Hamilton on free speech

Clive Hamilton has been in the US talking down Australian universities.

Prominent Australian academic Clive Hamilton has told a powerful US congressional committee in Washington that Australian universities are so financially beholden to China that they have abandoned their principles of academic freedom.

Professor Hamilton’s testimony was backed by a warning from prominent US Republican senator Marco Rubio that Australia was increasingly a target for China’s attempts to stifle free speech and expression.

“Now the Chinese Communist Party is increasingly exporting its authoritarianism abroad, suppressing speech, stifling free inquiry and controlling the narrative,’’ Senator Rubio told The Australian yesterday. “America, Australia and other like-minded nations must contend with the long arm of China and the growing threat it poses to our open, democratic systems.”

I’m calling “Bullshit”.

The biggest threat to free speech in Australia is the Australian government, the Australian Parliament, and the Australian judiciary. Then there are the state governments …

As for threats to democracy look no further than Clive Hamilton himself.

Here he is talking suspending democratic process:

This is because the implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of “emergency” responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.

Here he is talking about having the ATO audit his political foes:

The public may not have the means to shed light on the murky world of IPA finances, but the Tax Commissioner does. He should open up the Institute’s books to ensure it is complying with the law and to force on the IPA the transparency it demands of others.

Here he is advocating that Australian intelligence services spy on his political foes:

If Australia’s security services are not closely monitoring the activities of denialist activists then they are failing in their responsibilities.

Bottom line – I am less concerned about the Chinese government – who after all want to grow the economy and make money – than I am about the Australian government and left-wing ideologues.

The biggest threat Australian universities face is not paying customers from China or anywhere else* but rather the toxic identity politics that is being exported from the US and its university system.

* Australian lefties often hate to notion of fee paying students because they have the rather romantic notion that the Australian government will step up and either finance the University system (with fewer string attached than paying customers demand) or shrink it back to the elitist system that it was a generation ago.

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46 Responses to Hamilton on free speech

  1. JC

    How on earth did Hives get a gig in front of a Congressional committee?

  2. feelthebern

    Bottom line – I am less concerned about the Chinese government – who after all want to grow the economy and make money – than I am about the Australian government and left-wing ideologues.

    100% correct.

  3. Entropy

    How on earth was Hamilton selected as someone with rational views on Australia?

  4. Rafe

    All good Sinc with the exception that we do need to be alert to all forms of Chinese influence. Monk (forget his first name) is a longstanding China watcher and he endorsed much of the claims about China in Hamilton’s collection. Just because Clive is wrong on most things does not make him wrong on everything.

  5. JC

    Ent

    I’m not sure, but would speculate the government through its Washington embassy would have been questioned about the bald idiot and asked to be for an opinion of him. Either Hockey or one of his minions could have given a glowing report on this asshat. If true it would be incredible.

    I’m thinking there’s no way a congressional committee would have anyone testifying without firstly being checked out….. unless of course the other possibility …a D’ratter specifically invited the twerp.

  6. Myrddin Seren

    How on earth did Hives get a gig in front of a Congressional committee?

    Wrote a book about the ChiCom spy wave. Even BoltA had him on Sky to talk about it.

    ( BoltA was polite and friendly. Clive could not mention BoltA’s name once. Always a ‘tell’ ).

    Monk (forget his first name)

    Paul Monk.

    I have enjoyed his articles he used to write in the Fin Review. Not sure that beret in his photo inspires confidence as an intel analyst ?

  7. feelthebern

    Where I see Chinese business interests, Hamilton sees a spy reporting back to central government.
    The reason these guys are here is to make money.
    Not to benefit the big wigs back in Beijing.

  8. Augustus Carp

    Red China subverts Australian universities through its Confucius Institutes. Powerline, 23 Feb 2018:

    “Thus, though few Americans know about it, we shouldn’t be surprised that China is waging ideological warfare on American college and university campuses. What’s surprising, perhaps, is the complicity of our colleges and universities.

    China fights its ideological battle on American campuses through Confucius Institutes. Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted “Institutes” that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) documented in this report, the Confucius Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know nothing more of China than the regime’s official history.

    Here’s how deep the whitewash goes. The Chinese director of one Institute said that if a student asked about Tiananmen Square, she would “show a picture and point out the beautiful architecture.”

    How does China induce colleges and universities to cooperate in its propaganda war? According to the NAS report, it does so not just by providing funding, free textbooks, and teachers, but also by attracting full-tuition paying Chinese students, funding scholarships for Americans to study abroad, and serving as a conduit through which college presidents and administrators enjoy trips to and state dinners in China.

    Sen. Marco Rubio raised the matter of Confucius Institutes during an Intelligence Committee briefing last week. You can watch the video here. Rubio prefaces his comments on the Confucius Institute with an excellent short summary of the overall Chinese threat.”

