Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum
Since yesterday’s celebration of our national genesis, we have been reflecting on the future of this island nation with heavy hearts. Despite the superficial flag waving and expressions of civic patriotism (all good in-and-of themselves, but often lacking in substance or deeper meaning) there is no denying the profound civilisational crisis that we, along with other nations of the West, are all facing. How will recent political developments impact on this country’s prospects under the stewardship of progressive political elites, we wonder. Unfortunately, times are not bright and there is a great deal in the “news cycle” to depress the soul. This has been a consistent motif in the discourse of traditionalist conservatives who have witnessed the gradual erosion of our heritage and the squandering of our national legacy over the last several decades.
The single most significant factor that can drive one to despair is to realise that there is no institutional force dedicated to unreservedly and unapologetically bucking this degenerative trend. Last year the inner city region of Sydney witnessed two telling phenomena. This first was a “protest” by members of the local Islamic community (our fellow citizens, apparently) due to the actions of a Coptic film director overseas and his unflattering portrayal of Muhammad (a historical figure who Muslims hold to be a “prophet”). The second was the by-election caused by the resignation of the local Member of Parliament. In the first phenomenon, some protesters were photographed wearing jihadist paraphernalia or carrying signs that incited hatred. In the second phenomenon, all candidates were aggressive supporters of homosexual marriage and the concept of the “proposition nation”. The fact that it seems impossible to reconcile these competing ideological tendencies, and that the status quo is therefore fundamentally unsustainable, does not appear to have stirred our political or cultural elites to reconsider their “progressive” assumptions about man and society. It does not therefore take considerable skills in deductive reasoning to predict that society will be facing a more robust and coercive liberalism as a result, in the near future.
We recently republished the Australia Day Message of I. D. F. Callinan, former Justice of the High Court of Australia. Justice Callinan warned members of the Samuel Griffith Society over which he Presides, about the dangers of proposed legislative reforms that would criminalise “offensive” conduct. His Honour stated that under the proposed law, “the cases selected for prosecution will be exactly that, ‘selected’, that is to say, carefully chosen, under the influence or pressure of the most vociferous pressure groups.” This is no hyperbole. Consider the chances of a Catholic prosecuting the organisers of the Mardi Gras under this law, for offensively parodying or defaming his Church in the crass and lascivious floats that have largely become a defining feature of the “festival”. Consider the chances of one of our members filing a suit against the defamatory and indeed offensive material published by leftist media organs on Australia Day (and elsewhere, regularly). Consider the chances of taking action against the ethnomasochist material that is regularly promoted and published by our national broadcaster. Consider the chances of appealing to this law to remedy the disconcerting trend of misandry with the entertainment media.
It is abundantly clear today that laws which allegedly provide redress for “discrimination” or “vilification” are never impartially applied. That is because they reflect ideological policy which serves a specific political agenda. Anything that falls beyond the scope of that agenda, falls beyond the ambit of the policy, and thus the law will not serve to address it on equal terms. This is reinforced by the political (liberal) culture of the relevant state institutions. Popular culture frequently makes derogatory or pejorative reference to Christians, males, Caucasians and generally people of a conservative disposition, but one rarely hears authorities applying these laws in their name, and to their defence. So, those of us who dissent from the liberal paradigm will now potentially risk criminal prosecution for causing “offense” to the favoured leftist pressure group du jour, even though we are unlikely to be the recipients of the same level of prosecutorial or judicial sensitivity when seeking legal redress ourselves.
Which brings us back to Australia and her future. As traditionalists we have often identified two major threats to the cohesive and organic evolution of our country and people. The first is the internal presence of hostile elements that seek to erase traditional loyalties and values, replacing them with vacuous abstractions that result in the collapse of faith and demographic implosion (this is commonly expressed through the identity politics of the feminist and homosexual lobbies as well as militant environmentalism). The second, and no less threatening, is the entry into this resulting vacuum of faithlessness, alien faiths that seek to remould the nation in their image. Both represent an existential challenge to the traditional paradigm which was and is our national foundation and bedrock. Both are uncompromising and insatiable. Both are well funded. Both enjoy large followings. Both are loud and frequently heard in the media.
Strangely, the first provides a protective envelope for the second under the principles of “multiculturalism” and “diversity”, even though their worldviews are diametrically at odds. The external threat, which deals with the pathologies of the first somewhat decisively among its members, seems to be happy to enjoy the benefits of this protection, and understandably so. Both will undoubtedly enjoy the patronage of the proposed law. We, on the other hand, have little confidence that such a law will assist us if and when we are “offended” by the constant agitation, baiting and harassment of these malcontents and aliens. Be that as it may, we have every reason to believe that the promotion of our world view (or “life style”, if you will) will certainly attract the ire of our detractors and those who will “select”, to use His Honour’s words, to prosecute traditionalists for their thought-crimes.
Thus the options of Australia’s future are stark: if our detractors have their way unfettered by any effective opposition to their revolutionary agendas, then these two groups represent two distinct prototypical future models of society. Neither have displayed any tolerance to our inherited legacies or the principles and concept on which our society was founded on Settlement. But neither of these can be tolerated by those who hold the Western legacy dear. An effective opposition is therefore essential, and for those who count themselves as patriotic, mandatory. In the event that the robust and coercive liberalism that we expect to continue asserting itself with greater vigour does enact laws that stifle expressions of traditionalist identity, that will be all the more reason to express that identity and reject the moral legitimacy of the law. Only then will a third option be available: a society run under the guidance of natural law as derived from Western religious and cultural traditions, a society that does not denigrate its history but embraces it while reflecting on and learning from past mistakes, hopeful of the future and filled with the faith of a people who believe they have a unique place in the world. For this, free expression and free advocacy is necessary, and no law that would hamper it can (or will) every be respected.
– SydneyTrads Editors