Friday, 12 January 2018

Why Isn’t An Injury To One Sister An Injury To All?

Barred Vision: The problem for western feminists is that, in spite of their cultural and political self-denying ordinances against criticising the treatment of women in other, non-western, societies, the only garden of equality currently showing unequivocal signs of flourishing, is their own. Across vast regions of the planet, not only are women’s rights not flourishing, they are being diminished.

ONE OF THE MOST PERPLEXING political phenomena of the twenty-first century is feminism’s silence in the face of Islamist oppression. For nearly a quarter-of-a-century, as the evidence of weaponised misogyny across the Islamic world has mounted, the absence of globalised feminist resistance has become increasingly difficult to ignore. The contrast between global feminism’s muted response to the oppression of women in the Islamic world, and its ongoing campaign against the sexist excesses of western males, is stark. Why one, and not the other?

To gain some appreciation of the discrepancy’s magnitude, it is instructive to compare the world’s reaction to the imposition of apartheid on South African blacks and the imposition of Islamic fundamentalism on Afghan women.

As news of deliberate and vicious gender discrimination filtered out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, western women and men recoiled in shocked disbelief. Girls were being sent home from school. Women professionals: doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers and nurses were being dismissed from their jobs and ordered back behind the doors of enforced domesticity. Any woman found walking the streets unchaperoned, or wearing Western dress, ran the risk of being whipped (or worse) by the Taliban’s religious police. Women found guilty of adultery were being publicly executed in soccer stadiums.

Like something out of The Handmaid's Tale. Women faced public execution under the rule of the Taliban.

There was, of course, some feminist criticism of the Taliban regime, but it was sparse and uncoordinated. Those who waited for the leaders of second-wave feminism to place themselves in the vanguard of an international movement modeled on the global campaign against Apartheid, waited in vain.

When US forces and their Afghan allies finally overthrew the Taliban regime in the aftermath of 9/11, most of the women who openly and unashamedly celebrated its demise – and the liberation of their sisters – came from the Right.

Undoubtedly, left-wing western feminists were also thrilled to see the back of the hateful Taliban government and its religious police, but they were hesitant to say so too loudly for fear of giving the impression that they in any way supported the military adventurism of President George W. Bush. The presence of US forces in Afghanistan, regardless of its collateral benefits, was proof that western imperialism was alive and well. In the Left’s hierarchy of oppression, white people lording it over brown people was considered a more egregious sin than brown men lording it over brown women.

Correcting the violent sexism of brown men was not the responsibility of privileged white women. The only people who could, legitimately, liberate the women of the Third World, were Third World women. If white women were looking for sexist male dragons to slay, then they need look no further than their own workplaces – and homes.

Western Feminism checks its privilege.

Furthermore, the whole notion of there being a universal definition of right and wrong, by which the many and diverse peoples of the world could be judged, had itself fallen under left-wing suspicion.

Westerners might be entitled to judge other westerners by how closely they adhered to the moral precepts of their common culture. Much less certain, however, was their entitlement to judge the behaviour of people from other, non-western, cultures.

Among western leftists, morality had become culture-specific. If imperialism’s victims asked for support, then they would be given it, unquestioningly. If not, then they would tend to their own political gardens exclusively.

The problem for western feminists is that, in spite of these cultural and political self-denying ordinances, the only garden currently showing unequivocal signs of flourishing, is their own. Across vast regions of the planet, not only are women’s rights not flourishing, they are being diminished.

In the patriarchal cultures the western left consistently refuses to condemn, the misogynists look on with a combination of scorn and fear as powerful western men are forced to account for their past and present abuse of women. “There but for the grace of God, and our own unyielding adherence to His laws”, they mutter, “goes our own religious and political power.”

Just because western leftists turn a blind eye to the depredations of their brothers in the Islamic world does not mean that Muslim fundamentalists are similarly blind to the consequences of treating women as equal human-beings.

Prior to the American Civil War, the southern states argued for continued tolerance of their “peculiar institution”. Northern abolitionists rejected utterly the slave-owners’ self-serving cultural relativism.

Western feminists owe their Islamic sisters nothing less.


This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 12 January 2018.

70 comments:

peter petterson said...

Mans inhumanity to man, and woman.

Anonymous said...

This issue presented before on many blogs. And far too big an issue for the feminists to engage in, meddling in maybe the biggest faith in the world. Better to achieve traction with easier targets in the western wworld. And also to really achieve something in the faith areas as before, it really needs feminists to go and forment action on the ground, and they know if they went to help, they wouldn't get a good reception (or even come back alive)......

pat said...

Feeling a little masochistic this morning Chris?

David Stone said...

Hi Chris
A courageous start to the new year. Deserving of some thoughtful responses.

For my attempt ... the military interventions , and threats, and subversive CIA type regime change activities constantly in train in islamic countries, and the increasing religious subjugation of women in these countries is indirectly related.
Religion provides a comfort and psychological refuge to individuals in times of stress , danger and personal loss and in a related way it provides a commonality, a unity, and psychological support for a population under constant war and threat of war. When the prevailing religion is fundamentally misogynistic , as the Abrahamic religions all are fundamentally, then increasing misogyny accompanies the increasing stress and misery being imposed on these populations.
The most effective , in fact the only way that western egalitarian democracies can help to improve the lives of women in these countries is by helping (allowing) their country to prosper and develop under it's own sovereignty. To offer trade opportunities not impose them. And above all to show an example of a decent society that treats other societies with respect and allows their independent development. Up till 30yrs ago I think the west was doing that by and large, and the younger generations were taking the best of what western youth enjoyed. They were more interested in our popular music and partying than in jihad . Now that has all changed for the worse.
Cheers D J S

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I think this is a complex question. But true, critics of the Islamic treatment of women run the risk of being accused of racism, Orientalism, Islamophobia or whatever. But a quick trawl through the academic databases shows that there is a certain amount of academic discussion. Which of course doesn't always translate to public statements. There are however a number of Western based feminists who criticise Islam for unequal treatment. Usually they are practising Muslims or ex-Muslims who perhaps have a little more freedom in this area. There is an increasing number of these women who are abandoning Islam and becoming atheists. This is quite dangerous for them obviously, and they deserve support. But basically it's their job. It's their country. It's their religion. And I think it's quite possible that they have had enough of Western people imposing their beliefs on them. So there might be a certain sensitivity here. And to be honest, given that the largest group of Western feminists must surely be American, they are probably more concerned with Christian fundamentalism in their home country than Islamic fundamentalism in places far away.
And when Massey sorts out my damned password problem I might have more to say.

Homepaddock said...

This is why I prefer peopleism to feminism - peopleism is the belief we are all equal because of what unites us, our common humanity, rather than things that make us different or divide us like gender or politics. I simply can’t understand why treating anyone anywhere badly can be excused by religion, culture or politics.

Patricia said...

Homepaddock. I like that. Peoplism. A very sound idea. I find it hard to believe that we should force other lands to do as we say. Religion seems to form the basis of most people’s beliefs and so to demand that all people have a particular set of values can be seen as an attack on those religous values. I knew a young Saudi woman, well educated, who was horrified at how my married daughter, with three children, had to live. They also view how women dress in western society is how a male dominated society exploits its women. All a different view point of view.

Polly said...

Feminism has badly failed their Islamic sisters.
Feminists are all mouth and that's about it.
The feminist mouth is phony to real politics.
Your article deserves the highest praise and should get wider coverage.
Unfortunately the NZ press is cowardly, passive to this outrage amongst Islamic faith.
The pox on Feminism for there weakness and pretence amongst us.

greywarbler said...

Good ole Polly always the contrarian and not with any wit to offer but simple common sense! Fooey.

Feminism has shifted attitudes to women in general to a higher plane than males regarding females as useful, lifelong servants who would be loyal and hopefully, ornamental. Women are ambivalent about the role they want to play, but for a short period there was a feeling of sisterhood amongst all the activists and those involved. That has diminished to about what it was pre-1970's I think. Now it's more about 'Me'.

