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Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #61

Thank God for Tom Switzer. Without him how could the likes of the ABC and the United States Studies Centre even attempt to rationalise the acute lack of political diversity within these two taxpayer-funded organisations?
On November 16, ABC radio announced what were claimed to be “key changes to its content and presenter line-up for 2017”. In fact, it was more of the same. Much was made of the fact that, on Radio National, Switzer will take over as Sunday Extra presenter and continue his Behind the Lines program.
The suggestion was Switzer would add political diversity to the ABC. In fact, neither Sunday Extra nor Between the Lines are prominent programs. Moreover, Switzer is not a traditional conservative. For example, he opposes the interventionist foreign policy of John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
Despite Switzer’s extra duties, the public broadcaster will remain a conservative-free zone without one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.
It’s much the same with the USSC at the University of Sydney. It was set up by the Howard government with a $25 million handout in 2006. This was never a good idea. Howard should have understood that any organisation established within the social sciences area of an Australian university will almost certainly be stacked by leftists or at least left-of-centre types. And so it came to pass with the USSC. This was dramatically, and embarrassingly, revealed when USSC chief executive Simon Jackman appeared on Sky News’s Paul Murray Live on Nov­ember 9, not long after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election.
Not one of Jackman’s colleagues had predicted a Trump victory. What’s more, USSC staff not only openly barracked for Clinton but ridiculed and sneered at Trump. For example, in an article in Fairfax Media on November 3, the USSC’s Brendon O’Con­nor depicted Trump as an “ugly American” and even bemoaned the fact (allegedly) his “diet lacks sophistication and imagination”.
Mark Latham was on the Paul Murray Live panel and interviewed an obviously uncomfortable Jackman. Latham said there were 30 academics at the USSC and asked whether Jackman was embarrassed and felt humiliated that the USSC “has completely missed the Trump phenomenon”.
Jackman replied: “We’ve got a very balanced line-up at the studies centre; you know, we’ve got Tom Switzer on our panel.” The problem for Jackman was Latham was aware of Switzer’s views.
The following conversation ensued. Latham: “He’s (Switzer’s) not pro-Trump … can you name anyone who was pro-Trump?” Jackman: “At my place?” Latham: “Yes.” Jackman: “No, no, I can’t actually, no.”
Despite this admission, Jackman went on to state there was a “good mix” of views at the USSC.
No there isn’t. The USSC is a bit like the ABC, where everyone tends to agree with everyone on most, if not all, issues. Consequently, it was no surprise so many ABC presenters not only failed to accept Trump had a chance of defeating Clinton but openly campaigned against him.
It seems the ABC’s anti-Trump agenda is now official ABC policy. Addressing a conference on Nov­ember 17, ABC managing director and editor-in-chief Michelle Guthrie warned political parties “on the perils of failing to engage with disenchanted voters struggling in the new economy”. Here’s an idea. The ABC has given Kim Williams, an unsuccessful contender for ABC managing director, his own program on Radio National next year. Why not give Guthrie a program as well to proclaim her political insights?
Guthrie went on to claim the US presidential campaign “was a bruising experience for women everywhere”. She also said the election led to a discussion with her “daughters about what the result means for women aspiring to leadership roles”.
But the fact is Kellyanne Conway, who played a key role as Republican campaign director in Trump’s victory, has said she will have a role in the new administration. The president-elect has announced Nikki Haley will be the US ambassador to the UN next year. And Betsy DeVos has been appointed education secretary. These appointments suggest the Guthrie family need not worry too much about women aspiring to leadership roles.
Early indications are Guthrie will be a more able leader than her predecessor, Mark Scott, who failed to deliver on his core promise to bring about greater diversity at the ABC. However, she needs to be conscious of avoiding the temptation to adopt the prevailing mindset in the conservative-free zone over which she presides.
The unfashionable fact is Rup­ert Murdoch’s Fox News has a group of left-of-centre Democratic supporters who are paid contributors and appear at least weekly on its prominent programs. The ABC does not have one right-of-centre equivalent on its major programs. The problem with a lack of political plurality is it can lead to a mindset at odds with reality. It stands to reason no one at the ABC or the USSC regarded Trump as a likely election victor since they could not imagine a majority of Americans in the swing states would support him. They underestimated Trump’s support among women, African-Americans and Hispanics.
The USSC is based at a university that is not safe for a leading Coalition minister or a prominent conservative to visit. The left-wing stack is evident in Sydney University’s Peace Foundation. Year after year it awards leftists, most recently Naomi Klein and before that the likes of Julian Burnside, Noam Chomsky and so on.
Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, headed by leftist Jake Lynch, is in constant conflict with Israel. This is the reality in so many of Australia’s taxpayer-subsidised institutions. It won’t change by the occasional appointment of a Switzer to a university position.

Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #62

Folks, welcome to Australia where threats of Leftist violence stifles free speech. The meeting was organised by a Jew, and yet you have Useful Idiots in the community who are trying to shut this down. This is precisely the behaviour Melanie Phillips and Pamela Geller dare call suicidal.


Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #63 

Avi Yemini is an Orthodox Jew and owner of IDF Training, a Krav Maga gym. He was forced to cancel a public meeting he planned with Pauline Hanson and others due to threats from the Far Left.

Here is Avi Yemini being interviewed by Andrew Bolt on the threats he faced from the Far Left, which he rightly calls "extremists", for planning to host an event where two Senators were due to speak.
Yemini says the Far Left are being encouraged. I am not surprised because in my view, they're simply cheerleaders for the "mainstream" left-liberals and their global allies.

Posts: 852
Reply with quote  #64 
Today, Geert Wilders has been found guilty. He didn't get any punishment, as the court claimed that the verdict would be enough of a punishment for him, but it's still a shameful case against free speech.

Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #65

Originally Posted by Jennifer Oriel
Long after the West has defeated Islamic State, the jihadist threat will remain.

For the past 40 years, Western immigration policy has been based on multicultural ideology.

Its consequence is clear: Islamism has become a Western condition. Successive governments have diluted Western values to the point where they are no longer taught in schools. The result is a population unschooled in the ­genius of our civilisation whose youth cannot understand why it is worth defending.

Multicultural ideology must give way to a renaissance of Western civilisation in which Australian exceptionalism is celebrated and Islamism is sent packing.

Multiculturalism is not merely the acceptance of diverse cultures, or open society. It is the a priori belief that cultural diversity has a net positive effect on the West, coupled with a double standard that excuses lslamic and communist states from embracing it.

Thus, Western nations must open their borders while Islamic and communist states remain closed. The West must accept the myth that all cultures are equal while Islamic and communist states celebrate their unique contribution to world history. Under multicultural ideology, the greatest civilisation of the world, Western civilisation, is held in contempt while theocratic throwbacks and communist barbarism are extolled.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al- Hussein, regularly frames the West as xenophobic and racist. In a recent speech, he decried xenophobia and religious hatred. But he did not address the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians, or the governing Islamist regime in Gaza, Hamas, for hatred of Jews. Rather, he took aim at the West, saying: “My recent missions to Western Europe and North America have included discussions of increasingly worrying levels of incitement to racial or religious hatred and violence, whether against migrants or racial and religious groups. Discrimination, and the potential for mob violence, is being stoked by political leaders for their personal benefit.”

Western governments should explain why they continue to send taxpayers’ money to the UN when it has become an organisation expressly devoted to defending the interests of Islamist and communist regimes against the free world.

The growing hatred of Western culture goes unremarked by politicians whose populism is firmly rooted in political correctness. No major political party has calculated the cost of multicultural ideology to Western society. Instead, they extol it as a net benefit without tendering empirical evidence. When politicians claim truth without substantive supporting evidence, ideology is at play. It may be that multiculturalism is a net benefit to the West. If so, why has the evidence been withheld? Without it, minor parties can contend that multiculturalism is a net negative for the West and appear credible.

