The Totalitarian Nature Of Progressives

I find myself becoming ever more anxious about the direction in which this country is heading. If we don’t speak up soon, we will be living in a totalitarian society run by progressives who think themselves morally superior to everyone else. Thus, they will dictate how we ought to behave, how we ought to think and what opinions we ought to hold. We are already half way there; the rise of political correctness is the first step in this transformation. They will not stop until they rule the world.

Okay that might be a slight exaggeration, and I know they are not consciously ruining our country, and I know their hearts are in the right place. But it is worrying nonetheless. I am progressive in the sense that I strongly believe in movements such as feminism and LGBT rights, I lament the class system and other such things. Where I differ is that I am also liberal. I believe that liberty is the single most important asset we possess. We need it in order to prevent the government from becoming too authoritarian. Now, while most progressives might call themselves liberal, many of them are not. For while they believe in equality, they do not really believe in liberty.

A fantastic example of this is the recent outrage around Katie Hopkins’ article in the Sun in which she labelled refugees as “cockroaches” in the aftermath of a tragedy which saw 700 of them drown in the Mediterranean. The fact that she is a ghastly woman who’s ramblings are reminiscent of some pre-genocidal regimes I could mention is beside the point. By all means call her out and embarrass her as much as possible, but I begin to worry when hundreds of thousands of people sign a petition calling for her to be sacked. The Sun is not owned by the Government, it does not claim to represent the people. It is privately owned so should have complete autonomy over what it prints. There have been similar petitions in the USA involving CEO’s of powerful corporations who have espoused homophobia. Okay, if you don’t like it then challenge them on their backwards views, put it on them. But don’t try and get them sacked from a job which you have absolutely nothing to do with because they have an opinion that differs from your own. These organizations are independent, autonomous and free, they should (within reason) be able to do whatever they want, and as soon as one tries to restrict their liberties then we go down a dangerous path.

I emphasize the need to argue with and challenge people whose opinions differ from one’s own. My worry is that many progressives do not do this. There seems to be a great reluctance to engage in reasonable discussion. Increasingly, I see left-wing commentators and journalists shutting down uncomfortable conversations on TV by labelling their right-wing opponents as fascists, Nazis, xenophobes, racists etc. Alternatively, they are compared to the BNP, UKIP, the National Front and other such unpopular organizations. Whether or not these people are worthy of these titles is irrelevant. The progressives shout these things as if this wins them the argument. Well it doesn’t. It’s no more useful than calling someone an idiot. Show them how they’re wrong if you’re so sure of yourself. Engage in their points. It is worrying how easily conversations are shut down in this manner, and how people who express controversial opinions are dismissed so readily. By doing this, they are preventing topics that they don’t want discussed entering the public discourse. Note the taboo of mentioning immigration in left-wing circles now that UKIP have gained a modest following.

The idea that some subjects can be off-limits, or taboo just because people don’t want to talk about them is ridiculous. The illegality of holocaust denial in France illustrates the kind of restrictions we do not want infiltrating our legislature. While you’re a moron for denying the holocaust, it is completely unjustified to criminalize someone for holding an opinion.

There is a massive sense of superiority in the progressive outlook. Particularly in regards to the Right’s agenda. I am happy to concede that people who disagree with my ideologies or beliefs are sincere and genuine. Many on the Left however seem to believe that the right are disagreeing with them simply because they are evil and want as many people to suffer as possible. They cannot conceive how anyone could possibly disagree with their outlook other than being purposefully cruel. It could just be that they believe an alternative system would work better. While it is more convenient to see people as goodies and baddies, it doesn’t really work like that. Most people have good intentions. Engage in good faith, hear them out and rebut.  This assumption of evilness leads to great intolerance and aggressiveness towards those expressing non-conventional views.

The rise of political correctness means we must censor not only what we say, but also what we think. This is the definition of totalitarianism. Is no-one else concerned that one can no longer really say what one thinks without fear of repercussions? Free-speech and free-thought are fast becoming outdated concepts. The world is moving past these pillars of liberty. We cannot let it happen.

By Olly Tozer

15 responses to “The Totalitarian Nature Of Progressives

  1. I agree that political correctness is a pain in the backside, also that certain types of repulsive behaviour and ‘cultural’ practices are condoned in the name tolerance, but I disagree with your example of Holocaust denial. What these people express is not an opinion, it is a falsification of fact with a very nasty sub-plot. To allow them to spout blatant bare-faced lies and call them fact is not standing up for freedom of speech, but condoning an insidious hate-filled agenda.

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    • Hi Jane, you make a good point. There is a difference between opinion and fact, nevertheless I still think my point holds. For instance, would you make ‘truthers’ (who believe 9/11 was an inside job) into criminals, or any conspiracy theorists for that matter? Now I’m not saying that Holocaust deniers are in the same vein as this, but I do think you slide down a very dangerous path when you ban people from believing or saying things you don’t agree with. Would you send everyone to prison who denied a ‘fact’? If you reason that you’d only ban those with dangerous beliefs etc then you stray into arbitrary decisions and guess work. Thanks for your comment!

