Why the left is going about supporting their causes the wrong way, and why they really don’t care...
This week, the ever vocal talkivists on the hard-left continued their “virtuous” fight for a number of causes and I can’t help but ask myself: Are they feckin’ serious? I wonder if they realise just how much harm they are doing to, what are, noble causes. They do this harm because they are, simply put, thick! These people claim that they champion all these causes out of some righteous moral duty. They claim they do it to support the oppressed and the vulnerable. They claim they have the best of interests of others at heart. The reality is, for some of ‘em, that they are just bitter losers who take pot-shots at people from the cheap seats. They aren’t really concerned about the causes they claim to represent. They are, for the most part, totally disingenuous.
To give a concrete example of what I am talking about: Over the last few days, there has been an online meltdown about some LGBTQI+ symbols, such as unicorns and rainbows. Neither critics of the symbolism nor the critics of the critics handled the situation particularly well. LGBTQI+ “campaigners” on the hard-left, who are, from what I can gather, perpetual protestors, embarked on what I consider to be one of the most offensive, faux-campaigns for the LGBTQI+ cause, ever. Many of them changed their profile pictures to cartoon symbols of unicorns and rainbows before taking to social media and attacking a variety of people in very unbecoming ways. It was so sad to watch, it really was.
These horrible people are so brainless, they do not even understand the seriousness of what they are doing and why it is so totally offensive! To them, it is but a trivial matter they can joke about, someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. To them, it is something you can distil down to a cartoon of a unicorn and some sparkles and glittery rainbows with stupid slogans written on them. They have absolutely no regard for the torment which members of this community go through as they struggle to come to terms with who they are. They have no regard for the fact that people, generally young people, who are struggling to understand themselves, feel frightened and afraid. These monsters don’t actually do anything to help these people, they simply don’t. They are but provocateurs of hate.
In the name of just causes, these professional amateur-protestors let themselves, and the people they purport to fight for, down like a ton of bricks. I was so heartbroken to see these unintelligent, quasi-humans spew vile hateful abuse all over the internet, directed at people of all sorts of backgrounds and beliefs, with no regard for the harm they were doing to the people they claimed to represent.
It is generally accepted, among those in decent society, that these idiots have done more harm to race relations in this country than any other group in recent history. Ireland has always been a warm and welcoming country, but these people have sown the seeds of division, deep in our communities. It is truly disappointing to me personally, as I know the harm that real racism does to people on a personal level, I have seen what it can do to people, even in my own family, it is terrible. The reality is that standing on soapboxes/sitting on high stools, shouting at people, telling them why they’re wrong, and how awful they are does nothing to build bridges, and if you ask me, it only drives a wider wedge between people of different backgrounds.
Initially, I felt that these campaigners were really concerned with the causes which they go out of their ways to fight for, if not a little misguided. But after the displays I saw this week I will never be so naïve again. These people have no empathy for the people they claim to fight for and they most certainly do not have their best interests at heart, they only have their own interests and self-righteous agenda at heart, because in reality, all that these idiots care about is themselves and how virtuous they can make themselves feel.
I think they have been revealed for the villains they are when it comes to them driving a division between races, so, in a sense, their balaclavas have slipped in that regard. Now, I see these sinister cowards turn their attention to destroying whatever hope the LGBTQI+ cause has to advance. They have literally made a mockery of the people in this diverse, vibrant community with their juvenile and ill-conceived tweets and Facebook posts which are designed simply to abuse people. It is sick! I feel morally obligated to pre-emptively plead with readers not to be disturbed by the carry-on of this small group of very vocal lunatics. Ignore them, and listen to the genuine people in this world who campaign on these issues.
While it would suit the agenda of these Neanderthals to drive yet another wedge, this time between heterosexual people and members of the LGBTQI+ community, I implore you not to let them. Please, don’t be fooled by these radical leftists into thinking the entire gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, and inter community is a bitter cesspool of degenerates like them. Every single person who I know in the LGBTQI+ community is a decent, honest, sane person who just wants to live a peaceful quiet life, free from prejudice and discrimination. These headbangers do not campaign in their name, they simply do not. The decent members of this community are embarrassed by these extremist fools who let them down on a daily basis, and in particular by those who are not members of their community, but force themselves into the discourse with fake, unsolicited support.
Nowadays, for the most part, non-hetero people enjoy lives free from discrimination and prejudice, and I stress “for the most part” because there will always be ignorant people who cannot see beyond the ends of their noses. However, the trans community has a long road ahead of itself in order to be accepted, on the whole, as equals among decent society, and I stress “decent society” here because indecent society will likely never accept the trans community as equals. Many of the issues which surround gender identity are complex, and quite frankly, whether we like it or not, the whole topic makes some people, usually, those who are not familiar with such issues - uncomfortable. And that’s okay. Tolerance is a two-way street, and that is something which these numb-skull campaigners need to learn and they need to learn it fast.
