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Do the culture wars really exist? It's no use pretending they're a Right-wing fantasy

"Cancel culture doesn't exist." Credit: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

"Cancel culture doesn't exist." Credit: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images


June 2, 2021   4 mins

One of the most common tactics in public debate today is known as “bait and switch”: you believe you are being sold one thing, only for the deal to be changed behind your back and something else put in its place.

In recent years, this has increasingly taken place with language as well as facts. Progressive activists on the Left, for instance, used the term “woke” with admiration for some while. At a certain point, however, the word became more associated with its pejorative use by the political Right. And almost overnight, the same people who coined its popular usage started to pretend that the term was a fantasy; these stupid Right-wingers, went the claim, were railing against a concept that didn’t even exist.

A similar “bait and switch” now appears to be underway over the existence of the culture wars themselves. In the past week, both the Times and the Guardian have run pieces claiming that the culture wars don’t really exist, and are either a figment of febrile Right-wing imaginations or a cynical tool being used by conservatives to remain in power.

One of the most striking aspects of this claim being made in the Guardian, of course, is that it comes from a paper which seems to believe that everything British is racist, laced through with bigotry, slavery and empire — up to and including botanical gardens. Now, after assailing everything from Winston Churchill to the rhododendrons, the same paper seems to believe that the culture wars are a myth.

The spur for these “bait and switch” claims are two new polls: one carried out by Ipsos Mori for the Policy Institute at King’s College London and another by YouGov. The first, in particular, couldn’t have come at a better time: only last week, news emerged of a member of King’s staff being hounded by colleagues for the crime of sharing a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh following his death. Apparently, the tribute caused “harm” because of the Duke’s “history of racist and sexist comments”.

But back to the King’s analysis of the so-called culture wars that, as last week’s event proved, most definitely do not exist. At the heart of its research is data that purports to show how there are several “culture wars” terms that the public do not recognise. For example, just over 1% of respondents associate the culture wars with transgender issues, suggesting that the transgender debate has had less cut-through than coverage in the media might suggest.

But there are a number of very obvious reasons for this. First, there’s the fact that the number of people who identify as transgender appears to form an extraordinarily small percentile of the general population, and most people — wisely enough — do not engage in issues unless they directly cross their path.

Likewise, there is an obvious reason why terms such as “cancel culture” and “identity politics” are less popular than some people might imagine (61% of respondents claimed they don’t understand the phases). As terms, they are very recent imports or creations, while many people find them inexact or unclear (myself included).

There is also the more obvious reason why writers, journalists and other people in the public eye might disproportionately focus on a phenomenon such as “cancel culture”: they are more likely to suffer from it than a person with a less visible public platform. As for the fact that 54% of people say they are unaware of “trigger warnings” and 46% know little or nothing about “cultural appropriation” — is that really so surprising? Not everybody in Britain can be expected to spend their days keeping up with every passing fad to emerge from the least productive portions of our universities.

What is revealing, though, is the term which has the highest cut-through: “white privilege”, which was recognised by 82% of respondents. Why might that be? Well, white people remain the largest ethnic group in the UK. Just as trans issues would be more familiar if most people in the UK were transgender, so it is inevitable that the culture war issue which commands the most awareness among the general public is the one that targets the largest demographic.

Moreover, it is not just unsurprising but inevitable that if you tell people that there is something wrong and oppressive about them because of the colour of their skin, they are likely to take notice. At some point later, they might even object to such gross and racist generalisations.

The recently published YouGov research — which claims that Red Wall voters are no more concerned about the culture wars than conservatives elsewhere — similarly misses a crucial aspect in this debate. YouGov’s definition of “culture wars”, for example, includes not just transgender issues but censorship of online hate and abuse. Yet it isn’t at all clear that this can be counted as an arena for the “culture wars”.

It is a free speech issue, certainly, but even in the small percentage of the British public who see free speech as a major issue — see, once again, writers and journalists — there is by no means agreement over how to balance the problems of curtailing online comment and allowing a wild-west online. Using this to claim that Red Wall voters care more or less for the “culture wars” is to miss the point by incorrectly defining it.

Yet that is largely forgivable when compared with those who wish to push the culture wars in a particular direction while also pretending that they either do not exist or are being weaponised by a Conservative government. It’s a classic case of presuming that one’s enemies are both strikingly stupid and wickedly clever.

Back in the real world, whether they like it or not, I suspect that what we call the culture wars will most certainly continue. In fact, for proof we need only turn to yesterday’s Guardian: in addition to publishing an opinion piece that claimed the culture wars do not exist, they also ran a “long read” with the headline: “Why every single statue should come down.”

Here was “bait and switch” in action: stoke a crisis and then, just a few pages along, pretend it doesn’t exist. It is a tactic of a kind. A dishonest one — but by no means out of character for the people who use it.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

Yes, there is a culture war and it takes the shape of a war on western culture. This is a link to a new Jordan Peterson interview with a young escapee from North Korea. At the culmination of a journey both heart rending and inspiring she takes a 4-year humanities degree at Columbia University in New York. There she learns to censor herself just as she was forced to censor herself in North Korea, and she concludes that the West is committing suicide, which is something that many of us have been saying for some years now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yqa-SdJtT4&t=7044s

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What’s ironic is how many of the wokerati will dismiss her story and pretend as if the West is a cauldron of oppression. I’ve seen some do that on Peterson’s facebook page where this conversation was advertised. It’s a compelling tale that will, unfortunately, be ignored by those who would most benefit from hearing it.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The stupidity of the people is very well shown in the numbers the writer quotes. How can democracy work if half of the people who pick the direction of the nation do not even recognize the biggest political terms in a society destroying its self by those very ways.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It’s a compelling tale that will, unfortunately, be ignored by those who would most benefit from hearing it.
True, but I think the people who would most benefit from hearing it are not the woke. They are simply past the point of listening to anything except their own dogma. The people who will benefit most from this interview are the majority of people in the West who sit quietly on the sidelines and don’t challenge the woke. We all have to begin taking a stand, especially in the anonymity of the ballot box.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

That’s a good point. It may be the way of discovering how many true “independents” there really are.

Ri Bradach
Ri Bradach
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Correct, but at what cost?
I run an enterprise that is popular with younger interests. I am not permitted to say anything about my politics in open social media outlets.
I send this information – the YouTube video with the North Korean lady for example – to my kids. Their teachers promote far left woke ideology in school and my children are the oddities for thinking differently.
The “silent majority” need to find their courage and speak.

Fernando Gatti
Fernando Gatti
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

They know it verry well, that’s why none of these WOKE are moving to North Korea

rawshark65
rawshark65
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Still watching that as I can’t take it all in one sitting, it’s too harrowing. She just talked about her father’s last words and I had to take a break, a single tear slipped down Peterson’s cheek.

Last edited 2 years ago by rawshark65
Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas
2 years ago

The other tactic the woke like to use is to claim the right are the ones fighting the culture wars and pretend they are not involved. Owen Jones in particular likes this approach.
Essentially:
The left: “We are going to take these statues down because they offend us.”
The right: “No, they are part of our history and they should stay up.”
Owen Jones: “Look at the right fighting a culture war to distract from the serious matter of who paid for Boris Johnson’s curtains.”

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

Spot on, Kevin. Many of the Guardian’s contributors are utterly shameless in their use of that tactic.

zac chang
zac chang
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

Lets revise that shall we?
The Left: (or actually some students out on a demonstration) took down one statue of a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of up to 19000 slaves.
The Right:No! its not a problem that he was a murdering slave driving scumbag because he gave some money to charity.Lets erect a statue to Jimmy Saville while were at it because,although he was a prolific pedophile he did lots of charitable works for hospitals and hes a part of our history 🙂
Have you got any idea how ridiculous you lot sound to the younger generation?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

You are ridiculous troll..idiot..

Paul N
Paul N
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

That works both ways…
The right: We have a world beating Track and Trace system.
Backbencher who didn’t get the memo: It’s worldbeatingly bad, is what it is.
The government: Woke! Woke! The left are coming for your statues! Where’s my flag? I’ve a TV interview now for goodness sake!

Last edited 2 years ago by Paul N
Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago

It’s actually just lying but for those with a postmodernist-derived mindset, that’s okay – there’s no such thing as objective truth. Such people do take great offence when, because of their repeated lies, they’re not believed and are regarded as untrustworthy.

Btw, YouGov polls are a tad iffy – there’s an element of self-selection. The participants sign up to be polled online and so only involves people who particularly want to tell people what their opinions are.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I think we all learned years ago not to trust YouGov polls.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

a YouGov poll found that 110% of people declared YouGov to be extraordinarily truthful

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

So few? Its rather like the viewing figures given for television shows. They are only based on the reported tastes of a few people who chose to have machines in their house to compile the data.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Sounds Like Biden’s Postal Votes…

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Agree, though I suspect that these people aren’t so much liars as bullsh***ers, in the sense elaborated by Harry G Frankfurt (he of “On Bullsh*t” renown).
The existence (or not) of objective truth is of no moment: they’d not be bothered to discover or deny it even if they allowed its possibility. “Winning” (as they see it) is all that matters to these clowns – the moment, the morsel of available kudos, the Facebook/twitter/insta-spat… whatever’s buzzing around the void of their crania at the given point in time. I doubt even Focault, Derrida or Lyotard could muster a smile at this debacle.

rawshark65
rawshark65
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

Yes, as the wikipedia page puts it: The liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullshitter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false, but rather only cares whether their listener is persuaded”
If this pithy definition were better known throughout society then perhaps it would be inoculated against this Orwellian strain of “thought”.

Zap Zenn
Zap Zenn
2 years ago
Reply to  rawshark65

“It’s not what you say, It’s what people hear”
(Frank Luntz 2007)

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Not just any lie but a ‘noble lie’. Wikipedia:

In politics, a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly propagated by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda.

ï»ż…and because it is well meant it seems ‘worthy’.

Waldo Warbler
Waldo Warbler
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

A fundamental belief on the left seems so be “it is different when we do it…”

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Rather like pious fraud. As when you have a relic which may or may not be the shinbone of St Antony, but will induce devotion in the faithful.

Toby McInnis
Toby McInnis
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

The point is that ‘culture war’ is an excessively slippery concept. So it’s not really about denying objective truth – it’s about challenging the framing and semantics of the right’s concept of the ‘culture wars’.
It might seem like these people are denying ‘objective reality’, because they’re denying something you take to be self-evidently true about our current culture. But the existence of objective truth is not part of this debate; it’s about how the subjective reality we share is mediated and manipulated.
I personally believe what is commonly call ‘culture wars’ are real and important. But that doesn’t mean people who argue that they don’t are therefore lying, based on some ill-conceived notion of postmodernism.

rawshark65
rawshark65
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Spot on. I found that doing polls and market research for Kantar, you only get the people who want to talk to you.
In addition the company did not incentivise you to record the views of every demographic, working age people with kids were about 10 times more difficult and you weren’t rewarded for fruitless door knocking at unsociable hours when both you and they wanted to be eating dinner.
Conclusion? Polls are a scam, nowadays at least.

