6 March 2023

Are we the wokest place on earth?

| Ross Solly
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Welcome to Wokistan … Image: Region.

Nigel Farage says Australia is “the wokest place on earth”.

According to the official dictionary meaning of “woke”, Nigel is saying our country is leading the world in being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues”. I’m pretty sure this is not what Nige meant.

The official definition also tells us “woke” describes someone who has “woken up” to issues of social injustice.

Neither of these traits seems to be too bad to me. However, as we see daily, “woke” is used by many, especially those on the right of politics, as a disparaging or derogatory term.

Although Farage didn’t spell out in detail why he thought Australia should be singled out for its attention to important facts and issues, it came during a particularly feisty rant at a US conservative conference where he was railing against COVID lockdowns.

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At the same conference, former US President Donald Trump said he could end the Russia/Ukraine war in one day. He didn’t say how, but he did seem very annoyed that his country was providing a lot of financial support to Ukraine. I’m no military strategist, but if the Donald plans to cut off aid to Ukraine, there’s a fair chance the war will end pretty quickly. Just not sure that’s the result the rest of the world would want.

But back to Australia and its wokeness standing.

Farage felt the world had been conned into closing down during the pandemic. Joining the dots, he suggested the countries that closed down excessively were too woke.

And as we know, here in Australia, we did a lot of locking down for a very long time. Those days of lockdowns are thankfully now behind us, but unfortunately, the human cost will continue to be felt for a long time yet.

In the UK this week, schoolteachers are documenting the long-term damage COVID lockdowns have caused pupils of all ages, from pre-school right through to university. They’re talking about a lost generation with no social or learning skills.

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Kids couldn’t concentrate any more, they couldn’t write and they had forgotten how to read. They had lost their social skills, and their maths was deplorable. In secondary school children, there was a dramatic increase in students self-harming.

A university professor told how students returned after lockdowns as a shell of their former selves. They were withdrawn and hunkered down.

“The end result of all this was a COVID generation who were eerily quiet, silent almost, and who often appeared to shun socialising and interacting with others,” the professor said.

Have no doubt, there will be a similar cost here in Australia. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but one wonders the price we will pay for keeping kids, the least vulnerable to COVID, out of classrooms.

In Canberra, there was certainly no urgency to get kids back into classrooms. And unfortunately, when they finally did, teacher shortages meant lots of kids still had to stay home.

Whatever the true meaning of being “woke” is today, we can only hope that Australia being the wokest of all won’t condemn a generation of our children to the wilderness.

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When it is obvious to everyone what “woke” means in this context, I have to wonder why Ross Solly fully avoided the question by going off an old definition…
When teachers are fired because they don’t want to hide a child’s gender transition from their parents, that is what we mean by woke. When someone is arrested for not wanting to bake a cake for a gay wedding, that is woke. These have both happened in the US, and many more incidents like this. How about we address what’s happening here, when people who are so “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues” go to the extreme of causing great harm because they found something offensive.

Billy Monfries9:16 am 08 Mar 23

I have never seen a more divisive and discriminatory Australia as the country it is today. I say this coming from a position of being labelled a ‘greasy wog’ and told to ‘go back to where i came from’ too. Today, if you oppose same sex marriage, you must be a hater, rather than someone who respectfully is aligned to the biblical and original version of marriage. You are supposedly a hater not because you hold a different view minus hurting others, but because you fail to be the same as the aggressive and contrary positions of counter views. If you are a Christian, you are immediately discriminated and labelled irrelevant, again just because you have a different set of values which harm no one. If you call out indigenous issues as government and special interest group fuelled, you must therefore be a racist. If you oppose a transgender person, who are overwhelmingly sexualised in their appearance and opinions, reading story books to school children, you must again be hateful. The fact is that there is a woke movement who cannot seem to understand that we all hold different views and values. Our coexistence does not require respect nor appeasement, only empathy. In simple terms, understand that we are all different, stop pushing your values onto others.

GrumpyGrandpa7:14 pm 09 Mar 23

Billy Monfries
I agree 100%. I too have been ridiculed for daring to having an opposing opinion.

Oh what grievance!!!! You poor thing.

Wally Obviously Knows Everything.

HiddenDragon9:39 pm 07 Mar 23

If contemporary Australia is guilty of anything when it comes to our approach to social issues, it is the almost complete lack of originality.

To the extent that we are now “woke” it is because we are so keen to copy what seems to be fashionable overseas – which basically means what is being churned out by the east and west coast mainstream media and elite academia in the US, with a side serving from London and the BBC.

For the really swishy types, the ideas will be swiped from (or perhaps that should be “directly from”) Europe – whatever French critical theory is up to these days and some cherry-picked bits and pieces from Scandinavia – why stop at Scandy crime when you can get some cool social engineering ideas from them, as well?

The supreme irony of all of this is that so much of what constitutes “wokeness” in Australia takes the form of shaking a righteously angry fist at the legacy of British colonialism – white, male, patriarchal, imperial (blah blah blah) – but doing it with language and ideas which are all imported, like the good little intellectual colony that we still are. The people at the other end of the spectrum (i.e. those who lap up the pearls from Farage and co.) are, of course, doing precisely the same thing – y’all……..

All of that said, it can only be a matter of time before the latest Canberra high rise development, aimed at people who wished they were living somewhere else, is named Woque.

what constitutes “wokeness”? merriam-webster says “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially of racial and social injustice.” what’s wrong with that? why are all the old grey-heads on this thread railing against “important facts and issues”?

Ross you sweet summer child.

“being woke means having taken on the worldview of Critical Social Justice, which sees the world only in terms of unjust power dynamics and the need to dismantle problematic systems.” James Lindsay https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-woke-wokeness/

Australia has always been known to give people a fair go. In my humble opinion making sure that everyone gets a fair go no matter your skin colour or status in life is no bad thing.
As for lockdowns, making sure that we did not infect each other was a good example of giving everyone a fair go at staying healthy.
If that is being woke, then sign me up.

Hear hear. Then I’m proud to be woke.

Nigel Farage? Who cares what he says or thinks! Australia was on the right track with the lockdown.

ACT Labor is infested with serial offendees and wokesters diligently striving to identify street and place names that cause imagined angst. Haig Park, William Slim Drive, Bean electorate…. watch out Alfred Deakin High School.

wodenresident3:48 pm 07 Mar 23

No, I feel the Summernats counter balences things perfectly.

Stephen Saunders3:10 pm 07 Mar 23

Close but no cigar, Nigel. The “wokest” country is Canada, with a 2023 migration target of 465,000, rising to 500,000 in 2025. We are second, on 300,000, and rising.

There are several bad parts to it, from the predictable economic problems we’re all now suffering, to the mental health problems that will last generations. There remains zero evidence that any of the government pandemic control measures were actually effective. Even comparing Sydney and Melbourne, there is zero correlation between hard, early lockdowns and a more “relaxed” approach. We knew mask mandates were ineffective, indeed, 20 years ago you could get a $100,000 fine for claiming masking was effective. The only pandemic control measures that have any evidence behind them are hand washing and avoiding large gatherings.

The problem is ourselves. We think we know a lot more than we actually do, and we demand government do things that it simply cannot do because of the limitations of reality, even if it were in the purview of government. The government couldn’t even protect those most vulnerable, as “essential” workers were still travelling between hospices and aged care facilities. The real black pill, however, is knowing that no one will ever be held accountable, and most people think what government did was “good”. Meaning, despite the long, dark period we’re just starting, this will happen again.

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