A Women’s Studies Ph.D. has some second thoughts about the ideology underlying her discipline:

Liberals are committed to Enlightenment values of reasoned debate, pursuit of truth, the scientific method, fact-based analysis, and treating people as individuals, not as groups. In contrast, the woke view these Enlightenment values as a white supremacist project; wokeness advances primarily through underhanded tactics: histrionic open letters that accuse ideological opponents as traumatizing and even threatening the very existence of people of color, cancel culture, flash mobs, protests that sometimes devolve into riots, and so forth. Worse, the entrenchment of Critical Social Justice ideology in academia, mass and social media companies, philanthropic foundations, corporate human resources departments, federal and state administrative bureaucracies, and Silicon Valley—combined with surveillance technology—points toward the emergence of a social credit system similar to what exists now in China. Liberals, in short, are bringing the proverbial knife to a gun fight….

If we want to understand why this ideology is winning over the young, we have to understand its appeal. American culture is becoming increasingly secular, which means that more young people don’t have a faith tradition, and social justice ideology is, as many have discussed, filling a religious void. The woke have a messianic complex, a (if you’ll excuse the pun, millenarian) goal to remake society, and view anyone who is opposed to their project not as simply having a different worldview, but as evil. My intuition is that once Critical Social Justice becomes increasingly entrenched as the dominant cultural ideology—especially because of its totalitarian and censorious nature—young people will instinctively begin to rebel and seek out other ideas. This, in fact, seems to be happening in Generation Z already. As a result, there will be a revitalization of classical liberalism, necessitating people who are versed in it to serve as teachers and mentors, but there will be much damage done to our institutions and country in the meantime.

There is so little viewpoint diversity in academia that students don’t even realize that what they are being taught is an ideology, not factual analysis. As Niall Ferguson accurately put it, “North American academia is in the grip of a hideous mania, a cross between the early-modern witch craze and Mao’s Cultural Revolution, in which implacable zealots conduct grotesque show trials, innocent individuals have their reputations, careers and sanity destroyed, and everyone else cowers, terrified that they will be next to be ‘canceled.’” 

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