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Step down or be taken down

Let us stop talking falsely and start talking about realities. I am on a “conversation friendly” basis with a lady with one child who suffers a debilitating affliction, brought about by an unfortunate car accident that happened to her while she was in late pregnancy. The car accident smashed the woman’s pelvis and in consequence caused some brain damage to the foetus she was carrying at near term … the result has meant both a rebuild of the woman’s bone structure with metal parts and a lifelong commitment to the child’s condition.

While the lady in question is from a upper middle class section of society that allows relief from many of the inconveniences  that a poorer person in the same situation would feel, it still does not for one moment relieve the reality of the situation when a distressed child needs a mother’s affection. Whatever the persons private means, the medical necessity must over-ride.

I tell this little cameo of an unfortunates situation because in the wider world of this nation’s political situation and the cost of living and the everyday ups and downs of trying to get by, we – the citizen body – have to carry the burden of supplying for our family’s needs. There is no avoiding, without grave repercussion, the necessity of immediate attention to children and our loved ones. Of course, this is where a connection to the upper middle class could alleviate some of that burden … and that is where it brings this conversation here to the nub.

With failure on many fronts of domestic supply and demand for jobs, energy costs, climate change action, violence, education, communications … and on and on, we can see no real solution coming from those in leadership at the head of our federal government … none whatsoever … only more propaganda through its mainstream media (MSM) channels and more fumbling and bumbling when reform is both needed and long overdue.

We have in the leadership of this nation, representatives of the best education providers, what could be claimed as “successful business persons”, the “best qualified legal brains” in both government and advisory boards … in short, the best of the best representatives of the upper middle class strata of society … the most rewarded and well-educated, in the one or two most esteemed universities in the world. And yet they fail … and fail so dismally that you’d need a freight-train pulling an endless link of sealed box-wagons to contain all their fumbling excuses for that failure. We see manufacturing failure, economic failure, diplomatic, military and well-being of the nation’s citizenry failure … In short, the governing middle class no longer has either the capacity, capability, nor right to rule.

I make the case here and now for future leadership of this nation to be controlled and managed by those with experience and skills in a physical work-life.

Many years ago I worked in my trade capacity as a builder for Professor Igor Kluvanek. The twist was that because when he first studied in communist Czechoslovakia, it was a requirement (as the professor himself in formed me) that a trade skill was first learned that would compliment those further academic pursuits … so the good professor was a qualified electrical engineer before he became a mathematician and he could do welding and electrical wiring required for his renovations. Now that is an example of the success of combining trade with profession which ought to be the norm for all advanced education in any State.

The failure of a pure higher education training in only professional careers, is that it denies one the “hands on” skills that give hard knowledge to the body of what precisely is required for a system of implemented policies. For instance, when we have someone like Malcolm Turnbull holding the position of leader of the State, being advised by ministers or lobby groups from the same level and background of education and capabilities as himself, there can hardly be expected a position more favourable to the mass of the people out in the suburbs and regions who will benefit long-term from their policy intentions … they just do not have the capacity or experience or intention to know how far one has to stretch every dollar … and I mean every dollar! … not every million or so!

With the trained skills and experience of a trade under one’s belt, there comes as a bonus the satisfaction and confidence of self-reliance that in many cases insulates one from the necessity to consult or hire external persons to do repair or construct when required, hence saving much valued time and money for other things. One develops through the practicalities of hands-on application a certain insight into how structures and system developments are used and employed in the making of more than just the product at hand … and one can become astute in tracing the logic and rationale of thought behind a thing – as any person can tell you when forced to confront emergency repair in a stranded situation, be it complex mechanics or the simple straps on a child’s stroller – when the awful reality presents itself, chances are one rises to the occasion.

It is in the self-confidence of one’s capabilities that confidence in comprehending political policy direction can be developed. The false doctrines promulgated by a devious media or party can be seen through as either downright impractical or not user-friendly and so dismissed as useless. Many such policies put up by a totally unscrupulous and inexperienced political adviser, have been thrown out on such grounds. The reality requirements learned from hard worked experience give sarcastic wince to stupid policy and the recent experiments with both refugees and manufacturing – to pick two diverse subjects – give those of us who have physically worked with the first or in the latter, shrewd insight as to how both are an integral part of our society and would be a disaster if ignored and wasted.

The reality-blind middle class has shown through financial disaster and brinkmanship of nuclear war … has bruised the economy through stupid NBN policy to disastrous energy policy … with-held by brutal economic cruelty essential services to the poor, the disabled and elderly … colluded in disgraceful deception with big corporations to milk the last cent from the nation’s resources and  pockets of the hard-working citizens of the nation for no more than a deluded ideology learned perhaps in those “magnificent institutions” that both train the mind and direct the hand of the most miserable, mealy-mouthed, avaricious and degraded persons that ever have breathed the air or suffered the delusion that they are ready and capable to govern a nation of citizens.

