Tuesday 17 July 2018

An Inconvenient Truth About Free Speech Denialism.

Dangerous Customer: The Right’s need to mobilise people’s fear lies at the heart of its determination to defend free speech. If the environmental agencies of the state were to be captured by political forces determined to take action against climate change, for example, then climate change denialist propagandists would very soon find themselves being countered by the full force of the scientific community. There is thus a need for the most reactionary forces within capitalist society to take (or retain) full control of the state apparatus. That cannot be done without free speech. Nor can it be prevented without free speech.

THAT THE INSPIRATION for this posting came from a man who spent his life studying grizzly bears is entirely fitting. The free speech debate of the past fortnight has seen more than a few angry grizzlies come galloping out of the woods. The question in most need of an urgent answer is – why? What is it that leads the Right to defend the principle of free speech so vigorously? And why has the contemporary Left departed so dramatically from Noam Chomsky’s free-speech absolutism?

Having watched the grizzly bear population of Yellowstone National Park dwindle under the impact of climate change and observed the blank unwillingness of state and federal wildlife protection agencies to intervene, or even acknowledge the need for intervention, David Mattson went in search of some answers.

His explanation for the Right’s ingrained antagonism towards climate change, published in Counterpunch under the headline “The Sinister Underbelly of Climate Change Denial” is unequivocal:

“Educated but mostly-white conservative businessmen and political servants/allies recognize a threat to their current near strangle-hold on power and wealth arising from calls to address rampant climate warming. They see those who promote alternative climate-cooling lifestyles and technologies as enemies to their existing entitlements, certainly profits and power. They are, moreover, inclined to be bigots. Being clever, they mobilize their equally bigoted but less educated, less cognitively capable, and exceedingly fearful base comprised largely of increasingly disadvantaged white males by appealing to their interest in maintaining the status quo and inflaming their fear of an alien intrusive world, manifest as ‘immigration’ and ‘immigrants’.”

From the oil-giant Exxon, to the coal companies currently driving US environmental policy, the historical footprints linking the fossil fuel industry to climate change denialism have long since been forensically tracked and identified. Mattson is right: denialism is a manifestation of reactionary capitalist fear.

The Right’s need to mobilise people’s fear lies at the heart of its determination to defend free speech. If the environmental agencies of the state were to be captured by political forces determined to, in Mattson’s words, “promote alternative climate-cooling lifestyles and technologies”, then denialist propagandists would very soon find themselves being countered by the full force of the scientific community. Hence the need of the most reactionary forces within capitalist society to retain full control of the state apparatus – a goal that can only be achieved by mobilizing their “equally bigoted but less educated” fellow citizens against an “alien and intrusive world” peddling fake news about everything from immigration to anthropogenic global warming.

The proposed visit to New Zealand of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux should be viewed in the light of the Right’s on-going mobilisation of Mattson’s “increasingly disadvantaged white males”. An important element of this mobilisation process involves persuading its target audience that “the powers that be” are determined to suppress information which they have a right to know, but which the “liberal elites” don’t want them to hear. In this respect, the Mayor of Auckland’s decision to deny Southern and Molyneux access to Council-owned meeting-halls, played directly into their hands.

Obviously, the most effective strategy for defeating the Right’s strategy of mobilising fear is by countering its lies with the truth. This may not be as difficult as many opponents of the Right would have us believe. As Mattson notes in his article:

“[E]verything else aside, self-identified political conservatives cum Republicans are the most committed disbelievers [in climate change] and, among those, the best educated (paradoxically) the most strident of all. In other words, conservative elites of a Republican persuasion are the standard bearers of skepticism. Surprisingly, they are expressly less amenable to persuasion by evidence than their more poorly educated political base.”

It is in relation to this group of voters that the Left comes to grief over free speech. Climate change denialism and free speech denialism both being born of fear.

The Right is terrified of ordinary people learning the truth about capitalism and its causal relationship with environmental devastation – hence its determination to destroy their faith in science and social progress.

