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Has anyone investigated the role of elementary schools in the 1990s and 2000s as incubators of wokeness? Seems like the moral foundation for it among the masses was laid then, but widely ignored since elementary school students and teachers have little visibility in national political discourse. Only once those foundations were built upon in corporations, government, and academia did anyone notice the problem.

Changes in USian history and English curriculums starting in the late 1970s might be part of it. Black footnotes like Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, and Crispus Attucks were among the best known USian historical figures among students even in the late 2000s. I think that the result was that the historical black experience in the United States came to be understood as the contemporary American experience by millennials and zoomers, who other than the shrinking exceptions of certain religious groups, had no other shared reference frames for identity.

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I think it was Helen Joyce's idea that parents of transed (and then eventually detransed) children will keep the current brand of wokeness going into the next decade plus. Her thesis: the parents will do/say/threaten anything to ensure inclusion for their damaged child, instead of taking blame for letting the transing happen in the first place. It's a scary thought when you think it through to its end.

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This seems to be confirmed by my anecdotal observations. Wokeism is a groupish/socially-driven/status-preserving force, rather than principle-led. Evidence includes the fact that around half of the students polled on their support for 'from the river to the sea' couldn't identify the river or sea in question.

The direction of radicalisation looks to be ground up, with fear of seeming old fashioned undermining chances of pushback from older people in positions of authority.

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I would fundamentally disagree and this is the very tired counterintuitive thinking that it's bottom up. There is an element of truth to this but ppl follow leadership and the legal protections exploited by the "woke" students is facilitated by administrators and HR protectionists. Not to mention, the woke are basically a large section of liberal white women who are ironically employing their own version of racial supremacy in the workforce albeit the woman card is being deployed as a loophole but it's there nonetheless. Which brings one to Elon, where he eradicated wokeness at least in most part from an organization through swift and ruthless action and it could be eradicated. To eliminate wokeness would be to deploy something akin to denazification psyops to radically change the political psychology but that would require top down consensus and wokeness is a wonderful undermining tool for US international ambitions.

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Another argument for decreasing wokeness is that the reality-denying aspects of wokeness are crashing down (which they are to some extent as contradictions mount), but "The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent" applies in this case as well. I wonder what narrative violation would exert sufficient pressure to discredit the entire thing. Razib thinks we're dealing with a second Christianity, in which case no reality check would suffice.

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There are two main point that needs to be extrapolated:

- Bullying and censoring works, Popper be damned

-Every opposition to wokeness means using Bullying and censor to enforce it

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It’s not limited to “elite” universities. It’s in the whole range of institutions of higher learning.

Not sure when it jumped the shark from elite to everywhere, but jump it has done.

The small local university close to my hometown, which used to be referred to jokingly (and rather meanly) as “Brock Senior Secondary School”, has gone DEI one better, adding an additional D at the end for “De-colonization”. I suppose it might now be called DIED. It is certainly destroying free inquiry and the search for truth which universities once prided themselves on.

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It endlessly frustrates me the way so many opponents of the Progressive mindset - of its campus-student-brats, of its ludicrous academic 'professors' of nonsense et al - all still tend to credit it all with more intellectual substance than it deserves. Yes this disease is extremely serious - even civilisation destroyingly so - but it is not really about anything like a new 'vision', a new 'morality', certainly not a coherent 'philosophy', nor even 'ideology'. It is about a degenerate PSYCHOLOGY.......a shallow, degenerate, up-itself narcissism and self-absorption that has taken hold primarily amongst a well-healed middle class that gets-off on telling itself that it is on the side of 'the oppressed'. Taken hold because Western economic dynamism has freed them from having to grow up and get real. I find myself (as an elderly 'boomer') half hoping for the day when holding these shallow feel-good poses actually start to have painful consequences for the wokeys themselves. Then we'll see. https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/are-we-making-progress

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The Universities by and large can't be reformed from within. They are also increasingly providing less value. We need someone to go Henry VIII dissolution of the monasteries on them.

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Yes. Unequivocally Yes. BUT! Some of the worst excesses of wokeness, such as the enlisting of campus authorities to enforce wokish intolerance may now be limited by the very public and very correct elite U presidents' articulation of "We cannot punish speech unless it is targeted harassment of an individual." This won't END wokeness, but it will make it harder for admins to punish dissenters for whom they cannot trump up semi-bogus charges on things like sexual harassment (Fryer, Katz). Not impossible, just harder. And that's a good thing. It also might energize faculty (as has already happened at Penn) to stand up for themselves and for academic freedom, creating social pressure against caving to woke intolerance.

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The only way out is through. Until people viscerally feel how miserable and small-minded wokeness is making themselves and their peers, it won’t change. There’s a great deal of pain in store while we wait for that realisation to dawn.

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What came first? The chicken or the egg?

The idea of Identitarianism was prominent in elite university faculties decades before the “Great Awokening”. For example, as a professor at UCLA Law, Crenshaw introduced Intersectionality in 1989; Intersectionality is a derivative of Identitarian thinking. Ergo, Identitarian thinking was already prominent in the intellectual circles in which Crenshaw had travelled at UCLA Law, Harvard Law, and Cornell (where she majored in an Identitarian field (Africana Studies)).

Two decades later, the great financial crisis stimulated fear among the rich and powerful in the US (and elsewhere) of a class-based challenge. Occupy Wall Street (2011) protests contributed to this fear. The policy responses to the financial crisis (e.g., access to essentially interest-free loans in immense quantities) were incredibly lucrative for the few people who enjoyed privileged access to those policy responses.

Consequently, a small group of rich and powerful people were enjoying a once-in-many-lifetimes-get-much-richer opportunity at the same time as they were beset by fear of class-based challenge to their wealth, their status, and their power.

The “Great Awokening” occurred at this very moment. Institutions led or highly influenced by this same small group of people — foundations, elite universities, elite service firms, major corporations — embraced the “Great Awokening” partly by evangelizing Harvard’s idea of implicit bias and the IAT.

Was that timing a mere coincidence of a bottom-up process driven by 20-something graduates of elite institutions who developed their Identitarian philosophy out of nowhere?

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Overproduction of elites.

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I think there's a connection between the end of the "old world" where bosses terrorized underlings and the "new world" where nominal underlings terrorize their nominal bosses. The impact of promoting people up the hierarchy for being nice was that the real hierarchy became a nominal hierarchy. Having nice people atop a real hierarchy is unfortunately untenable.

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We go from opinion control questions and echo chambers in the time of Lippmann (https://polsci.substack.com/p/public-opinion) to the question of falsification of beliefs.

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