And if we can return to the example of the lady first mentioned in the opening of this piece, who, regardless of fortune or status, is left with the reality of her situation which only she has the capability to manage. The brutal realities of life have forced her to skill-up to handle her circumstances … likewise, those of the middle class, even within the ALP will need to skill-up or relinquish ambitions to leadership as they will not have the necessary knowledge as we see every day now with this gormless government to manage the realities of governance of a broad skilled multi-cultural society.


  1. Freethinker

    Spot on Joe, reading your article, the ex presidents of Uruguay and Brazil, José Pepe Mujica and Lula come to my mind.

  2. Joseph Carli

    Freethinker…as I said to another..that old adage : “To ride the horse is to know the horse.”..and I would add : “To sow the seed is to know the crop”.

  3. Freethinker

    Agree Joe, when I choose a Dr I made sure that he knows what it is pain by suffering it himself due to a similar health condition.
    It works every time.

  4. Joseph Carli

    When the speculative middle class gets control of the political power and direction of a nation, it’s the beginning of the end. Get them out of power as soon as possible!

  5. guest

    Joseph, so you are telling us the good Professor became an electrical engineer by being an apprentice to a sparkie and learned pure mathematics by measuring the distance from the switch to the globe?

    Well, of course you aren’t. Ben Chifley was an engine driver, but he was also an active Labor Party member and union representative in court matters, teaching himself industrial law.

    Paul Keating was not academically highly qualified, but he learned about politics early from experienced people.

    Yes, big qualifications are not always necessary, but the number of those successful politicians who taught themselves is small. In Qld they think a terrific qualification is to be a fish and chip shop proprietor.

    The plain fact is that politics in the modern world is very difficult. The forces at work from around the world and within the country are considerable. If it was easy, all problems would have been solved by now.

    Your class war dismissal of academics is too much an over-cooking of the egg. You yourself read big books.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Jeezus you’re a cynical so and so, guest..if you are going to take the mick at least do a decent job and don’t bother with the soft apologies….The problem with middle class directions, is that it demands alongside all those so-called academic qualifications to be able to do what in many cases is just the bleedin’ obvious, is a system of mannerisms only taught in certain institutions and lifestyles and then debases what they would call the crude colloquialisms of the plebs…No…screw the middle class mannerisms…they only exist as “gate openers” for a certain type of person…what I would call the tea-cup suckers rather than the tea-drinkers.

    That good professor was a skilled electrician and a decent welder and by Christ , he knew how to marinate a lump of roast beef…and then share the cooked product with us workers…along with a cool beer or two…and not the slightest pretence of attitude.
    I have written several pieces here on my attitude to the “over-egging” of academic qualification for “fitness for job” in politics…the slight of Pauline Hanson I will accredit to your sensitivity of insecurity about your own capabilities…I have also published my own variation of another lady who ran a fish and chippery with so much more grace that the bastard from the Brisbane suburb!…here..if you have the capacity to want to read..

    As for the that great foreman; Tony Simmioni, on those multi-storey sites used to say…: ” Dona you bullshitta t’ me mate!”

  7. Joseph Carli

    But I’ll tell you one thing for free, guest…even Paul Keating (as shown by his life-style once he left politics) aspired to the middle class luxuries as did most of that generation, confusing the pleasures of “life-style” with a style of living…I live out here in the mallee in what I would call “splendid isolation” with a minimalist of “designer style” but with all the necessities of a comfortable life THAT I would say is everyone’s right…and if I could just get this effing internet a tad faster, you’d hear from me damn sight quicker !

  8. Hettie Lynch

    Here is another reality of the misnamed Liberal Party.
    Leaders who lose elections are expected to resign from Parliament. End of political career
    Given that the government is crumbling, and that it is inconceivable that s44 will not claim more Government scalps, it seems inevitable that there will be a general election early in the New Year.
    Which of the Liberal leadership hopefuls is likely to accept such a poisoned chalice?
    Leadership by Christmas, political oblivion by Easter.
    I don’t think so.
    We are stuck with Waffles until the ship sinks under him.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Not every tradie is a misogynistic racist any more than every graduate is a greedy pretentious twat.

    Teachers and nurses have degrees. They get paid far less than tradies do and I would suggest that not just anyone can do their job well.

    A politician has to have, or should have, the ability to read, absorb and analyse a lot of information on very divergent topics about which they may know nothing. They have to be a good judge of character so they can discern between creditable sources and misinformation from vested interests. They have to be able to listen, negotiate and compromise. Honesty and integrity are crucial.

