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Solidarity and ostracism

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, January 12th, 2023 - 80 comments
Categories: gender critical feminism, Left - Tags: , , ,

Kathleen Stock is a British philosopher and feminist who left her teaching position at Sussex University in late 2021 after being serially harassed by gender identity (trans) activists demanding that she be fired for her gender critical feminist views. Her resignation came after the harassment campaign culminated in the police warning her to stay home, and her union siding with the people harassing and bullying her.

At the end of this hour long interview with Stock on the Triggernometry podcast, she makes this point about the relationship between solidarity and ostracism,

I’ve learnt what solidarity is, in the sense that women in particular across the UK and grass roots organisations have supported me and kept me going and if it wasn’t for them I could never have done any of this.

But I’ve also learnt what solidarity isn’t, within institutions, and I’ve learnt that solidarity is really important. If basically other academics had come out much earlier, and stood beside me, and either said ‘we agree with her’, because lots of them do, or at least ‘she should have a perfect right to say all this’, we wouldn’t be where we are.

But basically the mechanism for ostracism destroyed solidarity. And those two things are antithetical to each other. With more demonstrated solidarity amongst people there would be less ostracism. But ostracism will thrive where there is no solidarity.

… I’ve just learned the importance of basically standing up and saying ‘yeah I’m with her (or him)’ at crucial times, because it sends this message. And if people don’t do that, then you really are on your own.

There are implications here beyond the gender/sex wars or even concepts of freedom of speech and the importance of academic freedom within universities.

The neoliberalism that many of us on the left rail against has at its core the ethic of individualism. Solidarity politics (expressing support for and standing with those of classes other than ourselves but with whom we have common ground) morphed into identity politics. Identity politics made important liberal gains for a while, before being elevated into prime position by the neoliberal system.

Neoliberalism is adept at adopting whatever progressive politics du jour but only to the point that those politics either advance neoliberalism or where the adoption serves to distract people from the system change that is needed and that would put neoliberalism in its place. Feminism in particular has learned this the hard way.

In other words, the politics of the individual is now solidly embedded in the left and this serves neoliberalism. This means for instance that a union can side against any member and support ostracisation of them, if they don’t hold the correct beliefs. To my mind, wanting people sacked over their beliefs, to literally remove their ability to earn a living and support themselves and their family, is anathema to both the left and unionism. Yet here we are. Increasingly progressives are saying it’s ok to fire someone if they hold the wrong beliefs.

Concurrent with this is the seeming position of many liberals that we can force people to think like us, and those that don’t can be outcast. This is a phenomenally arrogant and ignorant position that is antithetical to collective action. Where will the outcasts go? To the places where they feel a sense of connection, welcome and belonging. Exhibit A, the anti-vax/freedom movement’s allying with the hard right. Exhibit B, ex-left gender critical feminists who now state they don’t know who they will vote for. As always, it’s not the extreme radicals that are the issue here, it’s the larger number of people in the grey areas who end up pushed away as well.

The anti-woke left aren’t any better, also choosing to condemn those they disagree with. We cannot solve socioeconomic issues without solidarity and collective action, and that means working together. The irony here is that the anti-woke position is often just as much about identity.

All of which is to say, the climate, ecology, and pandemic crises aren’t going away any time soon, and we desperately need to be able to work with people who we disagree with if we are to have any hope of a collective and thus effective response.

Ostracisation destroys solidarity. Kathleen Stock was ultimately ok because there already existed a large body of feminists who stood beside her. Beyond that the loss is in the political communities who shifted the Overton Window that much further towards neoliberalism by undermining the culture of solidarity politics itself.

Video set to start at quote (1hr 3m 24s)

80 comments on “Solidarity and ostracism ”

  1. Sabine 1

    “For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.”

    — Audre Lorde

    • weka 1.1

      very good.

      I'm watching a Triggernometry podcast with Posie Parker from 3 years ago, she's very clear about the language issue and what will happen if we give that up (hence AHF).

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Watch the new one with Helen Joyce. specially the segment about how the western world is allowing males into female prisons.

        • weka

          I did. It's one of the best explanatory interviews on GI and GC that I've seen. I'll put up a post about that one too (want to watch it again). Every thing she explained as just clear and obvious.

  2. Visubversa 2

    Any ideology that has any political power will use it to punish heretics. They have no good arguements so they must suppress any dissent.

    Gender ideology has powerful backers and has weaponised the good public relations and public support built up by the Gay and Lesbian communities over the last 50 years or so.

