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Rory Hamilton: A Perfect Storm for the ‘Woke’ Revolution

This is an article by Rory Hamilton. Rory is a ship’s pilot and the dad of four teenagers. He has spent the lockdown in close contact with different captains and crews from all over the world. He is a big lockdown sceptic and has had no truck for this incoherent, illogical, authoritarian and cowardly government capitulation to public opinion. He is worried how the woke narrative of the culture war has been portrayed on social media while the schools have been shut.

The clear blue skies above the ski slopes of Northern Italy — Courmayeur Mont Blanc to be exact — in the first week of February gave little indication of being a proverbial calm before a storm. Although my disinclination to wear a ski helmet may have elicited a disapproving frown, there were no face masks in sight. The cloud of a dystopian summer, where masked pub staff serve beer in plastic cups from outside collection points to punters using shrubs for toilets, seemed far beyond any plausible slippery slope.

Yet here we are. Our most basic freedoms have been trammelled. Our rights have been quashed. Children’s education has been suspended. We are compelled to do more and more ridiculous things in our great national game of ‘Let’s pretend that there’s rampant Ebola outside’. It’s like when you were a child and you used to pretend the separations of paving slabs were deadly crevasses. You had to navigate an entire pavement without treading on one to avoid certain death. An occasional childhood game of fantasy has been replaced by the bizarre and ubiquitous spectacle of ‘social distancing’ — or some virtuous attempt to do it. Never mind that millions of people will soon be unemployed, we can’t ruin the great new game of ‘Let’s pretend’.

It is vital that we all keep playing this game. We must, for if we do not, we may question why the Government deprived us of our liberty and changed life as we know it when such drastic actions were wholly disproportionate to the threat that we faced. The media have been complicit in encouraging the mass participation in our new national game. Dissenters have been marginalised and labelled murderers. Questioning of Government policy comes in the form of banal Soviet style controlled opposition where implementation queries are tolerated but not criticism of the actual ‘Lockdown’ policy itself.

The Government and their media enablers have created a textbook ‘moral panic’ — but on steroids. The concept has morphed from the disapproval of mods and rockers in the 60s and 70s to the stasi-esque culture of ratting on neighbours for ‘breaking rules’ and public shaming of transgressors that defines this new authoritarian version. Amidst the confusion of moral panic opportunities abound; Naomi Klein used the concept of the ‘Shock Doctrine’ to argue how neo-Conservatives used crises to smuggle in policy changes that advanced the cause of their ideology. It is at times like these that the ‘Overton window’ — what is acceptable public discourse — is said to shift. But this time it is the neo-Marxists who are making their move. In the chaos of an unprecedented Government intrusion into our private lives, the purveyors of contemporary identity politics are seizing their moment.

It is difficult to state precisely when this divisive new strain of identity politics first emerged but it has been visibly on the march over the last decade and seems to have been accelerating since around 2015. This neo-Marxist ideology — like the original dichotomy between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie — elevates group identity above that of the individual and then uses ‘intersectionality’ to devise a hierarchy of oppression among various groups and sub groups. This hierarchy then shows how power is unfairly distributed among the various groups or intersectional sub groups. One obvious problem here is that the myriad of group identities arising from intersectionality is pretty well infinite. We have race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, culture, and social class as obvious categories. Even among these you could spend days trying to figure out the ways that they could combine or intersect; Then how about intelligence, attractiveness, agreeableness, popularity, sporting prowess, and social status? To say that intersectionality is a political minefield would be putting it mildly.

Notwithstanding this complexity, we can make some basic observations. One might be that the prevailing western narrative clearly places black racial identity above white racial identity in the hierarchy of oppressed groups. The brutal murder of George Floyd encapsulated this narrative through a heinous crime being seen by millions throughout the world. Here was an unarmed member of the black minority (13%) in the USA being murdered by an agent of the state belonging to the white majority (72%). The charge that this showed the police were racist rather than an isolated crime of a rogue cop is extremely serious.

The charge of racist police forces in the USA was addressed by Heather MacDonald in the Wall Street Journal shortly after the crime was committed . However, neo-Marxist ideology posits that individual interpretation is sacrosanct. Subjective feeling trumps objective evidence; who shouts loudest or who has the biggest social media platform prevails. So the widespread police brutality against the gilet jaunes passess relatively unnoticed by UK media outlets and social media but the murder of George Floyd captures the zeitgeist of a burgeoning social justice movement. UK teenagers in thrall to a new cause have taken to the streets to protest in their thousands. The protests provide the backdrop to the collective act which shows solidarity to the cause: taking the knee.

Acts of adherence to a cause, religion or authority have been part of cultures or movements for millennia. The Orwellian image of saluting big brother has been part of the dystopian image of authoritarian regimes in the age of liberal democracy. We have seen new acts ushered in to check on the obedience of the population. The weekly clap for the NHS may have been an innocent ‘thank you’ for some; but for others it appeared dangerously close to cultish ‘group-think’ — elevating an institution of the state to quasi-religious status. Likewise, taking the knee could be seen as an act of solidarity to show outrage against an abhorrent crime, but it doesn’t take a kangaroo leap to see it as an act of acceptance to the strictures of identity politics.

