If we’d built a more civically minded culture we would not be having debates about, say, whether Julian Assange is a nice guy, or whether what he does is responsible journalism. We would instead be asking whether the basic elements of the crime he’s alleged to have committed against America – encouraging a whistleblower to disclose classified information – are the same basic elements of so much investigative journalism. The point is not Julian Assange. The point is the way the crime is framed – not the alleged criminal, but the things being criminalised. Just as the point is not whether the person being raided is a journalist or a citizen, but the extent to which those powers are ripe for abuse. If the only freedom you care about is freedom of the press, soon enough that will fold too because you’ve created a culture that’s insensitive to civic ideals.
Waleed Aly, Sydney Morning Herald 06.06.2019
As a stand-alone paragraph, the above has been constructed in a chaotic style. Please permit me to restate your oddly convoluted reasoning:
1. “Civically minded” cultures would not be debating Assange’s winning personality and ethics.
2. “Civically minded” cultures would be debating whether whistleblowing encouragement is the equivalent of investigative journalism.
3. Julian Assange is only a symbol being used to further the loss of journalistic rights narrative.
4. The Assange narrative is false and it sucks and it’s dangerous.
5. Such a narrative leads to abuse of power.
6. Freedom of the press is only as good as its culture.
That’s better, I feel more intellectually organised, now. Let me respond.
1. Civilised cultures inhabited with civilised people would not need to debate the infringements which 18c imposes.
2. Civilised cultures would be debating whether freedom of speech infringements are the equivalent of inferior cultures’ censorship and what that type of censorship leads to, ie, a throw-back.
3. 18c is only a symbol and it’s only a baby step to further the loss of rights narrative.
4. The multicultural narrative on freedom of speech is false and it sucks and it’s dangerous.
5. This fake narrative will lead to abuse of power.
6. Freedom of speech is only as good as its culture.
One peel leads to another peel. It’s like an onion. So when MSM cry but muh journalistic rights, I can’t say that I am surprised and you cannot deny that you weren’t warned. Yet, to this day, you stand by the 18c freedom of speech narrative.
I have not seen any comments on whether Julian Assange is nice or not, but I’ll grant you that that could be due to our very different reading and researching diets. I have, however, seen on the ABC (your mates), the Most Holy Father Peter Greste stating that journalistic protections ought to be reserved only for a select few and that Julian Assange was not included in the club.
I could, at this point, sit here and describe the glee and joy I am currently feeling, but I shan’t. Well, maybe just a little.
Annabelle @ The Art of Flag-waving
If science indicates that free-play helps animals, children and adults destress and problem solve, why do corporatists and their platforms discourage it? Trolling is the ultimate definition of adult free-play: free-flowing, interactive, non-committal and above all else, fun! So I ask myself, why would governments, and their minions, bogeyman the term and dehumanise debate instigators to iNazi looking to gas millions of users.
There is little doubt the most amusing internet free-players are right-wing “trolls,” as they don’t hide their ideology just as they can’t hold back their quips. Creative one-liners ooze out of them like larva oozes out of a volcano. They elevate weighty debates. They stimulate powerful emotional responses. They make online interactions engaging, to the point that it becomes almost impossible not to respond, and the left’s case, to report. Either way, they hook you in and force a reaction.
The political and cultural sparks set off by free-players initiate many more things. The interactions sharpen minds, finetune arguments and influence culture. Information carried by internet voices is challenging the status quo of most topics which affect our daily live. From multiculturalism to history, from fashion to finance, from music to house buying, from feminism to diet, from politicians to vested interests. As users expand their knowledge and skills, their whispers carry through, influencing others as they exercise the power of critical thinking. The flow of information, and the constant human filtering, is teaching people to recognise strawmen, distractions, propaganda, manipulation and cultural engineering. It is also emboldening them to transfer the ideas and arguments they developed online into their real lives. And our lives are becoming richer for it. So, again, I ask why would the corporatists and our governments want to make politics and culture less engaging? To answer, because they don’t want to transfer their power on to the people.
