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“Dead souls”

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).


31 comments

  1. Robert

    Agree Joseph: “the only way to the top will be through channels of merit”.
    If it’s good enough to demand basic English skills from immigrants then why not require that our politicians hold qualifications to match their portfolios?

    No science degree – that position in Agriculture – Water Resources, forget it.
    No accounting or economics degree – you want to be Treasurer, joking right?
    No medical qualification – don’t bother thinking about Health – Aged Care.
    No teaching degree – why are you even thinking about Education – Training?

    But first a thorough ICAC investigation, that’d be good.

  2. Joseph Carli

    Robert..: ” No science degree – that position in Agriculture – Water Resources, forget it.
    No accounting or economics degree – you want to be Treasurer, joking right?
    No medical qualification – don’t bother thinking about Health – Aged Care.
    No teaching degree – why are you even thinking about Education – Training?”

    Thoroughly agree on your list there..BUT..on condition we get those who take on such training out of involved interest, NOT just as a clever career move.

    I’d like to see 1st generation from solid working class backgrounds take up those positions or those with a maintained commitment to the same..sick to the back teeth of “careerists” who have no other desire than to milk the community for as much dosh as their pumped-up pomposity can charge..throw the bastards out!

  3. Freethinker

    Quote: 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. End of quote.

    I disagree, they are master in understanding the greed and selfishness in human behavior, they know how to use that negative characteristics to create division among the masses, to recruit people who have the hope to get out of their hole and the cost of exploit or using others that have left behind.
    The minority rulers have been in this position for thousands of years and when some are removed by revolution slowly the greed take over on those that have replaced the previous rulers by become corrupted government or dictatorships. Russia is an example, just remember the Brezhnev era, just have a look how many billionaires “popped out” in Russia now.
    Only financial suffering, suffering slavery and have nothing to lose can change people and unite them.
    Cuba is an example.

    Robert, having University qualifications is not the solution to have better cabinet members in the government if those have been brainwashed during their studying years.

  4. Joseph Carli

    Have to disagree with you there , Freethinker..I believe they fumble and blunder from political disaster to political stupidity but are carried by (in our State) a compliant MSM..and in some States by an obedient military…This current LNP govt’ is in the process of politicising the military to suit future objectives..

    The stupidity can be measured by the number of failed states that have gone down the same path, using the same mechanisms with the same result yet they have learned nothing from them. History to them is the study of only the first part of tyranny…not the end result of either the nation’s destiny, nor their own personal one.

  5. Freethinker

    Joe,just tell me in which nation the bastards are not having success, in which countries the corruption and greed are not winning.
    Perhaps the Scandinavians, Cuba and few more that they are an absolutely minority.
    Remember that these low life have no frontiers, they do not care in bringing one nation down to the lowers poverty or inequality, they just move to another haven.
    I agree with you that are a political disaster but for the nation not for them.
    Tell me how many politicians or ex politicians are doing tough, not one Joe, they are helping each other with the support of the rich and big corporations and the electorate keep voting for them.
    When one are removed the new government make sure that those that lost are giving a nice job.
    I can name many of them but it is not necessary, you know them well.

  6. townsvilleblog

    Joe, I rarely comment before reading a post, but does this story have anything to do with the right wing of the Labor Party? They have ‘dead souls’ who vote in pre-selections!

  7. Joseph Carli

    Freethinker…these disasters work themselves out over a long time-frame…the wankers push and push and push the envelope until something gives…usually those opportunists from a foreign nation get out when the shit hits the fan, but the local toadies get cleaned up in the wash-up..like in Cuba, and Nicaragua and some South American nations THAT is when the national psyche can be reset with a bit of hard work and purging..

    The Right-wing is of the mindset of the fool…it will go along as long as it can and then be suddenly surprised when it all goes to hell in a hand-cart. This time, if Labor get back in, there will have to be a mulitude of criminal investigations into the entire right-wing network of political sabotage of the nation.

    Townsville…I think you can see what my objective is without prompting.

