Why the woke won’t debate you

Why the woke won’t debate you. By John Sexton, commenting on a essay by James Lindsay.

So far as [James Lindsay] is aware, there’s no single explanation published anywhere by any woke academic advising people not to debate those they disagree with but he believes there are things within the structure of the belief system which naturally discourage it. …

…it is a complete worldview with its own ethics, epistemology, and morality, and theirs is not the same worldview the rest of us use. Theirs is, very much in particular, not liberal. In fact, theirs advances itself rather parasitically or virally by depending upon us to play the liberal game while taking advantage of its openings. …

Conversation and debate are part of our game, and they are not part of their game.

Most of us look at a disagreement over some topic as an ongoing debate in the public square. Some believe one thing and some another and there’s a give and take over which views hold up to scrutiny and which don’t. But for the truly woke, there’s a deep skepticism of the entire process which has its roots in postmodernism. For these academics, the debate itself is really a kind of falsehood which exists to reinforce structures of power. …

A couple weeks ago the NY Times published a piece based on interviews with anti-racism trainers including White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo. While the piece was sympathetic in many ways it found that many of these trainers have a deep skepticism of “scientific, linear thinking” as well as the primacy of the written word (including written history), individual achievement, excellence and even punctuality. Those views aren’t incidental, they are part of the substructure of the woke project. …

For the woke fringe “critical-thinking” is considered an enemy of the revolutionary project

I don’t think the average woke protester on the street has absorbed all of this material or could restate it in his or her own words, but the point is that if you soak in enough of this thinking, the opposition to the fundamentals of liberal thought are there at the base of it. …

To pick an example, you don’t have to have read any of this material as a 20-something college student to understand that there is a group of people who don’t care if the professor speaking on campus is a subject matter expert who might have some sound ideas. What the woke students care about is shouting down a bad person for reinforcing structural harm. You literally don’t have to argue, you just have to have a loud voice and a few accusations to level. And that’s exactly what they do.

To be even more specific, the social justice warriors at Evergreen State College didn’t have a hope of out-arguing Professor Bret Weinstein on any topic. But by showing up as a group they could label him a racist and demand his firing. The goal wasn’t enlightenment, it was power.

We’re seeing the same thing in Portland, Seattle and other cities around the country. The people agitating to “defund police” haven’t won an argument on the topic of policing, they’ve simply made demands by marching in the street.

There is a dumbed-down alliance between an ever-stupider and more ignorant political elite, and the identity groups who benefit from their discrimination and prejudices. They lose reasoned debate based on principles.

So the woke just tell us to shut up and do what they  say. We don’t need no stinkin’ debate. Gimme dat!