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Is there a glimmer of a coming Enlightenment in Australia?

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment.

After living through the Dark Ages of the ATM government, is it possible that Australia is edging towards its own Enlightenment?

People are starting to wake up to the climate change deniers. Much as they may want cheaper power, they also want to leave their children a viable planet to live on. The Coalition can cuddle coal all they want but the people want renewable energy.

Queensland has conceded that women who choose to terminate a pregnancy are not criminals. Have we finally been elevated beyond vessel/vassal status and given the right to have control over our own bodies?

Next Monday, the Prime Minister will deliver a National Apology to victims and survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The churches have been made to confess their sins.

There is genuine movement on saving the children on Nauru from the torture we have imposed on them. Let’s hope it happens before a child dies at our hands.

The government was also led kicking and screaming to acknowledging the right of all adults to marry without the state telling them who they may or may not love. True tolerance and acceptance of people regardless of their sexuality still has some way to go but progress has been made.

While women remain woefully under-represented in positions of power, big business and the Labor Party have taken concrete steps to address this imbalance.

Politicians who seek to promote fear about Muslims, African ‘gangs’, and non-white immigration are finally being told to sit down and shut up.

The government peremptorily rejected the Uluru Statement from the Heart but their voices are being heard around the country and others are joining their trek to provide a future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

Perhaps we needed the horror of Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce and now the hapless hopeless Melissa Price, to make us say whoa, wrong way, go back.

We need transparent, accountable government. We need respectful relationships built on the trust that honesty and reliability deliver. We need all Australians to keep the momentum going.

What we don’t need is more marketing.


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  1. Babyjewels

    And we don’t want to be seen as New Zealand’s redneck bush cousins any longer! I hope you’re right, Kaye. It does appear this government is being dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century at last, though I know that the likes of Morrison and Dutton et al will be digging their heels in all the way.

  2. Steve Flora

    “From Your Lips to Whoever (if Anybody) May Be Up There Listening’s Ears …”

  3. Diannaart

    Waiting to see the results of the Wentworth election before I am willing to see a glimmer of light.

  4. Andrew Chambers

    Hi Kaye Lee, thanks as always for the ongoing critique and commentary. I too share an optimism for our future evolution though I am continually mystified why there’s never any serious discussion or information on the subject in the MSM or our dearly flogged ABC.

    The evolution is in Democracy. It’s a simple revocation of the long held franchise by our parliamentarians to develop policy and vote in legislation, returning that privilege and responsibility back to us all.

    As your argument asserts it’s by POPULAR demand and consumer choice that many of the Government’s long held policy choices are being rolled back (some not soon enough for the abused on Nauru, Manus and in detention). While the LNP holds Coal aloft in parliament, Australians are buying PV & batteries by the truckload and to such an extent that they have moved the market (our local grid supplier has banned any further connections…)

    Time we took this connectivity into the mainstream and understood that technology and society have been on a parallel developmental arc toward the return of the digital agora – something that looks like social media but is owned by us all and is responsive to our needs while being responsible for our individual and collective welfare. is just one of MANY organisations developing the OS for Democracy, theirs, Sovereign, is designed to be open source utilising the shared resource of attention and computational power to ensure privacy, security and a truthful record of events. This may not be what we want, Flux in Australia or Mi-Vote, but to name two, offer other alternatives. What the world is not short of is solutions.

    Strangely, or not, what abounds is silence – a great yawning institutional indifference to evolving the only organisation in society that has NOT been transformed by technology – parliament – the lone outlier, seat of all power, our centre of “Democracy”

    In this case, what we do need is an open market to ideas. – A map of the many offerings in Democracy and technology plus backgrounders…

    Take a look, it can only inform you of the choice we now have.


  5. paul walter

    Having a bit of smile just now but will get back when I realise how disappointing the ramifications of it are.

  6. Keith

    Wentworth will provide a litmus test as to where we stand. It will be a grand day should the Liberals lose their seat.

  7. Stephegb

    Thank you Kaye Lee, I needed to hear a bit of optimis, the events world wide are making me very despondent.

    The march of the extremist Right authoritarian government’s accross the globe is beginning to frighten me, and others too, I suspect.


  8. Frank Smith

    “What we don’t need is more marketing.”

