September 22, 2023


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“The Left Has Not Woke” by Susan Nyman

“The Left Has Not Woke” by Susan Nyman

HConservatives and liberals are no longer alone in complaining about strategic oversensitivity, vigilantism, and bans on speaking. Several authors on the left have also flatly criticized the double standards of progressive tribalism, complaining that the social question has been lost sight of because of all the symbolic battles for recognition, including playwright Bernd Stegemann, political scientist Nancy Fraser and playwright Bernd Stegemann. Secular activist Caroline Forrest.

Susan Neiman joins us here as well. “The Left Has Not Woke Up” is the title of the book, in which the American philosopher, who lived in Germany for many years, director of the Potsdam Einstein Forum and avowed socialist, adds a little something new to the heated debate. But it goes much harder and shoots all the way over the target.

Susan Neiman: “The Left Has Not Woke Up.” Translated from English by Christiana Goldman.

Photo: Hanser Berlin

For Neiman, the terms “woke” and “identity politics” symbolize a left that wrongly claims that title because at some point it lost the three core ideals of leftist thought—universalism, progress, and justice. Walker’s activism remains driven by traditional leftist motives such as compassion and anger at the suffering of the oppressed. But these feelings have now gone off course, and vigilance is turning towards the right-wing camp instead of standing against it.

A monster called “theory”

When and how this fall from grace occurred, we initially know no further details about it. However, the main reason is mysterious: theory. “What a wide range of intellectual movements associate with the word ‘theory’ is a rejection of the cognitive conceptual framework and political assumptions that were the legacy of the Enlightenment.”

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