Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand


(Note to my readers: Originally I intended this piece to be of the category, Special Report, meaning a stricter standard in how information is analyzed and cited. Essentially that standard requires greater in-depth study. While I personally believe what I wrote here today to be true and factual, it did not meet my standard of a Special Report. Therefore, I qualify this as an opinion piece.)

Classical Liberalism On Edge

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.

— John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, p. 3

Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do.

— Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p. xix 

In the course of human history there have been principles worth abiding by when considering a deep, problematic societal concern that has and can continue to have great ramifications if it either remains unresolved or attempted to mitigate. Oftentimes issues of such magnitude fall within realms that provoke or placate the values and emotions of a populace. Justice, an essential value concerning human nature, is one of those realms. To better grasp such a realm, an acquisition of human institutions are required; those social institutions specifically include Faith, Tradition, Reason, and Imagination all of which can help an individual and society uncover values above and beyond themselves. Yet, what arises when these institutions dissolve, for whatever reason that may be, is a culture that moves away from interaction towards disengagement and then usurpation. Of all the institutions, reason is the most fragile and in a liberal democratic society, the failure to reason is the sign of a metaphysical collapse.

Classical liberal theory is a term to describe the belief in the rights of the individual, the freedom of markets, and private property. Within the context of the United States, the U.S. Constitution is a document representative of classical liberal thought though not entirely. Presently in the United States of America a climax has occurred on several ideological fronts. One such shift is the rise of woke culture from the far-left through its permeation into governments, corporations, universities, and other private-public institutions. No western post-industrial society is free from its wake.  

Wokeness Monster

Extensive analysis fills the web concerning critical theory, postmodernism, and cultural marxism. While additional analysis is necessary that is not the focus of this article. Therefore, a simple explanation will suffice concerning the meaning of Woke, Wokeness, or Woke Culture.

To be woke means a form of “awakening” to injustice particularly linked to racial injustices yet intersectional toward other oppressed minority/identity based groups e.g. trans/cisgender. Woke cultural markings have evolved into a dangerous ideology of critical, liberation, and social justice movements that developed ties to Marxism, Postmodernism, and other leftist identity based theories and organizations who oppose so-called Eurocentric or Westernized systems (e.g. Capitalism, Free Speech, Merit Base, Scientific Method, etc). To be presently woke means joining a collective that is centered on destroying entire westernized structures, not reforming them. And therein lies the problem.    

End of Discussion

Oversimplifying for the sake of a greater argument, it can be said that Christians and Conservatives, though fundamentally different, share a unique appreciation and understanding of the needs for the layout of faith, tradition, reason, and imagination. One based entirely on the faith in Jesus Christ and the other a philosophical movement in response to the French Revolution both seeking to challenge the hearts and minds of men in a sacred responsibility. Christians nor Conservatives are strangers to cultural critique including of liberal society (e.g. Capitalism or Free Speech) and upholding standards beyond the relative values of the day. As the conservative thinker Russell Kirk explained, “The pure democrat is the practical atheist; ignoring the divine nature of law and the divine establishment of spiritual hierarchy” (The Conservative Mind, p. 137). A synergy exists between the two over their respect for God and a moral law. However, neither fail to recognize liberalism’s overarching value to the world through their shared principles concerning human liberty, freedom, and rights. Both critique liberalism but never demanding the obliteration of classical liberal thought. In no fashion is that an attempt to whitewash history. Every side has its rabble that claim to uphold righteous values only to commit atrocities, however, as long as homo sapiens exist so shall their brutal behaviors. Historically Christianity, Liberalism, and Conservatism have peacefully coexisted despite their differences. 

Far from the spectrum of coexistence, woke ideals hold a Socialist-Marxist predisposition in uprooting systems by devaluing people who oppose them and belittling constructive debate that could possibly cultivate ideas across ideological lines. Almost a hundred years ago (98 to be exact) the economist and social theorist Ludwig von Mises published, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922), warning against socialism: 

According to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought. His membership of a social class decides what views a writer will express. He is not able to grow out of his class or to free his thoughts from the prescriptions of his class interests. Thus the possibility of a general science which is valid for all men, whatever their class, is contested… Thus Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism… Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics (pp. 18-19).