    We certainly do not need “more marketing”, but that is exactly what we will get until this mob are finally relegated to the scrap heap. Let us hope that Wentworth provides a glimmer of hope on Saturday, but these idiots can and will do enormous damage to our country and democracy until we voters finally wake up and boot them to the Never-Never. Their present “policy on the run” backflips, desperately grasping at straws, is indicative of panic at realization that their “born-to-rule” mantra may not survive another election. Whilst this may provide deep satisfaction to those of us who oppose their neoliberal concepts, let us not forget that this mob of shysters have stacked our Institutions and Public Service with like-minded ideologues who will do their utmost to blunt any reform agenda should an election finally bring about a change of Government.

  9. paul walter

    When in doubt, run the Red Smear.

    Not as effective these days, the Soviet Union collapsed nearly thirty years ago’s morphed from “communist plot” to “terrorist plot”, but it is always the same Chicken Little sky is falling in stuff.

  10. paul walter

    When you think about it, Morrisons “anti semitism ” smear in parliament yesterday is the perfect example of what the red smear has evolved into over changing times.

  11. Diannaart

    I thought it was “reds under the bed” … “red smear” takes my thoughts somewhere completely different.

    Anyway, yes, the tactics of fear always dragged out, dusted off by (mostly) rigid conservatives … because it works? Certainly means not having to think things through. Like blaming Labor, easy to do.

    One could be forgiven for thinking it is the right wing who are averse to a little work.


  12. helvityni

    The Happy Clapper has not improved our happiness (contentment) level, on the yearly list Oz has gone down; Finland and the other Nordic countries are at the top, only Sweden has slipped to the ninth…

    Canada and NZ are there amongst the ten, let the left-over asylum seekers go NZ….please..

  13. Kyran

    “The Age of Reason” could only occur after “The Reformation”, which served to illustrate that Church edicts were not only contradictory, but challengeable. It goes without saying that the ‘Age of Reason’ was concurrent with other ‘social’ movements in Europe, such as the French, Russian and English ‘class revolutions’. That they only achieved replacement of one tyranny with another is a matter of historical record.
    The Age of Reason was also concurrent with the ‘Industrial Revolution’, circa 1760 – 1840.

    “The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. Some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase consistently for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries.”

    It is ironic that the ‘Technological Revolution’ is occurring at a much faster rate but the returns to the ‘units of production’, labour and capital, are inversely proportionate to the achievements of the Industrial Revolution. At a time when technology should enable equality and empower egalitarian outcomes, it is serving to disrupt the workplace to the detriment of workers, disrupt society to the detriment of citizens and enshrine ‘return on investment’ as the only criteria for anything.
    Few begrudge ‘reward for effort’, but the obscene disparity is out of control.
    Mr Chambers point is well worth noting as it highlights the ‘undercurrent’ of the potential for change now at our disposal. The traditional power bases, political parties, are all but irrelevant, so outdated is their thinking. Labor have been developing policy and, credit where it’s due, they have at least consulted outside their membership in the formulation. But the model remains the same. Once the party has decided its policy, it is tied with all of their other policies and offered on a take it or leave it basis.
    At least there is a semblance of due process. The IPA, on the other hand, develop a list of demands, devoid of logic, reason or substantiation (certainly not scrutiny or consultation) and hand it to their ‘political wing’ as an ultimatum. In that sense, Ms Lee, I agree that it is only the incredible stupidity and arrogance of the ATM regime that has allowed the charade to be exposed.
    The Democracy Earth movement referenced by Mr Chambers is already underway in Australia, albeit in disparate groups. GetUp is a frequent target of the government, ostensibly because they are, at best, politically aligned or, at worst, anarchic. The IPA are terrified of them because they are allowing everyday people access to change outside of the traditional political process. That GetUp’s growth (in membership, participation and $$$$) is so consistent scares the bejesus out of any beneficiaries of the traditional political process.
    As for the rabble known as the ACTU and their affiliates, various unions have been launching numerous campaigns which this government has kept tied up in the courts to avoid any advancement. The CPSU is engaged with more than a dozen government agencies, nearly all of which are tied up in legal process.
    It can come as no surprise that the ACTU has had to act outside of the parliamentary process to change the rules, such is the legal disadvantage of workers. That Labor is so cowed by the perception of being tainted by association with such a basic notion gives some indication of the power the traditional political processes think they have.
    It will be interesting to see if people turn up to the rallies over the next few days.

