These days, white progressives have appropriated “Stay woke” as a general-purpose term that refers to being aware of all identity-based injustices. So while “Stay woke” started as a remark black people would say to remind each other to be alert to racism, it would now be perfectly normal for white coastal suburbanites to say it to remind each other to watch out for possible “microaggressions.”
Basically, being woke means obsessing about race, gender, and sexual orientation. Maybe climate change too. That’s the best definition I can give. Today more and more people are becoming woke, even though generations of civil rights leaders have taught us not to focus on race or gender. And now capitalism is trying to stay woke too.
Sincere liberals get tricked into adulation by their love of woke causes. Conservatives are duped into submission as they fall back on slogans they memorized decades ago — something like “The market can do no wrong” — failing to recognize that the free market they had in mind doesn’t actually exist today. Both sides are blinded to the gradual rise of a 21st-century Leviathan far more powerful than what even Hobbes imagined almost four centuries ago.
This new woke-industrial Leviathan gains its power by dividing us as a people. When corporations tell us what social values we’re supposed to adopt, they take America as a whole and divide us into tribes.