The age of ‘Lockdown’ has emboldened the government to go further than any of its predecessors have done for centuries in eroding our fundamental rights and freedoms. It seems that compulsory mask wearing is not much further down the slippery slope, which will mean no place to hide for dissenters. If the penchant for authoritarianism is not quickly arrested then the neo-Marxists will have a historic opportunity to clamp down on the free speech that acts as a bulwark to their collectivist inclinations. The disapproving scowl for not wearing a ski helmet may soon be a longing memory for the relative freedom and tolerance of a bygone age.

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21 thoughts on “Rory Hamilton: A Perfect Storm for the ‘Woke’ Revolution

  1. I, like you, don’t wear a ski helmet. And I have now stopped wearing a bike helmet, at least when I am enjoying a casual ride around town or through the parks. It has become far more important to me to express my right to be able to take an individual risk, than to worry about the increase in the risk itself.

  2. Great points and very well articulated.

    My sense is that the rise of social media has played a huge part in both the covid hysteria and the identity politics movement. The ability to troll people and post insults from a safe distance allows for discourse that you just would not see in the real world.

  3. Russell: “My sense is that the rise of social media has played a huge part in both the covid hysteria and the identity politics movement. The ability to troll people and post insults from a safe distance allows for discourse that you just would not see in the real world.”

    Definitely. The worst aspects of the woke culture would probably not have developed to the extent they have if we didn’t have social media and the Internet as it is now. Twitter seems to be the worst platform for that stuff.

  4. Steven Wilkinson,
    Good question. At the moment I’m reduced to fighting a rearguard action against megaphone celebrity preaching and superficial memes. I try to encourage critical thinking and an acceptance of different opinions. Social media seems to encourage group think; for example, I know that younger ‘lockdown’ rule breakers have been shamed by their friends.

    Schools (certainly the one my kids go to in Glasgow) seem to push the woke narrative. A parents’ evening will have you fully versed in right on thinking! So parents challenging this orthodoxy would be helpful.

    More comedy pushing back against woke culture would be helpful and some media space for different opinions could facilitate this. Interesting to read of Hector’s idea for a ‘sound’ TV station.

    Lastly, emigration; but where to? All the best

  5. Great piece. All the more tragi-comic when you discover that George Floyd didn’t die from being knelt on, but from a heart condition, had violently resisted arrest and was a serial offender who went to jail for aggravated robbery when he robbed a pregnant black woman and pointed his gun at her belly. BLM and their associated useful idiots have chosen a terrible person to champion their cause. That doesn’t mean Chauvin’s treatment of him was acceptable – that’s an entirely different question requiring proper investgation. But, in common with covid-19, the media and political response has been massively disproportionate and similarly uninterested in the actual facts.

  6. Rory H.: “Schools (certainly the one my kids go to in Glasgow) seem to push the woke narrative.”

    Yes, the Gramscian Long March through the educational system has really paid off for its instigators. The teachers themselves are now mostly the product of a long indoctrination. There was a reason the Israelites had to spend 40 years in the Wilderness after escaping from slavery in Egypt — a whole corrupted generation had to die off and be replaced with progeny who did not think like slaves.

    It is possible to be optimistic about the (long-term) future of the human race — but it will literally take generations to undo the damage that we (yes, us!) allowed to be done to our children through a co-opted educational establishment.

  7. I voted for a conservative government to avoid all this and got a government that is just about the same as a Corbyn government. I apologise to any I criticised for saying Boris would be a crap prime minister.

  8. @Rory
    Good article

    Lockdown was unnecessary and reason for it expanded far beyond initial reason of preventing NHS being swamped. A UK Gov’t wanting to destroy economy and cause misery for all is incomprehensible

    pushing back against woke culture would be helpful and some media space for different opinions could facilitate this

    A beacon is Sky News Aus – opinions banned by BBC, C4, ITV, Sky News UK
    https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyNewsAustralia/videos

    Axed movie and TV titles have become ‘pawns in pathetic gesture politics’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTARuiYH6nA
    – The irony of lefties demanding books be burnt and history rewritten while calling us Nazis
    – As Nigel Farage said, BLM is akin to ISIS

  9. Yes a perfect storm and grasping of opportunity by leftest. Watched in TV, a concerned academic, proclaiming the far right had infiltrated social media with Nazism, & racism. He suggested, those with moral beliefs should we wary of this sort of propaganda. Just another ploy of the far left to perpetuate their narrative. If you keep repeating the message, sooner or later the masses will believe you.

  10. “Notwithstanding this complexity, we can make some basic observations. One might be that prevailing western narrative clearly places black racial identity above white racial identity in the hierarchy of oppressed groups.”

