Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kevin Donnelly: Our 21st century tragedy - how the west was lost

Douglas Murray argues in The Strange Death of Europe that ­“Europe is committing suicide”, as proven by the mass immigration of thousands of young Islamic men and the failure by many ­within academia, the media and politics to acknowledge and ­defend the unique strengths and benefits of Western civilisation on which Europe is based.
Such is the dire nature of events, Murray concludes: “By the end of the lifespans of most of the people currently alive, Europe will no longer be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.”
While the situation in Australia is not as extreme, the reality is that our institutions and way of life are also threatened by immigration, especially by migrants committed to Islamic fundamentalism, and a campaign by the cultural left to ­denounce and undermine Western civilisation.
Illustrated by the Holsworthy Barracks terror plot, the Lindt cafe siege, the murder of Curtis Cheng outside the Parramatta police ­station and the Anzac Day plot to kill police at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, Islamic terrorism is an ever-present danger.
The rise of ethnic enclaves in western Sydney and metropolitan Melbourne and the violence and destruction caused by North African street gangs further highlight the dangers of allowing those to immigrate whose beliefs and values are inimical to our way of life.
The reality, similar to Europe and Britain, is that Australia’s non-discriminatory immigration policy and celebration of multi­culturalism, as historian Geoffrey Blainey warned some years ago, is leading to Australia becoming a nation of tribes.
Instead of immigrants accepting our way of life and supporting the institutions and values that bind society and ensure peace and prosperity, too many assume that their customs and beliefs must be given priority. At the same time, Australian society is being undermined by a myopic celebration of multi­culturalism and a flawed immigration policy. The bedrock that makes Australia unique and such a peaceful and prosperous nation is also threatened.
Instead of supporting Western civilisation, the cultural left since the late 1960s has taken the long march through the institutions to overthrow a society it condemns as inequitable, racist, classist, ­sexist, misogynist and heteronormative.
As argued by the former British secretary of state for education Michael Gove, beginning with the Frankfurt School, sympathetic ­academics have “revised Marxism as primarily a cultural rather than an economic movement. In place of anger at traditional capitalism, scorn was directed at the reigning values of the West.”
Gove goes on to say “the ­broader left moved its arena of struggle increasingly away from economic arguments and towards cultural ones”. Having realised they could never win the revolution by storming the barricades, the cultural left’s strategy is to ­infiltrate key institutions and win the battle of ideas.
Positive discrimination for victim groups, identity politics, virtue-signalling, trigger warnings and political correctness are all key weapons in the cultural left’s battle to overthrow the status quo and to bring about the much-sought-after socialist utopia.
Schools and universities are key battlegrounds for the culture wars. Australia’s national curriculum prioritises indigenous, ­environmental and Asian perspectives instead of the heritage and ­ongoing significance of ­Western civilisation and Judeo-­Christianity.
As argued by Perth academic Augusto Zimmermann, our political and legal systems are imbued with Christian morals and ethics, and to deny such a reality is to jeopardise the rights we often take for granted.
The Bible’s teaching that we are all made in God’s image explains the commitment to the inherent dignity of each individual and the right to what the American ­Declaration of Independence calls the “unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Knowledge of historical events like the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, and the ability to weigh and evaluate different truth claims based on logic and rationality, are also being lost.
Best illustrated by the Safe Schools program, where gender is fluid and limitless, the cultural left’s long march also involves a radical redefinition of marriage and traditional views about what it means to be a woman or a man.
One of its founders, Roz Ward, gives the game away when she ­argues “only Marxism provides the theory and practice of genuine human liberation” and that the “Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual ­diversity, not about stopping bullying”.
Instead of endorsing merito­cracy and competition, cultural left groups like the Australian Education Union argue all must be winners and that equality of outcomes beats equality of ­opportunity.
Proven by how history, literature, sociology and politics are now taught at the tertiary level, it’s also clear how successful those committed to radical “theory” have been in overthrowing what they condemn as a liberal education.
Knowledge, instead of being impartial and inherently worthwhile, is part of the capitalist state’s “ideological state apparatus” and guilty of oppressing and marginalising so-called victim groups. As a result, education is no longer centred on what T.S. Eliot describes as “the preservation of learning, for the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the ­attainment of wisdom”.
The works of Shakespeare and other Western literary classics, great and ­enduring art and music like the Sistine Chapel and Bach’s Mass in B Minor simply disguise power ­relationships involving the new trinity of “gender, ethnicity and class”, and teachers are told students must be re-educated in terms of group-think.
The attack on liberal education is also illustrated by the argument that a curriculum drawing on Western civilisation is guilty of promoting “whiteness” — ­described as leading to “different forms of domination and marginalisation — such as racism, sexism, classism, historical injustice and prejudice based on religion”.
The irony, of course, like Lenin’s useful idiots, is that those in education deconstructing and undermining Western civilisation are destroying the very institutions, beliefs and values that guarantee their freedom to mount a critique in the first place.
Kevin Donnelly is author of recently published How Political Correctness Is Destroying Australia (Wilkinson Press)