Trans people, undoubtedly, face significantly higher levels of homelessness, joblessness, and emotional and physical abuse. They are discriminated against for being different, in the very same way that most minorities have been in the past, and still are in some parts of the world today. It’s not fair, it’s not nice, and more tolerance is needed. But what I saw this week is not a road to acceptance and tolerance, it was, in fact, quite the opposite. If I was the conspiratorial type, I’d be forgiven for thinking that these “campaigners” were actually working against the LGTQI+ community’s interests on purpose.
When it comes to any of the perceived differences between people, let it be race, gender, religion, sexuality, whatever, the key thing we all have to remember is that beneath all the superficial nonsense, we’re human beings. We all, essentially, want the same things and that is to pursue a life of liberty and happiness. What makes me happy, is different from what makes you happy, and that is different from what makes someone else happy but no one version of happiness is superior to any other form of happiness.
Some people are born white, some black, some brown; some are born straight, some not straight; some are born men but want to be women, and some are born women but want to be men; some are born wanting to be rich, fabulous, and famous, and some are born wanting to live a life of peaceful tranquility. We’re all born different, it really is that simple. Unfortunately, there are some born into this world who become sinister for one reason or another, they get their jollies off dividing people, controlling people, oppressing people, and hurting people – and more often than not these evil people achieve success in their aims to one extent or another.
I beg of you, please don’t be fooled by the sinister intentions of this vocal few who are striving to divide and conquer decent people of all backgrounds. Please remember that we are all individuals, people who just want to live our lives without bothering others. Live and let live, pursue your own happiness and just leave other people alone to pursue theirs. If you don’t like something or someone, ignore it and move on with life, you’ll be all the happier for it. Wherever you draw your morality from, let it be from human nature or holy scripture, you know in your heart that this evil exists and must be resisted. The best way to resist this evil is to simply ignore it, don’t feed the beast of division and prejudice, don’t let the noisy few draw you into hating others as they do. Be your own person, live your own life, and let others live theirs, simple as that.
No matter how many people believe a lie, it will still be a lie. And no matter how few people believe the truth, it will still be the truth...
Some people have a somewhat “casual” relationship with the truth, others have no relationship with the truth at all. To that end, there is a cohort of talkivists out there that will unashamedly tell lies about people in order to attempt to destroy their reputations. These people are vile, dangerous, and all-round disgusting beings, with nothing better to do with their time than verbally assault other people for no good reason. They often have nothing to lose, so they make a past-time of defaming hardworking, objective, and honest people, who happen to disagree with them on certain issues and who refuse to backdown to their bully-boy tactics.
Don’t mistake all of these people for fools. While many of them are vulnerable people, who are being taken advantage of by sly, manipulative people with vested interests, the “leaders” of these movements know exactly what they are doing. In addition to telling lies, a few of the characteristics of these bullies include: They refuse to participate in debates, and if you do get them talking they ask questions as opposed to give answers; they make outlandish claims about whatever the subject matter of the conversation is; they refuse to allow you to respond; they talk about something unrelated; and they always refuse to finish the debate.
It is obvious, to the well-informed, that these liars engage in these diversionary tactics in order to ensure their lies are not unmasked, and yes, it is hugely frustrating to their targets but what you have to realise is that they know they are wrong. They know they are telling lies. They know they are going to, eventually, be caught out, so, just wait. You know the old adage: you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you will never fool all of the people all of the time.
The reality is, that while these people are aware of what they are doing and are admittedly quite good at telling lies, they tend not to be too bright in a more general sense. They have no credibility outside of their own echo-chambers and the very restrained among us have the good sense to simply ignore them. The problem is, while you ignore them, the lies they tell about you tend to get worse and more dangerous, and eventually you have to respond. Like I am today.
Some of these idiots have called me a Nazi, a racist, a xenophobe, a white supremacist, and a propagandist. I’ve been placed, by some of these talkivists, into what appears to be an awfully big tent called the “alt-right”. Now, the reality is that I am absolutely none of the above, and I am most certainly not a member of the alt-right. But they know that already. They also know I’m right about most of the things I say. I’m not an extremist, nor a zealot. I’m rational and reasonable, and that scares the living daylights out of these liars. So, they take to lying about me in order to try to destroy my character.
I’ve been subjected to character assassinations in the past, by people who, while being evil-as-hell-on-earth, were simply trying to undermine me for their own political gain. They would spread lies quietly, with plausible deniability and their efforts always had a limited enough spread. However, the most recent shower of headbangers who have decided to put me in their cross-hairs, are doing so loudly and proudly. They spout their hate and lies on public forums and over mega-phones. They are far more dangerous.
This new shower is far more numerous, they’re more motivated, and they have a far more sinister agenda. They are part of a broader, leftist plan, which is instrumental in the destruction of free society. Most of these people are so lazy that they advocate for the redistribution of all wealth, by force, because they are unwilling to work. The people who go around telling lies about me, and other respected journalists, are the same people who haven’t worked, many of them, since the mid-nineties. They love the state, because they have suckled off the tit-of-the-state for decades and they wish to continue doing so.
