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Southern and Molyneux Defended

Entry 1933, on 2018-08-31 at 20:44:21 (Rating 4, Comments)

This is a further post on my favourite current issue: free speech. The reason I decided to post it is that I recently found a video interview with controversial Canadian commentators Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern which was quite revealing. The interview was originally intended for New Zealand TV, but only a small part of it was used there, so yet again we must rely on the internet to give us the true picture instead of the deliberately distorted version on mainstream media.

So I will go through the questions and answers here. The interviewer I will label "I", Stefan Molyneux "S", Lauren Southern "L", and my comments "C". Note that I am summarising the questions and answers here, so I am not using the exact words from the interview, but I do strive to make this a fair representation.

I: Why are you not a fan of mainstream media?
S: Because there is a lack of diversity. The media have drifted left. Some left ideas are very good, but we need variety. In New Zealand reporters are 4 times more likely to be left oriented than right, and there are very few libertarian or conservative thoughts presented.
C: This is a pretty fair point. I am left oriented myself, and even I get sick of the one-sided treatment given in the mainstream media (MSM). I don't know where the 4 times statistic came from, but it sounds fair. I would say that, on the radio station I mainly listen to (Radio New Zealand), *all* the presenters are left-oriented.

I: What is the line between free speech and hate speech?
L: I don't believe in the concept of hate speech. Who decides? In history there was blasphemy, questioning the church (the persecution of Galileo for example), etc, which could be seen as hate speech, yet we would see it as the opposite today. The only thing that has changed is the questions it is applied to, like identity, race, gender, and religion. These are big problems, and need free discussion, but the phrase "hate speech" is used to shut it down.
S: Some people considered the anti-slavery movement immoral. Who knows for sure what is good and bad? We need a free market of ideas. Banning speech doesn't stop it, it just forces it underground.
C: I guess there is a line which, when crossed, would result in genuine hate speech, but so often "concept creep" interferes and hate speech becomes a tag used to shut down quite reasonable debate. If anyone does something genuinely harmful, like telling their followers to harm others, or revealing private information, it is covered by relevant laws. Apart from that, anything should be allowed.

I: So how do we protect minorities?
S: There is equality under the law.
C: If "minorities" feel threatened by ideas then they really should toughen up a bit, or maybe look at whether the ideas have some truth. If there is genuine harm, then the law covers it, like I said above.

I: What do you think about the protests against you?
L: They are objectively ignorant, yet they want to decide what the future is. They also want everyone else to be as ignorant as themselves. We should consider all the routes. I have given multiculturalism a chance, but it often fails. I love disagreement and debate. It is OK to debate, and not shut down these ideas. The reaction of our opponents reduces their credibility.
S: They care about moral questions, yet they act violently (in Melbourne, for example) which is not moral. They should act in a more civilised way.
C: I totally agree. The protestors who try to (and succeed in) shutting down these discussions should be ashamed of themselves. They are very ignorant and they represent exactly the sort of attitude they claim to oppose. I have never heard a single informed comment criticising these two. It seems to me that probably none of their critics have ever really looked at any of their material.

I: Do you welcome opposing voices at your events?
S: I prefer formal debates. People have paid to see us and constant protests stop this. We have extensive Q&A sessions at our meetings where we can be challenged.
C: There has to be some limit on the ability to protest. Those who say that the protests are just another form of free speech really just don't get it. Free speech should present ideas in a reasoned and polite way, not by shouting meaningless slogans. Again, the left are the real crazies here, and the right are very reasonable.

I: Here's a quote: "there are some cases where we have good reason to be afraid of ideas, and people." Should be afraid of them?
L: We should be afraid of ideas. We have no beliefs which are violent. Compare that with Islam, where it is quite reasonable to be afraid. Islam often leads to oppression, stoning, etc. They seem to be more afraid of their views being criticised, instead of any genuine threat.
C: Islamophobia is often used as an insult to the person who experiences it, but that is like blaming the victim. The real reason for Islamophobia is the teachings of Islam. While most Muslims don't act on them, there are clear instructions for immoral behaviour in that religion.

