Australia is not in “trouble”. “Australia” is dead.

Says Professor Ross Garnaut at The Guardian:

The crisis in Australia’s political system is less about the quality of individual politicians and more to do with the “majority media” and business lobby groups drowning out the independent centre for their own self-interest, distinguished economist, Prof Ross Garnaut has said.

Garnaut, speaking during a panel discussion at the 2018 Outlook Conference in Melbourne, said the big economic reform period of the 1980s came to an end with the rancorous debate about the GST before it was introduced in 2000, “followed by years in which major policy change, reform, in the national interest became rare, more difficult, and temporary”.

Governments since had attempted big reforms, such as the Howard government’s industrial changes, WorkChoices, the Rudd government’s macroeconomic policies to avoid recession during the global financial crisis of 2008, and the Gillard government’s climate policies from 2012, which were working and “would have allowed Australian contribution of its fair share to an international effort without economic disruption or substantial cost”.

All were repudiated, with the “macroeconomic policies that kept Australia out of recession … shouted down by the majority media and the then opposition parties to an extent that will create barriers to Australia responding wisely next time we face recessionary pressures from the global economy”.

Garnaut, a senior economic adviser to former prime minister Bob Hawke and author of a landmark review into the impacts of climate change in 2008, told the conference “Australia is in trouble”. A key reason was “a thinning of an informed, engaged, independent centre of our polity”.

“The majority media and the business lobbies have drowned out the independent centre, with raucous assertion of opinions that are convenient to their private interests. The words that are shouted most loudly are now taken by their proponents as facts.”

Most damaging to economic policy was the “promotion of cash-for comment economic modelling, where the truth is incidental to promotion of outcomes that suit the private interests that commission them”.

He said the most obvious examples were climate policy and the taxation of corporate incomes. The result had been community distrust in institutions.

“The loud voices do their best to shout down the institutions that have retained public trust. A sullen electorate is inclined to doubt its political leaders, and disinclined to follow them, both when they are right and when they are wrong.”

Garnaut declined to specify which parts of the “majority media” were responsible. The outlook conference is sponsored by the Australian and the University of Melbourne.

He told Guardian Australia there was a need for a better resourced and competitive media, and there was “a case for fiscal support for smaller voices.”

Good on The Guardian for picking it up. But there is an irony in its doing so given it is a prime example of the “loud voices” that shout over the sensible centre. I humbly suggest that it only ran the story to plant the idea in people’s heads that it should be supported by public funding.  Day after day The Guardian rips away at the “informed centre” with a focus on its handful of chosen issues, usually in complete ignorance of the “informed centre”.

Professor Garnaut is right but he does not go anywhere near far enough. Let me explain. Or, at least, let Francis Fukuyama do so:

“This thing [identity politics] was really motivated by the rise of populist nationalism all over the world,” the noted American political scientist Francis Fukuyama tells me. Notice how Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping feed their popularity at home by stoking resentment at the way an arrogant West disrespected their countries?

This is similar to the feelings of “rural voters in the US who felt that the urban bicoastal elites were similarly ignoring them and their problems”, says Fukuyama, the same people who turned to Trump to “make America great again”.

“The practitioners of the politics of resentment recognise one another,” writes Fukuyama in his new book on identity politics, helpfully titled Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, to be published in Australia by Profile Books.

“The sympathy that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump have for each other is not just personal, but rooted in their common nationalism.”

Trump, of course, is the high priest of the low order of angry right-wing identity politics. Muslims are terrorists and must be banned from entry; Mexicans are rapists and must be sealed off behind a wall; women are objects that can be grabbed by the pussy; and the Ku Klux Klan aren’t really all bad.

“You didn’t have this white identity politics till the last couple of years in the US,” Fukuyama says, or at least not in a mainstream political party. “It’s Trump – he’s basically a racist and he’s encouraged others so it’s not surprising they’ve come out of the woodwork.”

But just because the right’s deployment of identity politics is ugly and intolerant doesn’t exonerate the left. Indeed, Fukuyama says that the rise of the angry Trump-led right is partly a reaction against the excesses of the left.

The movements that emerged in the 1960s championing the rights of America’s minorities came first: “After the 60s, inequality was interpreted in terms of these specific groups,” and the response to those groups was seen as the neglect of the majority. “That accounts for the level of defections of the old working class because they felt the old parties had deserted them.”

“The populist reaction is against political correctness,” says Fukuyama. Political correctness is the censorious self-righteousness of the left. It denied overlooked whites the language to protest and to make their own claims. “You are not listening to what’s been happening in the last few years if you think there’s no connection between the two.”

The Republican Party under Trump “has become the party of white people, and the Democrats increasingly are the party of minorities – that’s not a good outcome”, says Fukuyama, himself a Japanese American. In this way, identity politics is becoming the overwhelming force in American politics.