  8. Freethinker

    Yes Joe but for that ( South American countries) to happen in Australia, the Australian people have to go trough the same experience something that I do not which at all.
    When the Labor party get to office (I hope that eventually) things will be mildly fixed but until the left faction together with the ACT do run the show no much will happen.
    Ex union members like Hawke and Crean have the opportunities to make real changes and not much happens, on the contrary they made sure that the union movement will be weak to “not rock the boat”.

  9. guest

    Joseph,

    I am having real trouble with understanding exactly what you do want. For example this:

    “I’d like to see 1st generation from solid working class backgrounds take up these [ministerial] positions or those with maintained commitment…” And failing that: “throw the bastards out.”

    It seems to me you are waging some kind of class war; trade skills good, academic learning, bad: working class good, middle class bad; “channels of merit” good, “charismatic leadership” bad; “social contract of working class politics” good; “middle-class-capitalist politics” bad…

    Yet there are contradictions. The purely working class can take up middle-class values and seek academic degrees, just as in reality working class tradies own Mc Mansions, two vehicles, holiday house, overseas holidays. The working class has long been seduced by money. The real working class are now imported on 457 visas on low wages and limited stay (people you recognise).

    Then we have to be able to recognise the “wannabe crazies” and kick them out. We have voting system to do that. And you point out very well what the failures are with the present government and you know why they get away with it – so far. Labor will have a huge amount of cleaning up to do when they get into power.

    But I think there is some nostalgic rhetoric here. Lenin took years and a lot of money to plan his coup – and in the end it failed because…?

  10. Joseph Carli

    Guest..Any governing class is always only a small group of people..a very small percentage of the population that is given a mandate to govern from the electorate..I would like to see that “governing class” in Labor drawn solely from “graduates” of the working class and or the first generation of, so as to obtain a “pure” core of honest commitment to that majority of the population who actually do the majority of production and consumption in any given country…in this case ours.

    And I am fully aware of the aspiration of many from the trades who have some very good years and then spend big on the bling..I am related to some…and a tragic aspiration it all is, as while they may exhibit all the trappings of wealth, and while they may adopt many of the pretensions of class, they will NEVER be of that class….for as the saying goes.. ; “You may take the boy from his origins, but you will never take the origins from the boy”.

    I would like to see a complete purging from left-wing politics of the corruption of middle-class indoctrination that many of the left obtain through their private school conditioning and carry through with stupid middle-class aspiration economics. Sure, it could fail..and given time all systems are changed…just like one turns the soil in a garden ready for the fresh season’s planting.

    It is time to turn the soil.

  11. Joseph Carli

    Guest…I have placed this piece up before some time ago..I think you would see my point with it..maybe not agree, but at least see my point.
    Permit me to make my case ; The Parable :

    I have an older cousin who is a bricklayer named Ron. His name really is Cesarino…but that is how the anglicising of “foreign” names go…; Cesarino becomes Ron. Ron was sponsored to Australia by his uncle at the tender age of fourteen, in the early fifties, after the war…He went to school here for a year and then was put to work for his uncle as a brickies labourer…he grew to be a big bloke..a very strong man.

    He worked for many years for a Greek property developer named Spero. I too worked for Spero, though not as far back as Ron. As a matter of fact, Ron worked for him for so long he had become sort of adopted into the family circle…Ron was divorced, his child grown up so he was on his own and would be available to do little jobs at the Spero family home on the weekends and such, so he was asked to stay for dinner some Sundays and it became a habit…so that every Sunday, for many years, he’d go to Spero’s for Sunday dinner….and he appreciated it…he had worked so long for the family business that it seemed natural…..until one day he stopped going.

    I was working for Spero then and he spoke to me in a concerned way that he confessed he didn’t know why Ron stopped coming…and Ron wouldn’t say…Spero just couldn’t work it out…and I asked Ron on the job one day ; “‘Why don’t you go to Spreo’s for Sunday dinner any more?”…at first he was reluctant to tell me..but I was persistent. He leant against the wall crowbar in hand and told me.

