Paul Kelly is a wanker

Paul Kelly got a stern rebuke from Keith Windschuttle this month regarding our national identity and what the different waves of newcomers have offered. More about that later. Today he is sounding off about the three lies that are about the place. He might have done more to avert the situation in previous years if he had only woken up earlier instead of being a left/ALP showpony.

I was going to cut and paste for people who are locked out and Old Ozzie has done it in the comments. Thanks:) I won’t bother with an indented and italicised block quote.

The Haidt-Lukianoff book is based on the “three great untruths” in our cultural and university life now spilling into politics. The starting lie or untruth is that disputes and differences today are a battle between good and evil, between the oppressed (the virtuous victims) and the oppressors (evil tyrants of the status quo.)

This turns the mundane injus­tices of everyday life into a moral contest. Yet it is a contest based on distorted morality. There are many illustrations: if you don’t support radical action to curb climate change you are a moral threat to society and betraying your friends. In short, your support for the status quo marks you as a bad person no matter how many charities you support.

The second great lie or untruth from the Haidt-Lukianoff analysis is people will be weaker by being challenged in their ideas and preconceptions. They need to be protected and made safe. This is the notion of a fragile society. It was given focus last year in the campaign against the same-sex marriage plebiscite when politicians and mental health experts united against a democratic vote and debate because its extremes would damage too many people.

Because identity politics relates to the personal, it becomes dan­gerous. It is not just your political views being threatened, it is your identity. That makes it a health issue. Female students in the US have refused to hear lectures denying America is a rape culture because it threatens to invalidate their own identity and experience.

The third lie the authors nominate is “the untruth of emotional reasoning”, the false nostrum you must “always trust your feelings”. Much of our political and media debate now revolves around displays of emotions to prove you care. Be unemotional and you are uncaring. The oppressor-oppressed mentality largely thrives on emotion at the cost of reason.

“In an age of social media, cyber trolls and fake news it is a global crisis that people so readily follow their feelings to embrace outlandish stories about their enemies,” Haidt and Lukianoff state. They quote Hanna Holborn Gray, president of the University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993: “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think.”

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26 Responses to Paul Kelly is a wanker

  1. Rafe Champion

    Sorry I am just running out the door for an appointment but I couldn’t wait to say it:)

  2. Fred

    Behind a paywall.

    What are the three great lies?

  3. jock

    Totally correct. Now he sees it? What a pillock.

  4. Big_Nambas

    Calling Kelly a wanker is an insult to all adult Aussie men. Kelly is an ignorant prick who probably couldn’t find his dick to have a wank.

  5. OldOzzie

    Fred
    #2858527, posted on November 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Behind a paywall.

    What are the three great lies?

    The Haidt-Lukianoff book is based on the “three great untruths” in our cultural and university life now spilling into politics. The starting lie or untruth is that disputes and differences today are a battle between good and evil, between the oppressed (the virtuous victims) and the oppressors (evil tyrants of the status quo.)

    This turns the mundane injus­tices of everyday life into a moral contest. Yet it is a contest based on distorted morality. There are many illustrations: if you don’t support radical action to curb climate change you are a moral threat to society and betraying your friends. In short, your support for the status quo marks you as a bad person no matter how many charities you support.

    The second great lie or untruth from the Haidt-Lukianoff analysis is people will be weaker by being challenged in their ideas and preconceptions. They need to be protected and made safe. This is the notion of a fragile society. It was given focus last year in the campaign against the same-sex marriage plebiscite when politicians and mental health experts united against a democratic vote and debate because its extremes would damage too many people.

    Because identity politics relates to the personal, it becomes dan­gerous. It is not just your political views being threatened, it is your identity. That makes it a health issue. Female students in the US have refused to hear lectures denying America is a rape culture because it threatens to invalidate their own identity and experience.

    The third lie the authors nominate is “the untruth of emotional reasoning”, the false nostrum you must “always trust your feelings”. Much of our political and media debate now revolves around displays of emotions to prove you care. Be unemotional and you are uncaring. The oppressor-oppressed mentality largely thrives on emotion at the cost of reason.

    “In an age of social media, cyber trolls and fake news it is a global crisis that people so readily follow their feelings to embrace outlandish stories about their enemies,” Haidt and Lukianoff state. They quote Hanna Holborn Gray, president of the University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993: “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think.”

  6. Herodotus

    The shorter story: politics is stuffed and the media are largely to blame.

  7. anonandon

    Kelly is a bullshit artist with a convincing delivery. He is wrong about almost everything.

  8. H B Bear

    He might have done more to avert the situation in previous years if he had only woken up earlier instead of being a left/ALP showpony.

    Snoozer Kelly is only capable of seeing things clearly in the rear view mirror. As very small objects.

    All his columns should carry a disclaimer, “Views expressed here are the authors and unlikely to be correct. Please check against facts and revised opinions in three to five years time.”

