The only good thing to emerge from the events of the past few weeks is that the moral bankruptcy of leftist progressives has been highlighted. Mobs of well-meaning 'liberals' have gathered to justify the carnage of Hamas, as though beheading babies ripped from the womb is understandable if done in the sacred name of a 'rebellion' to bring down the oppressor.
This is more than a natural support for the underdog, a David vs Goliath re-enactment. We are witnessing the ultimate outworking of the morally idiotic pursuit of 'social justice', the simplistic offspring of identity politics, in which the Bad People are those with power, and the Good People are those without it. In this scheme, the line between good and evil passes not through each human heart, but between identity groups, and it has infected every sector of our culture.
From Nike's support for Colin Kaepernick, Gillette's rejection of 'toxic masculinity', and Starbucks' and Ben & Jerry's automatic support for every woke campaign, there has been a sharp increase in corporations taking over public morality and attempt to remake society.
Tens of thousands of mostly young people marched through the West's capitals waving flags and calling for the destruction of Israel and its Jews. They had been radicalised by lecturers who express support for the death cult, teach it to their students and spread it through the media.
The Hamas backers were simply applying the logic of identity politics to the events in Israel. Because they see the Israelis as the oppressors and the Palestinians as the oppressed, anything the Palestinians choose to do to the Israelis in the name of freedom from oppression is justified.
Britain's police are shot through with identity politics. Different approaches are taken to different identity groups, in effect selective policing. Even when rebuffed by the courts the police insist on pursuing Christians, such as various street preachers quoting the Bible. Christian Pro-life campaigner Isabel Vaughan-Spruce has been arrested three times for the thought crime of praying silently outside an abortion clinic (and cleared by magistrates).
Yet when deep-rooted hatred is expressed at demonstrations calling for jihad and Muslim armies to 'deal with' Jews, the police resort to mealy-mouthed prevarications about the precise meaning of jihad, as though the context did not tell us everything. This emerges from the identity politics playbook where Christians are supposedly powerful whilst Muslims are oppressed.
The BBC have proved themselves wretchedly biased at best in their reporting of the Hamas conflict. They were even forced to apologise under government pressure for echoing the Hamas line on the Gaza hospital blast. Their reporting has demonstrated just how deeply the BBC are invested into social justice and how far they have fallen from the organisation which once was trusted and respected throughout the world.
The question is not 'Have these and other institutions such as the armed forces, sporting bodies and film industry lost their way?' Rather it is 'Why have they lost their way?' Although splitting society into identifiable groups to determine moral superiority is the dominant ideology of today's society, replacing biblically founded justice with social justice is nothing new. This was seen in the anti-Christian Terror of the French Revolution and the Red Terror of the Bolshevik Revolution. In these revolutions, and the others which followed their pattern, justice was meted out on the basis of class origins, not on the basis of objective facts.
Jordan Peterson writes: 'When the Soviets collectivized the farms, they pretty much wiped out or raped and froze to death all of their competent farmers. They called them "kulaks," and they attributed class guilt to them because they were successful peasants, and they defined their success as oppression and theft. . . And all of these things you hear about now, like "white privilege" for example, are variants of collective guilt. I pick your bloody identity, whatever it happens to be, and then I make you a guilty member of that category, and then you and the rest of the guilty members of that category are judged as a unit.'
In both pre-revolutionary France and Russia, the middle-class intelligentsia supported the revolution. Putting one's thumb on the scales of justice to readjust for the inequities of life sounded good to well-meaning liberals. But as F. A. Hayek wrote in Law, Legislation and Liberty, 'It is indeed the concept of "social justice" which has been the Trojan Horse through which totalitarianism has entered.'
French and Russian liberals in their calm superiority imagined they could support the justified complaints of the revolutionaries, there would be a gradual improvement of social conditions and all would be well. This proved yet another liberal fantasy. Without Christian restraint, the guillotine and gulag worked overtime; the well-meaning liberals were swept away and all suffered, including the creators of the revolutions.
Today we find echoes of the same scenario being played out. Intellectuals are preaching 'deconstruction' and their footsoldiers are marching in the streets lauding bloody massacre. The establishment are embracing those like BLM who would destroy our social structures. We find our national monuments like the Cenotaph bedecked with the flags of foreign terror groups and minorities calling for holy war.
John Gray, Britain's most prominent public intellectual, told us, 'The core purpose of modern social justice is the radical deconstruction or reordering of society and its systems, and this ideology has spread throughout Western institutions. Woke revolutionaries don't want to repair society. They just want to overthrow the existing social order.'
It may not happen today, it may not happen tomorrow, but the West is crumbling and the barbarians are approaching the gates. Try to ignore Christianity and we enter a world without restraint where all that counts is power.
Campbell Campbell-Jack is a retired Church of Scotland minister. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.