Fight Against Woke (2021 Dec)

by Barry A. Liebling

A malignant and omni-present theme in American culture today is the quasi-religious doctrine of woke. It is being pushed in most educational settings (from K-12 through graduate school), in the largest most powerful businesses (look at Fortune 500 companies), and in civic organizations (Boy Scouts of America is now onboard).

Institutions are paying outside consultants and are recruiting human resources professionals to convince everyone (or coerce those who do not submit) to be woke. The main objective is to turn people against one another based on ethnicity and demographic traits. If you are designated by the woke clerisy as “oppressed” (some combination of not-white, not-male, not-straight, and more to come) you are supposed to despise those who the woke bosses label “oppressors” (the worst being straight white males, and the list continues to expand). A central tenet of woke dogma is that all things wrong in the world are due to the existence of “oppressors.”

If you are designated an oppressor you should learn to be ashamed of yourself. If you object to being labeled an oppressor and resist the woke demands, that is (in the world of woke) irrefutable proof of your guilt. However, you can partially redeem yourself by becoming an “Ally” which means dedicating your life to denigrating, insulting, and attacking all fellow oppressors in your assigned category, subordinating yourself to the directives of woke experts, and publicly expressing self-loathing.

Mentally healthy people are repelled by woke culture. They correctly recognize it as advocating a malicious disposition, the destruction of human flourishing, and the repudiation of rationality. But realizing that a perverse social movement is wrong is not sufficient. Good people have to come forward and fight back.

Start by recognizing that wokeness is anti-thought. It perverts language and pushes a vocabulary that contradicts what is logical and correct. Normal people know that “racist” is an insult because it describes a person that judges others according to skin color and ethnicity. Genuine racism is obviously and universally wrong. But in the woke world only white people can be racist (and always are) because they have “power” and are smeared as oppressors. Recently, the term “racist” has been displaced in woke circles with “white supremacist” because it points the falsely accusing finger more viciously.

And the fallacious definitions used by wokesters is only the beginning of their language abuse. They do not even employ their own flawed terminology consistently. Observe that well-known liberty-advocating intellectuals such as Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and Larry Elder are tarred with the “white supremacist” label. So what might appear to be an insult about race is more fundamentally a way for woke people to convey, “I don’t like this person.”

How should you respond to woke demands for compliance? This is a difficult question. Ideally, you should just say “no” and assert that the only proper way to judge and treat people is as individuals – one at a time. That rules out any collectivist assertions such as “all people in this demographic category are good, or all are bad.” While it may come with a high cost, embracing the best thinking of the Enlightenment and standing up for individualism and liberty is the correct path. Note well that opposing the woke movement is not enough. You also have to articulate or reference the correct way for people to act.

Real life is often complicated. What if you work in a business, or educational institution, or civic organization and you are required to take classes that push the woke agenda? If you refuse to participate outright you might get punished or terminated. Some people calculate that they can publicly and overtly defy the woke dictators. They do not fear losing their jobs.

However, many people feel trapped. They despise the forced indoctrination that is equivalent to “cultural revolution struggle sessions,” but they do not dare give up their livelihood. They should take a lesson from history and engage in sabotage.

Take stock of your peers at work. Look for signs that they are as repelled by the poisonous woke programs as you are. You can meet privately and share your thoughts. Spend time finding others who see the problem and yearn for a solution. Your secret conversations will be mutually reinforcing, and you will discover ways to undermine, oppose, and derail malicious woke actions. The more people you recruit, the easier it will be to find others who are sympathetic to the cause of liberty.

Sometimes jokes are an effective way of reminding everyone that things are not right. In the old Soviet Union disgruntled employees sometimes quipped, “we pretend to work and the bosses pretend to pay us.” In the new woke America there are myriad opportunities to ridicule the malevolent directives of the politburo. You might say, “I am searching to discover more crimes that were committed before I was born so I can wallow in the pleasure of feeling guilty.” A sarcastic expression might catch on and encourage others to oppose the woke rulers.

Often you will see no easy way to stop woke policies. Orders might originate from top management to punish the “oppressors” as part of your job and ostentatiously kowtow to the designated “oppressed.” If you cannot resist directly without being terminated you still have options. There is a long tradition of rebellious workers engaging in passive aggression. If there is an odious policy you can slow things down. When there is an opportunity to make an innocent error that undermines woke policy – go for it. If there is a timeline, be sure to move like a snail and procrastinate as long as possible. Do not run or walk if you can crawl. This will be increasingly effective as you recruit more secret accomplices who want to overthrow the tyranny of wokeism.

Be encouraged. In the long run freedom will prevail over the woke monstrosity – if people who think properly decide to act. We have a lot of work to do.

*** See other entries at in “Monthly Columns.” ***

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