  9. Hay Stockard

    We are talkingPaulKelly the so called,Journalist? Another professional wrongologist. Much like that Monty some people engage with on here. And a wanker. For sure. Much like…

  10. tombell

    has PVO weighed in on this yet?

  11. billie

    “Journo” has morphed into “entertainer”

    they should stop giving awards for journos, it just encourages them to be populist, as in, to garner favor and ‘votes” for whatever award is current.

    What’s that Emma? Oh, you have a Walkie award and you were “just saying”, as if that justifies why utter crap output should be tolerated?

    How do these people keep their jobs?

  12. OldOzzie

    For those with a strong stomach – hopefully the full Paul Kelly Article

    The three great lies corroding western cultures

    The degeneration in the culture that drives the corrosion in our politics has its origins in three great lies now being propounded daily in our universities, media, corporates and obviously among the politicians.

    These lies are becoming embedded in our discourse. National politics in America and Australia was once about the fight for control of the shared narrative or common destiny. Not any more. Politics is about tribal messages derived from the breakdown of the agreed national ethos.

    The recent statement of this pathology based on the US university sector comes from American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and lawyer Greg Lukianoff in this year’s The Coddling of the American Mind,and in this column I have drawn on their thesis as modified by my own assessments.

    In the 1980s politicians such as Bob Hawke and Ronald Reagan offered appeals based on the shared national imagination — Hawke won office in 1983 calling for consensus under the slogan: “Bob Hawke — Bringing Australians Together”. Reagan helped Americans manage adversity with his “It’s morning again in America” slogan, a fusion of nostalgia and optimism.

    The Haidt-Lukianoff book is based on the “three great untruths” in our cultural and university life now spilling into politics. The starting lie or untruth is that disputes and differences today are a battle between good and evil, between the oppressed (the virtuous victims) and the oppressors (evil tyrants of the status quo.)

    This turns the mundane injus­tices of everyday life into a moral contest. Yet it is a contest based on distorted morality. There are many illustrations: if you don’t support radical action to curb climate change you are a moral threat to society and betraying your friends. In short, your support for the status quo marks you as a bad person no matter how many charities you support.

    In her recent Helen Hughes lecture for the Centre for Independent Studies, Quillette editor-in-chief Claire Lehmann called out the technique: “If there is a gender pay gap then this is because men are oppressing women. If there is a gap between the earnings of immigrants and a native population, then this is because the native population is oppressing the immigrant group. If there are health discrepancies between LGBTI people and heterosexual people, then this is because of discrimination. This simple formula gets repeated over and over and over again.” Eventually this false logic seems to become the only way a sensible person would think. In fact a sensible person, while recognising discrimination as a factor, would analyse the other explanations at work to avoid reaching the wrong conclusion.

    As Lehmann said, a conclusion endlessly repeated — that the gender pay gap is caused by sexist oppression — takes hold when a considered analysis shows the fact that women have children is critical in the explanation. Adopting a conflict framework, an oppressed versus oppressor narrative, means politics becomes more divisive and problems are harder to solve because the analysis is wrong. One reason for this is while many advocates would like to solve the problem they have a higher motive; their purpose to dismantle the power structure, whether it is allegedly patriarchy or white supremacy or heteronormativity.

    The Haidt-Lukianoff book argues the key to an inclusive community is to create the sense of common humanity, not tribalism based on gender and race. The authors point out that in his heroic 1960s civil rights campaigns Martin Luther King declared his dream was “the American dream” and asked the entire nation “to rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed”, to honour equality beyond race. King relied on American values. He aspired to unite, not destroy. He appealed to one America, not a collection of tribes. Haidt and Lukianoff contrast the impact of the oppressed-oppressor paradigm that enshrines “whiteness” as a power construct. They quote a student’s essay: “White death will mean liberation for all.”

    These days social issues are frequently presented in mainstream media as rituals of injustice and grievance. This mentality originated in Marxist ideology. Once you believe social problems arise primarily because of power and the oppressed-oppressor conflict, then the scene is set for tribal warfare justified by a moral principle.

    Referring to American universities, the authors state an enduring reality: “The more you separate people and point out differences among them, the more divided and less trusting they will become.” None of this is to say power is irrelevant. It is always relevant. Indeed, academic opposition to the Ramsay Centre courses on Western civilisation is an insight into the pathology. The Ramsay people are bad because they arrive, the critics assert, in the name of white supremacy, racism, neo-colonialism and so forth. They represent the oppressors and you cannot deal or debate with oppressors; you can only resist them.

    The second great lie or untruth from the Haidt-Lukianoff analysis is people will be weaker by being challenged in their ideas and preconceptions. They need to be protected and made safe. This is the notion of a fragile society. It was given focus last year in the campaign against the same-sex marriage plebiscite when politicians and mental health experts united against a democratic vote and debate because its extremes would damage too many people.

    Because identity politics relates to the personal, it becomes dan­gerous. It is not just your political views being threatened, it is your identity. That makes it a health issue. Female students in the US have refused to hear lectures denying America is a rape culture because it threatens to invalidate their own identity and experience.