    So called "trans rights activists" (most of whom are heterosexual) have attached themselves to the LGB communities like giant ticks, while at the same time denying the reality of same sex attraction and calling lesbians "sexual racists" for not being interested in men who claim special identities.

  3. Maurice 3

    Too late.

    'Yip! Yip! It is what it is ..' Bakes in and the opposition becomes immovable.

    As my Grandfather used to say when considering his position
    "Is Finnegan for it? … Then I am against it!"
    Finnegan was the next door neighbour … and it went on for years.

  4. Tony Veitch 4

    We face, as humans, an existential crisis in the shape of climate change.

    The only way we can counter this threat is by co-operative and collective action.

    Which means, much as people may hate to admit it, acting like bees or ants in the face of a threat.

    Anyone who goes contrary to the collective will of the people is implicit in the failure of humans to counter this threat. We need governments to recognise this crisis and act decisively for the good of all, unpalatable as that may be.

    We will need to, we must, put aside our individual wants and work together for the collective survival of society.

    Having said all that, I frankly can’t see it happening. The cult of individual greed has been too ingrained by 30 plus years of being told

    “There is no such thing as society,” and “greed is good.”

    • Sabine 4.1

      So not wanting to put penishavers in female prisons, or have penishavers give intimate care to disabled women and children, and put penishavers in rape crisis centers is 'individualism to the core ' and 'greed is good' and thus society does not exist? And that is why transgenderism is promoted in many countries that are currently being governed by centre right – centre left governments alike.

      I generally agree with your stance on collectivism, but this issue is a odd collectivism that seemingly only benefits penishavers and disadvantages the ones that can no longer be defined with a word that only applies to themselves, this strange collectivism that ostracises/punishes non – penishavers for pointing out that non-penishavers have needs too, and pretty please could the needs for things such as respect, privacy, dignity and boundaries be considered?

      Never mind of course the castration – chemically first and surgically later – of boys and the sterilisation of girls, the removal of functional and healthy body parts and reproductive organs, the de-sexing/neutering of children to being eunuchs. I mean one would not want the children of today to just have children willy nilly in hte future, there would be no profit innit?.Right? That would be the job for gestational carriers, who will carry the allocated babies for some deserving couples that can afford to pay such a gestational carrier to birth, via an agency who will subcontract these orders for life human beings to some poor uterus haver as a 'job' lest they be sanctioned by some social welfare agency for not taking available jobs whilst unemployed. 🙂

      Yeah, the collective good of tiniest of all minorities that supersedes the collective good of the 50% of humanity that birthed ALL of humanity.

      Yeah, right. Tui.

      • Tony Veitch 4.1.1

        As a hetro-sexual male, albeit a pale stale frail one, I've stayed right out of the transgender/TERF discussions on here.

        If the focus is on combatting climate change, then other issues, such as transgender rights etc, can be accommodated within a society, or so it seems to me.

        But, hey, what do I know about the issue?

        • weka

          One thing you could do is not use the word terf. It's overwhelmingly now used as a misogynistic attack or slur (apart from some feminists who have reclaimed it, but that's a different thing). Gender critical, or gender critical feminist (if you are referring to feminists) are terms that don't harm women.

          You can see why here https://terfisaslur.com/

        • weka

          If the focus is on combatting climate change, then other issues, such as transgender rights etc, can be accommodated within a society, or so it seems to me.

          The problem is people making that statement and not also saying that women's rights can be accommodated. Women are losing rights, and progressive men are either ignoring this or actively supporting it.

          So yes, we can obviously accommodate trans rights and women's rights. Where there is a conflict, this needs to be talked about openly so we can find solutions.

          • Tony Veitch

            weka, as I said above, I've stayed right out of the gender debate, mainly because I think it is a distraction from the climate crisis.

            Which is not to say I don't think it's important. Were I female and a male/whatever walked into a women's only space I think I'd be outraged.

            But, as I said, I'm completely out of the debate. We have an uphill fight to combat climate change and we should be focussing all our energy on that.

            • weka

              when you use words like terf, or make statements like "If the focus is on combatting climate change, then other issues, such as transgender rights etc, can be accommodated within a society, or so it seems to me" then you are part of the conversation, not outside of it.

              Even saying that we should focus all our energy on climate (a view I am inclined to agree with until I have to deal with the pragmatics of losing rights because of my sex), is being part of the debate.

