Offence taken but you have the right to your opinion.

Bohemian

March 26, 2014

As a social psychologist, I don’t want persons who might take offence at some of our more controversial social survey findings hauling me up before some “Offended Persons Tribunal” simply because the results don't happen to fit their world view. Giving offence may get your throat cut in some places but there would be few countries that legislate it as a crime in itself . Nevertheless such tactics were endured by one of the leading psychologists of the 1950’s and 1960’s as a means of shutting him up. In true Gramscian[1] style, the Leninist vilification strategy complete with requisite goons and reputation besmirchers was regularly utilised as a silencing tactic on Hans Eysenck by a coterie of the UK’s far left social engineers after it had proven so darn successful for the controllers of Eastern Europe, North Korea and China at the time.

Following the release of Adorno’s book, the Authoritarian Personality[2] at the beginning of the 1950’s, the Frankfurt School[3] became de rigeur in many Western educational elite circles. The book identifies and attempts to measure attitudes akin to fascism i.e. authoritarianism of the right, as a means of coming to grips with the actions of the Nazis and their collaborators. However, it wasn’t too long before other authors noted that that when it came to the authoritarian mindset, it mattered little on which side of the political fence you happen to stand.[4] Ray[5] in particular was able to demonstrate that authoritarianism of the left was as resiliently dogmatic and iron fisted as that of the right and deserved special mention any time the topic was discussed. While the 30’s and 40’s saw the rise of authoritarianism of the right through Hitler and Mussolini in Europe and Oswald Moseley’s Brown Shirts in the UK, the 60’s and 70’s promoted the rise of the radical left which was equally boisterous and dogmatic…some may say even more so if we include Stalin, Mao and Madame Mao’s Red Guard in that category.

So, if we look at what a mild mannered experimental psychologist like Hans Eysenck had to endure at the end of the 60’s and the beginning of the 1970’s after the publication of his book “Race, Intelligence and education”[6] it is clear that smear, innuendo and physical threat were becoming the new tools for settling debate. I would argue from commentary I have heard recently on the attempts to rationalise laws on racial abuse so that they cannot be used as a political weapon, little has changed since then. Eysenck says in his book Rebel with a Cause regarding his run in with demonstrators at the London School of Economics and elsewhere; “I have told the story of misrepresentation, physical attacks, broken-up meetings, threats of bombing and worse in an article in Encounter under the title ‘The Danger of the New Zealots’[7],  and will not repeat myself here. My wife and children suffered equally under this persecution…..I do advocate open discussion, along scientific lines of the problems caused by differences between racial, national and religious groups; I am certain of thing – the problem will not be solved by slogans, and in ignorance of the true facts…..I am not optimistic about this becoming a possibility in the near future”[8]

Perhaps the most damning indictment of the radical left was demonstrated in what was to become the oxymoron of all oxymorons. After Eysenck was scheduled to deliver a lecture on his 1971 book “Race, Intelligence and Education” at Birmingham University, the following slogans were carved into the stone at the front of one of its main buildings:

 “UPHOLD GENUINE ACADEMIC FREEDOM – FASCIST EYSENCK HAS NO RIGHT TO SPEAK” [9]

Such critics as they do today, tend to adopt what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: anyone whose political views differed from theirs was labeled insane and sent off to “summer camp” as Libertarian poet Ezra Pound can attest although in his case that happened to him immediately after WW11[10].

I look at the carping and misrepresentation of many of today’s recalcitrant “liberal left” politicians and their media acolytes this week over the dangers of free speech and am forced to agree with Eysenck that unless we protect the rights of others to have an opinion we cannot be optimistic about our future as a free society. Fascism is a multi-directional beast!

So I ask: has anything changed? The same old Marxist social engineers are alive and well and legislating in Canberra among other places, attempting to purge the bulk of us from the face of the earth if we let them…..well at least during parliamentary sittings anyway.