And some high-fliers get enormous salaries dished out to them to re-organise welfare to the poorer women considered fecund and feckless 'sisters', or they adopt male priorities to take them up corporate ladders where they can earn so much they can dispense with most motherly duties to other family females, servants and boarding schools.

JanM said...

" The contrast between global feminism’s muted response to the oppression of women in the Islamic world, and its ongoing campaign against the sexist excesses of western males, is stark. Why one, and not the other?"
Because, it is, to a large extent, a case of 'not my circus, not my monkeys'. Most of us do not really know enough about Islam to go marching into its midst waving banners and practising 'do-gooderism'.
We are having enough of a struggle, from a position of compromised power, to sort out our own back yard, and develop lives free from powerlessness and fear.
Guerilla Surgeon, I think you have explained it well

Kiwiwit said...

I guess you're too old to have been influenced by the post-modernists that have dominated leftwing thinking (and particularly feminist studies) in academia since the 1970s, but the inconsistency you see in Western feminism's blindness to non-Western misogynism is entirely consistent with their philosophy. They will support and exploit anything that serves their purpose of tearing down Western civilisation and in that respect their aims are the same as that of the Taliban and ISIS. It is disappointing that there are so few on the left who can see this regressive and hateful doctrine for what it is - the exact opposite of modern left-liberalism.

David Stone said...

Polly


"This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 12 January 2018."
Thats not a bad coverage.
D J S

Victor said...

Yes, obviously, we're guilty of hypocrisy if we lambast the mistreatment of women in the west and not in the Islamic world.

But we can no more bring gender equality or even the more humane treatment of women to countries in which they are alien then we can impose western concepts of law and constitutional democracy thereon. As Robespierre once remarked (with uncharacteristic wisdom and moderation), "no-one loves armed missionaries!".

The best we can do is "tut tut" from the sidelines and hope that someone takes a smidgen of notice of our eternal virtue-signalling and is willing to ignore our own voluminous lapses.

A rather more complex issue is how far should we tolerate norms alien to the western, secular cannon of behaviour within non-western immigrant communities?

Most people (including those within these communities) would probably agree that we shouldn't tolerate "honour killings". But what about burkhas, arranged marriages, polygamy, religiously-orientated schooling or circumcision?

Just where should we draw the line?

Tony Richards - freedom advocate. said...

Thank you Chris, I agree and it's worth mentioning Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of the treatment of Moslem women.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayaan_Hirsi_Ali
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/89921592/controversial-author-ayaan-hirsi-ali-says-new-zealand-shouldnt-feel-immune-from-the-extremes-of-radical-islam

Nick J said...

GS says this is complex problem. Dave does a deconstruct pointing a finger at Abrahamic faiths. Myself I don't need to deconstruct it except to say that right and wrong to me are black and white across all people. No constructs required.

Scouser said...

It's simple - fear as being seen as racist - the worst sin possible in modern times. The mortal sin to end all mortal sins. And yes Islam is a religion but is equated to race in many peoples minds.

We see similar behaviour in other spheres e.g. the highly corrupt South African regime (under which, ironically, but it was predicted, inequality has increased) is never lambasted for its behaviour as it's happening under a non-white leadership.

Some of the antagonism against Israel is based upon a underlying perception that they are effectively western white proxies suppressing non white peoples.

Maori are much more critical of the poor behaviour of some Maori than a Caucasian who runs the risk of being labelled racist.

Anything even mildly critical that can be seen as relating a race of another colour than white is danger territory that will be frequently categorised as racist no matter how true that criticism is.

And, of course, Islam, a religion whose misogyny makes the Catholic faith of the 1920s look like a shining example of progressiveness. To paraphrase examples used in feminism when it was pointed out almost satirically that 1/2 the world don't carry a Y chromosome. That's 750 million oppressed people - double the population of the US.

As much as racism is a horrible and, yes, even evil scourge on mankind that needs to be rooted out we're doing ourselves no favours in this as it blocks constructive actions and conversations.

hilary531 said...

Victor, I would draw the line at all those practices alien to our local way of life. That's how societies work isn't it? We draw up legal barriers to practices repugnant to our cultural & societal norms and social barriers, too, will mitigate marginal behaviours. At age 60 I am deeply disappointed in the new left, its group-think on campuses and its apologists for oppression anywhere...and as kiwiwit says some modern feminists are just another Taliban in our own land. It's enough to drive me to the centre-right..thats how bad it is! I used to run things over the Murphy Brown ruler..'you've got an awful lot to say for someone who doesn't have a uterus!' But these days it's those with a uterus I most fear.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I see that people are concentrating on Islam again. Now as far as I'm concerned as many people know it's all superstition. But I can't see why we in the West get obsessed by Muslims, when Christians in Africa treat women just as badly, and the patriarchy in Hindu India also tends to regard women as subjects to be kept down. They still murder women for the "crime" of witchcraft for Christ's sake. Orthodox Jews refuse to let women testify in religious courts out of "concern" for their modesty. A woman in Nepal just died due to ridiculous Hindu beliefs about menstruation. And in Western Christian circles, sexual harassment, paedophilia, and outright rape are often covered up by Catholics and Protestants. If you're going to see it in black and white, you need to include all the black and all the white.

Unknown said...

This isn't a hard question if you truly subscribe to liberal western values. The left wing consistently look to UN Human Rights yet when faced with the evil subjugation of women within backward Islamic theocracies they absolutely fail to hold to these supposedly precious rights and turn away to stand in shameful silence.

If you believe Women and Men are equal, then they are equal no matter where they are. To excuse "norms alien to the western, secular cannon of behaviour" would have been utterly antithetical to the original feminists who struggled to overthrow deeply entrenched patriarchies within Western societies.

The failure to address disgusting and degrading practices in the Islamic world by the left is to its great shame and starkly exposes the fallacy of identity politics.

This is unless of course you believe that some are more equal than others?

Victor said...

David Stone

Would you care to point to a non-misogynistic religion or, for that matter, a non-misogynistic culture. I don't recall anything Abrahamic sanctioning the pummeling and subsequent constrictive binding of women's feet.

Anonymous said...

Not that hard to explain why.

White men are an easy target as by and large they do not retaliate, put their head's down and try to get on with providing for and raising their families.

There is no consequence for the courageous western feminists.

However if they dare raise a comment against the religion of peace and its degradation and subjection of females then it is likly to cause the following:

At best to cause a spirited reaction against them by male adherents who will verbally abuse and threaten anyone who dares speak against the teachings of Mohammed.

At worst will cause a physical reaction whereby the feminists and their followers are targeted with violence and death. (Think the various cartoonist attacks, Salmon Rushdie etc.)

So our great, brave, and fearless feminists have chosen the easy route, attack those who do not fight back.

Shame on them all - cowards and hypocrites the lot of them.

Jimmie

Anonymous said...

Anyone suggesting it is not our problem or that we don't understand their faith need to be ashamed of themselves.
Beating and mistreating people is wrong (no it's or buts) and if it is their religionthat causes it then their religion is wrong.
This is not a subjective matter.

jh said...

Blogger Guerilla Surgeon said...
I think this is a complex [question].
....
That is the phrase to look for

Unknown said...

Islams's treatment of women is the piece that doesn't fit when simpletons want to make a new world order from their leggo set.

Trevor said...

An excellent and timely column Chris. I have lived in an Islamic country and seen the vicious oppression of women first hand. It is not an issue to be ignored. Muslim immigration to New Zealand has increased greatly in recent years. The same practices are being brought into this country with the expectation that we will accommodate them and acknowledge the "superiority"of Sharia law. The Human Rights Commission and the feminist movement turn a blind eye. I can only surmise this is because they hate our way of life so much they wish to undermine it by any means and are willing to join forces with an oppressive and misogynistic foreign culture.

Graeme said...

There's nothing at all complex about this.
Muslims and feminists have a common goal - the dismantling of (Christian) Western civilisation. You won't find feminists taking a stand against Islam until that objective has been accomplished, or is on the very cusp.
As for the anti-apartheid movement, that was, in fact, an anti-South Africa movement, fomented because Sth Africa had outlawed the Communist Party.
Did you never wonder why it was led by communists and their fellow travellers ?
Their objective has been achieved: the Communist Party is part of the ruling coalition in Sth Africa.

greywarbler said...

