Tuesday, December 01, 2020



Jordan Peterson: how the left manufactured a folk devil

Over the past few days, Jordan Peterson’s critics have been doing their utmost to publicise his forthcoming book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The famous clinical psychologist announced the publication on his YouTube channel on Monday, and within hours the book was being widely denounced on social media for its hateful content. This is quite a feat of the collective imagination, given that nobody has read it yet.

Much of the furore has come about because employees at the Canadian branch of the publisher, Penguin Random House, have called for the book to be cancelled. After multiple complaints were filed, they confronted their management at a meeting in which some burst into tears and shared their stories of how the evil Professor Peterson had caused such emotional havoc in their lives due to his ‘problematic’ opinions. According to a report in Vice, ‘one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalised their father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend’.

This is just the latest example of a new trend of activist employees threatening to strike for ideological reasons. At the audio-streaming company Spotify, workers recently demanded editorial control of Joe Rogan’s newly acquired podcast series, after they had successfully removed a number of episodes deemed to be controversial. At publishing giant Hachette, employees threatened to walk out after JK Rowling’s children’s book, The Ickabog, was announced. All these internal revolts have failed, presumably because figures such as Rowling, Rogan and Peterson are too popular to cancel. One wonders how a less lucrative artist would fare under such circumstances.

When I reviewed 12 Rules for Life for spiked (published alongside a counterview by Luke Gittos), I noted that there were two Jordan Petersons. The first ‘a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto with a particular interest in religious and ideological belief systems’, and the second ‘a notorious firebrand of the alt-right… a transphobic provocateur whose lectures amount to little more than hate speech’. As I pointed out, only the first of these two actually exists.

The viperous attacks on Peterson we have seen on social media over the last few days can only be described as a kind of hysteria. He has been smeared as a ‘Nazi apologist’ and a ‘fascist’ by people whose familiarity with Peterson’s work amounts to a few bad-faith articles and a smattering of selective quotations taken out of context.

He has routinely been called ‘far right’, even though the core tenets of the actual far right – a sense of racial or national superiority, support for authoritarianism and the worship of the state – represent the polar opposite of Peterson’s worldview. Many critics have attempted to broaden the traditional definition of the ‘far right’ – incorporating cultural conservatism, a belief in the importance of personal responsibility and an awareness of biological sex differences – so that it can then be applied to Peterson. This is the equivalent of attaching plastic horns to a bulldog so that you can call it a monster.

True, there are subsidiary features common to the far right: homophobia, sexism and other reactionary viewpoints. But to brand anyone as ‘far right’ on the basis of these things alone – particularly when they are imagined rather than supported by the evidence – is a form of political illiteracy. Peterson’s opposition to feminism is well documented and there are legitimate arguments to be had over the merits of his views. But even if one were convinced that they are tantamount to chauvinism, this would not be sufficient to justify the epithet of ‘far right’. Were that the case, then there would no longer be any distinction to be made between Benny Hill and Hermann Göring.

The determination to misrepresent Peterson’s ideas is on a par with the frenzy surrounding JK Rowling, whose compassionate and nuanced views on the ways in which gender-critical feminism and trans activism are in conflict have been taken as proof that she is the devil incarnate. This monstering of public figures, based on the flimsiest of evidence, is indicative of a cultural and intellectual malaise that we would be foolish to ignore. There are all sorts of sensible reasons to take issue with Peterson’s opinions, but why has it become so difficult for so many to present a counter-argument without resorting to adolescent catastrophising?

Consider the words of a junior employee at Penguin Random House. Peterson is apparently ‘an icon of hate speech and transphobia’ and ‘an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book’. When pushed for further detail, such people invariably claim the power to intuit Peterson’s private feelings, but simply declaring that your ideological opponents are harbouring malevolent intentions is only evidence of your desire that they should. This is why the accusation of ‘dog whistling’ – sending out secret signals that only one’s followers can hear – is so common. As one of his critics put it on Twitter, ‘one thing Peterson does consistently is toss bones and winks to his far-right followers, couched in vague or ambiguous terms that allow him to say that of course he didn’t mean THAT’. It takes an acute kind of narcissism to assume that you are able to divine the secret workings of someone else’s mind simply because you have decided that it must be so.

It should go without saying that if you believe that books ought to be cancelled simply because you disagree with their contents, a career in publishing is probably not for you. We need to reckon with this new reality of our times: that there exists a substantial proportion of the adult population, educated to university level, who are nonetheless incapable of critical thinking and lack the basic skills of argumentation. Worse still, many of the most vicious comments about Peterson – including mocking him for a benzodiazepine addiction brought on by his wife’s cancer diagnosis – have come from those who believe themselves to be compassionate and virtuous campaigners for justice. If such people really are ‘on the right side of history’, then the future of humanity looks pretty bleak.

Peterson’s key thesis is that life is unbearable without a sense of purpose, and that this can largely be achieved through personal responsibility and taking charge of one’s life. He believes that civilisations collapse without structure, which is why children ought to be socialised in accordance with the ethical parameters we set for ourselves. He maintains that science and technology have improved our lives, but do not satisfy our need for meaning. This is why his work focuses on the stories that recur in ancient traditions and religious beliefs. There is wisdom in these narratives, he argues, even if their supernatural elements have no basis in reality.

If you find these views rebarbative, you can always offer a rebuttal or choose not to expose yourself to Peterson’s output. If you need to indulge in straw-man arguments, or convince yourself that he is ‘alt right’ or ‘fascist adjacent’ in order to justify your opposition, then you are in no position to complain if you are not taken seriously. Screaming abuse at those who enjoy Peterson’s writing, or calling for his book to be cancelled, is not the behaviour of a responsible member of a civilised society. If you don’t like his work – either because of its actual contents or what you have simply imagined them to be – then don’t buy his books. Problem solved.

We need to ask ourselves how we have reached the point where grown adults are willing to accept such wild mischaracterisations of public figures without even attempting to engage with the reality of what they say and think. We need to redress the widespread historical ignorance that dilutes the terms ‘Nazi’ and ‘fascist’ to meaningless slurs. We need to restore critical thinking in our education system to counteract the ongoing degradation of public and political discourse. We need to consider how anyone above the age of 16 believes that throwing insults is an effective form of rebuttal. This isn’t simply about Jordan Peterson; this is about the kind of hysteria he inspires in an infantile society. Something has to change.

California: ISIS Jihadi Stabs Four in University Classroom, University Blames Toxic Masculinity

The FBI last Wednesday released new details about the case of Faisal Mohammad, who in November 2015, while he was a freshman at the University of California, Merced, entered a classroom and stabbed four people. It was already known back at the time of the attack that young Mohammad was a jihadi: The College Fix reported that he “was found to have an image of the ISIS flag, a handwritten manifesto with instructions on how to behead someone, and reminders to pray to Allah.” The new information that has just been released about the case only confirms this, and shows up the abject idiocy of the university’s utterly predictable reaction to the attack.

Mohammad, according to the Associated Press, “planned to praise Allah while slitting the throats of classmates and use a gun taken from an ambushed officer to kill more.” Then he planned to call 911 to report the killings, “read the Quran until he heard sirens, and then ‘take calm shot after shot’ with the gun” when the police arrived. He mapped out a detailed for his jihad; it “included putting on a balaclava at 7:45 a.m. and saying ‘in the name of Allah’ before stepping into his classroom and ordering students to use zip-ties he provided to bind their hands. Mohammad also planned to make a fake 911 distress call to report a suicidal guy [sic; this is how they write at AP these days] and wait for police outside the classroom before ambushing from behind ‘and slit calmly yet forcefully one of the officers with guns.’” Presumably in the officer’s throat, in accordance with the Qur’an’s directive, “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4).

All this stands in stark contrast to how the attack was initially reported, and even more to the reaction to it at the University of California, Merced. Mohammad’s attack, as The College Fix noted back in November 2015, was widely characterized as “revenge for being kicked out of a study group.” Even worse, instead of waking up to the reality of Islamic jihad, many at the University of California-Merced mourned for the attacker, with a Facebook “R.I.P” tribute to Faisal Mohammad “gaining massive support among the campus community.”

Not even that was enough for the relentlessly woke UC Merced faculty, who hosted a “teach-in” that about 200 students attended, entitled “Don’t Turn Our Tragedy Into Hate.” It didn’t mention Islam or jihad at all, except in the context of discussion about how Muslims are victims of “Islamophobia.” According to one student who attended the teach-in, “‘Islamophobia’ was cited as the reason people want to call it a terrorist attack….‘People were quick to sympathize with the attacker and assume anyone who thought this was related to radical Islam was a xenophobic racist.’”

Among the topics discussed were “What does mental health have to do with this?”; “How do we define our community – what lives are grievable?”; and “What do race and religion have to do with this?”

