Australian and Global Political Subversion, Global Corporatism and Neo-Liberalism
Is Australia on its way to becoming a plutocracy? Andreas Bimba investigates and discovers that the answer is a frightening ‘yes’.
The neo-conservatives in the Australian Liberal, National and Labor (yes Labor) parties are not just more right wing than before, they through their actions rather than their words appear to be disciples of the Institute of Public Affairs and other nests of this poisonous ideology such as the Tea Party in the US. I suspect that these people are on the balance of probabilities trying to subvert our democracies with many parallels with the methods used by a rather famous Austrian in Germany many years ago.
This ideology can be called global corporatism or neo-liberalism, it doesn‘t sound as scary as communism or fascism but give it some more time and we may see. It‘s a lot more than being just about economics, I suspect it‘s actually also about political subversion of the worlds democracies and even many of its dictatorships.
How could this be true and why would these people do such a thing? After all many nice old grannies would love to have Tony Abbott as a pet.
Just think if all the world‘s nations were all neutered so that laws that benefited citizens could no longer be passed. Does this sound like the current US Senate and Congress to you? This means that corporations are then FREE to accumulate wealth and do as they please unencumbered by taxation, regulations, red or green tape, any courts, labour laws, environment protection laws, international laws, high wage costs or international institutions like the UN and the international court of justice and indeed any laws. Total freedom or corporate nirvana? Gee I would vote for that, freedom is good and even more freedom is gooder or something like that and besides everyone knows socialism is the root of all evil. Rupert keeps telling me this so it must be true, I think, oh that hurt, no more thinking just do what he says, yeah that‘s it and God bless Ame…
US President Barak Obama and his current Democrat government as well as a small number of brave politicians may be the last remnants of genuine democracy (i.e. for the benefit of the people) at the national level in the United States but don‘t forget that this government also fears the power of the corporations which probably explains why they are also pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and are also still promoting neo-liberalism economics at least half heartedly.
The United States is well on the way to becoming a plutocracy but countries like Australia are not far behind. In the US, politics has become so warped that proponents of governments acting in the best interests of the people, compliance with the constitution and for the correct functioning of the democratic system of government, are derided perversely as socialists or even communists. If anything it is those that pull the levers behind the Tea Party movement that are trying to subvert democracy in the US (& globally) and implement the fundamentally undemocratic and totalitarian ideology of global corporatism.
I suppose the logical end point of this perverted political subversion is something like a more capitalist version of George Orwell‘s 1984 or Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World. A particularly horrible world that even it‘s proponents will eventually live and die miserably in.
The fossil fuel industry is probably the main driver behind this suspected political world wide coup d‘etat for an obvious reason. They no doubt think that they stand to lose a lot of money if CO2 emissions are effectively curtailed to prevent catastrophic climate change and they are right only up to a point in time; as it is the Earth that will stop them in the end and destroy their wealth in any case if they can‘t be restrained.
I‘m interested to know on which planet those behind this suspected insanity of unconstrained burning of fossil fuels intend to live if they are allowed to wreck this planets eco system? The financial wealth of the fossil fuel corporations will also in the end come to nothing if they do succeed in their apparent perverse aim of burning all the world‘s fossil fuel reserves. The human species is indeed the most dangerous and destructive of all but we simply cannot allow this to come to pass.
Not all corporations are evil like much of the current fossil fuel industry, most are actually quite ethical and are just acting in their own best interests as indeed they should. Why pay taxes when the tax laws are so designed that you no longer need to pay tax by using a little imagination?
The rule of law has not yet been subverted in Australia, but Queensland under former Premier Campbell Newman got close and Tony Abbott and his less obvious friends like Bill Shorten, yes Shorten, are working around that problem at this very moment.
