I love Freddie de Boer’s Substack newsletter (to which you can subscribe for free right now). He’s a young Marxist, but more than that, he’s interesting and fearless, and I often learn from him. Below is his entire latest communiqué — uncharacteristically short, but it gives you a great idea of how he thinks — and here, he’s pretty much right:
It would be a mistake to say that social justice politics – OK, alright, fine, f*ck it, wokeness – is winning. It’s not losing, either. I think winning and losing implies a level of coherence to the project and materialism to the stakes that simply aren’t there. But I will say this. Those who draw their lifesbreath and their paychecks from the ritualistic expression of outrage can look out at their world and see nothing to fear. In the most obvious outward ways their chokehold on our communal idea of who and what we are and should be has never been tighter. There is no hope for reform in the expected manner, no chance that billowing Republicans or whining liberals or antique Marxists like me will talk the world out of it, will convince elite society to believe in freedom and nuance and forgiveness again. That will not occur.
But. There is a second front, in this war, a hidden battlefield on which the social justice movement is slowly losing to the forces of… not liberalism, not reaction, not conservatism, not civil liberties, not plain ol’ common sense, but anarchy, resistance, revulsion towards piety, the desire for revenge, the death drive, animal spirits, the id, the unheimlich, Jungian impulse, and most of all utter and total moral exhaustion. These are chip chip chipping away at the arrogant command of our moral betters. There are forces arrayed against the piety and vengefulness of social liberalism that cannot possibly meet it on the open field but which every day wage guerrilla warfare and, slowly, the great shaggy beast is bleeding out, that creature of preening righteousness slowly crippled by its hubris and arrogance. What looks like the inevitable and impregnable demands of history right now will look in time like the decaying aristocratic mores they are. An army of grinning goblins marches against the woke, and they take up their knives and syringes with glee while the forces of social justice trudge on, miserable, one more joyless day after another, hating themselves and each other. I am not saying the forces of opposition are good; they are, indeed, bad by their elementary nature. But still, in the conflict ahead I have my money on chaos, the ever-turning gyre, and the will to disobey. Tomorrow will not be like today, and the ones who now indict the unclean and issue verdicts and dole out punishments and deny every application for parole will wake up one day and wonder where it all went wrong. The witching hours approaches, the rabbis will be chased from the temple, and no one can say how the wheel will spin. Take shelter and tremble, or better yet, enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving, guys.
I think he’s wrong about the “forces of opposition” being bad — some are, most aren’t — but of course a Marxist would say that. What I’m interested in is his belief that the revolt against wokeness and top-down social control will be violent, chaotic, and, well, revolutionary. And once again, Ross Douthat’s prophetic warning to the Left arises: If you don’t like the Religious Right, wait till you see the Post-Religious Right...
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