    ‘You remember that job we did for Cathy D. over at Beulah Park?…yes, well, you remember that big cedar tree out the back she was going to get a contractor to remove?..yes, well…..a couple of months ago, we’re all there at the table having dinner..a roast..and there’s me and Spero next to me and over the table is Barbara (Spero’s wife) and Cathy….and Barbara stops in the middle of her eating and asks Cathy ; “Did you get the contractor to remove that tree, Cathy?”…to which Cathy replied ; “Oh, no!…they were much too expensive…they wanted a thousand dollars!”….there was a moments silence while they returned to their eating, then Barbara stops again looks at Cathy..with her fork with a bit of potato on it pointing at me and she says ; “Why don’t you get Ron to do the job…he’s cheap!”…[ now this is the important point…listen closely…after relating this sad little episode to me and he felt it, believe me..he was saddened ..he leant toward me and spoke in a lowered tone like he was telling a confidant]..: “You see..you are never their friend…never!…you’re always just the worker…you’re never a friend to them, just the worker.”

    He didn’t say anything to them, he didn’t let them see he was hurt…he finished his meal and then pleaded weariness and went home…But at that moment, this man with almost no schooling, no outward knowledge of the structural strata of social classes or even any nous of the perception of those with such excellent education qualifications, this man learnt and interpreted in an instant the Marxian ethos ; the positioning of himself, his fellows in trade, and all those in employment who do labour for a boss…in those words ; “…you are never THEIR friend…” their friend….them. He did not just mean Spero and his family, he was referring to that whole class of people…a class he never before gave more than a seconds’ thought to in regards HIS position in their society. He was one of the most honest workers I have met…he would scorn shirking on the job as one would spit a bad taste out of one’s mouth!

    Yet while Ron understood the situation, Spero and his wife didn’t !…They didn’t because they had been tutored ( both at expensive private schools) in a different but parallel system…THEY were not required to sympathise with Ron “the worker”…they behaved toward Ron as they would toward their other possessions. They couldn’t see any problem with their behaviour because THEY had been educated into their social position and expected someone like Ron to seek to admire and aspire UPWARD to their level of society. But Ron had NO INTEREST in becoming as one with that strata of society..he was confident and content in his own person..as are most of us. So while Ron mixed with them out of a sense of camaraderie and friendship, they saw themselves as doing him a favour……extraordinary, as in reality, it was Ron who, by his skilled labour, helped create the income and therefore their status and lifestyle they got through their speculative building.

  12. @RosemaryJ36

    Until you have a majority in a nation, and consequently in the ruling party, which believe in equality of opportunity and contributing to the public good according to your means, we will continue to be bedevilled by greed and self-interest. And don’t look to the churches, synagogues, mosques and temples for relief!

  13. Freethinker

    RosemaryJ36, yes I agree with you, and we will need to wait long time for that to happens because education is a slow process.
    When I take my dog for walk I see many houses which are over $500000 with a caravan, boat or luxury cars apart from the working vehicle to serve the self employed tradesman that live there.
    That people do not like to change or sacrifice their financial position to bring some equality of life in the population, many are in the “I want more, bugger you Jack, work your arse like me” group.
    When that group of people start losing everything then we will see the beginning of change.

  14. Glenn K

    i believe the proper expression is “shit from shoeshine”. not only does it roll off the toungue more easily, the implication of using shoe polish has a class bias connotation. makes it more insulting to any wanker thinking he is a class above. … just sayin’…. 🙂

  15. Joseph Carli

    Good one, Glen…here’s a little reminder for all those apprentice carpenters out there..

    Nailing down a pine floor.
    Let me tell you how we used to nail down the floorboards of a house back when I was an apprentice. It was always the apprentice’s job to nail down the floor as it was THE WORST JOB in the list of second fix carpentry. The youngest apprentice got the job and when he was older and a new apprentice came on site, it was passed on to that younger one…it was the way it went.

    Most houses in those days were smaller with smaller rooms, so the usual “run” of continuous nailing was about 3-4metres (in this new money)..or around 10 -15 feet..with around 7 or 8 runs per room..each board with two x 2inch nails per board. You would clasp as many two inch nails as you could hold in your fist and you would start and keep up a rhythm with the nailing…First strike, light , to start the nail off, second to drive it in and third to finish it off flush with the surface of the floorboard so the punch can sink it below the surface in just one blow..and the foreman or carpenter boss got shitty if you over struck the last blow and left a “two-bob” dent in the floor.

