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An Affectation of Intellectualism

You know, it had to come to this … this point in our conversations over the past year or so. We had to work our way here like trekkers toward the once avoidable peak … knowing at some point there had to be a confrontation between the “tribal” and the “sophisticate” as to which of us would scale the last obstacle to gain that peak.

Well, here it is: The scholarly educated intellectual versus the life-educated practical. Who is more fitted for leadership of the requirements of modern national governance?

And I have to thank Roswell for the inspiration: “Where at first I picked that you were stirring people, I now, however, detect a bit of angst.”

A guild of self-assessing intellectuals that hold the monopoly on learned knowledge, but is more like an Emperor with no clothes. A class that leans on its qualifications for a kind of group-think legitimacy of what to believe.

Today (6th Feb’) is my birthday. Today I reach the enviable age of 67 years. Enviable because, unlike so many of the deceased we have recently read about in the news reports, I am (touch wood) still here on this earth, in reasonable good health and my keenness for good food and wine, plus some regular sexual activity is still “hangin’ in there! There is nothing else in life that matters.

Right, so much for the too much information section of this piece … let us get down to business.

Now, I could come at those I am directing this accusation at by playing hard or soft … I could give a blunt assessment or I could try to persuade … instead I will by-pass those I accuse and pitch my case to the broader audience who will peruse this missive out of curiosity. To them I offer this thesis.

Example: Last winter, in between spells of rain, one could observe, as many of you would have observed, those little cones of ant-activity that raised bulwarks of granule’d mullock around their individual holes to protect them from flooding … a sort of dike embankment … dozens of them all dotted about a small meterage, exactly the same. Except … except two holes near the perimeter of these multitude of exacting cones, where an elongated dike of approx 2 inches long had been constructed around both ant-holes as protection, leaving a clear walk-way connection between for ease of communication.

Let us digress now to consider what line of “thought” must have inspired such a divergence from what must be considered “the norm” for those two ant nests to strike such a different approach. At some point, there must have been a spark of observation within the collective that concluded that an expanded wall would be more efficient than the singular cone. At some moment the practicality of such a construct became obvious … and the rest, as they say, is recorded on my digital camera … but in the world of the ant, surely such a singular action must have been a momentous event … to break with tradition to engineer a completely different structure and approach to flood protection would have to be equal to Archimedes’ “Eureka!” moment … the application of a learned practicality overruling multi-millennia of habit and dogma. And let us not presume there was any “intellectual” debate on the subject … ants are known for their pragmatic approach to business at hand.

But in our human universe this is not unusual. Many, many times we change procedure, habit and mind after consideration of the practicality of a thing. We move that pot-plant from too much sun or shade to a more favourable place … we change from driving to the city to catching public transport … we see that a vote for one particular party has benefit over the longer term than another … we budget, plan and execute action based on the practicalities of experience, of life. It’s not rocket science: ”all ideas come from without, not from within.”

Closer to our own world of experience, I was having a discussion recently about gene theory and certain lines of defect that can be seen in livestock … horses in particular. It is recorded in the family archives that one such horse-era farmer thought he would branch out into Clydesdale breeding for the local farming industry, and purchased a stallion for the then princely sum of 200 guineas (I’m talking 1930s … a lot of money then). Well it is also recorded in the footnotes of that same archive that the stallion was “a failure” … and it ends there in mystery. What it “failed “at must be presumed … and it was this which generated the conversation about genes in livestock.

“The word may have got about that it was from a defective blood-line,” I suggested.

“Probably had a recessive gene defect, my ‘friend’ concluded.

“Yes … probably,” I agreed “and someone … a farmer maybe, had spotted the fault in the structure of the animal.”

“Well … they wouldn’t know THAT … they wouldn’t have even known about recessive gene theory around these parts in those days.”

“Yes, well, maybe they didn’t know about gene theory, but by jingo, they could pick a defective blood-line of breeding stock when they saw it … those old farmers.”

“But they wouldn’t know what was causing it and it doesn’t work in a consistent manner for them to have enough experience to pick out any recessive gene problem!” And so on and on we went … me in defence of ‘on the ground’ stock husbandry experience over herd-testing and proving of gene integrity science.

In the end, we had to agree to disagree on certain conclusions as THEY were not prepared to allow that long experience of animal sale-yard observation was not conclusive of a capacity to pick a recurring genetic fault in a line of stock … while I was adamant that the human eye, unscholarly as it may be in the learned knowledge of gene theory science, nether the less is very, VERY astute in picking out defects in stance, muscular build, beauty of appearance and surety of walk … and any male of a long line of testosterone-driven observation can assure you of THAT accuracy!

So without dragging too many examples of the practical applications of learned experience into the argument, I would rest my case on the fact that if we apply the old maxim of which came first; the chicken or the egg … we can solve the riddle by using our knowledge of the exoteric experience against the esoteric belief:

“Exoteric refers to knowledge that is outside, and independent from, a person’s experience and can be ascertained by anyone (related to common sense). It is distinguished from internal esoteric knowledge. “Exoteric” relates to external reality as opposed to a person’s thoughts or feelings” (Wikipedia).