Standing out in this soup of fashionable Leftist shibboleths was this: “Why are men more likely to be perpetrators of violence?” One speaker suggested that the attack was all about men not being allowed to be weak, self-centered, weepy narcissists: “Anger, that is really what we think about when we think about emotional men. They are subject to social sanctions if they deviate from masculinity. If you are perceived as failing at it, you are subject to being called a fag, a pussy, a wimp, pretty much what women are, right? So when you have this limited ability to sort of express your emotions and possible feelings of emasculation, of low self-esteem, how do you really [deal with] that? A lot of times they … engage in violence. They need to compensate for their loss of masculinity in the most manly way they have access to, and unfortunately, a lot of times that’s violence.”

Of course! It was all about toxic masculinity, don’t you see? If poor Faisal hadn’t been so pressured to conform to “society’s notions of masculinity,” if he had just been able to put on a comfy shift and lounge around his dorm room in high heels, he never would have gone on his stabbing spree! Faisal Mohammad stabbed four people just because he was a sensitive soul in a world that was too harsh for him.

Why, what other explanation could there possibly be?

The University of California Merced is no different from any other campus all over the country today: full of self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual, indoctrinated bots who have been thoroughly imbued with the notion that when Islamic jihadists attack us, it is our fault.

All too many even among law enforcement and counterterrorism officials assume the same thing. No number of Faisal Mohammads, and there will be many more, will convince them otherwise. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate but true that eventually all this denial and willful ignorance is going to blow up in everyone’s face. We can only hope that the blow-up won’t be literal.

Liberals Want You Demoralized, So Don’t Be

The next guy who tells me his sad feelz are so intense over the election that he’s not going to vote in Georgia or anywhere else ever again cuz all is lost and blah blah blah is getting slapped.

Hard. I’m getting tired of loser talk, and I won’t have it.

This is for the benefit of the weak-hearts: Oh no, did you have a set-back? Did stuff not work out the way you wanted? Is it – gasp! – hard?

Too bad. Man up. Or woman up. Or genderfluid up. Just stop bawling like Brian Stelter over his cousins when he gets passed a bowl of mashed potatoes and get your head right. We’re in a fight. Fix your bayonets and follow me over the top.

Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?

Freedom, justice, and liberty aren’t easy to win. If they were, everyone would have them. When the going gets tough, the tough don’t act like a bunch of millennial college students sobbing over microaggressions – and when you find, to your horror as I just did, that Word recognizes and autocorrects “microaggressions,” you don’t take that as a sign of cultural defeat and just give up and put in your application for cultural serfdom.

Die on your feet before you live on your knees.

Here’s how it’s going to be. Whether Trump ends up winning or losing – the court battles continue – you’re going to support the Republicans in Georgia in January and everywhere else thereafter. You’re not going to pout in performative despair about how the mean old Democrats cheated and how there’s no point in voting and boo hoo hoo. You’re going to elect people to stop the libs, winning outside the margin of fraud, and you’re going to keep fighting against fixed elections in court and elsewhere.

Is it always going to be fair or right or honest? No. So what?

This all brings to mind the new book by my friend and fellow Townhall alum Michael Walsh, Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost, in which he chronicles a bunch of remarkable fights against all odds throughout history (including his Marine father’s story of the Chosin Reservoir, which alone is worth the price of the book). Sometimes you win these fights, like the Brits did at Rorke’s Drift (there’s a tribute to Zulu in the form of a battle in California in my new conservative action novel Crisis). And yeah, sometimes you lose. The Romans lost to my ancestors at the Teutoburg Forest and the cavalry lost to Elizabeth Warren’s ancestors at Little Big Horn. But here’s the thing – you don’t give up.

At Cannae, Hannibal slaughtered 80,000 Romans. And not just any Romans – lying dead in the dirt were the cream of Roman society. But did the Romans give up? Did they start talking about how Carthage cheated and now there was no hope and how they might as well ditch Jupiter and get on the Baal bus?

No.

They built another army. And then they fought. And eventually, they razed Carthage, sold everyone that they didn’t run through with a gladius to the highest bidder, and sowed the fields with salt.

See, that’s how hard people take care of business.

Now, compare and contrast that with the social media sissies who insist that because Biden cheated and because some GOP wimps are wimpy, they’re just going to take their votes and go home. Sure, some of these are liberal bots trying to incite people into sitting out Georgia. But some people pushing this suicide pact are misguided cons blinded by emotion.

If you are so mad and frustrated by this bogus election and the fact that the Republicans haven’t waived their magic wand and made it all better that you refuse to fight the libs anymore, then you’re no better than some simpering sophomore majoring in Trans Poetry of Upper Volta at Gumbo State who sees the American flag and starts “literally shaking.”

No, we won’t give up. Not until we exhaust our remedies to this fraudulent election and not until we use our considerable political power to ensure it never happens again in the future. And we don’t give up then either.

We never give up. Never.

Yeah, we are headed for tough times, with a garbage Establishment that will use garbage corporations and garbage media along with garbage bureaucrats to stomp their Gucci loafers in our faces, but it won’t be forever. They are weak, and they are stupid, and they are brittle. We will win. But we have to fight.

History is not over. The defeatists eschew hope, maybe out of misguided angst but maybe because giving up lets them off the hook. Freedom is hard, serfdom is easy. If you want to be like the Fredocon weenies, begging for scraps from their Establishment masters, your life will be easier. You’ll just not be a man. If you can live with that, as the Bulwark slugs can and do, then ahoy soft and safe submission.

But if you can’t live like a gimp, then pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and get back in the battle. History teaches that today’s last stand is tomorrow’s victory.

Australian Prime Minister and defence chief Angus Campbell at odds over war crimes report

General Campbell gets it wrong -- again. Past wisdom: "He decided that it was terribly wrong for our service personnel to be wearing “symbology” portraying death. Seemingly ignoring the fact that a soldier’s job is to engage and kill the enemy, Campbell says, “This is not where we need to be as a national institution. As soldiers our purpose is to serve the state, employing violence with humility always and compassion wherever possible. The symbology to which I refer erodes this ethos of service.”

The Sydney Daily Telegraph got it right when it said, “There’s your new army slogan: “Employing Violence with Humility”. It’ll probably sound less stupid in Latin.

It appears to have escaped General Campbell’s notice that he himself wears the Infantry Combat Badge that displays a bayonet. The bayonet has one purpose and that is to kill and maim. Is this befuddled General going to ban that badge too.

General Angus Campbell seems to favour focusing on gender issues instead of concentrating on our reduced military capabilities within our own region. Last year Campbell addressed a Defence Force conference on recruitment at which time he said,

“The number one priority I have with respect to recruitment is increasing our diversity, with a focus on women and indigenous Australians.” In summing this up Cori Bernardi also took into account the issuing of Halals ration to our troops when he said, “This demonstrates just how our military has been captured by minority interests and appears to have suspended the application of common sense.”

Campbell is a Duntroon graduate so has some claim to being a real soldier but as far as I can tell he has never been shot at so his judgement seems to be essentially civilian. Why can we not have a real soldier with substantial combat experience running our forces?

One consolation is that he has not emulated the extremely politically correct Lieutenant General David Morrison, best known for walking around in women's high heeled shoes! What has the army come to? It is a long way from the army I served in many years ago


It's not often we see the Prime Minister and the Chief of Defence at odds, but the Brereton Report detailing allegations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan has exposed a public rift between the two and it's already pretty clear who will win the argument.

General Angus Campbell won mostly praise for his handling of this bombshell report released 10 days ago.

As Chief of Army, he was the one who commissioned the inquiry four years ago and now as Defence Chief, General Campbell accepted the findings and recommendations with the seriousness and gravity they deserved.

In one of the darkest moments for the Australian Defence Force, the General is seen by both sides of politics to have responded well.

Mostly, anyway. Then came the reaction

On one matter, there was immediate controversy: the decision to strip a group citation for the special forces in Afghanistan. It was hardly the most significant recommendation of the report; a unit citation is not a war medal and stripping it is hardly akin to what might be in store for those who committed war crimes.

But it was by far the most sensitive recommendation, given the number of troops affected and the signal sent to the broader veteran community.

When he released the report, General Campbell was clear.

"I have accepted the Inspector-General's recommendation," he said in his opening remarks to a nationally televised press conference, "and will again write to the Governor-General, requesting he revoke the Meritorious Unit Citation awarded to Special Operations Task Group rotations serving in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013."

It was presented as a final decision. The Chief of Defence had spoken. No ifs, no buts. A deployment marred by 39 alleged war crimes could hardly be considered "meritorious" any longer. The group citation was being revoked.

Then came the reaction, from the public, the veteran's community and inevitably, the politicians. Some of those who served honourably in Afghanistan and did nothing wrong wondered why they were being punished. The furious father of one commando killed in action said the citation would have to be collected "from his gravestone".

An online petition to "save" the unit citation received more than 40,000 signatures at last count.

Labor MP Luke Gosling, himself a former commando, suggested it would be "cruel" to strip the honour from 3,000 personnel, the overwhelming majority of whom served with distinction.

Within the Government, a similar view formed.

'Decisions haven't been made yet'

While the citation may not have been issued to the special forces if we knew then what we know now about events in Afghanistan, most agreed the idea of revoking it was crazy and at the end of the day, impossible to implement.

Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester, who initially supported the CDF's decision, noted calls to the Open Arms support line for veterans had doubled in the space of a week.

The Prime Minister was asked by Ben Fordham on 2GB why thousands were being punished for the "sins of a couple of dozen".

His response made it clear he was uncomfortable with General Campbell's position. "Decisions haven't been made yet on these things", he suggested, "so let's see how each step unfolds".

Morrison went on to say he was "very sensitive to the issues … as is the Defence Minister".

Morrison has a finely tuned political radar and could well be right in detecting where community sentiment lies on this issue.

Ultimately though, someone must decide. The worst outcome would be leaving it to the Governor-General (himself a former chief of defence) to choose between conflicting advice from General Campbell and the Prime Minister. To avoid that, it appears Defence has decided to blink.

Asked if General Campbell is still going to write to the Governor-General recommending the citation be revoked, a spokesperson for Defence told the ABC in a written statement, "Defence is preparing a comprehensive implementation plan to action the Inspector-General's recommendations", and "final decisions on this advice will be a matter for Government."

Decoding the language of Defence Media, it appears General Campbell's declaration 10 days ago that he would write to the Governor-General is now in doubt.

Pressure from veterans, the public and most importantly Defence's political masters has undoubtedly had an impact. It now seems most unlikely the citation will be revoked.

Instead, the special forces deployment to Afghanistan will continue to be regarded as "meritorious", despite the 39 alleged war crimes.

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My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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Monday, November 30, 2020



A Word on "Cultural Marxism"

Sean Gabb is right below to see that the heavily oppressive version of political correctness that has emerged in recent years is not well described as "Cultural Marxism". It has in fact very little to do with Marxism, except insofar as both bodies of thought are heavily oppressive.

The fact that Marxist regimes do have oppressive speech codes is a link between the two but exactly what speech is forbidden today has only a passing kinship with what Marxist regimes forbad. In fact it was criticism of the existing order that Marxist regimes most heavily forbad whereas the current movement is heavily in favour of criticizing the existing order.

The practitioners of the current obsession usually describe themselves as "woke" and the term "woke movement" seems an adequate descriptor to me. As far as I can tell, the term "woke" first arose among South African blacks who saw even black rule as oppressive towards blacks -- which it undoubtedly is. So it was simply another critique of the exiting order. It mainly manifested itself in a desire to tear down colonial-era statues, for whatever good that was supposed to do.

The term was however gladly adopted by enemies of historic statuary in Britain and the USA. It was hard to see what good the iconoclasm did but it became the vanguard of a movement that aimed to tear down conventional vocabulary. As such it mainly has nuisance value only. By adopting new words for old one can usually escape its attacks and all sorts of people are doing just that. As long as we can get on with whatever we normally do, let the vocabulary critics expend their energies on trivia.


It seems that Conservative politicians are now forbidden to use the term Cultural Marxism. The alleged reason is that it describes a Jewish conspiracy theory. The Cultural Marxist hypothesis traces the rise of political correctness and the growing use, both formal and informal, of political censorship to a group of neo-Marxists collectively known as the Frankfurt School. Since these neo-Marxists were mainly Jewish, the claim is that anyone using the term has to be anti-semitic. I accept that some who use the term have ethnic origins uppermost in their minds. Most, however, do not, but are trying to understand the connection between ideas and political action. Melanie Phillips, indeed, one of the most liberal users of the term, is herself Jewish. Whether she must now be defined as an anti-semite I leave to others. What cannot be doubted is that, wherever it started, there is an increasing censorship of political opinion, and that both Britain and America are sliding into a strange sort of outsourced totalitarianism – a totalitarianism that has no basis in written law, but proceeds by way of omnipresent propaganda and the sacking of anyone who refuses to agree with what the propaganda claims.

This being so, I am disturbed that any term of analysis for what is happening has itself become a victim of informal censorship. I am equally disturbed, though hardly surprised, that the Conservatives have so little interest in winning a battle of ideas that they are willing to let their opponents set the terms of debate. On the other hand, I do not think that Cultural Marxism is the right term of analysis. Though I have used it myself, and may even have helped introduce it into this country, I have long since come to what I think a more accurate analysis. I do not now use the term Cultural Marxism, and I do not recommend its use, because I do not believe that the present attack on liberal civilisation is in any meaningful sense Marxist.

So far as I understand him – and I write as an outsider to any school of Marxist ideology – Marx made five essential points. First, there have been, since the French Revolution, two classes – the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Second, the bourgeoisie owns the means of production and exploits the proletariat through the extraction of surplus value. Third, this is an unstable parasitism, as the reinvestment of surplus value leads to periodic crises of over-production. Fourth, these crises concentrate wealth in fewer hands and expand and immiserise the proletariat. Fifth, there will be an inevitable revolution, in which the expropriators will be expropriated and a communist society will emerge. A further and perhaps optional sixth point is that the inevitable revolution can be hurried by the defection of informed bourgeois intellectuals to radicalise and form a vanguard for the proletariat.

Now, where is any of this in the present mix of climate alarmism and obsession with the alleged oppression of racial and sexual minorities? How is capitalism supposed to be overthrown by getting Sainsbury to fill its advertisements with pictures of black people eating Christmas dinner? Ditto boycotts of Israeli pharmaceuticals? Ditto arguing with or against radical feminists over the exact status of men who change sex?

The answer, of course, is the Cultural Marxist hypothesis – that the present culture wars are a product of the writings of Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School. These men took the Marxian concept of “false consciousness” – that the bourgeoisie keeps the workers quiet by making them believe that all is for the best – and enlarged it into a project for achieving a counter-hegemony by taking over the means of cultural reproduction.

There is some truth in this answer, so far as these writings are prescribed in most university humanities departments, and many advocates of the new totalitarianism have at some time called themselves Marxists. It is, even, so a weak answer. Before about 60 AD, most Christians were Jews, and Christianity ever since has retained some Jewish religious writings among its core texts. But nothing is achieved by describing Christianity as “Gentile Judaism.” The differences between the two faiths are too essential to define either by reference to the other. In the same way, the present totalitarianism has nothing to do with the essential claims of Marxism. It lacks any interest in the analysis of surplus value, and its belief in the instability of unregulated markets derives mainly from a reading of Keynes and the welfare economists of the Cambridge School.

I prefer the term “cultural leftism.” I prefer this because the present totalitarianism is based on belief in an appearance of equality mediated by the State. It therefore has elements of socialism as reasonably defined. But it is in no sense Marxist. Its revealed preference is for a ruling class that is a coalition of politicians, administrators, policemen, lawyers, educators, plus media and business interests. So far as individuals move freely between them, these groups are mutually permeable. If they disagree over incidentals, they preside collectively over a mass of the ruled who are mostly well-nourished, but who are too atomised and intimidated by often meaningless words to combine in opposition.

Indeed, if I prefer my chosen term, I see little point in arguing against what it describes. Undoubtedly, this must be explained and opposed. But too much analysis of particulars can risk an overlooking of the much more important generality. This is that, in every time and place, there have been those who want to get on with their lives and those who want to control others. These latter will take up whatever body of ideas is most likely within the prevailing assumptions of their age to legitimise their urges.

I have written about this already – here and here. I will therefore only summarise my opinion. This is that, during the religious controversies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the will to power was dressed in the clothing of radical Protestantism. My own reading of The New Testament shows no condemnation of any rational enjoyment, and certainly no call for censorship or the regulation of lifestyle. As refashioned by those who took it up, radical Protestantism became a doctrine of guilt and gloomy thoughts, and an excuse for controlling others. Though often shown to be ill-made, this particular clothing was only abandoned once it had become threadbare with the passing of time and the rise of new concerns. In the early twentieth century, Marxism was the main preferred legitimising ideology. It was to little effect that the predictions of monopoly and immiserisation were falsified, and to none that the Austrian School showed how the analysis of surplus value was based on a misunderstanding of price formation, and how economic activity could not be coordinated without market prices. Orthodox Marxism was progressively abandoned in the West after about 1950 by everyone who mattered, only because the mass-murders had given it too bad a name, and because the workers plainly wanted more and nicer consumer goods than a planned economy could deliver.

The significance of the neo-Marxists is that they were at first the intellectual equivalent of Pethidine for the more effective advocates of total control. They were an exit from the apparent dead end of Marxism. They were then incorporated into a new legitimising ideology that, with its fanaticism and guilt-laden puritanism, might not have been recognised by Gramci and Adorno and Marcuse. This movement was driven by a need to explain why predictions of working class impoverishment had been falsified, and why the workers were happy after the Great War to support non-leftist authoritarian governments. It was a thing of its own age. It is not substantially to blame for my present fear that I shall be sacked for thinking it a good idea to leave the European Union without a deal, or my scepticism about the existence of a Great Plastic Patch – or for believing in freedom of speech and association.