    In this world the public policy test to prevent trauma and offence becomes a subjective test. This was the issue in relation to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Defenders of the law said subjective views must prevail and what mattered was how people felt — whether people felt offended and intimidated. Haidt and Lukianoff say that if people and students come to believe they cannot handle offence then they will become less able to do so. Fragility begets more fragility. The authors say leaders and health professionals have made the wrong call.

    The task of institutions and universities is to “prepare students for conflict, controversy and argument” and students must learn that having cherished beliefs being questioned is not a personal attack on them but preparation for life. At present institutions are “setting up a generation for failure”.

    The third lie the authors nominate is “the untruth of emotional reasoning”, the false nostrum you must “always trust your feelings”. Much of our political and media debate now revolves around displays of emotions to prove you care. Be unemotional and you are uncaring. The oppressor-oppressed mentality largely thrives on emotion at the cost of reason.

    “In an age of social media, cyber trolls and fake news it is a global crisis that people so readily follow their feelings to embrace outlandish stories about their enemies,” Haidt and Lukianoff state. They quote Hanna Holborn Gray, president of the University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993: “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think.”

    Because politics operates at the intersection of emotion and reason, it becomes hostage to the cult of emotional reasoning; witness the appeal of Donald Trump among many. Social media generates a mob mentality based on emotion. Once emotion takes control, people view the world through one single lens, not through a more balanced understanding based on reason.

    Single-lens emotion is the path to anxiety and depression for people and hysteria and irrationality in politics. Human beings are tribal creatures and civilisation was supposed to lead us from the tribe to society. Are we regressing?

  13. Bruce

    What are the three great lies?””

    “Of course I’ll still respect you in the morning!”

    Of course I won’t —in your mouth”.

    Ant the biggest on:

    Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

  14. Win

    Was it Paul Kelly as Editor of the Austrian who sent to press one Saturday one of The man in Black ‘s more insane epistles where he informed us that the aides epidemic ,which we are still waiting for ,was caused by American women with sagging vaginas and who then went on to tell us why they were sagging? I stopped subscribing at that point never to return. Is this the same Paul Kelly?

  15. Steve

    One of the columnists I generally never bother to read. Totally infected by the left-wing Press Gallery

  16. I have given up reading Paul Kelly as his knowledge, and understanding is poor and has been swayed by the ABC like luvies where gets his information (rather than the original source). The same applies to PVO who I think now has no clue and gets things wrong most of the time (before I stopped reading his posts). I can not understand The Australian publishing his crap. Philip Adams at least admits his bias and it is at least sometimes an interest to read the thoughts of avow communist who does not like to admit the faults of the communist system and the dictators they throw up like Stalin, Mao, Her H*tl*r, Pol Pot, Kim Un, the fool in Venezuela, Mugabe etc

  17. H B Bear

    I think Prof van Wrongselen does his own thinking.

    He’s just not very good at it.

  18. sisypus

    What makes one think that there is any value in any of these awards , Wakely or otherwise. They are incestious rubbish , over promoted like they were important. All they do is permit the ranks of wanks to get all dolled up and promoted some more so we plebs think that they are somebody who matters.

  19. Percy Popinjay

    The most interesting thing about Paul “is wrong, again” Kelly’s puff pieces are the subscriber* comments.

    * No, I’m not going to use the term “reader”. Nobody ever reads one of that pompous boring wrongologist drone’s columns in its entirety.

  20. Percy Popinjay

    Prof von Wrongselen does his own thinking

    In much the same way that Florida Man does.

  21. Jannie

    Paul Kelly is a perfect example of the pathological absence of self awareness which blinds the elite to the concerns of the servants.

    But its Paul Kelly for Gawds sake, in Teh Australian. That’s what you get.

  22. mh

    An overrated singer songwriter.

  23. vlad

    The classic lie used to be the cheque is in the mail.

    That was when people used cheques.

    And mail.

  24. Malcolm Thomas

    If Kelly is a wanker, Rafe is just wank.

  25. Rick

    Rafe
    Your headline on this piece detracts from the valid point that progressive liberals and centrists who are waking up to the problem of the 3 lies need to understand that they helped create the problem. I agree. Having drifted from left to right over several decades, I probably contributed to the problem too. Worth remembering that Haidt himself, whose illuminating work is the foundation of this discussion, was a prog-lib who now describes himself as centrist.
    Screeching abuse (from the safety of your office) at people like Kelly who are beginning to see the light reminds me of some antifa undergraduate blog “activist”. You aren’t going to prevail, as indeed conservatives must do, by abusing people who are starting to see your point. Make your criticism by all means but keep a lid on it.
    I assume you do want to prevail in this battle of ideas, and not keep most people as far away from you as possible?

  26. The Barking Toad

    What are the three great lies?””

    Also – this’ll only hurt for a little while

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