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Which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change?

Tom Tesoro writing on Facebook, said:

“They all sense their economic destiny, their power to shape their society to suit the elite they believe to be the superior class. They adhere to the ancient principle of the aristocracy, the ‘betters’, natural leaders, and those best suited to rule. They must accrue all the benefits that society creates as a reward for their superiority.”

I hesitate to say that Australia has a fascist Government only because it has so many entities. However, there is some form of it in Australia’s governance.

The way countries are currently being governed or taken over, for that matter, one couldn’t but agree that nationalism, dictatorship or a mode of fascism is prevalent.

That Australia needs a change in government is becoming more apparent by the day. The current one has all the ingredients of a recipe for disaster – corruption, dictatorship, secrecy; if it governs for much longer, and should it win another term, I fear change might become less likely over time.

Indeed, if Morrison and his corrupt band of Ministers win the next election, they will become emboldened to shift the balance of power further to the far right.

If we acknowledge that we live in a world that is more complex, more scientifically advanced than at any other time in the history of the world, it then brings on a moral and ethical dilemma that we are at a loss to explain or cope with.

Socialism comprehends empathy; conservatism and its partner capitalism do not.

Change can be so rapid that we can barely keep up with all its complexities. It is often ahead of the game, sometimes disregarding opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making, with Its own inevitability.

Older people have not coped well with it and still think the right will prevent it or slow it down, but all manner of things are being changed to the right’s advantage.

Whereas the young have grown up with technological change and are disadvantaged with a lack of political education. The old fight to remain in a world of sameness and never see other ways of doing things. It is a conservative value. The young see change as a process; the old see it as an unwanted intrusion on their conservative principles.

They dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can permanently be made to feel secure. Yet change is, in fact, part of the very fabric of our existence.

There is not an area of our existence that has not been dramatically changed by technology. Medicine, weaponry, communications, education, economics and many others.

The Internet has changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It is rapidly changing how we do many things, including entertainment, commerce, global trade, health care, transport, international, national news, world financial services and so on.

Globalisation is gradually framing a world without national borders with a cross-pollination of ethnicity.

Many countries successfully embrace multiculturalism but are consistently incapable of accepting change because Nationalism clouds many eyes.

Out of the necessity of survival, future generations will have to embrace change not by fighting old ideas but by building on the new.

Today I thought I would canvass the failure of Australian politics to embrace change.

Political change is everywhere – Brexit, the last British election result, and the Australian election result reflected dissatisfaction with traditional politics. The emergence of Trump and the resurgence of extremism in France, Brazil, political insurgency in the Middle East is evidence of global political change everywhere.

It is interesting how Australia, or more importantly, our politicians, has adapted to a transforming world where those on the left find difficulty understanding why the world has so empathetically turned to the right. But those on the “extreme” right have not only understood but implemented it. They have all but taken our democracy from us. All we have left is the power to dismiss them, but we are reluctant to do so.

The indoctrination of society began under Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher.

Rapid change brings with it the need for new rules and regulations that question traditional values and concepts. People accept those changes that benefit them but don’t like the necessity for regulation that often comes with it. Yet, they continue to vote for the extremity of the right in believing that things might be better for them. However, the truth is that the right are the ones less likely to do anything for them.

If nothing else they are very skilled at political propaganda.

So, I ask myself; which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change, implement it and legislate it for the common good?

Before answering that, firstly, let us appraise the ideological political philosophy of the left and right in Australia to appreciate what they stand for.

What is a conservative?

I know I have put the same question before, but I have expanded a little more here:

“Conservatives believe in free markets, individual liberty and traditional values. They believe the role of the Government should be to provide people with the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.”

They also believe that change should be incremental.

Note: Contrary to what they believe, they, the far-right, now seek to control us.

Conservative policies generally emphasise the empowerment of the individual to solve problems. And they are cautious about change or innovation, typically in science, politics, or religion.

They believe that free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs, and higher living standards than those systems burdened by excessive government regulation.

