Full width home advertisement

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Douglas Murray On The Dangers Of Woke Ideology, And How We Must Fight Back

 Douglas Murray On The Dangers Of Woke Ideology, And How We Must Fight Back
Douglas Murray.

As the United States plunged into chaos in 2020, an insidious ideology gained sudden strength and popularity. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which ignited protests and riots across the nation, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, have allowed an anti-American, anti-Western movement to flourish.
Members of this ideological movement have called for radical changes to be implemented in order to fight alleged “systemic racism,” and demanded that states “defund the police,” among other things. Leftist rhetoric has heated up to such a degree that some conservatives and Trump supporters have become reluctant to voice their opinions publicly for fear of backlash and social punishment.
In his book, “The Madness of Crowds,” Douglas Murray examines and explains much of what the United States is seeing happen in this very moment – the disintegration of what binds our society together by the woke mob.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Murray about this Leftist ideology.
In the following interview, which you can listen to via SoundCloud or read below, Murray talks about the disappearance of private language and thought, the Leftist attempt to dismantle history, the intellectual shallowness of those who promote these ideas, and much more.
DW: In your book, “The Madness of Crowds,” you say something very interesting about the disappearance of private language. You wrote, “And so we are having to find a way to speak and act online as though we may be speaking and acting in front of everyone – with the knowledge that if we slip up, our error will be accessible everywhere and always.” Do you see this disappearance of private language leading to disappearance of private thought? Will people become so self-conditioned in their person-to-person engagements that it could translate into something more deeply embedded?
MURRAY: Yeah, absolutely. I think we probably all know in our hearts that we’re all going through that ourselves, don’t we? I mean, the danger of making speech as vertiginously dangerous as it has become is that it makes thinking, in particular thinking out loud, almost impossible because the nature of thought is that you try things out. If you try things out, I’d venture to suggest that you don’t always arrive at the best idea first. It’s through interaction with other people, settling disputes, correction of error, and much more that that is possible. Once you make this thing, as you say, that I identify as a disappearance of the divide between public and private language, once you make that happen, you make it impossible for people to try things out, try ideas out.
I think there are lots of dangers from that, but one particularly pertinent one is that I think it means that people stop saying what they think, and they then give surprising, shall we say judgment, whenever they’re allowed to voice their opinion in an anonymous way that is – I’m most obviously referring to the ballot box. When people say, how could X vote have happened? Well, this is how it happens. It happens because you didn’t know what your neighbor thought because you’ve made it impossible for them to say it.
Yes, I think there are an awful lot of dangers that come from that, nevermind the fact that you basically make it impossible to explore truths because truths always contain unpleasantnesses around them, and certainly getting there is always going to contain some unpleasantness.
DW: An alternate version of that would be that people would simply turn inward and their personal beliefs would become sort of bitter. Is that something that bothers you?
MURRAY: It bothers me very much. I’m acutely conscious, to use a term I don’t particularly care for, but for once I’ll use it, I’m acutely conscious of my own privilege in this regard. Some people, some of us, not many, have a career, have a livelihood and are able to say what we think, and that’s an incredibly privileged position to be in. I don’t take it for granted for a moment, not least because I know the number of people who don’t have that very basic right. I do think it’s basic. I think it’s something I would like everyone to be able to have. I’d like us all to be able to say what we think; I’d like us all to be able to try ideas out and to do so with our friends and family and more, but I increasingly know, and I know from readers, how rare that has become and how much our societies in America, Britain, and other Western democracies now rely on people biting their tongue.
Some people mix these things up. Some people say, that’s like the political correctness thing. It’s not really. Political correctness, which is much sort of misunderstood, had one good intention about it, which was trying to encourage good manners on issues where some bad manners had previously been quite common. Trying to encourage people, friends, not to use racial slurs. That doesn’t seem to be a bad thing. Not to make kind of crass jokes against women that might make women feel bad. That doesn’t seem to me to be a bad thing. Of course, political correctness and that being something which also limits good behaviors and so on, but you cannot say this about what we’re in now. It’s not about trying to introduce good behaviors; it’s about trying to introduce deranging ideas that will derange you and your behavior if you agree to them.
