If only the wokester cult amounted just to a wakeup call about the "unintended impact of our actions," the twilight of the idols, and the search for the deepest truth. But that hardly distinguishes the practice of wokeness, does it?

I agree that most of those who unironically call themselves "woke" likely haven't read Foucault, but that doesn't mean his almost mystical view of the omnipresence of amoral power relations isn't causally responsible for the curse of wokeness.

To be woke is to acknowledge that we're all part of the problem just by participating in a social system, that we're all liable to have unearned privileges and to commit microaggressions, and so on. That perspective on our being saturated with injustice is Foucaultian; more generally, it's postmodern in the pejorative sense since it makes for an unstable worldview.

If injustice is inherent to setting up a society, how can it be reversed? Isn't this paranoid, hypersensitive attention to imperfection the opposite of progressive, contrary to how wokeness is sold?

Where I agree with you is that Foucault isn't solely to blame for this impasse, so my article does simplify the problem. Mind you, in the article I also point more generally to postmodern hyperskepticism and to critical theory's sociological perspective. Foucault is just a case study, so this isn't a strawman or an oversimplification.

You want examples. I offer as evidence every single unironic use of the word "microaggression"; also, every intolerant "cancelling" of a person for relatively trivial offenses. All such hypersensitivity is founded, in part at least, on postmodern paranoia and hyperskepticism, and thus on a dimly perceived pessimism that clashes with the left's alleged progressive stance.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store