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.

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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?