Deconstructing the "Woke World": Desperation, Design, and Dementia, by Alan Sabrosky - The Unz Review
Part I of "America's Endgame"
Here is a land full of power and glory…. Her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom, Her glory shall rest on us all. (American folk song c. 2002)
The United States depicted in that song and the Eurocentric West are undergoing an unprecedented assault from the Left on their histories, traditions, cultures, societies and very races. All are at risk, in varying degrees. Ironically, only Russia and some of the former communist countries in Eastern Europe are offering much resistance – the more tolerant West is not. Many do not take this seriously, seeing it only as a passing tempest that they can ride out, until the elections of 2022 and 2024 reverse things in our favor.
They are wrong, perhaps fatally so. What I have chosen to call the “Woke World” – an amalgam of radical and supposedly “progressive” left-wing political parties and factions, “cultural Marxists” concentrated in academe and the media, and “social justice warriors” (SJW)” pushing a never-ending stream of racial, gender and social demands in the name of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” This is the de facto mantra of its primary political vehicle, the Democrat Party and its minions, in the U.S. today- and i9s shred at the highest levels, oddly enough, in the U.S. Marine Corps. Not surprisingly, given their affinity for revolution everywhere except Israel in recent centuries, left-wing Jews are often in the forefront of these movements. Although political opportunists, black militants and multi-gender or trans-gender activists and simple grifters are also prominent.
The result is a truly cross-national revolutionary situation, an assault by cultural Huns (with apologies to the comparatively decent historical Huns) on civilizations that – while far from perfect – made the modern world largely what it is today. There are many different attempts to understand what is taking place, and why, and what it will all mean if what the “wokesters” want comes to pass. There are also variations in what different countries are experiencing. I am going to try here to cut through this particular Gordian Knot in order to understand how this all came about – at least in the U.S. – and what those of us who oppose this onslaught might be able to do to first contain and then repel the beast within.
Whence Came These Wokesters?
Hell hath no fury like a frustrated idealist, next to whom the proverbial scorned woman is milk and honey personified. No rapacious conqueror in history ever wrought such violence upon their own land and people as someone who genuinely believed they were pursuing a greater good for all, or at least justice for those in need. Idealists have proved time and time again throughout history that they – and those professing to act in their name – were not only willing to inflict unprecedented death and destruction on others abroad. They were also prepared to wade in fire and blood at home to achieve their goals, always couched in the loftiest and most unselfish terms.
The Path to Desperation
Ironically enough, the group most prominent here began with genuinely admirable ideals: these are the civil rights activists who pressed for genuine equality for blacks (Negroes in those days) in the era of segregation, and later others (notably Hispanics) as well. Most – perhaps all, absent some inevitable “con artists” in their ranks – genuinely believed at the time that if blacks throughout the country had an equal opportunity to work, get an education, vote and hold elective office, they would show themselves fully capable of participating in the best of the “American Dream” with others as equals.
This belief was at the core of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he called for his children (I paraphrase) to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skins. It led to the Civil Rights Act (1964), the Voting Rights Act (1965) and the ever-burgeoning array of welfare programs in the name of the Great Society (1966-67) and afterwards. Then the mantra was Equal Opportunity – and yes, I am aware of the partisan (Democrat) political elements in all of them.
Things did not go well for the true believers of the civil rights movement almost from the very beginning. There was a great deal of resistance to the implementation of these laws throughout the country, not just where segregation had existed, reinforced by the widespread black urban rioting in the 1960s. Where blacks moved into a neighborhood, school or city, most others –whites, Asians and Latinos, whatever – left if they could. Even worse (for them), blacks consistently scored lower on virtually every test for every purpose than all other groups – again throughout the country, including states without de facto or de jure segregation.
This was the first major fracture in the civil rights movement’s belief system: individual exceptions notwithstanding, Equal Opportunity simply did not work for blacks as a definable group anywhere. So this was explained away by the legacy of slavery (gone then over a century), segregation (still largely in place in many states in the South and some cities elsewhere) and ongoing racism (something of a catch-all explanation of last resort).
