REVIEW: DR CORNEL WEST & DOUGLAS MURRAY: POLARISED

By   /   August 18, 2018  /   22 Comments

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Murray’s intellect and laser like conservative logic is dazzling and what he argues for and about has depth, complexity and intelligence but the competing brilliance and moral certitude of radical compassion and revolutionary social justice preached by Dr West demands a call to action Murray occasionally matched but never beat.

The waiting audience are frightened.

Milling around the Aotea Centre to watch Think Inc’s latest offering, ‘Polarised’ the crowd twitch in the cold air of a sodden Auckland night like nervous herd animals sensing the stalk of a predator.

In the wake of the Woke Lefts anti-free speech, everything is hate speech and you’re a Nazi for thinking differently stance over the last month, the people at the Aotea Centre know that at any moment the anti-patriarchy Emerald Stormtroopers of Cntrl Left might pounce with bomb threats and deplatforming censorship because Hard Right journalist and thinker Douglas Murray is speaking.

A young white couple from the North Show break down in tears as they articulate their fear that Giovani Tiso, Valerie Morse & Jessica Williams will be hiding in the carpark taking down car registrations for re-education retribution later.

A rumour rushes through the huddled groups that the Millennial Woke micro aggression policing SpinOff TV  has turned up to film and shame those who have come to listen to the discussion.

10minutes of googling what SpinOff TV is however removes any concern or threat response.

I’m being a tad facetious here but after the ferociously bitter free speech is hate speech campaign attacked by the smugly Woke and defended by a lot of rich white right wing guys who don’t seem to give two shits about free speech when it’s not convenient,  the need to hear that engagement and debate matters even between opposing political viewpoints is more important than ever before, so it was with a mix of dread and hope that I ventured out to listen to two of the great modern champions of the Left and Right to see if we can at least manage 90 minutes without threatening each other.

What an incredible evening it was.

Murray’s intellect and laser like conservative logic is dazzling and what he argues for and about has depth, complexity and intelligence but the competing brilliance and moral certitude of radical compassion and revolutionary social justice preached by Dr West demands a call to action Murray occasionally matched but never beat.

They both champion free speech, they acknowledged the tolerance of intolerance is actually necessary. Murray has received deplatforming censorship of the Woke and West faced off against the neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville last year. Both decry the social media mobs on either side and challenged us that engagement and debate was the only way through the morass of smug self-certainty and echo chamber tribalism.

Murray, an intellectual companion of Jordan Peterson,  critiqued the subjective definition of hate speech and argued fiercely against allowing personal definitions to create trigger free safe spaces while Dr West called upon people to focus on the hegemonic structure of neoliberal capitalism and the plutocracy of oligarchs to fight true hate speech.

They added to each other and challenged each other while the arguments danced. The audience applauded, and gasped as their own bias was challenged or confirmed. Mihingarangi Forbes hosted the event with a close eye to the recent events of Southern, Molyneux and Brash which gave this discussion a razor sharp proximity to an argument that was still keenly raw for many in the audience.

The floor was opened to questions and angry Wokes and furious anti-Culture Marxists blew off steam with questions framed as insults while the audience booed the extremities of each side to the surprise of each person asking the question.

It was an incredible night that reaffirmed many core values I’ve always held and made me more convinced than ever that engagement and debate was the only way forward and that censorship, deplatforming and simply screaming down opponents based on your own sense of righteousness was how we lose.

Let’s see what happens when Jordan Peterson comes to town.

The next Think Inc event is the brilliant Chelsea Manning, get tickets here.

Think Inc are to be congratulated, it takes courage in the current cultural climate to put events on like this.

 

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22 Comments

  1. countryboy says:

    Man, that sounds great. I’m sad that I couldn’t have been there. Instead, I’m stuck way down here in the middle of our primary industry hinterlands being handed a double dose of Right wing RNZ bias and Right wing TV banality.
    Dr Cornel West sounded fucking awsome despite bias rnz.

    • Maxwell says:

      And I suppose the left wing bias and banality of spoiled, middle-class, city-dwelling white liberals is acceptable in the minds of those convinced of the infallibility of their own dogma? I am an aborigine and think that right and left alike are as bad as one another when it comes to race and racism. Both reduce people of color to mere caricatures to serve narratives and lies that they hold to be true. Those incapable of thinking for themselves regardless of their politics and principles are comparable to religious lunatics still living in the Dark Ages and men like West exemplify in every way that very problem.

  2. Janio says:

    Bomber, object to your simplistic, smug labeling – “Woke Lefts anti-free speech, everything is hate speech and you’re a Nazi for thinking differently…” How to win an argument by reducing the complexity of your opponents arguments to such a base formulation.

    So happy that you left the meeting feeling your opinions were endorsed. Carry on speaking the righteous blogs.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      Janio, you “object to your simplistic, smug labeling”? Join the club. This is exactly what Bomber is criticizing in the sentence you quoted, and he’s bang on. The Lord of the Flies responses to these right-wing speakers, and the naive ignorance about why the radical left need free speech protected far more than the right ever will, reveals an intellectually degraded NZ left that needs to be educated about history, strategy, and effective public engagement.

  3. Christine says:

    So does this mean that we still have to go around saying c**t ?

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      No I won’t use the c**t word, as I will always respect women and never will demean any part of my wife of 42 years; – as I love her and respect her immensely.

      We need more dignity given today not that trash talk.

      The Green leader was out of order there in my mind.

      I am very happy to see most do now recgnise that the only way forward is talking through our differences.

