Academic life today, and our culture generally, is beset by a “woke” madness. Marxist termites are attempting to destroy Western civilization. The problem isn’t confined to Critical Race Theory, the subject of an earlier column. It goes far beyond that. The rot is everywhere. Fortunately, those devoted to true academic freedom are resisting this onslaught against us. But we need someone to galvanize the struggle for academic freedom; someone to be the voice of our battle. We have that voice. It is Wanjru Njoya, a brilliant legal scholar who has just joined the staff of the Mises Institute as a Research Fellow. She is one of the most dynamic and passionate speaker I have heard since I founded the Mises institute over 40 years ago. If you haven’t yet heard Wanjiru speak, you have a great experience ahead of you. Soon she will become a national presence and a media star. We are indeed lucky that she is on our side!
What first “turned me on” to Wanjiru was listening to her brilliant Rothbard Lecture at the 2023 AERC ( Austrian Economics Research Conference) Don’t take my word for it. You can listen to several of her other talks and interviews here.
If you do so, you will be convinced that she is a star of the first magnitude.
Wanjiru’s life story is fascinating. She was born in New Jersey but grew up in Kenya. After graduating with a law degree from the University of Nairobi, she won a Rhodes Scholarship and studied at St. Edmunds College, Cambridge University. Her doctoral research on the conceptual framework of the employment relationship was published under the title “Property in Work: The Employment Relationship in the Anglo-American Firm.”
She has taught law at St. Johns College, Oxford, the London School of Economics, Queens University in Canada, and, for the past six and one-half years, at the University of Exeter Law School, where she was a Senior Lecturer in Law. She is also a Fellow of the UK Higher Educational Academy. She has published widely in employment law and labor regulations, most recently in the King’s Law Journal, the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy, and the Journal of Libertarian Studies.
Wanjiru is the author of Economic Freedom and Social Justice: The Classical Ideal of Equality in Contexts of Racial Diversity, which was published in the series Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism in 2021. In collaboration with MI Senior Fellow David Gordon, she also wrote another book for the same series, Redressing Historical Injustice: Self-Ownership, Property Rights and Economic Equality, which was published in 2023; and she is now writing another book, also in collaboration with him.
Had Wanjiru been willing to go along with the “woke” madness, her speaking ability would have brought her to the heights of British academic life. She would have become a famous professor at Oxford or Cambridge. But she wouldn’t compromise. She regularly posts her anti-woke views on Twitter, where she has over 25, 000 followers. Her law school asked her to stop her “controversial” Tweets. Just what they don’t want is a black woman who is against their ideas. When she refused, they persecuted her. They took away her office. But she wouldn’t give in. When I think of what she went through, the contrast between the great Murray Rothbard and Alan Greenspan comes to my mind. Both of these economists knew that the gold standard is right. But Greenspan abandoned the truth in order to gain power and influence. Murray wouldn’t compromise.
What has Wanjru posted on Twitter? Here are some samples. She is very interested in the fight of white South Africans to resist confiscation of their land by the ruling party, the African National Congress. Among her comments: “This is why South African police stopped tallying farm murders by race – it showed a disproportionate impact on white farmers. They said “For us, racialising crime is problematic. You can’t have a separate category that says, farmers are the special golden boys and girls.”
“Very happy to collect race statistics and measure “gaps” if it shows black people at a disadvantage. But if it shows white people at a disadvantage suddenly it’s all “we don’t want to racialize the statistics”.
“These people are commies. They’re not interested in farming. All they’re interested in is “action against hunger”, shaking down hard working taxpayers in the West to supply them with free food. Meanwhile they’ve slaughtered over 4,000 white farmers in South Africa.”
“My thoughts are that if white people are expelled from Africa then black people should be expelled from Europe. Fair’s fair. You can’t have black people declaring that white people are not welcome in Africa, while also demanding that black people must be welcome in Europe.”
As you can see, when I said Wanjiru Njoya won’t compromise, I wasn’t kidding. Another subject that she tweets about is racial preferences in education. She points out that these programs don’t help blacks and other minorities. They aim to impose an ideology on us:
“Notice “equal opportunities” people aren’t interested in creating opportunities for others. What they’re interested in is EQUALIZING everyone’s opportunities. That’s why they don’t care if people are illiterate and unable to do basic math. They’re too busy measuring “gaps”.