… and conclude that to get the fertilised egg in the first place, at least two chooks have to have performed the necessary act!

So to conclude, while it may take a hundred essays on horse handling to change one scholar’s mind, such a challenge could be achieved quite quickly in the field with the application of one kick up the arse!

Now … if you want to know how the Pyramids were built or how they raised those gigantic obelisks back in ancient Egypt, send me your email address and I’ll oblige with the details . “You’re bluffing” I hear you say … and I tell you I learned the first from the constructing and fitting of those old “box-frame” windows and the latter from watching a cabinet-maker handle from the rack those huge sheets of MDF board … after all … It’s not rocket science!


  1. Roswell

    I inspire lots of people, Joe. 😎

  2. Andreas Bimba

    Let the electorate decide which type of bullshit they prefer.

  3. guest

    Thank you. Joe, for getting us to think about ants and their knowledge of what to do when it rains. Well, of course, they have been around for some 140m years. And clever little creatures they are, quite diversified in the way they behave and organise themselves. And yes, some of them are workers. Their ancestors were wasps and bees, so some of them can fly!

    There have been horse-breeders around for a long time too, but it has almost come to the point where if there were no horse races for people to bet on, there would not be finely bred horses especially bred for running fast. But I am pleased to see that there are people who breed some horses just because they like them and want them to exist, such as Clydesdales and Shetland ponies. Same with lots of other things, such as tomatoes and ancient grains.

    And believe it or not, there are people who specialise in such activities as breeding some of these things, and finding ways to help them live better, and how to attend to their medical needs. Many people can do all that, but every now and then there is the need for an intellect, a person who has studied the subject closely, not only from observation but also through the written experience of others – yes, in books!

    So w know that the ancient Egyptians could build huge pyramids 5000 years ago, the Romans could use concrete to build aqueducts to distribute water, and the Chinese invented gunpowder but used it only to scare away demons.

    People have looked at the stars for centuries, but it took a special kind of looking to work out what was going on up there – and it was only in the last 500 years we understood. And only in the last 60 years or so we have been able to put people on the moon. It took a special kind of knowledge.

    So, getting back to the ants, it is interesting how all these ants in a colony can work together by pooling their different roles – some as workers, some as breeders, some as collectors, some as the queen…

    And so with our society: some are practical, long experienced workers and some are intellectual boffins who examine things in intellectual ways – and then there are those in between who contribute in their own way. Talk of class can lead too easily to unnecessary arguments.

  4. Joseph Carli

    ” Talk of class can lead too easily to unnecessary arguments.”…and yet we are consistently told and incessantly browbeaten and relentlessly bludgeoned with the notion that in these post modern times, it is only the “certificated” educated class that has the competency to govern a nation…and look at the mess they have got us in after over a century of their “expertise”. I repeat the mantra I have consistently placed on Twitter..: If you want to “change the rules”, you’ll have to change the governing class..from educated middle-class to educated working-class…change the class to change the rules.

    I have also said this before and I base it upon my study of history..that once the entrepreneurial / speculative middle-class gets control of the political machinery of governance, it is only a matter of time before the State will fall..and fall very badly…perhaps irretrievably..because their prime motivation, inculcated by rigorous indoctrination of a highly skilled and targeted education system, is to establish capital-based governance through corrupted democracy.. they know no other method nor can they conceive any other form of governance.

  5. Joseph Carli

    John Setka‏ @CFMEUJohnSetka

    Great article Peter.
    After ABCC threats of blacklisting from all government work,
    Kane constructions have directed their management on all sites to remove all “union” flags from cranes by 1pm tomorrow or face the sack!

    This is it…the fight is on!..If there is nothing more worth fighting for, it is the flag of freedom!

  6. Kaye Lee

    Just wondering Joe, would you like your doctor to have qualifications?

    Do you reckon you could have built the Harbour Bridge without engineers?

    How about your kids’ maths teacher? Do you want them to be trained?

    What about the nurse giving you your medication?

  7. Joseph Carli

    guest..; ” Thank you. Joe, for getting us to think about ants and their knowledge of what to do when it rains.” is not patronising, guest is just pathetic…I would suggest you read more literature to get a better handle on how to sculpt your satire so that it is elevated above that pathetic.

  8. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..all the above are quite suitable in their place, and most appreciative are we for their trained expertise..but I don’t want them to hold the monopoly on political decision making, and keeping in mind the many recent accusations against ALL of those above professions, I would not be inclined to load too much qualification upon them to justify a kind of “vicarious association justification” that you seem to want to do…I too could point to the many trades that yourself and all of us rely upon to keep us healthy wealthy and wise…but I will not…what I will point out is the developing coterie among those who consider themselves authorised representatives of a sort of guild of opinion that wants to control both political and moral direction on no more justification than that which they have been “certificated” by an obliging institution to do.

