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Uncommon Decency

Mar 21, 2024

China might be the world’s factory, but America remains the earth’s cultural hegemon. And perhaps its greatest export of the last decade has been “wokeism” or “wokeness”. Once inhabiting the fringiest recesses of American academia, the past decade has seen the global dissemination of concepts like "cultural appropriation", "systemic racism", "critical race theory", "intersectionality"—and they haven't spared Europe. Thus, our aim this week is to take the time to define wokeism, explore the concept from its roots in critical theory to its manifestations in contemporary discourse, dissect the complex tapestry of its adjacent theoretical constructs, and explore how it has sparked explosive conversations on both sides of the Atlantic. We are joined by Yascha Mounk, a German intellectual, founder of Persuasion Magazine, and the author of numerous books including his latest, The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time (2023). On the other side of the line, we are joined by Pierre Valentin. He is—as some of you might have guessed—François' brother, but most importantly, the author of Comprendre la Révolution Woke (2023), another effort towards "Understanding the Woke Revolution".

As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on whatever platform you use, and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at And please consider supporting the show through Patreon ( to get access to the full episode, where we talk in further detail about France and “le wokisme”, wondering whether we have reached “peak woke".