The Left’s shift from opposing censorship to shutting down speech

Karl du Fresne wrote in the Dominion Post: The snarling and hissing of the illiberal Left

…in the censorship battles of the 1960s and 70s, it was the liberal Left that led the push for freedom to choose what people could see, read and hear.

Ultimately they won the battle against the moral conservatives. But at some point in the intervening decades, something strange began to happen.

The New Zealand Left executed a gradual 180-degree turn. Now it’s the Left who are the self-appointed censors, mobilising to shut down any ideas and opinions that offend them.

It’s not just ‘the left’ who do this, it’s not uncommon to see people from the right trying to censor dissenting and alternate views (like at Whale Oil), and shut down opinions they don’t agree with (like in comments at Kiwiblog0, it’s not all of the Left, but it is a marked turnaround on the left.

The old term “liberal Left” has become a contradiction, because many of the strident voices on the Left are frighteningly illiberal – not on questions of sexual morality, where anything is now permissible, but on matters of politics, culture and ideology. Their antennae twitch constantly, acutely alert for imagined evidence of racism, misogyny and homophobia.

This is especially true of the social media generation, who block their ears, drum their feet on the floor and hum loudly to block out any idea or opinion that upsets them.

More than that, they often actively try to discredit, shut down and drive away opinions and ideas they don’t like – this is common on Twitter – or people they decide aren’t left enough regardless of their views, common at The Standard.

It is sometimes tried here too, but I strongly discourage it.

The threat to freedom of speech and opinion no longer comes from bossy government agencies…but from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where digital lynch mobs indulge in snarling, hissing gang-ups against anyone who challenges leftist orthodoxy.

And campaigns and petition are organised to try punish people who say things that aren’t considered ‘acceptable’.

Public discourse has reached the point where almost any mildly right-of-centre opinion is liable to bring forth frenzied denunciations and calls for the offender to be silenced, fired or boycotted. The silly, melodramatic term “hate speech” has come to mean anything that upsets someone.

New Zealand has so far largely been spared the extremes of intolerance shown on overseas university campuses, where violent protests force the abandonment of lectures by anyone the Left doesn’t like.

Could it happen here? Of course it could. Only last year, University of Auckland students tried to exclude a pro-life group from campus activities, Yet 50 years ago, New Zealand student newspapers were at the cutting edge of demands for free speech.

When universities have an intolerance of freedom of speech then we have a significant problem.

I wonder what the old-school liberal Left make of all this. It took generations for New Zealand to mature into a tolerant, liberal democracy and now it sometimes looks as if we’ve not only slammed on the brakes, but engaged reverse gear.

Is it a mix of a new generation, plus the power of social media and ease of abuse?

This has been discussed at Reddit, with an ironic ‘best’ comment from ‘bigfuckingdealm8’:

What a pile of hot stinking rubbish, congratulations.

‘green_marks’:

Should we count your post as snarling and hissing?

HerbertMcSherbert tries some balance:

There’s a case to be made that discussion gets shut down that shouldn’t be, but it’s delusional to claim it’s only associated with one side of the political spectrum. Just recently in NZ any discussion of immigration numbers or foreign house buying has been shouted down by the right as “xenophobia!” Likewise, the conservative right often drives censorship – even up to what consenting adults are allowed to do in their own home.

I’d also agree that in some parts of more extreme leftist circles there are problems with censoring speech or ideas.

I’d agree, but universities are not (or should not be) “extreme leftist circles”.

 

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80 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  March 11, 2018

    ” it’s not all of the Left, but it is a marked turnaround on the left.”
    Can you give even one example from your own experience, Pete?

    • Ray

       /  March 11, 2018

      Well we have you, Robert doing your attack dog thing when anybody dares examine Green policies. Personally I have no problem with that as you are a real person and I applaud the way you have finally got on top of your John Key Syndrome.
      And then there is Blazer with his attack, attack anything that isn’t Left or could be seen as criticism of the Left without any facts or self awareness. I also note we have never had a hint that he might be a real person.

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 11, 2018

        Nonsense. Robert’s comments, controversial as they are here, tend to have the effect of opening up rather than closing down discussion in that he almost always gets a reaction from right wing commenters. Oh and in what way is “Ray” a “real person” that Blazer is not??