Ideas like white fragility, to pick just one out of the current bubble, or the idea that we must dismantle capitalism, that people who are gay, for instance, or women must dismantle capitalism as the first stage to their freeing up – that’s not an introduction of politeness or getting along, that’s an attempt to use a character trait to advance a revolutionary ideal that would destroy everything. I do think that these things are – I don’t think they have a good intent. I don’t actually think they have a good purpose.
DW: In that same vein, do you see something in the protests and riots taking place in the United States that concerns you in the long-term, or is this more of a detour?
MURRAY: No, of course I’m concerned about it in the long-term. I’ve been an admirer of the United States of America all my life, certainly all my adult life. Like all of our societies, it has its flaws, but goodness knows it’s got its virtues, too. I’m always concerned when the society’s critics are the only voices about it that are allowed to be heard. I don’t think we are actually talking about critics at this point only; we’re talking really about enemies. I wrote about this in The Spectator the other week, that what we see now is the commonplace interpretation of the American past and the American founding in particular. It does not sound to me like a critique or somebody who merely wants to improve and update the software of the American Republic, and we’re talking about a critique that is trying to pull away everything that is at the root of the founding of the Republic. This isn’t about saying [that] there are certain things that Thomas Jefferson or George Washington did that we don’t think of as being absolutely right today. That’s fine. I mean, who wouldn’t? That’s a reasonable view of history.
By the way, who would have thought everyone in the past was perfect? Unless you grew up on comic book history, which of course was part of the problem. When you’re dealing with people who say, there is nothing good about Thomas Jefferson or George [Washington], the Constitution is rotten, the Constitution must be rewritten, this country of America is not founded in the Declaration of Independence, but it’s founded in slavery – that’s not somebody who’s trying to just critique and upgrade your societal software, that somebody who’s trying to end your society as it is understood. I think it’s a profoundly malevolent critique. It’s not a fair critique. You wouldn’t do it on any other country. Who would dare to do that on the foundation of India or Pakistan, China, any country in the world, where just take a purely malevolent interpretation of its founding and say, as a result today, you have no right to be regarded as a reasonable country.
I’m very worried about that, and what I’m worried about – sorry, it’s a rather long answer to your question, but it’s an important question. What I’m worried about is that I see this divide in America as not being along political lines, but on a deep, structural line. The line is the question of whether the American Republic should continue as it has been for the last couple of centuries, or not; whether something new is expected to be made. I’m very against the make-something-new, pull-everything-down critique or idea for the same reason that reasonable people, I think, usually are, which is that we know from history what those people are going to do because they’re not capable.
DW: The media, in covering all of this – the protests and the riots and COVID and everything that they’re covering – have done an incredible job of shaping the narrative. There are a certain number of Americans who buy into all of that. I, myself have a lot of very woke, leftist friends who completely buy into it. Do you believe that social media is amplifying a very small number of voices, or is there a larger group of people who actually think as the activists do?
MURRAY: I think it’s quite a small number of people who actually think as the activists do, but they are very clever in their tactics. I mean, they employ, by the way, deeply communist, Marxist-style tactics, which is to throw their opponents into disarray by selecting something about them which has a plausible critique within it. For instance, the critique that Americans live in a hierarchical society where some people have more privilege than others. Sure, find me a society where that’s not the case anywhere, now or at any point in history. So, they throw something like that out there, and people who are smart, but aren’t aware of the smartness of their antagonist’s motives and their tactics, fall into this terrible doldrum of trying to explain why they’re not as hierarchical as all of that and so on.
Our society has racism in it, says somebody – and somebody who’s never left the United States, has never traveled anywhere, doesn’t know what the rest of the world is like, and has never fought further than the campus of a liberal arts college somewhere can fall for that stuff. They’ve got no idea what the world is like, what history is like. I mean, scratch one millimeter beneath the surface of most of the people who are falling for this stuff, and you find ignorance that is total. Ask them a date, ask them when anything in history happened – they don’t know, and we should learn something from that. The bigger problem is not just that sort of malevolent critique, but that they have persuaded certain people, particularly certain young people, that they are involved in an existential fight that is pure bunk.
