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The intolerance of the ‘Progressives’ leading to oppression – unless we stand up to them


Somewhat surprised by the editorial in yesterday’s DomPost. Usually they seem all too ready to pander to the elements in our society who in the name of ‘freedom ‘ will in fact oppress us. This post started out as about the DomPost editorial, but developed as the thoughts behind the post developed and expanded.

The starting point was this Dominion Post EDITORIAL which was itself triggered by the ‘supposed outrage’ trumpeted by ‘many’, ie the usual suspects and Twitter activists, against the proposed speaking engagement of two Canadian speakers, perceived as far right by progressives. This engagement and the protesters were given oxygen by the oppressive stance taken by Phil Goff, as these tweets show:-

However, unlike the kneejerk reaction of Goff, the Dominion Post started out:-

Our mums and dads used to tell us that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words will never hurt us. It was, of course, over-simplified advice that didn’t fully recognise the power of language and a sharp, poisonous tongue, but it helped to undermine that power to inflame, hurt and destroy.

It helped us to better recognise what is truly damaging and hateful, and what is merely offensive and comfortably dismissed.

That is the key point.

Rowan Atkinson very cogently spoke on this a few years back:

Yet the situation has got worse:

The application of offence and our understanding of its rightful place are practically enshrined in our cultural constitution, through academic pursuits, innovative disruption, comedy and other artistic endeavours. Without the possibility of offence we would be a bland, totalitarian state devoid of interest, imagination and ideas.

Yet increasingly that is not the case as we see everyday both in NZ and globally. It is increasingly the case that institutions that used to be seen as at the forefront of free speech and thought are now the frontrunners in its oppression,especially universities.

This clip makes the point perfectly:

Controversial Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have built an impressive global profile by testing the boundaries and pressure points of that ecosystem. They are variably described as far and alt-Right commentators and provocateurs. They want to visit New Zealand and offer their polarising views on, among many things, immigration, gender and feminism.

The Islamic community and Auckland Peace Action want Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to stop the pair. They believe allowing them to spout their “fascist ideology” will “empower local racists and encourage racist violence”.

Interestingly, Paul Embery wrote this at Unherd (H/T David Farrar)

As a socialist and trade unionist, I despair of the modern Left and its propensity to do everything in its power to alienate the very people for whom it purports to speak. So wrong is its stance on so many social and moral questions, that you wonder whether it even wants the votes of traditional left-wing voters anymore. Perhaps it would be happier as a self-indulgent protest lobby, its ranks of middle-class, city-dwelling, bohemian types smoking their weed and listening to Bob Dylan tracks.

These people preach peace and harmony, while reciting the mantra of ‘Live and let live’ and speaking of the need for ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’ and ‘respect’ – all the usual buzzwords. Except that in practice they do the precise opposite of these things, openly frowning upon the lifestyle choices of working-class folk, while displaying a sneering intolerance towards their opinions and demanding rigid conformity of political thought.

He wrote as well:-

The modern Left’s contempt for alternative opinions derives not only from an innate sense of its own moral superiority, but also from the absurd notion that to promote one way of living – to suggest that society benefits more from one taking one path rather than another – is to somehow discriminate or show prejudice against ‘the other’

Possibly one of his best statements was this:-

There are no shades of grey in their world. You’re either with them or you’re a knuckle-dragger.

The purpose, of course, is to shut down debate and establish a public narrative that fits with their own worldview. It’s a pincer attack, which uses the ever-tightening grip of the law on the one hand – supporting increasingly draconian legislation designed to deter ‘hate speech’ (whatever that is) – and the threat of public condemnation and excommunication from polite society on the other.

You only have to look at a few threads on Twitter, newspapers and blogs to see how true that is.

Most interesting is how some representatives of the Islamic community are protesting. All too often such representatives are at the forefront of protests where they seek to deny any point of view other than their own. All too often their oppression is rewarded, but camouflaged with words such as diversity,hate speech and Adam’s favourite – the need for inclusion and tolerance. The hypocrisy is chilling.