        • Ray

           /  March 11, 2018

          This is Robert’s first comment on a discussion on the Greens co leaders

          robertguyton / March 11, 2018
          PDB – I notice you have an infatuation with “Shit” (to quote your oft-used word). Have you tried prunes?”
          I can see how some might think that is an “opening up” but really it is an unhelpful closing off of any discussion about discord in the Greens ranks.

          • phantom snowflake

             /  March 11, 2018

            Pffft. Mere cherrypicking. Still puzzling about how you are a “real person” but Blazer is not!

        • Gezza

           /  March 11, 2018

          I looked at a few of your clips Robert. You forest garden looks amazing mate.

    • Corky

       /  March 11, 2018

      The Left used to be Jew lovers until they decided Jews really are bad bad people who kill babies, defenceless people and bomb schools with military bases within their confines.
      Now any Jew giving a public speech on university campuses in NZ will receive a hard time.

      • Gezza

         /  March 11, 2018

        Possibly. It might depend on whether they’re out & out Zionists or not. Can you link to any reports where that happened?

        • Gezza

           /  March 11, 2018

          Would you like to quote the bit of that which supports your contention: “Now any Jew giving a public speech on university campuses in NZ will receive a hard time.” ?
          Because the page you linked to notes some NZ Jews were critical of Michael’s uncritical support of Israel’s policies.

          • Corky

             /  March 11, 2018

            I took it to mean you wanted some reference to the Left once supporting Israel . You got it as per topic.

            • Gezza

               /  March 11, 2018

              I took it you were saying every Jew who gave a speech on university speech on a university campus would receive a hard time from lefties, which wasn’t exactly on topic but it is one of the common mêmes you like to weave in wherever you can. You got corrected as per usual.

            • Gezza

               /  March 11, 2018

              PS: Sorry about the mixed up 2nd line. An A300 went over, & then a pukeko started screaming a warning & I had to go & shepherd a petrified grey fluffy cat out of my back yard.

              It threw me. I’ll start again.

              I took it you were saying every Jew who gave a speech on a university campus would receive a hard time from lefties, which wasn’t exactly on topic, but it is one of the common mêmes about lefties that you like to weave in wherever you can. You got corrected as per usual.

              Many, but not all, lefties have a problem with Zionists in Israel, but they don’t have a problem with Jews. Because not all Jews are Zionists. If you meant that any Zionist who gave a speech supporting Israel’s policies of continually stealing more land from Palestinians & oppressing them would get a hard time from left wing students & staff, that may well be true.

            • Corky

               /  March 11, 2018

              ”I took it you were saying every Jew who gave a speech on a university campus would receive a hard time from lefties, which wasn’t exactly on topic.”

              That was a reasonable argument supporting the proposition. However. forest gardening isn’t.

              Zionists as apposed to Jews? You can’t tell me liberals make that much of a distinction. That is being disingenuous. A Jew is a Jew to me….and I bet, to many liberals.

              https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2015/09/vic_academics_against_free_speech.html

              I’m moving on. You can have the last word.

            • Gezza

               /  March 11, 2018

              That was a reasonable argument supporting the proposition. However. forest gardening isn’t.

              Robert’s Forest Garden video is a strong argument supporting Ray’s proposition above that Robert is a real person. Blazer’s yet to turn up on a labelled video supporting that he’s a real person too.

              A Jew is a Jew to me….and I bet, to many liberals.

              That’s because of your tendency to fit everyone into the limited number of beliefs boxes you can conceive of. But your assumptions when categorising people are prone to error & incorrect generalisations. I’ve mentioned this to you before. I don’t think there’s likely to be any change in that situation. You’re happy to be like that. It makes the world simple for you.

              Thanks for letting me have the last word.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 11, 2018

    Good post, PG. The Left are toxic on social media. Ibsen said it best: “It’s like being trampled to death by geese.”

    • robertguyton

       /  March 11, 2018

      “Uni’s are stuffed full of hard left muppets who would struggle to get a job outside Uni”
      Didn’t have to wait long for Trevor to prove himself “toxic on social media”, thus contradicting his claim.

      • robertguyton

         /  March 11, 2018

        Oops – that was stupid of me – my apologies, Alan.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  March 11, 2018

        Oh look! Robert’s lost and confused in the thread… what a surprise!!!

        • robertguyton

           /  March 11, 2018

          Your comment’s begging for the infantile response:
          “Oh look! Trevor’s lost and confused in the head… what a surprise!!!”
          but I’ll not do that…
          However, you do seem to be pushing hard to demonstrate toxic comments come from the Right.