    The party system has made these criteria unnecessary.

  10. Freethinker

    Guest, a graduate form the university ( and in many cases brainwashed by the system which in many cases expecting that you write and say what they want to) does not have the experience of those that went trough the school of life.
    Manfred Max Neef said it very well and I think that in part is what Joe is saying in his article, quote for Max Neef:

    “Economists study and analyze poverty in their nice offices, have all the statistics, make all the models, and are convinced that they know everything that you can know about poverty. But they don’t understand poverty.”

  11. Joseph Carli

    This is the problem I have trying to deliver the message that it is not one singular person or time that is the problem, it is the entire span of contemporary history of middle class domination of philosophy, literature and as a consequence the snowballing effect of total control of our story-lines and cultural direction, not to mention economical, educational and technological….It is not this or that trade or profession, it is the whole ball-game of how we as a civilisation function…and with the middle class in control the last several hundred years you have to agree it’s been one almighty f#ck up!!..Time to give the trades a go..dnocha think?

  12. Michael Taylor

    I think we are products of our environment.

    Up until my early 40s I was probably one of the most racist, sexist bigots you were ever likely to meet.

    That all changed during the years I gave up working to go to uni full-time. My degrees didn’t make me a different person … my environment did.

    Shortly before graduating with my first degree one of my Indigenous lecturers said, “I’m always proud when my students graduate, but in your case what makes me more proud is that you will be graduating with a different world-view.”

  13. Freethinker

    Spot on Michael, the school of life is a very important part of education if not the most important.

  14. paul walter

    Thank goodness for Kaye Lee’s commenting, yet again. Even at uni I discovered the deep hate for blue collars streak that runs through the snotty Oz middle classes.

  15. Joseph Carli

    I am the first to admit that there is a wide streak of racist bigotry that runs right through the blue-collar brigade..but that is from an ” instructed ignorance” rather than an educated overview..and this is where a decent bit of education would do them good..But then again, that pig-ignorance is not that deep and one can swing opinion in many of those types from one way to another in just a sentence or two…because their bigotry is mostly a repetition of right-wing slogans they have picked up on the Media..

    What is troubling is the perception that trade qualifications are second best to academic degrees..and both respect and social promotion are guided by this mistake..also there is a lack of a sense of pride to be part of the trades..and why many bogan tradies aspire to join the middle class with material consumption reflecting their perceived status…but they never will be accepted…because even with the most ornate stubbie-cooler, it just isn’t right to suck on a beer with a silver service dinner.

  16. guest

    Joseph says, “Time to give the tradies a go…dnocha think?”

    Sounds like tradies aspiring to be middle class. Lenin and Trotski argued about how the plebs should be ruled after the Russian Revolution and the result was a society of low peasants, middle class peasants and high class peasants. The French overthrew the aristocracy and some say they have regretted it ever since.

    But all that depends on how you view history. I find Joseph’s view of history as “the middle class in control the last several hundred years” to be rather jaundiced and inaccurate.

    Nor is it useful, Freethinker, to criticise graduates from university for not being “street wise” in the “school of life”. We might say the same about apprentices who graduate after spending early years learning their trade. And as for Neef and knowing poverty, I have not murdered anyone, but I abhor the action and its consequences.

    The first investigation into poverty was in 1966 and there was a Commission in 1972 reported as the Henderson Report (1975). Henderson did not suffer from poverty, but he knew a lot about it, much more than if there had been no investigation.

    Then we come to Michael Taylor’s “environment” and the idea of nature vs nurture. The Roman poet Horace said we can change our skies but not our souls. Maybe, but many people can recall a moment of enlightenment in their lives when their thinking was changed. Michael’s time was in an academic environment, and his lecturer was right, it is possible for graduates to graduate with no change in their world view. Michael did have a change of view, but it does not happen to everyone because they have never been in position where their view is challenged in such a way that they see a world view.

    I believe it is the myopic mindset which arises from a lack of experience of “other” or “different” that gives rise to an ignorant bigotry. The “other’ becomes enemy or competitor or source of fear.

    We see it even between generations: “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way…?”

    So when I see accusations being made about where people work or live, it is easy to make class envy the central view. Especially when the 1% own half of the wealth of the rest of the world. But I am not going to blame the middle class. And Trump would not be upset about the poor and unemployed voting him and his multi-millionaire and billionaire officials into office.

