- Kendi-DiAngeloism. Both are derived from Critical Race Theory. Kendi proceeds as if any statistical disparity between races proves that systemic racism is at work. That’s very objective, but takes no account of intent.
- McKinnonism. Katherine McKinnon, feminist, and her “subjectivism of harm.” Rape is when a woman has sex and feels violated. If the feeling’s there, the harm is there — but it takes no account of intent.
These kinds of thinking arise from the need for more “gains” for “oppressed groups,” not attainable within classic liberalism which insists on intent for almost all conduct in order for it to be punishably bad. The holders of cultural power become disciplinary and punitive to a new extent, against dubiously bad actors.
That’s how, from sheer willfullness and domination of discourse, we ended up with stuff like a Med School professor apologizing for using the words “pregnant women.”
Woke capitalism is about taking consumerism and applying the power of moral compulsion. It’s a remedy for what Fukiyama called the terminal boredom at the end of history.
There is a need for people educated past a certain point to identify themselves with some grave moral cause. And in the absence of a deity, in the absence of a spiritual world, and in the need to identify themselves with a moral vanguard, [they] just invent one. And people will buy it because the machinery is there to spread it, and they’ll actually believe it.
In California, there was a vote on authorizing affirmative action and it lost.
The Board of Regents commissioned a study of the SAT by their own experts, who recommended keeping the SAT as the most effective way to identify promising minorities, immigrants; they were overruled, and the Universities tossed the SAT after George Floyd got murdered in Minneapolis.
In the 1990s, the electorate was majority white — but not in California, which has passed the racial tipping point. So in 2020, the elite thought it was time to reverse the prior referendum affirmative action ban. The newly diverse electorate defeated affirmative action by an even wider margin than had an earlier, less-diverse electorate — despite having been outspent by elite proponents of affimative action 9-to-1.
So what happened? The elites ignored the vote, eliminated the SAT and did what they wanted, and shrank the Asian proportion of incoming medical students (UCSF) by 40%.
That’s what we can expect by the equity agenda, the Successor Ideology. They’d probably continued affirmative action all along.
I’m giving Yang’s new Subtack a trial subscription.