On this analysis, the new totalitarians are only contingently cultural leftists – just as their predecessors were only contingently Marxists or eugenicists or Calvinists. Given a change in prevailing assumptions, their successors might easily be Moslems or white supremacists. Ideas come and go. The will to power is always there.

The problem, therefore, is not to be solved by proving that men like Adorno were wrong, or perhaps saying that they were Jewish. The problem is the existence of a State that is able to enforce the whims of people inherently inclined to totalitarian control and who are permanently in search of the most appropriate ideology to legitimise their inclinations. Now that I am growing old enough to be wise, and now it is plain there can be no conservative reaction, I see more clearly than ever that there is only one permanent solution to these waves of fanaticism that were destroying lives long before Marx was born. This is to withdraw sanction from the powers that be and to work for the destruction of the State and its replacement by a mass of autonomous communities too small and too easily escaped to oppress those living in them. This is not to be achieved by political activism, but by a process of individual defection.

I return to the term Cultural Marxism. It emerged for historical reasons. Libertarians and conservatives spent much of the twentieth century arguing against Marxism. It was comforting after about 1990 to see the new threat to freedom as a variant of something they could believe they had already defeated. But, if it really worries Jews – and many libertarians are Jewish – let it go. If using it can get you sacked from your job, let it go. It is, after all, a bad term of analysis. And whatever other terms may or may not be allowed, the facts analysed remain facts. We face a ruling class that is more than usually trying to get its way by censorship and intimidation and the ruining of careers. Make it law that we must call these people “devoted friends of humanity” – they would still be the sworn and obvious enemies of the liberal civilisation that emerged in the Enlightenment.

Potential Biden Appointee Shuts Down Hobby Lobby

A week before Thanksgiving, shoppers in Albuquerque, New Mexico strolled the aisles of Hobby Lobby, some perhaps shopping for glue guns and glitter to help with holiday decorating. Their shopping ended abruptly after an alarming announcement came over the store’s intercom.

“Attention shoppers. Attention shoppers. We regret to inform you that the sheriff’s department has decided to close us down. We need to close down immediately.”

According to local news reports, shoppers were escorted out of the store by sheriff’s deputies who were called to the store to enforce Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s new Covid lockdowns. Lujan-Grisham is one of several Democrat governors who in recent weeks has reimposed heavy-handed Covid lockdowns on her state.

It is unclear if shoppers were able to make their purchases, or if that posed too great a risk for Covid spread.

Albuquerque shopper Leslie Butikofer is a frequent shopper at that Hobby Lobby. She was outraged when she heard of the governor’s draconian edict.

“It’s out of control!” she said. “If Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, and Sam’s can stay open, what difference does it make if Hobby Lobby is open?”

Butikofer said she had planned to buy red holiday bows to decorate her home for Christmas, but says it was easier to just order them online from Amazon than to try and do a curbside pickup from Hobby Lobby.

“Money is still being spent,” she said. “People are still shopping, but just not at the local stores. Everyone is shopping online.”

Butikofer said the governor’s lockdown is an attempt to slow the spread of Covid, as cases spike in the state. “New Mexico is a Covid hot spot right now, but so is the rest of the country.”

According to Politico, Lujan-Grisham is under consideration in a potential Biden administration for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Politico reports, “The next secretary will play a key role in managing the Covid-19 response and convincing a fatigued and distrustful public to buy into the tough public health measures needed to suppress the virus.”

Don Berwick, a former Obama administration Medicare and Medicaid Chief told Politico, “It’s Covid 24/7 now. It’s got to be dealt with.”

Presumably, someone in the Biden camp thinks Lujan-Grisham’s handling of Covid in her state has been a model for the rest of the country.

Butikofer said she’s watched the governor’s weekly Covid news briefings and has seen nothing that instills any confidence in her ability to handle the pandemic at a national level.

“We have been under some of the tightest restrictions in the country since spring and it hasn’t made a difference,” she said. “Closing schools, wearing masks, closing gyms, nail salons and everything else hasn’t made a difference.”

Which makes one wonder if Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s headline-grabbing lockdowns are part of a PR campaign to gain the national spotlight to extend her career once she’s out of office. She’s been a disaster for her state and it’s hard to imagine New Mexico voters electing her to a second term.

The statewide unemployment rate was 8.1% in October, well above the 6.9% national rate. New Mexico depleted its unemployment insurance fund in September and has begun borrowing money from the federal government to fulfill claims to residents who have lost their jobs.

If that is the kind of leadership we’ll get from a Biden administration, our economy will flatline by spring. We’ll be hearing from the White House, “Attention shoppers. Attention shoppers. We regret to inform you that our country is closing down.” RIP America.

A Major Legal Victory Against LGBTQ Tyranny

With all the focus on the aftermath of the presidential elections, you might have missed an important victory in the courts last week. As reported November 20 by Liberty Counsel, which litigated the case successfully, “A three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down laws that ban counselors from providing minor clients with help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.”

This was a victory for freedom, for tolerance, for individual rights, and for therapist-client privilege. Above all, it was a victory for minors.

Liberty Counsel, led by Mat Staver, represented “Dr. Robert Otto, LMFT and Dr. Julie Hamilton, LMFT and their minor clients who challenged the constitutionality of ordinances enacted by the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County which prohibit minors from voluntary counseling from licensed professionals.”

These local, Florida ordinances were part of a disturbing national trend that prohibits minors with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion from seeking professional help.

Of course, under these same ordinances, had these minors wanted help to reinforce their same-sex attraction or gender confusion, that would have been allowed. By all means, let professionals help minors embrace their homosexual desires or their transgender identity.

But God forbid that a 15-year-old male should not want to be attracted to another male. Or an 8-year-old should not want to feel like a boy trapped in the wrong body. No professional help could be offered to them. This is how LGBTQ activists have turned our society upside down.

Let’s say, then, that this 15-year-old male had been raped repeatedly by an older, male neighbor from the ages of 7 to 9, unbeknownst to his parents. As he came into puberty, he felt confused about his sexuality, ultimately realizing he was attracted to males, not females.

He had always dreamed about getting married (meaning, to a woman!) and having children, and he was repulsed by his same-sex attraction, now sharing everything with his parents.

They say to him, “We will get you all the help you need,” and they find a highly-recommended family therapist. But when they share their situation with the therapist, the therapist replies, “Oh, I would love to help you, but it’s against the law. However, I’d be glad to help your son embrace his same-sex attractions. That is perfectly legal.”

What a perversion of fairness, of freedom, and of personal dignity. What an unrighteous and oppressive imposition of the state. Really now, what on earth gives them the right to make rulings like this?

Or consider the case of the 8-year-old girl who is troubled by feelings that she’s actually a boy in a girl’s body. This makes her very uncomfortable, causing confusion for her and her siblings. So her parents reach out to a well-trained professional, feeling they are at their wits end and unable to provide adequate help.

But when they sit down with the family counselor, the counselor says to them, “I would love to help your daughter embrace her girlhood, but I’m strictly prohibited by the law. However, here’s how I can help.

“We’ll work with your daughter to embrace the fact that she’s really a boy, sending her back to school with a new name and dressed like a boy. The school will allow her – actually him – to use the boy’s bathroom. Then, in two years, we’ll start him on hormone blockers to stop the onset of puberty, then have his breasts removed when he’s 18, then schedule him for full-scale gender confirmation surgery at 20, supplemented by male hormones for life. Isn’t that a wonderful option?”

And remember: under these oppressive ordinances, to sit and talk with the child was forbidden by law if that child wanted to feel at home in her own body. But to put her on puberty-blocking hormones as a child, then remove total healthy parts of her body, then put her on hormones for life, was allowed by the law.

To call this perverse is an understatement. Child abuse would be more accurate.

Outrageously, 20 states now ban such counseling, which they label “conversion therapy,” alleging that such therapy is harmful to minors. And last year, California almost passed a ban on such counseling for people of all ages. It would have even prohibited religious leaders from offering such counseling.

Yet this is where things are going unless believers, in particular, joined by all freedom-loving people, push back.

The LGBTQ tyranny must be challenged. The assault on individual rights must be resisted.

No one has the right to tell a young person (or any person), “You must be gay” or “You must be trans.”

Absolutely, categorically not. And that’s why this Florida victory is so important.

As to the notion that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are harmful, Peter Sprigg and the FRC just released a 37-page report titled, “No Proof of Harm. 79 Key Studies Provide No Scientific Proof That Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Are Usually Harmful.”

In short, “While these 79 studies do provide anecdotal evidence that some SOCE clients report the experience was harmful, they do not provide scientific proof that SOCE is more harmful than other forms of therapy, more harmful than other courses of action for those with SSA, or more likely to be harmful than helpful for the average client. If alleged ‘critical health risks’ of SOCE cannot be found in these 79 studies, then it is safe to conclude that they cannot be found anywhere.”

Old lies die hard, but for those seeking the truth, the data is undeniable.

Last year, in New York City, an Orthodox Jewish therapist challenged the city’s prohibition of SOCE counseling for people of any age “for violating his freedom of speech and infringing on his religious faith and that of his patients.”

