Clive Hamilton is a bald moron

Clive Hamilton ready to pounce on extreme libertarians.

Clive Hamilton ready to pounce on extreme libertarians.

Prof. Clive Hamilton, author of various loads of garbage including Affluenza; former director of the “progressive” left wing thinktank, The Australia Institute; self-proclaimed Public Intellectual™; and potential future frontman of a Midnight Oil tribute band, has been out flying his authoritarian flag on the issue of Internet censorship again.

Prof. Hamilton, who is the Bruce Willis of Australia’s neosocialist movement, recently wrote a piece in Australian IT disparaging “net libertarians” who oppose the planned Mandatory Internet Filter. It shouldn’t come as any huge surprise that a so-called “progressive” would be open to the idea of censorship when you consider that the type of world Prof. Hamilton dreams of would rely on vast government control of just about everything. No central power controls the Internet, and this amoral sea of libertarianism doesn’t bode well with do-gooders like Clive.

To his credit, Clive is taking a slightly more intellectually honest stance on the issue than Senator Conroy, so he hasn’t quite earned the title of “cunt” yet. In contrast with Conroy, Clive frames the filter not as an all powerful tool for permanently defeating child pornography (the evidence suggests it never could be), but as a tool to enforce a moral code on children. I personally think this should be the job of parents. I don’t think a “one size fits all” filter with such a high potential for abuse is worth the risk, when education for children and parents on the dangers of the Internet would be far more effective. There are ISPs that offer filtering voluntarily, so if parents really are looking for an ISP level solution, they could simply choose one of those services. Even accepting Clive’s conclusion that children should receive a censored version of the Internet, neither he nor anyone else in the pro-filter crowd has been able to provide a compelling reason why adults should also be subject to such censorship. Clive’s piece pushed the boundaries of logic when he spoke ill of GetUp’s anti-censorship campaign for cherry picking the worst filter in terms of performance degradation (slowed by 85+%) to use in their advertising and then immediately alluded to the filter which slowed down performance by only 2%. He failed to mention that this was among the worst performing filters in terms of accuracy.

To come to the defence of the broader Australian left, it seems few apart from, well, Clive Hamilton, actually agree with his position, and many are starting to tire of his attempts to silence dissent on other issues (see recent happenings regarding Online Opinion and an email to Charles Sturt University, his employer). The Greens, while probably in agreement with Clive on many other issues, haven’t wavered in their decision to vote against the draconian Mandatory Internet Filter in the Senate.

I realise that support for and opposition to censorship are by no means confined to particular corners of the political spectrum, but I think it’s important to note that many “progressive” leftists like Clive Hamilton are fully willing to use the heavy hand of the state to achieve their ends, even if that means a reduction in personal freedom. This goes against what many would consider to be modern leftist ideals. In addition, religious groups, socially conservative right wingers, and many other special interests are keen to see this filter built, because they know that once the infrastructure is in place, having whatever’s troubling them blocked will be trivial.


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