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Beyond the BS: What Political Terms Really Mean

I think it is time we defined what certain terms mean in our political discourse. I do not refer to the BS definitions, talking points and buzzwords politicians use. Rather, I refer to what these terms mean in practice. Some of this is going to come across as quite cynical, but observe enough human behaviour and this becomes difficult to avoid.

The Big Cahuna: ‘Democracy’

This gem, along with The Rule of Law, is the defining feature of the much-vaunted Western Civilisation, itself a meaningless phrase. We start with democracy. Originally meaning ‘people power’, this lifeless word has come to represent nothing but the established order. When political insiders say ‘we must protect our democracy’, they perhaps reveal more than they know. They think they mean everyone’s democracy, the voice of the people and all that crap. No. Rather, it refers to the entrenched interests who long ago bought government, police forces and courts.

The politicians naively think they are part of the club, but they are, as George Carlin said, put there to give voters the illusion they have a choice. The reality is, whether it is corporate interests or political parties, many choices have already been made by the people who matter long before a vote is cast. The holy vote is a mere rubber stamp on decisions already made by much more important people much further up the chain.

Democracy may be, as Churchill said, the worst form of government except for all the others, but it is, in fact, a sham. If you prefer Twain, he said if voting made a difference they would have outlawed it years ago. Amen.

The Second Pillar: ‘Rule of Law’

Now onto The Rule of Law, the other cornerstone of ‘civilisation’. This tends to mean that we are a society of laws, and not men. The idea being that everyone is held to the same standard. It is essentially an anti-tyranny mechanism. However, anyone who has observed the justice system anywhere in the ‘west’ over the decades knows this is a lie. The rich and powerful get away with their crimes while the peasants are punished severely. So little has changed in the last thousand years.

But I will go darker: in practice, the law is nothing but the tyranny of the majority, codified and backed by state force. If you do not believe me, slavery was once law, as was segregation and women as property. It is only when the entrenched interests can no longer withstand the pressure of those annoying underclass members agitating about whatever that the law changes. While it is true, as Roscoe Pound said, that the law must be stable but must never stand still, anyone wanting to be included in those groups that receive the protection of the law has to pressure the entrenched interests until their cries can no longer be ignored. This renders rights something that the established order yields to, rather than something which all people are granted.

This is not a call to abolish the legal system and institute anarchy. Rather, it is a request to remove The Rule of Law from its pedestal and remember what it really is: a set of rules humans made up to maintain [the established] order.

An Insidious Roadblock: ‘Viable’

Whenever an innovation or new idea comes along, one of the first questions asked is ‘is it viable?’. This term really means ‘profitable’, ie can some capitalist pig make money off this new idea. Now that is a civilised society: profitability as raison d’etre. Something can only be done if it generates profit. This was not always the case. Humans were not always so obsessed with profit. The 1980s have much to answer for here, specifically in the persons of Reagan and Thatcher. As Bill Maher said a few years ago, humans had always been greedy, but they never convinced themselves it was good.

There is a brazen hypocrisy from the capitalist class here too: they refuse to do something if it does not make money, yet government doing things is bad because reasons. They utterly ignore that the reason government exists is to be involved in those things that are not designed to make money. But that is a story for another day. The point for our purposes is that ‘viability’ – read profitability – is the ultimate roadblock to progress (along with political corruption).

Orwell Never Died: ‘Religious Freedom’

This issue made the rounds recently following the removal of bigot Andrew Thornburn from a role at the Essendon AFL club. Thornburn is a member of a proud (pardon the expression) anti-gay church (a member of the so-called ‘god hates f*gs’ crowd). Another example of this crap was the Israel Folou case. Religious freedom at face value means the right to practice your religion without interference.

Sounds good until you look at it in practice. What the phrase really means is the freedom of religious people to be bigoted, intolerant and hateful clowns with no consequences because religion. Somewhat ironic given their entire edifice is based on consequences for actions (which never happened, but they do not know that), but I digress. This is not to lump in your garden variety believers with the ‘politically religious’. It is actually a shame that these innocent people are tarred with the same brush as Thornburn and the rest of the Bigot Brigade.

