The Posturing of the “Red-Pilled” and the “Woke”

22 March 2022

2.3 MINS

The situation between Ukraine and Russia is complex, and those who oversimplify it to either extreme are sorely mistaken. We need less bluster and more careful discussion, with reasoned reactions.

There’s been a lot of dumbness expressed by both the “We R Ukraine” and “Putin-is-lord*” armchair experts in the West — many of whom were quick to attach themselves to Putin’s war once doing so became fashionable.

People waving their fists in disappointment at reasoned positions taken by compassionate thinkers, sit high on the list of the latter group.


Alongside the ridiculous anti-Russia fever, there’s an apparent hard-headed paranoia manifesting itself in an inadvertent anti-Ukraine groupthink.

Emerging from an era of COVID abuse, this culture of suspicion is understandable, but it’s dangerous, counter-productive, and ultimately indefensible.

I’m on board with calling out lies, raising respectful criticism, and expressing legitimate concerns. I’m not on board with noise for the sake of attention, bullying, censoring opposing viewpoints, or generalisations that throw the baby out with the bathwater.

While Putin’s war has further uncovered the fickle, ungracious, and vicious anti-disagreement nature of leftists, it’s also revealed an ugly truth: the same grotesque authoritarianism plagues many non-leftists as well.

Misplaced Admiration

10 million Ukrainians are displaced; (currently) 3 million are refugees. Yet, a good portion of Ukraine’s critics is still obsessed with logical fallacies satiating preconceived ideas. These act as a veil hiding the elevation of the anti-woke Russian leader to the status of Charlemagne.

For example, Belarus’ dictator Alexander Lukashenko shares Putin’s Soviet Union nostalgia, and by extension his Cold War mentality. Lukashenko’s high admiration for Putin is no state secret (and is likely due to the fact that while Putin stays in power, Lukashenko remains in power too.)

Another example was highlighted by Bill Muehlenberg, in an exceptional addition to his reflections on the Russia/Ukraine war:

‘While some see Ukraine as a perfect nation state, most of the folks I encounter seem to think that is true of Russia. They see Putin as a messianic figure and Zelenskyy as the anti-Christ — or worse.

They have little or no understanding of all the complexities involved in this conflict. When one-dimensional memes are mainly resorted to by these folks, you know we will get nowhere fast in trying to have a rational and sensible discussion of the issues.’

Bill writes elsewhere,

‘When presented with long lists of all the great evils in Ukraine and elsewhere, many will defend their argument by prefacing it with words like the following:

“Putin may have some issues, but…”
“He is not perfect, but…”
“I am not condoning Putin but…”
“For all his faults…”’

It’s fair to ask, is “Get Red-Pilled” entering the same nonsensical political orbit as “Get Woke”?

Is the posturing of the former just a different version of the posturing of the latter?

Noisy Gnostics singing a similar song, ultimately serving the same devil, with the purpose of delivering the same outcomes?

As I’ve advocated from the beginning: tread carefully, avoid stepping on geopolitical landmines, admit limitations; beware of making unqualified assertions.

Noteworthy read: ‘The 7  Dumbest Reactions To The War In Ukraine’, The Daily Wire:

  1. “Russian” Vodka… That Isn’t Russian
  2. Putin’s Crime, Dostoevsky’s Punishment
  3. Cancelling Tchaikovsky
  4. Cancelling a Russian pianist who condemned the Ukrainian invasion
  5. Feline organisation bans Russian cats
  6. Russian dogs no longer man’s best friend
  7. EA Sports bans make-believe Russians from videogame.

*metaphor derived from those who consider Putin’s actions reasoned, justified or beneficial to Ukrainians. 


Originally published at RodLampard.com. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

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One Comment

  1. Jim Twelves 22 March 2022 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Rod, thank you very much for your perspective, I appreciate your call to ‘stop and think’, this is not a simplistic war of good vs bad.
    I would appreciate, perhaps in another post, ideas on how we might think, without being simplistic.
    Also, I confess I had not fallen on the term ‘Red-pilled’. I looked up a definition:

    cause (someone) to have their perspective dramatically transformed, especially by introducing them to a new and typically disturbing understanding of the true nature of a particular situation. “they are talking about conspiracy theories and claim they have been red-pilled”.

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