The 2017 Australian revolution will be televised

The point of the phrase “the revolution will not be televised” is twofold. First, it derives from the US Black Power movement of the 1960s and, for me, makes the point that the popular media and its thought police will never cover change until some dude with a revolver is at the studio door.

Second, it is a clarion call to action for those that would like to see change but are too cowardly to take responsibility for it. Those that purport to support building a better country but would rather watch it on TV in some withdrawn fortress of solitude (like Byron Bay).

The Australian Revolution of 2017 demands more of them and everyone else. Change isn’t something you can download on your iPad. Everyone at MB has fought for it. And now it is our time to take it.

The reigning Coalition government is disintegrating. It should never have won the past election and did so only because the deglobalisation revolution sweeping the West handed seats to Nick Xenophon over Labor. We’ve been sticking a sharp stick into Do-nothing Malcolm’s empty government all year as it has failed on every front. In doing so we’ve been leading a charge of myriad disaffected people across the political spectrum that realise that this idiot has to go.

Let’s recall that Do-nothing Malcolm came to power with the promise of reasoned liberalism but has instead betrayed that principle on every front:

  • he says he supports carbon mitigation yet attacks renewable energy whenever possible;
  • he says he supports tax concession reform yet is a verbose defender of negative gearing;
  • he says he supports social progress yet has killed gay marriage and overseen incredible attacks on the HRC;
  • he says he supports free markets yet he does nothing with competition policy and defends big banks, mining and realty;
  • he says he supports innovation but does nothing about it;
  • he says he supports budget repair yet pursues a corporate tax cut that will destroy it;
  • he says he supports jobs and growth yet eschews all productivity-related reform;
  • he says he supports infrastructure yet does little of it;
  • he says he supports border protection while running an immensely corrupt visa racket;
  • he says he supports multi-culturalism while running out of control immigration that is threatening it;
  • he says he supports housing affordability while inflating the bubble at every turn, and
  • he says he supports evidence-based policy coupled with clear communication yet does the complete opposite.

Do-nothing Malcolm is a disastrous politician, an elitist fig leaf for a pack of blood-sucking Coalition interests whose dystopian vision is strung somewhere between landlordism and religious zeal for an obsolete patriarchal family unit.

It is no wonder that the Coalition Right is also done with Do-nothing. He is a fox in two hen houses. The dirty cop playing both sides. An empty-suited barrister defending both law and perp.

His reckoning is upon the nation in a splintered Coalition. From yesterday:

Fears are mounting within the ­Liberal Party that maverick South Australian senator Cory Bernardi is set to split from the Coalition to spearhead the new Australian Conservatives party, with an ­announcement expected in the new year.

The conservative firebrand and his “very close friend” Gina ­Rinehart met key members of US president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign team, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, in Washington last month, fuelling fears the senator might have the support of Australia’s richest woman to bankroll the party and dilute the Liberals’ support base.

Senator Bernardi is refusing to comment on his plans, but allies and colleagues of the outspoken conservative say a breakaway Trump-inspired movement is ­imminent and attempts are being made to convince him to stay within the Liberal Party.

…The threat of defection comes amid widespread alarm within the Coalition about the momentum and popularity of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party as voters turn away from the major parties in record numbers.

And why not? One Nation is charging, via the ABC yesterday:

A woman believed to be One Nation’s first Asian candidate is not offended by Pauline Hanson’s infamous remark 20 years ago that the country was at risk of “being swamped by Asians”.

Shan Ju Lin said she believed she and the party would get the votes of “good Asians” in the Queensland election, slated for 2018, as they too feared the rising influence of the Chinese Government in Australia.

She understood why Ms Hanson made those comments, which included claims that Asians “form ghettos and do not assimilate”.

“For European people it’s very difficult to distinguish Chinese or Korean or Japanese, and I can understand why she said it,” Ms Lin said.

“She sees the problem ahead of everybody, including you and me.

“Everything she said is happening now.”

Ms Lin, a school teacher who moved from Taiwan to Australia 26 years ago, said the Chinese Government, namely the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was exerting too much influence on Australia.

It was already influencing the Labor and Liberal parties, she said, adding there would be serious consequences if huge numbers of its supporters moved to Australia.

“I feel the Chinese Communist Party is a great threat to Australia because they bought a lot of businesses and our harbours and properties,” she said.

“They will take over power of Australia.

We are entering a period of unprecedented ideological confusion. Sadly, such times usually boost the lunatic fringe to the centre. We have seen that to some extent in the US where the working class is voting for a bald-faced oligarch; in the UK where they are voting for a nation-busting exit from the common market; in Europe where nationalists are charging. And here we’re going to see similar stuff, make no mistake.

It’s really impossible to know at this point who will rise into the void created by Do-nothing Malcolm. The only certainty is that the Coalition as it currently configured is doomed. It will either splinter or roll Do-nothing Malcolm and turn to the Right prior to the next election. Or, Do-nothing will have to do it himself in one last great betrayal of everything that he says he stands for (and doesn’t).

If it splinters then God only know what alliances evolve as One Nation rises in competition with Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.

The Labor Party is the likely winner as it fights a divided Right.

In terms of policy implications I think we can take several things to the bank:

  • housing affordability is going to become increasingly central to policy;
  • one way or another immigration is going to be cut;
  • the budget is very likely buggered as it gets torn apart by payoffs, and
  • we’ll probably see a swing back towards the US alliance.

That means sell realty and get your assets offshore. Pretty much MB’s current allocations.

Beyond that we’re entering a contest of special interests and crackpots the likes of which even global village idiot Straya has never seen in modern times. The dust will settle wherever Australian populism blows it.

For the investor and modern (centrist) Australian not all of this is bad. Indeed, even if it comes with unsavory social baggage for a while, modern Australia is lazy enough to not let any one idea get too out of control. And what cannot come soon enough – for the longer it is fended off the worse it will ultimately be – is the breaking of the real estate cartel that currently runs Australia, headed by Do-nothing Malcolm and his good-for-nothing Property Council Treasurer. The prospects for that look better today than they have in a long time.

As we know, the revolution will be fought by our real estate addicted media which will hose it down with self-serving bias but MB will be there – sparking, stoking, roaring – giving it unadulterated real time coverage.

The 2017 Australian revolution will be televised.

Houses and Holes
Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


    • If a revolution is to happen, historically speaking, it is the 18-35 year old demographic that does it. Any older, and either they’re in power, or failed to make an impression.

      If we look at generation changes (or mini-revolutions) in the past, this has been the pattern. The boomers came in with Whitlam, made their changes, then became the establishment. Gen X+Y came in with Howard, and same same.

      Once into the thirties, most people are dealing with kids and jobs. If the revolucion hasn’t happened bye then, it won’t until the next generation has a crack.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Im always at the 3 young guys working at the bar up at the bowlo (all 3 at uni) about how their generation needs to stand up and participate.

        At first they clearly rejected the idea,.. but after constant encouragment and pushing , they are starting to ask why should we?,…I’ve had a few good convos with them,…but much more convincing is required im afraid.

        Maybe someone a bit more articulate than a half pissed plumber could have a word to them.?

        How about you Skip?, Or 007?,.. keen for a beer up the Bowlo?
        You could tell em all about Bernays or MMT,…they’d love it!
        One of them is studying Economics and another some Comunications degree.
        Come on!


      • Which Bowlo? The one opposite Rydalmere Aldi or Brush Park?

        Drop me a line Ermo!

        add hotmail to my non de plume or DM me on twitter.

      • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a song by American musical hero Gil Scott Heron from 1972. You tube it. I saw him on tour circa 1994. He had another tour planned in 1998. However the Howard Govt refused him a visa purportedly due to drug convictions but really due to the radical questions his music raised over many years. Thats the probable real reason anyway

  1. Well articulated my friend.

    As someone a lot smarter than me once said….”Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard”……

    • Democracy has many flaws. We are now witnessing the splintering or Balkanisation of political interests as each group retreats from broader nationwide concerns to focus on single or minor elements. Donald Trump’s win was about much more than simple analysis thus far put forward, much of which is wrong in my opinion.

      As a long time reader of Macrobusiness, this initiative from Michael West and the Sydney Democracy Network joint venture will appeal to many here. However I suspect investigation will stem from a poorly defined ideological base, as such, any conclusions likely flawed.

  2. Labour will be seen to do something about housing affordability but it won’t be enough. They have yet to comment on immigration levels. Too many of them are invested in property for this to be surprising.

    • Vote Labor in lower house for affordable housing by killing off NG/CGT concessions.

      Vote Pauline Hanson One Nation in senate to kill off Labors’ population/immigration ponzi.

      All other parties are irrelevant, considering the current priorities.

      • “to kill off Labors’ population/immigration ponzi”

        That’s certainly not just Labor’s policy. The Coalition have it in spades, but for the life of me I cannot understand why the Labor Party supports high immigration when they ought to know that it depresses wages. Do their union supporters realise this?

      • The dominant unions that infest Labor would be unsurprisingly building and construction, hence the immigration ponzi.

