Civil discourse, the bedrock of a well-functioning society, is breaking down mostly along ideological lines. In just the last few years, we’ve all seen skyrocketing levels of anger, fear, and hate whenever any political or social issue is discussed particularly with regard to race, gender, and trans issues. While the intensity has risen among all politically active people, it’s more about the progressive left who advocate “Social Justice” and are often self-described as “woke”.
This intensity is the result of a demand for purity or the strict adherence to the more extreme liberal positions on the left: “equal rights for women” becomes “men are toxic, and women are better”, “racism affects minorities” becomes “all white people are inherently oppressive”. To a progressive, if you disagree with their dogma, you’re more than wrong, you are nothing but a bigot - even inhuman and wholly evil. The result is a worldview in which life is a struggle between good vs evil, or in this case, the evil oppressors and the virtuous and guiltless oppressed.
As someone who grew up as a believer in Christianity, I am used to the idea that there is an epic battle between “Good” and “Evil”, in the form of God and Satan, going on in the hearts and minds of people. It was my journey out of religion and eventually being involved in the Atheist movement which gave me some insights to the connection between religion, atheism and the behavior of many progressives - what I’ll define later as “Wokeism”.
A few years ago, I built an online community called agnostic.com for formerly-religious people who had gone or were going through the process of deconversion or simply wanted to meet other Atheists. It was intended as a way for me to give back to the community and help others who had felt the isolation and fear associated with walking away from their faith. The site was successful and soon had over 100,000 users. I thought it would become a harmonious group of Secular Humanists; a bastion for civil discourse and a support system for non-believers.
I was wrong.
Soon after the community launched in mid-2017, it became clear that many of the members came primarily to vent about Trump. Their outrage was so intense that one of my first projects was to create special-interest groups, one of which was even named “Trump Pinata”, so members could go there instead of the main feed. This idea backfired as it concentrated the anger in an echo chamber and many similar groups became war zones. Since the majority of the members were liberal, any post or comment with a conservative tone was aggressively attacked by Progressive members with opposing views.
The website quickly devolved into what felt like warring tribes: the Woke (30%) battling the non-Woke Conservatives (20%) with the remaining non-Woke Liberals (50%) looking on with dismay. I watched as they talked past each other; the conservatives, perhaps hoping for civil discourse and challenging the Woke, often with facts, and the Woke shouting them down, calling them names (Alt-right, Sexist, Racist, Nazi, Bigot, etc), and, the blocking and reporting, the latter of which created support headaches as the Woke squabblers were quick to appeal to help from me to intervene or punish (see book).
Let me first say, aside from few random misanthropes, the members of Agnostic.com are good people who care and support each other like family. It was clear that they share an activist's heart - a desire to make the world a better place. The challenge was more than the tribes had different opinions but that they perceived the world differently. The key difficultly was that emotions quickly escalated whenever these world views were challenged.
My first instinct was to find a way to get the combatants to lay down their weapons and see the humanity in the other side. I had already been thinking about an agreeable guiding philosophy that Atheists could point to whenever a religious person said, “If you don’t believe in [God], you’ll believe in anything!” - and Humanism seemed a good starting point. Humanism is the understanding that most of our shared values stem from ancient rules of social behavior, such as the “Golden Rule”, instead of being ordained by the supernatural. As the Humanist philosophy required its followers to disavow all Gods, I simply removed that stipulation so that religious people could also say they were Humanists. I put up a 30 page long explanation of this new form of Humanism and how it explains WHY extremists of all sides out-group each other when they fail to treat each other with civilly as fellow humans. You can read it at my second attempt at a civil non-religious community called Humanist.com.
What shocked me was the objections I received. Many Woke members were unhappy with the implication that they were not treating non-Woke fairly and others took offense at Humanism in general. Feedback like, “I have no interest in being involved with Humanists. I am not a Humanist.” was common. I realized that in order to bring some tranquility to the site, I would need to find a way to keep the factions separated.
I created a third social site for the “relatively conservative” (mostly Classic Liberal or moderates) Intellectual Dark Web at IDW.community, now renamed as Slug.com. I stocked it with fan groups of thinkers and luminaries from the center of the political spectrum, including Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, and Sam Harris. I then quietly invited the purged non-Woke members from agnostic.com, who joined eagerly. IDW.community was wildly successful at encouraging civil discourse, and is almost devoid of Woke members - but not devoid of Liberals.
By creating these thematic communities, I had inadvertently created two “living petri dishes” of political discourse which possibly could be predictive of society at large. For example, I found that The average “Woke” user on Agnostic.com blocks over 20 times as many people than on non-Woke Slug.com community. This suggests that they simply do not want to engage in dialog with those who do not share their views.
