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Wokeness is not a social revolution, it is a religion imposed by the ruling class

In 1934, the NYT bureau chief in Berlin reported that he had concluded from conducting interviews that the Jews were actually gaining weight in Nazi concentration camps. He was talking about the concentration camp at Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, where 100,000 people eventually perished.

A couple of months ago, an elderly Asian woman was attacked brutally in broad daylight near Times Square in New York City. The attacker was carrying a knife. He kicked her to the ground, beat her and stomped on her, and shouted anti-Asian slurs. It is the kind of senseless criminal act that would make anyone very angry. In today’s woke environment, so aware of issues of race and gender, there was no way the public would let this slide. Somebody had to be held accountable.

Somebody was. Two doormen who worked in the building next to the sidewalk, who saw the assault but did nothing, were fired from their jobs. Nice.

But wait a second. Crime is surging in New York City, with shootings up over 86% year on year. In late 2019, New York passed a new state law that opened the prisons and brought thousands of criminals out on the streets. The man who assaulted this elderly Asian woman should never have been walking free. He had been convicted of stabbing his own mother to death back in 2002. So why not hold the Governor of New York accountable for this incident as well as the crime surge in general?

Are you kidding me? That’s not how things are supposed to work anymore. The Governor has power. That’s why the woke movement has nothing to say to him. In fact, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been accused of sending Covid patients into nursing homes for the elderly, resulting in thousands of deaths. His aides then admitted to hiding this data from the Federal Government. In addition, the governor has been accused of sexual harassment by at least ten women. Would that be enough for the woke crowd to get him out of office?

Of course not. Governor Andrew Cuomo has power. That’s why he still has a job while those two doormen, likely minimum wage earners, are out on the streets, looking for a new way to feed their families.

As woke culture takes over America and tries to take over the world, pay close attention to who exactly its targets are. In 2010, Joe Biden gave a touching eulogy at the funeral of Senator Robert Byrd, an ex-organizer for the Ku Klux Klan. Sounds like the kind of thing that would get people canceled right away. But Biden isn’t most people. On the other hand, a mid-level TV actor was canceled last month because the internet uncovered that when she was 19 years old in 1999, she had participated in a local pageant that had been started by someone who used to be in the KKK in the late 1800s. They ‘exposed’ her by pulling out the original newspaper article from the year 1878. And to think she almost got away with being such a racist! Thank goodness for the internet vigilantes, right?

The defenders of woke culture argue that this is just accountability culture. Like the anti-colonial movements, the civil rights movements, the old feminist movement or the gay rights movement, they say they are in the business of making the world better. But if they were fighting systemic injustice, wouldn’t they start by challenging the most powerful instead of digging up ten year old tweets of everyday people?

If we want to dig up the past, why not talk about the role of the New York Times in covering up the holocaust? In 1934, the NYT bureau chief in Berlin reported that he had concluded from conducting interviews that the Jews were actually gaining weight in Nazi concentration camps. He was talking about the concentration camp at Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, where 100,000 people eventually perished. Is the New York Times cancelled yet? Of course not. Because the New York Times is the vehicle for delivering the fatwas of woke culture to the masses.

We know that Vatican City itself was a gift from Mussolini in return for the Pope legitimizing the Fascist regime. Think about all the allegations of child sexual exploitation against the Catholic Church, from all over the world. Think about the role of the Church in suppressing the rights of women and gay people everywhere. Is the Pope cancelled yet? Of course not. Joe Biden is a devout Catholic. When he became President, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal carried articles hoping that the two men, one a religious authority and the other a temporal one, would lead America and the world to light.

This is what makes woke culture different from the social movements of the past. It comes from above and not below. It does not challenge power, rather it is an instrument of power. Its aim is to keep the little people terrified and in line.

Think about how social movements usually come about. A small group of people, who think ahead of their time, identify injustice and begin to agitate for change. In the beginning, they face frustration and ridicule. But they keep at it, trying to spread awareness. The establishment fights back, trying to resist change. Progress is slow but it happens bit by bit. As they say, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

In contrast, does it ever feel like the woke culture is progressing so fast that you can’t keep up? You think you are up to speed, but then you learn suddenly that a word you said today was already banned as of 18:00 hrs yesterday. You thought ‘mother’ was harmless enough until you learned that you should have said ‘birthing parent’ all along.

Unlike with social movements, the establishment is always one step ahead of you. Big Government and Big Academia manufacture and mandate woke culture much faster than you can learn to use it. Big corporations are much more woke than you are. Does it ever surprise you how corporations which squeeze workers and small businesses, corporations that tore up the third world and bought up politicians in the first world, always seem to care more about people’s sentiments than you do?

But, most importantly, does all of this ever wear you down? Sooner or later, you are bound to realize that the safest course is to shut up altogether, for fear of committing any of the million speech crimes and thought crimes out there? The list grows constantly. The internet lynchmobs pick out random people and make examples out of them. The message is in the randomness. If they went after powerful people, you would not have to worry so much, because you know you are just an average Joe. That’s why they go after ordinary folks, average members of the herd. Today it was some middle class guy in a mid level town a thousand miles away. Tomorrow, it might be you. Better shut up.

Unlike with social movements, the establishment does not resist change. Rather, it is the establishment which prescribes the change. In fact, the establishment is the change. War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength. And the establishment is the change. And the year is 1984.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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