    • Labor are only taking their position because they are in opposition. If they get into power they’ll backflip like Malcolm did when he got to power. Aussie democracy is an illusion of choice.

      • I agree. The Coalition for now is on its last legs but the problem with supporting Labor is that they too will be given a free hand to either do little or nothing. Without some strong opposition Labor too will conceed to its looney fringe or other vested interests. People should not vote Liberals, Nationals, Labor or the Greens. Void your votes or give it to those that will rock this shit house called Australia to its very foundations ……

  3. Clive Palmer could have been the Nigel Farage of AUS.

    Why the hell does a miner need immigration?

    Even if a mining magnate wants 457 visas – there is no need to give them a 1st world passport!

    • Australia really doesn’t have a Trump or a Farage apart from Hansen, and she completely lacks their “presence” on screen. H&H himself is part of the “ideological confusion” that he laments, rightly condemning the establishment on some things, and yet subscribing to the “deplorables” smear of large numbers of people with basic common sense but who aren’t in exactly the same carefully nuanced position he is. The revolution actually depends on these people, not on intellectual political pick-and-choosers.

      • For one thing, H&H, you won’t defend decent non-racist people against charges of “racism” when the issue in their minds is one of culture, not race.

        And whose side were you on when Andrew Bolt “offended” white-skinned opportunist race-industry troughers, actually from the angle that he was taking the side OF Aboriginals per se? Ideological confusion all right, and it is the fault of PC lefty elitists and their assumed god-status in determining who thought this and who “meant” that, as the basis of actual legal charges. If you’re not clear about this Orwellian stuff, and you endorse the punitive shunning of such people, you are part of the problem.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Hahahahaha, ideological confusion much Phil? “Race-industry”? You really are one of the swamp dwelling bigots aren’t you? Just so we’re on the same page mate, it was the racism AND cultural superiority of RIGHT-wing elites that created Fascism in its modern European form which started World War II, NOT the politically correct LEFT-wing elites… the socialists and “race-industrialists” that you loathe were the ones sent to the concentration camps… If you don’t know why we must be “eternally vigilant” for such slippery slope hatred, you need to learn some history, post-haste. You make political correctness out to be an all or nothing proposition, like your idol Andrew Bolt. It’s a false binary. Respect for your fellow human is all that is required.

        Nice to see you challenging this garbage H&H, the Andrew Bolt sympathisers have certainly come to think that MB backs their world view, and has no time for cultural sensitivity, as if the 20th century never happened. What a wonderful privilege-bubble it must be.

      • Rational Radical, you are a low scum when it comes to arguing these issues. I have already pointed out to you that western civilisation “culture” is UNIVERSALIST and that is what I support. For ALL races. This is the opposite of Naziism. It is also the opposite of multi-culturalism and cultural relativism, which holds that people of colour must stick with the nature spirits and witch doctors – and their civilisational backwardness will still forever be the “fault” of us “imperialists” – because we dared to supplant superstition-based culture with our own enlightenment, daring to believe it to be the best thing!

        It is the multi-culti, relativists who are the real racists; Martin Luther King would have given you short shrift.

        A political spectrum where the “polar opposites” are Bolshevism and Naziism is a BS construct of the Left. It is more like a circular spectrum where the ends meet once again; somewhere on the opposite side of the circle, are things like classical liberalism, the best fruit of the enlightenment.

      • more along the lines of horseshoe theory where the extremes of the left and right hold similary authoritarian views and do their best to control the rest of us, for our own good of course. they tend to have a religious fervour, which allows them to do bad things for the greater good.

        i am wholeheartedly sick of the moral relativism of the regressive left. in general terms western culture is superior to most others since we have emancipated most people, and are continuing to minimalise those we consider the other.

        people have rights, ideologies do not.

      • ‘religious zeal for an obsolete patriarchal family unit’

        Kind of confused about this – the family unit with some patriarchal male leadership worked pretty damned well if you ask me.. how is it obsolete – what have we managed to successfully replace it with? The destruction of male leadership/all forms of masculinity, the focus on individualistic, instant gratification hedonistic lifestyles producing countless emotionally weak permanent childhood snowflakes. Everyone is a victim, no one takes responsibility for anything, people don’t even have the discipline to not destroy their health through obesity, rising unhappiness/depression and use of meds to get by, the welfare state attempting to fill the gaps while creating dependents.

        Yeah I love our progressively liberal societies, I feel totally liberated!

      • For one thing, H&H, you won’t defend decent non-racist people against charges of “racism” when the issue in their minds is one of culture, not race.

        For both people accusing and defending racism, the ideas of culture and “race” are used interchangeably.

      • poor old caeos is feeling the loss of his manhood, no longer viewed as the head of the house, fmd, how pathetic expecting to have your position in society at the cost of others (women).

        The demise of society as you see it is not a result of women getting their just rights of equal opportunity. If those growing up are “lost” blame no one but the baby boomers who are primarily responsible for raising those you so easily denigrate.

  4. Let the police decide what the motive is or not. It doesn’t look good on the surface and it should never happen no matter the opinions of others, all people matter and so does their right to free speech. Speculating on something based on assumptions and gut feel without the full facts will not achieve anything.

  5. I look forward to the televised capital sentence delivered to Andrew Robb. Surely Shan Ju Lin put Robb’s role as ‘foreign agent’ into context, I for one am looking for a suitable low limb, to throw his hanging rope over !

  6. What a fabulous read. As much as MB has angered me (twice) I still love it.

    Today you have perfectly articulated everything I am thinking. LNP and Labor in their current form are finished. Good riddance.

    • Thank you so much Janet. It truly brought a tear to my eyes and really puts things in perspective.
      Merry Xmas

  7. It’s that time again, that time in the interest rate cycle that is . Very soon there will be yet another anti bank and anti global backlash, that is when just like clockwork farmers (in seeking to avoid tax by borrowing) will begin the ‘self dispatching season’.

    Death before taxes vis a vie ‘death and taxes’.

  8. One conservative loon muttering about creating his own party (a welcome change from his strange obsession with gay people) is the start of a revolution?

    • It’s far bigger than that. Go and read the comments under SMH articles.

      Australia’s conversation has radically changed. Greens and Labor blew it. If they addressed population growth you would have had gay marriage half a decade ago.

      • Mate, I don’t think those two are linked at all. Public support for gay marriage has shifted only relatively recently.

        Though, I agree that migration needs to be cut back to far more sustainable levels.

        I will be voting the Sustainable Australia party #1 or #2 preference in the Senate for the next election.

      • They are absolutely linked. You need power to implement policy. Labor and Greens lacked power because much of their policy was the same as LNP who were perceived as better economic managers.

        After we get population policy, I’ll join you in fighting for gay marriage.

      • ridiculous. public support for gay marriage only emerged in the past 10 years after the media decided gay people were cool and started pushing them everywhere. prior to around 2000 the concept of gay marriage would have been so absurd to most people it would never have been seen remotely as a viable concept.

      • James

        If it doesn’t hurt others I’m all for people doing whatever they want. If I were gay I’d probably want gay marriage. Anyway my fight is population growth. I find it hard to concentrate on anything else as a problem.

      • Why has media decided gays are cool?

        The media are the gen x and y. Soon to include the millennials.

        It’s the progression of education that has made gays cool.

        The baby boomers set up the education system, and wonder where goes the neighbourhood.

      • Jumping jack flash

        “The baby boomers set up the education system, and wonder where goes the neighbourhood.”

        No, the academics set up the education system. Yes they were technically baby boomers, but not in spirit.

        These are the “nerds” that got picked on by the “jocks”. With huge chips on their shoulders as a result. They are eliciting their revenge now by screwing everyone over – tying everyone up in red tape and confusing everyone with illogical neo-liberalism.

      • James, the concept of governments not getting involved in the bedrooms of other people has been round since the so-called “swinging sixties”. Boomers started the whole gay lib movement at that time. Further, there’s a long libertarian tradition of wanting governments out of anything that can reasonably be done without government.

        Government saying who can and cannot marry is about as logical as government saying who can and cannot be baptised, or go to mass or any other religious ceremony. Best left to the particular religion or individuals concerned.

      • Government saying who can and cannot marry is about as logical as government saying who can and cannot be baptised, or go to mass or any other religious ceremony. Best left to the particular religion or individuals concerned.

        The “marriage” part of “gay marriage” is the legal arrangement. It has nothing to do with the religious ceremony.

        A better example would be it makes no more sense Government saying homosexuals can’t get married than it does saying homosexuals can’t join the army.

  9. Not so sure we are about to get a revolution but one thing is clear the so called “neoliberal consensus” is looking shakier than it has for years.

    It seems to correlate with a sufficient number of people around the globe realising that all the cheap debt/money, glue, string and brown paper sprayed over the GFC Debt Machine reactor meltdown did not fix nor effectively seal the molten debt core.

    As a consequence everyone on the political spectrum is rushing to fill the explanatory vacuum.

    Exhibit 1

    The Eastern Bloc v the Tree Tories. Spectacular stuff.

