Two Perspectives: The Need for a Post Woke Alternative
Why both progressives and conservatives should go post-woke
Welcome to TaraElla Report Post Woke, where we consciously aim to move beyond the woke vs anti-woke culture wars, and towards a post-woke model of culture and politics.
Perspective 1: I have long been passionate about equality for minorities, addressing climate change, and being open-minded about different ways to solve our social problems. That is why I’ve always identified as a progressive. However, in recent years, I feel like progressives have been shooting ourselves in the foot. For some reason, the most divisive, counter-productive and literally stupid so-called ‘solutions’ are given the most attention, and the most controversial voices are often given the biggest platforms, as if the more controversial the better. This has generated nothing but backlash, which has prevented the necessary consensus building to make reforms possible. What I want is for there to be a way to move beyond this tragic situation.
Perspective 2: I believe in the value of traditions and traditional institutions. This is why I’m a conservative. However, I also believe that traditions must remain adaptive to remain relevant and maintain widespread support. The way to achieve this is to have good faith and respectful discussions about how we should move into the future, and to resolve our differences. The problem is that, modern conservatism is more like a culture war tribe that reinforces each others’ existing views, and is not that interested in having productive discussions. The result is that they often hold onto maladaptive solutions and policies, which can ultimately lead to the discrediting of traditional values and institutions.
I think the problem with the current social and political discourse is that people are divided into two main tribes, each tribe exists in its own echo chamber, and the worst ideas in each echo chamber are allowed to become dominant, because of the lack of real challenge from other perspectives. Call it progressive vs conservative, woke vs anti-woke, or whatever, this is actually very unhealthy, and will certainly not lead our society towards good outcomes.
This is why we need a post-woke alternative, where we acknowledge all that has gone wrong since the rise of the current round of the culture wars about a decade ago, and come together for a sincere discussion on how we can do better going forward.
The key to this is to puncture and disrupt the echo chambers that are the root cause of the current dynamic. The trouble is, this won’t be an easy task, because the echo chambers are maintained by everything from confirmation bias and habitual behavioral patterns, to cancel culture, to deliberate organization and interests backed by lots of money.
This means we need to consciously aim to disrupt the echo chambers, especially the dominant narratives in each echo chamber that are repeatedly reinforced. This disruption will be key to building the post-woke alternative. This is why, going forward, I will be talking a lot more about the strategies we can use to disrupt the echo chambers.
She is also the author of the Moral Libertarian Horizon books, which argue that liberalism is still the most moral and effective value system for Western democracies in the 21st century.