Category :

Friday Mental Health Break–The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford–Sing, Precious Music – New CD release

watch and listen to it all–great fall pictures!

Posted in England / UK, Music

(DG) Stephen Nichols:John Wycliffe–The Morning Star of the Reformation

In On the Truth of Sacred Scripture, Wycliffe called for the Bible to be translated into English. According to Roman Catholic law, translating the Bible into a vulgar, common language was a heresy punishable by death. It is almost impossible to imagine why a church would want to keep God’s word from people, unless that church wanted to hold power over the people. Wycliffe was more convinced of the power of the word of God than the power wielded by the papal office. Consequently, he and a group of colleagues committed themselves to making the word of God available.

Not only did the Bible need to be translated; it also had to be copied and distributed. This was before the printing press (invented in 1440), so copies had to be made painstakingly by hand. Despite the challenges, hundreds of the Bibles were produced and distributed to Wycliffe’s troop of pastors, who preached across England as the word of God made its way to the people. Wycliffe’s followers came to be called Lollards. They were enclaves of reform not only in England, but across Europe.

These efforts in translating, copying, and proclaiming the Bible in English were driven by a singular motive, expressed by Wycliffe this way: “It helps Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue which they know best.” In his final years, Wycliffe endured falling out of favor with the church and nobility in England. Of course, he had long ago fallen out of favor with the pope. Yet, Wycliffe declared, “I am ready to defend my convictions even unto death.” He remained convinced of the authority and centrality of Scripture and devoted to his life’s calling to help Christians study the Bible. Having suffered two strokes, John Wycliffe died on December 30, 1384.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Wyclif

O God, whose justice continually challenges thy Church to live according to its calling: Grant us who now remember the work of John Wyclif contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on thy Church, and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body; through the same Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Thomas Becon

For these Thy most bounteous gifts, and for all other Thy benefits which Thou daily givest unto us of Thy great mercy both for our body and soul; we most humbly thank Thee, most gentle and merciful Father, beseeching Thee that Thou wilt give us grace through Thy Holy Spirit not to be unthankful, but to walk worthy of this Thy kindness, and so to behave ourselves all our lifetime in this world according to Thy holy will, that at the last day we may be found in the number of them to whom Thy only-begotten Son shall say: Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom which was prepared for you from the beginning of the world; through the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

—-Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

–Luke 12:13-31

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NPR) ‘Guns, Protests And Elections Do Not Mix’: Conflict Experts See Rising Warning Signs

Members of a Quaker congregation in Maryland are so concerned that President Trump will prematurely declare victory when states are still counting ballots — a process that could take days — that they are ready to take to the streets in nonviolent resistance.

They say such a scenario would amount to a “coup” — even if it involves legal fights and not military action.

“To use the word ‘coup’ in the United States just seems like such a foreign concept when we’re supposed to be this beacon of democracy,” said Alaine Duncan, an acupuncturist and Quaker who lives just outside Washington, D.C. “But it doesn’t seem like we’re being a beacon of democracy right now.”

With Election Day less than a week away, anxiety, distrust and suspicion are running high. Activists and extremists on both the right and left are worried the other side will somehow steal the election, and they’re making plans for what to do if they believe that’s happening.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Violence

(C of E) Global investors engage top mining companies on Indigenous community rights & social licence

Australia, London, – a group of 64 investors and their representatives with USD $10.2 trillion in Assets Under Management have today written to the Boards of mining companies operating in Australia and internationally to seek assurances about how the sector obtains and maintains its social license to operate with First Nations and Indigenous communities.

The investor group of long-term institutional investors is considering the implications of what occurred at the Juukan Gorge on the wider mining sector to support alignment between best-practice and company action.

The investor group is seeking information on the action companies are taking to understand and manage the risks. The group is clear that although the example of the destruction of the Juukan Gorge has arisen in Australia, the principles apply to projects across the world.

The letter from global investors states:

“As responsible investors and their representatives, we are committed to working with the mining sector to support verifiable outcome-oriented processes and standards that ensure that such events are not repeated. To do so, we need to better understand your approach to management of the cultural heritage and First Nations and Indigenous community relations.”

