The postliberal catholics are vaporous and tiresome. However, it's good that you aren't pretending wokeness-as-calvinism is a new take.

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Sep 14, 2022·edited Sep 14, 2022Liked by Damon Linker

As a postliberal, I really enjoyed your take.

While it's not technically correct, one must also understand the need to refer to things one does not like as Marxian or Communist, since many of the American people have been conditioned to despise those things. Much like Peter Canisius who linked protestant religion with things odious to the Poles and Germans. As a devotee of the counterreformation, one needs no new insight on that which is merely a manifestation of evils past.

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Since I see 'woke' in this context as more of a snarl-word than as a word with well-defined and -limited correlates, this seems inevitable to me. Among those who use it as a snarl-word: those who like liberalism and dislike Marxism will want it to be 'Marxist', those who dislike liberalism will want it to be 'liberal', and if on the Right will likely see Marxism as an inevitable consequence of liberalism anyway. For those for whom it is a purr-word: those who like Christianity will hold it 'Christian', atheists will see it as 'post-theist'….

(All of the above _could_ be accompanied by good or bad or mediocre or B.S. arguments, but those are optional: the important thing is to try to fix it in the local canon of [e.g.] snarl-words, all of which are in the end equivalent because functionally interchangeable because they are used not to convey meaning but to create a strong, negative, response. This is why the end-state of much Rightist political rhetoric is to invoke 'pædophile', which does the job so well.)

(Note: I don't know much about General Semantics, and am biassed against it because it seems to have been somewhat cult-y, but I find the snarl/purr-word concept extremely useful for understanding political 'argument'.)

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The fiery-eyed holy righteousness of the cause, right? There is only one right way to believe, speak and act. That religious fervor is evident in the extreme of any movement, I think, and certainly the hard religious right and the two-standard-deviations-to-the-left progressives.

I have to laugh. I told this nice, young, middle-class Christian mom that Jesus might call upon Christians to work for or on behalf of others less fortunate even though we ourselves are exhausted. That yes, we’re called upon to make sacrifices. I’m pretty sure she thought I was an extremist.

I used to think the rad-tradders were intriguing. Not so much anymore.

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But what of the argument that liberalism creates a vacuum of meaning, and wokeness fills that? In that sense, unfettered liberalism may indeed be a (or the) fundamental cause.

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