Here’s what I recommend as a survival strategy for those of us who are not too young and have families to worry about. This is how you exist in a soft totalitarianism without losing your mind and your livelihood.
1. Tune it out. Train yourself not to notice pronouns and slogans in email signatures, delete the emails about non-mandatory diversity trainings, and read a good book or compose poetry in your head during the mandatory ones. Make sure to ask at least one very sincerely sounding question at every in-person training to show your interest. Open your eyes very wide and nod aggressively. Go through online trainings very carefully. Don’t rush. Remember that the screen knows how long you spent in each slide. There’s no need to read them. Just stare with a sincere look.
2. Don’t argue. There is no reason or logic to woke fanaticism. All you are doing by arguing is giving them ammunition against yourself. Don’t engage at all. Smile, talk about the weather, and pretend to be a lot dumber than you are.
3. Learn a few woke slogans and practice reciting them with a sincere and stupid face. Choose a woke cause that isn’t repellent to you and learn its vocabulary. People will think, “ah, she’s so fanatical about the disabled genderfluid refugees of color that she can’t concentrate on anything else, poor dumb bitch.” That’s the result you are hoping for.
4. Read books, meditate, exercise, and forget about things like fairness, reason, and dignity. They are gone.
Eventually, the most fanatical wokesters will destroy the less fanatical ones. Then cynical profiteers will destroy the sincere fanatics. And then we will be free to learn something from this whole experience. Or not.
Soft totalitarianism doesn’t kill or torture bodies. Only minds and souls. But those we absolutely can conceal and protect. We will be fine if we stick together, keep calm, and learn to tune it all out.