I do enjoy going on Internet safari from time to time. I find visits to far-left websites and social media pages enlightening and informative, even though I find less and less in common with their denizens’ views with the passage of time. Used to be, a libertarian could be roughly explained as “well to the right on economic issues and well to the left on social issues.” But, the “right” has abandoned economic liberty in favor of protectionism and coercive repatriation, and the “left” has replaced the notion of personal liberty with coercive correctness. As a libertarian, I vocalized support for gay marriage before the Democrats did, I spoke against militarization of police and against the War on Drugs (which disproportionately impacts minority communities) WAY before “Defund The Police” became a thing… I could fill pages with social-liberty validation. Alas, there’s no liberty over on that side any more, barring the Bill Hicks variety, “You are free… to do as we tell you.”

One lesson from my safari excursions is that woke culture is drowning in terminology. Some are words and phrases that members of the cult(ure) are expected to use and promulgate, and some are invented words and re-spellings, whether intended to fight the patriarchy or some shit like that (see: womxn or latinx) or for some other purpose. Indeed, I often have to visit Urban Dictionary or do Google searches to figure out what some of these actually mean.

Their lexicon is about two things:

1 – to signal to the like-minded that one is a member of the woke-tribe.

2 – to convey an air of erudition and scholarship to those at whom the diatribes are aimed.

Neither is about actual intellectual acumen, however. They’re a substitute for legitimate thought and logic. Bandying about a whole lot of esoteric language and phraseology may make one seem well-informed and deeply educated, but it’s superficial. It’s window-dressing. Technical jargon can be very useful shorthand for communication between people within a field, but it’s not a substitute for genuine ideas and analysis. Pranksters have literally fabricated research papers drowning in woke language to demonstrate that the peer review process is broken, and have not only succeeded in getting them published, they’ve won awards.

As a friend suggested, if you’re not sure whether a phrase is a good one, try expressing the idea without it and see how it reads. Most of those ideas fall apart when subjected to such a test.

Unfortunately, the tossing about of woke word salad (with a nod to Chris Rock) persists because it works. Having a little red book of woke phraseology lets the aspiring social justice warrior fake learnedness and cover up intellectual laziness. It also reflects Alinsky’s strategy, “control the language, control the masses.” It gives those unaccustomed to critical thought (and I’ll go ahead and suggest that most socialistic woke-sters wouldn’t know true critical thought if it bit them in the ass, as opposed to the “criticize stuff without proposing real solutions” methodology of critical theory) some material to regurgitate when they feel threatened by contrary ideas or opinions, and when they need to validate their club membership.

And, as I recently noted, if they succeed in altering our colloquial language, they can alter the meaning of established laws, to their favor and to society’s detriment.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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