One of the best tests for objectivity when criticising or commenting on ideas or more seriously, laws, is how we would like it if the shoe was on the other foot.
So when conservatives, concerned to preserve social liberties and individual freedoms such as free speech, object strenuously to exercises in authoritarianism such as section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act or the para-judicial anti-discrimination tribunals, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with a desire to abuse, insult or offend those who disagree with them.
It’s a foreseeing fear that the people making the very subjective decisions about what kind of speech should be banned can never be truly objective, and worse, could sometimes wield their unchecked power to promote their own fringe agendas without the democratic balances needed.
The power to ban some kinds of speech is a fearsome weapon and the threat it poses to western civilisation cannot be overstated. Many classics are written about dystopian societies and a common, foreboding thread runs through them all – the power of the state to censor unapproved speech.
The offence industry completely shreds one of the cardinal values established in centuries of jurisprudence, perfectly illustrated by the statues of Lady Justice. In one hand she holds the scales of justice with which to weigh the issues and decisions she must make; in the other, a sword to punish the guilty and defend the innocent. What fringe activists hate about Lady Justice though is her blindfold.
The blindfold worn by Lady Justice represents the imperative of the equality of all before the law, regardless of their identity. It doesn’t matter what race, age or sex her petitioners are. It doesn’t matter their social status, sexual preferences or intersectionality of victim points. In an industry that nimbly wedges minority identities against the status quo, objectivity is yet another principle which must be assassinated. Objective, blind justice is an obstacle to punishing those whom the Offence Industry accuses of causing the mortal injuries of offence or insult.
The Leftist Media Complex is fully complicit in this campaign of lawfare, weaponising our legal system to silence critics of identity politics and political correctness. The origin of that phrase was Stalinist Russia where, perhaps with some cynical humour, one bureaucrat questioned the regime’s propaganda with what used to be a reasonable observation that it was not factually correct. The response was, “No, comrade, but it is politically correct.”
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Leftists are mortified if any argument should dismiss someone’s feelings being hurt. Conservatives are grossly accused of contributing to youth suicide rates if they question the offered propaganda of the complete normalcy of LGBTIQAX+ lifestyles or any policy based on that invalid premise. To the vast majority of those lemmings so easily persuaded to support “progressive” agendas, feelings trump facts every single time – hence the need to rob Lady Justice of her blindfold.
But what about when the shoe is on the other foot? What if someone argues feelings or damage to their pride as justification for censoring someone darling to them, such as the precariously imbalanced ABC?
China has for the last fortnight blocked its 1.4 billion citizens from being able to access the Australian ABC website. Just like leftists do, China subjectively justifies all kinds of individuals’ human rights violations with a simple feelings argument – it’s for the benefit of the “social harmony”. Individuals with their pesky thinking and speaking what they think are often quite detrimental to the absolute authority of the state and the kind of harmony there is when nobody is allowed to sing a different song.
Just like leftists do, China is denying the patently obvious with clever spin that makes it sound like their authoritarianism is all perfectly reasonable. When pressed by their ABC for what it did wrong to hurt China’s feelings, an official from the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission finally stated:
China’s internet is fully open. We welcome internet enterprises from all over the world to provide good information to the netizens of China. However, state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China’s laws and regulations, spreading rumours, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride.
My suggestion to the ABC is that they should get used to this brave new world they’ve helped build where objective facts and blind indifference to identities when weighing issues have no social value. It’s against their law to cause offence to or hurt China’s pride. Surely the ABC isn’t now asserting that freedom of speech is more important than a whole nation’s feelings?
The one party, authoritarian state of communist China is effectively accusing the ABC of hate speech – undoubtedly just to serve its own political agenda – and now it’s banned speech.
How’s that shoe feel on the other foot? Don’t like how that power works in the wrong hands?