Wokeism: The American Orthodoxy, Part 2
by Lawrence Eubank (October 2021)
The aim of a large swath of the Left is not to win the debate but to get it canceled before it starts.—Mark Steyn, "Conservatives always face uphill climb"
A Monopoly Of Opinion
If there's one striking characteristic of the "woke" political faction in our country, it's that they want to stifle all debate. They are always right, in their own opinion—and not only right, but just, virtuous and heroic; anyone with a different viewpoint is evil. Anyone who disagrees with their views—as bizarre and irrational as they are—is deemed a miscreant, a deplorable, someone beyond the pale of polite society.
The woke sect have all the right answers, and they don't want to hear any quibbles or dissent. As Mark Steyn said in a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs in Australia,
We now live in an age of state ideology. There's a correct position on certain subjects, and it's an ever-growing list: same-sex marriage, climate change, transgender rights, Muslim immigration … [O]n these subjects there's only the approved Party line, and dissenting views not only can't be heard in public, but should not even be expressed in private.
In sum, "woke" politics now has the status of an orthodoxy. That is, it's a sacrosanct belief system, a set of putatively infallible dogmas that everyone is required to accept, or else face penalties and social sanctions.
It should be interesting to compare today's woke orthodoxy to some of the notorious repressive orthodoxies of the past. Can wokeism really be said to be similar to truly vicious authoritarian regimes of the past, such as the Church hierarchy which imposed the Spanish Inquisition, or the ruling parties in Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R.?
Common Characteristics of Orthodoxies
One obvious difference between the woke orthodoxy and previous ones is that wokeism is not officially in power; it is not vested with authority as official state dogma. It is not a ruling party or an official Church orthodoxy. Rather, it is more of a grass-roots orthodoxy, springing up from a myriad of like-minded individuals.
But in all other respects, wokeism has all the characteristics that constitute an intolerant, repressive orthodoxy. Let us look at some more-or-less universal characteristics of orthodoxies.
Review of Past Discussion of Common Characteristics
Some of the common characteristics were described in Part 1. A brief review of those discussed:
ONE Every orthodoxy has its own peculiar set of epithets. These are boilerplate terms of abuse that are applied to anyone out of favor with the keepers of the orthodoxy. They have no actual content or meaning, but only serve to label their target as someone who has transgressed against the orthodoxy, in thought, word or deed.
In the Soviet Union, for example, terms such as "anti-Soviet," "fascist," "bourgeois," etc. were used to condemn anyone in conflict with the accepted Party line.
In own orthodoxy there is a rich vocabulary of terms for vilifying those who think, speak or act contrary to the dogmas of the woke orthodoxy. "Hater," "racist," "trans-phobic," "sexist," "science-denier," and "fascist" are just a few of the epithets applied by wokesters to their ideological enemies. Again, these terms, as used, have no literal meaning; they only serve to brand people who are in conflict with the orthodoxy—who deviate from the woke Party line in some respect.
TWO Another common characteristic: in orthodox societies, the orthodoxy rules, not written law. In the Soviet Union this characteristic was a well-known fact of life. As Soviet writer Vladimir Voinovich stated,
All, or nearly all, Soviet people know that in the Soviet Union it’s not the laws on the books, but the unwritten rules of behavior, that matter.
That is, it was not the laws on the books, but Marxist orthodoxy that guided daily life and society, regardless of laws or the various Soviet constitutions.
In our society too, while woke orthodoxy is not (yet) formally in power, individual woke officials and authority figures routinely use the orthodoxy, rather than the ostensible principles of their profession and role, as their guideline.
One glaring recent example was the controversy over a moratorium on the evictions of renters. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although it is not a legislative body, imposed a nationwide moratorium on the eviction of renters during the pandemic. Eviction for non-payment is a matter of contract between two private parties, and it is a recourse well-established in common law. But President Biden and other wokesters inserted themselves into that process.
That was challenged in the courts, and invalidated as a blatant abuse of rule of law. But Joe Biden, a prominent wokester, argued for re-instating the moratorium. He was willing to flout written law, common law, and elementary justice to do favor for one of the pets of the woke orthodoxy. (Landlords are the "bad guys" in the simple-minded woke scenario, and renters are innocent, abused victims.)
Woke foreign subversive Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter to make this comment about the matter:
SCOTUS has always protected the interests of the rich & corporations at the expense of working people. This is just another example. The Court's gross, partisan decision will throw millions out of their homes in the middle of a surging pandemic.
A comic-book Marxist melodrama is an article of faith in the woke orthodoxy, and thus it takes precedence over law and the Constitution.
And now let us consider some of the other identifying characteristics of all mass orthodoxies.
A Common Characteristic: Nothing Is Sacred
In an orthodox society, the orthodoxy is deemed to be superior to all other beliefs and sources of authority. As such, the orthodoxy displaces and subordinates many previously-cherished values. Long-established cultural norms, moral codes, concern for the national interest, common decency—all of these are relegated to secondary importance once an orthodoxy has a grip on a society.
Orthodoxies Displace Traditional Norms of Marriage and Family
Family life is an old-fashioned conception. We have no need for it in our new life., which puts the state above all. Don't trust anybody. Watch your wife. Watch your children. Watch everybody. And report their activities to the government.—Baldur von Schirach, leader of the Hitler Youth
Marriage and family often fall victim to the newly-contrived values of an orthodoxy. The Nazis found marriage (and chastity) to be an impediment to their aims; they wanted all young German women to bear children, so as to swell the ranks of future military forces. Moral considerations and parental guidance were unwelcome. To quote one young German member of the Hitler Maidens (BDM),
In the eyes of our beloved leader, the mother is the most important person in the nation. We are Germany's hope in the future, and it is our duty to breed and rear the new generation of sons and daughters.