Those words ring equally true today. As I mentioned in Part 1 of my series Mob Rule, Mob Rules: 

Mob rule means a collective identity group must win. Mob rules serve the interests of that collective. Liberty and her institutions are being tested by this eruptive behavior, serving as a reminder that when pure rage is the predicate for judgement, tyranny is never far behind. What comes next will be decided by the public will for civility or lack thereof. Humanity itself may not only end up alone but alone with no way out. 

Without question the radical left are not alone in their threat against a liberal order but they are defining the times as R.R. Reno wrote in his book, Return of the Strong Gods (2019):

Today’s technocratic ethos defines political legitimacy in terms of the weak gods of policy expertise, therapeutic delicacy when speaking of sensitive topics, and the rhetoric of diversity and other motifs of inclusion (p. 141). 

Catholics like Reno represent a necessary deflection against the left vs right attitudes of our time. Believers in the good, the beautiful, and the true recognize that there can be shared critiques without shared beliefs in radical, revolutionary uprisings found within Communism or Fascism. Catholicism has long promotedsocial justice” issues including its claim that the idea itself comes from the book of Matt: 25:31-46. That claim, true or untrue, points to a long line of thinkers from the Apostle Matthew to Thomas Aquinas and onward, a line of pre-modern thinkers rather than modern thinkers like Karl Marx whom heretical christian groups have adopted; a movement rooted in gnosticism rather than Christian teaching. 

If those on the fringe would only listen and grasp that there are means to redemption, a shared bond in both the craving for justice and the rights of the individual—the Rawls-Nozick dichotomy—can be reached without destroying the very foundations that granted them their rights and privileges in the first place. Unfortunately, extremists have broken through in a trojan horse disguised as inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and universals (e.g. healthcare, housing, etc) on the back of a neoliberal order that momentarily makes even Socialism look promising by the untrained eye. They are not interested in listening, they are here to destroy.

Dr. James Lindsay, a physicist and mathematician from New Discourses, is one of the leading thinkers on critical theories and social justice practices including on why woke culture is anti-debate wrote:

The deeper, more significant aspect of this problem is that by participating in something like conversation or debate about scholarly, ethical, or other disagreements, not only do the radical Critical Social Justice scholars have to tacitly endorse the existing system, they also have to be willing to agree to participate in a system in which they truly believe they cannot win. This isn’t the same as saying they know they’d lose the debate because they know their methods are weak. It’s saying that they believe their tools are extremely good but not welcome in the currently dominant system, which is a different belief based on different assumptions. Again, their game is not our game, and they don’t want to play our game at all; they want to disrupt and dismantle it.

Fundamentally the critical ideological framework cannot coexist with our present rights, freedoms, and liberties; our culture is an anthemia to their ideals.  

What Happens Now?

Pessimism can easily set in when surveying the political landscape. There are no guarantees of success if that success means a complete and total reversal. Instead the pressures of life require those who oppose all forms of radicalization to be truthful and loving at a moment when anger and rage can easily persevere but only at great unnecessary costs. Reason will not work. Only the actions of a people who can rely on truth beyond reason, a movement beyond mere modern beliefs, and uphold eternal principles regardless of threat can withstand the revolutionary spirit filling the air. “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, ESV), that is the required spirit. Believers (and unbelievers) in God must testify truth and goodness through the acknowledgement of present hurts which no doubt exist within the black community and the latin community and the LGBTQ community. Again, there is a shared bond, a means to redemption beyond the ruin of an already broken world. Demands for justice need to be heard but never at the abandonment of truth, reality, and morality or it only becomes another form of injustice. 

Christians can lead in this through their understanding that while they may be alone, they are never truly alone and our calling is above ourselves. Conservatives can resonate in that understanding. And those beholden too Liberalism, especially classical liberal thinking, know what it means to sacrifice and stand against tyranny when it rises; prize an ideal beyond their present estate. All three prize liberty though in different forms but rooted in the greatest of ideals: Human Freedom. 

