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October 26, 2021

CALIFORNIAN dreamers and schemers clustered around Silicon Valley in the early 1970s invented Woke, now politicians have become its passive advocates and people like Gorge Soros are splashing out to make its radical visions real, especially in trans and gender politics, Author Professor Frank Furedi told a meeting of the Free Speech Union last night.

In an online speakeasy event titled Wokus Dei, the cult that conquered the west, the academic at the University of Kent whose books on radical progressive assaults on free speech at universities and in politics and public discourse addressed the big question of how Woke culture started, spread and now dominates popular culture with dissenters from it cancelled, marginalised and, in many cases, now actively punished by employers and the state by being no-platformed, sacked and threatened with violence, took many fascinating questions from members and opened up about a growing threat to open expression.

A host of academics including Professor Kathleen Stock, who has faced intimidation and abuse from trans activists for speaking fundamental biological and scientific truths about gender, as well as writers like J K Rowling and journalists like Rod Liddle have been targeted in a co-ordinated and frighteningly vicious assault on the right to offend, disagree and debate openly – some claim aided and assisted by draconian state powers over conduct, speech and behaviour heralded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s controversial bid to control language and discussion on the internet in the frighteningly oppressive Online Safety Bill, which uses public safety as a red herring with which to threaten and punish its own citizens for public utterances.

“A synthesis of American progressivism with the desire to reform our lives to be better people and the technocratic governance relying on expertise and technology” coincided with the unravelling of conventional ideologies to spawn Woke, said Professor Furedi.

“What was important was what was important to the person,” he said, rather than what was really important.

He said that some people laughed at it in 1970-1971 when, he said it originated, apart from a few people who may have realised it would go on to dominate culture and, perhaps more troublingly, reform and redesign politics and the law using a Californian template to place minorities before majorities.

Woke activists and believers use opaque and diffused language – typically saying they are “uncomfortable” with something he might have said when what they really mean is that they disagree with him but a passive/aggressive stance avoiding confrontational language and emphasising their own state of mind was more politically advantageous.

The term “gender assigned at birth” – now commonplace – as if a person’s biological status was imposed upon them rather than being a natural and indisputable scientific truth was, he said the norm, going on to warn that legal rights to dispute and dismiss these natural and indisputable truths were now being vigorously pursued by law lords in the UK.

“George Soros’s Open Society’s objective is to make sure that identifying your gender according to your own wishes” was being actively and passionately pursued by the benefactor and his millions of followers.

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