  17. Freethinker

    guest, November 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Sounds like tradies aspiring to be middle class. Lenin and Trotski argued about how the plebs should be ruled after the Russian Revolution and the result was a society of low peasants, middle class peasants and high class peasants. The French overthrew the aristocracy and some say they have regretted it ever since. en of Quote

    Seems to me that you are happy with the results of the neoliberal macroeconomics ideology and the distribution of wealth.
    It seems to me that youe are happy with the macroeconomics teaching in the Universities. Well,not me.
    It appears to me that you have not read in context what Max-Neef are saying and that reflects your narrow views about the subject.
    Well,in my book, the distribution of wealth and greed is just plain immoral and I do not support it or be part of it.

  18. guest

    Freethinker, I mentioned the 1% and the likes of Trump and his cronies. No time or space here for a complete dissertation. But I can tell you that I have read widely in social history, Dickens, for example, in literature and more recently the work of Naomi Klein – and I am not of the Right. Past posts would support that.

    As for Max-Neef, he says if you have not experienced real poverty, you do not know completely what it is like. So I said I have not murdered anyone, but I disapprove of such an action. How much do you want me to understand?

    The Russians and others have tried for a society of equality, but it has so far ended badly. In Russia, for example, the place is owned by a handful of capitalist opportunists. In China some people are gaining wealth as long as they provide cheap labour. Workers are waking up to the fact that they are being exploited – and here in Oz we are realising that we are too, with the likes of Adani circling like sharks.

    I would be interested in hearing your views on how to deal with neo-liberal cartels and “macroeconomics teaching in the universities” (I never knew that – do you mean MBAs, etc?)

  19. Freethinker

    guest,quote: How much do you want me to understand?

    Live in poverty, experience poverty live with people that experience poverty, that would be a good start

    You are asking: I would be interested in hearing your views on how to deal with neo-liberal cartels and “macroeconomics teaching in the universities”

    This article will be good for you to read and gasp a bit of what I am saying.
    Academics back students in protests against economics teaching
    “Professors argue in letter to the Guardian against ‘dogmatic intellectual commitment’ to ‘orthodoxy and against diversity’
    A prominent group of academic economists have backed student protests against neo-classical economics teaching, increasing the pressure on top universities to reform courses that critics argue are dominated by free market theories that ignore the impact of financial crises.”

    This not only happens in UK, happens world wide.

  20. guest

    Freethinker, there is absolutely no need for me to live in poverty in order to understand poverty. What we need to do is to eliminate poverty. But poverty is relative, so then it becomes a matter of what line can be drawn to define poverty. And that is where political ideology steps in.

    The first thing people expect of universities is to prepare people for the world out there. If they do not, then they are accused of being mere ivory towers out of touch with reality. That students and uni staff might question the “traditional” “free market” curriculum does not surprise me. Economics is not a pure science and there are always those who have their own pet theories – which is what happens in universities and in the wider world. Universities do not have the time or the money to spend on every quirky hypothesis there is.

    Perhaps you have a favourite economic theory, such as Modern Money Theory. See if anyone opposes.

  21. Joseph Carli

    ” Freethinker, there is absolutely no need for me to live in poverty in order to understand poverty”….Oh, know not what you say….

  22. Karl Young

    Totally agree with Guest re Freethinker, there is absolutely no need for me to live in poverty in order to understand poverty.

    So many times I have heard woman say “Well you wouldn’t understand; you are a man”.

    It’s using this very same put down logic. Though you can go look and see and imagine something also.

  23. Freethinker

    This clear, but perhaps guess is more qualified than Max-Neef
    He expressed the point much clear and better that I can do.
    If youor Karl Young are interested, is a good read.

    MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Well, it’s a metaphor, but a metaphor that originated in a concrete experience. I worked for about ten years of my life in areas of extreme poverty in the Sierras, in the jungle, in urban areas in different parts of Latin America. And at the beginning of that period, I was one day in an Indian village in the Sierra in Peru. It was an ugly day. It had been raining all the time. And I was standing in the slum. And across me, another guy also standing in the mud — not in the slum, in the mud. And, well, we looked at each other, and this was a short guy, thin, hungry, jobless, five kids, a wife and a grandmother. And I was the fine economist from Berkeley, teaching in Berkeley, having taught in Berkeley and so on. And we were looking at each other, and then suddenly I realized that I had nothing coherent to say to that man in those circumstances, that my whole language as an economist, you know, was absolutely useless. Should I tell him that he should be happy because the GDP had grown five percent or something? Everything was absurd.
    So I discovered that I had no language in that environment and that we had to invent a new language. And that’s the origin of the metaphor of barefoot economics, which concretely means that is the economics that an economist who dares to step into the mud must practice. The point is, you know, that economists study and analyze poverty in their nice offices, have all the statistics, make all the models, and are convinced that they know everything that you can know about poverty. But they don’t understand poverty. And that’s the big problem. And that’s why poverty is still there. And that changed my life as an economist completely. I invented a language that is coherent with those situations and conditions.
    AMY GOODMAN: And what is that language? How do you apply economics or have those situations explain economics changing?