    Another might be that it is simply a FACT that there has been centuries of brutal oppression against black people, and zero oppression of white people as a race. Slavery, lynchings, segregation, redlining – the list goes on. If it’s a “prevailing western narrative”, that’s only because the narrative has finally caught up with the reality. (Well, not YOUR reality, maybe.)

    “the widespread police brutality against the gilet jaunes passess relatively unnoticed by UK media outlets and social media but the murder of George Floyd captures the zeitgeist of a burgeoning social justice movement.”

    Apart from the fact that it was reported by all the UK media – with the Guardian, Independent, New Statesmen and others all running articles about the French police violence against the gilets jaunes. So both false, and false equivalency – which is about par for the course.

    Beyond that, try and wrap your head around this: the gilets jaunes haven’t been subject to centuries of this s**t, because they haven’t existed for centuries. They weren’t enslaved. They weren’t lynched. And there hasn’t been decade after decade of their killing at police hands. Has it even registered with you that the George Floyd isn’t the first unarmed African American to be choked to death by police, while saying “I can’t breathe”, within very recent memory? There were actual f***ing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts after the Eric Garner police killings – and here we are again.

    If les gilet jaunes were an oppressed minority that were brutalized monthly, murdered by police on an ongoing basis, beaten, imprisoned, systemically disadvantaged in every conceivable way, then … maybe your comparison would have a shred of validity, instead of being a poor excuse for another white person to moan about “woke” culture.

  11. The elite narrative is now the Woke narrative. It’s hard to think of an institution in the UK that has not been captured from the top. Academia and the media, obviously, bureaucracy, the courts, the fire brigade, even the RNLI, for goodness’ sake. (I refer to the management, not the rank and file).

    The sight of thousands of protesters trashing statues of national figures, egged on by the city’s mayor and unmolested by the police, is something you would expect from the worst sort of third-world banana republic in the throes of revolution.

  12. Woke of Tunbridge Wells (has to be tongue in cheek!) wrote: “Another might be that it is simply a FACT that there has been centuries of brutal oppression against black people, and zero oppression of white people as a race.”

    It might be helpful for the good people of Tunbridge Wells to read up a little on the history of Ireland. It is absolutely unquestionable that Irish people have been the Niggers of the World, all the way back to their enslavement & transportation at the hands of evil White Scandinavians. And Irish people have black hair too, just like Africans. Irish skins are a little pale, but that is only because they don’t even get their fair share of sunshine.

    Just a word of caution: people from Tunbridge Wells should disguise their English accents when talking with the Irish — there is just a little bit of history there, demonstrating that the Irish are definitely not “white” like people from Tunbridge Wells.

  13. Woke of Tonbridge Wells – I think the point is the woke are being manipulated into focussing on the hierarchy of oppressed rather than the fact the oppression exists. Thereby making them great foot soldiers in the Distraction Ops In the Great War on The Masses.

    A great example in action is the woke and emotive video of the American students racing for 100 dollars – those with white privilege are gieben a head start. Excellent at demonstrating the inequality in our system – compelling in fact – all the while diverting attention from the bigger picture of why do we have a system where we are all competing against each other for the crumbs thrown by the elite in the first place.

  14. @Woke

    Apart from the fact that it was reported by all the UK media – with the Guardian, Independent, New Statesmen and others all running articles about the French police violence against the gilets jaunes. So both false, and false equivalency – which is about par for the course.

    Reported how often and where? Once and buried on web. This for protests still going on after a year. Even DM rarely mention it. Spiked do.

    How about daily RoP riots in Paris week after week? Buried

    Meanwhile Felon Floyd and BLM are daily headline main story news for weeks

    Today, BBC & C4 news classes all protecting statues as Far Right including retired military. C4 News reporter stated as fact “BLM justifiably fighting decades of systemic racism in UK”

    No mention of today’s Antifa & BLM riots

    As FH wrote ‘blacks are turning whites against them and making racial relations worse’

  15. The vast majority of blacks in the US live in metro areas run by Democrats for decades. They could have , at any time, purged their police depts etc of racists, and generally improved the lot of the blacks. They haven’t because the racial tensions are used to create division and fear, the usual tools of control.
    Clearly the medical martial law in those areas created a tinder box situation which has been exploited in a presidential election year. As the UK is completely dominated by US driven social media its unsurprising we have seen the same effects.
    I have posted similar mild thoughts in ToL twice, and on both occasions they were put into hours of moderation limbo before finally emerging. Facts are not welcome in this new normal world.

  16. So we may soon have just ‘a longing memory for the relative freedom and tolerance of a bygone age.’ Much more than that, and much more optimism required, I’d hazard. This overreach by the red fascists is the best thing to happen in years, as it reveals their insanity and violence and provides us with the vision and purpose needed to rebuild and fortify democracy against its leftist and Islamist haters. I thank Trump for doing most to provoke the demons into the open and so allow a mass cultural exorcism to begin. Unlike poor Boris, Trump knows exactly what’s happening, as shown again by his speech at Mt Rushmore last night: “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.”

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