I wanted to learn what was keeping the Agnostic.com member, mostly atheists and skeptics, who prided themselves on their ability to not be "fooled" by traditional religions, to be so orthodoxy in their beliefs as to be not want to even dialog with those of different opinions. Their behavior reminded me of how the Church told Christians to avoid talking with non-believers (e.g., evolutionists). I recognized this behavior as a defense mechanism of "Faith". - the very thing Atheists oppose.
I spent more time analyzing the behavior of members of the sites and thinking on the implications of the religion angle to polarization, herein called "Wokeism".
Wokeism is narrowly defined as the part of one's belief that is taken on faith - that is believed without provable evidence - and which can be proved to be incorrect. That's it. It is not saying that 100% of what a “Woke” person believes is false… only that there is often overlooked or unaccepted evidence that suggest more nuanced explanations. To be “woke” is to believe oneself to have awakened to the existence of systems of racism, sexism and homophobia that most people cannot see.
The following figures show that a “Woke” person assumes their beliefs are true based on a little empirical evidence and the faith that the correct interpretation is one that will 100% support their belief. A non-“Woke” person generally understands that reality has some evidence that supports their belief, some evidence that doesn’t support it and stays agnostic about the rest (i.e., can’t assume that it supports or doesn’t support their belief).
It is understood that to be “Woke” has other implications such as “reading society for evidence to support one's opinions”, “resisting those who don’t agree” and “finding a virtuous identity in continuing to fight against a perceived system of oppression”. If you don't like the use of the word “Woke”, please consider "Progressive" instead although being "Woke" can apply to Conservatives who, for example, refuse to internalize factual evidence for man-made climate change but take it on faith that "global warming is natural".
This paper is concerned with the system that makes anyone, be they conservative, moderate or liberal, accept a statement as an accurate representation of reality by refusing to see evidence that suggests alternative explanations or by intense focus on one aspect of the problem and one explanation for it. It is not saying that people who are often described by themselves or others as “Woke” are bad people, only that they are actively avoiding seeing the whole picture.
Wokeism is a faith-based way of reaching and maintaining opinions that are factually untrue, as well as the protective ecosystem that prevents the truth from being exposed. It acts like a religion because, though it has no literal gods, it looks and behaves exactly like the most dogmatic of extreme theologies, relying on dogma, mantra, indoctrination and coercion to exist. Wokeism redefines “good” as “woke”, and “bad” as “non-woke.”
Wokeism should not be confused with Liberalism or even Progressivism as it refers to how one arrives to their opinions and less about the opinions themselves. However, It tends to hijack Progressive intent to do good and protect the needy using false ideas and mantras to disguise incendiary behavior as benevolent. Adherents are taught and/or coerced into defending untrue statements (note: “lies” requires knowledge of facts) in an attempt to help those they see as non-advantaged. Anyone who doubts the veracity of the untruths is met with intervention and if that fails, demonization and shunning.
The following are examples of Wokeist dogma (see Appendix B for more). Each simple statement, while easily imagined as true and often has a kernel of truth, is in fact, false or misleading - later I will show how the ecosystem maintains the untruths
Examples : “Systemic sexism (exclusively) causes all gender imbalances”, “Women and Men are psychologically and cognitively identical and all differences are socialized”, “Systemic racism in the police force results in black people being killed by police more per interaction than white people”, “Income inequality is explained purely by the exploitation of working people”, “Greedy Western Companies Cause Global Warming (instead of consumers or companies in poorer nations)”, “Systemic racism (exclusively) causes all racial imbalances”, “Any claim that aspects of Islam are incompatible with the values of liberal, secular democracies are caused by Islamophobia (understood as a form of racism) ”.
Wokeist dogma are the end result of a belief in the supernatural. Think for a moment about the concepts of “systemic racism”, “systemic sexism/patriarchy” or even the generic evil of “white supremacy”. They each provoke the imagination to visualize a kind of supernatural power. For it to be believed, the believer must be convinced that an invisible super-human presence permeates our reality… one that has the ability to control both people and outcomes primarily for evil. The first step to belief this is to be taught that it is absolutely true as is in most liberal arts colleges and universities. The postmodernist writer Michel Foucault is often credited as the one who popularize this invisible power. Once it has been suggested, the easiest way to become a true-believer is to suspend disbelief, avoid facts, and be shown miracles.