In addition, orthodoxies are not reluctant to interfere in the relationship between parents and children, usurping the parents' rightful role. Incidents like the following one (described by Reuters journalist Ernest R. Pope) occurred: a German mother learned that her 16-year-old daughter had become pregnant at a Band of German Maidens (BDM) youth camp. The horrified mother
rushed to the camp to investigate and discipline her daughter. The young girl replied hotly that if her mother did not go home and leave her alone, she would report her to the camp leader, who in turn would report the mother to the Gestapo, who would then take action against her for "sabotaging German motherhood."
Bella Fromm, a society reporter in Nazi Germany, recorded a similar incident:
My lifelong friends, the Riecks, came to see me today … "Frau Bella, we are dreadfully worried. The boys won't listen to us any more … Margarete wanted Guenther to take a bunch of roses from our garden to you. He refused. When Margarete insisted that he obey, he drew his dagger from its sheath and assaulted her, his own mother! He shouted: 'I belong to the Fuehrer first! The family comes second. If you want to continue your friendship with Aunt Bella [a Jew], I shall have to report you to the Party!'"
Within the fanatical context of Nazi rule, the official state orthodoxy overruled long-established concepts of the relationship between parents and children.
The Woke Orthodoxy Displaces Traditional Norms of Marriage and Family
Adherents of our own orthodoxy don't let parental authority stand in their way, either. As Florida state senator Steve Oelrich pointed out (in Senate floor debate, May 17th, 2011):
You can't give a child an aspirin in school without permission. You can't do any kind of medication, but we can secretly take the child off and have an abortion.
Oelrich was referring to the fact that young girls can ask a judge for a waiver of parental-notification laws, and then secretly obtain an abortion without its being reported to their parents. The woke exaltation of abortion as a sacred rite overrules parental authority.
The same phenomenon can be seen in incidents like this one, which occurred in Baltimore, Maryland:
A mother is furious after discovering that her 16-year-old daughter’s headaches and soreness were caused by a birth control implant inserted by a school nurse without her consent.
Nicole Lambert was shocked to learn from her daughter’s pediatrician that the pain her daughter was experiencing had been caused by a tiny tube containing the contraceptive “Nexplanon,” which had been improperly inserted in her daughter’s upper arm. . .
Lambert told WMAR-2 News. . . “I went to the school and the nurse told me, ‘I don't have to talk to you about absolutely nothing,’” said Lambert ... “And they put me out of the school,” said Lambert.
Our own orthodoxy has long had theorists who attack parental authority. For example, there is the following quote from an early feminist writer, a member of a generation that often subscribed to sophomoric Marxist conspiracy theories, combining them with anti-male, anti-family conspiracy theories. In that vein, feminist Linda Gordon wrote this:
Families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests ... In brief, families provide a means of mobilizing and pacifying the population in the interests of production, consumption and stability—in other words, profit ... The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together.
That type of rhetoric is fairly common today within the liberalist, especially feminist, population. One proponent of "family abolition" Sophie Lewis, had this to say:
I want to challenge ... the idea that babies belong to anyone—the idea that the product of gestational labor gets transferred as property to a set of people ...
We know that the nuclear private household is where the overwhelming majority of abuse can happen. And then there’s the whole question of what it is for: training us up to be workers, training us to be inhabitants of a binary-gendered and racially stratified system, training us not to be queer ...
[I]t would be useful to implement a sense that it is normal for us to think about babies as made by many people. I would support policies that expand the number of people who are socially and legally recognized as central, fundamental players in the constitution of a person.
As a general rule, all other values must fall before the demands of an orthodoxy. One congressman recently expressed the woke viewpoint on parenthood:
John Yarmuth (D-KY) said the government knows better than parents when it comes to vaccinating children against the Chinese coronavirus … Yarmuth slammed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) that proposes that schools must obtain parent or guardian consent before vaccinating children.
He said in opposition to the amendment:
"I know I’ll get in a lot of trouble for this, but I want to refer to the sponsor’s premise for the amendment, and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘parents know what’s best for their children.’ I think the evidence is compelling and overwhelming and widespread that they don’t … One of the reasons that we need to avoid steps like this is that we need to protect kids from their parents," he said.
The Orthodoxy Displaces Real Religion
[T]he Nazi regime intended eventually to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists. As Bormann, one of the men closest to Hitler, said publicly in 1941, "National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable." —William L. Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
When you think about the very deliberate, concerted effort by one political party to basically try to own Christianity and it overlooks the role of the African-American church … You know, Black Lives Matter I view as you know very profoundly as a theological statement … A lot of young people are leaving the church, in part because the way they understand what Christianity has become is, you know, so judgmental, so alienating that they think to themselves, well, I don't need that. I don't want to be part of that.—Hillary Clinton, "You and Me Both," iHeartRadio
Secular orthodoxies seem to hold a natural enmity toward religion, which represents an opposing world-view and value system. The Third Reich, for example, undermined, co-opted, and corrupted Christian churches, and was especially bitter against Judaism.
Stalin's U.S.S.R. persecuted religion ruthlessly, even exiling religious clergy to the GULAG because they held a higher loyalty than that to the Marxist orthodoxy. Rank-and-file religious laymen were subjected to the same treatment:
However, the root destruction of religion in the country . . . one of the most important goals of the GPU-NKVD, could be realized only by mass arrests of … believers. Monks and nuns … were intensively rounded up on every hand, placed under arrest, and sent into exile. They arrested and sentenced active laymen ...
True, they were supposedly being arrested and tried not for their actual faith but for openly declaring their convictions and for bringing up their children in the same spirit. As Tanya Khodkevich wrote:
You can pray freely,
But just so God alone can hear.
(She received a ten-year sentence for these verses.)
Similarly, America’s “freedom of religion” is dwindling down to something you can exercise only behind closed doors. When you enter the public square you are officially required to leave your faith behind. As Mark Steyn says,
America’s much-vaunted “freedom of religion” is dwindling down to something you can exercise behind closed doors in the privacy of your own abode or at a specialist venue for those of such tastes for an hour or so on Sunday morning, but when you enter the public square you have to leave your faith back home hanging in the closet.