For the first time in history, we, the people, hold the power to create a democracy that has never been seen before. The internet has already proven how power is transferred to its users, the election of Trump has proven it. Is now beginning to break down the stronghold of other institutions and organisations such as universities, which are forced to offer online degrees to remain competitive. Mainstream celebrities are being challenged with ecelebritites, who have larger followings. Newspapers, malls and mainstream music are slowly, but surely, dying and being internet alternatives are flourishing. We’re at the point that no amount of censorship or propaganda or weaponised terminology has the ability to stop this flow — we’re too far in and the tentacles of reason and power decentralisation are now too numerous. Hate-speech laws, censorship, de-platforming, demonization of free-speech is only working in making us more resilient. Hysterical reactions, genocidal messages, menses discharge masks, and the everyone-except-my-virtue- signaling are fascists, have become internet free-play laughter fodder. We have become critics, journalists, commentators, reporters, comedians and philosophers. We are replacing the fake media and all of the slop-suckers attached to them. It is only a matter of time that “the enemy of the people” shall be demoted to historical trash soon to be forgotten. Trolls, through intellectual play, have weaponised humanity.
Trolls are making politics great again, their wit and memes are the new Oscar Wilde play. The fire they ignite steadily grows to illuminate the importance of freedom of speech. We are moving into a new horizon based on reason and democracy and there’s no stopping it.
It is time.
Annabelle @ The Art of Flag-waving
Having a bit of free time, I thought it would be a good idea to stuff some extra wadding into my pillow of political knowledge to help me boost my little blog, so I enrolled in a couple of courses at Macquarie Uni. What could be a better way to broaden one’s thinking and sharpen one’s debate skills, right? Right? Riiight??? Right…
Anyhoo …6pm of day 1 and I’ve already been insulted and reprimanded twice by my totalitarian tutor, who then proceeded to ban me from the class discussion forums, delete my second post and edit-out 3/4 of my original post. How many freshmen can boast such a feat I less than 24 hours and all whilst the other oblivious “Hi I’m Mohammad/Li/Hardik and I’m appreciative to be here!” students were too engrossed in the really the important part of the course – introductions.
So now you’re probably wondering what were these terrifying and traumatic posts which have scarred countless souls? Well, Here is the first:
Annabelle Post 1
I am currently reading the Income & Wealth Inequality in Australia brief and I am taken aback by its biased perspective.
Firstly, I find it somewhat concerning that TIA’s (The Australian Institute) main donor is the Katers (leftist Zionist elites). Surely the Katers would apply some pressure onto TAI to propagandise their perspectives and goals and TAI would oblige to their requests as their survival relies on their donations?
Equally concerning is that the brief bases most of its arguments on an ex-senior vice president of the World Bank and a Georgist! (Georgism: private land ownership is abolished and all land becomes public.) At least with communism you get to keep a bit of land free of charge, but Georgism seems to be a hybrid of the worst of communism and the worst of corporatism. (Imagine if Australia were to be taken over by a foreign force with Georgism laws in place …I shudder!) I find myself unable to trust the opinion of such a person.
Thirdly, TAI has built its argument of the widening gap mostly on the concept that the main reason for the widening gap is that the ATO is not redistributing wealth. It even goes so far as to state the purpose of taxes is wealth distribution! (What about defence and infrastructure!?). TAI ignores to tackle many other reasons for the growing inequality in Australia, some of which being:
1. Widening inequality is an indication of a declining democracy (Chomsky). Since democracy can only exist in nations with average IQs of 90+, the constant influx of non-westerns into Australia is steadily pushing down the national IQ average. An argument can be made that the widening inequality gap is a symptom of multiculturalism.
2. The extremely high migration rates in Australia are increasing work competition. Employers can easily navigate lower salary jobs through such large human resource pools.
3. An economy structured on a two salary system, where women no longer have the choice to manage households are increasing job competition.
4. Exorbitant house prices in Australia is also contributing to the gab and some of the reason are:
A. State governments are not releasing land. I think this is being encouraged by a UN mandate (???)
B. Houses are being snatched by non-Australians citizens (an estimate of 15%+ of houses Australia wide, which would translate to a much higher % in Sydney or Melbourne). Australian citizens are being out-competed.
