Have Australians ever, so blindly, elected governments so negatively characterless? So corrupt that scandals increase by the day? Governments so ignorant of truth and transparency? So insensitive to those who cannot help themselves? So willing to endorse and foster inequality? So willing to govern for those who have while leaving the have-nots behind?
So illiterate of technology and science that they would subject us to fire and floods while doing nothing to alleviate climate change?
So oblivious to the needs of women? So inept at policy formation and its implementation that they are unable to draft a policy for a strong independent federal anti-corruption commission?
Governments who speak the language of ridiculous absurdity? So pugnacious, so confrontationist, so self-righteous, in its attitude toward people? And so out of touch with a modern pluralist society? A government so unsophisticated in deep worldly acumen and discernment, yet so religiously inclined?
Power in in the hands of a government with chastisement in their hearts, authority on their minds and control in their doing, do little for democracy and society in general.
Governments who are control freaks usually cannot see beyond their own self-importance and are hostile to those who might threaten it.
I have never had a capacity for hatred (it’s simply not in my DNA) but the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments have really tested my mettle. What has any of them done to improve the quality of our living, our culture, our play, and our learning?
So, while the stench of their combined tenure lingers let’s allow me to seize the moment and remind ourselves just what it is we on the left are fighting for.
The conservatives speak exclusively the words of the economist. On the other hand, Labor’s language speaks of marrying the words of the enlightened economist and those of the thinker to form a sentence that describes a marriage with the word ‘society’.
Successful societies should be built around a ‘common-good society’ where the words ‘economics’ and ‘society’ are spoken with an acknowledgement that one is essential to the other.
And then we need to examine which political ideology is best placed to build such a society.
The advent of a terrible virus, despite its world-wide destruction has provided us with the opportunity to rethink what a future society should look like and which ideology is best placed to bring it about.
Firstly, let’s ask ourselves what is an ideal society based on. I have written similar words to the following that describe my best, ‘common-good, society.’
For me it’s an achievement we may never accomplish. It may never be perfect but nonetheless is a worthwhile ambition.
In the modern Western democracy, an enlightened society is a population of men, women, and children who as a collective desire to express their humanity, work, aspirations, spirituality, art, poetry and play with the richest possible diversity.
It must first give prominence to the existence of those who have toiled the land long before our coming and then cater for the many cultures that we invited to follow.
It must cultivate a common good with equality of opportunity for all. A society where one’s sexual preference or gender is not an adjudication on your character and the colour of your skin and says nothing about you other than perhaps your geographical place of birth.
A society that believes in individual pursuit, intellectual accomplishment and financial reward only regulated by what is beneficial for the collective good. In other words, everyone is entitled to an equitable share of society’s wealth.
A society where freedom of expression is guaranteed but limited only by the innate moral personal decency of the individual.
Where free speech is fair speech. An enlightened society in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones’ right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.
A society where the health and welfare of all is sacrosanct and access to treatment is assured.
Where the principle that we should treat others in the same manner as we expect them to treat us is indelible in the mind of every citizen.
A society that respects science before myth and mysticism, but at the same time recognises the individual’s right to the expression of their own form of spirituality so long as it doesn’t hinder the common good.
A society that should be judged by its welcoming, and how well it treats its most vulnerable citizens. By how well protected our civil rights are and how accessible the law is regardless of stature or wealth.
In democratic societies (the best – or least bad form of government) our herding instincts are realised by the election of leaders who form government.
Even in the imperfection of any democracy, we comprehend that a group mentality advances society better than dictatorial individuality.
So, we need a government that is subservient to the will (the common-good ethics) of the people and is responsive to the inclusiveness of public opinion.
It is government that decides and regulates the progress and ambitions of society. Or at least provides the environment in which to do so.
There is very little that is done in the name of progress that cannot be attributed in some way to government. Individual or collective ambition can only be achieved within a social structure built and controlled by a people’s democracy.
If today we can sweep aside this period of conservative, capitalistic madness in which we have allowed the voices of the far right insane to gratuitously silence truth, logic and the sciences, then we will perhaps have turned the nation away from a horrendous future.
My thought for the day
The danger in looking back to often is that we lose the will to go forward.
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