        • Sabine

          Merf, the word you were locking for is Merf.

          Male exclusionary radical female.

          And yeah, i wear that t-shirt every day of the week and at night time too.

    • weka 4.2

      What you are arguing is a potential pathway to fascism. Let's say a Lab/G government does what you say. When National get in, the precedent has been set that the government must be obeyed and the govt knows what is best. What do you think Nact will do with that? Do you think they will do the best re climate/ecology?

      I know it's tempting to lean towards authority in the face of something as scary as climate, but it's a false security.

      What we can do instead is build working relationships across different parts of society ie solidarity, and find common ground. Any of us can do this, we don't have to wait for government. But if you want an example of how it can work in parliament, look at James Shaw's work to get climate action targets and processes that a wide range of people will support. It's not enough, but it's a prerequisite for what we need to have happen (and anyone still arguing the Shaw could have forced both Labour and Nact into a better climate response needs to explain how).

      • Tony Veitch 4.2.1

        When the Stuart Smiths of the Natz (and even worse in Act) all but deny there is a climate crisis, we haven't got time for incremental change.

        Do you think, when the shit hits the fan, any government will have time for negotiations?

        The climate is changing exponentially. This means that '23 is going to be far worse than '22, and '24 will be much more worse (or worser?).

        Ultimately, the only approach that might work is an authoritarian one, and I would much prefer an authoritarian left government than a right one. At least a left one would, one hopes, work for all NZers, while a Natz/Act one would look after the rich alone.

        • Gosman

          Then it looks like we are heading for civil conflict because people like myself are likely to violently oppose you trying to impose an authoritarian left wing government.

          • Tony Veitch


            Please read (and try to comprehend) what I wrote. The word 'might' (a modal verb) makes your response nonsense.

            • adam

              I'd side with Gossy.

              Screw all authoritarian governments, be they left or right.

              • adam

                That said Gossy,

                Ankle bracelets on 10 – 11 year old kids is right wing authoritarian shit fuckery. And your party is at the forefront of that shit.

                • Gosman

                  Prison is also pretty authoritarian. Some people want to do away with that but I am quite happy with it being an option in NZ. I don't believe in total anarchy.

                • Sabine

                  and what is your party proposing other then blame events a few hundred years ago?

                  and what are you gonna do when these 11 year olds are suddenly 18, legal adults?

                  • adam

                    Restorative Justice. We use to have it in our youth justice system – and bugger me it worked. Until the idiots cut the funding to it

                    • joe90

                      Restorative Justice. We use to have it in our youth justice system

                      You haven’t got a fucking clue.

                      Jennifer said a restorative justice conference had been very productive


                      Judge Stephen O'Driscoll asked for a pre-sentence report and for a restorative justice assessment and conference to be held if possible.


                    • adam

                      You haven’t got a fucking clue.

                      The 1989 Children, Young Persons and their Families Act saw a major shift towards restorative justice. Especially for Māori and Pacific. Both examples you gave don't fall into what we had in the youth justice system back then.

                      The system was massively underfunded till it effectively collapsed under the 4th national government. The mother of budgets was the beginning of the end.

                      What we have now is lip service to restorative justice, not a fully functioning system where by

                      Youth Justice Principles are listed in section 208 and are as
                      – Criminal proceedings should not be used if there is an
                      alternative means of dealing with the matter
                      – Criminal proceeding should not be used for welfare purposes
                      – Measures to deal with young offenders should strengthen family
                      groups and foster their skills to deal with offending by their
                      children and young people
                      – Young people should be kept in the community as far as is
                      consonant with public safety
                      – Age is a mitigating factor when deciding on appropriate
                      – Sanctions should promote the development of the youth and be
                      the least restrictive possible
                      – Due regard should be given to the interests of the victim
                      – The child or young person is entitled to special protection
                      during any investigation or proceedings

                      These days it's back to judges deciding, which is fubar as it always is for indigenous people.

                      Any more pearls you wanna throw around to show you ignorance joe90?

                    • Sabine

                      Bring back proper apprenticeships in businesses, three years, for the kids that don't do well in school, as not everyone does well.

                      There are a few reasons why kids are criming now.

                      Tik Tok and social media. Yes, that is a thing to flashmob rob a business and put it up for likes, shitsngiggles.

                      Peer pressure. Yeah, we all stole something at some stage cause mates cheered us on or called us wussies if we did not.

                      Poverty. However i doubt that poverty would compel some youth to steal a car to ramraid a shop at 11 years old or younger.

