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The paranoid fantasy world of the anti-woke I don’t support Republicans but crowd

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Sometimes when a movie that was a big hit 30 years ago gets re-made, the studio gives it a different title than the original, so it’s not technically a remake, but really it still is.

“Woke” as an adjective and “cancel culture” are each just “political correctness” rebranded for the social media generation. And, just as in the case of the original release, the bitching and moaning of the I’m a Lifelong Democrat/ Liberal/Democratic Socialist/Classical Liberal/Gay Oxbridge Conservative Who Likes to Smoke Weed But This is Going Too Far crowd is exactly as ridiculous, and for the same reasons.

Those reasons are:

(1) The claim that there’s some monolithic leftist [sic] political orthodoxy that’s taken over all of America’s elite cultural institutions is either a brazen lie or a paranoid fantasy. For one super-obvious thing, you can look at any highbrow or middle brow non-conservative publication and find a million and one criticisms of the excesses of DEI rhetoric and methods.

I mean this claim is so absurd that it ought to be instantly self-refuting — especially when the people making it are making it (over and over again) in the exact same places where they claim it’s just impossible to utter such words any more, because of the neo-Maoist orthodoxy that’s supposedly enforced in these very places.

(2) Specific examples of people actually having something bad happen to them because of this supposed monolith of woke/cancel culture/politically correct ideology are extremely rare. This is a country of 335 million-odd people, but it’s not exactly a coincidence that the David Shor saga keeps getting featured in the anti-woke screeds. That’s because it’s just about the only such incident that actually does seem to fit what in the brazen lie/paranoid fantasy version of America claims is happening every day in our elite institutions: People losing their jobs simply because they dared to question the Woke Orthodoxy and its accompanying mob.

The other “incidents” that get used to illustrate the grip of woke totalitarianism are inevitably things like somebody called me a racist on Twitter, and/or I quit my high-profile media job and flounced off to Substack because they turned me into a newt, and/or somebody called me sexist on Instagram, and/or some dumbass administrator asked me to apologize for my supposedly racist email I said no and then guess what nothing happened to me etc. etc. etc.

This is just classic moral panic stuff in other words. A lot of white people who don’t want to identify as supporters of ethno-nationalist authoritarianism aka the Cult of Trump, are in fact providing aid and comfort to that movement by constantly shrieking hyperbolic nonsense about how you can’t even criticize the Leftist Orthodoxy any more, when it turns out the Leftist Orthodoxy isn’t a literal Gulag but rather an email for HR that made said white people slightly uncomfortable for five minutes because it used some hackneyed DEI language. That’s their version of Room 101.

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