Current examples of steps (either in part or totally) that have been undertaken or proposed by either the Liberal and National Party conservative coalition and the Australian Labor Party while in government to strengthen the march toward global corporatism in Australia are: the free trade agreements; the dogmatic and blind promotion of total world free trade and globalisation regardless of contrary economic evidence; the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); the anti-terrorism (also read anti-environmentalist and anti-citizens rights laws); the ever increasing capacity and scope of state security bodies to spy on, arrest and detain citizens that have not actually broken any laws; the attempts to prevent access by citizens to a truthful, independent and relevant media (cuts to the ABC, attempts to destroy Fairfax, access only to media pulp, infotainment and partisan political propaganda from Rupert and friends); the attempts to destroy the freedom of the internet; restriction of the use of social networking such as facebook and twitter by broadly defined so called enemies of the state; the demonisation of labour unions and tough laws designed to neuter them; selective policing and law enforcement for example environmentalists are beaten and thrown in jail while those responsible for major financial fraud usually escape sanction; the use of scapegoats and the exploitation of fears, demonisation and bigotry such as we have witnessed concerning refugees arriving by boat and also against muslims, welfare recipients and even scientists that believe in evolution (again that famous Austrian also did the same but with a different range of scapegoats) and the bribing/lobbying of politicians, public officials and political parties.
So what do we as concerned citizens do? Firstly hold our politicians to account. Never vote for those that conspire against us. Fight to seperate our politicians from the corrupting influence of money and corporate power. Fight for the independence of, and for truth in, the mass media. Assist with the development and growth of political parties with integrity such as the Australian Greens. Get active and above all, vote only for parties that have integrity.
Currently citizens throughout the world are behaving like confused scared sheep and are foolishly letting the wolves feed us with their lies, scare and intimidate us and rule over us.
In the US, the wolves (promoters of global corporatism) current front organisation is the Tea Party movement. The lies, half truths and worst of all logic reversals (eg. say you support freedom while subverting democracy) of the Tea Party movement must be exposed and this movement must be driven into oblivion.
Unlike the Tea Party movement I truly believe (rather than pretend to believe) in individual liberty, the private enterprise system, prudent management of budget deficits, low taxes, the minimisation of government mismanagement, the minimisation of corporate mismanagement and value for money for government services as well as free education and a comprehensive social welfare/medical/aged care system but I don‘t believe in policies that act only to benefit the most affluent and that discard human beings like municipal waste nor do I believe in global corporatism, neo-liberalism, total globalisation, the unconstrained burning of fossil fuels and the subversion of our free media, right to privacy, freedom of speech, thought and expression, subversion of our democracies and of our institutions.
US Senators and Congressmen could also learn the novel idea that they should always act in the best interests of citizens in their electorates and of citizens of the nation and not external entities like corporations and lobbies.
For those countries like Australia where the independent rule of law still applies and the mechanisms of democracy still more or less operate, it should be relatively easy to chase the wolves (promoters of global corporatism) out of our lives if and when the electorate chooses to exercise its power. For countries that currently have political dictatorships the struggle will in most cases unfortunately be more bloody and difficult.
In regard to international trade; total free trade or total globalisation is not the answer nor is strong trade protectionism, high tariff walls and isolationism. The former generally leads to extinction while the latter generally leads to stagnation and inefficiency. The answer like for most things is something in between and is a matter of getting the balance right. For countries like Australia that have relatively high wages; moderate tariffs can be used when necessary to enable the survival of highly automated manufacturers such as the white goods industry or the automotive industry, that face intense competition from high technology and low wage competitors located in China and Thailand for example. Perhaps these nations won‘t object to the application of some economically balanced Yin and Yang philosophy, after all they practice this approach themselves.
Moderate trade protection should ideally not be designed to prevent international competition but to limit market penetration to a predefined level that still allows worthy local suppliers of goods and services to survive. This actually creates a level playing field for local suppliers of goods and services in the face of very tough foreign competition. This approach is nothing new and an example is the Swedish truck manufacturing industry which is able to manufacture in Sweden and export globally despite relatively high labour costs.
