Left-wing wokeism is one of America's greatest weaknesses, which both Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are using as a weapon against the West, according to a Monday Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Hudson Institute Fellow Walter Russell Mead.
After suggesting that Ukraine is giving Russia more than they bargained for on the battlefield thanks to "Western high-tech arms" among other things, Mead notes that Putin has had the most success in the domains of economics and politics, giving the West a run for its money.
Fears that a Russian gas embargo could cripple European economies and leave comfortable German burghers freezing in the dark next winter have replaced hopes that Western sanctions would bring Moscow to its knees. Thoroughly intimidated by the consequences of an economic war with Russia, Germany is beginning to weasel out of its pledges to increase defense spending. -WSJ
According to Mead, hopes that the world would unite against Russian aggression has "fizzled," adding: "Led by China and joined by India and Brazil, countries around the world are choosing trade with Russia over solidarity with the Group of Seven."
The author suggests that in order to prevent "another major setback" such as those in Georgia, Crimea, the South China Sea and the Middle East, the West must "recalibrate" against the "revisionist powers" (China, Russia and Iran), and "rethink assumptions and conventional doctrines that have demonstrably failed."
The West also needs to understand that the revisionist powers "seek the destruction of what they see as an American-led, West-dominated global hegemony," which is "decadent and vulnerable."
Specifically, there are several vulnerabilities the West needs to protect against; including protectionism ("which reduces the economic attraction of the WWestern system for developing countries"), and self-righteous "values-based" entitlements "with its origins in the age of European imperialism."
Why else, people ask, are Britain and France permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, while there is only one permanent member from Asia, and none from Africa, the Islamic world or Latin America? What possible justification is there for including Italy and Canada in the exclusive G-7?
Conventional defenders of the Western world order respond by touting its commitment to universal values such as human rights and the fight against climate change. The current world order may, they acknowledge, be historically rooted in Western imperial power, but as an “empire of values,” the Western world order deserves the support of everyone who cares about humanity’s future. -WSJ
Wokeness as a weakness
After laying out the current situation, Mead writes that "the West's increasingly "woke" values agenda is not as credible or popular as liberals hope," noting that President Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia this week puts America's leftist hypocrisy on full display - reminding the world "of the limits on Western commitments to human rights."
Many values dear to the hearts of Western cultural leaders (LGBTQ rights, abortion on demand, freedom of speech understood as allowing unchecked Internet pornography) puzzle and offend billions of people around the world who haven’t kept up with the latest hot trends on American campuses. -WSJ
Mead also notes that woke Western banks are pissing off 'elites and the public at large' in developing countries over blocking financing for fossil-fuel extraction as part of their virtue-signaling ESG agenda.
What's more, liberal West's "new, post-Judeo-Christian values agenda divides the West," as culture wars at home "don't promote unity overseas."
Also, Western leftists have totally lost their shit in front of the world.
Completely unhinged pic.twitter.com/7H2Z8E5vLh— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) March 1, 2022
Bringing it home, Mead writes:
The moral and political confusion of the contemporary West is the secret weapon that the leaders of Russia and China believe will bring the American world order to its knees. Messrs. Putin and Xi might be wrong; one certainly hopes that they are. But their bet on Western decadence has been paying off handsomely for more than a decade. Western survival and global flourishing require more thought and deeper change than the Biden administration and its European allies can currently imagine. -WSJ
As we've noted many times, Americans were explicitly warned about weakening the West by KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov.
How do we cure wokeism and actors who peddle it to score points?