    MANFRED MAX-NEEF: No, the thing is much deeper. I mean, it’s not like a recipe typical of someone in your country, 15 lessons or satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. That’s not the point. The point is much deeper. You know, I would — let me put it this way. We have reached a point in our evolution in which we know a lot. We know a hell of a lot. But we understand very little. Never in human history has there been such an accumulation of knowledge like in the last 100 years. Look how we are. What was that knowledge for? What did we do with it? And the point is that knowledge alone is not enough, that we lack understanding.
    And the difference between knowledge and understanding, I can give it as an example. Let us assume that you have studied everything that you can study, from a theological, sociological, anthropological, biological and even biochemical point of view, of a human phenomenon called love. So the result is that you will know everything that you can know about love. But sooner or later, you will realize that you will never understand love unless you fall in love. What does that mean? That you can only attempt to understand that of which you become a part. If we fall in love, as the Latin song says, we are much more than two. When you belong, you understand. When you’re separated, you can accumulate knowledge. And that is — that’s been the function of science. Now, science is divided into parts, but understanding is holistic.
    And that happens with poverty. I understood poverty because I was there. I lived with them. I ate with them. I slept with them, you know, etc. And then you begin to learn that in that environment there are different values, different principles from — compared to those from where you are coming, and that you can learn an enormous amount of fantastic things among poverty. What I have learned from the poor is much more than I learned in the universities. But very few people have that experience, you see? They look at it from the outside, instead of living it from the inside.
    And you learn extraordinary things. The first thing you learn, that people who want to work in order to overcome poverty and don’t know, is that in poverty there is an enormous creativity. You cannot be an idiot if you want to survive. Every minute, you have to be thinking, what next? What do I know? What trick can I do here? What’s this and that, that, that, that? And so, your creativity is constant. In addition, I mean, that it’s combined, you know, with networks of cooperation, mutual aid, you know, and all sort of extraordinary things which you’ll no longer find in our dominant society, which is individualistic, greedy, egoistical, etc. It’s just the opposite of what you find there. And it’s sometimes so shocking that you may find people much happier in poverty than what you would find, you know, in your own environment, which also means, you know, that poverty is not just a question of money. It’s a much more complex thing.

  24. Joseph Carli

    Freethinker…a beautiful post.

  25. Freethinker

    It can not be more clear Joe, easy to understand.
    Perhaps some people will benefit to read more about the subject from economists like E.F. Schumacher,,etc

  26. corvus boreus

    Hypothetical imagination, theoretical understanding, experiential realization.

  27. Karl Young

    2 people go to India and experience extreme poverty. On return to a western country only one of them is truly effected by it.

    The other person carries on with their life as was before.They never change or are they effected by it and they never talk about their adventure. True story

  28. Joseph Carli

    Karl…there is a third person in the story who never goes to India because they already know and do not want to witness what they cannot resolve.. It is only an act of insensitive cruelty to look upon and be entertained by what they cannot assuage.

  29. Philip Rice

    If I haven’t assembled a comlex structure, I wouldn’t know how to assemble a complex structure

  30. Wun Farlung

    You were going well until 7;59pm
    If you have never been hungry you will never know

  31. Matters Not

    Guest re:

    The first thing people expect of universities is to prepare people for the world out there

    Correct me if I am wrong – but are you seriously suggesting that an institution such as a university is (or ought to be) in the business of preparing people for a world out there. – as contrasted to the notion that universities et al should be in the business of aiding and abetting people to create and deal with … whatever.

    If so – then your university experience was lacking.

  32. guest

    Thank you, Matters Not, for reminding me that i was not on the academic staff. I was merely a student and I was given a basis for facing the world out there. Meanwhile, there are people in universities who are involved in research and keeping up withe latest and “aiding and abetting people to create and deal with…whatever”.

    In my experience and in the experience of the professional people I know, most of the creativity and dealing with whatever has happened on the job and in professional development over time, not in one single 4-6 year block. As I said – and you quoted it – preparation /teaching for the world out there is the first thing people expect of universities. The first thing. After that there is the business of research, advice to other bodies in research, business and government, work with other academic and research bodies overseas…

    Quite simply, “preparing people for the world out there” is the same as “aiding and abetting people to create and deal with…whatever” – and more. That you try to evaluate my university experience on the basis of a few words is a bit presumptuous.

    And yet, you know, there are people, in the media especially, who think that universities are full of Marxists taking the long march through our education system.