                      Actually be keen on criming. Yeah, they exist.

                      Peer Pressure/Poverty – i agree restorative justice would / could work depending on the crime. I.e. the dude that got 9 month home D for raping 4 girls. How do you think restorative justice would work for the raped girls?

                      Tiktok/criming for likes, proper mental health care would help, but then we don't do that anymore it seems. Here have an 0800 number, and someone will tell you not to take anymore pills until at least tomorrow. (a young person who took pills to end their life was told that when they called the helpline).

                      And the crimers who like criming. You ain't gonna rehabilitate them, they will have to figure it out by themselves.

                      In saying that keeping young men and women of the street seems to me the first thing to do. Putting them into an environment were they learn skills, usable skills, maybe earn some money and certainly earn a diploma and thus be on a good pathway to creating a future for themselves, a way out of poverty and hunger seems to me the best approach.

                      So personally i believe that as a country we should really bring back apprenticeships for the 14- 15 year olds who otherwise would just skip school and get into all sorts of mischief. Cause if we don't do something, they will be 18 one day and then they go through adult prison. And no one was helped and no one saved a dime.

                    • adam

                      Wake up.

                      To a broken link.

                      If what you are suggesting is what I've engaged with, it's a private system much like many of the fubar so called justice systems(tribunals) set up via the last government. And quite frankly my point stands even more, if that is what you are linking to. As it is shoddy, shonky and quite frankly just a clusterfuck.

              • Tony Veitch

                Except that I didn't actually say what Gossy said I did.

                And I agree – screw all authoritarian governments – but I'd still prefer a left leaning one to a right inclined one.

                • weka

                  I think the point is that the only way you can have a left one is to remove democracy while the left are in power. Is that what you were meaning? Because if Labour won the election this year and went authoritarian over the next three years, the only way it could stop National from winning the 2026 election would be to not hold the election.

                  • Tony Veitch

                    I'm not a believer in the end justifying the means – but . . . we're going to need some extraordinary responses if we are to have any chance of surviving what's coming.

                    Many say that the government assumed extraordinary powers during the covid lockdown, sure, through the Health Act. It assumed those powers for the collective good of all NZers – and successfully.

                    During the last world war both the UK and NZ had war cabinets which included members of the opposition, (other countries may have done so too) and both governments assumed quite extraordinary powers. After the war, voters in the UK threw out the Conservative-led war government, but not so in NZ.

                    Frankly, to use the image I used below, the water's lapping at the lower portholes of the Titanic. There's no point in insisting it's unsinkable – it's sinking. Time we all started bailing. And if that means ordering people to do so, then I'm (mostly) ok with that.

                    • Gosman

                      Except you need a broad consensus to do that without seriously harming social cohesion. You are not looking for that. Indeed you are essentially demonising those on the right of the political spectrum and want to keep the left in power.

                    • weka

                      Many say that the government assumed extraordinary powers during the covid lockdown, sure, through the Health Act. It assumed those powers for the collective good of all NZers – and successfully.

                      Yes, and then look at what happened next. Enough protest and the right using that against Labour, that we now let covid run free. We abandoned that use of authority because Labour needed to protect the economy and their chances at the next general election. The only way you can sustain authority like that against the will of a chunk of the population is to remove elections.

                      There are however other approaches eg bringing people along rather than trying to force them.

                      The world wars are interesting to consider, I've been thinking about that too. Mostly I think we are a completely different society, much less willing to do what is for the good of the whole (thanks neoliberalism). The internet and the ability to manipulate via social media make it very hard to have that kind of response too.

          • Robert Guyton

            "because people like myself are likely to violently oppose"



            Please explain/expand.

            • Gosman

              If a left wing authoritarian government imposed it's will on NZ then people who think like me (not necessarily me personally) would look to carry out acts of sabotage and seek to overthrow the dictatorial regime via various means.

              • Incognito

                Are you referring to the Second Amendment to the ACT Constitution? After all, it is ACT Policy to repeal the Arms Legislation Act of NZ. What could go wrong??

        • Sabine

          The right denies climate change and the left pretends that men give birth. Why would anyone listen to either side?

          Follow the science? which one? the one that supports your thinking or the ones that supports their thinking? and besides care to define 'science'?

          Ultimately when you force people to live a lie, enforce a lie, pretend that the lie is truth – as it is in transgenderism, which in my books is capitalism unfettered and unregulated, then you are already half way down the path of authoritarianism.

