18C bottles handing on the wall

As Cats and others who pay attention to news in Australia will know, there have been some horrible (alleged) child abuse incidents in the Northern Territory recently reported.  Spartacus has long wanted to write something on the matter but has been put off by the risks posed by Section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act.  Spartacus will write something on the subject later, but it will will not be what Spartacus really wants to write.  Not because Spartacus was wanting to write something racist, but because someone, a single person somewhere out in the ether might be offended.

And for those who think that 18C is not a plague on speech in Australia, you are either ignorant or idiotic.  As John Courtney Murray said in 1961, yes 1961:

I suggest that the real enemy within the gates of the city is not the Communist, but the idiot. Here I am using the word “idiot” not in its customary, contemporary vernacular usage of one who is mentally deficient. No, I am going back to the primitive Greek usage; the “idiot” meant, first of all, the private person, and then came to mean the man who does not possess the public philosophy, the man who is not master of the knowledge and the skills that underlie the life of the civilized city. The idiot, to the Greek, was just one stage removed from the barbarian. He is the man who is ignorant of the meaning of the word “civility.”

The system of speech supervision that has flowed from Section 18C and its administration by the Human Rights Commission has created a model of asymmetric costs and benefits.  There are almost no costs (economic or reputational) for lodging an 18C related complaint, and in fact, a complainant’s identity can be protected.  On the other hand, the costs (economic or reputational) for having an 18C related complaint lodged against you are enormous (reference Bill Leek).

The Human Rights Commission also claims to act as an impartial arbiter of complains, but unlike a Court of Law is not bound by proper administrative processes (reference QUT students).  Further, unlike a Court of Law, the Human Rights Commission does not make costs order against complainants where the complaint is spurious, is withdrawn or fails.

Coupled with the Human Rights Commission “touting for business” and its bureaucratic incentive to have as many complaints as possible so as to maximise its budget and importance, this creates a system that is biased against speech.  Basically, heads speech is punished, tails no speech occurs.

And for what?  For causing offence or insult.

The barbarians are not at the gate.  They are inside the city and the agents of the citizenry (our Government) are holding the gates open.

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19 Responses to 18C bottles handing on the wall

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    I suggest that the real enemy within the gates of the city is not the Communist, but the idiot.

    He means “useful idiot”. Lenin knew a thing or two about controlling a population.

  2. Egor

    Truth is no defence to an 18c prosecution, it seems.
    That’s a disgusting perversion of the Australian legal system from which it can’t recover.

  3. Roger

    The barbarians are not at the gate. They are inside the city and the agents of the citizenry (our Government) are holding the gates open.

    In other words, we are governed by idiots.

  4. MichelLasouris

    I thought Sen. Burston had a skerrick of honesty, but now that’ he’s apparently joined that fat fucking idiot Palmer, he’s exposed himself as another blatantly opportunistic political wanker. We need to dismantle the Senate AND the ABC./

  5. MichelLasouris

    Palmer shows just how articulate, intelligent and in touch is President Trump.

  6. None

    Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings  at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

    The rest of the quote here.

  7. Kneel

    “Not because Spartacus was wanting to write something racist, but because someone, a single person somewhere out in the ether might be offended.”

    I am offended that my cultural heritage is being denied to me – traditionally, Australian’s have been permitted, even encouraged, to poke fun at all and sundry for their foibles. This is now denied me in the name of multi-culturalism, fairness, anti-racism and other dross.

    Damn you all!

    I don’t care what race, colour, creed or religion you are, I have a tag-line to offend YOU!
    Alas, I am no longer allowed to say them – to keep you from crying in your milk over the horror of someone giving you a hard time about…. something or other.

    Well, screw that. Please do NOT remove this to protect ME – happy to stick my hand up and say “I said it”.

    Muslims are misogynists by the cultural norms of this country.
    Homosexuals are NOT normal by the cultural norms of this country.

    I will NOT bow and scrape for the approval of these groups – they may be offended by my views, but I am equally offended by theirs.