The "new religion of Public Healthism," as Mark Steyn calls wokeism, has no use for our traditional religious heritage. Judeo-Christian morality is the main enemy of the liberalist creed, so liberalists have no scruples about committing blasphemy against it.
For instance, Judeo-Christian moral scruples stand in the way of abortion. (That part about "Thou shalt not kill" presumably was the biggest obstacle liberalists had to overcome on their way to exterminating the unborn.) Hillary Clinton therefore casually dismissed our religious heritage as follows:
“Far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we've passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced,” Clinton said.
“Rights have to exist in practice—not just on paper,” Clinton argued. . .
“And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,” Clinton added.
Clinton’s remarks came during the sixth annual Women in The World Summit in New York.
In other words, abortion, along with all the other dogmas of the woke orthodoxy, is paramount, and our Judeo-Christian heritage is subordinate and must be overruled when necessary.
Hillary had little regard for genuine freedom of conscience or religion, because our religion—our traditional Judeo-Christian religion—is not her religion. She subscribes to the morality of politicized self-righteousness, the made-up pseudo-religion called progressivism, political correctness, or social justice; and that is the religion she fights for. Abortion, or "reproductive health care," is more sacred to her than the Judeo-Christian religion.
In this respect Hillary is a perfect exemplar of the woke character profile: she espouses grandiose, high-minded "social" morals, while having no personal morals at all. Such people are dangerous.
The Orthodoxy Displaces Patriotism
A full-fledged orthodoxy seeks to dismantle everything that went before it, including any part of the culture that conflicts with the orthodoxy. Newspaper columnist Bella Fromm described such an effort, in her book reporting on daily life in Nazi Germany. She said:
German cultural and spiritual inheritance has been swept away. Our new literature describes the heroic deeds of tiny men. They assault minorities, destroy works of art, soil and pollute temples and cemeteries, glorify killers in the textbooks of children … what would you expect from a people that approves the destruction of all that the centuries have built up?
Orthodoxies don't scruple or hesitate over "the destruction of all that the centuries have built up." Among other things, they usurp previous, traditional notions of patriotism and love of country.
This sometimes produces absurd results: during World War II, many German soldiers continued to fight for the Nazi orthodoxy long after it had become clear that the war was going to destroy Germany itself. Soviet Communists, when they first took over Russia, destroyed many priceless buildings and artifacts of the Russian cultural heritage, in their zeal to break with the past and enshrine Communist ideology as the highest authority in the land.
And the woke orthodoxy in our country has just as little respect for our history, values and heritage. For instance, around the Fourth of July one sees graffiti saying things like "Not My Independence Day." The Fourth of July is not a day of celebration for liberalists; they grant no credence or legitimacy to anything except the woke orthodoxy, and that orthodoxy played no part in our nation's founding.
Wokesters similarly grumble and complain about the celebration of Columbus Day:
In downtown Miami, a Columbus statue had its head and face painted red … There was also graffiti along the base that included “George Floyd,” “BLM,” and depictions of a hammer and sickle.
And in Richmond … protesters pulled down a Columbus statue, lit it on fire and then tossed it into Fountain Lake.
During that incident … the statue’s base was also spray painted and someone left a cardboard sign on top of it that read “Columbus represents genocide.”
In this regard, Big Morality is like other orthodoxies, rejecting the celebration of genuine national history and heritage in favor of a concocted "higher" ideology. Devotees of wokeism gain social-justice bona fides, i.e. render themselves "holier than thou," by condemning evil thoughts and deeds of figures from our past history. In their ceaseless struggle to find other people to condemn, they are able to discern evil in the most innocent behavior from the most distant past.
A Common Characteristic: Orthodoxies Subvert the Administration of Justice
In orthodox environments, the orthodoxy is the ruling ethos, and it displaces all previous principles and values, including established principles of justice. An orthodoxy sets aside earlier concepts of right and wrong, and this undermines the making of laws their enforcement.
In addition, adherents of the orthodoxy who are in positions of power, having abandoned personal moral scruples in favor of the orthodoxy's dogmas, have no qualms about abusing their professional integrity. They perform their official duties in conformance with the dogmas of the orthodoxy, rather than with regard to genuine principles of justice. This happens in a number of ways, some of them described as follows.
Law-Enforcement Is Subverted In Marxist Orthodoxies
In orthodox societies, an offense against the orthodoxy is the most serious of all misdeeds, and enforcement of the orthodoxy outweighs the enforcement of ordinary laws. This phenomenon can be seen in the way orthodox societies deal with political criminals—dissidents and protesters—as opposed to how they deal with common criminals. Offenders against the orthodoxy are punished viciously, while "decent, ordinary criminals" are treated much more leniently.
In the U.S.S.R., for example, political dissidents were often given draconian sentences for trivial actions, while ordinary criminals who “merely” wanted to rape, rob, murder, and steal, were treated leniently. As Valery Chaldidze explained,
[T]he new [Soviet] regime concentrated its repressive efforts on political opponents and class aliens. Amid the crowd of real or supposed enemies of the regime, non-political criminals were still regarded as socially akin; they received shorter terms of imprisonment and served them in less severe conditions … 
Common criminals or thieves were considered "socially friendly elements" or "social allies," because they did not challenge the official state orthodoxy. Solzhenitsyn described this phenomenon:
Professional criminals can in no sense be equated with capitalist elements (i.e., engineers, students, agronomists, and "nuns"), for the latter are steadfastly hostile to the dictatorship of the proletariat, while the former are only (!) politically unstable! . . . The most inveterate and hardened thieves were given unbridled power on the islands of the Archipelago … 
To quote Valery Chaldidze again,
[P]olitical prisoners were systematically terrorized by criminals in the camps … with the direct encouragement or connivance of the authorities. The helpless politicals, unused to camp conditions, were robbed of their clothing and allowed to freeze; their meager ration of food was taken from them, and eventually they died of exhaustion. Meanwhile, they were constantly tormented and humiliated.
There we see just one of the ways in which an orthodoxy corrupts justice: people who are not in conformance with the reigning orthodoxy are deemed more dangerous than those who are only in conflict with common law, humanity and the commandments of God.