    Three strikes from a 24ounce claw hammer..no lighter hammer, because it may take an extra blow to do every nail and they add up, believe me!..no heavier (I can recall 28ounce hammers some brawny chippies had for framing or shutter work on the multi-storeys) or your arm would fall off by the end. Three blows in a continuous rhythm with out break and speed…if you missed feeding the nail from the clutched handful that fed to your thumb and fore-finger, you’d keep the rhythm going by striking the floorboard next to the nail spot just to keep the rhythm going…

    “Tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang… on and on and on…

    Sometimes you’d not have that 2inch nail the right way up or not in quite the right position and you’d come down with that “tap”..which wasn’t a soft touch, by the way, but rather a solid starting hit to set the nail solid ready for the next heavy blow..and you’d spin the nail away and take the force of the hammer blow onto your thumb-nail edge and BY EFFIN’ JAYSUS…did it hurt..and you would end up with a black nail that would, if you are lucky just drop off in a couple of weeks time..unlucky and it would fester under the nail and you’d be weeping in agony at night with the thumping pain until you got your mother (you were only fifteen or so, remember) to heat up the blunt end of a paper-clip and burn it through the nail so that the pus would squirt out and you’d almost swoon with relief..

    But you would keep going..”tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…because it was no use stopping and weeping, no-one else was going to do the job…no-one else was going to rub your hand and say coo-cooing things to you to comfort you because they had suffered the same back when it was their turn…they may come in to check why you’ve stopped the rhythm and say : “Poor bastard”, but you’d keep on going because that was your work that was what is required to get the job done and someone had to do it…and sometimes because of the bruising of that first miss-hit, your thumb would go numb and you couldn’t feed the nails properly and you’d do it again on the same nail and you’d literally WEEP with the pain..but it was no use walking away, quitting or whatever, because the next place you went to also would have a floor needing to be nailed down and there you were ; the apprentice..

    So you just got better at your job..you concentrated on that rhythmic feeding of the nails to your thumb and fore-finger…you kept the blows coming and eventually you could hand the chore over to another apprentice and listen from another room for that rhythmic hammering and wince when you heard the cry of pain…

    You got better..but by Jeesus you got a few bruised thumbs and black nails until you did!..and when you got older and went to the pub with your mates and you raised that schooner or pint of beer, you’d see the ingrained dirt and cuts and callouses on your hand and you’d know which class you and your mates belonged to and you’d know about pain and you’d know about bludgers and con-men and shirking the job and who was really a responsible grown man or woman and any decent worker would respect any other worker for that reason…and be effing proud to be able to do so!

  16. Freethinker

    Good one Joe, reminds me back 60 years or so, when during winter we used to repair the wiring on the vineyards or do fence work.
    Some times the pliers pinched my finger and it was painful indeed.
    In never happens mid morning or in the afternoon, no it happens before 8 am when the frost was on the wires.

  17. Matters Not

    Re:

    why not require that our politicians hold qualifications to match their portfolios?

    Sounds sensible. So why don’t Premiers and Prime Ministers take that opportunity when available? Because they don’t! And for very good reasons.

    Here’s a few thoughts.

    People with qualifications and experience also come with intellectual baggage – including beliefs that they know what the problems are and how to fix same. Using Education as an example. University academics know that the real problem lies with secondary teachers who have no real understanding of the various disciplines and therefore fail to prepare students for further academic understanding. Secondary teachersknow that the fundamental problem lies in the primary school while primary teachers blame the pre-school teachers who know that the problem really begins with the parents – and then there’s the grand parents and so on.

    Appointing an educational expert is fraught

    Same with Health. Nurses have a completely different view than GPs who think that Specialist are …

    Truth is that politicians who claim expertise are a pain in the arse. Worse still are politicians who have partners who claim expertise.

