Losing my Faith in Secularism
Has secularism become full-woke?
We tend to kick against things when they try to control us. I remember doubting any religious faith I had when I was coerced, forced even, to attend church – or worse, Sunday School – when I was still in my skinned-knees years. Sunday School was, admittedly, on Sundays but it sure wasn’t school. It involved a surly bunch of kids being talked at by some dour church lay-person who quoted, in monotone, tracts from the bible. It was interminably dull. My chosen method of relieving the tedium was to ask difficult questions like, “where is heaven in relation to the stratosphere,” or “so who made God prior to him making the universe?”. The answers were rarely adequate – and so began my journey to worshipping at the altar of secularism.
And so it has been since, until recently. I even got involved in launching the Conservative Humanist Association at the Conservative Party Conference in 2008 - with celebrity atheist Professor Richard Dawkins. The room was packed for the launch.
Like most secularists I was of the view that society had little need for a moral codex provided by the church. While many in the Conservative Party were still of the view that we needed to respect our Judeo-Christian values, I felt that the church (especially the Anglican Church) had moved so far, politically, to the left that it had lost all credibility. Society, I thought, and specifically the Conservative Party, would protect our freedoms and would create a political-based set of ethical standards to which we could all adhere.
As it turned out I was both right and wrong. I hadn’t fully bargained on woke, nor the Covid cult. Nor had I fully appreciated the extent to which most people have become incredibly intellectually lazy. They expect to be told how to think and behave. And they do so readily. In effect, we have infantilised the adult population. There has been no agenda behind this. Rather, the process of ideas being replaced by messages has been happening for decades – and I’m, to some extent, to blame (or people like me).
Marketing – the process of getting people to desire things and part with money to have those things – is a huge part of the British economy. For a while I even worked with the research division of WPP Group – where we researched the hell out of our target audiences so that we understood, in incredible detail, what messages we needed to use to sell to them. And soon political parties wanted to do this. Marketing messages were boiled down, condensed, tested, re-tested, and put to work. And even God-squad politicians like Tony Blair realised that it was probably best to keep the messaging generic to keep as many on board as possible – to have an optimum addressable market. Politicians became simply parrots repeating the chosen lines, ignoring interviewer questions, and journalists became ‘gotcha’ merchants who sought aberrations from those chosen lines.
Woke emerged from this world. It probably emerged, showed its ugly head, with Cool Britannia – Blair’s revolting pastiche of national pride, consumerism, celebrity and American style schmaltz. He wasn’t one for soundbites, he claimed, while having the hand of history on his shoulder. Offense was avoided. Electorates were maximised. Ideology was deemed toxic. Diversity was in (to maximise the market). And to keep costs down it made sense to reuse campaign tools that had been proven in other similar markets. Populism was out, popularity was in. In short, no one demographic was allowed to define the discourse – because that would mean that the electoral arithmetic wouldn’t work.
And because businesses were using the same techniques, corporatism and government started to look and sound very similar. Corporate-sponsored woke was born.
In George Walden’s book, The New Elites, he argued that one could barely have squeezed a wafer-thin mint between Blair and Cameron in terms of policy positions or delivery. Both cultured faux common-man parlance, pretended to be interested in football and other common-people things, and built the apparatus of secular campaigning around them. Cameron started the process of ‘greening’ the Conservatives (the ultimate secular-globalist nonsense) by making the Conservative logo a tree – dumping the Union flag in the process.
But the secular/globalist golden egg is, without doubt, Covid. The so-called pandemic has allowed Western governments (including the UK government under policy-bereft Johnson) to embrace the version of secular government that is inevitable when the population ceases to realise what ethics are any longer: a command economy.
Secular command economies can only really emerge when there is an emergency excuse to create them. The virus – handily provided by the Chinese – is anthropomorphised into an enemy that we must attack. The language of war is mustered, so that we can attack the enemy in the air, on the beaches, never surrendering. This requires everyone to rally together, not questioning the corporatist solution that’s mustered. And even when it’s clear that the solution – vaccines, masks, lockdowns and the like – doesn’t actually work (because the emergency is nonsense to begin with), non-compliance can be made to look like repellent anti-social behaviour. In short, a new cultish secular religion has been created that is beginning to look and feel like the command-based People’s Republic of China. Even normal democratic processes have been suspended, such is the nature of the emergency. And everyone must be subject to the commands – even children. The King has no clothes, but no-one is prepared to say.
In short, secularism has turned into a monster religion. And because some of us, innately, don’t like religions or regulations or to be told to do certain things (because they are counter-intuitive and freedom-suppressing) we end up rejecting them – but only some of us (those who aren't hypnotised). Nevertheless, the cultists are everywhere all of a sudden.
Inevitably people will wake up. But only a small percentage of our society (probably the best educated - not necessarily academically - and free thinkers) is currently awake. The awake will need to prod the middle group of partially awake, but drowsy. But in meantime, the ruling elites are drunk on power and are running amok. We’ll need new leaders to make the changes and restore liberty. Because there’s every possibility that the Cultists will create too much mayhem for order to be restored. The government and their cult-members are the problem – not the faux-pandemic.
And I, for one, may have to embrace those Judeo-Christian traditions out of which our freedoms emerged. Uncomfortable, but true.
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