The Racist Agenda Was Made to Destroy The Working Class
The fear of ‘the others’ permeates everything lately. Social media, politicians, commentators and the mainstream media are enabling a culture of stigma and ‘othering’. Fear of people we don’t understand shuffles beneath the surface of individual thought. These fears have a parasitic grip on beliefs, ideas and thought. It channels thought, word and deed through the prism of fear. This fear is a man-made construct, developed by conservatives to destroy the working class. It can be framed as the pre-agenda of the real agenda. The real agenda for the conservatives is as always – to destroy the working class. The pre-agenda is to establish a base, through fear of others, to help them get there.
Racism, Fear and Work Choices
This pre-agenda was first tried in the 1990’s with the aim to support the real agenda. That was to see more people embrace Howard’s Work Choices. In the 1990’s the stigma and fear of Indigenous people and Asian people was developed with a particular aim. That is fear would grip people. They would turn to those speaking out loudest against Indigenous people and Asian people. This would then, see people turn to the Government’s ‘paternalist-guiding hand’ agenda. In other words, stand with the Government to destroy the unions and destroy the working class. Even better if you were working class yourself and you left the union.
It was not going according to plan. To save some face, Howard had to terminate his association with the person he mentored, developed and gave a platform to, to be the voice of the pre-agenda. The agenda of racism. A person so ‘brave’ her voice shook when she spoke. A person dressed as an everyday Australian suburban woman. The mother at school, the tuckshop lady, the shop owner, the corner store worker. The person we don’t really know but feel comfortable ‘having a chat to.’ This person was Pauline Hanson. Pauline Hanson was to be the very voice to create a culture of fear, stigma and racism. This fear was to be so great that people’s attention would divert away from the atrocity of Work Choices. So blinded by fear of others, they would support it.
Work Choices Enabled
As history has shown us, this backfired. It was the wrong time and the wrong targets of racism for longevity. It did work in part. A conservative Government was in for four terms and the biggest defining piece of anti-worker legislation was enabled.
However, the uptake was not strong enough for people to be blinded to the plight of the worker and the destructive anti-worker policies put forward by the Howard Government.The Rights at Work movement was the light of the working class fighting against the darkness of Work Choices. Good trumped Evil and in 2007 the working class won. We are seeing no such movement today. No such swell of deep angst organising to take up the cause. The ‘fear of other’s’ is blinding people to the real agenda. There appears to be no lessons learnt from the Work Choices era.
The Agenda of Fear Enables Attacks on the Working Class
Prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, racism, hatred and xenophobia suck the life from rational decision-making like an insidious contagious disease. Once it has obtained its grip, this fear underpins and drives people to agree and believe in political ideology and political direction and policies, they would normally not have agreed with or believed in. The fear that we must stay safe from ‘the others’ now underpins agreement. Agreement to attack the worker and demonise and denigrating the poor. Those who choose to do so defend this stance vehemently. They see this as the just thing to do. It does not matter what the consequences are.
The Howard Government, along with the Abbott-Turnbull-(?) Government underpins their policy decisions with the idea that the working class do not know what is good for the country. That is, to allow the free market to flourish, by allowing the owners of the capital to tell the owners of the labour what they will be paid, how they will work and the conditions they will work in. Not to stand in they way of big business.
This is a Disturbing Reality
The fear of others is so great that some of the people who fought against this in the 1990’s are not remotely interested in what is happening to the working class, the jobless and the poor. They are too busy battling the ghosts the agenda of fear has conjured. The conservatives appear to have chosen the right time and the right targets of racism and stigma.
Muslims, in the minds of the fearful, are far more frightening than Indigenous people or Asians. In the 90’s these targets of victimisation were “stealing our social security money, stealing our jobs and stealing our land.” Today, in a nutshell, the belief among the fearful is that Muslims will take over the world and force us to become ISIS.”
Therefore, they must seek solace in ‘the brave’ – find their ‘protector.’ When Pauline Hanson’s voice shakes today it sounds much more brave to fearful ears, as the fear is much more magnified today with Muslims as the target. Hanson is indeed much more appealing as a consoling leader, as she speaks the loudest and the media makes her the centre of attention, which reinforces her words as ‘normal and justified.’ This is a disturbing reality towards the success of the conservative agenda of destroying the working class.
Too Busy Battling Ghosts
Today in 2017, the fear of others is so great that some of the people who fought against Work Choices in the 1990’s are not remotely interested in what is happening to the working class, the jobless and the poor. They are too busy battling the ghosts the agenda of fear has conjured. The fear of things that may never, ever happen and are not happening underpins their decisions to support anti-worker, anti-welfare and anti-community policies. They will even argue that these things are not happening, although the nightly news will tell the stories of what has been passed in parliament and although they can watch both houses live. It is a case of blanket denial, because ‘Pauline stands up for us Aussies against those Muzzie Bastards – Have you even read the Koran?‘
They will scream, yell, insult and rant at those who are awake to the fact that these policies are being passed and are deeply concerned about their implications, and call them liars or ‘too sensitive’. They are practised at standing firm with everyone who agrees with them and calling it ‘the right’ and those who they shun and don’t agree with them ‘the left.’
