This week, HarperCollins will publish a new work by the conservative intellectual Richard Hanania. Titled The Origins of Woke, it bills itself as the “definitive” account of the rise of identity politics. The book makes the case that contemporary “wokeness” is an ideology that has its origins in—and was in fact created by—changes to the legal system that began with the Civil Rights Act, in the 1960s. “Long before wokeness was a cultural phenomenon,” Hanania argues, “it was law.” The Origins of Woke offers a plausible defense of this claim, and it features a smattering of interesting observations about the historical relationship between the legal system, corporate and education policy, and identity politics.I tried to find what the author wrote that was so scandalous, and the worst I found was that he wrote this under a pen name:
Yet these fleeting virtues are an insufficient counterbalance to the fatal flaw at the heart of Hanania’s book: It is a racist, sexist fever dream, the product of an author whose not-inconsiderable intellect has been warped and distorted—like many young conservatives’—by a noxious mixture of racist pseudoscience and the casual misogyny of the extremely online right.
“If the races are equal,” Hoste wrote, “why do whites always end up near the top and blacks at the bottom, everywhere and always?”So why the hysterical attack on an obscure book about the origin of a political movement?
Wokeness is evil, and its success depends on a number of false premises. Those who point out the errors must be personally attacked and destroyed. This article does not try to show that he is wrong. Only that he is an enemy of Woke.
The most heavily anticipated economics book of the year makes a radical argument: Having married parents is good for kids.Everybody knows two-parent households do better, but the Left has attacked this for decades as a relic of the 1950s. Maybe the Woke and anti-marriage movements had the same origin. Anti-Christian Leftists.
I know, I know. It seems like a joke, right? Of course having two involved parents living in a stable home together is good for kids. Anyone who has considered having children with a partner or was ever a child themselves must know that. But for years, academics studying poverty, mobility, and family structures have avoided that self-evident truth, the economist Melissa Kearney writes in The Two-Parent Privilege, released this week. And while the wonks avoided the topic, the rise of single-parent households in America exacerbated inequality and contributed to astonishingly high rates of child poverty.
Update: Quillette review:
For Hanania, “wokeness has three central pillars”: “The belief that disparities equal discrimination” (when those disparities favor the “advantaged” groups), “speech restrictions,” and “human resources (HR) bureaucracy.” These first two pillars have been called “equalitarianism” and “cancel culture,” respectively. It’s Hanania’s focus on the third—“how wokeness is enforced at an institutional level”—that makes his book distinctive.