    It is an insane situation when the workers have to seek the employers approval to withdraw their labour, in an attempt to protest their working conditions. Hence the need to change the rules.

    “The Morrison government’s building regulator has warned construction workers that they could be exposed to prosecution for unlawful industrial action unless they get advance written permission from their employer to join a month of ACTU rallies kicking off next week.
    The Australian Building and Construction Commission said yesterday the maximum penalty faced by a construction worker for unprotected industrial action was $42,000, more than three times the maximum penalty under the Fair Work Act.
    Unions predict city building sites are likely to be shut down during the protest rallies but the ABCC said a worker’s failure to get written advance authority to stop work “may constitute unlawful industrial action”.”

    There can be no discussion of the new ‘Age of Reason’ or ‘Enlightenment’ without reference to serial idiot Kelly O’Dwyer, the lawyer who couldn’t argue her way out of a banking RC interview with Barrie Cassidy, such is her inadequacy.

    “The Federal Government has joined a court case trying to stop casual workers “double dipping” on leave entitlements, arguing recent decisions have caused “anxiety” among small businesses around the country.”

    “Unions are furious with Ms O’Dwyer’s decision, accusing the Minister of fundamentally misunderstanding both the law and the circumstances of the case.
    Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michele O’Neil said the truck driver in the first case had been employed for two-and-a-half years, and was paid 30 per cent less than permanent workers at the company.
    “What the company did was, instead of employing him as a permanent worker as they should have, they used a labour hire firm to bring him in on a rate that was 30 per cent less,” Ms O’Neil said.”

    How can you possibly argue against stupid? So many of us are eager for the new age of reason, and our climate tells us to get on with it, it is that urgent. As long as these gits are anywhere near the conversation, you will only have it debased with IPA doublespeak.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  14. Kerry

    Yes all good reasons to be positive. And yet we are right now supporting the US in many illegal wars around the world where we are killing innocent people every day. We are importing and manufacturing arms in Australia now. We can ‘t claim any moral high ground or possible enlightenment until we stop supporting war, under any pretext.
    The war we are making as Allies in the Middle East is the same war we make on refugees on Nauru. That is what Australians need to understand and stop supporting.
    Liberal and Labour are equally culpable at this point in time.

  15. paul walter

    And you, Kyran.

  16. MetaDataLata

    What we really need more of now is an Education revolution where not just kids but those adults that seem to be unable to sort the chaff and spin from the facts can learn to value reason, logic and science. That would give publications like the News Corpse rubbish and our mainstream tv networks no audience resulting in a death from natural causes. And limit the damage that religious dogma can do to society.
    Great article as ever, Kaye and excellent commentary. AIMN is really a special news and commentary forum.

  17. David Bruce

    Yesterday was a bit of a shocking news day! Audio tape disclosed of journalist being dismembered in Saudi Embassy in Turkey. Then attempted coup on Vald Putin! Finally, TS Michael Cat 1 storm is modified to become Cat 5 Hurricane Michael, which then slammed into the Florida Coast near Tyndall Air Force Base on Thursday. An unspecified number of the 55-strong Raptor fleet was still on the ground. Seems Israel has been gifted 20 “damaged” Raptors as scrap? One way to counter Mr Putin supplying S300 anti aircraft systems to Syria? I guess Mr Murdoch, Mr Cheney and Lord Jacob really want the oil in the Golan Heights when Syria is balkanized and Israel get the heights… not even a mention of ScoMo!

    The Liberal luddites have yet to learn our society is being driven by new technologies! Telstra is rolling out their new 5G network, for example, so Liberals and their sycophants are looking for ways to make a buck by investing again, in copper!

    It is regrettable that our elected leaders are not in control of the external factors affecting the agenda of our society. Australia is part of the 5 Eyes + 1 network and now we are part of Nato (formerly NATO). We have military forces in the Middle East and some operating in Syria! Why? Is it to gain protection from a powerful “friend” so that we don’t fall victim to the expansion plans of other powers in our region? We are being played for fools by the MSM, the Australian Government and “powerful” friends.

    The world is changing and for the better I believe, because decent people can see through the spin and outright lies being told.

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