The first problem is the article isn’t very clear. If she’s talking about New Zealand’s domestic human and female issues, then she should be nervous. The rights we think are set in concrete are anything but fixed and immovable. They could disappear tomorrow if the-powers-that-be decide they no longer find them useful. The system giveth and the system taketh away.
We’re all capable of returning to the metaphorical savannah when the thin, slippery lid of society cracks. But in the big scheme of things, freedom of speech isn’t a terrible thing to get worked up over, especially if you think it’s real. The tragedy is forcing others to believe in your nonsense.
The world has turned, she says, and, “whilst turning, tipped a little to the right.” There’s no way this is a typo. In her mind, problems occur when the world isn’t progressive enough. So of course she thinks Rome is the archetype for repression and failure. This is the economic and political universe Ms Gillespie finds herself in: every form of empire is always doomed. If an empire isn’t collapsing, then it’s up to “the people” to push it over the edge.
But Rome is a side-issue. So is her baffling inclusion of Vietnamese or French warrior-chicks. “They’re called heroines, you sexist!” Jesus. a) heroine is a sexist word; b) listen to me: the only reason they‘re considered “strong females” is because when they took control of their femininity they became men – that sentence is 100% correct. I always think of Lacan who in this case might have said, "How do you know they are women?" There is sex. And then there is gender. But when it comes to appearing in history books, in other words to exist, females must be depicted either as tools for or a reflection of males, that’s called controlling the narrative.
Ms Gillespie says without a hint of delicious irony that “Triu Thi Trinh was my kind of gal. Whilst carrying two swords and wearing robes of brilliant gold…she rode a war-elephant. Another of her famous quotes that even inspires me today: ‘I'd like to ride storms, kill sharks in the open sea, drive out the aggressors, reconquer the country, undo the ties of serfdom, and never bend my back to be the concubine of whatever man.’ Other than the shark killing, I'm with you girlfriend!”
Sweet loving Buddha, have mercy. First of all, of what use was Lady Triu’s battlefield success to the millions of women suffering in Southeast Asia? Not only was she eventually killed, with no change to woman’s freedoms at all, men were the ultimate victors. Wikipedia says “many streets are named after her in Vietnamese cities”, so she’s on parity with other powerful revolutionary figures like MLK…
Secondly, there’s a tiny detail Ms Gillespie doesn’t mention which makes me think Lady Triu isn’t a very good representation of “strong female”. According to La Wik, when she surrounded a Chinese port,
“the Chinese general made his troops kick up lots of dust while they fought naked making her flee in disgust so her small army lost upon which she committed suicide.”
Yikes. If that’s your idea of strength, then you’ll probably like Katniss from The Hunger Games, she’s a total badass as well.
Ms Gillespie’s principal worry is the impending threat to females from neo-fascism. But I don’t believe her because that idea suspiciously coincides with the media’s desire to frame the controversy as a war between of the sexes, and that makes for good clicking. She feels acute anxiety while blaming this result on the world becoming more conservative – the direction on the political spectrum she presumably thinks is the enemy. Meanwhile conservatives all over the world are left questioning why their own rights are just as threatened although their answer can’t be fascism.
In this way, she’s just like everyone else. People are desperate to find reasons to explain their impotence in a world where few have power while the rest are either tools or useful idiots/consumers. To avoid blaming herself for this feeling of impotence Ms Gillespie chooses one of the media-approved categories of blame, depending on the media: sexism, racism, fascism, feminism, etc. People are being directed to feel anger, but never wonder why they read about it in a newspaper.
Of course, free speech in society is not restricted to the press. Anyone can say whatever he wants, as I am doing now. However, this is not at all inconsistent with the interests of the state. It just makes it harder for us to notice how much the combination of mainstream media, public education, and accredited universities resembles a comprehensive official information system. Or how little the whole system would have to change if journalism was reorganised as the Department of Knowledge. But then, Ms Gillespie might have noticed how her concern lined up perfectly with the system’s.
She initially focuses on New Zealand but what drives the article is an emphasis that the true problem is “our world as we know it.” In fact, she mentions “world” eight times and “women” nine times. To her, the “world” is full of “women” at risk of losing freedom. Therefore something (what exactly?) must be done to protect the world’s women. But neither of those two concepts are real to her, they are only waypoints. Which is what bothers me.
Let’s quickly summarise the media’s thesis via unsuspecting Ms Gillespie: 1. Freedom of speech is a woman’s issue, never mind all the men who are silenced. 2. The appropriate way to handle women’s issues is not necessarily to solve them but to discuss them in the media. Message received. But what was the expected outcome from shedding light on this problem? I’m serious. What was supposed to happen by pointing out the threat to freedom of speech?
Because as far as I can tell the article’s only effect was to reinforce that while freedoms are important, discussing them only counts if done through the medium of a newspaper. The medium is the message. “But it’s still an important message!” For whom? Certainly not women. Ms Gillespie is being used to defend freedom of speech for the media – the only industry to have successfully monetised a “human right.”