Not all sectors require trade protection. In Australia examples that can survive due to product complexity, local R&D and innovation are the medical devices industry and the pharmaceuticals industry. Other sectors of the Australian economy that can survive without trade protection or substantial subsidies due to natural advantages and high levels of productivity are the mining and bulk agricultural commodity sectors and parts of the building materials manufacturing industry. In addition much of the economy such as construction, government services, education, health and aged care are not significantly affected by foreign competition.
Some thought needs to be given to the possibility of excessive and unrestrained competition through the use of the internet. Current examples are the use of call centres that provide corporate customer support in Australia by using english speaking providers located in India and the Philipines. Information based professions such as engineering, architecture, accounting, some medical services, software programming, IT support and similar can be provided for customers in Australia by much lower cost but technically competent developing world suppliers. Again a balanced regulated approach will probably produce the best outcomes rather than blanket bans or just leaving it to a greed dominated market.
Australia has not done a good job with developing a good national industrial policy environment for the development of industry with the exception of the urgent period of economic development necessitated by the onset of the second world war and the immediate post war period. Craig Milne of the Australian Productivity Council has written many excellent articles on this subject and his conclusions are equally valid for the new sustainable economy. As a consequence of poor national industrial policy settings the value adding manufacturing and associated services sectors of the Australian economy has not developed to anywhere near its potential and in fact it has been deliberately set up to fail by neo-liberal politicians like former Treasurer and Prime Minister John Howard. Subsequent governments have all followed the same destructive industrial policy settings but in the case of the automotive industry they have lowered the pain level for the industry by the haphazard application of government grants which unfortunately resulted in an increase in public resentment.
One can learn a lot from how other countries, also with relatively high labour costs, such as Japan, Germany, Singapore and the Scandinavian countries have achieved great success in the area of value adding manufacture and associated services in the face of tough competition from low wage and high technology economies. In these countries all levers of government such as higher education, research institutions, trade protection where necessary, loan assistance and direct investment, targeted regulation, tax exemptions, strategic planning, strategic purchasing and so on are used to assist and build pillar industry sectors. This type of support initially costs money but it is returned to the economy and to tax payers many times over through extra employment, national economic expansion and ultimately increased tax revenue as well as avoidance of wasteful social support for the unemployed. These expanded or new industries then form the productive income generating core of these aformentioned nations economies that can then be used to support essential government services such as education, health, welfare, pensions and defence.
Suitable pillar industries for Australia are renewable energy, renewable fuels for transport, mining, agriculture, building materials, housing, construction and urban development, municipal and public works, environmental protection and management, education, health and aged care, niche ship building, aviation services and aircraft production, trains/trams/buses/trucks, public transport, automotive, white goods, defence equipment and support, processed foods, fibre, paper and forest products, minerals processing, steel, aluminium and other metal production, plastics and petrochemical, tourism, retailing, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, machinery manufacture, some consumer products, some clothing and footwear, electronics and computing, the arts, film, media, music and entertainment and many more. These pillar industries must constantly innovate and where appopriate spin off new businesses and new areas of economic activity. In the not too distant future Australia should be short of suitably qualified workers as Japan is now.
In Japan the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) is a highly successful example of the coordinating body that implements this type of approach. Swedish born Professor Goran Roos who now works for the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has written extensively on this subject.
Socialism is not the optimum economic system but nor is unregulated capitalism. Again balance is the answer and a mixed public and private economy will produce the best outcomes for citizens, the nation as a whole and also for corporations as the consumer market size and diversity for goods and services is maximised. Again the Australian Greens core philosophies of balance, compassion, justice, individual freedom and consensus will deliver the best outcomes.
About the author: Andreas Bimba is a mechanical engineer and former employee of Toyota Australia‘s manufacturing operations in Melbourne and a member of the Australian Greens. This article does not necessarily reflect the current policies and views of the Australian Greens.
