In his post below, Karl du Fresne gives a very good summation of New Zealand’s interaction with the World at large.
He calls 2018 the year of “white noise”, however the long term effects on small countries like NZ are not at all inconsequential.
du Fresne starts with the the question asked in the 1970’s of then Chinese Communist leader Zhou Enlai about the impact of the French revolution, and his response that it was too soon to say!
The point being that it is unwise to draw conclusions too early.
Nevertheless Karl posits that 2018 will be remembered “…as the year when New Zealand was irrevocably drawn into the so-called culture wars — the global contest between neo-Marxists, who view Western civilisation as rotten and oppressive, and the upholders of traditional mainstream values and beliefs.”
He speaks to the following interesting points.
we require a new vocabulary to discuss “…previously unimagined variations of sexuality and gender identity.”
“Transphobic” and “woke” are new words to our local dictionary.
“…The sheer volume of white noise from a tiny but shrill minority of neo-Marxists almost succeeded in dominating the public conversation”
The “algorithms of social media” have pushed people into extreme positions on the left and the right. The centre seems to be disappearing.
Universities have slipped further into “…rigid dogmatic conformity”.
Free speech has been under “sustained attack”, but only if you are on the centre right.
Aggrieved minorities get to say what they like.
The NZ Left fractured into “old” far left, and the neo Marxist left.
Anyone rash enough to express scepticism about climate change came under even more virulent attack.
Finally, he says, we learned about the new phenomenon of “presentism”, which attempts to “…deny history by erasing all reminders of our past that don’t align with 21st century moral judgements”
Craziness abounds, and the neo-Marxists who wish to change our society in “profound ways” have the ear of the political elites.
Dangerous times for we centre rightists.