Miracles use exactly the same type of magic that convinces people that a god answers their prayers, a conjurer can speak to the dead, or a magician conjures a rabbit from an empty hat. Wokeists who see and interpret daily “outrage” stories in their news and friend feeds according to their dogma are seeing tricks performed over and over and don’t even realize they’re seeing something designed to strengthen their faith in the dark forces of evil. Here’s how it works:
|How a Magic Trick Works||How Woke Miracles Works|
|Magician sets up the audience by showing them something that triggers them to be inquisitive. E.g., shows a normal hat and makes a point that it’s empty. Everyone is convinced and is ready to be shown some “magic”.||Wokeism starts with a statement that is easily shown to be true and universally accepted. E.g., “Blacks are not doing well in society relative to Whites”. Highlights income and wealth gaps, homicide and incarceration rates. There must be a reason for it!|
|Magician invokes the imagination of the audience to mentally visualize that there is some special power at hand. E.g., says a “magic incantation” and the audience feels the presence.||Followers are guided to summon up their own ideologized “evil” without considering specific details or alternative possibilities. E.g., “it’s the fault of pervasive systemic racism and lots of racist white people”. Some may imagine a laughing “country boy” with a confederate flag, and others, a suit-wearing corporate hiring manager scheming to exclude minorities.|
|The magician reveals the PROOF of their magic while concealing the truth that it was done by natural means. E.g., pulls out a live rabbit, audiences believes the magic to be true. HOW TO PULL A RABBIT OUT OF A HAT||When a potentially positive example is found, the media jumps to declare it a PROOF of the invisible power. If the example survives narrative collapse and is sufficiently marketed, it can then forever be used as a tool to keep believers believing. E.g., show a white supremacist carrying a hateful slogan a white policeman somewhere shoots a black person, etc.|
This type of story line is run over and over so that the Wokeist confirms their belief every time they see “outrage” from their peers - they think “surely, it must be true if everyone is getting outraged by it”. “Outrage” is the negative affirmation in Wokeism the same as “Hallelujah” is the positive affirmation of a religious ceremony. In the “Social Justice” movement, sharing public outrage is cynically viewed as “virtue signaling” as the one exhibiting it feels the affirmation of their virtue in fighting “Evil”.
The key is that the religious aspect of Wokeism makes the Wokeist want to believe what they are seeing is the truth just like an audience wanting to believe the rabbit magic is true or a religious person wanting to believe their god is real. The key difference is that Wokeism has a moral component and a community of believers. It is this difference that also makes the believer less capable of belief revision.
This desire to see the world as filled with dark evil spirits requiring teamwork to fight and overcome pushes a good Liberal to accept many untrue things as fact. The good Liberal, like their good Conservative counterpart, wants to fight injustice, but the Woke Liberal connects with the “Woke Miracle” as it aligns with objectives, whereas the Non-woke nonbeliever (be they Liberal or Conservative) is skeptical.
The danger of believing in supernatural powers, especially those that are not clearly defined, is that it frees the believer to imagine the worst according to their own personal fears. Think of how many scary movies were made more scary by the way they didn’t show a monster in detail but let you IMAGINE what it was. Everyone tailors the evil of their fears in their own way. In Wokeism if a person fears being unfairly treated based on their specific gender, race, sexual orientation or other immutable characteristics, the supernatural evil power will be specific to their imagination. Those who are fearful of any supernatural evil power will also find comrades in other people who feel oppressed be a generalized evil regardless if they imagined the same specific thing. There are many other dangers, like it giving one a distorted view of reality and often morphing into violence (note: words are the first step in violence).
If this oppression delusion is left unchecked, it soon consumes the person and corrupts their world-view. I’ve sat on the sidewalk with homeless who are screaming (think similar people at a bus-stop or subway) and asked them who or what are they angry at. I am shocked by how similar their response are to angry Wokeists, such as members of Antifa, at a protest. Both these groups of people think that there is a scary network of individuals who maliciously conspire to harm them and feel that too few people are helping to resolve it. They are also both inclined to use circular reasoning to support their belief. For the most part, they are all good people who are overly scared and angry.
The key problem of delusions is that it is often much harder to change the mind of someone who already believes that something is true than it is if they had no such truth beliefs in the first place. It is especially hard if the idea that is believed has been personalized to the attributes of the believer (e.g., the idea that “men are mostly Evil” is harder to overcome when talking to a woman who has herself been assaulted by a man). Deconverting someone from a delusion is made harder still if the person believes something is true on faith (i.e., having high confidence in a belief that is not warranted by the evidence one has) alone as doing so requires accepting themselves to have been delusional. This is why self-introspection is rare among believers.
Here are a few of the observations that can be made of the Social Justice movement that indicate that it is best seen as Wokeism – a quasi-religious movement.
OWN PERSONAL IMAGINED EVIL TO FIGHT: Wokeists, like other religious people, conceive of society in terms of an invisible super-human power that controls people. In Wokeism, there is often a mental conjuring of ill-defined forces of evil by the use of terms like “patriarchy, “white supremacy” and “imperialism” alongside adjectives like “systemic”, “Institutional”, or “toxic” to convey its pervasiveness. Due to its vagueness, the imagination is free to think of the most horrific examples of evil. Of course, an imagined threat is harder to show false than a real threat. The Wokeist may even claim that they alone can see the evil due to their unique personal experiences - often tied to their self-identity. Deprogramming hinges on getting the Wokeist to consider alternative explanations to what they think is true.