Read it all.

Posted in Australia / NZ, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market

(MIT News) Artificial intelligence model detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections through cellphone-recorded coughs

Asymptomatic people who are infected with Covid-19 exhibit, by definition, no discernible physical symptoms of the disease. They are thus less likely to seek out testing for the virus, and could unknowingly spread the infection to others.

But it seems those who are asymptomatic may not be entirely free of changes wrought by the virus. MIT researchers have now found that people who are asymptomatic may differ from healthy individuals in the way that they cough. These differences are not decipherable to the human ear. But it turns out that they can be picked up by artificial intelligence.

In a paper published recently in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology, the team reports on an AI model that distinguishes asymptomatic people from healthy individuals through forced-cough recordings, which people voluntarily submitted through web browsers and devices such as cellphones and laptops.

The researchers trained the model on tens of thousands of samples of coughs, as well as spoken words. When they fed the model new cough recordings, it accurately identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people who were confirmed to have Covid-19, including 100 percent of coughs from asymptomatics — who reported they did not have symptoms but had tested positive for the virus.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(CNA) Cardinal Sarah says West must wake up to threat of Islamism after three killed at French Catholic church

Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah said Thursday that the West must wake up to the threat of Islamism after three people were killed at a French church by an attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

The Guinean cardinal wrote on Twitter Oct. 29 that “Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be fought with force and determination.”

“It will not stop its war. Unfortunately, we Africans know this all too well. The barbarians are always the enemies of peace,” the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments wrote.

“The West, today France, must understand this. Let us pray.”

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, France, Guinea, Italy, Politics in General, Roman Catholic, Terrorism

(Sky News) Three die in France in ‘suspected terror incident’

A woman has been decapitated in a suspected terror attack in Nice, French police say.

Three people have died and several others are injured after a knife attack took place near the Notre Dame church.

Read it all.

Posted in France, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Terrorism

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Hannington and the Martyrs of Uganda

Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frederick B. Macnutt

O Holy Spirit the Comforter, Spirit of Jesus, come Thou upon us and dwell within us. Not of ourselves, but of Thee is our life. Teach us that we may know; cleanse us and purify us within; strengthen us to persevere, lest we fall away from Thee. Come into us, Thou Who art already there, that by Thine arrival again Thou mayest enter into Thy possession anew. And out of worldly death in which we languish create in us the life that shall make us as Thou art, through inward unity in which we are one with Thee. Come, then, eternal Spirit, Who with the Father and the Son art one God, and abide with us for ever.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

–Luke 12:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond grants Anglican Diocese of SC’s motion for a stay in the trademark litigation with TECSC and TEC.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(PD) Ryan T. Anderson And Robert P. George–Pope Francis, Civil Unions, and Moral Truth

In What Is Marriage, we opposed a “consent-based” view of marriage that saw marriage as being primarily about companionship, establishing a companionate relationship with what one scholar called “your number one person.” We argued that a faulty understanding of marriage actually makes it harder for people to find happiness, both inside and outside of marriage. That a vision of marriage that sees it as just about whatever ordinary friendships and relationships have, but taken to the nth degree—that marriage is simply the best, most important of whatever makes human sociality good to begin with—gets marriage wrong in ways that can harm both married and unmarried people.

For married people it can make them presume that their marriage is to be their primary means of fulfillment in all the areas of their life, that they should be able to say of their spouse “you fulfill me.” But no one human being and relationship totally fulfills any of us. And no one should seek total fulfillment from their spouses or their marriage.

For unmarried people, it can make them feel—and the rest of society view them—as not only lacking one aspect of fulfillment, marriage itself, but as lacking the pinnacle of human fulfillment, and thus as not flourishing at all. A vision of marriage that sees the relationship between spouses as the peak of human sociality in turn renders the unmarried as second-class flourishers.

Instead, we should view marriage correctly, as a distinctive good with a distinctive nature: a conjugal union of husband and wife ordered to, and thus normatively shaped by its unique aptness for, the bearing and rearing of children. Doing so not only allows us to see family as involving much more than just the spouses themselves—to include extended family and friends grafted into the family—but also allows us to appreciate the unique and irreducible goodness of non-marital forms of human sociality.