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The article below refers to an investigatory work by David Estulin published in 2005 (I think). I was first told about this fairly shadowy group when in England last year and would appreciate a discussion on how serious is the concept that underpins this group of one-world-government run by business corporations mainly, it seems to me, financial ones. It does tie in with the implied aims of the IPA and the extreme right wing Tea Party movement in the States. Any takers on further enlightenment about the Bilderburgers. It is not a secret organisation but it is a secretive one.
This is why I vote Green.
Meanwhile, they can’t get enough dead Prime Ministers….Question Time is given over to valedictory speeches and Idiot Boy can keep a low profile.
This is all very well, Andreas, as long as we think this through from a human and not a politico-economic focus. Unfortunately to talk about and promote partisan politics such as the Greens, Labour, or Liberal models is to miss the problem entirely because thay are all minority interest groups who will only ever paddle their own coloured canoes even when part of a coalition. We need to turn away from ideocracy to true democracy; I know, pie in the sky for most people. But whilst it may appear superficially to be warm fuzzy thinking, we have reached a stage in our social evolution where we need a completely new, post-industrial model of governance. It needs to be based on co-operation for the common good rather than argumentative ideological and partisan interest which nourishes the ‘divide and conquer’ principle which has for millenia allowed minorities to rule. But an even greater problem exists, like a shark circling just under the surface. You talk about the placer plutocrats in all parties and at all levels of government. But they’re not just in politics, they are among us all white-anting at the core of society on behalf of the Bilderberg Group. This group has been quietly working away at its plutocratic agenda for decades and is now on the verge of achieving its ends. They are the ones secretly behind the so-called free trade agreements such as the TPP and if that is signed by the negotiating parties, as it probably will be, it will be the end of democracy as we know it. We will be living under a finally legitamised plutocracy and humanity will count for even less than it does today. Then the fight will really begin and it will not be pleasant for us or our children’s and grandchildren’s generations far into the forseeable future. And it will have happened on our watch. Believe me, we ain’t seen nothing yet. It really is time to man the barricades.
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@CMMC, unfortunately the Greens are much the same. I’m currently fighting against breaches of the law and the Human Rights Act by the SA Greens, who illegally used an artist’s work for party and self-promotion, despite being repeatedly told they had no right to, and in clear breach of the terms of a contract they signed. Their response has been to bury their heads in the sand and try to buy our silence with token amounts of cash. I have been threatened by Senator Wright, and Senator Hanson-Young refuses to address the situation. I was in their local branch for a year, and they quickly turn nasty if you question their approach or try to point out where they’ve made errors. Very much ‘do as we say, not as we do’. They’ve let down everyone who thought the Greens offered something new. Nup, just another self-interest group willing to ignore others in the community for their own political and personal gain.
The conflict between the bourgeoisie (those that own the means of production) and the proletariat (those who sell their labour) is crucial to the maintenance of capitalism. Its function is to create an obedient, docile, uncritical workforce who will work to support the upper-class’s lifestyle and the economy. Keeping wages low, or debt pressure high, means workers will be less likely to complain or make demands. As workers struggle to provide their families with all the temptations that a capitalist society offers, they become far less likely to risk their employment, and less able to improve their situation. Undermining unions is also crucial to their success.
I have news:
US President Barak Obama and his administration are not only part of the neoliberal and global corporate club, they’re among its most effective advocates and policy promoters on everything from privitising public education to passing out wholesale “get out of jail free” cards to every manner of corporate criminal caught out red handed.
Without making any judgments on the merits, your complaint sounds like a personal grudge over an intellectual property matter, rather anything one might generalise to public policy positions or issue advocacy.
Have you considered mediation to resolve the dispute?
and today we have a prime example in relation to the NSW electricity privatisation:
Sell off a major incoming producing asset to someone who does not pay tax and can afford to pay more upfront as a result.
