On being "woke" (and cultural relevatism)

nycpf's picture

As mentioned in our previous "Decade in Review" discussion (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/267274587/), the concept of being "woke" had been a major trend in the past decade. As we now chart out into this new decade, what does it mean to be "woke" (or "stay woke") ?

To that end, we'll discuss a handful of social norms and societal occurrences that are widely acceptable today, which might be unacceptable -- or even shockingly abhorrent -- to the future generations.

The examples include the following:

▨ The consumption of meat, especially with the advent of "factory farming."

▨ The paradox of abundance of food and obesity epidemic vs. the global hunger and systemic malnutrition.

▨ The paradox of the advancement of "modern medicine" vs. the lack of access to affordable healthcare.

▨ Being part of the "consumer culture" of goods manufactured under "slave labor" conditions.

▨ The continued existence of a "traditional" nuclear family.

▨ The criminalization of controlled substances (i.e., "drugs").

▨ The state sanction killing (i.e., capital punishment).

▨ The proliferation of nuclear weapons.

▨ The inaction on climate change.

▨ Certain personal hygiene habits.

These are just a handful of examples to start off the discussion. If there are other examples that come to mind, feel free to comment below.

Based on the above examples, we'll explore the following points:

- Are we still "rational" actors despite numerous glaring examples of ostensible flaws and shortcomings?

- Do the flaws and shortcomings exemplify our society's moral failures?

- Should we individually accept responsibility for the flaws and shortcomings of our society?

- Does being "woke" entail constantly reexamining our behaviors and norms in a critical manner?

- The "purity test" -- does being "woke" mean passing a moral test, based on absolute and unequivocal terms, or is there a sliding scale of "social justice?"

- What are the lessons learned, if any, from the previous generations?