Adam considers that these protesting Muslim groups are adopting a classic fellow traveller role to advance their own interests which are often inimical to the claims and beliefs of the progressives.

Adam uses the term progressive, as with their oppressive, regressive and intolerant views they sully the concepts and ideals of liberalism – despite their oft stated claims to being liberal. They are liberal in the sense that Hitler, Stalin and Mao were ‘liberals”.

The DomPost editorial notes in regard to Southern and Molyneaux:

We believe that what they are likely to present may qualify as offensive to some, but will fall below what the great majority of Kiwis would regard as hate speech.

However, as noted above Phil Goff was only all too ready to ban them.

That ban causes Adam to wonder if the Auckland Mayor has any real commitment to free speech and thought given his recent actions in trying to restrict debate on various council matters.

The DomPost made this very relevant point:

Those groups concerned about potential insults against their religion or sexual orientation should instead be comforted that this country allows such a breadth of opinion without reacting with hatred or oppression from other parties, including the state. As happens in some parts of the world.

Healthy, robust debate is as essential to our democracy as the right to vote, possibly more so.

Yet, these people do not care about this. They do not want debate of any kind. They much prefer to hurl around terms such as ‘fascist’ and ‘racist’. Quite possibly with no comprehension of what they mean.

Indeed, as Embery wrote on another occasion

People in these islands once knew what fascism meant. How could it be otherwise when so many had spent six years of their lives fighting against it? What a slight to their memory that we now toss the charge of ‘fascist’ around so casually, aiming it at anyone or anything we find objectionable.

‘Fascism’ as understood by previous generations – a set of ideas built around the supremacy of leader and nation (and sometimes race), with the ruthless suppression of opposition or dissent – has lost all meaning

So true.

Many New Zealanders joined that fight.

One of the organisations in that regard is interesting. Auckland Peace Action is apparently another vehicle for one Valerie Morse. Amongst other things Morse is remembered by many as the activist who burned the NZ flag at the Wellington ANZAC Day dawn service in 2007. She took advantage of NZ tolerance for dissent and regard for alternative views, but is clearly not prepared to tolerate others dissenting views.

This from the Auckland Peace Action Facebook page:-

 Auckland Peace Action
on ThursdayAuckland Peace Action has called on Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to deny the pair entry to New Zealand.
Member Valerie Morse said the speakers were coming to New Zealand to “empower local racists and to encourage racist violence”.
“They come to recruit people to their fascist ideology.”
It is imperative that this type of racism is given no room to be promoted and encouraged in Aotearoa.
“If they come here, we will confront them on the streets. If they come, we will blockade entry to their speaking venue.”

A further chilling comment was

It is imperative that this type of racism is given no room to be promoted and encouraged in Aotearoa.

The implication is that other types of racism are acceptable?

The DomPost editorial said:

But banning these people actually undermines the foundation of those rights. It assumes that the system is not robust enough to tolerate that breadth of views or the populace sophisticated enough to respond rationally.

It also plays into the hands of those seeking publicity and profile. That’s the real message behind the parental advice shared earlier: You can say what you want, but you won’t break us – we’re bigger than that.

Embery put it more bluntly:-

In the end, these zealots threaten the freedom of all of us. And that’s why they must be faced down remorselessly. To hell with their dictatorial assaults on free speech, with their echo chambers, safe spaces and phoney outrage. No more the craven apologies for having expressed a genuinely-held view. Make your case, stand your ground and be prepared to take the brickbats. If people are offended, tough. It’s time to hit back against the group-thinkers and no-platformers.

The modern Left, with its hectoring, screeching intolerance, must be confronted

Hear, Hear

One Comment
  1. Paul permalink
    08/07/2018 13:42

    New Zealand has a sneeze from America’s flu. The mental meltdown amongst Americal liberals because of Trump has reached such a tipping point that any virtuous outburst, demand or criticism is unquestioned, in fact celebrated. Like the slowly boiling frog, the left has no idea of just how absurd they have become. Whether it is harrassing conservatives as fair game, or demanding those gender neutral non-words. It’s got so bad there, Fox News now employs a “liberal translator” (admittedly with a bit of a smirk).


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