    • Gezza

       /  March 11, 2018

      I think of poltical blogs as social media & the right can be be just as ugly on those.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 11, 2018

        Yes, they are but tend to be more of closed groups than the likes of Twitter and FB.

        • Gezza

           /  March 11, 2018

          Scrolling thru replies to Trump’s tweets can be très amusant.

    • Blazer

       /  March 11, 2018

      Ibsen must be an idiot Al…death is death…

  3. PartisanZ

     /  March 11, 2018

    Orh- … Ohhhh …. Whoops! … No … I don’t want to be first to comment …

    • PartisanZ

       /  March 11, 2018

      It’ll be a conspiracy of some kind … you can bet on that …

      • PartisanZ

         /  March 11, 2018

        “It took generations for New Zealand to mature into a tolerant, liberal democracy”

        When did this happen?

        • PartisanZ

           /  March 11, 2018

          ” … but it’s delusional to claim it’s only associated with one side of the political spectrum.”

          Go Herby!!!

          • PartisanZ

             /  March 11, 2018

            All our news, current affairs and opinion is generated by tiny groups of extremists at opposite ends of the spectrum … who each want to shut the other one up …

            Oh for some decent, boring, middle-ground stuff!

            • PartisanZ

               /  March 11, 2018

              The possibilities of Leftism remain largely unexplored … all the way to Utopia … The ways it can be accomplished myriad … and many mysterious …

              What does a Rightie ‘Utopia’ look like? [Try not to laugh!]

              Hence our ‘political spectrum’ is wildly skewed to the Right … like thinking our Earth is the centre of our Solar System … or our Solar System is the centre of the Universe …

              … or like thinking “our” Earth is ours!

            • PartisanZ

               /  March 11, 2018

              You can only go a certain distance in the Right direction … until you symbolically hit the wall of individualism’s ideological/behavioural ‘dome’ or ‘fantasy bubble’ … like Jim Carey in The Truman Show …

              The broad plains and distant mountains to be explored by the West lie to our Left …

            • Corky

               /  March 11, 2018

              I bet you felt better after letting that frustration out, eh Parti.

        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  March 11, 2018

          Probably 35 years as the generations born in late 50’s through mid 60’s started taking over the levers of power – NZ is a far different place than it was in 1977…. though through the crack and kaleidoscopic lens you look through I suspect you still see 1963 and they way things were so very long ago…

  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  March 11, 2018

    Slow march through the institutions…. bears its bitter, corrupting fruit….

    Uni’s are stuffed full of hard left muppets who would struggle to get a job outside Uni… and they target young impressionable minds with subtle propaganda…before those young minds meet reality in terms of earning things… sad

    • PartisanZ

       /  March 11, 2018

      LONG march!!!! I’ll have you know its been a LONG march … and My God it has not been easy to organise!

      You imagine 3 or 4 generations trying to make their children do what they want them to …

      Trying to force or cajole or bribe them into going undercover their whole lives in institutions … without really knowing whether their sacrifice would bear fruit … or even what exactly the fruit will be!

      And the dreadful toll on parents … Having to try to deny their children the healthy expression of their natural human tendencies like murderous aggression, infinite greed, devious cunning, psychopathic lack of empathy and psychotic ruthlessness, so they could continue the LONG march … and pass the baton to their children in turn …

      The crippling disappointment and heart-breaking agony for parents when their children deviate and do things like “go into business” or become employers or grossly overpaid CEOs … Worse than a child becoming a thief or murderer …

      Universities are there to employ each successive generation of elite LONG Marchers … like professional sports clubs and organisations employ each generation of elite athletes …

      They also provide refuges for young impressionable minds from all the blatant and overt ‘corporate-capitalist’, Social Darwinian, Crustacean Brain propaganda everywhere and continually ‘out there’ in the ‘REAL WORLD’

      Don’t lecture me about a ‘slow march’ … The only slow march around here is the grinding, soul-destroying, minuscule social progress of the conservative status quo … fought to death at each turn in rearguard actions like inventing “a long march through institutions” …

      • robertguyton

         /  March 11, 2018

        Beautiful!

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 11, 2018

        You’re on fire today!

      • robertguyton

         /  March 11, 2018

        Trevor’s still trying to prise himself out of the tread of PartizanZ’s juggernaut.