The right supports the separation of church and state, but it allows its conservative views to affect its legislation in practice.

Note the Prime Minister’s confusing allegiance to his religion, one that he never seems to practice when he is doing politics.

What is a neo-conservative?

Neo-conservatism goes back to the 1930s; however, it is identified with George W Bush in its modern form.

Bush embraced unbridled Capitalism, corporate greed together with literalist Christianity to form modern-day neoconservatism.

Carl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld and others added global superiority to the mix, believing that American exceptionalism in all aspects was above the rest of the world.

What is a social progressive?

Social democrats (the left) believe in:

“… government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. The Government must alleviate social ills, protect civil liberties provide health services and individual human rights, thus believing the role of the Government should be to guarantee that no one is in need.”

And that:

“Government must protect citizens from the greed of big business. Progressive policies generally emphasise the need for the Government to solve problems.”

Social progressive democrats believe that a market system in which Government regulates the economy is best. Unlike the private sector, the Government is motivated by public interest. Government regulation in all areas of the economy is needed to level the playing field.

The left also supports the separation of church and state.

The answer to my question is that the left of politics is best qualified to handle rapid change generally and the changes brought about by climate change and COVID-19.

I am explicitly talking about Australia’s two-party system here, and the answer lies in comparative political history.

The Greens and others of English Liberal philosophy might argue their case for inclusion, but at present, we only have two possibilities.

By scrutinising the historic social reforms of Australia’s major parties and comparing them, we can determine who is best qualified to take us through this ongoing period of change and the necessary political, social and economic reforms.

The left side of Australian politics has, until now:

“… implemented the following reforms or policies that have directly contributed to change for the better.

A National Health Scheme, a National Disability scheme, compulsory superannuation, a National Broadband Network, Paid Parental leave, major educational reforms, a price on carbon, equal pay for women, the Aged Pension, Mabo and the Apology to the Stolen Generations, and of course the Hawke – Keating major economic reforms that have given the country 25 years of continuous growth.” (Refer to comment from ‘jim’ in the above link).

The ‘right side of politics has implemented the following; Howard gun buyback, the GST that benefited the rich, an increase in immigration after the Second World War, and Harold Holt introduced a bi-partisan referendum that gave Indigenous people the right to vote in 1967.

And there, I have to stop. The Liberal Party website provides a comprehensive list of achievements in Government as distinct from significant policy reforms. Here is the list for you to judge for yourself. If I have missed a considerable reform, please correct me.

In a world where science, technology, and information progress quickly, change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With its own inevitability.

Conservatives oppose change and are wary of science and intellectualism, as was demonstrated by the Abbott Government.

They seem locked in a world that no longer exists without comprehending how much the world has progressed. Remember, Abbott wanted to destroy the Internet.

They believe in traditional values (whatever they are) without recognising the historical elasticity of society. That change is inevitable.

We need to be governed by rules and regulations. It is the only way change can be civilised and cohesive.

Leaving individuals to pursue their goals without the infrastructure society provides and allowing Capitalism (the GFC) to go on unregulated can only lead to disaster.

A society that has change for the common good at its heart can only be attained with conventions, guidelines, systems, laws, policies, instructions and procedures.

While the central argument of conservative philosophy empathises and overtly supports the individual’s rights, it can never initiate the reformist zeal for change like the left.

I have concluded that a society facing the changes confronting us can only achieve worthwhile change under the umbrella of social democratic philosophy.

An ideology that believes in equality of opportunity, an equitable share of the country’s wealth, maintains individual rights and liberties within a societal framework is best equipped to bring about change. It would also guarantee that no one is left in need.

A government that solves the problems of change together with all who have a vested interest in it.

Change that only serves the secular interests of the wealthy and privileged is change doomed to fail.

Every facet of society, including the democratic process, needs constant and thoughtful renewal and change. Otherwise, we become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see better ways of doing things.

Some thoughts for the day

I think accepting and embracing change is one key aspect of what we try to define as wisdom.