    Somehow, we carry our own view of the world and others – and too often assume the worst.

  33. guest

    Wun Farlung and Philip Rice,

    Early on in this thread I used the example of murder as something I have not done and yet I have a fear and abhorrence of it. Do you really expect me to commit murder to have an understanding of it? Daily I hear of murder somewhere in the world. I have seen horrific films, crime reports, reenactments, plays such as “Macbeth”, read novels such as “Crime and Punishment”…

    So my understanding is a matter of degree certainly not the same as actually being involved. And I do not see any need for me to be involved; what I know and feel now is quite enough, thank, you.

    So just being hungry is not enough. Poverty is more than that.

    Nor is assembling a complex structure a requirement for building a complex structure. Teams of architects and engineers are often employed to design complex structures, but not all will necessarily have been involved in actually building them. They employ other people to do that. So the actual involvement is just a matter of degree.

  34. Joseph Carli

    guest..: ” Teams of architects and engineers are often employed to design complex structures, but not all will necessarily have been involved in actually building them. They employ other people to do that. So the actual involvement is just a matter of degree.”

    And this is where the “shop-floor” reality meets the “presumption of knowledge”…Those “other people” employed in many cases have to make alterations and substitutions of the designers plans right there on the building site so that structural integrity can be guaranteed where the original plan’s details would not suffice…The on-site knowledge of the tradesmen have in many cases over-ridden the theoretical knowledge of the architect…just as the on-ground experience of the registered nurse or social worker has to over-ride sometimes absurd instruction from a distant headquarters.

    The presumptions of middle-class solutions to poverty by instituting either economic punishment as a motivator or economic injection as temporary salvation leaves the option of maneuverability firmly in the hands of those who control inject and withdraw when it suits them, rather than create infrastructure for continuity and certainty of long-term, secure employment for the citizen body majority…We saw example of this with the refusal of the LNP to subsidise the car manufacturers, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and the disruption of manufacturing across three states.

    The middle class solutions for control of the citizen body through use of capital is a failure..yet I don’t believe they know or are willing to try an alternative system voluntarily…If we look to Turnbull how he struggles to even make policy that would serve the community, we can see his hands are tied, or self-clasped so that there is not too much given away that will benefit the social contract of many Australians…They just do not want to relinquish that source of control or power.

  35. guest

    All of this argument started from the question of how much experience of something we must have before we can really understand it. The idea was that since the world for hundreds of years has been destroyed by the middle class (sic), it is now time to to give the tradies a go (sic).

    It has turned into an argument about how much we understand about poverty, hunger, building complex structures..

    So an early question I asked was about just how much tradies understand about international relations, economics, politics, education, national infrastructure, defence, etc – all the departments of government. And so l was told that experience of life is what counts, and I agree that is necessary, but then so is some knowledge of more academic matters.

    So a government can be made up of a variety of people with a variety of experiences. I gave the example of Ben Chifley who was an engine driver but represented unions in court and taught himself industrial law. So diligent members of Parliament can be heavily involved in government.

    Then the argument drifted into poverty as some thing one really needs to experience in order to truly understand. Freethinker has kindly taken the trouble to give us an excerpt from Manfred Max-Neef about his experience. I ha already said that experiencing poverty is not required for me to know hat poverty is a bad experience and that l saw no need for me to experience poverty. In fact i referred to the Henderson Report of 1975 which is a harrowing read and reveals terrible details of people’s lives under poverty, but Henderson himself has not personally experienced poverty.

    It seems to me that sometime we fly off on some cherry-picked detail and ignore what people have written. Perhaps it is a matter of human nature – that we see things from our own personal point of view and we start arguments where there is none.

    The argument for me started when Joseph accused the middle class of ruining the world in the world in the past several hundred years and that it was time to give the tradies a go. Well, I am not totally against that idea,: it is just a matter of how much.

    And just a little aside. For Dickens, in “Oliver Twist” for example, the middle class en mass were the goodies who saved the poor and down-trodden from the baddies.

  36. guest


    thank you for your reply. What you say about workers on the building site is a matter inside my experience. And I agree that workers at the coal-face as it were make important contributions, And I know of builders who have made their own alterations to plans and have made a mess of it. (The CEOs of the company taking shortcuts, perhaps?)

    As for the “middle class” being responsible for economic control against the citizen body, I am not entirely convinced. In a comment on this thread I referred to the 1% and to Trump and his collection of multi-millionaires and billionaires holding office and supposedly there to rescue the poor and unemployed. How well is that working out? Those out-of-touch elites are destroying not only the down-and-outs but the middle class as well. The person who had the most to offer the USA was Bernie Saunders, neglected by the aristocrats on his own side.

