Don’t blame the children of Park Slope and Echo Park for the nonsense. Blame those adults with the power to stop it.
Bari and Peter your FBI file just got noticeably bigger. Congrats. Keep up the good work. See you in the gulag.
It must be nice to be able to shut people down without any debate. Where I came from and when I came from you either had your facts or you didn't. Win, lose or draw you always came away better off and sharper after a debate on the issues of the day. R or D or I we had discussions - some were calm, some were heated but I don't remember anyone getting fired or reported to the boss for thinking or expressing the wrong thoughts.
The retired folks when I was a kid were WW1 vets. The working people were WW2 era people. I'm sure I annoyed the hell out of them with my crazy kiddie utopia crap; but they let me speak my mind and I theirs. What happened? What is the next logical step after you get away with destroying people's lives through cancelling, after you ban books, after you close down the public square, after you actually burn the public square, after you brainwash the youth, after you force people to hide their opinions? Can the camps be far off?
Don't they realize the revolution always eats its own on the way to a utopia that never comes. Don't they realize that civilized society is very fragile - so very fragile? I was taught this by my elders who went through the wars and depression and by reading books that will soon be banned. Don't they realize that utter destruction and dystopia are what awaits them if they continue down this path?
Shame on us for letting it get this far.
What a tour de force of prose!! After just reading the collapse of the Delta CEO to the woke mob about the Georgia election reforms, I was about to throw in the mental towel and give up. This outstanding piece gives me hope that our country has a future. Thanks for sharing, Bari--it literally made my entire day.
Boy this is a great piece of writing. Maybe the best I've read on the hysteria of now. Many of us that can see it would be lost without those who are willing to write about it. I do think it is destined to collapse like a house of cards because it has to, right? The question is, how bad will it get? Are the enablers in government? Biden and Harris seem on board with all of it. This was the week Barack Obama was too controversial to have a school named after him and Biden said nothing. I was accused on Twitter a day or so ago in a really public way and for a minute I had to wrestle with what it would mean to have my business go down because of it. Could I live with it. I decided hat yes I could because nothing would be worse to me than being among those who go along with it. And I agree, the shrieking hoards can't be blamed as they're only doing what every generation does: trying to break things and grow their own world. But it's their elders who are allowing it - and in so doing allowing them to wreck their own lives. Ted Wheeler is your perfect example.
Chilling. I believe over 75% of the US knows what is happening, but is unable - or so they think - to stop it. The vast majority - in the 70% range believe IDs for voters is a good idea. The vast majority - in the 75%+ range, believe in strong borders and LEGAL immigration. The vast majority - probably more than 90% recognize the various forms of racism and yet are aghast at the naked power grabs going on around this issue.
The power is with us, but it will require we do something we've never done before: vote everyone who has been in Congress more than 10 years OUT - NO EXCEPTIONS. Maybe even make that 6 years. Yes, I know that is a massive "brain drain", but it will likely be a massive character infusion. And we need the latter much more than the former right now.
Seems like most of my favorite journalists these days are women: Kim Strassel, Sharyl Atkisson, Bari Weiss, and Mollie Hemingway. She delivers an equally scathing indictment of the media. And Mollie is usually very measured in her words, so the strength of the column in the link below is noteworthy.
We have a poet! Thank you, Peter (and Bari for sharing) this powerful piece.
I think the "True Believers" are more malevolent than implied by this essay. Look at the winners and losers of the scientifically unsupported lockdown: massive transfer of wealth from middle and lower class to the oligarchs. Don't think they weren't aware of this outcome when they set about making the country afraid of a virus from which 99.7%+ of the people are not in danger.
The last paragraph made the hair stand up on my neck. I wonder if people in China felt that way before the cultural revolution reinvented China in Mao’s image.
I bet their assistants do send out those tweets. I am not ready to put up the white flag yet. I do believe there is still a ton of geography between the two polar points. If ever there was a silent majority it is now. This past election was not indicative of anything and it solved nothing.
The fight now - is not on the national political stage. The fight is local. Its in your neighborhood and its with your local BOE if they overstep. For too long we have not been asked to sacrifice anything. If my local school decides to teach my kids CRT I will speak up and I am willing to suffer the consequences - social stigma, whatever, it may be.
What do the woke say - silence is violence ...if that is their position, then there is absolutely no reason to be silent. They will treat you the same. you might as well swing back.