How is it possible for the inherited rich and privileged to understand poverty – how can those with the means to pay medical costs understand the inability of those with ill-health who cannot?

In 2011 Malcolm Turnbull didn’t think there was a need for an inquiry into the news media but agreed with the then PM Gillard that Newscorp should stop publishing crap.

 

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27 comments

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  1. BB

    Well written John Lord.
    An excellent summation of the current political scene. The ALP are indeed the best able to handle change to benefit all Australians.

    “Socialism comprehends empathy; conservatism and its partner capitalism do not.” I couldn’t agree more.

    A quote I love and is spot on… Al Capone… “Capitalism is the ‘legitimate’ racket of the ruling class” 😎

  2. Ken

    Excellent article Mr Lord

  3. Keith

    One bright spot is that in the recall election just held in California Governor Newsom, it appears very likely Newson was not defeated by a Trump supporting Republican. California has a large economy and reversion back to an extreme conservative Governor would be the pits. Newson has displayed a sentiment of “do as I say, not do as I do” which resulted in citizens calling for the recall election.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/election-results/california/governor-recall/

  4. Phil Pryor

    Staffrooms, offices, mines, factories, shops, departments have all had self aggrandising bullshitting loud self asserters who annoy and demand and overburden us, and, most of you would have memories and stories, some sour and unpleasant, the very nature of this behaviour , like an aggressive cancer is to take over, threaten, finally kill. Yet society allows, by a quiet indifference, the “wrong” types, too often, to get into the “right ” positions, of power and executive control. So, Paul got Christianity up, as did Stalin with Marxism. Many greedy and utterly self infatuated have got neo-conservatism up high, and hangers on are attracted to it for material and personal rewards, money, status, the Big Pose in life, which does offer relief to so many. Without bounds or sense, this drive up a one way track to oblivion is killing us all, as we mostly sit and tolerate and concede. We have the most childish government ever in Australia, ready to buy toys at ever inflating retail prices from others who expand influence and will assert controls if and when necessary. I say, one voice, stop it now, cut it off now, fight for better now, denounce this criminality and control from now, or we and the planet will die in shame and of degradation and indifference. Having seen a former P M grow and develop so badly in egotistical self romancing righteousness, it horrifies me.

  5. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Thank you for asking, there is of course another major party which gets as many votes as The Nats but never makes it into a coalition and has been around in one form or another since, at least The Club of Rome in 1963. Much better suited for the major upheaval ahead mainly because its full of young folk with young ideas. Until 30 months ago Labor were still promoting coal mines and are still a tad ambivalent about Adani or whatever it’s called now.
    When the ALP can persuade the electorate that they are unified and sorted out there own internal methods of promotion then they might stand a chance until then get ready to catch the bouquet again.

  6. wam

    No pool in Taperoo, but you make keeping warm, so simple, lord, just like the clarity of Scummo. Einfuhlung is complex with cognitive, compassionate and emotional components. Are the LNP conservatives devoid of empathy? Eric W Dolan in ‘heightened empathy’ has a point in American political empathy. ps got an Australised, attributed to a 21 year old woman, version of a letter written 10 years ago by a 56 year old ex army man from Waco Texas. The instructional text certainly lacked empathy and sympathy. But it does show the depths of ignorance found in beliefs of right wing hypocrites who laud the existence of rorting at the top end and accept people dying to prevent rorting at the poor end. If you scratch a conservative, especially ex-service men and women, you will discover their belief that welfare should provide food to the unemployed including retirees without private insurance or private pension to prevent them starving to death. They ignore the welfare of their army pensions and health cards, as do the pollies double dipping to exorbitant levels and the ‘pay no tax’ blood suckers,on the public purse. The hypocritical arseholes are just seeing the reports on Murdoch, posts from poms and republicans. ps If the Christian Porter does know who gave him the million it should be declared as income and taxed.

  7. BB

    What is a conservative? What is a neo-conservative? What is a social progressive?
    These terms are more than adequately explained in the article above.

