Re-racializing Australia and squashing dissent

Re-racializing Australia and squashing dissent. By Greg Sheridan.

We think of the voice referendum in purely Australian terms, as a result of a long conversation about Indigenous issues. It’s partly that but, like most initiatives of the Australian left, it’s also a subset, an imitative adaptation, of major trends in Western politics.

As [Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney]’s speech made clear, the voice proposal sits exactly within the fever pitch of identity politics and the new centrality of race, which is breaking out all over the West but, fascinatingly, not in other cultures.

This marks a tragic regression in Western politics, a repudiation of the ideal of civic universalism that distinguishes Western civilisation at its best, though of course often enough honoured in the breach. As Peter Dutton argued on his seminal parliamentary speech, the voice would “re-racialise” Australian politics and society. That’s exactly what’s happening all over the Western world. …

Campaigning against Trump and deplorables in Australia:

[Linda Burney said that] the No campaign were importing Trump-style politics into Australia, spreading falsehoods and lies, dividing Australians, and were part of a “post-truth” movement.

These sentences are so telling because they express two contentions at the heart of the debate: those who favour changing the Constitution to enshrine a racially exclusive voice to parliament and the executive are clothed in moral heroism. Those who oppose it are not just people we disagree with but conscious agents of evil, dishonesty and division. …

Burney cited as an example of Trump-style, post-truth falsehoods the proposition that the voice “contradicts the fundamental democratic principle of one vote, one value”.

But only last week Geoffrey Blainey, our most considered and eminent historian, wrote that the voice, if successful, “will also break the golden rule of democracy: one person, one vote”.

Malcolm Turnbull, in his prime ministerial memoirs, explained his in-principle opposition to the voice. He later changed his mind, perfectly reasonably, but his initial reasoning remains very powerful. He wrote: “Our democracy is built on the foundation of all Australian citizens having equal civic rights – all being able to stand for and serve in … our national parliament … A constitutionally enshrined additional representative assembly for which only Indigenous Australians could vote for or serve in is inconsistent with this fundamental principle.”

You couldn’t possibly imagine two Australians less accurately described as Trump-like, purveyors of falsehoods, sowing division or qualifying as “post-truth”. Yet in Burney’s formulation, Blainey and Turnbull’s arguments are not just wrong but wicked. …

So blatant:

The Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, produced a video with opposition Indigenous Australians spokeswoman Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and senator James McGrath, expressing their perfectly reasonable opposition to the voice. Facebook ruled the IPA could post the video but could not spend money promoting it. The IPA then produced a video about not being allowed to promote the first video, and Facebook ruled they couldn’t promote that either.

Contrast that with ABC reporter Dana Morse, who recently told the Insiders program that protesters opposing Australia Day on January 26 were protesting “the genocide of Aboriginal people that is ongoing today”. That’s untrue and ridiculous, but it’s not the view that’s censored. …

It will get much worse soon:

The federal government plans new laws against disinformation and misinformation on social media, which can be censored, and for which people can be fined huge amounts of money, especially if it’s deemed to harm a minority. Combine that with Burney’s definition of even Blainey and Turnbull-style advocacy as Trumpism, post-truth and so on, and we can see the power of the state mobilised against dissent.

That’s the nature of contemporary identity politics. Opposition to it is regarded by the dominant elites in Western politics as equivalent to the old crime of ideological deviationism, which was once the chief charge ruling Communist Parties made against their dissidents. They also made this charge against Communist Party members who fell out of favour or failed to follow precisely the latest twist in forever-changing ideological orthodoxies.

When has a leftist government ever allowed dissent? Strongly left regimes — like the Soviets, the Chinese, North Koreans, Cambodians, and the German National Socialists — have squashed dissent by murdering dissenters and even murdering potential dissenters.

Now that the left has taken over the ruling and professional classes throughout the West, it is increasingly squashing dissent. How far will they go?