These creatures are pitiful excuses for human beings and while they are dangerous, they spend most of their time high or pissed, or both, so guess what, I am not one bit afraid of them. Nor am I afraid to call them out on their bull-manure. They think they can bully people. They try to humiliate people into submission with their lies. But they will never succeed. Genuinely good people will never be cowed by violent, loudmouthed stoners. While they may say they wish for the proletariat to seize the means of production, they would even fear that, because it might mean them having to actually do a day's work. If they were honest, they’d admit that they’re quite happy to live off the fruits of the other’s labour, and call them names while they do it.
These people are walking, talking, hate-crimes, who incite hatred not against people of a certain race, gender, religion, orientation, or nationality, but against people who disagree with them. To give you a specific example, these people have gone so far as to lobby this publication’s advertisers and supporters to withdraw their support for us. They do this, of course, without any consideration for the five jobs they are putting in jeopardy by doing so. If they were to lobby our advertisers and tell them the truth, our advertisers would tell them to Foxtrot-Oscar, but they don’t do that. They call and email our advertisers telling them lies, saying The Democrat is a racist, misogynistic, nazi rag – all lies. These people are despicable, ignorant fools, and they will not be let win.
The beauty of a free-society, is that they’re free to do as they please, provided they’re willing to live with the consequences of their actions. And mark my words, they’re actions will have consequences.
While I might hold these people in utter contempt, I genuinely would fight to the death to defend their right to exist and say stupid things – that's what real freedom is. You see, I am a real advocate of liberty, equality, and justice, unlike these idiots who proclaim to be advocates of equality and justice as long as it is for them and their causes. God love you if you hold an opposing point of view to these radicals, they’ll fight to the death alright, but not to defend your right to exist.
On a lighter note
It is funny how some of the people I’m talking about take the time to read this opinion column each week. They usually read Hardwired before taking to their keyboards to start spouting. They do not start typing online to argue an opposing point of view or develop a contrarian argument to the one I pose, no, instead they tell more lies and simply make up stuff about this newspaper and I. I’d nearly be afraid to stop writing this opinion column for fear the paper’s readership would fall as a result of them moving on to annoy someone else.
There is a very worrying trend developing across the modern political landscape. It is the rise of the cult of leftist-liberalism, the members of which are ideologically brainwashed by politically correct cultural-Marxist non-sense. Squirrel-feed on both the left and right have become locked in a culture-war which cannot possibly have a good ending. However, the nuts on the left seem to be the ones gathering the body of steam and the ones most interested in increasing the size of government, so as to use the State to enforce their morality on everyone else. So, naturally, they are the ones I am most concerned about.
I consider myself a liberal, in the classical sense of the word. I am not, as regular readers will know, a leftist. Which in and of itself is a bizarre feeling, as until quite recently, I always associated liberalism with being on the left. So, when I see how frickin’ insane some of the people I used to admire on the left have gotten, it makes me a little bit sad. I never admired those on the right much, but I admit to having found comfort in the sensible-sane-right, and those who espouse classical liberal ideals. I can’t, however, find any sensible-sane-leftists in popular culture, only leftist-loons.
These hard-left ‘activists’ or ‘talkivists’ as I like to call them, brand their ideological opponents, such as I, as ‘right-wing’. We are branded right-wing for believing in liberty, equality, justice, individualism, and self-determination. Their ‘progressive’ ideals are, in fact, regressive ideals but they don’t want to believe that, because they are brainwashed in their ‘liberal’ echo-chamber. The laughable thing is, there is nothing liberal about their agenda at all. To be liberated is to be free to choose and to be liberal is to support the ideals of liberty. These people don’t support the ideals of liberty, they seek to force their notions of moral-liberalism on everyone else.
The classical liberal ideology essentially amounts to “live and let live”, and I’ll discuss that in practical terms a little further on. What the modern, insane ideology of leftist-liberalism or statist-liberalism advocates is state-enforced morality: “Do as I say, or else.”
In short, the people who advocate for bigger government are actually incredibly lazy. I mean, they believe they’re not, and in fact, they think they actually do more than anyone, but they’re wrong. They talk. They talk a lot. And sometimes, they walk and talk at the same time, but what do they actually do? Nothing. They just tell the State to do more, abdicating their rights and responsibilities to it.
Whereas you see, I believe that the people who are talking about doing should be talking about it less and doing about it more, as should we all for that matter. If they all took five minutes, stopped being faux-outraged, and worked on a solution to the problem they are shouting about, as opposed to shouting at someone else i.e. the State (who has no intention of listening anyway and they know that) the world would be a much better place.
Actions speak louder than words, and being outraged, quite frankly, doesn’t do very much. Saying that someone else should come up with a solution to a problem, and someone else should implement the fix for the problem, and someone else should pay to fix the problem, isn’t really very helpful at all. In fact, it is the opposite of helpful.