In the absence of empirical proof that multicultural ideology is beneficial, politicians such as Pauline Hanson, Donald Trump, Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen seek to curb Muslim immigration and deport those who disrespect Western values. Hanson plans to push for a burka ban in the new year. The policy has international precedent as Dutch politicians voted recently to ban the burka in some public places. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has proposed a burka ban, but it is reasonable to question her motives ahead of the 2017 election. In a state election held in September, Merkel’s party polled below nationalist and anti-Islam party Alternative for Germany. She has driven porous border policy and repeatedly castigated European heads of state who defend their sovereign borders, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Her call for a burka ban is thus viewed by some as blatant political opportunism.

Malcolm Turnbull addressed the issue indirectly by citing poor border controls in Europe as the cause of the problem. However, as with so many issues concerning political Islam in Australia, the question of a burka ban is indivisible from the defence of Western values.

One such value is the universal application of law that requires the equal treatment of all citizens. If Australians are expected to not wear a balaclava in banks, courts or Parliament House, why are some citizens permitted to cover their faces in a burka or niqab? Double standards and preferential treatment of state-anointed minorities is fuelling widespread, and rational, resentment in the West.

Consider retelling the events of the past week to an Anzac just returned from war. We would tell him that a Muslim married to a terrorist recruiter refused to stand in court because she wanted to be judged by Allah. Muslims in Sydney and Melbourne were charged with preparing a terrorist act against Australians. In France, several people were arrested for plotting jihadist attacks. News broke that 1750 foot soldiers of a genocidal Islamic army had entered Europe without resistance from Western armies. As in Australia, many jihadists entered as refugees and lived on taxpayer-funded welfare under a program called multiculturalism.

In the same week, a German politician called Angela Merkel, who ushered Islamists into the West by enforcing open borders, was lauded by a respected magazine called The Economist as “the last leader of stature to defend the West’s values”. Yet men from Islamic countries who allegedly entered Germany under Merkel’s open-border policy were arrested for sexual assault, including the rape and murder of a teenage girl. Asylum-seekers and refugees had assaulted women and children across Europe. Less than a year before, on New Year’s Eve, Merkel’s asylum-seekers had attacked women and girls en masse.

We would tell the Anzac that Britain attempted to acknowledge the negative impact of its undiscriminating approach to immigration. A review recommended a core school curriculum to promote “British laws, history and values” and a proposal that immigrants sign an oath of allegiance to British values. But secularism, private property and Christianity were absent from the principle list and as such, it wasn’t very British at all.

There are few Anzacs left to see what the West has become. I suppose that’s a kind of mercy. We have dishonoured the millions of soldiers who laid down their lives in the 20th century fighting for our freedom and the future of Western civilisation. We should hang our heads in shame for letting the Anzac legacy come to this. We are the descendants of the world’s most enlightened civilisation. It is our turn to fight for its future.

Here I thought was a very good reply:

They use the language of the Civil Rights Movement, which through the many eloquent and passionate films and books and songs in the culture, has a very powerful resonance. Thus anyone who murmurs dissent over the importation of a culture that despises ours and in many cases seeks its destruction, is branded 'racist', 'bigoted', 'white supremacist' and others, which these days are very potent.

They promote a false equivalency, where if you don't want your suburb to become virtually a colony of another country, you're a hater, a vile racist. It's possible to very much like other cultures but still want to retain the nature of one's own.
The Left also promotes, in their quest for more multiculti votes, a narrative of historical white conquest and exploitative colonialism, implying that we owe a debt to these peoples. It's false, as living conditions were in many cases, like Zimbabwe, better under colonial rule

Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #66 
Members of the Japanese community are now suing under 18C over a Korean comfort women statue which it claims offends them:

Now for obvious reasons we can't imagine the Left taking up a cause like this even if it falls under their beloved "hate speech" law. Why not take action against any anti-British and anti-white male monument that might offend us, just to highlight the utter bankruptcy of this law?

Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #67

There’s nothing new in NSW’s Helensburgh Public School using Year 3 children as refugee activists and classroom teachers wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Teachers for Refugees — Close the Camps, Bring Them Here”.
The NSW Teachers Federation and the Australian Education Union have a long history of using the education system to indoctrinate students with Marxist-inspired causes.
In 2002, after the Howard government committed troops to Iraq, the AEU directed teachers to “take action in your workplace and community” and to “support students who take an anti-war stance (and to) encourage participation in peaceful protests”.
Instead of education and the curriculum being objective, whereby students are taught to be critical-minded and to weigh alternative points of view, the AEU’s leadership is only concerned with imposing its politically correct views on controversial issues.
While parents are shocked by the Marxist-inspired Safe Schools LGBTQI program, which teaches children gender is fluid and celebrating being a man or a woman is heteronormative, the AEU gives it full support. Its federal president, Correna Haythorpe, describes critics of the Safe Schools program as “extreme conservatives” opposing a “highly effective and positive program”.
At a time when Australia’s international test results are in free fall, the AEU, instead of focusing on the basics, is more interested in campaigning for “global movements for peace, social justice, nuclear disarmament, justice for refugees and the environment”.
In relation to climate change, AEU Victorian branch president Meredith Peace is happy to visit schools as a result of being trained “by Al Gore to give his famous climate change presentation as part of his Climate Project”.
Since its establishment in the early 1990s, the AEU and its state and territory branches have campaigned for a plethora of neo-Marxist, feminist, LGBTQI and postcolonial causes. Such is the success of the AEU in determining what happens in the school curriculum that a past president, Pat Byrne, was able to boast “the conservatives have a lot of work to do to undo the progressive curriculum”.
Instead of celebrating Australia’s economic successes, our high standard of living and the fact that we are a peaceful, democratic nation, the AEU argues the curriculum must critique the “role of the economy, the sexual division of labour, the dominant culture and the education system in reproducing inequality”.
As such, the AEU is a long-time critic of the academic curriculum and meritocracy, where there are winners and losers.
Supposedly, based on a Marxist view of society, the traditional curriculum and competition reinforce capitalist hegemony and the power of the ruling class.
Instead of ranking students in terms of motivation and ability, and holding schools responsible for results, the AEU argues learning must “be premised on co-operation rather than competition and the prospect of success rather than failure”.
Drawing on communist theorists such as Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu and Louis Althusser, schools are condemned as essential parts of the ideological state apparatus that, as a result, must by captured and transformed.
As prominent Victorian union activist Bill Hannan argued some years ago, “We don’t have to wait for society to change before education can change. Education is part of society. By changing it, we help to change society.”
Or, as argued by the then left-wing Victorian education minister Joan Kirner, “we have to reshape education so that it is part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change, rather than instrument of the capitalist system”.
Not surprisingly, given it’s old-style statist view of education, where governments, bureaucracies and teacher unions enforce a command-and-control model of public policy, the AEU opposes the existence and funding of Catholic and independent schools.
Even though parents are voting with their feet and about 35 per cent of students attend non-government schools, the AEU argues “there is no pre-existing, predetermined entitlement to public funding: i.e. there is no a priori justification for public funding to private schools”.
By denying funding to non-government schools and arguing that additional billions must be spent on government schools, especially to employ more teachers and prospective union members, the AEU is obviously driven by self-interest.
Self-interest also explains why the AEU is committed to an antiquated and inflexible centralised enterprise bargaining system, one that ensures its seat at the table and that denies individual schools the freedom to shape employment conditions that best suit local needs.
Ignored is the international movement to free schools from provider capture, represented by charter schools in the US and free schools in England, and to give them the autonomy to best meet the needs and aspirations of their local communities.
Instead of educating students in a balanced and impartial way the AEU is committed to indoctrinating children with neo-Marxist, politically correct groupthink.