  9. Infidel Tiger

    China and Hamilton are both bad news and to be avoided.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Rafe – at the margin who do I trust more (or distrust more if you like)? A foreign government, my own government, or Clive Hamilton? Who can do me and and my family and friends more harm, a foreign government, my own government, or Clive Hamilton? Who believes it is glorious to be rich, a foreign government, my own government, or Clive Hamilton?

  11. pbw

    …the Australian government will step up and either finance the University system (with fewer string attached than paying customers demand) or shrink it back to the elitist system that it was a generation ago.

    You mean before the universities were expanded for expansion’s sake? You mean when anyone who matriculated at a certain level was eligible for a Commonwealth scholarship which paid the fees and a modest stipend, and which would continue depending only on the successful completion of each year’s course. You mean when, because of said scholarships (thank you Bob Menzies) any student of a certain ability was able to complete a University degree, irrespective of background.

    Please, please, bring it back, and flush the no-hoper courses out of the unis at the same time. This is elitism I can live with.

  12. Robbo

    If Hamilton wants the ATO to expand its auditing then perhaps they could start by auditing him. That would start the squealing that could be heard in China.

  13. classical_hero

    Considering that China is the inspiration for government control, China is a great threat.

  14. feelthebern

    China is a threat to Australia, as much as NZ is a threat.

  15. Leo G

    If Australia’s security services are not closely monitoring the activities of denialist activists then they are failing in their responsibilities.

    Hamilton is himself a denialist on the science of climate change. He advocates belief in imminent catastrophic climate change- climate change that is exquisitely sensitive to the existence of people who (for whatever reason) do not act in accordance with his belief.
    He seems unable even to see the expression “activist denial” as an oxymoron. He calls for activism, but he describes people who don’t act as activists.

  16. feelthebern

    Hamilton clearly partook in too much LSD back in the day.
    He needs a comfy couch, a big tv & bag of Cheetos.
    He needs to be comforted, not listened to in any serious manner.

  17. Rob MW

    I’m calling “Bullshit”.

    Too generous Sinc. Lying PO of commie S. Hypocrisy starts, if it sounds like a duck……………………..

  18. Chris M

    Haha the Chicoms can put as much money into Australian universities as they like but they (Uni’s) are too dopey to produce much of a return for the cash. They censor their own speech paid by China or not for a start.

  19. Rafe

    Certainly regarding the state of the universities there are so many factors at work the Chinese do not rate a mention. The Frankfurt School, conscription for the Vietnam war, Gough Whitlam, whoever advised Dawkins etc.
    As for other vital domestic issues we cant blame the Chinese for our debt, green and red tape, limited free speech and the worful form of the mighty Demons and the PRrMatta Eels.

  20. Makka

    I’m calling “Bullshit”.

    The biggest threat to free speech in Australia is the Australian government, the Australian Parliament, and the Australian judiciary. Then there are the state governments …

    100%.

  21. jupes

    Where I see Chinese business interests, Hamilton sees a spy reporting back to central government.

    Hi Sam Dastyari! Or are you Bob Carr?

    Whatever.

  22. Boris

    The reason these guys are here is to make money.
    Not to benefit the big wigs back in Beijing.

    How do you know?

  23. Boris

    Hamilton can be bad on many things but he appears to be right on this issue. The self inflicted Australian problems notwithstanding.

  24. C.L.

    Bird’s portrait of Hamilton has never been improved upon.

    “Lying c_t.”

  25. billie

    Hammo, maaate, fork off .. ok?

  26. Clam Chowdah

    I think any faculty or centre being funded by the Chi-Coms is as concerning as any centre or mosque being funded by some Middle Eastern theocracy. To think otherwise is naive.

    Full-fee paying students are okay with me, as long as Australians still get an education.

  27. Tel

    Where I see Chinese business interests, Hamilton sees a spy reporting back to central government.
    The reason these guys are here is to make money.
    Not to benefit the big wigs back in Beijing.

    If you don’t mind NPR now and then…

    https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/04/20/604463930/episode-837-the-belt-the-road-and-the-money

    Seems like there’s still quite a lot of Chinese central planning going on, and at least NPR has the flash of honesty when they mention that the expansion of the British and American empires involved a lot of identical dirty tactics. I’m surprised Hamilton has a problem with it, I thought he was a supporter of central planning, maybe it depends on which day you ask.

    Who can do me and and my family and friends more harm, a foreign government, my own government, or Clive Hamilton?

    Tough call!

    You mean short term damage, or long term damage?

  28. Roger.

    Where I see Chinese business interests, Hamilton sees a spy reporting back to central government.

    I see both.