A sound vision of marriage thus offers wide vistas of human fulfillment to people who may never marry, for whatever reason. It offers hope of meaningful non-sexual relationships to people who experience same-sex attraction in a way that makes forming a truly marital partnership impossible.

More deeply understanding the truth about marriage and human sexuality will help all of us flourish. And that, of course, is what a pastor like Pope Francis desires. We can understand—indeed we share—the frustration of our fellow Catholics with the ways in which the Holy Father conducts interviews and the ways in which the media distorts them, but we must not do anything to undermine the truth that sets us free.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NLJ) Jason Blakely–Scientism and Civilizational Rallying: Dawkins and the New Atheists

In Dawkins’s grand vision the world faced a dualistic split between the party of enlightened liberal atheism and backward authoritarian theism. His call was for a public movement of atheists to rally and mobilize into an open political bloc against religion. This suggested that the War on Terror should more rightly be reconceived as a War on Religion. In this way, scientific liberalism became for Dawkins a way to crusade against multiculturalism in favor of a liberal, scientific monoculture. Once religion had withered away and disappeared, humans would be free to enjoy freedom defined not as serious religious or spiritual pluralism, but as exercising various banal market freedoms.

Dawkins never seriously grappled with the tension between his avowals of the triumph of liberalism and his decidedly illiberal views on the religions constituting nearly every traditional human culture. Instead, for Dawkins the advent of a liberal, materialist atheism would mean a decline in world violence and a rise in social harmony. After all, Dawkins noted, “individual atheists may do evil things” but “they don’t do evil things in the name of atheism” and thus no war had been “fought in the name of atheism.”[5]

In other words, a liberal, atheist perpetual peace was on the horizon. At the same time the pages of The God Delusion expressed a unique, implicit justification for the War on Terror being waged all around Dawkins as he wrote. While he had believed he was popularizing the Darwinian science of memes, he had in fact joined in the construction of a culture for his fellow humans to inhabit. This was the varied scientistic culture of the War on Terror—truly a house with many rooms in it.

Read it all.

Posted in Atheism, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Science & Technology

Reminder–ACNA Task Force has issued a Call For Feedback On Traditional Language Liturgies

From here:

The Traditional Language Subcommittee of the Liturgy Task Force is seeking feedback on the proposed Book of Common Prayer 2019, Traditional Language Edition. We would especially like feedback relating to translation choices, as well as corrections to any typos or errors that might be found.

Please submit all feedback before December 27, 2020 to Jacob Hootman at liturgytaskforce@anglicanchurch.net.

To access the liturgies, visit the Traditional Language Liturgies page here.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Liturgy, Music, Worship

(LA Times) LA Dodgers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays to win first World Series title since 1988

All year long, from February when they reported for spring training and the coronavirus outbreak was a concept beyond imagination until Tuesday night, the Dodgers believed this was the year. It became an unprecedented year with unparalleled circumstances, but this was the year those hovering ghosts — produced by annual anguish the last seven years — would vanish. This was the year they would add another round of World Series highlights to the reels that grow grainier each passing autumn. This was the year and this was the team to finally end a championship drought going on 32 years.

It happened Tuesday night inside Globe Life Field, a cavernous, new building 1,400 miles away from their home, in front of 11,437 people after a 60-game regular season and expanded postseason that delivered a year unlike any other. It happened when Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames looking to end Game 6 of the World Series and spark a celebration millions of children, teenagers and adult Dodgers fans — now mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles — had never experienced.

It finally happened. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, to win the series, four games to two, and claim their first World Series championship since 1988, the franchise’s seventh title and sixth since moving to Los Angeles.

Read it all.

Posted in Sports

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Simon and Saint Jude

O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from The Primer

Lord Jesu Christ, Whose property is ever to be merciful, which art alway pure and clean without spot of sin: grant us the grace to follow Thee in mercifulness toward our neighbours, and always to bear a pure heart and a clean conscience toward Thee, that we may after this life see Thee in Thy everlasting glory: which livest and reignest world without end.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

–Revelation 12:1-6

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(The State) South Carolina adds more than 750 new COVID-19 cases, 19 more deaths

South Carolina health officials reported another 755 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the state’s rate of cases continues to rise over the past month.