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Posts: 620
Reply with quote  #68 
All I can think (and I am grateful that I was taught TO think) is that I am fortunate to have gone through the education system before the AMU got their grubbiest of paws into it. Was fortunate that a certain state Premier did his darnedest to keep those southern socialists out of the schools when I was going to them too.
Yours Sincerely Queenslander

Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #69 
Michael Gove:

The most important thing to understand about this week’s Berlin atrocity is that it could have happened anywhere in Europe. And will. Whether nations have large or small Muslim communities, fought in the Iraq war or stood aside, have superb intelligence services or lax and inefficient security forces, we are all in the firing line.

Because Islamist terrorism isn’t anti-Merkel or opposed to Hollande, targeted against London or determined to hit Brussels. It is anti-western and opposed to freedom, targeted against all of us and determined to murder everyone in its path. So we shouldn’t fall for explanations that attempt to shift responsibility or, worse, blame the grief-stricken leader of a country in mourning. The only people with blood on their hands are the terrorists.

In the analysis that, inevitably, follows these events, a great deal of attention is always paid to the failures of state security agencies to stop the killers. Of course it’s vital that lessons are learnt. But, again, believing one can somehow devise a perfectly secure state with impenetrable defences is a fantasy. In a free society, a determined terrorist will, sooner or later, get through. So if we want to stop terrorism then we need to stop people becoming terrorists.

And that means understanding the appeal of the ideology that attracts people to terrorism in the first place. That ideology — Islamism — is growing in power and popularity.

Like communism and perhaps even more pertinently, Nazism, Islamism is a 20th-century ideology, an attempt to explain weakness and provide a path to greatness. The key Islamist thinkers — Hassan al-Banna, Abul A’la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb — were all influenced by the fall of the Ottoman empire and with it the last caliphate. It was another humiliation for Muslims in what had become a centuries-long story of decline.

They argued that Muslim weakness was a consequence of the abandonment of the pure and austere Islam practised by the Prophet and his companions. The scimitar-edged certainty of 7th-century Islam had carried all before it. But now Muslims were everywhere in retreat because they had succumbed to western creeds: whether nationalism, liberalism or socialism. Only under the black flag of Islam could they win again.

It is this ideology that fires both al-Qaeda and Isis. And for young men uncertain of their identity, searching for purpose and yearning for meaning, this ideology fills what Pascal called the God-shaped hole in our lives. For many young Muslims in Europe, whether newly arrived or second generation, the “old country” is a place of backwardness and oppression while their new home is a soulless environment in which the only values are commercial and the only certainty is that the odds in the casino economy are stacked against those with brown skins.

Islamism offers these young men what it appears western society can never aspire to: a belief in something sacred, a chance to be heroic, immersion in a cause greater than oneself. Joining an Islamist group means adopting an identity that’s chosen rather than imposed, becoming a soldier of destiny rather than a driver of Uber cabs.

Against the appeal of this ideology and its promise of meaning in a materialistic world, it is not enough to offer a managerialist defence of the West as an arena of greater economic opportunity. We have to do more than promote a vision of a borderless future in which we all become even better at getting and spending.

We are social animals not units of production. We achieve nobility and find significance in making sacrifices for others and winning their respect. That depends on a sense of shared belonging — membership of a community and belief in a culture. But if one culture is confident and the other apologetic; if, as Osama bin Laden put it, one horse is strong and the other weak, people will follow the strong horse.

If we want to counter the appeal of Islamism then we need a revival of cultural confidence across the West, a willingness to defend not just our borders but, even more critically, our values.

So, faced with the narrative of grievance that blames western intervention for the immiseration of millions in the Middle East and Africa, we should say that the answer is more of the West, not less. If more countries had the accountable national parliaments, enforceable property rights and the truly free press that we enjoy in the West the world would indeed be a better place.

We should explain that we are tolerant and generous not because we have been shamed or guilt-tripped into behaving properly only recently but because such decency is deep in our culture. So we should reject the brittle intolerance of burka bans and welcome public professions of faith. But we should ensure that children grow up knowing that the freedom that allows people to dress, pray and speak as they wish is not something brought into being by letters to The Guardian from Shami Chakrabarti and Jeremy Hardy — it is rooted in our history of parliamentary assertiveness, reformation radicalism and Lockean liberalism.

