Far from being critical thinkers, the woke are zombie-like hunters who instinctively move with the pack, asleep to the fact that the ideas and ideologies they embrace invariably end in death and destruction.

“The Wokeing Dead.” It’s not simply a play on words. The term actually captures the essence of the woke movement.

Although the woke people consider themselves to be in tune with the latest ideas, the belief systems they embrace are an amalgam of dead ideologies. Having very little sense of history, the woke don’t realize that the ideas they just discovered a few months ago have already been tried and failed. More often than not, they failed in spectacular ways—resulting in destitution, famine, and mass murder before they were finally exterminated.

Well, “finally” might not be the best choice of words. Ideas are hard to kill—even very bad ideas. They may seem dead but, like vampires, they are merely in a comatose state, waiting for some well-meaning soul to come along and revive them.

Communism: Rebirth of a deadly ideology

Take communism. It’s a simplistic idea that treats society as an ant hill, and humans as worker ants. With the possible exception of Islam, it’s the deadliest ideology in history. According to The Black Book of Communism, the number of people killed by communist governments in the 20th century amounts to more than 94 million.

Communism also kills economies. Compare the thriving economies in Western Europe during the Cold War era to the dismal economies in communist-run Eastern Europe. Or look at the nighttime satellite photos of the Korean Peninsula. Democratic South Korea is lit-up like a Christmas tree. By contrast, communist North Korea is almost totally blacked-out with only a few tiny clusters of light.

Communist Cuba? Of those Cubans who can afford a car, the vast majority are still driving last century’s models. Venezuela? As a result of Venezuela’s relatively recent turn to communism, an estimated twenty percent of the population has left the country.

Communism seemed to have been thoroughly discredited with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Yet, thanks mainly to academics, the communist dream of a perfect socialist society was kept alive—long enough to be rediscovered in recent years by the wokeing dead who proceeded to breathe new life into it.

As a result, communism has become respectable in America. It seems to have become the default ideology for many of our educators, legislators, journalists, and even corporate leaders. Most worrisome of all, communist ideology seems to be spreading through the U.S. military. The title of a new book by Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, says it all: Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmasking of the American Military.

Fighting racism…with racism

Not having much acquaintance with history, the woke think that they are the very first to have discovered the world’s ills–things such as poverty and racism. They seem to believe that no one before them had ever recognized these problems, or tried to come up with a solution. Because of their ignorance of history and their desire to create an instant utopia, they latch on to some of the dumbest ideas from the past. They see communism as the solution to poverty and inequality, and, ironically, they see racism as the answer to racism (perhaps because the woke have little sense of irony).

Those with even a modest knowledge of history could see that racism was dying out in America by the early Sixties. With each passing year it seemed more and more a thing of the past. Of course, like all human evils, racism will never be completely dead; but it was evident to reasonable people that enormous strides had been made in the right direction.

But some preferred to fan the dying embers of racism back to life. Despite the growing number of black mayors, black judges, black police chiefs and black CEOs, America was portrayed—particularly by the media and in the schools—as just as racist as ever. However, it was only in the last few years—after America had twice elected a black man as President—that anti-racism erupted into a full-blown mania.

Once again, it was an old idea that provided the fuel for the fire. Critical race theory, which is now taught in almost every school, university, and government agency, is portrayed as the latest advance in enlightened thinking, yet it is actually a variation on an old idea—namely, racial determinism.

In its previous incarnation, racial determinism meant biological determinism. Some races were thought to be biologically superior to others: by a process of natural selection, they had developed higher intelligence, greater self-restraint, and better judgment, and, hence, were more fit to rule over other races.

Unfortunately, the critical race theorists simply replaced biological determinism with social determinism. According to the theory, it’s not biology, but social structures that determine which races prosper. Whites are born into a social structure that privileges whites and gives them a sense of racial superiority. This bias is internalized by whites to such an extent, according to the theory, that it becomes an “inherent” bias. Like skin color, one is born with it. No matter how enlightened he may be, every white person is a racist at heart.

In both cases—biological determinism and structural determinism—one’s race determines one’s status in life. Ironically, both concepts put race at the center of the picture. Both serve to heighten racial consciousness, and both have the effect of forcing people to dwell on racial divisions. Reading the critical race theorists, one gets the impression that whites and blacks are like warring clans destined to be in perpetual conflict. If this sounds like Marx’s theory of class warfare, it’s no surprise. Remember that the woke people are enamored of communist ideas. The critical race theorists are no exception. They are deeply influenced by critical theory—a Marxist school of thought that was popular with some academics in the forties and fifties.