  9. helvityni

    Happy Birthday Joe. With a bit of luck you might have thirty more years to go… I just watched someone on 7.30 interview an old Jewish woman living in Oz, her birthday was also today, she was turning 99. When asked if she believed in God, her answer was a prompt NO…she had suffered and she had prayed, no answers …Rather than praying, open your best bottle of red…

  10. Malibu Mick

    Good points Kaye Lee. Joe I think you are reading too much into guests comment. I don’t believe that guest was trying to be patronising, from my reading guest was trying to make similar points to those made by the Kaye Lee. I believe that government should be made up by people from all walks of life, but I acknowledge that in my home state of WA we did not quite achieve that in the recent election. I know that this view differs to your strong views on the middle class but we are all entitled to our opinions. Sometimes people agree but sometimes people agree to disagree

  11. Joseph Carli

    helvityni…I am already a couple of glasses into the breeze…white not red…too bloody hot here for un-chilled wine…and thank you ..

  12. Joseph Carli

    What some of you are missing here is the reality that there is a need for the educated middle-class to step away from political control…they had their moment in the worked for a while when the golden age of resource development and speculation controlled national development required managerial expertise…but now, in a time of a need for practical application for sustainability and repair of both the economy and the environment, the age of the middle-class entrepreneur is over..the time for the working-class pragmatist is here..the need for social regulation and socialist distribution of resources is may have to be physically fought for as the fascist neo-liberals will not let it go without a fight..but it will be won..and those who still believe their “intellectual” clumsy hands are the best to hold the tiller are just kidding themselves..
    Change the class : Change the rules.

  13. Joseph Carli

    Malibu Mick..: ” Sometimes people agree but sometimes people agree to disagree”…THAT..if we read the recent demands of the “Fairwork” Comm’n and the ABCC, is fast becoming a luxury not many can either afford or adhere to..

  14. Joseph Carli

    The German writer Heiner Muller composed in 1993 a poem titled “Mommsen’s Block”…about the nineteenth century historian and Nobel Prize winner ; Theodor Mommsen.

    Theodor Mommsen wrote a work of genius with his three volume history of Republican Rome up to Julius Caesar. He had planned and was involved in writing a forth volume to take the record to the time of Empire. But he stopped..and he could not continue because of what was called a “writer’s block”… truth, it was something more sinister…not of real-world intrigue, but in the depth of his soul…you see..he was also a member / admistrator of the newly formed German Federation and what he saw in the direction that his beloved German State was going, was a direct correlation to where the Roman State ended up. So the forth volume ended up as little more than notes and false starts. You could surmise that he “saw into the future” and he didn’t like what he saw, so couldn’t write about what must have been to him an obvious ending…better not to reveal it at all, : “If ignorance is bliss, t’is folly to be wise!” ?

    I think many of us with a tad more of life – experience and a corporate memory longer than a three-word-slogan know exactly what he felt.

    That’s the problem with history, it tells us there is nothing new under the sun..The likes of the IPA, the LNP, Rupert and co. are nothing new…they are the bacteria that rise in numbers whenever a society becomes “overheated” and enriched with luxury…consider Rome ; rolling in wealth from rapine and plunder of those tribal lands unable to resist the “advance” of the Roman legions…then we get Julius Caesar flooding the Roman market with his ill-gotten gold to break the financial backs and banks of his opponents before overthrowing the govt’….as a point of interest, it was Marcus Cato who wryly commented that ; “Julius Caesar was the first sober man who brought down a govt’ ” …they weren’t lacking in wit ; those Romans!

    What we are seeing is a part of a cycle…a small arc in the circle..born from an imperative hunger for consumption that will end, no doubt and trusting history , in an emergency for environmental disaster!… see, THAT was also one of the major catastrophes that destroyed the remnants of the Roman Empire…..The more things change…

    “Now write it out a hundred times!”

  15. Roswell

    Joe, I’ve gotta ask: why are you so against people with a university education?

    I agree that one can be a great politician from his or her life experiences – which seems to be the theme of your post, but your comments take on a different slant. A firmer, more stubborn anti-educated theme.

    Anyway, it’s your birthday. Enjoy the rest of today. No hurry.

  16. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to know why you think people with a university education have no life experience. I have worked as a bookmaker’s clerk, a waitress, a barmaid, on a factory production line, at a youth refuge, delivering cars, as well as my career as a teacher and my current role managing our small business and writing about politics – a kazillion different things. I have travelled a fair bit. I was born in a small country town, educated in the city, and now live in a regional area. I have a large and very diverse family.

    You seem to think people are brainwashed through education into some sort of groupthink. I disagree.