But do you know what all this talk is? It's easy. It’s easy to stomp, and shout, and roar, and march. It’s easy to say more should be done, it’s easy to say systems are broken, it’s easy to say more is needed. It’s all very easy to talk about, and suggest, and say - but when it comes down to actually doing? Oh no, that’s the States job. The ‘activists’ are just there to give instructions.
Tell me why the State, funded by taxpayers, should force their morality on everyone else? Why not individuals doing good deeds to help out their fellow man? Remember a single good deed is worth a thousand promises, and all governments do is make promises.
Somehow or another, in the mental world we live in today, the reality is that being a liberal actually places you further to the right-wing end of the political spectrum than it does to the left. There has been a total divergence in political ideology in recent years with liberalism and leftism now being totally different from one another.
According to the prevailing logic, on the left being pro-business, pro-work, pro-equality, pro-justice, pro-liberty, pro-diversity, pro-choice and in favour of more efficient government makes you ‘right-wing’, and not just right-wing but ‘far-right’ or ‘alt-right’. It's awful stuff, it really is.
I think most people are probably moderates, who believe common sense should prevail. And I would argue that most people who are truly liberal, in the classical liberal sense, would believe in limited government and free markets. I’d argue that they believe that what happens in a person’s home is their business and no-one else’s, especially not the State’s, that they believe that property rights should be strong, civil liberties should be protected, and if you are going about your business peacefully, the State should not interfere with you. I’d also argue that they believe that government should do as little as possible and do it really well, and that the government should ensure that there is a strong system to ensure the security of all the people, but not if it means their natural human rights are impeded upon. Most sane people would argue that the rule of law should be of paramount importance, but the laws which are passed and enforced should only act to protect individual freedoms and not oppress them, and the judiciary should be independent and fit for purpose. All very reasonable stuff, right?
If you apply the Classical Liberal ideals to a few contemporary topics, a pattern begins to emerge:
Marriage is a union into which any two consenting adults should be able to enter; man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, it doesn’t matter - the state should not be able to have a say in how you live your life, so long as you hurt no-one else. End of story.
With regards to migration, anyone who wishes to come and engage freely and peacefully with anyone else should be able to do so. Where they come from doesn’t matter, and the government should have no hand, act, nor part in it, other than to pass laws to ensure all people are free to engage with one another without fear of oppression.
All people are born equal and despite circumstances, we all deserve equality of opportunity but there are no guarantees of equality of outcome, nor should there be.
The welfare of the State should be left in the hands of the individuals of that State. People should be responsible for themselves, and the vulnerable should be cared for by the virtuous, not by the State. If the State has to do it, there is no virtue in the actions.
But above all else, people should be free to do as they please in order to pursue happiness without fear of interference from the State or its agents. Crimes should have victims, and those who cause harm to others through theft, assault, defamation, etc should all face the full severity of the law. But those who do nothing to hurt or impede others should be free to do as they please without fear of internment or infringement.
Most people want the same thing, and that is for society to be a better place for everyone. Some of us just want to go about it in different ways. As a real liberal, I want people to go about it as they see fit, without hurting someone else, whereas the modern leftists want the State to enforce their version of happiness on the entire population, under threat of force. What is virtuous or fair about forced morality, forced happiness, forced compliance with a social ‘norm’? I would argue nothing.
But don’t take my word for it, find someone you know who actually lived under a statist regime and ask them about the breadlines, the deprivation, the rations, the political oppression, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the torture but to mention a few human rights violations. The one lesson we must learn from history, if it is the only thing we learn from history, is that you can vote your way into a statist regime but you almost always have to shoot your way out of one. If you don’t believe me or the people who have lived through an oppressive statist regime, pick up a bloody history book.
Vegans. We all know at least one, and if you don’t think you do, believe me, you do. There are lots of them in the closet, and some of them even just keep their opinions to themselves, although not too many do. I’m pretty bloody hard (pardon the pun) on vegans in private conversation but I’m going to take a cheap shot now and express a fairly ignorant opinion. I don’t like veganism. It feels wrong. Yeah, sure, I kind of buy that it might help me live longer but at what cost?
I believe omnivorous creatures should be omnivorous. I know, it’s awful to think of the little animals being farmed and slaughtered just so I can stay morbidly obese, but I’m just not a good enough person to stop eating all products which come from animals. Initially, I thought the whole thing was a fad, but over some time I’ve come to realise that vegans and their life philosophy are here to stay, and in greater numbers than anyone could possibly have imagined 5 or 6-years ago.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar came in for some harsh criticism in recent weeks because of some comments he made on eating less red meat, and, of course, there was the usual circus surrounding the comments, with a few exceptional sane commentators. But can anyone tell me why so many people lost their minds? There are a lot of things you can criticise our Taoiseach for, you don’t have to lay waste to his eating habits. I get that it’s not a good look for a farming nation to have its leader say he’s eating less red-meat but in fairness, it’s not a hanging offence.
