Fascism or Wokeness?

I highly recommend this lecture by Timothy Snyder (audio). It’s not interesting in what it says about Russia and Ukraine but it’s fascinating in what concerns Snyder’s complete blindness to how perfectly what he calls fascism describes the liberal worldview of which Snyder himself is a passionate adept.

For Snyder, fascism does the following:

– it doesn’t accept the existence of facts. Only beliefs matter. Beliefs are reality.

– it can’t tolerate a plurality of opinions. A single correct viewpoint exists and everybody must hold it.

– it posits that there is a state of ideal, unmarred wholeness and purity that everybody must aspire to. Bad things exist in the world because it hasn’t accepted the redeeming single truth.

– it states that destroying people because they disagree with your single, correct, unifying vision for the whole planet is fine. They aren’t really people, so their destruction doesn’t matter.

Snyder ahistorically calls all this fascism but we know it today as wokeness.

10 thoughts on “Fascism or Wokeness?

  1. Thank you for calling Snyder out. I read your positive take on his work some time ago but held my counsel as I know that these are controversial issues. While I’m not disputing his professional knowledge (anyone who wants to understand the history of Poland, Bielorussia and Ukraine needs to take him seriously), some of his more recent pronouncements – including from before the war – left me with a bitter aftertaste. He simply can’t disengage from the simplistic liberal opinions now in vogue in academia, and the pious platitudes he is spouting make him blind to the deeper realities of the battle that is going on behind the scenes: the attempt to bring about a world where national governments don’t matter since every country will be dominated by technocratic elites with the support of AI-based technology under the banner of “equity, fairness and justice for all”.

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  2. It would appear there are many like Snyder among the liberal ranks… I have found your analyses of the war very illuminating. But then every now and then I see takes on social media from some of my wokest acquaintances that would sem to place Ukraine very decidedly on the side of the borderless, identity-obsessed elites: Ukraine has LGTBQ+ units in their army! 20% of its soldiers eat vegan menus! These are both things I have read. If anything, it is somewhat surprising that people like Snyder and my acquaintances defend a country and a worldview that is in such direct opposition to theirs. Do you have any explanation for this – is it simply that they are too unintelligent and unperceptive to realize? That they interpret anything and everything through their woke lens (e.g., a perfectly reasonable policy aimed at avoiding discrimination in the army becomes “LGTBQ+ military units”)? Or has this worldview infiltrated some small sectors of the Ukrainian population, and these are the sector that wokes fixate on?

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    1. Wokeness is generally very unpopular in Ukraine. However, I have found a segment of young people who are slavishly trying to imitate Anglo wokeness because they think that’s what it means to be real Westerners. Their efforts to be woke are clumsy and kind of sad because they parrot things they don’t understand and that exist in a very different society.

      But these are small isolated groups with no larger impact, thank God. Arestovich told me that Ukraine has enormously more freedom of speech than the US right now but he believes it’s an anomaly and the US will find its way back. I’m very hopeful it will happen.

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      1. “a segment of young people who are slavishly trying to imitate Anglo wokeness”

        I deal with a bit of that now… mostly they seem a bit confused and they’re definitely not shrill like US wokeans.

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  3. “… how perfectly what he calls fascism describes the liberal worldview of which Snyder himself is a passionate adept …”

    Ah, but the Vichy Leftist position is in fact its own kind of fascism, one in which the unification of government and corporate power exists for the sole purpose of so-called “environmental, social, and corporate governance” (ESG).

    Within this model, a fascist state is not imposed by external force, but instead comes about as corporation after corporation succumbs to being infiltrated by change agents, crisis actors, and of course activist investors.

    Obviously the model for people who wish for their companies to stay relatively to completely free of this fascism that sneaks under the wire eventually points toward being so completely hated by the Vichy Leftist Fascist Activist class that they seek to avoid you entirely.

    This is why I absolutely loved Jo Rowling’s comment this past week about her royalty cheques, but I have to ask: what took you so long to get to the truth?

    Jo Rowling has it absolutely right especially for the corporate types, which is to measure your success by how many new resources, how much new capital, and particularly how many new wins your activities create.

    But much of the Toxic ESG Platform was covered by a certain book these people really hate to mention that delves into the subject of Corporate Cancer, and that’s because in that Pig Versus Pig world of the Corporate Animal Farm we live in today, all pigs are equally hated, but some pigs are hated much more than others.

    Vichy Leftists don’t understand that their typical Leftist out-grouping tactics don’t work on people who are completely comfortable with being hated by people they don’t care about.

    Or for those of you familiar with “The Expanse”: I am that guy. 🙂

    Go ahead, hate me harder, let’s see what you’ve got in those stone cold hearts of yours … Jedi. 🙂

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