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The death of hope

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”
John Donne, No man is an island – A selection from the prose

When politicians use the power, given to them by the electors, to benefit themselves rather than than the people as a whole – not even exclusively those who voted for them – we begin to lose hope in any likelihood of integrity, transparency and compassion being displayed by our governments.

There is, in my mind, no doubt that there is serious corruption across our whole system, starting with politicians, progressing through business and industry (look at the latest news about Westpac) and replicated by many with more limited power, particularly in local governments.

The consistency with which the Coalition government has refused to institute a Corruption Commission, while, pre-COVID, giving priority to trying to protect those whose religion enables them to reject scientific fact about sexual diversity, is cause for major concern.

Maggie Thatcher has much to answer for!

While we have never had a truly cohesive society, few people can exist in isolation, and many individuals, for a variety of reasons, need help far beyond anything they can achieve alone.

There will always be people who rort the financial system – by whatever means they can muster – but they are not exclusively people who are unjustifiably on social security benefits!

Look at Clive Palmer! How many have been damaged and defrauded by his actions while he seeks to further enrich himself by carrying on unfounded litigation?

Look at the millionaires who avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Look at politicians who raise their own incomes while reducing welfare payments for  people with no hope of finding employment.

We can be ‘wealthy’ in many ways – in terms of financial assets, in terms of depth of knowledge and in terms of friends and acquaintances.

Each has its merits, but for any who enjoys any of these benefits, there is – or, I think, should be – an obligation to allow other to share in them.

Those with power, likewise, have a moral duty to use it in ways which minimises harm and maximises help to others.

We currently exist, precariously, in a system where it seems that those with most power use it to benefit those with least need of support, while the majority, whose needs are greatest, are closely scrutininsed and heavily penalised if they even only appear to have stepped out of line.

Prime example is Robodebt – where a system, using an algorithm which could be seen, from the very beginning, to be fatally flawed, wrongly forced powerless people to ‘give back’ money they did not owe. The government finally admitted it was illegal and undertook to return the money that had been wrongly demanded (is that process yet fully completed???) but some lives, lost in the process, are gone for ever.

The most recent protection racket is for Alan Tudge who will, hopefully, be sued for his treatment of an Afghan refugee.

My blood boils when I think of the use by Dutton and others of ‘character tests’ in relation to those seeking visas,when the ‘character’ of Morrison, Dutton, Tudge, and several others in government, is so dubious that even the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ does not begin to cut it!

As a child, I always wanted to be a teacher. In fact I think that various professions – usually among the so-called caring profession, like nursing, medicine and teaching – are a vocation. Because maths was always my best subject at school, I became a maths teacher, but,when in later life I studied law, it was because I wanted to help those whose lives were being damaged by being unable to afford good legal advice. Given the chance of using alternative dispute resolution methods, I chose to concentrate on mediation, because it assists people to sort out their own disputes and develop appropriate negotiation skills in the process.

I have been incredibly fortunate in having been able to have a very thorough and broad-ranging education and, at risk of sounding conceited, being called a leftie and a busybody, I see it as important to help those who have not shared in the advantages I have been able to access.

I grieve over the number of people who do not realise how corrupt the Coalition is – and, sadly, it seems, Labor has lost its way, some of the Union bosses are as corrupt as the corporate bosses! – so there are few with the public’s ear, other than, for example, a few like John Hewson, who have any real care about the issues and the necessary solutions and who are are working on trying to get the integrity, transparency and compassion necessary for good governance.

If we care, we all have a part to play. We cannot afford to let the Coalition go down the policy path they are currently espousing.

Time is not on our side!

Eventually we will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and once more mingle with the rest of the world. But, without energetic action by politicians throughout the world, keeping down global temperatures remains massively important and our chances of doing so are diminishing with every day which passes.

I am beginning to understand the loss of hope which drives too many to suicide.

It feels like someone insists they do not need water in the radiator of an internal combustion engine. They refuse to recognise that the absence of water will guarantee the engine might be permanently damaged with all the consequent problems they will then experience.

Please join in helping others to realise the Coalition government must change its policies or get out of government!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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27 comments

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  1. Egalitarian

    Nice piece Rosemary. Good leadership is everything.

