Has the woke Wellington Twitteratti lynch mob called for the cancellation of Professor James Flynn yet? At the least an Action Station petition?

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As someone who helped popularise the term ‘woke’ in NZ, I fear the manner in which middle class identity politics has eclipsed the class based left as our movements dominant ideology has created all sorts of intellectual paradoxes.

Millennial micro aggression policing woke culture with the accompanying social media lynch mob has all the nuance of Donald Trump at a feminist folk festival and all the sanctimony of a sadfishing mommy blogger, but its need to stomp out free speech under the belief that micro aggressions lead to macro violence is becoming cult like now…

The complicated issue of hate, and the left-wing professor whose book was banned

It’s tricky being an old leftie who values free speech. Sometimes your supporters can become your opponents. Emeritus Professor at Otago University Professor Jim Flynn knows this all too well.

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The former Alliance candidate and man who gave his name to an effect he discovered showing that IQ has an environmental component, making him a hero of the left, also argues that black subculture can negatively affect performance. For this he has been accused of blaming the victim. You can’t win whatever side you take, he jokes. Genetic or environmental. Damned either way.

…when the class based left was still dominant, Emeritus Professor Professor Jim Flynn would be a Left wing hero, in the Identity Politics post MeToo intersectionist landscape he is a heteronormative white cis-male whose patriarchy is a privilege that must be deplatfomed and cancelled.

If Andrew Little was smart, he’d study the case of Emeritus Professor Professor Jim Flynn and comprehend where this push by the woke on free speech will collide with a significant chunk of the electorate and kick the review of hate speech past the next election so as to not make free speech an election issue. Little needs to do this because the censorship Left are going to get crucified if the Greens and their alienating online supporters make this an issue.

ACTs sudden jump to gaining 2 MPs in the latest Poll is partly because of their uptake of the Free Speech issue.

We are going to find it difficult to gain a second term as it is, handing the Right the ammunition in a free speech fight would be madness.

6 COMMENTS

  1. This is a failure of left wing economics. Tax $100k out of me and you end up with the mess you are in now. We have all left because the woke keep voting out the productive side of the left. Left has been screwed for 30 years. Now you’re going to have to raise trade tariffs to fix it.

    New Zealand should have had a fully functioning Carbon Price by now. Instead, all the costs and non of the gains of the climate crises are passed straight on to the consumer. What should have happened was to make the polluters borrow to fix it while cutting low and middle income tax rates to offset consumer spending a bit. That or what ever tax reform package should have been triggered as soon as the Capital Gains Tax failed. We all knew it was going to fail. Now we have to raise tariffs and essentially emplement Fortress Aotearoa.

  2. It’s tricky being an old leftie who values free speech.

    Ain’t that true Martyn.

    TDB is about the only free speech sit around except for Scoop.

    At 75yrs old I see we are all slowly being hung by the right wing zealots/deniers; – of all the once ‘free speech’ that we knew before the age of the “brave new world” in this century that was a load of shit wasn’t it just.

  3. “Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people”
    ― Heinrich Heine

    “In 1891 the Brazilian Minister of Finance decreed the abolition of history; he ordered the destruction of every document which dealt in any way with slavery or the slave trade; a nation-wide burning of the books.”
    ― Manu Herbstein, AMA

    “…people burn books, and that they ban books is, in a way, a good sign. It’s a good sign because it means books have power. When people burn books, it’s because they’re afraid of what’s inside them…”
    ― Marcus Sedgwick, The Monsters We Deserve

    “I’m sure the only act that sells more books than a good banning is a good burning.”
    ― Pansy Schneider-Horst

  4. Regarding Action Station: that organisation is at least partly funded by Pierre Omidyar, as I discovered recently. I used to receive e-mails from them, even signed a few petitions. No more.

    “….kick the review of hate speech past the next election so as to not make free speech an election issue. Little needs to do this because the censorship Left are going to get crucified if the Greens and their alienating online supporters make this an issue.”

    I agree. It would be tone-deaf of the Greens to pursue this in the current political environment. I suspect that it would be a sure-fire election loser.

    “ACTs sudden jump to gaining 2 MPs in the latest Poll is partly because of their uptake of the Free Speech issue.”

    You can bet on that. I’m an old lefty; I’m infuriated by the so-called “hate speech” review. I’m certainly considering giving ACT my vote because of it: for the first time in a very long while, I won’t be voting Labour at the next election.

  5. This may seem like heresy to some, but I actually don’t mind having an ACT MP or two in Parliament, just not too many. If we don’t have a clear majority in Parliament that comprehends how badly ACT’s neo-classical dogma reflects political-economic reality, allowing a couple of ACT MPs to swing votes on economic policy, we are screwed on that score anyway. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and these days there are social policy issues ACT gets right that Labour, NZ First, and increasingly even the Greens get wrong. ACT tends to be on the right side of internet freedom (when it doesn’t involve copyright and patent enforcement), drug law reform, voluntary time of death, and a range of similar liberal issues, and now it appears that freedom of speech can be added to that list. Having some MPs who aren’t afraid to challenge the increasingly authoritarian consensus on social policy is good, even necessary.

    That said, I wish the Greens would do some deep thinking on these issues, especially about the sorts of freedoms that allowed them to build their base. They have been a vocal minority on most of the important issues they have championed over the years, and no doubt a lot of people have been offended by the positions they’ve taken, and how they’ve expressed them. Without the freedom of speech they now seem to have forgotten the value of, they never would have got to where they are. Same with Labour, for that matter. A lot of people were and are offended by talk of policies that protect workers at the expense of employers’ profits.

  6. Strypey: “This may seem like heresy to some, but I actually don’t mind having an ACT MP or two in Parliament…”

    Heh! Maybe people better get used to it, if folks like me desert Labour in numbers.

    “Having some MPs who aren’t afraid to challenge the increasingly authoritarian consensus on social policy is good, even necessary.”

    I agree. Christ….am I turning into a conservative in my old age?

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