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We Are Threatened By More Than Coronavirus: The Deadly Consequences of Wokeness and Identity Politics
Paul Craig Roberts

Cultural, social, and moral death inflicted by “wokeness” 

We face more dangers—perhaps greater ones—than the coronavirus. Both the US as a community of people and its economy are under dangerous assault by forces of our own making. This article focuses on the threat to community.  A future article will address the threat to the economy.

Here are three examples of what has happened to the United States as a community of people: 

In the first link above a college professor who emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union as a young woman describes the Sovietization of America.  She doesn’t mean that the economy has been communized or socialized.  She means the rise of denunciation in place of reasoned discourse.

Education has become the home of wokeness and Identity Politics. These ideologies allow “people to hound and persecute with impunity.  People love it because it allows a little person to completely destroy somebody who has done something great.  This is very human. Once you have removed any moral or religious obstacles to that behavior, what’s to stop anybody?”

On her campus, “We have this bias response team that prowls the campus looking for signs of non-compliance. We had the same thing in the Soviet Union. Right now they’re on campus, but eventually, they’re going to be in every workplace. If you have everybody in your workplace trained in diversity, then you can treat your workers however you like.”

In the workplace as well as in the educational system, the culture created by diversity and sensitivity training turns co-workers into enemies. “Either they can get you in trouble, or they are out to destroy you with an accusation. It destroys all sorts of communities – friendship, families, church communities. When you set people against each other, they are much easier to control. This is what it was like under totalitarianism.”  But in the United States, the conformity is not being imposed by the government.  It is the offspring of the leftwing that abandoned the working class, peace, and empathy for others. You can read this story in Diana Johnstone’s brilliant memoir of our time, Circle in the Darkness ( ).

The college professor says that in the “Soviet Union when you were a student and assigned to write a paper, you knew that the thing to do was to go straight to the correct books in the library and copy the relevant articles, word for word, with no deviations. That was your paper. When my family left, we arrived in Canada, and I entered the university there. When I was assigned my first paper, I found it impossible to believe that the teacher really did want me to think for myself. It was an incredible feeling! To think about something, and to say what I really thought about it! It was so weird, but so liberating. Now, I’m seeing young people who are just like we were in the Soviet Union. They are afraid to think for themselves. They only want to know what the “right” answer is, and repeat it. It’s depressing.”

She mentors early career academics, but the graduate students are not capable of producing scholarship.  Instead they turn in “collections of woke slogans.”  She says the students don’t even understand what she wants from them. “It seems like all they get in the schools is dogma. They have no real knowledge of anything – they just repeat slogans, and when you ask them to explain it, they turn blank.”

The American educational system has become a place where people are afraid to express opinions and debate issues. The slightest wrong thought or word can bring denunciation. They fear being marginalized, cancelled as a person, turned into a pariah. “If somebody departs from the dogma, even by an inch, that person is an evil, hate-filled bigot.”

She says it wasn’t this way 10 years ago, but quickly spread in academia and now the workplace like a virus among the population.

The second link above shows the consequence of decades of teaching American blacks to hate American whites.  This highly destructive teaching of hatred is now being further institutionalized in the American educational system by the New York Times’ 1619 Project.  After the experience  in Russia and China of communists teaching people hatred of capitalists and the bourgeoisie and the hatred of Jews generated in pre-WWII Germany, why does the New York Times and the American Left want to repeat the experience here?

The third link shows that not even well-organized feminists, an influential victim group, are immune from woke attacks from the Identity Politics that enabled the feminists to rise as a denunciatory force.  Live by the sword and die by the sword.  This seems to be the future of America.

The liberal attack on religion did not liberate people or their consciousness.  The attack  liberated evil from moral control.  In a multicultural society, the danger is apparent. 

Hon. Paul Craig Roberts is the John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles and a columnist for Investor's Business Daily. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists.

He was Distinguished Fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 through 1993, he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. During 1981-82 he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. President Reagan and Treasury Secretary Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy." From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy.

In 1987 the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism" and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

Dr. Roberts' latest books are The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, and published by Prima Publishing in May 2000, and Chile: Two Visions - The Allende-Pinochet Era, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen Araujo, and published in Spanish by Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, in November 2000. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette Araujo, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A Spanish language edition was published by Oxford in 1999. The New Colorline: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, was published by Regnery in 1995. A paperback edition was published in 1997. Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, co-authored with Karen LaFollette, was published by the Cato Institute in 1990. Harvard University Press published his book, The Supply-Side Revolution, in 1984. Widely reviewed and favorably received, the book was praised by Forbes as "a timely masterpiece that will have real impact on economic thinking in the years ahead." Dr. Roberts is the author of Alienation and the Soviet Economy, published in 1971 and republished in 1990. He is the author of Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis, published in 1973 and republished in 1983. A Spanish language edition was published in 1974.

Dr. Roberts has held numerous academic appointments. He has contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship, including the Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law and Economics, Studies in Banking and Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, Public Finance Quarterly, Public Choice, Classica et Mediaevalia, Ethics, Slavic Review, Soviet Studies, Rivista de Political Economica, and Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafspolitik. He has entries in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Economics and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance. He has contributed to Commentary, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Harper's, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, London Times, The Financial Times, TLS, The Spectator, Il Sole 24 Ore, Le Figaro, Liberation, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

Dr. Roberts was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S.), the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, The Dictionary of International Biography, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, and 1000 Leaders of World Influence. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]


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