          Men give birth, and climate change is not real. Believe the science. 🙂

          • weka

            'men give birth' is a sociological statement not a scientific one.

            • Sabine

              So biology is not science? Cause every man who ever gave birth was born a female as without the required biological set up no birthing is possible.

              That is the current stage of science/reality in regards to reproduction.

              They are literally the same faith based sociological statements. The lefts gender ideology is not based in science. The rights climate change denial is not based in science. Both are lies to appease their enablers after all they need votes to win.

              So here we are, surrounded by a whole lot of people who are happy to deny reality in order to win a little. And we wonder why nothing changes.

              • weka

                when people say men can give birth, they're not talking about males. They're talking about females who self ID as men ie trans men.

                Apart from a few bonkers transhumanists, I've not heard anyone say that males can give birth.

                I agree there's a lot of denial of biological reality, and people trying to stretch meaning in science. One problem there is people so attached to their ideology they don't even bother to understand that GCFs are talking about reproduction of the species being binary (ova/sperm). That's also a stupid sociological dynamic.

                What I'm saying here is that no-one thinks males can giver birth unless in their head they think it's possible to change sex. But they're still talking about females. The idea that it's possible to change sex is the anti-science bit.

                • Sabine

                  Just a few samples here easy courtesy of google


                  Yes, it’s possible for men to become pregnant and give birth to children of their own. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you might think.

                  In order to explain, we’ll need to break down some common misconceptions about how we understand the term “man.”

                  that is true, you just have to reject basic biology and reality and you can pretend that a woman who injects herself with testesterone is a man.

                  This doctor here thinks that men – especially transmen – can give birth.



                  MEN have given birth to 54 babies in Australia

                  And please remember that in order to not upset these few men in OZ or elsewhere that gave birth to a child, we have to call Women, Mothers and Mothers to be – birthing bodies, birthing parents, gestational carriers, sentient incubators, pregnant people. Lest we upset that women with penises who can't give birth and we upset the men with vaginas who can give birth. Cause science is for bigots.

                  Men / Male have never given birth to anything. Women who present superficially as male – thanks to testesterone injections, double radical masectomies, and maybe a arm/leg roll penis attachements are not men/male. They are women. Always are always will be. Anything else is science and reality denial. It is denial of biology. It is denying the material reality of 50+% of the population that birthed and died birthing all of humanity. That were bread like dairy cows to profit a few slave holders, or husband in search of legacy. etc etc etc.

                  So really both sides, on the left and on the right they are denying reality. They are denying the lived experience of many people. They are denying science.

                  And it’s all done for the same reasons. Profit.
                  It makes good money pretending that climate change don't exist and we can keep on going as we always did consume, shop, travel, burn the fuel.
                  Equally it makes good money to put kids on puberty blockers, surgically removing the healthy functional organs needed for a healthy sex life and for reproduction of young people, feminizing plastic surgery for the old ones, fake boobs for the middle aged man, and a chipmunk voice, beard, male pattern baldness and arm/leg roll fake penis for the women that want to nope the fuck out of womanhood
                  Never mind the permanent UTI for both sexes. The follow up surgeries on the surgeries that did not work. So much money to be made.

                  Denial of science to foster capitalism, unfettered, unregulated, to the profit of the few to the detriment of the many.

                  And lastly, when only 'men' give birth and only 'women' have penises, it will be the men that will be oppressed on the grounds of their reproductive abilities.

                  I leave it at that Weka.

                  • weka

                    that first article, they're talking about trans identified females. They're not talking about males.

                    'Men' in that case is a sociological catergory, not a biological one.

                    No-one is arguing that biological males can give birth.

                    I agree with the position that women shouldn't give up their language, and that article is a really good example of why. MSM need a good slap over that shit.

                    • Sabine

                      It is denying of reality. It is denying of biology. You change your birth certificate from M to F and suddenly you are female? A woman. Like all the other woman? Or reverse? F to M? and suddenly M gives birth? No.

                      That is why a scientific study about monkey pox and 'women' is science denying the moment you pretend that the 50% of males over there are women / females and must be included in said study. It will skew male much to the surprise of the attending scientists. .

                      And that is why female records in sport are smashed by people who went through male puberty but are considered 'women'. If we considered them not female we would force them to run with the males.

                      It is reality and science denying bullshit. And quite worrisome to me, it is supported by the left and the right. And that should give us to think too. The bipartisan nature of this train of thinking.

