To begin my story, it was in that year I was working with a pleasant young woman in her mid twenties. Her name escapes me so I will call her Cheryl. Despite her youth Cheryl was working as a child protection worker. Not many people stay frontline child protection workers for too long, and Cheryl, who was looking for greener pastures, had applied for a job with the federal government that involved some sort of social work. She was shortlisted and the morning she went off for her interview I wished her luck.
I would not contemplate attempting to change the system by any way other than the ballot box, because totalitarianism becomes unbearable even when it is established for the best of reasons.
It is not just me saying out of the blue that most Australians are not politically aware and are easily manipulated; it is recorded in history. Australians have a record of voting for parties who they should have known intended to act against the best interest of the majority of Australians. They did not even want to change the system during and after the 1930’s depression! It comes down to equal votes for unequal minds.
We have also allowed our gas fields to be purchased by foreigners and as a result we pay export prices for the gas we use in our homes.
We now find Tony Abbott and his mob are trying to bring back Workchoices by stealth and they will probably get away with it. While the majority of Australians are passively entertained by watching sport, drinking piss, gambling, watching American sitcoms and listening to low IQ commercial radio, they are being shat on and manipulated. On building sites you will hear music from commercial radio blaring followed by advertisements and comments by right wing shock-jocks. The Roman ruling class knew the value of “bread and circuses” and it has not been lost by the capitalist class today. Unfortunately Labor are also a bunch of sub-humans who are of the far economic right, as is Clive Palmer who bought his seats by way of advertising through the media. He took advantage of the simpleminded herd so he could repeal the mining and carbon taxes, which have been hitting him in the hip pocket.
The Australian Greens are a long way to the economic right of Bob Menzies. Most Green members will turn their lights off for an hour once a year, ride their bikes while decked out in lycra that was manufactured in the Third World, and continue to drive cars and use air conditioners.
Our bean-counters have never been concerned about the social costs of exporting unskilled work, but I wonder if they have ever calculated the policy's real monetary costs. Increased numbers of unemployed unskilled workers leads to the need for an increase in unproductive services. I refer to a need for more gaols, more drug rehab facilities, more coppers, greater security costs, more hospitals, etc.
Instead the “populate or perish” creed ensured post WW2 young adults produced too many of us baby boomers who are now facing retirement. Today, instead of lessening the problem by stopping population growth and creating Kibbutzim or similar solutions to deal with the unemployed and elderly, the 5 main parties, being Palmer, Greens, Labor, National and Liberal, are encouraging population growth and thus passing on enormous problems to future generations. Their obsession with economic growth means they have yet to realise that nothing in the universe can continually expand. They obviously don’t love their kids and/or grandkids and have nothing but contempt for our youth in general.
The subject of this yarn began with how Cheryl’s interview went wrong and how that sort of thing will always occur because of human incompetence and stupidity, but the yarn will progress to describing an evening I had with a group of people after I met Cheryl’s husband.
I doubt real communism would be any better than our current economic system, but because it has not been tried that is only a calculated guess on my part. Chile may have eventually had a truly Marxist economy if the Yanks had not financed the coup that overthrew the democratically elected Allende government and replaced it with the brutal Pinochet regime.
To explain the metaphor, a Christian can graduate from a theological college and after doing so may know the Christian Bible inside out. However, he also accepts the premise that the Bible is non-fiction, which means his knowledge of the Bible will be only useful for those who also accept that premise. But for someone like me who believes that the Bible is pure fiction his "qualifications" mean absolutely nothing.
When it comes to economists, what they are taught today is based on the premise that an economy that is far more deregulated, far less protectionist and far more privatised than it was in Australia in the fifties and sixties will deliver a standard of living (or increase in wellbeing) which is higher than it would be if it were run by way of the fifties and sixties model.
I do not agree with their premise, and our recent history has shown us that it is ridiculous. But, unfortunately that dogma has been swallowed by all our major political parties despite the fact that the GFC occurred, despite the fact that we have entrenched unemployment, despite the fact that we have increasing problems such as congestion caused by overpopulation (population growth goes with economic growth) and despite the fact that houses are virtually unaffordable for most young people.
What I am saying is that I can prove by way of facts and figures that the majority of Australians were far better off prior to deregulation and the massive reductions in tariffs despite the fact that gadgets today are cheaper than they have ever been.
Deep down it would seem that most economists today know they have been taught bullshit or are not quite sure, and for those reasons have no wish to put their cherished beliefs on the line in debate.
I was familiar with Libertarianism and was aware that its ranks are divided in many ways, although a particular form of American Libertarianism has become far more popular than others and remains that way.
That most popular form is very right wing as far as its economic policies are concerned in that it wants an unfettered market with minimal taxation and with taxation being used mainly for what is needed for defence. They also believe in the right to bear arms, which could also be considered a very right wing belief.
