Wokeness and the enemies of free speech

I do not think that wokeness, or political correctness, or cancel culture, or whatever you want to call it, is the only threat to freedom of speech, nor is it the worst one.

I’ll mention Julian Assange, the war on whistleblowers, anti-boycott laws, attacks on journalists, and agricultural, medical and other gag orders, plus the fact that there is a lawyer in New York City who is under house arrest, and literally may go to prison, for the crime of having won a lawsuit against Chevron.

Also, the implications of the pending domestic war on terror.

The importance of wokeness is the failure to defend the principle of free speech by the political faction that historically has been its strongest champion, which leaves progressives and others defenseless against authoritarian government.

I’ve linked to three good articles on censorship below, and hope you have the time and interest to read them, or at least one or two of them.


The Most Dangerous Censorship by Edward Snowden.

Some Principles and Observations About Social Justice Politics by Freddie deBoer.

What happened to Glenn Greenwald? Trump happened – and put the left’s priorities to the test by Jonathan Cook.

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One Response to “Wokeness and the enemies of free speech”

  1. Alex Page Says:

    I’m just not convinced that ‘wokeness’, or whatever it will be called next year, is a particularly serious threat to anything. I wish there was more grounding in class politics, but it’s not actively harmful.

    The things anti-woke people complain about are often really petty (a few kids being overzealous on twitter) or make sense with more context. Often it’s a case of ‘I’ve been cancelled by the woke mob! Here I am in the country’s biggest newspaper complaining about how I can’t speak!’

    Whereas there’s the right’s and even centre’s reaction to pro-Palestine voices, like the journalist fired from Associated Press, and the various other things you mention – which the supposed free-speech valorizing right, so concerned with the actions of some college kids, entirely ignore or actively champion.

    Here in the UK, it’s been the ‘woke’ organising against the government’s threat to free protest in the Police Crime & Sentencing Bill, while the anti-woke complain about protestors being snowflakes and how police should use water cannon. The right-wing press spent a week utterly obsessed with some students who decided to remove a photo of the queen from their common room. It’s the reactionaries, not the woke, who try to halt discussions of awkward bits of history and control what subjects can be addressed in schools.

    I’ve certainly known ‘woke’ people who’ve been annoying or overzealous, hell I’ve probably been that guy a bit. But then I see the other side, the one with an 80 seat majority and most of the media, and – sheesh. ‘Wokeness’ has its neuroses and excesses – much of which could be resolved with a stronger base in class politics imo. But it’s not them who accept authoritarian government.


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