Collectivism spoils Noel Pearson’s Australia day op ed

Noel Pearson has a column in The Weekend Australian attempting to find common ground in the national “identity wars”. I think this is a very poor effort because it is cast in the divisive language of collectivism and this undermines the possibility for progress that emerged since John Howard’s Headland Speech in 1995 and the new approach forged by Pearson himself and Howard’s inspired Minister for Aboriginal Affairs John Herron. The idea was to address the real issues of disadvantage instead of dwelling on grievances.

Pearson delivered many good speeches in that vein, one in particular at a CIS event that prompted an excited post on Catallaxy that I think was lost when some of the archives went down. This is another in the same spirit.

Given his roots in the labour movement there was always a bias in the collectivist direction and this burst into full flower in his Saturday column. While purporting to seek a middle ground for unity in diversity or vice versa he has trashed the position of people who do not line up with the left and the new anti-white racism of progressive identity politics with a strong dash of anti-Semitism that is driving the ALP at present.

He uses the favourite and most effective weapon of the left – the alleged dichotomy of Left and Right with reference to the culture wars between the Left and Right that raged through the world since the 1980s. He noted the Right’s “penchant for patriotic correctness” vs the Left’s political correctness. He wrote:

Pogroms against political correctness became effective weapons for the right in the ensuing wars as hapless leftists gave their opponent easy target for their often silly on campus predilections.

What are these pogroms waged on the hapless leftists? This is the language of old time Soviet agit prop. Pogroms originally referred to murderous attacks by anti-Semitic mobs on Jewish populations in Russia and Poland. In what way are the hapless leftists (helpless victims?) comparable to people murdered by mobs?

He went on The political left is associated with identity politics and the political rights rails against it. (my emphasis) What is this
railing? More agit prop. We object to it, with reasons.

Broadly the left seems to exploit identity politics by marshalling its discontents and agenda items into a progressive rainbow coalition and the Right seeks to demonise it as a blight on national cohesion.

What is this demonising? More agit prop? This is projection of the genuinely demonising practices of the left that are directed against people who disagree with the thrust of the grievance industry, the corrupted human rights industry and the whole package of identify politics.

Identity fundamentalism is the problem…[with a dig at the Left and Right}..identities are raised as bulwarks against opposing identities and our shared nationality.

Very well, who are the putative Right identity fundamentalist and what are the bulwarks they have raised against other identities? It is not hard to see the bulwarks of the progressive left and the obscene language and behaviour they feel entitled to employ against people who have different views. Who is Noel Pearson talking about?
The collectivism that underpins his case becomes clearer in the next paragraph.

The [Rightwing] form of identity fundamentalism demands that we are all the same, there should be no recognition of difference and no recognition of rights that have been denied to groups because our liberal democracy is colour, gender and sexually blind – and groups that seek to remedy injustice should just suck it up and pay obeisance to the one nation.

Well for a start justice in a liberal democracy does mean that the law is colour blind. As Martin Luther King put it

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Or he might have added, by their qualifications for the job, their performance in the test, whether or not they are innocent or guilty according to the evidence before the court.
As Karl Popper put it equalitarian Justice means equality before non-discriminatory laws
An aspiration of course but no worse for that. Collectivists take justice as a group or community concept and so the sins of fathers and forefathers can be visited on the current generation by way of affirmative action and other divisive (and ultimately self-defeating) policies.

Much more can be said about this piece and the unhelpful references to group identities and his suggestion that we might “trash our achievement by trying to demonise multiculturalism (agit prop) as the bad source of identity fundamentalism.” I think that the programs and policies designed to engineer multiculturalism that were/are driven by collectivism and the human rights and grievance industries indeed contribute to identity fundamentalism and the sharp end of that stick is now the identity politics that some reasonable leftist have belatedly recognized as a great evil of our time.

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16 Responses to Collectivism spoils Noel Pearson’s Australia day op ed

  1. Mak Siccar

    Pearson is showing his true (left red) colours (so to speak). He lost my interest years ago.

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  3. Robyn Todhunter

    On her facebook page, Jacinta Price has posted raw and horrendous details of the childhood of a friend of hers, and condemns the actions of Australia Day protesters and DiNatale and the Greens.

