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To be woke means to be awakened and challenged by the alleged systematic corruption of the existing social, economic, and political culture of the United States and to be committed to overthrowing or canceling it. It is an outgrowth of anti-fascist Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School of Marxist thought that was forced out of Germany during the Hitler era and established a new home at Columbia University in New York.


From there, its theoretical foundation spread throughout the American system of education and has given rise to today’s Cancel Culture or Woke movement. The movement substitutes alleged systematic maladies in American culture, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny, for the Marxist malady of class distinction. 


Similar to Marxist Critical Class Theory, the Woke movement puts forth Critical Race Theory, Critical Gender Theory, Critical Transgender Theory, and so forth, one that addresses each of its alleged systematic maladies. Currently, Critical Race Theory is at the forefront of the movement’s efforts. And in order to achieve its objectives, the movement counters the three principal factors of resistance in American culture, namely the traditional family, religion, and culture.


The movement has been compared to China’s Red Guard—a means of cultural cleansing, and all manner of countering or combating the resistance is on the table, including but not limited to the loss of livelihood, public humiliation, and violence. Apologies for alleged offenses are unacceptable. Historical figures are judged by today’s norms, and if they failed to live up to those norms in their day, they are reviled and their monuments subject to removal or destruction.


Infiltration and control of the media, including social media and television news and commentary, are essential. Active or tacit support of political leaders is useful. The end justifies the means. No one escapes the wrath of Woke—dead or alive.

Copyright © 2021 Frank Zahn

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