I mean, for instance, it’s something I’ve said for some years, but it’s particularly pertinent in America at the moment. You have these so-called antifascists, Antifa. They don’t have enough fascists to fight against. As I’ve often said, there is a supply and demand problem with Nazis in our time. There aren’t enough for the demand. There’s not a big enough supply. These people who ran page around the cities like Portland trying to find fascists and end up eating up an old lady, what are they doing? They actually think that the Fourth Reich is going to be founded in Portland, Oregon? They can’t find fascists; they can’t find Nazis. By the way, caveat, that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t some out there, but I reckon we’re quite well organized to not have Nazism in our societies. I think we learned that lesson pretty well from the 20th century. Not completely, but pretty well. But these people seem to have persuaded, certainly a significant cohort of young people, that they live in deeply sexist, racist, homophobic, basically Nazi societies. It is a deranging claim, and we should encourage people not to fall for it, but we have to accept that a significant number of people actually have this totally false impression of American society.
DW: What role do you think social media plays in that, in maintaining or destroying sort of the structure of a Republic, given that it can, with relatively few people pushing, create such significant pressure on broad swaths of people to conform or remain silent?
MURRAY: My own view is that what’s needed is adults. There aren’t enough of them around. I mean, you see people who look like they used to look, but you don’t have enough of them around. To my mind, an adult is somebody who is willing to maintain a truth even if it’s unpopular or even if the children say otherwise. An adult is somebody who, when the child says, our society is X, Y, and Z, asks some pertinent questions back and helps educate the child. Doesn’t say, “Oh you, very ignorant younger person who knows a fraction of what I know from life experience and more, educate me.” No. One of the other points of this of course is that an adult should be able to weather the storm.
The creation of character throughout your early life is partly done in order to help you weather storms. Whether personally or as a society, you are weathering a storm. You should be able to do so if you are an adult. What I’m struck by is how few people in America in particular at the moment, in all sorts of areas, not least in business, big corporations, are basically rescinding their claim to adulthood, are saying they are the problem, they are the ignorant ones, and that they must be reeducated by the most ignorant people in our societies, people who have, among other things, gone away to American university campuses and come out of them much stupider than when they went in. This requires people who are able to sustain their route through a storm to make themselves more visible and to encourage others.
DW: Do you think that the social media effect, the compliance or silence, has the power to change the real-world behavior of people, specifically Americans in this context, to a significant and or damaging extent in the long-term?
MURRAY: It does. I mean, their tactic is very clever. You may know a great Prussian expert on war, Clausewitz. Clausewitz’s view of how to win a conflict was famously that you needed to locate the center of gravity of the enemy, and run at that. You had to hit the enemy in their center of gravity. The virtual warriors of our time have found something else. They have discovered that what you do is you run very hard to knock somebody off their center of gravity by getting them on the wing, effectively. You don’t run straight at Yale and say, “Yale, you have to close.” What you do is you get lesser institutions that have less confidence and endowments, and then you gradually work your way up to a Yale, and you make insincere claims about them. You hit them on the wing.
You make the most vitriolic claims about them, totally disproportionate claims about them. You pretend that they are othering black people or making trans people kill themselves, or something like this, and you just catch them on the side like that.
In all of these institutions, corporations are trying to make money; the universities are trying to make money (and also, as a side interest sometimes educating some people some of the time). They don’t expect to be dealing with this, and then they are all the time, and they do anything to avoid it, and it completely throws them off balance. That’s what we should realize is happening, and that’s what social media has been so expert in doing. It sends what looks like general opinion, which isn’t general opinion, against the flank of a big beast, and knocks the whole thing over, and that’s the tactic they’ve been deploying.
Among other things, in order to stop that working, people have to realize that’s what’s happening. They need to be adults; they need to be able to weather through it. I submit people should do it back. I mean, just one example that I finished “The Madness of Crowds” with is the trans example. Somebody tell me how we have got to the stage in 2020 where every public institution has been having endless meetings about what to do with its bathrooms, for instance, and nobody can explain what, for instance, non-binary is – certainly not to my satisfaction, by the way, and nor, I think, to the satisfaction of any other person who has any degree of mental ability. How have they got so far?