I: Some people are concerned that your ideas will lead to violence against them, and free speech also involves some responsibility.
L: Free speech is free. Islamic people often say hateful things about us, yet no one objects to that. Western society is tolerant, yet other cultures are not in return.
C: This is just a rehash of the question already asked. Clearly Lauren Southern, and myself, think we either have free speech or we don't. If genuine harm results from it then there are remedies under existing laws.

I: New Zealand law has free speech limitations.
L: Plotting a crime is not free speech. if you're doing that, call the cops. Arguments and criticisms are not an incitement to violence.
S: If Islamic people are scared of violence, why do they not criticise far worse events in the Islamic world?
C: There is a totally uneven treatment of these issues in the MSM. Minor criticisms are seen as potentially dangerous if they occur on the side of those who are politically incorrect, yet executions, torture, and major oppression are treated superficially if they occur in the Islamic world.

I: Do you ever change your mind?
S: Continually. I was a Christian, then a socialist, then an objectivist, then an anarchist. If you don't change your mind then you're not learning anything.
L: I love to be proved wrong. If I was wrong then I have learned something, and I'm getting better. If I still had the same beliefs I did as a child I would be very concerned.
C: Looking back, I have changed my mind about several "big things". When I was young and naive I took conspiracies and other paranormal stuff, like UFOs, seriously. Now I am a skeptic. I used to automatically reject anything from the right of politics, now I think there are useful opinions on all sides. Change is good. Of course, it's hard to know how genuine anyone is when they say they "love being proved wrong".

I: Loren, you were wearing a t-shirt with "proud to be white" on it. Wasn't that deliberately provocative?
L: Actually, the caption was "It's OK to be white". And it is provocative, but why? Society says we are white oppressors, colonialists, etc. That is thrown at us in many places. Censorship is common for anti-black, but not anti-white material on-line. Being white is not OK wherever progressivism has taken over.
S: If a black man had a t-short saying "It's ok to be black" it would be fine, and everyone would be supportive.
C: There is undeniably a double-standard here. The point that saying it's OK to be white could even be considered as controversial is absurd. It's not like the t-shirt said "white is best", but even if it did, what's really the problem here? It's just an opinion, and one which could possibly be supported with facts.

C: After this the interviewer followed up with some related questions, but would not admit that the t-shirt was OK. It then moved on to the subject of privilege.

I: Would you say you are privileged?
L: Yes, I am privileged because I am a female, and have the advantage of affirmative action at universities. Black people get even more privileges, but there is very little advantage in being white.
C: The fact is that the only official, legally sanctioned privileges in society are available to the groups who are traditionally thought of as having none. Sure, there are some advantages in being white or male, too, but they are entirely unofficial. Everyone has some privileges and some disadvantages. It's just that only certain groups try to make political gains from their alleged lack of privilege.

I: How would you describe white culture?
L: There is no one white culture. There is European philosophy, art, culture, sport, food. We should preserve those as much as any minority culture. White culture created a lot of the world's greatest art, literature, etc.
S: Philosophically European culture promotes science, evidence, and philosophy. It is best at establishing the truth. From 1800 BC to the 1950s most of the progress came from western culture. There was some from other cultures too, but mostly from the West.
C: I have written a blog post, "West is Best", pointing out how I think Western culture is superior. I guess some people would find that confronting, and maybe it is, but it's also true.

