For me, the defining image of 2020 was also the funniest: that of Democratic lawmakers in the US taking the knee, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, draped in Ghanaian kente cloth.
Watching thoroughly establishment politicians, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to the fore, literally kneeling before the new woke politics was striking. It provoked so many questions, not least if Pelosi and Schumer (80 and 70 respectively) would be able to rise again unassisted.
But this absurd attempt at virtue-signalling – which provoked mockery rather than plaudits, even among those it was meant to impress – made one thing clear: that wokeness is the new orthodoxy, and the old elites know this.
Divisive, identitarian ideas around race, gender and sexuality have of course been gaining ground in elite circles for some time. The idea that Western societies are not simply affected by bigotry, but defined by it and built on it, had been gaining ground in academia for decades.
The rise of campus censorship and student intolerance is in many respects an off-shoot of this ideology, which holds that words wound and that free speech and reason are just covers for white domination – and which seems to generate Salem-like hysteria among its adherents.