[1] Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was one of the most important Hegelian Marxist thinkers in the 20th century. He is a notable figure within modern European thought and his writings analyze culture and political leadership. He is known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how states use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. In 1919 Gramsci set up the weekly newspaper L'Ordine Nuovo (The New Order) which was seen by Vladimir Lenin as closest in orientation to the Bolsheviks, receiving his backing. On 21 January 1921, in the town of Livorno, the Communist Party of Italy (Partito Comunista d'Italia – PCI) was founded. Gramsci would be a leader of the party from its inception. In 1922 Gramsci travelled to Russia as a representative of the new party and met Julia Schucht, a young violinist whom he married in 1923 and by whom he had two sons. He was arrested by Mussolini’s fascists not long after returning to Italy and spent much of his adult life in gaol writing on how to break down the ruling class system through the union movement, use of the Hegelian dialectic, smear, slander and violence towards one’s enemies where possible. Source:Wikipedia.

[2] Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper and Row

[3] Adorno had been a member of the "Frankfurt School", a predominantly Jewish group of philosophers and Marxist theorists who fled Germany when Hitler shut down their Institute for Social Research.

[4]  Billings S. W., Guastello S. J., Reike M. L. (1993). "A comparative assessment of the construct validity of three authoritarianism measures". Journal of Research in Personality 27: 328–348.

5] Ray, J.J. (1980) "Libertarians and the Authoritarian Personality". The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IV, No. 1, Winter 1980, pp. 39-43. 

[6] Eysenck H J, Race Intelligence and Education, London Temple Smith, 1971

[7] Eysenck H J (1972) ‘The Danger of the New Zealots’ [7](Encounter, 39, 12 pp77-91)

[8] Rebel with a Cause – The Autobiography of Hans Eysenck, (1997) Transaction Publishers, London, UK (p216)

[9] From photograph in Rebel with a Cause – The Autobiography of Hans Eysenck, (1997) Transaction Publishers, London, UK

[10] That difficult individual Ezra Pound, (2011), Eustace Mullins, Literary Licensing, LLC 

 

 

 

If you want the truth don’t ask the government.

Bohemian

Recent allegations of Australia spying on its neighbours along with some of Australia’s major corporations implicated in major bribery scandals may not have done much for Australia’s image abroad. It may also be cementing in the minds of a majority of Australians that Australia isn’t exactly fair dinkum when it comes to keeping its nose out of the affairs of others. It may not be entirely the fault of the Australian government however which is seen as too entangled in the American war machine and its adventures.

Bohemian has obtained survey data from social researchers, Australian Opinion Research (www.australianopinionresearch.info) which delivers the following barbecue stoppers based on an online social attitude survey of 5360 Australians representative of the national adult population carried out in July 2013:

  • 62% believe that some well known politicians take their orders from large corporations.
  • 61% believe that some well known politicians take their orders from unions.
  • 34% believe a Wikileaks release that indicates some Australian union officials have been identified as foreign intelligence assets. (42% don’t know).
  • 63% believe that the government spends most of its time trying to keep the truth from the people. And perhaps even more alarming…
  • 43% believe the USA largely controls Australia's foreign policy and
  • 46% believe that in recent years Australia has allowed itself to become entangled in the American war machine which could have serious repercussions for our relationship with China.
  • As a result, perhaps it is no surprise that 79% of Australians believe people are feeling increasingly powerless against big corporations and special interest groups.

This data along with responses to many other high impact issues were collected in the period immediately prior to the September 2013 federal election so it remains to be seen whether these numbers will change any time soon. Checkmate Analytics say they will continue to report on the findings in the coming months. See (http://www.checkmateanalytics.com/what-we-do/checkmate-analytics-mind-map/)

Survey data was supplied courtesy of Australian Opinion Research, July 2013. (www.australianopinionresearch.info and the Checkmate Analytics).

Australia: US lackey puppet state says former US Treasury Secretary.

