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Day to Day Politics: Another outstanding read.

Friday March 30 2018

Author’s Note: Here is another response to my post “Can You Help?”. We really do have some thinkers at The AIMN.

From Phil:

I applaud your tenacity John. I see things differently. We don’t live in a democracy – we live in a capitalist driven economy. Everything is monetised, absolutely everything. The belief that we live in a democracy is a myth – comforting and beguiling, but a thoroughly dangerous myth. It has led us to thinking that to fix the diabolical problems we face today, we need to tweak the threads of our political system. I think your list exemplifies this approach.

I don’t see how any one or even all of the ideas in that list could break the unassailable grip that global capitalism now has on humanity. Capitalism and its grip on politics has driven industrial agriculture and fishing to the point of system collapse. It has driven catastrophic climate change, and the greatest military Industrial complex ever assembled. It threatens human existence on multiple fronts. Capitalism is our politics.

It owns our politicians be they progressives or conservatives, independents. Yes, policy differences can be found at the local, state, even national levels but they are all essentially the same under the iron clad laws of capitalism. Profit is the immutable law. At any cost. Propaganda, PR and marketing (all the same) are used to mask the greed that underpins the capitalist drive for profit.

I don’t have any solutions – no one has the solutions. But we can act and respond. As individuals we might brighten our daily lives and relieve the inner tensions driven by uncontrollable capitalism by thinking we can see solutions – by making lists of system tweaks for example.

But in the human herd we are no more capable of stopping the stampede to our own destructIon now than is a wildebeast in its herd capable of stopping the march forward.

History tells us this much – revolution is the most powerful change maker. I think we are living in a period that is the harbinger to a huge revolution in human terms. By drawing up lists of minor tweaks to the capitalism that is driving us inexorably forward, I feel we are simply prolonging the agony and the planetary damage.

There is no light on the hill to steer Australia’s broken politics but in saying this I am not arguing for giving up – rather, it is a call to political, economic and social revolution – a call to our youth to take off the rose coloured glasses of consumer capitalism and corrupted politics and see the system for what it is – irredeemably corrupt, dehumanising capitalism, and to reject it outright.

Only youth can do this. The older generation got us to this point – it is not going to change anything because it hasn’t the energy, nor the vision.

My thought for the day

”Our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts.”

PS: I am currently assembling all the comments I received and will post them on Saturday.


14 comments

  1. Cool Pete

    Has anyone else noticed a paradox, here? Since the internet has gone from a cottage industry with dial-up speeds, with a need to do this, do that and do the other thing (much like playing Private Eye was in my last year of high school, where we had to insert a hard disk, an a floppy disk, and type eye_run yadda yadda to play the game) to know being you turn the computer on and it is connected to the internet, unless you’re at a different venue and you key into their modem with a password, more and more companies and organisations prefer to do business online, rather than use postal services or telephones. Yet, where the renewable power sector could have gone from a relatively new concept with the man emerging from the shower and going to the phone and saying, “Solarhart, how fast can you get me hot water?” and hot water comes from the telephone, the renewable electricity sector has not been encouraged in the same way. The dinosaurs want us to pay bills online, but not have solar as it will cut down the profits of the coal companies.

  2. Glenn K

    Phil has pretty much explained the sad reality. John, your perspective on what we need to do comes from the vantage point of believing in democratic values whereas most people have been trained to follow the profit principle values.
    Phil pretty much sums up the sad reality of humanity.

  3. Terry2

    Barnaby Joyce and five former parliamentarians disqualified by section 44 of the constitution have had their debts waived by the finance minister. These debts include salaries, superannuation and electorate allowances, as well as non-salary expenses, such as staff expenses, office expenses and travel expenses.

    Well that’s nice isn’t it ?

    Meanwhile, the government agency Barnaby Joyce pushed from Canberra into his own electorate has lost more than half of its workforce in under two years. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) had 198 staff at the end of June 2016. Since then, at least 110 of its employees have departed, including 33 regulatory scientists.