    With regard to politics in the USA – and with implications for the world – is the writing of Naomi Klein, which I mention often.

  37. Kaye Lee

    I truly don’t understand this argument. No person is an island. We all have skills and we all have things about which we know nothing. I absolutely rely on tradies and value their advice and expertise just as they valued my help in tutoring so many of their kids and my husband’s help in managing and treating their health.

    I have been fortunate enough to always find employment but I have also always done charity work. We should be a team who contibutes as they can, not warring factions spitting at each other.

    Before I gave a brief description of the attributes I thought necessary to be a politician. They have nothing to do with formal education and not even much to do with experience.

    The ability to learn and to critically analyse information should be important in politics but the huge rise in the number of political staffers who decide on strategy first, then find information to support it, and just issue the party politicians with a few talking points to repeat ad nauseum, combined with our winner-take-all system of government, has made it all about winning rather than governing.

    I would like to see a multi-party executive.

  38. Joseph Carli

    guest..I can see there may be slight confusion between us as to whom it is that we can agree upon that represents the Middle-classes as against working class..I’ve had this discussion before with others..: To my way of understanding and interpreting the classes, there is; A) The aristocratic class…a now almost extinct and redundant political influence in our sphere of politics since perhaps the end of the first WW…B) The middle class…those who have elite professional skills , manage and control means of production, finance and make their money from the skills and work of those they employ and now sit in ruler-ship of most western democracies…and that includes those billionaires etc. C) The working class..those who make things with their hands-on experience in factories, building sites or shop/ward-floor etc..

    And while many tradies and high-paid contractors who earn their money on piece-work principle try to believe THEY are now a part of the middle-class, they are just bullshitting themselves…like those tragics in that old reality show “Sylvania Waters”..just bogans with a vocabulary.

  39. Joseph Carli

    Kaye-lee…while you , yourself would be in agreeance to a multi party (and with that I presume a multi class) is precisely the opposite that we end up with..our Parliament is chockers with lawyers, accountants and god know what else, but rare is the person who has stepped off the shop-floor into a political suit. Why?..because the public has been conditioned to give preference to the well-spoken, well presented dude..Remember the flak Jaquie Lambie got for her bogan language?..that interview where the “package” was joked about…gasp!!… person can get away with it..perhaps two or three in a whole parliament, but it “lowers the tone” when you have political conversation sounding like happy-hour down the front bar of the local!..NOT that the resulting policy in this current parliament gets any more better for the elocution.

    The sad truth of it is that our politics for the last fifty-sixty years has been slowly shifting to a middle class view of economics, education and world view…and it is suffocating for it’s staleness.

  40. Kaye Lee

    Jacqui Lambie was lambasted for her ignorance, not her accent. I will never forget an interview with her when she was discussing repealing the carbon price where it was patently clear she had no idea what it was. Those who get their information in the front bar of the local should check it is correct before they vote to rescind the best chance we had at taking action on climate change.

    The potential to be a good politician is not about what ‘class’ you come from, what job you had, or what school you went to – it’s about having the willingness to listen and learn, the capacity to understand, the ability to negotiate and compromise, and the humility to realise you don’t know everything, as highlighted in Jacqui’s train wreck of an interview about Sharia or Pauline’s bullshit about vaccinations.

    And by the by, no-one in parliament is going to be suffering from poverty – the entry salary is over $200,000 a year plus expenses. I would also add, you don’t have to be a victim to be an advocate.

  41. Joseph Carli

    ” I will never forget an interview with her when she was discussing repealing the carbon price where it was patently clear she had no idea what it was. “…Oh!..and yet we saw the Greens , who, one must presume knew EXACTLY what the carbon price was and what it would mean, yet STILL voted it down!..and them with all that lack of oh my!…

    ” The potential to be a good politician is not about what ‘class’ you come from, what job you had, or what school you went to – it’s about having the willingness to listen and learn, the capacity to understand, the ability to negotiate and compromise, and the humility to realise you don’t know everything, as highlighted in Jacqui’s train wreck of an interview about Sharia or Pauline’s bullshit about vaccinations.”

    And then there was that little issue about refugees and oversees detention centres..which, considering the political input of BOTH sides of politics on the reality..we will not pursue here…let us instead focus on the positives of those exciting possibilities of the enlightenment that one gets from higher education…like , perhaps, a Cayman Islands travel brochure?

  42. Joseph Carli

    Here’s a post I put up a while ago on another blog site..where the primary commenting “elite” were of the opinion they too were middle class…when they should have known better..