  2. corvusboreus

    I’ll just mention that Alan Tudge did more than keep a refugee imprisoned for a few days in direct breach of a court order.
    He was also the minister responsible for unleashing the illegitimate and illegal robodebt scam, which cost people their homes, relationships and lives, and is currently the subject of an ongoing legal action in which Tudge is accused of knowingly engaging in an illegal action.
    Methinks that’s worth remembering.

  3. DeanyZ1

    I sense your frustration, Rosemary. I am, we are, just as frustrated as yourself at the neopolitics of this modern day. I have become depressed, not to the point of ending my life, for there is hope. We can all verbalise our discontent at the corruption and decay, the expanding imbalance of the rich and the poor and the greed of politicians at the expense of the PAYE worker. I share aimn writings, good as they are exceptional. Yet the voter audience allied with the godless, the liars, the thieves of the common wealth for their own personal gain, ignore our pleadings and suffer for their thoughtless vote, yet vote again for their own suffering. The hope lies with time and circumstance. The only constant is change. I think we both fervently believe that truth will prevail, hopefully before 2022.

  4. Andrew Smith

    Related to another article today about sterilisation of African and other minority American or immigrant women in US prisons.

    Nowadays the Anglo world, of US, UK and Australia, has a strong streak of paranoid eugenics underpinning policy and/or electoral tactics, utilised by the LNP nowadays more often than any substance; joined at the hip with radical right libertarian policies aka Brexit and Trump.

    Worse than Ministers like Dutton promoting junk science of eugenics through policy and/or media dog whistling, is the fact that he feels compelled in doing so, to be attractive to many Australian citizens and ageing voters…….. wagging the dog?

  5. Mark Shields

    RosemaryJ36 “…few people can exist in isolation, and many individuals, for a variety of reasons, need help far beyond anything they can achieve alone.” Herein lies the paradox: As any tyranny, authoritarianism, despotism develops; homo sapiens like other species usually go to ground and eke out an existence until times improve, like all species. But those who create the tyranny, the authoritarianism and the
    despotic reigns by which they survive, depend entirely on their subjects, slaves and servants alike, to survive.

    So let’s ask the question; Who actually needs who?

    Obviously, we plebeians do not need tyrannical leaders to procreate and survive. However, all our useless leaders have depended on OUR survival to make war, tyranny and corporate hegemony. Knowing that you do not need to support the oligarchy, is the greatest threat hierarchical society will ever face. Unfortunately, anarchy, chaos and lack of food/electricity have managed to frighten 90% of the world’s population against standing up to the 10%; whose wealth/power makes them so dumb, frightened and terrified of homo sapien intelligence; that their doctrines end up making normal intelligent citizens believing that their own belief in themselves is possibly a danger to their own childrens’ livelihoods. Just Do, Don’t Act.

    Are we not Sheep?

    B’Ah well, at least Nature (not god), will eventually eliminate this arrogant species of self-important hominids and perhaps let Planet Earth evolve some more generous species, more gracious and appreciative of their chance of life, than the historical corruption of their predecessors, Human Beings.

  6. RosemaryJ36

    CB – I think it was Christian Porter who introduced the scheme but TUDGE later ignored information about its impact.

  7. ajogrady

    Hope is freedom and the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Lest we forget. Australian corporate main stream journalist have definitely forgotten. The ultimate sacrifice made by so many for ours and their freedoms and democracy have been trashed by them and their unAustralian owners. The “fair go” is now just a illusion and a forgotten memory by to many.
    The Australian coat of arms has a kangaroo and a emu on it.The reason they were chosen is because neither take a backward step. The kangaroo and the emu may not take backward steps but Australia is and has under the poor and corrupt governance of the L/NP. Amazingly Australians keep voting for the L/NP that make Australia take backward steps every day. Instead of Australia advancing to achieve its full and true potential the L/NP has been hell bent on keeping the status quo and being an impedement to advance Australia in a fair and equitably way for the common good.This can only occur with the cooperation and support of a corrupted and biased corporate main stream media espousing the dictates of the L/NP agenda to manipulate the gullible. Sad times we live in.

  8. Joseph Carli

    RosemaryJ..: ” I grieve over the number of people who do not realise how corrupt the Coalition is – and, sadly, it seems, Labor has lost its way, some of the Union bosses are as corrupt as the corporate bosses! – so there are few with the public’s ear, other than, for example, a few like John Hewson, who have any real care about the issues and the necessary solutions and who are are working on trying to get the integrity, transparency and compassion necessary for good governance.”