Brian Arrandale said...
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Is the West Lost, or merely lost its way?
Kevin Donnelly has painted a gloomy, but truthful picture of the position Western Civilisation now finds itself in. It is in this fix because our politicians, bureaucrats and a public seduced into a sort of embarrassing colonial induced trance that they are responsible for any errors or injustices’ of the past.
This situation has been fuelled and used for political ends by the extreme Left, adopted by the moderate Left, and by a lip service of the Right; in the vain hope that they themselves will avoid any blame.
It has become standard fair in our schools, churches, academia, a bias media and has also infiltrated business; it could be described as a sort of modernised Medieval Flagellation; in a remorseful moral beating of themselves into a piety stricken confession.
In his book “Civilisation” Niall Ferguson puts forth the six killer apps of Western Power, which forged Western advancement, together with the Protestant Work Ethic that placed it ahead of the rest after the 15th Century.
1. Competition
2. Science
3. Property Rights
4. Medicine
5. The consumer society
6. The work ethic.
All these are challenged by the socialist society, yet they form the basis of a recovery of the West both in principles and leadership.
“Great Nations and small minds go ill together”!

Howard Milne said...
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Kevin is correct in his analysis, but he leaves out a key point. Western civilization was not just built on the insights of biblical Christianity, but on a society which actually believed those insights to be gifted by God. Until NZ society is again populated by folk who actually embrace not only 'Western values', but the values understood to be sourced in the God of the Bible, the demise will continue. The leftists do control the academic world and the political world. This will only be reversed when society genuinely turns back to God and His values.

Unknown said...
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I think there is a right way and wrong way to deal with this. If we make a case that things are really bad (which is true) that is demotivating.
People need a picture in their heads of a balancing rock that can/could be toppled. To get to that point we need a contemporaneous picture of how interest groups and media operate; how polls can provide false feedback and alert people to what is happening. That means (for example) relating it academic work and providing a running commentary.

This work thus suggests that for multiculturalism to succeed identities need to be transformed. And, importantly, as Kymlicka suggests, this transformation applies not only to the minority but also to the majority. Indeed, perhaps the major identity transformation is required from members of the majority as their attributes are, as a rule, the same as the ones that define the national identity. Minorities need to be written into the self-definition of the national identity such as to imbue them with existential legitimacy as citizens in parity with the majority.
. Moreover, there needs to be an nstitutionalisation of the public discourse as in line with terms outlined by Parekh (2006).
Another means is through initiating a public debate about what it means to be, let us say Australian, where representatives of the citizenry are given a voice. The UK is an case in point where political figures have initiated a debate about the meaning of Britishness (Uberoi & Modood, 2013)

People should be thinking “ah ha – I see what they are doing”

We should link up with groups in other Anglo countries and share resources.
We need a positive vision plus remain fair and circumspect.

On The Panel today Michelle d'Arcort who doesn't believe in the state. Yearsterday Josie Pagani who is a fan of open borders yet she is the spokes person working people. If you listened every day you could easily show that these people don't represent the public.

Anonymous said...
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@Howard Milne
Your analysis though historically accurate is perhaps now too simplistic in my veiw. References to a personal God is fraught with problems. All religions refer to their God as the omnipotent creator of the entire universe (as we understand it). The ethics of human conduct based upon the 'word' of God as passed on by various prophets, is being questioned even ridiculed by agnostic & atheistic academia on all sides. Why is this and how could it be addressed?

Well my also simplistic response is this: 'Given that the 10 commandments are not a bad rule of thumb for a coherent & respectful society to conduct itself, (and that certain parts of the Bible do appear to be metaphorical)- the part which says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", seems a balanced way to live amongst your fellow man/woman..

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