Victor says Most people (including those within these communities) would probably agree that we shouldn't tolerate "honour killings". But what about burkhas, arranged marriages, polygamy, religiously-orientated schooling or circumcision?

Forbidding burkhas would be done from the point that no-one should think it necessary or right to enter society in a hidden form, designed to keep themselves secret and isolated. Circumcision (of girls) is also a harsh introduction to female maturity that should not be allowed. (Male circumcision has been a practice within western society, but controversial.)

Regarding burkhas, it isn't good to accept that someone should be so frightened of ordinary society that it was necessary to cover themselves.
It is also an affront to feminists who have pushed long and hard for women to feel respected, and able to step forward from a constrained past and live fuller lives using their personal skills and abilities. And they would believe that women should be able to look at men and not have that look, short or studied, form an accusation of lewdness. This was described in the book Burned Alive which purports to tell the story of Souad (which has received a thorough analysis and its credence as an individual's account debunked.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burned_Alive

http://www.aljadid.com/content/burning-questions-%E2%80%93-review-debunks-honor-crime-memoir
And in turn Therese Taylor who is a Historian from an Australian University is mentioned in another study of the correctness of the Souad story. And this gives a twist to it showing that it could have been a piece intended to slur Islamic males and culture, and there is an Israeli connection.

Life Writing. Contemporary Autobiography, Biography, and Travel ...
https://books.google.co.nz/books?isbn=3838257642
Koray Melikoglu - 2012 - ‎Language Arts & Disciplines
This new sense of self ultimately enables her to speak out against patriarchal violence and raise funds for the aid organization Fondation Surgir, which has supported right-wing groups in Israel. Historian Thérèse Taylor cites both internal and external evidence pointing to the falsity of the witnessing. It is sensational, “a ...


As for 'arranged marriages, polygamy, religiously-orientated schooling', I think that polygamy is against the laws and values of this country, and how marriages are viewed and agreed to is a private matter also governed to some extent by law, ie age of consent, and there is already religiously oriented schooling in this country. It seems that respect for women's personal freedom would be at the base of much discussion but within NZ culture, not just the dominant one of their previous home.

And Nick J, right and wrong can depend on time and events, I don't see them as black and white.



Polly said...

greywarbler 12 Jan 14.40,
You write total unabridged crap most time's.
On the 12 January you excelled yourself.
Well done clown.
That's me being nice.

Anonymous said...

P1.

The problem is with you and me, Chris, but not because we are wrong.

The ideology of Identity Politics arose out the ideology of antisemitism, which holds that prejudice against Jews is different and somehow worse than other forms of racism. This exceptionalism was taken up by feminists like Andrea Dworkin, and combined with critiques of the patriarchy in the work of (early) Judith Butler, and critiques of white identity, or "whiteness", which probably has its origins in the work of philosophers who critiqued power relations like Foucault (although their focus was generally universalist; critiques of the state vs the people, rather than white majority vs the West. I name Foucault because he became involved in the Black Panthers, and I think that's about when the contemporary way of looking at power became about race. This philosophy became embedded in fringe university courses like gender studies and American studies and then filtered through to the humanities in general.

The upshot or downshot depending on your perspective of all of this was that it became mainstream to see racism as purely a white phenomenon. Because white Europeans were the majority, and made up the majority of the middle class - white men in particular - they and only them could be racist; could be oppressive. While, given the history of colonization and slavery, the conversation around race and power was a necessary one to have, I believe that, ultimately, it has negative consequences for all of us, if we take this ideology to its logical extreme.

For instance, if we are going to critique power on an ethnic basis, we cannot avoid the fact that, examining the lists of the richest people in the world, that Jews are demographically represented in considerably higher percentages than any other ethnic group. Considerably more than non-Jewish Europeans. Should we then shift our focus to Jewish power? I think we would all agree that focusing on Jewish power had terrible consequences in the 20th century, and that we shouldn't do it.

Could focusing on "white" power have the same dire consequences? Europeans are still, although demographics are surely changing, a majority in Europe and the United States. They won't be for long. Will they become immune from criticism when they are no longer the majority? One what ethnic or gender basis will this ideological critique run when Europeans are no long in the demographic minority? Perhaps in New Zealand, the focus will turn to the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

P2.

The ideology of Identity Politics is problematic historically, too, for the same reasons. The oppression and rape of Africa was carried out by Europeans in the 19th and early 20th centuries including by the likes of Winston Churchill. But who funded these escapades into Africa? Jewish-owned banks. Now, I am not suggesting that the Jews were responsible, at all. But it is easy to see that, taken to its logical conclusion, the ideology of Identity Politics is not good for the Jews. It could quite easily be turned on them. And I think we are beginning to see that, in Eastern Europe.

Identity Politics requires a white majority. At its basis, it posits a false solidarity based on colour and ethnicity for all people except white people. Rather extraordinarily, it flips white exceptionalism on its head. And there's something Old Testament in that: now it is your turn.

This is a very dangerous game for us to be playing. When criticism of the oppression of women in Islamic society is called white supremacy, or when the Pentagon or the White House is lit in the rainbow flag and Clinton calls bombing a foreign country a feminist act, we all need to sit up and think hard about the consequences of our apparent good intentions, and how they are being manipulated and misdirected.

Anonymous said...

P3.

What is the consequence of all of this? One consequence is that the identitarian left are loathe to criticise abuses of women in non-European cultures. Middle class Arabs from Oxford write articles describing the hijab as a matter of a woman's personal choice in the Guardian and we are supposed to swallow it. But their outward claims of solidarity are invitations for continued oppression, which is evident to anyone who has travelled in a country where some sort of Sharia law is implemented whether legally or socially, with the emphasis on socially. It is extraordinary double-think, this ideology, which claims to critique power as a social construct, but which ignores all social constructs that oppress women in cultures and countries where white men are not present in any great number. It is, in fact, a kind of European exceptionalism in itself: its arguments are made as though the same power dynamics of white demographic domination within western democratic systems apply everywhere, because, presumably, Shell or some other multinational company might be operating in that country. Perhaps. I'm trying to grasp at some sort of logic, their logic, which I can't seem to discover probably because it is not there.

Anonymous said...

P4.

Identity Politics is ultimately destructive and contains the seeds of its own destruction. For if everyone must reduce themselves to an ethnic identity, or a sexuality, then at some point Europeans, or Russians, will throw out any universalism or general humanism they might believe in, too: they will be Europeans, or Poles, or Hungarians first, just like POC, or Jews, or transexuals are POC, or Jews, or transexuals first. Look at Poland today. Look at Austria. Look at the rise of ethnic nationalism generally.

Looking at Identity Politics today, and how careers seem to be being destroyed on the basis of opinion let alone acts, it is evident that feminism has begun to resemble antisemitism, which is not surprising when one understands the intellectual history of Identity Politics. Ultimately, we are arriving at a place in time where men cannot criticise women, just as non-Jews cannot criticise Jews, even when the criticism has little to do with whether someone is a woman or a Jew, or an Ethiopian, or a transexual, or whatever.

Now, don't get me wrong, I abhor racism and sexism and homophobia. But I see the primary problem with identity politics, with all its claims to intersectionality, as ultimately leading to ethnic conflict, along tribal and ethnic lines. Everybody recognizes that demographics are shifting. That is no great spectre to me. But is it right that the white gentile must now play the role of the lecherous, controlling "eternal jew" of the 19th Century European imagination? Is it right that any race or gender must? Those heavily invested in this ideology should ask themselves: who's next?

Chris, you are old school, and I appreciate that about you. You believe in internationalism, in universalism. Sadly, most on the left no longer do. Who does that serve? That is the question we should always be asking. It is a big distraction from solving international problems of labour, and a barrier to universal suffrage, as you point out in your article. No, we don't need bands of good white Christian men crusading and plundering their way through foreign lands hoisting some moral or cultural superiority. But we do need, I would argue, an international coalition of sorts to do likewise, but as tenderly and thoughtfully and respectfully as is possible.

