February 15, 2022•493 words
When Oliver Dowden and his like talk about 'woke culture' it's important to always remember that what 'woke' means to them is 'treating other people decently'. So what he is, in fact saying is that
treating other people decently is weakening the west
And you know what: he's right. There is, in fact, a cost – a considerable cost – to treating other people decently. You only have to look at Britain in the 19th century to see this: if you treat, say, the inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent as little more than animals who exist to be exploited, you can get rich. Who knew?
And today what he means, of course is that we should start not worrying if we don't treat people who are not like Oliver Dowden – people who are not rich, white, straight men – decently, and that not worrying about that would make things better for rich, white, straight men like him.
And you know what: probably he's right. For instance it's well known that non-white people in the UK have worse health than white people, with the poorest health, statistically, among Gypsy or Irish Traveller, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities. And those groups are also less well-off than white groups. And dealing with that is, inevitably, going to cost money, and this will probably make rich white men poorer. And similarly women are clearly doing much less well than they should be doing in various educational areas and we know that this is not because of innate differences (if there even are any), but because something is driving them out of these fields, that something almost certainly being the attitudes of the other people – the men – in those fields (and yes, we do know this: this is not hypothesis, it is measurement). Addressing that is going to make things worse for the men in those fields because suddenly there will be a lot more competition and they won't just be able to bully their way: addressing that will make men worse off.
So, yes, he's right. If you are a rich, white, straight man then treating other people decently will make things worse for you. And this scales: if, as a country with a predominantly white population (which is what he means by 'the west') you start deciding that, well, the people in majority non-white countries exist to be exploited by you, then you'll probably do rather well by taking that attitude: the attitude Britain took in the 19th century which made us all rich. He's right.
And you know what? Fuck people who think that. Because treating other people decently is what it means to be a decent human being, and I'll take – and we should all take – being decent human beings over being better off. What Oliver Dowden is saying is that further enriching himself and people like him is more important than being a decent human being. Fuck him.