  4. Behind Enemy Lines

    This just goes to show that once left politics takes hold in a jurisdiction, they become inescapable. You can’t ignore them, and they certainly won’t ignore you. It’s not going to be possible to live a free and decent life in the same country as these people – not here, nor in any other western country. But no matter how hard I think about it, I can’t figure out how we get to a position where we’re no longer in the same country. At least in the US there’s a chance of a violent revolution or a military coup. In Australia, I think the left will continue amassing power, taking over the national institutions, and successfully poisoning things to the point that the sane majority has to emigrate. If emigration for net taxpayers is still allowed. I’d be interested in hearing thoughts about how we get out of this mess. I think we all accept it’s a mess, and that it’s going to get worse. How do we get out of it?

  5. a happy little debunker

    The [Rightwing] form of identity fundamentalism demands that we are all the same

    Sounds a lot like universal equality.

  6. Tel

    The [Rightwing] form of identity fundamentalism demands that we are all the same, there should be no recognition of difference and no recognition of rights that have been denied to groups because our liberal democracy is colour, gender and sexually blind – and groups that seek to remedy injustice should just suck it up and pay obeisance to the one nation.

    We are all the same UNDER LAW which does not (and never has) meant that we are all literally identical and indistinguishable.

    If any person can prove they were harmed by some other person (or group of people) then they can go to court and request restitution. However, you don’t get to claim harm just because you happen to be struggling or because of some peripheral identity connection that you have come up with to link yourself to victimhood from the past.

    It’s an unavoidable fact that the world moved on … and stone age technology cannot be compatible with a modern hi-tech society. Many people have been hurt by this … Maybe we should blame the Wright brothers for the bombing raids for WWII, but even after we finished blaming whoever we want, still those bombers will exist, because they are useful to someone. What are you supposed to do? Run and try to keep up.

  7. Jo Smyth

    There may be a few thousand marching through the streets demanding more hand outs with the full support of the media and ABC. The rest of Australia, millions of them, were out there celebrating Australia Day at the beach, watching the cricket, in the park, inviting friends round for a barbie, you name it. It’s the same old, same old every year.

  8. Percy Popinjay

    Pogroms against political correctness became effective weapons for the right in the ensuing wars as hapless leftists gave their opponent easy target for their often silly on campus predilections

    Grate. So not only does that fat imbecile pearson not know the meaning of the word, neither does the cretin at the Oz who approved the former’s piece of hysterical and emotive fact free drivel (BIRM).

    My ongoing subscription to the Oz is literally hanging by the proverbial thread. I’ve been so pissed off by its recent precipitous decline that last financial year I made the decision to claim 50% of its cost as a work expense.

    But yeah, just keep on alienating your subscribers with even more collectivist nonsense, newscorpse. Another example being the decision to put Tim Blair’s blog behind a paywall. Sheer frigging genius.

    If you’d like to see how successful that kind of monumental and insulting stupidity is as a commercial strategy, just consider the fate of the late and massively unlamented Fauxfacts. I mean hey, it’s not like its decline wasn’t a textbook example of the proverbial slow motion train wreck. You’re now also (not) competing with an internet that has comprehensively wiped you off the park in terms of quick and easy access to news and information.

    You idiots.

  9. Boambee John

    Behind Enemy Lines
    #2919122, posted on January 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm
    This just goes to show that once left politics takes hold in a jurisdiction, they become inescapable. You can’t ignore them, and they certainly won’t ignore you. It’s not going to be possible to live a free and decent life in the same country as these people – not here, nor in any other western country. But no matter how hard I think about it, I can’t figure out how we get to a position where we’re no longer in the same country. At least in the US there’s a chance of a violent revolution or a military coup. In Australia, I think the left will continue amassing power, taking over the national institutions, and successfully poisoning things to the point that the sane majority has to emigrate. If emigration for net taxpayers is still allowed. I’d be interested in hearing thoughts about how we get out of this mess. I think we all accept it’s a mess, and that it’s going to get worse.
    How do we get out of it?<

    In the US, a peaceable solution is possible, in the form of county by county votes on whether to stay in a nation based on the Declaration of Independence and the existing Constitution. Because US elections are county based, the suburban and rural areas can in theory divorce themselves from the major, heavily populated, inner city areas.