  17. Joseph Carli

    Roswell…I had a partial uni education (mature entry in my late forties)..I deferred the last year of three as the courses I wished to do to complete my studies (Roman History) were culled under the severe cuts of the Howard 90’s years..I already had a work qualification so was not interested in studying for an unwanted degree..and I had two children from a divorced marriage to support so I gave it away..You mistake me to presume that I am anti-education..and , if I can throw a curve-ball back at yourself, it is a rather simplistic assessment unworthy of yourself…knowing as I am sure you do the trouble and extent I go to so as to deliver my many articles and bits and pieces of stories and cameos on this site..even if you dislike my “miss-use” of the ellipse for a “breather” rather than a comma..

    No..what I am against is the presumption that only a higher-educated person with a degree in a professional career is seen as suitable for the responsible position of governance..rather than screen out more “common” people from the populace to sit in The House…it could be done like how jury-duty is done..and I resent the perception AND INSULT that one has to be “anti-intellectual” when one does descry the unfair advantage held, for no other justification than a higher education, by so many quite unsuitable persons, to such high office.

  18. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..apart from a defensive action here and there, I have more than not attacked a demographic…yet, strangely, you, and some others here, seem to take it as an attack on yourself personally..I do not expect nor hold you to be the defender or “gatekeeper” of the middle-class demographic I attack..but if you see yourself as sole representative of that whole demographic…I cannot stop you from doing so.

  19. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think anyone is “representative” of everyone who has been to university. Which is why I don’t quite understand where you are coming from.

    Please don’t read my responses as defensive. I do not feel attacked. I am trying to understand you. Is it just about running for parliament?

    There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from running for parliament. It is the one job that requires NO qualifications, experience, training, skills or even talent or aptitude.

  20. Joseph Carli

    ” There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from running for parliament. It is the one job that requires NO qualifications, experience, training, skills or even talent or aptitude.”…THAT is a theory..and a very naive theory at that..sure, one can place one’s shingle on the board, but then the “machine of media” starts to grind and mill any who attempt that design and if they do not measure to several pre-designated, acceptable criteria of ethnic, social and political view, they get hammered…I’d hate to think of the whipping any candidate standing as a communist sympathiser would get..

    The problem that creates the beige blend of current politics in Oz is that too many centre politicians come through that same machine of class, education, aspiration that produces similar thoughts and solutions to the same problems.


    To continue… The situation with the Tampa “crisis” was exacerbated with the buckling of Beasley unable to confront Howard on the over the top reaction because basically, Beasley was too hesitant to contest that which his social sympathies agreed with..he was a “military solutions sympathiser” and he stalled when he was needed to confront..The same thing happened in the time of those financial scams where many, many pensioners and retiree were ripped off for their life savings by a rapacious banking system and the ACCC, chairman Graeme Samuels, when queried on what he would do to respond, replied in patronising attitude that rather than regulate against these fraudsters, he would personally prefer to “go and have a chat” to :his mates” in fact…mates, school-chums and fellow club members..and we saw a similar reaction by even the judiciary when Hunt, Tudge and Sukkar were charged with contempt of court and nothing more that a worthless, whimpering apology was wrung from their duplicitous pens, when jail time was their “rule-by-law” deserve!..we see the same now with the so-called “banking enquiry” where the banks are managing the commission..and the same with the recent Dastyari affair, where Shorten ought to have comprehensively attacked Turnbull with the words..: “I will not scab on a fellow worker just because of a indiscretion that is minor when compared to the rapacious money-grubbing, tax evasion and fraudulent behaviour of many in the govt front bench”…and then proceed to deliver the accusations point by point against those guilt parties..but no…he folded and , I believe, in consequence lost the upper-hand to win the Bennelong by-election.

    I have written many posts on what my position is on the has-been is one you may or may not remember..and I doubt if many of you would have since it becomes obvious on my WordPress stat’s that you do not go there…well good for you and I’ll add…stiff for you!

  21. Joseph Carli

    Manfred Max Neef …Manfred, was as a professor of economics at the University of California, was rector of the Universidad Austral de Chile, etc.

    “I severed my ties with the trends imposed by the economic establishment, disengaged myself from “objective abstractions” and decided to “step into the mud”.
    In an interview he said, quote:
    The difference between knowledge and understanding? I can give an example. Let us assume that you have studied everything that you can study, from a theological, sociological, anthropological, biological, and even biochemical point of view, about a human phenomenon called love. The result is that you will know everything that you can know about love, but sooner or later you will realize that you will never understand love unless you fall in love. What does that mean? That you can only attempt to understand that of which you become a part. If we fall in love, as the Latin song says, we are much more than two. When you belong, you understand. When you’re separated, you can accumulate knowledge. And that’s been the function of science. Science is divided into parts but understanding is holistic…”

  22. Kaye Lee

    “if they do not measure to several pre-designated, acceptable criteria of ethnic, social and political view, they get hammered”

    Pauline Hanson, Jackie Lambie, Ricky Muir, Glenn Lazarus, Russell Broadbent, Nova Peris….

    In February 2013 the Australian did an article showing that about 70 MPs didn’t have degrees.

  23. Joseph Carli

    ” Pauline Hanson, Jackie Lambie, Ricky Muir, Glenn Lazarus, Russell Broadbent, Nova Peris….”