Save the Best for Last: Woke

What would a cynic’s guide to political parlance be without an entry on the great cultural boondoggle of our time? This one is mostly a pejorative, and usually refers to a sort of cultural authoritarianism. Specifically, it tends to refer to a certain group who have decided, because they said so, that something is offensive. Conservative control of the media tends to skew this toward the ‘loony left’ being called ‘woke’. The so-called purple hair brigade of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) being offended at the issue du jour. But the right is no angel here either: consider the recent debacle over Hancock Prospecting and sponsorship of the Australian Diamonds Netball team. You may recall the girls were labelled ‘entitled’ and ‘woke’ in the media for refusing the sponsorship deal.

The term ‘woke’ is actually, unlike so many other things in our society, non-partisan. A working definition might go something like this: using the idea of being offended to generate outrage and enact social and cultural control through fear of ostracism. Think of it as a sort of unspoken Social Credit System. This definition is intended to be as general as possible with limited partisan bent. This is an example of both sides actually doing it.

Conclusion: Dark Times Call for Dark Words

The ongoing propaganda we see daily from the media requires a scalpel to get through. Hopefully this piece has begun to sift through the endless foray of Newspeak that we see every day.


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  1. Mortimer Snerd

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cyncism by those who have not got it – Bernard Shaw

  2. Canguro

    FFS! These issues really get under my skin. Bloody politicians… who makes these decisions; who assesses them as being in the best interests of all Australians? Who goes ahead and ticks the YES box without considering all the ramifications of saying YES? Just who do they think they represent, these political people, and are they so persuaded by the bureaucrats that advise them that essentially it becomes a case of ‘the public be damned’? And don’t they consider that it was the public that gave them the keys to the kingdom in the first instance?

    I’m referring to the piece posted on the ABC website this morning, accessed via the following link:

    US Air Force to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia.

    So now we’re going to have B-52 bombers with nuclear weaponry tucked away inside their bellies, sitting on the tarmac at the RAAF Tindal airbase. Six of the best. Six of the fucking best, all right. Bend over Australia, and drop your dacks, and after we cane you we’re going to fvck you also. Because we’ve just locked in this country as a red-hot nuclear target, by assenting to American imperialism’s arrogant assumption that anything Uncle Sam wants to do, we will accept.

    Where do we find a political leader with the courage of a David Lange or Helen Clark or for that matter, Jacinda Ardern? Our leaders seem spineless by comparison. To misappropriate the expression, It’s Time, it’s time I quit my ALP membership.

    In an era where tensions are ramping up across the globe, and when the evil hegemon is preparing to do whatever it takes to keep it’s position atop the greasy pole, America the Brave, Land of the Free, Bastion of Global Democracy… all bullcrap slogans for a kleptocratic criminal organisation propped up by an obscenely bloated military apparatus, the last thing this peaceful sanctuary needs is that mob using our shores as a parking lot for their nuclear armoury. Un-fvcking-believable.

  3. New England Cocky

    There is a much more accurate way to interpret political propaganda; if it comes from the COALition it is likely Bull Manure unless there are extenuating circumstances. If it comes from the Nazional$ then the next question is ”Who will get the benefit (usually money or free services or free infrastructure (especially the foreign owned multinational mining corporations). If it comes from a LABOR source there is a 50% chance that it will be implemented ….. once LABOR learns to control the mainstream media-ocrity.

    RE B-52s @ Tindal RAAF Base.

    This stupid decision clearly demonstrates that the Albanese LABOR government has swallowed the American propaganda to become the puppet Deputy Dawg of nowhere. First, an Army Training Team for Ukraine, now WWII bombers for 10 hour flights into PRC China ….. and who picks up the resultant economic benefits of Australia losing key markets for primary products ….. just like in Iraq where the Australian Wheat Board did business the local way and American interests inherited the physical infrastructure and markets that the Australian government abandoned.

    We have been here before ….. and history shows that Australian voters did very badly out of that process. With ”friends” like the United States of Apartheid, who needs any other enemies?

  4. Douglas Pritchard

    It was a low act to hand this country over to Satan, and his nuclear missiles at the critical time when the Melbourne Cup was the only topic under discussion.
    I suppose the future will involve no more “made in China” products in Bunnings, and these will in future,be sourced from USA at twice the price, and dodgy quality.
    Forget the affluence from exports of energy and iron ore. Get ready to tighten your belts
    Can we please place sanctions on the US ambassador, who really got up my nose with her follow up words this week.
    “Ambassador for peace”, total hypocrite.

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