The rise of racialized wokeness as a major cultural and political challenge to free speech, human dignity, constitutional checks and balances and personal integrity is principally an American crisis of values conflict. But, you may have noted opposition to the importation of such post-modernist wokeness into France on the part of French President Emmanuel Macron and many French intellectuals. Wokeness, as a cultural movement in the U.S., has some similarity to the insistence of the Chinese Communist Party for the acquiescence by all to a cultural trope, proclaiming the superiority of “Chineseness” in a global context.
The case for wokeness has been made on moral grounds. Its proponents assert they are seeking social justice and remediation for past wrongs, for self-abnegation by some and assertion of priority and privilege by others. The Caux Round Table proposed ethical principles for business, a “moral capitalism,” in 1994, long before the first stirrings of wokeness and its application to all sectors of American society.
Thus, the relationship between wokeness and moral capitalism now comes to the fore. Are these two moral visions compatible with one another? Can they be harmonized? Or, as I believe, is wokeness seriously deficient as an ethic and so has no claim to moral authority in business enterprise, commerce and finance?
I put before you my reasoning in “Wokeness and Moral Capitalism” on the congenital infirmities of wokeness by placing it in the historical context of Rousseauist narrative.
Please do let me know your thoughts and concerns on this challenge to all of us in defining just what is social justice and just what each of us should expect from others in their acknowledgment of our human dignities.