Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

No Right Turn: Neither consistent nor liberal

No Right Turn

Neither consistent nor liberal


http://norightturn.blogspot.com

Why do conservatives oppose "political correctness"? Over the last few days, we've seen a lot of bluster about how "political correctness" is about minorities attempting to impose their views on the majority, an attack on freedom of expression, and a threat to secularism. But looking past that, it seems that exactly the opposite is the case. Opposition to "political correctness" is primarily about the imposition of majority opinion onto minorities, rather than the protection of a free and neutral society or a marketplace of ideas.

There was an excellent example of this in Wayne Mapp's interview with Sean Plunket on Morning Report yesterday (hat tip: Keith Ng):

Mapp: Another example: the government now puts into law Maori spiritual values, and yet we don't even have Grace at state functions. Now that's wrong. In a secular state, all beliefs - you know, spiritual beliefs, religious beliefs - should be treated equally, because that's actually what secularism means. Instead, this government puts it into law that one set of values has preference. That's where the whole thing's got completely out of control, and we need a systemtic review of all of that to fix it - [in the name of?] freedom of speech.

Plunket: I'd presume you'd also get rid of the Lord's Prayer at the start of each Parliamentary session

Mapp: No, I think that's part of our history. I mean, things are part of our history.

Plunket: OK, so whose history? Whose history is that part of?

Mapp: The Nation's history, the nation's history.

Plunket: OK, because it would seem to me that if you're going to be secular right across the board, then that's got to go to.

Mapp: Well, there was this issue in North Shore, I can tell you the majority of the public did not like it, and the councillor who promoted it did not retain his position. Part of this whole issue is respecting the views of the majority, not always pandering to minority views...

So, minority religious expression must be eradicated from public institutions, but majority public expression is acceptable - because they're the majority. Similarly, laws outlawing "hate speech" against gays are bad, but laws outlawing blasphemous libel - "hate speech" against (the Christian version of) god - are OK. You don't have to be a genius to see that this position is neither consistent nor liberal. Instead, it is an appropriation of liberal language to mask gross illiberalism and the imposition of majority opinion. And even if the majority existed somewhere outside the National party's heads, it would be wrong. As John Stuart Mill famously pointed out,

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

This doesn't just follow from one interview. The idea that "political correctness" is about the struggle between majorities and minorities is encapsulated in Wayne Mapp's definition of the term in his speech "The Problem With Political Correctness":

A person, an institution or a government is politically correct when they cease to represent the interests of the majority and become focused on the cares and concerns of minority sector groups.

According to Mapp, democratic government means that "the ideas and values of the majority are able to prevail over other choices". According to liberals, they should not, at least in certain areas. And those areas - religion, sexuality, equality, substantive freedom - overlap precisely with the battlegrounds of "political correctness".

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Ian Powell: Rescuing Simpson From Simpson

(Originally published at The Democracy Project ) Will the health reforms proposed for the Labour Government make the system better or worse? Health commentator Ian Powell (formerly the Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical ... More>>

Missions To Mars: Mapping, Probing And Plundering The Red Planet

In the first month of 2020, Forbes was all excitement about fresh opportunities for plunder and conquest. Titled “2020: The Year We Will Conquer Mars”, the contribution by astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter was less interested in the physics than the conquest. ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Coup Leader Grabs Absolute Power At Dawn

BANGKOK, Thailand -- By seizing power, Myanmar's new coup leader Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has protected his murky financial investments and the military's domination, but some of his incoming international ... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>

The Conversation: How To Cut Emissions From Transport: Ban Fossil Fuel Cars, Electrify Transport And Get People Walking And Cycling

By Robert McLachlan Professor in Applied Mathematics, Massey University The Climate Change Commission’s draft advice on how to decarbonise New Zealand’s economy is refreshing, particularly as it calls on the government to start phasing out fossil ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog