Baldwin: how my Left is killing civilisation

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/news-story/1471c9a0d9777c5936eb143ab2a939ce

Herald Sun, September 18, 2016 8:48am

Peter Baldwin was a Left-wing Labor minister. But now the Left has changed into a neo-fascist force that promotes racism, anti-Semitism and a violent intolerance of debate. Baldwin unleashes.

In a nutshell, there has been a comprehensive rejection by progressive academe of the intellectual inheritance from the Enlightenment, the “revolution of the mind” that transformed Europe and North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Enlightenment stressed argumentative rationality and the scientific method. It ­favoured open debate of contentious issues, including the ability to freely critique religious doctrines. It is a universalist vision in which people are seen as members of a common humanity, each pos­sessing rationality and agency, and not just creatures of the particular cultural or religious milieu into which they are born…

Today the “Enlightenment project”, as they now style it, is typically disparaged by intellectuals of a progressive bent. The ideal of human universality is discarded in favour of the politics of culture and identity; the value of reasoned ­debate questioned as argument is seen as just a mask for the exercise of power; the quest for objective truth is replaced by an emphasis on narratives and stories; and the right to strongly critique religion abrogated, albeit selectively…

Welcome to the leftist Counter-Enlightenment. In Britain and the US some critics have coined the term “regressive leftism” for this movement. There are two aspects to the regressive Left ideology. The substantive content of the ideology is identity politics, the view that people should be seen in their essence not as members of a common humanity but as bound to a particular identity group…

Note that when members of a particular identity group demand respect for “oneself as different” they are not talking about respecting each person’s individuality and agency. On the contrary, they insist that people accept being defined by their identity and that they stick to the accepted script, the particular narrative of victimhood, that pertains to their group.

Members of each victim group are urged to claim ownership of — indeed, to be extremely proprietorial about — all aspects of their culture, including ephemera such as clothing and cuisine. We must all stick to our own cultural reservation. To violate this tenet is to commit the high crime of “cultural appropriation”…

And woe betide anyone who breaches this cardinal rule, as dissenters from within Islamic culture such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali have found…

They will be pilloried in progressive media and will face attempts to bar them from speaking on campuses and elsewhere, as when Hirsi Ali was barred from speaking recently at Brandeis University in the US at the behest of a coalition of “progressive” student groups. Then there are the death threats from Islamist extremists intent on punishing the crime of apostasy. The Council of Ex-Muslims on Britain released a report this year detailing how extremist preachers have been given free rein to speak on British campuses while its own leader, Maryam Namazie, a leftist from an Iranian background, has been subjected to sustained efforts — including death threats — to stop her speaking.

These activities consistently have been backed by campus student organisations including, incredibly, feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups.

The de facto alliance that has developed between the Left and militant Islam, the most reactionary force in the world today, is the strangest and most disconcerting political development in my lifetime. If identity politics is the substantive part of this mutant ideology, the compliance and enforcement arm is the system of thought control we nowadays term political correctness.

According to the PC mindset, someone who openly or even privately challenges core tenets of identity politics is not just wrong but morally depraved. Such a person is not to be engaged with argumentatively, but must be vilified, censored and, where possible, pursued legally using instruments such as the iniquitous section 18C of our Racial Discrimination Act and equivalents in other countries…

Regressive Left activists often claim to be fighting against “fascism” or “the extreme Right”. Ironically, they are the ones who, time and again, resort to classic 1930s fascist tactics such as wrecking the meetings of their opponents and in some cases harassing or attacking attendees.

Please read the whole thing. A neo-fascism is on the rise, and if it is not defeated it will destroy us. It will destroy reason, free speech and civilisation itself.

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