Ian Steadman
Ian Steadman
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Thomas Sowell: “Like most people, I’ve never SEEN a polster” https://tinyurl.com/3zfp4rvd

David Brown
David Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Steadman

But do you believe in their existence?
Seriously, Thomas Sowell is a truly great man, and I wish more people listened to his wisdom. The world might be a better place if they would.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
2 years ago

Tom Holland makes a good point about the culture wars being yet another civil war within Christianity, but they certainly exist – just say “Australia Day” to an Australian, if you want to open the wounds.
I started at university in 1970, and Australia being a few years behind the U.S and U.K. things were still pretty traditional and scholarly. People like Germaine Greer were writing popular books. Then there was the odd progressive lecturer or two writing more theoretical books about feminism, racisim, sexuality, which was OK.
The problem started when there were whole departments of those academics teaching lots of students. Because to be employed as an academic you usually have to keep publishing stuff, and across the western world there are thousands of those academics having to publish a vast amount of stuff year after year – they’re not discovering new documents or particles, they can only keep pushing ‘theory’ to new boundaries, which necessarily have to be ever more extreme, and then it’s taught as university sanctioned scholarship!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

“the odd progressive lecturer ”
Dennis Altman and Peter Singer spring to mind.
For better or worse, both wrote influential works .

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

I thought that most progressives were odd by definition.

G Harris
G Harris
2 years ago

Depressingly true.

When it comes to the insular world of academia (similarly charities), if you choose to work in the woods all you’re only ever going to get to see and need to see are trees.

So much of this stuff is just self-perpetuating nonsense, but increasingly it’s deleterious, pernicious influence is creeping into wider society and being treated as if it’s thus far undiscovered, unrealised progressive ‘fact’.

As a few people rightly pointed out on here yesterday, this is in part due to what happens when anyone and everyone gets to go to university.

There they get to study mainly bullsh!+ degrees for jobs that either don’t exist in the real world in sufficient numbers or only qualify them to do what the anthropologist David Graeber called yet more of these self-perpetuating bullsh!+ jobs.

Jobs that, unfortunately, allow them to insinuate themselves ever deeper into societal institutions.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
2 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Bullshit jobs by David Graeber is an excellent book – shame he died

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

But then therein lies the rub -‘I find it depressing that undergraduates don’t read anymore – one of the best things about going to university was having the leisure to do abundant amounts of reading of interesting stuff I would never have otherwise encountered. Didn’t help me much in the job market but a privilege nevertheless

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Most people until the 1960’s read fiction-as well as other books. Then television came along and the combination of a literate audience made some very interesting and complex programmes Now several generations along & many people see only visually which is limiting rather than creating pictures in your mind from words, which is why they don’t read much and writing is very simplified-text speech etc . For example the trans argument insists you must define yourself. You can’t be a happily married father of four who occasionally likes dressing up as a woman ( basis of lots British humour) or Enid Blyton’s girl character George. You have to fit into a definition-even start medical proceedure- wheras you might just enjoy dressing up.Its like those forms they ask you to fill in stating how you identify you must be correctly labelled even when discussing the most personal details.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Didn’t David Graeber wage some very nasty campaigns to destroy anthropologists who didn’t agree with him on certain topics?

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Decades ago, a great book “Social sciences as sorcery” pointed this problem out. You have hordes of people at once respectable unis (plus a whole group of unrespectable unis) trying to get higher degrees. Unfortunately many just don’t have the brainpower to produce honest worthwhile research findings. So they are inevitably tempted to be wordy charlatans.

Last edited 2 years ago by William Murphy
G Harris
G Harris
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Thanks for the recommendation.

Lizzie B
Lizzie B
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Ibram X. Kendi is a perfect example.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
2 years ago

The best way to deal with cancel culture and other pernicious manifestations of the culture wars is to relentlessly expose its stupidity, meanness, ignorance, vacuity and puffery. Lefties want to be considered intelligent and thoughtful people; mockery is the best way to hold a mirror to them. Our anger feeds their self-righteousness. Our derision might be a better response.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

There does seem to be evidence showing that liberals (in the US sense), and especially female liberals, are particularly susceptible to mental health problems, real or imagined.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Self-hatred of the sort indulged in by the “woke” leads inescapably to mental illness. Consciousness flows naturally towards pleasure and self-gratification; yes, these things can be deferred, but they remain the goal – in more intense or more durable forms. Moreover, deferring pleasure is not the same as embracing pain. Hard work might be a bore but it doesn’t immediately hurt. Once self-reproach steps in, however, this natural – indeed, essential flow of conscious life is jeopardised. As Chesterton observed, self-punishment comes all too naturally to mankind and he praised the Church for its ability to mute and contain it, ruling out the “cruel and unusual punishments” of freelance mystics. Instead, it offered sustainable obligations to be discharged over a period of years – chastity, poverty and obedience. And these embodied the most extreme permissible case of penance, the monastic life. The “woke”, on the other hand, have no such controls; nor do they allow for “absolution”; nor is there a distinction drawn between thought, word and deed. For a young person afflicted with the poisonous nonsense of “BLM”, the tiniest flicker of objection, of doubt, of anger is collapsed back into the meanest self-accusations and the flow of self-delighting consciousness is blocked, coagulated, strangled. To be young in this sunset of our civilisation must – to invert the words of the poet – be “very Hell”.

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Denis
Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Perhaps the ‘woke’ enjoy the self -flagellation of wearing a mental ‘hair shirt’ ?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

Some people seem to think they are special if they have something wrong with them Rather than, as Prince Harry complains, people being embarrassed to talk about mental illness , some like to continually remind others about their problems. Wheras Parkinson used to get the star names to talk about their wonderful careers now they go on Oprah as a sort of therapy session

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Pity me! So that you don’t envy me for my more or less undeserved wealth and status.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Surprising duchess and dukey didn’t put together that her two periods of suicidal ideation/ weeping into her pillow came during her two pregnancies, by the by.
And by the by, how are they living with themselves, saying they are about to have a daughter. Duchess said she was raising gender less children. Also, by the by…linked not ranked, but duchess likey that title!

Last edited 2 years ago by Alex Delszsen
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

.It is said that the Queen signed off on this series as Harry claimed it involved ordinary service personnel , who of course do have problems. I would have thought seeing fellow soldiers in hospital badly injured would rid him of any self-pity , but apparently not.

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

The neurotic liberal guilt is an irrational.self hatred that is redirected and projected to others . The malicious hate is a virtue signalling contrived anger that ” proves” their commitment to the woke cause and groupiness.

zac chang
zac chang
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Gaughan

I think you may be overthinking it mate

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

They aren’t self -flagellating ,though , except perhaps a couple of swishes with a designer whip made out of the most caressing upmarket material . By virtue of being woke they are the good guys

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

…With that prison middle distance stare, arms folded, that others will have consequences if they do not submit. We are living in open air prisons, especially if you look at the anger and injustice etched into faces of—one glaring example—pre-teens in ads.

zac chang
zac chang
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

Oooooh those crazy young kids hahahahhahahh

jcurwin
jcurwin
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I think the connection goes deeper than that and is circular. People who drift toward “wokeness” are those for whom the idea of personal responsibility is absurd–both for themselves and even more so for “oppressed” groups. They also tend to be emotional reasoners and very narcissistic in their personality structure. All of these traits make people emotionally fragile and more likely to embrace an ideology that blames everything on others (or “the system”) whilst also allowing them to feel superior and virtuous and “special.” I think Haidt and Lukianof got it exactly right in “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
2 years ago
Reply to  jcurwin

What I think is really cruel about these woke people is their very insistence on mental illness being a result of capitalism. Not only is it hopelessly threadbare as an argument – but it condemns people to helplessness in the face of their illness. Anyone genuinely mentally fragile could be seriously screwed up by this premise.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

You don’t think they get a compensating sense of self-righteousness? It’s OTHER white people who are guilty . Woke white people are part of the elect

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

I am sure there are some whose self-righteousness is so aggressive that it merely affords them a whip with which to chastise others. But in among such hard cases are always the vulnerable and victimised; persons who take the whole guilt trip personally. The same was certainly true of earlier Puritan generations. Consider the alarm and despondency of Bunyan; the growing instability of poor Cowper; the religious mania of Kit Smart and so on. Your reference to Calvinism – the elect – is instructive, because Calvinists brought to a fever pitch the horrified contemplation of the “Four Last Things”. Some were joyfully convinced of their “election” – a view satirised by James Hogg, of course; but others were burdened by incertitude.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Loved the woman who does Gwyneth’s Goop podcast, waking up that there were no Black people doing media internships with her. Yet she didn’t see that the white internships were people like her, with family in media. She was so wokely happy, having discovered systemic racism to trade with her Black guest! she could agree with systemic racism, because wealthy media elites were doing just fine, in her internship year!

zac chang
zac chang
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

The young are fine,its you angry old white supremacists that are suffering 🙂

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  zac chang

A typically stupid and boneheaded response from a wokeling – full of hate despite the alleged commitment to compassion.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

It’s not much consolation in this sunset to be very old either. Bliss is harder and harder to find.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They are entirely based on ‘Self Harm’ like adolescent girls who self harm because of some self loathing; a mass psychosis spread through all the effete men and genger confuses females of Liberalism. They hate themselves, and so are out to punish themselves by destroying the West, the best thing which ever happened in the world. It gives them too much and so they wish to wreck it to punish themselves. Liberalism is a sickness of self hate – AND hate for the system which gave them so much. Liberalism=hate.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

For God’s sake, ‘people I disagree with, especially the women, are mad.’ Is that the level of your debate?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

And is yours to distort your opponent’s argument? I think so. After all, the “woke” do not constitute “people he disagrees with”, do they, but a particular subset of that large category – as a moment’s reflection would have told you. But I suppose you found the temptations of sophistry in the name of a satisfying sneer too compelling.

Paul N
Paul N
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

How is he distorting your post to which he was replying? You said:

“There does seem to be evidence showing that liberals (in the US sense), and especially female liberals, are particularly susceptible to mental health problems, real or imagined.”

If there is such a correlation as you suggest (and evidence would be interesting) it could be that exposure to misfortune can encourage a realisation that those who are less fortunate (often through no fault of their own) are worthy of understanding – or even help. If you’ve always had things easy, and been comfortable with society’s orthodoxies, it’s easier to believe that hardship or even ostracism is always the result of poor decisions and “lifestyle choices”.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paul N
Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

There was an interesting Pyschology Today( a woke influenced publication) article comparing relative mental.states of consevatives and liberals.It concluded the libersls are more subject to self delusion and secretly less sure of their beliefs and convictions, behind the behaviour of dictatorially imposing them with the self serving rationale they are the only truth.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Gaughan

This seems accurate. The number of “liberals” I’ve known, who have, through some slip of the tongue, when they thought that nobody was listening very hard, revealed attitudes which they generally condemn, is considerable. And of course imposing a belief on someone else is the best way of silencing one’s own doubts.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Look at al the ads these days. Injustice writ large on pre-teen faces, arms folded, with those middle distance stares seen amongst prison populations. How is a young (female especially) supposed to get ahead if s/he/they doesn’t look as if they will tear out your liver if you cross hem? Word.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Best way to fight a good fight is by fighting back. People need to reach into their pocket and help fund whatever is helping stop the destruction the Liberal/Left are intentionally bringing down on all which is decent, and on the West its self.

