Culture

Freedom of speech and “consequences”

The recent uproar over allegedly “misogynist” comments made by Senator Leyonhjelm in response to Senator Hanson-Young’s implications that men are collectively responsible for the rape-murder of Eurydice Dixon (and all violence perpetrated by any man against any woman) has brought out a familiar slogan: “freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.”

Many people whom are critical of political correctness and the shaming, ostracism and character-assassination tactics of “Social Justice Warriors” frequently assert that these “SJWs” represent a threat to free speech. SJWs respond by saying that freedom of speech is protection from the government punishing you for your speech, but it isn’t protection from social consequences for your speech.

But this argument is disingenuous at best, and represents a tactical shift in the definition of free speech and freedom generally.

Negative and Positive Liberty
Negative liberty and positive liberty is a distinction rooted in the works of Isaiah Berlin. Read the rest


Little House, big idea

Last month the American Library Association voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Award to the rather bland sounding Children’s Literature Legacy Award. The reason for its previous name is because Wilder’s ‘Little House’ book series was one of the most successful and impactful pieces of writing in American history, and for good reason. The official announcement from the ALA was full of the typical weasel statements you’d expect when left oriented groups are trying to remove such influential writings from national consciousness. Try this on for size:

Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color (sic) that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities. 

There’s no Sherlock award for working out that the books are a product of her life experiences, … Read the rest


It’s the law that needs to change, not men

A little over a week ago as I read of the callous rape and murder of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon a familiar fury boiled inside me. The right of all human beings to life, liberty and security is a cardinal component of my morality. As she walked through a park in “the world’s most liveable city”, Eurydice Dixon had those rights ripped from her in a brutal and horrifying manner. Ms Dixon was a few years older than my eldest daughter. News of her slaying sent a shiver through my core, as it did for thousands of parents of young women who wish to exercise their fundamental right to go about their business unmolested.

In the days following, a number of lengthy and confronting lists of “things that women do that men don’t have to think about” circulated social media detailing the lengths women go to in order to avoid Read the rest


Eurydice Dixon: we’re trying to fix the wrong problem

The murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne last week is a tragedy, as is every murder of an innocent person. The randomness of this attack makes it all the more haunting and my heart goes out to her family, friends, and fans.

We’ve seen this before. The murder of Jill Meagher bears gut wrenching similarity both in the crime, and in the reaction. The randomness of the attack, the rape and murder, the public outcry, the marches and vigils.

But we’re making the same mistake we did after the Jill Meagher murder, and every other random murder of an innocent woman: We’re ‘fixing’ the wrong problem, and that leaves the REAL problem un-fixed.

The mistakes are many, but let me articulate the ones that undermine our efforts to actually protect women:

A: We’ve made this a ‘group’ issue, but all violence is committed by an individual, against an individual. We … Read the rest


The other side of the gender inequality coin

Author: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

Over recent years there has been a growing concern about ‘gender inequality’ (see for example the Workplace Gender Equality Agency) with claims that women are systematically paid less than men. Many of these claims are refutable – see for example the writings of Judith Sloan.

But there are other aspects of ‘inequality’ that are not generally raised by the WGEA and activists. That is: men pay more tax and receive less social security. Men live fewer years. And men are more likely to die violently.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

Take life expectancy. The most recent life tables show that a new born male can expect to live to 80.4 years, a female to 84.6 years – an additional 4.2 years. And, sadly, undertaking a sex change operation from a man to a woman will not add years to your life.

For those aged 65 (relevant to the discussion … Read the rest


Abortion clinics and the death of Liberalism

Everyone should be uncomfortable and upset in a liberal society.

Some will be upset when they proudly see two married men holding hands and kissing in public. Some will be upset when they need to choose another photographer when a strongly religious Christian or Muslim photographer refuses them service.

Some will be upset by speech that seems to promote Islamic fundamentalism. Some will be upset by speech that seems to promotion white nationalism.

Some will be upset by abortion being freely and legally available. Some will be upset by being shown medical images of the procedure they are about to undertake.

When we approach these difficult issues in our society, both sides should lose.

Liberalism not a utopian philosophy. It’s far from perfect. It’s messy, and no-one is entirely happy with it. And that’s the way it should be. You have to put up with people doing things you despise, … Read the rest


Book review: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked is a story with a trial at its centre. Yeshua ben Yusuf and his associate Yehuda Iscariot are in custody for causing a riot at the Temple resulting in deaths. The place is Jerusalem and the time is 31AD. But this isn’t the story you’re thinking of, at least not quite. Because Helen Dale has recreated the ancient Roman Empire – it has undergone an industrial revolution – and it is dragging the ancient, monotheistic Judaean culture along with it.

Much is familiar about this new industrialised Roman society – we can recognise the militarism, the paganism, the tiered society of citizens and non-citizens, and the rule of law that we know to be true of the historical Roman Empire.  What’s new is the modern medicine, tanks, flying machines and abortion clinics. In this respect the new industrialised Roman Empire of Kingdom of the Wicked bears Read the rest


Of Kanye and coconuts

It would have been hard to ignore the outburst of pure rage that met recent claims that Kanye West had suggested “slavery was a choice”. Kanye, who has become famed for his provocative comments, seemed to have gone too far this time. The rage quickly spread through liberal media outlets, with CNN reporting, for example that “Kanye West just said 400 years of slavery was a choice”.

Among my own Facebook and WhatsApp circles, the anger was palpable. I’d have gotten angry too, if I still believed much of what I read on Facebook or WhatsApp. But given that most of today’s outrage tends to be based on exaggeration and misinterpretation – if not outright lies – it was worth sitting back and considering the facts and context.

First question: are there ulterior motives for attacking Kanye? Absolutely, yes. In black and left circles, Kanye had fallen out of Read the rest


Christian liberty: are you serious??

I boldly declared at the start of my speech in October last year at the inaugural LibertyFest that: “Christianity is by-far-and-away the most compatible religious faith or spiritual belief with Liberty.” Note that I include Atheism, Scientism and Statism amongst such beliefs. I will go even further now by testifying that: “Not only has Libertarianism and Austrian School economics helped lead me back to Christianity, but since then Christianity has made me a better Libertarian and Austrian School economist.” This article will draw upon this speech and more.

There is no exact date when I became a Libertarian, but it has been at least a decade possibly two. I say possibly two, as looking back with 20-20 hindsight I was more Libertine than Libertarian in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s (or in other words more Left-Libertarian than Right-Libertarian). There is an exact date for my return to Christianity, … Read the rest