Thursday, April 1, 2021

On Medium: Foucault and the Bogus War for Social Justice

Here's an article on modernity and the phony wisdom of wokeness, comparing the two types of alleged enlightenment.


  1. A very good piece that should be read widely these days.

    I would expand a little about something you touch upon in the end regarding slave morality, namely, that the 'wokester' isn't just "perilously close to entailing nihilism", but also that his general stance is the vivid example of what Nietzsche called resentment. His whole worldview and 'moral authority' are sustained by fear/hate of an "enemy" he views as superior and dangerous.

    1. Nietzsche would likely have agreed. I don't lean much on his criticism of slave morality, though, because he assumes something like social Darwinism which I think is patently fallacious.

      Explaining how moral resentment arises is one thing, but dismissing morality as for the weak-willed failures is another. I'd expect morality to emerge from social dropouts, but that doesn't mean the dominators of society and establishers of the status quo are beyond condemnation. Nietzsche says they're beyond good and evil and can face only their aesthetic judgments of themselves.

      But my argument about animality versus humanism resets the criteria, I think. If the dominators tend not to create awesome art because they're corrupted by their power, they can be dismissed in turn as animalists who stand in the way of fulfilling our creative potential. So I critique Nietzsche's view: I accept and reject different parts of it.

    2. "...but that doesn't mean the dominators of society and establishers of the status quo are beyond condemnation"

      I think Nietzsche would have shared the sentiment when it comes to the ruling class of the vast majority of societies. I think the only elites who truly embodied the ideal of master morality, according to him, existed in the greco-roman world and in renaissance Europe, but I could be misremembering.

    3. There's a conflict in Nietzsche's view between the will to power and the aesthetic, Romantic defense of the upper class that are beyond the slaves' concerns about morality. The problem is that power corrupts and makes you decadent, not creative. As I say in "Nietzsche and the Creativity of Losers," the starving artists have traditionally been the most creative. The upper class includes only their vapid patrons.

      I believe Nietzsche was cautious in honouring many rulers with the title of "Overman." He saw transhuman tendencies here and there, but mainly he was prophesying a "race" to come.