TCW Defending Freedom’s welcome rebranding removes the connection with a grotesquely misnamed political organisation and helps focus on what really shapes society, and that is not politics or politicians. As Andrew Breitbart said, ‘Politics follows culture’. Politicians are consumers and manipulators of culture; they inherit, they do not create. It is the creation of culture which shapes society, and an important culture shaper which we usually ignore is technology. The woke, however, have grasped their opportunity and exploited today’s technology to the full.
The institutions, groups and individuals producing our culture and the institutions which fund them, which in turn are usually funded by us through our taxes, have been deeply influenced by woke ideology which is much more potent than any of today’s political beliefs.
Although not Marxist, woke ideology has similarities with Marxism. The traditional Marxist conflict of the class struggle is replaced with the struggles of race, sex and gender. Communism wanted the redistribution of wealth, wokeness wants the redistribution of standing within society. Communism claimed to be for the good of the workers, and eventually enslaved them. Wokeness claims to be for the good of all the ‘oppressed’, women, homosexuals, etc, yet pits them against each other as we see with the feminism versus transgender conflict.
Like communism woke ideology has become the tool of its parent expansionist state. Communism became the vehicle of Russian nationalism: it provided justification for reclaiming and expanding the borders of the old imperial Russia. The Baltic nations had their language and culture crushed by the imposition of Russophones into positions of power, imperial oppression in the name of the liberation of an oppressed people.
Today woke ideology, which has deeply influenced the American elites, has become a vehicle for American imperialism. The CIA, the American government’s premier instrument for interfering in the affairs of other nations, produces woke recruitment videos to ensure its staff are wholly on board with the ideology. From Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Starbucks coffee to the giant Raytheon defence and aerospace conglomerate, America’s largest and most powerful corporations have gone completely woke. and enthusiastically and effectively export woke ideology along with their products.
Wokeness functioning as a form of American imperialism has infiltrated every nation in the West. A black criminal in America is killed by a policeman and England’s national football team kneels, Civil War statues are pulled down in the American South and one is thrown into Bristol harbour; the West is becoming a cultural colony.
Communism didn’t just wither on the bough of its own accord torn apart by its internal contradictions, it was defeated by those capitalist attitudes and institutions which outproduced it and forced it to eat itself and end up socially, morally and economically bankrupt. This took generations. Defeating the woke ideology which has the West in its grip will take similar effort. But we can have confidence.
Just as the technology of the Industrial Revolution shaped the politics and social and cultural institutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, so the technology of the 21st shapes today’s political and cultural environment. The technology of the Industrial Revolution onward demanded centralisation and mass production where workers were cogs in the machine. This helped shape attitudes within a top-down stratified society. The technology of the 21st century is diverse, nimble and innovative, favouring decentralisation and open to individuals and small groups making an impact on society.
Technology makes the ideas of how we organise society either possible or impracticable. A political ideology requiring centralised control may seem unstoppable when the technology favours it, and then begins to fracture and become untenable when the technology moves in the direction of decentralisation. We are living in such a moment when the technological/cultural interplay is still shaking out.
Big Tech has successfully championed woke cultural norms and seen them adopted by the state and the financial and industrial institutions. On the surface its success would seem unstoppable. But the technological power which has brought them success is also their Achilles heel.
Just as their woke views have been adopted so in turn Big Tech has adopted the centralising and rigid control attitudes of the old technology. Google, which once withdrew from China, is now working hand-in-glove with one of the most repressive regimes on earth. Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, operates Amazon so rigidly that his delivery drivers are under such time constraints that they have to urinate in bottles. Companies which have become standard bearers for woke ideology are betraying their own ideology: ultra-woke Ben & Jerry’s claim there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant, but exploit their immigrant workers.
Woke Big Tech and the state apparatus work closely together. Big Tech has gone native and been absorbed into the statist institutions. While retaining immense influence, the closer Big Tech grows to the established institutions the more it loses flexibility and becomes less able to react to challenges.
To resist and defeat the woke ideology influencing every stratum of society we will have to exploit the technological advances which the woke are failing to exploit to the full. Fortunately free-thinking individuals and groups are much more creative and efficient than state controlled and influenced institutions. Which would you rather own, a state-produced East German Trabant or a capitalist West German Volkswagen?
Most of us are consumers rather than creators so we should be careful about what we consume, and who we support. Why support those who sneer at us and reject our way of life? New and superior parallel institutions and networks are being created. Viable alternatives to the woke legacy media already exist, TCW Defending Freedom being an important channel of alternative viewpoints in the UK. There is no need to consume legacy media products.
New and more creative platforms are constantly emerging. They have to be supported, or else they will disappear. As they emerge they are attacked by the institutions they are replacing. The supposedly ‘far-Right’ social media platform Gab News is coming under relentless attack by Facebook.
As well as our continuing support of TCW Defending Freedom we have to support other platforms where we can.