World Congress of Families and The Naughty Step

Oh, buy information pills my reeking tit. Here we go again. Honourable Activists are saving their weekend virtue to screw a conference peopled by Intolerant Scum. The World Congress of Families is in town. And they’ve brought their bag of sick.

The Congress, let it be plainly said, is pure waste. It’s like the Enlightenment happened and they drank a little too deeply from the bowl of Cartesian doubt and spent the next three centuries heaving confusion into each other’s arseholes until they were so backed up, they just started shitting from their mouths. They’re vile. They “believe” that breast cancer is the by-product of abortion, condoms are no prophylaxis against disease or hellfire and that homosexuals are only That Way because of the wide availability of chèvre.

In short, they’re stupid. They think that science is a matter of opinion and that all morals are universalisable and can be traced to a Christian God. And that Christian God made the most worthy of us in His image: white and stupid property developers capable of erecting a shit block of flats in seven days.

(Apols to Actual Christians who recognise this fallacious God as a perversion imagined by John Locke. I am totally cool with you having faith in a supreme being. I am just not cool with you insisting that His governance of you extends to me.)

Just. To. Be. Clear. The Congress is a vat of infinite Stupid kept simmering to a salmonella heat by the fuel of thrice-digested bullshit. If I found myself in the company of any of its members, I would probably scream Let Jesus Fuck You as I lowered myself onto a plastic crucifix. Because, of course, I love The Exorcist and all films in the menarche-horror style and because taunting Christians is fun.

But that’s all it is. Fun. And don’t you tell me If I Can’t Dance, It’s Not My Revolution. Emma Goldman was a douche and you’ve been dancing for thirty years, you fun-loving “Leftists”. And what has that achieved? Apart from an occasional wage from the Comment pages in The Guardian? The corporatisation of war. A wage gap unseen since the Great Depression. A unipolar global power system. The price of your outrage is global inequality.

You may believe that if only we reformed the morals of those with whom we disagree, harmony would prevail. You may believe that if we stop our parliamentarians from attending the Congress conference, we have achieved something.

Today, Greens Senator Larissa Waters passed a motion to prevent her fellows from attending a conference. This move and the protests that will welcome it will achieve a few things. None of them positive.

First, genuine censure will shroud the real intentions of the nut-butter Right. Let Bernardi and Andrews and that nong Abetz go. Let them show their irrationality which is otherwise concealed under the suit of liberalism. Let Australians, who whatever you say about them are in great favour of a secular public life and despise what they see as fundamentalism, know how shitty their representatives can be. Enough rope, as they say.

Second, it gives Blot et al the chance to accuse the soft-Left of being politically correct and demanding of good behaviour. And not without cause, frankly. Who the fuck is the Left to ban things? The Left should be a force of a type it is itself banned. Instead, it comes over like Super Nanny and cries “that’s unasseptable”.

Third, the Left can feel like it had a nice little victory. Which it has not.

For the sake of actual shit. If you want to help people with a non-normative sexuality—which apparently opponents of the Congress do—campaign for refuges that young people whose lives are made miserable by their parents can access.

And don’t give me “why not both”. Because it is never both. Because condemnation of an out-and-out moment of stupidity by dumb old Christians is the easiest thing in the world. And finding solutions to real social problems is the most tedious and difficult thing in the world. And joy derived from putative victory does not inspire hard work. It gives rise to only more dancing. And the Freedom Against Intolerance is a noxious liberal foxtrot that makes people feel like the world is functioning in a more just way when actually, it is a sideshow that makes all Caring People relax and say, well, things are getting better.

Well, they’re not. They’re getting worse. And they have got worse over the last three decades with EXACTLY this kind of representational opposition to hardship. Think about how the liberal-Left fucks shit up, despite its best intentions. And let these idiots go to their idiot conference and try to conspire for a future that will not be made painful by religion but by our refusal to see that we need to change policy, not attitudes. And the only attitude that will shift anyhow is that of the centre-Right that will see, not without justification, that the Left has become a bunch of childcare workers who want everyone to *appear* to do the right thing.

