"Wokeness" has become the unofficial religion and ideology of the globalist American empire (GAE), similar to the communist ideology of the Chinese regime, says Darren Beattie, a former speechwriter in the Trump administration.
"It's not that the corporations and big tech companies are reluctant to embrace wokeness, but they don't really have a choice," Beattie told an audience at the National Conservatism Conference in greater Miami.
"A major corporation or institution in the globalist American empire can no more repudiate wokeness than a major institution or corporation in China can rebuke the [Chinese Communist Party]."
He argued in his talk that the phenomenon of wokeness can't easily be disentangled from the soft power of the United States, both internationally and over its own population.
In recent years, for example, U.S. embassies have repeatedly flown the rainbow flag, often over the objections of the local population.
Wokeness, Beattie continued, is "deeply embedded into not only the American culture but the American economy and legal system, on account of the entire ecosystem developed to accommodate civil rights and disparate impact law."
These concerns led him to title his speech "Can One Be an American Nationalist?"
American nationalists, he argued, run the risk of empowering the state, woke corporations, and other forces that are ultimately hostile to nationalism and nationalists.
Beattie Worries Speech Was Politically CorrectIn a follow-up interview with The Epoch Times, Beattie worried that he had been too gentle in his remarks to the National Conservatives.
"The fact that my talk didn't scandalize anyone in the room makes me think that I didn't push it hard enough," he said.
He explained another one of his concerns with the term "nationalism": It has become too safe. Beattie alluded to the term's increasing popularity in the mainstream conservative press.
"If it's dangerous to be a nationalist, if it's politically incorrect to use the term nationalist, then it has utility," he said.
He compared the change to another shift—namely, the way politicians and the media talk about China. In just a few years, worries over the CCP's influence have moved into the mainstream.
Beattie's perspective on wokeness informed his critiques of Hungarian conservatives, who were prominent fixtures at the National Conservatism Conference.
The country's conservative leader, Viktor Orban, has attracted international attention for his stance against open borders and in favor of family formation. In the United States, those moves are denounced by many liberals but championed by some conservatives.
Beattie contends that Hungary only looks "based" because it hasn't been exposed to the GAE for very long.
After all, in a world torn between the United States, China, and perhaps Russia, Hungary lacks any meaningful capacity for self-defense. Unless it definitively turns to Russia or China—an unlikely prospect—it will stay under the sway of the GAE.
"It's only a matter of time before the disease gets to them," he told The Epoch Times.
At the end of his conference talk, Beattie agreed that wokeness could ultimately be defeated.
"It begins with using terms like nationalism or any of these as just organizational principles, to get people who are smart, young, talented, disaffected from the system to kind of coordinate and go through the process of both entering into institutions and building their own parallel institutions," he said.
Crushing wokeness will take a competing moral vision—one that is just as powerful and unflinching.
According to Beattie, the current mainstream response to wokeness lacks muscle.
"The woke people are saying 'silence is violence.' That means anyone in the room who doesn't agree with me is committing violence and must be corrected. Whereas the right is saying, 'Don't tread on me, just leave me alone,'" he said.
"When they come into conflict with each other, 'silence is violence' will always destroy 'don't tread on me.'"