    It was during the 2016 election campaign that the former deputy prime minister announced the APVMA would be relocated to his electorate. No consideration was given to the staff, their families, their personal arrangements, their schooling commitments. It was classic pork-barrelling to allow Joyce to demonstrate that he had power and influence way beyond that of his main competitor, Tony Windsor.

    I wonder if Mr Joyce will now, as our cricketers have done, front-up to the Australian people and apologize for his arrogance and massive over-reach ?

  4. helvityni

    “Everything is monetised, absolutely everything. ”

    I have noted that I tend to agree with Phil’s posts; almost always spot on…”Capitalism is our politics”

  5. David Bruce

    It explains why we have lost touch with nature and the Earth, as a living entity, will one day, shrug off the parasites which infect it. We are also overdue for a Galactic Super Wave, which can probably do the same as a shrug. (see Dr Paul Laviolette at Sphinx Stargate and his 2020 prediction)

  6. Glenn Barry

    Somewhere in there some of us got fooled into thinking that market forces can be the primary governing principle of all life on the planet – free market capitalism, libertarianism, call it what you will is actually a case of reductio ad absurdum.

    Free market capitalism, or neoliberalism isn’t a unifying model of all interaction on this planet, it’s not the economic equivalent of the “Grand unifying Theory” in physics, capitalism and it’s new incarnation neoliberalism is just an awkward description of one minor element of human interaction on this planet.

    An what’s more, it isn’t even original.

    From my perspective it’s just a rehashing of Imperialism and Colonialism – where you got rich doing “it” to someone or something else.
    Often times “it” was committing atrocities, it was theft under he auspices of Monarchy or colony, it was wanton destruction of others cultures, lifestyle and even almost entire races.
    It was pillage and plunder of organisms to the point of extinction – whales for example, annihilation of ecosystems for the planting mono-culture industries.

    But the benefit was that negative consequences happened to others, elsewhere, in other lands, which means that for accounting purposes, those consequences, if you were not experiencing them, may as well not exist at all.

    Any brief acquaintance with the IPA manifesto reveals basically the same fundamentally flawed ideologies as those driving imperialism – exploitation without consequence. I only use the IPA as a touchstone epitomising the worst possible collection of ideologies.

    An when I used the past tense, I was only really referring to yesterday, because the atrocities are still occurring and we have learned nothing – fronted, not lead, by people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing

  7. Terry2

    I was reading a British business magazine that has surveyed and found that many businesses who had previously off-shored certain of their so called back office functions and had relocated their customer support to call-centres in Asia are now returning these functions to the UK as analysis has shown that the savings in staff costs have not been matched by improvements in productivity and customer satisfaction. On the contrary, they have lost business and failed to reach their growth targets.

    What goes around comes around !

  8. johno

    Fully agree with article by Phil except this…’Only youth can do this.’
    Would have thought anyone and everyone can do this.

  9. Wam

    Your thought ended Phil’s thoughts, laud.
    He relies on youth which rhymes with your basic tenet
    He uses ‘tweaking’ which is the basic means of ‘status quo’ maintenance through:
    Lying by telling the truth
    Lying by emphasising or hiding parts of the truth
    Lying by obfuscating till any danger is passed
    Changing by review to avoid evaluation
    Phil is one of the dangerous lefties that many of my facebook friends ‘fear’. (Trump rang roseanne to congratulate her on the ratings???)
    His curtain is we are richer than other Australians but every one is richer and that is from the economy of the liberals so we believe. The reality the libs maintain or reverse the labs move forward
    The solution for Labor is to remove the beliefs:
    The first is ‘a male god made women inferior’.
    The second is labor cannot manage the economy
    Using Phil we stop there because bill et al cannot achieve these.
    So, laud, tweak and I hope your essay gets a fair assessment of your efforts.

  10. New England Cocky

    Every generation has to challenge the status quo to improve society for every one. We did it in the 60s and 70s but the Gen X and Gen Y and Millenials appear to have dropped the ball and replaced it with the socially isolating cell phone and computer monitor.

    It has always been the creative people who have led the revolution of society, life experienced persons linked with enthusiatic youngsters who are prepared to challenge the establishment and force a change, Remember, as Dylan said, “Times they are a-changin’.”

