Saturday 15 April 2023

Woke, Foke, Smoke, Boke and Choke: True Paths from the Cave of Shadows, False Paths, Path Obliteration, Fouling and Blocking

The allegorical Cave of Shadows from Plato’s Republic represents our difficulty in perceiving and understanding objective reality. A major function of Philosophy is to find those true paths which lead from the Cave of Shadows into the sunlight of understanding the world-as-is.

Woke refers to the ability of philosophy to find true paths. For many political and personal reasons, obstacles are placed in the way of those wanting to leave the Cave of Shadows.

Foke is ‘fake woke’, the marking of false paths which lead elsewhere in the Cave of Shadows but never reach the sunlight of understanding the world-as-is. It is commonly used knowingly by those who want some change, but on the basis of untruths, and sometimes in denial of objective reality itself. These are sophists, religionists, activists for partial interests, who often dress their rhetoric in parts taken from successful philosophical arguments to give them the semblance of soundness.

Smoke is the obscuring of paths, typically cast by cacophonists who are against substantive change, usually those happy with the status quo, whether shadow-casters or their beneficiaries, or even those who prefer their chains.

Boke is used to foul the paths (whether true or false), the equivalent of vomiting on someone’s shoes, and it may be used to smear individual philosophers. These actors include the more reactive trolls, the instinctive enemies of philosophy, the shunners of sunlight; but also can be done in a more calculated way.

Choke is the use of force to block paths, often by groups closing ranks against philosophical progress. This tends to draw attention, so may be used where the shadows are putting on effective distractions, or when onlookers have been suppressed in some way; or alternatively where there is a large group of onlookers, to act as a deterrent to others. These actors are often militants, corporate agents, thugs, but it doesn't have to involve physical force.

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