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Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.

If this is the challenge, how do we meet it? Let me quote myself from a comment posted in response to “The Ship of Fools”:

I am not partial to the corporatism or the mobilization of the unemployed army to reduce the level of human decency, or the criminal and wanton trashing of the ecological system, but there are nonetheless ironies aplenty. Principally it is beyond amusing that the party of business and capital cannot manage to save themselves. They, in particular the PM, do not, and maybe cannot, exercise executive disciplines. The corporate lords must either be aghast or don’t care. The prescription offered might be to disregard the underlying condition, and rely on the messaging of the spin doctors. The other recourse is to rely on secrecy which gives rise to the appalling and disgraceful treatment of refugees with a policy that is both unsustainable and will unleash a increasing cycle of violence. I suggest this means that elections are reduced to fictions and the process of democratic governance is fundamentally imperilled. If so, every citizen has a duty not to tolerate such a situation. Perhaps “the shy hope” may extend to include the fierce, striving competitors of monopoly capitalism, but they may be trapped in a prison without social and democratic imagination.

My strong sense is that incompetence is more apparent than real. How did the Prime Minister get the gig, when he is apparently deaf and blind to what is required? I am not sure that the Leader of the Opposition measures up either.

My sense of it is that the major parties do not represent the public opinion and are not forums for debate. They have become machinery for the election of candidates, albeit a role they have. Political Parties, not that I know much about them, may always run the risk of capture by minority ideologies. It is difficult for me to believe, that Liberal Party members in the branches, if they exist, universally have adopted climate change denial despite the accumulated scientific evidence. I don’t believe they LIberal Party members would accept the cruelty of the refugee policy. Nor do I think that small business, other than the suppliers of luxury goods, would see the long terms interest in reduced living conditions for the wider population. We need thinking rather than ideology, or run the risk of being drawn into absurdity and inhumanity.

At best I can claim a partial insight. You may disagree.

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, recommends Direct Democracy. It is an interesting idea, and one familiar to the Australian electorate from uneven history of constitutional amendment:

Chris Hedges talks with Abby Martin about “Willful Blindness, Climate Corporatism & the Underground Revolt” at the time of the now forgotten New York Climate March:



1. wmmbb - December 23, 2014

Interesting to notice with reference to this conversation, granted Australia is not the US, but part of the same imperial system, ABC News report the PM’s comments of “heightened level of terror chatter in the wake of the Sydney siege”. There is nothing sinister about Tony Abbott. He is the right-hand man.

2. wmmbb - December 24, 2014

“Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless.”
— Noam Chomsky

3. wmmbb - December 24, 2014

Tim Dunlop at ABC’s The Drum:

But Tony Abbott is not the problem. He’s a symptom. Actually, he is more than that: he is a reckoning. He is what you get when politicians lose touch with the electorate and get lost in the echo chamber of the concerns of the broader political class.

He is the logical consequence of a system of government that is weighted in favour of two major parties that no longer command majority support, of a system that no longer reflects the views of voters.

He is what is left when the parties can no longer inspire us with a positive view of what they stand for, but can only rev us up with attacks on what they are against.

He is the detritus of system that has reached the bottom of the democratic barrel, where a “leader” is the person the party factions and News Ltd can live with.

The simple fact is, the electorate has moved on. We show in our voting patterns and other behaviours (including our media consumption) that we have fragmented in a way that is no longer captured by the two-party system, that no longer drops neatly into the boxes labelled Liberal and Labor.

Unfortunately, these changes in the electorate are not reflected in our democratic institutions.

4. wmmbb - December 25, 2014

“Personally I’m in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions in the society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism we can’t have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level — there’s a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I’m opposed to political fascism, I’m opposed to economic fascism. I think that until major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it’s pointless to talk about democracy.”

— Noam Chomsky

5. wmmbb - December 25, 2014

Robert Reich commenting on the situation in the US, which with the UK, is the template, for what is deemed by the Lords, in their feudal corporate castles, to happen here:

The size of government isn’t the problem. That’s a canard used to hide the far larger problem.

The larger problem is that much of government is no longer working for the vast majority it’s intended to serve. It’s working instead for a small minority at the top.

If government were responding to the public’s interest instead of the moneyed interests, it would be smaller and more efficient.

But unless or until we can reverse the vicious cycle of big money getting political favors that makes big money even bigger, we can’t get the government we want and deserve.

History demonstrates, including the history not completed, that tyranny can be overthrown, and that might be cause for hope.

6. wmmbb - December 31, 2014

John Lord’s article raises other issues I didn’t include.

7. wmmbb - January 5, 2015

This post is simply a draft. The question was how did Abbott get to be PM, and why are the austerity and immigration psychopaths so prominent? What has happened in Australian politics? Presumably, by definition, democracies do not engage in aggression against their citizens, since the government is supposed to represent the public good. That Abbott is a calculated serial liar is sufficient condemnation. His soon to be ignominious removal when electoral fear grips the backbench is personally tragic. He will disappear and be forgotten, but the lesson might linger. I suspect the crew of psychopaths will remain, if not prosper.

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