The Left, or at least a distressingly large part of it, is equally terrified that ordinary people are either incapable of absorbing, or unwilling to accept, the implications of the scientific research into climate change. Worse still, many leftists believe that ordinary people (white working-class males in particular) are equally unwilling to absorb and accept the Left’s arguments in favour of equality and diversity. That, in Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic characterisation, they are “a basket of deplorables”. Ignorant rubes who must, at all costs, be kept away from the influence of the Right’s agitators – even if that involves reducing freedom of expression to the status of “collateral damage” in the culture wars.

Nothing could be more helpful to the cause of the Right than a Left which has lost its faith in the people. What, after all, is more likely to cause the people to lose faith in the Left than a nagging suspicion that their self-appointed liberators regard them as being either too vicious or too stupid to grasp the arguments in favour of individual freedom and social justice without instruction from above?

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 17 July 2018.


John Potter said...

If you could remove your blinkers Chris, you'd see that this is yet another example of "He doth protest too much".

John Hurley said...

Reasoning was designed to win arguments not get to the truth. Climate change deniers percieve climate change as a threat to a a world view that sees them as alpha beings in a holistic whole. The property developer is a “wealth creator”. His spending goes down the line.

The left are great population deniers. You can’t be “Jesus” if by allowing unfettered people flows people are going to be worse off.

The left are also deniers of human nature. One of the reason people support Trump is because the managerial state stretches the human nature past it’s design specifications. People are ethnocentric by nature. They are programmed by evolution to make instant evaluations based on race age and sex. Race signals coalition affiliation. The big question is what are the goals of an expanding multicultural society. Why should I see a migrant as a member of my coalition when as Ranginui Walker opined "New Zealand will be ruined. It will be just like anywhere else"?

In NZ big business sides with the left to ensure the multicultural project steams on (and with it the construction sector)

John Hurley said...

The Right is terrified of ordinary people learning the truth about capitalism and its causal relationship with environmental devastation – hence its determination to destroy their faith in science and social progress.
23 Things They Don’t Tell  You about Capitalism 
Thing 3
Our story of bus drivers reveals the existence of the proverbial elephant in the room. It shows that the living standards of the huge majority of people in rich countries critically depend on the existence of the most draconian control over their labour markets – immigration control. Despite this, immigration control is invisible to many and deliberately ignored by others, when they talk about the virtues of the free market.

Mark Hubbard said...

Oh dear. You were doing so well.

Guess what type of governments/countries are the biggest polluters of their environment? Communist, of course.

Private property rights gives individuals the incentive to look after their lot.

Geoff Fischer said...

I am against laws which regulate speech or the written word. At the same time I am pretty careful in my own use of language. I try not to make untrue statements, use obscene language, blaspheme, insult, or in any way give offense to individuals or groups, because I see the generally adverse consequences that flow from such misuse of language. Should I therefore use force to prevent others from abuse of language? Should we have laws against pornography, slander, libel, blasphemy (in some jurisdictions) incitement to violence and so on? We do of course, and I am not campaigning to have them repealed where such restrictions do no apparent harm. But even carefully framed laws can be problematic. Where do you draw the line between pornography and literature? How do you prohibit gratuitous provocations directed towards a particular religious persuasion while allowing freedom of religion? There are no easy answers to these questions, and ultimately, if individuals do not subscribe to a common understanding of what should or should not be spoken, one relies on the "good judgement" of a censor or a judge in a court of law. For the moment we have to live with that. I am less willing to accept restrictions placed on freedom of speech that are not defined in law and are imposed by politicians in their administrative rather than legislative capacity. That is to say, I believe in the rule of law when it comes to restrictions upon freedom of speech.
Thus I do not support Mr Goff in his decision to deny a platform to his political opponents.
I agree with Chris that those who try to restrict the expression of political opinion are driven by fear, and that we do not need to join them in their fears. Neither should we spend too much of our time in trying to persuade the fearful that they fears are unfounded and their reactions misguided. They will be as they will be.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Reasoning was designed to win arguments not get to the truth. "

No, debating was designed to win arguments rather than get to the truth. Reason is designed to get as close to the truth is we can. And there is precious little of it, either in this debate, or in politics is in general these days.

"People are ethnocentric by nature."