In Australia the phenomenon of identity politics has gone much further. The fragmentation of national consciousness into vertical market identities has formed its own self-sustaining political economy structure. The Guardian is the media arm of the “champagne left” identity. It is fully integrated with sympathetic policy engines in think tanks like the Grattan Institute. It has its own political party in The Greens. This is a niche recreation of the nation state, a mini ‘identity state’ if you will, inside which circular logic and ideology swirl uninterrupted by criticism or dialectic.

The “champagne left” identity state is not about the truth of an independent centre. It is about the promulgation of a narrow set of values within a chosen worldview: global warming, favouring immigration, championing social justice and Trump-bashing as reality.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not picking on The Guardian. The point is much, much larger. The same ‘identity states’ have now spread across the entire political economy. There is a business ‘identity state’ now. It has its own sympathetic think tanks, its own political party in the Coalition and its own media echo chamber in the The Australian as well as, increasingly, the AFR. There is a real estate ‘identity state’ which has multiple think tanks, a political party in the Coalition, and a media echo chamber in Domainfax.

None of this has anything to do with traditional Left versus Right politics and, therefore, even the notion of the independent center is nonsensical. “Australia” itself does not exist in this emerging construct. Replaced by a cluster of ‘identity states’ which battle to impose their own perverse world view on everybody else. The ultimate irony is that it means the various vertical markets often end up in furious agreement while wasting 99% of their energy on pretending that they disagree.

How did this happen? Many reasons. The destruction of the media by the internet is key. But that seems to me to be a late, exacerbating factor. The real driver is the rise of post-structuralism in education. Post-modernity is an ideology that has no truth. It sees the world in “discourses” of endless and equal value, created and recreated by the power and bias of language. The corollary is that changing language gives you the power to change reality. Thus the labeling of everything becomes the act of empowerment in any movement ahead of actually doing something when history comes calling. This obsession with how everything is “represented”, versus what it actually is, means the traditional power relationships – capital versus labour – that make up the contest of the centre are lost and politics becomes a fake game of yelling your own “discourse” louder than anybody else’s.

The sadness of it is that the underlying reality of history rolls on. Capital and labour are still locked in an epochal conflict. And without any way to resolve their contest in favour of the majority – the independent centre as Professor Garnaut describes it – we get wild lurches between ‘identity states’ that settle for the appearance of change over its substance. Witness great celebrations as tampons are made a little cheaper while the same women are ravaged by an energy cartel at a scale a hundred times greater without a mention. Or preposterous celebrations for gay marriage when slave labour is being embedded across the entire economy via mass immigration without a mention. Or furious debates about the sanctity of Opera House sails deliver reams of script as a new Cold War erupts that could denude of us of our very freedom doesn’t get a mention.

The problem is not that Australia is in “trouble”, it is that “Australia” is dead.

Comments

  1. if we’re really more divided than we were in the past it’s mainly due to the internet proliferating multiple sources of media information, which provides individuals with sources of ideological exposure that are more closely aligned with their underlying personalities and instincts – effectively, the internet has allowed people to express, nurture, and, perhaps, exacerbate, their political selves more precisely than did the handful of large mainstream media outlets that existed prior to the digital age. though how much this really matters is uncertain, as most people are politically indifferent, but still internalise some degree of propaganda relevant to their social and personal interests.

    the real problem facing australia is not extremism, but wrongism. it is evident that the prevailing open borders ideology that argues for the disintegration of the nation state and ethny in the name of either economic liberalism or humanism (both) is just WRONG, a collection of wrong ideas based on stuff thats mostly not true. and thats why it needs to go, because its wrong.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Yeah, nah.
      Neoclassical economics was all about opening up borders coz at its heart it was all about marketizing everything. The result was disasterous nationally and globally. Its post-war neoliberal descendant that has ruled the last 30 years is leading to similar results.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Sure,..its targeted echo chambers all round, but who does it serve?
      I say it serves Plutocratic Power by constantly, rentlessly chipping away at the Working class Solidarity required to give common people a seat at the decision making table.
      Obsessive Identity poiltics and culture waring is tolerated and encouraged by our Plutocratic overlords for the very same reason Proffessional sports has so much resources thrown at it,…it keeps the plebs occupied and the fk out of the way of real economic decision making,…just part of the Bread and fking Circus side show, designed to subvert the Democracy away from serving the majority of the people in favour of a ruling class.

      It not all planned out, like some grand conspiracy, its just the path of least resistance for those most Ambitious among us wanting to make a fat living pleasing Coporate benefactors and established centres of power and employment.

      https://youtu.be/2sX1H9FxMms

      • When did you last here discussion about taking away the private bankers power to create money?

        Certainly not the Guardian. I wonder who is on the Board. Surely a left wing journo…..
        Err. No the Vice Chairman of Rothchild’s and a senior partner at Freshwaters.

        Spot on. Bread and circuses
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Salz

      • Absolutely correct. Identity politics seems intended to distract both PC left and the working classes from focusing on obtaining a larger share of the resources for the poor and workers and instead have them fight each other over issues of no economic consequence. The best solution would be direct democracy as Mr Morris regularly points out as then people would have an opportunity to debate and make decisions on economically relevant policy to them. Instead the only thing Australians can directly vote on are economically irrelevant issues like gay marriage.
        Here is also a similar article by CJ hopkins on the website off-guardian which interestingly was set up by people that read the guardian but got pissed off with its censorship of comments and neoliberal shift. https://off-guardian.org/2018/10/10/who-doesnt-love-identity-politics/

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Good find Jarrod,…I might subscribe.
        Speaking of which I should renew my MB subscription,…Ive had a good month.