You only win a battle of big ideas and a contest of passionate beliefs if you have big ideas you passionately believe in. How can we expect others to believe in our country, its traditions, its hard-won liberties and its quiet decencies, its history, rituals, parliament and Church if we behave as though they are all obstacles to integration which must be reshaped, reformed or dismantled? This war against the West should remind us how important are the institutions that embody who we are.


Posts: 4,747
Reply with quote  #70

Originally Posted by Paul Kelly
As Donald Trump’s new presidency surges across our politics, creating chaos and uncertainty, there is one element in his victory where most Australian politicians remain in ideological denial — the revolt against identity politics.

Trump, in effect, was given permission to win the election by the US progressive class despite his narcissism, his coarseness and his smashing of the orthodox bounds of political and policy behaviour.

In retrospect, the 2016 US election story is a grand joke — enough voters in Middle America decided to tolerate Trump’s juvenile viciousness because they felt the narcissism of prevailing closed-minded progressive ideology was no longer to be tolerated. In the end, the alternative was worse than Trump. Is this too difficult an idea to grasp?

During the Obama era the US underwent a cultural revolution. Fuelled by social activists on race, sex and gender issues and the ­decisive swing by younger people to social liberalism as a way of life, the Democratic Party embraced identity politics as a brand. It mirrored the values transformation that swept through many American institutions: the academy, media, arts, entertainment and much of the high income earning elite. But revolutions are only guaranteed to bring counter-­revolutions in their wake.

Barack Obama won two presidential elections enshrining iden­tity and minority politics at the heart of his campaign. But Obama is a unique historical figure. What works for him doesn’t work for other Democrats — witness Hillary Clinton. In 2016 minority politics failed to deliver. Its momentum has been checked, with American progressives sunk in an angry valley of rage.

Last year Clinton, after a long and often tortuous journey, embraced not a call to all, but a collection of separate identity groups, a pervasive agenda of political correctness and pledges to end discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This testified to the US Supreme Court decision in favour of same-sex marriage, the injustices visited on African Americans, the voting power of minorities and their ­decisive capture of the soul of the Democratic Party. The problem for the Democrats is now obvious: managing the Obama legacy without the magic of Obama.

This election, beyond its madness, was about a clash of moral ­vision. Trump stood for three ­visions: economic protection against free trade, nationalism against internationalism, and cultural tradition against social liberalism. In Australia there has been immense coverage of Trump’s victory combined with denial of its full meaning. It is a historic failure of progressivism.

In his defining New York Times article of November 18, “The End of Identity Liberalism”, US professor of humanities Mark Lilla said the liberal orthodoxy that ­society should “celebrate” its differences was splendid as moral pedagogy “but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in an ideological age”.

Lilla said: “In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from ­becoming a unifying force capable of governing. One of the many ­lessons of the recent presidential campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity ­liberalism must be brought to an end.”

Lilla, no fan of Trump, said Clinton’s “strategic mistake” was slipping into “the rhetoric of ­diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, LGBT and women at every stop”. It ­became a bigger problem when, having decided to play group politics, she ignored the biggest group: white voters without college degrees. They punted for Trump and who can blame them?

After the result Lilla said American voters were “disaffected with the liberal message”. He said: “Democrats have simply lost the country. They have lost the capacity to speak to the vast middle of America, an America that is, in large part, white, very religious and not highly edu­cated.” He said identity liberalism was about self-expression, not persuasion, and claimed that “it’s narcissistic, it’s isolating, it looks within”.

The superficial lesson of the US election is that identity politics failed at the ballot box. That’s ­important. But what’s even more important — for the US and Australia — is that identity politics is bad in its essence, bad for nations, bad for societies and bad for peoples. Identity politics is a far bigger issue in the US than Australia but that does not gainsay this reality.