So, while the rest of the country was hoping to overcome racial divisions, the woke people were trying to fan those divisions into a fire. And that is literally what happened. Inspired by woke ideas about race, Black Lives Matter along with black clad Antifa, set whole blocks on fire in hundreds of cities across America.

Once again, the wokeing dead had managed to revive an old and dying idea—in this case, a brand of racial determinism that substitutes social structure for biology. In consequence, the theory of race that is currently being taught to your children is simply the mirror image of the racial beliefs held by Southern slave owners, the Ku Klux Klan and the Darwinian eugenicists of the early 20th century.

Killing off good ideas

Meanwhile, in the process of giving new life to a number of terrible ideas, the wokeing dead have been trying their best to kill off many good ideas—the kind of ideas upon which healthy families and healthy societies are built. Some woke organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, not only want to abolish the police, they also want to abolish the traditional family and replace it with …what? Well, let’s not get hung up on details. These people are very smart and very woke, and they have the backing of giant corporations. Surely, they’ll come up with some workable alternative to the family.

The other big idea the wokes would like to kill is God. They have been taught that they are the most important persons alive, and it’s difficult for them to conceive of a Being that is more important than themselves. If there was a statue of God in a park, they would try to tear it down. That’s not just conjecture. As far as Christians are concerned, Jesus is God. And many churchyard statues of Jesus have already been torn down or broken.

But in depriving themselves of God or any objective standard of good outside themselves, the woke undermine the foundations of the few worthy ideas they have, such as their opposition to slavery. The 1619 Project, which is sacred scripture to the woke, presents slavery as America’s original sin. Moreover, contrary to the historical evidence, the Project gives the impression that slavery is an invention of white people. But, even if that were true, on what basis do they condemn slavery in the first place? Why is it wrong? They can’t really say. That’s because they have stripped away all the beliefs that help us distinguish good from evil. Why do they think slavery is wrong? Simply because they think so, and because they consider themselves to be the final authority on all moral issues.

Unfortunately, the woke have been taught to believe that their feelings are the ultimate guide to right and wrong. But feelings are subject to change. If some of their leaders began to insist that whites deserve to be slaves, many of the zombified wokes would nod in agreement. Undoubtedly, some of the woke already believe that white slavery would be acceptable (as long as they themselves were exempt).

If this talk of modern slavery sounds paranoid, recall that not long ago there was much talk among liberals about what to do with Trump voters. One Democrat official in California wanted to “de-program” them, while the Principal Counsel for PBS said that the children of Trump supporters should be seized and placed in “re-education camps.” Normally, the liberal-minded wouldn’t do such things, but if they get really angry at you… well, that’s a different story.

Other people in other times could provide more solid reasons for opposing slavery than their own personal likes and dislikes. They could, for example, refer to God’s revelations in Holy Scripture. If, as the Book of Genesis tells us, we are all made in the image and likeness of God, then it follows that we have no business enslaving any of our fellow men. Or consider this passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3: 28).

If you take that to heart—if all are equal in Christ—then you’ll think twice about treating another person as your inferior. If, on the other hand, you are woke—if you have no God but yourself—then there are no limits to what you can do.

In 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, anthropologist Peter Wood provides a powerful refutation of the 1619 Project. Wood points out that the foundational argument of the 1619 Project is faulty. There is no evidence, he writes, that the Jamestown settlers intended to inaugurate a system of slavery. When, in 1619, a ship with 20-30 African slaves aboard was blown off course to the Virginia shore, the captain of the privateer handed over the slaves in exchange for provisions. But, as Wood points out, the weight of the evidence suggests that the Africans were taken into the Jamestown settlement not as slaves, but as indentured servants—as were many of the white settlers who came to Jamestown, Plymouth, and other parts of the New World. The Jamestown settlers were not saints, but most of them would have been familiar with the Bible and with those verses about the equality of all men under God.

Christianity didn’t prevent the establishment of slavery in the South, but it did provide the basis for the eventual abolition of slavery both in America and across most of the world. But don’t discount the possibility that slavery may return to the West. The Judeo-Christian moral principles that made possible the abolition of slavery are under relentless attack by the woke. Far from being critical thinkers, the woke are zombie-like hunters who instinctively move with the pack. They claim to be anti-racists, yet they reject the notion that “all lives matter.” They say that “black lives matter,” but seem unconcerned when black lives are taken by other blacks. They claim to oppose slavery, but seem to have no problem when woke corporations take advantage of slave labor in China. They claim to be woke, but they are asleep to the fact that the ideas and ideologies they embrace invariably end in death and destruction. In short, it’s high time for the woke to wake up.

This article originally appeared in the June 9, 2021 edition of Catholic World Report.

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