ALMOST every day the news seems to get more bonkers with jazz hands replacing clapping at university campuses, and Brexit-blocking politicians calling themselves democrats.
But this week, the world received a rare bit of sanity from a surprising source.
Despite being something of a messianic figure among the progressive young, Barack Obama attacked the very culture they aspire to.
In an interview for his Obama Foundations annual summit in Chicago on Tuesday, he laid into wokeness and young people who are obsessed with purity.
Obama told his audience: I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people.
Hear, bloody, hear.
This was not the only important segment of his talk, which contained huge lessons for whippersnappers.
He also said, the world is messy, there are ambiguities and, people who do really good stuff have flaws.
Obamas address could not have come at a more important time, particularly given the major culture wars that are being fought in the West.
Something that is completely absent from our debates, and arguably driving new tensions, is the idea that life is messy, as Obama says, and requires compromise.
Instead, we are seeing activists treat issues as if they can be put in neat little boxes with a right and wrong answer.
This is part of the reason why university campuses have become such toxic places.
They are incubators for hysteria, where students act like religious zealots, banning celebrated academics such as Germaine Greer for not spouting their approved doctrines.
Twitter, too, is being used to hound others for having incorrect views, with pile-ons and clips circulated of the blasphemous.
Say something wrong and you are cancelled. No debate.
This extremism is feeding into real-life events, including the campaign for next months General Election. Just look at the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Despite presenting himself as a kind and compassionate old bean, Corbyn and most MPs in the current Labour Party thrive on presenting society as a fight between good and evil, the few and many, with people like bankers and Tories in the latter group.
At every chance they demonise anyone who strays from the progressive orthodoxy.
Labours shouty MP David Lammy even took this philosophy so far as to compare Jacob Rees-Moggs hard Brexit European Research Group to Nazis and apartheid.
In reality, they are simply politicians who have different views to him.
But such extreme rhetoric has become normalised among Labour. You are either on their side of the argument, or you are a fascist.
Labours polarised world view is encapsulated in its utterly bonkers set of policies.
The former US President said young people need to end their obsession with ‘purity’, explaining ‘people who do really good stuff have flaws’
It’s why universities have become toxic incubators for hysteria and why celebrated academics like Germaine Greer have been ‘cancelled’
Any sensible government knows that economic reform takes time, and is often about compromise and improving existing structures.
But Labour wants to tear everything down and start again, with private schools being top of the list no doubt because MPs have a vendetta against Etonians.
Corbyn also wants to abolish Universal Credit, despite having no tangible plan for its replacement.
Universal Credit is the perfect example of where Labour goes wrong. The system has had teething issues but the answer is not to burn it down, it is to make slow improvements.
There are other huge, sweeping pledges the party has made, such as nationalising the railways, water, energy and mail, seizing a ten per cent stake in every private company with more than 250 staff and having a target of net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.
Experts have suggested this could lead to meat being rationed, cars confiscated and the wholesale closure of industries (leaving no one left to tax, presumably).
Who cares, though, if it gets Labour in charge!
Much of the reason Labour has set upon these radical policies is because shaking up the system is always incredibly exciting for the young, particularly if it looks like it might bring about a few freebies.
And lets face it, it is no surprise that millennials and their younger counterparts can be enticed.
They have had a rough ride since the 2008 financial crisis, absorbing the shock of the recession and being decades away from home ownership.
It is no wonder they think socialism is the answer, especially as it plays into the woke mindset of there being simple, binary solutions to everything.
This is why it is so important that young people actually take on what Obama was saying about the world.
The Government has to make large numbers of deeply complex decisions, where there cannot always be winners.
Almost always someone will lose out in the intricate interplay that is political decision-making.
There needs to be more acceptance of a Margaret Thatcher-style realism: That life is not fair.
That is something youngsters do not seem to grasp these days, believing equalities can be remedied with the magic wand of socialism.
Unfortunately, real change takes time, and can be boring, bureaucratic and hard to sell.
Strong, long-lasting policies do not make sexy soundbites like For the many, nor can they be advertised in protests outside Parliament Square. Like Obama said, the world is messy.
Too many Labour MPs demonise anything they disagree with and they thrive on presenting society in black and white – as ‘good’ and ‘evil’, the ‘few’ and the ‘many’
Labour’s David Lammy took this philosophy so far as to compare Jacob Rees-Moggs hard Brexit European Research Group to ‘Nazis’