    Is there future hope with the US Black lIves Matter and NO More Guns Movements? Certainly it will be driven by generational change using the Internet coordinate actions.

  11. Charles Lowe

    Phil is simply being provocatively pessimistic.

    Necessarily, I think.

    He is epistemologically mistaken.

    Capitalism has indeed come to be governance by ‘non-natural but legal persons’ (corporations, institutions and bureaucracies).

    And particularly by the narcissistic meglomaniacs (brilliantly exemplified by Trump) who bully their role-playing way to the top of the corporate heap.

    Chris Golis’ work on the Humm-Wadsworth Personality Inventory is an essential key to this complex sociological lock. His work clearly demonstrates the philosophic and political way out.

    The question becomes how to give political pre-eminence to ‘natural and legal persons’ (human beings).

    And its political translation distills into whether the Labor Party will adopt Daniel Andrews’ electoral funding reforms Australia-wide.

    It cannot and will not do so while Right Wing Unions such as the Shoppies continue to bribe (to the extent of $2M per year to each of Labor and the ACTU) by way of ‘donations’.

    Right-Wing Unions are not progressive. They impede humanism in a similarly doctrinally-derived way to that of the Catholic Church. They extol ‘left-brain thinking’ (reasoning) (and one dimensional thinking) at the expense of right-brain thinking (dreaming, imagination and creativity) (and multi-dimensional thinking) because each of their significant role-players is obsessed with retaining – and being promoted by – social and political power.

    Just like meglomaniac narcissists (e. g. Trump).

    So – demonstrated psychological/psycho-social/sociological pathology on the one hand and transcendent self-sustaining humanism on the other.

    There’s simply no choice!

    P. S. Could any Generation Zeder or Millenial have written this?

  12. Vikingduk

    Yep, Johno, I agree with you, the article describes our reality very well until it sinks into the generalities of the old being responsible with no energy left leaving it to the young to be the champions of the day.

    Well, here is another generality, once we can prise the smart phones from their hands, get them to actually look at the environment they are passing through, not with quick upward glances to check for obstacles, maybe they can decide to participate.

    I suggest the author might like to travel a little, expand your horizons, leave the generalities behind and know that quite a few of us old farts have grandchildren, quite a few of us care and act passionately, in our own ways, from picking up rubbish on our wanderings, producing environmentally sound surfboards, including our council (mostly old white men) limiting developments, restricting high rise, ensuring the river is clean and a sustainable habitat, reintroducing oyster reefs.

    Much is being done by us old farts, unfortunately being compromised by lack of interest? from the young.

    We’re all involved, we are all responsible for this erosion of society. While most pile on cheating cricketers with passionate outrage, what of the refugees locked up till the day they die. Where is the outrage, the disgust?

  13. Helen

    Yes Vikingduk the volunteer work is mostly done by oldies, and all honour to a woman in her 80s who fought the local fracking corporations to save her farm, and was applauded. But I do wonder if she realised that before her there were others who had fought for their land, the land she now continues to live on, until greedy others seized it. That said, there were many more young people at the refugee rally in Canberra this year than last.

  14. John Brown

    The way I understand it is In Australia we have a parliamentry democracy and that means precisely that there is democracy for those elected to our parliament and the rest of the population can bugger off as democracy does not exist outside the parliament and as a result of voting for an individual on two or 3 issues they get to have their democratic opinion as often as they wish.

    The illusion that we live in a democracy is a common delusion that repeatedly fails the population – the reality is that democracy exists only in and for those we elect into our parliaments and therefore the only times a citizen experiences democracy in Australia is when they are elected or invited under special privilege to experience a brief moment under a plethora of silencing and controlling rules.

    Human rights exist in small and selected reworded options with exemptions and this is the best Australia has been able to do over the past 70 years as we remain non-binding signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but of course we note that Human Rights are something we should aspire to.

    Until that changes Australians have less Human Rights than any other country who has signed and ratifies Human Rights into the law in every state of their nation.

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