Now, what I do consider a hanging offence is the emergence of a vulgar hybrid on our supermarket shelves. Non-dairy ice cream. Of course, I blame the vegans. Lactose intolerance is a real condition that has been floating around the fringes of acceptable society for decades and this monster of a food-type has only landed on our shelves, with a broad range, in relatively recent times. I attempted to eat a non-dairy tub of ice cream (you read it right don’t bother looking twice) and low-and-behold I wanted to vomit! A perfectly not good, perfectly expensive tub of vomit-inducing mud is what I had in my hands. Words cannot express how awful I found the experience, so I’m going to punch my keypad in an effort to express my discontent: “vbgknhjhhjhjjnbbgk,m/.mbgj.” And that looks just about how I felt.
Now, for the genuine lactose intolerant among us, I get it, I really do. I mean, I didn’t get it until I ran this piece by a lactose intolerant friend of mine, but I do get it now. The millions of euros spent by the ice-cream companies to research and develop the best possible dairy substitute mean that you can enjoy something which, to you, is barely palatable, after years of eating what I can only assume were much, much worse efforts at dairy-free ice cream. I’m not a monster, I can appreciate the deprivation you all suffered while the vegans got organised and put pressure on the mainstream brands to produce quality, non-dairy ice-creams.
In a nutshell, I don’t have any fundamental problem with vegan products such as non-dairy ice cream, but I do take issue with the somewhat tyrannical approach being adopted by some in the vegan movement. Of course, the militant vegan will place a higher value on animal dignity than on human dignity, and in truth is it harmful? Probably not too harmful, no. Would I try to stop them? No, absolutely not. But I would like to see them engage, like many vegans do, in reasoned discussion about their motives. Vegans have some really good points to make but they often make them so poorly.
It stands to reason that eating less red meat is better for your health, and the environment, but so are loads of things. Walking instead of driving is both better for your health and the environment, but no-one advocates walking 100-miles instead of taking the car. Reason would tell you that if you want to help the environment, you should take public transport and do some cardio when you get home in the evening if you want to improve your health. And that is where the extremist vegans of the world go so far wrong. Showing images of slaughterhouses on billboards, and anthropomorphized animals in cartoons for children, trying to convince them that they are bad people because they eat animals, is only going to incense people.
No matter what your cause, if you want to make a real, sustainable impact on the world, you have to convince as many people as possible to make a change, and the reality we all have to understand is that extremist views never have mass appeal. That is why you must encourage people to make changes a little bit at a time, and convince them to join you on your journey with reason and logic. Not by shouting at them and telling them they are wrong without offering a thought-out explanation of why they should change their ways.
It is often easy to try and evoke an emotional reaction in those with whom we debate important issues. But in my experience, that just annoys people. You won’t convince people of your point of view by pulling on their heartstrings, you’ll just make them feel bad. You might even convince them that they have to change, but they’ll struggle to take any actions to do so, and when the emotive response wears-off, nothing changes. On the other hand, if you can formulate a logical argument as to why your point of view is “better”, then you might actually convince people to change the way they think and thus, change the way they act.
The mere thought of my little dog being hurt upsets me beyond belief, and there is no objective, rational difference between the value of my dog’s life and that of an animal raised for slaughter, other than the subjective, arbitrary values we apply to them. So, in a perfect world, none of us would eat animals or their by-products but we don’t live in a perfect world and we never will. Admirable and all as the vegan ideology may be, the reality is that militant veganism will not affect the change they wish to see in the world. It can only be achieved in moderation and with incremental change.
In conclusion, vegans are not bad people. In fact, they are probably really good people. They’re better than I am. My latest attempts to lose weight involve only eating products of animals; beef, pork, chicken, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese and... that’s about it really. It breaks my heart to think about pigs in slaughterhouses or lambs on kill-lines. It really does, but I don’t have enough empathy to stop eating them and the products they produce. We have evolved as omnivorous creatures, and there will always be that animalistic drive to eat other animals, especially the tasty ones. Some of us will eat more, and others will eat less, and a small few will eat no animal products at all, and perhaps the animal-eating-abstentionists of the world are simply more evolved in some way than the rest of us, but the fact remains that they don’t have to remind us of it so god damn always!
MLK’s legacy should inspire us all to be better people, in every possible way
“I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.” Martin Luther King Jr, April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.
Yesterday (Monday) was Martin Luther King Day in the USA. I was reminded of that when I spoke with a journalist colleague of mine in the States last evening. It ignited memories of my school days, as I remembered when I was in 5th class in St Patrick’s Boys School. One of my first projects, for Master Tiernan, was on great historical figures. We got to choose who we wanted to do the project on and I can’t remember exactly why, but I wanted to do Martin Luther King Junior. At the time I would probably only have known of him from a few TV shows, or snippets of documentaries. The internet wasn’t what it is today, so, if it wasn’t on terrestrial TV, you didn’t watch it. My father always talked about history and historical figures, and spent some time in the States before I was born, so maybe I heard a bit about MLK from him. Whatever the motivation was, all I know is I wanted to know more about him.