“When they encounter illiterate children they don’t worry about helping the children learn to read. No, they run off to measure the gap between numbers of illiterate black children and numbers of illiterate white children. They’re hunting for a racism so they can equalize races.”
“Decades ago Thomas Sowell wrote about the quiet repeal of the American Revolution (Cosmic Justice, 1999) but people still don’t know this happened. It is by the very quietness of repealing Constitutions and fundamental human liberties that wokery wins its greatest victories”
“Be aware that whenever you hear woke-captured institutions and professions referring to “our shared values” what they mean is communism.”
“Repeal the Civil Rights Act. Do it now, before it devours the Constitution. You cannot “amend” your way out of wokery, debating the meaning of words, waving your dictionary at wokies and telling them they must use correct definitions of “equality”.
“You cannot “amend” your way out of a revolution. You cannot defeat the woke revolution by preaching about so-called “colour blind equality”. Nobody who marches under the banner of “equality” is interested in debating words, they’re interested in total power and control.”
“One of the biggest disadvantages black people have is that everyone is coddling them. No matter how badly they behave it’s not their fault, it’s always The System to blame. Thus nothing is their responsibility. So they will only get weaker and more unfortunate over time. Sad.”
As you can imagine, Wanjiru has no sympathy for serial plagiarist ex-Harvard President Claudine Gay:
“We’re now so coddled that we don’t even have to cite sources for academic work. We can just lift text from other people and pretend it’s our own. Do this 11 times and you’re ready to be President of an Ivy League college and earn $900,000. If anyone complains, that’s racism.”
“Before long they’ll be encouraging people to please plagiarise more, so the President of Harvard won’t feel so humiliated. They don’t want her to feel she’s the only plagiarist. They’ll ask us all to do our bit and plagiarise harder, to make her feel welcome and included”
As you can see, Wanjiru has a mordant wit. Wanjiru is of course a firm defender of the free market and opponent of government interventionism. She goes after the Post Office here:
“State-owned quangos accountable to nobody are not a form of capitalism “Capitalism is an economic system characterised by comprehensive private property, free-market pricing, and the absence of coercion.” – Sternberg
“”The Post Office is fully state-owned but is an independent body, a quango run by a well-paid board. Captured by its own management, accountable in practice to nobody … this isn’t real capitalism but a sorry corporatist ersatz.”
“”the overpromoted corporate-bureaucratic class, the useless apparatchiks of Britain’s Kafkaesque bureaucracies, the unaccountable arms-length bodies, the out of control lawyers, the civil servants and the subsidy-hungry corporations.”
Why is Wanjiru so uncompromising? As she points out, we have to be uncompromising. The woke people will stop at nothing:
“After the statues and memorials, the flags. Next they’ll be coming for your flags. Then your songs and stories. Then your names. Anything that makes them “feel so unsafe” when they see or hear it. There is no logical stopping point to the woke purge.”
One of the main things wrong with “affirmative action” programs is that they harm blacks. Everyone will discount academic blacks who deserve their jobs because they will be taken to be affirmative action beneficiaries.
“If black people insist on keeping racial preferences then they have to live with people assuming they’re all DEI hires. There’s simply no way of forcing people to believe you made it on merit, while at the same time you’re still benefitting from racial preferences.”
“As for proving yourself on the job, good luck. Most people won’t have the time to follow your career close enough nor do most people have insight into the details of your personal performance. You will simply be classified as a DEI hire in their minds. DEI is a cruel farce.”
She warns that affirmative action programs will promote a white backlash.
“White working class boys are the most neglected group, abandoned to their fate and told they have “white privilege”. Locked out of all educational and job opportunities. When they grow up and come into their own there will be an almighty pushback against all this.”
“Politicians don’t have to worry about pushback because they’ll be out of office by then, and it will be someone else’s problem. But the rest of us should be concerned about the effects of wokery. Wokery is just vengeance for history, and it will be followed by counter vengeance.”
Let’s do everything we can to support Wanjiru Njoya in her heroic fight against wokery. She is fighting our battle in a unique and unsurpassable way.