So as human beings, we are condemned to live by our "nature"? Not that I necessarily believe we are ethnocentric by nature anyway, but even if we were, as people we are not tied to nature as animals are.

"The left are also deniers of human nature."
No they aren't. They simply say that human nature is malleable. Which it is.

And if I might misquote the song "your tiny url is broken"

I think I'm going to have a rest. I'm spending far too much time arguing with what I have to categorise as ignorant conservatives at the moment. I might be a little more enthusiastic if I thought I might change some minds, but if they don't like reason, there's not much left as far as I'm concerned. Not that I do it to change their minds, but there might be people watching who haven't made theirs up yet. They might have to rely on Victor for a little while. :)
On the other hand I might wake up tomorrow all full of piss and vinegar. We'll see.

John Hurley said...

No, debating was designed to win arguments rather than get to the truth. Reason is designed to get as close to the truth is we can. And there is precious little of it, either in this debate, or in politics is in general these days.
It isn't as simple as that:

Contrary to the standard view of reason as a capacity that enhances the individual in his or her cognitive capacities—the standard image is of Rodin’s "Thinker," thinking on his own and discovering new ideas—what we say now is that the basic functions of reason are social. They have to do with the fact that we interact with each other’s bodies and with each other’s minds. And to interact with other’s minds is to be able to represent a representation that others have, and to have them represent our representations, and also to act on the representation of others and, in some cases, to let others act on our own representations.

We arrive at an integrated view of reason that doesn’t assign it a fantastic goal of unique access to knowledge at the individual level. We think reason evolved in humans and not in other species because there is a specific ecological niche that humans inhabit, which is the sociality that they themselves created. It’s a niche that’s created by a social relationship and culture. In that niche, reason is adaptive and that’s why it evolved

The kind of achievements that are often cited as the proof that reason is so superior, like scientific achievements, are not achievements of individual minds, not achievements of individual reason, they are collective achievements—typically a product of social interaction over generations. They are social, cultural products, where many minds had to interact in complex ways and progressively explore a lot of directions on which they hit, not because some were more reasonable than others, but because some were luckier than others in what they hit. And then they used their reason to defend what they hit by luck. Reason is a remarkable cognitive capacity, as are so many cognitive capacities in human and animals, but it’s not a superpower. It’s well integrated in the minds of one animal and it’s well adapted to a special niche in which this particular animal, humans, live.



Nick J said...

And Mark the right to despair as well if it makes economic sense.

John Hurley said...

"The left are also deniers of human nature."
No they aren't. They simply say that human nature is malleable. Which it is.

Hate Speech?
Racism is the ideological belief that people can be classified into ‘races’ ... [which] can be ranked in terms of superiority and inferiority ... racism is the acceptance of racial superiority … It is often used to refer to the expression of an ideology of racial superiority in the situation where the holder has some power. Thus prejudice plus power denotes racism in the modern sense ... racism is essentially an attitudinal or ideological phenomenon. … A dominant group not only holds negative beliefs about other groups but, because of the power to control resources, is able to practice those beliefs in a discriminatory way ... This ideological concept structures social and political relationships and derives from a history of European colonialism. The idea of ‘race’ has evolved from its use in scientific explanation (now discredited) and as a justification in the oppression of colonised, non European people

Bonzo said...

The population of Grizzly bears in Yellowstone national park has not dwindled under the impact of climate change. From a low of about 136 in the seventies the number has increased fivefold to about 700 individuals. There's so many of them that population pressures are leading to the expansion of their range into surrounding farmland. There's even a new limited hunting season.



The truth will set you free.

Victor said...


Sorry mate, I’m going to have to disappoint you as all this typing is catastrophic for my OOS, scoliosis and general senile decay. It took an uncharacteristic surge of outrage on my part to tempt me back to the lists this week.

But, before I log off and rest my aged joints, may I make a few additional comments on the issue of these two Canadians and Phil Goff’s decision over their desired use of the dear old Bruce Mason Centre.

Like you, I see this argument to be about the difference twixt ‘banning free speech’ and ‘de-platforming’. To both of us, the difference is obvious, as it must also be, for example, to Chris, when he occasionally threatens to stop the likes of Brendan, JH or Charles commenting on this website.

