. . . to get engaged
Freedom of speech is the only hope we have. To stake everything on its preservation really isn't being shrill. It's simply acknowledging reality. New Zealand is following exactly the same path - with exactly the same players in exactly the same roles - taken by our more accessible Western contemporaries.
It's time for us to get engaged.
Well it has been an odd few days hasn't it?
The visit of Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern has done us an invaluable service here in Enzed. Many of us wondered how our news media, academics and politicians would stand up against international standards. Now we know. Media & politicians slot right in there with Sweden, Britain and Canada at the extreme end of the reality deniers. The academics are not doing much better either. As overseas, academics who disagree with our trajectory mostly do not seem to have the courage of their convictions and instead become part of the problem.
Boy are we in trouble.
Enough has been on display from these groups to confirm our worst suspicions: many academics and politicians and the overwhelming number of journalists - the people who have control of information, the means of making laws and of shaping minds - have not the slightest clue what they are doing when it comes to ideas from outside their cosy little fish bowls. They are ideologues, not thinkers. "Islam is a religion of Peace" isn't a concept to be investigated, it's an unimpeachably veracious statement.
Members of our media, academy and politicians can't even agree with the theoretical proposition that people with ideas they disagree with should be allowed to publicly state them.
Can't they hear themselves? Have any of them ever been to a tertiary institute? You deal with understanding new ideas all day there guys. Or at least you're supposed to.
Together, these groups have managed to engender within me what a lifetime of increasing pressure from many sides could not: after observing all this I truly felt ashamed to be a man, to be white and to be a New Zealander.
Presented with ideas backed up with overseas experience and research all so many of our "thought leaders" could thoughtfully lead us into was baseless name-calling:"Racists! Provocateurs!" Cries of "Shut them up! Close them down!" were the most thoughtful and nuanced responses these people could come up with. There was an early interview (which I can't seem to find now) with NZ TV of which we were shown a selected few minutes. Here's the full hour. Watch it and decide for yourself if the Canadians are really so hateful.
Some exceedingly silly arguments also came forth from the general public, such as this beauty: "No one is denying them free speech. They have Youtube channels, anyone can hear them there!" But you're going to do your best to ensure no one can hear them anywhere else aren't you? Would you like me to treat you like that too? Hey it's OK - get a Youtube channel, everyone can hear you there. Just don't show your face around here or there'll be trouble.
Somehow this doesn't strike me as the future free from fascism our fathers envisaged when they stormed the beaches at Normandy.
Thankfully there was a quick response to the initial deplatforming by a group called the Free Speech Coalition. A group of divergent political backgrounds who recognised immediately what was at stake here. Thank God for this. They have however been stigmatised as "rich white men", the fount of all evil - I'm not exaggerating, watching the media this last week shows many influential people really do believe this.
Happily, in the course of this fiasco, I discovered some clever people here in NZ who raised some real issues - often humorously couched. Have a look at this video: "Anti-communists protest alt-Left radicals" and see if you can figure out why the suggested scenario would never take place even though the principles are identical. By the way, our Prime Minister - the former President of the International Union of Socialist Youth who spoke at the 2009 International Union of Socialist Youth where she addressed her fellows as "Comrades" - is proud of her countrymen for standing against the Canadians: "I think we're hostile to their views . . . They're here because there were no grounds to block them being here . . . I think you'll see from the reaction that they have had from New Zealanders that their views are not those that are shared by this country and I'm quite proud of that."
So they weren't saying or doing anything illegal, "we" just don't like what they say. They're here because "we" couldn't find even a tissue paper thin pretense to stop them.
Well that's encouraging.
But fair enough on the "we" thing, I hear politicians all over the world using the "we" when talking about national values & identity. Although . . . doesn't that indicate that "we" have a differing set of values and a different identity than others? How does this not make some of those others feel lesser and therefore bad? Isn't that wrong? I mean the Saudis still cut a few heads off each week for crimes such as leaving Islam. Does our PM not perceive that her white privilege is offensive to the many Saudis who agree with this practice? Pretty judgmental thing to say isn't it? How dare she?
Some people called the Auckland Peace Action Group were very involved with protesting the visit of our two Canadian friends. What is this Auckland Peace Action Group I hear you say? Well, watch another video of Rachel Poulain's and all will be revealed (spoiler: the name Antifa appears). They have such a nice name, with "Peace" in it, it seems this was enough to stop just about every single journalist from looking them up on Google. Couldn't be a blind spot could it? No?
And journalists are so offended that people don't trust them. What silly people we are.
Anyway there was a nice "Rally against Straw men" um. . . I mean . . . "Rally against Racism" that provided a cathartic outlet for many people who apparently rely on said journalists for their facts. The media, which routinely call the "racist" speech of these two these two "far right" and "alt right" people (even though those people hate the pair and call them race traitors) conjured up a group of people holding obscene signs calling them fascists (see what you did there journalists? Kind of escalated didn't it?). On the embarrassing Sunday documentary one lady wondered why the pair didn't come down and speak to them so that they could engage in dialogue. She seemed unaware that a) anyone could go to their talks and participate in the Q&A, in fact dissenting voices were encouraged; and b) that being surrounded by a large group of people convinced you were racist fascists might not be the most welcoming environment for a free & open exchange of ideas.
