February 10th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Blackouts due to closure of coal-fired power stations

EDITORIAL Behind China's push for global power

CANBERRA OBSERVED The left's appetite for change can't be satisfied

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY The Four Ideologies of the 21st century: Transgenderism, Libertarianism, cultural and Economic, and Radical Environmentalism

SEX-TRAFFICKING Meet modern slavery - in your very suburb

EUTHANASIA Delivering Victoria's death law: an unedifying spectacle

ENVIRONMENT Too hot? Too cold? Blame global warming

OPINION Report on child sexual abuse aimed at Church

FREEDOM OF RELIGION 'Equality' and equally disingenuous terms

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Saudis, Israel confirm Middle East alliance

OBITUARY To the memory of a multimedia Chestertonian: Tony Evans

MUSIC Straight to the heart: for the listener, at least

CINEMA The Commuter: And my criteria for reviewing films

BOOK REVIEW Essays take 'settled science' to task

BOOK REVIEW A pathway through a tangle of nonsense

BOOK REVIEW Quarterly Essay

LETTERS

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POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
The Four Ideologies of the 21st century: Transgenderism, Libertarianism, cultural and Economic, and Radical Environmentalism


by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, February 10, 2018

In 1992, Francis Fukuyama wrote The End of History, an epitaph to communism. He mistakenly believed that the world was entering a new age where democracy and capitalism would create ongoing prosperity, a peaceful world without the great ideological conflicts that were so destructive in the 20th century.

Albrecht Durer: The Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse; woodcut, 1496-98.
Whatever else may seen unlikely in
the image above, be sure that all four
ideologies are prepared to ride
roughshod over our freedoms.

 

Since that time, as religious belief continued its decline in the West, four new ideologies have taken root in the ground cleared of religion, generating political movements fundamentally hostile to religion, moral absolutes and the foundations of Western civilisation.

Transgenderism, the latest corrosive ideology, is the idea that I have a right to identify sexually as I please by my own individual gender identity, which may be other than my birth sex. A man can identify as a woman, or as 60 per cent male and 40 per cent female, or with one of the many identities listed on Facebook, such as gender queer, gender questioning, androgynous, or even as having no gender identity.

Gender identity is being written into laws covering birth certificates, anti-discrimination and marriage, creating conflicts between the vast majority of people who identify with their birth sex and a tiny minority who identify as transgender.

Transgender laws affect women. A man can identify as a woman, access women’s toilets, showers, change rooms, scholarships, jobs, apply to join women’s organisations, and take on medical and other services that have been woman-to-woman.

Transgender laws profoundly affect school children. Four state education departments now require that boys identifying as girls use the girls’ toilets and that schools must support children who are socially and medically transitioning to another sex. Transgenderism is now being pushed into the curriculum.

Labor’s 2017 federal platform says that it intends to make it illegal to counsel a gender-dysphoric person to identify with their birth sex, and if a family pushes back against a child wanting to transition gender, or encourages them to wait until adulthood to decide, it will be classed as domestic violence against the child.

Increasingly, anyone who does not conform to new transgender laws – teachers, principals, workers in ordinary jobs – will face prosecution under anti-discrimination laws. Charities, particularly religious charities, face losing their charitable status.

In the end, transgenderism is empowered by laws to attack all that is natural, particularly the reality of biological sex, man, woman, childhood and, ultimately, the biological family and religion. It attacks what we regard as “normal”: that which functions according to design. Globally, it is organised, networked and well funded.

The solution is to write the biological definitions of sex, man and woman into laws in place of gender identity. This is necessary to protect all the rights, privileges and access to services that have been taken for granted according to whether we are a man or a woman. It is necessary to protect freedom of speech, conscience, belief and religion, which are essential to a free democracy.

Cultural libertarianism is the idea that each person has a right to do as they please, and regards pleasure from sex, drugs, and modern technology as the ultimate forms of happiness for human beings who have no higher moral or spiritual purpose in the secularised world without God.

It advocates sexual liberty. Sexual liberty demands abortion, divorce, contraception, sexual enhancing drugs, and so on. It also means being helped to end your own life with euthanasia.

This violates the true integrity of the human person, attacks the family, the foundation stone of society, and offers no moral framework to hold a society together.

Recently, states have begun introducing laws, regulations and welfare policies ostensibly to extend the rights of children, but are actually aimed at weakening the natural role of parents in the formation of their children and giving greater power to the state over families.

Social and economic policies are needed to support the intact biological family. This is especially important as, contrary to what many may believe, almost three-quarters of families with dependent children are intact biological families. Australia has maintained a solid base of families in the face of 50 years of cultural libertarianism.

Economic libertarianism says that each person has a right to make as much money as they please, without regard to the common good. This is at the heart of radical free market theory.

 At the same time, the high-tech revolution is replacing many traditional jobs. Many new jobs are in labour-intensive sectors, lower paid and offer only short-term contracts, or are part-time and casual employment.

Economic libertarianism skews market power to the large corporation and the wealthy, and it allows for the concentration of new technology in the hand of corporations.

It is estimated that, under the current economic policies, this generation entering the workforce will have 17 changes of jobs and five changes of career in their lifetime.

Further, as The Australian’s economics commentator, Adam Creighton, documents, around 25 per cent of Australians are unemployed or underemployed. So, not only is the current generation being priced out of the housing market, but it struggles to find permanent employment, a necessary condition for a housing loan. It also means a relentless push for more taxpayer-funded child care as both parents are forced to work to keep a family.

A new social contract is needed, whereby the state accepts new policy solutions to the problems of unemployment and underemployment, as the current welfare state cannot endlessly provide the welfare demands of the unemployed, the sick and the elderly.

Radical environmentalism is forcing up the cost of electricity and gas in a country rich in energy resources, retarding the growth of key industries like agriculture, and undermining economic competitiveness.

There are now over 600 environmental groups with tax deductibility status. Many operate with a high degree of sophistication and some campaigns, such as the anti-coal campaign, are globally organised and funded.

There is big money in environmentalism: government funding, tax deductibility for environmental groups, and massive subsidies for renewable energy. At the same time, there are heavy taxes on coal, which is forcing base-load, coal-fired power stations to close.

Generally, radical environmentalists are also radical cultural libertarians. The Greens have led the political fight for transgender anti-discrimination laws, transgender marriage, euthanasia, and many other anti-life, anti-family policies.

Broadly, these ideologies revolve around the dominant philosophy of our time, libertarianism, the idea that we are all autonomous individuals who, in the absence of God and any higher moral authority, have the right to do as we please without regard to the limits of biology, family and the common good.

These new ideologies cannot be branded simply as “political correctness”, a vague term that does not grasp the subtleties and pervasiveness of ideological movements, with well-funded global organisation.They are contributing to further secularisation, leaving generations of young people with little knowledge of the faith they failed to inherit. Yet, religion and moral absolutes have been foundational to our civilisation.




























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