The Fragility of the Woke

The Fragility of the Woke, by Victor David Hanson.

On one hand, those toppling statues or canceling their own careers on the internet pose as vicious Maoists — the hard-core shock troops of the revolution. Their brand is vile profanity, taunts to police, firebombs and spray paint.

In homage to Italy’s blackshirts of the past, they wear black hoodies, don makeshift helmets and strap on ad hoc protective padding — part lacrosse attire, part cinematic “Road Warrior” costume. …

[But] when arrested, the trash talkers are usually terrified of being jailed or of having an arrest on their records.

Federal authorities are currently searching thousands of videos to ferret out looters, arsonists and assailants. Perpetrators who are caught are shocked that the evidence that they once posted online in triumphant braggadocio is now being used to charge them with felonies.

Who are these people? The asset bubbles and the way money is manufactured has largely excluded them from mainstream success:

Black Lives Matter, antifa and their large numbers of imitators and loosely organized wannabes are mostly made up of middle-class youth, often either students or graduates. They deem themselves the brains of the rioting, the most woke of the demonstrators, the most sophisticated of the iconoclasts.

In truth, they are also the most paranoid about being charged or being hurt. …

Many no doubt are indebted, with large, unpaid student loans. Few seem in a hurry to get up at 6 a.m. each day to go to work to service loans that would take years to pay in full.

While some of those arrested are professionals, many are not. Few seem to be earning the sort of income that would allow them to marry, have children, pay off student loan debt, buy a home and purchase a new car.

Historically, the tips of the spears of cultural revolutions are accustomed to comfort. But they grow angry when they realize that they will never become securely comfortable.

In today’s high-priced American cities, especially on the globalized coasts, it’s increasingly difficult for recent college graduates to find a job that will allow for upward mobility.

The protesters are especially cognizant that their 20s are nothing like what they believe to have been the salad days of their parents and grandparents — who did not incur much debt, bought affordable homes, had families and were able to save money.

Historian Hanson is not impressed with them:

The woke but godless, the arrogant but ignorant, the violent but physically unimpressive, the degreed but poorly educated, the broke but acquisitive, the ambitious but stalled — these are history’s ingredients of riot and revolution.

The static or falling living standards since 1970 for those not involved with the finance industry has a lot to answer for.

hat-tip Stephen Neil