    Exhibit 2

    Pauline and her merry men and all the other smaller groupings.

    The Race is On

    The first centrist party to pull their finger out and do some brain work and assess what part of the “neoliberal consensu” was baby and what was bathwater will win ! The other centrist parties will soon follow.

    To save them and others (in their Byron Bay fortifications) the work here is the baby that needs preserving and the bathwater.


    1. Unrestricted unproductive capital flows. Restricting those is easy and essential. A currency can still float nicely with some categories of capital transactions restricted. Unproductive capital flows are tools of manipulation by mercantalists and oppression – i.e. Greece and southern Europe and Latin America in the 1980s.

    2. Private Bank credit creation as money. This must be heavily restricted at the very least and more creation reserved for the elected government to deploy in the process of doing what they were elected to do. For all you Austrians and small government fans this does not necessarily mean a massive social welfare state. Even the smallest night watchman state can generate all the new money a growing economy requires by running a monestised deficit. Just tax a bit less than expenditure on the essential functions of government. Big government types can have a big govt sector if they like that as it is the size of the deficit that matters.

    3. Globalism in the sense of countries giving up the ability to resist the two key forms of noxious bathwater.

    These forms of stinky rotting bathwater are so vile are repulsive there is a very risk that the baby will be chucked as they are tossed out.


    1. More social freedom for people to live their lives as they choose whatever their personal preferences. If they dont affect you leave them alone.

    2. Liberalised movement of goods, services and people BUT the degree is always a matter for the community to decide. If the Japanese want to stay Japanese that is a matter for them. I may think it is not a good idea but it is none of my business. Ponzi Immigration scams by bathwater enthusiasts is not BABY.

    3. Economic freedom provided it is about encouraging genuine competition and not just a facade where regulations designed to drive competition are removed and the result is monopolies and oligopolies that shaft the consumer.

    IF the ALP can get their heads around the difference between baby and bathwater they will be onto a winner.

    Poor Malcolm is just a prisoner of his own vacilating spine and those with a sense of urgency in his party and is beyond hope.

    For all his faults Bernardi at least understands there is a vacuum as the neoliberal consensus is washed away and someone needs to fill it.

    • Straight out of US social justice college curriculum. Sickeningly stupid.

      Following a meeting in Sydney on Wednesday night, Left Renewal issued a statement of principles that includes the “rejection of the state’s legitimacy”.
      “Capitalism depends upon violent and authoritarian divisions within the working class, such as elitism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, religious sectarianism, and ableism (among others). It is only with the abolition of these authoritarian relations that we will be able to create a thriving movement capable of transforming society and so must challenge these wherever we encounter it.”

    • Points 2 & 3 are just irrelevant.
      Meanwhile you have left off everything genuinely central and harmful about neoliberalism.
      Namely; demonisation of taxation, false narrative of state v market, replacement of active fiscal policy with technocratic monetary policy, inflation obsession over full employment, financial deregulation, sale of public monopolies, myth that predistribution incomes are due to “market forces” etc. etc.

      • Sweeper,

        All those of things you listed flow from No 2 but you cant see that because you insist that there is nothing distinctive about ADI credit creation.

        Sometime ago you provided a link to a paper from the 1960s that argued your position but it was clear from reading the paper that it reflected the specifics of banking system regulation in the US in the 1960s. I doubt the author of that paper would write the same paper today given the changes since then.

        There isnt much between our positions (nor Skips for that matter) except your insistence that credit creation /public money by ADI is unremarkable / a positive.

        In the spirit of Christmas I did not even rule out your precious ADIs retaining some public money creation powers.

        Do you deny that ADI credit creation will crowd out the potential for public sector money creation if inflation is accepted as a constraint?

        People tend to frame the issue from the other direction – does public sector spending crowd out the private sector when the bigger issue is the effective constraint on the public sector by the credit creation activities of the privately owned ADI.

        Keeping in mind that private ADI credit creation is now heavily targeted towards asset price speculation.

      • Tobin’s paper is even more relevant today in fact.
        What he described was a system where the commercial banks are aware in advance that excess deposits will reflux back to the bank and therefore excess deposit creation will come at a cost to the bank. And this (in advance) sets a limit on commercial bank lending. By cost he mean’t the cost to the bank to attract the deposits back to the lending bank (and the commercial banks as a whole). Either they would have to offer non-money IOU’s and pay interest to attract the funds back, spend more on admin/marketing, borrow reserves at a penalty rate or pledge safe assets at a steep discount, or lower returns on assets competing with deposits (by buying safe assets) – all of these, given reflux, are a known constraint in *advance*. The last potential cost is the one Tobin focused on because he was writing in the pre-deregulation era where commercial banks were tightly regulated/less risky so were more providers of money/buyers of liquid securities rather than the credit providers and supermarket banks of today, in this era there were ceilings on deposit interest rates (in Australia as well) – so the only way the commercial bank could realistically attract the deposit back was to bid down returns on deposit competing assets. Today, when banks can raise funds *any way they want* all potential costs are at play. Therefore his paper is a brilliant insight into banking today. He was incredibily forward looking.

        “Eventually the marginal returns on lending and investing, account taken of the risks and administrative costs involved, will not exceed the marginal cost to the banks of *attracting* (my emphasis added) and holding additional deposits”.

        This whole obsession with bank money (which I see in MMT as well) comes from a classic misunderstanding of bank money as seeing it as a special asset rather than like any other financial asset (as Tobin did). Tobin stressed that bank deposits are no different to any other financial asset in that the issuer has to offer a competitive price vs other assets – the “money” like characteristic of deposits doesn’t determine whether people will want them. This is a classic Keynesian argument – demand for money is an asset demand (the return being the liquidity provided, which has to be perceived as equal to the nominal interest rate for people to want to hold it). Like any other financial asset if people don’t want to hold it at the price offered, bank money can be destroyed by returning it to the issuer. Not being a special asset, Tobin notes that destruction of bank money operates in the same way as destruction of savings and loan shares, and destruction of bank money limits bank lending in the same way destruction of savings and loans share limits new mortgages by savings and loans:

        “The borrower pays out the money, and of course there is no guarantee that any of it stays in the lending bank. Whether or not it stays in the banking system as a whole is another question, about to be discussed. But the answer clearly does not depend on the way the loan was initially made. It depends on whether somewhere in the chain of transactions initiated by the borrower’s outlays are found depositors who wish to hold new deposits equal in amount to the new loan”.

        This stuff is very far off topic though. And it simply isn’t important. What you are saying about deposit banks is not only wrong, it is also unhistorical. When commercial banks were pure deposit takers in Tobin’s era, his generation somehow managed to achieve an egalitarian paradise by today’s standards. There have been no dramatic changes in fractional reserve banking since, yet everything has turned to the proverbial. It also doesn’t tie back to real world experience in banking. Credit has gone out of control as banks have moved away from traditional deposit financing. Exactly as Tobin’s story implies The commercial banking system takes market share when interest rates are low and the economy and credit are weak, because deposits become more attractive. The non-banks take market share when the economy /credit demand is strong and interest rates are going up. Think securitisation pre-GFC v growth in deposits post GFC.

        The thing which is the independent variable in neoliberalism is the first thing I mentioned “demonisation of taxation”. For two reasons 1. cutting taxes reinforces a distribution of income and wealth which isn’t in fact market driven (it’s essential reinforcing a disease) & 2. every tax cut ends up being a spending cut.
        The problem is there has been no Polanyi like rebuttal to neoliberalism which emphasises how stupid and illogical the tax cut mantra is. There has just been a heap of obscurantism and identity stuff.
        If you really want to scare the Plutocrats; campaign for punitive tax increases backed up by punitive penalties for tax evasion (and I mean really punitive). Watch the identity crap disappear to the back page. Sanders almost got there.

      • Also, can I suggest reading Stephen Morris below for a brilliant account of how the problems are politically driven; where the psychopathic rulers and their sycophants (the ideological enablers) have made conscious decisions against the interests of their subjects. As opposed to what you are suggesting that everything is caused by a technical fault in the plumbing.

      • Sweeper

        “..As opposed to what you are suggesting that everything is caused by a technical fault in the plumbing….”

        That is not what I am suggesting.

        The technical fault in the plumbing serves the purposes of those Stephen Morris describes perfectly.

        The difference between the 1960s and now is that the various bits of sticky tape and string that were used to manage the technical faults in the plumbing were gradually removed.

        You acknowledge that but just clump it altogether as “financial deregulation” lobbyied for by private interests.

        I dont understand why you are so resistant to the idea that giving the IOUs of a particular type of organisation the full faith and credit of the public by treating them 1 for 1 as if they issued by public and allowing them to be disguised as if they were issued by the public, was always inherently problematic and prone to abuse.

        Having given the private ADI issuance of credit, central bank protection, the game has been ever since – how do we control that extraordinary privilege and ensure it is productive.

        A game that waxes and wanes but ultimately was always going to end up where we are now.

        By all means rage about the psychopaths but that is hardly an argument against addressing the technical fault in the plumbing.

