There are no guarantees in life.
But here’s something that’s as close to a guarantee as you will find in the whole field of personal finance:
If you see yourself as a helpless victim, if you give up, if you quit the game…then you will not get rich.
That ideology is Identity Politics…otherwise known as “Woke” culture.
In Identity Politics, there are victim and oppressor groups. You may think you are an individual with your own unique experience, beliefs and character but no! Silly you! All you are is a member of a tribal group based on your gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.
In the wacky world of Identity Politics, if you are a straight white homeless man sleeping rough on the streets you have something called “White Privilege” and are therefore an oppressor…whereas multi-millionaire celebrity princess Meghan Markle is a victim. This is because Meghan Markle is, so I’m told, a Person of Colour…although I’ve come back from holidays in Greece darker than her.
Do I really have to tell you that this stuff is horseshit? Well yes, it seems that I do because anyone with a proper job who points this out in public risks losing their job and their livelihood. Not to mention being investigated by The Police. Which I guess I did just mention.
This is not really a left versus right issue. The most effective campaigners against Woke culture are comedians on The Left: people like Ricky Gervais (see his hilarious recent Golden Globes speech), Andrew Doyle (founder of Comedy Unleashed), Francis Foster and Konstantin Kisin (who host the excellent Triggernometry podcast).
I think that’s because The Left stand to lose the most from Identity Politics. Those alarmed by the rise of Woke culture include traditional Labour supporters and trade unionists trying to save The Left from itself. They‘ve seen how Labour became obsessed with Identity Politics and
showing off virtue signalling to their middle-class mates. We’ve all seen the results: if you lose interest in working-class people, you lose elections.
In my career in finance and then in my financial coaching, I have met hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people who might be considered rich. Most of them looked very ordinary…none of them were professional footballers, Instaglam models or celebrities. The thing about The Millionaire Next Door is that they don’t look like millionaires.
I spent time with them, talking to them about their backgrounds, understanding their back stories and their belief systems. NONE OF THEM HAD A VICTIM MENTALITY where they gave up and instead celebrated their oppression and their lack of agency.
I’ve noticed that ethnic minorities are over-represented in my financial coaching clients. In other words, people from an immigrant background make up a higher % of my coaching clients than their % of the population as a whole. And that’s a good thing.
This is a sign of how successful immigrants have become. This should not a surprise given that immigrants work harder and don’t expect everything to be easy. If you haven’t already done so, you should go read this post about an immigrant’s journey to financial independence.
Let me spell it out for the hard of thinking. The Escape Artist is in favour of immigrants, people of all races, women, men, lesbians, gays…people in general really.
What I am against is authoritarian scolds who try to shout down different views, shut down free speech and attack equality of opportunity. That is their agenda and it is McCarthyism.
Free Speech is poorly protected by law in the UK. You can be convicted (and potentially sent to prison) for making jokes that someone (anyone) else perceives as offensive. But free speech is the hill that I will die on…so, fuck it, here goes anyway. If we can’t beat the Social Justice Warriors, then at least I’ll go down having a laugh at their batshit-crazy dogma.
So here is my Now That’s What I Call Woke! guide to Identity Politics:
1) Wherever I lay My Hat, That’s My Home (Paul Young)
This song was kindly brought to my attention by trans-activist Jarvis Dupont who put it this way:
What other interpretation of this neo-colonialist trope could there be?
2) Just The Way You Are (Barry White)
In this vicious attack on the trans-gender community, Barry White literally BANS his partner (DON’T GO CHANGING!) from re-identifying as one of the other 99 sexes.
A notorious TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist), White spews out his bigoted hate speech. White may hide behind an outdated Stepford Wives-style “feminity is wonderful” schtick, but frankly he’s fooling no one. White claims to be “old fashioned” and “traditional” which, as we all know, is just a dog-whistle signal that he’s he’s a Patriarchal Transphobe.
Even his surname smacks of Male, Stale and Pale.