Molyneux & Southern actually did try to chat with some protesters in Australia (guess how that went - mind the language). Even if they had been up for an open to the non-paying public discussion on their concerns they would have been treated as the problem rather than representative holders of views shared by many of us. All deeply patronising and utterly uncomprehending.
And speaking of uncomprehending . . . you ain't seen nothing yet!
This "interview" is the most cringe-worthy spectacle I have ever had the misfortune to behold. It leaves the infamous Cathy Newman/Jordan Peterson spectacle in the dust. This interview drew the attention of people from the other side of the planet to our little country it was so awful. Watch this commentary from an Irishman on the Canadian's experiences in Oceania - very funny but so tragic. Bearing in mind his comment on cognitive dissonance, I invite you to read this piece from an experienced journalist at the NZ Herald on why the Canadians are terrible and shouldn't be allowed to talk. I cannot locate a coherent rationale, can you? As was so often the case it appears that some people just don't want anyone to hear things they find offensive, they can't ratioanlise their position, but they still want it stopped.
So if you haven't watched the interview with Patrick Gower you simply cannot miss it - it's a mind bender. Among many lowlights is the lack of response to Ms Southern's comment about multiculturalism being OK until you're asked to accept something like the culture of [Islamic] women being stoned to death for the crime of being raped. Mr Gower shows not the slightest inkling of comprehension - in fact he goes on another show later to further reinforce his public humiliation. Then he again digs himself deeper into his hole in this article. Three times he demonstrates that he just doesn't get it. I genuinely feel sorry for him, but I feel worse for those who still choose to remain his audience.
Yet he is typical of the people responsible for mediating information to the general public.
Mr Gower, please read this article - it's from the Guardian so it must be correct right? The Guardian's nice isn't it? The article states that because of Islamic Law - the Hudud ordinances introduced in 1977 as part of a "Shariasation" or "Islamisation" process - up to 80% of Pakistani women are in gaol because they have been raped.
In an effort to more closely follow true Islam the government of a Commonwealth nation brought in laws punishing women for being raped. Let all that sink in. Then go back to the answer Ms Southern gave you. Please. I'm sorry, if you don't do this then I think you are simply not up to the responsibilities of your job.
Following all this of course was Massey university's decision to ban the ex-leader of the Opposition and Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash. That deplatforming was based on "security threats" and the belief that his opinions got very near to hate speech - a concept that is not even enshrined in NZ law. Sounds a lot like our Prime Minister - we can't legally stop him but boy we tried! It's probably not coincidental that Mr Brash was a big supporter of the Canadian's right to free speech either.
BTW you'll never guess the topic of his talk: "PC culture has gone too far to the point of limiting freedom of speech".
You. Cannot. Make. This. Stuff. Up.
One of our Universities crushed this event exactly as a Canadian Uni crushed a similar event a year ago.
This is an example that all over the West we are seeing the silencing of people that governments and other powerful groups disagree with. Given the state of our societies such a situation is to be expected and is unavoidable. It will get worse, not better. We will continue to get shut down, deplatformed and shadow banned (a friend told me he can no longer access IslamAndKiwis from his work computer due to its "offensive" content).
What to do?
Accept reality. This is the deal now. I don't think there's some grand conspiracy to silence us, I genuinely think most people have found themselves in a place where they can't make a reality-based decision because the West is so terribly depleted and has no honest sense of itself, history or the "Other" that we are always being told we need to be more open to.
Too many bad changes are happening too fast around too much of the West right now. You & I have noticed. So you're part of the problem as far as the zeitgeist is concerned. Are you prepared to go the distance on this? You'd better be.
People are being conditioned to expect violence, irrationality and bigotry from you. How will you cope?
- Be vocal but speak quietly with a smile on your face.
- Don't quarrel.
- Ask the right questions of the people you meet - especially any politicians, academics and media types.
- Build bridges, make friends.
- Be patient.
- Knock it off with the "Right" and the "Left" stuff. In our context this just muddies the waters and we really do have lots of allies on the other side of the aisle. We still have lots of common ground. Remember, 70% of Kiwis wanted Molyneux & Southern to speak.
- The legacy media is apparently four times more "liberal" than the general public. So we may have to bypass the old media.
Many have a deep antipathy to you and what they think are your views because they have simply been misinformed. We can fix that if we're given the room. But we will have to work very, very hard to be permitted the room to make our case. This will take time.
But the only alternative is that our societies will eventually - maybe 50 years from now, maybe sooner - degenerate into anarchy, we'll be at each other's throats and some form of tyranny arises. We can't let that happen and if we can help prevent it by our own personal pain then that's what we need to do. Around 80 years ago our fathers ran at machine guns to stop this happening, now we have a chance to follow their example to prevent the violence.
Commit. Get engaged. Pay the price.
It should be obvious that now is the time.