Angela Shanahan in her column in The Australian, Moral virtue replaced by a the empty ideology of “values asks an opening question, “what do you mean by values?”
I’m sure I’m not the only one, but this touched on something that makes me bridle whenever I hear it.
We all intuitively know and understand what is meant by values in the Australian and Western context (mateship, loyalty, a fair go, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, fair dinkum, — we say what we think — equality of opportunity and commitment to the rule of law, to name a few) and when people, playing vague and dumb, pretending not to know, ask that question we immediately know where the conversation is headed and it’s time to move on because you’re about to be embroiled in an argument over cultural relativism.
It’s quite apparent that for many years there has been, as part of the cultural wars and the attack on Western civilisation and Christianity, an agenda to erode, break down and redefine our commonly understood, core values.
The main drivers in this have been the creation of a confected sense of entitlement and victimhood derived from and turbo charged by, identity politics and the all embracing virtues of the left, tolerance and diversity.
These twin virtues hold that all cultures are equal, when they’re clearly not, and therefore all cultural practices and concomitant values are also equal and entitled to respect and automatically accepted and adopted as part of our core values without scrutiny, comment, judgement or criticism.
There is no latitude or tolerance for total rejection of any or all such values no matter how offensive. This is where tolerance gets you. As Karl Popper observed, “unlimited tolerance would lead to the tolerant being destroyed by the intolerant, barriers and surveillance are necessary to protect an open society”
A most recent example of this casual, redefinition and race too the bottom of the values barrel is how the New York Times has decided to refer to Female Genital Mutilation as genital cutting because FGM is too “culturally loaded”. I await the ABC and Fairfax to follow suit.