A “threat” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as “an indication of something impending”.
Are you one of the New Zealanders feeling this threat of something impending?
If so, take heart, you are not alone and you are not a “flat earther”. You have good cause to feel unease. Something big is impending. But to understand this, we need to step back from an immediate focus on te reo. Focusing on this aspect of the threat is like focusing on the fin, rather than the shark.
Older New Zealanders with the wisdom of years, are sensing a “hidden agenda” in New Zealand politics.
Hidden is defined as something obscure, unexplained, undisclosed.
An agenda is defined as an underlying, often ideological plan or program.
You are not wrong. New Zealand, and in fact the entire western world, is threatened by an undisclosed agenda.
New Zealanders who have sensed this undisclosed cultural and political agenda and who believe we need to expose it and explore it, and its meaning for the future of New Zealand society are shamed and shut down by the media. You are told you are alone. You are told you have no proof. You are sneeringly called a conspiracy theorist. You are referred to as a disgusting racist. You are told that for even thinking such things, you are morally bankrupt.
But language matters, and a hidden agenda is difficult to prove.
Overt cancer is sometimes preceded by vague “paraneoplastic” symptoms. These grim heralds of brewing trouble often go unrecognized. In this moment the patient inhabits a difficult world; The cancer itself exists but remains undisclosed. Knowing something is wrong they try to articulate it, but they are told nothing is wrong. They are told to go away. If they persist, they may be told they are a hypochondriac and they need counselling.
There is a cancer invading the political and social body of New Zealand.
That cancer is Critical Race Theory, an offshoot of Critical Social Justice (which is deceptively referred to as “social justice”). And even though only a prescient few have as yet identified the cancer itself, wise New Zealanders are noticing its effects, and they are sickened.
The language of Critical Race Theory is designed to obfuscate, not to enlighten, and its use of language is key. Critical Race Theory has used English to hide within plain sight an entirely new dialect where nothing means what we think it means; where words may not be pronounced differently, but where they have different meanings to the initiated, and these meanings are deeply interlinked with one another, and referential to one another.
The words Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are a disturbing case in point.
Western civilization has succeeded as much as it has because we have adopted the concepts of liberty, universal human rights, democracy, free enterprise and equality before the law. We believe that there is an objective truth that is accessible through reason, and we believe in the concept of the reasonable person.
Importantly we recognise the imperfections of our society, but we know that through reason, through scientific method, and through the application of the law, we can continue to improve.
This way of looking at the world is known as Liberalism. In the West, around the world, the major political parties for many years have had the ideas of liberalism at their core.
Liberalism seeks to understand where we are now, and how we arrived here, and to use reason to take people forward to a better future
And the breath of life for Liberalism; its oxygen, is free speech.
(If you are in any doubt, read Kindly Inquisitors, The New Attacks on Free Thought, by Jonathan Rauch)
Many people on both the left and right of politics are Liberals.
Critical Race Theory is a direct descendant of a completely different world view that arose with Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a German philosopher, in the early nineteenth century.
Karl Marx, a young Hegelian, took Hegel’s ideas and created Marxism, which is the basis on which Lenin, followed by Stalin, destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions in Communist Russia in the early 20th century.
Marx developed a belief called Conflict Theory, in which he artificially and simplistically divided societies into two groups; the powerful, whose power came through their control of the means of production (the bourgeoisie), and the powerless (the proletariat) who are exploited by the powerful. And power is a zero-sum game; you either have it, or you don’t.
Marx believed that capitalist societies were inferior to his own conception of society and he predicted that once awakened to Marxist ideology, the proletariat in the major western centres; London, Paris, New York would naturally rise up and overthrow the Western capitalist system.
As societies we are all far from perfect. Western society at the beginning of the 20th century held many values we find abhorrent today. That western societies continue to evolve, and that so many people from non-western societies go to such lengths to come to the West is credit to the methods of Liberalism.
Before the failures of communism became well known, many western intellectuals were enamoured with the romantic religious idea behind it. In essence, Hegel’s idea held that there is a Perfect Society – a utopia on earth -- the germ of which has already been seeded in humanity. This Perfect Society is in fact a conception of God. And it is the article of absolute faith which underlies the entire leftist project.
Leftists believe they know the ordained End, and that end is the Perfect Society. They believe that it is their God-given mission to prepare the pathway for their God to materialise –– that anything they do to further the creation of that perfect society is justified (you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs) And anyone who challenges their beliefs is not just to be disagreed with, but demonized.