IMO, there must be at least 200 million going around in graft in relation to this privatisation – over the last couple of months the graft players are ramping up sales pitches (which actually say nothing of value)…..and there are a lots of them.
More on that:
“The push to privatise its electricity assets does not make economic sense and is being sold using highly questionable accounting methods, writes Sydney University Professor Bob Walker*
The $1.7 billion (revenue lost per year) is an understatement, says Prof Walker. The Liberals have also been rocked in recent weeks by revelations former investment banker Premier Mike Baird’s office secretly called UBS to get them to change a draft report originally entitled ‘Bad for the budget, good for the state’ to just ‘Good for the state’
“Barak Obama”,”the last remnants of genuine democracy”. Don’t make me laugh. He has trampled the U.S. constitution, prosecuted double the whistleblowers than all other presidents combined, exempted his executive from freedom of information legislation, has set records on denying information to the public and has cracked down on journalists who try to publish leaked material. Sound democratic?
I don’t understand why people prefer a short term sugar hit to an ongoing revenue source. 10 years down the track and, not only have you lost control, you are losing money. They say prices will go down. Not only is that highly unlikely, jobs would certainly go as would taxation revenue. Regional areas could be penalised. The only reason to do this is because Abbott has bribed them – contributions to the states will be given to build roads IF they “recycle” assets. At the same time he has cut $80 billion from the states for education and hospitals to pay for the $80 billion he has added to the predicted deficits. The states are desperate. They don’t want to be the ones to ask for a GST hike so their only option is to take the bribe.
Good old debt servitude. Own the pleb bastards through ever growing debt. That will shut them up. Public debt is nothing compared to the noose banks and the financial sector have around people’s necks in the guise of private debt. We are all supposed to feel so grateful every time they create a new system of debt, for example higher education increases, derivatives, housing inflation etc. while they go their merry way blaming us for being enslaved by debt while encouraging us to working seven days a week on unsustainable wages and reduced penalty rates. Win win all the way for the banksters.
What a fun loving bunch of evil bastards.
@Jexpat. We raised in branch meetings, state council, and in communications to the Senators. They refused to communicate other than to threaten us. When the Justice spokesperson for the Greens won’t deal with her own party’s breach of the law, it makes a mockery of the role. They are paid to represent us as Senators, yet won’t whenit comes to personal accountability. We would have welcomed a mature and reasonable response from them but they take the attitude of ‘how dare you criticise us’ – even after we’ve pointed out the appropriate legislation. For a group that says it will champion human rights, they are openly defying Article 27.2 of the Human Rights Charter! This speaks volumes as to their ability to govern. Puts them in the same category as the Libs when it comes to integrity. It has only reached the point where we are making it public because they have refused to do anything about it. In my role as an election campaign manager last year, I advised them the public doesn’t mind mistakes, as long as you take action to rectify and improve the situation – humans make mistakes, but leaders admit them and act upon them. This gains a lot more respect than denying there was ever a problem in the first place. In this situation, they’ve acted extremely arrogantly, threatening us, telling us to ‘watch who we speak to’, and absolutely failing in their duty to be representative of us. So hypocritical when they then make speeches against the ethics of other groups, while refusing to addreas their own unethical actions. A number of us left the party when they went into ‘deny, deny, deny’ while continuing to abuse the rights of their own party members and constituents.
It’s obvious that there’s a personal beef involved, in which we’re not privy to factual detail or the other side of the story.
To flesh it out a bit more for the readers who may not be familiar with Article 27:
“Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.”
Astute readers will also note that this (in more binding legal forms) is the basis for many claims under the TPP and other “free” trade agreements.
So rather than a human rights issue, what we have here is an intellectual property dispute of some sort- presumably involving a claim for monetary damages or something akin to droit moral.