        Again in the spirit of Christmas, I will always support attempts to manage the problem with fresh sticky tape and brown paper.

        But as Ermington plumbing might say – fix the dodgy plumbing not the leak.

        Oh thanks for reminding me that it was Tobin but even those extracts demonstrate his observations are of little relevance now. Back then banking was very fragmented.

      • Huh…. Stephen Morris – ???? – FFS the guy thinks The Market dispenses Democracy as a function price discovery and can archive maximum utility via an app…

        the whole idea that banks created this mess all by themselves is risible and if you cant understand what neoliberalism – is – don’t use the term, some of us detest agnotology.

        You also seem to have a complete lack of understanding what methodology MMT applies, just an observation based theory on how the momentary fiat system works. How ideological practitioners force their belifes upon it to cram their preferred societal template down on everyone else is another story. And if you think MMT is pro banking in the framing you suggest, I think Bill Black would vehemently disagree.

        disheveled…. far as I can tell is…. your just another neoliberal free marketer pushing a revised public perception management agenda. Good Grief your championing Uber and AirBnB, where Uber is just a financial entity that gets drivers hold all the risk [not a viable business] and BnB destroys the value of actual property ownership, and increases bubble dynamics….

      • Skippy,

        “..You also seem to have a complete lack of understanding what methodology MMT applies,..”

        You should be aiming your fire hose at Sweeper not me but then perhaps you are and I am just being sensitive.

        I have much more time for MMT than I have for Sweeper’s Krugman endorsed view that ADIs are just the same as any other financial organisation. I am pretty sure you don’t buy the Sweeper line either.

        As Bill Mitchell, about as serious MMT priest as it gets, has made quite clear, the issue of credit creation as public money by banks is a matter of real significance. Go on toss Bill under the bus like you did Hudson and everyone else who doesn’t follow your manias to the T.

        As for Uber and Air BnB I have no dog in that fight.

        I am certain that like Alta Vista they will find themselves being munched by more nimble and effective platform competitors in no time at all.

        What YOU need to explain is why you are going into bat for the rent seeking gouger plate owners and major hotel chains. But then you do go into bat for Private Banks so anything is possible.

        From my conversations with Taxi and Uber drivers – the returns are a bit better under Uber simply because they were being ripped off comprehensively by the Taxi plate owners. Uber is a bit more attractive at the moment because of all the start up capital they are using in the search for monopoly – which as YOU keep gleefully pointing out is doomed to fail.

        When Uber burns all its cash things will return to normal – low pay for a job that requires little skill and little capital.

        Try opening a video shop for the price a car that meets Uber’s minimum requirements.

      • Krugman has lost his head recently re. Sanders. But he is right on the bank thing if that’s his view. Why would that be case closed? I don’t get it.

      • 007 spam bot has denied my comment in retort of your view.

        In lieu I would offer –

        Effects of Neoliberalism: Kleptocracy

        Corruption has always existed in capitalism. But neoliberalism, the ‘free market’ system that started in the 1980s, promoted it on a vast scale for two reasons:

        Neoliberal deregulation and privatization promoted the dominance of financial capital at the expense of industry and the state. Financialization and low capital gains taxes turned big companies and utilities into virtual banks with huge wealth that seek to maximize the interest on their money and minimize their tax.

        E.g. your whole wanking on about banks misses the entire forest for a tree, completely in denial about equities being used as a form of money denoted in FRN at point of price taking i.e. all large cap C-corps are basically banks [shadow sector], this is the impetuous of mobs like Uber et al, too financialize previous local and regional market sectors under a global financial umbrella which would enable market based dynamics to leverage national, state, and regional political apparatus to its desires.

        As far as your failure to understand what neoliberalism – is – and whence it came I would attempt to point you in the right direction –

        In his book More Heat than Light, Mirowski reveals a history of how physics has drawn inspiration from economics and how economics has sought to emulate physics, especially with regard to the theory of value. He traces the development of the energy concept in Western physics and its subsequent effect on the invention and promulgation of neoclassical economics, the modern orthodox theory.

        In his book Machine Dreams, Mirowski explores the historical influences of the military and the cyborg sciences on neoclassical economics. The neglected influence of John von Neumann and his theory of automata are key themes throughout the book. Mirowski claims that many of the developments in neoclassical economics in the 20th century, from game theory to computational economics, are the unacknowledged result of von Neumann’s plans for economics. The work expands Mirowski’s vision for a computational economics, one in which various market types are constructed in a similar fashion to Noam Chomsky’s Generative grammar. The role of economics is to explore how various market types perform in measures of complexity and efficiency, with more complicated markets being able to incorporate the effects of the less complex. By complexity Mirowski means something analogous to Computational complexity theory in computer science.

        In his book Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste , Mirowski concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government, it could no longer be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the “real” economy.

        Disheveled…. I don’t think you have the multidisciplinary back ground to understand the broad historical or nuanced views which are required to discern half of this topic, bleating on about banks and usury is just ideological piffle…

      • Skippy,

        When you address the point and demonstrate you actually understand what an ADI is and why the IOUs they issue are different to those of organisations that are not ADI we MIGHT start to get somewhere.

        Start with the banking act and I will give you a hint – start with the Interpretation section

        Now have a look at the constitution and report back what you find about what is a bank.

        And yes this is a trick question.

        Quoting Mirowski would be nice and dandy if you understood what you are reading but clearly you DON’T

        If you don’t know what a bank is and what makes it different we are stuck on the runway.

      • Sweeper,

        Case closed ? Because Krugman is……….. always is wrong. It was a joke.

        I am pretty sure you understand what makes a bank different to other organisations but you still dodge the question of why the IOUs issued by a bank should be honoured by the RBA.

        You can’t have it both ways.

        If you claim there is nothing significant about the IOUs issued by an ADI as against the IOUs issued by any other private party, you can have no objection to removing their special status. That seems to be exactly what you were suggesting at the start of this thread when you said my point 2 was irrelevant.

        Even you would appreciate that your position is the polar opposite of Skippy’s as Skippy insists, quite rightly in my view, that there is an enormous significance to the privilege of issuing IOUs honoured by a Central Bank. In fact Skippy goes so far as to accuse anyone who suggest removing that privilege as being a crypto totalitarian overload.

        Skippy reckons that because I think we should just let the government create/destroy public money by running whatever deficit/surplus is required and leave the banks to trade as intermediaries and if they like create their own private bank notes or things like bitcoins, I am somehow Joe Stalin.

        Skippy is quite the traditional American in that regard. The government cannot be trusted to create its own money and that power must be handed over to private organisations to use instead.

        Free enterprise and limited government !

        The weird thing is that most of the time Skippy raves on and on and on about how the private sector cannot be trusted.

        Talk about cognitive dissonance.

        Rather than allow the government more freedom to build infrastructure (or hire people to do so) we will allow banks to create money to speculate on residential housing and other asset prices instead.

      • What you ignore is that being able to issue money like liabilities at a 1:1 exchange rate with real money comes at a cost.
        I can issue debt and call it money and say I’ll redeem it in currency for 1:1. Whether people accept it depends on whether the State is happy with the way I manage and invest/lend (often at a negative return) those funds. In other words, by calling my debt money, I am as much shooting myself in the foot as I am renting a special privilege.

      • Sweeper,

        You make it sounds as though the ADIs are doing us all a favour and if given a choice they would hand bank their banking licence so they could run free like all the other non-ADI financial organisations.

        That is bizarre.

        But still it amounts to what I suggested was your position. There would be no harm in removing the privilege altogether and let banks either act purely as intermediaries of public money or issue their own IOUs like any other non-ADI and try to build a market in them.

      • “given a choice they would hand back their banking licence so they could run free like all the other non-ADI financial organisations”

        Yes. More or less that is my view.

        Edit: If it came with promises of further financial deregulation.

      • Good grief 007…

        That you can’t incorporate the shadow sector into your myopic view towards banking just shows how antiquarian your views are and incapable of incorporating new information into your ridge world.

        If the best you can to is insinuate about my understanding of neoliberalism… yeah… impasse… because their is zero distincto in your comment – its completely undefined and a vacuous suggestion. Try harder. I and Mirowski et al clearly reference the core axiom and priori which underpin everything else which is extenuated by neoliberalism. If you claim to understand it then state such delineations clearly, rhetorical masturbation aside, your moving into David Friedman territory.

        Your entire fixation on ADI is just the last gasp of the government minarchists libertarian desperation, you don’t seem to actually have a functional knowlage of the historical back drop to all these events and purely function from an ideological perspective e.g. the perfection of an illogical and inaccurate argument.

        I would be careful about talking about totalitarianism when your lot want to have a secret administrative board above democratic government managing our social credit. As well as suggesting I’m some sort of ” traditional American” I mean wtf is that even supposed to mean, its as bad as the throw away term Boomers, just ludicrous compartmentalization in reverse engineering an ideological perspective.

        dishevled… I strongly suggest you drop the Jekyll Island level of historical events and inform yourself of the realities before running off at the gob.