I: What is the science around race and IQ?
S: There are a wide variety of experts saying it is true. I'm just the messenger.
I: You provided a platform to distribute this information.
S: Facts are important. IQ is widely studied, it is certain, and is well known. You can't judge an individual by the overall effect, because there is a lot of individual variation. If IQ doesn't explain some phenomena, it is too easy to blame white oppression instead.
I: The facts about IQ are disputed. Environmental factors play a role.
S: The latest research shows a significant genetic factor. It is uncertain how much is environmental. We interviewed James Flynn for an hour to get a contrary view on this subject.
L: It is indisputable, despite progressive denial. Race is biological, and we can tell based on DNA. It is scary that there is suppression of this conversation.
S: It is repressed. The author of "The Bell Curve", Charles Murray, has been viciously attacked and labelled a racist.
I: The majority of science doesn't support it.
S: Do you have evidence? It does. What you say isn't correct. But let's just say you're right, why can't we have a debate about it?
C: They are right. There is no reasonable doubt that race is a real thing and that IQ does significantly vary between races. The debate is about the cause of the difference. Is it due to genetics or environment? It is certainly due to both, but the relative contribution of each is debated. Whatever the situation might be, anyone genuinely debating the facts of this should not be called a racist.

I: Why have you come here? What's your message?
S: I enjoy chatting, getting feedback, Q&A, and discussions with reporters. We are having an interesting discussion. It is good to go places where we are uncomfortable, and progress causes discomfort. I want to make sure we don't miss important issues.
L: The Western world is worth fighting for. It is the greatest civilisation, and has the best rights, science, arts, etc. We are throwing it away because we have to be tolerant of those who don't have these advantages.
C: People usually have multiple motives for their actions. They might genuinely want to contribute to important debates, they might want to cause trouble, they might want to increase their own notoriety, they might want to make money from their events. So what? People are complex, but the important thing is are they right? It seems to me that they are.

I: Why are we under threat?
L: I have seen left vs right debates, and tried to find the truth. Some suburbs of Paris are so affected by Muslim immigrants that if you go there the police can't help you. If we don't stop this, it will be bad in the future.
I: Are you saying immigrants oppose Western culture?
L: Many do. Look at the result of interviews and surveys on Islamic immigrants' opinions on women's and LGBTQ rights.
I: People with different beliefs can live side by side.
L: They can live that way, but often segregate and might as well be in a different country. Is it OK that Japan protects its border? Why not Canada, too?
C: Obviously immigration can be a good thing, but it can also be a very bad thing. There is no doubt that Islamic immigration has caused huge problems in Europe, for example. And real, credible surveys and polls indicate a lot of anti-social attitudes from Muslim immigrants. The critical thing is that immigration should be carefully controlled to get the best results.

I: What do you know about NZ?
S: It is beautiful, and the people are wonderful. Australians ask great questions. People are relieved to have a forum where they can discuss these issues.
L: There is a great thirst for what we came to talk about. People are raising money to oppose the ban. Many want the conversation to proceed, and just a few are trying to stop that.
C: It would be really interesting to have a proper survey on the level of support for these ideas. I suspect that a lot of people do support them, but are too scared to say anything.

I: New Zealand is increasingly multicultural. You attack this.
S: Is diversity really good? People are coming with their own in-group values. They don't want to integrate. Islam makes it hard to integrate.
I: You can't say that about Islam in general. I'm not an expert, but some Muslims get on OK.
L: Many cultures would not have made a treaty here.
C: Again, multiculturalism can be a good or bad thing. No one should want some of the less progressive aspects of Islamic culture here, so surely it is about encouraging positive multiculturalism.