To give you a more perhaps pertinent, a bit of a harder example, which I also go into at the end of “The Madness of Crowds,” how is it possible there are drug companies in America profiteering by giving drugs that are life-altering to teenagers in America? How’s that possible? How did you allow this to happen? How do you allow people to make money and profiteer by confusing already confused young people? How did the American society let that happen? How did conservatives let that happen? How did anyone who cared about the welfare of children allow that to happen? How did they instead end up in this situation where if you don’t support that and say, “Hurrah, bravo, keep making money, you weird children’s centers that push drugs on them and make money out of it!” How did this emerge that instead, we were talking about bathrooms all this time, or giving airtime to somebody who claims that today, they identify as a hedge. How did that happen?
DW: So they’re taking shots at our flanks, and then what they’re really doing is digging out the core.
MURRAY: Absolutely. Well, once you have, and I wrote about it at the time, I thought that President Trump in his Mount Rushmore speech did something very important. Whatever you think of him or of his speech, it was an important moment because he said, “We’re not giving up basically the elements of the Republic. We love our Founding Fathers; we love the Constitution; we love the flag; we love the anthem, and so on. We’re not giving it up.” That seems very important to me because at this stage, the people you are facing in America want you to give it all up. I saw this poll recently, it said that 70% of self-described liberals want to rewrite the Constitution. When are you going to get around to that? What have you got to say to them? How long do you want to draft that? You’re gonna find somebody in modern American cleverer than Thomas Jefferson? You’re going to find them from any of the campuses in the U.S.? Can you find them in some gender studies genius?
DW: With all this, what is the point of this new morality? One of the most prominent examples in my mind is J.K. Rowling, her ongoing cancellation. She’s speaking about a legitimate issue concerning women and even caveating it by repeatedly saying that she believes that trans people should be protected. What is the end goal of silencing someone like J.K. Rowling and what impact will that conclusion have on society?
MURRAY: Well, first of all, it’s important to say that in the case of J.K. Rowling, she hasn’t been canceled, as it were. There was an attempt by some upstarts at her publishers, almost all of whom were young, almost all of whom should have been immediately sacked, to say that they would not be willing to work on the book that she was bringing out with them next, a book for children called “The Ickabog.” As I said at the time, if you find “The Ickabog” too traumatizing to work on, you’re probably not only not suited for the publishing world, you’re probably not suited for this life. However, they did have this attempt at sort of canceling it.
Her publishers, Hachette, quite rightly stood by her. She is, of course because of the Harry Potter books, an exceptionally wealthy woman, probably the wealthiest author in British history, I’d have thought by now. I mean, she deserves much of that. She’s an extremely talented writer – but I just say it’s important that we don’t say that people are canceled if as it were, they are still in print, and they still have a voice, and she does, thank goodness.
If she had been less successful, a bit more cancelable, then who knows if the publishers would have stuck by her so well. What is really going on here is not an attempt to simply to silence Rowling, but an attempt to teach others a lesson. It’s a punishment beating. It’s a punishment beating carried out by the new form of thug.
They do it in order that people who don’t have J.K. Rowling’s wealth and success and esteem and fan base, think, “I’m never going to go near that.” They come along and they’ll say, “Why don’t you agree to the following things? Trans women are women,” for instance. If you’re just a less successful, less rich person in a short part of your career, you will say, “Yeah, sure, whatever. Whatever you want.” I think that’s all that this is. These are punishment beatings. That’s one of the reasons why I also stress this sort of talk of cancellation should be done carefully. I say this about my friend Laurence Fox in the UK as well, the distinguished actor who recently was allegedly canceled. Laurence still has a career. It’s true that he hasn’t been offered many roles recently, but he’s doing well. He’s still making music, he’s still got a voice, and any reasonable person will still be delighted to have Laurence at their dinner table.
I think it’s important we don’t overstress the canceling thing because otherwise, people will think that the stupidest side is the winning side, and it isn’t. They don’t actually have all of the abilities they think they have. I’m not canceled; you’re not canceled. I do very well, thank you. I still have a voice, and I’ll continue to have one. No mob, online or off, can tell me what to think, and they’re never going to, and so they shouldn’t try.