  10. When you say “get your assets offshore”, what are the best options for mums and dads H&H? International share ETFs funds?

    • agree.what are people doing??

      buying US shares directly?
      index funds?

      personally, I hold USD accounts, which I started buying about 95c in 2014

  11. Elites usually get their own way in the end, whatever the wishes of The People. That is, after all, what being “elite” means. So despite the temporary setbacks of 2016, Australia and the world continue on the path to “refeudalisation”, the end of the “Modern Era”.

    If in years to come some robotic historian comes to chronicle the end of the human race, they might look to the Modern Era – culminating in the 20th Century, the Century of the Common Man and Woman – as a bizarre anomaly.

    It is easy to forget that the Modern Era with its Modern Era values of egalitarianism, democratisation and national self-determination is . . . well . . . modern! It hasn’t been around for very long.

    It is easy to forget that when viewed with proper perspective, human history up until the time of the Modern Era was a story of aggressively narcissistic, machiavellian psychopaths competing (sometimes collaborating) to attain positions of power, then using that power to dominate and brutalise their fellow human beings. We know from the historical record that these rulers showed no remorse in wasting the lives of thousands – even millions – of people they regarded as “their” Subjects.

    That is the norm. That is the “base case” for human behaviour.

    In that behaviour, psychopathic rulers were abetted by “sycophants” – typically timid, less dominant males – who sought to promote their own survival and reproductive prospects by allying themselves with the dominant males. Articulate sycophants often provided the “theology” of elite rule, constructing elaborate justifications for the privilege of their patrons.

    In pre-modern times the ability of psychopathic elites to dominate and brutalise others was limited by:

    a) the need to preserve a sufficiently large labour force to provide the raw mechanical energy to support their regimes; and

    b) the limited capacity of individual human beings to kill each other, and therefore by the need to recruit and reward a circle of allies (a “praetorian guard”) which could carry out such enforcement.

    Now, if that long-standing behaviour seemed to change in the Modern Era it was NOT because the psychopaths woke up one morning and said, “Oh my God!! Is that the time!? Is it the Modern Era already? Quick. We’d better start enacting social reforms!”

    Human psychology has not evolved. Evolution operates over a much longer time frame. The psychopaths (and their sycophant supporters) have not gone away.

    All that happened in the Modern Era was a temporary change in the environment: the demands of the industrial economy meant that it was expedient – for a time – for the rulers to make limited concessions to their Subjects.

    The industrial state required the training of large numbers of Subjects to operate the complex – but not fully automated – machinery of industrial production. Having had so much invested in their training, Subjects acquired value and their bargaining power relative to their rulers improved. In the extreme, they could withdraw their labour and quickly impose greater costs on the owners of capital than they themselves suffered.

    Under such conditions, the optimal strategy for rulers (and only after they had tried violent suppression and found it ineffective!) was to make certain limited concession to their Subjects. Thus we had the quintessential ideals of the Modern Era, culminating in the 20th century:

    a) egalitarianism, the ideal that all people are entitled to the same basic opportunities irrespective of their ancestry;

    b) democratisation, the ideal that Subjects are entitled to have some say in how they are governed; and

    c) national self-determination, the ideal that self-identifying communities are allowed to choose for themselves how they will govern themselves.

    If there was one ideal that characterised the 20th century it was surely that of national self-determination: from the first shots fired by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo in July 1914, through Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, through the post World War II era of decolonisation, through the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and right back to Sarajevo and the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Given the opportunity, like-minded communities like to govern themselves.

    But none of these concessions meant that the psychopaths had gone away. And there was never anything to say that the conditions of industrial production would last forever.

    What we are witnessing now is an elite response to the post-industrial world of AI and robotics.

    No longer are large numbers of Subjects required to run complex but not fully automated machinery. Now it is small numbers of very highly trained technicians required to manage the robotic workforce. Small in number, they can easily be bought off. Better still, they can effectively be reduced to the status of indentured workers through the weapon of crippling student debt. They dare not rebel for fear of their debts being called in.

    As for the rest of humanity, they are now redundant or soon will be. Their rulers no longer need them. And those the earlier concessions are – as the saying goes – “inoperative”.

    To be sure, the masses may get employment of a kind, especially in providing personal services. But it will be employment in the “Uber Economy”, the “Gig Economy”, of savage competition between workers with all economic rent flowing to the owners of the monopolistic market platforms.

    And the New Elite are responding precisely as one would expect an aggressively narcissistic, self-serving elite to respond. They are relentlessly winding back any concessions hitherto made, while their sycophant economic theologians are busy justifying it all as being for the “Greater Good”.

    Inequality is quickly returning to its historical norm, as Piketty has documented. Piketty’s U-shaped graphs show inequality of wealth in the most developed countries declining into the mid 20th century then rising steadily again. It’s the past century that was the anomaly. We are returning to a “feudal” state in which property is owned by the magnates and almost everyone else is reduced to the status of dependent serf.

    Where conventional property has proved insufficient, the Elite have invented novel forms of “intellectual property” to expand the scope of private ownership.

    As for democratisation, in most countries it never developed beyond “elective” government dominated by elite parties. Moneyed interests and pressure groups found it a trivial exercise to subvert that. Campaign bribery and the revolving door of jobs-for-the-boys ensure that the interests of politicians and senior bureaucrats remain aligned with those of the elite.

    This past year has seen an outbreak of rebellion, but it’s unlikely to last.

    In the wake of Brexit and the Trump rebellion, there is now open talk in elite circles on whether it is appropriate to allow “obviously ignorant” people to vote on critical issues. “They’re not college educated, you know.”

    There is now open talk in elite circles on whether those who “receive more in welfare payments than they pay in tax” should be allowed to vote at all. Oddly, there is no suggestion that those monopolists who receive more in economic rent than they pay in tax, or those lobbyists who receive more in government contracts than they pay in tax, or those too-big-to-fail bankers who receive more in bail-outs than they pay in tax, should be similarly disenfranchised.

    Remember that the universal adult franchise is modern. In most countries it’s barely a century old. There is nothing to say that the Elite won’t campaign to remove it again. Or effectively subvert it by making it difficult for lesser mortals to enrol. Or re-jig the electoral system to ensure that minor parties have no hope of election.

    And even if minor parties and “outsiders” do get to be elected, they usually prove to be a disappointment. Those attracted to politics are inevitably those who yearn to exercise power. Look at the 2010 election in Britain, where the Liberal Democrats were given a once-in-a-century opportunity to reform Britain’s voting system and introduce proportional representation. Nick Clegg threw it all away in return for the chance to be Deputy Prime Minister for five years.

    Here in Australia, the Greens entered into a sordid deal with the Coalition aimed at eliminating other minor parties competing for their space in the Senate. It may have backfired because of the double dissolution, but it will work when the next half-Senate election come around. And if it doesn’t, they can simply re-jig it again, and again, and again, until it does. The closer they get to power, the more they attract to their senior ranks those who crave power.

    Likewise in the US, those who threw in their lot with Donald Trump out of sheer desperation for an alternative may not have long to wait before suffering the pangs of disappointment.

    In any event, the Elite are entrenching their gains by taking ever more critical decisions out of the hands of elective government altogether: the privatisation of strategic monopolies, essential services and critical databases means that elected politicians are forced negotiate with private magnates on terms dictated by the private magnates.

    And finally there is national self-determination which has been eroded by the growth of undemocratic, opaque and unaccountable “neo-empires” like the EU, and so-called “trade” agreements which have less to do with trade and more to do with signing away sovereign powers to unaccountable committees of elite business interests.

    Organisations like the EU may be created with the best of intentions, but no sooner do they come into existence than an “iron law of megalomania” takes hold. They begin to attract those self-same narcissistic, machiavellian individuals who are drawn to the prospect of exercising dominion over millions of other human beings. As with any empire, the Subjects soon end up suffering in the pursuit of some “greater good”. Witness the economically counter-productive brutality inflicted on Greece. Witness the “Lost Generation” of unemployed European youth sacrificed to the Eurozone fantasy.

    Now, like Elites throughout history the post-modern Elite seek to weave a cloak of virtue to conceal the nakedness of their self-interest. Their theologians devise all manner of mellifluous apologia.

    Elite theologians love to talk in honeyed terms about the “end of borders”, but do not be deceived. They don’t really intend to abolish borders. All they are really doing is replacing “national borders” (over which the mass of ordinary citizens might have had some control) with “private borders”: elite private property.

    The Elite do not intend to rub shoulders with the plebs. They retreat to their private mansions, their private country estates, their private campuses, their private gated communities, all surrounded by private borders marked with “KEEP OUT. Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted!” signs.

    The Elite do not intend to stand, crushed cheek-to-sweaty-cheek with the prols on inadequate and overcrowded public transport. They whizz from their private mansions to their private offices on roads which have been tolled or “road-priced” or “congestion-charged” out of the reach of the masses. It’s like the Zil Lanes of old Soviet Moscow but justified nowadays by deference to that Great God, “Efficiency”.