    “While the central argument of conservative philosophy empathises and overtly supports the individual’s rights, it can never initiate the reformist zeal for change like the left.”

    What is a bloody idiot?
    Someone who keeps voting for the L/NP against their better interests.
    AND
    Someone who keeps denigrating the ALP against their better interests.

  8. George Theodoridis

    That HMS Australia needs a new captain is undeniable but shuffling the decks around is of no use at all and the ship will continue its way to the iceberg of rapacious capitalism and Right Wing bastardy.

    Of that I have no doubt and against that I make my warnings.

    Let’s not kid ourselves that we’ve effected a change when all we did is passed a hat around.

  9. Joe Carli

    Hello again, George..I watched with both a degree of alacrity and also one of inner humour yours and BB’s rattling of cudgels at each other in another recent post…and although it was a tad cruel of BB to call you an “old fart” in Spanish, the entire episode had me reflecting on the many thrusts and parrys I had endured on this same platform…and indeed, I have to agree that in essence you, George, are the more accurate in my opinion in that the arguement is not really about this party or that, but rather about a political system that in this nation of basically conservative voters, little difference will be observed by a lack of radical left-wing policies in a now subdued Labor party grown fat and sleek on a sinecured income.

    The sad tragedy is that the world has gone down that rabbit hole of “just in time” neo-liberal economics and marketing, so the casualising of the workforce has made a mockery of secure income and the future for many unskilled and even skilled workers.

    To my way of interpretation, the rot first set in with the massive post WW2 industrialisation..particularly in agriculture..the “tooling-up” from horse-drawn implementation to tractors destroyed not only many smaller farms, but also inadvertently destroyed whole towns and communities…for what little REAL community gain is yet to be debated, as we seem to have accepted that change/progress for change’s sake is all the excuse needed to explain away massive environmental and social damage…perhaps even to the point of having come so far into the tunnel, there is now no turning back and a “free-market” rampage will be the total undoing of humanity.

    I wrote of these things here, as many will have noticed…One article I put up drew the ire of so many was the one about; https://theaimn.com/rosies-hut/ ..about those days of horse farming on the flats around here…THAT inspired me to write a story centering on the actual moment..the actual day when the farmer “Mattheus Kreuger” hands over the family farm to his two sons and their family who are keen to drop the horses and switch to tractors for the farming…I think it explains the loss of connection of humanity to nature and the start of a disaster of environmental / social collapse…..

    Here if you are interested… https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/the-last-empire/

  10. BB

    Indeed Joe Carli.

    Blind profit times profit compounded exponentially for no other reason than profit, madness entrenched, solidified, never ending.
    We now live in a world that has lost all semblance of common sense and decency. All has been thrown out of the window along with the baby and the dirty bath water. “Anything you can fuck up we can fuck up better,” seems to be the catch phrase of the insane who are now in charge of the asylum. There is no way “on earth” the madness can now be put back into Pandora’s Box.

    Yep, that’s why I live how I do, non materialistic and a simple life growing most of what I eat. Humanity has lost it’s grass roots.
    Build bigger, then build it bigger yet again, so big till the machines will smother us all, suck out all the goodness, then burn it.
    What’s the answer? At present there is none. My only daughter has decided on having no children for she fears for the future.
    Sad but she’s right, another 2 or 3 decades and I’m gone, dust to dust, a mere speck of dust in the sunlight, was I ever here?

    Mankind for all it’s smarts, and innovations is simply not able to learn the lessons of history. We are a tragedy in the making.
    We are indeed probably the The Last Empire, we are dead men walking, for there’s none so blind as those who will not see.

    Of course it’s not about this party or that party, the whole rotten system is FUBAR. The dice are loaded, the game is rigged.
    Real choice has been stolen, stripped away, all we can is “vote” for a lesser evil, grasp on to the last flicker of light. Hope.

    I don’t like to argue for the sake of an argument, or a “DEBATE” just to prove a pointless point of view, to make out “I’m right”!

    We are in essence all old farts blowin’ in the wind my friend, blowin’ in the wind……

    No entres gentil en esa buena noche.

