When French President Emmanuel Macron recently took a stand against the “American” theory of Wokeness, saying that it has no place in France, people rapidly jumped up to point out that the theories themselves are awfully French and that, as some had it, “the chickens have come home to roost.” This, no doubt, refers primarily to postmodernism, which was undoubtedly a French theory (as we outline in detail in Cynical Theories), but in truth, Macron has a point. Woke Theory, better known as Critical Social Justice, is an Americanization of French social theory combined with German-American approaches to neo-Marxism, which complicates the story rather tremendously. In this episode of James Lindsay OnlySubs, my subscribers-only podcast, I try to go into the complicated relationship between French, American, and German ideas (and some British and Australian ones) as they have come together to form Wokeness, dipping even into Marx’s reliance upon Rousseau, who the French certainly can’t deny. Join me for a dive into where Macron has it right and where French ideas are, in fact, like angry birds threatening to come home to roost.
Previous episodes of OnlySubs can be found here.