                • Tabletennis

                  @ WEKA:
                  "Apart from a few bonkers transhumanists, I've not heard anyone say that males can give birth. "
                  Well lets see:

                  EXCLUSIVE: Midwifery Students Taught How to Care for Males Giving Birth.
                  Students studying midwifery at a prominent University in the United Kingdom were taught that biological males can get pregnant and give birth through their penis before instructors hastily edited a workbook they were given.

                  The book informs students that they may need to be familiar with the catheterization procedures for “both female and male anatomy,” noting that, as a result of the fact both males and females may be giving birth, it will only utilize the term “birthing person” throughout the instruction.

                  The workbook reminds students that the “birthing person” may be a biological male in two separate sections.


                  • weka

                    haha, thanks, I'd forgotten about that. Bonkers and dangerous.

                    Different from what Sabine was referring to though, where people saying men can get pregnant are talking about TM.

                    • weka

                      I should add that there are a small number of reports of trans-identified males simulating pregnancy and birth, going into online support groups for pregnant women etc, so it's conceivable that the people writing the manual were imagining those males being provided midwifery care.

                      Still hugely problematic, because those males are either AGP and engaging people in their sexual fetish without consent, or they are so dysphoric they feel the need to have their acquired gender affirmed in extreme ways. Neither of those should be given access to midwifery services but instead psychological services.

                    • Sabine

                      This is exactly what i am saying.

                      it is saying that women have penises

                      woman – Adult human female

                      men give birth

                      men – adult human male

                      As words and science mean nothing to the current ruling elite in government, science, academics and that is bipartisan. Mind, males/men benefit, women / females lose so its totally acceptable.

                      And that is why grown ass males, easily identifiable as males, who went to the same doctors for years now have to fill out a form that says ' Are you pregnant' and that is why we put now tampons in the toilets for males.

                      There is no man/male who ever gave birth. Every person on this planet was born to a women, no matter how they present.

                      And the males that can't give birth can no longer be kept out womens groups on the accounts of them 'identifying' as women. And if you would call these groups female groups you would have government change female to include males, while at the same time pretending that calling women female is 'insulting'.
                      And people would call every female calling out these males in the female groups bigotted for not accepting the female dick in their midst.

                      Either science and words to describe things have meanings, or we are all lost and then we can all make up our own science or follow only the science we like and that comforts us.

                    • weka []

                      Either science and words to describe things have meanings, or we are all lost and then we can all make up our own science or follow only the science we like and that comforts us.

                      Completely agree with that.

                      The number of people who literally believe that people born with male bodies can give birth is very small. Mostly in the more general clusterfuck of language where people are saying ‘men can give birth’ they are about TM giving birth ie female born people. They are pushing hardcore ideology, that we must use language back to front. It’s bonkers, not as bonkers as believing that male born people can give birth.

                      There’s a further group of people who are even more hardcore, who believe that male born people become literally female when they transition, or were already female to begin with (femaleness being a state of mind rather than a biological reality, although the theory is apparently that there is a female brain inside the male body or whatever). It’s completely bonkers, and I have to wonder if these people are dissociated from their bodies or nature or both.

                    • weka []

                      I understand what you are doing rhetorically. I think there is quite a bit of value in teasing out the different ways people are thinking, because the liberals who just want to be kind and haven’t thought about it much need to have it really in their faces what they are agreeing to and what they are promoting/supporting.

    • Incognito 4.3

      Anyone who goes contrary to the collective will of the people is implicit in the failure of humans to counter this threat.

      What does this even mean? The mind boggles in the binary implications!

      • Tony Veitch 4.3.1

        It means that, as the Titanic sinks, there's little point in debating whether or not it is actually sinking.

        Instead, we should all be bailing like hell. Anyone who doesn't is retarding the process!

        Though, on reflection, perhaps I should have used the word ‘complicit.’

  5. roblogic 5

    Mark Manson, author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” was on Radio NZ this morning. He pointed out that social media beings out the worst in people., amplifying extremes and ignoring the moderate centre.

    Twitter & blogs seemed to promise democratisation of public discourse – but corporations and state propaganda machines have weaponised them for their own ends.

    Unfortunately the Tories in the UK and the religious right in the USA are all over the gender debate, as a useful distraction from their malfeasance in destroying public services like the NHS and Social Security.

    Wedge issues and neoliberalism are existential threats to the Left. Rogernomics nearly destroyed Labour in NZ.