If you fancied, right now you could bugger the Australian Left with a sandpaper-wrapped issue of Quadrant and it would barely stir. In fact, if you tied your junk up in an Awareness Ribbon, it would thank you for a lovely afternoon of violent, non-consensual sodomy and ask you to stay for a Nespresso chai sipped to the smooth, smooth sounds of Sarah Blasko. All the Left wants now is capitalism with a human face. It no longer cares or even knows that late capitalism only has a face. It has no brain or heart.

The market and the liberal democracy to which it is now espoused has no brain for logic. It just has force. There is no heart for compassion. Just the numb cruelty of growth. But the Left, once opposed to a structure, is now opposed to a very bad imaginary boyfriend whose desiccated insides are concealed by the suit of liberalism. Show me your human face, says the Left. And it holds a mirror up. As if the dead eyes of capitalism can see themselves staring back.

Let the words ooze like ordure from Kevin Andrews’ mean little mouth. Let him say in the crudest possible terms what needs to be said. Let him say “I am a fuckwit that thrives on a diet of corpses” and smash your stupid hand mirror of equivalence which will only reflect to the Right and the economic powers it serves (even if it doesn’t know it’s doing it) evidence of their power.

You must stop having Fun. You must stop Calling Out bullies. You must choose a better weapon than tolerance against a force that we need to see naked. Let them have their hateful weekend that is so fucking ridiculous, even your Aunty Joy will see it as a bit too rich for her tastes. For the sake of fuck and of the future, let the foundations of inequality be seen with no obfuscation.

It should be fucking mandatory for every parliamentarian to attend this festival of turds. It should be the work of the Left to dress like Church Ladies and go to the conference and demand a ban on quality goat’s cheese for fear of how it can excite the perinea of their sons. To object to the brutally objectionable is the work of children.

Don’t make me send you to the naughty step.

 

 

55 comments for “World Congress of Families and The Naughty Step

  1. Narelle
    August 29, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I think you’ll find they are infiltrating. They will be on the bus and bound for wherever tomorrow morning dressed in their best beige, all booked in with a reference from their local priests ;)

  2. Bronwyn
    August 29, 2014 at 12:52 am

    That left me rather breathless.
    Thank you Helen for saying, so eloquently, what really needs to be said.

    • August 29, 2014 at 1:06 am

      I am just recycling Zizek and Baudrillard and this one guy I met at university.

      • August 29, 2014 at 1:08 am

        because obviously i heart men

        • Bronwyn
          August 29, 2014 at 10:27 pm

          #MISOGYNIST!!!

  3. Nat
    August 29, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Hi Helen, thanks for a good read your lowering yourself on the cross a la Exorcist made me laugh!

  4. kev_martin
    August 29, 2014 at 2:00 am

    The GIF that keeps on Giffing. #TeamRegan

  5. Mark petrolo
    August 29, 2014 at 2:43 am

    The liberal left mantra has boiled down to “I’m offended!” If you have a politically incorrect opinion the liberal left might shame you into silence (maybe even an apology!) but of course taking such an opinion out of the public eye or banning it’s utterance does nothing to stop it existing or thriving even. It’s as naive as closing down abortion clinics and thinking no one will ever have another abortion again because of it.

  6. Mark petrolo
    August 29, 2014 at 2:48 am

    What’s not to heart?! *gorges self on goat cheese*

  7. August 29, 2014 at 3:03 am

    I only learned about the Private Bill – “Operation Vat of Sick” – sponsored by the Greens on reading your post.

    Definitely ‘not asseptable’ for te left to be telling the delusional right it is ‘NOT ASSEPTABLE’ in order to just save their weekend virtue & superior morality as learned by reading the latest issue of Organic Farmer Almanac.

    No, wait – I see what I’ve just done.

    I’m calling out my own unasseptable position expressed above, I shall go and reflect upon my behaviour while I drink my stevia sweetened, soy dandyccino* and listen to Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs – the vinyl edition naturally.

    (*dandelion drink crappuccino)
    **Please eckscuse my crimes against grammar, punctuation and writing style.