I remember being so confused as a child about what racism was. It didn’t make sense to me. I mean, the concept didn’t make sense to me. I was curious as to why MLK had to do so much to obtain equal rights for black people in America. And I was so confused as to why he was assassinated. My parents raised me with the strict understanding that you must respect everyone, and everyone is equal to everyone else, no matter their abilities, religion, race, gender, sexuality, social status or so on. I now know, of course, that racists are created when stupidity and ignorance intersect, and there is little point in trying to figure it out any more than that, because there is no excuse, there is no reason, there is no justification for being racist.
As a child, my understanding of the world was rather black and white: there were good people and bad people. Good people had little to worry about because they were good. And bad people had to worry about the police, and judges, and going to prison. In my eyes, MLK was a good person, so I had no concept of why anyone would want to hurt him when he had only campaigned to do good things. Again, it didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t comprehend it.
Using encyclopedias (yes, they really did exist) and the limited internet available in school, I learned all I could about MLK for my project and composed my report. I remember one kid in my class, I can’t remember who though, making some sort of remark about my project topic. It wasn’t very nice, and I remember feeling sad at time because it was the first time in my life I had witnessed someone I know, in real life, making a racist remark.
Before starting my research, I really only knew the line of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech that everybody else knew. I read the whole speech for that project. I was mesmerized by the language used, the intellect, the passion, and have been ever since.
MLK was a true leader, and one who knew that pacifism was the route by which he would achieve the change he was seeking. A few parts of that speech stood out to me as a child. The first was this paragraph from his speech:
“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
That stood out in my mind, in particular the last sentence. Here was a man who was facing state-sanctioned segregation and discrimination. A man whose community had been brutalized by police for, essentially, the crime of protesting while black, and had water-cannons turned on them and he was telling these people: don’t be bitter or hate-filled. The strength of this man’s moral-character was stunning to me as a child, and remains to me today.
The second thing that stood-out in my mind was his reference to the little black boys and black girls joining hands with all the little white boys and white girls; it was the first time I really began to understand what racial segregation was, what it meant, and what it caused. I was startled to learn that, not too long before that, in the USA, white people and black people used different drinking fountains, different schools, and were governed by very different rules of engagement in social situations.
As early as the mid-1950s, King had received death threats as a result of his prominence in the Civil Rights Movement. He had confronted the risk of death numerous times in his life, including an almost fatal stabbing in 1958. He taught that murder could not stop the struggle for equal rights. After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, King told his wife Coretta: "This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society." King was prescient in his prediction.
On April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, King was shot. He was rushed to St Joseph's Hospital, and was pronounced dead at 7:05 pm. James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was arrested on June 8, 1968, in London at Heathrow Airport, he was extradited to the United States, and charged with the crime. On March 10, 1969, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 99-years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.
Reading about MLK’s assassination, I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that he knew it was coming, maybe he didn’t know exactly when, but he knew that it was coming. He knew that he was going to be killed because racism ran deep in some people in his “sick society” and his peaceful means of social rebellion were being all too effective. But he kept campaigning, he kept going, undeterred by serious threats of violence and death. My innocent child’s mind thought at that time - how bad were things in America, at that time, that he was willing to die for the cause of equality and freedom? I mean, this Baptist Minister from Atlanta, Georgia, inspired black people and white people to stand up together against the state, to ensure all people had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
He didn’t derogate or deride those who opposed his views, he was smarter than that. He didn’t threaten them, or oppress them, because he knew what it was to be threatened and oppressed. He tried to inspire them to see the error of their ways and educate them of the fundamental rights which should be inherent in all people, to quote Dr King: “God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics”, it didn’t matter, because they were all human beings.
MLK inspired me as a child, and his legacy continues to inspire me today. I hope his legacy can also inspire activists fighting for various causes today, to not rely on violence and slurs in order to support their points of view. I hope his legacy can inspire todays activists to use the intellect in their heads and not the threats of their fists, to achieve their goals.
They will call it Leftism, they will call it Socialism, they will even call it Democratic-socialism but it is time we called it by its real name...
They walk among us and they are working under the guise of virtue and altruism. They are working to take control of you and everything you hold dear. They are not all bad people, they are, many of them, misguided and intellectually deficient. But some of them are bad people, very bad people, with a very bad agenda. They want the state to seize the means of production and they hate private businesses and the concept of the individual. Most ordinary people, like you and I, might refer to these people in passing as hippies, or headbangers, or loons, or some other disparaging, ambiguous noun. But I think it is time we give them their proper title, the title they don’t want you to use because it describes them too well. I think it is time we called them what they are - Communists.