I: What are your thoughts on feminism?
L: It is a complete failure if the goal is the happiness of women. They are trying to force women to become men. They need to be involved in business and STEM, for example, which they might not be naturally inclined to. Being a stay at home mum can bring the highest happiness. Feminists don't support that. We are biologically and psychologically different from men. That is different, not lesser. There will be exceptions, of course.
I: We have our third woman PM here, who is currently on maternity leave.
L: Some women will be excellent leaders, especially if they act like men.
S: She will be a less good mother.
I: She will be offended.
S: I get it. I'm a stay at home dad. You cannot do both jobs as well.
I: Are you saying that if she is not at home, she is not a good mum?
S: I said she cannot be *as good* a mum.
I: What makes a good mum?
S: You are there for your children.
I: Being at home is not the world we live in.
S: It's what the baby needs.
I: We are celebrating 125 years since women got the vote. That is touchy.
S: Breast feeding is recommended up to 18 months. It is harder to breast feed and work effectively. Men don't breast feed and don't have the same bond as women. I'm not saying women should stay home, but the fact is children do suffer partly.
L: Why do women want to be in workforce? We want to see more men out of the workforce. Being in the workforce is not always good. Feminists shame stay at home women. Why do we have quotas if there is real choice? It is forced equality.
S: Look at how groups see disparity in income, representation in the workforce, and career. Any time there is a gap it is ascribed to nefarious motives: sexism, white privilege, etc. It does exist, but it is not whole story. It's like saying: something bad happened - let's find a witch and burn her. Reality is far more complex than that.
C: Clearly this is controversial stuff. It is always hard to evaluate the value of feminism, because feminism can mean so many different things. The point that a woman who is busy doing a job which takes long hours cannot be as good a mother as she could be if she didn't have that job seems irrefutable. The point that any real or perceived disparity is blamed on the "patriarchy" is also a good one. It's just a lazy and simplistic way to look at a complex issue.

I: Do you have a fact checker or editor?
S: Yes. We have a producer and researcher. We provide sources in videos, plus the communities soon point out any errors. We have put out corrections when necessary. It is tough in the on-line world.
L: Of course. In the MSM there are many checks to make sure there is no offense. There are many legal, bureaucratic, and politically correct layers. We are happy to have none of that.
I: Are you always happy you are 100% solid?
S: We do your best. We correct mistakes. The perfect is the enemy of good.
C: I have never found any basic errors in their material. I have found areas where I think they went too far, or failed to give alternative views enough respect, but I would never expect to have total agreement with anyone, especially when controversial issues are involved.

C: There was then a short discussion about South Africa, especially the recent anti-white incidents there. But I don't know much about this situation, so I won't comment about it now.

I: What is one thing you want audiences to remember?
L: The West is the greatest civilisation that ever existed. It is worth fighting for. Even if we are scared of bringing up these subjects, we need to talk about them now. Too much ethnic, religious, or cultural difference might be disastrous.
S: The truth is a difficult thing to get hold of. We have philosophy, the pursuit of truth, conversations, and science. Anyone who tries to prevent discussion threatens these.
C: It seems that everyone is allowed to be proud of their culture, except those who are part of the greatest culture the world has ever seen (modern Western culture). I really do believe this is true, based on objective evidence. Anyone who doesn't agree should read my post "West is Best". That doesn't mean other cultures shouldn't also be celebrated, because they all have good and bad points.

I: How do you measure success?
S: Audience reception, interviews, and curiosity.
L: Many people defending the West. We also want to visit New Zealand, and were devasted when we thought we would be banned.
C: In fact, the "Streisand Effect" seems to be at work here, because I think there has been far more publicity about the Canadians' visit after the controversy stirred up by the far left than there would have been if they had just let them quietly visit, do their talk, and leave again. I don't think there is any doubt that the Canadians deliberately bait their opponents just to increase their notoriety, but what's wrong with that? It's all part of the game played by both sides. So, despite all the barriers put in their way it seems that they were successful, thanks to the stupid and corrupt behaviour of the left.

So that's it. That is finally the end of one of my longest posts ever. In summary, these people are not the racist, far-right extremists portrayed in the media. They are interesting people with interesting ideas, but ideas which are against the current politically correct mainstream. I guess that's what makes them so interesting!

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Comment 1 (4940) by Anonymous on 2018-09-03 at 17:37:34:

I admit I didnít read all of this substantial tome. You appear to be supporting some known racists. Does it not worry you that this makes you just as bad?

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Comment 2 (4941) by OJB on 2018-09-05 at 14:53:37:

I don't care too much how this makes me look. I'm pretty sick of our culture which feigns offence at everything. I just tell it the way I see it and if that bothers anyone, well, too bad.

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Comment 3 (4942) by OJB on 2018-09-05 at 14:54:36:

Also, I publish all comments here, even when they disagree with me. So if anyone has a genuine objection to my ideas, and that is supported by facts, then I will admit I'm wrong.

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