        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  March 11, 2018

          Nah Robert _ I looking for Parti’s point amid the normal OTT windage, verbiage and garbage his/her/its prose contains….

          I suspect it would take months of analysis to discern anything approximating sense, reason or meaning in Partizans ramblings and ravings.

          • robertguyton

             /  March 11, 2018

            Really? I got his point straight off. Perhaps the fault lies with … you? I found PartizanZ’s “prose” entertaining, instructive and amusing, all at the same time. My assessment was that he thumped you.

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  March 11, 2018

              “Bethlehem” beckons you Robert – the musings you seek reside in the bedlam of that place…. Parti is a long term resident

      • PartisanZ

         /  March 11, 2018

        And the sacrifice made by the children … I remember it well … watching friends get given those *TOYS* to play with … like murderous aggression, infinite greed, devious cunning, psychopathic lack of empathy and psychotic ruthlessness … while I had read Marx & Engels, skateboard and surf – until they made professional sports out of them too! – and study ethics so I might eventually ‘work’ for the common good … for the benefit of all humanity …

        • PartisanZ

           /  March 11, 2018

          Worst of all, as a parent, was knowing that … sniff, sniff … there we’re Rightie parents out there conditioning their children in exactly the opposite philosophy … sniff …

          The Short Massacre through Profitability …

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  March 11, 2018

        Yaaaawwwnnnnn. You been triggered again????
        The fact you react so quickly and so over the top demonstrates exactly why academic thought, universities and lefties go together so well.

        You are a classic example of a Utopian idealists (referencing another of your comments lately) totally divorced from reality – critical of any who dare make it in the real world

        Straw man creators like this lot of absolute tripe [Partizan Said: “deny their children the healthy expression of their natural human tendencies like murderous aggression, infinite greed, devious cunning, psychopathic lack of empathy and psychotic ruthlessness”] HA! Any who disagree with the mighty Partizan and his comrades are THIS!! What complete and utter bollocks you spew out

        Your godhead Kelsey is the classic example of the tenured, neo Marxist conducting precisely the tactic of long slow march through the institutions….

        Now run along and check th bathroom cabinet I suspect what you need is stored there…

        • phantom snowflake

           /  March 11, 2018

          I know I’ve posted this before, but I can’t resist…
          CULTURAL MARXISM:
          A bullshit conspiracy theory developed by paranoid white folks to smear multi-culturalism. It borrows heavily from the plot lines of “The Manchurian Candidate” and states that crypto commies are going to turn us all into genderless, godless, family hating zombies. It’s used as a way for white folks to whine like little bitches about how hard life is now that they dont run the world anymore and all the immigrants, gays, trannies, jews, blacks and others are making life miserable for them.
          (From Urbandictionary.com)

          • Trevors_Elbow

             /  March 11, 2018

            ahhhh as per the old quote: The greatest trick the Devil ever performed, was convincing people he doesn’t exist.

            Quoting some “bullshit” written by a committed hard leftie stating a hard leftie play book tactic doesn’t exist, is the high of self-referential circle jerking…

            Snowflake fits you perfectly

            • phantom snowflake

               /  March 11, 2018

              There’s no rest for Gramsci’s ghost with all this inverted adulation from the Conspiracist Right…

            • PartisanZ

               /  March 11, 2018

              Oh Lord … So now the Right are Godly … and the Left are ‘Devils’ …

              The definition is extreme though, as I have been today, because I think the Conservative Secular-Christian Western ‘current’ orthodoxy is extreme … or at least extremely limiting … [note that orthodoxy shifts from era to era] …

              It would be ideal if everyone’s individualism perfectly corresponded with the common good …

              While it doesn’t, I guess we’re stuck on a see-saw wrenched and teetering back-and-forth between individualism and communalism, capitalism and socialism, art and science, freedom and responsibility …

              Shouldn’t our task be to bring these into alignment? To attempt to find the balance-point? The middle way …?

              These supposed ‘opposites’ are like air and water … It’s not as though we can live with only one of them and not the other!

            • phantom snowflake

               /  March 11, 2018

              Commie Satanists are coming to sacrifice your babies on the altar of academia?

          • Trevors_Elbow

             /  March 11, 2018

            “Commie Satanists are coming to sacrifice your babies on the altar of academia?” And now the snowflake has melted down in the fury and fire of rhetoric flourishes…. are you Partis left hand typing on keyboard two??

