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The Masters of Hegemony

Shifting the goalposts

By now, it is well known that the left has been winning and the right losing–for a long time.

Some say this losing streak began in the 1960’s, others blame World War Two, World War One, or even the French Revolution; nevertheless, this probe is unimportant for our purposes. What is acutely important, instead, is a discernment of the obstacles which hamper right-wing politics with a view to suitably resolving them.

Common explanations of why conservatives lose

Conservatives, grappling with how the left has won a seemingly endless stream of political and cultural victories–feminism, abortion, multiculturalism, climate change, gay marriage–have offered many worthy explanations. Some of these include:

  1. The left is proactive; the right is reactive. As many conservatives view their ideology as definitionally limited to acts which preserve the status quo, they are psychologically incapable of even attempting to launch counter-offensives. These conservatives may be compared to an army with a purely defensive posture. Just like an army with a purely defensive posture shall ultimately be pushed into the sea by a persistent aggressor, conservatives who act solely to conserve the status quo will necessarily cede ground to the left.

  2. The left fights with vigour; the right often lacks the essential will to win. Which translates into a continued run of setbacks, as explained by Greg Johnson, “other things being equal, the side that fights to win will defeat the side that fights for a draw.”

  3. The left wages its struggle on all available fronts; the right shirks from certain areas–seen in angst over the invectives of ‘Nazi’, ‘white supremacist’, ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, etc. This retreat is misconceived, for as put by Trotsky, “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Fundamentally, progressives will incessantly assault conservatives on grounds of history, identity and race to secure for themselves a political advantage–regardless of whether we are willing combatants.

  4. Generally speaking, the left views its political opponents as pestilent residues to be obviated at any cost. The right on the other hand, aims to be sensitive by raising principled objections. Given enough time, the side that is more agreeable will yield to the more belligerent actor, especially when terse political disputes arise.

  5. The left has captured the primary mind-shaping institutions: social media, corporate media, big business, the ABC, universities, schools, movies, sporting codes, bookstores and even many churches. As predicted by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, these institutional shifts have allowed power to fall into progressive hands “like ripened fruit.”

The left-wing control of hegemony

The conservative demise can also be accounted for in the left-wing mastery of hegemony. Specifically, by framing the major questions that are asked, the left can functionally limit the range of answers to them. By thus engineering the dialectic, the left is able to ensure that it rarely loses a fight.

As an illuminating demonstration of this, consider their reply to the Cardinal Pell saga.

For 5 years the left treated Cardinal Pell as if he were a pedophile, cavalierly presuming his guilt. And yet, Cardinal Pell was lately acquitted of child sex abuse charges through a unanimous ruling of the High Court. This news should have been an unmitigated embarrassment for leftists–none less so than ABC journalist Louise Milligan who was awarded for writing a book on claims against Cardinal Pell, all of which remain utterly unsubstantiated.

But it was not, Louise Milligan remains at the ABC; an organisation which remains our national broadcaster. Such outcomes with good reason, may prompt one to ask: how and why were these libellers not held to account?

Well, the left did what it always does, recreating a self-serving and convenient narrative on Cardinal Pell.

In response to the acquittal of Cardinal Pell, the left did not reflect or retract as to the specific claims they initially made: he was a *child molester*. Rather, they changed the focus by expressing faux sympathy with *general ‘survivors’* of sexual abuse. By posturing themselves as concerned with ‘survivors’, leftists were able to imply their opponents to be unsympathetic or otherwise uncaring.

Perhaps the most dishonest example of this shift came in a statement from Nick Hart, principal of the (left-wing) law firm Slater and Gordon. The relevant problem, said Mr Hart, was with the fact that

Some abuse survivors who have stayed silent may be deterred from coming forward at all and we don’t want that… The reality is that they have all been watching closely, and some would have been relying on this final decision for the strength to come forward now or in future. It’s a sad fact with his sex abuse convictions being overturned by the High Court that many abuse victims would continue suffering in silence and may lose hope that they will ever be believed.

So, the real trouble is the immeasurable number of ‘survivors’ who will not report past crimes, because of the acquittal of Cardinal Pell–an innocent man. What an evasive move to change the subject and control the hegemony, if there has ever been one.

As exposed in the aftermath of the Cardinal Pell saga, whenever reality challenges our political adversaries, they switch the narrative to focus on terms, questions and themes which more effectively advance their cause.

The appropriate conservative response

So how should conservatives respond to these tactics?

In the first place, call immediate and loud attention to such shifts before they are able to pass unnoticed. Second, identify and dismantle the unspoken presuppositions that undergird left-wing rhetoric e.g. on ‘survivors’. Third, refuse engagement with the left on grounds that are calculated to bring about our defeat and legitimise their hegemony.

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