A bar, somewhere in Malaysia. The Tiger was flowing, the whisky and water was going down nicely.
Surprising No ? We in the West have been told over and over again that colonialism was an unalloyed evil that we should be thoroughly ashamed of. Not so, it seems.
Warning. A political diatribe follows. If you’re not into that sort of thing, stop reading now. If you decide to continue, well, you asked for it and only have yourself to blame.
When I became a mainstream leftist in the 1960s we believed in what were then thought of as libertarian values, including the right to express any opinion, utter any profanity, question any and every belief, particularly if we were told that a belief was “morally correct”, that was a signal to really sharpen your knives and go for it. We encouraged the portrayal of nudity and extreme violence on stage, on screen and in literature, and felt very strongly that anything and everything was permissible as long as you didn’t underline that opinion with actual physical violence. This libertarianism was so wide ranging that it actually included, (in retrospect somewhat shockingly,) the German Greens and the British Council for Civil Liberties openly supporting pedophilia.
The right at that time advocated censorship and restrictions on what could and could not be said. Now, the political poles have flipped, the old left are now the new right and vice versa. It’s a confusing world.
There are, as my leftist friends and colleagues constantly chant, a multiplicity of voices. But not all of them say what my leftist friends would expect to hear. This is the thorn in the side of the “many voices” approach. Too many people parrot that we must hear many voices , but then as soon as a voice speaks against them they look to shut it down. This is probably the biggest issue in the West at the moment and one we must grapple over and come to terms with.
My own tuppeny-ha’penny theory takes us back to the Age of Pericles where in the earliest version of democracy it was legally incumbent on every citizen to murder any other citizen demanding the violent over throw of the State. The result ? Athenian democracy collapsed.
In our own refined and flexible version, 2,500 years later, tempered by The Enlightenment, British Humanism, Christianity and the creation and development by these forces of the civil liberties movement throughout the 18th and 19th centuries we have learnt to tolerate the chorus of villains advocating violence and the overthrow of the State.
We have listened calmy to a generation of Stalinist, Marxist, Leninist, Maoists, (nearly all of whom, in my experience, went to expensive private schools and live sinecured lives very comfortably off the state they affect to despise,) demanding its overthrow. We have tolerated their repulsive views, and given them freedom, peace and prosperity in return.
Now however, the same motley gang are demanding that anyone who holds views that they find offensive should be gagged. They hide behind smoke screens of “social justice” these same people who openly supported Stalin and Mao. It’s a disgraceful situation and one we have to vigorously address.
Thus ends the sermon, Amen sisters and brothers. Go in peace, and state your views without fear, even if others find them offensive.
2 thoughts on “Colonialism (according to some of the formerly colonised) and some freedom of speech issues it raises.”
Interesting thoughts! I’ll need to re read this one Bill to thoroughly digest its contents. 🤔
Such turbulent times Kath, I feel like I’m standing on my head, I guess this happens regularly historically. Maybe it needs to ? Perhaps the old verities need to be washed away and rebuilt ? But it does remind me of that poem by Yeats, the second coming, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”