Rod Dreher is worried. Very worried. And who can blame him? The world is a boiling cauldron of troubles. We in America, and the West generally, face a crisis like nothing seen in ages. Yet even Dreher’s loyal readers at the American Conservative, where he is a senior editor, have described him as having his hair perpetually on fire over the “woke” outrages so common today. Dreher—whose popular 2017 book, The Benedict Option, was read by many as advocating withdrawal from public life into isolated, monastic enclaves—writes with unflagging energy, passion, and insight about such outrages. But is he overheated? Or ought the rest of us to get more stoked up?

It’s relatively easy to limn our present crisis: a new, radical, aggressive progressivism deplores even the liberalism of just a few years ago, which was somewhat tolerant of views that fell outside its orbit. Solutions, however, are much harder to specify, let alone implement. Social media, the internet in general, and the restless social activism they foster—to say nothing of surveillance technologies—reach deep into society in ways older totalitarians only dreamt of. And this new threat has arisen primarily in dominant cultural institutions such as the university and the media, reinforced by a progressivist convergence with the capitalist corporate world. As Dreher admits early in his

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