The problem with the Right Wing is they believe in live-and -let-live, they believe in chivalry, manners, rule of law, decency, fairness, which is the total oppisite of the Liberal/Left. The right needs champions, Like Trump, but at all levels.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

I think using facts or evidence, or suggesting theories about things rather than descriptions of how you feel about other people’s views is more helpful. It might feel, initially, more satisfying to reel off insults (stupidity, meanness, ignorance, vacuity and puffery) but it doesn’t persuade people to think or understand things differently or move the discussion on, at all.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Since he is discussing bigots who, from a mix of whim and ignorance, shut people up or drive them from employment as punishment for dissent; and who have been doing so, most notoriously, for at least the last year, he is entitled to vent his feelings, which are apt, justified and widely shared.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Achievement only occur where challenges and obstacles are overcome. Where the persons mettle is tested and not found wanting. Since then 1960s there are vast numbers of affluent effete middle class with humanities degres which lack rigour, they have not studied Latin from the age of 7 or 8 and Greek from the age of 9 or 10.
In Britain in WW2 there were women from all classes who risked their lives, Khan GC was an Indian Muslim Princess while Szabo GC grew up in South London. By the age of 18 or 19 years of age a young women could be a WAAF being bombed at Biggin Hill. Those who took an active role in WW2 had the ability to look back at their achievements. They were substantial figures whose mettle had been tested and not found wanting.
The woke are superficial, shallow ( both with regard to academic rigour and experience ), lack substance, have not had their mettle tested. The Woke are the empty cans which make noise when blown down the street by the wind. The Guadian lives off the sweat of second hand car dealers ( Autotrader ).
The Woke have a herd mentality, who have achieved nothing worth mentioning and hate the individual who thinks, speaks and acts freely; who is hardy and enterprising.
If the Woke wanted to be effective they could become Chartered Engineers and improve sanitation and water supply in Third World slums. The improvement in santiation and water supply has done more to improve the quality of lives than medicine and lives saved would easily exceed 190,000.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
2 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

The best way is to cut the staff and student bodies at university “social science” departments by 95%.
Exposing their stupidity does not break the grip they have on power in the UK and USA.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

The Guardian is RELENTLESSLY negative – about pretty much everything. Over the last 10 years it has got markedly worse. It was always sanctimonious but it at least tried to incorporate a broader spectrum of ideas and didn’t wrap itself in the flag of liberal victimhood. (I even remember when it occasionally published ‘positive’ stories – which seems a very long time ago now). It equates victimhood with virtue to the point that, having found itself facing criticism for starting the culture wars, it pretends to be the victim of a culture war started by the right.
Any objectivity has vanished. Any hope has been dashed that a Guardian editorial might ever assess a policy on its merits, and stop judging a policy, an action, a statement based solely on who has espoused it and what tribe they belong to. Whether that be a political tribe or any of the other boxes into which “Liberals” seek to place us in their ‘hierarchy of victim-status’.
Their ongoing narrative is wholly at odds with reality. The Guardian – in fact, the Liberal-Left generally – has a dystopian worldview and narrative predicated on catastrophism – it seems almost as though they are willing such a future into existence.
The Liberal media (The Guardian alongside its on-air version, the BBC) routinely paints this country as intolerant and xenophobic – whilst the reality is that this country is probably the most tolerant and the least xenophobic in the world – certainly in Europe.
They want to promote the idea that “vicious” austerity is a Tory policy. Yet if they were honest they’d admit that pre-Corbyn Labour had actually promised to cut harder and deeper than the Tories. Again and again we are sold a narrative that is not an honest reflection of reality.
The Left talks of a rise in crime when it is falling. They point to social issues, financial concerns, climate concerns, and ratchet up the hyperbole at every turn – all of it negative.
They claim to want a meritocratic education system whilst decrying Grammar schools as elitist for selecting by aptitude – whilst educating their own children privately, thus selecting by wealth!
The Left rails against a lack of diversity in Govt, yet when we get the most ethnically diverse cabinet in our history they still paint it as a negative. Suddenly they’re aghast to find there are BAME Tories!
The Guardian proudly trumpets “Comment is free
 but facts are sacred”. Yet facts are so routinely ignored in favour of their preferred narrative that I wonder how the Editors still put out CP Scott’s dictum every day with a straight face.
They seem determined to prove we are mean and uncaring as a nation – though by every sensible metric we are nothing of the sort. They demonstrate an almost gleeful wish to convince everyone that the “country has gone to the dogs” – in a manner more akin to a 1980s right wing cabbie than a supposedly quality newspaper. For each anecdotal instance of intolerance that gets proclaimed as “proof” of widespread bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc etc there are a million other instances of just everyday acceptance of people – regardless of ethnicity, sexuality or nationality – that aren’t worthy of anecdote simply because they are so everyday.
They rail against the bigoted and the intolerant yet which tribe is it that reveals itself to be the most intolerant? – why, the “Liberal” Left.
How many times a day do we see someone who is arguing against the Guardian polemic du jour being told to “Go back to the Daily Mail”? Xenophobes and racists feel they have a right to tell people they consider “Outsiders” to “Go back where you came from”. The reaction to Trump saying something similar was almost universal condemnation.
Most people would, I hope, think that intolerant and morally unjustified.
But the more intellectually insecure Guardian readers calling for anyone who thinks differently to “Go back to the Mail” seems a reaction that comes from a similar place. Fear of the ‘other’ and a wish to see the ‘purity’ of their territory unsullied by people who look and think differently.
This is where the current progressive left seems to come unstuck, simply down to their absolute belief that their point of view is intrinsically virtuous, thus everyone who thinks differently to them must be wrong. And not merely wrong, but somehow “Evil”. It seems to blind them to the possibility that other, perfectly decent and thoughtful people might, quite justifiably, think differently to them. I think this is the fundamental cause of the pessimism that permeates almost all left-leaning discourse.
The liberal-left decries inequality of opportunity and income disparity as the two main evils that are fracturing society. But I’d suggest that Identity politics is a far more pernicious way to separate us.
Identity politics is the very antithesis of the principles of universalism – it suggests what differentiates us is more important than what we have in common. Surely we should treasure more what we share as members of a diverse community rather than seek to silo people and segregate that community into ghettos based on our racial identities, sexual orientation, age, gender or creed?
How do people who claim to speak for progressive attitudes justify shifting the argument from Martin Luther King’s dream to see a future where people are judged according to their character rather than the colour of their skin to point where they are calling for PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE? To abandon that call for universalism in favour of separatism is surely a retrograde step? That point seems so incontestable to me that I am utterly baffled how “progressives” can think their present strategy is furthering the cause of equality.
They seem to further confuse their own arguments by, on the one hand, insisting that race or gender is merely a social construct – whilst at the same time insisting that belonging to whichever (socially constructed) group automatically confers on them special privileges of victimhood. It makes no sense whatsoever – yet challenge such obvious illogic and you’ll be told you have no right to your opinion precisely because you don’t belong to that approved victim group.
Being told what groups we belong to and that our identity is defined by our group and dependent on that group drives a wedge between people who would previously have felt kinship with one another. It is hard to retain solidarity with your community when parts of that community are being taught that it is ‘right’ to mistrust the motives of another. Identity politics means I can’t “really” understand you, I can’t really empathise with your lived experience, I’m not allowed to because I am not trans, I’m not a woman, or I am not black, I am not gay, I am not a Muslim.
If I think I do understand you, or if I volunteer an opinion then I’m mansplaining, I’m arrogantly assuming that my opinion is valid even though I don’t have the lived experience of suffering abuse by belonging to the right victim group.
These people seem desperate to signal their virtue by denouncing those who would pigeonhole people whilst, almost in the same breath, constructing a fairly sturdy pigeonhole and stuffing it with a well-fed pigeon.
When will they realise that this absurd and hypocritical id-pol agenda is killing a once thought-provoking newspaper?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

even though I don’t have the lived experience 

Only if it’s the approved lived experience. The few times i referred to my own personal lived experience of living in state-communist hell, the people of Guardian comments sections were wokesplaining to me how and why my lived experience of communism is not valid / is misconstrued / it was “not real communism” etc. etc, the whole litany.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

Anything that fits the narrative is proof positive.
Anything that challenges the narrative is obviously a lie, or misinterpreted.
Arguing with someone on the Guardian comments page (which I have done FAR too often) is like playing tennis without the net, ….. against a man without a racket, …. who insists your ace is merely a social construct.
Even when you win, you can’t win.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Sometimes it can be fun though, to crush their hysteria and leave them speechless. I’ve managed that on a few occasions. I also have to admit I like winding them up, and I suppose that puts me in troll territory.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago

Wokesplaining! Superb. Thank you, that’s getting stored for future use.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

The lived experience of a beat police officer is that all muggers are black. If he allows this empirical experience to inform his judgement, instead of accepting wholesale the racial prejudices of the left, he’s somehow a racist.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
2 years ago

Yes, I had a similar experience in the G comments section. It was a thread discussing rape. I maintained [and still do] that a couple of drunken sexual encounters when I was young were not rape. I suffered no physical or mental harm and just chalked it up to experience. But other women on the thread were adamant that what I experienced was rape.Such idiocy does not help their cause, and does not help to convict the real criminals.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I have a strong perception that there are a lot of refugees from the Guardian here.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

A while ago, I came across a sentence in a book on creative thinking and inspiration that has stuck with me. It said people could be divided into those who are kittens and those who are baby monkeys. Kittens, when they are lost or scared or in danger, will simply sit where they are and mewl until mum comes along and carries them to safety. Baby monkeys, on the other hand, will run on their own to find mum and jump up on her back, thus getting themselves out of danger.
I’ve come to think of Guardian readers as the kittens of this world.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The ”Guardian” Was founded by Wool Magnate John Edward Taylor in May 1821 he Supported slavery &Jefferson Davis Confederates..why do they hide this?…

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Any time a Guardian article references the Daily Mail, or its former editor Paul Dacre, it is a cast-iron certainty that several dozen posters will bring up the 1930’s Daily Mail “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” headline – as proof that the Mail is fascistic.
It gets boring to point this out to such posters – particularly as I am no great fan of the Mail myself – but I do hate the stupid unthinking hypocrisy of posters imagining that the Guardian is all things good and the Daily Mail is all bad.
The DM did indeed support the British Union of Fascist, up until Kristallnacht at which point they withdrew any such support and became virulently anti-fascist.
The Guardian, on the other hand, was pro-eugenics, for a very long time after most civilised people had recognised it as an abomination.
If you’re going to insult a paper for what they supported 80 years ago, you might want to pick your targets more carefully, lest you shoot yourself in the foot.
The Guardian has championed some indefensible causes in its past, yet always puts out the idea that they occupy the moral high ground.
They lambasted any paper that they considered was not being anti-Trump enough, so I always like to remind them of Op-Ed praise they’ve previously heaped on other nationalists in their time…
“Mr Ceausescu, has shown immense courage in asserting Romania’s independence from the Russians and encouraging Romania’s nationalism” … for instance!