We must not become radicalized in response. Let their injustice show by speaking up for justice and speaking out against injustice; truth over untruth; reality above irreality; goodness over hate. Death by virtue versus radicalized ideals that seek to breakdown and destroy. Fight but with real love, not the fake dignity espoused by those who insult, deride, and traduce people no matter their origin. 


Wednesday August 12, 2020


Aug 13 – Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand (A Special Report)

Aug 14 – A Visual Philosophy Series (Aesthetics) A Mere Beauty In Truth

Aug 17 – Mob Rule, Mob Rules (Part 2) Mob Mentality & The Trump Administration


Grant Mitchell (MOT/ OTR/L) (Licensed Specialist in Occupational Therapy)

Prof. Kaleb ‘Kal’ Demerew (Adjunct at Concordia University School of Business and Communication; Specialist in International and Comparative Politics; Ph.D student at USF School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies)

Reading List @ Present

Books were at all times his chosen companions, said Ellen Wayles Randolph speaking of her grandfather Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson and Book

Research, not Leisure

I have read many of these books before but a due over is required for the sake of clarity. This is not a full list but a few to share.

  • The Soul of the World by Sir Roger Scruton
  • The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  • Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman
  • Politics by Aristotle
  • Existentialism and Human Emotions by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The Christian Mind by Harry Blamires
  • On Democracy by Robert A. Dahl
  • The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama
  • After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre
  • Theology and the Religions: a Dialogue edited by Viggo Mortensen
  • The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
  • Eighteenth Century Europe: Tradition and Progress (1715-1789) by Isser Woloch
  • Ideas Have Consequences by Richard M. Weaver
  • A Secular Age by Charles Taylor

Unsettling Statistics: Children & Consent


Adulthood has been a topic of interest since 2018 during my master’s program where I was asked, along with other fellows, to write on a topic revolving around higher education and law for the blog My topic was titled, The Apparatus of Responsibility: Post-In Loco Parentis American University World, concerning the loss of In Loco Parentis in relation to the new laws institutions of higher education gained overtime particularly FERPA and HIPPA:

In loco parentis, a common law doctrine whose origins can be a bit murky, is generally attributed to the English judge Sir William Blackstone who in 1769 wrote, in what is known as Blackstone’s commentaries, “[The father] may also delegate part of his parental authority, during his life, to the tutor or schoolmaster of his child; who is then in loco parentis, and has such a portion of the power of the parent committed to his charge…” In loco parentis would be adapted to the then more autonomous, early American universities as the new nation adopted its English Common Law principles along with its new found liberties via rebellion against the British Empire and the creation of the nation’s newly formulated constitution. It was clearly understood by the courts that colleges by right had the authority to discipline, tutor, and dictate the lives of their students pre-1960. Several cases illuminate the views of the nation’s courts concerning students and their respective colleges.

After the 1960’s the ability of colleges and universities to act as parents ended to the detriment of students and the concerned parents who could no longer rely on the help of these institutions for information including student drug and alcohol abuse.

This topic forced me to reconsider what it even means to be an adult and the role of responsibility that come with such a title. Granted these are mostly students between the ages of 18-24, yet has science not shown us that the development of the brain continues for females to 21 and males 25 years of age respectfully? Let alone the fact that with maturity comes wisdom (we hope). Time tells much about a person because it allows them to develop including learning from their mistakes. And having the support of family and friends to bolster better decision-making can greatly boost odds. Yes people are accountable for their actions, but preventing the ability of family to help left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

However, these are not the disturbing statistics that have recently caught my eye.

Just Children

An article from 2018 came to my attention last week, France to set legal age of sexual consent at 15. Looking into this issue further I was sadden and frighten to find that the Age of Consent (i.e. the age by which an individual is consider, by the law, to be old enough to say yes or no to sex) are rather low. Of interest was Europe, as quoted from the website

The lowest age of consent in Europe is 14, and the highest age of consent in Europe is 18.