3) It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls)
Here, climate change deniers The Weather Girls seek to normalise freak weather patterns.
In a Climate Emergency in which we’ve seen increasingly dangerous weather events, The Weather Girls treat this as cause for celebration. Sure the world may be ending but hey, they’re making bank from their fossil fuel investments so that’s OK.
Some say that The Weather Girls were in the pay of Big Oil. Others have pointed to links between them, fracking lobbyists and members of the Trump administration. Quite frankly, nothing would surprise us.
We all know that men, with their toxic masculinity, are scum…so why would the Weather Girls CELEBRATE more of them falling from the sky?? As if the world ending isn’t bad enough. Talk about adding insult to injury.
4) Bad Girls (Donna Summer)
You might imagine that ALL women would stand together united in solidarity against our male oppressors.
Misogyny is cancer and Donna Summer has clearly metastasised. Here Summer is caught slut-shaming vulnerable young women and sex workers…taunting them from her car in a drive-by shaming with lyrics such as : “Bad Girl, Sad Girl, You such a naughty bad girl…Beep-Beep…Uh-Huh.”.
Errr…hello Donna?!? Didn’t you get the memo? You’re not allowed to say stuff like that in 2020.
In the immortal words of Titania McGrath:
When women are valued more than men, then and ONLY then will we have achieved true equality
5) Ebony and Ivory (Wonder and McCartney)
Here Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, a couple of billionaire businessmen, blatantly encourage the commercial trade in endangered species.
McCartney and Wonder are well aware of the threat of illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest and the endangered African Rhino and yet their promotion of illegal products for their own greed is breathtakingly shameless.
6) White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
Make no mistake, the far right is as much of a threat in Britain in 2020 as it was in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sure, the propaganda is more subtle. But the climate of fear is just as insidious.
Here Bing “I’m LITERALLY Hitler” Crosby sets out his Final Solution for the holiday period. Call us paranoid but somehow we don’t think Bing just has in mind mulled wine, turkey and wacky Christmas jumpers.
7) Iron Lion Zion (Bob Marley)
Some say that The Middle East is a complex situation.
But in Identity Politics world, it’s actually very simple! The Palestinians are THE GOOD GUYS (Hooray!) and the
Jews Israelis are THE BAD GUYS (Booo!). Thank God, we cleared THAT up!
Exhibit A: notorious Zionist Bob Marley glamorises the violent occupation of the Palestinian territories by an Israeli state backed by the might of the US Military-Industrial Complex. Marley LITERALLY lionises the oppressors. Shameful.
8) Long Train Running (The Doobie Brothers)
I’ve always been fond of this much loved Doobie Brothers classic. Or at least I was until I looked up the meaning of “running a train” on Urban Dictionary.
As Everyday Feminism helpfully and impartially explains:
Rape Culture is used often in feminist circles, and it describes a very important social conditioning that we experience culturally.
If we’re honest, its not entirely clear whether The Doobie Brothers (did you spot the tell for Patriarchy??) were actually glamorising Rape Culture. But, in our never ending search for
witches to burn offence, we interpreted it that way regardless. You know…just to be on the safe side.
9) The Final Countdown (Europe)
As Brexit approaches, here we have what can only be described as triumphalist Alt-Right propaganda from The European Research Group.
Brexit was nothing more than dog-whistle politics…a load of guff about sovereignty and democracy when we all know that Brexiteers just want to throw all immigrants off the WHITE cliffs of Dover (co-incidence? I think not).
All the GOOD people voted remain and all the
gammons BAD people voted Leave. Simples. You see, we Progressives are able to mind-read detect the racist motives of the nasty proles Working Class much better than they can themselves. They’re all Nazis.
If you look for it hard enough, in the video you can see a young Jacob Rees-Mogg on base guitar. Probably.
And have Dominic Cummings and Europe lead singer Joey Tempest ever been seen in the same room together?
I rest my case.
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Love and peace to everyone 🙏