What is ‘Woke’?

By Cory Bernardi

I’m always asked what does this new term ‘woke’ really mean.

Here’s my take. You may have a different perspective.

The term “woke” originally referred to being aware and critical of social inequality and injustice, but it has morphed into a radical ideology that seeks to dismantle traditional values and institutions.

The danger of this ideology lies in its rejection of objective reality and the vilification of dissenting opinions.

The woke ideology is rooted in postmodernism, a philosophical movement that rejects objective truth and embraces the idea that all knowledge is a product of power, rather than reasoned inquiry.

This postmodern perspective is the foundation of the woke movement, which promotes a distorted view of reality that elevates individual experience over empirical evidence.

This pursuit promotes an extreme form of identity politics where people are defined first and foremost by their race, gender, and sexual orientation.

It creates a hierarchy of privilege and oppression based on these categories, leads to reverse discrimination or retribution, changes policies or rules to a different standard rather than equal grounds while promoting a culture of victimhood and resentment.

It also advocates censorship and rejection of free speech, often under the false pretext of pursuing equality and preventing hate speech. This creates a chilling effect in the marketplace of ideas.

Woke ideology has already infiltrated almost every cherished institution in Western civilisation, from academia and journalism to entertainment, religion, and business.

It is increasingly being used to justify extreme policy proposals and completely dismantling or radically overhauling existing systems.

This includes intimidating people against speaking out against these changes for fear of being cancelled, ostracised, or otherwise attacked on social and legacy media.

One of the most lethal aspects of wokeness is the way in which it eats away at the foundations of social, cultural, and political institutions.

It ignores the value of individualism, nationalism, and patriotism, as it seeks to undermine institutions such as religion, family, nation, and the trias politica (the separation of powers).

This can and has had disastrous consequences for social cohesiveness and political stability. These important pillars of civilisation depend on a shared set of norms, values, and traditions that bring people together in common cause.

Wokeness also threatens to undermine the achievements of Western civilisation, which have been established on objective inquiry, the scientific method, and individual liberty.

The Western tradition has produced a wealth of knowledge, art, and culture that make it a beacon of achievement, growth, and prosperity.

Yet, by discarding objective reality and promoting a toxic intersectional approach, woke ideology puts all of this at risk.

Woke undermines the very foundations of Western civilisation.

Recognising that, we must defend our shared heritage and our social, cultural, and political institutions against the pernicious effects of an ideology that advocates for division, intolerance, and victimhood.

The solution is not to succumb to identity politics, but to recognise that we are all human beings, worthy of respect, dignity, and protection in the eyes of the law and the society.

The threat of wokeness to Western civilisation and politics is real and it is already consuming many of our cherished traditions.

Anyone who chooses to look can see the damage this movement has already done to our social and cultural mores.

The only hope against this radical postmodernism is a powerful public defence of Western civilisation and all that it has brought to humanity.  

The woke mob know that which is precisely why those very important foundations, built from generations of lived experience, are under such ferocious attack.


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One comment

  • Frank Kovacs May 8, 2023  

    A very good explanation by Cory Bernard, former member of the Liberal Party of Australia. The definition of ‘woke’ changes depending on who you ask. The term has recently been used by some conservatives as an insult against progressive values. The need to enforce the ‘VOICE’ in our constitution, is a very good example of ‘WOKE,’ in my view.

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