For Hanson voters, Attacking Workers Is Pro-Worker
Hanson advocates appear to have a twisted belief that Hanson, a conservative, Christian, nationalist, ex-member of the Liberal party, who shows immense support for the Liberal Party and who wants to abolish all penalty rates, abolish holiday leave loading and voted for the ABCC, somehow is ‘for the worker.’ This would indeed make Hanson ‘left’ on the political spectrum.
Yes, the pro-working class voter of yesteryear, now see being angry at the passing of legislation that will increase worker deaths, where a worker has no right to silence, that removes mandatory employment of apprentices, that sees income ripped from low paid workers and harsh and unjust punitive measures on the jobless, as weak and ‘not concerned enough about ‘the others’ (who will destroy our freedoms). Workers rights have become secondary to many people who are actually good working class people, simply blinded by unfounded fear. That is a disturbing reality.
Right Time. Right Targets
This time, the conservatives appear to have chosen the right time and the right targets of racism and stigma. This is also a disturbing reality.
With so much talk about Australian values lately; attacking the worker and denigrating the poor were conservative agendas that people would fight tooth and nail against. It was against our values. They would rise up and join the struggle to ward off this narrative from becoming the norm.
The narrative of the pre-agenda is, however, strong and it has born an entirely new class of voters. Voters who are now welcoming these baseless attacks on the working class and the poor as ‘the new acceptable norm’. Some choose to ignore the implications, such as anti-worker policy passing both houses. Others see it as a ‘sacrifice’ for the greater good, of staying safe and not letting ‘the others’ destroy us, take over our country, our jobs and our freedoms.
Some of these people are true conservatives. Some are the non-union working class, some are union working class and some are jobless and/or are living below the poverty line. The majority of people within the ‘right wing agenda-Hansonite groupings’ supporting this ‘pre-agenda’ are the very people conservative politics attacks.
The Mini Resistance
The desire to keep fear and prejudice strong within individuals has now formed into a collective, via contagion and has formed into a mini-resistance. It is suffocating the empathy and understanding of the plight of the worker, the jobless and the poor. There are those who were in the trenches with the working class in the 1990s, who are now fighting against the worker, shoulder to shoulder, embracing the enemy of the working class.
There are those who fight by shouting their prejudices and wearing them on their sleeve; angrily scream at anyone who dares to ‘not see the real truth.’ Their truth.
Then there are those who consciously or unconsciously deny their prejudices. They don’t want to say these things out loud. They just want to think them. Pauline Hanson, other conservative politicians, conservative commentators and the media will say these things for them. (She speaks for me). This gives them a new confidence to speak these prejudices out loud for the first time. To speak them gives a sense of reinforcement and belonging. For some, the feeling is almost euphoric. A relief beyond comprehension. They feel they are finally part of a collective. A resistance and that they ‘belong.’
This sense of belonging brings a sense of security and protection. A belief that if the ‘protectors’ – the one’s who are loudest attacking ‘the others’ will keep us safe from harm. However, it is through this false sense of reality, that real harm is being ignored, disbelieved. For some who have made the complete transformation to anti-working class – they embrace it.
The Racist Agenda. A Man Made Construct to Destroy the Working Class
What other anti-worker, anti-welfare policies will dedicated ‘Hansonites’ ignore, accept, condone and defend, all in the name of staying true and remaining loyal to the resistance that fights against minorities and speaks loudly to denigrate ‘the others?’
The racist agenda is a man-made construct developed as a pre-agenda to assist the conservative Government to destroy the working class. In 1996, “Howard’s Battlers” of the working class enabled the biggest onslaught on the working class we have ever seen. In 2017, “Pauline’s Battlers” are on the rise.
People must stop allowing the unrealistic fear of others to underpin and guide their beliefs, opinions, and decisions and take notice of the attacks on the working class. They must make a conscious choice. Support the workers and the jobless. Otherwise, support the Christian-Conservative Nationalist anti-worker agenda of Hanson and the rest of the right-wing parties. Supporting Hanson, the Liberals, The Bernardis, the Xenophons and Hinch, gives zero support to the working class.
Otherwise, this time, the conservatives may win and sustain real longevity. The attacks on the working class may completely destroy everything unionists and the working class have fought for, were jailed for and died for.
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Really? So the concept of ethnocentrism is … ?
