History gives us an imperfect picture of time past. Perspective and purpose of the author of public records can distort the view of what has gone before, but some recorded facts are incontrovertible.
Evolution and increasing levels of understanding of science have enabled societies to change over time, although, as currently being illustrated in China, the disposition of a country’s leader can seriously pervert local and world events.
Over the centuries, adventurers and governments have explored and colonised, with little regard for their impact on the existing local population of the countries they have visited – whether in peace or in war.
Power has been a significant driver for much of these activities, and nationalism has distorted the moral perspective of the methods used.
They say you reap what you sow – and the current crop of outcomes has a bitter taste.
Human rights are not recognised by many nations, while others only pay lip service.
The Australian politicians of the far right, as well as some of less extreme persuasions, who readily spout about Australian values, are rarely admirable role models. Our treatment of genuine refugees is – IMHO – disgusting, and the inhumanity of many of the policies foisted upon us, reek of the sense of privilege of those in government – and their disdain for all who do not share their view of life.
We currently face an existential threat from global warming, while we also struggle to ensure containment of the spread of Covid-19 in a population which, in some cases, has lost all faith in government.
I am by nature an optimist, but, until and unless our leaders start to show a greater sense of genuine humanity – putting the needs of the desperate ahead of the leader’s need for self-aggrandisment and power, then we deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth by natural forces more powerful than anything puny mankind can create.
Toppling statues of (almost exclusively) men who have been renowned, but have also committed offences against humanity, will not change our future, unless current leaders develop coherent policies which truly recognise human rights.
Democracy is in its death throes and there is no sign that life-support is available – so it is up to all of us who care, to ensure that it recovers.
That is what ‘being a citizen’ demands.
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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