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Woke Social Status: Fake But Deadly
Harrison (that's me) replies to Henderson and Hanania
Hanania’s main point, expanded upon in his article: in practice, people don’t actually internalize these Woke standards, and the Kate Uptons of the world will always be higher status in social interactions, whatever the “correct beliefs” may happen to be. Call some feature of a normal woman masculine, or a typical man effeminate, and they won’t respond favorably—despite professed values to the contrary. Attractive people get treated better than unattractive people. It’s human nature.
He has a point—an important one. But by focusing on the details in typical autist fashion (AKA nitpicking), I think he misses the bigger point. And this point is hidden right there in his description of the exceptions who do take this nonsense seriously: “they are a minority and usually miserable due to how much cognitive dissonance it takes to act so contrary to human nature.” Note the caveats in his arguments:
“a highly educated young woman who has views and attitudes typical of her social class”
“unless she’s a fully committed pronoun person”
“typical cis-hetero male”
“except those who most deeply internalize woke ideology”
I don’t think Henderson was referring to normal people in his tweet. It seemed implied to me that he was saying, “the further you stray from conventional norms the more status you are conferred [by the truly deranged Woke].” And that is evidently true, by the very exceptions Hanania himself mentions. Henderson wasn’t saying most people will buy it, only that a small, deranged minority is inverting the normal standards, against human nature. For them, the “queer” (i.e. the abnormal) is higher status.
One of the central points of Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology is precisely this, which Hanania also acknowledges: when it comes to pathocratic politics, you can’t change human nature. Woke is a pathocratic movement—a “usually miserable” minority, the worst of whom often don’t actually suffer much cognitive dissonance, because, as Hanania describes his own status as “world’s biggest autist”: “go far enough down the spectrum you end up so distant from the rest of humanity that you’re able to analyze it with scientific detachment.” For them, it’s the world that’s crazy.
Incidentally, here’s Lobaczewski on schizoidal (i.e. schizo-autistic) “scientific detachment”:
Low emotional pressure enables them to develop efficient speculative reasoning, a kind of objectivity which is useful in non-humanistic spheres of activity like economics or for exploiting the emotionalism of others. However, their one-sidedness makes them prone to consider themselves intellectually superior to “ordinary” people who, in their opinion, are mainly guided by their emotions. (p. 106)
More relevant in the context of Wokeness as pathocratic, here’s his description of that “special psychological knowledge” of psychopaths:
Our natural world of concepts strikes such people as a nearly incomprehensible convention with no justification in their own psychological experience. They think our customs and principles of decency are a foreign system invented and imposed by someone else (“probably by priests”), foolish, onerous, sometimes even ridiculous. At the same time, however, they easily perceive the deficiencies and weaknesses of our natural language of psychological and moral concepts in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the attitude of a contemporary psychologist—except in caricature.
In spite of their deficiencies in normal psychological and moral knowledge, they develop and then have at their disposal a knowledge of their own, something lacked by [normal] people … They view us from a certain distance, like a parallel species. Natural human reactions—which often fail to elicit interest from normal people because they are considered self-evident—strike essential psychopaths as strange and therefore interesting, even comical. They therefore observe us, deriving conclusions, forming their own different world of concepts. They become experts in our weaknesses and sometimes effect heartless experiments. (pp. 111-112)
Or as he put it in an interview:
Normal human behavior surprises him, sometimes it seems ridiculous and stupid to him, but it interests him. … And thanks to this he is able to deceive normal people, to exploit them. This is his modus vivendi.
In the book, Lobaczewski repeatedly states that the communist indoctrinators were disappointed with their results. Their converts maxed out at a low percentage of the population, and nothing they did could reshape the masses into the “new men” they envisioned. Human nature was not as malleable as they had hoped. So when Hanania writes, “Height, symmetrical facial features, money, and yes, whiteness (or Asian girlness), still will [help get you a desirable partner], no matter what the political climate is like,” technically it’s the truth. But there’s a whole lot of crazy—and a whole lot of variation—in those many possible “political climates.”
The Parable of the Tomatoes
Woke status may just be a “consolation prize” (as Hanania puts it) on the part of the minority. But the prize becomes a lot more valuable when it is control of a nation or empire. When the exceptions take over, they invert the social hierarchy and its social values—some under the assumption that everyone is like them (pathological projection), others that everyone can be made like them (pathological egotism). The result is a pathocracy (e.g. communism in the 20th century).
Hanania writes: “The most committed wokes are angry because they’re more directly perceiving that [underlying] reality, which is stacked personally against them or the groups they feel sorry for.” Again, this is true. The pathological minority is painfully aware that normal society can never really accept them. Normal society is stacked against pedophiles, for instance, and they’re very aware of it. Dating is stacked against schizoidal incels. Psychopaths get pushed off the ice. As Lobaczewski put it, “To individuals with various psychological deviations, such a social structure dominated by normal people and their conceptual world appears to be a ‘system of force and oppression’” (p. 127). This fosters resentment, and in some, the desire for a revolution to invert the power structure so that they are the ones in charge—to “queer” society, as it were.
