There was a moment, it is written, when Julius Caesar stood on the foggy far bank of the Rubicon in silence, with his formations of loyal legionnaires at his back before he whispered those fateful words; “Jacta alia est”.
I feel empowered today to whisper those same sentiments if not the actual words … for it is not with the intent to conquer a government that I am writing this piece, it is with the intent of wresting the conversation away from those who like to think they are in control of where the left-wing politics of this nation ought to be heading. For too long has the needs of the “wretched poor” of that majority of the national population … and in that bracket, whether they want to know it, accept it, or not, I include the everyday pensioner, be them aged and surviving from pillar to post pension payment or the other myriad of the poor, be they Indigenous, refugees, invalids or the working poor “other” … the so many and increasing number who have little connection to the Glam and Glitter nightly portrayed in an endless stream of inconsequential and mindless reality television fantasy … a fantasy, the ABC is keen on increasing with a new direction of portrayals of warm‘n fuzzy personal stories rather than disturbing investigative current affairs. For too long have they been tricked and maneuvered by a duplicitous middle-class.
For while the more radical side of the left-wing keep calling for intensifying the pressure on those representatives in the parliament, we see only a very cautious edging toward further left … much like a bad vaudeville act comically edging itself off stage. This is most probably governed by the frightful reality that the general population is fearful of radical anything that could jeopardise their hard-won fantasy of a plasma TV in the lounge room and that faint scent of Glen 20 in every other! Even if both the TV and the couch are “on the tick”.
With a population that was dead-weary after two world wars in the space of two generations, they were a sucker for the Menzies era of “Father Knows Best” governance … where successive Liberal governments were returned with little more effort than a false belief in the generosity that they were “The hand that giveth” … and the arm that kept the dreaded “Reds” at bay … and when the time for a more radical left-wing government was deemed necessary, the fear was portrayed that the entire nation would be sent into the red-column of bankruptcy because the government of the day “gave too much”, a handy coup d’état put paid to a continuity of “fair go” politics.
From then on in, we, the people, have suffered a decline in living wages and standards with the following of capital’s egregious philosophy of economic rationalism where once at least we had the illusion of the hand that was “giving” was our government, now we have those corporate banking institutions in charge of the economic direction of the nation and the monetary system has become “The hand that giveth – credit” … and bankruptcies have never looked better, and white-collar crime has never been more profitable … and respectful … so respectful, in fact, that now it even appears to have the tick of government approval!
So why has it come to this?
Simple: The education of a middle-class that has been indoctrinated to believe that the only way to a civilised and functioning society is to have that class of “institutionally trained” devotees managing both the treasury and the political direction. For it is no accident that such institutions of education have been lauded and funded and held to the highest esteem of the pinnacle of learning and cultural sophistication, let alone that of intellectual and academic brilliance so that after all the glittering prizes have been distributed to them and them only, the churned-out products of these “ruling-class machines” speak the same “language”, see the same “horizons”, and hear the same “cry of needs of the people” that they perceive it is their duty to govern … after all, was it not written; “Father Knows Best”. So that even those women who graduate from such institutions may believe they are “calling the shots” of liberation from a patriarchal tyranny, they are only doing what is within what could be called a “perimeter of containment” that allows those of the middle-class to “rip-it-up” so far and then the nurtured indoctrination of “trigger comforts” pulls them back to gaze more closely and sentimentally on the treasures and possibilities accumulated by their parents and social kind and to reassess if they really want to go to that radical “bridge too far”.
So then the “soft-soaping” of their more radical vocabulary begins and quickly fades from an “we must” to a gentrified; “There ought to be some consideration toward … ” and the conversation that was entrusted by the working classes to those who had persuasive command of language and “learned” politics now becomes a light-headed whine and whinge of the bleedin’ obvious … because all that time while we of the half-educated working class deferred trust and voice to those better educated to speak on our behalf, they have instead fallen back on their social status blood-line and do not want to lose out on the better things in their life for nothing more than what they have been told is a futile fight for liberty and equality with the great, stinking, out-of-tune song singing ungrateful unwashed.
Might they now truly believe in their soul of souls is right … and that is about as far as their reach for democracy goes!
There were two incidents in Australian colonial history that could have changed the conservative direction that this nation has gone down. The first was the Eureka Stockade Uprising, the second was the insurgency of the Kelly Gang, culminating in the siege of The Glenrowan Inn … pity the night that the schoolteacher (a middle-class aspirant?) ran to warn the special troop train before it was derailed by the deliberately loosened tracks and sent plummeting down the embankment that could have created the necessary destruction of the belief of central colonial power and led to the envisioned and threatened uprising of the Irish settlers of Western Victoria. Such is Life.
But in these days of social media revolution, when the capacity for radicalising of the left has never been more possible, we still have those scared, timid voices of the trained poodles of the middle-classes whispering their “Peter Pan” ideals into the ears of the fearful “don’t be too radical … look what (we/I) … you could lose … sure, you got every reason to complain, and look! … here … I’m always here to help you complain … ” So its futile, silly letters to a minister, silly open letters to politicians, “fists in Gucci gloves” waving in the air to be followed with a tiring sigh and comforting words in the plummy-accent with fellow radical Wilderness School or Scotch College old fellows at their fav’ café or split-level house in Toorak or North Shore or the sub-equal … emulated in the lower caste suburbs by a “seen in Vogue magazine” interior decorations and the plasma in the lounge but with a/many delicately balanced credit accounts that with just one loss of income could bring the entire suburban fantasy of the house of cards tumbling down and the whole family spends Chrissy and the near future by the sea in a loaned caravan on a sad council oval with so many other homeless working people.
But don’t worry. ”They” have your interests at heart and are more than willing to give you a “voice of complaint” on a media platform they share with their fellow status authors … you are not alone … till the bailiff comes.
It is interesting in this town I live near … it has been a conservative-voting town for as long as I can ascertain … many, many years … and they swear by the Liberal Party as having the best interests for the country folk … yet it has to be the centre for the most disadvantaged and in many case most impoverished folk in the region … and the town has gone from vibrant centre to wrack, ruin and despair with most of the historical pioneer civic structures crumbling or in a sad state of disrepair to display loss of inspiration to lift themselves up … all is self-centred toward the individual and to self-preservation. They are divided … like the rest of the nation … and they are in consequence … ruled by their tormentors … and they can see no other way because they distrust any words that speak of radical politics, but go to the general store and you can ascertain their trust of dietary habits by the stacks of “preferred brand” of frozen pizza!
Why has it come to this?
Too much listening to a duplicitous educated to imbecility middle-class knowing the price of every one of their possessions and having no idea of the value of a quality of life lost by the working poor so they whisper insincere words of the possibilities of “personal achievement” rather than listen to an honest inner voice of liberation and revolution!