A thought experiment
This is quite an old column I wrote for the Connor Post, but which I didn’t realise I hadn’t reposted yet. The thought experiment in this case is to ask, what if an academic infatuated with not one, but another controversial ideologue whose theories had directly lead to millions of deaths last century, was sponsored by the government to roll out an all-encompassing program explicitly aimed at inculcating that ideology in Australian schoolchildren?
I was interested to find out recently that Dr Jordan Peterson came to a similar conclusion, stating that identifying as a Marxist is not much different to identifying as a Nazi, given the track record of both ideologies.
Originally published on the Connor Post
Imagine, if you will, that a government-sponsored academic designed a program for students, from elementary school on, that explicitly aimed to inculcate them with particular theories of “race” that many people find disturbing. Further, it emerges that the academic in question is an ardent student of Adolf Hitler, and preaches at neo-Nazi rallies, quoting from Hitler’s speeches and books.
In 2016, such a scenario sounds ludicrous. Even Vox could scarcely imagine Trump doing such a thing. But thought experiments don’t have to be plausible, just possible.
In fact, just such a thing is happening in Australia.
The “Safe Schools” program – promoting a controversial ideology, designed by an academic infatuated with an infamous ideologue, namely Marx – was first rolled out by the socialist Andrews government in the Australian state of Victoria, then nationwide, often over the objections of parents, politicians and others. Promoted as an “anti-bullying” program, it oddly (as some of its critics have pointed out) says nothing about fat kids, kids with glasses, freaks and geeks – you know, the sort of kids who get bullied all the time. Instead it explicitly focuses on the “same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse”.
The objections to “Safe Schools” are not to the concept of an anti-homosexual bullying program in itself, but that that “Safe Schools” is less an anti-bullying program than it is radical queer-theory indoctrination. Although its proponents dismiss its critics as Christian conservatives, in fact the critics include representatives of the Chinese and Indian communities, and even gay activists. A group of mothers have banded together to create the You’re Teaching Our Children WHAT? website, specifically to counter “Safe Schools”.
The content of “Safe Schools”- originally taught at elementary school, and still taught from middle school up – can be disturbing. Kids are encouraged to try “role-playing” activities like cross-dressing, and pretending to be gay. Materials in the kits included links (some since removed) to how-to videos on chest-binding and penis-tucking, and websites selling strap-ons. “Guidelines” included banning the words “mum” and “dad”, while a Sydney girls-only school tried to ban staff from using “gendered” terms like “girls”, “ladies” and “women”.
Far from stopping bullying, it’s claimed that students who try to opt out of the program are bullied and ostracized. When one of Australia’s most prominent transgenders, Group Captain Cate McGregor, objected to “Safe Schools”, arguing that it was a Trotskyite Trojan horse, she was sacked as a human rights patron.
“Safe Schools” creator Roz Ward, an open Marxist and LGBTQI activist with no educational qualifications, openly boasts, “I not only teach people how to be gay, I teach them how to be gay and communist”. When Ward was briefly sacked for writing that when the “racist” Australian flag was replaced with a red Communist one her “work would be done”, her leftist cronies swung into action. Having sat silently by while conservative journalists were punished for asking forbidden questions about racially-based government grants programs, and white students sued for questioning racially segregated facilities, the tribalist jelly-backs of the left finally remembered how to defend freedom of speech.
Outrage! they thundered. Attack on academic freedom! Naturally, the university backed down, and Ward was hastily reinstated. “Safe Schools” rolls on.
Yet, one is left wondering: would they have rushed to her defense had she been caught quoting from Mein Kampf, rather than Das Kapital? The loopy theories of the Marxists have, after all, indisputably caused many times more deaths than the ravings of Hitler.
So why are addlebrained Marxists allowed to get their hooks into kids’ heads – and pants – when gibbering Nazis never would, or should?
Just in case it’s not clear above – I’m not in the least suggesting that Ward should have been sack from her job as a university academic. Far from it – my point there is that the very people who were outraged at the infringement of Ward’s freedom of speech were the ones who cheered at the infringement of the freedom of people who they didn’t like, while the people who cheered at Ward’s sacking were the ones who were outraged when people they liked were on the pointy end of the stick.
Well, it doesn’t work like that – as Noam Chomsky said, if you don’t defend the freedom of speech for people you despise, you don’t believe in it at all.
That said – what Ward says as a university academic and what she pushes on kids in primary and high school are two very different matters. University students are adults, the other kids are not.