            • phantom snowflake

               /  March 11, 2018

              You are by a long way the most jaundiced, bitter and cynical person who comments here. Do feel free to take that as a compliment.

        • PartisanZ

           /  March 11, 2018

          Your Honour … I rest my case …

          • PartisanZ

             /  March 11, 2018

            Darn … I meant mine to come straight after trevors_elbow’s ‘triggered’ diatribe …

            “Art is exaggeration in the direction of Truth” – J. Fox

            “The Truth can never be told so as to be understood; and not be believed” – William Blake

            Trevor, there are untold people who “dare to make it in the real world” who I know nothing about and who I have no beef with.

            I’m concerned about the ones who want to force their reality on me though …

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  March 11, 2018

              No one is interested in forcing their reality on you Parti….. least of all me. I am interested in not having collectivist socialist cant forced on me though….. Kelsey et al are all for coercion, force and authority…..imho

            • PartisanZ

               /  March 11, 2018

              Yeah yeah … While Brash, Butler, Moon, Round and Jones all stand for the ultimate, individual “freedom” … not including the freedom of Maori to seek ‘redress’ or reinterpretation …

              They have no interest in forcing their reality on anyone … Yeah, Right?

              Because history being only their selected written English history of this place began when Lt. James Cook landed at “Poverty Bay” – it can’t possibly have had a name before that – and shot a couple of natives who were shouting and gesticulating at him …

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  March 11, 2018

              Who supports Brash et al Parti???

              Again you find the more extreme view and seek to force any who don’t follow your line of thinking in to that mould so you can vilify them. Your propaganda style needs revision – your tactics reek of Moscow 1930….[See what I did there Parti – used your own tactic of association against you….you are more Joseph Broz than Uncle Joe though aren’t you???]

              I know based on your rantings on this site that you view Europeans, European culture as some type of plague….. your barely disguised “its all whiteys fault” is pretty sad rhetoric to have to read…. but why introduce into this thread????

              ummmmmmm maybe because its classic neo-Marxist tactics to divert off on to another attack vector when the first is not working???

              try harder please – I’m beginning to think your morning “tonics” are wearing off…

          • Trevors_Elbow

             /  March 11, 2018

            Woefull strawmanism again! “Oh Lord … So now the Right are Godly … and the Left are ‘Devils’ …”
            I did not say that not even close…. but you knew that, but thought you could use a snip here and there to frame some type of attack…

            Selective picking of words to try and create a negative to attack and force those who don’t agree with you into a parody you can destroy in detail…. oh dear… Pathetic Partizan, pathetic. i thought your BIG Brain could do better than that…

            The quote I used was to convey the point that hiding in plain sight and convincing your foe you don’t exist is a great trick – tenure in universities gives a secure place to sit and push a view point for example “the long march through the institutions” approach…. but of course as we all know Universities are a bastion of right wing thought aren’t they Parti? Teachers colleges in NZ don’t push particular viewpoints on history do they Parti? No not at all!

            We are all just imagining Unions pushing their viewpoints, of the left naturally, via the classroom particularly at election time, aren’t we Parti?

            Yip – its all a figment of a centrists mind to think the Left have not targeted the government bureaucracy and teaching institutions. That’s why Labour and the Greens MP ranks are NOT dotted with ex academics, teachers and policy analysts??? The Greens and Labours MP ranks are FULL to the gunwales with entrepreneurs and small business owners, trades people etc…… You’re havin’ a laugh sunshine….

            Try again – and make a better argument this time Partizan…. everything you have raved to date has been poppycock, to use an oldy timey expression…

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 11, 2018

    I’m going to speculate a bit here – will no doubt aggravate the down-tickers.

    If you mix with unsuccessful people you view the social pyramid from the bottom up. People are struggling with every aspect of their lives. There are no opportunities. They are very emotional – angry or depressed or both. They need someone to wave a magic wand and transport them to a better place but that won’t happen. They blame the system or the people at the top of the pyramid. They have nowhere to go but the Left and they breed more of themselves every generation.

    If you mix with successful people you view the social pyramid.from the top down. People are secure and comfortable. There are lots of opportunities. But the bottom of the pyramid is there in plain sight and generates concern and desire to help. At that point there is a divergence between those who work with all kinds of adults and those who don’t – typically academics and some professions. The latter do not experience the reality of beliefs and attitudes and lifestyles and relationships that imprison the bottom of the pyramid. They are gullible to the easy fix theories of the Left and channel their consequential guilt into fanatical advocacy and condemnation of any opposition. But those typically in the private sector who do have to work with, manage or support a wide range of people recognise that the Left’s belief that redistribution of money and Government interventions can fix social problems is delusional.

    In a sense “the long march through the institutions” is just the story of the expansion of bureaucracies and the isolation of those in them from the real world where you depend on the performance of real people from all levels of society.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  March 11, 2018

      Al when on the bottom all you see are arseholes.
      On the top all you see are little ants scrabbling around waiting to get squashed.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 11, 2018

        Being somewhat in the middle I don’t relate to either of those, Possum. I do see a lot of arseholes making their families lives miserable and being incredibly and insanely destructive at the bottom. I don’t think you have to look up to see arseholes when you are on the bottom.

    • phantom snowflake

       /  March 11, 2018

      If I understand you correctly you are equating bureaucracies with marxists. In my opinion the main characteristic that they share is that they are both bogeymen of the Libertarian Right.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 11, 2018

        Bureaucracies are the tools of Marxists but I don’t equate them. Bureaucrats tend to align with the Left though from both self-interest and the reasons given above.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  March 11, 2018

        Bureaucrats LOVE authoritarian regimes – they will happily serve any shade of dictatorial government. Gives them a sense of purpose and justifies their sense of superiority…admittedly you will find some genuine civil servants in government but they tend to serve authoritarians….

      • Gezza

         /  March 11, 2018

        Bureaucrats – if you mean government servants, i.e. employees of government departments & agencies – are the tools of the government, whether it’s a left, right, or centre one.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 11, 2018

          Expanded by the Left, constrained by the Right.

    • PartisanZ

       /  March 11, 2018

      Alan, your longest comment ever! Thought provoking too … which I find unusual …

      Firstly, success means different things to different people. They measure and experience success differently. Success is a rainbow as opposed to numbers of dollars before a decimal point.

      By rights this ‘individualized success’ should be part of your much vaunted ‘individualism’. But you Righties appear to want a narrow definition of individual expression – eg only in the ‘real world’ marketplace – and only one definition of success – the dollar value one commands or can otherwise gain from in that marketplace?

      Your ‘top’ of the pyramid is therefore just as trapped in attitudes and behaviours as your so-called ‘bottom’ …

      You also acknowledge the Crustacean-Brain inevitability of societies organisation into ‘Pyramid’ hierarchies, which is precisely the opposite to what I expect from ultra-individualists such as yourself?

      “Struggling with every aspect of their lives” is hence a paramount transumption. As indeed is “secure and comfortable” …

      You haven’t made a cogent argument for “the long march through institutions” conspiracy theory at all. It has never been proclaimed to be a random, unplanned, ‘evolutionary’ process … Precisely the opposite: Three Dada Surrealist dudes had coffee together in a Cafe in Berlin in 1933 and set in motion a socio-cultural underground movement now threatening the entire world … even Crustacean Brainism!

      ‘The Long March’ is much better explained as the invention of one branch of society – The Corporate-Capitalist State – to discredit the other – State Social Capitalism [where ‘Capitalism’ is synonymous with ‘Industrialisation’] – when they split in the early 1930s following the failure of State-Corporate-Capitalism’s old, wizened-up former Slave-Owning Uncle Laissez-Faire Capitalism, who was always entirely ‘State-enabled’ anyhow …

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 11, 2018

        I don’t believe in the long march conspiracy theory. I think it is amply explained as I demonstrated above.

        No, I don’t restrict “success” to financial success, though relative comfort and security and confidence is part of it. Educational, professional or simply life management success is equally an escape from the bottom of the pyramid.

        Consequently I don’t see the top of the pyramid necessarily trapped in attitudes and behaviours as the bottom. Some are: those who feel obliged to match other people’s standards – whatever they are. But many are free to make other choices and live as they choose and decide – always bound by the practicalities of sustenance and survival.

      • sorethumb

         /  March 11, 2018

        Newman: “So you’re saying like the lobsters, we’re hardwired as men and women to do certain things, to sort of run along tramlines and there’s nothing we can do about it?”