My Honour’s thesis was – to put it simply – about the fear of ‘others’ leading up to Federation in 1901. (Incidentally, the first Act in the new parliament was the Immigration Restriction Act – better known as the ‘White Australia Policy’). The similarities between the 1890s and 2003 are gobsmacking: replace a lot of the names from the early era with ‘John Howard’ and it would be hard to believe they are over a century apart.
Trish, I agree with you that the attitude of ‘others’ today can be traced back to Howard, but unknowingly or knowingly he was borrowing a successful fear campaign that can be traced back a long way.
Perhaps instead of “destroy”, the word “weaken” might be slightly more palatable?
MN, once you have control of the working class, you can do anything you want with them.
Well done, Trish.
Attacks on the vulnerable, the working class and grassroots people must never be tolerated.
And when you think you’ve gone back to the beginning, the chances are you still have a long, long way to go. Fear of the ‘other’ or fear of ‘difference’ is almost endemic to the human condition. You don’t have to create ‘fear’. It’s always there but not always on display.
As to whether ‘fears’ can be raised, resurrected, exploited or whatever – YES! But they can be found whenever and wherever there are people. Within families, clubs, schools – in short – everywhere.
I fail to see how “destroying”/”weakening” the working class would would achieve anything. A weak working class means a weak spending class – and without spending the capitalist system collapses.
So we have the threat of robot technology, just as electricity threatened the candlestick makers and cars threatened the horse-buggy industry. New technology creates new jobs. But what has happened is that business now searches the world for cheap labor The new slavery which has connections going way back.
What surprises me is the way Hanson attracts a broad range of people who follow her because “She speaks for me”. But often what she speaks about is just one thing, such as a 2% tax, or too much welfare to certain people, or fear that they will be shot in the street somewhere in central Qld. But the central belief is that we are being taken over by Islam, hence the need to “Reclaim Oz”.
I saw a documentary on a group in Switzerland which had that kind of fear. They believed that Islam was changing the face of Switzerland. Proof was that the market place now had Muslim stalls where once there were none. And they were afraid their culture would be changed, which they demonstrated by putting a burka on a central town statue as proof of what would happen to everybody.
This kind of nationalist jingoism is depressing. For a start, the numbers of Muslim people is small compared to the number of Swiss. The adherents to this nationalist group are young and idealistic.
It seems to me that in Oz there is the same kind of nationalistic jingoism. But also a large number of older, conservative people who fear the “other” (always have) and fear change (always have). Then there are those who claim to be disapproving of the major parties and prefer to follow someone else, especially if they are unconventional or not “politically correct”. To me it looks more like cutting off their nose to spite their face. Or they choose not to vote at all – and we see where that led with Brexit and Trump.
What seems to be largely ignored is that people become violent when they are marginalised. So immigrants can become home-grown terrorists in desperation. Immigrants seeing their home of origins blown to bits become belligerent. And then there is the effect of Climate Change.
This fear we have thrust upon us leads to a narrow view which seems to deny that perhaps we in Oz are part of the problem in allowing – even causing – this desperation to fester, hiding ourselves behind “secure” borders and nationalistic jingoism (sometimes called “values”).
Totally agree with your post ,guest.
You ought be writing articles for the AIMN.
Jaquix. I’d put it this way. Transforming the working class jobs into as many minimum wage jobs as possible. Removing penalty rates etc destroys chances for upward mobility and in time will create a large underclass of proletariat terrified of loosing what little they have and kow towing to the “gentry.” In time the working class will be transformed into a slave class. eroding social programs such as medicare will slowly increase economic slavery. If we could see inside the warped little minds of creatures like dutton we’d see first of all that they believe themselves to be at a higher rung on the ladder of evolution and that with that by making things harder for the workers that they might be forced to climb a rung or two. Mostly they forget that their wealth (their only measure of evolution) is often part or wholly inherited, such as that of that of the fat lady, murdoch, turnbullet al.Strangely this was the situation of england pre the industrial revolution. The success of the industrial revolution was in a large part was due to reforms that made life for workers more upwardly mobile.Giving workers more was resisted by a section of industry of course…
Good to see someone finally talking about class 🙂
Scapegoating Muslims and Asians for the plight of the worker is a tactic that will always work to some degree – bigotry is easy to whip up. It is perhaps misguided for the Left to attack Hanson and her followers for their bigotry.
Fear is difficult to counter with reason. The real reason for the plight of the workers is big business, not Muslims or Asians. The Left should consider using the tactic of the Right, and redirect that fear back to its proper target, big business and neoliberals.
Once again, my impression is that you are promoting the mainstream message, which is ‘just about everyone is a racist’. I don’t see much evidence that the mainstream or you have got this right. Most of the comments just repeat the lesson learned. What is the point of more repetition of this message? Is AIM really just a Soros organ?