    And from behind their private borders the Elite sermonise piously on the supposed intolerance of those outside! Hypocrites blind to their own hypocrisy.

    On all fronts the trend is the same: the alienation of public rights – over which the citizens used to have some say – to elite private interests.

    And if all of that sounds depressing, it may be only the beginning.

    Unless there is some spectacular change, at some point the Elite may decide that the continued existence of masses of redundant and increasingly disgruntled human beings is a threat to their own security.

    In this past year we have seen the Chinese unveil lethal weaponised robotic “security guards” with rudimentary artificial intelligence that can be used to control “anti-social” elements. In the US we saw the first remote execution of a suspected criminal by a police robot.

    If this does not send a chill down your spine, you’ve not been paying attention. The technology of robotic “pacification” is indifferent to Good and Bad. Not only do the Elite not need workers. They no longer require humans for their Praetorian Guard.

    Now, some might be inclined to dismiss this as “conspiracy theory”. But here’s the thing: there is no conspiracy. There’s nothing underhand going on. There are no secrets. All this is happening in plain sight. One merely needs to look about and then remember that human psychology has not evolved.

    There has always existed within the human population a small proportion of individuals who are not like the rest of us. They are aggressively narcissistic, machiavellian, possibly psychopathic, with a strong appetite for attaining power and dominating others. They may not always be apparent. One of the defining characteristics of psychopathy is “superficial charm”. The psychopath knows more about you than you know about yourself. He or she knows exactly which buttons to press to gain your confidence, your trust, even your admiration.

    Had it been possible to establish genuine Democracy with the right of recall, veto, initiative and referendum there might have been some hope for the rest of the human race, some hope of effectively controlling these people. That is why elite theologians universally abhor genuine Democracy in favour of the corrupt system of “elective” government: elective government which perversely attracts the most undesirable narcissists.

    Elective government provides no safeguards. It will prove no barrier to containing the psychopaths once the cost of pacification falls as a result of robotics.

    You don’t need to be Einstein to see how this game must play itself out.

    For most people it’s not going to be a happy ending.

    The Holocaust is approaching.

    • ‘ possible to establish genuine Democracy with the right of recall, veto, initiative and referendum’ – Communism! Comrades, Communism has never been tried!

      Pull the other one – Democracy and the Progressive religion is failing. Mostly because of its own greed and lust for power. Telling others how to live their lives is intoxicating, all that power, all that sex, why not me?

      In fairness Democracy is probably a pretty important idea that has done more for the world than it is possible for a human mind to comprehend. Yet today as its star falls you write it off so quickly?

      Can i suggest an alternative. It is simply obsolete. Much as the great aristocracies and monarchies of Europe lead the world into the enlightenment and scientific revolution for centuries, but the at the start of the 20th found themselves obsolete, Democracy and the Prog religion finds itself obsolete.

      Something new is evolving…

      • Exactly, we don’t even have democracies anyway, as Morris frequently and ceaselessly points out, we have selected misrepresentation. What’s coming/evolving is a post-everything world – post-banking, post-centralised Parliament, post-media, post-celebrity (anyone can be a celebrity, ie the moniker Stephen Morris is much more meaningful to me than any Hollywood mind-control tart)

      • Exactly, we don’t even have democracies anyway, as Morris frequently and ceaselessly points out, we have selected misrepresentation.

        No, his point is that most countries never had the ability to make that selection because they never made it past a representative system.

      • Pull the other one – Democracy and the Progressive religion is failing. Mostly because of its own greed and lust for power. Telling others how to live their lives is intoxicating, all that power, all that sex, why not me?

        Now there’s some weapons-grade irony.

    • Astute post SM.

      It is self evident the elite does not like hanging around the plebs. However, look at any country where massive wealth inequality has led to breakup of civility and you notice the plebs start coming to dinner, often uninvited, once they find out the rich taste like chicken.

    • Oh FFS Morris the holocaust is not approaching, unless you mean a much more distributive French Revolution. The elites are fast approaching irrelevance, it’s already happening in corporate land where people go from senior positions to less senior positions and back to senior positions – the corporate veil has been pierced, we are all mercenaries and our only allegiance is to what they want to do. Home ownership was a HUGE incentive to not rock the boat, now the young agitators don’t have that sword of democlis…

      The elites are about to be brought back to productivity, and justifying theirs. People didn’t go for Trump because Trump, they did it because he was parroting them – if he stops parroting and start parroting the swap, trust me what comes next is very ugly for the Oligarchs (and Israel)

    • Great post. I think you are right that the mid 20th century golden age period of egalitarian growth was an anomaly. And also that democracy is under attack. 3d has been making not to subtle comments over the past couple of weeks that democracy has past its use by date.

      • What democracy? The one where we can’t even vote for the head of the central bank? You old timers are past the use-by date. The mid 20th century was not egalitarian, it was a gigantic mind control operation invoking the fear of nuclear armaggedon – technology is what made it look egalitarian and technology is still driving the dialogue

      • Perhaps the reason the Elite don’t worry much about climate change is that they don’t see it affecting themselves.

        They may be working on the assumption that when the disaster comes they will be able to withdraw to their bunkers or their defended reserves or their private islands.

        Only the plebs will die. And historically they have never shown much interest in the welfare of the plebs.

      • Goodness bolstrood!
        If so, that changes all my LT plans but accounts well for what seems to be a unified effort to destroy human hábitat by revving up the FF burn despite the ample evidence of what will ensue.
        Always admire your posts Stephen! In a world overflowing with newstainmentganda, it’s particularly satisfying to hear from someone who’s not afraid to describe what ‘is’ likely developing.

        From James Cameron’s ‘Terminator’ (1984)
        Kyle Reese: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything, it’s gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.
        Sarah Connor: I don’t understand.
        Kyle Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.
        Sarah Connor: Did you see this war?
        Kyle Reese: No. I grew up after. In the ruins… starving… hiding from H-K’s.
        Sarah Connor: H-K’s?
        Kyle Reese: Hunter-Killers. Patrol machines built in automated factories. Most of us were rounded up, put in camps for orderly disposal.
        [pulls up his right sleeve, exposing a mark]
        Kyle Reese: This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive… to work… loading bodies. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal mother***ers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah… your unborn son.

        Since it looks like I’ll never be part of the aye-lites, Stephen, hopefully I’ll get to meet you when the ‘resistance’ forms.

      • If the citizens want Optional Preferential Voting then whom am I to oppose it. I claim no Monopoly on Wisdom. I claim no “Charter from Heaven”.

        But before that can be determined, the citizens actually have to be asked. And in most places they never have been. Nor may their consent for the existing system be inferred from their strategy of acquiescence.

        We know from work such as that of Bower et al (“Enraged or Engaged? Preferences for Direct Citizen Participation in Affluent Democracies”, 2007) that:

        a) in almost all countries a clear majority of respondents agree or strongly agree with the statement “Thinking about politics in [COUNTRY] . . . . Referendums are a good way to decide important political questions”;

        b) in countries where there is no outright majority support, a strong plurality of respondents agree or strongly agree (with some expressing no view either way); and

        c) support is strongest in that country (Switzerland) where people have the most experience of such decision-making.

        We know from the historical record that in the few cases where citizens have been given a free choice (half of US states, German lander, a handful of other jurisdictions) they almost invariably vote for genuine Democracy with the right of recall, veto, initiative and referendum.

        Finally, and most importantly, we know that where citizens do enjoy truly democratic rights they never vote to repeal them, even though it’s a straightforward process to initiate a referendum for that purpose. (And indeed in some jurisdictions the attempt has been made . . . and defeated at the ballot box!)

        Unlike the elitist system of elective government, genuine Democracy demonstrates the ongoing consent of the citizens being governed.

        The Elite have yet to demonstrate how they justify denying the citizens the right to choose the form of government they prefer for their country.

      • So if you are indifferent (?) about OPV, why do you single out the changes made to the Senate voting system (as opposed to, say, every other legislative change not subject to referendum, etc) ?

      • Because some people seem to cling to the naive belief that the Green Party – unlike every other non-democratic party in history – is somehow untainted by the prospect of exercising power over others.

        It is worth pointing out that the Greens are not saints. Their party platform denies the right of the citizens to choose the system of government they prefer for their country. Their party platform insists on “government-by-politician” whether or not that is what the citizens might prefer in a free vote on the matter. (Not that they put it in so many words. It is wrapped up in tedious rhetoric about “participatory democracy”.) And they have shown themselves perfectly capable of acting to promote their own prospects for power at the expense of rivals.

        (Even internally certain factions are moving to “solidify their control” of the party machinery: In 2017 we may look forward to a “Night of the Long Knives” as the dominant faction massacre their internal opponents.)

        That is how political parties work. The Australian Labor Party used to support Democracy. Until it achieved power. By then it also had been infiltrated by those who craved the exercise of power over others, and the Democracy provisions were excised from the platform in the 1950s.

        The prospect of exercising power draws in those who are attracted by the prospect of exercising power.