INVULNERABILITY TO FACTS: Wokeism explains why facts are so ineffective to change opinions as deprogramming someone who believes things on faith has to start far away from "You're wrong!". Instead, it must start with seemingly unrelated questions that secretly and dispassionately leads the person to make their own conclusion that they have been delusional. See next section for how!
WHO DEFINES THE RULES: Since in Wokeism, the adherents are themselves their own “God”, they grant themselves exclusive power to define what is right and wrong (i.e., “Evil” ) and change it at anytime. They are also quick to judge others who break the rules and excommunicated the guilty without mercy or forgiveness. For example, Wokeist recently have deemed wearing clothing of another culture an “appropriation.” The response to deprogram a Wokeist is to ask what gives them the right to define rules for people who don’t believe in Wokeism.
CATASTROPHIZING: As a Wokeist doesn’t view the world as right and wrong opinions, but as a fight between “good” and “evil”, any infraction of religious dogma as sufficient proof of someone being completely immoral and will disregard all positive attributes of the heretic. This explains why Wokeists are absolutists with labels - there is no such thing as being a little “Evil”. Wokeists think their conception of Social Justice has exclusive ownership of “being deemed morally good” so that any out-group is, by definition, Evil. The response is to disregard the labels in kind and focus on rehumanizing the accused person using their other positive attributes. Also, focus on requiring specific proof that the accused is “Evil” besides breaking the sin of the dogma.
NEED TO CONGREGATE / PROTEST: Wokeism explains why Wokeists love to attend protests and marches, but rarely think through or care if they have a positive impact - they constantly need to reaffirm their faith publicly (e.g., similar to regularly attending a religious service). To fight the unilateral reaffirmation of Wokeist dogma, counter messages that highlight the dogma’s misconceptions is needed.
LACK OF REDEMPTION: Wokeism never grants forgiveness of sins for several reasons - there is no universally approved god to whom to appeal or who can define a method of atonement, once someone is labeled “Evil” (e.g., “racist”, “homophobe”, etc), it’s difficult to remove as doing so would mean that being “Evil” is a temporary, and ultimately forgiveness limits the power of the punishment of callout culture (see above). This is why there is no path to redemption, including public humiliation and apologies. To combat this, we need to reduce the pain for the person being accused by publicly refusing to believe they are evil on faith but require specific and clear evidence (which rarely exists).
CALLOUT CULTURE: Wokeism explains why a feeding frenzy of outrage occurs whenever a Liberal says anything slightly non-Woke, it causes a Woke feeding frenzy of outrage and the Liberal is labled “alt-Right” (slur for “close to Nazi” ) or worse. Wokeists love to pile-on as it’s an easy way to feel affirmation from the other congregates. Public castigation is also an especially effective inhibitor of dissent. One way to combat callout culture is to resist the narrowing of what is acceptable to say and renormalize the expression of a wide variety of views that are socially acceptable.
SOCIAL MEDIA COMPLICITY: Social media companies weed out non-Woke candidates and employees so the result is a culture that prides itself on using its massive monopoly of thought, to purge or weaken heresy (deplatforming, deranking, demonetizing) and promote Wokeist dogma. While the US Constitution precludes the government from picking a preferred religion, Social media companies, arguably more powerful to control minds than the government, have overwhelmingly chosen Wokeism. The answer is not to break up the social media monopolies, as doing so doesn’t change then power yielded by each, but to regulate that all opinions are to be allowed.
WOKEIST MEDIA FRAMES POLITICS AS GOOD VS EVIL: Wokeism explains why Woke media and entertainment companies frame issues as good vs evil, use simple explanations to answer tough or nuanced questions, and have minimal factual requirements to be declared “Evil” (Racist, Sexist, Homophobe, etc). Stories serve the purpose to confirm their viewers’ belief that an evil force is pervasive and threatening them. Try reading the Washington Post, NYT, or even the Atlantic with the woke approach and the results are frightening. It’s indoctrination and propaganda. See Appendix C for an example of the New York Times covering up the truth about police being more likely to shoot a White suspect than one who is Black. Non-Woke Liberals need to be recruited to call-out “Fake News” in their own subscriptions.
SIMPLE ANSWERS TO COMPLEX ISSUES: Wokeism explains why political explanations are dumbed down, as the simpler the reason, the easier it is to believe on faith. For example, the simplest justification for “orange man bad” is “orange man bad!”. Rather than considering all the factors in any situation carefully and giving opinions tentatively and with charity, the wokeist will reach for their simple explanation of society as structured by invisible forced of racism, sexism and homophobia and simply find a reading that supports that hypothesis. The counter to this problem is to urge clarity and thoughtful consideration of all the facts.