During the age of Epstein’s global sex trade and the #MeTooMovement how can any society stand by and allow the molestation of children? No one in their right mind ought to accept such injustice. As Christ told the saints:

[B]ut whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matt: 18:6, ESV

That verse is not a provocation to do harm against those who afflict harm over children; Christ denies the rule, “an eye for an eye” (Matt: 5:38-48), but rather Jesus states a clear rule in terms of the depth of consequence: Harm X, Result Y. Do this action and you might as well go do this… that is the meaning of the verse for Christians. I share that because even non-Christians concur that harms committed against the innocent are wrong.

Taking advantage of a child by the meager and bogus measure of consent is morally in-apprehensible and that is something we should all agree on.

Mob Rule, Mob Rules 2020: Part 1

(A Special Report Series)

For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all… 

— Aristotle, Politics, p. 4

To Mask or Not to Mask Isn’t The Question

Recently the fight over wearing face masks has taken a volatile turn in the United States and parts of Europe.1,2 By no means is this an attempt to defend a specific position concerning the wearing of or not wearing of masks. One should wear a mask when appropriate, but failing to grasp the ramifications over what masks and other compliances mean short-term and long-term concerning societal wellbeing, beyond the fight against the virus itself, is a fair question.

Significant social cues have abruptly ended along with the daily habits of millions due to Covid-19. Tensions are high causing emotional distress. Asking questions concerning social distancing, medical freedom, individual rights, child development, and elderly care are all pertinent. Sudden changes that turn into months and now possibly years has already had an impact on the human psyche that requires consideration.,, 3,4,5  

Not to imply a slippery slope, though some slopes are truly slippery, however the lifeblood of an open society is the ability for individuals to question and consider issues publicly without the fear of harm. Present circumstances have eroded public discourses into a narrow funnel. Under that erosion lies a far deeper issue of cultural and political dismembering.

Dysphoria has nestled itself at the hight of an incoming election, riots, international upheaval, and Covid-19. Disconcerting is the apparent failure of societal coping skills between individuals and their differences of opinion in a time of crisis.

Magnifying societal woes is group polarization6 caused by identity politics7,8, pertinent to both political spectrums (left and right)9,10, that are now spilling over into seemingly normative and moral behaviors. Human identity—race, sex, gender, age, and even religious beliefs—has become poignant in the political arena. In direct relation to the political upheaval, individuals failing to wear a mask or disagreeing with a specific consensus relating to Covid-19 are being treated as a threat to the community at large. These individuals are automatically grouped as racist Trump supporters. Alternatively people who heed the advice of authorities are grouped as socialist liberals or subservient to a larger conspiracy. No one seems capable of escaping the madness.

While the virus is of serious concern it is the brittle polarized environment that has been intensified due to the virus not the opposite. Plagues, economic downturns, and natural disasters have historically influenced events outside their immediate danger. Covid-19 is nature’s latest case affecting political fracturing. 

Take for example a video that appeared on the internet of a man in Florida at a Costco’s.11 In the video the white male in question is seen wrongfully screaming at an elderly woman who demanded that the man put on a mask. All of which was recorded by a second individual who ironically seeks to remain anonymous but posted the video on their Twitter account (now private). That anonymous individual video was discovered by the filmmaker Billy Corben. Corben then reposted the video on Twitter for millions to watch. Shaun King, a writer and Black Lives Matter activist, took attention to the Twitter post via Facebook demanding for the name and whereabouts of the man’s job along with these comments12

A grown conservative man-baby FLIPS OUT on an elderly woman working at Costco in Fort Myers, Florida because he was asked to wear a mask. 

1. The coronavirus is now SOARING in Florida. 41 ICU’s there are now at maximum capacity. 

2. What he’s doing, yelling with his mouth wide open is literally how it spreads. 

3. That shirt he has on, “running the world since 1776” is popular in white supremacists circles. 

4. For all the talk that conservatives have about how sensitive liberals are, NOBODY flips out easier than conservatives. 

