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Politics: Why Young People Become Woker And Woker: A Cultural

POLITICS: Why young people become woker and woker: A cultural emergency

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We are in a cultural emergency. Future generations are unlikely to value freedom and reason as we do.

Regardless of your stance on Israel-Palestine, the campus protests since Oct. 7 have revealed a dark side to our dominant left-liberal ideology, with its emphasis on ‘be kind’ humanitarianism and equal representation. 

In my book “The Third Awokening: A 12-Point Plan for Rolling Back Progressive Extremism,” I argue that bleeding-heart liberals, not cultural Marxist radicals, are largely responsible for the woke cultural revolution.

When the complexity of the world is collapsed into a totalizing black and white morality play pitting the “kind” minority against the unkind majority, the former are romanticized, the latter dehumanized.

Eric Kaufman’s new book explains how we can reverse the tide and impact of encroaching woke culture.

Whites are mean, “people of color” nice.

Progressives who view the world through this lens perceive Jews as white villains, Palestinians as minority victims.

These cultural reflexes are especially strong among young Americans, who lack the vestigial patriotism and grounding in free speech that checks progressive extremism among older liberal Americans.

Those who content themselves with the comforting belief that we have reached peak woke and will soon return to classical liberalism need to think again.

The retreat of senior liberals at the The New York Times or Meta from the excesses of cancel culture and the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) agenda cannot halt generational turnover.

The campus protests to support Palestine have revealed the deep intolerance and aggression inherent within woke ideologies. ZUMAPRESS.com
The campus protests since Oct. 7 have revealed a dark side to our dominant left-liberal ideology, reports Eric Kaufmann. Jacob Lund – stock.adobe.com

Woke may not be able to triumph just yet, but, one funeral and one hire at a time, it is on course to prevail.

Consider that a Harvard-Harris poll finds nearly half of Zoomers support Hamas over Israel while a Skeptic Research Center survey finds that a similar share believe “the Israeli government advocates for white supremacy.”

Among older people, the share who agree is in low single digits, exposing a massive generational canyon. 

This youthquake is taking place across the West.

I find that British 18-25-year-olds split evenly over whether J.K. Rowling — who thinks a biological male is not a woman — should be dropped by her publisher while fewer than five percent of those over 50 do.

Progressive illiberalism may be less fashionable in the boardrooms of 2024 than it was in 2020, but its writ will likely run through them in 2044.

As Kaufman sees it, conservative priorities must reorient away from economics and foreign policy toward the reform of cultural institutions. Ian McIlgorm

We should not lull ourselves into the comforting conceit that the kids will grow out of woke.

If the rise of secularism is any indication, the young can readily serve as the shock troops of a new order, leading society toward transformative value change.

Detailed analysis of five decades of survey data by Dennis Chong and his California political-science colleagues shows that young people as recently as the early 2000s were much more tolerant of speech that might offend a sensitive member of a minority group than their Gen-Z counterparts are today. 

College-educated youth, the leaders of tomorrow, are now more likely than young people with just a high school diploma to believe in moral absolutism, overturning decades of prior research. \

The belief — especially among young women — that sensitivity to minorities is more important than free speech, truth or merit is likely to be sticky across the life course.

Legacy mainstream media organizations like The New York Times have seen their senior leadership replaced by younger, woker newcomers. Paul Martinka

Where do they catch these mind viruses? Social media, especially TikTok, is important, but so are the nation’s schools.

Research I conducted with Zach Goldberg for the Manhattan Institute on a national sample of 1,500 18-20 year-olds shows that 72% of young people who reported being taught five or more critical race theory (CRT) ideas at school agreed that they sometimes think ‘White people are racist and mean’ because of the way black people have been treated.

This is nearly double the level found among youth with no CRT exposure.

The share who endorse racial preferences for blacks in hiring and promotion doubles with heavy CRT exposure while the proportion who say the US is built on stolen land spikes from 44- to 73%.

Progressive education is transforming the political loyalties of young Americans.

Zach Goldberg of the Manhattan Institute conducted research on young people which revealed negative views of the ways white people treat black people.

Thus a young person with a Republican mother taught no critical race or gender ideas leans 61% Republican, while those with a Republican mother exposed to six or more CSJ ideas in school are just 25% Republican.

What can be done to defuse this ticking generational time bomb? GOP leaders must find the stamina to take on the education establishment and win.

They need to insist on removing political bias from the classroom while compelling schools to strictly adhere to ideologically-neutral messaging.

The crimes of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot should be brought to life alongside those of Hitler and the Jim Crow regime.

When it comes to the culture, we need to win hearts, not just arguments.

Author JK Rowling was targeted by the woke crowd for her traditionalist views on gender. Doug Peters/PA Images/INSTARimages.com

This effort requires a major reallocation of political capital.

Conservative priorities must reorient away from economics and foreign policy toward the reform of cultural institutions.

This means state and federal politicians who are weak on these issues or prepared to sacrifice them to vested interests must be primaried out.

The hour is late.

Only a laser-like focus on reforming schools can avert our slow-motion civilizational train wreck.

Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at the University of Buckingham and author of the new book “The Third Awokening: A 12 Point Plan for Rolling Back Progressive Extremism.”



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