I wasn’t going to bother noting this but then I thought: why not?
After having previously reviewed (November 13) his opinion on Nasser Mashni’s allegedly cooked worldview, one steeped in antisemitism, below is a brief (re-)examination of Dr Joshua Roose’s views on the subject of ‘left-wing extremism’, or at least as it was expressed to Mr Neil Mitchell on 3AW, another of 9Entertainment’s properties, on September 5, 2023.
Extremism researcher at Deakin University, Associate Professor Joshua Roose, has voiced his concerns with an “uptick” in left-wing activism and messaging throughout society in recent times.
It comes after Toorak residents were bombarded with letters claiming “you are too wealthy … and that’s harming a lot of people”, as well as tyres being let down on SUV’s [sic] in the area, and concerning fake stickers posted in Coles and Woolworths down in Tasmania.
“They’re doing it with a firm focus on gaining notoriety and gaining a wider public support for their messaging,” Professor Roose told Neil Mitchell.
To reiterate: the evidence of an ‘uptick’ in ‘left-wing activism’ and propaganda is: a) the appearance of some parodic stickers at some Tasmanian supermarkets and; b) the deflation of some tyres on some SUVs in Toorak (accompanied by the distribution of leaflets explaining the rationale behind the action).
In the interview, Roose states that the deflationary measures enacted by the person (or persons) in Toorak were ‘stupid’ and ‘potentially dangerous’, and Toorak was chosen because it was likely to generate more interest, and wider support, than would otherwise be the case (targeting similar, less-expensive vehicles owned by, say, tradies in Tarneit). Oddly, Mitchell appears to believe that, even though the leaflets were affixed to the vehicles themselves, the up-scale let-down is comparable to the neo-Nazi and antisemitic tracts periodically stuffed into letterboxes.
They’re both examples of ‘extremism’, you see.
Roose also expreses concerns over this ‘uptick’ representing not only an increase in extremist sentiment but the extent to which it may potentially engender violent extremism (other forms of property damage). Mitchell himself expresses concern over the targeting of SUVs in this fashion as constituting evidence of increasing ‘social division’, and the possibility that, whereas in the good old days many supposedly looked upon being rich as something to aspire to and to envy, more now view it as an expression of culpability for a burning planet. For my own part, I’d suggest that the action may be explained by reference to the fact that more people are becoming alert to and deeply alarmed by not only global heating, but the fact that current policy frameworks and prevailing forms of governance are manifestly inadequate to slowing it down and instead ensure its acceleration.
More generally, I’d suggest that How to Make Trouble and Influence People is a much more relevant and suitable source to understand these otherwise fairly ordinary forms of political protest. Further, a sensible approach to ‘left-wing extremism’ — and, moreover, violent action by leftists — would be more properly concerned with an examination of the actions of groups like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK (proscribed as a terrorist organisation in Australia). In other words, the fact that fatheads like Mr Mitchell (whom Dr Roose congratulates on his fine career) are alarmed at: a) a supposed decline in social deference to / envy of the good burghers of Toorak and their tractors, and; b) the fact that the price of smokes are going up again has triggered some creative types into action, is not, to put it mildly, a sound basis upon which to express alarm at a rise in ‘left-wing extremism’.
See also : Tyre Extinguishers | Toorak tractors targeted by climate activists deflating tyres, Alex Crowe, The Age, September 1, 2023 | Activists take aim at Coles and Woolworths with in-store fake tags, Ash Cant, The New Daily, September 6, 2023 | Tyre deflating climate activists strike again in northern suburbs, Alex Crowe, The Age, September 27, 2023.