  8. Carlene
    August 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Yes yes yes Brilliant, purposeful vent Helen
    Why cannot they see the system is broken? All the protests, twibbons, ribbons, selfies. #s in the world and we still have this government, wars, Gaza. unmanned drones, poverty, inequality, rich getting richer, the gap getting bigger, the planet being destroyed. We are not doing both, we are not fixing anything

  9. August 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Particularly loved the Goldman reference. As a lapsed anarchist I got so sick of reading and hearing that bit of fluff. I was told Albert Meltzer replied “If we aren’t having a revolution why are we dancing?” (or words to that effect).

    • August 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Goodness, yes. It’s such great arse. Like, if I’m not having a thrilling time at the winter palace, then I’m going home.

  10. Kronomex
    August 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I find Andrews excuse of “security concerns” to be a piss weak excuse for not appearing. It’s all the bad publicity, and trying to arrange for this bunch of religious zealots to use parliament room(s) to host their vile views, that he’s received. Is it the Catch the Fire nutters from Canada or that nasty little slug Danny Nalliah that seem to have hijacked the congress? My biggest problem is that these types of anti-justabout everything “religious” groups are almost always run by small minded nasty little men who seem more interested (I’m a male by the way) in controlling women and money…lots and lots of money.

    I’m an atheist but willing to listen to just about any reasonable argument about religion but watch out if they aren’t prepared to listen to my point of view.

    • August 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      I was at pains to say that the Congress are tools. Not the point.

  11. Kronomex
    August 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Tools for the non-existent super being that lives in the sky or tools in general? By the way, it would be pleasant to see more articles like this one but can’t see them ever appearing in the lamestream media.

    • August 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Oh for heaven’s sake. You don’t have to approve. And this Sam Harris “imaginary friend” stuff is pretty naff. Religion is not the problem.
      I write this stuff in Crikey and other professional places.

  12. August 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Helen, here’s your invitation to put your energy into being the revolution you want to see rather than hating on grassroots activists. As grassroots activists, we’ve successfully forced the World Congress of Families to show it’s true colours. They are not merely “religious nutters”, they exert undue influence in governments globally. The US situation where abortion clinics are being shut down and women who have miscarried or self-aborted are charged and imprisoned, has been spurred on by these extremists through their influence on legislators. The fact is that, in the cancellation of venues thanks to pressure maintained by grassroots activists, the WCF has teamed up with the Catch the Fire Ministries led by Danny “the 2009 bush fires were God’s punishment on Victorians for de-criminalising abortion” Nalliah. This has flushed the populist vote-hungry politicians out. This shows that their complicity extends only as far as their potential vote goes. They haven’t gotten away with camouflaging the WCF as acceptable or innocuous- they were forced to back down. We gave the clear message at our press conference yesterday that we won’t have our rights taken away by right-wing “profit before people” government policies influenced by the hard-right. I didn’t see you there. This is not a reformist exercise, it’s just the start to people realising their collective power. Radical Women joined with other activist groups and individuals in a united front to beat back the far-right. We are claiming victory on this one and we will keep fighting on. We did more than “fuck shit up” to quote you. We combined our energies, we collaborated and we demonstrated what collective effort can achieve.

    See you on the line to keep the rosary parade from the gate at Clinic Defence, 4th saturday of the month, 118 Wellington St. East Melbourne.

    • August 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      I appreciate that you see what you’re doing as constructive. I don’t happen to agree.
      I am not ” hating on” (god whatever happened to simple direct tense) but pointing out that “claiming victory” as you have is the opposite of what is achieved. And that you think you have done something victorious is actually a little dangerous.
      Because inequality is on the rise. And as activists have focused their efforts on identity and tolerance and, as in this case, the most self-evident brutality, inequality has risen.
      In short. These old forms of protest are not working. Not at all. We need to think and then act. Whether my body is at a termination clinic or not is irrelevant.
      Please think about the ideological foundation of your strategy. Admit that these strategies may have achieved something short of victory. Then think some more.

  13. Gaye Demanuele
    August 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    We don’t need agreeableness. What is your solution? What is your plan? You are intelligent, you have analytical skills, you write well, however, you spend a lot of your energy fostering negativity rather than bringing your ideas and energies for revolution and justice to the table. If you are real about the need for societal change, than how do you envisage it? I want to read about that.

    BTW- I equally don’t agree with “banning” MPs from attending any conference as that tactic can be used to censor anyone. I do believe in strategies that raise awareness in society about the contempt that the government is holding us in and what we can collectively do about it.

