Sunday February 7 2016
I have a confession to make. Writing a daily post is time-consuming. It takes a lot of research and you have to be on top of things, constantly thinking a day ahead. And of course one is reliant on the day-to-day political gossip for source material.
Occasionally though one just feels flat, in want of a day off. Today is that day.
Filling in for me today is my friend Stuart Whitman. I met Stuart on Facebook about four years ago. We have had coffee together a few times. His engaging personality and kindly disposition always makes for enjoyable discourse. Until this week Stuart worked in the Senate Canberra. He is well versed in the machinations of government and that of the Labor Party.
The Great Paradox of Our Times
The paradox of our times is that we live in a pre-revolutionary age of massive global economic, environmental, social and cross-cultural convulsions as the old order of the world we have known to be “reality” collapses around us yet the political status quo internationally lacks the courage or vision to lead the profound systemic change or even ask the deep questions we need to be asked or to re-imagine how the world can work.
Yet forces such as climate change, the new industrial revolution and subsequent loss of a large part of the workforce, and the widening inequality will not wait for us, they demand a brave and visionary response.
We can’t put these global bushfires out with a garden hose.
Not wanting to unsettle an electorate they wrongly assume is unable to think critically or act rationally or behave humanely, we are told to accept the crumbs of piecemeal progress because anything of the scale of transformational polices required to see our civilisation through to the other side, renders any political figure proposing them nuts or “unelectable”.
Instead of embracing the challenge and adventure of the age and the hard work required to lead and channel the coming transition to make sure it is peaceful, democratic and wise we have timid responses and focus group marketing lines. Instead of working together to ensure the global underclass is finally lifted out of their desperation and afforded dignity instead of growing in ranks of misery, we have a generation of people who don’t seem to be capable of thinking beyond the entrenched Thatcher-Reagan worldview of the past thirty years. The only world so much of the electorate and political class has ever really known.
There seems to be deep fear of any alternative to the view offered by Thatcher and Reagan that we are not to trust the common will of the people in the democratic state offering grand scale programs of much-needed reform and change. God forbid we challenge the dogma that the market has all the answers and the constituent body of the people is not to be trusted. Better to go quietly about your business and not rock the boat. Trust the powers that be and your political patrons, and shut your mouth and you will be looked after.
In an age that demands courage, everywhere we look we see cowardice.
Why is it that in this time the world-weary old men and women are now the radicals and so many of the youth even on the left of politics are so illogically conservative and reactionary?
I am thankful that although I was an infant at the time, I still have a memory of a world before Ayn Rand ruled. I hope I get to see it again in my lifetime.
My thought for the day
‘It seems to me that the wisest people I know are the ones that apply reason, and logic and leave room for doubt. The most unwise are the fools and fanatics who don’t’.
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