A large, but unarticulated part of this belief is that in order to liberate the germ of utopia; the nidus of God –– to allow it to grow and flourish, one must first disrupt and dismantle our society, which they believe is stifling the ability of their utopia to emerge. Further, this utopia can only emerge once there is perfect equity, and perfect anti-racisim. Because, they argue, racism in our society is pervasive – and is structural, they believe that even if every single “white” person within our society becomes not just non-racist, but anti-racist, the institutions of our society must still be destroyed because racism is structurally baked into them. In short, they believe our entire system is irredeemably racist.
With regard to Perfect Equity, equity is not equality of opportunity, it is equality of outcome. The only way to get “perfect equity” from the society we currently have is to seize and redistribute private property. Ultimately, not even the redistribution of crown owned property will satisfy the demands of Equity.
It is important to understand that the emergence of this Perfect Society once this one has been dismantled, is an article of faith. It will just arise because it has to. These “visionaries” have no road map, only absolute faith that their God will emerge from the rubble. And yet there is profound evidence from centuries that identity politics, far from heralding perfect, or even better societies, is a recipe for disaster.
Imagine believing passionately and publicly in an ideology and then being told that your ideology is fatally flawed and caused the deaths of over one hundred million people. This is what happened to the western communist sympathizers in the mid twentieth century when Nikita Khrushchev, the Russian First Secretary and Stalin’s successor, revealed to the world the truth that communism’s real-life evolution towards the Perfect Society was in fact a catastrophic totalitarian nightmare.
Because their basic belief was religious, the question then asked by these crushed and humiliated western communists was not “what is wrong with our God?” but “where did we fail in facilitating the “becoming” of our God?”
And, much like cult purveyors of doomsday scenarios, who always have a prosaic, non-God related reason when their predicted Dooms-Day fails to materialise, the devastated communists applied their special post Hegelian reasoning (called “Critical analysis”) to the communist disaster and concluded that it only occurred because Marx had mistakenly conceived Power as arising through the control of the economic means of production.
An influential group of leftist thinkers agonized over this dilemma. They used a technique of thinking called a Dialectic, to deconstruct and reconstruct their preferred outcome scenario in a new way; in short, they decided that the reason why the oppressed had not risen up to defeat the capitalists in the West was because the cultural power wielded by white supremacists prevented the necessary class consciousness from arising in the oppressed. In plain English, they convinced themselves that society’s oppressed were too comfortable and too ignorant in their oppression, to recognise their happy life was in fact a terrible life, and if only they could rise up in revolution they could create for themselves an authentic, perfect life.
It is this same belief that earlier drove Lenin to observe that leaving people to suffer reaped for revolutionaries the benefit of awakening the revolutionary will in those sufferers.
And with regard to Stalin? Well, that, of course, was not “real” communism.
Jump forward a few generations to Herbert Marcuse, a second generation neomarxist who likewise believed that if you could just make the middle class feel miserable and exploited then they would support a revolution to liberate them from the terrible condition of being falsely content.
The ignorant oppressed were said to exist in a (deplorable) state of False consciousness. The opposite of false consciousness is not true consciousness, but Critical consciousness. To achieve critical consciousness is to achieve an awareness of your, or others’ oppression as defined by Critical Social Justice.
The neomarxists decided that Marx’s error had been his failure to identify that the real tool used by the oppressors to oppress the masses was not economic power, but cultural power and they named that power Cultural Hegemony and they centred that power in any and everything valued by white European males.
When power operates through cultural control then gaining control of the culture means you control the society. Any other function of culture becomes meaningless. They identified five institutions of cultural production that upheld white supremacist cultural hegemony, that leftists needed to dominate and then disrupt and dismantle from within:
Religion, Family, Education, Media and Law.
They realised that furthering the cause of Neomarxism, and of Critical Theory is intimately entwined with taking control of culture.
And thus began their long march through the institutions
This narrative began in the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, colloquially known as the Frankfurt School.
And now, we must wade briefly into the murky, murky waters hiding yet another tentacle that sprouted originally from the body of Hegelianism. And this tentacle is known as post modernism.
A paedophilic philosopher called Michel Foucault in the mid twentieth century developed the idea that rather than pushing down from above, power in fact spreads through us all, like a grid, in which our group identity is key.