    Also, forgive my errant apostrophe. ‘It’s’ should have been more correctly ‘its’.

    • August 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      My plan is to think.
      I genuinely believe antique forms of protest do more harm in the way they address a past that no longer holds power
      I believe we’re at an impasse waiting for the next great thought. I believe that in the meantime, middling writers like me can popularize the thoughts of some of the Left’s better but unfashionable thinkers of the last half century.
      You may feel that I am “hating on”. You may believe it is better to do something than nothing. I tend to the view that “nothing” (if that is what you believe reviewing thought is) is currently better than something.
      To point out a problem is fine. One is not required to afford a solution. All I’m saying (which is mostly borrowed from Marx, Adorno, Marcuse, Foucault, Baudrillard, Zizek and others; we all borrow thought and only very great minds such as those listed synthesize new ones. I know no one personally who is an original thinker and I imagine you don’t, either) is that to fix a problem, we need to identify it.
      And as for termination or just about anything else you can name, it’s not morality that prevents access. It’s poverty.
      I appreciate that you feel you’re doing something. (I have to say though. If you go ahead with an Unwelcome Ceremony that involves non-Indigenous people, you deserve all the Koori critique you get).
      I just think it’s time to think again. It’s been about forty years since activists engaged with ideas and new ways of doing things.
      If it makes you feel better to march, that’s okay. Even an end in itself. But consider for a moment that these old tactics no longer function. And that your quest is more morally than materially engaged.
      Finally. I am blind. I don’t find protest generally accessible.

  14. Gaye Demanuele
    August 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    To clarify: We are not staging an “unwelcome ceremony”, our action is titled: ‘Give the WCF the “welcome” they deserve’.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/730623416997693/744976342229067/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

    I agree that the problem is not one of morality, but of poverty. Poverty and inequality inflicted on the people by neo-con government policies in the interests of profit for capitalist interests. The point that is often missed is that religion and morality are used to obfuscate this fact and as a mask to implement these policies. We are calling that out. Yes, reformist parties have co-opted elements of the day of action for their own agenda. However, the grassroots organisers have stayed on message, that is on the political, not the morality aspect.

    I also agree that it is important to continually review thought and action.

    • August 29, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      I received an email inviting me specifically to an “unwelcome ceremony” from ctbbtfr, I can send it to you if you wish. I replied stating the possible revulsion some might feel for this appropriation.
      This is the par

      An alliance of feminists, LGBTQI activists, unionists, refugee and anti-racist activists, and atheist and religious people against bigotry is causing chaos for conference organiser Babette Francis of the Endeavour Foundation (formerly Women who Want to be Women) by infiltrating the Congress and organising a disruptive “Unwelcome Ceremony” at 8am Equal Love Demonstration at 11am and family-friendly “Block Party against Hate” at 1.30pm wherever the Congress attempts to meet.

    • August 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      As for your assertion that you are “calling it out” (the playground feel of this oft-asserted verb unintentionally describe its effectiveness as a strategy well, I think). Well. No. There is no link being drawn to power, here. This is seen as pure power. And as I am certain you agree, fundamentalist Christianity isn’t the problem.
      If you think that it this is a foundation for power and not just an unconscious ideology building exercise for those who are actually fairly powerless (sure, Andrews has more power than he should but then again, they all do) then I urge you to reassess. And if you think that by “calling it out” and doing what you think is a great reveal from underneath the magician’s cloth, you are mistaken. You have done precisely as much as the atheist movement has done to “call out” Christianity. You have erroneously revealed ultra Christianity as the source of power. IN your actions or the more formal parliamentary ones, this whole things smacks of advocating for tolerance by refusing to tolerate the intolerant. And really. We need to move away from that thinking which has Being Nice as its centre.
      Please don’t tell people to come to rallies as proof of their passion. And please don’t insult the rosary. Not, at least, on my digital home. I just won’t stand for that kind of intolerance.

  15. Captain James
    August 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    “Australians, who whatever you say about them are in great favour of a secular public life and despise what they see as fundamentalism”….

    One wonders what evidence there is for this statement.