More on the application of droit moral in Australia:
Coachman on the Box, thank you for your mention of the Bilderburg Group. There is a you connection with
Australia in that Rupert Murdoch is a member of this group. I understand that the group was started after WW2 to enhance world peace but has since changed direction and is now intent on one-world-government with that group at the helm. If my very small stock of knowledge has credibility I think this is something to alarmed about. It does fit in with what was stated in your comment. My question is why is this powerful group of financiers and business heads so little known and further why are we not concerned with their intentions. And yes I do believe they are complicit in the planning etc of the TPP. Does anyone out there have further information on this group and their intent?
There’s no doubt it’s approaching a cliff edge and once we’re over it’ll be too late to do anything about it…
Notice how the new paradigm in response to public objection is to (a) ignore it (b) wait until it dwindles away (c) forcibly remove and/or convict the left overs. We’ve seen this in action with occupy Wall Street, and (a) and (b) are now freely applied to any kind of political scandal that once would have resulted in sacking or resignation not that long ago.
We’ve lost control of our once great democracy, and the days are fast approaching where even the greatest of mass demonstrations will be responded to as above in this country (including step c), as they already are in many others.
They are all psychopaths intent on driving us all to destruction so that they can rule over the survivors on a slowly recovering planet, keeping themselves in the manner that they are accustomed in the process.
Bugger the pitchforks, it’s time for the guillotine
“Is Australia on its way to becoming a plutocracy?”
Is this a serious question? Of course it is on the way; I thought that we were there. One of the best things about being over half way through eight decades – in fact, the best thing – is that one won’t have to experience what our grandies and theirs will have to live through.
And we voted for it!
@Jexpat, whenever someone breaks the law and abuses someones rights, it’s always personal to those adversely affected. The attitude (not necessarily yours) that the greens shouldn’t be held to account like any other part of society ignores equality and promotes ‘one rule for them, one for us’. This works against their publicly promoted ‘values’. Why is their Justice spokesperson free to abuse justice just because she’s a Senator? That’s a very Neo-con approach and one which undermines not only their integrity but that of the whole system. You can’t point out Abbott breaching the law and rights but give another party a free pass, or write it off as a ‘personal beef’ without looking at the hypocrisy that represents. That’d be like Abbott writing off all your viewpoints against him as your personal beef, and therefore not worthy of the time of day. I haven’t supplied copies of the contract itself or their threats to us, as it would take over this thread. I will consider writing a full article for AIMN on it to explain it all though, including proof. It is the second part of Article 27.2 that the Greens have openly abused – taking away the artist’s rights. Saying it is part of the TPP is not an argument for abusing the rights we all should have. It’d be like the police deciding which laws they choose to follow – the system stops working when one law or right is considered less ‘legal’ due to those power doing what benefits them, instead of unprejudiced and equal application across the board. That way discrimination and conflict of interest lies. Another metaphor would be the church covering up child abuse because they ‘do good’ in society. That’s no comfort to those who’ve suffered as a result of the church’s lack of integrity with regard to those matters. There are many good people in the Greens, but when the leadership becomes corrupt and decides they are above the law, it demonstrates a lack of commitment to their principles. If I had said Abbott had stolen from people for personal gain, I doubt I’d have people trying to argue against the case, or saying it was a personal matter. These Senators are paid by public money to represent and stand up for us – not just when politically or personally convenient. It is a matter of public interest, as they are paid by the public. They’ve abused that trust within their own constituency. Meanwhile, they continue to play the ‘name and shame’ game themselves – they just don’t like their methods applied to them! Again, ‘one rule for them, another for everyone else’. All I’m doing is reporting the issue here and saying ‘this far, no further’, and obey the law if you want the public trust. Their arrogant approach so far is only going to do them more harm than good.
Civil disputes between authors, artists and/or other content creators and end users or purchasers or people who’ve contracted “work for hire” etc., are mundane matters that crop up in many contexts. Sometimes they’re easily resolved, via mediation or recourse to the relevant statues and common law, other times not.
That you’re involved in one with some members of the Greens or a local group (branch), or so on, is in no way indicative of any sort of “neo-con” approach or mindset on their part.
