In this age of political disruption, there’s one phenomenon we should all be able to agree on
It’s something attitudinal researchers have noticed: as people become more affluent, they focus more intensely on questions of social reform and control.
Having conquered the challenges of material survival, wealthy people have the luxury of thinking about laws that might reshape society and its values.
This is a defining characteristic of what we call the “globalised elites” – in academia, politics, management positions, the media and cultural industries.
At the tail end of 25 years of economic growth, Australia has a lot of wealthy people who see themselves as cultural dietitians.
With a big opinion of themselves, they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find new ways of making everyone just like them.
There is no limit as to how far they will seek to intrude into the private affairs of citizens.
An unholy alliance of Marxist academics and Liberal and Labor Education Ministers are running the Safe Schools program as a way of interfering in the sexuality of our children.
With the introduction of university “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”, students are being told it’s dangerous to associate with “straight white men” – opening up a new social divide on the basis of race, gender and sexuality.
Historically, the Left had always said we shouldn’t focus on skin colour.
They had in mind the politics of the KKK, Nazis and Third World dictatorships.
Yet today, bizarrely enough, the most commonly used insult in the vocabulary of Labor/Green MPs and ABC/Fairfax/Guardian journalists is to call someone “white”.
Freedom of speech is also under siege, as the elites use PC language control, social media hysteria, consumer boycotts and even defamation laws to silence their opponents.
We used to think of free speech as an issue played out in public places.
But now the thought-police are starting to focus on the things we say at home.
In front of a Greens audience on Thursday night, the head of Malcolm Turnbull’s Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, said, “There has never been a more important time to stand up for laws which prohibit racial abuse in the public arena. Sadly, you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home.”
I would be surprised if there is any significant level of racial abuse in Australian households.
In any case, the only way governments could control it is to bug our homes or urge children to dob in their parents – a replay of Orwell’s 1984.
It’s frightening to think that Triggs could be saddened by unregulated free speech “around the kitchen table”.
Is this really what the Federal Government means by human rights: a taxpayer-funded commissioner lamenting one of the most basic freedoms of Western society?
As the elites have tightened their hold on our major institutions in recent years, the disease of PC/social engineering has gone viral.
It’s gone through the education system, mental health industry, public broadcasters and government bureaucracy, while also gathering pace in the police service and defence force.
Most of the news is horrifying.
Under the banner of “diversity and inclusion”, the head of the Prime Minister’s Department, Martin Parkinson, has abandoned the recruitment of public servants solely on merit, preferring a system of identity targets.
Parkinson wants his workforce to look exactly like “the public that we serve”, even if this means hiring less-qualified, substandard workers.
This marks the end of the great Australian tradition of meritocracy – of giving everyone a fair go, based on ability.
There is something disturbingly Medieval in Parkinson’s approach.
The most sophisticated way of judging a person is to assess their character, work ethic and skills.
By contrast, hiring people on how they look – the colour of their skin, the shape of their genitalia and whom they sleep with – is simplistic, indeed, primitive.
It’s a return to the Dark Ages: the ignorance and prejudice of a society based on physical appearance.
Instead of looking through skin colour and gender as minor genetic variations between people, the Left has become obsessed with identity.
Parkinson has justified this shift in recruitment policy via the voodoo-psychology of “unconscious bias”.
He believes that people (himself included) are naturally prejudiced against minority groups, but they don’t know they are doing it.
He’s the head of the Australian Public Service, yet he’s saying he’s lost control of his own judgement.
Back at the Human Rights Commission, Dr Tim Soutphommasane is doing something similar: urging governments and businesses to meet racial quotas in the promotion of staff.
He calls them “achievable targets” but once adopted by CEOs, they become the equivalent of quotas.
It is argued that as 10 percent of Australians are from a non-European background, business and professional leaders across the economy should be “proportionately represented” – that is, 10 percent non-European.
By far the biggest part of our non-European population is Asian.
In going down this path, Soutphommasane has kicked a huge own goal.
In several key parts of society – among doctors, scientists and selective schools – Asians are substantially over-represented.
They got these positions on merit, and I applaud them for it.
But now these achievements are threated by a Soutphommasane-inspired backlash.
For instance, in Sydney’s top selective schools, such as James Ruse, North Sydney Boys High and Hurlstone (which Dr Tim attended), 90 percent of students are Asian.
To meet Soutphommasane’s vision of evenly-distributed racial representation, at least 80 percent of the students would need to be removed – a disaster for the Asian community.
Australia’s public debate is now dominated by a strange amalgam of Soutphommasane and Hansonite forces tearing society apart.
The Identity Left has joined up with the Racial Right to entrench discrimination on the basis of skin colour – the rise of a wacky Hansommasane faction.
We’re not a nation anymore, but a series of warring identity tribes.
Meanwhile, nobody talks about poverty anymore. The great gains of the Whitlam and Hawke Governments in creating meritocracy are being lost.
Sadly, a poor white boy growing up in a public housing estate in Australia is less likely to get ahead than 40 years ago.
Maintain the rage.