Bill Maher: The ‘Woke Revolution’ Is Like Mao’s Communist Revolution
Godwin’s law states that, as any online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches one. Maher’s law, on the other hand, states that the longer Bill Maher’s obnoxious “smarmy centrist ignoramus” act stays on television, the more he will compare literally anything politically left of his views to totalitarianism.
On this past Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the terminally smug social commentator likened the supposed “Woke Revolution” in American colleges to China’s Communist Revolution, a 10-year period of political and social upheaval led by Mao Zedong that resulted in the deaths of up to 20 million people and a consolidation of power in the Chinese Communist Party. The transgressions that Maher found comparable to mass murder were a banjo player leaving his band and a college professor taking sensitivity training. We might as well be living in Red Dawn with how powerful Maher’s communist scarecrows have become.
“The problem with communism, and with some very recent ideologies here at home, is that they think you can change reality by screaming at it,” Maher began with the self-satisfaction of knowing that he can change reality by smirking at it and demanding that it laugh at his jokes. Maher recited a famous Abraham Lincoln quote that says you can “repeal all past history, but you still cannot repeal human nature,” before quipping, “but (Lincoln's) canceled now so f— him.”
Maher’s point in repeating these platitudes was to compare the tactics of the invisible “woke mob” to the way Chairman Mao sought to erase his country’s history through violent enforcement of communist values at the hands of radicalized mobs and compulsory “re-education” — or, as Maher calls it in America, “freshman orientation.” Maher used the case of University of Illinois Chicago law professor Jason Kilborn’s suspension after his use of censored racial slurs in a test question about illegal racial discrimination as evidence of how the woke mob has already captured our institutions of higher education and perverted them into Orwellian disinformation factories that punish dissent with extreme prejudice.
Kilborn was compelled by the university to take part in sensitivity training — Maher says that, if you can’t see the similarities between an HR diversity program and the mass murder of political dissidents, “The person who needs re-education is you.”
Maher’s second case study was — seriously — about the Mumford & Sons banjo player, Winston Marshall, who tweeted an endorsement of Andy Ngo's book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, which led to the band’s decision to suspend Marshall from the twee folk group. Maher recited John Lennon’s lyrics from the song “Revolution,” of which the apparent hidden message was that band members shouldn’t confront each other when one of them uses his fame to peddle an alt-right troll’s disinformation manifesto.
The only way to connect these instances of a professor going through sensitivity training and a banjo player not getting to play the banjo for a bit with a decade of violent, systematic suppression of dissent by a totalitarian government is through the signature “slippery slope” fallacy that Maher pushes anytime something trivial happens in the news that can be spun into a hysterical segment about how modern America is on the precipice of annihilation.
Back here in reality — a place Maher pretends to champion — Mumford & Sons has the right to decide whether a member’s promotion of political extremism hurts their group and act accordingly as private citizens. As for Kilborn’s case, the professor has already launched a First Amendment lawsuit against UIC with the backing of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Faculty Legal Defense Fund.
Here in America, unlike in Mao’s China, private citizens have a right to decide with whom they do business, and individuals who are unjustly sanctioned or censored by public institutions have a wealth of resources available to them in order to defend themselves through the legal system. Unless there are state sanctioned woke mobs that only Maher has seen roaming the streets armed with torches, pitchforks and name tags indicating their preferred pronouns, the hyperbolic comparison between our flawed yet (mostly) functional democracy and the systematic murder of millions by a totalitarian government wouldn’t hold up in court.
Following the segment, Monty Python’s resident cloud-yelling old man John Cleese retweeted the clip with the caption, “Absolutely brilliant.” New rule: If John Cleese is calling you brilliant in 2023, you’re almost definitely detached from reality.