Law-Enforcement Is Subverted In The Woke Orthodoxy
"In Britain, everything is policed except crime." —Mark Steyn, "Steyn Posts with Mark Steyn"
The woke orthodoxy, like others, impedes and corrupts proper law enforcement. Our traditional principles of justice, derived ultimately from Roman law and Judeo-Christian morality, are being supplanted by the orthodoxy's ideas of big, "social" justice. Small, personal morality, related to an individual's behavior, is slighted, leaving little moral indignation for matters of an individual's crimes and misdeeds, and little enthusiasm for punishing crime.
Wokesters have no personal morality and don't believe in personal morality or personal misdeeds; therefore, they have no real interest in punishing such offenses as theft, assault, and murder. As a result, wherever criminal justice is controlled by devotees of the woke orthodoxy, it becomes something of a vestigial organ; the underlying moral rationale disappears, and those charged with punishing crime no longer believe in the task.
Criminals continue to be caught and punished, but half-heartedly, pro forma. The prosecution of actual crimes is desultory and erratic, and any righteous indignation is reserved for those who offend against the social-justice orthodoxy.
In Great Britain, this syndrome has been working for quite awhile, making police eager to enforce the demands of the orthodoxy and reluctant to police ordinary crimes. Theodore Dalrymple reports that:
For the last 40 years, government policy in Britain, de facto if not always de jure, has been to render the British population virtually defenseless against criminals and criminality. . . [N]o Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence.
Dalrymple cites some of the factors that have caused the reluctance to police crime in Britain, including the ideological dogmas involved:
An unholy alliance between politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep prison costs to a minimum, and liberal intellectuals who pretend to see in crime a natural and understandable response to social injustice, which it would be a further injustice to punish, has engendered a prolonged and so far unfinished experiment in leniency that has debased the quality of life of millions of people, especially the poor.
A society under the influence of the woke orthodoxy lacks the resolve to punish ordinary crimes, as opposed to crimes against the orthodoxy. Ordinary breaches of the criminal code are viewed by liberalists as understandable and in some sense forgivable. For public consumption, to excuse their listlessness and lack of action, liberalists theorize about the "root causes" of crime, shifting the blame for crime from the criminal onto "society."
That is to say, in the eyes of the orthodox, common criminals only offend against "small," personal morality, as embodied in common law; wokesters do not believe in that morality anyway. They only abhor big, social crimes like racism, hate, transphobia, and the whole litany of crimes they purport to perceive. Common crimes can be understood and even explained away by citing society's flaws.
This matter is the subject of an article by Josie Appleton, which was published in the wake of riots in London. Discussing the reasons for the deterioration of police efficacy in the U.K., Appleton discerns a "flaccid pettiness" of usual police procedures, "which makes it more suited to meddling with the innocent than dealing with criminal actions." And she identifies the root of the problem:
Criminal justice has lost its moral distinctions, between innocent and guilty, crime and normality. One academic observed a shift from the traditional concern with ‘morally culpable individuals’ to ‘an order maintenance process’, focused on managing the ‘opportunities for disorder’. Criminal justice becomes a blanket business of ‘behaviour management’ —monitoring and meddling with everyone, but never really condemning or intervening …
The Victorian policeman was the ‘official representative of the moral order in daily life’, and it was this—and not his weapons—that provided the source of his power …
New policing officials … are like floating private security guards, with all the indifference of mercenaries and the pettiness of parking wardens...
While youths are apparently free to run riot, innocuous or even virtuous civic activities are subjected to ever-tighter regulation and sanction.
The net result is travesties of justice like the following one, described by Theodore Dalrymple:
A 14 year-old boy recently fashioned a club, sowed it with nails, and beat an old women with it to within an inch of her life, in order to rob her of the key to her shop. He was caught and ordered to pay her $28 in compensation in four years’ time, and placed under a supervision order that would hardly interfere with his life at all.
Such outrages indicate a loss of any genuine concept of justice, in a society that has lost its moral sanity. The prevailing orthodoxy has no room for genuine moral concepts.
Corrupt Judges Emit "Meretricious Drivel Dressed Up As Judicial Reasoning"
There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation. The document that the Court releases is in the form of a judicial opinion interpreting a statute, but that is deceptive. —Justice Samuel Alito, in his dissent from R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The term “corrupt judges” as used here doesn't refer to ordinary corruption, i.e., to bribes, graft, and other such commonplace abuses of office for personal gain. Rather, the term refers to judges who are crooked in a deeper sense, that of being intellectually, morally, and judicially bankrupt. These are judges who abandon their professional integrity, flouting the written law and the Constitution in their desire to rule in favor of the dogmas of their orthodoxy.
If the judges in a case are sufficiently fervent for the woke orthodoxy—and the odds of that are good—those judges can, regardless of the true merits of the case, invent some sophistry as a pretext for ruling on behalf of the orthodoxy. This has been going on for some decades in this country, and is given the name "judicial activism."
The procedure goes something like this: a case arises involving a conflict between "small," traditional morality and big, social-justice pseudo-morality, i.e., the orthodoxy. Judges first decide which party to a dispute is the more woke, meaning, “the one we like better." They then contrive to rule in favor of that side, by hook or by crook, justifying their ruling with whatever ad hoc sophistry they can devise as purported legal reasoning. This "meretricious drivel dressed up as judicial reasoning" (to use a phrase of Mark Steyn's) is intended to disguise the fact that they are corrupt judges, ruling solely on a basis of their own ideological preferences, that is, legislating under the pretext of issuing an impartial judicial opinion.
Sometimes the purported basis of the ruling is as minimal as mere nonsense phrases or gibberish—as in Judge William Douglas' famous justification for legalizing abortion, which stated that "guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance … "
Sometimes the sophistries are more elaborate and convoluted, but they are still created with the same aim: to make a pretext of ruling under color of law, while simply mandating the woke judges' policy wishes.
