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[–]Femaleisnthateful 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

James Lindsay is apparently somewhat controversial in GC circles and I don't understand why. I think he's got a pretty good understanding of what's up.

[–]anfd 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't know anything about him being controversial in GC circles, but when I first read some of his accounts of woke ideology a few years ago I thought he had done his homework with respect to marxism and postmodernism, to the extent that he knew that these were two different things. I thought his and Helen Pluckrose's book 'Cynical Theories' was ok for a pamphlet and basically doing the right thing. So he had my respect.

But in this video, of which I watched the first 10 minutes, and in some others that I've watched, which basically turned me off him, he's just spouting "marxists this, marxists that, communist re-education" etc. like a troglodyte. In that he's not so different from university leftists who are speaking to their own and "explain" everything with "capitalism" and "neoliberalism" etc. When you're all basically circling the wagons you know you'll get away with intellectually lazy name and reference dropping that stand in for real argument needed to convince people who don't already agree.

The people who he's talking about are not marxists or communists. If they have gotten many ideas second or third hand from Frankfurt school type critical theory, they have gotten equally many ideas the same way from liberalism. E.g. individual liberty and autonomy (which are not central to the basic arguments in marxism) are clearly visible in their extreme forms in the craze to determine your own identity in any way you like etc. Likewise, black and other ethnic minority nationalisms in the USA and the collective identities that such movements foster are not the product of marxist or communist agitation — though they are not the product of liberalist agitation either (one might say however that for a big part they are the product of practical liberal politics where everybody gets what they deserve once all external fetters like slavely are removed, if only they try hard enough...).

Sure, marxist themes and ideas supported by marxist thinkers are in there in "wokism" with all the rest, but I think it's intellectually lazy (at best) to blame the foul stink on just the marxist influences and even pretend that "Marxism" is actually only just foul stink. You might just as well blame Satan or robot sea monsters, that's how refined his approach seems to be here unfortunately. Like I said, I watched only the first 10 minutes, but if the following 1h 20min are the same level, there's no way I'll waste my time on it.

Helen Pluckrose seems more intellectually honest of the two. She said somewhere (in some interview that I watched months ago, sorry don't have the link) that the woke ideology is partly to be blamed on liberals who didn't keep their own house clean. Listening to Lindsay you might think wokeism has nothing at all to do with liberalism. Liberalism is supposedly just a collection of commonsensical ideas, and what's wrong with that etc.