With the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the city quickly reversed course, leading to this exuberant announcement from Tony Perkins and the FRC in September, 2019: “The last place anyone would expect liberals to rethink their extremism is New York City. But, thanks to a new lawsuit, even the Big Apple seems to understand when it's vulnerable. ‘Pinch yourself,’ FRC's Cathy Ruse says. One of the most radical cities on earth is about to walk back its LGBT counseling ban. All because one courageous psychotherapist fought back.”

In Florida, in the 2-1 opinion, Judge Britt C. Grant wrote that, “We hold that the challenged ordinances violate the First Amendment because they are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny.”

Precisely. These ordinances represent a fundamental assault on freedom of speech, among other things. May this be the beginning of a national trend.

In fact, as Liberty Counsel noted, “The 11th Circuit decision was foreshadowed by comments in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, NIFLA v. Becerra, dealing with California's efforts to regulate speech by pro-life pregnancy centers. In the course of rejecting the argument that governments can regulate ‘professional speech’ without offending the First Amendment, the Supreme Court directly criticized earlier appeals court decisions that had made the same argument in upholding state therapy bans. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that ‘this Court has not recognized “professional speech” as a separate category of speech. Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by “professionals.”’”

There is reason for real hope. May the righteous pushback continue unless freedom of self-determination is restored for minors across America.

Trump ‘truth tellers’ need a refresher course in history

The ABC chairwoman [Ita Buttrose] said some leaders did not need much encouragement to oppress the media. She added: “Outgoing US President Donald Trump declared journalists to be the enemy of the people. Dare I say, Mr Trump — that’s fake news. Journalists are truth tellers.”

It so happened that Buttrose’s declaration that journalists are truth tellers coincided with the apology issued by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour for comparing Trump’s term in office with Nazi Germany.

On November 12, Amanpour said on CNN: “This week, 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened. It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilisation that led to genocide against a whole identity and, in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and proof. After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal.”

Amanpour is an intelligent, well-informed and much travelled journalist. So how did she go as a truth teller? Not well at all. For starters, Kristallnacht had nothing to do with a “tower of burning books”. It would seem the CNN correspondent confused Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938, with the massive book burnings undertaken by Nazis on May 10, 1933 — not long after Adolf Hitler’s regime came to power.

Certainly the works of Jewish writers went up in flames in German cities and towns in May 1933. But so did books written by liberal, social democrat and left-wing authors who were not Jewish.

On Kristallnacht, however, Nazis attacked hundreds of synagogues and Jewish homes and businesses. Around 100 German Jews were murdered. This was an attack on Jews and was the forerunner to Hitler’s genocide directed at European Jewry.

Amanpour’s comments on Kristallnacht itself were well meaning. But they were not accurate. In any event, there was a bigger truth that she missed; namely that this was an attack on Jews, not books. That’s why her attempt to link the Trump administration with the Nazi regime was misleading, and dangerously so. Which is why she felt the need to apologise.

At the end of CNN’s Amanpour on November 16, the presenter said: “I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do — it is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust. I also noted President Trump’s attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth. I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts.” Even Amanpour’s apology is hopelessly inadequate. The problem was not merely that Amanpour juxtaposed the events in Germany in 1938 and those in the US between January 2017 (when Trump came to office) and November this year. Rather, the error was that Amanpour believes that Trump and his supporters share the “same values” as Hitler and his supporters.

This is not a truthful statement. As writer Richard J. Evans has documented in his books The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power, Hitler came to power following widescale violence and intimidation. And he remained in power by establishing a ruthless totalitarian dictatorship — until defeated on the battlefields of eastern and western Europe.

Trump, on the other hand, won a democratic election in November 2016 and his administration has governed in accordance with the requirements of the US Constitution.

Amanpour apologised to Jews — but not to Trump. She could have gone further.

It does a grave disservice to history to compare like with unlike. However emotional the citizenry of social democratic or conservative run countries may feel, their circumstances cannot be compared with those who suffered and died at the hands of fascist, Nazi or communist dictatorships.

It is simply ahistorical for someone living in the US or Canada to compare their plight with those who lived in Hitler’s Germany or Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. With respect to the latter, anyone who has read the disgraceful work of Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times journalist Walter Duranty would know he was not a truth teller, just a pro-communist liar. The likes of Buttrose would be well advised to read SJ Taylor’s Stalin’s Apologist, if they have not already done so.

The historical hyperbole of an Amanpour encourages the likes of other Trump haters such as actor Alec Baldwin. On November 16 he tweeted: “Bury Trump in a Nazi graveyard and put a swastika on his grave. The majority of Americans made the right choice. Trump is a maniac.” The evidence suggests that Baldwin is into projection — in that it is the actor, not the President, who is manic.

Look at it this way. No US president has made himself as available to the media as Trump. And no US president has experienced such a hostile media as Trump. During the Trump administration, more journalists than usual became activists in the political contest — overwhelmingly on the anti-Trump side, led by CNN with a little help from MSNBC.

If Trump shared the same values as Hitler, he would have closed down CNN and Amanpour would have been incarcerated and possibly murdered. Baldwin would have suffered a similar fate. Hollywood would have been shut and its actors, directors and producers purged. Or else the film industry would have been compelled to make Leni Riefenstahl-style propaganda documentaries in support of the Trump regime.

Sure, Trump at times engaged in fake news. But not as much as Amanpour, whose critique of the US President involved a complete misreading of the history of the 20th century.

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My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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Sunday, November 29, 2020



Jordan Peterson inflames the Assemblies of Wokeness

Leftists can be reduced to tears by a book they have not read! How come? Because they are complete authoritarians. They slavishly accept what Leftist authorities say. Rather than think for themselves they have a few themes handed down to them that govern all their responses. Their opinion leaders in the media and elsewhere declare somebody or something to be bad and the Leftist followers acccept that as a simple all or nothing rule. If their leaders declare someone to be a racist they fully accept that regardless of what the evidence indicates. They are essentially robots.

So their tears make sense if you allow for their crippled minds. Peterson has been declared to be a "racist" (etc.) by Leftist information sources so they completely accept that as truth. And being disturbed that your employer is supporting racism is reasonable enough by itself. It is the deficient information source about racism that is the problem. Slavish acceptance of what Leftist information sources say is the problem. It is essentially a problem of empty heads


If you don’t have any matches handy, let alone a book to burn because it is not yet published, then maybe crying in anticipation of publication makes sense.

Scrap that. Little of what happened at Penguin this week makes good sense. This single small episode shows that little cliques from the Assemblies of Wokeness have big aims to kill off a vibrant, free and intellectually diverse culture. The timing was perfect too. Just as Donald Trump (almost) conceded his defeat, it has become clear why Trumpism is here to stay.

On Wednesday VICE World News reported that emotion boiled over at a staff meeting when employees of publishing firm Penguin confronted managers about its decision to publish Jordan Peterson’s latest book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.

Some Penguin employees spoke to VICE about their reasons. One mentioned a co-worker who thinks Peterson “radicalised” their mother and ­father. Another mentioned how publication will “affect their non-binary friend”.

Another staff member described the heightened emotion: “People were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives.”

Penguin employees followed a well-worn path: to prove that diversity in the 21st century cannot make room for the likes of Peterson, Penguin staff accused him of being transphobic, an icon of hate speech and white supremacy.

It is true that Peterson once stood next to a fan who wore a T-shirt that said: “I’m a Proud Islamaphobe.” And that is evidence of precisely nothing.

Another employee criticised Penguin for not acknowledging that it wants to make money from Peterson’s book. Ye Gods, a company wants to make profits from goods it sells in the open and free market.

Then Twitter exploded. More woke warriors tried to tear down Peterson and his upcoming ­sequel to Twelves Rule for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Peterson was accused of being an anti-communist. And the problem with that is … what exactly? The author was also accused of being anti-Semitic. Again, no evidence is mentioned.

Peterson in an interview in June posted on his YouTube channel.
Since news of the brouhaha at Penguin broke on Wednesday, many have suggested that the emotional staff members objecting to the publication of Peterson’s book should find a job outside publishing, or at least read his first book before wanting to ban his new one.

That overlooks the fact that the woke are, if nothing else, strategic. Reading the book would strip them of blissful ignorance. And there is a reason they choose to work in schools, at universities, in bureaucracies, at public broadcasters and in the arts, too. There is no creative space for pursuing a woke agenda if you’re a welder, a plumber or running a pizza shop.

As one literary agent told The Times last month, the tension arises “from an industry in which staff are left-wing but the structures are entirely capitalist and market-driven”.

“The main way for the young to express their idealism is through protest,” said the agent, adding that this tension created headaches for publishing bosses.

Not to mention the bigger headache for a functioning democracy. Wokeness has moved beyond the university campus. For many fully fledged adults, it is their secular religion, call it the Assemblies of Wokeness. The movement is tribal, increasingly well organised and, importantly, premised on a new morality. Not all woke pursuits are bad. But those parts that undermine basic values in a democracy are rotten. For example, when followers of the Assemblies of Wokeness dismiss dis­senters as immoral apostates who must be silenced. Unlike many other religions, wokeness often struggles to offer redemption to sinners.

