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Oh so predictable

In December last year, before the government released MYEFO or the budget giving credence to the agenda we all anticipated with dread, before we repealed the mining and carbon taxes, before we went to war or started selling everything we own to lay thousands of kilometres of bitumen, when I was much more scared of Abbott than anyone in a burqa (still am..by far), I wrote an article about the role of government.  It was largely based on an essay that I had read titled Responsibilities of Government.

After twelve months of an Abbott government, and considering where we are at now, I would like to revisit what I considered important at the time.

“The government of a democracy is accountable to the people. It must fulfil its end of the social contract. And, in a practical sense, government must be accountable because of the severe consequences that may result from its failure. As the outcomes of fighting unjust wars and inadequately responding to critical threats such as global warming illustrate, great power implies great responsibility.”

“The central purpose of government in a democracy is to be the role model for, and protector of, equality and freedom and our associated human rights. For the first, government leaders are social servants, since through completing their specific responsibilities they serve society and the people. But above and beyond this they must set an ethical standard, for the people to emulate. For the second, the legal system and associated regulation are the basic means to such protection, along with the institutions of the military, for defence against foreign threats, and the police.”

“Government economic responsibility is also linked to protection from the negative consequences of free markets. The government must defend us against unscrupulous merchants and employers, and the extreme class structure that results from their exploitation.

Governments argue that people need to be assisted with the economic competition that now dominates the world. But the real intent of this position is to justify helping corporate interests . . . siding against local workers, consumers and the environment.”

“Another general role, related to the need for efficiency, is the organization of large-scale projects. It is for this benefit that we accept government involvement in the construction of society’s infrastructure, including roads, posts and telecommunications, and water, sewage and energy utilities. Further, giving government charge over these utilities guarantees that they remain in public hands, and solely dedicated to the common good. If such services are privatized, the owners have a selfish motivation, which could negatively affect the quality of the services.

That such assets should have public ownership is expressed in the idea of the “commons.” They should be owned by and shared between the members of the current population, and preserved for future generations.”

“Indeed, while we of course still need a means of defence, including against both external and internal (criminal) aggressors, it seems clear that our greatest need for protection is from other institutions and from the abuses of government itself, particularly its collusion with these other institutions. (Many of the needs that we now have for government are actually to solve the problems that it creates.)”

It didn’t really need a crystal ball to predict our demise. Is there any hope to inform the electorate in time to avoid repeating the mistake of 2013?

 

14 comments

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  1. Don Winther

    We will need an opposition party first then the electorate can inform itself.

  2. abbienoiraude

    Thank you Kaye for reiterating this.
    I thought Abbott and his form of ‘governing’ would be horrific but he even exceeded my expectations.

    The phrase that jumped out at me of most importance was;
    “But above and beyond this they must set an ethical standard, for the people to emulate.”

    This Government of ours has now proved beyond reasonable doubt that they do not have ‘ethical standards’ of any kind that any Australian could recognise.
    Warmongering is not ethical.

  3. Kaye Lee

    BREAKING NEWS……

    For all those who have shared my concern about the disappearance of Special Envoy Major-General (ret) Jim Molan after being given $1 million in the budget to be our “troubleshooter” re asylum seekers, rest easy….I have found him.

    “A retired army officer has quit working for Defence Minister David Johnston just three weeks after being hired to advise on a review into the nation’s long-term defence policy.

    Retired major-general Jim Molan, who helped the coalition author its policy to stop the flow of asylum seeker boats, has made it clear the minister, David Johnston, was the cause of his sudden resignation.

    General Molan told the Ten Network he “accepted a request” from the Defence Minister to advise on the Defence white paper, to be published next year, which helps inform the next decade’s defence policy and strategy.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/retired-top-army-officer-quits-working-for-david-johnston-after-only-three-weeks-20140921-10jx0l.html#ixzz3ED6DJkWP

    ”I am as happy as a pig in shit – you can quote me on that – doing what I’m doing at the moment.” – Special Envoy Jim Molan.

    And why wouldn’t you be Jim. Nice little racket you’ve got going there.

    http://theaimn.com/has-anybody-seen-tonys-envoy/

  4. M-R

    None. The electorate has shown itself able to forget anything at all, provided it is told (a) of terrifying things looming then (b) how the guvmint will protect it.
    I despair.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Tweet by Tony Windsor:

    @Tony Windsor: “John Howard and John Anderson will be remembered for their role in 130000 deaths based on a lie . Read hansard when Aus went to war.”

  6. John Fraser

    <

    China, India, Russia ……………. and Australia.

    The only rogue countries whose leaders did not attend the U.N. Climate change Summit.

    And the moron Abbott was in New York today.

  7. donwreford

    How is the public to understand what our demise means? is the meaning, we now have chickens in the back yard? feeding them scraps? or do we cut back the collaboration with Japan, to cut down the number of submarines or jets we are to purchase? can any one let us know who the possibility of the enemy is? that we need to protect ourselves from? so far of recent, we have two police officers stabbed, do we need tanks to guard against potential attacks, protecting our police stations? in particular the Afghans, may rise up against us and the boats may be come ships and the ships may become aircraft carriers? I having a extremely delicate nervous system, told to keep calm! I am so distraught having to increase my nerve pills, of course the government wants to keep us calm, remember the captain of the luxury liner, the captain said just stay where you are, ! stay calm those who stayed in the cabins as obedient pacifist personnel, drowned.