    • August 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      A Royal Commission into sexual abuse within churches. A colony that was formed in secular Enlightenment principles. An underclass of convicts and Indigenous peoples who were long suspicious of the power of the church. An absence of religious talk in political discourse, unlike the US. A general revulsion for the removal of abortion rights with its anti proponents almost always beaten. The popularity of pro-choice atheists like Peter Singer. Relatively low figures of attendance at temples. A public intellectual life that has no religious figure of which I can think. The immense and open popularity of atheism in the early part of this century. I’ll think of some more.

  16. Neil
    August 29, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Except that “the left” has banned nothing. There’s been a lot of public discussion that’s made a number of venues wary of the controversy they’ll be hosting. The WCF have finally landed in the venue they desrve, the churchy compound of a bunch of lame-brained fundamentalist nutters, where they can go the hack for all I care.

    Free speech has led to enough voices raised that conservative politicians have thought twice about turning up to endorse the WCF conference. Good. Okay, fair enough, it might be that by attending, La Berbardi and co. will bring discredit upon themselves, but it rubs both ways. Their presence also confers legitimacy on these haters (as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Centre for, amongst other things, all thier efforts in helping to demonise LGBT folk in Africa and Eastern Europe).

    The WCF hasn’t been banned. They’re just struggling in the market place of ideas to find willing ears. It’s otherwise a well funded, slick international operation. It’s about time they suffered a defeat after all thier appalling successes in Russia, Serbia, Nigeria and Uganda.

    • August 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      So, you just see winning small non-strategic battles as okay? “It’s about time” for a win because it’s deserved? This is the problem I have, really. It’s about minor vengeance for specific groups and not about revulsion for a system.

  17. Filipio
    August 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Coherence lost at ‘Emma Goldman was a douche’. To suggest: ‘all the Left wants now is capitalism with a human face’ and simultaneously direct a gratuitous insult at a lifelong, committed anti-capitalist activist and anarchist suggests an inclination to self-indulgent psuedo-intellectual posturing.

    • August 29, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Please. Take this opportunity to go fuck yourself with your fixation on a small joke locate a page on the Internets more to your liking.

  18. Gaye Demanuele
    August 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    In the interest of clarity-
    Any reference to “welcome” or “unwelcome” by the CTBBTFR was to the fact that Robert Clark, Attorney-General of Victoria, was to open the Congress with a “Welcome to Victoria” ceremony. As Napthine later facetiously explained: in the capacity of “promoting tourism”. There was never an intent to “culturally appropriate” or to disrespect First Nations people or groups. CTBBTFR used the word “welcome” satirically to make a point, not to disrespect any group of people or individuals.
    Your attempts at divisiveness are at best pitiable, and at worst, contemptible Helen.

    • August 29, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      I’m just quoting an email at your request. Not being contemptible. Just give it a rest and learn not to do bad pr in future.
      And if I’d wanted to make a point of your screw up, I would have.

  19. TM
    August 29, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    You are the voice crying out in the wilderness, Helen. Your piece put me in mind of a point made by Helene Cixous — we need to find the language that will prophesy our age: a new way to discuss modern atrocities, global venalization, the noxious encroachment of wealth. You give me hope.

    • August 30, 2014 at 12:37 am

      I haven’t read much Cixous. Stopped with Irigaray and Kristeva. I must. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. CAP
    August 30, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Could sentence 3 here,

    “Second, it gives Blot et al the chance to accuse the soft-Left of being politically correct and demanding of good behaviour. And not without cause, frankly. Who the fuck is the Left to ban things? The Left should be a force of a type it is itself banned. Instead, it comes over like Super Nanny and cries “that’s unasseptable”.”

    read: The Left should be a force of a type that it is itself banned.

    Sorry, I think I absorbed the rest but stick on that sentence. I can’t stop tripping on it, and no matter what intonation I try, I just can’t get it to sit. Am I interpreting that right? You want the Left to be so obnoxious they are banned? haha ok. Does that mean you are anti soft power? Because it gets confusing if I read it this way and then you say let the Right hang themselves and give them enough rope too… because that is kind of passive resistance or soft power rather than force isn’t it?…. something that beckons people to the Left rather than screaming at them to get over here lest they be spanked for their naughtiness. Unless you are redefining force as soft power, but to help differentiate between hard and soft power I’ve generally seen hard power described as force and soft power more as… conversion… sort of. I would think that the technique of letting them look like idiots so even those who support them have to agree they are repugnant is less force and more just giving the Right a soft place to land when they realise these people are jerks.

