On February 4, 2023, Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s “Real Time”, addressed his audience about the ‘woke’ movement that has infiltrated the Left. He argued that this movement is illiberal, silencing opposing perspectives, and inhumane, reminiscent of the harsh intolerance of China’s communist revolution, according to some opinions.
If you're part of today's woke revolution, you need to study the part of revolutions where they spin out of control. pic.twitter.com/IYNfDhtR0C
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) February 4, 2023
Maher cited the Russian revolutionaries as an example, who thought that selfishness could be eradicated from human nature, leading to the creation of the “new Soviet man” who was thought to not be driven by self-interest. He then made a humorous remark that it turned out this man desired to be on a yacht wearing a Gucci tracksuit, sipping vodka, and accompanied by a prostitute, instead of standing in a queue all day for a potato.
The host then discussed the highly anti-liberal outlook of the modern Left. He argued that the issue with communism and certain new ideologies is their belief that reality can be altered by shouting it and that human nature can be altered by refusing to breathe. He reminded the audience of Abraham Lincoln’s statement, “You can erase all past history, but you can’t change human nature.”
Maher posed the question to his audience if the current trend of complete intolerance was similar to past authoritarian movements. He answered affirmatively, using Mao’s cultural revolution of the 1960s as an example. He explained how Mao directed his citizens to abandon “the four olds” – outdated ideas, culture, traditions, and habits – and those who opposed were targeted by the “Red Guard,” an army of purifiers.
Maher then cited the instance of Jason Kilborn, a law professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, who faced suspension for asking a hypothetical question using censored references to two slurs in a law school exam in December 2020. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education observed that despite the censorship, Kilborn was still subjected to discipline by the university administrators and was required to undergo re-education. Maher expressed his disbelief that a mature and liberal law professor, such as Jason Kilborn, was required to participate in eight weeks of sensitivity training, attend weekly 90-minute sessions with a diversity trainer, and compose five self-reflection papers.
Maher concluded his speech by saying that if one cannot see the similarities between Kilborn and wokism and China’s communist revolution, then the person who needs reeducation is them. He argued that this movement of absolute intolerance is illiberal and inhumane, and is comparable to other authoritarian movements of the past.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Based Politics