    Important to recognise that role of politicians is not to be policy experts (because they usually have no idea as to the breadth and depth of their portfolio) but to be spokesperson – the public face – and be capable of doing the heavy lifting in Cabinet and the ERC. (One could go on.)

    Let politician do what they do best. And be politicians.

  18. guest

    Joseph, I have a real problem with your concept of a “pure” core of honest commitment. How this “pure” core can be recognised by the electorate is bit of a problem. There is also a problem with what they actually bring to the requirements of governing.

    You give a couple of examples. One is Ron, who is regarded as “cheap”. Yes, the comment is rather tactless. But Ron would also know that in the competitive market there is competition. If Ron was “cheap” I am surprised Ron was not considered as the man for the job. The notion of loyalty seems to be missing here. But I am not convinced that Ron is the kind of man who fits your criteria for being a politician.

    Then we have the story about nailing down a floor, where the experienced floor-nailer avoids the nailing job and passes it on to the junior, perhaps apprenticed, carpenter. Sounds like a cop-out to me. Class warfare within the class.

    Matters Not

    has some opinions about politicians as well. Apparently “People with qualifications and experience come with intellectual baggage”. So no qualifications or experience, thank you. We are Australians.

    A politician’s job is not to be a policy expert “because they have no idea as to the breadth and depth of their portfolio”. Well, I would politely suggest that they should learn about that breadth and depth if they are going to succeed. The idea that they are just the “spokesperson – the public face ” (a muppet?) and do the “heavy lifting in Cabinet” (whatever that is) just does not seem to me to be a suitable job description for a minster of a portfolio. We see the failures of politicians having three portfolios to administer in two years.

    Perhaps we all carry ” intellectual baggage” and our perceptions of other – ie, people, class, job requirements… – is rather limited. Certainly we all need to be more familiar with the nature of government, the social contract and citizenship. The nature of social media at present seems to be saying: “Hey listen to me!” and there are so many people making demands that no politician is up to the job of satisfying all the demands. That noise and static of social media becomes a fog which befuddles everything.

  19. Mick Loughlin

    Anthony Wedgewood Benn, a Viscount related to the Queen who renounced his title and became Tony Benn, is one of the finest socialists on the planet in my opinion. The dumbing down of the working class by constantly cutting education and training is the biggest act of bastardry by these ‘Liberals’ who almost all got a free Uni. education courtesy of Gough Whitlam. Absolute scumbags.

  20. Joseph Carli

    Jesus, guest…try not to be too obtuse!..neither subject (Ron or the Apprentice) were being considered as potential politicians, but rather as examples of how the working class is (in the first case;Ron) used as a convenience before being considered as a friend regardless of how many years of service..the second was a demonstration of the dogged endurance of members of the working class toward their craft and toward each other NOT in any “cop-out” way, but as each takes its turn at the difficult jobs and gains both skill and kudos through their endurance of the pain..(see the “cuts, callouses and ingrained dirt) and the “marks of the lash” accrued from the labour.

    I’ll be honest with you , guest..I despise the middle-class from the bottom of my bottom for what they have done to humanity in their insatiable search for endless booty and power…they have destroyed our culture and replaced it with crass celebrity, they have destroyed real education and replaced it with “directed to serve” instructions..destroyed our time for storytelling and replaced it with glittering prizes…destroyed our valued things and replaced them with lucre…once they gain control of the political means of governance, they begin to destroy any remnant of civilisation..The middle-class is a metaphor for greed and corruption, for seeking the most reward for their least labour, they must corrupt through bribery and force those who produce the commodities that gives them the luxury they so hunger for, at the same time denying those producers the same level of luxury that would debase the value of their harboured wealth.

    Sure..I cannot by myself or with the assistance of others bring about significant change in just one life-time…but I don’t need to..because I can read in my studies of history, that there is a “built in obsolescence” with their form of governance in that they themselves cannot control each other from seeking excessive greed and power even at the expense of each other…and I do believe we are seeing some of that stupidity being played out even in these days…so who knows?

  21. Freethinker

    Spot on Joe, it was not very hard for me to understand the meaning of your post.
    I hope that one day people will weak up that those in the middle are the butler of their masters, the elite class, to exploit the servants AKA working class.

