The title of this piece is from the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.
“The purpose of the novel was to demonstrate the flaws and faults of the Russian mentality and moral character. Gogol portrayed those defects through Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov and the people whom he encounters in his endeavours. These people are typical of the Russian middle-class of the time” (Wikipedia).
I believe we have reached a nationalist age level (if not yet an adult one) of maturity where we will have to confront the moral and ethical vacuum resident in our national communities. The decline of moral and ethical politics over the last few decades is a reflection of deep-seated flaws in the social contract between the structural/social classes in the community. The lack of interest in examining the moral and ethical standards of those members that have been elected to Parliament in the last few elections demonstrates a set of principles of integrity sadly lacking in the electorate.
The emphasis by those candidates on economic reward for choosing them over their opposition even after accusations of scurrilous moral or ethical behaviour shows a keenness in the communities more for financial blackmail than for social good – in short, it demonstrates that the voter base can be bought – and once an object is bought, it is “owned” by the purchaser.
“In the Russian Empire, before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners had the right to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for most purposes considered the property of the landowner, who could buy, sell or mortgage them, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word “soul” was used: e.g., “six souls of serfs”. The plot of the novel relies on “dead souls” (i.e., “dead serfs”) which are still accounted for in property registers. On another level, the title refers to the “dead souls” of Gogol’s characters, all of which represent different aspects of poshlost (a Russian noun rendered as “commonplace, vulgarity”, moral and spiritual, with overtones of middle-class pretentiousness, fake significance and philistinism)” (Wikipedia).
Hence we have a governing class of politicians who juggle their policy mandates to suit their class economics, with little consideration for those from the working classes who suffer grievously from such decisions. We saw tens of thousands of household incomes lost through the cancelling of subsidies for the car industry, while billionaires in the mining sector were granted personal tax relief. We saw other tens of thousands of household incomes lost through outsourcing to overseas interests those jobs in IT, banking, airlines servicing, telecommunications, manufacturing and energy while stripping away funding from higher education and trade training here at home … purely to satisfy the barefaced lie that it would “save the bottom line in the budget”. We see hundreds of thousands of workers on cheap labour wages brought into the country on temporary visas to satisfy dis-loyal employers hunger for cheap labour.
The people who are “managing” this chaos of class-warfare, are of the same pedigree who sent us in the space of one hundred years into two World Wars, a depression in between in the 1930s, stultifying conservatism of the Menzies era culminating in the gross destruction of a war in Vietnam, the betrayal of the National Political Trust with the Whitlam Dismissal, an unlimited farrago of credit driven by a shonky stock market surge in the 90s (“go on, have a go … it’s going gangbusters!”) , followed by the inevitable Global Financial Crisis of the 2000s and now another blundering about with absolutely no idea of direction by another conservative government as we head to a crisis of Global Warming and yet they STILL spruik the benefits of burning coal over renewables. These people who are managing us are the private school, elite university trained bozos of the upper-middle class who talk like they have both descriptive nouns and money to burn but in reality do not know shit from clay … their arsehole from their elbow.
Seriously … they do – not – know – shit – from – clay … but they do know which side of the bread the butter is on and by Christ they spread it thickly when it suits themselves! This clueless class has had its moment in the sun. “MOMENT!” did I say … they are baked f#ckin’ dry! … They are already struggling to lie their way into the next election and only a lack of clear choice will give them a chance. There needs to be an indelible line drawn under the rule of middle-class politics … they are finished … they have proven over time that they cannot govern, only rule, they cannot manage, only demand and they cannot advance into the future, only retreat into a fantasy world of their own delusional past.
There needs to be secession from middle-class-capitalist politics to more equitable management of social contract of working-class politics. The trade unions and representatives of the indigenous peoples along with honest representatives of commerce and industry (cough! cough!) need to be brought into the inner circle of governance … no longer a single Head of State, but rather a “Tetrarchy” head of four to divide the nation into four governing quarters combining with State Governments.
With this form of governance, there is more chance for those of the educated working-class to step-up to positions of responsibility through Local or State Authorities via Union activity or Indigenous or cultural serving abilities. This will also put an end to “charismatic leadership”, where the oleaginous main-stream media can promote an individual from the LNP of doubtful moral and ethical quality to rule the nation … as the only way to the top will be through channels of merit, a path more than not denied by intellect and ability to those from the private school system.
The time of sole middle-class politics is ended, the chaotic voting patterns seen in recent elections of both Houses has left us with a host of wannabe crazies with no hope of redemption and less of usefulness cogitating on bills and laws totally beyond their limited imagination.
There is only one class of citizen with the experience and life-skills inherent in their workaday lives to understand truly what depth and responsibility a social contract requires..that is the working-class..pure and simple … time to reject the failed idiot sons and daughters of the wealthy and bring in new blood and hope to the chaos of Australian politics.
“The institution of a leisure class is found in its best development at the higher stages of the barbarian culture; as, for instance, in feudal Europe or feudal Japan. In such communities the distinction between classes is very rigorously observed; and the feature of most striking economic significance in these class differences is the distinction maintained between the employments proper to the several classes…” (Thorsten Veblen; The Theory of the Leisure class).