Tory Party Chair Oliver Dowden Likens 'Woke Ideology' To Maoism In Bizarre Speech

The former culture secretary claimed western democracies were under threat from so-called cancel culture.
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Oliver Dowden has likened “social justice warriors” to communist dictator Mao Zedong in an extraordinary attack on so-called cancel culture in the UK and US.

The Tory party chairman and former culture secretary said a “painful woke psychodrama” was sweeping the west and putting individual freedoms at risk.

He made his comments in a speech to the pro-Trump Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

Dowden said it was up to conservatives to “mount a vigorous defence of the values of a free society” which he claimed were under threat from “woke ideology”.

And he took aim at left-wing activists whom he accused of being “engaged in a form of Maoism determined to expunge large parts of our past in its entirety”, citing the defacing of a statue of Winston Churchill during protests in 2020.

The Tory party chairman said the “world watches” the relationship between America and its allies as they attempt to prevent Russian president Vladimir Putin from attacking Ukraine.

But Dowden said that just as “rogue states are seeking to challenge the international order...a pernicious ideology is sweeping our societies”.

“In Britain, its adherents sometimes describe themselves as social justice warriors,” he said.

“They claim to be woke, awakened to the so-called truths of our societies.

“But wherever they are found, they pursue a common policy inimicable to freedom.

“In their analysis, free speech is not a fundamental right necessary for the discovery of truth. To them, it is a dangerous weapon.”

He went on: “For all their fury at so called imperialism, these activists have absolutely nothing to say about that Vladimir Putin’s modern day empire building.

“Indeed, one of the perversities of this worldview is that the imperialist West is always at fault.”

Dowden claimed “woke” ideology is now “everywhere”.

“It’s in our universities, but also in our schools. In government bodies, but also in corporations. In social science faculties, but also in the hard sciences,” Dowden said.

“But I tell you, it is a dangerous form of decadence. Just when our attention should be focused on external foes, we seem to have entered this period of extreme introspection and self-criticism.

“And it really does threaten to sap our societies of their own self-confidence.

“Just when we should be showcasing the vitality of our values and the strength of democratic societies, we seem to be willing to abandon those values, for the sake of appeasing a new groupthink.

“The US and the UK may be different societies but we are joined by the same fundamental values.

“Neither of us can afford the luxury of indulging in this painful woke psychodrama.”

Alongside the attack on cancel culture and the culture wars, Dowden also hinted at an end to the big public spending and government interference that characterised the coronavirus response.

“We have reached a high watermark of the size of the state,” he said in a Q&A after his speech.

“We can’t repeat the mistakes we have seen in the past whereby in previous national crises, the state has expanded in scope and then has remained permanently much larger.

“We now need to embark on the course of making sure we rein in the size of the state, which in turn allows us to cut taxes.”


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