      • Hay fitz…

        Your orders of magnitude away from those driving the agenda… go watch Hudson’s interview. Hint it anin’t banks and has zip to do with money creation.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        I basically agree, but think your emphasis on the internet is somewhat excessive. People back then may have had less forums to collect with like minded in echo chambers, but they existed too, so heaps of wrongism then. In the wider public they were expressed through pamphlets, at local meetings.

      • i wasnt even necessarily agreeing with the hypothesis that we’re actually more divided. people say this a lot but is it even testable? seems like there was a hell of a lot of division in the past, look at the street fighting between fascists and communists that went on in the 1920s.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        The first great globalism seeded the economic and social conditions for that street fighting. We’re not there yet, but you only have to look to the US with the street confrontations between left-right, the rise of a populist like Trump in a party that privately hates him, and the rise of hard right parties in Europe, even Sweden, to know something is afoot.

      • Irrespective of what benefits (or dis-benefits) you think the internet brings I would argue it’s way more positive than it is negative. Pre-internet there were a limited number of media channels through which information was disseminated and the powers-that-be could easily control the narrative. The internet is dangerous for the ‘elites’ (political and moneyed) because the quantity and the sources of information have exploded and the elites have lost control of the narrative — which is why there are moves afoot to impose censorship on the internet. In the years to come I have little doubt that internet content will be ‘moderated’ by a Govt department (as it is in China currently). We have already seen social media platforms (Twitter, FB etc) delete the accounts of people who apparently express views that are not shared by ‘right-minded people’. While I respect the rights of private institutions to control their own content, it demonstrates how TPTB and other politically active institutions are leaning on the major internet media channels to exert control.

        Every single day we move a step closer to Orwell’s dystopia

    • @Stagmal: +1000. I have been thinking this for a while. I find myself more and more saying what the hell, it is not worth the effort to engage anymore and far easier to stick to those parts of the internet that I agree with. I work in the public sector where every word, thought and action is ruthlessly policed but even accounting for that I feel that the level of political discourse with colleagues is near zero with everyone struggling not to offend and even going to the lengths of claiming not to have heard basic news e.g. like Turnbull getting dumped as PM so they don’t run the risk of having to comment on it.

      I have tried to raise my main area of concern: the effect of population growth on the country and in particular the health system in the most dispassionate and non offensive way, and I get these looks like ‘we just do not want to discuss this at all’. God help me if I were ever to mention that I had watched a Jordan Peterson video …

      So conversations are limited to cooking, weather, reality TV and holiday plans. I cannot believe that my colleagues do not harbour strong political views, but the exchange of ideas, debtate and even argument about things that matter is just gone at a peer to peer level.

      • Well said. The PC police have killed debate. Most are afraid of airing their views for fear of offending someone, and that is so easy these days.

      • I think it is understandable why public servants would be very very reluctant to be heard commenting on anything with even a whiff of politics in the workplace.

        Their job is to execute policy. If they dont like the policy the can point out the downsides in policy papers OR discuss their views outside of the workplace…..like on MB.

        One of the justifications uses by Labour to politicise the public service was a perception the public service resisted Whitlam.

        No suprise that the Tory’s proved to be ruthless at doing the same.

        With senior staff all on contracts they are reeds bending in the wind.

        It takes a very nimble and agile mind.

      • Self sensorship is a big problem. If we refuse to engage respectfully in uncomfortable ideas and conversations we can’t learn or raise awairness. There is nothing wrong with questioning ideas. Walking the find line of what is acceptable but uncomfortable in conversation is a lot of fun. Revel in the awkwardness.

      • So conversations are limited to cooking, weather, reality TV and holiday plans.
        It was always thus.
        In the pub, at work, socialising, since I were a lad in the 50’s politics and religion were not discussed in polite company.
        I think the sectarian wars were the cause.

    • The guys that thought up social media thought it would amplify truth, but of course as they have acknowledged themselves it just amplified everything. I’m not convinced it’s a quantity of media issue, it’s a social tolerance for the divisive controversialists (like Alan Jones, Clementine Ford et al) that profit, and help others profit from the fake division.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      It seems to me (and I suspect many others) that our world is no longer about the observable and the identifiable – the data – and whatever narratives we can intellectually posit and test about relationships between observations.  It is now solely about belief, and the ability to be able to pick up observations or narratives (regardless of their intellectual veracity) and buttress belief (or even just apparent belief, for we do live in an age when belief no longer needs substance).  And the assault of belief upon reason is still playing out as a pervasive malaise sweeping over not just Australia, but large chunks of the developed world.