These people are dangerous, and are a serious threat to our country and our freedom. They are secular theologians who compulsively force their opinions and beliefs on others, because they think they know what is best for everyone. They believe they are so virtuous that they could not possibly be wrong. They have no faith in individuals to do what is right, and therefore believe individuals must be controlled. If they could, they would police your thoughts.
They are theocratic in their beliefs and come to every debate looking to convert the other side, and if they cannot convert, they seek to silence, they will never accept the possibility they could be wrong.
They don’t want open debate and discussion. They don’t want free speech. They are constantly looking for excuses to silence views which differ from theirs and opinions they disagree with. They think free speech should be limited, and that they should be the moral-arbiters who decide the limits of speech for others. They do this because they believe they know what is best for everyone and that their virtue is all that matters.
They are ideologically blinded by their own virtue, and many of them do not believe what the ultimate result of their efforts will be. They don’t believe it, in the main, because they do not want to believe it. It’s like trying to tell someone their favourite restaurant has rats, deep down they know eating there will make them sick, but the spaghetti tastes so damn good in the moment. To abuse a cliché, they knowingly “drink the Kool-aid.”
The best friend the communists have are politicians who, as a result of their own lack of intellect, see no issue in allowing government over-reach. These politicians lack the moral-fibre required to shout stop! They lack this moral-fibre because they lack the knowledge of the dangers of what they do. Because they are generally good people, who themselves would not abuse the over-reach they advocate, they fail to understand that not all people are as virtuous as they believe themselves to be. This is the junction at which legality and morality go separate routes.
Just because the law says something, does not mean it is morally right. In Nazi Germany, the state murdered millions of Jews, among other minority groups. In the USSR, despite Soviet Union authorities and leaders officially condemning nationalism and proclaiming internationalism, including the right of nations and peoples to self-determination, in practice they executed completely opposing policies including but not limited to; systematic large-scale cleansing of ethnic minorities, political repression, and various forms of ethnic and social discrimination, including state-enforced Anti-semitism and Polonophobia. But no doubt our modern-day comrades will say – “That wasn’t real Communism.”
And there-in lies the problem. It wasn’t real Communism, and there never will be “real Communism”. When you cede unbridled power to the organs of the state, the result is always, always, always, always, always, that the power is abused. It never happens over-night, and it is almost always too late to stop it when the problem is realised by most people. Like climate change, Communism creeps up on society, and before it is realised, it’s too late. Ireland is on that slippery slope, have no doubt. This vocal, violent, and vile grouping are doing all they can to stifle debate and silence those who disagree with their world view.
This week saw The Democrat came into the firing line of these “thought-nazis”, because we espouse the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association. Because we refuse to silence those with whom we disagree, these people attack us with vile slurs and threaten to lobby our advertisers to withdraw their support for this publication. They want us to quiver and backdown, they want to distract us, they want us to apologize for defending their rights, and the rights of every citizen.
We will never stifle debate or silence those with whom we disagree. That is what those asserting these slurs want. We will continue to facilitate honest, open, and fair debate. We want those who disagree with us and with whom we disagree, as well as those who share our views, to continue to debate in an open and intellectually honest manner. We will not censor fair comment or opinion, nor will we decide what is free speech and what is not. We encourage those who disagree with us to do so publicly and this publication will defend to the death the rights of everyone to freedom of expression, even if we may disagree with what they are saying. Communists wouldn’t do that, Communists would seize the opportunity to silence their intellectual opponents, and end a debate before it even starts. We will not cower and we will not be silenced by this fanatical mob.
Remember, people have a right to be stupid, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. So, while I rail against these modern-day-Communists, I would fight to the death to defend their right to exist. I would find it unjust if they were silenced. I would be abhorred if they were censored. I would be sick at the thought of them being oppressed by the State. Unfortunately, they do not extend the same fundamental respect to me. They would be happier if I were wiped from the face of the planet and if they want me to be silent, that is what they will have to do.
No doubt they will get behind their keyboards and take aim at this opinion piece on the internet. But don’t be fooled, that is one of their favourite tactics: label all and any reasonable criticism of their ideas as; crazy, alarmist, hateful, desperate, sad etc. Again, I say, don’t be fooled.
There is a concerted effort afoot, whether you want to believe it or not, to erode your individual freedoms. The campaign to put an end to pesky freedoms, which ensure you are not ruled by a powerful minority, has been carefully crafted by the governing classes. Governments across the world have offered their populations “security” in exchange for these freedoms, absolving the people of their personal responsibilities, which many people happily relinquish in search of a simpler and easier life. More often than not the erosion of your freedoms are subtle, sometimes the efforts even appear sensible. Therefore, it is rarely noticed.
What governments absolutely know, and people seem to not realize, is that governments want you to blame them for your problems. They want you complaining about them not doing enough. They want you moaning about their lack of intervention. They want it because it gives them an excuse to get bigger and more bloated. They don’t want you knowing the truth.