  11. Joe Carli

    Yes, well..BB..I have a son who is very leery about getting into a long-term relationship because he fears losing his house…the materialism of this next generation worries me…and I don’t blame them for it all…they are a product of the fear of the times…it is indeed a tragedy of monumental proportions…and of course, I will vote for the party with the best chance of ridding us of the worst of the worst…for with a new broom, perhaps it can be steered to do a thorough job in the initial stage of euphoria…that or we are well and truly lost…to become another Chile or Argentina…

  12. Arnd

    Yeah, well … – thanks, John, for outlining, with rather unambiguous clarity, some of the attitudes and ideas that do inform modern social-democrat thinking. I certainly do recognise them as the ideas and attitudes which did, implicitly, inform my thinking, in my younger days.

    Though I did become increasingly uneasy with the “We (Social-democrat career party hacks with no real-life experience) know best what is good for you, and we will give it to you whether you like it or not!” thinking, that is implicit in your summation that:

    “Government must protect citizens from the greed of big business. Progressive policies generally emphasise the need for the Government to solve problems.”

    Growing up in what was then W.-Germany, and with a ringside seat from which to observe the goings-ons within the “real existierender Sozialismus” of the so-called “German Democratic Republic” left me with a deep mistrust of and disaffection with “Big Government” that easily equals my mistrust of and disaffection with “Big Business”.

    I did eventually settle on what I thought an eminently sensible outlook, combining socialist ideals with a deliberate “small government” agenda. But that is an outlook that, in the 30 years since, I have never been able to advocate in any meaningful way.

    It would seem that, since the major opinion leaders and influential decision makers all occupy leading positions in either business or political power hierarchies, for the average mug punter it really comes down to choosing which of two lesser evils one might throw in his lot. It seems that the notion that “Big State Socialism” (state monopoly capitalism) might not necessarily be superior to “Big Business Capitalism” (private monopoly capitalism) is not one that readily lends itself to public examination and discussion.

  13. Joe Carli

    Arnd…and here we are again..

    Having myself now bookmarked for ready access, the “Peoples Daily Online”, I have noticed the promotion of a “moderate prosperity” policy push by Xi Jingping across the whole of China..that, coupled with both social protection policies (curbing private tution costs to help young families, culling hours of children acessing online gaming to curb addiction numbers) and a new kind of “cultural revolution” against that old enemy of a upper-middle-class using its wealth for political interference..alongside that magnificent initiative of the Belt & Road, seems to propose a new direction for social coherence and universal financial equality..or at least as much as can be managed in a pop’ of c;1400 mill’….

    I, myself, would be willing, push comes to shove, to give the commies a go on such a “trading table”…after all, what could they enforce on a younger working-class me but to make me work for a living….and to THAT end I would have to say..: “So what else is new”..?

    As for “big govt’ vs. small govt'”…I’d opt rather for big bureacracy and smaller political party freeloaders…ie reduce the number of political representatives and increase the public service.

  14. Arnd

    Hi Joe,

    To my way of interpretation, the rot first set in with the massive post WW2 industrialisation..

    With apologies, but that strikes me as unduly rose-tinted nostalgia. What of the disastrous switch to mechanised trench warfare in WWI? Or the depraved brutality practised the Belgian Congo? The Cherokees’s Trail of Tears? And, surely, you would be aware that even Australia’s horse-and-buggy past has left a few ghosts haunting the country to this day?

    The rot has always been there – since nomadic bands of egalitarian hunter-gatherers began to practice agriculture and settled in urban, hierarchical societies, according to Marxists, or since Adam and Eve nicked God’s apples, according to Christians. Steam, oil and uranium have just mechanised and leveraged the rot. They didn’t cause it.

    Why do I labour this point? To illustrate that the political, economic, social, cultural, and, ultimately, human switch we are facing to adjust to the ascending Anthropocene, is a fairly momentous departure from the habits ingrained into us during the 10,000 or so years of the Holocene. And more momentous than voting Labor I stead of Liberal/National, at any rate.