  6. Gosman 6

    I'm confused. How exactly is a collective supporting ostracisation of individuals for their beliefs in any way promoting the ideas of neoliberalism?

    • weka 6.1

      in part because the reasons for the ostracisation are based in individual identity rather than class politics. Neoliberalism abhors collective action, except where that collective action upholds neoliberalism. It's a very smart system, apart from the killing the planet bit.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        The ostracisation is occurring because the individual being ostracised does not support the will of the wider collective. Neoliberals would support the victim not the perpetrators of the ostracisation.

        • weka

          what collective are you talking about Gosman, it's not clear what you are arguing here.

          • Gosman

            Forgive me if I am misunderstanding here but I thought the OP was discussing the ostracisation of certain individuals on the left by the wider left wing movement because their views are seen to be at odds with the collective view on a subject e.g. Gender identity politics. Was that not what was being discussed?

            • weka

              The gender/sex wars is also a class war. Women, as a class, are losing rights. Yes individuals get targeted within that, and individual ostracisation matters a great deal, but I was talking about when we ostracise a lot of people. It's the same with the mandate/freedom movements.

              We don't know what the wider left believes on sex/gender. This is because No Debate (the active suppression of discussion) along with ostracisation has meant that 1) we don't have data and 2) we don't have an obvious sense, and 3) people are afraid to say what they really think in public.

              We do have some reliable research from the UK that gives us some ideas eg when asked about TW in women's spaces, once people understand that a TW is male and probably not had surgery, then support drops. In NZ the best we can say is that we don't know. No political party has campaigned on this for instance.

              So I think it's inaccurate to say that the issue is some individuals going against the wider left. It's more complex than that.

              Gender identity ideology is about the individual right to assert self ID and that society has to accept this. It's not class politics. It suits neoliberal systems to grant gains to GI, because it makes neoliberalism look liberal, and it poses no threat whatsoever (compared to class politics which assert things like workers' rights).

              Same with feminism. Neoliberal systems have allowed women to make gains where those gains enhance neoliberalism. eg choice feminism, it's about the individual. Way better than women getting together and demanding that they be paid for their labour in continuing the human race for instance. Neoliberalism appropriates the bits of feminism it likes and blocks the bits it doesn't like (I don't mean that neoliberalism is a conscious being, it's just a turn of phrase).

              • Gosman

                Neoliberalism does not place great store in gender identity politics. It is the purvey of the left and far right of politics who get caught up in culture wars. While it is true neoliberalism places an emphasis on individual liberty and choice it also doesn't require it in areas outside the economic sphere.

                • weka

                  except if you want liberals (who hold a fair amount of power in a society like NZ) to stay complacent about neoliberalism you need to throw them some bones so they don't get too angry about the poverty and environmental destruction. This is the role that identity politics plays currently for the neoliberal system. It makes liberals feel like things are changing for the better, that gains are being made. It's not even about valuing liberty, it's the pragmatics of working with a socially liberal population.

        • Incognito

          Neoliberals would support the victim not the perpetrators of the ostracisation.

          Love to hear more about that. How would they do that? Through what mechanism?

          AFAIK, neoliberals excel at victim blaming and victim support as such has never been at the core of their Law & Order policies.

          • Gosman

            Ummm… punishment of perpetrators to support and protect victims of crime has been at the foundation of many neoliberal policies.

            • Incognito

              Your unhelpful reply is simply a reiteration and continuation of your usual ACT talking points without providing even one single specific point or example. It confirms that you do not comment here in good faith and that you are not interested in genuine debate. Given that you already received a Mod warning 3 days ago, my prediction is that on current form you will not be commenting here at election time.

  7. adam 7

    Weka sorry to be that guy. But neoliberalism, do we really need the neo?

    It's liberalism which is the problem, and it's an ideology which can morph in many interesting directions, including as you say neo.

    That said, thanks for a bloody good post.

    • weka 7.1

      I prefer neoliberalism because most people don't have the historical political perspective you do, and in NZ many people call themselves liberal, meaning socially progressive not adherents of Liberalism. The word liberal has several meanings. It is possible for instance to be socially liberal and support society being organised collectively.

      • gsays 7.1.1

        The terms 'liberal', leftie', 'progressive', appear to have wide and ranging meanings and are often claimed by folk that don't seem to ally with my understanding of the word.

        eg, a respected commneter here (one of the war porn afficianados), delighted in the idea of lots of Russian soldiers dying in the conflict. Then in the days before Christmas described themselves as a progressive leftie! I challenged them on the first comment about Russian deaths but applied the Nana clause to the second comment. (If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.) Being Christmas and all.