Moreover, if you’re making this sort of hyperbole, wild allegations, and tossing these sorts of terms around, its no wonder that their side (who may have a different interpretation of the law or contract terms) has simply thrown up their hands. What else would you expect them to do?
What would you do in the reverse situation?
As to the TPP, etc., I’m simply clarifying that intellectual property issues aren’t normally what we think of in the context of human rights violations.
@Jexpat, whenever someone breaks the law and abuses someones rights, it’s always personal to those adversely affected. The attitude (not necessarily yours) that the greens shouldn’t be held to account like any other part of society ignores equality and promotes ‘one rule for them, one for us’. This works against their publicly promoted ‘values’. Why is their Justice spokesperson free to abuse justice just because she’s a Senator? That’s a very Neo-con approach and one which undermines not only their integrity but that of the wholes system. You can’t point out Abbott breaching the law and rights but give another party a free pass, or write it off as a ‘personal beef’ without looking at the hypocrisy that represents. That’d be like Abbott writing all your viewpoints against him as your personal beef, and therefor not worthy of the time of day. I haven’t supplied copies of the contract itself or their threats to us, as it would take over this thread. I will consider writing a full article for AIMN on it to explain it all though, including proof. It is the second part of Article 27.2 that the Greens have openly abused – taking away the artist’s rights. Saying it is part of the TPP is not an argument for abusing the rights we all should have. It’d be like the police deciding which laws they choose to follow – the system stops working when one law or right is considered less ‘legal’ due to those power doing what benefits them, instead of unprejudiced and equal application across the board. That way discrimination and conflict of interest. Another metaphor would be the church covering up child abuse because they ‘do good’ in society. That’s no comfort to those who’ve suffered as a result of the church’s lack of integrity with regard to those matters. There are many good people in the Greens, but when the leadership becomes corrupt and decides they are above the law, it demonstrates a lack of commitment to their principles. If I had said Abbott had stolen from people for personal gain, I doubt I’d have people trying to argue against the case, or saying it was a personal matter. These Senators are paid by public money to represent and stand up for us – not just when politically or personally convenient. It is a matter of public interest, as they are paid by the public. They’ve abused that trust within their own constituency. Meanwhile, they continue to play the ‘name and shame’ game themselves – they just don’t like their methods applied to them! Again, ‘one rule for them, another for everyone else’. All I’m doing is reporting the issue here and saying ‘this far, no further’, and obey the law if you want the public trust. Their arrogant approach so far is only going to do them more harm than good.
robb has signed FTAs! Has labor read the agreements? Have I missed the times he has been challenged??? Will his work ever be challenged???
When was our democracy ‘great’? For me july 2010 to june 2013 was the zenith of government democracy and the nadir of political integrity. The media’s acceptance of the latter and the subsequent vote has made democracy unattainable for the foreseeable future.
1984 is nearly here
1984 happened around 1984, and surely by 1994 in the USA. It just took a bit longer to get down here into the antipodes.
@Vicki – Thanks for the link
@Coachman on the Box – Quote “Believe me, we ain’t seen nothing yet. It really is time to man the barricades.”
I unfortunately agree but if you mention this to 99% of Australians they think you are mad. When 99% think you are mad you get doubts about your own sanity. At the same time as all this Tea Party bullshit, Putin is turning into Adolf Hitler? Are the two situations connected?
On Barak Obama, I still reckon he’s one of the good guys. If he went too rapidly down the progressive path he would very soon be an ex-President and no use to anyone. The crazy right lets him live as long as the system suits them and also it lets the people think that they have a democracy. The Democrats in Congress have also mostly been bought by lobbyists but no one has the courage to fix the rot in the system.
On the bourgeoisie proletariat conflict, yes I see that’s the way the dumb capitalists want it, but you and I know that the countries that are doing the best do not follow this approach. The Germans and Japanese after WW2 knew that a more humane middle path gave the best results. America at it’s core is so strong and its people so dynamic and resilient that it has taken quite a while for the mad tea party cancer to wreck it all.
