The Best of Imagine Athena 2016

A selection of some of our best articles of 2016:

 

Disagreement Is Not Violence

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This brilliant piece by Robin Gilbert-Jones touched on one of the seminal issues of our time: political difference and how to tolerate it. Too often, a mere divergence of opinion is characterized as “violence” by moral absolutists who seek to shut down discussion and avoid opposition.

Quote: “In subsequent years we have seen this word often stretched so etymologically thin as to be stripped of all meaning. It is quite a feat to achieve that with a word as concretely rooted in physical action, cause and effect as “violence”. This is often achieved by prefixing it with some silly adjective like “socioeconomic” or “rhetorical”. The reason this is inherently dangerous is that if you can redefine anything you don’t like as being a form of violence, it justifies pretty much any disproportionate response. Violence is usually considered the last straw, the point at which all bets are off and any means necessary can be justified in defence. It also risks stripping real violence of any intrinsic meaning and blurring the usually very distinct line between violent and non-violent actions. Read More…

Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Show

The dissident Canadian academic Jordan Peterson was recently interviewed on the Joe Rogan podcast where he spoke about his struggles against all-pervasive political correctness and ideological conformity at the University of Toronto.

The clinical psychologist and tenured professor of psychology at U of T recently made international headlines when he refused to use “gender neutral” pronouns, what he terms “compelled pronouns”.

In a wide-ranging interview, which covered numerous issues including safe spaces, trigger warnings, and no-platforming, Peterson argues that true intellectual diversity is no longer tolerated on modern university campuses, and even says that he believes university does more harm than good. One profound point that he makes is that you do not  make a person stronger by shielding them from challenging ideas, you actually make them weaker.

 

 

 

 

 

Identity Politics Is Poison

Earlier this week a deeply unpleasant video emerged, which showed a group of white nationalists praising Donald Trump whilst throwing nazi salutes.

It serves as an ugly reminder of just how awful racialised politics is. We live in an era in which identity politics is ascendant. It dominates public discourse. From both ends of the political spectrum we get victimhood narratives and identity obsession, with one side fuelling the other.

It is very important that we move beyond the divisive and damaging politics of polarization.

When you try to play the game of identity politics, no one wins. You just leave a toxic legacy for future generations to have to deal with.

For those of us who are opposed to political correctness, language policing and identity politics, we cannot – in the words of Christopher Hitchens – allow the extremist tail to wag the whole dog.

The solution to poisonous identity politics is not more identity politics.

Let’s hope, instead, for an outbreak of common sense.

In this week’s Imagine Athena podcast Candice Holdsworth spoke to Robin Gilbert-Jones, contributing editor to Imagine Athena, about the identity politics of the Regressive Left in the time of Donald Trump, and she also reflects on the identity politics of the far right.

 

 

Interview With Cathy Young

In the Imagine Athena podcast we interview the well-known American political journalist Cathy Young. We discuss antisemitic memes and how the political correctness, intolerance and identity politics of the regressive Left is giving rise to the new identity politics of the Right. We also talk about the US election and Young argues that now more than ever we need to stand up for free expression and individual liberty.

Enjoy.

 

 

Why Have Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali Been Smeared As Extremists?

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If a case study were needed to showcase the rot in the modern left’s moral compass, the deterioration of the Southern Poverty Law Centre into a megaphone for regressive shills and fascist extremists provides such an instructive example.

As many will know from the mercifully vocal backlash, the SPLC recently published a “Field Guide to anti-Muslim Extremists” which included, among others, Muslim reformer and anti-extremist activist, Maajid Nawaz. This is not the first time I have had to defend Nawaz in print against the degradations of deformed self-righteous leftism, so I shan’t repeat myself at too much length as to his history and importance as a voice of reason in this most divisive issue of religious extremism. Suffice it to say that an organisation that once stood firm against the scourge of racism in the American South, now sees fit to smear as an “anti-Muslim extremist”, an anti-extremism activist who publically defends democratic, secular and liberal values at great cost to his own personal safety from both Jihadi fascists and white racist thugs (with whom he has a history of violent run-ins since childhood). The snake is no longer eating itself, it has concluded its meal, vanished down its own oesophagus and is now moving onto the cheese and brandy course. Read More…

Welcome to Dystopia University

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I didn’t go to university to have my preconceptions challenged, or to open myself to weird knowledge and dangerous ideas. I wasn’t seeking to push my personal boundaries or take intellectual risks. It’s not that I don’t think those are valuable experiences, it’s just that such things can be done by anyone, anywhere, without the empty validation of a reading list and a final exam.

University life wasn’t that far removed from not-university life anyway—sure, there were a few misanthropic left-radicals who were angry and judgmental, but they were an avoidable fringe. Not many people were trying to force your worldview, show off about correcting social justice or, even worse, blame you for social injustice. If there were people like that, they were easily ignored from the depths of the SU bar.

Which is why the current state of politically correct academic culture is so troubling. Ideological fanatics, with the backing of fully complicit college authorities, are fostering a campus environment that looks far removed from the norms of everyday life. In this sealed-off, Lord of the Flies echo chamber irrational ideas are being allowed to exert control, and it’s all been officially signed off at the top. Read More…

Orlando: Changing the Subject Again

 

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I was hesitant to write anything about the horrifying events in Orlando as Jihadist mass murders are almost becoming commonplace at this point, at least in Europe and I have very little to say about the trend more broadly that wouldn’t be a reiteration. But a number of trends in the aftermath of the massacre warrant some reflection.

It was probably only a matter of time before the LGBT community was targeted en-masse; a population group almost as hated by Jihadists as Jews. Unlike the Jews, however, the LGBT community is embraced by the liberal mainstream. Unlike the Jews, gay people are not frequently accused of being the cause of their own suffering by the oh-so-tolerant and loving liberal media elite. Read More…

Bollinger Bolsheviks Tip Badly And Play At Marxist Politics

champagne socialist sjwIn Australia, I worked for a few years in a café attached to an art gallery. This cafe attracted a certain type of person. Well fed, well meaning; the kind of person who sips their long black coffee (with a tiny jug of hot milk on the side and a glass of clean water from the tap, thank you) as they peruse Green Left Weekly, Australia’s democratic socialist rag. These people generally do not tip well and their faces are permanently pursed into disdain for their native land. They complain about how cruel the liberal regime is while they enjoy a lemon tart with several like-minded friends. They wear condescension like a necessary accessory, as if it were as indispensible as their hat or their wallet.  Read More…

Echo Chambers, Safe Spaces and Verbal “Violence”


Our latest video.

Candice Holdsworth and Robin Gilbert-Jones discuss how the lines between the digital and non-digital world have become steadily blurred over the years which has led to the creation of online echo chambers where people are not adequately exposed to ideas and opinions that challenge them. When they do encounter a critical voice it can be a terrible shock, and may even be perceived as “violence”.