The staff uprising at Penguin is part of a much deeper and broader battle over diversity waged inside a growing number of industries and institutions. Most people are understandably attracted to nice ideas such as ­diversity and tolerance. These people often fall prey to more canny members of the woke movement, whose dual aims, like most religious leaders, are power and control. They colonise different spheres of public and private life, from corporations to the kitchen table, if Gillian Triggs had her way. And taken to its logical conclusion, they will usher in a stifling, intolerant puritanism that will beat historical antecedents hands down.

In a modern-day parody of Orwell’s 1984, they use phrases such as “diversity” and “inclusion” to cleanse ideas from dissenters so that their utopian vision is not threatened. For them, a Peterson book cannot be ignored, it must be pulped.

These visionaries employ “sensitivity readers” to ensure new books won’t “upset” people by presenting different views. They shame authors such as ­Lionel Shriver for cultural appropriation because, as a middle-aged white woman she dares to write fiction that deviates from her own life experience. Shakes­peare would not survive woke culture. And JK Rowling is their numero uno nemesis for pointing out that some trans rights impinge on the rights of others.

On the other side of this raging battle are people who understand that genuine progress is messy, exhilarating, nonlinear and beyond the wit of authoritarian social engineers: that progress relies on a robust marketplace of ideas where even a weird chap who consumes only meat, salt and water can write freely about his 12 rules for a good life.

Slowly, more people are coming to realise that a great deal rides on maintaining such a healthy marketplace of ideas. While zealous adherents of wokeness may not be well suited to listening to other points of view, others might be prevented from joining the hardliners if they are encouraged to wonder about where wokeness leads.

Who, for example gets to call the shots in a woke world? And who will be left standing when a woke mob come for you if you question their increasingly dogmatic diktats? How can we work out that a consensus has become both wrong and dangerous, except through dissenting voices? A few chats about courage of dissenters from the past, and the empowering morality of freedom of expression won’t go astray either.

To its credit, Penguin put out a statement this week defending its right to publish diverse points of view. What a win-win week for the publishing company. Given the ideological make-up of its staff, Penguin surely knew that a town hall-style meeting would become a platform for emotional outbursts, public controversy and lots of free publicity. Job well done.

Apart from guaranteeing healthy books sales, Penguin employees have also boosted Peterson’s celebrity. Just as more people might be questioning ­Peterson’s credibility as a role model for his earlier preaching about an ordered life, the behaviour of Penguin staff reminds us why this deeply flawed Canadian psychologist speaks for those who are marginalised and mocked by woke folk. These will include many who voted for Trump in 2016, and many who added nine million more votes to Trump’s final tally, even as he lost to Biden.

Interesting, the staff disturbance at Penguin over Peterson erupted the day after Netflix released Hillbilly Elegy, a movie that surely overlaps with Peterson’s base. Ron Howard’s movie is based on the memoir by JD Vance, a bestseller in 2016 as elites in coastal metropolises struggled to understand the rise of Trump. The movie and reaction to it offer more evidence of a continuing cultural divide that can only fuel Trumpism.

Vance grew up poor in the midwest rust-belt of Middletown, Ohio. He spent summers with his mother’s family, a ragamuffin crowd of hillbillies from Kentucky. There is no father, only a revolving door of men who hook up with his drug-addicted mother. And a smoking, cursing, loving grandmother — his “Mamaw” — who extracted him from a destiny where kids leave school early and end up jobless and hopeless. Teenage pregnancies are rife, along with crime, addiction and violence. Against all odds, Vance joined the military, served in Iraq and went to Yale Law School.

The movie recaptures the ­social decay of deindustrialised America in Vance’s memoir. Though Trump is not mentioned in the book, or the movie, Vance’s bootstrap story of survival and success explains why millions of Americans, left behind by globalisation and other elite obsessions, sided with a wealthy insider who campaigned for the working class as a boisterous and shameless outsider.

Curiously, critics who have panned the movie complained that it has been cleansed of ­politics. What, precisely, do these highly educated writers need S-P-E-L-L-E-D O-U-T for them? In one scene, at a Yale dinner for prospective interns, an urbane law partner from New York asks the young Vance what it’s like when he returns to home to the “rednecks” in Ohio. He may as well have called them deplorables.

The movie is a two-hour screen adaptation about politics being downstream from culture. So is the tearful outburst of staff at Penguin. At polar ends of the spectrum, both show that dysfunctional cultures produce dysfunctional politics.

Politics might become less polarised when there is less mocking and more genuine engagement by people trying to step into the shoes of others, regardless of their class and cultural backgrounds.

For all their years of higher education, the woke have not worked out that while Trump will soon be gone, Trumpism thrives on their misguided quest for power.

Be Grateful for Capitalism This Thanksgiving

Yes, we've got the pandemic, lockdowns, a worsening deficit, etc.

But we still live in a relatively free country at the most prosperous time in human history.

The pandemic showed that when people are faced with crises, we adjust. Restaurants switched to takeout and outdoor dining. Grocery stores began curbside pickup. Companies mass-produced masks, hand sanitizer, ventilators, and, now, vaccines. I hide from COVID-19 by staying home; yet, thanks to new services such as Zoom, I can research this column and make my weekly videos from my couch.

That's brought benefits. I no longer have to deal with traffic congestion.

Traffic jams are a good example of what ecologist Garrett Hardin called the "Tragedy of the Commons."

Because roads are free, more people drive, and roads are often congested. If roads were subject to "peak-load pricing, charging higher prices during times of peak demand and lower prices at other times," Hardin wrote, then we'd have fewer traffic jams.

I bring this up now, before Thanksgiving, because a similar Tragedy of the Commons nearly killed the Pilgrims. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they started a society based on sharing.

Sharing sounds great.

But sharing, basically, is collective or communal farming, which is socialism. Food and supplies were distributed based on need. Pilgrims were forbidden to selfishly produce food for themselves.

That collective farming was a disaster. When the first harvest came, there wasn't much food to go around. The Pilgrims nearly starved.

Since no individual owned crops from the farm, no one had an incentive to work harder to produce extra that they might sell to others. Since even slackers got food from the communal supply, there was no penalty for not working.

William Bradford wrote in his "History of Plymouth Plantation" that the colony was ridden with "corruption" and "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

People eager to provide for their families were less eager to provide for others. Bradford wrote, "young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense."

Ultimately, said Bradford, shared farming "was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."

The Pilgrims "begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a beter crope (so) they might not still thus languish in miserie."

Languishing in misery is what people in Venezuela do now.

The Pilgrims' solution: private property.

In 1623, the collective farm was split up, and every family was given a plot of land. People could grow their own food and keep it or trade it. "It made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." wrote Bradford. "Women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability."

The Pilgrims flourished because they turned to private property.

So, this Thanksgiving, be grateful for private property, a foundation of capitalism.

Your grocery may not have the small turkey you wanted this year, but they have much more of what you want than people in the Soviet Union ever got.

When you're shopping for dinner or stocking up for Lockdown 2.0, be glad that you have so many options available.

If government controlled the production of turkeys and toilet paper, this would be a very, very unhappy Thanksgiving.

Late-Night SCOTUS Ruling Saves NY Religious Groups From Onerous COVID Restrictions

The Supreme Court worked late going into the holiday weekend, ruling in favor of New York Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued over the state’s COVID-19 limited religious service attendance rules.

Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday temporarily barred New York from enforcing certain attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.

The court’s action could push New York to reevaluate those restrictions. But the court’s action also won’t have any immediate impact since the two groups that sued as a result of the restrictions, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues in Brooklyn and Queens, are no longer subject to them.

The groups sued to challenge attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where New York had capped attendance at 10 and 25 people, respectively. But the groups are now subject to less-restrictive rules because they’re now in areas designated yellow zones.

As we have seen, these zone situations can be fluid, so both groups may yet need this reprieve.

More importantly, this ruling puts the spotlight on the arbitrary nature of the actions of the petty tyrants, which don’t have anything to do with science:

Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have been among the worst of the tyrants, often seeming to target the Orthodox Jewish community. Their actions have definitely appeared to be more about religious persecution than public health policy.

Chief Justice John Roberts continued his express ride to David Souterland:

The justices split 5-4 to bar the state from enforcing the restrictions against the groups for now, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.

This court really isn’t going to be the 6-3 conservative majority that liberals have been fearing. Roberts simply can’t be trusted. It’s going to end up being more like a 5 1/2-3 1/2 conservative split, with each important decision being held hostage by Roberts’s inconsistent, fickle nature.

