PHOBOPHOBIA AND THE SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH
By Ian R Thorpe
In recent years as the reactionary bullies who call themselves 'progressive liberals' have gradually bullied and browbeaten us into diluting every opinion, disinfecting every joke and putting a condom on our minds lest we should look to admiringly at a member of the opposite sex (it's OK among the right on luvvies to look appreciatively at someone of the same gender of course) the worst social crime one might be accused of is being phobic. It is amusing therefore to see one of the leading luvvies, a paragon of politically correct thinking, a gay man who has ever been quick on the draw when branding others, even entire nations, homophobic should himself be accused of being phobic. Note here, he does not have a phobia which is a recognised medical condition such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders), dendrophobia (fear of trees) or my favourite, coulrophobia (fear of clowns); being phobic or a phobe in the jargon of the Politically Correct Thought Police, simply means having incurred the displeasure of a self appointed group of arbitrators of acceptable behaviour, a band of moralising, patronising, pseudo intellectual wannabe elitists who presume the right to impose their prejudices on the rest of us. Actor, comedian, author, fan of Apple's overpriced gadgets (devotion to which makes him an expert on digital technology, he thinks,) and gay rights campaigner Stephen Fry was one of the first celebrity twits to embrace twitter. An unashamed exponent of the art of emotional manipulation, he knows that the charge of phobia – whether homophobia, technophobia, Judaeophobia, xenophobia
and even Europhobia (hatred of the EU) – rings all the right bells among the Twitterati. It is ironic then to see Mr. Fry on the receiving end of the phobia slur and to observe that he is yet another celebrity who is outspoken in voicing his own opinions of others but hypersensitive when it comes to others expressing their opinions of him. Fry, who is so in love with oppressed minorities that since discovering on the television genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are he had Jewish ancestors has been proclaiming himself a bipolar, gay Jew (though his 'Jewish' ancestor never actually practised the faith) has been accused of being nothing less than an ‘Islamophobe’, after he defended stupid comments made on Twitter by the evangelical atheist Richard Dawkins regarding Islam’s undistinguished historical role. ‘Am I an Islamophobe?’, Fry grovelled in defence of his right to criticise what he called ‘Islamofascism’. Depicting himself as a lonely liberal valiantly fighting for unpopular causes (like the murder of Palestinians by Israeli Jews?), he lamented that the ‘squeezed liberal finds himself in the position that cannot criticise Islamofascism because it’s somehow “racist”’. Racist has of course become the standard knee jerk response of the pseudo intellectual left whenever any white person makes a valid criticism of any person of colour, even though their comments and what the criticism is about have no connection with the person's ethnicity, religion or skin tone. Mr Fry, like so many of the politically correct thinkers in the media, entertainment and politics, has no qualms about being hypocritical in his defence of free speech. He is articulate and passionate in defending the right of people who share his views to criticise beliefs and opinions they dislike but equally passionate in denouncing critics of same sex marriage as homophobes as if the fact that they do not agree with his pompous, self righteous pronouncements on the subject is justification for depriving them of the right to free speech.. Just as some dogmatic commentators insist on equating the questioning of certain extremist Islamic sects with Islamophobia, so many defenders of the gay-marriage consensus cannot imagine that their opponents might just have some genuine intellectual or moral criticisms of gay marriage while being very relaxed and tolerant of homosexuals and homosexual sex acts. This use of “isms” and “phobias” to suppress the open exchange of opinions on certain topics is a very negative development in the public life of Western societies, as much so as the “Hate Crime” laws passed in the E.U. and U.S.A. which decree that if a person who identifies him or herself as a member of a recognised minority feels that they have been insulted or discriminated against because of their minority status then the responsible party is guilty of “hate crime”. Not since the medieval witch hunts has an accusation been considered enough evidence of guilt on which to convict. And yet the people who support these laws call themselves progressives.
If language is to have any meaning then accusing someone of being phobic is really making a statement about that person’s mental state. So to pronounce someone homophobic or Islamophobic would suggest that person is reduced to a state of panic and paralysed with fear on meeting a Muslim or homosexual. Which is ridiculous of course, because in many cases we would not know that somebody we have dealings with is one of those things.