Further, Objective Truth, although it exists, is inaccessible. It is on the other side of an invisible, impenetrable wall no human can breach.
What we call Objective Truth, Foucault maintains, is really just a cultural construct that enables those in power to retain that power.
This is why 2 + 2 can now equal 5. (Popular Mechanics, 7 August 2020)
Everything is about power.
And the vehicle for that culturally constructed truth is Language. He believed that Language is the vehicle of power. Seizing control of language is the essential step to seizing power.
In the 1980s Post Modernism and Critical Theory combined to create a belief system known as Applied Post Modernism. It is Applied Post Modernism that we now know as Woke, and those who subscribe to Applied Post-Modernist beliefs, as Being Woke.
Essentially, these people have shed their False Consciousness and have aWoken to the God of the Hegelian Religion; the God that they, through their social activism, will call into being –– their devoted activism dismantling society as we know it and clearing the way for this God, to “Become”.
Central to this faith are very specific beliefs about the nature of knowledge, and of truth, and about how power operates in society; through intersectional identities.
Black feminist lawyer and Critical Race Theorist, Kimberlé Crenshaw, illustrated this in her paper “Mapping the Margins” when she wrote that “Liberal values are just a way to hide oppression. Put the identity first. It is more important than universal humanity.” [my italics]
Both Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory are two limbs of the same monster, and this monster is Woke. On formal occasions however, it goes by the name Critical Social Justice. This is where the term “CSJ warrior” originates.
But why are so many, particularly the young, so Woke?
The theory behind Woke is extraordinarily simplistic and people find comfort in simplistic answers.
From a social perspective, Woke has a mythological structure underlying it that operates with the dynamics of a Cult.
“You must understand racism and admit that you cannot understand racism. You must admit to your complicity in racism and pledge to do better knowing it is impossible to do better. You must be an ally but accept you will always do your allyship wrong.” The Cult Dynamics of Wokeness – James Lindsay. New Discourses. June 6. 2020.
(and we ask ourselves why our young are suffering a mental health crisis)
And according to Mr Lindsay, an expert in religious cults, Anti-racism in particular, under the auspices of Woke, is explicitly religiously framed and within it are easily demonstrable and clear patterns of cult initiation.
Some people are more susceptible to falling prey to a cult than others. In particular:
Those who are afraid they won’t be liked
Those who are afraid they will feel stupid if they fail to conform.
Critical Race Theory has been refining its discourse over 50 years to ensure it has the responses to maximize shame and guilt in those who fail to succumb. They manipulate what the writer Shelby Steele described as “white guilt” to further their own desire to transfer power to themselves.
In fact, the end goal of Critical Race Theory is no more or less than to empower the Critical Race Theorists; to get their own inner circle into power to enable them to enforce what they think is the correct way of thinking about all issues.
Critical Race Theory is a racist world view about power. It does not advance the vision and activism of the Civil Rights movement, in fact, it maintains that all white people are racist. And although it professes to be the only analytical tool through which one can understand race and racism it is no such thing.
To quote James Lindsay (Five ugly truths about Critical Race Theory):
“Critical race theory begins by asserting the importance and social significance of racial categories, rejecting colour-blindness, equality and neutrality, and advocating for discrimination meant to “level the playing field”. These things lead it to reproduce and enact racism in practice. It also explicitly says that all white people are either racist or complicit in the system of racism (so, racist) by virtue of benefitting from privileges that they cannot renounce.”
To quote Ibram X. Kendi (How to be an Antiracist): If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist… the only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination if present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
And from Critical Race Theory, an Introduction, by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, first edition, page 3: “Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law”.
And to ram it home in no uncertain terms we can turn to Robin DiAngelo , who wrote in her tome “White Fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism’ that “… a positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist. White people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy”.
It is worth recalling here Robin DiAngelo’s most instructive quote:
The question [in any situation which may arise] is not Did racism take place? But How did racism [in this situation] manifest? And the job of activists is to make this systemic racism evident everywhere.
To Critical Race Theorists and thus to the Woke, all inequity, no matter how random, is an expression of racism.
For them, any outcome gap between two identity groups must be due to racism.
This means for example, that if a health initiative is introduced, such as the sudden infant death reduction campaign, and that campaign succeeds in decreasing deaths in all racial groups but “white” children, it turns out, see a drop in their deaths proportionately more than other identity groups, then inequity has increased, and the inherent racism of the campaign has been demonstrated.