      It is of course the Neo Liberal ideology of the corporate world from where it has been picked up by public services, with the corporate psychologists and MBA crowd as its high priests.  I think there is a significant case at least looking at the idea that managerialism these days is about dismantling whatever beliefs and observations people have – particularly about their work, and the way it is done – and replacing it with meaninglessness in the guise of ‘customer focus’ (which may not focus on customers, and runs long on scripts designed by management to ensure that the customer is boxed in one way or another) or mindfulness, or cultural awareness – which will invariably be about dismantling an individual employee’s verification and narrative about their day to day lived experiences and replacing these with a load of utter bullshido which clutters up their day.

      The Guardian (and I have no in principle issue with the Guardian, that I don’t have with the Rupertarian on the other end of the spectrum or the Fairfax stable out on the loss leading real news as an entree to desperate real estate sales tangent of the dynamic) is essentially playing this at a whole of society level.  All mainstream media organisations are essentially pawns of the elites, so there is no real surprise there.  Some of us may think they are about presenting ‘news’ (where news equals fact or facts related to each other with a plausible intellectual framework) when all they are really about is exhorting the new religion. 

      But for the most part I would posit that the increasing disenchantment with media is a key factor in the increasing disenchantment with the political process – insofar as it frees politicians to get away with preaching to the electorate rather than identifying issues, working to establish data about the issue, and seeking to respond to it a way which addresses the issue (rather than addressing the issue to uphold an ideology).  In the same way the political process has become about protecting the elites (and in particular their take from the economic dynamic) and obfuscating what the punterariat see as day to day common sense or narrative, and encouraging the punterariat to ask themselves if that is what they are seeing and experiencing, or giving them some form of distraction about something to see and experience which is ‘better’ is more ‘culturally aware’ or ‘customer focused’ or more ‘mindful’.  In its application it has a lot in common with the teaching of Ignatius Loyola and his Jesuits, and arguably even more in common with Soviet era disinformation (which is largely why Russian disinformation today plugs in so readily).

      That, to make my rant circular, is the way it feeds back into the lived experience of a large number of the punterariat  – through a management (be it workplace, be it the customer service, be it the regime, or be it the ‘elites’) which doesn’t want them making their own observations about what works or doesn’t work in their workplaces, or lives, or suburbs or towns, and establishing their own narratives about why this is or isn’t the case, but does want them unquestioningly just doing things the way they are told is best for them by those elites.  At its best (for the elites) it distracts from contemplation of whatever it is the elite actually is doing, at its worst it does enable a ‘sale’ (just look at Trump).

      It will play itself out as the punterariat twig to the problem and respond with a specific issue, and management records their calls for coaching purposes – and general hostility mounts.  But until that time where there a fork gets jabbed into someones cheek in white hot anger, I don’t think telling the lay preachers that they are singing the wrong hymns will get far.  It will only be after that point where the anger has bubbled out (over the top of how many communications and consultation plans and strategies?) that they will stop singing and chanting and start running………

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        All instutional power becomes corrupted when its leadership is not able to be held accountable by the Community.
        True Democracy with true transparency of the decision making process is the only solution to the excesses of Instutional power, coporate or otherwise, with in the “Organized life” of the 21st Century.
        https://youtu.be/KwTQsvhq3ew

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        I think you are correct Gunna, you and Stagmal have hit on the two core issues and one which HnH has been circling around for years, so much of the blame lies with the media. They have been entirely captured by corporate interests and an unholy alliance has formed between the neoliberal owners and the cultural marxist warriors that mainly staff them nowadays.

        The media use to consist of a multitude of voices, through the laxs attentions of the Boomer generations control of the media has gradually been seized and consolidated down to what we see today – corporatised propoganda entwined with the cultural warriors of the left in some symbiotic relationship that is parasiting our societies.

        Any attempt at reformation of any aspect of our economy or society will be impossible until this stranglehold is broken. The first act of any Nationalist orientated (as opposed to either of our two current globalist parties) should be:

        i. Re-enact media concentration and ownerhip laws, limiting any influence to a maximum of say 15-20%

        ii. Ban foreign ownership – Rupert is free to own Aust media assets, he’d just have to renounce his US citizenship;

        iii. Retain the ABC, but disband and/or sell off SBS – you are coming to Australia to be Australian, not to be an Indian or African or Chinese living in Australia. If you want to retain some cultural affiliation with your nation of ethnic ancestral origin, hope on the internet or buy a plane ticket. Frank Lowy is rich enough, if he wants to disseminate his propoganda he should buy it instead of having Aust tax payers subsides it; and

        iv. Create a market for tax credits to support innovative independent media – some scheme where small proprietor owners can obtain a tax benefit for engaging in meaningful independent discussion and investigation, like Micheal West or Macrobusiness.

        I’m sure there are plenty of other options, but in my honest opinion it is better to risk Aust having no viable corporate media, than one which is completely dominated and controlled by elites and their cultural warrior allies.

        I’m sure there are other suggestions, but unless more diversity in terms of WHAT is allowed to be contributed to our social narrative as opposed to WHO is allowed to contribute to our social narrative, than all we will end up with is more suppression and greater anger and social discord.