Despite its claims to solidarity and so forth, Identity Politics is not a tender, thoughtful or respectful ideology at all. It is brutal, dehumanizing and rife with contradictions. The smiles on the faces of those who routinely try to ruin the careers of Hollywood actors for having an opinion, most recently Liam Neeson, are very telling. These are the same people who claim to be standing up for criminals, the dispossessed, for outcasts, remember? But I don't see much talk about restraint, or bandaging the wounds of an enemy in their diatribes. I see lust for war, destruction, and ruination.

Anonymous said...

Let me add, following my Anonymous comments, that I have lived everywhere, all over the world: in Islamic countries, in Buddhist countries; in predominantly Christian countries, and secular ones.

The only commonality in all the places I have lived in - and I intend to live everywhere, like a wandering Jew - is the oppression of the working classes, or the services classes (or the useless, disposable and good-for-nothing classes, as is becoming dangerously obvious).

I have lived in the Pacific, Asia, Europe - and I've travelled to many other places, besides. One is always met with ideology. The ideologies differ, but they always employ the same distractions and demonisations, which are always in the service of the oppression of those who generate profit from labour.

Stand back, and wonder. Wonder why.

In the West, the educated West, distraction is the name of the game. Distraction, and division.

Look at the splintered left.

The question, as always, is to ask: what does that serve?

Anonymous said...

And let me add;

In my travels (I am a wanderer), I have found racism to be the human condition. New Zealand racism is nothing compared to the racism in Africa or South East Asia, where people get jobs based on bleached skin by lecherous employers.

White skin is openly desired and advocated for in China, in Thailand, and throughout the continent of Africa. And of you think that it is because of Western influence, you would be wrong; very, very wrong.

It's certainly desired in Israel, where to be an African Jew is to be deported. It is certainly desired in Lao, where white skin is social status - you haven't pulled rice for a living. And let's not talk about India, with all its complexities, including the caste system, which is colour coded.

White the Western word wrings its hands over "whiteness", people all around the world are bleaching themselves for a job interview. Did this originate because of colonialism? No. It originated when the first King took shelter from the sun, from where he could watch his workers dig the gold to decorate his crown.

Racism is about class, but not in the way that the Identarians present it.

Anonymous said...

Identity Politics is the new Abstract Expressionism.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There is so much to unpick here and I only have time for a few things. But I must say the reactions disappointed, but didn't surprise.

“identity politics” – a phrase coined, seemingly, to dismiss or disregard anyone asking for their oppression, historical context or personal reality to be recognised and respected.

As usual we get the reference to identity politics – from people whose politics is usually white and male identity politics, but who refuse to acknowledge it. Because everyone knows – that's just politics right?

"White men are an easy target as by and large they do not retaliate."
You've obviously never heard of game again then?
"Beginning in August 2014, supporters of the Gamergate movement targeted several women in the video game industry, including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. After Eron Gjoni, Quinn's former boyfriend, wrote a disparaging blog post about her, #gamergate hashtag users falsely accused Quinn of an unethical relationship with journalist Nathan Grayson. Harassment campaigns against Quinn and others included doxing, threats of rape, and death threats."

White men never retaliate my arse.

"But who funded these escapades into Africa? Jewish-owned banks."

I'd like a citation for this please. It sounds like the sort of factoid that Nazis pull out of their arse every so often – well not every so often – more all the time. Because when I studied this question admittedly many years ago, it was large British companies that were making the money out of colonialism rather than banks. But there you go ideas change – except for Nazi ideas it seems.

"I think this is a complex [question]. That's the phrase to look for."

I think both Victor and I have shown that it is not that simple, but then the right in general and fascists in particular, who seem to have an interest in this in order to gain adherents, don't do complexity.

"Identity Politics is the new Abstract Expressionism."

All that means is that you understand neither. But as I said, the right doesn't do complexity.

David Stone said...

@ Victor
I'm a bit more familia with the christian and related religions, (no authority), so I left the others out. I wonder if Buddhism might be a bit more balanced but I don't know. Human culture everywhere seems to have always been pretty misogynistic and religions everywhere following suit was probably inevitable. The roles of men and women in our modern mechanised world where you'r not supposed to be asked to lift more than 20 kg has changed some general role normalities making some physical general differences irrelevant which has fairly begged the question why there should be any difference in contribution and influence. We have been making progress up until "gender choice" was invented.
Cheers D J S

David Stone said...

A couple more thoughts on this...
How does the advancement of gender equality in the workplace and in public society compare with it's progress privately within domestic situations and in family life within our society? I suspect that emancipation in the public arena is way in advance of what many women face on a daily basis at home . The domestic purposes benefit must have done wonders for enabling some women to escape a live of imposed misery and subjugation , but plenty still goes on.
Another anomaly is the sex industry, I think that decriminalisation has probably been negative for women over all even here in N Z, and in many European and Asian countries the trafficking and child exploitation, often serving customers from privileged western society is not invoking the outrage it deserves.
D J S

Charles E said...

Very good, and brave post Chris. This is an important topic where we need initiatives, from the left. No good if the right does it.
I will not take to opportunity to go on about why I think the left is guilty of terrible hypocrisy on this and other human rights matters... that has been done above. Indeed over done perhaps. Since on the right, although much more even on this topic, there is still dismissal of human rights for what we see as inferior cultures, like Islamic ones in particular.
For example when I have taken some people to task for picking on Israel when at war with its enemies in say Gaza, I often hear the refrain that we expect high standards from Israel as it is Western, a democracy and.... they are Jews for Christ's sake! Don't they know what oppression is?
Well, behind such sentiment is the implication that they expect Muslims, Arabs to kill each other, segregate women, use nerve gas on children, barrel bombs... etc. But 'our Jews...' no, we expect people like us to have high morals. Which we do arguably, in many ways .. but.. this should not for a second cause us to think the non-Western world should be kept, yes effectively kept, by our indifference, to a lower standard.
However for practical purposes it is pointless, however satisfying for right wing male western men to lecture the Islamic world on how to treat women. More than useless.
It needs women, and mostly women from minorities in the West. Born in the West perhaps but particularly immigrants or their children I believe. They should start with immigrant communities who bring their oppressive cultural habits to the West. Gently encourage them to burn their veils and respect and practice our gender equality norms. Then help reform the countries they left. After all, why leave a country for good, yet bring the backward oppressive culture that caused you to leave with you?

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Chris!

You deserve great praise for being the first among the Left to grasp this nettle.

I have long wondered how the feminist/left managed to paint itself this corner and whilst I'm still trying to get my head around the tortuous logic, I have come to some initial conclusions:

1.In the 70's and 80's the Left embraced the idea of 'multiculturalism' in that all cultures are supposedly of equal value (despite clear evidence to the contrary!). The end result is that the Left looks the other way when Somali men mutilate the genitals of their daughters in London, because to criticize them would be 'racist'.

2. In the bizarre logic of Marxism there are only the oppressed and their capitalist oppressors. So failed states must be oppressed and the oppressors must be western capitalists, and not authoritarian rulers...because Marxism favours authoritarianism.

3. The Left treats success with great suspicion. Individuals or groups that uplift themselves through their own hard work and intelligence are often sneered at by the Left and automatically accused of achieving that success at someone else's cost. (Remember success can only be achieved through oppression and economics is a zero sum game in the Marxist mindset). So then we come to Israel: That lonely bastion of intellectualism, liberalism and capitalist endeavour in the middle east. How come they're thriving? It MUST be because they're somehow oppressing their neighbours. So the Left allies itself with the despotic regimes surrounding the only liberal democracy in the region because their enemy's enemy is their friend. In recent years this dislike of Israel has broadened into full blooded Nazi-like antisemitism, including the Left's odorous association with the BDS movement.

4. Lastly, some of this may be a hangover from the cold war. Israel was the American regional beachhead in that era so it was logical for hard-line leftists to automatically support Israel's enemies.

What tangled webs we weave in order to deceive ;-)

Cheers

Andrew

greywarbler said...

There has been a lot of time and thought put into Anonymous' serie here and that is a gift to us all and I thank Anonymous for it.