But Chris seems to think (and he can correct me if I’m wrong) that a publicly-owned space is somehow different and that everyone should have the right to speak there-on.

A 'reducto ad absurdam' approach to this argument would be to then insist that everyone has the right to hold a meeting in a public lavatory, car park or rubbish collection depot. I don’t think anyone would assert anything so silly (though, these days, who knows?)

So it seems to be more a matter of the purpose for which this public space has been created. Now, I can understand that the constant practice of de-platforming rightwing speakers on some US campuses might be seen as something of an attack on intellectual freedom. After all, universities are meant to be places where ideas are discussed and debated.

But is the pleasant, lake-side, ultra-suburban, family-orientated Bruce Mason Centre in quite the same category? Take a look at its most recent bill of fare and tell me if you think it is:


I would submit that it isn’t.

....more to come

Victor said...

,,,concluding previous post to GS

Chris also seems to be saying (and, again, he can correct me if I’m wrong) that those of us who support Goff’s decision are motivated by an elitist fear of the masses, whom we cannot bring ourselves to trust to make up their own minds sensibly.

But that’s certainly not my view and I suspect it isn’t yours either. It’s just that, were I still an Aucklander, I would expect Goff to affirm, through his decisions, the open, richly multicultural and multi-ethnic nature of the city. Similarly, if I was still a Londoner, I would expect (and get) the same off Sadiq Khan. And, if those weren’t my values, I could vote for someone else next time around.

If fear does play a part in my reasoning, it’s not over how “the masses” will react but how the few ignorant loons, who are always out there, might respond to the titillation of their prejudices.

I don’t know if you recall how, immediately after 9/11, a group of exotic looking foreigners were assaulted rather ferociously in (from memory) the fair city of Nelson. They had beards and wore turbans, That’s because they were Sikhs. But, to their assailants, they were Moslems and therefore, by definition, dangerous enemies of all that was good and decent.

If denying a platform to this egregious Canadian duo makes just one such incident less likely, I’m in favour of denial. I wouldn’t take this view if I thought this was a matter of free speech. But, as far as I can see, it just ain’t.

There’s a bigger topic that this controversy raises, over which I’d like to cogitate further, viz: to what extent are apparently libertarian opponents of liberalism (such as the two Canadians)also part of the Alt-Right, a movement which, we both agree, is fascistic and authoritarian in character.

The radical right in North America differs to some extent from its European equivalent in being broadly and ostensibly against “big government”. I’m not convinced this makes it more palatable. But it might be why many on this site dislike the use of the "F" word concerning it. Just a thought.

And now I'm going to obey my infinitely better half and rest my fingers, wrists, neck et al.

Tom Hunter said...

I have bad news for free speech advocates. What's happening here is not the usual reactionary antics of thugs, it's had "intellectual" heft for some time - and it's growing:


The conference, held between May 31 and June 2, was organized by the Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA), an organization that frequently hosts similar events to bring together an “interdisciplinary consortium of experts who recognize global implications of race and education for minoritized people.”

It produced gems such as one Dr. Dawn N.H. Tafari happily noting in her tweet that David Stoval, a speaker from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he's a Professor, called the term “diversity of opinion” - “white supremacist bullshit,”.

Or the quote from speaker Michael Dumas, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley: "There is no virtue in whiteness, it is inherently violent,”

Victor and Guerilla Surgeon better watch themselves when they're in the next protest against racism or whatever.

One of the amusing aspects of all this is the way it's moving from the halls of academia out into the real world of standard Leftist autophagy, as referenced in this video of an Anitifa protest where some poor, dumb, white Antifa male pleads his case to a Hispanic Antifia female's demands that he "stop being performative. Punch a Nazi" by claiming that he's been fighting them for months. Her last recorded response:


You're still white
You're still responsible
This is your fault
You're inherently racist
It's in your blood
It's in your DNA

Wait! Who was that historic group that focused on genetic determination as a marker of bad things? :)

David Stone said...

