Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Little Red Hen and Her "Helpers"

Some Speech Is More Free Than Others

Liberal democratic values apparently have limits.  Only so far, and no further.

An interesting debate has broken out over free speech and diversity and tolerance in New Zealand.  As in so many countries, the provocation is the vexed issues surrounding refugees.  The rub: should we allow people to migrate into our country who hold views "we" find intolerant, and therefore intolerable?

The NZ Herald has devoted an editorial to the question which reeks of self-righteous smuggery.  It suggests that New Zealand's liberal tolerance of ideas reflecting our view of freedom, liberty, and equality do not need promoting to potential refugees, nor do we need be concerned about inculcating these values into hearts and minds of refugees.  Why,
those values do not need promoting. Refugees are well aware of them; those values are the reason they want to come here.
Puleeze.  Has not the editorial writer heard of Maslow's Heirarchy of Human Needs?  To suggest that refugees are fleeing to our country because of our superior values rather than because they face starvation and death is smuggery beyond compare.

The Herald editorial proceeds, referencing one of our core societal values--tolerance of diverse views--as a reason why we have an obligation to welcome intolerant views:
One of those basic Western, liberal values is a tolerance of diverse views and open debate. Muslims who come here may arrive with distinctly non-Western values on the status of women and decency in dress and relationships. They justify their restrictive codes of dress and conduct on a sense of respect and self-respect that they find deficient in Western liberal values. Westerners find that sort of respect oppressive but it is good to have our attitudes challenged. To bar people because they do not share them would be the antithesis of basic Western, liberal values.
Whoopee.  This is a bridge too far for one of our resident (self-confessed secular) bloggers:
Not at all. Does the Herald editorial writer think for example we should welcome in members of the KKK because it is good to have our values challenged? How about neo-nazis from Europe? Would having more neo-nazis in NZ be good for our NZ as they will challenge our values? By the same basis, I don’t want people immigrating here who think gays should be stoned to death, that execution is the appropriate punishment for apostasy or that women are second class citizens.
Suddenly we are face to face with what we knew all along.  In the secular West speech is free, only if it is agreeable and consistent with approved views, sanctioned by secularist ideology.  It's just that the liberals don't come out of the closet that often to make the limits of their tolerance known.

Surely, immigrants should be informed of how things are in New Zealand.  Free speech never takes place in a vacuum.  It always occurs in societies with certain ruling paradigms that have been reflected in law (both criminal and civil).  Free speech is all too often not free if one is prohibited from advocating change to the ruling paradigms and the laws which reflect and buttress them.

Islamic refugees ought to be told candidly that in New Zealand their children must attend a secular school, by law.  The only way to avoid having your children inculcated into secularist propaganda and the ruling paradigms is to home school or set up private schools or be fortunate enough to be near an Islamic integrated school with a charter strong enough to withstand the secular curricula of the State.  They need to be told that New Zealand will discriminate against you at this point, and at many others.

They need to be told that if the Islamic refugee family has one husband and multiple wives, that marital arrangement is not recognised in New Zealand; the husband would need to divorce his wives (bar one) but it is OK openly to cohabit with as many women and men along with the divorced wives in perpetuity.  Go figure.  But that's the way it is.

Islamic refugees ought to hear from Christians about the discrimination actively pursued against them and their beliefs.  But they also need to hear that Christians, Muslims, and others can actively and publicly advocate for their views and beliefs, and most often one will be left alone.  One will be free to speak publicly against the ruling paradigms.  Not always, but mostly.  All speech is free, but some is more free than others.

An extensive class in the limits of free speech and the law of assault would not go astray.  These are the sort of things that would be not just helpful, but necessary for aspiring refugees to New Zealand.  The insouciance of the Herald editorial writer is naive to say the least.  Purblind, would be a more apt description.  But the puritanical priggery of our resident NZ blogger is not acceptable either.  Who would want to live in a country where only his views are tolerable?  "Not I", said the pig.

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