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The Guardian recently ran a prominent piece on the things it has got wrong over the last 200 years. And you don’t have to go back to the thirties to find examples of DM supporting bigotry.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Dont be Obtuse..It would need several hundred editions,for Wrong opinions..

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The Daily Mirror in mid January 1934 supported Mosleys Blackshirts,as did Scottish nationalist Party,why do they Keep Quiet about these incidents?..

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Long ago on my side of the Pond, William F. Buckley, Jr. noted, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
(Using, “liberals” of course, in the corrupt American sense.)

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Very true.
A decade later, Ronald Reagan noted that  “If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism.”

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
2 years ago

As it has proven over and over again that socialism/communism does not work and always lead towards an elite lead totalitarian regime…. we have got woke culture wars now…. but behind it are the usual culprits of before…. followed by the meek deluded sheep… same book….different cover….
Thank you for these great articles and relentlesly fighting this 5th column….

Last edited 2 years ago by Ludo Roessen
Stuart McCullough
Stuart McCullough
2 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

To me, it is worse than that. Western (truly) liberal democracy is a rare and precious thing that is an exception to the usual structures of command and control that emerge in most societies.

Throughout recorded human history, one elite group or another has always fought to control the majority. Whether that control is dressed up as communism, religion, feudalism or whatever, the results are strikingly similar.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
2 years ago

The UK with its billionaire owned press and financial sector servicing the corrupt and criminal is not an elite group controlling the rest? Don’t worry about that as we get a chance to vote every 5 years within the confines of a system whereby a minority of votes wins total control of our democracy.

Irene Ve
Irene Ve
2 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Every human society is a system with confines, it just happens that Western democracy has been the least confining and the most productive of them all.

Last edited 2 years ago by Irene Ve
John Tyler
John Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

…which is better than a system autocratically confined in which ‘the party’ decides votes before the poll.

Simon Giora
Simon Giora
2 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I think you miss an important difference. The UK press does not seek to tell other media what they can and cannot say. Anyone is free to start a media channel be it paper press, electronic etc. Cancel culture seeks to tell people what they can and cannot say. They try to police speech.
Voting every x years for a government is, probably, the only practical form of democratic government. The alternative would be a referendum on every piece of legislation. There is an argument for proportional representation as a form of democracy, though this can produce strange alliance governments.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Nurse!

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
2 years ago

A classic example of “bait and switch” can be found in the director’s blog on the UK’s National Trust website. A large number of the Trust’s members are complaining about the wokification of the Trust’s properties. So the Director-General blogged that visiting the Trust’s properties is “Finding places of calm amidst a ‘culture war'”. She goes on to say “At a time when we most need understanding and tolerance … some of our oldest institutions and independent charities have become a battle ground in so-called ‘culture wars’.” Classic!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

And that Liberal/Lefty commie Director General is the one ordering the ‘over the top’ Trench War charges from the rear.

“She goes on to say “At a time when we most need understanding and tolerance 
 some of our oldest institutions and independent charities have become a battle ground in so-called ‘culture wars’.””

A culture War rogue Generals like her created and sustain.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

Its a bit like the man who kills his parents then asks for leniency as he is now an orphan.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

The MD of National Trust Was forced to resign Last week, by Volunteers, who are heartedly sick of Rubbish he spoke on Woke…..Unfortunately Armed Forces under the Tories since 2019 have taken on 45 Diversity officers,to outlaw Rifleman, Manhole & other things wokerati drone on about..

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago

Of course the Culture Wars exist. They are intrinsic to IdPol, the ruling class’s currently favorite tool to divert the proles from recognizing the class war and responding to it appropriately in their own interests.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Is there really a class war? Who are the ‘ruling class”, people with money? Who are the “proles”, people with no money? Does money have anything to do with class? According to my financial status, i’m deeply underclass, as i’ve been dirt poor in my whole life. Yet it never occurred to me that i should identify as “working class” or “underclass”. The one British politician i find most personally relatable is Jacob Rees Mogg, because he reminds me of various family members (esp. of my late godmother; also of my mother who was prone to break out in Latin after a few glasses too many).
Frankly, i tend to think the whole “class war” thing was a figment of Marx’s unhinged imagination. Class is ‘culture’, and culture wars exist. Poor people and rich people and everyone in between all want more money, no matter how much they have or have not. Wealth is not class. Class is not whining about perceived grievances.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Stefan Hill
Stefan Hill
2 years ago

The ruling class are educated at Oxbridge. They control MSM. They got the top job in academia, civil service and NGO’s.

They are in deep trouble due to: Elite overproduction. To many are overeducated. Their information monopoly is under attack by internet technologies. Their projects are failing.

The solution is oppression of the working classes who most be forced to pay for services they do not want.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

They might be ‘overeducated’, but they don’t know anything.

David Lawler
David Lawler
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They know better than everyone else.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

To combine the comments of Fraser Bailey and and David Lawler (above):

1) they know less than everyone

2) they know better than everyone.

A strange and unhelpful combination.

Kate H. Armstrong
Kate H. Armstrong
2 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

Or so they insist we must believe? An interesting vision of a specific kind of ‘educational superiority’ or the ingrained ‘class’ hangover of ‘entitlement’ such as they are indoctrinated to believe.
Forget democracy; these are the groupings most inclined to feudal structures; one only need examine how each facilitates the other.
Current conserative government anyone?

Last edited 2 years ago by Kate H. Armstrong
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago

They are also losing ground for example less employment for journalists , so they are trying to carve a new niche for themselves as the experts of woke.Who would be considered to have the most expertise on the enviroment , the new Mrs Boris or the late Mr Bellamy? Whose ideas are we following?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

No Contest! Dr David Bellamy WAS cancelled by BBC in 2005, his last bbc series was in 1993…plants growing in london’s suburbs.. I met him once in october 2009 where he Completely crushed Global warmists &climate change goons… attenborough kept his series &Royalties because he believed in global Warming …

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Yet whose ideas are being inflicted on us? I watched a programme where he debunked the ‘green’ wind farms as they kill birds ( a point RSPB has finally agreed). What are we doing-having the largest wind farm in Europe.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

1) Windfarms cannot run efficiently if Wind blows under 12mph or above 50mph……2) They are backed up by Nuclear &Oil fired power stations, 3) The Young are brainwashed &illogical i discovered that At hustings in December 2019,,, When I questioned how weather is controlled by mankind or Soalr Winds,or Natural phenomenon like Volcanic eruptions, their answer ”because it is@’..yeh…Greenwash is the most Virulent Virus

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Reminds me of Joseph Heller’s description of one of his senior officers: ‘He was intelligent but he had no brains’

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

The workers do not pay any actual positive amounts of tax, it is the wealthy who do that.

EXCEPT really, all this debt will be paid, as always, by a stealth tax called ‘Inflation’. The debt is handed out to the financiers, and in post Covid the Trillions end up in the hands of the very rich – this is all created as Government debt, which could never be paid back, so, as always, it is ‘inflated’ away.

This is why the Fed says they want 2% inflation (wile they actually want 4%) The wealthy keep their money in appreciating assets so inflation does not bother them. Normal people have their wealth eroded away by this inflation, as it does the National Debt – and this eroding is in fact the ‘Inflation Tax’, and it is exceedingly regressive. And so the lower income, free from Inland Revenue tax, pay back the National Debt (which was created to give trillions to the wealthy) pay off the debt by inflation eroding their money.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Hill

They have vacuous Media degrees,or Gender studies…etc…Give them A Job at Wetherspoons.. Remain &Leave will see equality of that?..

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago

My oversimplified reasoning about class is as follows:
(1) There is power.
(2) I do not have power.
(3) Therefore, someone else must have power.
(4) The person or people who have power must be more or less in agreement, or they would fight (because an aspect of power is the ability to use force). But we do not observe much open conflict (so far).
(5) Therefore the people who have power form a class (as defined by political-economic function) and a party (a group of people with common interests).
(6) Therefore, there is a ruling class.
This is not intended as an armor-plated argument; it’s just the outline of an argument, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. Instead of picking it apart, it would be more interesting to describe how you interpret the same phenomena. (Or you could deny the phenomena exist.) I might add here:
(7) Since there is no reason for culture war, but culture war exists, somebody must be pushing culture war for fun and profit. I’m guessing this is the aforesaid ruling class, and the most likely motive would seem to be the usual: laboring to maintain and increase their power and wealth, etc. through good old _divide_et_impera_. (I too break out in Latin.)
I don’t have any personal complaints. I started life as an upper-middle-class person, was sent to the best schools, but was spoiled enough to find upper-middle-class concerns boring and did as I pleased, and came out quite well anyway, having discovered that I possessed a highly marketable talent and numerous heartening illusions about life. However, I think the polity I live within is in bad shape and getting worse, so I am trying to help by beginning the examination and diagnosis of its problems, so that we might imagine what to do about them. (Or, we could just ride it all down, like a failing airplane, and hope for the best….)

keithchapman185
keithchapman185
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

As I understand it the culture war is an attempt by the far left to replace the proletarians revolutionary fodder with the repressed victims of identity politics, to put it crudely, to bring about the revolution. It seems to working!

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Yes, agree with every word of that. My only bafflement is about the term “class wars”, which i take as an entirely marxist construct. Today’s “ruling class” are, to a large extent, jumped-up, miseducated, dumb proles. And they try to drag down culture to their own level, hence the ‘culture wars’.
Apologies for bleating about my easternbloc upbringing again, but imagine a “total reset” like we had in ’45. The ‘ruling elite’ was the thick-as-pÂĄgshÂĄt communist proles, the ‘top class’ was the ‘working class’, and if you had an educated / middle / upper / even petit bourgeois background you were farked and everything was stacked against you.
Although not as crudely jackbooted, today’s affairs in the “west” are not entirely dissimilar – although background of origin does not come into play (as it did in the communist regimes), because a lot of the chattering classes’ offspring swallowed the marxist dogma since they had no personal empirical experience of the real thing to disabuse them of their malignant belief system. And, since they organically inhabit the institutions (and there was no ‘full reset’), they impose their dogmata on the institutions, so if you don’t align ideologically, the system is stacked against you. Same marxism, this time through the backdoor. Diane Abbott went to Oxbridge ffs. It’s telling that the wokes’ public enemy is not the “Oxbridge educated”, but the “Eton boys”.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago

I don’t think the proles (masses, commons, etc.) can form a ruling class because they don’t have the structure or culture for it. They can, or could, be told that some Great Leader or other personfied their (imaginary) common will and interests as the _Volk_ or the People, while a new (or, actually, possibly an old) ruling class emerged. So I would say that in 1945 — or 1933-1945 — various fascist groups fought over Europe. The winners (the Soviet Union, etc.) then erected a rather fascistic system which, in the late 1980s, became more or less capitalistic, although from what I read important authoritarian elements remain in place. Meanwhile the other victors indulge in imperialism, militarism, secret police surveillance, kept media and academic institutions, a phony economy with funny money, and so forth. This is not something I get out of reading Marx, but I haven’t read much Marx. In the _Communist Manifesto_ Marx says the workers will be forced by circumstances (the revolutionary nature of capitalism) to take control of their lives: “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.” But that’s not what happened; instead, ‘man’ lost his mind.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

I CAN lead the Proles out of the wasteland into another Wilderness!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Angela Rayner is the very cynosure of a prole – she is literally underclass, actually – and she has made her way in the world by entering the adoptive oligarchy of the Marxist left. So individual proles who tick the left’s boxes can join the aspiring ruling class, but proles who organised to take power qua proles wouldn’t be proles any more.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

I don’t think the proles (masses, commons, etc.) 

I think that might be at the root of my misunderstanding. The way i (we easternblockers) interpret the word “prole” (proletar) is not synonymous with ‘masses’ or ‘commons’ or even ‘working class’, but stands for a particular and fairly narrow social segment: the proletariat (including the lumpenproletariat). Unlike here in the ‘west’ where the prole word has no real pejorative connotations, in the (ex)easternbloc ‘prole‘ is a deeply insulting slur: it means the lowest and nastiest of the chavs and oiks with a distinctly communist disposition. (And the word ‘communist‘ is the absolutely rudest insult to hurl at someone, way ruder than calling someone a wÂș#≠∞r or any such thing.) The actual proletariat of marxist definition is not some majority populus but a minority segment. They were elevated to ‘ruling class’ status by the state-communist regimes as a mere tool, to keep the rest of society down in their place.

Meanwhile the other victors indulge in imperialism, militarism, secret police surveillance

In the postwar world, the Soviet Union was the single most imperialistic power. Far more imperialistic than the USA. The soviet zone was leading in militarism and secret police surveillance too. (With the USSR’s demise China has taken over that place.)

Marx says the workers 

He does, doesn’t he? One of his many lurid idiocies was his utterly removed and detached view of “workers”, as if they were a monolithic block called ‘the proletariat’, a species of its own.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago

My usage of _prole_ must come from Orwell; for me it’s a pretty vague term meaning “those without (significant) power or property” which is not so far from Latin _proletarius_ but certainly different from later usage of _proletarian_. It is only mildly and often ironically contemptuous in the US because we’re all supposed to be equal here in some theory or other. There are slang terms for the general idea (mook, mope, schmuck) with about the same connotation.
The Soviet Union certainly acted badly, but American leadership has been quick to learn. In fact I believe Mr. Mikoyan once said that the US was ahead of the Soviet Union on the road to Communism — whatever that meant.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago

Bullingdon Gang, Cameron &Johnson..dont Conserve any Countryside!…

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Since there is no reason for culture war, but culture war exists, somebody must be pushing culture war for fun and profit.
I think Orwell explained this with his usual jaw-dropping perspicacity in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, the book-within-a-book in Nineteen Eighty-Four:

Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low…The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High…

For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later…are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High….

The familiar pendulum swing was to happen once more, and then stop…the High were to be turned out by the Middle, who would then become the High; but this time, by conscious strategy, the High would be able to maintain their position permanently.

“Culture war”, including the pretence “that they are fighting for liberty and justice”, aims at cementing the left in power by making it literally impossible to disagree with any left tenet. If you look at the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in the wrong way, you can be denounced for it and have your life ruined.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

But one can always disagree and use the weight and force of one’s opponents against them — as in judo. In a certain kind of politics, one must out-rad the radicals.

Chris Rimmer
Chris Rimmer
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

(4) The person or people who have power must be more or less in agreement, or they would fight (because an aspect of power is the ability to use force). But we do not observe much open conflict (so far).

My impression is that there are people with different forms of power, and the key players in the background have to form coalitions when there’s something important they want to get done. It seemed to take a long time to persuade the key players to get behind invading Iraq in 2003 for example. And I think there’s been something similar with Covid.
If I remember correctly, Karl Popper said that Plato’s great fear was conflict among the elites because of the instability that it caused, and that informed his preference for a Spartan-style society.

Last edited 2 years ago by Chris Rimmer
Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Rimmer

As I said, my little scheme above is oversimplified. Another good example was swinging the important people behind the Civil Rights movement, which on the one hand was a collective necessity for the ruling class, and on the other must have been very hard for many of its components.

Micheal Lucken
Micheal Lucken
2 years ago

If you remember family members who remind you of Jacob Rees Mogg I would be sceptical of any claim to be of the working class. Not a comment on either your or his character but I do believe such a thing as working class exists and it isn’t that hard to spot when you look for it.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Micheal Lucken

Yep, i never claim to be “working class”. Although i do work, and did work throughout my adult life – and my favourite work has always been hard physical labour. If you read my second comment above, you’ll see how & why i (well, my family) got poor.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Class war is so prevalent that you not understanding it is like a fish saying he does not understand water. The thing is it is not the old Toffs vs the proles anymore. It is in every single aspect of every thing – the entire creed of Liberalism is to make all society divided and hating the others.
The educators teaching their critical theory, the 1619 project, the BLM, race, genderism, sex-preference-ism, extinction rebellion, National Trust, BBC Guardian – they are 100% about shattering the West into classes which loath the others.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Pol Pot, the modern Wokes are just Khmer Rouge in infancy.
“estimates that 1.671 million to 1.871 million Cambodians died as a result of Khmer Rouge policy, or between 21% and 24% of Cambodia’s 1975 population.[313] A study by French demographer Marek Sliwinski calculated slightly fewer than 2 million unnatural deaths under the Khmer Rouge out of a 1975 Cambodian population of 7.8 million; 33.5% of Cambodian men died under the Khmer Rouge compared to 15.7% of Cambodian women.[314] According to a 2001 academic source, the most widely accepted estimates of excess deaths under the Khmer Rouge range from 1.5 million to 2 million, although figures as low as 1 million and as high as 3 million have been cited; conventionally accepted estimates of deaths due to Khmer Rouge executions range from 500,000 to 1 million, “a third to one half of excess mortality during the period”.[315] However, a 2013 academic source (citing research from 2009) indicates that execution may have accounted for as much as 60% of the total, with 23,745 mass graves containing approximately 1.3 million suspected victims of execution.[316]
Cancel Culture.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So the “Woke” (your term) are going to kill everyone with eyeglasses? What are you going to do about it?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

I have to admit that it is a good idea to remove all statues, as long as we don’t leave any behind – I am particularly concerned that we should lose the statue of Greta.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Its taken for granted by them that their heroes are the equivalent of national heroes I too think they deserve completely empty cities that noone wants to visit-watch the property value go down. The statues could be moved to statue-land where the rest of us can enjoy Nelson’s Column etc.-probably have to be private land with good security so none of the sabateurs can get in.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

The Guardian sends out the bat signal and the multitudes flip their opinions overnight. I’ve seen it happen so many times.

Nowhere Woman
Nowhere Woman
2 years ago

Yet you, being so much smarter than the “multitudes,” are immune to the propaganda.
Would you care to give any examples where the multitudes have flipped their opinions overnight????

Last edited 2 years ago by Nowhere Woman
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Nowhere Woman

I doubt I’m so much smarter but I’m busy in my work and not obsessive about politics 24/7. Nevertheless it creeps in through friends’ social media.

Nowhere Woman
Nowhere Woman
2 years ago

So no examples of opinions being flipped overnight.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Nowhere Woman

Sure, women’s rights. Once upon a time women’s rights belonged to women. Now they belong to men who have declared themselves women. Any feminist who objects is a bigot.
Or racism. Once upon a time the left claimed to abhor racism. Now it’s anti-semitic and hates all white people, to the point where if a black person beat up a Jew while shouting anti-Semitic abuse at him, the only racist the left would see would be the Jew.
Or paedophilia. In the 1970s creatures like Harriet Harman sided with the likes of the Paedophile Information Exchange. Then the left realised this wasn’t a great look and shut up about it, until Muslims paedophiles starting grooming white girls, at which point the left decided that bringing this up was racism and that the girls should tolerate the abuse for the sake of racial equality.
There are lots of others, but the point is that leftist dogma is both utterly inflexible but always likely to invert on a moment’s notice.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Excellent summary

Nowhere Woman
Nowhere Woman
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Opinions and theories change overtime. Who’d of thought it???
But overnight, as if we are dim-witted automatons who “monkey see, monkey do” is the point Brendan made. That is what I was clearly criticising, and has been avoided by you and him.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Nowhere Woman

I’m not going to quote my friends’ social media in this forum.
If I was prepared to do that, it certainly wouldn’t be in response to a demand from an anonymous poster with bad grammar.

Nowhere Woman
Nowhere Woman
2 years ago

So you’ve shifted from “flip their opinions overnight” and “I’ve seen it happen so many times” to “it creeps in through friends social media.”
Your sneering attitude towards people you disagree with, in your original post, was the point I made.
You can’t substantiate your claims and avoid the substance of my argument, hiding behind anonymity and bad grammar.
What a sad climb-down.

Last edited 2 years ago by Nowhere Woman
David J
David J
2 years ago

More like The Guardian sends out yet another bat signal, and the multitudes sigh, shrug their shoulders, and mutter, “The Graun’s at it again.”

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  David J

Perhaps “multitudes” was a smidgeon overstated.