MECHANISM TO ASSEMBLE INTERLOCKING GROUPS: Identity Politics which focus of identity groups seen as marginalised by their race, sex, gender, orientation, etc, works in a similar way to different denominations of the same religion. Each identity group focus a different feature of the great “Satan” (SCWERM). Often, but my no means always, non-Whites focus on race, Women focus on gender, LGBTQX focus on sexual orientation, non-Rich focus on income/wealth, etc. Each of these groups are allies as they believe they are all righteous in their fight against “Evil” and they all try to be ‘intersectional’ which is the attempt to consider all marginalised identities at the same time. One way to counter this is to highlight the in-group conflict arising from cross-group differences (e.g., Muslim vs Jewish women in a women’s identity group) *or inconsistencies between identity groups (gay rights vs Islam immigration advocates)**.
ENTERTAINMENT SUBVERSION: Wokeist Media and Entertainment Industry have teamed up to become so powerful that together it can create blatantly propagandic Dogmatic films and call-out any dissent to its indoctrination. We must protest hate-inducing media in all its form.
COERCIVE WOKEIST SOLDIERS: Wokeism explains why the ANTIFA wear masks, shout and try to get media attention disproportionate to their numbers (if there were more of them, they would be policed out). They are trying to enforce Wokeism using coercion - the dangerous twin of indoctrination. Their use of physical intimidation is normalizing that behavior and a precursor to escalating violence. We must demand police take immediate action when any physical intimidation is used by any party.
ECHO CHAMBERS: Breaking through to wokeists can be particularly difficult as they tend to surround themselves by others who support and reinforce their worldview on social media. This is not a problem solely of Wokeists, but because they desire constant confirmation of their faith, they are more prone to believing what they want to believe. It remains difficult to break through the protective barriers to a Wokeist attention online.
The demonization and resentment cycles created by Wokeism seem to be steamrolling through our society with no signs of slowing down. Something must be done to resist the growing power of Wokeism and needs to be done now!
Like many non-Wokeists, I have struggled to convince people to rethink their belief in Wokeist dogma. Conversations would always break down as we seemed to be talking past each other and I frequently encountered either a brick wall or hostility. In response to my failures, I started studying the literature of deprogramming religious people and discovered “Street Epistemology”— a process detailed by Peter Boghossian in his book “A Manual for Creating Atheists”.
This approach is effective in deprograming those who believe something on faith as it doesn’t confront the lack of evidence head-on but instead uses strategies and techniques to get the person to think about why they believe something to be true. Boghossian defines “faith” as “pretending to believe something is true without evidence” and describes ways to make them think about that. This approach is also applicable to wokeism. Because the majority of the woke are atheists and critical of (some) religion, pointing out the religious nature of their belief system has the added potential benefit of making them see it in a new and negative light. If we can carefully lead a Wokeist to seeing their beliefs as being “religious”, they will be more likely to rethink the foundation on which they believe the Wokeist dogma. This is also valuable when applied to those who are religious for getting them to understand they’re also believing in another religion.
The updated process itself involves only a few steps. Sample dialogs are in Appendix A.
Again, remember that the goal of this technique is not to convince the Wokeist to completely give up their belief but to plant a seed of doubt in the underlying reason why they believe what they believe and then gently suggesting that believing something on faith is what religious people do (note: if the Wokeist is a Christian, suggest replace “religious people” with Hindus or Muslims). You can rely on the fact that an Atheist Wokeist, and especially those who are Atheists, will be triggered by religious analogies, especially the word “faith”.
Don’t expect or push for a complete transformation as it may make you appear more threatening to the Wokeist. Remember Wokeists have been trained to be alert to threats to their belief system just as religious people are told to be watchful of “Satan” trying to weaken their faith. They have memorized a few simple “facts” to have on hand to match any direct attack.
Finally, think of Wokeists simply as victims of indoctrination.
If the Wokeist gets offended by being declared to have faith similar to religion, ask them why you should think otherwise. They will have to claim that they base their beliefs on facts. Then, you simply ask for some examples and go to work on deconstructing the “facts” which are provably false by using a line of questioning as exampled above. Checkmate. Note: resist using any facts until you have framed it as unanticipated counterfactual to their belief.
I had a theory but wanted to try in person. My first attempt was with my friend "Fred".
