Narcissism and New Elites
Do not respect the aspirations of petty tyrants
I keep coming back to this tweet because it's just...chef's kiss...a masterpiece.
Does any single tweet, let alone one from a "progressive former teacher" from New York City who is a member of the Democrats and sits as chairwoman of the Oversight committee in the House of Representatives, encapsulate the leftoid mindset better than this?
What we have here is very simple: a discrepancy. A disparity, one of the most terrible things that can happen according to this worldview. There is no deeper consideration of the morality of making absurd amounts of money while others are in poverty. "Oh, but we care about those too!" No, you do not. Or if you do, it a secondary or tertiary concern.
What you do care about, first and foremost, is Autonomy. You recoil at these statistics, because they imply that women are not being given an equal chance to become a highly-paid corporate vampir-, I mean CEO. Obviously, if they were being given such a fair shot, you would see a near 50/50 split between men and women on this chart! You recoil at this crime against your worldview, because you are worshippers of autonomy above all.
When we ask "what happened to the labor movements of the Left," the answer isn't just "kneecapping unions + outsourcing factories," it is also driven (perhaps even ultimately sustained) by the background values of our culture. Most notably, the value of autonomy (which ultimately demands equality as well). Autonomy precludes any more substantive moral framework, it provides no way to challenge the absurd wealth inequalities in this country besides "inequality is bad because it constrains autonomy" (the motivating impulse of every Leftist in the West) and "inequality is bad because White men are at the top" (the motivating impulse of some Leftists in the West). Now, many labor movements were inspired by this same mindset regarding inequality constraining autonomy. The value of autonomy is deeply ingrained in our cultural ethos, and abandoning it requires both a herculean effort on the part of oneself and a continuous external pressure by someone capable of getting through to you.
When you want to ask how "wokeness" is weaponized, understand two things:
It is being used by a group of narcissistic strivers who aim to be the New Elites, and generally engage in anti-social behavior to get there
Whether or not "Wokeness" is technically a religion is besides the point. ("Religion" does not have a single correct meaning but rather refers to many different phenomena subsumed under it that bear a kind of family resemblance to one another.) What matters is that wokeness is a belief system based on widespread values that are so deeply ingrained in our society that calling them out marks one as more than just an opponent, more than even an enemy. It marks you as a heretic.
In fact, we don't even have to discuss "wokeness" in particular (since I am sure most of us will be incapable of even agreeing on the meaning of the term). We can discuss any kind of widespread social value and how anti-social actors can weaponize social capital to bend institutions to their whim.
If I am a lower-level member, I am beholden to my superiors in the institutional bureaucracy. I have a boss, and I am expected to listen to them. Of course, I do not enjoy this. Why should I have to listen to anyone? So, I need a way to do two things simultaneously:
Get my superiors out of the hierarchy
Demonstrate I deserve to take their place
One of the easiest ways to do this is to appeal to something greater than the hierarchy. Perhaps, even, to something greater than any hierarchy: values (or morality, whatever term you want to use).
Another benefit of this is that I am simultaneously able to label my boss a heretic and myself a Good Person. I have done both things simultaneously. I don't even have to be an effective worker; I just need to prove to people higher up in the hierarchy that I am more capable of utilizing social networks to disseminate "information" (even patently false information) than they are. And then I appeal to both the True Believers, who laud me for being a Good Person, as well as the Cynics, who fear for their livelihood and reputation and make the instrumentally rational choice of letting me have my way (perhaps even to the point that the company goes under).
What is of course fascinating is that due to the market power of so many of these major companies, they go woke then shape their markets so that "going broke" is never even a possibility.
So when we look at these anti-social New Elites, these sociopathic strivers, we must understand an interesting duality:
that they are willing to weaponize the background beliefs of the Public to advance their own career at the expense of others, and
that they are still, on a deep, perhaps even unconscious, level, worshippers of autonomy (whether or not autonomy-worship is a direct cause of, or is otherwise linked to, narcissism is not something I have the knowledge to discuss, but I know others have made arguments along those lines)