Real Values

I found the two 7-year-olds discussing the importance of the freedom of speech and private property. It’s incredibly cute.

The Woke Philosophy of Life

I know I keep harping on Ann Napolitano’s novel Hello Beautiful but it lays out the woke philosophy of life very clearly and openly. The book utterly lacks artistic merit, but its insight into wokeness makes it worth the time.

So what is the woke worldview?

It posits that there’s something called “your true self” hidden inside every person. Our task in life is to discover this true self and accept it. The issue of who puts this true self into us is never raised. It is simply there.

How do we know that we have found that true self and fully accepted it?

It feels good. That’s how we know we are on the right track in life. Feeling good shows that we are accepting our true self. Not feeling good means we aren’t.

See the problem with this way of thinking?

It’s an inward-oriented closed system.

There are no external elements at all. There is no gauge of good and bad aside from my feelings.

The problem is that my feelings can be caused by all sorts of things. Maybe I’ve been damaged by bad past experiences. Maybe I have an upset stomach and it’s coloring my perceptions. Or maybe I’m a shitty person and instead of accepting my true self I should be trying to improve it.

Another problem with this approach is that it’s very lonely. If other people don’t enter into my calculations of how to behave and there’s no external morality to guide me, I’ll end up using and discarding people like paper napkins at a barbecue joint. Napolitano’s novel shows what this looks like when followed through to its ultimate consequences. A father discards his infant child because it feels good to be rid of a squawking baby. A woman seduces her sister’s husband because it feels good. A woman draws pornographic images to explain sex to a kindergartner because why not? If how something makes you feel is the only measure of good and bad, that’s where you’ll end up.

Napolitano tries to talk up these barren, self-immersed lifestyles but they still look grim. If you are already born with the “true self”, it means that there’s no need to develop, grow, try to be better. The characters in the novel either find their true self in doing a particular job, and then their personal lives turn into a cavalcade of episodic, interchangeable partners, or the true self consists in being in an unconventional sexual relationship. Then everything besides this particular sex partner becomes easily discardable. Beyond the job or the sex, the only other “true self” can reside in a physical characteristic or a health condition. So people who are very curly or unusually tall need to accept their height or hairstyle and… well, that’s it. Their task in life is done.

I told you it’s grim.

But that’s what the universe that revolves around the self looks like.