An excerpt from The Lord Monckton Foundation Charter and Vision highlights the fundamental requirement for a prosperous and democratic society:
"The Lord Monckton Foundation shall conduct research, publish papers, educate students and the public and take every measure that may be necessary to restore the primacy and use of reason in science and public policy worldwide, especially insofar as they may bear upon the rights of the people fairly and fully to be informed, openly and freely to debate, and secretly by ballot to decide who shall govern them, what laws they shall live by and what imposts they shall endure."
History tells us we must be constantly vigilant and take up the fight against any and all authoritarian tendencies to reduce thinking; limit free speech; and confine freedom of movement and action to only those activities deemed acceptable by those same self annointed authoritarian visionaries. We must be vigilant because these authoritarian visionaries have been on a long march through our institutions renaming and redefining things and thus forcing a diminution of contestible ideas by chaining discussion to those areas that meet their defined criteria for 'politically correct' discourse. As Senator George Brandis (Australian Federal Senate) in an address to students at the University of Sydney said:
"It takes effect, in particular, through the application of the concept of "political correctness", so as to frame and narrow and limit that which may properly be the subject of public discussion. Political correctness began as a vaguely annoying quibble about language but it has become, in the last two decades, something much nastier: an ideological crusade to limit language because, as George Orwell reminded us in Nineteen Eighty-Four, if you limit that which may be said, you limit that which may be thought - so there is a quite deliberate and conscious narrowing of the legitimate scope of public discussion. There could be no more insidious attack on freedom of speech than that, and that is what we, as Liberals, are bound to fight. When he introduced section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in 1995, the then Labor minister, former Senator Nick Bolkus, said that was it was about was prohibiting "speechcrime". Oblivious to the Orwellian resonances of his rhetoric, he actually used that word: "This is about prohibiting speechcrimes." I think we know that there is no distance at all between "speechcrime" and what Orwell called "thoughtcrime". We cannot have a society in which the government is at liberty to tell us what we may say any more than we can have a society in which the government is at liberty to tell us what we may think."
See SENATOR THE HON GEORGE BRANDIS, SC, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for the Arts. "The Threats to Freedom of Speech in Gillard’s Australia" . See full transcript of the Senator's address to Australian Liberal Students’ Federation Federal Council University of Sydney 5 July 2012 here.
We must be constantly vigilant and prepared to do something as the left leaning closet authoritarians who believe government knows best only protest in favour of 'free speech' when they see conservative values and policies presented. Janet Albrechtsen from The Australian in an article entitled "Silencing critics in seven illiberal steps" recently observed:
"Their silence now, as (Prime Minister) Gillard tries to muzzle the media, is deafening. And the rest of us? Are we also at fault for sleepwalking towards an illiberal Australia? The absence of a wider and louder uproar from ordinary Australians over the government's clearly articulated agenda to punish those in the media with whom they disagree is deeply concerning.
Wake up, Australia. Each step that has brought us to where we are now, facing government intervention in editorial standards of the media, has been deplorably illiberal. The government's seven-step program to regulate the media is a depressing read for anyone who cherishes the progress delivered by two centuries of Western liberalism."
See the full text of Janet Albrechtsen's article "Silencing critics in seven illiberal steps" from The Australian July 11, 2012 here