        It highlights for me, the influence of the free market experiment we have been living in. The above postion can be justified but only at an individual level. Not so long ago, politically, there used to be principles, not negotiables. Nowadays, it seems to be so plastic, so flexible that you can have surprising bed-fellows in a poltical struggle. eg, the Canadian psychologist that dare not speak his name and his position on the extreme end of the trans issues.

        • weka

          I wonder if it's about power and neoliberalism having engrained that you have to try and acquire power rather than power being something that arises collectively when we hold to principles and values.

          Certainly in the gender critical movements there is a lot of conflict over who it's ok to work with. But this is a function of the GC movements being made up of people with a wide range of politics and values, as well as apolitical people.

          What interests me at this point in history is how we can work together. While I understand the hate tories position from many on the left, I also know that in my community many people vote on the right and if we have any chance at addressing climate change those people simply cannot be ostracised by progressives. Politicians are fair game, but even there in small towns, you just can't slag people off or denigrate their world view. There are other ways to work though. That's the bit that seems missing from the left currently.

          • gsays

            Your first sentence sums up a buddy of mine and what he has been going through lately. For a few years BC (Before Covid) he was involved with a couple of mens groups facilitating growth and healing.

            He was at the occupation at Wellys and talks about the disparate groups that came together, co-operated and organised. Very empowering.

            I agree with yr sentiment in yr last paragraph. The 'left', especially round here, can be particularly nasty and unattractive. Often guilty of attacking the messenger rather than the message. More about defending a position as opposed to enquiring as to the truth of a matter. It is very off-putting and makes it hard to want to contribute to a discussion. That is part and parcel of cyber life I suppose.

            • weka

              I know what you mean about the protestors. It's always been obvious to me because I know a lot of anti-mandate/freedom people and they're just ordinary people, part of my community. Of course they want to belong and feel empowered, just like the rest of us, and they will go to the places where they can get that. It's a fundamental human need.

              TS has always been a hard out place, the robust debate ethic. I find two things help:

              1. ignore the people that are abusive, even if they are replying to you, and talk instead to the people that are willing to engage well.
              2. make well formed arguments.
  8. Sacha 8

    'Beliefs' are not equal in their character or impacts. Karl Popper on tolerance is relevant, as ever.

  9. in ancient greece only the best were ostracised!

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Neoliberalism is adept at adopting whatever progressive politics du jour but only to the point that those politics either advance neoliberalism or where the adoption serves to distract people from the system change that is needed and that would put neoliberalism in its place.

    It is at its heart a dishonest stance – notice the prevalence of greenwashing among corporates – there is nothing they won't say if they think there is a buck in it.

    I'm going to partly defend ostracism however – the process of social exclusion is one of the ways society manages moral debates. In the case of GCF, society has failed for the most part, but that failure may be a hopeful sign, as the magnitude of the failure is going a long way to discredit the extreme end of LGBT advocacy – little disgraces like 'no debate' or the despicable way the select committee overruled the weight of public opinion on the "Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill" and frankly the lack of candour that marked even the name of that profoundly dodgy antidemocratic exercise.

    Lack of sincerity is a marker for bad actors, and the increasing polarization of our society is a reaction to it. Academia has largely swallowed the poison fruit of postmodernism, little realising that the established norms of philosophy it supplanted were what made commerce and functional debate between dissenting parties possible.

    • weka 10.1

      didn't quite get how you think ostracism has some value eg in the gender/sex wars.

      No Debate hasn't been a little disgrace. It's been an incredibly successful, intentional strategy that has shifted cultural and legislative norms in a very short space of time and most people don't even realise this has happened. It reminds me of the neoliberal take over in the 80s, it took many years for society to catch up and by then it was too late. In the UK, the GC movements have managed to push back and have made some solid gains via the courts, some MSM, political parties and raising public awareness. But there is littel doubt that the institutional capture is very strong and embedded, and that will play out for many years to come.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        It's a long view of ostracism.

        The worm is turning, one sign being a solidifying counternarrative against the worst woke excesses, led by figures like The Critical Drinker. Humour is always something to watch in culture and/or language – it tends to be a centre of innovation.

        But certainly our generation of cultural exemplars failed – they swallowed the nonsense and regurgitated it like gannets feeding their young.

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