Media appearances

Guardrails of civilisation

This article is based on a speech delivered by Doug Stokes at the “Win or Lose: The Strange Survival of Conservatism” symposium hosted by the Danube Institute and New Culture Forum in London on 10 June with support by the International Reagan Thatcher Society.

Rooted in philosophical ideas from postmodern philosophers, the “Great Awokening” has come to define the cultural politics of the Anglophone West. The sacralisation of historically marginalised minorities has ushered in a new moral order that has now transcended the petri dish of the West’s higher educational institutions. An intersectional oppression matrix, where oppressed identities kaleidoscopically intersect, has thrown up new political coalitions.

From the rise of gender ideology and its erasure of the biological reality of sex differences to the race war rhetoric of critical race theory to the re-energised Islamo-left seeking post-October 7th radical decolonisation, these theories now profoundly shape the politics of the Western world. They propose a wholesale philosophical assault on previous certainties. Rejecting any notion of truth or objectivity, the historically dominant apex values of science, rationality and institutional authority are now said to be oppressive constructs. A righteous moral heat must melt all that is solid; identity becomes fluid, and the ultimate arbiter of what is true is one’s “lived experience”.  

How did the UK’s universities get to this point?