"Fred" was a poster-boy for Wokeism and described himself proudly as “Woke AF” (ask a Millennial for what that means). I’d been trying to convince him that there are flaws in most of his progressive opinions for a year without success. Every time I tried to give facts or reasons, his brain’s defense mechanism kicked in, causing him to not internalize my efforts but simply to reiterate the most simplistic versions of the woke dogma (e.g., “Women face a constant, intense struggle against bad men” ). This defense mechanism is common in religious people - the mind refuses to allow itself to consider counter-explanations to a faith-based belief.
But when I teased out of him the fact that he had never investigated if the Wokeist dogma was true - independent of what his Wokeist friends and media told him - and made clear the connection in his mind between his own belief on faith and the religious belief on faith (for which he had contempt), he was able to finally see through the fog.
I was excited to get my friend to see things more clearly but I was not sure that the specific technique that I used on David would work for Wokeists in general - especially those who have not had personally been hurt by Wokeism.
However, I did have access to the Woke members of agnostic.com to test the theory that illuminating the religious parallels to Wokeism could help deconvert its followers. I divided the members randomly into 4 groups, each of which were asked how confident they were that “Women make about 75% as much as men for the same job and experience?”. This statement was chosen as 3rd-wave Feminism is supported more by atheists (76%) than even women (60%) (source: Hidden Tribes).
Prior to asking them the question, all groups were prompted to “Think of the top reasons that support your opinion.” with groups B, C, D then asked:
Group B: “Are they based on your personal research or what you've seen on news sites, protests or heard from friends/others? If you haven't seen the facts yourself, could it be your sources have been misinformed or have skewed opinions?”
Group C: “Would that be similar to religious person supporting their beliefs with similar second-hand accounts? For example, what would you say to a Christian who cites their preacher or Biblical accounts as evidence?”
Group D: “What if someone then showed you a research report with data that conflicted with you had thought?”
The chart below shows people's confidence levels ( 1=100% confident/agree, 13 = 0% confident/disagree ) for each of the four groups.
The results were surprising and encouraging: Namely, reminding the Wokeist that their believing things on FAITH in a religious sense was the ONLY thing that reduced their confidence on the dogma - even DOUBLING the % of members who said they didn’t believe it. Telling them only that their belief is of questionable origin or even showing them facts were not effective at all!
First, start with deprogramming yourself, regardless of whether you consider yourself a Wokeist or not. Go through all your beliefs with the intention of looking for leaps of faith - that is, where you have just taken something for granted without facts. I Suggest starting with a Social Justice topic about which you don’t feel strongly that you more-or-less agree is true. Ask yourself, “How do I know what I believe to be true is true? Did I look at unbiased research data yourself or did you hear about it from Liberal news media, entertainment industry, someone similar to you, or a protest march? Do I have more than a simple explanation? What evidence could someone show you that would convince you that your belief is wrong? Have I researched if that evidence exists? Am I believing this on faith like many religious people do with their beliefs?”. Write down your findings.
You might be surprised that your Wokeist indoctrination isn’t as strong once you invalidate your first leap of faith. The other leaps fall like a house of cards.
Next, be ready to discuss this process with your friends (be nice). If you have the opportunity to communicate with a large audience, make this process a common theme of your work. If you engage an adversarial Wokeist in a live debate and see a leap of faith, push them on it as they have no weapon to refute it without being obvious.
The Woke need to be told, over and over, it is morally OK to “Walk away” from Wokeism. The more who do so publicly will also help the many closeted non-Wokeist hiding among the Woke. Additionally, Conservatives must be made reminded that almost 70% of Liberals are not “Woke”. These Non-woke Liberals need to be considered allies instead of hardened enemies as a crucial step in helping them call out their non-Woke counterparts.
Wokeism is a treacherous enemy that must be defeated. It seduces people, especially the young and naive, into believing that they are being good when they attack people with different views. Wokeism has indoctrinated and coerced it’s followers to believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with their views is not only wrong but evil. Wokeists see the modern world as fundamentally evil, oppressive and deserving of intense hate.
The sad truth is that they don’t need to see it that way. If they saw the world accurately, they would even have an easier time making it truly a better place as people with different opinions would be valued as intelligent allies.
We must fight Wokeism, passionately, not because we hate what it does, but rather because we care about those it afflicts, which is all of us. We will fight hate with love, confident that the truth shall set us free.
Epilogue: I had a personal breakthrough when I re-examined my avid support for the Atheist movement and discovered that I, too, had succumbed to a belief on faith. The Atheist movement told me that history is full of the deception of religion, and that it preyed on the poor, ignorant, or young. The Wokeist media loves to paint religious people as ignorant and unenlightened, and clergy as evil (can Athiests honestly think “Catholic Church” without thinking “priests raping boys” or a big church as anything other than a money-making machine?), but when I think of all the religious people I’ve personally known, they are morally good people - generous, caring and honest. Once I realized this, I changed the mission of agnostic.com to be less anti-Christian/Islam/etc but more to promote the benefit of believing things on evidence, not faith. To hell with it.