    I dare you to 18C me for the above – be ready for the counter-claim under the same legislation.

  8. Habib

    The barbarians are not at the gate. They are inside the city and the agents of the citizenry (our Government) are holding the gates open. They are the government (and their non-opponents).

    Also “idiot communist” is a tautology.

    And Soupo’theday or whoever replaces him can 18C me to buggery, domestic violence, child abuse, rape and general behaviour which would be regarded as that of primitive savages is culturally ingrained in Aboriginal society. Bill Dampier was right on the money.

  9. Habib

    Dampier would’ve caused the HRC’s collective kidneys to explode.

    Truth of course would be no defence.

  10. BorisG

    A deeper question is why we are where we are, and how we got here. There have been many attempts to answer these questions, but I don’t think it has become clear.

    BTW real communists were never politically correct.

  11. Mak Siccar

    Spartacus will write something on the subject later, but it will will not be what Spartacus really wants to write. Not because Spartacus was wanting to write something racist, but because someone, a single person somewhere out in the ether might be offended.

    Sparty, present verifiable facts with references, present possible conclusions but leave the reader to draw their own. Surely even this would be safe from an offendee citing 18C?

  12. manalive

    Well, screw that. Please do NOT remove this to protect ME – happy to stick my hand up and say “I said it” … homosexuals are NOT normal by the cultural norms of this country.

    The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – 18C says nothing about sexual preference so anyone can say what they like so go for your life, like flatus as they say it’s better out than in.

  13. herodotus

    They aren’t just inside the gates they are in every nook and cranny.

  14. elhombre

    So what do we do about it?

  15. wal1957

    If anybody is offended by facts, then they are a blithering idiot.
    If the numbers of aboriginal child abuse cases are alarmingly higher than the rest of the population, we can report that as a fact. It is not libellous or racist.

    I don’t care if whinging SJW’s take offence. I don’t care if Soupadopyloser’s replacement takes offence.

    I do care that some people are not willing to speak for fear of offending., especially if what they are presenting are facts. FMD!

    For the record: I hate that we have to build bollards to protect citizens whilst walking on the pavement. It’s another reaction to a problem that we didn’t have 20 years ago. Why don’t we treat the disease?
    If any SJW’s that are offended, you can F#@K Off!

  16. Pingback: Where every failure is punished with more money and power – Sparta-Blog

  17. If anybody is offended by facts, then they are a blithering idiot.

    Spartacus is not a lawyer – can eat garlic and see reflection in the mirror.

    But on a plain English reading of 18C, there does not appear a defense that the other is an idiot.

  18. Norman Church

    Compounding the many vices of section 18C was the HRC operating as the defacto military wing of the Cultural Marxist brigade.

  19. Ravi Smith

    I love the Murray quote and the Greek definition of idiot. While I agree with you on the effects of 18C, I’m more concerned with how idiocy emerges than any particular law? The story starts with the resident of a community who, though he may desire to take a hand, lacks the means to participate. People react to this frustration by not acting at all. The citizen retreats into collectivism, anonymity, and powerlessness. Eventually, giving up on himself, he comes to depend on public authority, resigned to a life determined by others.

    Over a century ago, Andrew Inglis Clark warned that unless we were willing to lend each other a hand in resisting federal power, self-government would pass from the scene. The greatest threat to our freedom comes, not from outsiders (or even the government), but within: an apathetic and malignant inertia that foreshadows a more certain destruction to our way of life than any bomb or missile. For what calamity could be more desolating than the death of man’s faith in himself and in his power to direct his own future?

    From the beginning, the weakness and strength of the Australian system has been people, who cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. Civic participation, not property, is the vital impulse and life-force of a libertarian society. Despite the paradox, it is only together that we may save the individualistic values at the heart of our system of federal democratic capitalism: the right of the citizens to make and alter their constitutions of government, the freedom to subscribe to multiple loyalties rather than a total loyalty to the state, and a chance to create.

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