Friday, June 24, 2005
Chapter 29 from: J.J. Ray (Ed.) "Conservatism as Heresy". Sydney: A.N.Z. Book Co., 1974
Free Speech Versus Leftist Censorship
THAT LEFTISTS will resort to physical attack to suppress or discourage views contrary to their own is no delusion. It is a matter of public record. Two instances most relevant are the treatment of Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck. Like myself, both of these are social scientists who have publicly taken what is to Leftists the 'wrong' point of view on racial questions.
Jensen is famous as the man who set out all the evidence that American negroes are at a genetic disadvantage as far as intelligence is concerned. A more unpopular or unfashionable point of view it would be hard to imagine. As such it is a point of view particularly in need of protection. The doctrine of free speech is about protecting unpopular points of view. Popular viewpoints don't need protection for their freedom of expression. One would think, therefore, that Leftists (if you believed their propaganda) would be most scrupulous in their dealings with Jensen. The opposite is true. He has been persecuted by his academic colleagues (social science academics are massively Leftist in their political views), subjected to physical attack, and had bricks thrown through his window by student activists.
More recently, H. J. Eysenck, an ex-German Jew who suffered under Nazism and who would have some claim to being regarded as the world's most eminent living psychologist, joined the 'Jensen camp' by publishing a book on race which even suggested that the Irish might, genetically be of inferior intelligence. I personally found this a deliciously hilarious suggestion. But what was the response of the Left? I quote from the Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 1973: 'Students punched and kicked a professor of psychology as he tried to deliver a lecture at the London School of Economics yesterday. Professor Hans Jurgen Eysenck had just begun his lecture with the words "I have no wish to say anything controversial" when about fifteen students leaped on to the platform and attacked him. He was sent reeling, his spectacles were smashed and his face slightly cut.' I would suggest that there could be nothing more cowardly, nothing more Nazi-like, than this mob violence unleashed by these fifteen young men against one old man.
Extremists of both the Right and the Left do resort to political violence when the rest of society lets them. Normally, no-one is so let. In our society, however, the extremists of the Left have hoodwinked people into thinking that their parroting of humanitarian intentions is sufficient guarantee of the righteousness and benevolence of their deeds. I would submit to the contrary: that people who think they act in the name of humanity are very much like the officers of the Spanish Inquisition who thought they had God on their side. Their mistake is the arrogance of thinking that they alone know what humanity needs or should have. There is no more dangerous cloak for evil deeds than the mantle, of good intentions.
Nor am I overgeneralising from the above examples. The violence and destructiveness of Left-wing unionists, peace demonstrators and anti-apartheid demonstrators is well-known. In earlier years I was on several occasions attacked by enraged Leftists for daring to hold up a 'conservative' placard at Vietnam demonstrations. 'Freedom to agree with me' is the only freedom most Leftists seem to know.
Of course Leftist coercion is not only limited to something as unsubtle as physical violence. Cutting off communications seems to be the latest device among Australian Leftists. I refer to the action in 1973 of the postal union (led by the avowedly Communist Jim Slater ) in cutting off postal services (mail) to right-wing members of our Senate because they failed to pass a law the Leftists favoured. This was an unparalleled interference with democracy beside which their cutting off of communications with France pales into insignificance. Fortunately, it was a ban that was lifted a few days after it was imposed. One can imagine the frantic 'phone calls Prime Minister Whitlam must have made to Jim Slater.
Whitlam himself, however, is not averse to using the same weapon if he thinks he can get public support for it. I refer to the move by his government to cut off the mail and phones to the Rhodesia Information Centre. I would submit that, in general, any move to interfere with freedom of communications strikes at the heart of a free society. It is probably even more potent than bashing your opponents up. In a mass society such as our own, mouth to mouth communication is not sufficient to organise resistance to a tyrant. Other, more efficient means of communicating with whole masses of, people must be open. It is for this reason that when there is a revolution in a banana republic the first place they head for is the local radio station.
Attack on the communicators, interference with the means of communication or some form of censorship are the hallmarks and chief props of totalitarian dictatorships. Can we be blind or indifferent to the fact that in Australia it is the Left from whom we have this to fear?
As yet another expose of the fundamentally violent, dishonest and totalitarian nature of the Left -- particularly the student Left -- I append two newspaper clippings which show how even the advocacy of 'peace' can be made the occasion for violence. Goebbels is the man most often associated with the 'big lie' technique (saying one thing and doing the opposite), but his counterparts today are to be found on the Left.
The following report appeared in the "Australian", 10 August 1973, . 4 under the heading 'Saigon envoy spat on by students'.
Radical left-wing students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, yesterday spat on the South Vietnamese counsellor to Australia, Mr Luu Tuong Quang.
About 200 hostile students met Mr Tuong in the east lecture theatre, passed a motion asking him not to speak, and ordered him off-campus.
When the organisers of the lecture hustled Mr Tuong to a faculty office in an adjacent building the 200 students then followed and tried to break in.
Mr Tuong, surrounded by members of the Democratic Club, was rushed to a car, but angry students surrounded it and tried to stop it leaving the campus.
The protesters were led by Mr Barry York and other members of the Workers Student Alliance.
Mr Tuong lost his diplomatic aplomb only once during the half-hour incident when he saw South Vietnam's flag being burned.
He then attempted to grab a North Vietnamese flag and throw it into the flames, but six burly students surrounded him and wrenched it from his hands.
When a senior tutor in political science, Mr Gerald Henderson, offered Mr Tuong refuge in his office, the students packed the corridor and began beating on the door and screaming abuse.
The university's acting vice-chancellor, Professor A. L. Wardrop, ordered them to disperse.
Mr Tuong said: 'At no time did I fear an outbreak of violence. After all this is an Australian university and we are in a civilised country.
'Unfortunately I've got a bit used to these things happening. 'Most of these students are reactionary conservatives in spite of the fact they call themselves the radical left.
'They deny other people the right to speak and the right to be heard.'
The following report appeared on page one of the "Sydney Daily Mirror", 23 April 1971.
MELBOURNE, Friday. -A police guard was attacked and beaten up by vandals who defaced the Shrine of Remembrance with white paint early today.
The word 'peace' in 3 ft letters was painted on six of the seven main pillars of the Shrine at the entrance in St Kilda Road. Four ban-the-bomb signs were also painted in white on the pillar supports beside the steps to the Shrine.
Police said the unarmed police guard was attacked by four youths at 12.15 a.m.
The guard, Constable T. L. Wratten, 37, of the Government House Guard, was knocked to the ground on the steps of the Shrine and suffered cuts to the head and face and abrasions.
He was wearing police uniform.
Fled in car
Constable Wratten told police he disturbed two young men who were painting letters on the Shrine.
He was grabbed from behind by two other men, who had been hiding behind a nearby wall.
After attacking Constable Wratten, the four youths fled in an early model red sedan car.
Police failed to trace the car or the youths.