“Freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequences” has become a common retort among the Left. Relatedly, they would deeply appreciate it if people became slightly more continent and not present the counter-argument to their Narrative. Peoples’ feelings could get hurt. In other words, free speech is illusory but when it rears its bigoted — and totally non-existent — head, there will be consequences. Don’t think there won’t be any consequences. Because there will be.
The Australian Left has cut their metaphysically Roman noses to spite their faces with their opposition to the Coalition’s same-sex marriage plebiscite. Experience teaches us not to doubt the sincerity of the Greens’ tantrum induced low time preference, deferring ideological gratification until the Turnbull government is voted out. Even after gaining seats in Federal and State Parliaments they proceed with the same mindset honed during their time on local and student councils. On the other hand, Bill Shorten’s resistance could be less principled and more to do with causing trouble for the Turnbull government. Which is not to say he is not reflective of the contemporary Left.
Shorten’s confrontation with Anglican Rector Ian Powell is the perfect illustration of this point. Powell’s admiration for Shorten and his party is not enough to assuage Shorten’s antipathy for any little person who dares challenge him. The result of the exchange was that Shorten admitted that “people of faith can be opposed to marriage equality,” but, “some people who object to marriage equality do have homophobic attitudes.” The existence of this “some” negate the rights of those other non-homophobic bigots.
It is nearly as astute an observation as Linda Burney on Q&A ejaculating that not all countries are democracies. Unlucky for Burney and Shorten, Australia is a liberal democracy and in such a regime “people do have the right to be bigots.”
We are also told “Australia doesn’t have free speech.” Australians did not see fit to codify many ancestral conventions including free speech. This has its benefits as well as drawbacks. The benefit is that the Left cannot pull the wool over simple conservatives’ eyes with a supposed black letter reading of the law. Such left-wing understandings are not faithful to its spirit but seek to subvert the law for ideological purposes. The drawback is that the Left have adapted and play at being naïve realists denying the existence of free speech because it isn’t written down.
A law is a written convention, and unwritten ones can be just as forceful in their obligations as the former. Much in the way that the shake of a hand is as binding an agreement as a legal contract is in a high trust society.
As people degenerate this common outlook linking past, present and future generations is lost. The Australians of the colonial period and time after federation understood that they had free speech. It was implicit in their systems of government that had evolved over hundreds of years but more fundamentally was hardwired into the culture as a result of pre-historical experiences.
With shades of Tacitus’ observation “Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges” (the more corrupt the commonwealth, the more laws [there are]) it wasn’t until 1992 that this understanding became codified. The High Court ruled that the Constitution implies freedom of political communication. It is ironic that at this time when four of the five pillars of the “Australian Settlement” had been dismantled — White Australia, State Paternalism, Protectionism, Imperial Benevolence, and the fifth still in place at the time being Wage Arbitration — this more foundational practice was uncovered. Yet its uncovering was akin to an archaeologist unearthing a stone inscribed with the laws of a long forgotten people. The Racial Hatred Act 1995 (Cth) was around the corner, ratcheting up the ideologically dated Racial Discrimination Act with 18C, after all.
The Left manage to keep a straight face as they profess that their innovations over the past twenty years are consistent with liberal democracy. This may be correct regarding the outward form but its substance has been transformed according to Rawlsian conceptions of “public reason”. This means that for something to be spoken about in public it must be from a “politically correct” — in the strictest sense — perspective. Tradition, religion, and non-liberal views are not “reasonable” and cannot be used as reasons in public debate.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has written into the Attorney General requesting anti-discrimination laws be overturned for the purposes of presenting their anti-SSM case during the plebiscite. A request that he denied. This all but confirms our suspicions that anti-discrimination legislation is inimical to liberal democracy and is un-Constitutional.
The dogged opposition to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage begins to make sense. The estimated cost of $160 million to the taxpayer isn’t it. That’s chump change to the tax and spend Left. Opposing “hate speech” doesn’t quite explain it either. The “no” case being led by the ACL would be a Heaven send. Public opinion would be solidly in favour of SSM after being bombarded with ads quoting from Leviticus. The only surer path to SSM would be a Coalition free vote on legislation coinciding with a LNP “coming out” party.
No, the Left are protecting their ideological hegemony. They are resentful of having to articulate a case for their agenda and will resist having to directly appeal to the public. There’s also the fact that the “no” side to a plebiscite would unravel the lie of not altering the very nature of our society with “hate speech” laws. The Australian Left cannot afford such embarrassments in the global context of Brexit and Trump. Who knows what atavistic forces that would unleash!
So they choose to torpedo the plebiscite slinking back to the shadows to further wage war against free speech.
The political non-Left in Australia has allowed this situation to arise due to not understanding the agenda they claim to oppose. They do not comprehend that the political is a separate sphere to the economic with different concerns and imperatives. Politics to the Coalition is merely the extension of business, hence questions of sovereignty are not entertained when leasing harbours and electricity grids to foreign governments. Restoring free speech is seen as inessential to Turnbull’s platform because “it is not going to create an extra job, it is not going to … build an extra road.” Which is not as stupid as it sounds; for the human rights grievance industry would come to a standstill overnight.
The solution to our predicament is cultural and is outside of electoral politics. Alternative media such as The Convict Report is the starting point of this venture, but Australian activists must not baulk at the thought of demanding state funding and infrastructure as a long term goal. The ABC is largely a vehicle for the Left to indoctrinate the public, SBS is staffed by ethnic activists, and NITV is by Aborigines for Aborigines. These interests are considered legitimate enough for government funding. The ethnic interests of the historic majority and assimilated Europeans must be deemed equally worthy. To wit, “hate speech” needs to be broadcast at the taxpayers’ expense, baby.
The sign of a free and healthy society must be seen as the flourishing of its Hate Speech industry — capitalised since being “reclaimed.” The nascent Australian alternative right is just getting warmed up, but it is punching well above its weight. As it expands it will come to replace the post-modern Left much like they have overturned liberal democracy without a referendum or plebiscite.