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Slavoj Žižek: The difference between ‘woke’ and a true awakening

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The usual liberal-conservative reproach to the so-called woke cancel culture is that it is too radical: Its partisans want to destroy all statues, cleanse our museums, rewrite our entire past… in short, they want to deprive us of our entire collective memory and purify our everyday language into a flat, heavily censored jargon. However, I think Ben Burgis is right in his claim that the woke agents of cancel culture are Canceling Comedians While the World Burns: Far from being ‘too radical’, their imposition of new prohibitions and rules is one of the exemplary cases of pseudo-activity, of how to make sure that nothing will really change by pretending to act frantically. No wonder new forms of capital, in particular anti-Trump tech capitalists (Google, Apple, Facebook), passionately support anti-racist and pro-feminist struggles – ‘woke capitalism’ is our reality. One does not really change things by prescribing measures which aim at establishing a superficial ‘just’ balance without attacking the underlying causes of the imbalance.

Here is a fresh case of the politically correct struggle against privilege: California’s Department of Education proposed that the gap between well-performing students and their less able peers must disappear. Professors should hold well-performing students back and push their less intellectual peers forward, as if they were all equal in abilities. Justification? “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” since “there is no cutoff determining when one child is ‘gifted’ and another is not.” The goal is thus to “replace ideas of innate mathematics ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ with the recognition that every student is on a growth pathway.

This is a showcase of fake egalitarianism destined to just breed envy and hatred. We need good mathematicians to do serious science, and the proposed measures certainly don’t help in this regard. The solution? Why not more access to good education for everyone, better living conditions for the poor? And it is easy to imagine the next step in this direction of the false egalitarianism: Is not the........

© RT.com

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