I’m writing this in the early hours of Thanksgiving Day morning. At the moment, I’m thankful for President Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Coronavirus Australia: Wake up and smell the sickly stench of government control

Lucky we seldom use cash any more; it would be impossible to physically swirl the dollars fast enough between taxpayers and governments. For instance, if I spend $10 at a local Sydney cafe, one dollar heads to Canberra as GST, while perhaps another one will cover company tax on any profit; some of the federal tax is funnelled back to the cafe for JobKeeper payments and most of the GST dollar is returned to the NSW government which, after an initiative in its post-COVID budget this month, then sends some of it back to me in vouchers to be spent at a local hospitality businesses — such as my local cafe.

It might have been simpler to just let my barista keep the $10 — or are we worried that leaves too many work-from-home state and federal public servants with too little to do. Imagine the money wasted and the efficiencies forgone in this endless churn; it is a wonder cash is not turned into butter.

Yes, this is a simplistic and stylised example, but it illustrates the never-ending expansion and reach of government. While the mortality rate from COVID-19 is trending downwards worldwide, the virus has proven lethal against pre-pandemic notions of small government.

On the macro scale, the impact is frightening; where once we were traumatised by Wayne Swan’s $50bn deficits we have flipped this year from a projected $7bn surplus to an $85bn deficit — a record shortfall that will be almost tripled next year with a $213bn dollar deficit. Swan can finally have a Christmas where he fancies himself as Scrooge.

Government spending as a percentage of GDP snuck above 25 per cent in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, after which even Labor agreed it should be kept below that mark. But it surged to 27.7 per cent last year, and will hit almost 35 per cent next year. So, while we once considered it prudent to keep federal spending to less than a quarter of the economy, Canberra’s splurge is about to account for more than a third of GDP.

When John Howard lost government, 13 years ago this week, the nation had cash in the bank — negative net government debt. We started to worry when debt rose above $150bn after the GFC, ballooning to more than 10 per cent of GDP. Now it has hit $500bn — half a trillion dollars, or 25 per cent of GDP — and within five years it will top $1 trillion, or equivalent to 44 per cent of the ­national economy.

Never before has the federal government sent more money to more people and more businesses. We are reacting to the corona­virus pandemic like it is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge that we can bet the bank on — best hope there is not another pandemic, natural disaster, global depression or war around the corner.

While interest rates are at record lows, we have been prepared to burden future generations with enormous risks. The big privatisations are behind us and all hopes hinge on the tumultuous cycle of economic growth. Most of us under 80 years of age can thank previous generations for the prosperity we have enjoyed — yet we seem happy to do the opposite, make ourselves comfortable in the here and now, while forwarding the bill to future generations.

The same people who argue it is immoral to leave behind a carbon footprint for future generations have no qualms about leaving them more debt than has ever been imagined. There must be an argument that we could have been more prudent and avoided any sense of intergenerational theft — but this discussion seems absent from the political debate.

Perhaps even more debilitating than the lifetime of debt is the rapid and unbridled escalation of the Nanny state. What has long been an alarming trend has run rampant since Wuhan first shared its virus with the world.

We have long observed the politicians’ predilection for increasing spending, launching new initiatives, imposing new rules and inveigling themselves into every aspect of our lives in order to win our gratitude and boost their prospects. Yet it is even more disturbing to see how great swathes of the population have lapped this up and played along — “gimme more free stuff”.

Nonsensical interventions

Worse still is the way we see people enthusiastically yield to the feverish and often nonsensical interventions imposed upon them. Melburnians heeded a drastic, inconvenient and muddle-headed curfew slapped on the city with no medical imprimatur. They also were forced to wear face masks outdoors, even many ­metres away from fellow citizens.

Daniel Andrews and his barrackers claim the absence of infections as vindication, when the whole point was supposed to be about controlling the pandemic without crushing communities, businesses and livelihoods. Around all the states except NSW, signs are that these lessons are yet to be learned.

Worryingly, police officers in Victoria and elsewhere enforced curfews and other nonsense with ruthless disregard for civil rights — officers on horseback and in ­patrol cars moved people on in Sydney parks, pregnant women were arrested over Facebook posts in Melbourne, drones spied on Western Australians in the streets, and there were Checkpoint Charlies set up along a string of interstate borders.

Most of us accepted these intrusions. People compliantly kept their children home from school, for months on end, when there was no medical basis for doing so. We stayed apart from family because of closed borders, we cancelled overseas holidays, worked from home, and kissed goodbye to a wide range of social activities.

Curfews weren’t enough

But it was not enough; governments wanted more control. They banned people in Adelaide and Melbourne from leaving their homes; restricted how many people could visit our houses; set stringent attendance limits for funerals, weddings and church services; demanded we did not sing; or dance; made us commemorate Anzac Day on our own but let the protesters do as they pleased; and they shut beaches

All this in a blessed Land Down Under where the people were once renowned for their self-­reliance and anti-authoritarian streak. Has the Nanny state eaten away our resilience and national character?

Sure, most of us have understood the aims and surrendered to authority, in part because we believe in the project of “flattening the curve”. But much of what has been imposed has been irrational, over the top and not based on ­science — yet we went along with it anyway. Were we too compliant, too ignorant, or too frightened to object?

There are Australians right now, kept apart or sweating it out in home isolation in Western Australia because Mark McGowan still insists on hard borders with Victoria and NSW, even though there has been no community transmission for weeks in the two most populous states. Some will be proud of this — “we are all in this together” — but it speaks more to fearmongering and ignorance.

Politicians have spoken of a “dangerous” situation and how they need to “keep people safe” which is a ridiculous way to frame attempts to control a virus that is mild to asymptomatic in more than 95 per cent of cases, makes a small percentage of people seriously ill and, in the main, is only life-threatening to people who are very old or already very ill.

This is not to dismiss the vulnerable — it is a call to focus on protecting them instead of trying to scare children and paralyse communities.

No such thing as a free lunch

Have we become so molly­coddled that we look to governments to prevent us from getting sick? Are politicians so conceited they believe they can manage all risk out of our lives? Do they fret about paying a political price because a virus hops from one ­person to another?

Ideas for government intervention have proliferated like a contagion. We have governments siphoning taxes from us only to regurgitate some of it back as vouchers to cover kids’ sport fees or, now, for us to spend in restaurants. There is no such thing as a free lunch — we are paying for these gimmicks ourselves.

Governments now proffer paid sick leave for casual workers, subsidies for wages, bonuses for employing people, refunds on car registration, funding for solar panels, bonuses for first-home buyers, freebies in childcare, schooling, healthcare, social housing, public broadcasting, and whatever else. We are dining out on the taxpayers of 2050.

No matter how successful or futile the vaccines turn out to be, no matter how far this pandemic has to run, we can say one thing about its duration. It will never outlive the propensity for governments and bureaucracies to constantly mutate and expand, infecting every aspect of our lives.

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My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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Friday, November 27, 2020



Penguin Random House staffers ‘broke down in tears’ over release of Jordan Peterson book

One hopes that the tears of a few nuts are not heeded. The book will be a big money-spinner so the publisher will not easily be deflected from publishing it

Peterson's messages are all positive so it seems unlikely that the disturbed staffer has in fact read the book: She has just been misled by all the lying Leftist propaganda

A reader writes:

"I have listened to many of Jordan Peterson's lectures, and read many of his essays and his first book, 12 Rules for Life. The book is basic good sense. There is nothing in it that could be offensive to any mature person. Mostly he talks about maximising one's individual responsibility and developing a sense of purpose and meaning in life. He encourages the reader to be helpful to those around them, to family, neighbours, and at work. And he speaks and writes as if he is communicating to men, using short sentences and everyday language, and when he does use an uncommon word he defines and explains it, so the reader understands and learns. He writes pictorially, in images, stories and analogies. He communicates as men communicate.

Unlike most contemporary psychologists who are manipulative feminists, Peterson does not write as if speaking to self-centred self-righteous women. He does not stroke the reader's ego, he does not encourage a sense of victimhood, or stir resentment against western society, or tell the reader to honor their emotions and follow their feelings, and he does not use vague sentences full of emotional leftist buzz words like empowerment, agency, equality, caring, non-judgemental, empathy, etc, and psychology jargon without explanation. He does not try to make the reader feel good, he simply tries to assist the reader to be the best they can be for their self and for those around them. Peterson's writings do not stroke the egos of those who are selfish, emotionally focused, envious types who hate society and resent their own individual responsibility. He is not trying to stir discontent and resentment under the guise of "empowerment". He is just trying to help individuals. And that is why leftists/feminists hate him."


Staff at a publishing house have reportedly been in tears over news that their company was set to publish the latest book by divisive Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Employees at Penguin Random House Canada (PRHC) are now putting pressure on the publisher to cancel the release of his third book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life, reports Vice.

According to the outlet, “several” employees confronted management at an internal town hall on Monday and “dozens more have filed anonymous complaints” about PRHC’s plans to release the latest work from the controversial academic.

“He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him,” one town hall attendee told Vice.

Another employee said: “People were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives.” One staffer said Dr Peterson had “radicalised their father” and another insisted the publishing of Dr Peterson’s book will “negatively affect their non-binary friend”.

“The company since June has been doing all these anti-racist and allyship things and then publishing Dr Peterson’s book completely goes against this. It just makes all of their previous efforts seem completely performative,” the employee told Vice.

