Academic freedom Freedom of Speech Reading and Thinking wokery

The passionate intolerance of youth: “The Second Coming” (1919)–“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”


Janet Daly,”Adults have ceded absolute power to the faux-righteous, doctrinaire young: Grown-ups have given up across British life, allowing an ideological younger generation to call all the shots,” The Telegraph, July 8, 2023 (1:00 pm);

I first noticed something was wrong decades ago, when I observed a mother in a grocery store asking her six-year-old daughter what they should buy.

Then parents bought into the idea that their kids knew more about computers than they did, and started asking their children how to do things with computers and on the Internet. They did’t take the time to master these skills themselves, at least at first. against

Somewhere in there the phenomenon of helicopter parenting took hold, along with a mindset that chikdren had to be protected every conceivable danger, including certain things such as pornography or politically-incorrect thoughts.

It’s not clear how it happened, but gradually parents seem to have accepted the idea that parenting does not require teaching children values or disciplining them to uphold certain standards of behavior.

Whatever the causes, and we have merely alluded to some of the more obvious ones, we have arrived at the situation described by Janet Daly in her opinion column in The Telegraph today.

We are in deep trouble.

Young people today are concerned about controlling hurtful speech or ideas with which they disagree, while our civilization faces a frontal challenge from Russia through its continuing aggression against Ukraine and the barbarism of its soldiers.

Ask a young person what they think of tge war in Ukraine, and you’re likely to draw a blank.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939) described a similar phenomenon in the “The Second Coming”, as follows:

The Second Coming (1919)p

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The Spirit of Voltaire

Freedom of Speech Identity Politics Race wokery

What is the meaning of “woke”?


Thomas Chatterton Williams, “You Can’t Define Woke; The word is not a viable descriptor for anyone who is critical of the many serious excesses of the left yet remains invested in reaching beyond their own echo chamber, The Atlantic, March 17, 2023 (7:00 a.m. ET).

Thomas Chatterton Williams seems to have been reading my mind.

I’ve been thinking over the last few weeks about how the Democrats have been ceding the ground and issue to the Republicans by not criticizing some of the positions taken by leftist extremists who want to control speech, or cancel professors who express views they disagree with.

Where is the full-throated defense of freedom of speech one might expect to hear from liberal Democrats?

Are they afraid to criticize excesses by their own followers the same way Republicans are afraid to criticize the excesses of Donald Trump?

Is it simply fear of the Internet mob?

What the Democrats are losing is the support they might receive from Republicans or Independents if they made clear that most Democrats don’t agree with these extreme views, which are often lumped together as being “woke”.

Thomas Chatterton Williams points out that the term “woke” is now useless as a tool of argument or persuasion. He calls on us to be more precise in our arguments, which may help us all focus on the real issues.

The Spirit of Voltaire

Identity Politics Race wokery

The decline of Christianity and wokery and other dangerous nonsense that may fill the void


1) Charles Moore, “Christianity’s retreat has left the West vulnerable to harmful new beliefs; Our societies are in a severer muddle, which makes for fertile ground for woke zealotry,” The Telegraph, December 23, 2022 (9:00 pm);

Charles Moore points out how absurd wokery’s obsession with controlling speech is given the other things going on in the world.