It looks like those of the left knew of the march by the crazy right to plutocracy a long time ago. I suppose that makes sense that enemies know each other very well. An example is the fact that the most comprehensive and accurate data and reports on the economy of the Soviet Union are not found in Moscow but in the CIA archives. I also knew the Tea Party were full of shit from the very beginning.
I’m just a recent wanderer into the ‘actively’ engaged political minefield. My father was a Soviet hating conservative migrant from Lithuania, always being a DLP or Liberal supporter but mum who was born in Austria and was always more compassionate did vote for Whitlam I think. I will need to ask. I was deeply anti Soviet Union and anti-communist and still am, the Russians just can’t seem to be able to learn to be nice but my belief is based on reason and evidence and is not from blind indoctrination or ignorance.
I like most Australians of Lithuanian heritage celebrated Malcolm Frasers win over Gough Whitlam in 1975. I even supported Reagan and Thatcher at least up until about half way through their terms in office when I began to have doubts and my good progressive Donvale High School education started to re-arrange my brain cells. I think those wise and truly dedicated Donvale High teachers saved my soul. My brother was very politically astute and we argued like mad most of the time and this also helped me to see a bit clearer.
Both of my parents greatly admired the natural world and cringed as forests were felled for a quick buck. My father was always hands on with his engineering career and worked closely with workers and he was one of them. Many workers I realised were right leaning as well as left leaning and I learned that the Croats and the Serbs like to hate each other but could also be true mates.
During my working career I came across many truly inspiring people that were true gentlemen/women?, conservationists, humanists, progressives or unionists. It was nearly always the money worshippers that were pricks. I also came across many migrants that were anti-communist to the core and these I also found to be honourable people. So I suppose this is why I’m an anti communist, anti fascist, humanist, private enterprise supporting, social welfare supporting Greeny. It makes sense to me?
Andreas, I have never had, nor will I ever have doubts about my own sanity. Just because a large number of people arrive at some sort of conclusion over my state of mind does not make it so, nor does it cause me to suffer a scintilla of doubt about who is mad and who is not.
I firmly believe neoliberalism is the greatest threat ever to our entire society. The pervasiveness of the message that promotes individual freedom is relentless and is repeated ad-infinitum by the mainstream media, politicians and those with vested interests.
The aim couldn’t be more simple – divide and conquer.
As long as the people stand together with a single purpose, there is little a government or agency can do to affect them, but as individuals we are powerless against the might of a multinational corporation. So it is in their best interests to keep fracture our connections, to isolate us, to have us competing against each other rather than standing against them.
And while we are distracted by these petty squabbles, they are free to buy-up our assets, to strip us of every dollar, to dictate the terms of our employment, to diminish our rights, to destroy our environment for their own purpose, to consume our resources and to eventually take control our our democracy.
While large portions of our society blithely sit disinterested, distracted or powerless, we are fast on the path to a corporate plutocracy, where everything we do and everything we have will no longer belong to us – our sovereignty, what we think and are allowed to say, will all be beholden to the might of the corporations, whose sole purpose is to psychopathically control and own everything, including us.
Read Naomi Klein.
Harquebus. Point taken, always room for improvement.
The next US president will probably be a Republican, we will see what happens then. I wish Australia had FOI to the extent the US does but Obama should not work around this legislation in any case.
On drones you can see why the US likes them as they are a game changer as they allow US techno-nerds thousands of km away to undertake live and long term surveillance with a wide assortment of sensors without the knowledge of the target (unless they are also high tech) and launch missiles accurately anywhere they like without risking any servicemen over the theatre of operations.
This is killing without proper ID, investigation or trial and so must be limited to approved theatres of war and be controlled very carefully by the US government. It does however beat carpet bombing which was a prior tactic before the era of precision bombs.