From the system’s perspective, people should only exercise their freedoms within the approved mechanisms: newspapers, placards, ballots, advertising, art, etc. Saying it is all the fault of right-leaning males is chosen precisely because the difficult and deadly work of radical political action can be avoided by hoping the problem is misogyny.
The system encourages women like Ms Gillespie to “defend freedom of speech” or “create awareness” because they stand no chance of moving the money, let alone the power. In her mind, a lack of female freedom is fixable, and she has the answer: revolution. Were you shocked? There is no alternative remedy. The only political action this mind-set knows is permanent revolution, there will never be a moment when paradise is achieved and revolution has to happen elsewhere. New Zealand needs a bit of fixing, sure, but it’s all the other crazy countries she’s targeting.
Splitting the world into free and not-free is a form of empire-building. Especially when it’s not clear what exactly a person means by freedom. The power to deny things is the prerogative of an empire. All apparatuses of an empire will suppress its rivals. They’ll describe their every action as legitimate. What is this empire? It’s hard to say, but the article in question is straight from the script of Whig history called Progressivism – a capricious and nasty branch of Idealism.
It’s the idea that human rights, democracy, environmentalism, scientific progress, secularism and other “good and proper” ideals will eventually spread into the world until every human believes. Progressivism came to power in the US in the 19c, and began chipping away until it gained total control of Washington via FDR in the early 20c. Note that Marxism specifically rejected the notion of world revolution to bring about a communist paradise. But it did go out of its way to support communist revolutions in other countries. Classic salami tactics – slice-by-slice.
Strange, though, how we were all told communism was defeated in 1989. Maybe when one enlightenment ideal (Parliamentarianism) doesn’t decisively defeat a rival enlightenment ideal (Communism) in war, they merge to create a corrupted hellspawn named Progressivism.
To attain power, Progressives cause problems then appoint themselves to fix those problems. So in this case, wherever “freedom” for “women” is under threat in the “world”. It doesn’t matter what the citizens in those sovereign countries actually want, or how many people have to die. They won’t stop until Progressivism is, well, universal… This ideal is in every sense of the word a religion. It’s shiny exterior only hides the rottenness of its core.
Ms Gillespie is not only caught by this ideology, she has never known anything else BUT this ideology for her entire life. She is so marinated in this world-view that every answer to the world’s problems comes from this playbook. But this is most definitely not a revolution because I’m reading about it in a newspaper. If someone wants a revolution and the media runs the story, then it has already been picked, boxed and shipped as a media commodity. The media will always be faster and stronger because it makes the rules. Power is three steps ahead while you use their own tools against them, and they make sweet money from engaging you in a “conversation”.
We don't think of today’s Progressives as a Christian movement because they don't want us to. But the movement is entirely religious. It is the modern descendant of the most powerful American Christian tradition - the “mainline” Protestants who infested New England in the early 16c and worked to break authoritarian governments in favour of “egalitarianism.”
If these people feel some occasional spiritual twinge, they’ll call themselves “Unitarians”. But they have long since discarded the burden of the supernatural. These days their opinions are simply the truth – “science” or “reason,” usually. I am particularly fond of the phrase “reality-based community,” which is so stupid it's almost ironic.
In other words, Ms Gillespie is a Roundhead, a Puritan, whatever you want to call it. And the power structure she represents reigns unchallenged across most of the world. The beliefs expounded at universities, and in all media outlets, is the complacent blabbing of today's global transnational governing class. Do not be distracted by Ms Gillespie’s dulcet tones (I can’t remember exactly what she sounds like, but I thought I’d try to be at least a bit nice). This lady works for the media, which means she is paid with money and compensated with power.
That’s why this whole act looks unbelievable, a farce: she is part of the ruling class and is calling for revolution. This is the central lie of the Progressive Movement. It believes the world will always be so terrible it requires the marshalling of “force” to make it better. Mostly this “force” is threats by the State Department and its cronies at the UN, IMF, World Bank or the World Economic Forum. The arms of the State Department known as the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian or the NZ Herald each carry the Progressive gospel to all corners of a recalcitrant earth. Change will come, whether at the tip of a sword or on the back of a “funding” tranche. Change will always come.
How repugnant can such smugness get? This is our ruling class. This is our governing political party doctrine. These are the beliefs of celebrities, professors, novelists, poets, painters and musicians. All the best people bow and scrape to the Progressive’s ridiculous banalities - whether it’s the planetwide spoils system they call “environmentalism,” or the combination of pity with rule-by-corrupt-thug that is “postcolonialism.”
Their game is to spread the ideas of progress by breaking the “old order” everywhere. Nothing resembling hierarchy is to remain, only anarchy. I’m sure Ms Gillespie would have clapped her hands in delight when she heard the Arab Spring was organised using Twitter. But is she willing to take at least partial responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of people who have died as a result of the anarchy in the region disguises as “freedom”? Of course not.
You don’t have to worry what it would look like if these people get into power. They already have.