The truth is, that governments are only looking for excuses to take more of your money, more of your property, and more of your freedoms. So, what you end up with is a vicious cycle of government doing things really badly, and then having to do more things badly to fix the things they’ve previously done badly, and they repeat the process over and over and over. Eventually, governments become too bloated for their own good, before war or recession, or both, reset the clock.
There are a lot of people who think the world works best when society as a whole is put at the centre of government policy, and because people want to be seen as altruistic, the greater good fallacy tends to be used to achieve their lofty goals. According to the “greater good” fallacy, we must all sacrifice a little freedom for the greater good, and the government will adjudicate on what freedoms we must sacrifice. It is the ultimate weapon to erode individual freedoms, because it assumes that the government knows best, and would never abuse its position of trust, but we know this not to be the case.
Governments routinely over-reach and cause great harm to their populations, and almost always when they do harm it is as a result of having restricted the freedom of individuals. Restricting individual freedoms does not serve to improve the happiness of society overall, how can it? It is sold to us as “good for us”, but is it? Often it is referred to as “the price we pay for living in a civilized world.” But I ask: what is civil about the constant threat of force if you as much as step out of line on a single issue?
You see, you must not conflate absolute moral freedom with what we have in most countries today. Take for example our own island of Ireland. Are we a free people? When asked that question most people would probably say yes, but are we? Think about it. You are free so long as you obey arbitrary rules set down by various governments of varying political ideologies, over nearly 100 years.
Let us examine just how free we are: You are free to own a dog, as long as you buy a state issued license. You are free to own a TV, so long as you buy a state issued license. You are free to own a house, so long as you register the ownership with the state, pay stamp duty (tax) on its purchase, and pay property tax every 12-months – in the alternative you can build a house, and are free to do so provided you apply to the state for permission to do so, receive said permission from the state, and build the house in compliance with a litany of regulations, many of which were decided by people who live and work almost 1,000 miles away. You are free to drive a car, so long as you take state mandated lessons, pass a state mandated test, buy a state issued license, register the ownership of the vehicle with the state, pay road tax, buy insurance from a private corporation as mandated to by the state, and present the vehicle to an agent of the state at regular intervals so that its use can be approved by the state. You are free to employ someone, provided you pay them a minimum wage as set by the state, register the employment with the state, collect taxes from their wages for the state, pay additional taxes on top of their wages to the state, and report all the above to the state at regular intervals. If you fail to comply with any of the parameters set out by the state with regards to the above examples, or a plethora of other examples we could explore but won’t, you will face the very real possibility that you will no longer be “free”, and could find yourself on the receiving-end of the forces of the state. So, you tell me, just how free are we?
Critics of freedom will say that what is being described by absolute freedom is anarchy, and while in some ways that might be true, it is often used in a disingenuous way to try to argue against freedom. The reality, however, is that freedoms must be absolute, and thusly, you do not have the freedom to impede on the freedoms of others, and neither should the government – unless it is to protect the freedoms of another. The only morally acceptable role for government should be to protect freedoms, not oppress them. In that, in a truly free society, government would be responsible for protecting freedoms, with a fit and strong police force to maintain domestic freedoms and a strong, well-resourced military to defend the nations freedom from those who may seek to end it. Of course, it must also establish and ensure a free, independent judiciary to protect the fundamental freedoms of the people, not only from each other but also from the state. Outside of these fundamental duties, government should have very little power. And because as a society we have not opted to limit the power of government in any discernible way, we have started to plummet down a very slippery slope of government over—reach.
For example: If you are driving dangerously on a public road, should the state have the power to stop you? Of course, you pose a risk to others, and thus it is an effort to protect the freedoms of others. However, if you are sitting at home watching TV, the state should have no authority, whatsoever, to impede on your freedom under threat of force because you may or may not have a TV license, it is absolutely morally wrong, and does not protect the freedoms of anyone, but merely oppresses freedom.
If we want to improve societies lot, let us look at how to achieve that but from a different perspective to the one normally adopted. In order for society to achieve greater security and happiness, it must not try to solve the problems it faces with less freedom but with more. We must start the search for solutions from that stand-point, and when faced with a problem we must ask: “Can I solve this problem with more freedom instead of less,” and sometimes the answer will be no, but that is where we must start. Society desperately needs to protect the individual, individual rights and freedoms, and civil liberties. Isn’t that all anyone wants at the end of the day?
The hard part of this though, is that with rights and freedoms, come responsibilities. Responsibilities to; our fellow man; the environment; the sick; the elderly; the poor; the vulnerable; our communities; and future generations. If you want freedom, yes, you have to be prepared to live in a world where you cannot simply abdicate your responsibilities to the state. You have to be a grown up. You cannot blame the government for the problems society face, because you are a part of that society and you are responsible for fixing those problems. In our world today, it is too easy to point the finger and blame others for our problems, but in a free world, you are responsible for putting right perceived injustices. There will need to be more volunteers, more charities, and more involvement by the people in the operation of their society, but is that such a bad thing? Have we so little faith in our fellow human beings that we don’t believe they would do the right thing if required?