But while the judges' nonsense phrases may make no sense, that doesn't matter. The judges have the power, and all they need to do is to put forward some pro forma pretext or rationalization as a fig leaf for their naked exercise of power. They ordinarily can't be overruled, and it makes no difference that their supposed legal reasoning is idiotic. Their word is law.
In the absence of professional integrity, honesty and shame (at the prospect of being revealed as corrupt demagogues) judges can ignore everything but their woke orthodoxy and rule ad lib. Any feeble pretext is good enough, and it doesn't matter if the general public grants any credence to the sophistries; the judges wield power even as they corrupt justice, there being no higher authority to overrule them.
Corrupt Judges, Case Study: Times v. Sullivan
One notorious case that can serve as an archetype of corrupt woke rulings was New York Times v. Sullivan. That case involved a suit for libel, but the pertinent facts of the case were overwhelmed by its background against the civil rights disturbances of the time.
L. B. Sullivan, a public official responsible for supervision of the local police department in Montgomery, Alabama, was blatantly slandered by the New York Times. (Among other things, the Times printed an advertisement alleging, incorrectly, that the police had bombed Martin Luther King’s home.) Sullivan sued, but since he was in some sense fighting against the civil-rights protesters, he was the "bad guy" of the scenario; and in the minds of wokesters, he could not be allowed to prevail against the noble truth-tellers of the Times.
The Court needed a path to avoid "a politically controversial but legally correct decision" (to use a phrase of Clarence Thomas's) while still maintaining a pretense of dispensing impartial justice based on laws and the Constitution. That was the dilemma the Supreme Court justices faced.
To resolve that dilemma, the court invented a whole new judicial principle, conjuring up out of whole cloth: the "public figures" exception for people suing for slander and defamation. The Court said it's wrong to slander and libel ordinary people, but henceforth it was OK to defame "public figures" —celebrities and well-known persons. Conveniently, that category just happened to include L. B. Sullivan, so the Court and the New York Times were off the hook.
Public officials like Sullivan, the judges ruled, can't be defamed by routine lies, like ordinary plebeian citizens. Public figures have to have been smeared with extra-defamatory, heavy-duty, industrial-strength lies before they could have any hopes of gaining legal redress. The ostensible rational behind that ruling was that the free criticism of officials is essential for maintaining lively debate on public matters. In effect, the judges made a public-policy decision that, in their opinion, it would be better for society if people could defame public officials with impunity, because that would keep a spirited, lively conversation going. More realistically, they made a public-policy decision that the un-woke "bad guy" couldn't be allowed to win, but must be denied justice via the creation of a "public figure" sophistry.
The case created two classes of citizens—public officials or celebrities, who could be slandered with impunity, and everyone else, who could not. Such a "class distinction" makes no real sense: famous people have a good name to protect, as much as obscure everyday citizens. The Court's specious distinction is like saying, it’s a crime to rob an ordinary citizen, but you can rob a public official with impunity, because we must preserve a "breathing space" for robust economic activity.
The Court's ruling violated elementary principles of justice; it was invented ad hoc to meet a specific need, namely, the need to rule in favor of the "correct" party in one particular case before the Court. New York Times v. Sullivan helped to enshrine the practice of woke judges deciding cases by simply weighing who we like better, and then contriving to rule for that party, by hook or by crook. Through such deceptions and sophistries our justice system has been turned into a rickety, jerry-built structure of contrived sophistries, each of them invented to achieve the "right" result in some long-forgotten individual case.
And bringing this phenomenon right up to the present day, here is a report by Ann Coulter of a modern corrupt judicial ruling:
Last week ... savages tore down the 14-foot statue of Robert E. Lee designed by the French sculptor Antonin Mercie and installed in 1890 on land deeded to the state—in return for a promise that the Commonwealth of Virginia "will hold said Statue and pedestal and Circle of ground perpetually sacred to the Monumental purpose to which they have been devoted and that she will faithfully guard it and affectionately protect it."
But Virginia’s supreme court ruled that the state had a "free speech" right to violate the deed. On that theory, no contract can ever be enforced. I have a free speech right to say that I will NOT deliver 20 pounds of bananas! 
The woke miscreants keep feeding us chicken droppings and calling it chicken salad.
A very prescient remark made by Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address comes forcefully to mind today, when what he envisioned has come true:
[T]he candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court ... the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
And so it came about—we are ruled in all important matters by a small set of judicial autocrats, who have no check on their power and who rule our lives at their own whim.
A Common Characteristic: Orthodoxies Claim Authority Over Every Field Of Endeavor
Research on sunspots was felt to have taken an un-Marxist turn. In the years of the Terror more than two dozen leading astronomers disappeared. —Martin Amis, Koba The Dread
Nikolai Krylenko, the People’s Commissar for Justice, in a speech to the Soviet Congress of Chess Players in 1932 ... attacked the very concept of “the neutrality of chess.” It was necessary for chess to be Sovietized like everything else. “We must organize shock brigades of chess players, and begin immediate realization of a Five-Year Plan for chess,” he declared. —Mark Steyn, "The Age of Intolerance," National Review
The popular knitting and crochet website Ravelry ... is "banning support of Donald Trump and his administration" in any form, including "forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles" and anything else.
"We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy," Ravelry said in a statement. —Vanessa Romo, "Ravelry, The Knitting Website, Bans Trump Talk And Patterns," National Public Radio
Every orthodoxy would seem to have its own natural domain or sphere of interest, depending on the particulars of the orthodoxy. A religious orthodoxy, like the one that powered the Spanish Inquisition, naturally concerned itself with religious doctrines. The Marxist orthodoxy primarily involves matters of economics and political power. And our own woke, social orthodoxy concerns itself with a broad range of social and political matters.
But beyond their respective natural domains, orthodoxies are expansionist; over time they assert authority over a wide range of subjects. This concept can be seen in Benito Mussolini's characterization of fascism; he summed it up as, "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." In other words, the fascist goal was complete state control of everything aspect of society. Mussolini's motto could apply in transmuted form to all orthodoxies, whose goal can be expressed as Everything within the orthodoxy, nothing outside the orthodoxy, nothing opposed to the orthodoxy.
