This week from The Signal
Ghosts in the Machine
How social media is haunting political life
The New Mutants
As the coronavirus evolves, where are we in the pandemic?
Inside Biden’s Minds
What is the new U.S. administration thinking?
How private equity has thrived through a struggling economy
The Americanization of Anti-Americanism
Is “wokeness” really taking over Europe?
It can be awkward for liberals when conservatives take over criticisms directed to their left. A recent example is the U.S. public conversation about “cancel culture,” in which liberals have joined forces with a segment of progressives to denounce a kind of purity politics that’s led to unjust firings and social ostracizings over minor, or sometimes just perceived, missteps: Trumpists have appropriated this explicitly anti-Trump agenda, to the point of branding the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference with the slogan “America Uncancelled.”
Something analogous is happening in Europe: As James McAuley, a Paris-based contributing columnist for The Washington Post, recently pointed out, conservative and establishment-liberal French politicians and intellectuals are now applying the American language of “wokeness” to cultural battles in their own country. Is this language authentic there? According to McAuley, there’s deep irony in a rejection of American divisiveness and “political correctness” among French intellectuals wielding Fox News–style rhetoric and English-language terms that French doesn’t even have translations for.
Read the article here.