What’s more, this is a better side to be on. We’re better people, we’re nicer people, we’re funnier people, if I say so myself. We are much more successful people. It’s a smarter group to run with, much smarter than just shouting whatever the mantra you’re expected to shout and chant today is, and to keep in lock step with other morons.
DW: It’s interesting because this whole sort of culture that we’re experiencing right now seems new. It seems only in the last several years that it’s become so intense. Do you believe we were ever really in a place where facts and reason were taken into serious consideration, and we’ve only recently devolved into headline readers? For example, the data don’t back up the Black Lives Matter narrative regarding police shootings of unarmed black men, but despite this evidence being accessible, no one seems to care or even want to see it.
MURRAY: Well, if I may, the important thing is the layer underneath exactly what you talk about in your question, which is, what’s really going on underneath this? Why is there so much dispute over BLM, trans, these things? Let me venture a suggestion. There was never a time where rationalism and reason dominated all of society, and by the way, rationalism and reason have their limits. What there has been, however, in the West for a couple of centuries at least, has been a recognition that the scientific method works. That is, that if you come to a public square with an idea, you need to prove it. You can’t just assert it. You can’t just say, for instance, the police are like the KKK without proving it. If you can prove it, then we would agree that the police are like the KKK. If you can’t, then you can keep saying it, it’s just you’ll be recognized to be a liar and a fraud.
That method has worked very well, and it’s why Western societies have been in every way as successful as in every way we have been. Societies, for instance, which didn’t follow this – there’s a great book by Victor Davis Hanson some years old now. I think in hardback, it was called, “Why The West Has Won.” There’s quite a good literature now on just the advantage that societies have when they follow the scientific method.
Why are we going through a period of particular pain at the moment? It’s not actually because people are stupider than they were; it’s because there are people making significant headway who have abandoned and want everyone else to abandon this method. They want, for instance, the idea that two plus two equals four to be made relative, to say, “Actually, two plus two sometimes equals five, and what kind of knuckle-dragging moron are you to think that it’s only four that it can add up to?” We’re talking about people, mainly race-baiters who are black, it has to be said, who say things like, “Proof is a white concept,” profoundly spitting on the reputation and achievements, among others, of black men and women of the past who’ve made great advances in fields of their own. It’s people who do this sort of thing. People who say there is no such thing as sex, no such thing as chromosomes. The problem isn’t that they’re saying it; it’s not because people like me have some massive problem with trans people or anything like that. I don’t. I’m a kind of live and let live person on all of this stuff. What I mind is, and what a large number of people mind, is when you start making claims like chromosomes don’t matter, which are palpably, demonstrably, provably, scientifically, assertively wrong.
That’s what people mind. They mind when people make claims about America and American racism, which are provably not the case. As I say, when people turn around and make assertions of the kind that they have in recent months in America, I think people should realize that this is what is at stake. What is at stake is the means by which we settled disputes through the modern era, and that we have people coming along saying, “It doesn’t matter what the facts are, I have my own facts,” or “Facts are whatever you want them to be.” This is why this era is actually risky is because people making those assertions who, not long ago, would’ve been told to go and jump are being taken seriously. Look at this attempt to decolonize STEM. What the hell? How on earth can any self-respecting person in the STEM fields go along with any of that for a nanosecond?
DW: In that same vein then, on the idea of deconstructing the scientific method, do you think that classical liberalism or conservatism or the scientific method has any path forward? How does reason regain footing in an age of crowd madness as you put it?
MURRAY: Well, there are lots of ways. I mean, one is for people simply to see the appeal of it. They’re not going to just get that in the water, they’ll get it by example. They’ll see that the lives they live are not desirable or happy, not successful. That’s one way.
There’s a tendency of conservatives always to hope that things hit rock bottom in order that everyone sees the truth of conservative claims. I’ve always thought that’s a mistake because the problem is that whenever you hit or get near rock bottom, you always discover it’s a false bottom. There’s far further to go. I always feel that conservatives who sort of [say], “Well, we’re just going to have to see law and order fall apart in order that everybody sees the virtue of law and order.” I just think, have you heard of the Jacobins? Have you ever studied any revolutionary movement behind which there’s always a group of people who thought that when the facade fell away, everyone would rally to their standard, only for the people to rally to whoever was the most brutal person available’s standard?
