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Liberalism, what went wrong?


Max Power
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I can't help feeling that we are sliding into a dystopian nightmare. At one time, you could question anything and everything without fear of consequences and reprisals. No it seems that you can't even question liberalism itself, leading to a loss of free speech and thought. You must conform to a predetermined opinion or be cast out. You can't even apologise for a slip of the tongue or an unwise choice of words, the liberals have deemed that that slip betrays your true feelings and opinions. Far from an enlightened society, we are fast becoming an almost totalitarian society! Is social media the cause, are we so stupid that we happily give up our freedoms to satisfy a ranting minority?

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4 hours ago, Max Power said:

I can't help feeling that we are sliding into a dystopian nightmare. At one time, you could question anything and everything without fear of consequences and reprisals. No it seems that you can't even question liberalism itself, leading to a loss of free speech and thought. You must conform to a predetermined opinion or be cast out. You can't even apologise for a slip of the tongue or an unwise choice of words, the liberals have deemed that that slip betrays your true feelings and opinions. Far from an enlightened society, we are fast becoming an almost totalitarian society! Is social media the cause, are we so stupid that we happily give up our freedoms to satisfy a ranting minority?

I would substitute the last word 'minority' with 'majority.'

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Its not that dystopisn Max; its very nearly here. Freedom is now not unconditional (and I suppose it never has been) but subject to so many qualifications and boundaries that the concept of living in a free society is now very different to what it was in my youth. At least in part, I blame the rise in university "education" where our young are being indoctrinated by a dominant, psuedo-socialist and anti-liberal ideology, where only one view of Right is taught or accepted. Of course, the ideology is not particularly new and I can remember attending university in the late 1970s and fed an unrelenting diet of Marxism, but the underlying ethos was that the teaching was subject to discussion and disagreement, intellectually. I wonder now whether the spirited debate we had in seminars with the examination of different opinions would be allowed as an acceptable part of current curriculums.

Social media also has a lot to answer for. I recall, about a year ago having a discussion on FB about the role of T-cells in immunity to Covid. I am not anywhere near expert in these matters, but repeated, as part of the debate, what I had read about the importance of t-cells, in an article endorsed by a number of scientists, expert in the field. My comment was "corrected" by some nerd at Facebook who, I  must assume, was more expert than the Experts. This illustrates the cancel culture and unacceptability of any ideas that are not acceptable. Just who decides what is acceptable, I can't fathom but I do know it is not anyone that lives in the real world, faces real issues caused by real problems or has significant life experience to draw on. There remain significant numbers of people who are not taken in by this new agenda and it is up to them to stand up for freedom and not fund or tolerate the woke ( I have tried hard not to use that word, but failed) cancel-culture. The alternative is to slip into the totalitarian world you describe. 

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1 hour ago, prism10 said:

I would substitute the last word 'minority' with 'majority.'

I fear that you may be right, people seem prepared to believe almost any tripe, and it's not limited to young people and students, even academics appear to have lost their sense of reason? My dad used to say that academics have never left school and shouldn't be trusted to give a solid opinion on anything!

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On 5/14/2021 at 2:00 PM, Max Power said:

I can't help feeling that we are sliding into a dystopian nightmare. At one time, you could question anything and everything without fear of consequences and reprisals. No it seems that you can't even question liberalism itself, leading to a loss of free speech and thought. You must conform to a predetermined opinion or be cast out. You can't even apologise for a slip of the tongue or an unwise choice of words, the liberals have deemed that that slip betrays your true feelings and opinions. Far from an enlightened society, we are fast becoming an almost totalitarian society! Is social media the cause, are we so stupid that we happily give up our freedoms to satisfy a ranting minority?

Have you tried apologising to someone and actually faced this reaction from “the liberals” or are you just parroting some grifter’s speech from a YouTube video?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mr. Sausages said:

 

Have you tried apologising to someone and actually faced this reaction from “the liberals” or are you just parroting some grifter’s speech from a YouTube video?

No, neither? I'm just following the news really, there's plenty to think about if you bother to read it. I'm just concerned that our freedoms are being slowly eroded and we are being policed and legislated to by something other than our elected government. The Stu Peters affair was just one minor example of the way things are leaning.  

Edited by Max Power
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Posted (edited)

'Has this ever actually happened to you or anyone you know?'
'I don't see how that's relevant'

 

The irony of you saying 'people seem prepared to believe almost any tripe' and you are posting about something you have no first hand experience of.

Edited by jichaelmosem
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4 hours ago, jichaelmosem said:

'Has this ever actually happened to you or anyone you know?'
'I don't see how that's relevant'

 

The irony of you saying 'people seem prepared to believe almost any tripe' and you are posting about something you have no first hand experience of.

It's unlikely that I as a pleb, would have first hand experience of being 'cancelled' or hung out to dry for my opinions. It doesn't prevent me from being concerned or having an opinion on what is happening. I would be surprised if there were not many people outside of the public eye who would be a high profile victim, just yet. What we all have first hand knowledge of is how history is being rewritten and lies being told by supposed academics to create a false history to suit far left wing agendas.  

