Our future is being likened to the New Dark Ages

The Telegraph

We are the West’s last generation before the new Dark Age begins

Story by Allister Heath

• 7h • 5 min read


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A sign is displayed in front of the tents erected at the pro-Palestinian demonstration encampment at Columbia University

A sign is displayed in front of the tents erected at the pro-Palestinian demonstration encampment at Columbia University© Provided by The Telegraph

There is a fatal contradiction at the heart of Western societies, a nihilistic impulse, a pathological self-loathing that threatens to destroy our way of life. We live in the freest, wealthiest, healthiest, fairest and most technologically advanced polities in history, and yet millions of young people are being taught to hate the West, to despise the liberties that make their lifestyles possible, to tear down every institution and tradition.

Marx was wrong: it is not the working classes that are alienated by modernity but the bourgeoisie, and especially their morally adrift children, many of whom genuinely believe that the West is an evil hellhole. The revolutionary urge emanates from the universities, and their guilt-ridden graduates. Too many have turned themselves into woke indoctrination camps, with hard-Left administrators encouraging post-modern academics to brainwash a generation.

There is now a striking correlation between levels of education and holding stupid, destructive ideas, between being highly credentialled and falling for every fashionable conspiracy theory, every tribalistic affliction, every online fad.

This madness has culminated in the explosion of anti-Semitic hatred on campuses across America, in scenes that should not be acceptable in any civilised country. They include the harassment of Jewish students, blockades, threats of violence and pro-Hamas and pro-Iran sloganeering by activists camped out in tents.

These protests are even more toxic than those of 1968: today’s woke ideology is totalitarian, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-family, anti-capitalist and collectivist. It rejects as illegitimate not just conservatism but also Left-liberalism and democracy. It promotes anti-white hatred and Israelophobia. Its supporters loathe the West and automatically back our enemies. They demonise successful minorities as “white adjacent”.

Shai Davidai, a Jewish academic at Columbia, the worst affected institution, compares the protests to 1938 Germany; a rabbi advised Jewish students to go home and the university has cancelled all in-person lectures. The calls for Minouche Shafik, Columbia’s president, to quit are growing, in my opinion she has been far too soft on the protesters and has failed to do enough to protect Jewish students, many of whom are starting to believe they no longer have a future in the West.

Shafik almost became governor of the Bank of England in 2019. She was inexplicably backed by some Tories; her consolation prize was to be elevated to the Lords. Lady Shafik was one of four economists summoned by Boris Johnson in 2022 when he was seeking to relaunch his premiership post-Covid; luckily, Johnson ignored her advice.

In her eminently forgettable What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, endorsed by Ursula von der Leyen, she calls for more redistribution, praises the French Marxist Thomas Piketty, and argues that “a promising strand of research” suggests that “a wealth tax of 2-3 per cent a year would allow governments to increase efficiency, promote economic growth and reduce inequality all at once”. In theory, Shafik cares about “social justice”; in practice, as the (extremely well-paid) president of Columbia, it appears she has allowed the mob to run riot. She needs to resign or be fired.

The past six months have exposed the West’s Left-wing elites as fakes: they virtue-signal about inclusion and diversity but don’t mean it. It is a gigantic lie. A movement obsessed with seeing “microaggressions” everywhere downplays real acts of violence, such as that meted out to a Jewish woman stabbed in the eye at Yale. A movement committed to paranoid safetyism is unconcerned about the actual safety of the “wrong” kind of people.

A movement that claims to be feminist refuses to condemn mass rape by terrorists. A movement that says it cares about the rights of Muslims has no interest in defending the Uyghurs in China, the Rohingya in Myanmar or any other genuinely persecuted community. A movement that believes in cancelling anybody with conservative, libertarian or Christian viewpoints is happy to embrace Islamist chants, or calls to wipe Israel off the map. A movement that pretends to be anti-racist is willing to chase away Jewish students, condones anti-white and anti-Asian racism and rejects Martin Luther King’s colour-blind vision.

The hypocrisy is unconscionable. The woke ideology is incompatible with the preservation of the West – and yet it is this philosophy that we are allowing universities to indoctrinate our children with.

Wokery has made massive progress in Britain, and there have been some horrible demonstrations of it on UK campuses. With the exception of the excellent University of Buckingham, where pluralism reigns, every other university in the UK employs almost exclusively Left-wing academics, a bias that wasn’t anything like as pronounced even 25 years ago.

