I HAD a most illuminating encounter with a progressive friend. We discussed contemporary culture, politics and current affairs. Unfortunately, my friend was quite horrified by my bigotry, pig-headed ignorance, and antiquated opinions with regard to almost all of the topics we broached.
Not wanting to embarrass myself in polite company again, I decided to heed my friend’s advice and ‘educate myself’. I therefore consumed as much material as I could from the venerated institutions which have been trusted with informing and educating the world for generations.
I enrolled in a politics and sociology course at a Russell Group university. My professor opened my eyes to the realities of oppression, through the lens of intersectional feminism. I learnt how women of colour, such as Meghan Markle and Dawn Butler – regardless of their wealth and status – represent the most victimised and disadvantaged people in western society.
Next, I solicited advice from the staff at the British Library, who informed me that it is in fact wrong NOT to categorise people by the colour of their skin. They taught me that believing in ‘one human family’ is indeed indicative of ‘covert white supremacy’.
I also put my faith in the impartial and trustworthy British Broadcasting Corporation to explain the issues we face in Britain today. As a denizen of the English countryside, I was horrified to learn of the racism lurking in the hedgerows and paths that bisect the rolling fields of Salisbury Plain, where I live. I am forever indebted to the team at Countryfile for making me aware of the hostility faced by ethnic-minority ramblers.
Sadly, none of these efforts caused me to renounce my opinions. Instead, I came to the conclusion that many came to long ago – our once-respected institutions have been infected by identitarianism, moral relativism and post-modernist nonsense.
Understandably, we may despair as the chances of any inquiring minds receiving a rounded and thorough education seem vanishingly small. However, this does not mean that there is a diminishing desire to pursue truth untainted by ‘woke’ revisionism and social-justice ideology.
In the age of TikTok, Snapchat and Love Island, who would have predicted the current podcast boom? There is clearly a huge appetite for multiple hours of nuanced discussion on the deepest questions spanning a range of issues and disciplines.
While the institutions are unlikely to satisfy the yearnings of truth seekers, anyone with a device and internet connection can now access an almost infinite pool of knowledge.
Across the Atlantic, ‘anti-woke’ heretics such as Gad Saad, Dave Rubin, Candace Owens and Jordan Peterson reach millions of online listeners and sell millions of books. None of these commentators pays much fealty to the gatekeepers of acceptable thought and discourse.
At home, YouTube channels such as Triggernometry and the New Culture Forum reach hundreds of thousands of subscribers, giving airtime to those with opinions misaligned with the prevailing politically-correct orthodoxy.
While readership of national daily newspapers declines, online platforms that are unafraid of documenting uncomfortable truths and providing an alternative perspective, such as TCW, continue to grow.
We may lament the fall of previously trusted and treasured institutions. However, the success of alternative commentators and media outlets suggests that this culture war is far from lost. If universities and broadcasters carry on providing nothing but thin gruel, people will look elsewhere for intellectual nourishment. We are fortunate to live in an age replete with accessible sources of alternative education.