I do not believe in equal pay for unequal work and for that reason I see nothing wrong with a brain surgeon earning four times a labourer’s wage, as the former has invested a lot of time in study and he, unlike those who inherit wealth or acquire it by exploiting others, works for a living. Gina Rinehart inherited her initial wealth and has become obscenely wealthier out of the sweat of others who have mined for her minerals that should have belonged to all Australians.
My guess at the time was that the Libertarians I was feeding with were of the anti-socialist economic right and generally pro American culture and politics, but all for sexual freedom, voluntary euthanasia, the right of people to use any drug, etc. I am getting back to the most popular form of Libertarianism.
I asked a few of the economists if they had studied the works of the green economist Ernst Schumacher. One had heard of him and had a very basic understanding of his philosophy but two of them had never heard of him let alone studied him. And these people were “qualified” economists!
When we discussed Marx I was amazed at how little they understood of his writings and how none of them knew what real communism is. It is a very sad reflection on the quality of our universities. It is one thing having a certain point-of-view but another being entirely ignorant of what the alternative points-of-view are.
Because we no longer have a large manufacturing base the union movement has been emasculated to an enormous degree and workers can no longer call strikes without notice, nor can they have secondary boycotts. This has allowed far more casualised work and an erosion of conditions. The Labor party once it gained office kept many of the anti-worker nasties that were introduced by Howard. What a bunch of right wing arses!
“How many colour TV’s did you own before Whitlam?” one of the younger lads asked me. I told him that other than the fact they were not available in Australia at the time, in order to measure one's standard of living one had to do far more than measure the affordability of electronic gadgetry.
Obviously gadgetry is far cheaper today, as are virtually all manufactured items, because they are manufactured overseas, usually under appalling conditions. Today it is very difficult to purchase manufactured items and clothes that have not been made in Third World sweatshops. Even the iconic navy blue Jackie Howe worker's singlet is now made in the Third World.
Godfrey had brought me to their gathering to either convert me or to use me as a verbal punching bag, as he would probably have hoped I would have been verbally attacked by his Libertarian mates and put in my place. I instead went on the attack, and with little resistance. Again, I emphasise I am not boasting, because it is very easy to get the better of simpleminded ideologues who have blind faith in a failed ideology based on false premises.
Anyway, I tired of what was going on and instead focussed on enjoying my tucker, which was quite good. I then excused myself from the gathering, and as I was departing unasked for thoughts came to me and activated a more primitive part of my brain. Before I gained control I muttered to myself something like, "Hitler gassed the wrong people," and I envisaged the Libertarians being herded into an oven.
Yet although we have limited control of our thoughts we can usually control our actions and I would not wish mass murder of any group of people. I would prefer to have the Libertarians humanely treated after they had been sterilised and imprisoned on a working farm.
Why I have this attitude towards the Libertarians is because I consider them a grossly immoral group of people. To explain, we can agree to disagree with others and keep a friendship with them as long as one considers the person one disagrees with is a moral person, or as long as the disagreement has nothing to do with morality.
For example, people who are on the board of a charity which has the objective of raising money for the homeless may have vastly different ideas on how to raise the money, but they all have a common objective, which is the welfare of the homeless. This means that because of their shared morality they can remain the best of friends after they have had a heated argument regarding how they should raise the money.
In regard to my relationship with the Libertarians however, we did not have a shared objective. It was not a case of both sides wanting to raise the wellbeing of all Australians and disagreeing on how we should go about it. The Libertarians I ate with, being economists, were fully aware of the misery that many Australians would suffer if we did away with regulated wages, social security, government housing, etc. But they thought they themselves would be better off under such a system and they simply did not care about those who would suffer as a result.
They were also aware of the fact that workers in the Third World suffer gross exploitation, which we would not contribute to if we did not buy their products. And we did not buy their products when we had protectionism and were able to produce most of what we needed. Again, they simply did not care about the welfare of these workers.
We could debate whether or not buying Third World products in Australia today is an immoral act given that in regard to many goods we have no choice; but when it comes to the act of voting-in an Australian government which actively encourages buying products from the Third World we are getting involved in Third World politics. We are getting involved in their politics to the extent we are assisting the exploiters exploit the exploited, and I cannot see such an act as anything but grossly immoral.
Some however, such as the Australian Greens who are not as extreme as the Libertarians and the Coalition and Labor parties, tell us we should only buy products from the Third World when we know the workers are not exploited. The problem however, is that it is impossible for us to police what is going on in another country. It cannot even be done in Australia! The Australian government has not even been able to ensure that live cattle are treated and killed humanely when sent overseas, despite its best efforts.