Good article. Also see the WSJ editorial of today "The Woke and Weak CEOs" which makes the same point with more specific examples though not with the same passion. What is needed now is a "manifesto" that the "adults" can assert instead of sad inarticulate grovelling. I think many of the accused (CEOs and others) in question are incapable of formulating the words for their own defense because they have never understood what freedom is based on. We should not wait for the woke to "eat their own". The country will be in terminal disrepair by that time.
I think what I don't understand about the enablers is that the "woke" movement is so clearly Marxist and anti-capitalist - Kendi literally says in "How to be an Antiracist": "Capitalism is racism" - when in fact the opposite is true (or rather, capitalists can be racist, but the free market doesn't care what race you are). So these enablers are sowing the seeds of the destruction of the system which props them up. And history shows that the people in their positions of power are never safe when the revolution comes.
Hear, hear. And we ought to include among the Enablers: the academy, scientists, medical professionals, journals, educators, judges and legislators who have harnessed the pseudoscience of gender ideology into a massive and lucrative child-abuse industry.
In the early 80s when I was a graduate student in a STEM field I had a housemate who was getting her Ph.D. in English. One evening her friends were over, having a spirited discussion of the new ball game in their discipline called "Everything is about power." Is there any room for reason I asked? Nope, it all comes down to power I was told. These were the birthing pains of deconstructionism and the various shades of Critical Theory.
In the mid 90s my friend, who is a professor at a major state university in a social science field, sent me an academic paper of a new hire in his department, detailing sexual practices of the author with his boyfriend. What seemed like soft core gay porn to me was regarded as a serious contribution to scholarship by the prevailing wisdom of his field. Soon the new hire had tenure, and not many years after that he was promoted to dean. I now see that he has made it to some flavor of provost at this same university.
I bring up these anecdotes to make a few points. First, those who many call "woke" played the long game and played it well. They methodically extended their reach throughout all echelons of academia and beyond, over nearly a half century. You have to admire their discipline, but also credit their shrewdness for banking, correctly as it turns out, on the spinelessness of those who should have stood up for liberal, Western values but refused to do so. This is a story with many unfortunate parallels in history that needs insightful telling.
Second, I'm afraid that turning back the tide is going to be harder, and take a longer, than what it took for wokism to prevail. A weakness of the liberal tradition is its willingness to entertain bold, new ideas with little discernment. Liberal academics, who hate being seen as repressive, let the critical theory curiosity have it run even if they (silently) didn't agree with it. Give them tenure, make them deans. The smorgasbord of ideas and all that: what could it hurt? But if case you haven't noticed, woke academics aren't much inclined to reciprocity. Those who want to right the ship back to a liberal tradition won't be able follow in the same historical footsteps. To put it plainly, it really is fundamentally broken.
My pessimism is tempered by knowing that historical trajectories are somewhat unpredictable. Although I don't see what the forces are that will turn things around, and most likely not in my lifetime, I am confident that they will emerge. I regret belonging to a generation that didn't see preserving liberal values as a hill worth dying on. It's now mainly a fight for those in their twenties through fifties. If they fight with the same perseverance as the enemies of freedom did, they might see some victories by the time they get old.
Interesting article. The author should have pointed out that the True Believers and their enablers have forgotten history - they can only go so far before all hell breaks loose and people die.
Peter Savodnik--What a wonderful blast of fresh air in the fetid stench of woke culture. I know somewhere Irwin is smiling broadly with justifiable pride. Marilyn, too. Keep up the courageous work.
Bari, thank you for your cojones, too. You were and are way too good for the despicable Communist New York Times.
May you both persevere and prevail with your reality-oriented assessments and explanations.
Oh my, I too was blown away by this essay. It's appropriate I read it shorty after the now oh so woke MLB decided to move their All Star game out of GA. Another sport I used to enjoy will now reside in my trash bin(say hi to Disney Plus and Netflix down there) Somehow , I still have a bit of hope for America as it appears more and more folks are fighting back(to wit this wonderful site, Bari) And last, but not least, I learned what Procrustean Bed means :)
@BariWeiss, thank you for the great writing. You have a decent size audience - it would be great if you could give us and action item at the end of each article - be it a petition to sign, a legislation to support or oppose, and organization to explore, or a cause to support. Thank you