We are slaves to the British Empire and most are too lazy to learn the truth, Our Government , Education and Media are all controlled by the British Empire -The British Empire never went away just changed the Red Coats for Black Suits and they control everything from the 3 Command Centres – City of London , Buckingham Palace and Wall Street. Australia and Canada are the jewels in their crown. Australia is the Ideal base for the take down of Asia and Canada was their base for the Take down of America.
To understand what is happening today you must have knowledge of true History but that takes a lot of reading and watching Videos but that is painful it is not entertainment, or you don’t have time and are not willing to give your idiot box time to learning. The British Empire has been around for a long time and created by the money people of the Roman Empire as they know the only way to lot off every one is with an empire. These money people are better known as the Venetian Bankers and they created the British monetary system and the Banking System a System of Usury. There was a better System created in America often referred to as the American System it was created by Alexander Hamilton.
The American System was taken down by British Empire asset Andrew Jackson and a lot of supporters of this system have been discredited or had their life taken and same with people that have been planning to reintroduce it. The Kennedy Brothers were interested in reintroducing it they were being tutored on it by Eleanor Roosevelt as her Husband had plans to reintroduce it after the war and he had a strong supporter John Curtin.
The LNPlunder under Howard locked in for years the sale of “our natural gas” to multi corporations and I believe at a set price and I believe for decades to come.
The LNP locked in the deal that the electrical corporations could go ahead an”gold plate” the “nations” poles and wires at a cost of up to $58 billion dollars and these corporations would be guaranteed their $58 billion dollars plus 10 % that they had to spent on gold plating the “nations” poles and wires, as for the 10% bill this was because the same corporations had financial risk to consider.
The LNP have sold the “nations” gold……..etc etc etc .
Good post Trich, it’s hard to get to some but you seem to hit a nail on the head.
Would you work for 40 hours a week and still live below the poverty line ?……well that is exactly what goes on in the USA right now one has to have at least two jobs,ahh the USA, that magical country that our politicians mainly the LNP follow around like puppets, as if we Australians all had lovers there ,if I had to signal out the major shit stirrer in our world today and over the past 200 years I’d say the goodo’l US of A.
Excellent article that every working class Australian should read.
The entire Western populace are being conditioned into hating Muslims.
It suits the 1% Imperialistic, corporate agenda.
You are partly right about the British Empire – on which the sun never set. But they were not alone. Since about 1500, with the discovery of the Americas, western Europe has plundered and enslaved the world – the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Belgians with some Germans and Italians – and the British, of course. Oz is part of that empire – we are all immigrants, even our first peoples.
Then, as you have rightly pointed out, corporations in dark suits have crossed the boundaries with globalisation and the poor are set to work to exploit the resources and the labor. China has become the industrial engine of the world, but as labor costs rise, the corporations seek other sources of cheap labor in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – later, India, with its masses of people workers and consumers.
These satellite places have also become bases encircling China in order to keep it and North Korea in check. China is not only our source of manufacture and markets for our products, but is also seen to be a potential enemy, trade agreements and all. We walk on tippy-toe.
So China becomes the scapegoat for our contribution to Climate Change by the burning of our coal.
For the USA, China is the scapegoat for the stagnation of the US economy and the fact that the US is deeply in debt to China because of its trade imbalance – a problem for both the US and China. Trump has contributed to the trade imbalance by buying steel from China, but for him the fault is all China’s.
So, what to do? At present the answer seems to be to retreat into far-right governance, throw up the “secure” borders, raise some tariffs, create FTAs which are “fair” for all (some more fair than others) and threaten the world with heavier and heavier militarisation at a huge cost to ordinary citizens.
Fifty million migrate across the world, heading north, fleeing from the effects of western interference, miliarisation, poor governance, exploitation, religious animosity – remember the effects of Br and Fr dividing up the Middle East after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Then the west attacks the ME on the pretext of bringing democracy, but really securing oil supply.
When political people talk about western values, I wonder what they are talking about – and how much they leave out in the narrative they tell.
Completely agree with your article Trish – John Howard and his successors have steadily bludgeoned the working class and the unions which once were a force to be reckoned, into a pliable state approaching serfdom.
Also agree with Michael Taylor that this tactic is as old as… well… I was going to say as old as the oldest profession, however, I believe the agreed exchange for a service, provided the worker gets to keep all his/her earnings is one of the fairest trades. No. this practice of deriding the workers was always in the hands of the more powerful, from tribal chieftains, to royalty and serfs – seems we still haven’t got rid of royalty or even would-be royals and they desperately want more serfs.
The story of the Howard Wedge. How destructive it has been.
Spot on article. It’s the “Weapon Of Mass Distraction” used to blame “the other” and for working class people to look over there………………………………