Archives for June 2019 | Josie Pagani



After Christchurch: rethinking progressive approaches to diversity and extremism

Some on the left who were comfortable with nationalism when it came from the political left have pivoted. They now seek to argue that violent extremism is brewed in a public debate made toxic by right-wing talk show hosts, criticism of the burqa or vocal scepticism about the doctrines of Islam.
It's not a fully convincing argument. In the past I would not have hesitated to make the case for freedom of speech and the art of persuasion through argument and debate. The best way to deal with bad arguments is to make good ones. Banning hate speech makes people afraid to disagree, and by silencing people who merely make mistakes you miss the opportunity to change their minds. We can now see a limit to this principle more clearly from New Zealand. You don't have the right to incite violence - shout ‘fire’ in a cinema just because you can - and you don't have the right to impose restrictions on others on account of their identity.

After New Zealand's tragedy, Josie discusses diversity, hate speech and free expression.

Why so many politicians are risk averse

If your community is pretty secure with lots of 'human capital' (the ability to make money from knowledge and education) then you're deeply invested in the system. Change threatens your class interest. The professional politician today focuses on policies that suit educated middle class people, like free tertiary education, Kiwibuild homes for middle class couples (not social housing), banning shopping bags and, 'well we have to compromise somewhere so it should be on tax!'

Josie argues for reclaiming working class politics from right wing populists here.

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