It goes to the flaw in progressive politics — its blindness to consequences of its policies. This is relevant in Australia given the Labor Party is fully pledged to identity politics as a tactic while for the Greens it is core ideology. The pent-up backlash, however, will come in this country probably sooner rather than later.

Trump, personally liberal in many ways, rode the tide of conservative moral revolt. It was wider and deeper than liberals ­expected because the rising progressive ethos touches virtually every aspect of US life. Progressives misjudged partly because they felt Trump condemned himself as a bigot, sexist and anti-­Muslim extremist.

The genius of Trump’s “make America great again” slogan was that it resonated at multiple levels — with people who saw their jobs and incomes were being eroded along with something even bigger: they felt the values of their America were being stolen, that they were losing their country.

Lilla joins that other brilliant American academic, Jonathan Haidt, professor of ethical leadership at New York University and author of The Righteous Mind, whose speeches over the past year are a tour de force in documenting and exposing the crisis in the US university system caused by iden­tity politics.

These speeches are reinforced by Haidt’s 2015 Atlantic magazine article, “The Coddling of the American Mind”, co-authored with constitutional lawyer Greg Lukianoff, that reveals the ­destructiveness of identity politics.

The key lies in its cultivation of victimhood and the creation of laws, rules and processes to allow victims to pursue and punish the people who have offended them. This vests victims with a superior moral standing, even social status, with the assumption such pro­cesses represent superior public policy and prove the compassion of institutions that embrace these norms.

The argument “I’m offended” is the ultimate card. Once these norms are accepted, it is unbeat­able. This thinking is spreading rapidly into Australian institutions and is embraced by authorities who don’t understand the consequences of what they are doing.

Any Australian politician will gain currency by standing for the victim, winning moral acclaim and usually votes. The great examples are rejecting the same-sex plebiscite because it would offend and hurt gays and lesbians, the insistence under section 18C that people have a right to be offended because of racial comments, and the right of LGBTI students to have the school norms redesigned on gender grounds for self-protection. The principle in each case is the same: the norms of the majority must surrender to the demands of the victimised minority.

Once the victim culture prevails, then notions of morality and decency are redefined. As its scope widens any established idea is vulnerable: that male-female gender norms should be respected, that Australia Day should be kept as January 26 or that the British civilisation heritage should be fundamental to the school curriculum.

While Haidt’s analysis is university-based, it is valuable ­because US universities are the most advanced outreach of iden­tity politics. He argues this transformation weakens the integrity of institutions and damages the precise people it is supposed to protect.

“What has been happening since the 1990s is there’s been a change — the most sacred thing at university is the victim,” Haidt says. “There are six groups of victims traditionally since the 1990s so mostly whenever there are big political blow-ups and controversies they tend to be around race ­issues, gender issues, or LGBT ­issues. Those are the big three. There are three other groups that tend to be sacred but there seems to be less controversy around Latinos, Native Americans and the disabled. The last two years have been extraordinary ­because there’s been a revolution in just two years with a seventh group, now Muslims, in the ­sacred category. You know you’re in the presence of sacredness when any little thing, any affront or insult, elicits a huge reaction.”

Haidt describes how the process works at American univer­sities: “The transition to a victimhood culture is one characterised by concern with status and sensitivity.” The self-declared victim looks to the new norms for satisfaction. “They bring it to the attention of the authorities,” Haidt says. “If something happens, you don’t deal with it yourself. You ­report it. You get the president of the university, the dean, some older person, some bureaucratic authority, to bring them in. To punish the person who did this. In such a culture you don’t emphasise your strengths, rather the ­aggrieved emphasise the repres­sion and their social marginalisation. The only way to gain status is not just to be a victim but to stand up for other victims.”

This is an accurate description of the ethos and operating rules of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

What are the consequences? Haidt says: “Professors are ­increasingly afraid of students. Everybody’s on the Left but they’re increasingly being hauled up for some charge of racism or sexism. Professors all over the country are pulling videos, pulling material. Undergrads are being exposed to far less provocative material in 2016 than they were even in 2014. Just in the last two years professors all over the country are changing their teaching.”