    From : https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/step-down-or-be-taken-down/
    “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.”

  9. RosemaryJ36

    Joseph – I have met people from all walks of life who are people of integrity. I have met people from all walks of life who are rogues and criminals. Class warfare is a distant memory for a majority of people. Greed is not confined to any stratum of society, neither is honesty, compassion or any other virtue – or vice.

    “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. . . ”

    This is equally true of most professionals and many women who have been under-educated because they are women! As a child riding a bicycle I was expected to strip it down, clean it, including the chain, oil and grease it as appropriate and reassemble it. I was not allowed to learn to drive a car until I understood how an internal combustion engine works. I have made my own clothes – whether sewing or knitting. I have made curtains and recovered a sofa bed. There are few carpentry and general tools I am not familiar with unless they are very specific to a trade.
    I have studied and taught pure and applied mathematics, I have helped re-build a boat as well as sail it. I have learned French and could speak it well enough to work in the Foreign Exchange Department of a Paris bank for over 2 months during a university long vacation. A Labour government in the UK ensured that my schooling and university education were paid for by the state so I do not have a monied background. But I do value education – for everyone who wishes to develop their talents – academic or manual – to the full.
    When an electric bar fire was playing up, and I was cold, and alone, I worked out how to repair it.
    I have practised law and mediation and known both success and failure.
    But I am middle class, if I have to place myself in a category, but I seldom bother to think in those terms.
    One of my most capable secondary school students, ever, came from a working class background. The school had to work hard to get her parents to let her stay at school because no one else in her family had continued study beyond school leaving age – and she was (obviously) female. We fought again to let her continue to university entrance level, then to apply for university. She also, like me, studied Maths at Imperial College London (IC) and graduated with first class honours, which I did not!
    Class warfare is a myth, a bit like the noble savage. We all have our talents, likes and dislikes. Categorising people is a waste of time.
    We are all human beings, some good, some not. We are all entitled to equality of opportunity and the most important thing is to respect others, accept their differences from us as well as their similarities to us – and accept change as long as it is beneficial.
    My mother was a Tory and my father was Labour. I look at both sides of every argument and look for policies which have acceptably moral justification.
    In my first year at IC, I had a communist fellow student – in those days the British communist Party was quite strong but the invasion of Hungary by Russia changed their certainty. He would argue black was white and end up arguing that white was black, but he never, ever, admitted to being wrong!
    That, in my view, was a consequence of indoctrination, not a result of effective examination of ideas, because no one is ever always right about everything – fortunately!
    There have been too many Pol Pots in history as well as despots like Trump. If you have to destroy people to retain power, you should not be allowed control over others.

  10. corvusboreus

    Rosemary,
    Correction noted and appreciated.
    Christian Porter, now Attorney General, was the HS minister when the illegitimate algorithm and illegal recoveries were initiated.
    Subsequent appointee Tudge is in trouble for doing nothing when news came in that the shonky process was causing deaths.
    The PM has said that there is no need for commission of enquiry because the problem has been/was being ‘fixed’.
    Define ‘fix’.

    Ps There is a interesting response to recent POTUS45 comments regarding ‘peaceful transition’ posted by ‘Beau of the Fifth Column’ on yewchoob this morning (4 mins)
    Recommend.

  11. Joseph Carli

    RosemaryJ..I see you fall victim to that old class fall-back of self-defence of YOU personally…I am sure all those conditions you-yourself experienced are true, but I am not talking about the rare individual, but rather the class as a whole which, with good intentions framed laws and “at arm’s length” institutions and authorities when taking legal and political control from the aristocracy. However, over the last hundred or so years, there has been a continued eroding of the purity of those intentions by a super-wealthy mercantile class that as we can now witness has completely perverted and corrupted the intentions of those original juriconsuls…
    Without verging onto the slimey slopes of American/British politics of the hour, we can see in our own country the absolute corruption of nearly ALL of the oversight authorities..ALL of the higher policing/judiciary authorities..ALL of the political parties..and even now cannot trust the electoral commission to conduct fair and equal elections..
    But if you notice the date on my peice above, you will see we have been complaining for a long time on the same topic..with no change…the reason there is no change is because the system that once oversaw such behaviour no longer exists in deed…name only as those who administer it are from the same calss as those who corrupt it and without doubt attended the same or similar alma maters as each other and so the instilled “consciousness of kind” turoring has restricted each from condemming the other…a circle is complete.. “turning and turning in the widening gyre..and the entire is corrupted..
    The only way to break the link is to break the chain of command and while I do not expect to see taht happen in my lifetime, it will happen and when it does….well..history records such events with a turning of the sight away and a tear in the eye…
    The reign of the middle-class is over, the corpse just needs to cool and then it it is done…Pardon the typos..breakfast awaits!