    Also, I got your email, a few weeks back. I even intended to reply. But I didn’t get a roundtooit. May I offer a platitudinuous “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”?

  15. Joe Carli

    Arnd…: ” Why do I labour this point? To illustrate that the political, economic, social, cultural, and, ultimately, human switch we are facing to adjust to the ascending Anthropocene, is a fairly momentous departure from the habits ingrained into us during the 10,000 or so years of the Holocene. And more momentous than voting Labor I stead of Liberal/National, at any rate.”

    Picky-picky!….My pointing to THAT particular moment in history was to illustrate a moment of switching of the tracks that redirected the momentum of human destiny toward a particularly damaging climax in regards to the environment etc…and surely even an old cynic like yourself would have to agree that THAT particular time of mechanisation moved the destructive lever up a notch or two…Sure, one can point to other momentous shifts of human destiny good or bad in those ancient times, but those shifts left less irredeemable damage to both the species and the environment in their passing…even here on this pioneer farm in the Mallee, the passing of the horse-farming era has left very little evidence of its leaving save some old harness, horse-shoes and plough-shares that are slowly sinking back into the earth…whereas an old “Fordson Major” tractor sitting nearby has the indelible stains of fossill-fuels and dropping detritus from the frame spreading about it like the discarded feathers or fur from a rotting carcass…a problem demanding human intervention at some stage.

    Don’t worry about replying to the email….I have probably changed my mind on the subject by now anyway..

  16. Joe Carli

    And you’d have to agree that the rise of a possible nuclear war…that subject that keeps Greek George awake at night has to be one mighty shift in human destiny…mightier even than the “If” of King Phillip to the Spartans of old.

    So whatever the trials and tribulations of human lunacy in the past, this latest developement of Aust’ signing on as franchisee to the Yankees retail store of subs and missiles far outstretches any stride of the mighty Anthropocene, Holocene or even Neoprene eras!

  17. Roswell

    What a shame it would be if the first thing we do after the planet finally defeats COVID-19 is to have WW3.

  18. Arnd

    Joe,

    … that redirected the momentum of human destiny …

    There was no particular noteworthy change of direction! Just an acceleration. And by more than just “a notch or two”. More like “an order of magnitude or two”!

    And Joe, as tradesman yourself, do you really think it acceptable to blame the tools, and not their careless and clumsy operators.

    I find the thought of “Big Bureaucracy”, populated as they are more often than not, by superannuated Abominable No-men and -women, whose character disposition enables them with comparative ease to supplant their own personal human consciousness with compliance with KPIs imposed from above, which they had no hand in developing, and which they dare not question or examine, positively frightening! And I am not the only one: Upton Sinclair famously commented on the difficulties of explaining something to a man, whose paycheque depends on his not understanding it. Compare also “The banality of evil”, a concept popularised by Hannah Arendt, whom I do consider a profound thinker, even if she wasn’t always right.

    In saying that, I do not want to cast unwarranted aspersions on the Australian Public Service in particular, who, since Federation, by and large seem to have done an acceptable job of administrating the Volonté générale. As against that, I hold that the politisation of the APS has unmistakably accelerated of late, and imposes an increasingly stark and polarising “take it or leave it” choice on individual public servants … – which will increasingly select for and favour public servants with greater tolerance for the exercise of unconscionable “soft despotism” (Alexis de Tocqueville).

    This I take to be one of the “Unintended consequences” of relying, as John Lord advocates, on the government to fix our problems. I do not have a crystal ball to read the future, but I rather confidently, not to say despondently, predict an accelerating growth of state bureaucracy with less and less open and public accountability, here in Australia, in China, in the EU and its member nations, and in the UK and US. Especially now, that 40 years’ worth of austerity-style neo-liberalism is quietly being replaced with the unlimited fiscal gluttony enabled by MMT.

    May you live in interesting times!