I am still reading it. But something has returned to mind, the realisation that behind all our history, our greatest human downfall is that we tend to go to excess. If we could set practical targets which when achieved led to an extended period of improvement, our history would reflect our huge mental potential abilities, but we can always be led by the nose by an attempt at utopian outcomes in materialism or in purity of the spiritual nature, far in excess of what is required by civil society.

I give the example of being open to other religious behaviours in a society unused to these. People are going OTT about either allowing every ritual or demand, or forbidding everything under the banner of not allowing a public display of personal religion. Headwear is not regarded in a practical fashion, to allow as much freedom as possible until it reached an impractical level and many countries have tried to abolish this right. Islamic women want to wear a hijab, covering the head but showing the face, why not? Practical, fair, it seems so, but the burkha seems excessive and unsatisfactory to impose on the new country and culture. The Sikh men want to grow their hair I think, and cover it neatly with a blue turban, no doubt wrapped in a prescribed way, and I think they have prevailed positively. This illustrates how we can incorporate cherished customs without pain or uneasiness into our society if we set reasonable limits.

Human behaviour can sometimes parallel the actions of social insects. One would think we would have been able to overcome such responses after all these years, by recognition of this tendency, and learning how to control it (perhaps by everyone having tuition like the juvenile training of The Nanny-type tv shows). Self-knowledge and understanding of human tendencies should be the in-subject for the future, rather than development of inhuman machinery to replace ourselves, or to blast the determinations of elite brains into space.

jh said...

Jordan peterson and Johnathon Haidt say that for humans, religious thinking is natural and scientific isn’t. An example haidt gives is in an Atlantic article where those who are pro-immigration will no longer nuance their arguments as in “well maybe it does hurt the lower paid?”

Scientific thinking is not natural thinking religious thinking is natural thinking and what's happening to us in the last few years especially is a flooding in of religious thinking and so let's get a bunch of social scientists to talk about immigration what are they going to do look at the data way up the pluses and minuses? no they're going to (many of them) feel they're on a team and that team is fighting the right the right is anti-immigrant it includes racist elements therefore that justifies us in being Pro immigration and Social Sciences are always there's always ambiguity there's always conflicting studies

Biculturalism is informed by a voice that took the arguments of an international politics of liberation : the Marxism of Gramsci the notion of hegemony the critiques of colonialism offered by Fanon and Césaire the liberation theory and the possibility of a transformative education of Freire and Illich and put them into a New Zealand vernacular.

It lead to a seperation of nation and state which is I think imporant when you consider multiculturalism.

The communitarian thesis, then, is that liberal rights presuppose the existence of communities; individuals can self-create themselves only within a cultural context. Free market libertarians hold an excessively individualistic or abstract conception of the self. The very possibility of individual self-development presupposes a community with a culture. As Kymlicka expressed it in his first book, Liberalism, Community, and Culture:

…liberalism couldn’t be based on (abstract individualism]…If abstract individualism [was]…the fundamental premise, there’d be no reason to…suppose that people are being made worse off by being denied the social conditions necessary to freely and rationally question their commitments.


Meaning that the state is neutral and the state manages but it has to identify minority leadership who share in state resources. Hense the government is a hydra? RNZ is also a hydra (think Guyon Espiner and te Reo).

Charles E said...

Is 42 responses in a day or two a record Chris? You have a hot topic here.
Be nice to hear from some feminist activists.
What is their defence of their silence & tolerance of misogynist cultures setting themselves up in the West for example?

Victor said...

greywarbler

We're essentially on the same page. We should neither regard other cultures as sacrosanct and beyond criticism nor seek to enforce uniformity for its own sake.

We should not worship "diversity". But we should accept diversity as an inevitable outcome of such good things as freedom, tolerance and respect for our fellow humans.

Where we draw the line should be matters of common sense, practicality and humanity, rather than the dictates of some identitarian agenda.

We should be opposed to racism and sexism because they are cruel, irrational, wasteful of human potential and capable of leading to catastrophic consequences.

But we shouldn't define people as racist or sexist without clear cause and evidence, let alone on the basis of their own ethnicity or gender.

And we should accept that some folks are culturally programmed to like garlic and/or chili in their food and others (unfortunately) are not.

Anonymous of Many Pages

I'm struggling to think of a time or circumstances in which anyone thought of Anti-semitism as an inherently worse form of racism than any other.

The problem of recent times has been more about getting people (particularly but not exclusively on the left) to acknowledge they're being plain straight-forward racist, when they slag off against Jews qua Jews or employ thinly disguised Antisemitic tropes.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

It's funny, whenever something comes up that offends older white men there is usually a lot of "whataboutism". We have women being pressured into sex to help their careers, women being assaulted on the job, women being drugged and raped – all in Western society. And then all of a sudden what about Saudi Arabia? To be honest, it's not my fucking problem. As the Saudi Arabians' problem. My problem is women at McDonald's say – being groped. And it doesn't just happen at McDonald's in fact it probably happens more in posh restaurants van anywhere else. And I know women who have worked in them, and been afraid to speak out, or have been beaten down and persuaded it's just part of the job. So fuck whataboutism. It's just a convenient way of avoiding the problems in your own backyard.

"Well, behind such sentiment is the implication that they expect Muslims, Arabs to kill each other, segregate women, use nerve gas on children, barrel bombs... etc."

Actually what there IS implied behind this Charles is the idea that if someone is claiming the moral high ground – and by God we never hear the end of "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East" – then perhaps this moral high ground comes with obligations to behave in a more civilised manner than the people they despise. Who according to many Israeli spokespeople are simply barbarians who should be expunged from the country.

Victor said...

Unknown

'To excuse "norms alien to the western, secular cannon of behaviour" would have been utterly antithetical to the original feminists who struggled to overthrow deeply entrenched patriarchies within Western societies.'

But early feminists challenged the patriarchal norms of the western societies of their day. They weren't just fitting in to a cultural status quo. Quite the opposite.

greywarbler said...

I think there was a Freudian slip there in the comment quoted by Victor who has said much and well in his 14/1 17.15 comment that it should be framed.

I liked the phrase "norms alien to the western, secular cannon of behaviour". I think this gives a telling picture of the problem that western thought of the RW kind often has about 'furrin' ways'. The trouble with westerners, particularly from large, powerful countries, is that they often enforce their behaviours with a cannon, and so lack the ability to have sensitive discourse between differing parties.

JanM said...

You know what's really irking me about all this? How did the muted voices coming from the West get to be the fault of Western women? If you men are all so concerned about what is happening to women in other societies and religions, why aren't you yelling your heads off about it? Why wait for us - we're still trying to sort you lot out!!

kiwidave said...

Guerilla Surgeon, do you think it's reasonable or helpful to make assumptions about race and gender in this discussion and are you happy for others to do likewise. Your decision to do so betrays you and indicates ideological possession in the same way that Chris's article exposes the outrageous hypocrisy of third wave feminism.
How you can even pretend there is some sort of equivalence with our society and the oppressive tyrannies that reign throughout the Islamic world. Female genital mutilation, execution for homosexuality or adultery or blasphemy or apostasy, women forced to wear bin liners and denied any education or legal power or possessions. Or the appalling persecution of minorities as the terrified remnants of Christian, Armenian, Zorostranian, Yazidi and Jewish peoples will attest. Your position has no credibility.
The broader question of the rise of identity politics is beginning to concern a great many people, folk I would consider classic liberals. What is the agenda of those that seek to divide people and stifle honest dialogue, I don't believe it's about justice anymore.
We are complex individuals, our brains have over 100 billion neurons with a range of possible interactions as infinite as the universe. It's absurd to identify people or group them as victim or oppressor on the basis of an insignificant aspect of their identity such as ethnicity. That's racism in case you didn't realise.

greywarbler said...

kiwidave
How can you form an opinion about anything without thinking about it. Then one gets some information, and then perhaps talks about it with others.
we might compare our approaches to that of whatever we are considering.
With our complex brains we are capable of doing this, and following various thinking approaches we can form a reasonable hypothesis. You should try it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Kiwidave. How can I pretend? How can you? If you're looking at it from a religious perspective as you seem to be, you should perhaps spare a thought for the Muslims being persecuted by Buddhists in Burma. And perhaps for the women who are murdered in Africa and India because of Christian or Hindu religious beliefs. And you are quite happy to dismiss the complaints of all those women who were raped by Bill Cosby, and the children raped by priests in the very Western Catholic Church? – though the Protestants aren't far behind, in the US at least. And there are ways that Christian women are kept down in evangelical society, perhaps a bit more subtle than making them where "bin liners", but there are dress codes – which are a damn sight harder to follow apparently than just wearing a bin liner.
And you're all assuming that Western feminists aren't speaking out or are at least muted. It's interesting, a quick Google search showed me dozens of articles about women speaking out. Mostly Muslim women, but Muslim women in Western countries – who obviously don't count as women in your lexicon.
And you all seem to scorn the wealthy women who are speaking out about sexual abuse in Western society because they are middle-class or rich. Forgetting that because they are middle-class or rich they are actually free of the pressures on poorer working class women to keep fucking quiet. So I for one sort of grateful for them. This might be one area in which trickle-down works.
And as I said before, while you might speak out it's not my fucking problem. We need to fix shit in New Zealand before we bother about Saudi Arabia. It's up to them to fix their own country. Funny, I guarantee all these people who are bitching on about speaking up against Saudi society will be the first to complain if the Saudis started interfering in ours. I could practically write the letters to the paper for them. "How dare they!" Signed, Disgusted of Tawa.

(Incidentally, FGM is not a Muslim tradition. It's not exclusively used in Muslim countries and there are plenty of Muslims to which it is abhorrent, there are also plenty of Christians that apply FGM. It's more a traditional tribal thing. So at the very least you should do some research and get your facts right. )

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Just sitting here idly thinking and wondering how many of those people who are so outraged at the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, actually helped women trying to gain equality in New Zealand? I distinctly remember a couple of commentators on this site saying that women's equality was achieved years ago and at least one, if my memory serves saying that it had all gone too far.

kiwidave said...

Thank you for your reply GS. I know that there are people being abused, persecuted and killed in all corners of the world. The original article was quite specifically about repression (and worse) in the Muslim world so I've restricted my comments to that, I firmly believe that it is a massive problem. The fact the religion's founder and archetype was a war criminal and rapist certainly gives the present day followers plenty of justification for the most appalling behaviour. I can't see any way, without a widespread and comprehensive reformation, for a significant improvement. We have a duty to speak out and hope like hell that at least the young are listening.
Unfortunately, with Muslim immigration into western Europe and elsewhere, these issues are now becoming major problems within the west. The horrific rape of hundreds of schoolgirls in Rotheram for example.
I don't accept that we should ignore it, it's easy for you to say it's not my problem - and quite forcefully if your choice of language is any indication. There is plenty of precedent for countries to take a moral stand against oppression, the sanctions against South Africa and currently against N Korea for example.
There does seem to be a very deliberate effort to sanitise these issues, thanks in part to a deferential attitude from the MSM - perhaps the Charlie Hebdo massacre is still fresh in their minds. Of greater concern, several countries have now introduced legislation to prevent criticism specifically of Islam, a very strange development and, I suspect, part of a troubling tendancy to remove the truth as our highest ideal. For example; the POTUS recently commented that several countries were sh.t holes, there was a hell of a lot of people getting all offended including our PM but no one disputed the truth of the comment. I don't know who gets to decide on what is or isn't offensive but the truth is now secondary, that much is clear.
In response to greywarbler, I'm not entirely sure I understand you correctly. My comments on the brain and it's staggering potential for original thought were intended to illustrate the foolishness of identity politics; as if people think the same because of some inconsequential aspect of their identities. It really does bother me that we are falling into patterns of belief that are very like those that lead to the great atrocities of the 20th century; Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany or Maoist China. Hundreds of millions killed or starved to death and unimaginable suffering. The common factors were the cultivation of victimhood and the denial of the truth - AKA political correctness to use Stalin's term. The only know antidote is an unwavering respect for the truth, the sanctity of life and the divinity of man.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Several countries have passed laws? I can only find evidence of one – Canada which has passed a law against islamophobia. Poorly designed and defined, but not in itself against being critical of Islam. Simply the pseudo-racist vilification of a religious group, not any critique of its theological thinking.
And Dave, your categorisation of repression in the Muslim world being a major problem may be correct, but it's no more major than many other problems, and doesn't deserve being singled out. Particularly as it's often singled out to avoid facing problems at home.
And I'm not saying we should ignore it. I said we should speak out I also gave references you could discover yourself of people who do. But not to put too fine a point on it, we can't do anything particularly constructive about it except perhaps as you suggest economic sanctions. Personally I'd be quite happy if we sanctioned Saudi Arabia, but try getting our American friends to agree to something like that.
And I don't know what MSM you read, but I find plenty of criticism of this sort of thing in my news sources. Perhaps you should try reading a little more widely. Faux Noise for instance rarely mentions Muslim countries without some form of criticism. And if your taste runs more to left-wing sources, the Guardian often has articles.

greywarbler said...

kiwidave
I point out again that if we have such a great brain we should be able to think our way to an answer to the matters you refer to; serious matters that are too easy to pin down to one factor.

I have just been looking up the Rotherham business that you alluded to.
It is very bad, and shows a lack of moral standards among the long-standing UK inhabitants, that it occurred to such proportions. 1400 children, no doubt mostly girls, is the projected number of girls involved.

This is one, among other stories from Rotherham, South Yorkshire:

Girl who gave birth at 12 is pregnant again
The young mother lives in an area with one of the worst rates of under-age pregnancy in the country.
But even so, the neighbours are shocked.
Not content with getting pregnant at 11 and giving birth at 12, she is now expecting her second child at the age of 14.
Her unborn baby's father is 17 and out of work, so the financial burden of supporting her growing family will continue to be borne by taxpayers.
One neighbour on a council estate in Rotherham said: 'She is giving out the message that it's OK to keep getting pregnant and the state will just keep paying for it.'

The schoolgirl's family background makes depressing reading.
Her own mother was just 14 when she had her, and went on to become Britain's youngest grandmother at 26. The girl's first baby was fathered by a man of 23 who was also her mother's lover.
He had fathered a child with her mother, too, which was born ten days before hers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-110767/Girl-gave-birth-12-pregnant-again.html

I understand that the Islamic community are the opposite of this, very hard on morality, keeping males and females apart. The very strict don't like talking between boy and girl even. When there were so many young girls around with apparently carefree parents, it must have seemed like a wonderful opportunity to some men. If they already had a low opinion of the morals of the adult community in the UK, they obviously felt they could venture to meet some young virgins, and when there was no reaction they were emboldened. And the police allowed it to continue when they learned about it. One woman found intimate and damning details on her daughter's cellphone but on showing it the police she said she was told they could not take it further.

You kiwidave, are quite verbose and use terms, and quote half-digested historical information, but it is not helpful in forming opinions on how to proceed when thinking about integrating people with a different culture and ways with another. And referring to such a serious thing as happened at Rotherham, there has to be an attempt to understand the background and context. I have checked this and will put it in another comment.

greywarbler said...

The only know(sic) antidote is an unwavering respect for the truth, the sanctity of life and the divinity of man. Brave words, which require solemn consideration. Here is further detail of the Rotherham episode and aftermath. It doesn't show anyone who has applied your precept.

A mother who found 125 names of potential sex abusers on her daughter’s mobile phone has claimed she was told by police in Rotherham it would be a breach of the girl’s human rights if they investigated.
South Yorkshire Police failed to act despite the girl’s phone containing descriptions of the sexual abuse she had suffered, it is alleged. In another case, a CID officer suggested a 12-year-old girl who had sex with five men was not a victim of abuse because the sex had been “consensual”.


