Whatever happened to criticism and dissent?

I am becoming increasingly disheartened, and sometimes despairing, about what I see as an ever-growing development of “unchallengeable” orthodoxies:

  • Anti-semitism. Anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are now much more dangerously conflated.
  • Brexit. Two years on from the referendum, the cabinet is split, the government is split, parliament is split and the country remains split. People advocating remaining or calling for “a people’s vote” on the deal are castigated as “remoaners” or “sore losers”.
  • Gender. The recent Genderquake debate on Channel 4 exemplified the many divisions on this issue.
  • Equality. Doubtless, there have been significant steps forward in many areas, but, in some respects, there is increasing (sometimes vitriolic, sometimes hateful) polarisation.
  • Patriotism/nationalism. Europe is shrinking. Fascist parties are growing. Racism is a salient feature of these features.
  • Austerity. We all need to pull together and share the burden of recovery.

I’ve tried to keep this neutral (you may have noticed). I have views and opinions on all of them.

The point, though, is this – some of these opinions I would never express publicly, like on this blog.

Now, this may be a function of my paranoia or intellectual cowardice, but I think not. I don’t get many hits on this blog, but the last thing I want is to be on the receiving end of hate mail or whatever. I took some risks in my youth and there were consequences. I’m now retired and the baton has passed to younger generations.