You know that your so-called free society has gone down the tubes when dissidents from totalitarian nations criticize you. That’s the case with woke culture in the US, which received criticism from noted Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.
In a recent interview with PBS’ “Firing Line” Ai expressed his concern that the US is essentially already an authoritarian state. In his view, the continued push towards a single form of political correctness is what characterizes the US as a totalitarian state. Ai believes the US is already an authoritarian state, but most people don’t realize it.
According to Ai, authoritarians cannot rule by themselves. They have to have a system in place that supports them. And that system is being put in place right now in the US.
Just think about how anyone who dissents from the status quo is ruthlessly and mercilessly shut down. Express the idea that men are men and women are women and see how quickly you’ll be labeled a bigot. Tell someone that you see no need to get vaccinated against COVID and see how quickly you’ll be demonized as someone who wants to actively spread disease to others or as an anti-science Luddite.
That authoritarian orthodoxy is promulgated by the mainstream media, and nurtured in the school system. North Korean defector Yeonmi Park noticed that during her time at Columbia University, likening the wokeness there to something straight out of North Korea. In her view, wokeness is nothing less than a regression of civilization, a characterization with which many of us would probably agree. According to her, North Korea may be crazy, but not as crazy as Columbia.
Most Americans don’t realize that, however, because they never leave the country and never try to challenge their world view. Leftists in particular never like to challenge themselves, and actively seek out the company only of people who reinforce their way of thinking.
As Ai said, they think that because they hold certain ideas, they are pure and no longer have to engage in any way. And that’s dangerous. It’s up to us as conservatives to fight the growing left-wing orthodoxy and ensure that the creeping authoritarianism Ai, Park, and others have pointed out doesn’t take over permanently.