Leaders and executives involved have decided to tough it out, so their morals don't extend to accepting neglect of duties of direct wrongdoing.
Ged Fitzgerald, the former chief executive of Rotherham Council and now chief executive of Liverpool City Council, faces questioning by his current boss...
Mr Fitzgerald has refused to resign from his £197,000-a-year post, but is not alone among former Rotherham managers who have decided to tough it out despite the mounting pressure...

[In all there were 15 other people in positions of executive expertise, trust and leadership at various levels, some being paid large salaries who have never been faced with answering to their neglect and facing possible blame named in this newspaper item.]

Allegations of “collusion and cover-up” contained in the Jay report gathered pace yesterday with claims that senior staff at Rotherham Council ordered a raid on the office of its own youth outreach service to remove files and delete computer records that detailed the scale of the sex abuse.

It also emerged that taxi drivers who were abusing young girls billed the council for the girls’ fares when they picked them up from children’s homes to groom and rape them.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11064944/Rotherham-Police-would-not-investigate-child-abuse-for-fear-of-breaching-victims-human-rights.html

Victor said...

kiwidave

Being Jewish, I'm from the ethnicity most likely in western societies to fall victim to Islamist violence and, alas, increasingly most likely to be the target of hostility from the vapid-minded extremes of identitarian politics.

But I just don't see Islam as a whole as a wave of malevolent destruction that's taking over our societies. Nor do I see it as a uniquely evil religion, although it's certainly going through a very problematic stage. And nor, frankly, do I see a great difference between those who denounce it as such and those who busy themselves denouncing me and those dear to me.

Nor, for that matter, do I see identitarian extremism as a dominant characteristic of our societies, although it might appear to be so if you spend too much time hanging out with third-rate academics. Fortunately, I don't and, therefore, have no idea what "inter-sectionality" might mean when it's at home. Please don't rush to enlighten me.

I would agree with you that we live in an age of ideological confusion, that many obscene ghosts from the past are up and walking and that amongst the best antidotes to all this are "unwavering respect for truth" and respect for "the sanctity of life".

But we have other obligations as well, including avoiding unnecessary insults and maintaining civil discourse wherever possible. If we renege on any of these obligations, we may contribute to the undermining of all that is worthwhile in our society and our world , just as surely as when we fail to denounce and confront the obvious evils in our midst.

The fact is that Trump had no need (apart from the gratification of his ego)to insult poor people or poor nations. To do so is the action of a bully, cruelly gaining pleasure from humiliating others. No, I agree, it's not in the same league as what ISIS gets up to. But why should that be a relevant consideration? And what good can be accomplished by what, for some reason, you seem to see as this wretched man's laudable honesty.

Trev1 said...

Well said Kiwidave. I have seen how an Islamic society works close up, I have lived amongst it for a couple of years - hangings, amputations, mutilation- it is a truly appalling religion. I am disgusted by the media's and the government's stupidity.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ah... the MSM again.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2018/01/16/stats-daily-mail-far-inaccurate-dishonest-paper-britain/

Victor said...

Trev1

Let's assume that you're right and that Islam is a truly appalling religion.

What should the West (if any such entity still exists) do about it?

Maybe we could invade countries in which Islam predominates and try to bring them to the light? That's not, to date, produced a very high success count.

Alternatively, we could prohibit the practice of Islam in our own countries, though how we would square that with the core western value of freedom of conscience is hard to imagine.

Or maybe we could just keep laws in place which prohibit those Moslem practices we find most egregious. I've got news for you. By and large that already happens. And, I agree, where it doesn't happen, it should.

Or maybe we should take every possible opportunity to give vent to our distaste for Islam, whilst preening ourselves on our honesty, forthrightness and steadfastness in defence of the alleged core values of our culture.

And the result of that would be what?:

Firstly, a whole heap of unnecessary rudeness, the further poisoning of public discourse and a great deal of unnecessary hurt to innocent people.

Secondly, the encouragement(intended or otherwise) of hate crimes against Moslem immigrants and their families.

Thirdly, Islamic communities turning in on themselves and falling easy prey to paranoid theories about everyone being out to get them.... except that these theories won't, in reality, be all that paranoid.

Fourthly, increased recruitment by jihadists.

Well, good luck with all that!

kiwidave said...

Thank you all for the comments and for the clarification GS, I really couldn't understand your attempt to equate issues around basic rights in our western democracies and practices in the Islamic world where tyranny is law. Our Pacifica ladies don't risk a beating from government goons for being out in the street without their mother hubbards.
Regarding the Rotherham rape gangs; no doubt some very dubious parenting involved but very concerning was the reluctance for the police to act on complaints raised years ago and save hundreds of girls from the horror they subsequently endured. Incredibly they were afraid to be seen as victimising the rapists! Sorry but there really does seem to be a concerted effort to hide these issues, not sure why or who is behind it. Police in Germany and Sweden are no longer allowed to issue descriptions of the perpetrators or even actual statistics of their rape epidemic for example. Initiate a Google search for "Muslim Terrorists" and get back to me if you still believe we are not being manipulated.

Victor said...

kiwidave

What you see as an attempt to fool and manipulate might just be an excessive concern for "political correctness", due process, the avoidance of ethnic profiling etc. etc.

If it is an attempt to fool and manipulate, then it's obviously extremely unsuccessful, as the western world is full of people such yourself crying "foul".

I agree that the Rotherham business was obscene. But I doubt whether we'll see another equivalent case in the UK.

greywarbler said...

I would like to unpick some of the things that have been said.
' the Islamic world where tyranny is law' - They apparently try to maintain very strict control over much of their society. Because there has been so much foreign interference, and fighting and retaliating, and anger, probably the whole situation is harsher than before. (I have Mariane Pearl's book A Mighty Heart about her dear husband Daniel Pearl who was beheaded in Pakistan. She has an understanding and not a hate for all Islam, so neither should people who write here with only a tiny knowledge of what they think and feel.)

And which Islamic society do you refer to? I understand that the Taliban are fanatically strict, then there is a sect in Saudi Arabia called Wahabi, which also is strict. Then there are the Sunnis and the Shiite with different levels of rules. So you talk very loosely and generally, you choose one episode, or hear about one outrage, and apply it across the lot.

I am a Christian, but I reject Exclusive Brethren and their practices. I quite like the Bahais, have thought about the Quakers, but will probably go to the Salvation Army when next I go to church. The last three are all open and good denominations, but not all the same. But I wouldn't like to be judged by what the EB do, think or say.

And talking about our basic rights in our western democracies. Is this where black people get murdered, and attacked when they are in church, the good people 100% better than those murdering them? And in Australia, our rights not to be uplifted from homes NZ have there and locked away indefinitely. Recently one sent from the east coast to Western Oz where his family can't see him, or he see his 3-year son? In NZ there are incursions into our rights that require a Court decision to correct them. I could go on and demonstrate what bombast you use kiwidave. Your understanding probably represents the 'informed' opinion of the majority of NZs.

As for the British debacle. You suggest that the authorities were soft soaping the Muslims, 'they were afraid to be seen as victimising the rapists!' That could be partly so, as no doubt the Muslims had received many insulting remarks from people as well informed as you and some could be easily angered. And this no doubt applies in Germany and Sweden also. Since then we have seen how nutters can do much damage as seen when the far-right gunman killed Norwegian youngsters in 2011 and who wanted to eradicate Muslims and Marxists from Europe.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8657475/Norway-killings-The-laughing-gunman-who-shot-85-young-victims-one-by-one.html

There had been a huge debacle in 1987 in the UK when ardent child defending psychologists had mistakenly accused a large number of fathers of abusing their daughters, many of whom were removed from their homes. When it was established that this was largely incorrect, some of the children were so estranged from their families, they did not want to return. It was a social disaster and reflected badly on all the authorities concerned
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_child_abuse_scandal

But more, the authorities inaction would have been covering one's rear; no-one in authority would have forgotten the 1987 abuse matter when a report came up in 2003. No doubt they found it too hot to handle and as time passed, more so. Any who had chosen to reveal what was happening was harming their own career, casting a shadow over previous managers for having either not known, and been derelict in their duties, or having known and kept quiet with the same defective result.

