Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Woke denialists are simply collaborators for 21st century fascists

Professor Dorian Abbot of the University of Chicago wrote a guest column on Bari Weiss’ Substack page. He talks about his cancellation at the hands of a few at MIT. They were able to deny him a coveted spot at a prestigious lecture series on climate science. The cancellation was swift.

It’s worth stating what happened again: a small group of ideologues mounted a Twitter campaign to cancel a distinguished science lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because they disagreed with some of the political positions the speaker had taken. And they were successful within eight days. 

The fact that such stories have become an everyday feature of American life should do nothing to diminish how shocking they are, and how damaging they are to a free society. The fact that MIT, one of the greatest universities in the world, caved in so quickly will only encourage others to deploy this same tactic.

MIT Abandons Its Mission. And Me. – by Dorian Abbot – Common Sense with Bari Weiss (

What should be highlighted is that this professor tried to ignore the woke mobs that were coming for anyone that had different thoughts.

But I started to get alarmed about five years ago as I noticed an increasing number of issues and viewpoints become impossible to discuss on campus. I mostly just wanted to do my science and not have anyone yell at me, and I thought that if I kept my mouth shut the problem would eventually go away. I knew that speaking out would likely bring serious reputational and professional consequences. And for a number of years I just didn’t think it was worth it.

MIT Abandons Its Mission. And Me. – by Dorian Abbot – Common Sense with Bari Weiss (

Anyone watching university culture implode with “safe spaces” should have known that these little cherubs were going to become the new fascists. Twisting language to their own ends. In a university there should be no safe space where ideas are concerned. All viewpoints, no matter how repugnant you may find them, should be open for discussion and debate. Instead these kids, all millennials at the time, thought they needed protection from thoughts. Convinced from an early age that bullies were people who said cruel things to them. Words were considered violence in their world and they needed to be protected from the assaults.

I don’t know how old this professor is but if he’s only been a professor for the last 10 years he can’t be that old. He probably didn’t believe that what his compatriots were doing was evil by design. The worst part is this type of evil didn’t start out that way. It started out with good intentions. But we all know the cliché.

I view this episode as an example as well as a striking illustration of the threat woke ideology poses to our culture, our institutions and to our freedoms. I have consistently maintained that woke ideology is essentially totalitarian in nature: it attempts to corral the entirety of human existence into one narrow ideological viewpoint and to silence anyone who disagrees. I believe that these features ultimately derive from the ideology’s abandonment of the principle of the inherent dignity of each human being. It is only possible to instrumentalize the individual in order to engineer group-based outcomes within a philosophical framework that has rejected this principle. Similarly, it is easy to justify silencing a dissenter if your ideology denies her individual dignity.

MIT Abandons Its Mission. And Me. – by Dorian Abbot – Common Sense with Bari Weiss (

His silence made him a collaborator then he was cancelled and now is speaking out. I suppose better late than never. It’s going to be a long road back to common sense and the ability to talk about uncomfortable subjects. At least now he recognizes, although he said he always believed it, that wokeism is the exact thing those pushing the ideology claim the rest of us are. They are the excluders. They are the fascists. They are the bullies. They are the ones we need to be cautious of because what they are proposing can lead us all to hell.