Lobaczewski used a little allegory to describe life in a pathocracy, which gets straight to the heart of the matter Henderson was alluding to. Here it is:
For the purpose of an intellectual exercise, let us thus imagine that [people with red-green color-blindness] have managed to take over power in some country and have forbidden the citizens from distinguishing these colors, thus eliminating the distinction between green (unripe) and red (ripe) tomatoes. Special vegetable patch inspectors armed with pistols and batons would patrol the areas to make sure the citizens were not selecting only ripe tomatoes to pick, which would indicate that they were distinguishing between red and green. Such inspectors could not, of course, be totally color-blind themselves (otherwise they could not exercise this extremely important function); they could not suffer more than near-blindness as regards these colors. However, they would have to belong to the clan of people made nervous by any discussion about colors.
With such authorities around, the citizens might even be willing to eat a green tomato and affirm quite convincingly that it was ripe. But once the severe inspectors left for some other garden far enough away, there would be a shower of comments it does not behoove me to reproduce in a scientific work. The citizens would then pick nicely vine-ripened tomatoes, make a salad with onions and cream, and add a few drops of rum for flavor.
May I suggest that all normal people whom fate has forced to live under pathocratic rule make the serving of a salad according to the above recipe into a symbolic custom. Any guest recognizing the symbol by its color and aroma will refrain from making any comments. Such a custom might hasten the reinstallation of a normal man’s system.
The pathological authorities are convinced that the appropriate pedagogical means, indoctrination, propaganda, and terror can teach a person with a normal instinctive substratum, range of feelings, and basic intelligence to think and feel according to their own different fashion. This conviction is only slightly less unrealistic, psychologically speaking, than the belief that people able to see colors normally can be broken of this habit.
Actually, normal people cannot get rid of the characteristics with which the Homo sapiens species was endowed by its phylogenetic past. Such people will thus never stop feeling and perceiving psychological and socio-moral phenomena in much the same way their ancestors have been doing for hundreds of generations. Any attempt to make a society subjugated to the above phenomenon “learn” this different experiential manner imposed by pathological egotism is, in principle, fated for failure regardless of how many generations it might last. It does, however, call forth a series of undesirable psychological results which may give the pathocrats the appearance of success. The mass incidence of such moderate deficiencies in human personality and worldview induced by the above-mentioned behavior, the necessary adaptations, and sadly the degree of saturation with pathological content, will later constitute a challenge for appropriate socio-psychological activity. However, the threat of these effects also provokes society to elaborate pinpointed, well-thought-out self-defense measures based on its cognitive and creative efforts.
Pathocratic leadership believes that it can achieve a state wherein those “other” people’s minds become dependent by means of the effects of their personality, perfidious pedagogy, mass-disinformation, and psychological terror; such faith is of fundamental importance for them. In their conceptual world, pathocrats consider it virtually self-evident that the “others” should accept their obvious, realistic, and simple way of apprehending reality, and thus recognize the superiority of their different personalities. For some mysterious reason, though, the “others” wriggle out, slither away, and tell each other jokes about those in power. Someone must be responsible for this: pre-revolutionary oldsters raised in capitalism, or some radio stations abroad. It thus becomes necessary to encourage the youth to distrust their elders, improve the methods of influence, find better “soul engineers” with a certain literary talent, and isolate society from improper literature and science, foreign and domestic. Those experiences and intuitions whispering that this is a Sisyphean labor must be repressed from the pathocrat’s field of consciousness.
This dramatic conflict is thus of essential significance for both sides. The stubborn majority feels insulted in its humanity, restricted in its right to intellectual development, and forced to think in a manner contrary to healthy common sense. The other stifles the premonition that if this goal cannot be reached, sooner or later things will revert to normal man’s rule, including their vengeful lack of understanding of the otherness of pathocrats’ nature. So if it is not achievable, it is best not to think about the future, just prolong the status quo by means of the above-mentioned efforts. (Political Ponerology, pp. 239-242)
In this day and age, the symbolic serving of the red-tomato salad is akin to hanging out with friends, watching uncensored Disney classics and Arnold movies from the 80s. It is loving classic literature and beautiful people, knowing what a woman is, laughing at politically incorrect jokes, and valuing actual science and wisdom. The inversion of psychological values is, in fact, a form of thought terrorization. And it’s for the very reason that it can’t work as intended that it is still so dangerous. It may not be able to change us on the level of our basic psychology—but it can inspire anxiety and depression, demoralization and apathy, compromises of conscience, and as Lobaczewski puts it, some degree of “saturation with pathological content.”
Luckily, the situation isn’t hopeless, because knowledge of these things is itself a vaccine (and not the mRNA type). To be aware of the phenomenon is to immunize oneself from its worst effects. The first step is to see what is actually going on. Wokeness is a revolution of the pathological, the exceptions that make the rules, no matter how insane those rules my be.
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