At a recent meeting, the Conservative Party’s New South Wales lead Senate candidate, Sophie York, spoke about the clear and present threats to Australian civil society.
Below is an excerpt from her speech:
The three main threats are:
Firstly: militant secularism; promoted by Marxist sympathisers. It was particularly on display domestically during the so-called ‘Safe Schools’ push, and in the same-sex Marriage Campaign. It promotes political correctness, it controls via “being offended”, uses words like “Inclusive” and diversity”, ironically, as it attempts to divide us along racial, sexuality and gender lines, whilst forcing groupthink, and tries to re-write our history and insert a new version, in the interests of changing all that is good in our country.
Secondly: Chinese Communism and
Thirdly: Extreme Islamism (or Jihadism). This last threat is not just to Australia, but unfortunately to the West, generally.
I doubt I will be able to adequately deal with all three threats today. So let me unpack militant secularism in detail, and maybe only note briefly the other two.
Despite the impressive legacy of our Australian Heritage, some surveys are showing that some young people in the West are rejecting capitalism and embracing socialism.
And we also know here that there is agitation to move Australia Day, some attempted knocking down of commemorative statues of our historical heroes & alteration of plaques, and surprise surprise - there is also a removal of the study of British heritage from universities and schools. These matters are all related.
It doesn’t make sense that young people in the West would reject capitalism if they know the facts: For example, that Socialism generally bankrupts countries, and that Communist countries take it even further. These regimes ruthlessly breach the human rights of their citizens, there is no free press, no independent judiciary, and religious freedoms are heavily curtailed or adherents actually persecuted. You don’t need to look much further than Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, China - and so on. And if you know your world history you will know the horrendous suffering caused in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia… - the list goes on. And you would feel relieved and grateful that your heritage was British, if you knew your history.
And therein lies the problem. They don’t know their history. When Churchill endorsed the view that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried”, he no doubt assumed that people knew the facts about socialist regimes.
So why don’t they know their history? Because it is either not being taught at all, or is being taught in a fashion that the achievements are being obliterated and a false version inserted.
The fact that modern Australia has essentially evolved out of British institutions, culture, and language, is not something which is firmly within their consciousness, let alone their
appreciation. And there is now a movement on campuses which calls for ‘trigger warnings’ to be given when discussing confronting material, and the provision of ‘safe spaces’ for people - to shield them from challenging ideas and other people who might be different to them.
The ‘Safe spaces’ reference is a nod to the French Reign of Terror, post the Revolution, which had a ‘Committee of Public Safety’ which dictatorially suppressed “rebellion” and put to death those who challenged their ideas.
Fortunately, we are nowhere near that savagery, but the concept that ideas must be muzzled, is ominous suppression of free thought – and the opposite of what students are meant to experience whilst at University. If you don’t know the errors of history, you are doomed to repeat them.
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) analysed History programmes throughout Australia in 2014. Their report contains the results of a systematic review of 739 history subjects offered across 34 Australian tertiary institutions and found that Undergraduate history degrees fail to teach fundamental aspects of Australia’s history and how Australian liberal democracy came to be. This is quite shocking. Only 15 subjects out of 739 subjects surveyed covered British history! And yet this is our historical heritage! If I could brag for one moment: Campion College in NSW scored well! I am proud to say that I am on its Board.
The bottom line is: If you don’t know about something, you will not value it, and you will not care if it is displaced by something else. You must know what you treasure and why.
Because only then will you want to defend it!
As insightful Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson wrote in his book “Maps of Meaning”:
“Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns.”
The disruption can occur in a number of ways: by neglected (or jaundiced) education about our heritage is only one of the ways. An ignorant press, unsupportive television or radio, ignorance unchallenged in social media, and immigration at too high levels for the culture to handle, also all undeniably have an impact.
Many great philosophers throughout history have noted that culture can be eroded unless steps are taken to preserve it. Christopher Dawson, noted English scholar and historian, argued that the survival of any civilisation was vitally dependent on its educational tradition, which created a common world of thought with moral and intellectual ideals, and a common inheritance of knowledge.
And as a number of scholars have concluded: all that stands between civilisation and barbarism is the education of one generation. And it is the case if a generation is not educated about what gives society its civility, or is falsely educated about its foundations, it is no wonder that its foundation is rejected. This conundrum is happening now in Australia, where school children are routinely taught that the British brought only dispossession, disease & death to Australia. That is such an unattractive heritage to have, that there is no wonder that there is some move to reject its legacy, and embrace other alternatives.
Fortunately, the attitude in Australia appears to not be not quite as forlorn as that of America’s, if a recent Newspoll (Feb 2018) is any indication – notwithstanding everything, it found that 65 per cent of Australians want our national day to remain as it is – a day of celebration and gratitude, on 26th Jan, despite the allegations by the ignorant that it was an invasion.
And while we’re talking polls, in 2017 Core Data Research surveyed 1000 Australians over 50 and found that nine in 10 agree that political correctness is ruining society, and thought that younger generations were too worried about offending people. Political correctness is another phrase for speaking in accord with tenets of Marxism, on the pretext that a third party will be offended, for example calling Fathers’ Day “Special Person’s Day”.
I believe we are at a crossroads in our society, we are coming to a point where we choose whether we will uphold the rights, responsibilities and freedoms of the individual vs the imposed values, thoughts, impositions and even the decreed terminology, of the collective ideologues, who use terms such as inclusivity and diversity, even as they divide us with falsehoods and cause friction by being unnecessarily prickly, to silence dissent.
The problem is, longstanding Australian principles and national character virtues are being eroded. I believe that without recognition of them, and without leadership to preserve them, these key Australian character traits - and freedoms – risk being lost. A new prickly society which removes the glue that keeps it happy and enjoyable, making us afraid to express our true selves and share truly diverse ideas, is being created instead.
In past years the erosion of our Judeo-Christian heritage, gained from the British, (and appreciated and enriched over the years by migrants from Christian backgrounds), has been done ‘on the quiet’, say by the removal of crosses from hospital chapels, or bibles from bedside drawers, or the forbidding of school pupils to have Christmas pageants, or the use by some Australian academics of “BCE” – Before Common Era – rather than BC, “Before Christ”, or the removal from university reading lists of the works of Christian or Catholic scholars, or the attempted chiselling-off of the words “Known Unto God” from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in the War Memorial in Canberra.
Since the issue of same-sex marriage emerged, the erosion of Judeo-Christian culture has been far more overt and concerning. The template for overseas is being adopted here.
Australia has had a great trade relationship with China, we have also welcomed them as migrants and hosted them as tourists. Chinese people are our friends and colleagues.
However the Chinese government (which is different to its people) is doing things which are complete over-reach, and then they are wondering why we are concerned!
Broadly speaking, they have cemented over and militarised islands in the South China sea region where our trade shipping passes. This was found to be unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.8 Not only does it breach international law, and cause a breakdown in global civility, whoever has the power to disrupt this shipping has political and strategic leverage over us and our regional neighbours, even if they never actually use it. The fake islands are replete with missile launchers and military aircraft hangars, with battleships at the ready. There has never been any adequate explanation given for these surprising, unnecessary, strangely-hostile constructions.
President Xi Jinping has put in initiatives such as the One Belt One Road, and the Asia Development Bank. They are funding expensive road & port projects in many of the countries in our region, actions which are being interpreted as ‘empire expansion’ designed to switch loyalties from the US to China. He has also engineered to change the Chinese Constitution to allow himself to be Supreme ruler – of the Party, of the Chinese nation and Commander in Chief of the Military. In Australia, we know that there has been foreign influence in our schools and universities - via the Confucius Institutes, and that Chinese students in Australia are monitored, and we also know that it has infiltrated our political system (one example alone was when a Senator - Sam Dastyari – reportedly tipped off a Chinese operative who was being monitored by ASIO), and it has exercised influence via foreign political donations. The Federal Parliament is attempting to address this via legislation (hopefully though, without it disadvantaging genuine charities).
Australia’s alliance with the United States is based on shared ideals and will continue to be the centrepiece of our defence policy. In March this year it was reported in The Australian that at the Chinese National People’s Congress annual meeting, China outlined defence spending which takes their level to $A225 billion.
I do recommend you read Clive Hamilton’s new book “Silent Invasion”.
As far as extreme Islamism is concerned, the everyday law-abiding Muslim is not the problem. Islamism itself, however, is a repressive and expansionist credo. This is also how it manifests in reality, being based on collectivism not individual freedom, which is why it is shielded by Left-wingers-who-are-also collectivists - and why it poses a problem in Europe and increasingly in the UK, with the encroachment of Sharia Law practices and courts, forced dress for women & girls, forced female genital mutilation (FGM), polygamy, child-marriage, radicalisation in schools and prisons, and acts of terrorism. Australia has a number of these issues, issues which are not aired adequately.
However, I am advised that the Halal Certification racket has been the subject of a Senate Enquiry (because industries were being boycotted if they didn’t comply, and the money was apparently being sent to extremist activities overseas). If there is to be regulation of standards for food in Australia , it needs to be Australian standards, by a government regulatory body, set up under Australian law only. Again, setting boundaries prevents over-reach. Having one legal system only, in Australia, should surely be ‘not negotiable’?
The collectivist puts the perceived good of the group over individual freedom, and so overreaches constantly. You need to know what it is about your own culture that you treasure - and what you will not compromise upon.
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