  22. guest

    Thank you, Joseph. Even in Soviet communism they had low class peasants, middle class peasants and upper class peasants. In Oz we talk about a classless society – but we are still working on it, some harder than others.

  23. Freethinker

    Soviet communism?
    Ex communism and well before Brezhnev era IMO.
    But yes it is human nature, the ones at the bottom are trying to get up levels in society by stepping on the shoulders and heads of others.

  24. Joseph Carli

    guest…” we ” . . . ?

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Joseph,

    an interesting repudiation of the aspirational middle class. I once considered myself crassly as middle class. I hate talking in ‘class’ terms, as it gives the impression there is a hierarchy of people according to importance which they often don’t deserve.

    Having said that, I have always been proud of my forebears’ working classness, so I suppose I would not object to being identified as educated working class. I don’t recognise anybody’s assumption of being higher in their standing than the position of educated working class.

  26. Joseph Carli

    Yes, JMS..one has to know and respect the journey of one’s heritage.

  27. Freethinker

    Jennifer, perhaps we can say that in many cases are higher in their financial position but in some cases not necessary in their moral values.
    My dad used to say that low in moral values and integrity is the worse kind of poverty and the only one to be a shame of it.
    He always say to us that a non educated rural worker who was in that position no for his fault deserved the same respect that the most qualified professional.
    I thank him to be educated in that manner.

  28. Joseph Carli

    Many members of the middle-class are inventive and creative people who have worked and created their wealth in a legitimate way and you can see when you meet such that they are in many cases humble and decent people…It is those opportunists in the entrepreneurial / speculative game that look to capitalise on every and any method to enrich themselves that are the most destructive to a society…the irony for these people is that they have to learn the hard way that to make yourself rich by destroying a place or thing, you first have to “destroy” yourself and in many cases also those around you.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In my family, I have all sorts of what crassly is called ‘class’. It really hurts when some who have achieved economic rewards, receive better accolades than others who have dedicated themselves to broadening their minds and living according to democratic socialist principles.

    I’m sick of the focus on class coz it gives such narrow-minded assumptions oxygen to continue according to pathetic goals, while the world dies, people stay unemployed and homeless people suffer in the streets.

  30. Matters Not

    guest re:

    and do the “heavy lifting in Cabinet” (whatever that is)

    Cabinet Ministers play any number of roles. Apart from having a partner with all that entails, they are also a local member with responsibilities to meet local delegations, visit fetes and the like, attend Branch meetings and so on, they also are a Member of Parliament and expected to understand and vote accordingly on wide ranging legislation (usually they don’t have to understand – because all they have to do is simply follow the party line and raise their hand at the appropriate moment).

    They are also a member, if not a leader, of a faction. It’s this ‘factional’ location that determines whether they will advance or even whether (or not) they will survive the next ‘reshuffle’. Or even lose endorsement. Accordingly, Members miss factional meetings at their peril. Only fools do!

    Then there’s their responsibilities as a Cabinet Minister involving weekly meetings with significant decisions to be made. Ambitious Ministers want to be across all Cabinet submissions which means they need to be across ‘portfolios’ outside their expertise and even outside the expertise of their Department. For ambitious Ministers this is an ongoing trial by fire. In Cabinet, they’re are on their own, confronted by virtually every other Minister around the table. Better be prepared. And if it’s your Submission and it falls over then – big trouble. (After all it’s politicians versus politicians – never a pretty sight. Ego versus ego.)

    Then there’s the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) which determines which (new) programs will be funded, maintained or abandoned. Usually Ministers are required to present both possibilities for ‘savings’ as well as proposals for new directions. (It’s a trap. Witnessed, new Ministers list a whole range of ‘savings’ proposals in the hope that their ‘new’ idea would be accepted (did so with a smile) – only to see all the savings accepted but see their new idea(s) confined to the dustbin. The look on their faces.) ERC is politically brutal.

    And for many there’s their role as a Minister responsible for a Department or two. But for many it’s not their day job! Sort of a sideline to what’s really important to them. Their political survival. That’s why they are politicians. Not policy wonks.

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