The origins of this cultural sickness are deep and pervasive. Lilla says: “The fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.

“At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good.

“In large part this is because of high-school curriculums, which anachronistically project the iden­tity politics of today back on to the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country.”

Haidt says that children born after 1980 got a message: “Life is dangerous but adults will do everything in their power to protect you from harm.” He’s right. But he misses the sharper political point. For progressives, identity politics and victimhood are a wedge to delegitimise leaders and institutions that sustain any conservative status quo against the radical ­social changes they want. This has played out in the politics of both the US and Australia.

Identity politics should be seen in its historical context. It is one manifestation of the chaotic yet momentous embrace of populism on both the Left and Right, fanned by social media, the crisis of traditional values and the debasement of the notion of what is a virtuous person. Emotional self-expression, not piety, is the behaviour that is now rewarded.

Haidt says identity politics is tied to the idea of “emotional reasoning” — or, to be crude, the elevation of emotion over reason. Its essence is: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.” Feelings are permitted to guide reality. Lukianoff and Haidt say: “A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness. It is, ­rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something ­objectively wrong. It is a demand that the speaker be punished by some authority for committing an offence.”

Emotional reasoning is now evidence; it is seen as illegitimate for an authority or a government to inflict mental or emotional damage on people who constitute a historically repressed minority; subjective evidence of the hurt is all that is required to make the case. Let’s be clear: emotions and claims of mental damage have ­become political weapons to be ruthlessly deployed. This is a core tactic of identity politics.

Bill Shorten grasps this and has used it brilliantly. Shorten and most of his frontbench were ­explicit in their rejection of the same-sex marriage plebiscite: it had to be rejected because of the emotional damage it would do. Shorten said the “No” campaign would be “an emotional torment for gay teenagers” and raised the possibility of suicide. Many mental health clinicians backed him.

These views must be challenged. How healthy was it for the LGBTI community to present ­itself to the Australian public as such entrenched victims that they were unable to sustain a national vote on the marriage issue? Are such individuals better off having embraced this position? Are they better prepared for future life when, in an imperfect world, they will face inevitable discrimination from time to time?

Moving to the central contradiction in identity politics — as rele­vant in Australia as it is in America — Lilla said: “It says, on the one hand, you can never understand me because you are not exactly the kind of person I’ve defined myself to be. And on the other hand, you must recognise me and feel for me.”

Rates of mental illness have been increasing rapidly in both the US and Australia among young people. This is a serious issue but it is being exploited in the cause of ideology. As Haidt says, if young people are taught, encouraged and rewarded “to nurture a kind of ­hypersensitivity” that does not ­assist their lives. On the contrary, this new moral culture advocated by the progressives results in “an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own” while at the same time “it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict”.

Nobody doubts that hurt and offence are genuine and justified across every minority group. That is a fact. But it is not the issue. The issue is the institutional, political and legal response. Haidt argues that the cult of victimhood in law and process “causes a downward spiral of competitive victimhood” and the generation of a “vortex of grievance”. The further tragedy is that victimhood penetrates both sides of the political conflict: men branded as sexist by feminists claim to be victims of ­reverse ­sexism.

Progressives have been setting the cultural agenda in Australia just as they have done in the US: on same-sex marriage, LGBTI rights, gender fluidity programs, social and ideological agendas in schools, the campaign against religious freedom, winning more support for affirmative action, radicalising the proposed indigenous referendum, shifting multi­culturalism towards the “diversity” side of the spectrum and deploying anti-discrimination law as an instrument of radical social change.

It is futile to think the counter-revolution will not occur. The only issues are its leadership, its rationality and the extent of its conservative or reactionary populism. If Malcolm Turnbull, as Coalition leader, feels this is not his responsibility then the vacuum will be ­occupied by others.

As the two-generations-long campaign in the West for individual human rights reaches its logical cultural conclusion in identity politics, the results are an increasingly fragmented society, the ­decline of a shared historical narrative and a distorted moral order that damages us all.

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