    But the danger is, without some sort of opposing commentary at least, what if they don’t realise. Lost people can be herded in all sorts of directions to try and fit in. What if it gets all crucible like and everyone starts running around trying to hang all the Goodie Proctors? Seems risky to say absolutely nothing, but I think the idea that what is said should be metered and diplomatic, rather than the usual knee-jerk over reaction is correct. Makes the Left look just as bigoted and bad if they start insulting people’s deities just for the fun of it and then expect those people who’ve been ridiculed to be more tolerant of the Lefts ideals, when the Left are smashing into something others believe is very real, and are very passionate about. It’s also a bit of a slap in the face to the Christian left as you identify.

    I am guessing “unasseptable” is a reference to the fact the Left will obviously all be drunk on Chardonnay while saying it?

    Your writings a’ight. Looks like you practice and stuff. Keep it up.

    • August 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

      I mean the Left must act less like someone who has power. And should be so naughty, it is itself banned.
      Acting like the Moral Majority or the Christian Temperance Union is just a bad look. It has succeeded in making this conference of rectums arem oppressed. Should be the other way ’round.

  21. Kerry
    August 30, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Exactly! This article started so well I was actually picking my quote to preface the facebook share with, then it became yes um ta. We are doing that and the fact a heap of government ministers were attending is about policy so what on earth is this potentially great article even about besides nothing?

  22. Kerry
    August 30, 2014 at 6:10 am

    But they’re not non strategic. They’re absolutely battles. They’ve infiltrated to key ministries of our front bench and try to hide behind cuddly words like ‘family’ and ‘freedom’. The connections to men who hold serious power to implement their policies has been exposed, so much so that those who are ministers now won’t publically associate and attend their own conference. It’s hardly sending them underground. They’re in the cabinet and Melbourne has achieved an early step on the journey of driving them out. They’re not going to disappear or become more exposed, rather they get stronger, develop their influence and sure up their privilige through networking if we just ignore them.

  23. Kerry
    August 30, 2014 at 6:14 am

    It’s exactly about revulsion for a system.

  24. Captain James
    August 30, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Suggest you read the recent Brandis speech, he’s Australia’s Attorney General; suggest you gen up on current rates of Aboriginal deaths in custody, a flick through health stats in that area would be useful; suggest you have a chat with some of the people working in and around off shore detention camps; also have a chat with Ron Williams about the political structuers surrounding school chaplaincy….I could think of more…but I won’t bother…

    I think you live in a fantasy world Helen. A naive enclave of romanticised Australian pop culture. Your oft stated views encapsulate, for me, everything that is wrong with white Australia, crapping on and on in your own little corner, while missing the sound of the jackboots marching down your street. Good luck with it all.

    • August 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Your views encapsulate for me everything that is wrong with the modern Internet.
      This post is implicitly and explicitly informed by the urgent need for change. Did you miss the five thousand times I said “inequality is getting worse”. Rates of
      Indigenous Peoples in Australian prisons are shocking and worse since the system was privatized.
      My point is, as they say in crocodile country, it’s not the reptiles you can see.
      Yes. There is a terrible crocodile problem. I think you don’t get crocodiles by “calling them out” in the Senate or at a protest. Please reread

  25. Carlene
    August 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    The danger in ensuring these men do not publicly go to these vile conferences, is that people think this type of protest has somehow worked & sent them scurrying back to their dark holes, chastised and changed. Let them attend publicly, let them show their true faces to the Australian people, let them dwell in the vile far right looney bin. Do not allow their megaphones, Bolt et al, to score points around the oppression of the left against those exercising their “God-given” right to free speech

    That’s it really

  26. Carlene
    August 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    too many “viles”?

  27. Skewer
    August 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    ‘Congress’ is singular

  28. CAP
    August 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    OK then.

    Need a basic acknowledgement that I’ve heard/understood button. Maybe an ear instead of a thumb or something. I don’t really feel a need to respond but I’d like to since you’ve gone to the effort to answer my question. I don’t have a button though, and my opinions can be quite flexible according to circumstance, so something like a thumb seems somehow too affirmative for my own state of flux.