  8. stephentardrew

    Bitta Conflict:

    Hey brethren I have watched 66 years of this crap go down and really, honestly, I just giggle away at the absurdity of it all. Bit of a laugh, bit of a joke, bit of a circus hey! De big bad scary terrorists. Kid gets killed whadaya expect. Stop getting shit on your livers it just ain’t worth it. You see I have a little secret. I am caught in a universe of cause and effect where every event is a necessity of its factual existence otherwise it would not occur. Damn that is one headache of a realization at first, however, my little secret is I live in my universe of love, compassion, equity, forgiveness, infinity and insight and it stands aloof from all that is disturbing and traumatizing. Cop out? No because my universe is real to me and I refuse to interpret my world on the terms of some ignorant dunderheads who think the impermanent is real. Sure I am concerned and feel for my fellows like the rest of you lot however my universe is stable, infinite, timeless and immovable. No religion, no dogma, no ideology and not absolutist atheism. Furthermore it is founded soundly in real science not the reductionist tripe that determinists, nihilists, atheists and logical empiricists peddle as fact while so much is up for grabs. Has anyone ever followed up my suggestion of exploring the profound implications of infinite universes (inflation theory, the string landscape of M-theory or slow roll inflation) and infinity in set theory, calculus, geometry etc?

    Question is then am I mad? Well in the perspective of this universe most certainly but my universe has no evil or madness it is simply what it is. No word of mouth, no shape of form no attachment to time and no expectation things be other than what they are.

    Life is even shorter than I thought yet is longer than I could have imagined. So my friends, and I say that in all sincerity, find it in your hearts to love and be in a good universe and then the conflict will seem like so much confetti on the emptiness of times long gone and futures as yet unresolved. There is, after all, only the now yet every now is different for each and every one of us (relativity theory – time dilation). You see there is one mindbogglingly huge realm of potentiality and actuality imprinted upon the matrix of existence that is mysterious and awe inspiring which rests within each and every one of us.

    Don’t ask anyone to give it to you you must find it for yourselves. Now once we think we know it all we become inwardly moribund, bound by beginnings and ends, and that can lead to cynicism, hopelessness, despair and regret.

    Why did I set to rambling such nonsense? Because you are friends searching as I for justice and goodness, and though we may disagree upon the details, I appreciate every one of you because what we are searching for is more real than the universe itself.

    In art and Love.

    I think its time to stick a trap on the yap.

  9. Rob031

    Think back to 1900. We have made it to 2014. That’s a mere 114 years. And what about 2100? Only 84 years from now. My kid’s kids will be adults then. What will they have to deal with then? It depresses me mightily.

  10. Rob031

    It doesn’t do much for all the diodes down my left side either 😉

  11. corvus boreus

    Rob031,
    Don’t talk to me about life! 😉

  12. stephentardrew

    Tis sad when after several centuries of science and technological development, leading to profoundly complex informations systems built upon logic and scientific investigation which provide the goods that make life more pleasant, logic has so little purchase while the madness of ideology still reigns supreme. But as the scientific evidence demonstrates we must promote rationality and logic while giving people hope and a sense of purpose, mystery, awe and wonder simply because that is what most want. Earnest Becker wrote a timely book many years ago called “The Denial of Death” which clearly sets out the complex dynamics and subjective implication of mortality. What is the use of science if we cannot willingly accept the evidence and then promote a positive sense of mystery as people continually struggle with hopelessness and fear of death. That is why religion has such purchase in contemporary society We cannot preempt evolution or assume we know where it must go however we ignore the evidence at great cost to our societies and our future environment.

    The question then arises how do we disseminate facts while leaving people open to wishes, hopes and desires for purpose free from the binding constraints of religion. Fascinatingly the advocates of science and deterministic atheism can be as blind as any ideologue if they ignore the evidence. And so the foundation of my earlier missive.

    We have to think outside of he box because what is going on within the box is pretty disturbing for those who want a better world for our children.

  13. Ruth Lipscombe

    Oh Kaye,I sincerely hope so.
    I could not bear another term and I am too old to emigrate.
    If all your many readers continue to circulate the FACTS you document as widely as possible (send them to All the Pollies in the Federal Labor Party too and ask them WHAT they are doing to get rid of the worst Govt ever) and talk up AIM blogs and The Saturday Paper then MAYBE we stand a chance.

  14. trevor

    Stephen Tardrew

    In the languages of the South American locales is a quaint expression that celebrates and defines the Mad, but not the bad.

    LOCO means good crazy.

    And for all the uptights, it is all langauge based that which brings heart burn instead of heart filled.

    There it is, the only clue that I give freely.

    Sack Abbott the LIAR and his rabble of Liarbril’s masquerading as MP’s

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