…. revolutionaries are tremendously authoritarian. It’s revolutionaries who build gulags and set up the KGB. Revolutionaries are far more authoritarian than I am. But the fundamental reason why I no longer hold the infantile views which held in my late teens and early 20s is precisely that: that I grew up. The thing which astonishes me is that so many of my generation did not grow up….
2011 – Reader billygee remembers:
Never a truer prophecy by Peter Hitchens in 2011:Â
“People like me – though still allowed to speak – are allowed on to mainstream national broadcasting only under strict conditions: that we are ‘balanced’ by at least three other people who disagree with us so that our views, actually held by millions, are made to look like an eccentric minority opinion.”2013 – Reader Turtle describes the ABC’sÂ Q&AÂ last night:
Q&A was at it’s extreme worst tonight. One conservative, Peter Hitchens, Christian conservative and brother of the late Christopher. The rest of the panel – an American feminist who wrote a book called ‘The End of Men’, a gay guy, and Germaine Greer. So of course the three lefties took turns bullying, insulting, talking over, interrupting and laughing at the conservative. The gay spokesman on the panel, Dan Savage, offered this idea: make abortion mandatory for all women for the next 30 years. This was offered as a way to save the planet. Club of Rome style.
They clapped him. There were people in the audience who supported this …
Reader I Seymour says the audience also clapped Hitchens, but only because he’d fooled them:
Peter Hitchens says Jesus Christ most dangerous idea ever created. Audience claps.
Tony Jones asks Hitchens to explain why. Hitchens gave his reason:Â because it gives hope and justice for mankind. Audience does not clap.
Reader Ellen says the audience fooled itself:
The audience were clapping whole-heartedly for gay marriage whenever it was mentioned, however when Germaine Greer stated “marriage is a terrible system” people clapped.
Reader James fact-checks one of the guests:
Q&A tonight just became a bash and trash Abbott forum which was remarkable given a lot of the trash talk came from ill-informed overseas guests.
One claimed Abbott had said “Women are not physiologically suited to leadership” which got a huge applause and which Tony Jones failed to correct.
Here is what Tony Abbott actually said in a wide ranging discussion about why there was such a huge discrepancy between the number of men and women in very senior positions:
1998: Tony Abbott, at round table that included Michael Costa, then a minister from New South Wales.
Tony Abbott: “If it’s true, Stavros, that men have more power, generally speaking, than women, is that a bad thing?”
Costa: “Clearly it’s a bad thing.”
Abbott: “Why is that, Michael?”
Costa: “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son.”
Abbott: “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are by physiology or temperament more adapted to exercise authority or to issue commands?”
Costa: “Well see, I don’t believe that. What I do think is that we should never be in a situation where women have got to define their notions of success and self worth by negating a traditional role. But in terms of the power structure I think it’s very hard to deny that there is an under-representation of women.”
Abbott: “But now there’s an assumption that that is a bad thing.”
Abbott was basically positing that the numerical difference is not necessarily because of overt discrimination, but because men tend to chase those positions more than women because women have different priorities and tend to prefer a more balanced life and so on. I know feminists would still not be happy with that, but it is a long way from saying that (and the guest used quote fingers) women are not physiologically suited to leadership.Â
Hitchens for me was amazing. Absolute and complete disdain for everything said by the others and a total grasp of the moral facts in play. He cared nothing at all for the good opinion of any of them – not the host and not the other guests – and mowed them down in turn with an incredibly deep understanding of the values and culture of the West which in his hands made the rest of them appear for what they were: shallow, destructive, vulgar and vile. I have never seen anything like it. Even if these others were unable to experience shame, they would have known they had been completely done over.
And while I had not come across that Savage chap, Germaine Greer and Hannah Rosin are not rookies in presenting their line of argument and I suppose Savage had been at it for a while himself. But they were absolutely done over. And Hitchens’ disdain for the host was in itself a pleasure to see, which really came out when he asked why he alone from amongst all the guests was being interrupted in the middle of his point. And he would not let go and made the point over again even while being interrupted.