        The real questions (for any party) should be:

        a) Do these politicians support the right of the citizens to choose the form of government they prefer for their country? and

        b) If the answer to (a) is “No”, when were they granted their “Charter from Heaven” authorising them to make this decision on behalf of everyone else?

      • The only place this rational appears to lead is that it is impossible to enact change because, by definition, anyone who has the ability to do so is fundamentally and inescapably tainted by the “by the prospect of exercising power over others”, and anything less than a complete big-bang revolutionary overhaul is pointless.

      • Based on the historical record we might say “very difficult” rather than “impossible”. The Progressive Party in the United States managed to introduce Democracy at the state level in about half the states. Once introduced it stayed introduced.

        Politicians may be generally self-centred but they can occasionally make “mistakes” (i.e. adopt strategies which ultimately work against their own self-interest).

        And there are occasional politicians who actually support Democracy for idiosyncratic reasons. Peter Reith was one such. I recall that he was to speak on the topic at a conference in 1994. The issue had briefly come to prominence and it looked for a time as if there might be an opportunity to pursue it further. But at the last moment he was ordered by John Howard not to attend. The party machine tends to gag such wayward individuals.

        In Australia the One Nation party currently includes Democracy in its platform. It is just possible that were it to achieve the balance of power in some legislature – especially in the current environment of rebellion – the other politicians might be prepared to do a deal, agreeing to put the matter to the People in return for support in forming a government. It’s a long shot but it’s just possible.

        That certainly won’t happen with the Greens. The Greens are an elitist party opposed to allowing the citizens to choose the form of government they prefer for their country.

    • Stephen : Fantastic communication of our circumstances. With a little of the knowledge you have shared we can parhaps push back against this tide.

      • Morris doesn’t want to hold back anything, he’s been pimping this eminent mass murder for years now. All this crap about private islands etc, they’ll still need people working for them otherwise what’s the point? Those people will quickly murder them in their private islands once they figure out no one is coming to stop them…

      • Whatever Morris, if the elites are so invincible and tech savvy, how comes its been they who get fucked over by leakers? How come the stupid High Court orders ISPs to block pirate bay and yet piratebay-proxies can offer you lots of options? The elites are fucking useless

    • Some interesting insights there Stephen.
      “The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events.
      To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics.” – Carl Jung

      The change that needs to be made starts very close to home – behind the eyes of the person reading this.
      The rest of the world can go to hell in a hand-basket if they so determine – illusion of free-will and all that.
      If you have found a sense of freedom in the midst of this lunatic asylum – cheers.

      I recommend this as a read:

      Someone once said that each civilisation is an attempt at a sustainable civilisation and each fails according to its inherent flaw.
      The fault in our current civilisation is that inequity-inequality has a taken the box seat when it should have been relegated to the toilet bowl.
      The elite and their Propaganda Dept might’ve thought through the consequences of their self-centred structuring of the economy.
      But if they have, they have failed to act in the name of fairness to all. You know what that means.

    • I did not read it in entirety, as yet, hence my broadening and amendment to this comment may come later.

      This comment tackles only one chapter:
      If there was one ideal that characterised the 20th century it was surely that of national self-determination: from the first shots fired by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo in July 1914, through Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, through the post World War II era of decolonisation, through the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and right back to Sarajevo and the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Given the opportunity, like-minded communities like to govern themselves.

      Though they resemble, some events included are diametrically opposite in motivation and funding sources.

      Princip’s action and Balkan wars of 1990 aimed at two opposite goals.
      One was inside out unification and liberation movement (good source on universally accepted example of “annexation”), other outside funded divide and conquer machination (exploiting religion) to reverse the former.
      Balkan wars of 1990’s do not have “like-minded communities like to govern themselves” in focus apart from professed and peddled.

      • The evidence for popular attitudes towards centralisation/self-determination is thin because people are so very rarely given an opportunity to express a view on the matter in any binding form.

        We do, however, have some evidence.

        In Australia where the Constitution requires a referendum to approve any changes, we know that there have been 32 attempts to increase the power of the central government. Of these, only 2 were ever approved (the Commonwealth Social Security referendum of 1946 and the transfer to the Commonwealth of power to make law “with respect to . . . the aboriginal race in any State” in 1967). Of the remaining 12 referendums (dealing with ancillary matters such as retirement of judges and agreements over State debts) half were approved, suggesting that popular opposition was toward centralisation of power rather than to constitutional change per se. Similar rates of approval are seen in State referendums. (As is well known, the Australian central government has had its powers increased anyway through the High Court – appointed by the central government – reading broader and broader meanings into the existing language of the document.)

        In Europe we saw the “European Constitution” – a centralising proposal – voted down in the very heartland of the EU, France and the Netherlands. The politicians had to suspend any further popular voting and ram it through without popular consent (other than in Ireland which constitutionally requires a popular referendum on all such treaties) in the form of the Lisbon Treaty. Even in Ireland it was defeated on the first round and approved only after special pro-Irish provisions had been appended. Other European Peoples were given not such special treatment.

        In Europe also, the only two countries given a say on the centralisation of monetary policy (Denmark and Sweden) both voted NO, despite both wing of the Establishment urging them to do so.

        In Britain, in the only case of people being allowed a vote on whether to withdraw from the EU (which had vastly expanded its powers since the original referendum) we saw a YES vote.

        Earlier in Britain, we saw the Scottish people vote to remain part of the United Kingdom but only after being given promises of extensive devolution of power. The Scots are now weighing up the relative merits of a remote government in London and a remote government in Brussels.

        In Switzerland in 1979 we saw the people of Jura vote to leave Canton Berne.

        And of course there are obvious cases such as East Timor which in 1999 voted to leave Indonesia.

        In contrast, popular votes in favour of centralisation typically involve the delegation of very limited powers. As noted earlier, however, once a central government is formed, the “Iron Law of Megalomania” takes hold and it attracts to itself the self-same machiavellian narcissists who then campaign to expand their powers without popular consent.

    • Stephen, how about making sure every candidate for a position of power passes a rigorous narcissistic / psychopathic screening test? Had this been done in the past, perhaps countless wars with countless victims would have been avoided.. I find it amusing that we are in an era where we’re so advanced in science, we’re able to develop drugs that can turn on/off genes yet we’re incapable of electing leaders that can look after the benefits of us all..

    • So many great reasons to join the elite, gives one cause to wonder why everyone doesn’t simply join the Elite. Or maybe they already do.
      Have you ever spoken to a Twenty/thirty something that just purchased a house? the shift in their way of thinking is astounding, suddenly every unforgivable RE rort is understandable and even worthwhile, one might even go so far as to suggest that these rorts are a form of social good. Clearly being mortgaged to the eyeballs cause some weird psychological change and elevates you above the “renters” making you practically an elite. I’d suggest real change is not possible until this instant upgrade class thingy is put to rest. Workers must see themselves as workers and cast their lot with other workers regardless of their assets, it’s time to reawaken your inner Marxist, I’ll do my bit by joining EP at the Bowlo (bwt I’m not exactly sure what a Bowlo actually is…but I’m there) Solidarity!

      • Have you ever spoken to a Twenty/thirty something that just purchased a house?

        In recent years I’ve met precious few twenty/thirty somethings that could afford to purchase a house, unless of course they were able to borrow from the Bank of Mum and Dad. As wealth re-concentrates, the Elite is becoming ever smaller and ever more hereditary.

        As fewer and fewer people feel they have any stake in society, either:

        a) they will rise up and overthrow the tiny minority which does; or

        b) they will rise up and be massacred by the robotic police (

    • The time to stock up on a few machetes (silent, low maintenance and don’t require ammunition), rope and to brush up on noose making skills.
      In Australia, the elite can be found relatively easily as we generally know where they live.

  12. Jumping jack flash

    Yes, yes, revolution!
    I completely agree.

    Just… have… to get… off this… lounge. Nope. One too many beers and there’s a good show on the telly. (Not a revolution) Maybe tomorrow night I’ll have another go. Wait, the kids are visiting… next Monday? Yes… that’s when the in-laws are coming over so going out revolting is probably a good excuse to not see them.

    “housing affordability is going to become increasingly central to policy;”
    Indeed, but in what form?

    Everyone seems to expect houses to generally decline in price and this will be how they become more affordable. This is impossible for many reasons, not the least of which is the banks have trillions of dollars (an entire debt bubble’s worth, in fact) secured against the current prices of houses. Nothing is going to be done that could even have the slightest possibility of undermining the banks and their debt bubble. It certainly would be disastrous.

    I smell more handouts and grants in the name of affordability, which may even be better targeted to try and avoid blowing this debt bubble even bigger, faster. And you can bet your grandmother that there are rate cuts coming.

    • Shared equity mortgages have been around for a while. The problem is finding someone willing to do the “lending”. It doesn’t really work for banks because of punitive capital treatment.

  13. Do people still watch TV? If the revolution is televised in 2017, will it get better ratings than MKR or the Block?

  14. Perhaps the Eureka flag is about to become a beacon of hope for young Australian’s again. It has certainly been hijacked by neo-nazi types but it’s original meaning and symbolism represents the same struggles today as it did back then! Fuck the establishment.

