Woke onslaught demoralises the Anglosphere just when it needs its confidence - by Robert Tombs

Updated: Feb 22

This article by Professor Tombs (for the Telegraph dated 19.02.22) provides an alarming account on the current, parlous state of Western democracy across the globe, with ominous parallels between today’s ‘woke warriors’ and their pacifist antecedents of the 1930’s.


Both are held in contempt by the dictators of the day and both share a pernicious desire to foment division within their own countries when every ounce of effort ought be devoted to shoring up our values against a common enemy.


This was the atmosphere that provoked George Orwell’s reproach in 1940 that Left-wing intellectuals felt “a duty to snigger” at every institution and had for years been “chipping away” at British morale and causing the fascist states to judge the democracies as decadent.


How can we not be reminded of today’s identitarian Left? All across the Anglosphere, it is obsessed with historic wrongs, genuine or invented. But where are the student demonstrations protesting against the fate of the Uyghurs? Or against modern slavery in the Gulf? Or the persecution of “blasphemers” in several Muslim states? Easier to pull down a forgotten statue or change the name of a university building."


The origins of our current malaise are deep-rooted and go back years. Professor Tombs identifies ‘woke culture’ and its polar opposite - ‘populism’ - asrooted in a loss of national cohesion and an associated weakening of political participation and accountability. The phenomenon of “techno-populism”, as it has aptly been called, is the appropriation of power by unaccountable bodies, of which the EU is the biggest.”


Only when faced with an existential threat did the West finally galvanise itself into action by 1940. We may be faced with such a challenge today:


“In the 1930s, there was a radical change in public opinion only when the danger of fascist aggression became shockingly evident with the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia. Fortunately, Russia and China pose a far less horrifying threat. Yet their aggressive actions might similarly cause the peoples of the Anglosphere democracies to reject the “chipping away” of shared values and solidarity, which remain their best protection against internal and external challenges.”


The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:



Article by Professor Robert Tombs for the Telegraph -The woke onslaught is demoralising th
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