@ John Hurley
So you have discovered the ultimate definition of reason have you? It is not going to help you to understand the world or anything in it. I recommend you apply G S's concept of reason. You's is anything but.

pat said...

The thing that surprises me most about this whole affair is the number of seemingly intelligent people who appear to have convinced themselves that the best way to avoid extremist governance is to remove all possibility of nuance and question.
Is the opinion of the bulk of the NZ electorate so low ( i questioned it myself until I realised that in fact what i have seen presented amounts to a few score) that given the freedom to choose we would select something so dangerous to ourselves and our loved ones? What better way to provide a critical mass to such a view than to remove all question and nuance and demand an unquestioning allegiance to one extreme or another, for in that most will choose where they feel safest, and that is not the unknown but rather one where the rules are clear, fixed and known..not a world of ever changing diversity and progress.

As to the venue issue, it is a publicly owned venue and what right does anyone have to determine which segment of the community may or may not use it?.

You let your fears addle you

speiro said...

Thanks for you recent blogs Chris regarding the fundamental importance of free speech - timely and well articulated. Geez the responses have been 'interesting', if not alarming. In relation, I think the MSM (ours included) hit an all-time low yesterday in regard to the 'voices and opinions' that are deemed important for the public to hear, with regard to the Helsinki summit. In a normal, rational and thoughtful forum you'd expect a meeting of the worlds nuclear superpowers to be welcomed and encouraged, especially when those two countries are arguably closer to hot war than ever before. Instead, the voices we heard shouted nothing but treason, ineptitude, puppet...blah blah. And the US intelligence services are now all of a sudden 'credible' sources of info again! No mention of the influence of the out of control military industrial complex , or critique of politicians that have pursued conflict and personal profit over dispute resolution, no mention of the possibilities of a reduction in tension between the US & Russia leading to a reduction in missile hardware, and funds from bloated military budgets possibly being redirected to social investment. The complete lack of any independent thought, critique, or debate on display yesterday is to me far more dangerous than anything the two Canadians could possibly contribute by talking here. The craziness of yesterday was that actual war (potentially planet ending) is preferable to providing any kind of support to trump or Putin. In light of the MSM telling people what to think, and social media being largely an echo-chamber, the only avenue left to challenge ideas is the public debate - you don't have to agree with the ideas of others, but listening to different viewpoints (and their opposing views) can help to understand whats behind the viewpoint so that it can be addressed, or have a light shined on it for everyone to see its fallacy. Its a sad day if what we're left with regarding free speech is simply the certifiable madness of the MSM. Thanks again Chris

Anonymous said...

It is fear of being wrong that lets many people agree with the suppression of free speech. It is idealogical possession and an absolute hatred of different viewpoints that spur people to actively try to suppress it, the likes of the violent and Ironically named Auckland Peace action.

Those groups supporting the suppression of free speech should realise that a counter group will grow in strength. There were aweful things said by the media and politicians about Mitt Romney then 4 years later trump became president; and everyone new he was a mud Monster before he was elected. The Nazis grew in large part because of the rise of the communists in Germany.

In NZ the media have been guilty of defining and arguing in the debate as well. They stifle free speech by misleading, they overuse the term far right and rarely use the term far left, in fact up until last week stuff had 58000 pages with the term "far right" and less than 1000 with the term "far left". They constantly label Lauren Southern as far right (where shit stirrer fits better) - a term previously used mainly for neo-nazis and fascists, yet Auckland Peace action are referred as a protest group. Look at the media coverage of the free speech coalition, most articles I've read almost exclusively talk about the right wing backers. They ask an academic that's criticised all the talk around immigration by all the parties at the last election for his "neutral" take on who those speakers are.

John Hurley said...

David Stone
So you have discovered the ultimate definition of reason have you? It is not going to help you to understand the world or anything in it. I recommend you apply G S's concept of reason. You's is anything but.
No it is a theory of why we often don't reason well.

John Hurley said...

She’s described Hitler as “just a social justice warrior whose happened to get freaky amounts of power”. I mean does that disturb you?