  15. “zeal for an obsolete patriarchal family unit.”

    Is this the beginning of revolutionary terror (bomb in Canberra) after 12 months of death threats for opposition to gay marriage and safe schools?

    Pity a Pleb vote can’t be had to democratically show you are wrong, and shatter the media created ‘reality’ illusion projected upon others.

  16. Great read.
    “housing affordability is going to become increasingly central to policy;”
    yup, we have around 2.1 Trillion dollars in super. Guess where thats heading next…

  17. – Is “Houses & Holes” a “bit angry” ?
    – Should we compare Turnbull with Trump, Obama or Hillary Clinton ?

  18. – Does H&H really think that One Nation has a better policy than the “Do Nothing” party lead by one M. Turnbull ? I think One Nation has one policy and one policy only: “Get rid of the current government ASAP”.
    – Gina Reinhart getting support from “The Donald” ? OMG. Does she REALLY have the best in mind for the australian “common man” ? Please, think again !!!

    • Gina getting support from the Donald and giving support to Cori and his breakaway conservatives.
      This is going to be so much fun.

      • – The point I want to make is that Reinhart’s interests are not those of the common australian consumer.
        – That’s what we saw with Trump as well. He pretended he cared about the average Joe Sixpack but see what kind of people he has in his administration.

  19. And they all just keep spitting-the-dummy. Class – Mate.

    FMG on it’s way to a new all-time high.

  20. So is that it? Does MB now officially endorse Hanson?

    Funny thing is the local Byron Bay think tank bangs on endlessly about evils of neo-liberalism and globalisation as well, but have (unsurprisingly) not declared Hanson the answer.

    It’s really sad what’s happened here in recent months. I’m probably the longest term reader, going back to when DLS wrote for BS and then his Houses and Holes blog, but MB is now a parody of itself. I suppose if your readership is largely conspiracy theorists and Hansonites you have to cater to that. Good luck with that. I don’t visit very often lately. Maybe next time I drop in you will have thrown the switch to climate denialism? It would probably be good for subscriptions, so why not?

    • Lorax,

      As you have not been around much lately you are probably having some difficulty comprehending what is being discussed. The vast majority of MB commentators are fed up with the failure of the ALP and the LNP and the Greens to seriously engage with the issues of concern – debt, population ponzi, rent seeking, selling off Australia etc..

      Hanson gets a bit of support on MB from commentators only to the extent she occasionally mutters something that vaguely sounds like she understands one or other of the issues, Though 10 minutes later she generally contradicts herself so her stocks are constantly rising and falling.

      But then so does every other politicians that from time to time sounds like they have a clue – Xenophon, Wilkie, Dick Smith, Katter, Bowen, Ludlum, etc etc. They all get praised when they say something sensible and then lashed when they don’t.

      Hanson has one advantage at the moment in that she seems to have seriously spooked the political mainstream which means that there is a chance they will sniff around her policies and maybe just maybe pick and run with something that MB readers, including you, might support.

      The moment either the ALP, LNP or the Greens wake up and make it clear that they will step back from the neo-liberal consensus trajectory they will win power and also send Pauline back to the midday talk show circuit.

      But if that is too much to handle, you should step outside and enjoy the sun and just wait until something happens.

      No harm in that as that is what 95% of the population are doing.

    • Actually Pfh007 the MB world view aligns most closely with the Greens, except for one issue: Population policy. And from memory MB has endorsed the Greens as the best of the major parties in recent elections but recommended a vote for Sustainable Australia. Why then give so much positive coverage to a party that is diametrically opposed to the Greens on almost every issue on the sole basis that Hanson supports lower immigration, when Hanson’s support for lower immigration is 90% about fuelling Islamophobia and 10% about population?

      • I’ll gladly vote for an Islamophobic party any time of the day, any day of the week, if it means throwing those homophobic cunts out to sea.

        Most of the problems on the news are from the immigration ponzi: importing african gangs, overcrowding, all the social problems caused by high houses prices etc.

  21. Lorax, I think you have misread this article and taken it out of the context of other recent MB articles. This article just describes what is happening in Australian politics. It doesn’t endorse One Nation, although a large part of the population does. I’ve been reading MB for almost as long as you and haven’t noticed any change in HnH’s, UE’s or the blog’s core values. The content of articles has changed along with the news and what is happening in Australia.

    • No, but there is increasing tolerance of Hanson as a legitimate political force, and given the readership here — and lets be polite, many here hold fringe opinions — this has fostered an environment where it’s now ok to openly support Hanson despite her long history of racism and xenophobia. All of this revolves around a single issue — immigration. Of the major political parties the MB world view is closest to the Greens, and indeed DLS and LVO have endorsed the Greens in the past, but because of diverging opinion on this one issue MB now regularly posts stories supportive of Hanson. Now population policy may be an important issue, it may be the most important issue, and I am in total agreement with MB that it is a ponzi scheme, but that does not mean it’s any way reasonable to switch your support to a barely coherent, xenophobic, climate-denying right-wing populist. Seriously David and Leith, what the fuck are you thinking?

  22. Have you been drinking?

    Whether you like it or not, Lorax, Hanson is a legitimate political force. Stop blaming MB for the reality that One Nation is on a major charge and is threatening to destroy the incumbent government. Are we not supposed to cover it?

    I spend all day criticising Hanson and her nutters. So does Leith. MB does not endorse One Nation but nor does it endorse wowserish drivel that is unable to grasp that the centre is going to have to absorb some of the policies shared by the fringe if it is not going to collapse completely.

    MB supports lower immigration. That One Nation does as well does not mean that MB supports One Nation. That’s an hilarious logical fallacy that gives away your own bias. Owing to the same stupidity, The Greens have proven themselves completely unable to adapt to a new reality in which they ought to be flourishing.

    So, give us all a break and drop the holier than thou bollocks. I would like to go to Xmas without being accused of being an anti-science racist and climate change skeptic by interests of the Left that are packing up their bats and balls and going home because their little post-modern utopias are collapsing.

    It is a matter of historical fact that I have spent my entire adult career fighting racism and climate change denialism using my own money, allegations that you throw around like confetti while sunning yourself in Byron Bay. Your comments on this blog have for a long time been appreciated but don’t blame us when your world view is being pressured by wider changes.

    The great political disruption that MB has worked towards (with your verbose support) is underway. Did you think no eggs would get broken? When revolutions begin, they can be stolen (as has happened in the US) but you still have to have them to change anything at all. We are aiming to fashion the flux as best we can towards the values that have always underpinned the blog.

    For the record MB supports:

    – 70k immigration levels per annum and doubling the refugee intake to boost the Australian adjustment from a living standards destroying population ponzi to a tradables and productivity based recovery;
    – reform of all sorts for housing affordability;
    – pension and Budget reform to rebalance the Budget away from the war on youth;
    – progressive taxation reform;
    – reform to break Australian oligopolies;
    – reform to increase mining taxes;
    – sensible infrastructure spending;
    – carbon mitigation via market pricing but regulation if that’s what it takes;
    – 18c, the HRC, multi-culturalism and socially progressive legal reform including gay marriage;
    – political reform to “drain the Canberra swamp” on donations and corrupt insiders;
    – multilateral free trade, and
    – ANZUS as a bulwark against Australia’s enormous Chinese dependence.

    We post on this stuff all day every day yet you have somehow reduced it to one issue about racism which we despise anyway.

    If you want to pick out racial identity politics as your one badge of honour in life then go ahead but don’t cast your shadow over MB.

    • political reform to “drain the Canberra swamp” on donations and corrupt insiders

      The question is not so much how to do that, but how to stop it being undone by the politicians once public attention has drifted off to something else.

      A system in which the politicians write the rules for the politicians will eventually white-ant any reforms that are not in the interests of the politicians.

      Constitutionally entrenching a judicial system will create a “Judicial Oligarchy” like the US Supreme Court. Legislatures are not the only power centres that attract aggressive narcissists. Judicial bodies do as well.

      There IS a solution to this problem, but I have a sneaking suspicion that once you finally realise what that solution is you’ll decide that you prefer corruption instead.

    • I hit a nerve. Good

      I’m glad you made it abundantly clear where you stand, however, a lot of your readership is shifting to Hanson and IMO you need to be vigilant and continually point out why MB believes she is not an acceptable option, even to “shake things up a little”. As I’m sure you know I agree with all the positions you’ve outlined. About the only thing I’ve ever disagreed on is relaxing planning regs to allow more sprawl.

      I agree the Greens have failed to tackle the population taboo and so have Labor. I am frustrated by this as anyone because to me it is self-evident that it’s a Ponzi scheme but I always hit a brick wall of denial and silence when I discuss this with progressives. The problem on the left is it cannot be discussed for fear of being labelled a racist. Many think it, many know it, and some will discuss off the record. Somehow the taboo has to be broken, as David Attenborough argues for so passionately here (watch from 20.05)