    ” La Classe Décontractée. (The Casual-Class).
    The rising of the interconnected but dis-connected entrepreneurial internet class..: No flag, no ideology, no nationality, no loyalty… security save capital shifting from tax haven to tax haven.
    “The New Class Rising Podcast was created of today’s struggling Middle-Class. You’ve always followed life’s advice – you’ve gone to College, put in the hard work, have earned that Corporate J.O.B but now you find yourself struggling to stay afloat in this economy that is only producing a declining standard of living, year after year. Today’s Middle Class is buckling under the pressure of Student Loan Debt, Credit Card Debt, Taxes, a higher Cost of Living, Diminishing Wages and a downsized Job Market. At the same time, Government National Debt is the highest in our Country’s history, Government spending domestically and abroad is rampid, resulting in nonstop money printing – Inflation, which is a ghost tax on Middle Class income. Prices for food, energy and everyday living expenses are rising faster than ever before and America’s Middle Class family who works for a paycheck is red-lining – America’s Middle Class is being wiped out. But something extraordinary is happening! While America’s Middle Class is being destroyed – A New Class is on the Emerging! The New Class Rising podcast brings you Commentary on Internet Business and Economics and Interviews with real Internet Entrepreneurs who broke free from the normalcy paradigm and who are ‘killing it’ in their businesses. Are you ready to join the New Class?” ( New Class Rising with Hector Avellaneda….By Business and Economics Discussions w/ Guests like Anthony Tran, Fabian Calvo, Benny Hsu, and Tyler Wagner that will Kickstart Your Rise into the New Class! )

    There is also rising alongside this new economic class, a new political reality..This post from Jason was in reply to my recent posting on Julia Gillard : “Like empty shells scattered…”

    13 hours
    The end of the Keating era also doomed the likes of Gillard with Beasley becoming leader who was more of a follower and wanted to be seen as “Howard lite” than lead a party of conviction.
    The unions were amalgamating larger ones eating up the smaller, union reps not knowing who exactly they represented, and it give rise to the “careerist” These people weren’t cut of the same cloth as Gillard yes like her university educated they had no appreciation about the struggle their working class parents/grandparents were/had gone through as it wasn’t happening to them.
    They became staffers to sitting MP’s and Senators and later MP’s and senators themselves because the rank and file were over looked as under educated even though they knew more about the topic than those who read it in a book but they already had the ear of the factional warlord and the numbers, come any vote.
    The party and beliefs were secondary to the various warlords their career depended on, look at Eddie Obied as an example
    When it came down to it The ALP failed Gillard and we’ll never know how great a leader she could’ve been as Rudd offered “careerists” jobs well above their station in life because they had no sense of loyalty to anyone other than those who could further their careers that would never have happened otherwise.” (posted as a comment by Jason on my blog page ; )

    This new reality of “political expediency” reflects the undecided nature of much of todays politicians, swinging from one indecisive policy to another, always looking for the safe popularist branch on which to build their next tree-house. There is an infection that has spread between the major parties, and that is the nervous uncertainty of just where capital investments and therefore jobs are heading.
    Much of this has come about because of the deregulating and selling-off of government owned enterprises and utilities. These former govt’ “pools of employment” gave security of employment to many thousands of people and a guaranteed income to be pumped back into the community. It also had the added bonus of taking on many hundreds of apprentices every year and led to a training of the local population to fill the skills needs for the private sector…A sector who has pushed and demanded of their lobbying their favoured parliamentary ministers to sell off those same govt’ enterprises for minimal return to the nation and maximum profit to the private sector, whom, it must be said, let those same enterprises run down to minimum standards of both maintenance and capital investments…added to the reality of multiple sackings of previous permanent staff and the halting of new apprenticeships.
    The energy sector is a good example..the communications sector another..air travel a third..we could go on…and on…..and on…but you already got the “T shirt” !
    This new class should, by right of aspiration be the property of the right-wing side of politics, except that they are so slow, they have not yet recognised it’s potential as a political power and also , it clashes with the Right’s ideology of conservatism and managed “economic feeding” of an economy.
    The Left could and should move in on this territory, seizing the ground to regulate and guarantee a secure internet operating platform to allow safe development of those industries that flow from the new resource. A Left govt’ could protect and nurture the national interest of this developing class , giving reward with secure and large gigabyte access to broadband by reinstalling the “ Fibre To The Premises” policy and deliberately keeping govt’ contracts to a domestic server rather than shifting contracts off-shore or bringing in 457 visa workers where a locally trained workforce would be available.
    There is so much opportunity for the future, if only the federal government would “think globally , act locally” to protect jobs and training for its own citizens.”

    I will add to this last bit that Jay Wetherill and SA. Labor ARE taking control in this state of the high technology sector and steering it to create new opportunities of employment in the state.

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