Monday, 28 December 2015

From safe spaces to dictatorship?

The last year has seen a growth in attempts, many successful to ban speakers in British universities because some "students" don't like their ideas or more accurately don't like their ideas being challenged. Even long term feminist and activist Germaine Greer fell foul of today's self appointed censors because she holds a view that trans-women are not really women.

According to the fanatics of the "safe spaces" brigade allowing her to speak was a "violent" act against trans-gender people. The latest phobia to add to the list. Trans-phobia.

The irony is that Germaine Greer and her generation pioneered much of today's changes to some women's lives, a former dangerous radical upsets today's wadicals".

The poor dears were heading to their dorms to watch videos of puppies no doubt to clear their minds of such an opinion, one that obviously is to dangerous to be heard.

Even in centres of learning where young people go to learn about the world around them "warts n'all".

The latest addition to such nonsensical antics is a young man from from South Africa, Ntokozo Qwabe a law graduate and currently on a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University.

Just one little problem. He has launched a campaign to remove a statue of his benefactor from the university grounds. Apparently he's as "bad as Hitler".

I'm not going to try and defend Rhodes but when examining history one has to look at historical figures within the context of their times. Why is Rhodes any worse than say any of the Roman Emperors or Greek philosophers who lived in a world where slavery and exploitation was the foundation of their economies?

Athens the birthplace of democracy was founded and run on slavery. Only free men or citizens had votes and yet over time their ideas have transformed the way we live.

Are we now to expect the works of the ancients and all others with a flawed way of life to be purged? Their books to be burnt, their statues and artifacts destroyed?

Has PC madness descended to ISIS level madness?

The destruction of ancient monuments beginning with the blowing up of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan to the raising of ancient cities in Syria by so-called Islamic State is to be deplored. This is the road to the Year Zero as attempted by the equally barbaric Pol Pot in Cambodia.

Today's "safe spacers" and their ilk are tomorrows dictators.

1 comment:

  1. The Red Guards in China were quite adept at this sort of behaviour also...

    I did the whole Cecil Rhodes controversy in a module last year. One can understand why students in South Africa might want it removed from a university in South Africa, but as someone pointed out today, in Britain/Oxford it should actually be put somewhere safe with details of who he was and what he did.

    With regards to the wider issue, when someone states to you that Greer should be considered in the same way as Holocaust deniers, something is very very wrong :( .