    Major Chinese business interests are intimately linked to the ruling regime, that’s well documented.

  29. manalive

    For the past twenty years taxpayer-funded public intellectual (he admits it himself) Clive Hamilton has made a tidy second income ever complaining how everyone from the Howard Government to the “greenhouse mafia”, now the Chinese Government, have tried to silence him.

  30. Tel

    Hi Sam Dastyari! Or are you Bob Carr?

    Whatever.

    Good point, Hamilton is pissed that others sniffed out that particular gravy train ahead of him.

  31. Percy Porcelain

    Good to see cueball Clive has moved on to obsessing about Chinamen as opposed to advocating the mass slaughter of cuddly li’l kangaroos.

  32. feelthebern

    Major Chinese business interests are intimately linked to the ruling regime, that’s well documented.

    Horse shit

  33. Roger.

    Major Chinese business interests are intimately linked to the ruling regime, that’s well documented.

    Horse shit

    70% of Chinese privately owned companies working with foreign companies have a Communist Party unit embedded within them. Over 90% of state owned companies do. This has stepped up under Xi, rather than being relaxed.

    Anyone who thinks the economic liberalisation of China has also meant political liberalisation frankly hasn’t been paying attention.

  34. jupes

    Where I see Chinese business interests, Hamilton sees a spy reporting back to central government.
    The reason these guys are here is to make money.
    Not to benefit the big wigs back in Beijing.

    Bullshit. They are here because it’s in the Chinese national interest.

    Sure, making money furthers Chinese national interest (for the moment), but so does paying Australian politicians and ex-politicians to spruke Chinese propaganda. So too does paying Australian universities to teach Chinese propaganda and sending thousands of Chinese students to study / immigrate here. So too does buying Australian infrastructure. So too does hacking into Australian government and business cyber security systems.

    There is no one as gullible as a libertarian.

  35. feelthebern

    70% of Chinese privately owned companies working with foreign companies have a Communist Party unit embedded within them. Over 90% of state owned companies do. This has stepped up under Xi, rather than being relaxed.

    This is made up shit.

  36. A Lurker

    Follow the money. He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

  37. Leo G

    How to Succeed in China? Communist Party Groups in Your Company | Bloomberg News, 19 October 2017

    China’s Communist Party aims to increase the number of companies with active party organizations, including those in foreign firms.
    Some 70 percent of the 106,000 foreign companies operating in China already have one, Qi Yu, vice minister of the Organization Department, said at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday during the 19th Party Congress.
    The corporate law stipulates that companies, villages and schools with three or more members should set up party organizations, he said, in response to a question about the spread of the organizations and how this might affect inner workings of the private sector.
    President Xi Jinping, speaking Wednesday to the twice-a-decade conclave in Beijing, described the ubiquitous reach of the 96-year-old party with 89 million members: “The Party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country.”
    Among China’s 147,000 state-owned enterprises, 93.2 percent have a party organization, while among its 2.7 million private companies, 67.9 percent have one, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country’s top graft-fighting body.

  38. Squirrel

    Hamilton on China is like Sherlock Holme’s dog in the night, but in this case the dog is barking – that’s what curious, to say the least.

  39. Roger.

    This is made up shit.

    No, it’s intelligence that has been gathered and reported in the Western media.

    Leo G. has kindly supplied a source.

  40. Roger.

    One should also note the number of Chinese companies, including some operating joint ventures with Australian universities research agencies, and that are owned by the PLA, which is a major player in the Chinese economy.

  41. Roger.

    * universities & research agencies

  42. DM of WA

    Bottom line – I am less concerned about the Chinese government – who after all want to grow the economy and make money – than I am about the Australian government and left-wing ideologues.

    Davidson has officially jumped the shark.

  43. Chris M

    I see both.
    Major Chinese business interests are intimately linked to the ruling regime, that’s well documented.

    Indeed, each and every Chinese person has a state obligation to reveal whatever information the government may require from them at any time. This includes 100% of Chinese people living in any country* businessmen, academics, students, housewives, waiters, tradies, all. It’s just how they do it, army of spies on call if and as required. Broad base, low costs.

    * acquired foreign citizenship is not recognised in this instance, all are “Chinese living abroad”.

  44. Clint

    Privatise all universities. No more government funding. Pet each academic compete on the free market for student dollars. See what ideas people consider worth paying for when it comes out of their pocket and not the taxpayer’s pocket

  45. Clam Chowdah

    For me it’s a question of ideology.

    Chi-com ideology is antithetical to libertarianism. As antithetical as Salafi Islam, fascism or apartheid.

    Your principles around ideology – what you’re willing to tolerate that might normally repulse you – are sometimes brought to sharp light when money is at issue. As is the case with universities, it seems.

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