A VERY personal opinion: Why the Radical Left’s Desire to Create Neutrality is Destroying any Hope of the Equality They Seek.

By Oliver Hodges

A few months ago during a social studies class in a Canadian University, a young assistant professor showed a clip from a TV debate on a national news channel. The debate was on the topic of legislation to enforce the use of gender pronouns and criminalise the misuse or failure to use a transgender person’s desired pronoun. Jordan Peterson, one of the TV debaters, put forward the argument that when the government can legislate our speech, they are effectively legislating our thought processes and are creating an Orwellian or Gileadean dystopia, in which speech is controlled and free-thought suppressed. A reasonable argument one might suggest and one which was reasonably countered by the suggestion that transgender people are being discriminated against and require greater protection. So far, seemingly innocuous.

But it is not so. Rather, the professor in question was dragged before a ‘diversity’ committee for review. Her crime: promoting divisive and aggressive views apparently offensive to a number of students taking her class. It was thus that according to the so-called ‘diversity’ committee, the act of showing this video was the equivalent to legitimising Hitler’s views concerning Jewish people. A significant leap to say the least, especially given that she showed both sides of the debate in her class. Fortunately, the professor in question retained her position, although she was fiercely admonished and humiliated by her peers and superiors.

CartoonSo, what did she do wrong? Or, more importantly, what is going wrong?

In our times, there is a disturbing emergent movement among young, radical left-leaning university and school students; it is the desire to create neutrality at any cost.

But, neutrality is not equality. Neutrality is the desire for equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity. That is to say, for everyone to be neutral we must bring some people down and push others up so everyone’s head is at the same level and stays there. No one says anything of offence and no one suffers any injustice. So what’s the issue with this?

Well, neutrality is unattainable and you can never not risk being offensive.

Why? Because offence can’t be given out; it has to be taken.

Through the mere act of having a conversation, you are risking being offensive. You have no idea how someone might react to what you are saying, but you say what you think on the assumption that an opinion is not inherently offensive. The offensiveness only occurs when meaning is attached to what you say when people interpret it and when they make assumptions about what that opinion means for them and other people and thus how they should feel. So, to suggest that anyone has a right to not be offended is ludicrous and unfeasible. For, to do so, not only would we have to stop all conversation and remove a significant chunk of the English language, but we would also have to call a halt to free thought.

And it is this desire to enforce neutrality that is destroying the left’s cause.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, was recently recorded at a Q&A taking a question from a woman in the audience before interrupting her after she used the word ‘mankind’ to tell her that she must instead use the term ‘peoplekind’. The problems with this are three-fold. Firstly, Trudeau is failing to recognise that “mankind” is not gendered and actually finds its etymology in an era when “man” referred to all humans, not just males. Secondly, by trying to enforce neutrality of language, Trudeau exhibited ‘mansplaining’ of the first order. He interrupted the woman, told her what to say and having allowed her to correct her mistake, only then did he let her continue. Thirdly, ‘peoplekind’ is not a word, ‘humankind’ is, use that.

This absurd failure to employ common sense and basic principles has meant that Conservative figureheads like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers are gaining immense online followings as they speak out against this trend to censor speech and prevent free thought. People are fighting back against the didactic and oppressive left that claims a moral superiority as the foundation for their authority to act carte blanche. And no, to fight against this desire to censor free speech and thought does not mean you are prejudiced in anyway. Jordan Peterson may stand in opposition to any attempt to legislate language, but that does not mean he or any other person of similar belief, is transphobic, racist, or a white supremacist. The latter, being the latest weapon of choice for the left. E.G. You are white and privileged so I can discount your opinion for two reasons: the first being the colour of your skin and the second your background and position in society, both of which you have no control over. Does this reverse racism coincide with the accepting, egalitarian movement the left claim to be promoting? It doesn’t seem so.

The predominant publicised fear of the 21st century is of a fascist, right-wing movement occupying governmental positions, creating tyranny and inciting division, which of course can only be quelled with neutrality. Yet, I propose the opposite. The Trump government, Brexit and UKIP are the least of our worries. The true danger we face today, is a Neo-Marxist movement enacting a ‘social cleansing’ in the name of neutrality. We need only cast our minds back to the Soviet communist cleansing in the 1930s of the most efficient, middle class farmers, the ‘kulaks’, as evidence for this. Over 3 million ‘kulaks’ were killed or sent to labour camps and 5 million peasants died from the resulting famine that occurred as all the key food producers had been removed. And if this seems far removed from our society today, you need only look at the removal of any symbol of supposed ‘privilege’ that is occurring as we speak. The emergence of ‘safe spaces’ will soon not be enough, rather we will have to remove any ‘dangerous’ persons harbouring ‘dangerous’ opinions from all public domains and violence will be excused for the ‘struggle’. Social Justice Warriors can shut down invited speakers and incite riots, leftists can vandalise historical statues or monuments supposedly representative of inequality, university committees can humiliate their professors and all without opposition. The left is erasing history and free thought in the hope that we overlook the similarities between the horrors committed under the fight for neutrality in the past and the horrors they are soon to commit in the present.

Beware the green-eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on.
The radical left is alive and well, it is hungry and we are the meat.

3 thoughts on “A VERY personal opinion: Why the Radical Left’s Desire to Create Neutrality is Destroying any Hope of the Equality They Seek.