It is really important not to talk widely and wildly about matters that people can be aroused about, and in our travels and relationships around the world, fear and mistrust should not be fomented.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Police in Germany and Sweden are no longer allowed to issue descriptions of the perpetrators or even actual statistics of their rape epidemic"

Since when? Seems to me that descriptions and statistics are readily available. For at least the Germans are issuing descriptions and the Swedes are quite happy with statistics. So I guess you're more a Fox News guy than a Guardian guy right?

"In 2014, there were 6,697 rapes reported to the Swedish police, or 69 cases per 100,000 population, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ), which is an 11% increase from the previous year.[5] In 2015, the number of reported rapes declined 12%, to 5918
The number of convictions has remained relatively unchanged since 2005, with approximately 190 convictions on average each year"

"In Sweden there has been this ambition explicitly to record every case of sexual violence separately, to make it visible in the statistics," according to Klara Selin, a sociologist at the National Council for Crime Prevention in Stockholm. "So, for instance, when a woman comes to the police and she says my husband or my fiance raped me almost every day during the last year, the police have to record each of these events, which might be more than 300 events.

While the Code 291 data are problematic because of issues discussed above, the data actually suggests that asylum seekers appear to be committing crime in lower numbers than the general population and does not provide support for claims of excessive criminal culpability.

"German police use terms such as “southerners” (südländer), men with “dark skin” (dunkelhäutig, dunklere gesichtsfarbe, dunklem hauttyp) or “southern skin colour” (südländische hautfarbe) to describe the alleged perpetrators."

"Düsseldorf police told reporters they were investigating whether the attacks in Cologne were linked to a gang of roughly 2,000 North African men, a known criminal network in Düsseldorf."

But from what I can gather it's complex and I guess conservatives still don't do complex.

Nick J said...

Well said Victor. The answer to Islam in the West lies in our confident assertion of our shared Judeo-Christian tradition and culture. You don't have to be religious or a Christian to do that, you merely need to recognize and celebrate that culture and it's achievements.

kiwidave said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments/questions Victor. What to do about fundamentalist Islam?
It is hard for those of us outside the ideology to understand but we do have access to insiders. Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have spent so much money spreading radical Islam in Africa, and in southeast Asia. It's criminal, and no one is calling them out on that.

"They're establishing these madrassas (religious schools), filling the heads of these little boys with this nonsense, and having them kill and be killed."

She used to say Islam must be confronted head-on, but in Heretic she softened her stance slightly. calling instead for moderate Muslims to reform Islam from within, much as Christianity did in the 16th century, and advising them to abandon literalist readings of the Koran.

She softened that earlier harder line after "realising that a philosophy that's been around for 1400 years that's adhered to by a fifth of humanity – it's not an open and shut process".

So she believes, as I do, that reform is the solution - the current struggle in Iran is a sign of the frustration of ordinary people. These people are denied the most basic rights and freedom and have to endure continued poverty while the countries resources are poured into supporting ideologically motivated war and terrorism elsewhere. It is difficult for us to imagine the sacrifices, the death and suffering that will be required for them to achieve what we take for granted.
The other issue, how we treat Muslim immigrants, is related but separate. It really does bother me that there is so much reluctance within the west to discuss these issues openly. There is no need to be offensive but, honestly, when the POTUS described Islam (a religion that has been at war with itself and everyone it has had contact with since it's inception) as "a religion of peace" you really do have to wonder what is going on.
Europe is falling over itself to be accommadative to the point where long held and hard fought rights and values are being torn up. The UK has instituted Sharia law based family courts (good luck there ladies) and, incredibly, allows the continuation of forced marriage involving girls as young as nine to continue. That is madness; if folk want to live in the UK (or anywhere) they do so with the implicate understanding that they will respect the laws and traditions of their host. You are inviting the complete collapse of social cohesion at a time when the west is tearing itself apart with self doubt, self loathing and it's own ideological possession in the form of identity politics and cultural Marxism.
Many intelligent, educated, liberally minded Europeans are deeply concerned. Peter Hitchens and Douglas Murray believe we are witnessing the beginning of the end of liberal democracy (and possibly the civilisation itself) in western Europe.
The answer, it seems to me, collectively and individually, is the reaffirmation of truth and dialogue as our highest ideals. I can't commend highly enough the efforts of Dr. Jordan Peterson in that regard and hope his new book - "12 Rules for Life" will help wake us from our sleep walk to hell.

kiwidave said...

GS, if you are using google as your search engine you will get censored results at best and,
particularly if it is with regard to the subjects we are discussing, outright nonsense. Try duckduckgo for censorship and spy free searching.

greywarbler said...

kiwidave
It seems that you are under the influence of a couple of book authors.
There seems to be gaps in your thinking; you have been alerted and upset by what you have read, but without considering an overview. If you tried just critiquing western culture, leaving Islam aside, and set a standard that you believe we all adhere to, and then measured and compared our observable behaviour, I am sure you would be surprised at how often we fail to reach that standard.

You say, if folk want to live in the UK (or anywhere) they do so with the implicate understanding that they will respect the laws and traditions of their host. You are inviting the complete collapse of social cohesion at a time when the west is tearing itself apart with self doubt, self loathing and it's own ideological possession in the form of identity politics and cultural Marxism.

In the UK, the Muslim men no doubt looked at the laws and traditions of their UK host, and found them pathetically low compared to their own stricter beliefs. So what then, join them in the hypocritical behaviour the UK actually follows in living styles? It seems that some Muslim men did choose to follow these traditions and the law allowed it.

The west tearing itself apart with self doubt! It is true some have self doubt, which seeks to break through the self-satisfaction of a wilfully blind, greedy and self-centered society. But the general response is to ignore society's own nature and faults. To use Matthew 7.5 from King James Bible "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

You say about the west "it's own ideological possession" which sounds like an obssessive mental condition, when it actually is reflective thought about whether our culture meets fair ethical conditions and respect by each of us for all in our world. If civilisation is under pressure in western Europe, it is because of our failure to live by reasonable ethical standards, and the gaps between stated, and lived and observable practices, are now too wide to be ignored. This has led to the calls for change, for apologies, and honest remediation and different social approaches.

You seem to want to cling to a flawed past, and refuse to acknowledge that to have a decent civilisation we must be civil ourselves, and follow good laws. We need to gain that wisdom if we want a decent human civilisation spread, be better than the present and become the norm in both words and our everyday living.

jh said...

Repeated attempts to skewer clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson fell flat in a remarkable interview with Britain’s Channel 4 news, reports the Spectator.

https://youtu.be/aMcjxSThD54

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The UK has instituted Sharia law based family courts (good luck there ladies) and, incredibly, allows the continuation of forced marriage involving girls as young as nine to continue."

A number of religious groups are allowed to have religious based family courts in the UK, including Jews. So the first part of your statement perfectly correct. But forced marriage and marriage of persons under sixteen are criminal offences in Britain and prosecuted as such, and the British police have a "Forced Marriage Unit" which does so.
And worldwide forced marriages are not the exclusive preserve of Muslims, and you can find the figures out by a simple Google search. You can also find out which countries allow child marriage, fun fact – some American states allow marriage aged twelve. In the age of consent in the Vatican is also twelve.
You know the Finns have a word, "kalsarikännit" which I believe means sitting around at home in your underwear getting drunk. Which I'm now going to do, because I think is probably a more productive activity than trying to cope with the Bullshit Asymmetry Principal commonly known as Brandolini's law.

https://www.google.co.nz/imgres?imgurl=https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LqWmrtKWSys/Vx27Yid3YmI/AAAAAAAADyI/FppXUDCofQgWPkZ4Nm0y1C1SJb7NumxGQCLcB/s1600/ziobrando.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ordrespontane.blogspot.com/2014/07/brandolinis-law.html&h=613&w=1024&tbnid=ZR33loxW_5ngRM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=266&usg=__VhoD24Lpp8SwrYkpGerRNMJ9tFc%3D&vet=10ahUKEwiY4buDmODYAhWDbrwKHTE2CbkQ9QEILTAA..i&docid=oDlZaRpCuoZYlM&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY4buDmODYAhWDbrwKHTE2CbkQ9QEILTAA