    • Cost IndexMEMBER

      Basically, the internet, in particular social media and twitter, is an echo chamber of confirmation bias

  2. Very good piece. Particularly prescient on “Thus the labeling of everything becomes the act of empowerment in any movement, as opposed to actually doing something about anything, when history comes calling”.

    This describes the phenomenon of #FakeChange. The act of seeming to do something about something, while engaging in mere grandstanding and having the firm intention to actually do NOTHING.

    #FakeChange is my default (90%+ accurate, too) way of reading government and regulator statements and promises.

    • Love it. #fakechange #fakereform. Like the 2.5% tax cut being brought forward for small business – Australians don’t pay company tax in substance, it is refunded through the imputation system, so this is just a timing benefit at best for Australian small businesses (although it is tax cut for foreign companies lol) #fakechange

  3. This is an incredibly well written and compelling piece. +100

    I would love to hear some feasible solutions / ways forward. Political system reform? Media reform?

    • Historically, change has come about via social upheaval married to unbridled violence.

      Figers crossed this time it will be different.

    • Great post again. I think the problems actually arise in the culture wars. I think the key is the dumbing down of education and the attack on critical thought by aggressive sloganeering that the accuser would know to be wrong in a moments reflection which never seems to arise. Thus the recipient of the false allegation is intimidated into silence and the outrageous slur is not confronted as ordinary people do not behave in that manner, are not used to people who do behave in that manner, and move on. The hard left has been clever in appropropriating the narrative; democratic representatives are “nazis”, ANTiFA behave like fascists, religion becomes a race, a control of immigration is racist, as are attempts to control economic imperialism, and enforce criminal law. Feminism is reduced to slogans when in parts of our cities women are excluded from the public space unchallenged by feminists. There is a confluence of these attitudes generally held, with the interests of the globalists and the rent seekers St Jaques identifies above.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Fitzy your mention of Culture Wars reminded me of an article published by the Atlantic yesterday that was highly informative in terms of just where these ideas around identity politics originate and who are the main practitioners:

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/large-majorities-dislike-political-correctness/572581/

        Basically what they’ve found is that contrary to the notion that this Progressive PC culture is a youth movement or a racial movement, the reality is that it is a movement mainly made up the wealthy, moralising and indoctrinated educated.

        Progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.

        * 83% of Americans making less than $50,000 dislike PC; 70% making over $100,000 do.

        * 87% of Americans who never attended college dislike PC; 66% with a grad degree do.

        Basically those pushing identity politics are engaged in a form of class warfare against working class people, fomenting division between different ethnic groups who were previously happily integrating into society.

        Culture leads society – whose cultural values are really being promoted by focusing on diversity over intergration? If, as the statistics appear to indicate the problem with ‘progressiveness’ appears to be mainly a demographically white issue, which cultural groups within that segment are pushing these toxic notions?

      • Stewie,

        That article is on the nail.

        For the most part they are the big government boomer lefties (and their kids) who are bitter and twisted that they lost the power over peoples lives to the private corporatists.

        The one thing those twisted big government lefties have in common with neoliberal corporatists is a distrust of democracy and belief that the masses must be controlled.

        They just have diifering views as to the form of that control.

        Dencentralisation or more power in neighbourhoods, communities, regions or states is what they both resist.

        Thus why the fake left are eager to flood the country with strangers and insist they maintain their otherness and the neoliberals support the process.

        They hate the idea that communities of the common person might have a right to determine how they choose to live.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Pfh007 I think your comment nailed it just as well as the Atlantic:

        Thus why the fake left are eager to flood the country with strangers and insist they maintain their otherness and the neoliberals support the process.

        They hate the idea that communities of the common person might have a right to determine how they choose to live.

        It is a culture war and every bit as immoral as the cultural flooding that is occurring in Tibet, both are attempting to seize control over the ability of the pre-existing population to pursue their own cultural destiny.

      • The biggest and most powerful block of progressives are the corporatist progressives. They have selectively chosen a few areas that don’t complicate their profit making goals, but the areas that do are quickly discarded or glossed over.

        It’s worth noting that many of these are protected monopolies or duopolies as well. They are not really market examples.

      • That was an epic rant.

        Made all the funnier by the suggestion that “the hard left has been clever in appropropriating the narrative”.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        “Progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year.”

        Pleased to meet you – Dr Smith I presume…

      • It has the same piece missing. A very practical, rubber on the road piece rather than hand waving generalisation.
        How do you get species with different numbers of chromosones when the different number of chromosones leads to sterile offspring?
        The hand waving nature of evolution is why it’s a theory. When someone solves the chromosone problem it will be on a much stronger footing.
        And since you seem to have trouble with comprehension, I never said evolution was wrong, but it is far more uncertain than gravity.

      • If earning more than a hundred grand invalidated opinions, I imagine the MB comments section would look a lot emptier than it does today.

      • An agent acting on behalf of a corporation could be subject to recourse as an individual but for the power granted to the corporation by the state.