5. Inadequate infrastructure to handle shifting the workforce further out of the city.
I may list more issues in the coming days. In the meantime I’d love to hear your opinions!
Tot-tut response 1
It is great to see that you have jumped straight into the reading for the week, and engaging in the forum, although you need to keep in mind that if you do this before the lecture, you may have the reading out of context. The first part of your post was thoughtful and to the point. However, your post went a little too far towards the end. It is quite opinionated and given that you don’t know anyone in the course, may give offence. I will be editing the section that I am concerned about.
Please bear in mind that students in the OUA stream in particular, but in the course in general may come from anywhere, and may be in any kind of situation. They may also come from anywhere, including outside Australia. They may be any age up from 13 years old. It would be best if you stick to the themes of the week and a considered reflection on argument of the reading, as your post began. The forums are learning spaces, not free speech spaces.
I hope you understand that I have an obligation to keep the space a welcoming space to all students. I am not discouraging dissenting views, by any means, and it was good to see another student challenge some of your views on the reading, but your post became a little too polemical for comfort – and polemics do not make for positive discussion.
Annabelle Post 2
The only solution I see in this brief is taxes and more taxes and increase benefits. It also has a tendency to concentrate on millionaires over billionaires. Penalising the entrepreneurs is only going to assist the monster-corporations monopolies. The paper treads carefully over this point probably because TAI does not want to displease its primary (billionaire) donor.
There are a lot of cultural and economic ramifications in increasing benefits and taxes, yet not one is explored. For instance, what happens to the dignity of a nation where the State encourages benefits and rewards the non-earners over the earners? Independence is the building block of dignity. Independence also prevents tyrannical states from developing. I find this paper to be, at best, infantile and at worst deceitful.
To answer you, and please excuse my chops, but since I don’t agree with your connections I’ve broken down your questions to better lay out my ideas:
Do you think we can correlate a declining democracy and income inequality with multiculturalism…
Yes. This is easily confirmed by simply looking at a world map and matching government systems to IQ averages.
…when that has formed a fundamental part of Australia’s business, arts, sciences, events and lifestyle?”
Historically speaking, a monoculture has built both Australias (Aboriginal and Western) and Western foundations still dominate Australia. Western subcultures may differ in customs, diet and languages, but they unify in a single culture – the Western Christian culture. Hence, I do not consider Australia to have evolved through multiculturalism.
At present, Australia is beginning to go through a balkanisation of competing cultures, all wanting access to its resources. Elites are motivated by these conflicts as it advantages them. To paraphrase Margaret Mitchel, there is a lot more money to be made from the destruction of a nation than its construction.
Australia has an obligation to accept, based upon international obligations under human rights law and current domestic laws.
I abide by 3 obligations: 1. Myself (or God, if one believes) 2. My family & 3. My country. The obligation to the whole world belongs to the progressives, and I am not a progressive. The elites have everything to gain to demonise my ideology and globalise the world into one economy, as it would serve to expand their wealth and corporate monopolies.
2. Whilst I do see your perspective, I believe woman still have the choice to manage households. This choice appears only to be declining because of an increasing opportunity to participate which in turn contributes to decreasing gender income inequality.
For now families with $200K+ incomes or remote/some rural areas still have this choice, the majority of median income couples have to transfer their children’s ownership to the State and to day-care centres. I don’t think this paper even bothers to explore house prices and it most certainly does not look at the psychological effects of children being raised by institutions.
As for the gender pay gap, I don’t consider this brief is being honest. There are a lot of reasons as to why there are differences in the overall earnings between men and women and I’m not certain that they are negatives.
Tot-tut response 2
You have already made your position clear. I am asking you to consider Netiquette before you post any further. It is not your opinions that are wanted, but a considered reflection of the course material. Since you have not had the opportunity to hear the lecture and apparently haven’t yet read the second reading, you are not doing this. I would appreciate it if you refrained from any further posts on the material in week 1 until you have heard the lecture and had time to think about why the reading has been set.