We have some safeguards: opposition to critical race theory and gender ideology are protected philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act. The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act is one of the few genuinely good Tory reforms of the past 14 years. Arif Ahmed, the inaugural director for freedom of speech and academic freedom, has said that calls for genocide, or speech that incites violence, will not be protected “under any circumstances”, but that he will defend genuine plurality of opinion when the new regime begins in August.

Yet this isn’t enough. In 1581, Oxford University decided that no student would be allowed to matriculate unless they swore oaths to the Queen and the Church of England. It took until the 1871 Universities Tests Act to liberate Catholics, Jews and others to study, graduate and work at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.

In 2024, Left-wing ideology is the new secular religion. Do we need another Universities Test Act? How do we drastically increase the percentage of non-Left-wing academics? Is the answer to launch new non-woke institutions, like the University of Austin? Or to terminate all subsidies on non-scientific subjects that are more prone to politicisation? In the US, the Ivy League will be hit by multi-billion dollar lawsuits for discrimination. Some are targeting their huge endowments, arguing that this is the time for a new Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Whichever way we go, we cannot grant the Left a permanent monopoly on universities. The West has no future if our youth are taught to hate our civilization.


They think that they can survive on their own, using their methods and thoughts. Let them. Put them all in one place, outside of America, without passports to ever get back, adn sit back and watch. Oh…and buy stock in popcorn. Stop wasting time, money, any energy at all on this garbage.


Hmmm… A quote from Edmund Burke comes to my mind, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Don’t like where the world is heading? You – and that means you personally – must take some action(s), however small, to change that trajectory. There scores of ways of doing do, but an internet skree complaining about “kids, these days” ain’t one of them.


Despicable. I pray that God will move in their midst and that many will be changed through His Spirit and for His glory.

Proverbs 29:16 1 “When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall.” … and another translation … 16 “When degenerates take charge, crime runs wild, but the righteous will eventually observe their collapse.”


No student debt forgiveness if someone is convicted of a crime during a university protest!


@Ronald330 Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you here with us. :slightly_smiling_face:


I get the feeling, throughout my life not looking at anything in particular here, that seemingly every generation thinks the sky is falling and declares the following generation is going to destroy everything.

Just sayin


That may be, but there’s something truly different going on here now that, in looking back, I don’t think past generations saw.

Here’s a quote from Jason Matheny, head of the Rand Corporation. It says a lot.

“And then a third area is understanding the risks to democracy right now, not just in the United States but globally. We’re seeing an erosion of norms in how facts and evidence are treated in policy debates. We have a set of very anxious researchers at Rand who are seeing this decay of norms. I think that’s something that’s happening not just in the United States but globally, alongside a resurgence of variants of autocracy.”

There’s a movement underway to discard everything that has been accepted as good, or normal, or established, just because it’s old. There’s also a movement that seems to hold that everyone’s beliefs are equally valid to everyone else’s, regardless of facts. This is a dangerous direction, and I think it’s very real.

Here’s the full interview that quote came from. It was mostly about AI, but that quote jumped out at me.


And, while we’re at it, Defund NPR, Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, (the governments monopoly funding of all student loans, Banks need not apply) Immediate repayment of all outstanding student loans (NOT forgiveness!!!) If you can’t afford to pay for your own indoctrination, you don’t deserve to get any with MY tax $$$. You can be stupid on your own dime. NO government funds to Universities without specific proposals, beneficial to military or other projects beneficial to government interest, all to be audited by IRS agents. Tax ALL university endowments. They amount to billions of dollars of free money for the university while passing on ever increasing tuition costs to the students funded by the aforementioned Government loan institutions. Advise to protesters: Take up a trade. From what I’ve seen so far, NONE of you are sufficiently intelligent to fix a toilet, let alone articulate what you’re protesting against or earn an advanced degree. Rant over. Once my trigger was pulled, I couldn’t regain control of my opinion.


@Ronald330 Welcome to the community!

Hello and welcome @Ronald330

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Agreed. I think these are troubling times for sure, and unless something major happens, things are going to get worse. But… the dark ages, really? That’s just a click bait title. The article is good, but we’re not moving into the dark ages. In the (actual) dark ages, the average lifespan was less than 30 years I believe. I’m pretty confident we’re moving in the opposite direction.


Campus “cult-ure.” If you don’t think it’s a cult, listen to the rhyming slogans (rhymes have been shown to cement themselves in the brain more effectively), the accompanying drums (ditto), frantic efforts to keep out alternate viewpoints (“We don’t allow Zionists on campus!”), and student drones instructed not to speak to media or “outsiders,” instead referring them to the professional propagandist leaders (who have received training in this sort of thing).