    • The most important thing we should be teaching our kids is scientific literacy and the skills of critical thinking. It is the only thing that will enable them to navigate a post truth world.

      In a post truth world there are no facts, and therefore no common ground. And that will inevitably end in stagnation and decline.

      • +1 too many people basing things off of what they “believe” rather than evidence. This obviously goes all the way up the chain to policymakers.

        If I have to argue with one more Muppet that says “evolution is just a theory”, I’m gonna have to hit em.

      • Evolution is just a theory. It’s the “theory of evolution”
        Newtons law’s of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics on the other hand are laws. It real easy to see the difference. it’s all in the name. 🙂
        Of course most people don’t actually understand the difference between the two though, do they?

      • A South American colleague once told me that the political elites in most countries on that continent thought the most dangerous thing they could ever do was to teach the citizens HOW to think.

        The strategy for the elites there is simple: keep the people ignorant and dependent.

        I reckon we have elements of that same thing in the West — it’s just more nuanced.

      • Evolution is just a theory.

        Which does not mean it’s just an idea you can chose to believe or discard. That’s where you deniers go wrong. To the public, theory can mean an opinion or conjecture (e.g., “it’s only a theory”), but among scientists it has a much stronger connotation of “well-substantiated explanation”.

      • Don’t make me hit ya bj.. Tis’ all in the name. It’s all in the categorization. Laws can only be applied to very defined and specific, often mathematical concepts. Even laws are often generalizations and can only apply in certain environments and conditions, and can be changed with new data. Whereas “theories” (in science) are broader scientific ideas, which might often contain or refer to multiple “laws”, but are no less observable or based on data. The simplistic linguistic jump made to the other meaning of theory (implying that a scientific theory is conjecture only) by the layman is lazy and doesn’t allow further thought or analysis of deeper ideas.

        So here’s the issue. We have to run that nuanced argument/infopack against every undereducated hack who didn’t get a basic scientific education. And that crap’s tiring when all you really want to do is eat popcorn and watch the housing crash unfold.

      • As above, a basic literacy in science will help navigate complex topics to find the truths or common ground.

        Theorys can have laws, the laws can be further broken down into rules and conditions etc… Evolution can be said to have the law of natural selection as one of its parts. Natural selection has a set of rules and conditions.

        Of course it’s more complicated than that and the science often moves on from the original laws. Newton’s law of gravitation is still taught today, even though we’ve known it’s wrong since Einstein came up with his theory of GR.

        But in the end they are just lables. Science mostly cares about evidence and experiment. Is your theory falsifiable.

      • Evolution is still just a theory because although it is elegant, there are very substantial holes in it being complete. Darwin’s survival of the fittest gets you to having greyhounds, dobermans and poodles, but fails to explain how you get to cats and dogs in anything using sexual reproduction.
        This has never been explained in any satisfactory way as far as I know.
        See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule for the issues with interspecies breeding.

      • PolarBearMEMBER

        Just to be precise on bjw’s comment. My first year astrophysics lecturer at ANU, himself a theoretical physicist, Craig Savage I think was his name, told a shocked first year lecture theater that it was not possible to prove a scientific theory, only possible to disprove it. To be precise all scientific “theories” and even “laws” are actually hypotheses that are well supported by observations. If an observation contradicts the hypothesis it has been disproved and is discarded. So the “laws” of thermodynamics are just very well supported hypotheses that no one has observed contradictions to.

      • Probably should put this here lol.

        It has the same piece missing. A very practical, rubber on the road piece rather than hand waving generalisation.
        How do you get species with different numbers of chromosones when the different number of chromosones leads to sterile offspring?
        The hand waving nature of evolution is why it’s a theory. When someone solves the chromosone problem it will be on a much stronger footing.
        And since you seem to have trouble with comprehension, I never said evolution was wrong, but it is far more uncertain than gravity.

      • So in summary, evolution is hand-waving, cryptos are a good bet, and climate change is malarkey? Gotcha, thanks for the input

        [facepalm]

      • PolarBearMEMBER

        So all those “sceptics” who say that human caused global warming hasn’t been proved are actually right – it’s not possible to prove any theory in science, even the “laws” of thermodynamics. What scientists have estimated is the probability that the hypothesis is correct based on the current body of obersvations that support or don’t support the hypothesis. I think that probability is currently something like 80 or 90%. And we should remember that scientists are a very cautious bunch, and the discipline itself extremely rigorous. If you knew your house was 90% likely to burn down in the next 30 years and you didn’t take out insurance – most people would say you were crazy.

      • My first year astrophysics lecturer at ANU, himself a theoretical physicist, Craig Savage I think was his name, told a shocked first year lecture theater that it was not possible to prove a scientific theory, only possible to disprove it.

        This should not be “shocking” to first year science students. It is something you are (or should be, I certainly was) taught in high school science classes (is at least one of them still mandatory ?).

        “Science is never proven, only disproven” is the slogan I was taught.

      • Just for you r2m,
        Although it does require high school level biology to actually understand.
        As smithy stated, speciation is the current justification for the theory of evolution.