    In Australia, the major conurbations will always dominate at state level, while cunning politicians (Nifty Nev, anyone) can “fix” any breakaway movement by ensuring that the vote is dominated by a major city, as in the New England vote many years ago, when Wran “nominated” Newcastle as the capital of the proposed new state, providing the numbers to defeat the proposal.

  10. Behind Enemy Lines

    Boambee John
    #2919209, posted on January 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    In Australia, the major conurbations will always dominate at state level, while cunning politicians (Nifty Nev, anyone) can “fix” any breakaway movement by ensuring that the vote is dominated by a major city, as in the New England vote many years ago, when Wran “nominated” Newcastle as the capital of the proposed new state, providing the numbers to defeat the proposal.

    True enough. I really don’t see any way out of this mess.

  11. Muddy

    We still appear to view indigenous issues through the prism of a low-level negotiation. We assume that our counterparts are negotiating in good faith, and that, like us, they desire a utopian win-win outcome. We also assume that our counterparts have the authority to negotiate from those they claim to represent, and that they can be trusted. This, however, seems more like a hostage negotiation. A gun (in this case a sharp stick) is being held to our head. What is the worst that can happen if we stop giving in to their demands?

  12. Tintarella di Luna

    I used to think Noel Pearson might have been foreman material but I was blinded by the Omo whiteness. He is an absolute disappointment, a prevaricating double-dealer.

  13. AussieMAGA

    People only judge by content of character, but then some are honest enough to see the correlation between low IQ, criminality, etc. and certain racial attributes — not to mention loss of social cohesion/capital due to diversity — and come to the correct conclusion that being around certain people is rationally and probabilistically not a good thing.

    However, Libertards won’t accept this because they judge by skin colour, not biological and statistical realities. They do not respect reason and individual freedom, rather they want forced integration through conformity to the ideological tyranny of ‘anti-racism’. I just wish Libertards would stop being such dogmatic collectivists… Bad collectivists!

  14. Fisky

    I exposed this sneaky operator years ago. He’s a total phony who saw an opening and duped conservatives for years. But now he’s pivoting and no will doubt be yelling “racist scum!” at Tories again.

  15. Behind Enemy Lines
    #2919228, posted on January 27, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    True enough. I really don’t see any way out of this mess.

    There has always been and always will be one way out. SUFFERING LONG ENOUGH.
    Have a look at Europe. Those opposing the EU collectivism the strongest are the Eastern Europeans who have suffered through the Soviet years.
    Those who opposed the US establishment strongly in 2016 were from the rust belt and flyover counties.
    Those who wanted to Brexit were the working class plebs etc etc

    The last couple of generations in the west haven’t suffered through much at all.
    The vine (our society) is sprawling and needs to be pruned (suffering) or it will not bear enough fruit and will be disease (socialism) ridden.
    This is why I say let Bill Shorten and his union/green mates have at it for 6 or more years. A solid dose of a strong recession, double digit unemployment, mass bankruptcies etc will be the much needed pruning for Australians.
    It’s a shame I know. Regular smaller scale prunings would have been less harsh, but China came along and started buying our dirt, and our pollies and captains of industry weren’t smart enough or savvy enough.

    Australians under the age of 40 (most especially the women) need to get it and get it good and hard. Then we’ll rebound for another couple of generations.
    You know it makes sense.
    /end rant

  16. This is projection of the genuinely demonising practices of the left that are directed against people who disagree with the thrust of the grievance industry, the corrupted human rights industry and the whole package of identify politics.

    It’s amazing that the left reel out this BS line of argument that this is some kind of “culture war”. It is not. It is an all out assault by the left on the norms and culture that we nominally call Western civilization. There are literally millions of pages detailing how this was to be done and why, absolutely rock-solid evidence from the Frankfurt School, Gramsci, Alinsky, Dutschke, Derrida, Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, Heidegger, Mussolini all the way back to Marx, all in the public domain, readable anytime by anyone.
    That clots like Pearson can come out and try and claim this is some kind of “war” when at best the right can only ever claim to be defending (poorly) the incessant and unrelenting attacks on family, marriage, (Christian) religion, language, rule of law, nation state, education, science and The Enlightenment is astounding.
    You can list all the aims and methods of The Long March Quiet Goosestep Through the Institutions et al. and tick them all off as complete or nearly complete. And the left try and portray this as some kind of war when the right resist?! FMD.

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