Will the West’s obsession with Woke survive war in Europe? Or will Putin’s missiles finally explode the Never-Never Land of unreality in which we have been living?
It’s early days, of course, but so far, the West’s mythical land of prancing unicorns looks bulletproof.
Even as rockets rained down on Ukraine, Western elites worried about how the war would affect LGBTQ people, as if Putin might have developed queer-seeking missiles.
Others voiced concern that grandparents huddled in bomb shelters beneath the pockmarked streets of Kiev might not be social distancing.
The New York Times lamented that few of the Ukrainians fleeing for their lives were wearing masks. They probably weren’t triple-boosted either. And God forbid any of them were shot dead without first using a QR-code to check out.
Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed dismay at what he called the ‘emissions consequences’ of war in Europe. He would presumably be far more comfortable with the Russian invasion had their tanks first met strict European emission standards.
Kerry said he hoped Vladimir Putin would ‘stay on track’ with fighting climate change while fighting the Ukrainians. We can only hope the Russian army will sort the plastics from the metal bomb casings when they get around to removing corpses from the battlefield.
And here in Australia, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews lit up Melbourne in the Ukrainian colours as ‘a show of support’.
If that doesn’t work, he will likely deploy a hashtag.
And if China invades Taiwan, he will (of course) paint the town red.
Those who say cockroaches are the only things that will survive a nuclear holocaust are wrong. On the evidence available so far, Woke – that virus of the mind which has turned Westerners into mindless, unicorn-chasing simpletons – will probably survive as well.
The Russians may well destroy Europe, and China may well dominate the Pacific, but they will never kill our stupid!
Nothing better illustrates the disconnect between the imaginary world of the West and the cold, hard reality that is right now marching toward Kiev than the fact that, just three weeks before the invasion, British troops were spending a day ‘reflecting on inclusivity’.
At the very moment Putin was surrounding Ukraine with rocket launchers, British soldiers were taking a break from tiresome military exercises to discuss ‘unacceptable behaviours’ such as bullying, sexual harassment, and racism.
Doesn’t Putin know we have the most diverse, equitable, tolerant and trans-inclusive militaries in the history of the world?
And he’s still messing with us?
If all of Europe descends into war, the Brits might not win, but by God they will be the best-behaved losers in military history. If only Putin would challenge us to a ‘Celebrate Diversity Day’, we’d kick his ass.
Western armies may well comprise the nicest soldiers you could ever meet on a battlefield. Just ask the Taliban.
‘Oh, you’d like a Black Hawk helicopter, would you? Here, have 33! And would you like Humvees with that? Have 27.’
Little wonder that, after watching American soldiers run away from a bunch of Afghani goat herders, Vladimir Putin decided to try his luck.
It’s not by accident that the acronym for the West’s favourite things – diversity, inclusion, and equity – is DIE.
Putin wants to fight. So much toxic masculinity.
If our military leaders want to discuss ‘unacceptable behaviours’, they might like to talk about their total unpreparedness for conflict.
For decades now, we in the West have imagined we lived in a post-war world. Conflict was, like, so last century.
With the loss of Christianity, we lost the doctrine of original sin; the idea that human beings – while made in the image of God – are fallen and so have a propensity toward evil. Instead of preparing for the inevitability of conflict, we embraced the illusion of the brotherhood of man and the perfectibility of mankind.
Singing John Lennon’s Imagine – as only a decadent culture would – we slashed defence spending so that we could focus instead on welfare and aged pensions and pet projects like wind turbines that, incidentally, would be a great defence if only Putin would invade using pigeons.
What soldiers we did bother funding, we trained as peacekeepers to win hearts and minds rather than as warriors to kill the enemy. Violence is nasty, you see. And so unnecessary.
We are the ‘Defund the Police’ generation, remember. We cannot imagine a problem that can’t be solved by people holding hands in a circle and singing Kumbaya. Or by sitting down with a social worker who has a PhD in gender studies.
And so the German army has, in recent times, taken to conducting military exercises using broomsticks as guns. Why not? It’s not like we’d ever need guns in our mythical world of love and rainbows.
Germany’s chief of land forces, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais wrote this week on his Linkedin page, ‘I would not have thought I would have had to experience war.’
But while we have been busy beating our swords into broomsticks, Putin and Xi Jinping and the Mullahs and Kim Jong-un have rationed their population’s pruning hooks in order to afford more spears.
Western elites have allowed a situation in which wealthy countries rummage around in the broom cupboard for something with which to defend themselves while basket case nations have nuclear weapons. What did they think was going to happen?
The Ukraine today. Taiwan tomorrow. And God only knows what comes after that.
The West will impose sanctions (provided they don’t cost us too much), but Putin has a war chest of billions.
The West will light up monuments, but thanks to a scowling Swedish schoolgirl, Putin controls the West’s energy supplies.
The West will appeal to ‘international law’, but it can only be upheld by force. And we stopped believing in force years ago.
The West will try to galvanise the much talked about ‘international community’, but no such community exists. Pakistan president Imran Khan, a supposed Western ally, visited Putin last week declaring it ‘an exciting time’. And just watch the so-called international community rush to cut sweet deals with Xi Jinping if China succeeds in snatching Taiwan.
The West will look to the European Union, but the bureaucrats in Brussels are committed to the elimination of nation-states. Meanwhile, Europe is an idea of elites that the man on the street is not prepared to die for.
The West will appeal to the United Nations, but the UN Security Council was chaired by Russia at the very time Russia was invading Ukraine. The UN General Assembly’s most likely response to Russia invading Ukraine is to agree on harsh sanctions against Israel.
On and on it goes.
We have lived in a world of illusion. And now reality is hitting us like a rocket. But will it be enough to make us finally realise that the real world is where the monsters are?
You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.
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