This message was then followed by a forum closure. On day 3 the forum reappeared and my post 1 was slaughtered and reduced to this:
Annabelle Post 1 (edited by the Tot-tut)
I am currently reading the Income & Wealth Inequality in Australia brief and I am taken aback by its biased perspective.
TAI has built its argument of the widening gap mostly on the concept that the main reason for the widening gap is that the ATO is not redistributing wealth. It  state[s] the purpose of taxes is wealth distribution! (What about defence and infrastructure!?). TAI ignores to tackle many other reasons for the growing inequality in Australia.
Tot-tut removed Post 2
Annabelle’s transparent response
As you are using AusPol forum master privilege to intimidate, blackmail and bully me, I think a little transparency is well in order. I write my response here, where the internet is my oyster and you are unable to censor me.
I had no idea that there were mandatory chronological rules for resources analysis. So I should wait for both lectures, then read all the copious communist toilet worthy recommended reading list before I can utter a single word? But wouldn’t that be enabling inequality to resources access as it would only leave me 3 days of interactive play? Naïve little me thought that the point of a board is to challenge the resources and each other to deepen and clarify understanding and viewpoints. For the record, I made it abundantly clear that I was tackling the article, not the other shallow article, not the extra recommended reading, not the ever so subtle communist indoctrination lecture. As you say, context is important.
I don’t know anyone in the course, nor do I know you, They, in turn, don’t know who I am and nor do you. And that’s fine, the forum is not a popularity pageant, it’s supposed to be an on-topic exchange in ideas and arguments. The internet is transforming everything. Universities going online is only the first step, the next shall be making people the likes of you redundant. It is the ultimate tool for democracy, a point missed by you, your ever so honest place-a-question-mark-at-the-end-of-my-leftist-persuasions-to-cover-myself boss, your institution and all of your other expired reading material.
For the record, I am most certainly am opinionated and controversial. Qualities, which I may add, are prerequisites for political careers. Please see, what’s the name of that other puritanical whore who called all men rapist? Her. Out of curiosity, do you also consider her anti-men woman supremacist stance opinionated and polemic? (Just wondering.)
Through this online open letter, I am confirming to you, as well as to the internet, that I am refusing to censor my on-topic critical thinking just so not to risk offending non-Western students and prepubescents. I am not responsible for other people’s feelings nor am I a baby sitter. If Western reason above passion value offends them, they are free to enrol in universities of their own culture. Australian universities should be tailored for Australians, as we are paying for them. Not that I believe for one instance that such people even care about my post – you are a coward who uses anonymous faces to protect your weak puritanical whore-like opinions and values.
Who are you really kidding, anyway? Fanatical Middle-eastern supremacists adore Adolf Hitler; racist Asians call us the “big-nosed trash of the Pacific;” Negroes are too busy on murder and rape rampages; commie academics twitter on a daily basis calls to genocide the West; and the majority of our prepubescents are Pepe loving neo-Nazis. Get with the programme.
I was completely on track and sticking to the theme of Inequality and was doing it by pointing our ho limited and out-of-date that communist policy brief is, which only serves to impart anti-human values. I provided a few points to demonstrate how shallow and subversive the report is, but I could have easily listed quite a few more. Despite your hysterical, fake-scandalised reaction used to substantiate your offensive and oppressive behaviour towards me.
Learning without free speech (the vehicle which carries critical thinking) is the equivalent of memorising and regurgitating the Quran. How about you go cover yourself in a synthetic tent rag, point your toosh up in an inviting manner and recite the Karl Marx, instead of imposing your communist derived values on to me.
I’ll end this little tete-a-tete with the best quote of the week “There is no attempt to compress anyone into a set of ideas or beliefs. This is very much an open study and you find your own way to conclusions that you frame and shape.” – Prof Geoffrey cast-a-stone-and-hide-the-hand Hawker 26 February 2019 lecture.
Times are changing, S, the internet is morphing into the ultimate frame for our ideas and beliefs. Get ready for a very tight gap.