Wittgenstein vs. the Woke

Source: Reason
by Crispin Sartwell

“Last summer, protesters from Baltimore to Bristol defaced statues and dumped them into rivers in an iconoclastic spasm, providing a momentary diversion from what the new progressives take to be the real agents of oppression: words. Words matter, they say, plausibly enough. Words have power and consequences, and there must be accountability, they add. These generalities are supposed to settle such matters as whether President Donald Trump calling the coronavirus the ‘kung flu’ caused anti-Asian sentiment, which caused the Atlanta spa shootings, with no factual evidence required. … The view that words drive events is the spiritual orientation of youthful leftism. But it’s hard to think of a view that would more directly contradict Marxist ideas about history, according to which words are frippery or ideology, concealing the material conditions of production.” (for publication 07/21)