Prison State: Untitled mural by Russian artist known only as P183 (link after article)
This Orwellian Newspeak style use of phobia reflects the increasing influence of the authoritarian politically correct culture which tends to interpret individualistic and controversial behaviour through the medium of psychology. Politically correct thinking tends to dismiss non conformist behaviour as being rooted in emotional dysfunctions. Unprocessed or unmanaged emotions are said to be the source of many of the ills that afflict society. Even wars between nations are now attributed to some emotional or psychological defect on the part of a group or leader. The term xenophobia is no longer simply a descriptive term; rather, it is a therapeutic diagnosis, a way of saying “Well no sane person would be in favour of immigration controls, people who complain about the numbers of immigrants are just xenophobic bigots. The irrational fears associated with all these so-called phobias are really nothing of the kind, they are personal opinions and yet are categorised with the many synthetic emotional disorders that are so prevalent in medical and sociological thinking today. The diagnosis of phobia is a central part of a world-view which looks upon stress, rage, trauma, low self-esteem and addiction as the main components of the human experience. The therapeutic world-view embraced by those we ought to think of as 'paternalistic liberals', that is elitists who would infantilise the masses and make them dependent on Nanny State is not just about radicalising individuals or controlling our behaviour. It also tries to provide a system of
meaning through which human experience might be interpreted and understood and the synthetic phobias are part of that. At the start of the twenty-first century, meaning is increasingly sought in the realm and of feelings and emotions. The social group I refer to with tongue in cheek as The Politically Correct Thought Police (after the brutally repressive Thought Police in George Orwell's novel “1984”) aim to carry out the policing of emotions through control of vocabulary and prohibition of some ideas. Certain attitudes are condemned as negative and antisocial and others held up as positive. So hate is a negative and happiness a positive emotion. But the meanings of hate and happiness are being defined. To express a preference for associating with people of the same ethnicity is to commit the hate crime of racism (although it is a perfectly natural human preference) while to be merely tolerant of the sexual preferences of certain groups is not enough, we are required to celebrate it. The range of emotions which fuel a ‘phobia’ are all diagnosed as negative, which is why this sentiment can be so readily dismissed as mental illness in the way that those expressing dissenting view in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Communist China were diagnosed as insane. Today’s meshing together of moral and medical categories makes it very difficult to have a mature and tolerant exchange of opinions. The labelling of someone’s speech, attitudes or behaviour as an ism or a phobia inhibits discussion and often results in genuine hate attacks being directed at those expressing the unorthodox view. For Supporters of Politically Correct thinking it is not possible to have a genuine, open discussion with someone who is diagnosed as racist, sexist, Homophobic or homophobic, there is no point in taking the arguments of irrational and psychologically disturbed individuals seriously. Apparently, such people don’t have rational political views; they are simply possessed of an irrational mental condition. So the narrative of phobia absolves people of the tough task of defending their views through, and invites the use of condescension, ridicule and dismissive insults to close down discussion. The authoritarian implications of this approach to the exchange of ideas and opinions is clear if we think back to Stalin’s Russia or China under Mao Tse Tung. Dissidents were assigned to menial work with loss of income and status or sent to gulags or re-education institutions in remote and inhospitable areas. Today in the West, phobic individuals are not incarcerated (yet). But they do face cultural and institutional stigmatisation. How long before ‘phobics’ are encouraged to participate in anger-management classes or pressurised to have their awareness raised?. I'll tell you, it is happening right now. A course of cognitive behavioural therapy instead of a month in jail for Free Speech poster
speeding in your car, arguing with your neighbours or playing music loudly. Such sentences have been handed out in Britain. Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins do not suffer from Islamophobia. They are, to use an oldfashioned political expression, a couple of old fashioned egotistical arseholes. But we should respect their right to express their opinions. Image sources: Free speech caged http://chuckgallagher.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/no_free_speech.jpg Free speech poster http://s88.photobucket.com/user/ArthurTopham/media/FreeSpeech1.jpg.html Ban free speech http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mVwqnQbJWtE/TQ5sXJgy7gI/AAAAAAAACTk/eCU72BlFKV4/s400/ free-speech.jpg Prison state – Bankski http://4.bp.blogspot.com/bn8ZTv2Otqs/TzBE6bKVxpI/AAAAAAAAB2w/5POUAqx5ziw/s320/p183bankski5.jpg
The Importance Of Free Speech And A Free Press Politicians around the developed world including leaders of the two most powerful democracies, Barack Obama and David Cameron have been falling over themselves to join the attack on free speech. On subjects as diverse as climate… These stupid laws insult the public and threaten free speech When the law forbids us to insult or offend somebody, to insult or offend a religion, race, skin colour or sexual preference, free speech and other important democratic rights are under threat. When the law then goes on to say that anyone accused of these offences has no right to defend themselves and the word of the accuser is sufficient evidence on which to obtain a conviction then we have abandoned justice and are ruled by fascists. With All The Important Problems We Have Why Are We Talking About Same Sex Marriage? Oh FFS, how sick are all we sane people of hearing about same sex marriage. what the fuck is going on? Anyone who asks the simple question of how gay marriage came to be a bitterly divisive debate in both America and Europe will surely conclude it is the most surreal and idiotic political issue of our age. British Press Finds Backbone, Defends Free Speech Pavlov's Cat. A short verse on the importance of thinking for oneself. Identities On Parade Equalities Bill Fascism Of Politically Correct culture Nanny Orwell Hate Crime Law Is A Recipe For Injustice Nanny Watch - posts on the Nanny State more posts on Politically Correct tyranny