To compensate for this, a growing array of preferential programs for blacks was put in place (in varying degrees in different places) – “Affirmative Action,” forced busing of students for public school integration, minority set-asides, goals (which meant quotas) for black enrollment and hiring, and so forth, all overseen by the Federal government and its agencies. This, most civil rights activists believed, would resolve what they saw to be a transitional situation, after which these preferential programs and policies could be phased out.
That time never came, and has not yet today. By the late 1980s, it was obvious to all but some truly blind civil rights fanatics that without preferential programs, blacks in general would fail to compete (except in some sports) on anything approaching an equal basis with Asians, whites and most Latinos, in that order. Many liberals and black leaders spoke darkly of “color draining out” if preferential programs were phased out – the fact that Asians did not seem to have this problem, and did better than whites in most areas, was simply ignored.
Civil rights activists were mostly not blind to what was happening, but they refused to discard or even modify significantly their core belief that all races are inherently equal. They rejected any suggestions based on black behavior, here and abroad to the contrary, no matter what the empirical evidence. They bewailed the persistence of racism, never understanding that while (a) therewas then and remains now a great deal of mostly unexpressed dislike of blacks among all other races; but (b) much of it – perhaps almost all these days – is due to high rates of black criminality and visible irresponsibility, plus the observable decline of neighborhoods,schools and cities everywhere blacks become a majority or even a significant minority. Once-thriving cities like Detroit and Baltimore, or neighborhoods like Chicago’s South Side and Watts in Los Angeles, as well as their counterparts everywhere, are stark testimony to this phenomenon, despite strenuous efforts by the “news” and entertainment media to conceal it as much as possible.
As the decades rolled on, it became glaringly apparent to almost all of the civil rights activists – most of them Democrats, whatever their race – that there was both good news and bad news on their front. The good news was that a substantial number of blacks – estimates ranged from 30 % to as high as 50% – were measurably doing better in many areas. A black middle class had emerged; blacks were appearing in the professions and in elected and appointed political office; many large and small cities had black or black-majority city governments and law enforcement; and the statutory vestiges of segregation were all but gone. Not surprisingly, given the politics of the activists and the original proponents of the civil rights and welfare legislation, upwards of 90% of blacks were registered (or voted) Democrat. Interestingly enough, the “best and brightest” – of which there are a good number – gravitated toward conservatism and thus the Republican party. Democrats by and large got whatever was left over – they had the numbers but not the quality.
If the good news was reassuring to the civil rights activists, the bad news was cause for desperation and despair. Half or more of black America were on perpetual life support from preferential government-enforced programs, and welfare. Absent both, it was widely believed – or feared – that most would sink back to the 1960s levels. If not lower. Black-run cities, especially large urban areas, were reliably Democrat, but they were socioeconomic disasters in every sense – and no one knew what to do about it.
Worse, black crime rates stayed high as the black family disintegrated – at least 70% of black children were born to single mothers; “home” consisted of her, usually multiple children by multiple males, plus whatever boyfriend was in residence; and the subculture of the neighborhood – the “hood” – can only be described as demented. (Having lived in a black-majority neighborhood in a black-majority city for the last 27 years, I know whereof I speak.) This portended a continuation or worsening of the problem with little prospect of significant improvement. Civil rights activists and their liberal political allies had pounded the square peg of black reality into the round hole of genuine equality for decades, and done great damage both to the black community and to American society.
Desperation Meets Design
Into this morass of once-high hopes and dashed expectations came an assembly of largely white, largely Jewish-led radicals – most if not all professing (if not practicing) some form of Marxism. These are the people we call today “cultural Marxists,” although they can no longer be separated out from the others in their broad coalition, and few are Marxists in the classical sense.
They are the intellectual and political heirs of the early Communists, and share many of their tenets – including the need for revolution rather than reform to bring about systemic change in capitalist systems, creating a new (and presumably better) order out of chaos and ruin. They are the direct political and ideological descendants of the 1960s radicals – mostly originating on a handful of prestigious campuses – who formed the core of the antiwar movement during the days of the Vietnam conflict. When their anticipated revolution failed to take place, they mostly went – not so much underground, as out of the public eye – on campuses, and began their organizing and proselytizing there. But they were few in number, had few converts (including however at least two very important ones, Barack and Michelle Obama), and little hope of more.