  12. Matters Not

    Re:

    Class warfare is a myth, .. . Categorising people is a waste of time.

    Wow! Then why do you categorise some as greedy – given it’s such a waste of time? Why do you label yourself ‘middle class’? (I know because you feel you have to? But why?) But isn’t that a waste of your time? Even though others might find such categorization useful. Indeed, aren’t you (yourself) finding that categorisation also useful – in the sense that you are employing it to communicate a view to others?

    James Coleman an American researcher of some note wrote (circa 1960) “The fish will be the last to discover water”. Some years later, John Culkin echoed that insight in similar vein with: “We don’t know who it was discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish.” The point being that when we are immersed in a (cultural) soup of common sense, we proceed on the assumption that what we experience is somehow natural and right. That the reality we experience (and construct) is the only possibility and are therefore blinded to all others.

    Seems to me Rosemary that you are like the metaphorical fish so submerged in a world of class conflict that it escapes you completely. But you are certainly not alone – given so many Australians think they live in a classless society or that you can have a capitalist society where the class concept is no longer useful as a tool for conceptual analysis. (Shakes head.)

  13. Joseph Carli

    ” 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 govt’..none whatsoever..only more propaganda through its 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 govt’ 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.”

  14. Matters Not

    Just noted JC’s post – made at roughly the same time. While I think the theory of class conflict is still useful (couldn’t leave home without it) so does an avowed capitalist like Warren Buffet who is on the record as saying:

    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/123058-there-s-class-warfare-all-right-but-it-s-my-class-the

    JC sees conflict between a minimum number of classes. Usually, it’s confined to two (middle class versus working class) and that seems to work for him – which is fair enough – but what was once useful (for Marx) is now less so.

    Plato, for example, theorized an ideal society in which there were three categories (read classes with a bit of imagination). Those born with the (metaphorical) gold in their hearts who were destined to be philosopher/kings (read rulers). Those born with silver in their hearts – destined to be the warriors – and those born with bronze in their hearts – destined to be the equivalent of the S@it kickers. (Didn’t include the slaves because they didn’t count – citizens only.)

    The point being that what was once useful as a framework for analysis changes over time – as the society changes – as the relations of production change – and they have changed, (Marx would’ve been the first to agree with that. But not JC apparently).

    The concept of class conflict is alive and well (very useful) – despite efforts to deny same – (because class interests can be seen to be in play. Just like religion was crucial to the rise of capitalism – so is the denial or masking of class conflict essential to its continuance

  15. corvusboreus

    Rosemary,
    So it seems the big take home of this article is that you need to fix your attitude regarding the socio-economic class system
    I believe you mentioned something about starting to understand factors behind suicidal despair.

    Wonder why Kaye Lee don’t write here no more.

  16. Joseph Carli

    Matters not..; ” . . . as the relations of production change – and they have changed, (Marx would’ve been the first to agree with that. But not JC apparently).”

    A very brave action putting words into K. Marx’s mouth…but yes, relations of production HAVE changed…but NOT in a steady evolutionary way…those changes in production have been brutally forced through…much like we now see in the university funding changes of this govt’…If we go back to the industrial revolution, we can read of much violent oposition to that so-called “relation of production” change…lost were the skills base of the peasantry, lost were the agricultural independence of the farmer, lost were the research independence of the scholar, lost was the capability of barter exchange between trade and craftperson for the basics of life..lost were the many subtle dialects of language as a compulsory standardisation of grammatical purity was demanded from the ecucation dept’s…lost was the cultural differences of many ethnic minorities as they were forced to comply with the dominant culture of the ruling elite…lost was the oral storytelling tradition as time to attend the grinding wheel of industry stole R&R time to gather and sing…lost, lost ,lost…”… all for the want of of a horse-shoe nail”….as they say.
    Here in SA. many Silesian refugees from the destruction of their weaving industry made their home..a home-loom based industry that made quality cloth the was destroyed by the mechanisation of the industry, then when protested against, they were shot and killed..THAT is “relation of production” change …Upper middle-class style.

