This article was originally published on Mark Latham’s Outsiders.
I worry that Australia is sleep walking its way to disaster. Political correctness, identity politics and cultural Marxism have run through our institutions at an astonishing rate.
There’s not enough public awareness of where these changes have come from and what they mean for the future. Media headlines focus on each controversy in isolation. But we need to understand the overall pattern.
The Left has launched a cultural invasion of Australia based on the concept of ‘fluidity’. Everything we thought was fixed in our understanding of the world – such as recorded history, science, national allegiance, gender, sexuality and even the words of everyday language – is now said to be open for reinterpretation and revision.
Under the influence of post-modernism, the Left claims these basic forms of knowledge are actually ‘capitalist constructs’, the equivalent of brainwashing to make us support the existing social and political order. In pushing this line through our institutions, traditional Australian values are being lost. We are no longer a nation of free speech and meritocracy, the land of the fair go.
Yes, our politics has changed, our culture is under siege and many Australians are thoroughly confused by what’s happening around them. But it’s even worse than that. The Leftist drive for ‘fluidity’ is actually an attack on our civilisation. It’s an attempt to wind back many of the gains of the 17th and 18th century Enlightenment.
If you take one thing away from reading this article, hopefully this is it. My research and writing aims to alert as many Australians as possible to the political challenges facing Western civilisation: to see the overall, to understand the seriousness of the situation. A clear and present danger has emerged. We can no longer afford to take the advantages of our civilisation for granted.
Coming out of the Middle Ages, a new era of reason and scientific progress propelled Western nations to unprecedented levels of economic development, consumer comfort and advanced health care and education. The primitive superstitions of earlier centuries were left behind, replaced by a conviction that knowledge drawn from experience and evidence could give mankind a comprehensive mastery over nature.
These advances made important social goals possible. It was hoped that democratic government would sweep away feudal hierarchies and entrench the universal freedoms of political expression, association and participation. So too, the welfare state was designed to give people freedom from want, illness and ignorance. A new age of technology and creativity had the potential to uplift the quality of work, community and intellectual life – a genuine enlightenment.
Everywhere we look in Australia today, these values and gains are under attack. Reason and rationality are being lost, replaced by the march of ‘fluidity’. As amazing as it may seem, the primitivism of the Middle Ages is being resurrected. Let me list 13 examples:
1. There are aspects of Aboriginal culture to be admired, but superstitions are not among them. Gradually, changes are being made to force all Australians to live by these myths. The Melbourne Museum, for instance, has banned the display of human bones and skeletons, in case this might upset Indigenous visitors. Other Australians will now miss out on viewing and comprehending the historical significance of these items.
2. The ABC, SBS and some commercial media outlets no longer refer to deceased Aborigines by the name they were known as when alive, or show pictures of them. This caves into an Indigenous superstition about the names and images of the dead. The rest of us are expected to no longer understand the true history of these dead people, to live in ignorance.
3. A general rewriting of Indigenous history is also underway. As part of attacks on Australia Day and the European settlement of Australia, Indigenous culture is being glorified and ‘white invaders’ demonised. The truth lies somewhere in between. Overall, the Western influence on Australia has been highly positive.
4. In the Middle Ages, society was heavily stratified. People only got ahead in life if they had the right family background and appearance. The Left has resurrected this primitivism through the introduction of employment quotas, based on skin colour, genitalia and sexuality – judging others by their appearance. Merit selection has been abandoned.
5. Identity quotas have been justified by the invention of the doctrine of ‘unconscious bias’. This argues that people have lost control of their faculties, hearing voices in their heads, telling them to only select and promote people in the workplace who look like them (that is, other white men). It’s the equivalent of a medieval superstition.
6. In the Middle Ages, feudal lords controlled the lives of their workforce, known as serfs. With the rise of the trade union movement, labour was freed from these indentures. Now the Left has re-introduced censorship and control of workers through a range of campaigns. These include monitoring ‘Words At Work’, imposing ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘diversity’ indoctrination training and checking on the private lives of staff in areas such as domestic violence and attitudes to same-sex marriage.
7. On issues such as climate change, the Left says the scientific evidence is immutable. Yet when it comes to the biological science of people being born either male or female, this has been abandoned in favour of ‘gender fluidity’. This anti-science, anti-knowledge approach to learning has spread throughout Australian schools.
8. A curious aspect of the Leftist response to global warming has been to ignore the benefits of nuclear energy: a reliable, affordable power supply with zero carbon emissions. Instead, there has been an obsession with intermittent renewables, especially solar. In effect, they are mimicking the sun worship cults of pagan society.
9. Through political correctness, the Left is trying to redefine the meaning of words in the everyday conduct of our lives. For instance, sexual harassment is now said to include staring at an attractive women or telling jokes where ‘three blondes walk into a bar’. Last week we found out that Left-wing activists have a new understanding of the word ‘consent’: arguing that parents should seek the permission of newborn babies prior to changing their nappies.
10. One of the gains of The Enlightenment was to ignore skin colour as a determinant of individual ability. In a tragic own goal, the Left has put race back at the centre of public debate, with the widespread denigration of white people. The fastest growing form of prejudice in Australia is anti-white racism.
11. In October 2017, Melbourne’s Deakin University paid for a Texan academic to speak at one of its conferences with the message, “Don’t talk to white people.” This type of segregationist urging has become commonplace in Australia. Instead of people mixing together freely to achieve multiculturalism and Indigenous reconciliation, we now have female-only swimming pools (as demanded by Islamists), Indigenous-only hospital waiting rooms and a wide range of apartheid-style ‘safe spaces’ on university campuses.
12. Another strange university practice is the ‘trigger warning’, which aims to alert students to words or phrases that might upset them. It’s the ultimate in snowflake fragility. Prior to The Enlightenment, people were scared of taboo words and otherworld powers, such as witchcraft. Today students are being encouraged to fear a new set of taboo words (linked to personal identity) and the spooky sounds of ‘unconscious bias’ echoing in their brains.
13. Another segregationist practice is the theory of ‘cultural appropriation’. This says that no culture should use the dress, symbols, food or art of another culture without permission. It replicates the divisiveness of feudalism, when lords of the manor jealously guarded their ancestral rights. It’s another step towards a segregated society.
This long list makes a vital point. Politics in Australia today is more than a debate about fiscal policy, Medicare and national security, as important as they may be. It’s actually a fight for the future of our civilisation.
Wake up Australia! It’s time to take up the fight.