    Hanson jailed on dubious accusation..but then accepted because of her racist /LNP sympathies…do I need to elaborate?

    Lambie, Muir, Lazurus all rode in on the coat-tails of a multi millionaire ex LNP heavy-weight and were given much leeway on that basis need to go on..surely?

    Broadbent…passive / agressive but still LNP stalwart to the end…if he was half as honest as he proclaims, he would have resigned from the party long ago in protest…like so many Labor people did after theCardinal’s knifing of Gillard.

    Nova Peris…notable sport cred and indigenous arguments there at all…but she did get an enormous amount of flak.

    And it is not necessarily about degrees…as the above wannabe’s attest…it is about perceptions and identity politics..

  24. Joseph Carli

    But again..the debate is not whether Kay Lee, Joe Carli, John Doe has to prove their cred, the base of my arguments is about how the middle-class has lost the legitimacy to govern..on account of their vested interests , their singular objectives re; economy, society, aspirational expectations of the rest of us…THIS is the crux of the argument..the middle-class no longer has the right to call the shots..they have dirtied the waters and they must be replaced.

  25. Kaye Lee

    And I completely disagree that “the middle class” can be all lumped in together about their beliefs, ideologies, hopes or dreams. I would call most of the Greens members of parliament middle class. They have an entirely different focus to that which you ascribe to all of a certain socio-economic bracket. And please don’t revert back to your latte-sipping stereotype. The protests I have been to cover a huge cross-section – angry grandparents, drum playing hippies with dread locks, religious ministers, concerned farmers, scientists and business people worried about sustainability, indigenous people, children who want to ‘save the fish’ – nothing in common except a conscience.

  26. guest

    Joe, you say “…we are consistently told and incessantly browbeaten and relentlessly bludgeoned with the notion that in postmodern times, it is only the ‘certificated’ educated class that has the competency to govern a nation…”

    It is you who are doing the relentless browbeating. You do not provide any examples to illustrate your assertions. In fact, you omit many things which might show that the working class actually rely on the “entrepreneurial/speculative middle class” for your work as a builder. And I am surprised that you as a builder are not “certificated” as, say, a mechanic or an electrician is.

    Then there is the matter of understanding. When I referred to ants it was not satire or “pathetic”, it was to point out that there is much learn about ants and the way they conduct their society. You spoke of ants at the beginning of your post. But you took it as a criticism. I see ant society as organised with a place for all kinds of skills and social positions. To criticise one group and praise another is to invite class warfare with the danger of destroying the skills and positions upon which the society depends as a whole. Destroy one part and destroy the whole. That is why the idea of equality is so powerful.

    And in my post I point out that the role of builder has always been important in any civilised society, but I do not see them as the sole source of governance.

    Va bene.

  27. Joseph Carli

    guest…I’ll let you sit..perhaps I am reading too much into your post, having come from a workplace where when there is a degree of tension, words are more carefully chosen..perhaps there is in you that quality that only sees the obvious and where I was using the analogy of the ant engineering as metaphor for a practicality over theoretical intellectualism, you saw those cute ants and ” and their knowledge of what to do when it rains. ”

    as for “illustrations” and “examples”…go visit my wordpress page..there must be dozens…

    As for being a “certificated builder”..I was apprenticed and then licenced…stop trying to be cute.

  28. Joseph Carli

    Even though I might tire of posting this exemplar lesson from history. I will post it again and again till it sinks into those thick heads that the path we are on with middle-class determined aspirations is one that can only lead to the collapse of the State..The upper middle-class has no longer the capability nor the capacity to govern…it has to either step down or be taken down.

    Italy under the Oligarchy (from Mommsem’s ; History of Rome)

    It is a dreadful picture–this picture of Italy under the rule
    of the oligarchy. There was nothing to bridge over or soften
    the fatal contrast between the world of the beggars and the world
    of the rich. The more clearly and painfully this contrast
    was felt on both sides–the giddier the height to which riches rose,
    the deeper the abyss of poverty yawned–the more frequently,
    amidst that changeful world of speculation and playing at hazard,
    were individuals tossed from the bottom to the top and again
    from the top to the bottom. The wider the chasm by which the two worlds
    were externally divided, the more completely they coincided
    in the like annihilation of family life–which is yet the germ
    and core of all nationality–in the like laziness and luxury,
    the like unsubstantial economy, the like unmanly dependence,
    the like corruption differing only in its tariff, the like criminal
    demoralization, the like longing to begin the war with property.
    Riches and misery in close league drove the Italians out of Italy,
    and filled the peninsula partly with swarms of slaves, partly
    with awful silence. It is a terrible picture, but not one peculiar
    to Italy; wherever the government of capitalists in a slave-state
    has fully developed itself, it has desolated God’s fair world
    in the same way as rivers glisten in different colours, but a common
    sewer everywhere looks like itself, so the Italy of the Ciceronian epoch
    resembles substantially the Hellas of Polybius and still more decidedly
    the Carthage of Hannibal’s time, where in exactly similar fashion
    the all-powerful rule of capital ruined the middle class, raised trade
    and estate-farming to the highest prosperity, and ultimately led to a–
    hypocritically whitewashed–moral and political corruption of the nation.
    All the arrant sins that capital has been guilty of against nation
    and civilization in the modern world, remain as far inferior
    to the abominations of the ancient capitalist-states as the free man,
    be he ever so poor, remains superior to the slave; and not until
    the dragon-seed of North America ripens, will the world have again
    similar fruits to reap.”