Tuesday’s case count marks the fifth time in the last six days officials from the Department of Health and Environmental Control have reported more than 750 new cases of the novel coronavirus, and the state’s seven-day rolling average of new cases is now just under 1,000, a mark it hasn’t passed since early September.

State health officials also recorded 19 more confirmed deaths related to the virus Tuesday. Since the first cases were identified in South Carolina in March, officials have reported 164,802 cases and 3,602 deaths.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(NYT) They Did Not Vote in 2016. Why They Plan to Skip the Election Again.

Like nearly half of all the eligible voters in her county in 2016, Keyana Fedrick did not vote.

Four years later, politics has permeated her corner of northeastern Pennsylvania. Someone sawed a hole in a large Trump sign near one of her jobs. The election office in her county is so overwhelmed with demand that it took over the coroner’s office next door. Her parents, both Democrats born in the 1950s, keep telling her she should vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. Anything is better than President Trump, they say.

But Ms. Fedrick, who works two jobs, at a hotel and at a department store, does not trust either of the two main political parties, because nothing in her 31 years of life has led her to believe that she could. She says they abandon voters like “a bad mom or dad who promises to come and see you, and I’m sitting outside with my bags packed and they never show up.”

That is why Ms. Fedrick does not regret her decision in 2016 to skip the voting booth. In fact, she plans to repeat it this year — something that she and a friend have started to hide from people they know.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Politics in General

(Fortune) Chinese partner says Pfizer COVID vaccine may reach market by December

The experimental COVID-19 vaccine codeveloped by the U.S.’s Pfizer, Germany’s BioNTech, and China’s Fosun Pharmaceuticals may reach market as early as this December, according to the chairman of Fosun Group.

“Once the vaccine is proved to be safe and effective [after trial results are posted in November], the vaccine will be made available in the market by December [2020] or January next year,” Guo Guangchang, chair of the parent company of Fosun Pharmaceuticals, said Tuesday at the Fortune Global Forum.

Read it all.

Posted in Corporations/Corporate Life, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

Marco Polo’s “China Forecast 2025” report says that by 2025, China’s technology ecosystem will have matured and be on par with Silicon Valley

The starring role that China plays in this drama makes understanding its general trajectory—from the economy to domestic politics and technology development to energy policy—of immense interest and import to the world, and particularly for its peer competitor the United States.

So what kind of China should be expected by 2025? That singular question animated this effort to forecast the country’s path forward over the medium term.

Our simple answer: A China that will be near-majority middle class for the first time, with increasing technological parity with Silicon Valley and a less carbon-intensive energy landscape, all under the aegis of a stronger Xi Jinping and his vision of governance. Achieving these outcomes will require trade-offs, in this case a China that will likely redouble on domestic priorities and moderate its appetite for global adventurism.

This view of a more capable yet more outwardly cautious China is based on a composite of four scenarios across specific functional areas, bounded by the timeframe through 2025. It is also predicated on several macro assumptions and key factors that are likely to determine China’s behavior over that time period. In other words, this forecast exists within a defined scope, the elements of which are explained below.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, China, Economy, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(Wired) The Russian Hackers Playing ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ With US Infrastructure

Over the last half a decade, Russian state-sponsored hackers have triggered blackouts in Ukraine, released history’s most destructive computer worm, and stolen and leaked emails from Democratic targets in an effort to help elect Donald Trump. In that same stretch, one particular group of Kremlin-controlled hackers has gained a reputation for a very different habit: walking right up to the edge of cybersabotage—sometimes with hands-on-the-switches access to US critical infrastructure—and stopping just short.

Last week the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published an advisory warning that a group known as Berserk Bear—or alternately Energetic Bear, TEMP.Isotope, and Dragonfly—had carried out a broad hacking campaign against US state, local, territorial, and tribal government agencies, as well aviation sector targets. The hackers breached the networks of at least two of those victims. The news of those intrusions, which was reported earlier last week by the news outlet Cyberscoop, presents the troubling but unconfirmed possibility that Russia may be laying the groundwork to disrupt the 2020 election with its access to election-adjacent local government IT systems.