I don’t wish for some great realization, a great reverse of the great awokening. I think it’s going to have to be done by example. I think it will be done by young people seeing that the lives they’re being offered are lives which are, instead of being lives which it all becomes clear as you go on, becomes muddier and murkier and foggier – not because of anything you, yourself have done, but because of what has been given to you as a road map. I’d like to think that now, as at all times in history, a tiny amount of light is enough to guide people [out of] even the worst self-imposed societal fog.
DW: I have two final questions that are sort of interlocking. The first is, how can we as a society best untangle intersectionality in order to reorganize into a world where character and actions rule rather than one’s immutable identity?
MURRAY: Well, one is to understand what we’re dealing with, and that it’s serious, and it makes serious claims, and to, among other things, show up the nonsense of those claims. There are good people doing this. James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose just have a new book coming out I’m reviewing at the moment called “Cynical Theories,” which exposes a lot of this. It’s enormously important. It does something I also tried to do in “The Madness of Crowds” in one chapter, which is to take seriously the foundational texts and show the paucity of serious intellectual endeavor that’s gone into them. Expose just the ridiculous, contradictory nature of them, the assertions, the lack of evidence.
I mean, after all, take something like the bias training stuff. This is something that’s being wheeled out in corporation after corporation and across governments across the West. It’s something that is not fit for purpose, that you can’t do implicit bias tests. They don’t work, and they actually create a lot more trouble. In fact, the best way to win an implicit bias test is to say at the outset that you’re a racist because that’s what it wants to find you as being, so you could saved yourself time. When you have a test where the top marks go to the person who says they’re racist, you should know you’ve got a problem. That’s just one example. I think that we just need to show why this isn’t going to work. Sometimes that’s the best you can do, is to say to somebody, “You could get in this car that’s driven by a drunk, but we strongly advise you not to.”
That’s what I think we can and should all do with the intersectionalists and others is to say, “You’re free to do this if you want to, but you should know it’s going to take you off a cliff edge.” On the identity issues in particular, as I show in “The Madness of Crowds,” on the identity issues, what you are going to do in the name of anti-racism is to create racism; what you’re going to do in the name of anti-homophobia is to create homophobia; and what you’re going to do in the name of anti-sexism is to massively increase any existing misogyny. That’s just for starters. If you like the sound of that bus journey, by all means, get on the boozy, drunken driver’s bus. If you don’t like the sound of that journey, there are many other things that you could be doing with your time on this earth.
DW: You can lead the horse to water, and you can show how good the water is, but it’s up to them to eventually drink…
MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to accept that everyone has got their right to screw up their life in whatever way they see fit.
DW: Related to that last question – certain people have platforms, you have a platform, I have a platform. What can an average American or average Western citizen do who don’t have media platforms in this hyper coddled, lash-out era to help move things in a better direction? What should those with platforms be doing perhaps more effectively?
MURRAY: Well, what people with platforms should do more effectively is to be speaking up more, and particularly to be showing some solidarity. That’s one of the things that strikes me increasingly is some solidarity. It’s a fine, fine virtue, which tends to be dominant on the Left rather than the Right, but a bit of solidarity would be, whatever political or other orientation they are when they’re being put through the ringer, would be pretty helpful, I think. I think there’s a tendency to protect ourselves each time the thing comes around. If you can put yourself out there, particularly if you’re mates, I mean, that’s the most important one. I’ve often said, [at] the very least, stand up to your mates, then you can do an awful lot of good just by that alone.
Most people without platforms actually do have platforms. I mean, we all have family, friends, and colleagues. With the colleagues one, you have to work at it carefully. There’s no doubt about that because of the nature of the modern workplace. But a single individual can do an enormous amount of good without having to put themselves to extraordinary trouble. I mean, the example I just gave of implicit bias tests – there’s no reason why people in companies where this crap is being rolled out can’t say, “Do you know that two of the three people at Harvard who were responsible for this starting have, themselves, disowned the utilization of this test for these purposes? Do you know that? Before you make us all waste our time, do you, my boss know that?”