Welcome the dangerously deluded world of Woke, where words do not mean what you think they mean, such that a decrease in baby death rates across the board now indicates a racist campaign that has increased inequity.
Leftist ideology exists on a continuous downward slope to absurdity because it has no external arbiter of truth. In leftist thought there is no objective truth, no reasonable person standard. There is only your truth and my truth. And these truths, which emanate from Lived Experiences, are ranked by identity grouping with the most oppressed identity always being bestowed the status of Most Truthful.
In Woke, even the way we speak is seen as part of the power matrix to be dismantled.
And so, while now the term “master” has been removed from real estate brochures in the States in reference to bedrooms, because use of the word “Master” implies the presence of “Slave”, be under no illusion that this same (illogical) reasoning will soon be applied to any use of English. If just the word Master begets painful memories of Slave, then how much more painful must be the entire language that that “Master” used?
Thus, if Critical Race Theory truly exists as a hidden agenda in our country, a key indicator of its presence will be the dismantling of the English language and its replacement with the language preferred by the Critical Race Theorists. This replacement will be more effective at dismantling white supremacy and white privilege if it also divorces the replacement language from its English equivalent, and even more so if the act of using the new language carries with it requirements for pronunciation to be particular and exact.
This type of language control and enforcement is not the healthy blending of kith. It is the hidden-in-plain-sight totalitarian domination of a guilt-ridden populace by Critical Race Theorists buoyed by 50 years of behind-the-scenes groundwork that can finally come to fruition.
Not only is truth in Critical Race Theory decided along lines of race, but so too is meaning. English has a long history of capturing and codifying the meaning of words and making those meanings readily available to all.
In the world of Critical Race Theory, the meaning attributed by one who has Lived Experience of the words in question will always trump the meaning attributed by the other. No amount of language immersion, enforced or otherwise, will change this frightening fact.
When it comes to identifying Critical Race Theorists, the cult set on seizing power for itself by playing on white guilt and disrupting and dismantling all things white, it is through their words that we shall know them.
And so back to Stuff’s Phillip Matthews and his backlash theory:
He states that “an intolerance of te reo [is] a sign or expression of some greater intolerance or fear about all things Māori”. He is wrong. The intolerance is not towards te reo itself, it is towards the totalitarian application of te reo for the express purpose of furthering the hidden agenda of Critical Race Theorists. He is right however to use the word fear, although wrong in his assumption of the target of this fear. The feared target is not “all things Māori” (ie anything Māori), it is the manipulative use of Māori by the Critical Race Theorists to achieve their (becoming less so) hidden agenda.
And this fear is justified. The aim of the Woke movement (and, integral to it, the Critical Race Theorists) is to enact a social and cultural revolution with the goal of seizing the means of cultural production and flipping society over in such a way that the cultural capital that holds our society together is destroyed; destroyed in such a way that turns the perceived oppressors into the oppressed and makes those oppressors pay, in perpetuity, for the sins of themselves, in upholding systemic racism, and of their forbears, who first created the systemically racist institutions and then stole from the ancestors of the Critical Race Theorists, their utopian world.
To bolster his thesis, later in his article Mr Matthews states as fact that “a vandal defaced a sign that said “Haere mai ki Whakatū” (Welcome to Nelson), covering up the Māori name and replacing it with the English version, Nelson.”[my italics]
Mr Matthews is being blatantly dishonest. Clearly for him, the End justifies the means. It is worth reflecting on why it was so important for him to emphasise his lie that the Nelson sign had the Māori name for Nelson covered up. Why did he not reproduce the photo to let readers see for themselves? Is it because his portrayal buys into his belief that New Zealanders who fail to toe the leftist party line are intolerant bigots?
The person who altered the Nelson sign covered up nothing. In fact they left the entire maori greeting intact. In a country which has banned all media discussion of how best to combine Māori and English to show respect to all cultures, this person showed admirable restraint. All they did was protest, in the only way now available to them, that the name Nelson remains culturally important.
The bigots are those who fail to recognize the justified reality of what this person expressed.
Later, Mr Matthews holds up the Race Relations Commissioner’s retort to those who question the near total takeover of New Zealand institutions’ names with Māori creations as a masterclass in how to put down the bigoted paheka.
His conception that “Foon has a foolproof answer to that one” in fact reveals more about his own bigotry than any bigotry residing within the questioner:
“What’s your phone called?” he [Foon] asks them.