  1. Hi Ollie, interesting article, eloquently argued – just a few things to say…
    I took slight issue with your coverage of Justin Trudeau’s ‘peoplekind’ comment – the Canadian Prime Minister has since clarified that he was making a joke – (link here : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/i-was-just-joking-justin-trudeau-explains-his-peoplekind-interruption-a3761051.html and there are plenty other articles along the same lines which can easily be accessed online) – he agrees it was a ‘dumb joke’, but a joke nonetheless. He wasn’t being a stringent, mansplaining far-left warrior, and a little more research on the matter would have revealed this 🙂 I think this is important to point out as I wouldn’t want any readers to be misinformed.
    Whilst today’s leftists are often accused of taking things too seriously and reacting inappropriately to minor incidents, ironically in this piece you did just that. (Just pointing out the funny side)

    On another note, I’d love to have a chat with you sometime concerning your statement that we should be more worried about leftists than the Trump government, Brexit AND UKIP (just writing those words next to each other gives me literal shivers down my spine as I imagine the forces behind them combining to create one egomaniacal amalgamation of xenophobia, intolerance and corruption). An interesting stance that might require some further explanation, especially the part where you compare today’s left wing movement to the slaughter of millions of ‘kulaks’ during the Soviet Union.

    Kudos for musing and sharing your opinion !

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    1. Hi Molly, thanks for your comment, and I’m very much up for a conversation in person!

      Although, I’d just like to clarify your clarification on the Trudeau incident!!! Firstly, I agree that we must not forget the context in which this ‘peoplekind’ remark was made. For, Trudeau’s slip up occurred in the same week that the Canadian Parliament was debating whether to criminalise the wilful incorrect use of gender pronouns and passed a landmark bill enforcing gender neutrality in the Canadian national anthem. Each was highly publicised and controversial and Trudeau spoke passionately for both: “Great news: Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove” he wrote on Twitter. Given this and the fact that Trudeau was making a direct appeal to gender neutrality by supposedly ‘neutralising’ the term ‘mankind’ by replacing it with ‘peoplekind’, it seems likely that this was not a throwaway joke in the midst of a very serious debate. We must also note that this is not the first time politicians have attempted to rectify their misguided words by claiming it was in the name of humour; at the extremes (an understatement!), look to Trump’s appeals to ‘locker room talk’ – it sets a dangerous precedent. Hope that helps clarify my position, although I do see the irony 🙂 !

      I look forward to talking about ‘kulaks’, Trump and Brexit!

      Like

  2. Oliver, the idea of a world without Political Correctness is one that I strongly agree with, seeing as a recent barrage of liberal ideologies seems to be infecting the discernment of our youth today. However, all things considered, the socioeconomic spectrum on which the very base of modern civilization lies on, is not so much linear as it is a blurred cycle. The extremes of both ends almost seem to merge principles with a lack of ethical reasoning and a general misunderstanding of the workings of a modern society.

    As you have stated above, I will not discount your writing because you hold the privileges of being a rich, white, straight, male with controversial ideas. Rather, I would do so because they are heavily riddled with inconsistencies and normative statements. Firstly, your definition of neutrality has not been explained well enough to push your points, it seems like a quick look in the dictionary could have solved this problem. The very essence of neutrality is not for ‘equal opportunity’ or ‘outcome’. It is not for any sort of ‘equality’, whether racial, sexual or cultural. As a word it means to be neither positive nor negative. As a concept, it is an idea that everybody is seen without positive or negative biases or connotations. This is not so much for social benefit as it is for increased efficiency in leadership and communication; skewed perceptions lead to irrational behaviour. Henry Sullivan spoke about this in his theories of Parataxic Distortion, acknowledging the human need to stereotype while outlining that this very instinct hinders effective communication in a modern society.

    You mentioned that the predominant fear of the 21st century is a right-wing movement in governmental positions while offering that the true fear should be neo-Marxist social cleansing. Although this statement seems to make sense on the surface, it is merely a value judgement. You see, the ‘fear’ of right-wing leadership is not nearly as great as you have made it out to be. In the 2016 general elections in the USA, a staggering 63 million people voted for a right-wing government that was led by a man with no political background; clearly, these Americans were desperate for a Republican government regardless of who was the candidate. The British majority voted to leave the EU, opting for a less liberal, controlled economy and for one that is more nationalistic and capitalistic.

    I agree with you that idea of leveling society by bringing everyone to a middle-class level is, at best, a dated style of governing communities that led to terrible standards of living for everyone. However, I think your understanding of human rights is clouded. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote that “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins”. This is a simplification of the reversal of the Freedom of Expression which states that the right can be restricted where justified in the public interest as in defamation, obscenity, indecency, regulation of mass media and national security. Therefore, the legislating of language in the public media is to ensure that this three-hundred-year-old reversal is not lost in the new generations inability to censor themselves. I do not agree that sensible opinions should be overlooked because the mouth that spoke them is privileged in society. However, it would be ignorant to dismiss the fact that empathy is vital to build a working society and without ever leaving one’s comfort zone, it is impossible to sufficiently empathize with what is going on in other people’s lives, good or bad.

    You also said that the leftists destroying statues and monuments that signify inequality is erasing history. As much as I would love to agree with your point, there is an obvious lack of care shown for your fellow humankind. The presence of a Confederate flag would have signified that people of colour were not allowed to convene in the vicinity, else they would be persecuted. I hope I do not have to explain to you how this violates the right to free assembly and association. The presence of Nazi symbolism would create unrest for those who have been affected historically; sadly this is something that I do not think you are willing to understand.

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