John Standing
John Standing
2 years ago

Culture war is the method of advancing neo-Marxism, which is method of tearing down the pillars of European civilisation, which is a method of destroying the European race. Its two principal philosophical grounding – Critical Theory and Deconstructionism – were themselves not worldviews, which classical Marxism might be described as, but life-boats for the classical Marxist worldview once that was seen to have failed, ie, only five years after the Russian Revolution in the former case.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Standing
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago

I do wonder whether there is a division in the making between people who wish to engage directly, on a rational basis, with issues, and those who eschew such an approach in favour of shaping narrative.
I take it as read that both parties (if such a division does exist) wish to win, it’s just that the method differs.
This is a problem for those for whom reason is paramount, because I think they tend to understand their enemy less than their enemy understands them.
There is a relatively new form of communication (new on an evolutionary scale) coming to maturity, and it makes no appeal to reason. What it does instead is seek to offer a tailored perception for direct absorption. It is the form of communication used in advertising. The goal of all advertising is to render you unaware you are being manipulated while you are being manipulated to make the ‘right’ choice at the appropriate moment. This appropriate moment can be at the confectionary counter by the petrol station till, or in the polling booth on Election Day. Advertising does not try to persuade you to buy a product by explaining its relative merits and then asking you to consider a purchase. I wish it did. What it does, unfortunately, is try to take direct hold of your unconscious decision making processes and steer you in a certain direction.
This new form of post rational communication informs the entire so-called woke culture, the culture of identity politics and of professional victimhood. It does not engage with reason, because its practitioners understand that is a battle they cannot win. They will even, occasionally, admit as much (I have heard a pristine example on the radio). So they fight a battle the rules of which rationalists do not exactly understand and which, of course, they do not wish to fight, because they intuit something deeply unpleasant about the methods involved.
It may be people who prefer to reason as objectively as possible are beginning to take bows and arrows to a machine gun fight.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Gorgia Verolini-Wright
Gorgia Verolini-Wright
2 years ago

Have you ever read “Amusing Ourselves to death” by Neil Postman? Written before the internet arrived, it is a fascinating account of the death of rational thinking & debate driven by instant news & “knowledge” delivered via media. Starts with the telegraph & covers the unfortunate morphing of politics into entertainment. He effectively foresaw the wholesale change to which you correctly refer.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago

Actually the ‘amusement culture’ was foreseen (or rather described, as he saw it in various epochs) long before Postman, by R. G. Collingwood in his ‘The Principles of Art’ (1938).

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Another one for me to look into. Thanks (although I realise it wasn’t directed at me).

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
2 years ago

No, I have not, but I will – thanks for the head’s up.

Chris Mackay
Chris Mackay
2 years ago

Excellent take on the issue. The only addition I have is that, for me, the fightback has obviously commenced and has progressed past the bows and arrows stage. The evidence is that Douglas Murray is not alone where public comment is concerned.

Alex Hunter
Alex Hunter
2 years ago

The day The Guardian ran the story claiming ‘culture wars’ were a fantasy they also ran an article on the ‘sponsor a child’ programmes run by charities to help support children in developing countries. This, The Guardian tells us, is evidential of ‘white saviour’ mentality while looking at the issue with a ‘white gaze’ – the irony.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
2 years ago

The next person who says “silence = violence” should be made to make a choice between the two in a way which emphatically demonstrates the difference between silence and violence.
And the next person who says “white privilege is the problem” should be made to forsake all “white privilege” so they can experience the problems that an absence of this “white privilege” brings.
Woke idiots need an experience of reality methinks.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
2 years ago

I recently watched a program called Lost Cities in American which focused on Youngstown, Ohio, Memphis TN an Stockton California and would suggest that anyone who thinks whites are privileged would do well to see what is going on in those cities to both blacks AND whites. Seems that neither if privileged. As I watched I thought, here we have thousands of our fellow Americans drowning in the horrors of the life they are forced to live because of our economic policies and the best of our universities are worrying about pronouns. I went to the doctor yesterday and i was even asked to list “my pronouns”. I refused.
One other piece that here in Portland is becoming the norm is what the woke crowd is now teaching four year olds. There are even cartoons dealing with masturbation which I am not against for those who indulge. But the parents have not been advised of this curriculum until the four year old comes home . When I mentioned to grandparents and parents that they might object, the answer is “well they have to learn somewhere” What was hilarious is that the white teacher had an African turban wrapped around her head speaking of cultural appropriation.
The problem is no one I know either reads the City Journal or watches Lost Cities of America and when i mention them, I get a blank stare. CNN’s ratings may be falling and the MSM might be a joke but that is where most people still get their news. And don’t get me started on the “WOKE” churches

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
2 years ago

The culture wars exist, and I have the PTSD to prove it.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Could you elaborate? Thanks

David Stanley
David Stanley
2 years ago

The same thing happened when the metoo movement collapsed in on itself. It started off as ‘believe all women’ and anyone who challenged this was accused of perpetuating r@pe culture. Once it was realised that not all women tell the truth we were told that no one ever said ‘believe all women’. This was actually a trap, set by the right and designed to undermine feminism.

John Standing
John Standing
2 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

Feminism should be urgently undermined. It is a lie designed to create conflict between Man and Woman, and remove the latter from her biological imperatives.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Standing
Peter Scott
Peter Scott
2 years ago

The concept of White Guilt/Privilege is a red herring in a long ongoing spiritual war.
Most of the ‘woke’ criticism, Social Justice campaigning and permanent grievance against (a) the West and (b) white people as such, are indirect ways for the totalitarian nihilists in our midst to demoralise and destroy such civilization as we possess in the Occidental world.
Our civilization is imperfect, of course. How could it not be, in a world where most human beings have not decided – as they should have done – to become divine creatures, celestial in outlook, motivation and goodness; which voluntary enrolment in that transformation has been from the beginning God’s hope and plan for our species.
But the civilization we have, as Dr Adekoya points out in his essay, is less imperfect than most of the alternatives actually operating in the rest of the globe.
Over the centuries in the Russian Empire, in China, in most of Africa (Arab and sub-Saharan both), in very much of Latin America, the Destroyers have long since attained their goal = sclerotic societies where political truth is not spoken aloud, and where people face constantly a grim choice: either be honest, and in that case tortured and (if you persist) killed; or toe the line of the local dictatorship and survive – but in the shrunken form of a man or woman or child who has opted for lifesaving Cowardice.
That is the central point and deepest goal of Totalitarianism: to degrade humankind spiritually (which is also to say ethically and emotionally).
The Destroyers aren’t really interested in killing everybody. When they go in for mass murder it is simply to terrorise the rest into subservience.
Spiritual degradation is what they want: the achievement of a human race which is purged of courage and truthfulness, and at bottom knows itself for Cowardly.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
2 years ago

The key point for me is Mr. Murray’s mention of the dishonesty of the whole affair. That the self-deluded have always required dishonesty to form the foundation of their particular fantasies is expected but what concerns me more is that how much the dishonesty has been combined with fear to great effect to induce fear into the hearts of the naĂŻve and unwary and coerce their support.
The Orwellian and Kafkaesque elements are clear to all. The revolutionary tactics are obvious to the point of numbing boredom to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Marx-inspired movements in history.
People are now spouting off or supporting woke-inspired nonsense simply because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

“Kafkaesque”

In my view Kafka was a religious writer, not a politcal one. He at one point described himself politically as a ‘socialist’, which might cast a doubt on the supposedly ‘dystopian’ nature of his work.
He was widely regarded in his time as a comic writer (as was Kierkegaard, who of course had a different religion, and thus sense of humour).

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

Douglas, I am not sure why you use the word “percentile” instead of “percentage” here:
“transgender appears to form an extraordinarily small percentile of the general population.”
If anything, I don’t think you can “form” a percentile.

In any case, I have often wondered whether these discussions exist only on twitter and specialist press. Take Scotland, at the forefront of transgender issues: here nobody really cares about them, except a vocal minority (on both sides), so legislation can be pushed through relatively easily.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
Peter Francis
Peter Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Hello Andrea. I see your point, but had Douglas said “a small percentage”, it would be wrong because we are talking about less than one per cent. On the other hand, a “small percentile” just seems to say something like “a measly one per cent”. I can’t see any alternative to the clunky “a fraction of one percent”.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

No, It is a different concept altogether.
A more common use of “percentile” is in a situation like : “I weight X, so I am at the 3rd percentile” meaning that out of 100 people 2 weigh less than me and 96 more. So in this case you would say that the percentage of the population weighing X is small as your weight is at the 3rd percentile. But likewise the percentage would be equally small if you were at the 97th.
You just can’t apply this concept to percentages of the population with a certain characteristic, like transgenderism. You need a scale to talk about percentiles (unless you can measure your level of “transgenderism” 😀 )

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

They mean slightly different things. Percentiles are in sequence, percentages aren’t. 20% of the population are over 6 feet tall, but the tallest ten percentile / decile are all over six foot two.
Whether transgender people are a percentile or a percentage would depend how you’re labelling the axis.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
Waldo Warbler
Waldo Warbler
2 years ago

If you want to see a vivid demonstration of this nonsense, listen to the Radio 4 “Analysis” program on Foucault. It is so bad it has several laugh-out-loud moments, but at its core it is a fundamental piece of BBC dishonesty.

Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis
2 years ago

Discombobulation is a tried and tested technique to try to bamboozle your opponents – its called ‘gaslighting’ in the new parlance of the woke – the ugly ironic aspect is it is the woke who do most of the gaslighting, most of the obsfucation, bullying, cancelling and curtailing of free expression – you have to laugh at the cognitive gymnastics of the worthy that their truths are self evident and therefore as a result cannot accept or countenance any alternate perspectives! the behaviour of fools.

John Standing
John Standing
2 years ago

The emerging “push-back” phrase to describe the Neo-Marxist Man is Globo-Ho m o. His self-estranged and denatured, artificial human estate, sans nation, sans kin and kind, sans all that is content-ful in the human being, is the final equality. For, what resides in and belongs to us, what we receive from the past, what connects us, what is particular and of the essence of us, what is emergent from our nature, what we discriminate for and, most of all for nihilists, moralise about … this can have no place in the neo-Marxist utopian end time, where all otherness is the same as self, all boundaries and borders are gone, and all human cause, all struggle, all desire, all need, all conflict is forgotten.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Standing
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago

When people have the luxury of debating first-world problems, we’re left with things like “birthing people” and appropriation. Never mind that no place has surpassed the West in terms of welcoming people from other cultures, it’s clearly a crime against society when white women have a burrito truck or a schoolgirl wears a kimono. These people are insane, and they are given oxygen by the very people who should be adult enough to be skeptical.
Students demonstrate their disdain for Israel with signs like “Queers for Palestinians” without a hint of self-awareness. Because it’s not about the Israelis and Palestinians for them; it’s about a type of performance art that ignores logical consistency. Same with privilege. Has any white kid at a prestigious university given up his/her spot to a more deserving minority? Of course, not; and they never will for obvious reasons.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Good luck with letting anyone find out you identify as queer in the domain of Hamas or Hizbollah. The nearest crane looms…..

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
2 years ago

I thought Gary Young’s piece in the Guardian on ‘statues’ was rather thoughtful and nuanced in discussing how and why monuments get erected to celebrate certain people. Worth a read in itself.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

I agree. Like Gary Young, I have said for some years that all these statues are horrible and unimaginative as works of sculpture and just get in the way.

George Bruce
George Bruce
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You both seem to have liked Gary so much that you did not notice Young is not his name.
It is Younge.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Well spotted. Very stupid of me given that I read Younge in the Guardian for many years before finally giving up on the Guardian some years ago.