Don Brash
Absolutely, I mean Hitler was the most nasty objectionable person. I’m not defending this guys views at all, as I said earlier, I’m defending the right for him to express those views

You can see what she says here

A bit rich Espiner citing Section 16 of the Human rights Act when he says "you have to keep pushing the uglies" (those to rebel at his compulsory te reo lessons).

John Hurley said...

From Stephan Molyneaux who is the partner in this (I'm looking at a March 18 piece in the Guardian by David Evans , if anyone wants to google it). He is advocating this alt right view of scientific racism in it he argues that social outcomes are the result of different inate IQ's among races (high IQ Jews and low IQ black people). Now is that not the very definition of racism, he's argued that intelligence is linked to race and some races are more intelligent than others?

Well there are some people who think that. I don't think that. I've never argued that for one single moment. But I think we're talkinh here not about his particular views but not defending those views. I'm defending the right of free speech. That's the important issue.

Obviously Don knows little about the topic. Espiner ought to know that the issue is controversial (not racist). I have yet to see another academic debate the issue with Jordan Peterson. The left are terrified of that debate because it undermines their whole philosophy.

John Hurley said...

Jordan Peterson on (eventually) Race and IQ [14:00]

Nick J said...

I watched the thing Espiner claims to have. Molyneaux quotes empirical studies, and says that they support the inequality of iq results across different ethnicities (for example Ashkenazi Jews are 1 standard deviation ahead). He may be correct, I suspect Espiner like myself never checked, so I don't have any opinion on it. What Molyneaux did say was that if this is true, it is distressing because of what it implies. If, and if he means that he is not racist. More lazy journalism?

PS I'm not trying to defend Molyneaux, I'd just like us to be more precise with charges and counter charges.

Guerilla Surgeon said...




At least one of these should be in a local library.

Pat O'Dea said...

Hi Chris, I see your Free Speech Coalition group was able to raise $50 thousand in less than 24 hours to protect the rights of fascists to be able to use public venues.

At the next planning meeting of your Free Speech Coalition, you will bring up the case of the Humanists who were not even allowed visas to come here and address us, won't you?

Maybe you could ask the other members of the new lobby group your are a member of to extend your brief (so far) of only championing the rights of white supremacists and fascists to free speech, to others also denied the right to free speech?

Maybe you could let us know their reply?

I mean its not like the members of your group of older privileged white men haven't got the time or resources. And after all, your new organisation has expressed a public interest in protecting free speech. (well so far for some at least). will your be extending your concern to black people and Muslims denied the right to address us, or is your concern only for white racists?

Will your group raise funds for a legal challenge to allow these people to address us?

"Humanists conference organisers shocked at Immigration NZ denials for "hero" members"
Last updated 05:00, July 22 2018


Let us know your reply.

Of course your silence, or censorship of this comment, will be a reply in itself.

Chris Trotter said...

The Free Speech Coalition would certainly support these "hero members"' admission to New Zealand if, as the Stuff story suggests, their entry to this country has been improperly delayed. Likewise, if their ability to speak in NZ should be in any way arbitrarily curtailed.

I would add, however, as a friendly piece of advice, that insulting those whose assistance you are seeking is not always the best way of securing a positive response.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I think what pisses me off the most is that those two neo-Nazi sympathisers have been given a work visa. Thereby taking jobs from local neo-Nazis – or is Colin King - Ansell unavailable?

Nick J said...

Pat O The moment you mentioned old white men, then black people you lost me. Racist nonsense. I don't give a monkey's what "race" you are, but the moment you prefer one race to another I will call you out as a racist fuckwit.

Nick J said...

GS, "Nazi sympathizers"? Your accuracy is piss poor, you sound like a rabid idiot. You could be far more damaging if you were prepared to do the yards and call them out with a real argument. Disappointing and lazy.

Pat O'Dea said...

"Will your group raise funds for a legal challenge to allow these people to address us?" Pat O'Dea

"....insulting those whose assistance you are seeking is not always the best way of securing a positive response." Chris Trotter

So I can take it, that's a no then Chris?

If I have offended you that was not my intention. Though honestly, I can't see where I have insulted you. You have joined with known right wingers to support fascists having the right to spout their poison in a publicly owned venue, this a simple statement of fact. If you feel insulted by this statement of fact, this is just a subjective emotion on your behalf. If you feel that way, you may need to re-examine your conscience.