Ask it politely obviously, make sure we don’t get yourself into trouble – but if you arm yourself with the kind of facts I try to lay out in “The Madness of Crowds,” I think – my purpose in the book, apart from anything else, is to give people the weapons to fight back, is to say, these are the intellectual weapons you will need, and that we thought would only be needed by a small number of people, and it turns out [they’re] needed by everybody because goodness knows that the fight has been brought to us, has been brought to everybody. I think everybody has a very important role to play in this. Anyone with children at college is in a very good position that – you’re not the supplicant if your children have gone to college. A lot of American parents have remortgaged the house to send their kids away to college.
When their kids come back and tell them about the world, I don’t think the adults have to say, “Oh yeah, you tell me more about what you’ve learned at Berkeley this semester and why it overthrows everything we know about human nature,” for instance. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with parents saying that. By the way, another final thought on that. There is, in this cult-like movement, one particularly interesting thing that betrays that it’s a cult, which is the wokeratti consistently say that you should distance yourself from family and friends and others who don’t think like you. That’s a cult. That’s a cult, pure and simple. People who say that you should distance yourself from your loved ones if they don’t agree with the new behavior of the group you fall into is a cult, and everybody who loves and cares for a person who falls into a cult should help them to try to get out of it and get away from the grip of the sinister people who are pushing these lines.
DW: What do you see in the short-term with all this turmoil, and what do you see in the longterm in terms of us possibly getting out of this and back to some semblance of reality? Do you have high hopes or do you have low hopes?
MURRAY: I don’t think there’s any point ever in thinking longterm or very longterm because we should be humble about our ability to see around many corners as human beings. We never were able to; we especially can’t now. We live in a world where if one American cop behaves disastrously with one American citizen and reprehensibly with one American citizen, you can see the whole of American history has failed and a statue pulled down in Bristol, England. Let’s not kid ourselves that we can see very far into the future. When you realize that, apart from anything else, it should give you a necessary humility about all of our plans. I mean, I would have thought it’s quite unlikely that if we’d been speaking last year and I’d said to you, we will spend the early parts of 2020 locked in our houses by order of the government, that you would have foreseen the way in which that was going to happen, that here we’ve been in 2020.
I think that long and short term predictions have to be done carefully. That said, these very fundamental tectonic shifts that are happening do need to be recognized for what they, are and they do need to be counted. There’s just one other thing I’d say, if I may, which is that young people in particular tend to worry about this disproportionately. I say that because there is a tendency, particularly when you’re young, to think that the world must be in its most optimal possible position in order for you to start your life, and it’s a big mistake of the wokeratti because the world never is in an optimal position, and there will always be a reason not to do things. If you are somebody who has the ability to get out there and create – whether that’s create business, create a business, create a livelihood for yourselves and others, create companies, or whether it’s creation in the arts or any other sphere – if you’re somebody who’s able to make things, you should start today.
You shouldn’t start until, for instance, there’s no bigotry anywhere in the world or nobody is mean to anyone because all that will happen is you’ll leave a frustrated life, and you’ll achieve none of your dreams, and you won’t even set out on them. You’ll have just been sitting around waiting for a day that’s never going to arrive.
Have a reasonable expectation of what the world is able to give you, and then go out and make it for yourself. I think this is a very important thing because the rhetoric of oppression, which is so strong in our era, has to be canceled out itself, and it should be canceled out as it always has been, by the opposite. Something that America, by the way, has always been unusually good at, which is to talk not about oppression and endless oppression by people you can’t reach, but to talk of the possibilities of achievement, what you can achieve, what you can attain, what you can aspire to. That’s a message. That’s always been the American message as I’ve seen it. It always has been. It’s America is currently in the position it has been in the world, and why it’d be a good idea for it to remain there. It’s certainly much more desirable for those of us in your friendly countries than if, say, China were to be in that position.

No comments:

Post a comment

Bottom Ad [Post Page]