In short, orthodoxies are omnivorous; they tend to devour every aspect of society. Some examples of that follow.
Orthodoxies Claim Authority Over Science
Even before the Nazi takeover, a group of German physicists ... boldly declared Einstein's theory of relativity to be "Jewish world-bluff." They attempted to dismiss, under the summary heading of "Jewish physics," all studies based upon the data of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.— "Scientific Exodus," Atomic Heritage Foundation, June 4, 2014
For example, one [Nazi-era] book stated, “In the beginning, God created the German. From ice he created him.” ... According to these books, Julius Caesar was Aryan; Napoleon was Aryan, and that was the secret of his success; Abraham Lincoln was Aryan, and was called Abraham Linkhorn … —Ayelett Shani, "How Hitler Won Germans Over With His 'Scientific Religion'," Haaretz
Followers of an orthodoxy consider its dogmas to be supreme truth, superior to all lesser sources of knowledge. Even science and mathematics are considered to have less validity than the dogmas of the orthodoxy, and are deemed incorrect wherever they contradict the orthodoxy.
In Nazi Germany, race theory infiltrated all fields of study, producing concepts like "German physics," which was deemed superior to Einstein’s “Jewish physics.” Nazi racial orthodoxy overruled even mathematics:
The teaching of the natural sciences … deteriorated rapidly … They began to teach what they called German physics, German chemistry, German mathematics. Indeed, in 1937 there appeared a journal called Deutsche Mathematik, and its first editorial solemnly proclaimed that any idea that mathematics could be judged nonracially carried "within itself the germs of destruction of German science."
Physics, too, fell before the juggernaut of racial orthodoxy. Shirer continues:
‘German physics?’ asked Professor Philipp Lenard of Heidelberg University, who was one of the more learned and internationally respected scientists of the Third Reich. ‘'But,' it will be replied, 'Science is and remains international.' It is false. In reality, science, like every other human product, is racial and conditioned by blood..
Devotees of the Marxist orthodoxy too considered their dogmas competent to overrule science. For example, Rutgers University professor Irving Louis Horowitz explains:
There was a strong push for every area of scientific endeavor to confirm the philosophy of dialectical materialism [so as] to deny genetic variation … and abnormal or neurotic behavior as simply the absence of proper work therapy. There was not a single area of scientific and intellectual work exempted from not just political orthodoxy but party directives..
The scientific environment in the U.S.S.R. under Stalin was summed up as follows by Robert Service:
Stalin gave things a political twist. His spokesman Zhdanov, despite negligible training, breezily denounced relativity theory, cybernetics and quantum mechanics as “bourgeois” and “reactionary.” … The relativist concepts of Einstein were an irritant to the monolithism of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism …
Persecution of scholarship was accompanied by the continued promotion of cranks. By the 1940s the pseudo-scientist Lysenko was claiming to have developed strains of wheat that could grow within the Arctic Circle.
(Note Zhdanov's use of boilerplate epithets appropriate to the Marxist orthodoxy, such as "bourgeois" and "reactionary.")
Under the Soviet orthodoxy, a pseudo-scientist like Lysenko was given more respect than people doing actual, rigorous scientific research, because the charlatan's conclusions coincided with the needs and dogmas of the orthodoxy. That is standard procedure for orthodoxies.
The Liberalist Orthodoxy Claims Authority Over Science
“Science at its core is systematically racist and sexist,” said computational biologist Laura Boykin at the WIRED 25 conference in San Francisco on Friday.—"How Do We Bring Equality to Data Ownership and Usage?" Wired, Nov. 8, 2019
The chairman of the earth and planetary sciences department at the University of California at Davis announced an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students. The group’s purpose was to confront the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology ...
The American Astronomical Society held color-coded Zoom meetings, one for white astronomers to “discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers,” one for black astronomers to “talk, vent, connect, and hold space for each other,” and one for “non-Black people of color to discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers.” —Heather Mac Donald, "Conformity to a Lie," City Journal, Summer 2020
It is sometimes necessary for devotees of the woke orthodoxy to denounce science, because science can reach conclusions contrary to the orthodoxy. Katherine Timpf wrote about one such case:
In a paper for The Minnesota Review, culture and gender-studies researcher Whitney Stark argues that Newton’s understanding of physics is oppressive because it has “separated beings” based on their “binary and absolute differences” —a structure that she calls “hierarchical and exploitative” . . . making it “part of the apparatus that enables oppression.”
She then quotes Whitney Stark as saying:
This structural thinking of individualized separatism with binary and absolute differences . . . seeped into/poured over/ is embedded in many structures of classification, which understand similarity and difference in the world, imposed in many hierarchical and exploitative organizational structures, whether through gender, life/nonlife, national borders, and so on.
If that mass of verbiage means anything, it must be, "Gobbledygook is better than science."
If science can come under attack from our own grassroots orthodoxy, its position is all the more precarious in societies where the orthodoxy holds actual political control. In such a milieu the power of the state can be put behind acceptance of official dogmas.
Such was the case with quack agronomist and geneticist Trofim Lysenko, whose agricultural and genetic doctrines the Soviet regime imposed on all scientists, under pain of imprisonment in the GULAG.
Dissent from Lysenko's theories was criminalized in 1948. The V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences pronounced Lysenkoism "the only correct theory." The 1950 edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia stated that, “Soviet scientists under the leadership of Academician Lysenko proved scientifically that genes do not exist in nature.” Anyone disagreeing with Lysenko could be labeled "bourgeois" or "fascist," and accused of being "anti-Soviet" and an "enemy of the people."
Such is the way of orthodoxies: the dogmas of the orthodoxy are considered to be the highest truth, and they override lesser considerations like objective facts and legitimate science.