Dr Peterson is a psychology professor at the University of Toronto and hosts a popular podcast. He announced on Monday that he is releasing the new book, which is set to hit shelves in March next year.

PRHC told Vice in a statement, “We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson’s new book Beyond Order this coming March. Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback.

“Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”

Vice’s report quickly went viral on social media with critics mocking the crying employees, suggesting they should quit or be fired by the publisher for their emotional response to Dr Peterson’s work.

PRHC did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Jeremy Corbyn supporter bursts into tears as he is spared jail after calling Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge a 'racist Zionist' in terrifying anti-Semitic trolling campaign

A weed

A Jeremy Corbyn supporter today burst into tears as he was spared jail after calling Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge a 'racist Zionist' in a terrifying anti-Semitic trolling campaign.

Nicholas Nelson targeted three Labour MPs with 'vulgar, obscene and threatening' abuse through phone calls and emails.

In one incident the 31-year-old rang the office of Dame Margaret and said: 'I hope you die, you Tory c***.

Along with Dame Margaret, Nelson also abused then Labour MPs Lord John Mann and Dame Louise Ellman - who he accused of 'smearing' then party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Nelson had previously given a suspended sentence in December 2018 for trolling then Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth.

But he was spared prison once more today after he admitted three counts of sending communications of an offensive nature.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram sentenced Nelson, from Norfolk, to 30 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The court heard how the offences took place between July and September 2018.

The charges relate to phone calls and emails to Dame Margaret, MP for Barking, east London, Dame Louise and Lord Mann, who were also both Labour MPs at the time.

Prosecutor Jason Seetal said the offence against Dame Margaret, who is Jewish, was 'religiously aggravated', highlighting a phone call to her office in July 2018.

Nelson said: 'Margaret should f*** off, you f***ing racist Zionist c***. You need to get out of the party and I hope you die, you Tory c***.'

In a further phone call the same day, Nelson added: 'Margaret Hodge is an apartheid-supporting disgusting scumbag bitch.'

Dame Margaret said in a victim impact statement: 'I considered the emails to be threatening and was left feeling nervous and unsure about my personal safety.

'For the first time, I now feel under threat because of my Jewish identity.'

The court heard Dame Louise's parliamentary assistant said she felt 'extremely uncomfortable and distressed' after reading an email sent by Nelson on August 2 2018.

'Louise Ellman is a hypocritical Tory c*** who is so thick she is trying to smear Corbyn with an event she herself attended,' it said.

Lord Mann received an abusive phone message, played in court, on September 3 2018, which said: 'Kill yourself. When are you going to have a stroke?'

In sentencing Nelson, magistrates Mr Ikram said he would not repeat the words used, adding: 'They are the most vulgar, obscene, threatening vocabulary I can think of.'

He said: 'I'm of the view that these offences are so serious that they cross the custody threshold.

'People should feel able to come forward and serve as MPs without fear of violence and threat. Certain communities have felt particularly under threat.

'And these courts will send a clear message to those who threaten members of those communities, who attack them because of their faith.'

The judge said that he would have jailed Nelson had he sentenced him for all of the offences in 2018. But he added: 'I have considered carefully whether I can suspend the sentences and I felt just about able to do so. 'That doesn't take away the seriousness of the offences.

'That simply reflects we are now two years down the road, that there have been no further offences and that I see you are now seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist and dealing with issues you say were a feature of your life then.'

Jeremy Corbyn's 'Red Reverend' gets defrocked after cheating on his wife with a church organist

Steven Saxby, 49, was a hard-Left cassock-wearing ally of Jeremy Corbyn and ran for the key seat of Cities of London and Westminster.

He planned to be the first serving minister in centuries to retain his dog collar while sitting in the Commons.

But he was shamed when his wife discovered his affairs with the organist and an international pianist.

Christine Saxby told friends in the congregation their marriage looked doomed then kicked him out of the Edwardian vicarage they shared with their four children.

The Daily Mail revealed her claims in March last year and the Church of England suspended him. He apologised for ‘mistakes’.

Remarkably, Labour retained him as a candidate until separate claims of sexual harassment within the party followed, and he resigned before the general election while denying wrongdoing.

Now the Church of England has completed his disgrace by sacking him from his parish in east London.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chelmsford said last night: ‘Steven Saxby has been removed from his post as vicar of St Barnabas, Walthamstow, by the Acting Bishop of Chelmsford for conduct unbecoming of a priest in relation to adultery.

Mrs Saxby last year told friends of her ‘great pain and sadness’ at her husband’s betrayal, including the affair with the pianist.

Before being unmasked as an adulterer, Mr Saxby had dispensed pious advice on Twitter such as: ‘Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility.’

Before his antics were exposed, he had gained critics by accusing the Government of ‘extremism’ for involvement in the Syrian civil war, and of ‘stigmatising Muslim children’ through anti-terror measures. Last night Mr Saxby told the Daily Mail: ‘I am no longer in the Labour Party and am trying to move on with my life.’ Mrs Saxby declined to comment.

Labour did not respond to questions about its separate inquiry into alleged sexual harassment when he was a candidate. Even after his wife exposed his affairs, a Labour spokesman had said: ‘Steven will make an incredible MP.’

Australian public broadcaster facing harsh backlash over claims of lack of diversity

The ABC is copping a wave of online backlash after revealing its upcoming line-up of news presenters for 2021, with people questioning the lack of cultural diversity among the broadcaster’s key programs.

The broadcaster released its 2021 programming schedule on Wednesday but it was the publicity photos of the presenters runnings its flagship news programs that left many unimpressed.

Viewers and even some ex-staff members were quick to call out the lack of diversity, with the majority journalists leading its top news programs, including Insiders, 7.30, ABC News Breakfast and The Drum, appearing to mainly be from caucasian backgrounds.

Former Four Corners and ABC News reporter Sophie Mc­Neill tweeted a collated picture of the broadcaster’s white presenters, branding the lack of diversity “disappointing”.

Ex-deputy editor of ABC Life, Osman Faruqi, also shared the promotion images for the ABC’s leading news programs to his Twitter.

“Do the people who run ABC News not understand how weird this looks?” he asked.

“At some point, when you’re assembling these photos, you’d pause and think ‘Hmm something not quite right here’. It should so embarrassing that they shouldn’t be able get away with it. But who is going to hold them to account? Everywhere else is even whiter, lol.”

Australia’s former Race Discrimination Commissioner and Culture Strategy Professor at Sydney University, Tim Soutphommasane, said the ABC has a “long way to go” in terms of diversity.

“Let’s remember the ABC has it in its charter that it should reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community. So where is it?” he wrote on Twitter.

“And thanks to those who highlight there is diversity elsewhere on the upfront. That is of course good to see. But the diversity is not there in many of the flagship and other high-profile programs, especially news and current affairs.”

In response to the backlash, the ABC released a statement saying it was proud of the “diverse talent” across its programs.

Our 2021 slate reflects our commitment to representing and reflecting modern Australia, across diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities and cultures,” the broadcaster said.

The ABC said increasing diversity across its workforce and programming was a priority, pointing to its current Diversity & Inclusion Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan.

“There’s no doubt that, like all media organisations, the ABC has significant work to do to live up to our goal to reflect the full diversity of our community,” the ABC said.

“But we are making progress.”

The broadcaster also released a collage of all the diverse programs and presenters that will be appearing on the ABC in 2021.

However, this still wasn’t enough to impress some, with Mr Faruqi and Ms McNeill pointing out there was still a lack of representation in the ABC’s top news programs.

“There is a significant gap between what appears to be coming of factual and entertainment TV and news in terms of whiteness, but it’s very funny the ABC is responding to concerns about the lack of diversity on news shows by saying “We also make Superwog!” Mr Faruqi wrote on Twitter.

He added: “It’s really weird that the ABC’s response was to subtweet everyone by pointing to shows about Chinese restaurants (which I can’t wait to watch tbh). They really are in denial, it’s very sad.”

Ms McNeill said, while it is true the ABC has diverse talent across many of its programs, it was still lacking in some major areas.

“It’s not really diversity in ‘Super Wog’ or ‘Chopsticks or Fork’ that I’m chasing. It’s in the flagship, heavy hitting, political programs & at an editorial level,” she wrote.

Seemingly in response to these claims, the ABC released an image showing a few more of the people working as presenters for ABC News.

But not everyone was so quick to criticise the ABC, with some viewers praising the broadcaster for featuring a wide range of programming and working towards even more diversity on screen.

“This is an easy attack but if we move beyond the ‘glam’ of TV, the ABC provides a diverse but not perfect platform. It does provide a variety of voices. Let’s not belittle it or grandstand in front of nodding heads, let’s look at the alternative & commit to make the ABC better,” one person wrote.

“I think ABC Australia has done a much better job of diversifying its presenters than any other visual media here has. Well done ABC,” another person said.

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My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com TONGUE-TIED)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://john-ray.blogspot.com (FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)

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