In what has to be one of the oddest political and ideological marriages of convenience in history, desperate civil rights activists and designing radical cultural Marxists found what each needed in the other. Later black militants, left-wingers who coalesced in Antifa, and an assortment of LGBTQ (I forget the rest of the characters in this gender goulash) joined in – tentatively at first, then enthusiastically, finding common cause with the original allies. And it has the potential to break what remains of the once-proud and confident American constitutional order and to shatter the surviving remnants of the “American Dream” beyond repair.
Now, the association of black militants and Marxist revolutionaries goes back at least to the days of W.E.B. DuBois, but generally they were on parallel paths rather than overt allies. A few made headlines professing their adherence to Marxism in the 1960s or in their more militant days – Angela Davis and her Jewish mentor, Herbert Marcuse, come to mind – but there never seemed to be any great attraction to it. From the pre-Civil War days of Frederick Douglass onward, black and white civil rights leaders alike almost all wanted blacks to succeed within the American system, not to bring it down.
That gradually changed once it became glaringly obvious that without a sea change in their agenda, the dreams of the civil rights movement for blacks – and largely for blacks alone, however much they wanted to include Hispanics – would never be realized. For their part, the self-professed Marxist revolutionaries had come to realize that without some significant change in their fortunes, they were consigned to the margins of the political system, plus the odd academic appointments. Neither group was willing to see that happen to them.
The de facto bonding of the two gave each of them something they needed. The civil rights activists, whose power base was the Democrat Party, got both an explanation for their setbacks in the amorphous concept of an undefinable “systemic racism” predicated on “white supremacy” so deeply entrenched in the American culture that mere social programs and legislation could not overcome it, and a plan of action for moving ahead. The neo-Marxists got numbers for the first time in their history in America – Lord, did they get numbers! – to carry out their agenda, plus legitimacy and access to power beyond their wildest dreams. Moreover, and most importantly, they now had a path to real power through their manipulation and virtual control of the Democrat Party itself – which moved left on the political spectrum so much that there was little if any overlap with moderate Republicans at the wings. To appreciate just how far it moved, we should understand that previous Democrat presidents like Harry Truman and John Kennedy would have no place whatsoever in today’s Democrat Party. Therein lies an unspeakable tragedy.
The Democrat Dementia
It is difficult to pin-point exactly when this began to flower, but I expect it occurred sometime in the 1990s when the implosion of the USSR and the breakup of the Warsaw Pact lowered our guard at the same time it laid the groundwork for America’s own renewed imperial drive in the name of “American exceptionalism.” Nor can I find any indication that there was some over-arching “master plan” being put into effect except in the most general sense. There was a growing penetration of the academic, communications and legal communities by leftists – not simply liberals, but leftists who viewed liberals with disdain – that extended over the years down into local media outlets, schools and school boards, and both unions and corporations through their Human Resources or EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) offices. All began, at different times and paces, to push increasingly radical programs, most of them coalescing under the blatantly anti-white “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) and the increasingly bizarre “transgender – gender identity” social sewer that makes mere Marxist or fascist “true believers” seem positively open-minded and reasonable.
From there (perhaps concurrently? I cannot tell for certain) it branched out into the Federal civil service and then the armed forces, especially the service academies. And since the majority of new officers in the armed forces come not from the academies or the ranks, but from the various ROTC units on campus, newly commissioned officers from that source were increasingly exposed to the same orientation that pushed their classmates leftwards – moderated slightly by a predisposition to serve at least a few years in uniform. This is also good Marxist technique: One might note that the first significant revolutionary uprisings in Germany and Russia at the end of World War I occurred with mutinies in their fleets, and spread quickly from there.
What we can say is that this dementia reached its plateau – one might say launch pad – during Obama’s second term. His first was not a joy, but it was still pretty much “politics as usual.” But so much bad come to a head in his second term it is difficult to overstate its significance, because for the very first time key radical efforts were endorsed directly or obliquely by a sitting President. It is important to understand that his and his wife’s (Michelle is actually far more radical) intellectual and spiritual mentors, so to speak, were a panorama of Marxists, race-obsessed anti-American or anti-white black preachers or activists, and assorted left-wing radicals – all kept largely from public scrutiny by an obliging media.