I might remind you Chris it is you that you that has started in with the insults. Accusing all those opposed to these white supremacists having the use of publicly owned venue to spout their poison, (inclusive of course of the Mayor), of being fascists.

"@AKLCouncil venues shouldn't be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions. Views that divide rather than unite are repugnant and I have made my views on this very clear. Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux will not be speaking at any Council venues." Phil Goff

"Free Speech Denialism Is Fascism In Action" Chris Trotter

John Hurley said...

Your references (comebacks at Charles Murray etc) do not prove Molyneaux's views are racist (rather controversial).

How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’
By David Reich

The point is that the media have drawn a line as expressed by Guyon Espiner: .

From Stephan Molyneaux who is the partner in this (I'm looking at a March 18 piece in the Guardian by David Evans , if anyone wants to google it). He is advocating this alt right view of scientific racism in it he argues that social outcomes are the result of different inate IQ's among races (high IQ Jews and low IQ black people). Now is that not the very definition of racism, he's argued that intelligence is linked to race and some races are more intelligent than others?

and as Mediawatch says:

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux probably know in the end its not local authorities’ policies on their venues that might strangle the spread of their ideas.

Its the news media that have the power to put them in front of an audience that doesn’t already subscribe to their views – or their YouTube channel.

In other words the journalists will pick and choose what the public (dummies) get to hear about. RNZ is an Advertorial for multiculturalism.

Pat O'Dea said...

Kia ora Chris.
I see that you haven't allowed my comment answering your accusation that I have insulted you. Personally I think I made some salient points. You obviously disagree. Fair enough, this is your blogsite. I accept your right to censor or ban any comment that you disagree with. At a deeper level what this reveals of course, is that your commitment to free speech is not absolute. I expect that you will censor this comment as well. But I don't mind taking opportunity to have a conversation with you.

You feel that you have been insulted, so you have censored my comment, and as I say "fair enough" your feelings have been hurt and you feel aggrieved. So how then can you still keep supporting the right of Southern and Molyneaux to come here to insult whole communities of people?
Don't you think that they might be aggrieved don't you think that their feelings will be hurt? You know they will. But unlike you, on this thread, they don't have the option to omit or ignore these hurtful comments, and in fact may have to live with the real world consequences of them. (I am informed here of the immigrants who had their windows broken by street thugs in Mt Roskill a few years back when Winston Peters was whipping up anti-immigrant xenophobia for opportunist political gain at a time when his polls were down.)

Chris you have made common cause with people who don't give a damn about free speech, who have mobilised to defend the right of fascists' to verbally insult and abuse and whip up hate against minorities and migrants.  This same group of bigots have no concern for the humanitarians who want it address us denied entry because of their ethnicity or religion.

You say that they at a long as these Humanitarian speakers were denied entry legally, that is all right. You must be aware how biased and racist our immigration laws are. For instance white majority Australia has free entry but brown majority Polynesia face all sorts of discriminatory immigration rules. All these discriminatory rules are a hold over from the British Empire and White New Zealand period when British, ie white people were free to roam the empire, but subject peoples were not.

There can be no level playing field in an unequal society. The field is firmly tilted toward privileged Pakaha. The group you have given your public support to firmly want to keep it that way.

I think you need to read Te Reo Putake's post again. (Some of the more informed comments are particularly interesting).

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I stand by Nazi sympathisers Nick. The woman associates with one the worst neo-Nazis in Russia, Alexander Dugin – whose fascism is obvious, though he denies it as they all do. He was an analyst for an anti-Semitic organisation in Russia. He's called for ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians, and is an associate of David Duke (BA) who used to be the head of the Ku Klux Klan. Southern herself as said she was enthralled by him. So yeah Nazi sympathiser, I'm not lazy, and you are beginning to sound like a "USEFUL idiot".

And as for my references John, have you read them? I think they show that these views are more than controversial. Particularly on the subject of IQ.

