One of the more intriguing aspects of neo-Marxist inspired wokeness, notwithstanding its avowed secular nature and hostility to Christianity, is how it embraces many of the characteristics of the religion it seeks to destroy and replace.
It’s an article of unquestioned faith that the world is about to end because of man-made global warming and the teenage Greta Thunberg is worshipped as a new-age messiah. Climate sceptics are denounced as evildoers and banished to the outer regions.
Watch the young climate change novitiates demonstrating outside the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence last week and, like the puritan girls depicted in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, it’s obvious they are consumed by a religious fervour that is overwhelming, all-consuming, and driven by hysteria.
Similar to Christianity, woke activists also have their martyrs including George Floyd and the countless other people of colour oppressed and victimised by an inherently racist society guilty of a multitude of sins including Euro-centrism and white supremacy.
Instead of the 12 disciples and the myriad Christian saints, the ‘Church of Woke’ immortalises and worships revolutionary figures such as Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Mao and before them Stalin, Lenin, Marx, and Engels.
Like Christianity which incorporates various denominations and faiths, woke religion also includes numerous beliefs and ideologies ranging from cultural Marxism to deconstructionism, post modernism, radical feminism along with gender, queer, and post-colonial theories.
Instead of the Bible neo-Marxist woke activists worship Das Kapital as their foundation document supplemented by more recent works including Wilhelm Reich’s The Sexual Revolution, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Foucault’s The History of Sexuality and The Order of Things, Derrida’s Of Grammatology and Althusser’s Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.
While often in disagreement what all cultural-left ideologies hold in common is the belief utopia can be achieved on this earth and suffering and inequality erased if only doubters and sinners repent and drink the Kool-Aid.
While adopting many of the characteristics of religion it is obvious the Bible and the word of God are diametrically opposed to neo-Marxist inspired, woke ideology. Whereas religion stresses the importance of spirituality and transcendence Wokeness is immediately practical, worldly, and utilitarian.
There is no afterlife, this world is the sum total of existence and concepts like wisdom and truth, drawing on Althusser’s concept of the ideological state apparatus, are simply social constructs imposed by society’s elites to disguise their dominance and control.
As argued by Augusto Del Noce, whereas religion is inherently moral with clearly defined concepts of good and evil woke ideologies, to a greater or lesser extent, are based on the belief the end will always justify the means.
De Noce writes, ‘There is no separation between ends and means since these latter are organically subordinated to whatever goal has been discerned… Hence every kind of violence, every ruse, every illegal action, every dissimulation, and every deception becomes licit if they are deemed to be necessary to reach the goal.’
Violent protests, destruction of property, abusing and victimising others and breaking the law are all permissible if considered essential to furthering the cause. As argued by Herbert Marcuse in his essay Repressive Tolerance, such is the evil nature of Western, capitalist societies that tolerance is no longer necessary or acceptable. Marcuse writes what is needed is ‘intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left’.
Christianity while evolving over time is also based on the belief there is a past worthwhile acknowledging, protecting, and supporting. An essential part of any vibrant and enduring culture is the inheritance passed on from generation to generation based on the need to promote continuity as well as change.
Pol Pot’s ‘Year Zero’ best illustrates how many on the cultural-Left are committed to either destroying or rewriting the past to suit their ends. In 1984, Winston’s job in the Ministry of Truth also demonstrates how totalitarian regimes control the present and future by manipulating past events.
Adam Zamoyski in Holy Madness Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries 1776-1871, when detailing the radical secular nature of the French Revolution and the way Christianity was destroyed, makes the point people will always search for a deeper and more lasting sense of life.
He writes, ‘By destroying the credibility of traditional ways of practising faith, through feasts, rituals, and displays, they created a vacuum. Man seeks ecstasy and transcendence, and if he cannot find it in church, he will look for them elsewhere.’
In 1916 the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci referred to socialism as the ‘religion destined to kill Christianity’. While characterised as a secular ideology opposed to God’s word the irony, in seeking to banish religion, is that Marxism and its most recent iteration Wokeness, adopt many of the same characteristics.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior fellow at the Australian Catholic University’s PM Glynn Institute and author of Christianity Is Good For Us.
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