    Message received though, over and out.

  29. Skewer
    August 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    TL;DR

  30. SuDragon
    August 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    It would be interesting to see if there’s an upswing in the local sex industry; Well-reputed Houses of Ill Repute, Ladies (or Gentleman) of the Night, Afternoon or that time just after lunch but before the afternoon meetings begin or Stores that sell (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) novelties and other things of a salacious nature.

  31. Sarah
    August 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Helen. I agree with your assessment of what passes for the “Left” on the Australian political landscape. However, I have a problem with your suggestion that we let them (the conservatives in this case) say what they want to say:

    “First, genuine censure will shroud the real intentions of the nut-butter Right. Let Bernardi and Andrews and that nong Abetz go. Let them show their irrationality which is otherwise concealed under the suit of liberalism. Let Australians, who whatever you say about them are in great favour of a secular public life and despise what they see as fundamentalism, know how shitty their representatives can be. Enough rope, as they say.”

    In rightly criticising a vapid social/egalitarian liberalism, I don’t think proffering the classical liberalist position, which is anti-censorship, will be effective. They are cut from the same cloth. This position you take is the same as Milton in his Areopagitica…”bad ideas” must be allowed their out in order for us to see the “true” nature of the speaker. In other words, I don’t think we can dismantle one form of liberalism with another. I know you don’t think so either, but that’s what you just suggested.

    • August 31, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      I am not promoting the liberal idea of the Freedom of Speech, here. I don’t see free speech as a “human right” but I guess I am eager for us to be able to see the genealogy of ideas. This isn’t really much to do with classical liberalism. It is probably more to do with Nietzsche.
      Ours is an especially stupid age. The concealment of ideas is at an all-time high. I know there has never been a golden era where everyone was smart but I know that there are even very few public intellectuals no who discuss the idea of the need to identify the truly influential thoughts.
      And I would argue, again and again, that fundamentalist Christianity is not as influential as the protestors would have us believe.
      I would say two things. On a popular level, it is really really good to see Kevin Andrews accepting this antique insanity. I makes the current government seem as populated by idiots as it is. Andrews association with this mob is now forced underground and you can bet your bottom dollar that he has had private consultations wit these turds and we no longer get to see his public association. This is a great shame. On a broad level, reports of his actual public involvement with a group of people who distribute showbags full of plastic foetuses would have been great. But that involvement has now been stopped.
      On a more intellectual level, it is distressing, as mentioned, that the purported Left see such conferences as the real foundation of inequality.
      I guess in the past I had libertarian tendencies toward free speech and I still kinda do, I suppose. But much more than a sort of IPA view of expression I hold with the Nietzscheam view that morals should be obvious and the psychoanalytic idea that things become more influential when they are veiled.
      So I would say that the protest is a kind of nanny social temperance that wants us not to “ban” things as though this would stop their influence. And I would say that this is not only quite pointless in that it does not allow us to see the stupidest ideas function AND that it elevates these ideas to an importance they don’t actually have thereby making fundamentalist religion seeming like a force stronger than the market economy, which has no morality.
      So just because I might agree with the idea of free or untrammelled speech, it doesn’t mean I am liberal at all.
      Ideas, whether they are freely expressed or not, exist and have influence. And there is a much stronger practical political case for letting them out that demonising them.
      Opposition makes some ideas seem stronger. You can see this in social media with the liberal-Left currently upturning evidence of objection via trolls. You can certainly see this in the bullshit of Nick Cater or Blot who will make these protests against what they will claim are “everyday people” (even though they are not) seem like nannyism.
      And I think it is very difficult to argue that Just Saying No to ideas that are far better ridiculed than forced into hiding is in any way effective.
      This view of mine is less liberal than it is genealogical. We must look at morals and how they have been permitted to prosper and/or obfuscate the accumulation of wealth and the growth of inequality. Just Saying No is a nonsense.

  32. Sarah
    February 17, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Ha! I’ve only just now read your wonderful response. Been busy. This makes me wonder about Nietzsche’s liberalism, but I now need to do more reading (as usual). Lots to think about, so tah!

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