Principle Curator Ian Harvey mulls a column by Queen’s University Professor Bruce Pardy and realizes it crystalizes similar ideas he was struggling to express.
This column by Queen’s Law Professor Bruce Pardy brought my muddy thinking into clearer focus.
He has done a great service here.
My point had been that BLM, Extinction Rebellion, Tides and other Direct Action groups haven’t just sprung up coincidentally. My argument is that they’ve been organizing, cross fertilizing and galvanizing, waiting in the weeds.
We saw that with the climate freaks who started shutting down cities and blocking traffic and then blocking rail lines.
Their goal is not jut to publicize their cause but the disrupt and destroy the infrastructure of our communities and ultimately our civil structures so they can replace them with structures of their own design, Totalitarian and Leftist and Authoritarian.
Then C19 appeared and pushed them off the front pages.
Entering the vacuum Cov19 theorists on the Right then sprang up claiming the threat was overstated and that it was a plot by government to control us. We had sort of a ying and yang thing going on for a while LOL. They are idjits too.
More recently BLM protests have surged back to the forefront as C19 enters the wind down stage. Was this a coincidence, or were these organized groups waiting for a trigger?
The murder of a man by a police officer, so arrogant that he persisted in spite of the cameras capturing his brutality, was shocking to all. But was it race driven. Or a bad cop gone wild?
Immaterial. It was painted as racism and therefore it is. Chaos has resulted around the world, which is curious, because the same Direct Action Groups are involved and, many of the same people from these groups are cross mingling. It’s almost as if driving social disruption was their real focus, regardless of the narrative.
I started calling them Marxist, which is an extension of what I used to call the Totalitarian Left. I was wrong, though I note that Marxist websites are drooling with joy and applauding and salaciously reporting every demonstration and noting the presence of their members and their message.
They do, as Professor Pardy, notes here, adopt some Marxist maxims, namely the destruction of capitalism. But they are not purely Marxist.
I got confused when I saw signs of Critical Theory, the idea that there are oppressed and the oppressors and that justice involves the oppressed eliminating their oppressors.
But that came after Marx.
This is something Jordan Peterson has talked about why Universities have become no go zones for free speech; Only the approved narrative can be voiced, all other concepts are shouted down, sometimes violently.
Pardy takes this further, saying, this has now spread to government and decision makers and that we’re at a tipping point in Canada – and the west – and liable to lose any kind freedom of thought and speech to a politically correct mob, the Totalitarian Left on Steroids.
I have nothing against the left, btw. In civil discourse they bring a balance to the discussion which should include many political points of view. It’s the extreme left I despise, just as I despise the extreme right.
Coincidentally, over the last few days many people have posted an excerpt from George Orwell’s 1984 which was written June 8, 1949:
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
The retort was that government doesn’t control information. Information is free to all on the Internet. And that is true, but the reams of misinformation hides the truth too often and what I see is not the government controlling information but an unelected, insidious group of censors who through cancel culture ban, block, delete, shame and harass those whose narrative they don’t approve. Some of these are official – Facebook’s censorship which casts too wide a net and silences free speech too often – but most is the work of cybermob.
We’re also seeing things like the scientific method being rejected so that a politically approved narrative can be inserted, Climate Change being the prime example. Not all scientists agree and, it should be noted, 80% of the models have proven wrong 80% of the time.
Further, the Federal government has given grants to Universities for things like studies to incorporate Indigenous traditional knowledge into the physics of light. More and more often governments are dictating that science must include the opinion of designated groups, regardless of whether there’s and science behind it.
Science be dammed, it’s the ideology which prevails, as Prof Pardy explains:
” Unlike the scientific method, which accepts observation as evidence and reproducibility as confirmation of truth, in Critical Theory, knowledge is contingent upon its origins and the social environment from which it comes. While Critical Theory shares Marx’s condemnation of capitalism and the power imbalances that define economic relationships, it rejects Marx’s essential empiricism in favour of melding science, philosophy, sociology and history into a single interdisciplinary enquiry.”
So where is this leading us?
Prof Pardy again:
“As political tools, Critical Theory and its variations are brilliant. Any challenge to their legitimacy can be interpreted as a demonstration of their thesis: the assertion of reason, logic and evidence to justify oppression is a manifestation of privilege and power. Thus the challenger risks the stigma of oppressor. They conquer civilizations by harnessing human weakness: fear, guilt, resentment and righteousness. A little boy can say that the Emperor has no clothes, but adults are too afraid to speak. James Lindsay, an independent American critic of Critical Theory and Social Justice, who along with his partners Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian, masterminded the “Grievance Studies Hoax,” in which they managed to get seven academic papers of critical theory and identity studies nonsense accepted for publication in scholarly journals, calls Critical Theory a “kafkatrap.” If you deny that you are a witch, then you are a witch. And if you do not deny it, then you are a witch for sure.”
If you say you are not a racist, you must be a racist. Not a homophobe, then a homophobe for certain. And so on.
I urge you to read his column. And then re read it. And post it and share it.
It’s not a simple, meme. It’s complex. But if you want to know why free speech and free thought is being eroded and why increasing we’re being told what to think and say, then you owe it to yourself and your circle of friends and family to share and discuss – civilly – as to what is going on in our culture.
I leave you with another quote from Prof. Pardy:
“The most serious threat to the West is not China or Russia but its visceral disgust with itself
Do not expect bedrock principles of Canadian law and society to withstand this subversion. The ground began to shift long ago, and a kind of cultural apocalypse is well underway.”