  29. guest

    What I will not “let sit”, is your claim that your words are “more carefully chosen” than anyone else’s.

    As for the practicality of ants, that was exactly what I was emphasising. Whether it is knowledge or instinct is a mute point.

    As for seeing only the “obvious”, I thought it was obvious I was going beyond the “obvious”. And if you have served as apprentice and received a licence, then you are obviously certificated.

    But enough of this. You are just beating the same old drum over and over.

  30. Joseph Carli

    All these detractors!!??…where are my defenders??..are you all asleep? I to carry this burden on my own??..are you waiting for the driving in of the final nail..and then give a flick of the fingers with..” Arr..knew it…no stamina..”…c’mon, you lazy bastards ..don’t tell me I’m the only defender of working class principles and political aspirations on the whole flamin’ site!!??

  31. Mick Byron

    I agree, same background as you, agree with the article, but right at this moment I’m “flamed out”
    More mundane working class question, Anyone for Southern Cross as National flag Australia day December 3rd?

  32. Roswell

    don’t tell me I’m the only defender of working class principles and political aspirations on the whole flamin’ site!!??

    Joe, if you believe that, then there’s about 6,000 posts on this site that you haven’t yet read.

    Now I’ll tell you a secret: nobody disagrees with you. It’s not the message, it’s the way it’s delivered.

    For example, I feel as though I’m under attack – not directly, of course – because I have a tertiary education. I’m too lazy at the moment to scroll up through the comments, but I’m fairly sure that you said that us uni people engage in group think (it may not have been those exact words). It’s actually quite the opposite. Not only did I learn interesting stuff at uni – most of which I have forgotten, it was a long time ago – but what I did learn, which has stayed with me forever, was the capacity to develop individual and rational thought.

    It has taught me to ask questions and to keep learning.

    Now, if you want to be subjective, compare that to a group of tradies who were at my place, who I sat with during their smoko. It was a yawn-fest dominated by a row of nodding heads talking about the same sort of rubbish I could read on the front page of a Murdoch paper.

    But I’m not subjective.

    Regardless of whether I have a degree or not, I have lead an interesting life. If I were ever to be talking to me in a pub, without ever knowing who I am, you’d probably like me.

    That is, until I tell you I have a degree (plus more).

  33. Joseph Carli

    I reckon the Eureka Flag should be flown by the public as a protest on Anzac Day!

  34. Roswell

    Now that I can agree on. 😀

  35. Joseph Carli

    Roswell…tradies..particular these post-modern types are some of the most boring bastards you’re liable to meet anywhere!…I don’t defend them…f#ck them…there always was only a minority of interesting types on the building sites and they were mostly from overseas..It’s the way those tertiary qualifications are “leant on” to gain cred to open doors…Look at that old mug ; Michelle Grattan..who is introduced and exited by Fran with the handle of “associate Professor…” of some drongo what!…that’s my point…: SO EFFING WHAT??..butcher, baker etc etc…the lowest is no better than the highest..we see Turnbull deliver the most outrageous bastardry that one can imagine and do we then think : God!..glad that at least he’s had a civilised education!…but really..what bloody difference would it make if he had NO education??..he’d be just as big a where does that place the value of a so-called “classical education”?…up shit-creek sa far as I am concerned..but hey!..stick a suit on ‘im and talk up that educated cred and bango!..he’s away.

  36. jimhaz

    Jose Mujica: The world’s ‘poorest’ president–e1t_MupEpl

    “Green energy supply
    Nearly 95% of Uruguay’s electricity comes from renewable energy. The dramatic shift, taking less than ten years and without government funding, lowered electricity costs and slashed the country’s carbon footprint. Most of the electricity comes from hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay no longer imports electricity”

  37. Kaye Lee

    You seem to be confusing the value of an education with an individual’s morals or political choices.

    An education teaches critical analysis. It teaches you to ask questions and the skills to find answers. It encourages problem solving and creative thinking. It teaches communication skills.

    What people then choose to do is not necessarily a function of their education and the real frustration with Turnbull is that, as his past writings and speeches show, he actually really does know better, so we can put his actions down to pure self-serving design. He and Lucy like swanning around with celebs.

  38. guest

    Do not despair, Joe. You are just honing your argument with the help of a few commenters. You are stirring people up to think. No bad thing.