  19. Joe Carli

    Arnd..: ” Abominable No-men and -women, whose character disposition enables them with comparative ease to supplant their own personal human consciousness with compliance with KPIs imposed from above . . . ”

    What!…you’d rather have such people enabled to pick up a circular saw and come to assist you on the job!?….Horses for courses, I say!

    And Hey!…no fair quoting all these nom de plumes at me..I only read in one language!

  20. Joe Carli

    Actually, Arnd…” There was no particular noteworthy change of direction!” . . there WAS a change of direction with the coming of the tractor and Big Agriculture…as I wrote in my article (link above;” Rosie’s Hut”), the magnitude of tillage acceleration meant the absorbtion of many less financially viable farmlets that couldn’t compete with the new mechanisation, nor afford to tool-up…A fifth generation farmer I know around here tells me that his family, being one of the first to “tool-up”, ended swallowing SIX smaller farms to incorporate their acreages into the one big farm…those families then moving out of the district and by consequence draining the resident population of the local community…then the pie-shop closed, the town band dissipated and the banks moved out etc, etc….Also, the size of the paddocks increased to accomodate larger tillage possibilities, meaning more land clearing and the loss of hedgerows and wildlife biosphere..

    So there WAS change of direction, to one of town and community abandonment the like not seen since Atilla the Hun swept through the balkans so many years ago!

  21. Arnd

    Joe,

    … since Atilla the Hun swept through the balkans so many years ago!

    I did mention the Cherokees’s Trail of Tears. The Scottish Highland Clearances? The English Inclosure Laws? All before the Age of Tractors! (And long after Attila.)

    The Soviets dealt with the Kulaks in like fashion.

    And, arguably, what is happening in Australia right now – exponentially rising real estate prices, in times of general financial distress – is merely Inclosure 2.0. True, Labor did make a feeble attempt to reign in the disconnect of real estate speculation from economics at large through taxation amendments, and got penalised for it at the ballot box. Which means that even legitimate attempts by the governing classes to “solve” people’s problems are, unfortunately, not without their own problems.

  22. Joe Carli

    Arnd…Certainly those calamities to those people and times were disasterous then and there, but, even regretfully, they were localised incidences…even the treatment of Aust’s indigenous peoples were “localised” to the time and place of here and now…With the end of the horse farming era, it was the sudden ending (give or take a year or two in different places in the world) of untold millenia of a way of life, of trade, of animal husbandry and of the relationship between working man and beast…many millenia of servitude between man and beast of burden…not just the end of a localised social situation or peoples, but the absolute end of the linear record of that history…bigger than the murder of Julius Caesar and the end of the Roman Republic..for farming practices continued..bigger than the end of the 1st WW…for farming practices continued…bigger than the great depression, for farming practices with the mute obedience of the horse continued…and the towns continued..and the butcher, baker, farrier, blacksmith…continued…then at almost the sound of a bugle playing the last post..came the technological advancement of the new tractors – so far removed from the old Lanz Buldogs – new motors that grew from the engine developements of the war..and that was the end of it all…the town band, the local labour force, the local butcher, the local flour mill, the baker, the local banks, the local churches, the community…the centre of local “go-to” shifted from blacksmith to motor garage.

    It WAS a world-wide change of direction…

    I can say that because I grew up with it…

  23. Joe Carli

    “There is an integral ingredient missing from the Australian story…and it is the awakening of a mythology for us newcomers to this land to hold as a kind of stabilising talisman to give us security of purpose and a direction toward the future…much like the Ancient Greeks held their mythology close to their lives as lessons of greater or lesser ethical or moral observation.”…

    I made this observation in a comment on an article I put up here a fair while ago ago..https://theaimn.com/letter-to-a-friend/ ..it still stands…But what we have lost is described in that article…it is the connection between ourselves and the “feel” of the earth we used to work by hand…any tradesman will tell you the tactile feel of working by hand with one’s raw materials is so much better than the cold handling of machinery….even the reading and writing of articles and stories is so much improved withthe close attention given to the piece we are reading or reacting to.

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