It is now well known that Lysenko was a semi-literate crank, and his work "wholesale fraud sustained by violence, lies and intimidation," as one author puts it. That author gives these details:
[One] victim was N. I. Vavilov, who had had responsibility for genetics under Lenin … Vavilov’s powers were curtailed after 1936, and in 1940 he was arrested as a spy, sentenced to death, and died in prison three years later.
Lysenko’s stranglehold tightened further in 1948, when thousands of scientists were dismissed in a purge of those who had opposed him, and the teaching of Mendelian genetics or criticism of Lysenko/Lysenkoism became a crime. Lysenko received three Stalin Prizes … He was proclaimed a Hero of Socialist Labor, became a deputy and vice president of the Supreme Soviet and of the Central Committee of the Party ... 
Our own liberalist orthodoxy is not yet politically in control of Western governments, but it exerts its influence from such positions of power and influence as it has. Efforts are made to legally compel adherence to liberalist dogmas about gender, transgenders, global warming, and other subjects, as in the following incident:
A Scottish 17-year-old ... was suspended for filming his teacher telling him that he could not say in class that there are only two genders ...
The viral footage revealed that the teen had been removed from class for stating that there are only two genders, with the teacher telling him that whilst the boy was entitled to his “opinion,” he could not share it at school because “the authority” and school policy dictated that there are many genders and to assert otherwise was “not acceptable” and tantamount to discrimination.
“I know what you think, and I know what the authority thinks, I know the authority’s point of view is very clear,” the teacher is heard saying ... Now, the pupil has been told that he will not be able to return to Mearns Academy to finish his education, the Evening Standard reports.
That is, the assertion that there are more than two sexes (genders) is official state dogma in Scotland and will be enforced as such. The dogmas of the orthodoxy are unchallengeable, quasi-scriptural texts, and for true believers they outweigh the lesser hypotheses of science.
The Liberalist Orthodoxy Claims Authority Over Mathematics
On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White. —Prof. Rochelle Gutierrez, “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods," The Independent
[T]he idea of 2+2 equaling 4 is cultural and because of western imperialism/colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing.—Brittany Marshall, Ph.D. student at Rutgers Graduate School of Education
Mathematics too can be made subordinate to orthodoxy. One effort in that direction is Inventing the Mathematician, a book calling for "a more inclusive cultural notion of numeracy." In an interview for Inside Higher Ed, the book's author, Sara N. Hottinger, identifies the problem as being that "black mathematics students must accommodate, reconfigure or resist the discursive construction of a normative white, masculine mathematical subjectivity." In other words, math is racist, like everything else in our repressive, illiberal society:
David Stinson’s research on . . . what he calls the “white male math myth” demonstrate that for African-American students there are a series of cultural discourses that work to limit who can understand themselves as mathematical knowers …
In much the same way that feminist education scholars have shown … the incompatibility between femininity and mathematical achievement, both [Erica] Walker and Stinson show the complex ways successful black mathematics students must accommodate, reconfigure or resist the discursive construction of a normative white, masculine mathematical subjectivity. By limiting access to mathematical subjectivity in this way, we also limit access to Western subjectivity.
Apparently, the real issue is not one of understanding math, but of "who can understand themselves as mathematical knowers"; it's a psychological problem, possibly related to mathematical self-esteem. Thus do members of the woke orthodoxy explain away the disparate proportions of mathematicians from various demographics.
Mathematics can be criticized as not only racist, but sexist. One professor, Luis A. Leyva, wrote an article dedicated to "unpacking the male superiority myth and masculinization of mathematics," as he puts it. It seems that there are just too many males doing mathematics, and that they have a greater natural affinity for the field than females. That gives rise to a “myth of male superiority,” which needs to be stifled and combatted.
As reported in Campus Reform, Leyva, a Vanderbilt University professor, recently complained in an academic journal article that the field of mathematics is a “white and heteronormatively masculinized space.”
[F]actors such as teacher expectations and cultural norms “serve as gendering mechanisms that give rise to sex-based achievement differences.”...
Leyva then suggests that the apparent “gender gap” in mathematical ability is socially constructed (as opposed to arising from inherently different cognitive abilities) and therefore a “myth of male superiority.”
This “myth” is further perpetuated by teachers who point out instances of female underachievement, Leyva claims, asserting that doing so can “contribute to the masculinization of the domain that unfairly holds students to men’s higher levels of achievement and participation as a measure of success.””
All in all, the woke orthodoxy disparages science and math because those fields are not nice enough, and because they allow the wrong people (white males) to succeed. Point taken.
The Woke Orthodoxy Claims Authority Over Facts
The point about Galileo is not the wickedness of the Pope—he was wicked—the point about Galileo is that truth was subjected to dogma.—Peter Hitchens, "The Delingpod: The James Delingpole Podcast" March 18, 2020
Devotees of an orthodoxy even presume to have competence to overrule statements of fact. For example, tennis great Martina Navratilova recently made this shocking assertion:
You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.
Critics responded to that statement by calling Navratilova "transphobic," meaning she had said something which was contrary to the woke orthodoxy's dogmas on transsexuals. She was punished for her heresy; as CNN reported:
An LGBT group has cut ties with tennis great Martina Navratilova after she said it was a form of "cheating" for transgender women to be allowed to compete in women's sport.
New York-based Athlete Ally … called the comments transphobic …
Athlete Ally not only has the power to call Navratilova names, it has the power to pass judgment on science and reality:
"Martina Navratilova's recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data … ," Athlete Ally said in a statement.
"Trans women are women, period," the group added.
Trans women are women by sheer force of will, apparently—or rather, by the power of orthodox dogma. The orthodoxy is deemed to have the authority to overrule reality, including the reality that a surgically-mutilated man is not therefore a woman. And the orthodoxy has that power because the orthodoxy is the sum of all that is right and just, and therefore infallible.
Fortunately, members of Athlete Ally don't believe Navratilova is beyond redemption. They added a patronizing peace overture:
Athlete Ally said it had reached out to Navratilova after that incident but had not heard back.
