Writer Naomi Wolf is not the first person one would expect to speak out against the left-wing agenda that has taken over American politics and culture. For nearly her entire life, Wolf was a respected denizen of the left. Twenty years ago, her book The Beauty Myth brought her money and renown. She belonged to a New York coterie of liberal writers and artists, supported the Democrats, and was a dependable lieutenant in the ideological leftist army.
Then, that all changed.
An outspoken opponent of our government’s COVID policies, Wolf was banned from different social media and publishing outlets, lost opportunities to fulfill a long-held dream of becoming a university professor, and was ostracized by many of her friends on the left. And when the insanity of the political left is making formerly lifelong left-wing people like Wolf change their minds, it’s clear America is in dire straits.
Despite the attempts to silence her, Wolf refused to buckle. In her book The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and the War Against the Human, she upped the ante, laying out the terrible damage done by government during this disaster, the lies and slanders directed at respected physicians who dared oppose these policies, the personal attacks on her, and the suppression of traditional liberties.
Near the end of that book, she devotes a chapter to “Evil Beyond Human Imagination.” Around the time the book became available to the public, Wolf also published an essay titled “Is It Time for Intellectuals to Talk about God?” In both the essay and her book, she contends that human beings alone couldn’t account for the wickedness and insanity of our plague time—that the vast swamp of those iniquities are beyond human abilities and intentions. Good people are at war with the powers of darkness.
In late February of this year, Wolf published a longer and more analytical article, “Have the Ancient Gods Returned?” Here, she probes more deeply into the Old Testament and Jewish tradition, the metaphysics of good and evil, and whether the West’s repudiation of God has opened the gates of hell. She writes:
What we have lived through since 2020 is so sophisticated, so massive, so evil, and executed in such inhumane unison, that it cannot be accounted for without venturing into metaphysics. Something else, something metaphysical, must have done that. And I speak as a devoted rationalist.
For this courage, I admire her. But what of her question? Is there, in fact, some spirit at work today whose power exceeds even our own enormous human capacity for wickedness?
Certainly, something has been afoot for the last few years. The election of Donald Trump drove masses of Americans mad as hatters, and for many folks, mere mention of his name retains the power to do so even today. Then, with the arrival of COVID, our culture became infected as much by pandemic lunacy as by the virus itself. Our rationalist age snickers at the superstitions practiced long ago, but our own ruinous credulities will surely make us a laughingstock to future generations.
Meanwhile, the contagion of folly and madness infects other arenas of society. Some politicians, psychologists, academics, and commentators—supposedly bright men and women, many of them with Ivy League degrees—solemnly intone that transgenderism is normal and that people are free to select their gender and pronouns, choices the rest of us are compelled to honor. The zeitgeist also proclaims that spending more and more money despite our unpayable debts will lead us to prosperity, that merit should take a knee before equity, and that the past which once made us proud to be Americans must be erased as despicable.
And that’s only a partial list.
Wisely, in her meditations, Wolf doesn’t attempt a definition that would make tangible the evil of which she writes. In The Bodies of Others, for example, she says of the cruel and insane pandemic policies, “I felt a darkness beyond anything human.” Many of us can sympathize with that feeling.
To Wolf and others, including myself, it is clear that this is first and foremost a spiritual combat. In both her article “Is It Time for Intellectuals to Talk about God?” and her book, Wolf records this incident from early on in the pandemic:
I had asked a renowned medical freedom activist how he stayed strong in his mission as his name was besmirched and he faced career attacks and social ostracism. He replied with Ephesians 6:12: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’
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