        This is predicated on the gradual change of a population from a common ancestor into multiple independent species.
        Current species on earth have different numbers of chromosones.
        You cannot gradually move from 32 pairs of chromosones to 33, it is a step transition that must be made at the same time by enough animals to provide a sustainable population as animals with differing numbers of chromosones produce sterile offspring.
        As such speciation is disproved as the mechanism for evolution, but is still taught because there is no better alternative.
        People really like evolution though so this gap is glossed over.
        And if you can actually explain how the above happens I would guess a nobel prize in biology would be coming your way.

      • PolarBearMEMBER

        drsmithy, you are right that it should not be “shocking” to first year science students. I was the top science student in my high school in year 12 and pretty sure we weren’t taught ANY philosophy of science including that most fundamental piece. Similarly we weren’t taugh ANY grammar in English classes, much to my annoyance later in life! This was the ACT system in the 90’s other states might be better! In my opinion it reflects modern Western culture, or the general public’s understanding of science, where science is often adopted as a religion, when in fact it’s far from that.

      • @smithy,
        well there you go, and you clearly have way too much time on your hands.:)
        Now I want to talk sh!t just to see what you can find.

      • I was the top science student in my high school in year 12 and pretty sure we weren’t taught ANY philosophy of science including that most fundamental piece. Similarly we weren’t taugh ANY grammar in English classes, much to my annoyance later in life! This was the ACT system in the 90’s other states might be better! In my opinion it reflects modern Western culture, or the general public’s understanding of science, where science is often adopted as a religion, when in fact it’s far from that.

        I was at high school in Qld in the early-mid ’90s. Grammar was also well and truly on the way out then (and more importantly during primary school) but I was fortunate because my mother was an English (/maths) teacher.

        I’m sure we covered the fundamentals of the scientific method in both Chem & Physics, though in hindsight we had knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers so maybe they were taking some initiative and going off-curriculum.

  4. I don’t understand the need or thinking behind the use of the term nanny state, especially when the states first function is the well being of its citizens. How that gets corrupted is the tail of special interests and wonky ideology used to enable anti social activities.

    I wonder if that will be protected under anti religious laws…

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      “especially when the states first function is the well being of its citizens”

      When was this?

      • What a ridiculous comment, last time I was in emergency after a mountain bike bust up, the people and the institution itself were incredible. This is the sort of absurd binary nonsense that we are all tired of.

      • @ rj , try sending your local school that has no more room for the kids to run around or staggered lunch times. Emergency 1 thing the rest is Sh1te. Public transport, schools , roads etc etc.
        Open your eyes and you shall see. A quote from my young bloke. 👍

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        When I got my boy stiched up at Ryde hospital after midnight by a young English Doctor, I brought up My favorute english politucian Tony Benn, after some discussion about the NHS in the UK he went on to praise how our Medicare system is better here because pressure is reduced on it by our “Better” parallel private health insurance system.
        The conversation kinda soured when I said the Private health insurance system should be shut down in my opinion,…a 2 tier system is a fking disgrace in my view.
        My wifes mum a former theater nurse of 40 years experience said he didn’t do a very good stitch up job and should have given Angus an extra couple of stitches,…I hope that wasnt my fault!
        https://twitter.com/ErmoPlumber/status/1046546669188218880?s=19

      • EP, we agree on something! 😉 Private health insurance is a wedge created by Tories to destroy the public system, as it effectively does in the US.

      • That’s my point, let’s not give in to the binary simplified discussion. I send my kids to an independent senior school and have private healthcare. We need to resist the vested interests pushed by the controversialists.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Im all for choice aj,…the pursuit of wealth and happiness, and believe in “equality of opportunity” over the more draconian and dangerous “equality of outcome”.
        But not in the area of health and education pal,…thats just a plain Uncivilized position to take,…IMHO
        😘

      • Private health insurance was created as a junket for Surgeons to make a crap load of money. The irony is that in our 2 tier system its the private hospitals that are 2nd rate!

      • I respect your right to make that case EP ;). And would also acknowledge that the reason I make those choices may well be because neoliberal ideology has compromised the quality of the service and so it is self fulfilling. But, as far as the school goes, it’s also because I genuinely disagree with modern leftist neomarxist postmodern ideology that has influenced the state school system and is failing students, particularly boys.

      • The public hospitals may be better at some things, but they don’t do elective surgery and they don’t allow choice. I have had quite a few elective procedures to repair sporting damage over the years, and it has been affordable with insurance and the quality has been outstanding.

      • The public hospitals may be better at some things, but they don’t do elective surgery and they don’t allow choice.

        Really? How was I able to have 3 hernias fixed electively under Medicare then? With a short waiting time too, and with excellent surgeon, and at a beautiful new hospital?

        Australian Medicare is the envy of the world. For god sake, Aussies, be proud of what you are doing well!

      • Hernias are not really a good example, they are typically repaired and should be for normal human function. So whilst elective, they are on the target fix list. Two of the injuries i had would have left functional but fairly sub-standard functioning and disfiguring outcomes with repairs involving reasonably complex bone and ligament surgery.

