, the Great Unwoke need to band together, as best they can, and speak out at every opportunity to encourage others to follow suit. To stay silent and live a quiet life is no longer an option. Let’s bring on a new great age where we can discuss all issues in public life without fear of being branded something repugnant.
Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.
"It’s hard to tell how many people are secretly unwoke but I suspect it is a very large number indeed"?
I can give you an idea.
WE ARE THE TEAM OF FOUR MILLION
Radical [part-] Maori brown supremacists and their post-colonial-guilt-tripping white liberal enablers claim most New Zealanders see nothing wrong with [part-] Maori privilege; and that only a handful of benighted “racists” object to it.
Some poll results:
-91% No to making Matariki a public holiday (BFD poll 9 September 2020)
-82% No to compulsory Maori language in schools (Yahoo Xtra poll).
-96% of non-Maori students of Year 9 and above do NOT learn Maori despite it being an available option in many schools (NZ Herald, 23 July 2014).
-85% No to special Maori housing (Bay of Plenty Times, 20 April 2013).
-81% No to “Maori are special” (Close Up poll, July 2011).
-81% No to Maori names for North Island and South Island (Stuff poll, 2 April 2013).
-82% No to “h” in Wanganui (Referendum conducted by Wanganui District Council, 2006).
-79% No to a special Maori voice on the committees of Rotorua Council (Rotorua Daily Post, 9 May 2014).
-82% No to special Maori wards on New Plymouth Council (Taranaki Daily News, 15 May 2015).
-80% No to Maori wards, Hauraki District Council, May 2013.
-79% No to Maori wards, Waikato District Council, April 2012.
-79% No to Maori wards, Nelson District Council, May 2012.
-70% No to Aotearoa or Aotearoa-New Zealand (Research NZ poll, November 2020).
-52% No to Maori wards, Wairoa District Council, March 2012 (high proportion of [part-] Maori voters).
-68% No to Maori wards, Far North District Council, March 2015 (high proportion of [part-] Maori voters).
-70% want Maori wards in local government abolished (Consumerlink, Colmar Brunton poll, March 2012).
-68% want the Waitangi Tribunal abolished.
On average, around 20% of New Zealanders think [part-] Maori should have special privileges. Around 80% do not. This, of course, includes many New Zealanders like myself of Maori descent.
But it is the 20% that have captured the public debate, with their false narrative of “victimhood” and “oppression,” their lying revisionist version of “history,” and their mob shouting down all opposition, no matter how reasoned and principled, as “racist” and “bigoted.”
Most of the 80% who privately disagree with Maori privilege won’t say so publicly, since all the noise in the public square leads them to believe a majority agrees with Maori privilege. They’re cowed into silence by fear of social marginalisation for not holding group-approved attitudes.
But they’re not alone. They’re a substantial majority, though they have yet to realise it. Some of us have been doing this a long time. We will help the silent majority to see that people are prepared to stand up and be counted. We will not be silenced, and we will eventually win the day.
As Edmund Burke reminds us: “Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour.”
In social psychology, “pluralistic ignorance” describes a situation where a majority of group members privately reject a received norm, but wrongly assume it is widely held, and pretend conformity so as not to appear out of step with everyone else.
Most people, whatever their level of intelligence, want to hold “correct” beliefs and attitudes. Their overriding drive is to belong and conform. To do so, many will internalise received dogma without applying intellectual scrutiny to it.
Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Emperor’s New Clothes warns us against buying into group-think for social approval.
A vain Emperor who cares only for appearances hires two swindlers who promise to make him the world’s finest suit of clothes cut from a cloth invisible to anyone who is stupid or unfit for his position.
The fraudsters pretend to weave the fabric to make the suit. Invited to admire the cloth as it is being woven, the Emperor’s ministers can see nothing, but pretend to see looms full of beautiful fabric taking shape for fear of appearing unfit for their positions. On his own inspection visit, the Emperor does the same.
Finally, the swindlers announce that the suit is finished. They pretend to dress the Emperor in it and he marches before his subjects at the head of a grand procession. Behind him, his courtiers pretend to be holding up the train of a non-existent cloak, so as not to be seen by others as unfit for their positions.
Not wanting to appear stupid, the townsfolk also play along with the pretence. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the need for the charade, loudly blurts out the Emperor has nothing on.
Others take up the cry, until everyone is saying the same thing. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the crowd is right, but continues to pretend otherwise because backing down would be to own up to his own stupidity.
John Ansell call us “the team of four million.
Our day will come, and those who would marginalise the majority will be bashed back to the mediocrity and opprobrium they deserve. These ethnocentric haters and wreckers (and their West-hating Socialist traitor enablers) are filth on the face of our country.
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