Toby McInnis
Toby McInnis
2 years ago

Surely the big problem here is talking about ‘the left’ and ‘the right’ as if they’re individuals, rather than crudely drawn collections of individual actors/commentators.
Of course both sides seem to make contradictory statements and espouse incoherent ideologies – you’re treating numerous different individuals as a single, collective subject.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Toby McInnis

Absolutely. Before you can start a war you have to define and de-humanise the enemy . Hence the use of ‘woke’ to define anyone supporting something any particular conservative minded commentator chooses to write an opinion piece about.
Same kind of dangerous reductionism that puts all people who think Brexit was a mistake into the ‘woke’ category and calls all people who supported Brexit ‘racist’.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
2 years ago

Likewise, there is an obvious reason why terms such as “cancel culture” and “identity politics” are less popular than some people might imagine (61% of respondents claimed they don’t understand the phases). As terms, they are very recent imports or creations, while many people find them inexact or unclear (myself included).

Here is my definition of cancel culture: the phenomenon where a group tries to exert pressure on an organisation in a position of power vis-a-vis an individual to use its power to penalise the individual for actions, opinions or statements that are perfectly lawful.
I think that sums it up. The definition allows for the fact, for example, that JK Rowling cannot be cancelled in the sense of being dropped by her publisher: she is in a position of power over her publisher.
When the organisation is a business and the individual is an employee of that business who offended a group of social justice warriors, cancel culture can be more neatly summed up as “supposedly left-wing people trying to get bosses to punish their workers for their opinions” (which I heard elsewhere, though I can’t remember who coined it).
(On the whole, cancel culture should not apply to the treatment of politicians within political parties, where adherence to a party line is part of the job description.)

Neil Anthony
Neil Anthony
2 years ago

Bait and switch, you say. “LIARS” I say, Liars who must be challenged openly, even when they pull the victim card.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

In the past week, both the Times and the Guardian have run pieces claiming that the culture wars don’t really exist ,…
Is this claim an example of a bait-and-switch or motte-and-bailey manoeuvre? It certainly seems so on the surface. Recently, I have been listening to James Lindsay of newdiscourses dot com give a very detailed examination of what he considers is the driving engine of woke ideology – Marxian dialectics – which he traces from Hegel through to the black feminist movement of the 90s, from where it spread into all branches of critical social justice ideology.
He gives an example of another concept called Aufheben – keeping and destroying – as used by Hegel, through which the dialectic proceeds, as used by Marxian Wokists. Thus I might say that the sky is blue, and a straight negation [antithesis] of that would say no, it’s not blue, or maybe you would negate by implication by saying it’s green or it’s red or it’s some other colour. But an Aufheben would say not at night or maybe even not when it’s raining, and so it has this feeling of deliberately missing the point. So you get to keep the blue – like you didn’t actually tear down the blue – you get to keep it. But at the same time you’ve down – you’ve abolished – the concrete sense that the idea was right in the first place.
Further, ….[a feature we see all the way through] Hegelianism, Marxism, Neo-marxism and Woke-ism which is that words are always given more than oner meaning … segregation – desegregation, all of these things, decolonisation is actually colonising the curriculum for example, these are all key examples of the … sophistry double-speak characteristic of ideologies.
This can be found on you tube dot com under Hegel, Wokeness, and the Dialectical Faith of Leftism

Last edited 2 years ago by michael stanwick
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

Yes, James Lindsay is one of the most acute chroniclers of the ongoing destruction of the West.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

“It’s a classic case of presuming that one’s enemies are both strikingly stupid and wickedly clever.”

We get this all the time from the political Left: abusing the Right for failing to be 100% perfect. A good example is the idiotic criticism of the Coalition govt and then the Tories for failing to solve the financial crisis within six months of taking office, and somehow pretending that if only they had borrowed more money and given it to Guardian readers, we wouldn’t have a ballooning sovereign debt.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
2 years ago

It is about asking the right questions ordinary people can understand. Questions like would it bother you if you attended mandatory training where you were told you were inherently racist because you are white? Would it bother you if your child came home from school to be told that they had learned that they could become the opposite sex to what they are if they want to? Would it bother you if you were told something you had believed all your life was wrong and if you did not change that belief you would be disciplined and even sacked?
Those questions would get very high yes answers. As more people came to realise that such questions were not hypotheticals and were happening more and more and closer and closer to them, then there would be the mass outcry needed to reverse all the Woke nonsense, if it was not already too late.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
2 years ago

Douglas Murray – please move to Canada and run for PM. I will fund really nice socks so you can compete with Trudeau on that front. You have a 50 IQ point advantage on him which we should be able to translate into some votes.

ramspacek
ramspacek
2 years ago

Red Wall: “term used in British politics to describe a set of constituencies in the Midlands, Yorkshire, North East Wales and Northern England which historically tended to support the Labour Party. The term was coined in August 2019 by pollster James Kanagasooriam.” While it appears everywhere now, I’d have to include it among those “very recent imports or creations”!

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

In the past week, both the Times and the Guardian have run pieces claiming that the culture wars don’t really exist ,…
Is this claim an example of a bait-and-switch or motte-and-bailey manoeuvre? It certainly seems so on the surface. Recently, I have been listening to James Lindsay of newdiscourses dot com give a very detailed examination of what he considers is the driving engine of woke ideology – marxian dialectics – which he traces from Hegel through to the black feminist movement of the 90s, from where it spread into all branches of critical justice ideology.
He gives an example of another concept called Aufheben – keeping and destroying – as used by Hegel, through which the dialectic proceeds, as used by Marxian Wokists. Thus I might say that the sky is blue, and a straight negation [antithesis] of that would say no, it’s not blue, or maybe you would negate by implication by saying it’s green or it’s red or it’s some other colour. But an Aufheben would say not at night or maybe even not when it’s raining, and so it has this feeling of deliberately missing the point. So you get to keep the blue – like you didn’t actually tear down the blue – you get to keep it. But at the same time you’ve down – you’ve abolished – the concrete sense that the idea was right in the first place.
Further, ….[a feature we see all the way through] Hegelianism, Marxism, Neo-marxism and Woke-ism which is that words are always given more than oner meaning … segregation – desegregation, all of these things, decolonisation is actually colonising the curriculum for example, these are all key examples of the … sophistry double-speak characteristic of Hegelian ideologies.
The podcast can be found on YouTube under Hegel, Wokeness, and the Dialectical Faith of Leftism

Last edited 2 years ago by michael stanwick
Richard Binstead
Richard Binstead
2 years ago

Woke would be a Joke, if all that brainwashing wasn’t so destructive! Who was it who said something along the lines that if you’re not a socialist at 16, you probably don’t have a heart, but if you’re still one at 46, you definitely don’t have brain!?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago

I think it was a bloke down the pub.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Those were the days.

Chris Mackay
Chris Mackay
2 years ago

The version I heard goes like this – “If you are not a socialist before you are thirty there is something wrong; if you are still a socialist after thirty there is definitely something wrong”

Earl King
Earl King
2 years ago

I cannot speak for those who feel marginalized by society. Imagine a time for those who are gay or those who feel more like a women rather than a man…have to hide their sexual proclivities. Sex frankly consumes much of our lives…No matter how many wives feel otherwise LOL. I cannot imagine those feelings…I live a normalized life. So what we now have is a movement to treat whites in toto as an oppressive group who marginalize those of color simply because they have more melanin in their skin. Oh and if you say it ain’t so you are told you are just denying it. Then imagine a desire by some to build state apparatus that begins to discriminate against your lack of melanin. I cannot speak for others but would fight it.
I want specific examples of ongoing state sponsorship of systemic white racism and supremacy. Yes whites pass along intergenerational wealth in some families….that some blacks cannot. I doubt Will Smiths kids or LeBran’s kids will have to work all that much. There are poor whites in America…and they number more than poor blacks…We need to address the reasons why, with all we have done to address the income shortfall, = blacks still don’t prosper. I guarantee it is not due to state discrimination. It involves choices that a made. Have a kid before marriage your life will be more difficult. Drop out of school or simply do not study your odds of being a success dwindle. Let drugs or alcohol consume your life…I guarantee failure. For those that are poor, want an education or training we are obligated as a society to provide it…No matter the cost.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Earl King

Imagine a time for those who are gay or those who feel more like a women rather than a man
have to hide their sexual proclivities. 
That time certainly existed but it has long since passed. In my lifetime, I cannot think of a single gay or women’s rights issue where those parties have lost. Instead of taking ‘yes’ for an answer, the wokerati have chosen to stay miserable and manufacture new points of grievance. Eventually, the white warriors will discover that treating whiteness as a toxin will infect them, too.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Earl King

Here’s a crazy idea: let’s stop rewarding bad choices. We can’t stop them, but we don’t have to fund them with taxpayer money, either.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Earl King

Noel Coward or Binkie Beaumont were hardly shy about their sexual preferences.

Iain Hunter
Iain Hunter
2 years ago

I want to join this war vigorously but I can’t find the front line in everyday life. But then, I’m an old retired fogey.

Last edited 2 years ago by Iain Hunter
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Iain Hunter

in this curious war, the front line has a way of finding you.

Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
2 years ago

Self-censoring occurs in all aspects of life: here are a few examples, how one talks in the work place differs from how one talks with friends; how one talks to one’s parents differs from how one talks to one’s siblings; how one talks to a friend with different political inclinations differs from how one talks to a friend holding the same political inclinations, and finally, students don’t say everything they think to their teachers. Linguists call these situational ways of communicating “registers.”

We grow up learning when and how to speak in different situations. We learn to do this so that we can share our thoughts without coming to verbal and/or physical war. We have these unwritten social communication rules (filters) so that the strong and the weak can both speak. Do we really want to live in a world where all filters are put down? Just imagine a world of billions of Donald Trumps or Tucker Carlsons or Jim Jordans sharing every passing bit of undigested mental and emotional detritus with the volume dialed way up. Screaming, accusation, and insult would rule.

War is about winning. A culture war is, thus, about the strong killing the conversation and saying there is only one way to think: my way! Those who rage on about the “culture war” do so because they want their audience to see others’ ideas as threatening “enemy” ideas that must be killed.

If we would stop treating the exchange of ideas as a war game to win at all costs, we might learn something (such as why preserving those old patriarchal statues is essential for preserving historical knowledge and why accurate historical knowledge is essential for our shared humanity).

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
2 years ago

Maybe King’s College should rename itself as no doubt some people find its royalist connotations offensive and upsetting…

gmdcurrie
gmdcurrie
2 years ago

(61% of respondents claimed they don’t understand the phases(61% of respondents claimed they don’t understand the phases)

*phrases*?

Last edited 2 years ago by gmdcurrie
Seb Springbett
Seb Springbett
2 years ago

Oh dear, it’s another article from a right wing journalist about ‘woke’.

alistairgorthy
alistairgorthy
2 years ago

Douglas has been using the method of bait and switch his entire journalistic life. Red meat to most of the the cultists in this thread. That people would uncritically liken Columbia U with North Korea! Give me strength.

jizazkn jizazkn
jizazkn jizazkn
2 years ago

Meh, for the “RCR” – Red County Rural, GATHERed [together], Gunned, Gardened, “System-D simplified” and . . . “HOMEschooling”, IGNORED/not “relevant”. Hint, hint, tick-tock.