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46 minutes ago, Max Power said:

It's unlikely that I as a pleb, would have first hand experience of being 'cancelled' or hung out to dry for my opinions. It doesn't prevent me from being concerned or having an opinion on what is happening. I would be surprised if there were not many people outside of the public eye who would be a high profile victim, just yet. What we all have first hand knowledge of is how history is being rewritten and lies being told by supposed academics to create a false history to suit far left wing agendas.  

Has anyone been cancelled?

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1 hour ago, Max Power said:

It's unlikely that I as a pleb, would have first hand experience of being 'cancelled' or hung out to dry for my opinions. It doesn't prevent me from being concerned or having an opinion on what is happening. I would be surprised if there were not many people outside of the public eye who would be a high profile victim, just yet. What we all have first hand knowledge of is how history is being rewritten and lies being told by supposed academics to create a false history to suit far left wing agendas.  

So you’re concerned that celebrities are living in a dystopian nightmare? Very empathetic of you.
 

When was this golden age in which “you could question anything and everything without fear of consequences and reprisals”? 
 

Can’t have been when Jesus was around. Or Galileo. Or Julian Clary.

 

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Posted (edited)

Anyways, this thread made me think of Professor Corinne Fowler. Historian writing about how the stately homes in Britain were paid for by the slave trade. Nationalists don’t like it. Makes them uncomfortable. So she’s been getting death threats. Death threats for writing about historical facts. Mental.

Is she one of the academics you’re talking about Max?

podcast about it here:

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/full-disclosure-with-james-obrien/id1454408831?i=1000519506324

Edited by Mr. Sausages
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57 minutes ago, HeliX said:

Has anyone been cancelled?

Just one example is  JK Rowling

There are plenty of others, David Starkey

Whether I agree with them or not is immaterial, once you start silencing people with alternative views you lose the opportunity to prove them wrong. Particularly in the case of universities where it is surely part of a student's education to challenge opinions, not to be told what their opinion should be?

15 minutes ago, Mr. Sausages said:

So you’re concerned that celebrities are living in a dystopian nightmare? Very empathetic of you.
 

When was this golden age in which “you could question anything and everything without fear of consequences and reprisals”? 
 

Can’t have been when Jesus was around. Or Galileo. Or Julian Clary.

 

No, after Jesus and Galileo, the Liberal Enlightenment is considered to be in the mid 18th century. Julian Cleary was a bit of an ass to begin with. 

2 minutes ago, Mr. Sausages said:

Anyways, this thread made me think of Professor Corinne Fowler. Historian writing about how the stately homes in Britain were paid for by the slave trade. Nationalists don’t like it. Makes them uncomfortable. So she’s been getting threats. Death threats for writing about historical facts. Mental.

Is she one of the academics you’re talking about Max?

podcast about it here:

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/full-disclosure-with-james-obrien/id1454408831?i=1000519506324

She wasn't one I was thinking about but she is probably right in most cases, even the heirs of several beneficiaries of slavery are acknowledging where their houses came from. She should be free to state those facts, which most people should be aware of anyway.   

 

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Just now, Max Power said:

Just one example is  JK Rowling

There are plenty of others, David Starkey

Is JK Rowling somehow not a bestselling author with a platform and a huge following anymore? If she's not, whom was she "cancelled" by? People stopping being your fan because you said something that they felt strongly against isn't being "cancelled".

Similarly, an organisation firing you for something you said isn't being "cancelled", it's cause and effect. I don't know about you, but if I said:

"Starkey told an online show hosted by conservative commentator Darren Grimes that slavery was not genocide, because of the survival of "so many damn blacks"." 

I would also be fired. And it wouldn't be anything to do with being "cancelled".

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No one has really been cancelled. Within the bounds of what is legal you can say what you want. You can always find somewhere to host you.

But venues are just the same as forums or newspapers or broadcasters. Each are entitled to set rules and limits as to what they’ll carry.

The issue isn’t that private venues have said no, after all the speaker can go somewhere else, so it doesn’t limit freedom of speech. It’s that people with unpopular or extreme or abhorrent views are booked by groups, at specific venues  knowing there’ll be a backlash which they can then manipulate and try and cash in on by crying foul and breach of freedom of speech.

Its not the liberals causing the problem, other than by being weak and being manipulated. It’s those who are pushing the populist agenda who are setting the situation up and using it.

Universities aren’t public spaces. The VC and authorities have a duty to ensure safety. If a speaker is invited who will inflame and risk disturbance, then they’ve every right, indeed a duty to cancel. The legislation proposed by the Tories is a perverted and craven attack on Liberals.

Yes, I’ll defend, within the law, your right to speak your mind and opinions, but not in my garden, or my local authority meeting hall, or my university, if to do so would cause harm. Book somewhere else.

And it’s not new. There was no platforming by the NUS throughout the 70’s and 80’s, and again it was aimed at those with illiberal ideas and politics. That’s why the Tories are playing the game they are, as they move further and further to the right.

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