Once in a great while a promising leader emerges that gives all of us hope for the future. Vivek Ramaswamy is one of these individuals. Only 35 years old, Ramaswamy has already earned a degree in biology from Harvard, a law degree from Yale, and founded several biotech and healthcare technology companies and subsidiaries. His new passion? Fighting “wokism.”
In a 26 minute YouTube video that has attracted over 100,000 views, and probably would have attracted millions of views if it were furthering the corporate narrative, Ramaswamy offers a rare blend of brevity, detail, insight and eloquence. He begins by relating the experiences of his own immigrant family, explaining that “hardship isn’t the same thing as victimhood.”
He then defines woke culture as “new secular religion in America, where your identity is based on race, gender, and sexual orientation,” and “it [woke culture] posits that America is a systemically racist country, where if you’re black you are inherently disadvantaged, and if you’re white you’re inherently privileged.”
In a monologue that really should be heard in its entirety, Ramaswamy continues: “If you say ‘I’m not racist’ that means you are a racist, if you say ‘all lives matter’ that somehow means you believe that black lives don’t matter.”
Ramaswamy understands what’s happened, explaining that “in the name of diversity we have sacrificed true diversity of thought, in the name of democracy we have sacrificed our most important democratic norms of free speech and open debate, and in the name of inclusion we have created an exclusionary culture where certain views are just not welcome.”
These observations, and the culture of fear that Ramaswamy accuses woke culture of creating, is only part of why his video is so powerful. He explains how critical race theory moved from a fringe academic theory in the 1990s to the defining characteristic of American establishment institutions today. His theory is that corporations, their public image reeling in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, embraced the notion of race as the defining cause of oppression, because it deflected activist attention from economic oppression. As he puts it, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Wall Street to move from being the bad guys to being the good guys just by adopting these values.
No brief summary of Ramaswamy’s remarks can do them justice. He skewers the conventional libertarian mentality as completely inadequate to these times, as the government is now pressuring corporations to exercise censorship and surveillance that Americans are constitutionally protected from the government doing.
In his conclusion Ramaswamy asks “what does it mean to be an American today, in the year 2021? I can’t remember a time in my life when we more badly needed an answer to that question.” He calls for Americans to cultivate a shared identity, and to view our history with pride.
“Today as a people we are hungry for a cause. We are hungry for a sense of purpose. We are hungry for identity. The absence of a shared cause in America is a black hole at the center of our nation’s soul and when you have a vacuum that runs that deep, bad things start to fill the void. That is part of what makes wokeness so appealing as the new religion of our time.”
“We are hungry for a cause but we have forgotten that America itself can be that cause. We have spent over a decade celebrating our diversity and we have forgotten all of the ways that we are actually the same, united by a common set of ideals as a country…”
“A fundamental part of that vision was the American dream, that no matter who your parents were you could achieve that dream with your own hard work, your own commitment, and your own ingenuity. We spent the 2010s celebrating our diversity, we have to spend the 2020s celebrating what binds us together.”
This is a man to watch. Watch the video. It is unlikely to be removed, but don’t expect it to be promoted, either!
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