"We believe that growth is possible, and we extend once again to Martina the invitation to learn from this experience," the group said Tuesday.
Yes, there is hope for the vilest. And it is always possible that Navratilova might repent, see the light, and return to the orthodox fold, thus escaping the social-justice wrath to come.
Orthodoxies Claim Authority Over History
In the [Prof. Leonard] Jeffries version of the story of mankind, it is the dark-skinned who are destined to rule. They are the Sun People, whites are the Ice People. We children of the sun, he tells blacks, came first … "We are the mothers and fathers of civilization. We developed science, mathematics, philosophy." —"Among Sun People and Ice People, a Hybrid Seeks His Place," by Stan Lichtenstein, The Baltimore Sun
Followers of orthodoxies demonstrate a contempt for mere facts in at least one characteristic way: they misrepresent and falsify history to make it conform to the dogmas of the orthodoxy. Any aspect of history is subject to being reinterpreted so as to make it appear to illustrate of the principles of the orthodoxy.
Communist regimes of the past were famous for this. Stalin and other dictators frequently ordered the rewriting of history books to magnify their own role in crucial events. Photographs of historic scenes were often altered, literally erasing from the public record historic figures who had fallen out of favor.
Our own orthodoxy often works through the publication of distorted and revisionist histories – though not at the behest of the government, as in totalitarian societies, but by individual devotees of the orthodoxy on their own initiative. Works like Margaret Mead's Coming Of Age In Somoa; the duplicitous I, Rigoberta Menchú; and Michael Bellesiles's Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture are all examples of works that have been called slanted, if not fraudulent. Such books gained critical acclaim not because they were true, intelligent or well-written, but because their conclusions were in accord with the pieties of the woke orthodoxy. They flattered liberalists and reinforced their preconceived notions; that was their main virtue, not any literary or historical merit in the works themselves.
Another example of such distorted histories is the primitive "just so" stories of Black Studies professor Leonard Jeffries, who expounds the theory that whites are "ice people," with frosty personalities, while blacks are "sun people," with warm, sunny personalities. Jeffries is the black pedagogue who said "Jews are a race of skunks and animals that stole Africa from the Black Man." As reported by the New York Times, Jeffries expanded on his topic:
Leonard Jeffries, a controversial City College professor, compared Jews to "skunks" in a speech delivered recently in Newark ...
The speech ... was reported yesterday in The Daily News.
In the speech, the professor ... said that every white nationality can be represented by an animal, The News said.
The News quoted Jeffries as saying English whites were related to elephants, the Dutch were like squirrels and Jews were like "skunks" and "stunk up everything."
Professor Jeffries also told his audience that "you have to have peace with these skunks so they don't stink you all up," The News reported.
This is the type of sophomoric, not to say moronic, "scholarship" that fits in well with the woke orthodoxy. Jeffries, a semi-literate mountebank, was chairman of a "Black Studies" department, a university ghetto devoted to stirring up minority grievances. Such academic low-rent districts are created not for scholarly pursuits, but to give blacks university employment, justify anti-white bigotry, and attack the legitimacy of our society. All these are desired objectives under wokeism.
Other Fraudulent Woke Histories
Works that bolster and reinforce the liberalist orthodoxy are sacrosanct to a broad segment of the public, and are immune from normal standards like peer review and critical examination. Mary Lefkowitz cites an example of this phenomenon in her book, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History:
In the fall of 1991 I was asked to write a review … about Martin Bernal's Black Athena and its relation to the Afrocentrist movement … There were books in circulation that claimed that Socrates and Cleopatra were of African descent, and that Greek philosophy had actually been stolen from Egypt. Not only were these books being read and widely distributed; some of these ideas were being taught in schools and even in universities.
Ordinarily, if someone has a theory which involves a radical departure from what the experts have professed, he is expected to defend his position by providing evidence in its support. But no one seemed to think it was appropriate to ask for evidence from the instructors who claimed that the Greeks stole their philosophy from Egypt.
Normal standards are discarded by devotees of the orthodoxy, when the subject matters flatters their illusions.
Americans no longer share a functional, unifying ethos of national identity or purpose. America now has two oppositional and incompatible paradigms of national identity: the foundational paradigm One nation under God vs. the modern summative Our diversity is our strength ... [that] sounds virtuous, but it is a self-destructive and ultimately suicidal ethos of national identity.—Deborah C. Tyler, "The Real Reason Why Such Elderly People Run America," American Thinker
The liberalist orthodoxy is opposed to the traditional values and assumptions of our nation, including religious concepts of morality and justice. It has thrust our country, and many other Western countries, into a perpetual battle between the old and the new paradigms—an endless turmoil of fault-finding, recriminations, and nagging, as devotees of the woke orthodoxy attempt to shame their opponents and claim the moral high ground for themselves. The fight is unceasing, and social peace is impossible while there are still any traditionalists remaining—any people who do not accede to the novel dogmas of the absurd, contrived system of woke social-justice pieties.
Wherever the new paradigm gains the ascendency, it degrades and corrupts everything it touches. It eliminates all normal rules of civility and honorable behavior, substituting self-righteous dogmas which are irrational and destructive, but embraced by its devotees with religious zeal.
Leftism, liberalism, or progressivism today has become not so much politics as an alternative moral system; a contrived, homemade pseudo-religion for people who have no actual, genuine religion, but whose main path to virtue is finding fault with everyone around them and the society they live in. It is not as repressive as some of the notorious, murderous orthodoxies of the past, but that may be because it is only a social movement of faction, not endowed with power. If it ever does gain formal, vested power, it may turn into a totalitarian orthodoxy as violent and repressive as any in the past.
Larry Eubank was a computer programmer and consultant for 25 years and is now a free-lance writer. He has written for Chronicles-A Magazine of American Culture and Quarterly Review. He is the author of Why Marx Was Wrong.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
"Why Marx Was Wrong" was an older, longer version of my book, which is titled "Marx's Sophistries" in the current, best version. I am also the author of "The Liberal Orthodoxy," from which this article is drawn.