By James Moylan
Who is to blame for Trump? This seems to be the abiding obsession of our journalistic class.
If you are a right wing journalist then it is apparent that Trump was elected because of a backlash against political correctness and a yearning within the huddled masses to be able to open their own small business, purchase six flat screen televisions, and an investment property. If you are a middle of the road journalist then it is obvious that the huddled masses were duped by fake news and all the right wing journalists. And while it would be nice to know what all the left wing journalists in Australia might think; unfortunately it seems that he is still on holidays.
The unfortunate truth never seems to get a look-in. It is not allowed to get a look-in. If the real reasons why we are electing such a disparate group of no-hopers to power were even hinted at by a member of our mainstream press then they would likely, very soon, no longer be a member of the mainstream press. The sad truth is that our journalistic class are just puppets and mouthpieces for our corporate rulers. So of course the election of Trump, Abbott, Turnbull etc. is proposed as being inexplicable. The truth cannot be uttered for fear of rocking the boat, endangering a growing pile of super, and the ability to purchase yet another investment property. How could a journalist possibly afford to send their kiddies to a decent private school if they were unemployed?
Yet the answer to this question is as simple as it is depressing. The primary reason that Trump, Abbott, Turnbull, and the rest of the corporate shucks get elected, and continue to get elected, is because they are genuine. They might be right wing pricks bordering on fascistic, but at least they are not talking out of one side of their mouths. The huddled masses may be ill-educated but they are not stupid. They can spot a phoney a mile away. And the so-called progressive politicians in all the western world countries are as phoney as a three dollar bill.
The reality of politics in the modern western world is that it is a game that is played according to a rule-book created and enforced by the moneyed classes. You don’t get a look-in as a Labor or Democrat politician unless you are willing to toe the ‘party line’ and also happen to have a big wad of cash hanging out of your back pocket. So our political and social discourse is one that is shaped by and directed toward salving the sensibilities of the big end of town. Heads they win – tails you lose. Every time.
In Australia we are provided with a choice between tax cuts for the rich or tax cuts for the upper middle class and the rich. Most of the past election campaign in Australia was devoted to discussing how much of a largesse those with more than a million dollars in super should be allowed. Or how big a tax cut should we provide those investing in housing. We were, once again, provided with a ‘choice’ between unabashed laissez-faire capitalism or slightly ashamed laissez-faire capitalism. A choice between honest arseholes or lying arseholes.
All our politicians continue to talk as if they are economists, not politicians. They all uniformly propose that we live in an ‘economy’ – not a society. The right-wingers talk about how we have to slash government services brutally while the ‘progressives’ talk about how we have to limit government services carefully. They all talk with an economist’s accent and with one eye on the pile of corporate donations stacked in the corner of their party room.
All the so-called ‘progressive’ politicians use exactly the same terms, talk about exactly the same things, in exactly the same ways, as our right-wing politicians. They are simply right-wing corporatists wearing bunny suits. In reality the only way that you can tell the difference between a right wing and a ’left-wing’ politician in our country is by noting that all the bunny suits the ‘left-wingers’ are wearing have a pretty little heart stitched onto one sleeve. It comes with the uniform.
When was the last time that you hear ANY mainstream politician in our country talk about the need to address the spiralling inequities within our society by increasing the taxes imposed on the richest? Or by increasing corporate taxes? Or about socialising essential services? Or removing the ownership of our mining resources from the hands of a few absurdly rich mongrels and returning them to the bulk of the population? Or maybe outlawing the manifold monopolies that have sprung throughout our economy? Or reducing the power and influence of the corporate press?
The so-called ‘progressive’ politicians in our country, and across the western world, have been utterly captured by the big end of town. The Labor Party, like the Democrats in the US, have been bought by the corporations and are now run as a wholly owned subsidiary of the right wing political parties. They can only talk about the same concerns that are of interest to the right-wingers, using right-wing language, and employing right-wing sensibilities. The only difference between a left-winger and a right-winger is the speed with which they are willing to see the poor and disaffected within society getting screwed. We no longer live in a Common-wealth. Australia has morphed into a Corporate-wealth. And everyone else, and the planet, be damned.
When I was a child the ‘economy’ was seen to be an aspect of our society. We all perceived Australia as being an egalitarian state that was based on the idea of a ‘fair go’ for all. However the society has now become an ‘economy’. Where once bank managers were seen to be paper shufflers and akin to insurance salesmen; they are now the rulers of the universe. Where once houses were conceived as being a form of shelter; they are now investments. Government was once upon a time believed to be a way of ensuring that we had a healthy society, not as a means of ensuring that we have a healthy environment for overseas investors. Our mining industry was perceived as being licensed by the state to extract our resources on our behalf; not as a means of enabling rich opportunists and overseas corporations to extract personal wealth. Electricity, water, local services, and government services were once appreciated as being essential services run by attention to providing an equality of universal service; not as an opportunity for the corporate classes to gouge the poor, build a portfolio, and retire early.
Why did Abbott, Turnbull, and Trump get elected? It’s simple. They are genuine arseholes – not hypocritical arseholes. Why do we see One Nation prospering and the Greens becoming a fading dream? Because One Nation are genuine monsters and the Greens are hypocritical monsters. The problem is not that the public is electing the wrong people but rather that we are provided only with a choice between a wide selection of cookie cutter arseholes. When provided with a forced option of voting for either Tweedle-distressing or Tweedle-disgusting; we choose the one who seems to be lying the least. It does not mean that the public are deliberately electing the wrong people – it is simply a symptom of only having a broad selection of either genuine, or hypocritical, arseholes to choose from.
More significantly, the majority of the population now know of no other option, For thirty years our corporately owned press has ‘educated’ the community to believe that they live in an ‘economy’. And that nothing else matters. That the essential job of a politician is to make sure that the piles of cash are neatly stacked and that every aspect of every social relationship is both economically efficient and profitable. That there are only two sorts of Aussies; lifters and leaners.
The sad truth is that the money-men seem to have won. They bought the press, then our politicians. Thus enabling them to force their agenda onto the whole of our society. Now it is the only agenda that the population even understands. So while it is true that we continue to elect no-hopers and sly pricks to our parliaments; it is a bit of a stretch to blame it on the population at large.
No political candidate who is not a corporate shill can ever get elected because they will simply be ignored, or demonised by the corporate press. The word ‘socialist’ is now universally equated in our social discourse with ‘terrorist’. Anyone who stands up and suggests that perhaps we might not need to beat the poor so hard, or so often, is described as being ‘naïve’, or dangerous. So the public have become distressed and disaffected while at the same time being utterly unable to even recognise anyone who might actually have their best interests at heart. At least the older Aussies can remember what it means to live in a society. All the younger generation knows is a dog-eat-dog economy. So when they elect the biggest and meanest dog it is not necessarily their fault.
Unfortunately, understanding the nature of our problem does not assist in solving the problem. We are still stuck with an economy where once we had a society. We are still ruled by rabid dogs instead of citizens. And the majority of the population still remain ignorant of what a ‘community’ might even look like. The only way I can see that we will be able to tunnel our way out from under this giant pile of excrement is to revolutionise our mainstream media. And that seems as likely as seeing an honest and socially responsible citizen getting elected to any of our parliaments – in other words; pigs might fly.