My hypocrisy abounds. How so? Because I can no more define wokeism than the woke can define racism or indigenisation or decolonisation or any of the myriad indefinables that make up their vocabulary. What I can do, however, is ostend. So let me ostend, if only as an example of wokeism, to the following:

About 5% of the students at the University of Lethbridge self-identify as capital-I Indigenous, by which they think they mean they’re lower-case-i indigenous, though they’re no more that than is farmer Brown. By contrast, about a quarter of the students at the U of L are, whether they self-identify as such or not, Calvinists. For better or for worse – though mostly for worse – Calvinism has contributed immeasurably to the philosophy, the politics, and the jurisprudence of southern Albertans. Capital-I Indigeneity has arguably contributed pretty much nothing to the philosophy, politics and jurisprudence of southern Albertans. And yet a new program, entitled “Philosophy, Politics, and Law”, which is about to be put on offer here at the U of L, touts (what it calls) the Indigenous perspective, whatever that means, on these three domains, as utterly “foundational” to the program.

This centrality is the fallout from the erstwhile-much-anticipated report and recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a report and recommendations that had little to do with truth, and considerably less with reconciliation.

Why should I care about any of this, any more than I do about global warming or the minutes of last night’s city council meeting? Because some of the Philosophy courses I teach are listed as constituents of this new program.

As it happens I teach about 200 students a year, about 50 of whom are Calvinists – albeit most of them are oblivious to what that means – and perhaps two or three are Indigenous, who are keenly aware of their capital-I Indigeneity, but are equally oblivious to what their lower-case-i indigeneity could mean. No doubt their (largely non-Indigenous) instructors from the Indigenous Studies Department will have filled their heads with nonsense I will then have to disabuse them of. Word will get back to our Dean about this disabuse. He’ll call me on the carpet. I’ll then have to disabuse him. And then hopefully, in the wake of all this nonsense, my courses will be de-listed from the program, and once again, in the words of the Desiderata, “the universe will unfold as it should.”

All of which could be circumvented by de-listing my participation in this nonsense from the get-go. Would it really be all that awkward to include in the program, “Political Philosophy, unless being taught by Dr. Viminitz.”?

Categories: Everything You Wanted to Know About What's Going On in the World But Were Afraid to Ask, Social and Political Philosophy, Why My Colleagues Are Idiots

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3 replies

  1. Dear Prof. Viminitz…. dare I address you as Dr…. (uncertain).

    I very much enjoy your musings… when I can understand them :-(. An amusing thought came to me as I was was reading this post: you quoted “Desiderata”… I once heard it aptly termed “Deteriorata”… probably more à propos to these turbulent times, what, what?

    All Good Wishes,

    P. Sutherland


  2. … BTW, the exact quotation from “Deteriorata” is in the present progressive 🙂

    All Good Wishes,

    P. Sutherland


  3. Political philosophy is listed as a required course. Another faculty member might teach that course as having a PPL designation, and thereby circumvent Viminitz’s participation in the program. But Viminitz is the only faculty member who teaches Phil of War, another required course. There can be no War and PPL-War.


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