        Peterson: “No, I’m not saying there’s nothing we can do about it, because it’s like in a chess game, right, there’s lots of things you can do, although you can’t break the rules of the chess game and continue to play chess. Your biological nature is somewhat like that, it sets the rules of the game, but within those rules you have a lot of leeway. But one thing we can’t do is say that hierarchical organisation is a consequence of the capitalist patriarchy, it’s like that’s patently absurd. It’s wrong. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s seriously wrong.”

        Newman interprets Peterson as suggesting we should use lobsters as a model for human society, but that’s not what he’s doing. Rather, he’s searching for the origins of our social hierarchies. Several thinkers—from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Herbert Marcuse—have argued that modern human civilization, especially capitalism, has made humans competitive and status-seeking, causing them to form systems of domination against their true nature. These ideas are popular with parts of the political left, but Peterson argues they’re false; human hierarchies rely on similar biological mechanisms to lobsters, which we diverged from hundreds of millions of years ago, so they can’t possibly be the result of something that began a few hundred years ago. To truly understand our social hierarchies, we need to understand our biology, which forms the basis for our culture.

        http://quillette.com/2018/02/02/deep-dive-jordan-petersons-channel-4-interview/

        • sorethumb

           /  March 11, 2018

          In response to
          You also acknowledge the Crustacean-Brain inevitability of societies organisation into ‘Pyramid’ hierarchies, which is precisely the opposite to what I expect from ultra-individualists such as yourself?

  6. sorethumb

     /  March 11, 2018

    Recently the American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt described how the social sciences reproduce their intolerant political agenda. Like Antony Jay and the BBC, Haidt knows his subject from the inside. Indeed, he presented his criticisms at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, in January 2011.[36] Haidt argued that the discipline of social psychology is a “tribal-moral society” that shuts out research and researchers likely to produce results that conflict with liberal (i.e. socialist) beliefs.
    Haidt based this thesis on three observations. First, social psychologists have sacred values that are neither empirical nor methodological dogmas. These values take the form of taboos that constrain thinking. Secondly, they have created a homogeneous society. There is almost no moral or political diversity within the discipline. While conservatives outnumber liberals 2-to-1 in the general U.S. population, they are outnumbered 200 or 300-to-1 within social psychology. Haidt managed to locate only one declared conservative social psychology academic. Finally, social psychologists have created a hostile environment that suppresses and discourages non-liberals, such as libertarians and conservatives. He gave examples of how conservative students are intimidated into not pursuing social psychology for fear of the social environment in the discipline and the taboo-breaking results they might find. The situation described by Haidt is a microcosm of the soft totalitarianism that a radicalised intellectual elite has imposed on Western societies since the Second World War.
    The taboos identified by Haidt concern race and sex differences, blaming the victim, stereotype accuracy, and nativism. The lack of political diversity hurts the discipline because different points of view lead to the discovery of novel phenomena. What Haidt found in social psychology also exists in the liberal social sciences. Haidt’s report agrees with Hiram Caton’s article discussed earlier about the importance of political correctness in selecting personnel in the social sciences and how it shapes research agendas and chills creativity from student times onwards.

    The War Against Human Nature in the Social Sciences
    http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2012/6/the-war-against-human-nature-in-the-social-sciences/

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 11, 2018

      That certainly corresponds to my experience with academia.

    • sorethumb

       /  March 11, 2018

      Fantastic piece. Thanks so much.
      Vancouver’s experience is probably like Canada’s on the whole. Trudeau brought in multiculturalism by federal directive in the 70s (“Although there are two founding peoples there is no founding culture…” and that mirrored Laurier before him…) Then in 1982, multiculturalism was enshrined in the Charter. Then in the mid-80s a Conservative PM enacted the “Multiculturalism Act”.
      Now in Canada’s large cities it’s somewhat amusing to hear people speaking English. Fourth generation Canadians are seen as an amusing relic. Do you eat roasts? Do your parents wear sweaters to dinner and talk about classical music, ha ha ha?
      The reality is that in NZ, the hegemony of Anglo Saxon culture refuses to die. The Interfaith dialogue was a fantastic example of that. Also, we never had (much) immigration from Central, Eastern or Southern Europe. We still treat South Africans and Pomps as “one of us”.
      Most people that run this country (wealthy baby boomers) grew up not knowing anyone from different cultures and didn’t travel much when they were young. There is still a serious fear of the unknown. Let’s be honest, we NZers didn’t travel at all until very recently. There were really no coffee shops or restaurants in this country until the 90s for chrissake. How can you expect the political class to suddenly embrace all these different people?