5. This man might be on steroids.

To be clear, I do not know Shaun King, Billy Corben, or those involved in the video but I do believe that with much power, comes much responsibility. A principle that applies to everyone. Yelling at the elderly woman was unequivocally wrong, but equally wrong was the anonymous individual posting the incident for all to see, Croben reposting the video for millions to watch, and King inappropriately went after the man and his livelihood. Abuse of power is never an exception to the rule. People make honest mistakes and in these times there will be plenty. Yes, actions do have consequences, however, mob rule is not justice but thuggery. 

Enhanced by an unfortunate abuse of technology, Cancel Culture as it is appropriately termed, perverts past wrongs into perpetual guilt, a guilt that oftentimes needs to be kept private not made public. Failing to forgive and forget are redemptive qualities that Cancel Culture subverts. How a person uses technology against another individual matters. A simple photo can be taken out of context. Or in this case a video was used to go after a man by the rule and rules of the masses. 

My criticism is not a judgement of King’s or Corben’s character but a firm reminder to any authority wielding power over those who have little can quickly turn into an abuse of power. Furthermore when mobs rule the day, bending the rules to their will, a free society suffers. The man in the video lost his job all the while publicly ridiculed and dehumanized. When did the American Revolution of 1776 became a white supremacist roll call? And King under no circumstance knew the man in question yet assumed he was a conservative then proceeded to treat all conservatives as the same. 

There was once a fine line in American politics between constructive differences of opinion versus personal threats. Now the quest for Identity has produced a warring atmosphere that erased such distinctions. A Us vs Them13 collective mentality rules the day. Hopefully the man apologized yet sadly he learned his lesson at a great unnecessary cost. And it should go without saying but I hope that the elderly woman is doing well.

Mob rule means a collective identity group must win. Mob rules serve the interests of that collective. Liberty and her institutions are being tested by this eruptive behavior, serving as a reminder that when pure rage is the predicate for judgement, tyranny is never far behind. What comes next will be decided by the public will for civility or lack thereof. Humanity itself may not only end up alone but alone with no way out.

Coming up Part 2: Mob Mentality and the Presidency of Donald Trump


1 Aratani, Lauren. (2020, June 29). How did face masks become a political issue in America? The Guardian.

2 BBC. (2020, August 1). Coronavirus: Thousands protest in Germany against restrictions. BBC World News. 

3 Dubey, S., Biswas, P., Ghosh, R., Chatterjee, S., Dubey, M. J., Chatterjee, S., Lahiri, D., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Psychosocial impact of COVID-19. Diabetes & metabolic syndrome14(5), 779–788. Advance online publication. (

4 Cao, W., Fang, Z., Hou, G., Han, M., Xu, X., Dong, J., & Zheng, J. (2020). The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry research287, 112934. (

5 Lorenzo Moccia, Delfina Janiri, Maria Pepe, Luigi Dattoli, Marzia Molinaro, Valentina De Martin, Daniela Chieffo, Luigi Janiri, Andrea Fiorillo, Gabriele Sani, Marco Di Nicola,Affective temperament, attachment style, and the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak: an early report on the Italian general population, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 87, 2020, Pages 75-79, ISSN 0889-1591, (

6 Sunstein, Cass. (2009). Going to Extreme: How Like Minds Unite and Divide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

7 Brewer, M. (2001). The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology. Political Psychology, 22(1), 115-125. 3791908 

8 Fukuyama, Francis. (2018). Identity: The Demand For Dignity and The Politics of Resentment. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Guroux. 

9 Baysal, Nur. (2018). Reject the identity politics of the alt-Right and the control-Left. Foundation for Economic Education. politics-of-the-alt-right-and-the-control-left/ 

10 Hawley, George. (2018). The Demography of the Alt-Right. Institute for Family Studies. 

11 Griffith, Janelle. (2020, July 8). ‘I feel threatened’: Unmasked Florida man’s viral Costco outburst cost him his job. NBC News.

12 King, Shaun. (2020, July 7). Please tell me this man’s name. Today. Where does he work? [Video attached] [Status post]. Facebook.

13 Lukianoff, Greg., Haidt, Jonathan. (2018). The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure. New York, NY: Penguin Press.