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      • Maybe I just believe that people in influential positions, like university professors, respected researchers should not be allowed to present untruths as fact. Because they are not stupid, or ignorant, because they are in full possession of all the facts and choose to tell lies, they must have an ulterior motive. Look at who funds their research and you find the toads hiding beneath the stone. I’m all in favour of free speech and what an ignorant nobody spouts in the pub is neither here nor there. But you can’t let intelligent, well-informed, influential people get away with encouraging hatred with their lies. Sorry to go on about it, but I do feel strongly about this one and can’t understand how any human being could sanction something as appalling as the Holocaust. Saying it never happened is tantamount to sanctioning.

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  2. “Maybe I just believe that people in influential positions, like university professors, respected researchers should not be allowed to present untruths as fact.”
    That would be easy if we lived in a world in which truths and falsehoods are easy to identify, but we don’t. Many many so-called ‘truths’ are contested by the very people you say shouldn’t be allowed to voice or discuss them, such as university professors. But it’s through their debates and discussions that we can get closer to the truth.
    Effectively shutting down that sort of discourse would be a hugely retrograde step. Look what’s happening on US university campuses – whole faculties of professors all espousing the same beliefs, opinions and ideas. How does that help progress human knowledge?

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  3. It doesn’t. Discussion is of course how progress in ideas comes about, like the underlying causes of climate change, or cancers, or how many angels can dance on a pin head—things on which the jury is out. You can discuss the exact importance of the use of Welsh Longbow men in the outcome of the battle of Agincourt, but you can’t deny that it actually happened. As in the particular case of the Holocaust, there is such a thing as documented truth. To deny it serves no educational or philosophical purpose that I can see.

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    • Sorry. You are just objectively wrong.

      One can actually deny that things that happened, happened.

      And you shoupd at least ask. How do you know what you think you know is true?

      Who gets to decide what can be qurstiondd2and what cannot be?

      You are doing what the author is warning about. You want to ban speech, which is to criminalize thought.

      You are a totalitarian. You are a progressive. Author’s point proven.

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      • That’s because you’re too emotional,.rather thsn rational. And no, it’s not because you’re a woman, it’s because you’re a progressive.

        A rational person will deal with ideas no matter who they come from.

        Yet again, you prove the point of the article.

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    • If something is evidently true, then there’s no point in preventing people from saying otherwise; by allowing them to speak, you’re allowing them to display their idiocy, prejudice and ignorance. You’re also allowing others the opportunity to openly challenge their stance and ridicule them, if necessary.
      If, on the other hand, you censor them, you are providing them with powerful ammunition to support their cause – “Look, we’re being gagged by the Establishment. That proves that we have something important to say, otherwise they wouldn’t be frightened of letting us speak.”

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      • Umm,.also we have what’s called the First Amendment. End of debate.

        I have the RIGHT to:
        Deny the holocaust
        Deny evolution
        Deny climate change
        Deny the germ theory of disease
        Burn the flag
        Burn a bible
        Burn a Koran
        Draw Mohammed
        Insult your mother

        And I have the right to get behind a podium and do these things in front of thousands of people, or write books about them, organize a club around them, etc

        If you have any problem with this, please refer to a speech given by Christopher Hitchens on free speech. Just go to YouTube and type in Hitchens and free speech.

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      • “If you have any problem with this, …”. No, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Did I express myself so badly that you thought I was ADVOCATING censorship?
        BTW, when you say “We have what’s called the First Amendment” you’re making assumptions that we all live under the US Constititution.

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      • I understand your point, and as a general rule I’d agree with you, give them enough rope etc. That’s fine for the village idiots whose opinions only those who agree with them will listen to. Where I would diverge though is when intelligent people knowingly pervert a truth or deny it because it suits their agenda, and their agenda is to stir up hatred and provoke violence. This is what Holocaust deniers do, and unfortunately, making their activity criminal is the only way to shut them up.

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      • Yup. You’re a tyrannt.

        You’re a progressive who doesn’t understand liberty and who thinks you know better thsn anyone else.

        Please watch Hitchens video on free speech. You need to.

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  4. Jane, I can see where you’re coming from, but I think what you’re proposing is the thin end of a wedge that could very easily grow into a generalised censorship. From what I’ve seen over a fairly long life, once we start compromising our principles (for the best of reasons), they have a habit of becoming completely eroded.
    There’s also the problem of who one would set up as the arbiters of what it’s permissible to say and what warrants prosecution.

    Best to let these issues be resolved in the public marketplace via the free exchange of ideas and accept that freedom of speech means living with the reality that there are always people who’ll be influenced by lies and distortions – you can’t stop it by forcing the lies undercover. The best prevention is by teaching critical thinking skills in our schools.

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