ZMan, as a rule, is an excellent observer and commenter on the moral and social decline of the West. That being said, his over confident analysis of the psychology of woke is subjective and full of unsupported allegations. I’m not going to try and write a comprehensive critique but I do want to point a couple of things out that are worth considering.
I know James Lindsay and Paul Gottfried got into a dust-up but haven’t followed it closely. I don’t have, and won’t have, a Twitter account so I couldn’t follow the discussion. This statement by ZMan is, at best, a half truth:
“It needs to be said that Paul Gottfried’s dog probably knows more about this topic than Lindsay will ever know. Given Gottfried’s connection to Frankfurt School theorist Herbert Marcuse, he is as close as we get to an expert on the forerunners of this new ideology gripping the minds of the ruling class.”
First of all I’ve heard Gottfried say that his PhD is in European history. His studying under Marcuse as a PhD student gives him no special insight into what is happening now. He may have such insight but it isn’t because he studied under Marcuse 60 years ago.
Lindsay has spent a tremendous amount of time studying the “woke” primary source material and can legitimately be called a subject matter specialist. That does not mean he can’t make mistakes but ZMans blowing him off out of hand is just hand waving.
This ZMan statement made me chuckle:
“That said, there is a tendency of people on what we call the Right to engage in the same binary thinking we see with the people we call the Left. That means playing the old game of linguistic guilt by association.”
Let me get this straight: Paul Gottfried who studied under the hard core leftist Herbert Marcuse is a great guy but Harry Jaffa who studied under that “mediocrity” Leo Strauss is a bum. Gee, that seems pretty binary to me. Projection anyone?
The last thing I want to point out is ZMan claims special insight into the psychology of the “woke” ruling class. While he is a smart man he has no claim to special insight into the hive mind that is our “woke” overlords. His opinion isn’t worth any more than those dreaded civic nationalists.