The ‘woke’ movement that has so deeply enveloped today’s Left is defined in part by allowing only one viewpoint on a subject and censoring or canceling any oppositional viewpoints. This is deeply illiberal. It’s also inhumane—in a way that some believe resembles the brute intolerance of China’s communist revolution.
That was the message HBO’s Bill Maher relayed on Friday night, when he told his audience, “If you’re part of today’s woke revolution, you need to study the part of revolutions where they spin out of control because the revolutionaries get so drunk on their own purifying elixir, they imagine they can reinvent the very nature of human beings.”
“Communists thought selfishness could be cast out of human nature,” he said on ‘Real Time.’ “Russian revolutionaries spoke of the ‘new Soviet man’ who wasn’t motivated by self-interest but instead wanted to be part of a collective.”
“No, it turns out he wanted to be on a yacht in a Gucci tracksuit holding a vodka and a prostitute, not standing in line all day for a potato,” Maher zinged.
The host then focused on the extreme anti-liberal temperament of the contemporary Left.
“The problem with communism and some very recent ideologies here at home is that they think you can change reality by screaming at it, that you can bend human nature by holding your breath,” Maher said. “But that’s the difference between reality and your mommy.”
He continued, “Lincoln once said, ‘You can repeal all past history but you still cannot repeal human nature.’”
“But he’s canceled now, so f*** him,” he zinged again.
If you're part of today's woke revolution, you need to study the part of revolutions where they spin out of control. pic.twitter.com/IYNfDhtR0C
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) February 4, 2023
Is this relatively new movement of absolute intolerance that pervades so much of American society comparable to other authoritarian movements of the past?
Maher said yes.
“I asked ChatGPT, ‘Are there any similarities between today’s woke revolution and Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution of the 1960s?” Maher asked. “And it wrote back, ‘How long do you have?”
Maher told the audience after the laughter subsided, “Because again, in China, we saw how a revolutionary thought he could do a page one rewrite… of humans. Mao ordered his citizens to throw off ‘the four olds. ‘Old thinking, old culture, old customs, old habits.’”
“So your whole life went in the garbage overnight,” he observed. “No biggie.”
“And those who resisted were attacked by an army of purifiers called the ‘Red Guard’ that went around the country putting dunce caps on people who didn’t take to being a new kind of mortal being,” Maher noted. “A lot of pointing and shaming went on.”
Maher explained the totalitarian environment, “Oh, and about a million dead, and the only way to survive was to plead insanity for the crime of being insufficiently radical. Then apologize and thank the state for the chance to see what a piece of s*** you are. And, of course, submit to reeducation.”
“Or as we call it here in America ‘freshman orientation,’” the host said, his audience laughing yet again.
Obviously the woke movement hasn’t led to mass graves, but it is nonetheless an inquisition.
Maher used the example of Jason Kilborn, a University of Illinois Chicago law professor, who was suspended for posing a “hypothetical question — which he has asked in previous years — using redacted references to two slurs, in a December 2020 law school exam.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) noted of Kilborn’s case, “The question about employment discrimination referenced a plaintiff being called “a ‘n____’ and ‘b____’ (profane expressions for African Americans and women)” as evidence of discrimination. But even redacting the terms didn’t save Kilborn from discipline by university administrators.”
FIRE continued, “(I)n November, under pressure from UIC’s Black Law Students Association and Jesse Jackson, UIC reneged on its agreement with Kilborn and is now requiring him to participate in months-long ‘training on classroom conversations that address racism’ and compelling him to write reflection papers before he can return to the classroom.”
In other words, Kilborn was being forced into re-education.
Maher bellowed, “He was teaching his students to fight racism in the place where it matters most: the criminal justice system. Eight weeks of sensitivity training. Weekly 90 minute sessions with a diversity trainer. And having to write five ‘self-reflection’ papers.”
“A grown ass man. A liberal law professor,” he added.
“If you can’t see the similarities between (Kilborn and wokism) and that (China’s communist revolution), the person who needs reeducation is you,” Maher concluded.
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