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora Pat
You criticize Chris for "making common cause with people who don't give a damn about free speech", when what Chris was really saying to Don Brash et al was "whatever our political differences, I will stand alongside you in upholding the principle of free speech". It may be that Don Brash is motivated more by political sympathy for Southern and Molyneux than by genuine commitment to free speech. Time will tell. But I believe that Chris is entirely genuine on this issue. He is not responsible for the regime's immigration policies. He has agreed with Don Brash on one matter and that is all. He has not claimed that Phil Goff is a fascist. He has only suggested that curtailing freedom of speech is the first step on the path to fascism, which I believe is fair comment.
Our Muslim brothers and sisters deserve all the practical and moral support we can give them. That is happening at the local level right now, as it has been for many years. Muslim men and women assist us in our work and we in turn offer our assistance to them. On a different plane, organizations like FIANZ cooperate with the regime and expect that the regime will offer some quid pro quo, in this instance banning Southern and Molyneux from publicly owned venues. There are a whole lot of reasons why I would not want to go there. Banning dissenting views sets a bad precedent. Furthermore, it encourages reliance on the oppressive power of the state when we should be putting our efforts into building up the power of our own people to emancipate themselves from colonialism and capitalism.
One precondition for that process to take effect is that we give each other respect, notwithstanding our political, religious and ethnic differences. This debate is not a bad place to start.

Guerilla Surgeon said...


An interesting blog and discussion.

Sam said...

There seems to be a lot contradiction in this argument, from both directions, but I can't help thinking that this does fall into the category of these speakers conveying opinions that could realistically incite violence and prejudice - two behaviours that are not condoned in the bill of rights. While it is generally accepted that should the audience participate in an abhorrent act directly as a result of bearing witness to what they have to say, then it breaches NZ law, when and what is the line? I should expect that if this talk takes place the "crowd" will be strenuously instructed not to kick anyone in the head later that night, but what if someone does act in 3,6,12 months from now. Our law will most likely be unable to exact recourse on these two retrospectively - but will the coalition still defend this stance if it is evident that exposure to this tripe was a cause. We can say that most right (or shall I say fair) thinking people will consign their talk to where it belongs - it could be argued that a reasonable person would not attend, leaving the impressionable or unstable alone to lap up and carry out their dogma. Yes that is at the heart of the argument but to me this pursuit seems like an exercise in our free speech limits rather than an evaluation of this particular case where is it not actually promoting the "right" to hear hate speech rather than considering a dissenting voice.
That I've heard several members of the coalition say they haven't heard these two speak and don't know their ideas/philosophies to me doesn't make a point but is rather irresponsible.
Will the coalition members attend the talk and then deliver their judgment? In such instances where hate speech is thrown around should a member of our judiciary assess the contents to make a judgment prior to a like event taking place.
I wish a legal testcase could have carried out with a different example, because I genuinely fear that this could encourage more extreme views within our society and tarnish our international reputation more than denying their event would.

Geoff Fischer said...

Sam: People may be punished for speech which contravenes the law. However society should not prejudge what people are going to say or do. We have to wait until an offence is committed, and then charge the offender and follow due process. That is what we call rule of law, and it is very different to the kind of administrative rule in which a politician decides on often quite arbitrary grounds who may be permitted to speak in public and who may not.
You also have to trust in the good sense of the New Zealand public. A few years ago the Rotorua Daily Post newspaper ran a prolonged smear campaign in which the Editor accused me of "holding the city of Rotorua to ransom". This was a clear and deliberate attempt to provoke acts of violence. However no violence ensued. Trouble makers can incite violence among people who are already predisposed that way, in which case you would have probably have violence whether or not there was incitement. But if people are not predisposed, it is very difficult to incite them to violence.

John Johnston said...

I have been following you since becoming aware of your stand on free speech. But this comment is about what you've said about the Grizzly population in Yellowstone. So far, all I can find are reports that the population has rebounded so far that as to reach capacity in Yellowstone. According to reports I have read, the bears are now spreading further afield, and are no longer considered to be threatened.

Are the reports false, and can you point me to other sources please? In particular, to studies analysing the reason or reasons why the population declined as far as it did, and the reason or reasons why it has rebounded (if indeed it has rebounded).