Bohemian, November 6 2013

The recent revelations of US spying on friendly nations by the NSA and subsequent reports of the complicity of  Australia may be putting at risk not only Australia’s political alliances in Asia and elsewhere but also its  economic opportunities. If countries don’t trust each other when it comes to politics then they are hardly likely to trust each other when it comes to business. A recent social survey conducted by Australian Opinion Research  found that almost half of all Australian adults surveyed believed that “in recent years Australia has become too entangled in the American war machine which could have serious consequences for our relationship with China”. This opinion is supported by an earlier finding (December 2012) that 61% of us believe that Australia should treat the US and China equally in our dealings compared with 17% who favour an advantage to the US and 8% to China.

The Australian Opinion Research survey based on a representative cross section of 5360 Australians 18+ conducted just prior to the September election (June-July 2013)indicates that many Australians are under no illusions as to who is probably pulling the strings when it comes to foreign policy at least.  More than four in ten (43%) believe that the US largely controls Australia’s foreign policy (39% say they don’t believe it). 26% also believe Australia is a silent member of NATO (although most say they don’t know about this).

Guardian correspondent Glenn Greenwald’s most recent report on the Edward Snowden leaks directly implicates Australia in the US global spy network known as the “five eyes” (USA, UK, NZ, Australia and Canada). According to the Snowden material, it has been spying on its Asian friends for a long time. Australia has already been publicly chided by Malaysia and has also been asked to explain by the Indonesians who have since gone public on their dissatisfaction with our initial response. This comes after a  particularly successful visit to Indonesia in October by the new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott .

There is concern in certain quarters that what may start as a diplomatic embarrassment has the potential to turn into a kind of Germany-US stand-off putting at risk or stalling these new closer ties between Australia and its neighbours so carefully re-established following the election. The US trade initiative known as the Trans Pacific Partnership which had already hit a few snags must also now be looking more doubtful as a result of the Guardian’s recent revelations. These appear to have prompted Indonesia to state its intention to jointly sponsor the German – Brazilian UN reprimand of the US over its global spying on friends. So why is the Australian Government prepared to risk its diplomatic status in Asia? Without any parliamentary debate or consultation with the Australian people and with 30% of the population openly uncomfortable about it, former Prime Minister Gillard in 2011 approved a US Marine base in Darwin. This has been written up by several commentators as a real point of concern to China and other neighbours and, when taken in conjunction with these new spying accusations, both our neighbours and the people of Australia may be coming to the realisation that Australia isn’t all that independent after all.

These suspicions were confirmed by comments made recently by former Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan administration, Dr Paul Craig Roberts. Dr Roberts is a well-known US political commentator, acclaimed author and former financial editor of the Wall Street Journal. In an interview with financial newsblogger, Eric King of King World News (October 27, 2013), he made the following remarks about the US economy, the fate of the US dollar in the coming year and the usual role of Australia from an American perspective:

 “I don’t think they (US Govt.) can get out of this. Their foolishness is going to lead to more world removal of the use of the dollar. We see it already happening – increasing swap arrangements between China and the Bank of England, China and the European Central Bank and this is unprecedented. You see the BRICS avoiding dollars ….. This shows a fantastic erosion in American financial influence. Even our lackey puppet state Australia is now settling its trade with China in their own currencies avoiding the dollar.

So when Australian Opinion Research reports that two thirds of Australians say they believe “the Australian Government is selling off Australia to foreigners at an alarming rate”, and eight in ten believe that “people in Australia are feeling more and more powerless against big corporations and special interests groups”, Dr Roberts would not be surprised. He might argue that we were simply following orders.

Survey data was supplied courtesy of Australian Opinion Research, 2013, 2012. Quote from Dr Paul Craig Roberts comes from an interview published on October 27, 2013 at www.kingworldnews.com.

Australian Opinion Research began in 1999 – 2000 and was the first major Australian online research group to conduct large scale national and international studies. Australian Opinion Research is a wholly Australian owned business. This information was collected online by Australian Opinion Research from a nationally representative cross section of 5360 Australians 18+ prior to the September 7, 2013 federal election.

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