      http://publicaddress.net/speaker/what-diversity-dividend/
      In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores—so that their imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm; the universally valid dominant ideology, which justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.[1][2]

      In philosophy and in sociology, the term cultural hegemony has denotations and connotations derived from the Ancient Greek word ἡγεμονία (hegemonia) indicating leadership and rule. In politics, hegemony is the geopolitical method of indirect imperial dominance, with which the hegemon (leader state) rules subordinate states, by the threat of intervention, an implied means of power, rather than by direct military force, that is, invasion, occupation, and annexation.[3]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_hegemony

      Multiculturalism requires an institutionalisation of public discourse meaning anyone with a differing viewpoint will need to keep it to themselves (remain in the closet).

      • PartisanZ

         /  March 11, 2018

        Jonathan Haidt’s hypotheses apply equally to all disciplines … including whatever he calls his own … and indeed to all people … His main hypothesis being confirmation bias … which he clearly uses to confirm his own …

        “To explain this persistence (using reason to justify ones existing beliefs), Haidt invokes an evolutionary hypothesis – [Well colour me surprised!]: We compete for social status and the key advantage in this struggle is to influence others. Reason, in this view, evolved to help us spin, not to help us learn …”

        He might invoke a personal, group and/or social psychological hypothesis, a socio-cultural or even a Pavlovian one, or a combination of these along with ‘evolutionary’ … But no …

        Evolutionary hypotheses sell books nowadays … The masses are today as reassured by Darwinism as they once were by Catholicism … The Lobster/Primate has become our temporal prophet and low-order Maslowian guide …

        “One of these interests is moral capital – norms, practices and institutions like religion and family values that facilitate cooperation by constraining individualism. Toward this end, Haidt applauds the Left for regulating corporate greed …”

        He ain’t your ally smarting pollex … any more than he is mine … other than his exhibition of his own prejudices …

  7. sorethumb

     /  March 11, 2018

    From a watch this space perspective religion (religious thinking) is being seen much more broadly as is a coalition instinct, evolved in such a way that we are biased to the coalition over the truth ( a predisposition to particular behaviours can be seen in neuronal wiring).
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/27168

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 11, 2018

    I would query a lot of that Brickley Paiste comment. When I lived in Canada in 1970 it was officially bi-cultural and in B.C. everything had to be in French as well as English though there were far more non-French Europeans in the province than Francophones. Also at that time very many young NZers (and Aussies) did their OE in Europe, especially in London. Almost all of the post-grads in my subject area went overseas. To say NZers didn’t travel then is just silly nonsense.

    • PartisanZ

       /  March 11, 2018

      Canada should have Triculturalism!

      Their so-called biculturalism bears almost no resemblance to Aotearoa New Zealand’s or other colonized nation’s experience or understanding.

      Theirs is really a duo-culturalism imposed by two very similar colonizing nations …

      The Indigenous Native Americans living in Canada are hence more-or-less completely eradicated from the picture.

      Canada and the United States are arbitrary ‘countries’ from their PoV.

      Great place for Kiwis to do their OE and further entrench their cultural prejudices though …

      “Duo-culturalism” may be new word # 149 coined on here?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 11, 2018

        We were at that time appalled at the treatment of the Indians, PZ. Isolated on reservations, devastated by alcoholism, mostly invisible and insulted when not. In that sense it certainly entrenched our cultural prejudices but in the opposite way from what you think.

        • PartisanZ

           /  March 11, 2018

          You don’t exhibit being appalled at the treatment of Maori in Aotearoa NZ Alan, only by what you see as their ‘behaviour’ isolated from any colonial factors … historic or residual …

          You blame them if they’re ‘isolated’ and/or ‘devastated’ by alcoholism or any other substance; it’s their own fault they’re over-represented in negative statistics, Right?

          And you insult them if they are too ‘visible’ in any way you disagree with … like redress and reinterpretation …

          Can you elaborate a bit more about this “opposite way”?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  March 11, 2018

            I have never blamed “them”. I have blamed stupid ideas and beliefs and bad subcultures. The gulf between the treatment of Indians and Maori and between their status and presence in the community was immense. It may still be for all I know.

            I do not insult them and I regard that allegation as insulting.