Intentious recently published an article on political correctness, and it has inspired me to write this.
Australia’s Carbon Tax was signed into law on Tuesday. This signals the death of reason in our country, brought up by a Labor left and Green alliance. It signals the rise of a new pseudo-political party, a Labor-Greens coalition.
Not only did Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard betray the electorate, she is trying to entrench her betrayal by making the law un-repealable… essentially spitting in the face of voters who would vote her out of office over the law.
Traditionally, poltical parties stood for principles, like “workers” or “big business.” This politcal movement now relies on political correctness and co-opting the media cycle to win office.
Their nefarious strategy is a progression as follows:
1- They suggest a grandoise, idealistic idea. It must be for the greater good and have immense symbolic value e.g. apology to the stolen generations, climate change, making asylum seeker policy more humane. The more demonstrably pure the intention, the more suitable it is for the next step…
2- Claim the moral high ground. This requires religious devotion to a cause. This involves supporting tribes over principle, and refusing to listen to anyone who opposes the tribe, HATE anyone who opposes the tribe. e.g. the irrational hatred of Tony Abbott. This moral superiority also assumes that people have a right not to be offended by someone elses opinion.
3- Paint your detractors as evil. If you disagree with them you are a “denier” you are a “racist”, you are “in the pay of big oil.” For example, if you opposed the proposed mandatory Internet filter, you support paedophilia. The aim of this is to use the moral high ground as a beat stick against your opponents, because they are morally bankrupt if they even suggest anything that disagrees with you. This is completely contrary to the idea of freedom of speech. It is an attempt to shut down debate… the only bias allowed is that which is sympathetic to the cause, and to only listen to approved sources of propaganda. e.g. Media inquiry, skewering coalition by blaming them for “all boats sinking after deal collapses”, climate sceptics are in the “pay of big oil” etc
4- Avoid scrutiny of actual implementation, the consequences of choices and the associated chocies; never look at the balance sheet. If there are cost blow outs, if the gesture had no effect (was purely symbolic) and was not value-for-money, then the moral high ground, in their eyes, justifies the expense. The aim is not to defend a position empircally, but to “points score” using the media cycle. The problem with this approach is that it is prime for rorting by clever crooks. e.g. pink batts, asylum seekers, effectiveness of the carbon tax, QANTAS shutdown. This detachment allows a politician who follows this philosophy to say “night is day” to your face.
I suspect that it is part of Australian subculture, that has grown out of the beauracracy and the unions. It comes from a worship of process, adherence to the “right thing to do” and using moral superiority as a bludgeon to silence detractors. It is disconnected from reality because everyone is afraid to check the balance sheet when the dust settles.
This approach, this workship of symbolism over reason, is contrary and anathema to good leadership.
The key to skewering these sophists is to hold them to account on item 4. with as much evidence as possible to bring to bear. Most of the material they use is pure jingoism and has no substance with phrases such as “price on carbon” and “clean energy future”, utterly meaningless cliches played from a broken record.
Bring the debate back into the discussion, rather than letting the politically correct speaker to preach from a pulpit. Hold them to the consequences of their choices.