Last edited 2 years ago by jizazkn jizazkn
Paul N
Paul N
2 years ago

“if you tell people that there is something wrong and oppressive about them because of the colour of their skin, they are likely to take notice”
Failing that, you can tell them that other people are saying that, and they ought to take notice.
In fact, there is nothing inherently oppressive about being ethnically white (or, in Northern Ireland, Protestant, or in Israel, Jewish). Some people may try to create a cultural label and call it “whiteness” and ascribe to it anything from classical enlightenment ideals to the legacy of slavery – but that’s the hobbyhorse of a vanishingly small (albeit vocal) minority.
Of course there are advantages (in a predominantly white society) in being white – or perhaps extra disadvantages in not being – and that’s what is meant by white privilege. But t does not mean that all white people are particularly privileged per se, or even guilty of racism (as the author seems to be suggesting is widely claimed).

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago

the Culture Wars are denied by the Left because they know they report “truth.” Example: I listened to Plotz, Bazelon and Dickerson on the Political Gabfest on Slate. They only read select sources in their bubble, but then make certain pronouncements in defense of the oppressed. They said that they are just now hearing “credible” evidence tab out a “lab leak” in Wuhan. “The Media, “ they say, “could” have made a better attempt to look into this, conveniently excluding themselves from this media. After all, said Bazelon and Dickerson, they themselves weren’t the experts—The Media with Expertise who were reporting on this were the experts they relied on.
Besides, added Bazelon, Trump was spreading “Anti Asian” sentiment and this could in no way be tolerated. And if he had had the evidence, rather than just alluding to having it, “Trump should have” revealed it.
So these very influential folks had been let down by Trump and The Media could be excused for not having done their own research. Hanger all, how credible could this “rumor” be, when delivered by Trump with his “Anti Asian” sentiment?
Well, perhaps Bazelon and co. were let down by believing in Fauci as the expert, and in the letter to The Lancet. Why would they have wondered if there were institutional and financial reasons for these experts to be gilding the lily or deflecting from their involvement? After all, they were not the experts and their media bubble “just” gave the evidence that supported questioning. YET Bazelon and co. could not say what that evidence was, but just that “ there was new evidence” that could be relied on. By whom? They passed this on, authoritatively ( Dickerson is affiliated with Sixty Minutes) because it was bubble approved by “expert” journalists, unnamed.
So there is no “Culture War,” but sources that can be believed by “junior” media who are not the expert media, but believe the expert media, whomever they might be.
It was shocking to hear them defend their gullibility, on the basis that, because it was up to Trump to provide evidence, and because he was such a shocking racist while bringing up this unsubstantiated rumor, that the expert journalists, that their journalism relied upon, could not do their jobs.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
2 years ago

The self-loathing thing has gone on for years. Show me an American or Brit abroad who didn’t go out of their way to snub other expats, because THEY were open and tolerant, unlike others of their kind. Other nations’ students sat together and shared aid and resources, but fewer American and British people succeeded, unless they married or dated their way in to local status.

john.hurley2018
john.hurley2018
2 years ago

Culture wars mentioned in mighty NZ Parliament. But who knows the difference between critical and Critical thinking?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNenpvxrEvs&t=289s

Alexander Ross
Alexander Ross
2 years ago

I live in San Francisco, so there is no chance whatsoever for me to leave my house and not have my path crossed with Leftist loonies.
Quite a different place from when my wife and I bought our house here 22 years ago, and much more dangerous because of the rampant lawbreaking in every “neighborhood.” My “neighbors” insist I am a racist and a heartless cad.
My wife was born here, and all of her family members are here, including her mother, so we stay.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alexander Ross
Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago

Douglas Murray is so good at hitting nails on their heads!
I don’t understand why being woke or otherwise has anything to do with being on the right or on the left in politics. Can someone help me?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago

1.      I’ve read the Guardian article on Botanical Gardens – it makes a good point. They were and are inherently and unconsciously part of a project to show the unique benefit of imperialist expansion in discovering new plants and uses for them. Nothing wrong in putting in a bit of context that these plants had been discovered and used by the original inhabitants of the continents they came from for millennia before the Brits arrived.
2.      White Privilege – the Kings survey reported 82% had heard at least a little about it, 55% a lot about it. Hardly surprising since 22% of all newspaper articles on ‘culture war’ issues referred to Empire, Slavery or Race and Ethnicity and the prominence of racially orientated stories in most of the UK’s press over the last 12 months. Especially around Black Lives Matter. The YouGov survey found 73% to 78% of Britons thought ‘It is important to teach school children about Britain’s colonial history and its role in the slave trade’. Majority awareness of White Privilege and Empire does not mean there is a Culture War – unless you think awareness is a bad thing.
3.      Murray’s claim that the awareness of white privilege is ‘unsurprising but inevitable that if you tell people that there is something wrong and oppressive about them because of the colour of their skin, they are likely to take notice’ is a deliberate misrepresentation of what the term means. The only motivation I can see for Murray for defining the term that way is to stoke racial tensions – to stoke his culture war agenda. Here’s a definition of white privilege: ‘inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice.’ White privilege does not mean there is something wrong or oppressive about people but about a society.
4.      In summary – Murray’s article, which purports to be pointing out that the Culture War isn’t largely a creation of right wing media commentators is actually a good piece of evidence to support the case that it is.

rj5555366
rj5555366
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Here’s a definition of white privilege…. =
Don’t like being a minority, and despite breathing the air for a relatively short while,
think everyone should care about my needs/gripes. Can only imagine how seductive that is to the many grifters and take-what-I-can-get clan, but really?? Is THAT it? What a load of tosh…

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Why use the term White Privilege, when for the most part it is majority privilege. The term White Privilege is clearly designed to create racial tension and the rhetoric of CRT advocates is confrontational, so it is a culture war that the left are waging. In fact, a more accurate term would be Cultural Revolution.
We should educating our children about the horror of past cultural revolutions, some of which are fairly recent and of course the slavery that is still practiced today. It’s much easier for the regressive left to get outraged about statues or street names related to people (that many are not aware of) who died decades or centuries ago from an empire that no longer exists.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Raiment
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You Clone/Clown Joseph Banks collected Samples on Cooks voyages, had Nothing to do with Empire.But mapping Australia and New Zealand to prove ”The Great Southland” existed..Also 1769 Transit of venus in West Indies..Voyages of discovery see JC Beaglehole .Diaries &Maps by captain James Cook

Last edited 2 years ago by Robin Lambert
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Excuse me, but how in the world is Murray guilty of “stoking racial tension” by noticing a term that is racist on its face?
White privilege does not mean there is something wrong or oppressive about people but about a society. Okay, so let’s apply the term to societies that are not majority-white. I don’t see the wokerati clamoring to reach those places. For that matter, I don’t see the non-whites clamoring to return to ancestral homes, either. What I do see is a regular flow of people leaving those places to come to predominantly white nations.
Perhaps the “privilege” has more to do with first-world status than skin color. People come here in order to access things that are not available in their native lands. Japan and South Korea are advanced societies, too, and Asians are very high achievers the world over. Is that also due to privilege?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It’s a term specific to race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice where that racial inequality and injustice is of benefit (on average) to white people. You can argue about whether it’s true or not but it is totally disingenuous to say it is saying all white people are racist or oppressors.
I’ve no idea what racial inequalities or injustices exist in Japan or South Korea. There may well be examples of privilege in those societies relating to race that have nothing to do with white people.
The term ‘white privilege’ is specific to societies where white people have most of the wealth and power and social status and where there are histories of legal and informal systems set up to benefit white people.
Even if you don’t think the theory has any validity – to deliberately misunderstand it as being racist is deliberately stoking racial tension. In fact – creating a ‘culture war’ based on identity politics,

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You can argue about whether it’s true or not but it is totally disingenuous to say it is saying all white people are racist or oppressors.
How so? The term is never offered with caveats or qualifiers; it purposely ignores that majority-white societies have been far more welcoming of immigrants than non-white nations, and that many immigrants have managed to do quite well. Seems unusual for a society that you claim is defined by inequality and injustice.
The term is tossed about 60 years past the civil rights era in the US, long after Jim Crow died and it is used without any sense of irony or self-awareness. It’s tossed about in England where the likes of John Cleese see London but no longer recognize an English city.
The term ‘white privilege’ is specific to societies where white people have most of the wealth and power and social status and where there are histories of legal and informal systems set up to benefit white people. That whites have most of the wealth and power in predominantly white nations is not a surprise. Who holds most of the power and status in non-white countries? This is an awfully selective application of a noxious term.

rj5555366
rj5555366
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“The term ‘white privilege’ is specific to societies where white people have most of the wealth and power and social status and where there are histories of legal and informal systems set up to benefit white people…” in other words as far as European countries go, where white people have always lived & worked. And yes social laws might be more for “us”, such as keeping quiet in a library & queuing (apparently both a Whitey thing) but there’s no laws in this country that are discriminatory and haven’t been for a long while now. Obviously grifters and UK haters (native or otherwise) will rant and rave about it, but “White Privilege” is about a ludicrous as shouting “Arab privilege” in the UAE.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“…it is totally disingenuous to say it is saying all white people are racist or oppressors.”
No it is not. Privilege is defined in critical social justice as systemically conferred dominance by virtue of the social and institutional processes (your legal and informal systems and power) through which the beliefs etc of the dominant group are disseminated and made normal and confer structural advantages on them because they are the dominant group – in this case defined along a race dimension as being white.
These advantages are asserted to be denied to those who cannot access these structural advantages and as such are structurally oppressed by the social and institutional processes of the dominant group, that is ‘white’. The structurally oppressed group are oppressed by the the dominant white group.
It is racist for it does not distinguish by your ‘on average’. Theory does not distinguish in that manner but only via identity groups. It is the group that is the unit of reality in this situation. All individuals of the white group are implicated because they are given the arbitrary characteristics conferred on the white group by theory, to stereotypically distinguish them as dominant. That is racist.
.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Whatever theoretical niceties are spun around it, in its application the notion “white privilege” really does assert all white people are racist or oppressors. On my side of the Pond we have the abomination of black university administrators with doctorates from elite universities lecturing white first generation college students whose ancestors for generations were coal miners or impoverished farmers about how they must “acknowledge their privilege”.
Once you strip away all the jargon, “white privilege” is really the “the-Jews-run-the-world” version of anti-Semitism repurposed to attack a larger target. The structure is identical: a group defined by accident of birth is held to be the source of the world’s miseries for millenia; the group’s success, relative to other groups, is held not to be the result of cultural characteristics that might be worthy of emulation, but of connivance and oppression of others; demands are made that members of the group be subject to social or even legal disabilities; and the more extreme of the advocates of the view come to suggest mass murder as a “solution” to the problem posed by the target group.
As if to make the analogy with anti-Semitism complete, California is even considering a “social justice” curriculum that charges white people generally with “theocide” (an illiteracy, deicide is the correct word), for the destruction of Aztec paganism.