Are progressives the new colonisers?

The following article from Spectator Australia

History shows that whoever utters the phrase ‘be on the right side of history’ often ends up eating their words. The phrase is frequently used in connection with the rapid transition away from fossil fuels, supporting the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, and in condemning the Christian Church’s long-held views on homosexuality and abortion.

Contrary to popular intuition, the more something is widely accepted, the more one ought to be concerned about its virtue. This is because groupthink causes us to believe that if everybody is doing something then it mustn’t be that bad.

Groupthink makes us prone to believing in obvious falsehoods. Until relevantly recently, believing kings had a divine right to rule was an accepted fact, and slavery and racial segregation were the norm.

Our egos encourage us to believe that we’re virtuous. Accordingly, most people think that if they were a Nazi guard at Auschwitz, they wouldn’t have been one of the cruel ones. But, given the same circumstances, this is almost certainly untrue.

Underscoring this is the Stanford Prison Experiment. There, students were arbitrarily chosen to be prison guards or prisoners and were then asked to assume their roles in a mock prison. The guards quickly abused their power. Some went as far as torturing their fellow students.

The conclusion was that extreme behaviour flows from extreme situations, and that most people will copy the behaviour of others without hesitation. Such is the danger of groupthink.

Underpinning groupthink is tribalism, because groupthink arises out of the fear of being ostracised from one’s tribe. Contemporary tribalism means uncritically subscribing to a tribe’s orthodoxy. The first step of tribalism is being able to identify who is and isn’t part of the tribe.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did this by keeping their tribes comprised of similar ethnicities, such that if your skin, hair, or eye colour was different then you were probably from another tribe.

Killing or enslaving members of other tribes was normal. In somewhat more civilised times, members of a minority tribe were treated as second-class, at best.

The modus operandi of many colonising empires and other illiberal societies is similar (think the treatment of Uyghurs in China and African Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries in America, for example).

Tribalism is practised in contemporary democratic societies too. The distinguishing features of tribes are less physical and more manufactured. One-way progressives do this is by defining the out-group as those who don’t entirely accept their view on something, thus creating false dichotomies. A foot in both or neither camp is impossible.

Some examples include that if you’re not pro-vaccination, then you’re an anti-vaxxer; if you question Net Zero, then you’re anti-science; if you don’t declare your pronouns, then you’re transphobic; and that if you don’t acknowledge systemic racism, then you’re a racist.

Most Australians are sensible, and thus think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But ‘the middle’ is a foreign concept to a tribe. Tribes demand absolute loyalty.

And the fact that progressives dominate the ruling class means that instead of dismissing these binary categories as harmful, they cowardly validate them, thereby increasing political division.


Latest News


This post is a copy of last night’s mass email. It explains the ‘RDA lives’ comment and other things 🙂 If you’re not subscribed to

Read More »