In the context of Berserk Bear’s long history of US intrusions, though, it’s much harder to gauge the actual threat it poses. Since as early as 2012, cybersecurity researchers have been shocked to repeatedly find the group’s fingerprints deep inside infrastructure around the globe, from electric distribution utilities to nuclear power plants. Yet those researchers also say they’ve never seen Berserk Bear use that access to cause disruption. The group is a bit like Chekhov’s gun, hanging on the wall without being fired through all of Act I—and foreshadowing an ominous endgame at a critical moment for US democracy.

“What makes them unique is the fact that they have been so focused on infrastructure throughout their existence, whether it’s mining, oil, and natural gas in different countries or the grid,” says Vikram Thakur, a researcher at security firm Symantec who has tracked the group over several distinct hacking campaigns since 2013.

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Science & Technology

Craige Borrett’s Sunday Sermon at Christ St Paul’s–Loving God and Loving our Neighbor (Matthew 22)

The sermon starts about 23:50 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Sir Thomas More

O My sweet Saviour Christ, which in Thine undeserved love towards mankind so kindly wouldst suffer the painful death of the Cross, suffer not me to be cold nor lukewarm in love again towards Thee.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

–Luke 11:27-28

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Quillette) Sergiu Klainerman–Reflections on Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Address

But it is not just that our basic institutions are declining by neglecting their essential responsibilities. Far more worrying is the fact that the liberal ideas underpinning these institutions are themselves collapsing under a constant barrage of criticism. In other words, people are losing faith in our foundational liberal values. This fact, barely visible in 1978, is an essential part of the present reality of Wokeness. Examples abound, but I will confine myself to one of the most outrageous. According to a recent graphic display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, visitors were told that individualism, hard work, stable families, logical thinking, and scientific objectivity are characteristic of “white” people. It follows, by that logic, that any attempt to assert these as universally desirable virtues must be viewed as racist. Needless to say, in the postmodern world of the Woke, logic itself is a social construct to be used only when it advances the political objectives of the movement.

To understand the scope and intensity of this collapse it helps to summarize the origins of this phenomenon.

Marxism has from its inception been very good at detecting and criticizing some of the more obvious deficiencies of capitalism—yet, as we know, terrible at offering any workable solutions.

Marxists were obsessed with taking power, and whenever they did, by insurrection or conquest, their rule descended rapidly into some awful form of totalitarianism. But with the exception of the underdeveloped Russia, and later China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba, capitalism turned out to be more enduring than the original Marxists envisioned, partly because of its remarkable ability to adapt and reform itself within the cultural traditions and democratic institutions that sit alongside it. That led to a new form of criticism, cultural Marxism, initiated by Gramsci, directed at the “hegemonic culture” through which capitalism maintains its power. The intense focus on criticizing all aspects of Western societies with the ultimate aim of weakening and eventually destroying them was continued by the Frankfurt School, under the name of Critical Theory, and brought to the US where it found a niche in American colleges and universities and from where it soon started its long march through America’s institutions.

Today, various critical theories dominate entire academic departments, such as Gender Studies, African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, Education, etc., and provide a growing influence in almost all academic disciplines except maybe STEM—though almost certainly not for long. Take any possible identity group and you can find a critical theory dedicated to it. Critical race theory (CRT), for example, analyzes society from the point of view of race, while critical feminism theory is focused on understanding gender inequalities. Critical pedagogy theory (CPT) criticizes the traditional relationship between teacher and student which, apparently, is like the relationship between a colonizer and the colonized. These theories provide road maps for liberation from the oppressive, dominant power structures. They are also connected to each other by the doctrine of intersectionality, which claims to understand how a person’s various identities (from gender, sex, race, class, to disability, physical appearance, height, weight, etc.) combine to create unique modes of discrimination or privilege. Add to this a contempt for capitalism, an apocalyptic vision of climate change, and the neat trick of combining moral relativism in theory with a large dose of moral absolutism in practice, and you get the main contours of the so-called Woke phenomenon.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in Uncategorized