Example dialog 1: “Trump is a racist!”
Q: Is Trump a racist?
A: Yes, of COURSE he is… he’s a white supremacist
Q: How do you know this?
A: He says terribly racists things [note: the specific answer isn’t that important]
Q: Can you give me some examples?
A: He said Mexicans are rapists (said Charlottesville neo-Nazis were good people)
Q: Ok, I hear you. How do you know he said this?
A: Everyone knows it’s obvious
Q: [if they are an ex-religious person, otherwise skip] So you take this on faith?
Q: What evidence could I give you that he’s not a racist?
A: None. [note: this is a partial win if they’re able to connect it to what religious people say!]
Q: What if I showed you evidence that the “Mexicans are rapists” (“were good people” ) statement was taken out of context? [note: don’t argue]
A: I would have to see it [note: again, a win as it instills doubt and shifts discussion to “could me reason to belief be false = false faith”]
Q: If you saw, it then you would believe differently?
Example dialog 1b: “Trump is a racist!”
… from above…
A: He pushed through a tax break for rich white people that hurt poor black people
note: this is not the place to discuss complicated economics of stock markets employment, etc.
Q: Ok, how do you know that his goal was to intentionally hurt black people?
A: He’s a racist.
Q: Yes, I know you believe he is a racist but I’m simply trying to find out why.
A: No, but most black people are poor so they’re the ones who hurt by (racist) Trump
Resist saying something like “Ok, as there are many poor white people, do you think that Trump is intentionally trying to hurt them?” as it is not related to WHY they believe what they believe (goal is to show it’s not based on evidence)
Q: What evidence could I give you that would convince you he wasn’t adversely targeting blacks
A: None [win]
Q: If I show you evidence that he was trying to reduce the unemployment rate for black people, would that make you reconsider your belief that his motivation were solely racist? [solely is the keyword as it moved them from 100% racist to less than 100% racist… and onward to what % racist is Trump and what things could make him appear less racist? E.g., calling out white nationalists (like he did in Charlottesville)]
Finally, don’t be surprised that the Wokeist rattles off a quick list of “Facts” to try to support their beliefs when asked for evidence. For example, they cite 3-4 outrage-inducing quotes by Trump proving that he’s a racist. By giving you so many, they know that it would take too long for the current conversation to debunk each. You have the luxury of selecting one from the list where you’re most confident there is a hole in their belief and suggest focusing on it. Then, if you’re successful, you could modestly suggest that other “facts” are also less solid. Don’t gloat (externally).
Example dialog 2: “Women face systemic sexism which solely cause unequal outcomes”
Q: Why do you think women don’t represent 50% of high profile jobs such as CEO
A: Systemic institutional sexism.
Q: Are there other reasons which could account for the men and women not equally represented in CEO positions [avoid “equality of outcome” or even “inequality” as they’re both loaded/triggerable buzzwords]
A: No, systemic sexism is everywhere
Q: Ok, just so I understand, systemic racism is the only cause of this inequality?
Q: What evidence could I give you that there are other important reasons for this?
A: None. [if they say some minor ones, ask what % of the inequality is due to that. Most will reiterate that systemic racism is 90+%]
Q: Are you sure?
Q: What if I show you evidence that give other explanations for why women become CEOs at a lower rate than men?
A: I would question the evidence as I believe it’s systemic sexism
Q: That is a fair thing to do as we want to make sure we don’t base our decisions on a false belief. Assuming that you trust that the evidence is true, would you be open to reconsidering that 100% of the difference is due to sexism?
A: I might. [win]
Q: There are lots of data which we could go over, but we don’t have to do that right now. Let’s go get lunch. [don’t push it all at once, you won already.]
Note: same dialog works for systematic racism as well.
Example dialog 3: “Socialism is the only way to improve the lives of millions of poor people who are being oppressed by the rich 1%”
Q: Why do you think Socialism is the only solution?
A: The Capitalist system is exploitative
Q: How do you know this to be true?
A: Just look at the growing divide between rich and poor - the rich just keep getting richer!
Q: Yes, I hear you but how do you know that it’s Capitalism is the cause of this?
A: Because the companies make all the profit, move manufacturing overseas, and don’t want to pay a fair living wage!
Q: I agree with you that the role of companies is to make products and services for us for the lowest possible price but you haven’t yet explained how it relates to the original question of why you think Socialism is the solution. Can you explain to me why Socialism is the only solution. Just a reminder, Socialism is when the government owns the companies. [don’t assume that you both share the same definitions of terms. Often, you may want to clarify loaded words]
A: Well, if the government owned the companies, then the government would be looking out for us and make sure things are more fair.