Did Barack Obama believe any of it, or was he simply an opportunist? We may never know for certain, but actions do speak louder than words, and his actions (especially after 2014) set the stage for the dystopian future looming before us. Different things stand out for different people, but for me, something that happened at West Point late in his presidency tells the tale. A group of graduating Army cadets – all black females – were photographed in uniform giving the “black power” clenched fist salute. These cadets were not punished, they received their commissions and went into the active Army. These and those like them are among the officers leading our troops today – and there are more than a few like them in the other services as well.
Dementia as the Left’s “New Normal”
It would be a grievous error to dismiss all of the brouhaha from the Left generally and Democrats in particular as mere posturing for public effect, or as a transitory phase that will wither away with the passage of time. They are deadly serious. When the Department of Justice considers parents who protest what their children are being force-fed in schools to be “domestic terrorists,” or the Democrat Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives refers to her political opponents as “enemies of the state,” they mean it. Now, I expect most of those at the apex of the Democrat pyramid (encompassing the various radical groups supporting their agenda) know full well what they are doing, and others may understand that they are playing a form of “adult charades” in return for donations and applause. Butmany others are “true believers” in the classic sense – and those who have not done so are encouraged to read Eric Hoffer’s slim book of that name for a real wake-up call.
It is these “true believers” in the Democrat mantra of “diversity, equity and inclusion” everywhere and at any cost that are the real danger. This is because of their numbers and their moral blindness to the consequences of, or their indifference to, the cost of pursuing their goals. If this makes them out to be insane, it is because that is precisely what they are, in a clinical and not in a pejorative sense. Truly dangerous insanity is not always manifested in disoriented or disturbed public behavior (although events such as many of the so-called “Pride” parades and the “Women’s March” with “pussy” hats” come close). It comes from people who look and sound rational – no drooling and the like, thank you very much – but who are broken somehow inside themselves, and whose criterion for what is acceptable is not even discernible to normal people. They appear to us to be deluded, but for them, their delusion is their reality.
Now, mass insanity based on delusion is certainly not unknown in history: political and religious movements abound throughout the ages evincing this characteristic. We often dismiss their thoughts with something like “that’s a crazy idea,” but do not necessarily consider them insane. This is in part because reasonable people are somewhat uncomfortable or even fearful around the truly insane. It also explains in part why the demented “wokesters” and others in the Democrat circus so often go unchallenged: it is something much deeper, and more subconscious, than a simple wish not to engage in a pointless argument, or to be called assorted bad names.
Three things make the adherents of part or all of the Democrat dementia truly insane. First, they display monomania: everything is judged through the prism of race (or “racism”) – society, education, history, culture, and so forth – and by definition everything is found wanting. Second, this is compounded by gender dysphoria (confusion): biology gives way to ideology – if a strapping male with male genitals identifies as a woman, or if a woman thinks she is a man, these people consider it reality – and denying it awakens the mob. Third, there is a lemming-like suicidal compulsion: while there is for some an element of opportunity here, for white people who align with this movement, they are cooperating in the death of their own culture and probably their race. If individual suicide is the ultimate in personal self-destructiveness, how much greater is willing the destruction of one’s own culture and race? Even societies which accepted individual suicide would find the notion of promoting racial and cultural self-destruction to be utterly abhorrent – doubly so ours and other Western countries today.
So Here We Are
So much has been written about 2020 and the past 18 months since the Biden-Harris – well, I cannot call it an administration, I guess the best I can do is label it a Democrat freak show on steroids – took office. I’ll not add to that discussion here. Let me merely say that without the combination of desperation, design and dementia I have described here, I doubt seriously if any of it would have come to pass, faux pandemic or a real one, or not. Even with it, a president in 2020 who walked as decisively and as well as he talked might have averted it – that is something we will never know.
But 2020 was a fork in the road and we took the wrong one, of that I am certain. We are here and now in 2022 with the mid-term elections fast approaching, and we have some very hard choices to make. That is the focus of the second article in this trilogy: “Crucible of Choice.”
Alan Ned Sabrosky (PhD, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran. He served two tours in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division and is a graduate of the US Army War College. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org