Saturday, 1 October 2022

You can say whatever you like

as long as you don't disagree...

I was alarmed by the speech made to the United Nations by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. It sounded good of course - until you realised that what she was really saying had nothing to do with "free speech" and everything to do with stifling debate.

I have never gone along with the view that "sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me". Of course names can hurt. All sorts of derogatory remarks can hurt.  "Getting over it" can be very difficult too.

At the same time we do seem to be reaching a point where holding any sort of contrary opinion is not acceptable. We "must" believe in climate change, global warming, gay marriage, gender fluidity, LGBTQI + rights and more. We must also go along with the politically correct view of these things.

"Wokeness" or "political correctness" is surely a form of social engineering? We are being told what we must think and how we should think it. To do otherwise is, we are told, to make us one of a small minority. To be part of a minority group is considered unacceptable...even when politically correct views may begin as minority views. They seem to be views put forward by people in positions of power - and Jacinda Ardern is one of those. 

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. It is being used and abused. I doubt it can be halted but we need to think long and hard before we give people like Ardern the capacity to restrict it still further. It is already restricted by the "wokeness" which is stifling debate about important issues.  We need debate, real debate, if we are to maintain a stable society.


Miriam Drori said...

I've always been part of a small minority group and always will be. Sometimes I think the only solution is to stay inside it and never venture out.

catdownunder said...

But if you do not venture out then nobody else has a chance to learn from you and expand their own horizons and (hopefully) become better people