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Let the woke go bwoke

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 27 August 2020

Veteran conservative commentator Mark Steyn put his finger on the lack of pulse. "You can't have a culture war if one side refuses to turn up..." , referring to the US Republicans' general lack of spine when it comes to the culture wars.

He's right, and it's not just the US Republicans. We can whinge and moan all we like about cultural Marxism's dominance but we let it happen. The march through the institutions occurred without most of us doing anything more substantive than writing an op-ed, or maybe a book, or two.

If we don't change strategy now, it will soon be too late. To do that we need to study the methods of our adversaries, and even borrow some of their weapons.


So far in the culture wars we haven't tended to kill people. We just marginalise, or "cancel" them, and cause them or their businesses financial harm.

There is an organisation called Sleeping Giants Oz, the local franchise of a US parent. It bills itself as "A community initiative to make racism, bigotry, misogyny and climate change denial less profitable".

With 36.8K Twitter followers it's not that big, but it's been quite successful at, for instance, terrifying commercial organisations into taking advertising away from The Australian, Sky, and 2GB, amongst others.

What they do is a form of blackmail, and blackmail depends on two parties – the blackmailer, and a victim who pays the blackmailer off.

We enjoy a large range of freedoms, but freedoms degenerate into tyranny without a strong rules-based system. We surrender some liberty, so as to ensure liberty. This is the social contract.

Sleeping Giants and their ilk destroy this social contract, or what the woke might call "social licence to operate". They are the enemies of society and civilisation. The companies that allow themselves to be coerced become their allies and are also therefore outlaws to civil society.


Sleeping Giants are fascists using brownshirt tactics, and today's supine corporate behaviour offers a glimpse of how fascism takes hold.

Now we could wait for government to legislate to assert the rules-based system, but we'd be waiting a long time with the current precarious state of the parliament, and the wokeness of many MPs, even in the coalition.

So we are unfortunately placed in a position of uncivil war where we need to provide our own, extra-statutory protection.

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This article was first published by The Spectator under the title "Want to fight back against weak woke coporates? There’s an app for that – or could be"

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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