Like many new religions, Wokeism is characterized by intolerance
In the final days of the First World War, exhausted Canadian soldiers made a curious discovery. When viewing German soldiers captured or killed in a late-1918 confrontation, they noticed the regimental badges of many German army units were mixed in with the unit they’d just confronted.
This told them that the Germans were at the end of their resources, throwing together soldiers from whatever units they still had left. They were desperate to hold back the inevitable defeat. Indeed, the Canadian soldiers were correct. Within weeks the Germans sued for an Armistice, ending the slaughter.
Is the same happening in the victimhood culture of modern society?
When some future historian gets around to writing the current version of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, will they observe the obsession over trans-rights as being peak hysteria for early 21st-century society? Will they ask, “Is that all there was?”
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Having gone through victim status for women’s rights, gay rights, indigenous rights, Asian rights, immigrant rights and climate rights over the past two decades, radical social engineers seemingly only have trans-rights left in their chamber to create moral panics.
While earlier manufactured victim crises could claim 51 per cent of the population (women) down to five per cent (LGBTQ), trans people represent an estimated 1.6 million people in the U.S. (0.04 per cent).
Even allowing that the obsessive spotlight on the issue has boosted numbers in the impressionable 13 to 17-year-old group, we are looking at a rounding-error segment of the population claiming grievance status. But you wouldn’t have any idea of the marginality of this community if you watched the current media cycle. Trans stories dominate the headlines.
The latest cause célèbre? A trans woman murdering children and staff at a Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee – all the while the trans lobby claims the shooter as a victim.
Which comes as a surprise to most middle-class citizens who haven’t been aware of trans people – or their own hatred for them – until informed by media outlets such as CBC, PBS or the New York Times (which just published an open letter from 1,000 writers, authors, and journalists demanding that it not report on problems with prescribing gender dysphoric children puberty blockers.)
How hysterical? Here’s career radical poseur Jane Fonda suggesting on The View that Christians who refuse to wear the Trans ribbon should be “murdered”. While her panel pals hastened to suggest she was simply joshing, a glib Fonda shrugs, raises an eyebrow and lets everyone know by her silence exactly what she’s thinking.
Then there’s a Michigan professor who wants murder over mediation.” I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down,” said Wayne State endowed chair holder Steve Shaviro. “When right-wing groups invite such speakers to campus, it is precisely because they want to provoke an incident that discredits the left, and gives more publicity and validation to these reprehensible views than they could otherwise attain.”
Look, every movement has its loonies. (Witness TrumpWorld.) But the percentage of progressives who have suddenly gone from “I love RuPaul” to deciding trans rights is a hillside for them to die on is stunning. But such is the nature of modern hysterics. The Salem Witch Trials were generated by Christian fervour; the current fervour is driven by secular liberals casting about for quasi-religious meaning.
Citing new WSJ/ NORC polling showing a cratering of public trust in a number of categories since 2019, author Michael Shellenberger notes:
“The evidence is now overwhelming that recent panics around climate, race, and sex – the mass desire to conform to a strict moral (Woke) code – stem from a) the acute need of liberal secular people for purpose, b) rising loneliness, and c) mass anxiety created by social media …” …“Like many new religions, Wokeism is characterized by intolerance.”
Witness the current disproportionate furore over a tiny number of NHL players refusing to wear Pride jerseys. Or the elite panic that spawned censorship of revered authors such as Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and Agatha Christie, whose work is now butchered after their deaths.
While Woke media pounds its drum over right-wing indoctrination and its incipient violence, psychology Professor Sam Vaknin says, “The potential for aggression and even violence in victimhood movements is much larger than in the general public.”
That is worrisome in a society where virtually everyone now thinks they belong to a victim group that needs reparations from the rest of that society.
Finally, the Gibbon of this age will likely come to the conclusion that none of these tempests really have anything to do with their putative grievances. Rather they are the useful mechanisms by which totalitarians are trying to remake every aspect of society. Not unlike the effort attempted by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Like today’s radicals, they sought to change human nature. If it took a million dead, it was a price they felt worth paying. Don’t underestimate today’s radicals if given the chance to demonize. If only they could seize the guns.
Bruce Dowbiggin is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the eighth best professional hockey book by bookauthority.org. His 2004 book Money Players was voted seventh best.
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