    The Silesian Weavers (Translation-German)
    This poem was inspired by a protest against the working conditions of weavers in Silesia, a province of Prussia in Northeast Germany. Riots occured in 1844, demanding better conditions.

    As a result of this poem, and the riots resulting in revolution, the king of Prussia was forced to allow his people a constitution. This theme was also treated in a naturalistic play called Die Weber by Gerhart Hauptman inspired by the accounts of Wilhelm Wolff. When first preformed in 1983 in Berlin, the German authority banned it.

    The Silesian Weavers by H. Heine
    Translated by Sasha Foreman

    Their gloom-enveloped eyes are tearless,
    They sit at the spinning wheel, snarling cheerless:
    “Germany, we weave your funeral shroud,
    A threefold curse be within it endowed-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on God to whom we knelt
    When hunger and winter’s cold we felt,
    To whom we flocked in vain and cried,
    Who mocked us and poxed us and cast us aside,
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on the king, the wealthy men’s chief
    Who was not moved even by our grief
    Who wrenched the last coin from our hand of need,
    And shot us, screaming like dogs in the street!
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on this lying father-nation
    Where thrive only shame and degradation,
    Where every flower’s plucked ere it’s bloom
    And worms thrive in the dank rot and gloom-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    O shuttle fly! Loom crank away!
    We weave unfailing, night and day-
    Old Germany, we weave your funeral shroud,
    A threefold curse be within it endowed-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

  17. Egalitarian

    I agree with you guys, re the class system.Ours is wealth.Unlike the Brits

    Interestingly Joseph Wall Street enticed all the finest graduates to become

    Financial Traders and they devised those wicked Subprime Mortgages deals.

    During the financial crisis.

  18. Matters Not

    JC re – A very brave action putting words into K. Marx’s mouth – Don’t believe I did. Just attempted to give meaning(s) to the concept(s)/theories he developed. Marx, for example, did not use the concepts of Base and Superstructure in explaining his work but, as I recall (yes I mean recall – because i stopped working more than two decades ago and have not ‘kept up’) the use of concepts such ‘base’ and ‘superstructure’ were considered as being useful in communicating his ideas, particularly in the study of education – broadly defined.

    As for the history you write – that’s also the result of an intellectual contest (read conflict) as well. But this is not a site for pursuing such a discussion. Nevertheless I provide a reference – dated as it may be.

    Any modern approach to a Marxist theory of culture must begin by considering the proposition of a determining base and a determined superstructure … in the transition from Marx to Marxism, and in the development of mainstream Marxism itself, the proposition of the determining base and the determined superstructure has been commonly held to be the key to Marxist cultural analysis.

    https://newleftreview.org/issues/I82/articles/raymond-williams-base-and-superstructure-in-marxist-cultural-theory

  19. RosemaryJ36

    Joseph – my siblings and I all attended government funded Grammar schools and my experience was far from unique. I prefer to talk in facts so I can safely quote my own experience – which I shared with many others.

  20. Matters Not

    Re:

    Greed is not confined to any stratum of society,

    Indeed it’s not. Greed defined as:

    intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power …

    seems to be a fairly common ambition spread across the spectrum. But what is not found across this metaphorical spectrum is the ability to realise that ambition. What is not evenly spread is the capacity to concretize that want. To achieve aspirations. Clearly it’s far easier for some than others. This is where the concept of class enters the explanatory picture.

    The concept of class, whether it is measured by power, influence, wealth, income. land, status, prestige, affluence, riches etc, becomes a useful shorthand to explain how and why some group(s) can more easily satisfy their (supposed) greed than others.

    Travel a bit and understand that for most in the world ALL Australians can be seen as greedy.

  21. corvusboreus

    Matters Not,l
    The mere fact of a person having experienced voluntary international travel is a sign of comparative global privilege and greed, especially in an environment where travel without ticket triggered by circumstantial shifts of desperate necessity can result in mandatory detention unto generations, and rebelliously truanting teenagers are wagging accusatory fingers at the cost of today’s jet fumes upon the generations now born, let alone those yet to come.
    Just a thought.

