The Roots of Woke in Marxism
Growing up, my mother kept a thick, weathered dictionary in the end table next to the couch in our living room. She would often say; a day was not complete unless we opened that drawer to look up a word. Hardly a day went by when those pages weren’t worn a little bit thinner as we learned the meaning of some new word we heard on TV.
Today, I fear Webster’s book is no longer in anyone’s side drawer and Merriam has long since gone rogue. Who needs the ruffling of pages when the meaning of words can be digitally changed faster than you can finish this sentence?
Take the word woke. To look in my mother’s well-handled volume, we find woke defined as:
Verb; to cause to stop sleeping.
~Merriam Webster, circa 1970 Edition
Then notice that today’s digitally displayed definition is a skosh different:
To be aware and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice.
~Merriam Webster, iPhone App
What does this have to do with sleep?
The author of the brilliantly insightful book, Woke Inc. provides a more precise definition of what woke means to it’s warriors:
The woke movement is all about waking up to the invisible power structures that govern the social universe.
This is the definition that rallies justice warriors and race hucksters alike. However, if you briefly pause to feel the tentacles of Critical Theory groping to find purchase in today’s culture, you’ll soon realize: These Marxist thought pathogens must be eradicated at the roots.
Those who are unaware scoff at references made that Karl Marx is somehow influencing streams of thought in today’s American culture. But what these hecklers fail to realize is: Without Marx, there is no woke.
The invisible power structures Marx set out to transform were predominately economic. But after countless millions died and other despots adapted his evil tenets, these unseen scaffoldings metamorphosed toward more indelible, inherent human attributes such as race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Our country already fiercely defends and protects an individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, despite what the woke activists bloviate, an entire civilization can not be governed and solely organized upon the unchangeable attributes of race, gender and sexual orientation. A brief survey of world history proves this true.
Vivek brilliantly reminds us of the 2008 crash and the genesis of the Occupy Wall Street phenomena. In the late ’90s, I used to eat my lunch in Zuccotti Park, having no idea it would one day become the prototype of Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP zones.
The primordial soup had a better chance at sustaining life than CHOP did.
Remember how much the left despised capitalism after the crash? To an extent, they had my sympathy as well. The Bush and Obama bailouts protected Wall Street’s power brokers from feeling any pain or punishment for their gross negligence, all the while ignoring the suffering of Main Street’s small business owners.
Covid lockdowns possess these same heartless tactics.
But today, wokeism has seduced strange bedfellows. The Socialist Left now loves capitalism and has found an audience in the corridors of monopolistic corporate power. As leftist heroes like Kendi and DiAngelo ascend to the rarefied air of 1% status, corporations have awakened to a profit-protecting realization: It’s much cheaper to pose as woke than it is to eradicate real injustice.
Hang high the Pride flags, bludgeon employees with obtrusive Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity indoctrination, and shove large donations into BLM Inc., Planned Parenthood, and climate initiatives to prove to everyone how awakened you really are.
This way, the woke warriors will overlook that their phones were manufactured in China by Uyghur slaves and their Nike hoodies were produced in Chinese factories so horrific, the buildings have barbwire fencing around the perimeter of the roofs. Why? Too many “workers” were sneaking to the rooftops and jumping to their death in desperate search of relief.
So go ahead and cheer Coke-a-Cola as they shame their own employees to be ”Less white” as they knowingly continue to poison the globe, particularly the poor, with their chemical-laden, obesity-causing potations.
Even the historically all-white Hallmark Channel has awakened to their own ignoble bigotry. Through pioneering explorations not conducted since Lewis and Clark, Hallmark has discovered a myriad of quaint, snow-covered villages in northern Vermont that are so rich in multi-cultural array, there is nary a white person to be found.
Where’s the Fruit?
It makes me genuinely uncomfortable to even joke about these things, but how much wokeness is too much? The real question is; have any of these woke initiatives tangibly helped the hardscrabble, hurting families and communities who need real justice and healing the most? Based on all the standard metrics and statistics, the answer is no. Conditions have gotten much, much worse.