    Take for example your reference to Mommsen and his Roman History (Romische Geschichte, Leipzig, 1854-1856) commented on by EH Carr (What is History,1961). Mommsen was influenced by the failure of Revolution in Germany, 1848 – 1849. Mommsen’s history is as “much about mid-19th-century Germany, while it is presenting an account of ancient Rome.”

    “Mommsen was imbued with a sense of need for a strong man to clean up the mess made by the failure of the German people to realise its political aspirations; and we shall never appreciate its history at its true value until we realise that his well-known idealisation of Caesar is the product of this yearning for a strong man to save Germany from ruin…”

    So who was this strong man in Germany? Bismarck? Hitler?

    Heady stuff. Keep on writing, Joe. You write well and with passion. But expect comment. Noli illegitimis carborundum.

  39. Roswell

    Stop the press! I agree with you again! 😳

    Michelle Gratton is just Michelle Gratton with a label pinned on her.

    Same with John Howard, who could be introduced as Dr John Howard. (Remember, he was awarded a honorary doctorate).

    It’s a joke, no?

    Personally, I don’t brag about my titles. I’m happy just with Roswell. I don’t go around calling myself General Sir Doctor Roswell AO.

  40. Roswell

    Not Bismarck. He had the chance to crush Hitler early in his political career.

  41. outsider

    Joseph Carl February 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm
    All these detractors!!??…where are my defenders??..are you all asleep? I to carry this burden on my own??..are you waiting for the driving in of the final nail..and then give a flick of the fingers with..” Arr..knew it…no stamina..”…c’mon, you lazy bastards ..don’t tell me I’m the only defender of working class principles and political aspirations on the whole flamin’ site!!??

    Here are some individuals in your side, that then again perhaps are under qualified and a failure in their years in University.

    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” ~ Albert Einstein

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” ~ Mark Twain

    “Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.” ~ Mark Twain

    And last one that it is going well with my previous email:

    “Education is one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” ~ Bertrand Russell

    “The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence.” ~ Oscar Wilde

    And last:
    Knowledge is not just the preserve of the educated elite. Just because someone has not had a formal education, that does not mean he does not have wisdom and common sense. Vikas Swarup

    Have a nice day

  42. Joseph Carli

    Mommsen’s idea of a “strong man” was also of a “moral man”…hardly a compromise for Hitler or Bismark!…Mommsen too, despised the affectatious persons..see his very cutting description of incisive piece I placed on this site in it’s entirety as a exact description of Turnbull..:
    here..a short bit..: ” On Cicero:

    “ Thus oratorical authorship emancipated from politics
    was naturalized in the Roman literary world by Cicero.
    We have already had occasion several times to mention
    this many-sided man. As a statesman without insight, idea,
    or purpose, he figured successively as democrat, as aristocrat,
    and as a tool of the monarchs, and was never more than
    a short-sighted egotist….”

  43. Joseph Carli

    ” General Sir Doctor Roswell AO.”…I take it the “AO.” is meaning ; “Adults Only” 🙂

  44. Joseph Carli

    To any of you who believe I have a chip on my shoulder…well, it’s true…and just so you won’t be surprised when I persist doggedly on an issue…I’ll tell you that the chip is of Tuart gum….a most notoriously hard wood that will blunten a chainsaw and draw sparks from the blade when dried.

    My family on my mothers side were from the Mallee out here..they call this country “heartbreak country”…and by Jesus, they mean it.. The family lived in many isolated shacks in the time of the 2nd WW…

    Grandparent’s residences in the Mallee.