Q: Are there ways other than owning the companies where the government could help make things more fair? [sometimes mirroring the other person helps in form agreement]
A: Well, I guess they could raise taxes on companies.
Note: I am personally resisting having an economics discussion with pros/cons of tax policy as it is not the goal to affect their political belief… only to break through the Wokeist mental barrier that’s protecting their rational thinking brain which could example the history of Socialism in other countries dispassionately. FWIW, I am in favor of a tax increase on fat cats (like me).
Q: Yes, so what I think you are saying is that turning to Socialism is not the only solution to growing income inequality. Lets go get a beer.
Note: showing that you also believe the fact of growing income inequality helps tie their answer to doubt. Again. Don’t push it all at once. You just “won”.
|Dogma & Translation||How it’s promoted||Truth|
|“Systemic sexism (exclusively) causes all gender inequalities” Men enforce a clandestine power system to keep women subjugated. This system is as old as time. Women should have parity in all endeavours (especially high-profile careers) and expect no unwanted sexual conduct.||Highlight average differences in gender pay without fact that men and women have different interests, effort and jobs. Frame messaging as “men are evil/scheming”. Encourage women to call out men and promote worst infractions as commonplace. Have women focus on the worst behaving men of their past without mercy, while overlooking the many more who were not.||For the same job and experience, women make over 95% as much as men - the 5% appears related to salary negotiation intensity. Since the passage of the Equal Rights Act and activism in the last decades, women (and others) enjoy little, if any, barriers for success from men. Women have the lowest rate of sexual assault in history.[cite]|
|“Women and Men are interchangable”||Highly promote every time women does something that men have done traditionally.||Women and men, from childhood, have both common and different interests and personalities which result in different behaviors and strengths.|
|“Black Lives Matter”||Police actively or unconsciously kill more Black people than whites. Highlight any excess force by (white) police especially if shoot Black person. Portray Black criminals as victims of economics, show high black incarceration rates.|
|Police shoot white people at a higher per capita rate than black people. However, police use less lethal force 20% more with Blacks. [Harvard study]|
|“Income inequality”||The rich (1%) actively want to harm poor and middle-class people while not paying their fair share in taxes. The only solution is massive tax increase for the rich and Socialism. Highlight differences between the ultra-wealthy and poor without saying that the purchasing power of the poor has also increased.||The top 1% now make historically high % of the income and the middle class is especially hurt. However: The top 1% pay 40% of all taxes (up from 20% since 1980), Capitalism produces lowest cost products and services as desired by consumers, rich people spend a fraction of their wealth with most going to charity/taxes.|
|“Greedy Companies Cause Global Warming”||Highlight the energy use of companies, show degradation of environment (strip mines, deforestation). Create protests to focus issue on Capitalism. Keep showing wind/solar as effective, practical solutions to meet energy needs.||Consumers want to buy products and demand lower prices regardless of the energy use. Burning coal, oil, and natural gas is the cheapest form of energy. Wind/Solar, as 2% of world energy needs, is insignificant and limited. Nuclear fusion is the only potential solution.|
|“Systemic racism (exclusively) causes all racial inequalities”||Whites enforce a clandestine power system to keep non-white subjugated. This racism is a historical founding principal in the US, the cause of suffering of non-English speaking countries, pervasive, powerful, and growing. Exclusively show examples of racial inequality.|
|Outcomes can be made more equal by a combination of White training/guilt inducing shame (e.g., call out, ‘microaggressions’ ) or reparations, affirmative action, or socialism.||There are dozens of reasons creating racial inequality that does not require a non-black oppressor - school preparation and graduation rates, marriage rates, crime rates, cultural differences. Poverty appears to affect all races equally. Success of Asians counter-narrative. While media tries to show little change in attitudes towards Blacks since the 1950s, overturning Jim Crow law, enacting Civil Rights act, and 30 years of race-preferences (head start, affirmative action) show a desire to help minories.|
|"All immigrants are good and equally beneficial"||It’s unethical and ignoble to have borders. All cultures are the same.|
|“Islam can integrate successfully in Western societies”||Evidence suggests growing conflicts as the precentage of Muslims in a country increases|
|“Christians are anti-LGBTQX, anti-Feminist”|
|“Transwomen are women”||Men (or boys) who identify as female should be given our full support including have access to women-only groups such as in sports, bathroom access, and affirmative action. Shame anyone who disagrees as bigot/Transphobe. Focus on Transwomen who are passable.||While it is true that many Trans people feel more comfortable expressing themselves in a gender different than their biology suggest, for most cases, biological differences between sexes (e.g., hormones, size, looks) still exist. Most backlash against Trans is due to misunderstanding (e.g., visualize “dude in a dress” ) rather than animosity.|