Wanting Food, Fun, Family, and Lives

PoliticsThrowAway549 - [original thread]

What I think this sub gets completely wrong is that many of you don't actually engage on a personal level with woke people and thus you get this warped sense of idea about what woke people actually fundamentally want. Which are all positive things in a general sense. Good food[1], good family, good communities, good fun [2], good jobs[3], good schools[4], good healthcare[1], and good happy-content lives[2].

I think you're not wrong that most woke people see themselves as wanting completely reasonable things, and in believing that these things are unalloyed good. I actually think these are worthwhile goals myself, even though I lean slightly libertarian I can still want people to be happy. In fact, I've become less libertarian as I've gotten older and seen that most people benefit from some level of government paternalism in their lives, even if it's a net negative to some.

My (generalized) opposition to what's typically described as "woke" is that it completely lacks introspection. It never stops to consider whether it's actually helping, or whether the current direction is actually the right one. It willfully blinds itself to certain lines of inquiry (often discussed here) and jumping to scapegoat certain groups with surprisingly little evidence. I'm not afraid of (or shouldn't need to be) debating the merits of public policy and the underlying science, but it's hard to engage in good faith discussion these days.

I don't think claiming to care about making things better is sufficient. The 20th century had no shortage of people trying to sell a better world, but delivering genocide and destruction. Beyond Dunbar's number, I don't trust organizations to stay on the rails. I don't think it's an unreasonable view of history to look at, say, the rise of fascism as seen in 1938 as turbo-progressive for its era. Some of the origin story of progressivism has changed since then (out with Temperance, in with decriminalization), but quite a bit of the strategy looks similar.

  1. National Socialist People's Welfare organized an annual charity drive with the slogan "none shall starve or freeze", and provided "assistance for the physically disabled, hard-of-hearing, deaf, mute, and blind; relief for the elderly, homeless and alcoholics; and the fight against illicit drugs and epidemics." Literally Hitler stated he wanted Germans to have "the highest possible standard of living."

  2. Strength Through Joy aimed to make middle-class leisure available to the masses. In 1938, some 10 million Germans took state-subsidized holidays. Germany was advertised as "a peaceful, idyllic, and progressive country," culminating in the promise of an affordable car, which eventually became the Volkswagen ("People's Car") Beetle after the war.

  3. The German Labour Front aimed "to create a true social and productive community." It established employment security, and improved working conditions. Beauty of Labour fought for better workplace hygiene, air quality, and noise reduction.

  4. The Germany Student Union literally engaged in book burning. The idea that "the race question" should be the decisive factor in higher education. On the idea that institutions can drive the ideology of future generations, Hitler in 1933 stated "When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already ... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp."

Again I'll note that none of this is a direct claim that people currently fighting for progressive causes are evil. I don't think that: I have plenty of friends that I think highly of that lean that direction. But I do think that the philosophy pushes hard-line ideals with little introspection that are easily subverted by corrupt leaders. Nazi Germany claimed to be a progressive, forward looking nation, and in clear hindsight failed to deliver. And that gives me pause.