    My grandparents and by association my parents as children stayed in many old pioneer huts out in the deep mallee back in the post-war years..Because of their isolated positions, far from the nearest town, they could be rented much cheaper…and with my grandparents never being flush of funds at the best of times…
    Such run-down old pioneers huts, part stone construct , part pug ‘n’ pine were the homes on such tracks as “The Sleeper Track”.. named after the cutting of railway sleepers..”The Seven cross-roads” or as it is locally known ; “The Seven Sisters junction”…or in the case I am about to tell of ..: “The Bulldog Run”..locally shortened to just “The Bulldog”..on account not of that particular breed of dog, but because of the wilds of country in ; “ That’s wild country out there..real bulldog country…”
    I think it must have been Ridoni’s old place..out in the sticks just a bit off from The Bulldog.. My grandparents lived there a while with three of their children..there were five kids, but the eldest girl had gone to work on one of the river stations as a servant girl and the oldest boy had got work at the local post office in the town and was away for most weekends..that left the two early teenage girls and the youngest boy who was around four or five years old.
    The parents went to town that day, taking the youngest boy with them to get supplies, leaving the two girls home with the company of a local youth named Murray who also in his later teens , was courting after the elder girl : Maggie..he was safe..But there were some dodgy characters who made their way to the Murray Mallee to escape the law in the city and there was no better place to “disappear” than in the wilds of the mallee in those days..Such a desperate character came upon the hut there with the three teenagers alone.
    The rough looking man watched the youths play a while, reassuring himself there was no adult about..He then calmly approached them in the front yard.
    ‘Hello, children” he said, his gaze roaming cautiously about ” Is Mum or dad around?” He asked in a innocuous tone as if he knew the parents…foolishly, Rose, the younger of the three replied that “No..they had gone to the town to get supplies and won’t be back for a while”…
    The man nodded, tipped his hat and melted into the bush..
    But the teenagers became suspicious of his motives when they spotted him lurking about just out a ways in the scrub..They decided it was better if they went inside when they saw him sneaking up closer to the house..
    It was fortunate they did for no sooner than they had gone inside than they heard him cautiously try the door handle..Now this is when things got a tad worse!..Rose had a little dog..a poodle she was most fond of and it had been forgotten when they retreated into the house..Rose became distressed when she noticed the dog’s absence and with a shriek, quickly ducked out the back door to retrieve the poodle, much to the panicked cries of Maggie and her boyfriend Murray..
    “NO!..Rose..come back!” But it was too late..they heard her call for the dog and they could hear the man leave the front door and scurry toward the voice of Rose..They heard him cry ;
    “YOU…stay there!…”
    Murray opened the front door and called for Rose..
    “IN HERE Rose, the front door!” and she suddenly appeared, little dog in arms and scurried through the front door with the rough man not half a dozen strides behind her!…Murray slammed the door in his face and quickly secured it..the man put his shoulder to the door and crashed it several times, but fortunately it was built of strong, stout rough-cut timber so it stood firm against his thrusts…He then went to get the axe there at the wood heap and proceeded to hack at the door…The children were terrified..
    Here, the youth ; Murray, did the smartest thing he would do in what turned out to be a otherwise mundane life..He went as close to the front door as to be heard by the man outside and in a “just too loud” whisper, said :
    “Maggie…go get your dad’s rifle and I’ll shoot the bugger through the door!”…
    All went silent, the axe went still and the man seemed to think for a moment and then abandoned his intended deed and slunk away quickly into the bush…Of course, there was no was just a clever bluff..and it worked..The police who later came and searched for the man found him and reported to the parents that he was a wanted rapist from the city..
    Lucky children indeed..

  45. Kaye Lee

    This conversation has been prompted, not because anyone said you have to have tertiary qualifications to be a productive member of society, but because someone said that people with an education, or from a certain socio-economic class, should not be allowed to even participate

    “The upper middle-class has no longer the capability nor the capacity to govern…it has to either step down or be taken down.”

    It is the sweeping generalisations that get me. Leadership skills are not a product of class any more than pure motives are the provence of only the working man. Most tradies I know are more than happy to take cash in hand. Greed is something we all struggle with.

  46. Joseph Carli

    ” “The upper middle-class has no longer the capability nor the capacity to govern…it has to either step down or be taken down.”……..looking at the current state of affairs in the “big three” anglo-governed nations….P-R-O-V-E M-E W-R-O-N-G-!

  47. Roswell

    Prove yourself right.

  48. guest


    Bismarck died in 1898 when Hitler was about 9 years old.

    The devil is in the details, but let Joe have his generalisations. When no one replies, he will know he has done his dash Meanwhile, enjoy his stirring.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Joseph, many of our politicians come from working class backgrounds.

    I agree that the current system is broken but I doubt it would be fixed by replacing the current crop with new people. A change of government is essential but so is a change of system. It always gets back to wanting to be re-elected so they run scared in the face of powerful industry opposition or Murdoch campaigns. They spend all their time denigrating their opponent because re-election is the ONLY goal that they must achieve. They lie and obfuscate – to get re-elected.

    It is difficult for an individual without a party machine to get well known enough to be elected and, once the party machine is involved, the games replace the ideals.

    I am not implying that the Coalition and Labor are the same, just that the system encourages the behaviour we are enduring.

    Corporations have great wealth and power but no necessity for morals and ethics. When profit always comes first, society suffers. They do not recognise the value of things.

  50. Joseph Carli

    ” Prove yourself right.”…Three little words..: Trump, May, Turnbull…discuss.

    Kaye Lee…: “… the system encourages the behaviour we are enduring.” ….I agree..but the “system” is one that has been put in place through a careful manipulation of democracy…and yes, we have been betrayed..particularly by the Fourth Estate..the supposedly “guardians of democracy”…This thing with Barnaby Joyce is the latest betrayal.

  51. outsider

    Lula a toolmaker by trade, was the president of Brazil who managed to lifted out of poverty 20 million Brazilians. The extreme poverty in Brazil decreased from 12% in 2003 to 4.8% in 2008.
    He now is a victim of the establishment and condemned for crimes that he has not committed.

    José Pepe Mujica, ex president of Uruguay who did not have the chance to finishing primary education.
    Under him, the GDP has grown at an average of 5.6% per year, according to Uruguay’s economy ministry, and as the front expanded social security, the proportion of people living in poverty dropped from 40% to around 12%,.

  52. Jane

    I totally agree with you Joseph as Roswell exemplifies as what’s wrong with a tertiary education.He has zero self understanding.

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