  22. DrakeN

    MN,

    “The concept of class…becomes a useful shorthand…”

    Not in my view.
    I reckon that it is intellectually laziness rather than a convenient shorthand.
    Both you and Joseph are constrained by your inability to accept that it is the ability to extract an undue proportion of the common weal for oneself which raises one into a ‘higher class”.
    Wealth and priviledge, however gained, are the determinants of “class”, not the rewards, financial or otherwise, which are gained by honest endeavour.
    Both of you display inveterate narrow-mindedness born of apparent resentment at the successes, material and otherwise, of people who have – often in adverse circumstances – made good their ambitions.
    Perhaps, instead of creating illusionary socio-economic divisions you might be better served at understanding why some folk find themselves at disadvantage and turn your considerable energies into instigating ways in which they might be better served by an otherwise ubiquetously self centered and self serving society.
    Denegrating other well founded opinions serves for naught other than bolstering your own sense of self righteousness.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Under the Morrison government (and indeed, the Trump presidency) there’s only one class that matters: the upper, upper, upper, upper class.

    The rest of us form one single class: the forgotten class.

  24. leefe

    Drake,

    ” … successes, material and otherwise, of people who have – often in adverse circumstances – made good their ambitions.”

    Ah yes, the supposed “American Dream”, where anyone can be successful if they work hard enough. It ignores two overwhelming facts: first, that the vast majority of materially successful people start with massive advantages (relative wealth, good education, support networks) and second, that an improvement in personal material wealth is almost invariably the result of other peoples’ hard labour, usually underpaid.

  25. Joseph Carli

    DrakeN…” Not in my view.
    I reckon that it is intellectually laziness rather than a convenient shorthand.”

    I know that yourself and some others on the site hold such an opinion against myself…It is a weak-minded opinion..to think that I have not the history to back my opinions…You talk of some making good their ambitions without considering that it could have been, as Leefe has pointed out..more the hard work of others or the luck of network connections…here, I leave you with an example of bad luck that could have ruined a family, but I know that this family eventually overcame their setbacks through community support and hard work…really hard work..physical work, not speculation..

    From a report in a local newspaper.. ” Mr. Gus. Riebke of Steinfeld, met with a serious and painful accident on Saturday last. He was chaffing some straw and was feeding the chaffcutter, when his hand was drawn in, and his four fingers were completely severed from his hand. The bleeding was very severe. Mr. Riebke was brought on to Truro. Mr. Schultz of the Willows Hospital, Nuriootpa, was telephoned to come to Truro to attend the injured man, but was unable to do so, and advised the injured man to go to the Kapunda Hospital. He is now an inmate of that institution and is progressing as well as can be ex-pected.
    Mr. Riebke has been singularly unfortunate of late. Owing to terrible drought that has prevailed on the Murray Flats, Mr. Riebke lost all his horses. He had 17, and not one was saved. A kindly neighbour gave him a horse, and other kind friends helped him to put in his crop.
    Only 2 weeks ago Mr. Riebke lost his wife, who had been ill for a long time. He is now left with four young children. Much sympathy is felt for the maimed man.”

    The reason the Germanic peoples were/are so strong in the Barossa Valley and surrounding areas is because they had to survive by their own mettle…they were effectually abandoned by the original governors of SA. and left to manage on their own..the ruling class of that day held no truck with them once their cheap labour and land-clearing duties were done…”trees don’t pay taxes” was the cry of that early Fascist regiem of the Downers. Ayres, Angas and others…the dominant ethnic rulers of the province.

  26. Matters Not

    DrakeN – there’s so much wrong with your analysis I don’t know where to start – so I won’t. Except to provide one link to abstract concepts.

    chauvinism, Communism, feminism, racism, sexism. These terms are fairly common and familiar, and because we recognize them we may imagine that we understand them—but we really can’t, because the meanings won’t stay still.

    In similar vein, you may wish to update your understanding and see where social class research is currently at.

  27. DrakeN

    MN: “DrakeN – there’s so much wrong with your analysis I don’t know where to start – so I won’t. Except to provide one link to abstract concepts.”

    Well, you can have your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
    Arguing with you and Joseph is like arguing with convinced religious disciples.
    Circular arguments at best.

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