Thursday 15 September 2022

Now I know who you are

You blaspheme! Now I know who you are! The apple does not fall far from the tree! Now I understand the whole craft of Satan. You build the Lord a house for a brothel as an offering to a harlot! You play wizard and magician to get people to fall down and worship the denier.

August Strindberg - On the Seaboard (1890)

Depending on social and political circumstances, in Strindberg’s day a denier was perilously close to a blasphemer. Something similar could be said today as the term ‘denier’ has been appropriated by secular puritans. Woke culture defines the world narrowly in terms of what can and cannot be said without attracting the pointing finger of secular puritanism.

It goes further of course, as puritanical fanaticism often does. Woke culture demands not only the avoidance of secular blasphemy but witch-hunts in pursuit of blasphemous backsliding. Even a lack of enthusiasm for Woke doctrines may be construed as denial, plus any hint of being out of touch with the latest nuances.

It is possible that this level of puritanical fanaticism will fade into joyless obscurity, but it is also possible that it has not yet peaked. It would be unwise to assume that anything so inhumanly shrill is about to collapse. It more likely to morph into something equally inhuman, equally shrill.

Inhumanly shrill is a recurring feature of political reality. Every now and then it flaps its ghastly wings as it lurches from the old cause to the new. and the screeching begins yet again.

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