If we are living in the wokest days this country has ever seen, we should see tangible fruit for our efforts. Yet, crime, unplanned pregnancies, fatherless households, addiction, suicide, sexual abuse, failure of education, and infidelity remain not only unabated but on the rise. Why?
Only the privileged can afford secular wokeism.
Ultimately, secular wokeness lacks the wisdom, authority, and transcendent power to bring restoration to any system or anyone. Though it references invisible power structures, their only recourse is against collectivized people groups based on identity.
Simply said, the woke awakening hasn’t opened souls to the invisible realm but rather; focused eyes to see who the guilty parties may be.
There is nothing redemptive about any of this. Eyes may have been opened to injustice, but a proper understanding of who the enemy is remains altogether elusive.
The seculars have already condemned themselves:
If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains
Then Who is the Enemy?
The Satan has never had an original idea. Instead, this adversary releases his havoc and deceptions by brokering counterfeit simulations of divine truths. If secular wokeness is an awakening to the struggle against invisible power structures that govern the social universe, then sacred wokeness is the genuine article that holds the truth, justice, and victory we all long for:
…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
~The Apostle Paul
One of the first rules of warfare is: Know thy enemy.
The struggle is real and the enemy is prowling like a lion seeking those he can devour. But, because secular wokeness generally dismisses both God and Satan, their warring is relegated solely to the battlefield of flesh and blood— which is you and me.
The invisible, yet very real, columns of power at work today are referred to as the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, which in comparison make George Soros and Xi Jinping look like soiled toddlers in a sandbox.
Sacred wokeness rightly perceives that while the slithering enemy can manifest through some fellow humans, we understand that these invisible powers are separate and external to mankind.
Imagine; if we could all simply agree on this foundational understanding of evil, we could finally lay down arms against one another and unite against the real enemy.
Who is the Church?
If Jesus did a TED Talk today, one of the first things he would explain is: We have already been given the power and authority to not only free people who are in bondage to these evil forces but to also disarm the invisible power structures who strive to govern the universe.
…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not overpower it.
If Jesus was right, which He always is, why does the church seem so weak in the face of our rapidly decaying social landscape? Meaning, why does sacred wokeness seem to be losing ground to secular wokeness?
These are seeds for an entire book, but here are a few opening volleys.
The church has become a cruising vessel. Instead of being the battleship she was fitted to be out in the deep, we seem oddly content to tour the coastal shallows. In a day when our preachers should set course for the dangerous waters where battles are won, too many are content to serve as shore-hugging, sightseeing guides.
Trust me, the people on deck are ready to answer the call. They are just waiting for commissioning.
Second, when is the last time you heard a practical sermon on these words of Jesus:
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, cast out demons
~ Matthew’s Gospel
I have watched demons come out of people in Rwanda, India, the Philippines, and right here on our home turf. It was entirely unsurprising to me because not only did Jesus do this throughout the historical accounts — he told us to do the same.
If the church understood precisely how much firepower she has been given, perhaps there would be less emphasis on smoke machines, self-improvement sermons, and sign-up sheets in the lobby. Otherwise, she might be released once again as the most transformative change agent the Earth has ever seen.
And third, too many churches have already been gravely diluted with the kryptonite of secular woke. Whether it seeps in through the cracks or is escorted to the pulpit through the front door, the results are the same.
A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.
~ The Apostle Paul to the Church of Galatia
Secular wokeism has tried its best to bullhorn to the world everything that’s wrong. People now need to realize the bullhorn wholly lacks the redemptive power necessary to defeat the evil forces and make all things lastingly right. And this is when sacred awakening presents itself as the obvious conclusion.
May we stop waging war against one another and unite to rightly see who the real enemy is. May we, as scripture says: Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. May the eyes of our hearts be opened to see the distinction between that which is eternal and that which is perishing.
And may we always embrace: Resurrection is the most woke thing that ever happened.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
(Full permission given by Wine Patch. Article written by Keith Guinta. Photo by UnSplash.)
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