The only way we can be sure that workers in foreign countries are not exploited, (and kids are not used in the manufacturing process) is for Australia to not buy their products.
Manufacturing our goods here also decreases the emission of greenhouse gasses as the products travel shorter distances and our legislation ensures that environmental standards are met during the manufacturing process.
Buying Third World products when the buyer knows they may have been made by kids could be considered as immoral as buying kiddie porn, to the extent that making little kids work like slaves would probably be just as damaging to them as exploiting them sexually for financial reasons. And if people did not buy kiddie porn or goods that are manufactured by kids the exploitation would not occur.
So here I was, walking away from the restaurant and another unasked for thought came to me. I found I was saying to myself, "I've been talking to human garbage and I never want to talk to those people again."
In order to come to the latter conclusion I had become momentarily lost in my thoughts, which is not a good thing if one tries to not make a habit of being lost in one's thoughts. I say this because life is more pleasurable and less painful if one is able to accept, and whenever possible, savour one's here and now. Yet nobody can stop unasked for thought entirely; all we can do when we become conscious of the fact that we have lost ourselves in thought is to not feed such thought with deliberately created conscious thought, and attempt to return to accepting and if possible savouring our here and now.
So what can we do about the Libertarians given that much of their dogma has spread like a cancer in varying degrees of strength amongst most mainstream political parties, and given that we do not have the advertising capital to enable us to convince the herd that they are being shat on and that they should vote in a government which truly has their best interests at heart?
Assassinating extremists like Tony Abbot may make some of us feel better, but I would not recommend it, as it would be counterproductive. It would make him a martyr and his fascist party would simply grow another head. I would not recommend trying to change the system by way of any form of violence.
As I have already indicated, other than it being impossible, I would not consider being a part of a movement which removed a government by ways other than the ballot box. The counterargument to my pro-democracy stance is that if China did not have a totalitarian system it would not have had a one child per family policy, and had it not had a one child per family policy there would have been chaos, as it would have been forced to expand its territory, which may have affected us.
If I were a Chinese citizen in the mid 1940's I could see why it would have been worth fighting for a totalitarian socialist government, but we have not yet reached the stage where overpopulation makes democracy worth discarding, as totalitarian regimes are generally miserable to live under. There is no way I could have a blog like this under a totalitarian regime. The system lets me get away with writing what I write because my audience is tiny in relative terms and as such no threat to the affluent effluent.
We can also engage in political raves like this one, as it can pass the time and can be good fun, even if the amount of people it influences is tiny. It also exercises the brain and for older people like me it may evenassist in staving off dementia.
Australia could double its refugee intake, continue to allow overseas spousal marriages and adoptions and still have no net increase in our population. All we would have to do is cease bringing in the thousands of migrants who settle here for financial reasons.
Corporations accuse people like me who do not wish our population to grow of having racist attitudes. They do this because they are desperate to come up with strong arguments for why we should not stabilise our population. Using the racist card is the best they can come up with.
Although I am no fan of our species, I have yet to be convinced that one race is genetically superior to others, although one could take the subjective stance that one culture is inferior or superior to another.
As far as I'm concerned, although bringing as many people as we have into a dry and largely uninhabitable country was insane, now that they are here they have the same right to be here as any 6th generation Anglo Celtic Australian. Many Anglo Celtic Australians however, don't see it that way and believe that it is their right to have an exclusive Anglo Celtic country. It is a ridiculous argument, because it would only be relevant if they were descended from the first people to inhabit the place, which they obviously are not. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that all non-Aboriginal Australians are living on stolen land.
Other than that, there's not much else we can do, and if we are powerless to change things we should be conscious that our objective in life should be to maximise pleasure and minimise pain in a way that genuinely fulfils that objective, and as such, is not self-destructive.
This is easy to do if we treat life as one big joke whenever possible and accept and savour our here and now.
They are also very happy for us to poach highly qualified Third World labour, including medical doctors who should be saving lives in their countries of origin where their governments have struggled to have them educated and trained.
Again, if you think of the lives that are lost whenever we poach a medical practitioner from a Third World country, such an act could be seen as more immoral than committing an act of paedophilia. It would be nice if our politicians at least acknowledged that so they could be seen by the populous as being the lowlife they are.
The poem below was written by Henry Lawson after the 1891 shearer's strike. After it was read out in the QLD Legislative Assembly they wanted him arrested for sedition. It should be compulsory reading for all kids as we are turning into a nation of gutless scabs. Below that it is put to music by Raymond Crooke and PM Adamson.
"FREEDOM ON THE WALLABY"
by Henry Lawson.
"Our fathers toiled for bitter bread
"Then Freedom couldn't stand the glare
But now that we have made the land
So we must fly a rebel flag,
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
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