Discover more from Stoic Observations
Why is Woke?
This is the deeper question.
We at Free Black Thought are taking up the question of Wokeness from a material and categorical perspective. This is necessary work because one of the big problems with being in the position we are in is that people are quick to say that Woke is Left, therefore Anti-Woke must be Right. Free Black Thought is categorically neither. We aim to demystify the racial essentialism most people carry around in their concepts of black people and black culture. That’s an educational process, not a political one. Nevertheless, whatever truth we may uncover will be politicized by those who aim to politicize. This cannot be avoided.
I think one of the strengths that I bring to our joint efforts is that I have no political dogs in any fight. I do not desire to be a part of any ideological movement or political party. I can’t stop people from thinking that I do because any philosophical description of what mankind is and what it needs has political implications. In the end, I’m trying to be a good philosopher. I’m trying to deal effectively with the metaphysics of race. Not only that, I’m trying to deal effectively with the metaphysics of how people acquire knowledge through information technology. That’s my profession. I’m not an academic. One reason is because, quite frankly, I figured out a long time ago that people would spend more time in front of computer screens than in classrooms. People thought I was crazy. So people who think I’m crazy for not being political have plenty of good company. I still think the world needs more philosophers in the same way I thought we needed more programmers back in the 80s.
At any rate, I’ve split the difference and still write for people through computers rather than through traditional publication institutions. I’m a writer but I don’t call myself an author. Was Socrates an author or was that all Plato’s doing? No matter. I am stepping up my short game and doing more video. In the following one, I am starting to hammer a wedge between race and culture. Ultimately I’ll want to describe one between culture and society. I think that will be easier. So take with you the following axioms:
Race is a fiction. It is an inconsistent set of concepts that are an effective yet misleading demographic abstraction. It is not real.
It is profitable to adjust the abstractions about race, and especially the politics about race while leaving certain racial essentialisms in place. These adjustments must be accomplished in order to keep race alive.
These adjustments are largely made by fabrications and reinterpretations of history. They rarely encourage their audiences to deal realistically with the future.
The explanatory force of race is weak. People invested in racial identity and theories of race must make compromises. These compromises generate demand for new theories, new fictions, new abstractions, new fabrications.
To the extent that people invest into their racial identity, they are culpable in self-dealing. To declare or to assume a racial interest in any subject creates a moral hazard.
You can conclude from these axioms that people invested in racial concepts, etc are desperately aiming for a moral high ground. Yet because race always divides humanity, its ability to provide a coherent universal message is essentially impossible. In this regard many people realize that race requires transcendence or results in zero-sum games.
But how does one transcend race if races are generative of cultures? This is the question that’s very difficult to answer. For one thing, to the extent that people invest in the belief in race, or color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc, then these collections of social attributes will be attractive to our social sciences, our marketing, our cultural creations. Well, I’ll deal with that at length. In the meantime, I’m simply going to put my foot down in opposition to the overall utility of race as it is overly used today. That is done, simply, I hope by the following video which I think gets to the heart of why the terms of race must change.
Society is a complex adaptive system created by the inscrutable and unpredictable interactions of individual humans using various cultural (learned) and innate (evolutionary) behaviors in pursuit of innumerable aims.
In other words, society is everything, everywhere all at once. The most important thing is that society be open so that eventually truth can be ascertained.
And if you want to defend the Everything film as sensible, try this on:
All my hopes and dreams. My old report cards, every breed of dog, every last personal ad on Craigslist, sesame, poppy seed, salt, and it collapsed in on itself, because you see when you really put everything on a bagel, it becomes this. The truth. Nothing matters. — Jobu Tupaki
Really? I’ll take Popper:
The main philosophical malady of our time is an intellectual and moral relativism, the latter being at least in part based upon the former. By relativism—or, if you like, scepticism—I mean here, briefly, the theory that the choice between competing theories is arbitrary; since either, there is no such thing as objective truth; or, if there is, no such thing as a theory which is true or at any rate (though perhaps not true) nearer to the truth than another theory; or, if there are two or more theories, no ways or means of deciding whether one of them is better than another.
Popper, Karl Raimund. The Open Society and Its Enemies (Princeton Classics) (p. 485). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.