      Great coverage Martyn thanks for that insight,

    • savenz says:

      The problem with reclaiming the word cunt, is that only a 1% microcosm understand what she was trying to do, the rest are baffled or worse… that sums up what is happening with the Greens as they get too much into some tiny intellectual cliche that has little practical reality or little understanding of the experience of most voters and how they are going to interpret the comments.

      The ‘avocado smash’ recipe sent out before the election is another example of misunderstanding mainstream interpretation and experience and thinking that being a 20 something year old is very clever. Being ironic when people are worried about serious issues or have real problems is pretty much a slap in the face to voters.

      Not even 90% of millennials probably understood what they were on about.

      The Waka bill another one to stop obsessing about. Voters want focus of external issues and improvement to this country and their own lives not worrying about technicalities for MP’s that the majority don’t care about apart from being livid when list MP’s voted in on a left ticket, end up supporting Jenny Shipley for example.

      In general the current Greens need to get over themselves and start to look at the practical, to reclaim the voters who don’t understand what they are on about anymore and get the impression they are out of their depth and the MP experience is just an intellectual wank fest for them.

      Greens need to stop focusing on the most minuscule details that impact few people and are ambiguous anyway, while failing to act on the big picture that is clear for the majority.

      • SaveNZ says:

        P.S. Spinoff TV, is another example of self referential wank festing that occurs when privileged 20 something year olds or oldies trying to reference a 20 something year olds, get $700k of creative NZ money to blow on their own intellectual identity politic musings while the 99.9% of others watching are aghast.

        Have only managed 5 minutes of watching Spinoff TV by accident. This is when Spinoff TV had two 20 something year olds talking about flushing down tampons, this “exciting” discussion as one of the presenters shuffles off the stage in a fake “tampon” malfunction, then leads them to interview the water care to find out that yes, tampons are flushed into the sewer systems, followed by a poll of roughly 5 people who 2.5 revealed that they flushed their tampons down the toilet, thus creating a 50% survey.

        P.S. I am not making this up.

        P.S. Could be why many people do not watch TV anymore, as well as repelling the target market 20 something year olds.

        Imagine if you are an ordinary millennial and this is the crap TV executives they think you watch???

        Even the TV station had to move it to later on in the evening when presumable the 1% post feminists GLBTIQ community can smoke some pot and guffaw over the ironies!

  4. LOLBAGZ says:

    Peterson is an agnostic pretending to be a christian in order to sidecart christian alt right elements to his resurrecting the logos rhetoric. A false academic who conducts no research but only repeats and rearticulates. A dangerous dirtbag like Goebbels make no mistake.

    • Maxwell says:

      A fake academic? Wrong. And any credibility you may have had is thus lost. If you can’t construct mature and rational arguments like an adult, then go play with your toys. How are his assertions any more fake than the dogmatic drivel that serves as humanities department gospel these days that d**kheads like yourself no doubt accept without question as objective truth?

    • tj says:

      he is openly against the alt right because it represents identity politics which he is against. the alt right openly hate him for it.

  5. LOLBAGZ says:

    Peterson is an agnostic pretending to be a christian in order to sidecart christian alt right elements to his resurrecting the logos rhetoric. A false academic who conducts no research but only repeats and rearticulates. A dangerous dirtbag like Goebbels make no mistake.

    • Nick J says:

      A dangerous dieting like Goebbels eh Lolbagz? Quite possibly the stupidest most ignorant comment for some time, but most depressing is that you compare somebody who tries to do good with one of histories evil monsters. Which one of the two, Peterson or Goebbels do you most resemble Lolbagz? Are you the scummy portrayer of untruths about people designed to slander them and make them appear guilty of uncommitted crimes? Or are you the one using reason and truth to challenge unreasonable? I will leave that judgement to the readers.

  6. Janio says:

    Should not have referred to your comments as ‘rubbish’ Christine. Rather, that I find some of your comments ill informed.

  7. Janio says:

    Bomber has not posted my comment to Christine not to say what she feels uncomfortable saying. If you are going to restrict my comments Bomber at least be consistent and cancel the one that refers to the one you didn’t put up – as I asked. Pathetic.

  8. millsy says:

    Imagine a debate with Southern, Peterson and Milo and one side, and Manning, West and possibly Hone Harawira on the other, screened live on primetime TV and all over the world. That would be something.

  9. Martin says:

    Tickets topped at $249, not sure what the it cost to sit up in rafters. Says a lot about who this aimed at and seems more entertainment than anything else. The pair also appearing in Aus are they?

  10. sumsuch says:

    Martyn, lyrical and poetical. Your writing in this blog reminds me of Cobbett, the great contrarian ( a Tory in America, a radical in Britain) of the early 1800s during the 40 years English reaction to the French Revolution. He established Hansard and wrote almost everything in his newspaper for underdogs, that the aristos tried to tax out of existence. A tyro.

  11. Matt K says:

    This event was enjoyable but the entertaining theatrics of West have to be considered along side him becoming the Western version of word-salad generator Deepak Chopra. Too often what he said was too theatrical and not enough actual clear thinking. Murray, by contrast, articulates his ideas in words which everyone can understand so no matter your preference for each of their views Murray is the only one who could truly challenge people to reassess their existing views.

    • JustFineU says:

      Sorry you didn’t understand Dr. West, Matt. You needn’t criticize and diminish him as a way of defending your inability to grasp his style. Murray “articulates his ideas in words which everyone can understand”, as you say. Is the value of his communication mostly measured by how many people are able to readily understand him? Are you not willing to be stretched in your understanding of another method of speaking?? Dr. West is a brilliant communicator. His delivery is beautifully musical in cadence and emphasis. I hope you give him another try.