“Samsung,” they say.
“Are you Korean?” he asks.
The problem with the imposition of Māori language in New Zealand is intimately related to the way the use of that language is enforced. Many New Zealanders who were happy to use Māori words; to have a go, have been publicly shamed for their mispronunciation of those very words. This total domination of the language by Māori interests is now being seen by those older and wiser, for what it is; a form of total cultural control.
The joke is on Mr Foon. He implies that the bigoted New Zealander who refuses to use Māori is none the less comfortable using Korean, and therefore their refusal to use Māori can only be due to racism. But the “Korean” both Mr Foon and the supposed bigot use is almost certainly not Korean as pronounced by Koreans.
The New Zealand user of the word Samsung, completely unlike the user of te reo, runs no risk of being humiliated for his “incorrect” and therefore “racist” pronunciation.
Later still, Mr Matthews approvingly quotes Mr Foon’s casual remark conflating a lack of “belief” in the treaty of Waitangi with the idea that the earth is flat: “There are always people who don’t believe in the Treaty of Waitangi or think the earth is flat,” Mr Foon says.
This is a gratuitous and deliberate misuse of language to denigrate those who hold views at variance with those of Critical Race Theory. And contrary to his bland and condescending reassurances that such people have no need to feel threatened, this little piece of doublespeak is exactly what should alert all thinking New Zealanders to the growing threat.
The treaty is not something that New Zealanders believe or disbelieve. Every New Zealander knows that a treaty was signed at Waitangi. The belief he is in fact referring to is not that the treaty of Waitangi exists but that its interpretation is open to debate.
Of course, in the world view of Critical Race Theory, the truth expressed by an oppressed group always trumps any other truth, and thus the truths identified by Māori activists in the 1980s and codified by credulous legal scholars as inviolate “principles” of The Treaty have become The Truth. There can be no debate, or as the Critical Race Theorists call it, “no complaint” (hence Stuff’s arrogant observation that “The avenues of complaint are closing down”).
There can only be Belief. Flat earthers are to be excommunicated.
And then comes He Puapua, the first glimpse of the hidden agenda that isn’t;
the hidden agenda in which “te reo is flourishing, its use is widespread and its integrity is protected, and that “all New Zealanders will embrace and respect Māori culture as an integral part of national identity”.”
Critical Race Theory writ large again. By legal order, if necessary, New Zealanders will embrace and respect Māori culture. It will be integral. For those Māori who live Māori, this represents a continuation and expansion of their world view. For those New Zealanders who do not consider Māori their cultural heritage, this paragraph should be deeply absorbed in light of the methods we know Critical Race Theorists have identified to best forward their disturbing agenda.
And for those of you who fear being on the outer, even if you want to speak out, Stuff’s Theorists are well on task. They remind you that you are on your own if you disagree in any way. They remind you that “Attempts to stoke fear into anger aren’t helpful and it is becoming increasingly evident that such moves are out of step with the majority of New Zealanders’ beliefs.” It is why they also quote Rawinia Higgins that “the minority opposed to change becomes smaller every day.”
Give up now. They say. Give in… Roll over… You are on your own.
They want you to be on your own; but you are not.
The fact that we have human rights, and a Human Rights Commissioner to uphold those rights is a direct result of Liberalism.
Critical Race Theorists however see human rights as subservient to the group rights of the identity politics they practice instead.
Consider the reflections of Mr Foon, our current Race Relations Commissioner, who works under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission, when he speaks of the “privilege” he had in learning Māori:
“But with privileges comes responsibilities.” He said, in a Stuff article from 2019 entitled “Learning Maori comes with responsibility” He goes on “So, I ended up learning about tikanga and Te Ao Māori too. More than an academic exercise, I could also see the hardship experienced by Māori, personally and structurally.”
He promises that he “will use [his] statutory function and mandate to hold the State to account - to fulfil the promise of Te Tiriti and to address the ongoing and destructive effects of colonisation and structural racism.”
The term Structural racism has no place in Liberal parlance. A belief in the presence of structural racism is, however, a core tenet in the world view of Critical Race Theory.
By their words you shall know them…
…and by your words you shall resist them.
Effi Lincoln is a sixth generation New Zealander. Her roots are sunk deep in the South Island’s soil. Her heart beats in its beaches and its bush. Her eye is firmly on its now seriously threatened future as a fair and free place for her children, and her children’s children, to thrive.