        Not covered by the public system – fair enough, very expensive and optional to a functioning life. But important to me and the outcomes i wanted.

        The thing is, the system has always worked really well for me. It doesn’t mean it can’t be improved or that power shifts one way or the other and doesn’t need adjusting, or that it isn’t under threat from overloading, but a lack of a nuanced discussion has this thread in a silly simplistic discussion over all private or all public, that is just more divisive feed for those that would divide us rather than seek consensus.

      • Hernias are not really a good example, they are typically repaired and should be for normal human function. So whilst elective, they are on the target fix list

        No, they are not “typically repaired”. The standard medical approach is “watchful waiting”. Plenty of people walk around for years with hernias.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1435959/

        IOW, you don’t really know much about medicine and even less about Medicare. 🙄

      • Hernias can be category 1, 2 or 3 under the elective system. Which one was yours that you use to create a false binary with no nuance?
        https://metronorth.health.qld.gov.au/specialist_service/refer-your-patient/general-surgery/hernia-repair

        You didn’t address the issues i raised, you just built a straw man and threw your endless rage at it.

        You really are just another disaffected middle looking for a fight aren’t you. Your absolutism is by far the most defining characteristic of left and it matches neatly the cynical profiteering of the right, to the detriment of us all.

      • You said, incorrectly, that public hospitals don’t do elective surgery. You were wrong, but you have not yet admitted that, choosing instead to argue with me about grades of hernia (my own hernias had been with me for years when they were repaired, at my choice, so ELECTIVE).

        Amusingly, you then stated that Medicare “has always worked really well for me”. Perhaps we are in agreement at some level then

      • The public system has a quite defined definition of ‘elective’. https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Elective-surgery which includes the concept of ‘medically necessary’. Sport injuries often are not medically necessary, but necessary for desired utility, aesthetics etc. The public/private mix works pretty well here. I also like medicare, it’s a great scheme.

        Remember, this was just an example and you have proved the point, just from the opposing side. No nuanced discussion, no attempt to find reasonable consensus, just dumb binary simplification of a complex discussion.

    • Answer this question please: when the State provides ‘education for all’ does it provide the education that the people want or does it provide the education it thinks the people should have?

      • I’ve consulted my special book, smithy, and it states that a “yes” answer indicates that you are likely suffering from Lefty Delusion Syndrome. There are few cures, sadly, but a dose of Jordan Peterson is worth a try. Good luck!

    • Relevant Stakeholder – post WWII during the Keynesian period up till the free market period of neoliberalism.

      Bullion Baron… Please denote said ideology… saying I ascribe to such and not identifying it is an opened rhetorical ploy which lack any distinction by which others could evaluate its veracity.

      T… nice of you to take a break from your pedo witch hunt to add that important opinion.

      Pantone… how does the state rob you of something it owns, begging the question of whom has the greatest influence of said government and how that translates to policy formation aka ALEC et al…

      • WTF? You’re saying the state owns the money you earned through the sweat off your back? The state has a legitimate claim to what ever proportion of your earnings (property) it deems ‘fair’ or ‘necessary’?

        The quick witted realised long ago that the state is nothing more than a glorified protection racket. Distilled to its essence, that’s what it is.

      • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

        It might have benefited the citizenry, but it wasn’t for them. Ruling elites were scared of the people’s capability to cause economic disruption and the fact a good amount of the population from the 20’s to 50’s were veterans.

      • Dominic…

        Yes the state does own its money via legal tender laws as it also establishes markets by the same legal processes. That has nothing to do with owning your labour because its just just a medium of exchange issued as a tax credit.

        Not to mention you can use that liquid note of exchange to buy or invest in any assets you think might provide utility or retain – increase price relative to ones labour nor is anyone forcing you to use it as a medium of exchange. Your quite within your rights to use anything in exchange as long as the counter party accepts it.

        Per you last opinion please show some historical point which validates it and then proceed to unpack your alternative and how that is realistic.

        Relevant Stakeholder….

        Yes and No mate. There are factions within the elites that have attempted to throw off the antiquarian preferences of some of their cohort, say FDR.

  5. Exactly right, HnH.

    Shouting down and demanding sides be irrevocably chosen by the ‘informed, engaged, independent centre of our polity’ has obliged them to exit the discourse. Disengagement is the only practical thing to do.

    Both left and right ache for dominance yet lack sufficient popular support to rise above plurality. They reduce their principles to slogans to cut through only to be met by equal countervailing and asymmetric forces.

    Voters are disgusted by these vain displays. They want coherent, far sighted and thoughtful representatives willing to fight for the common good and lift us all rather than advance one interest at the expense of others.

    The atomised media cannot bridge this divide. Good public policy is impossible. What a mess.

    • There also seems to be a distressing tendency towards binarism. There’s no room for nuanced thinking. If you’re not for me, you’re against me!

      Case in point, I oppose abortion, but am pro-choice. Confuses hell out of the… less complicated minds out there.

      • There is a lack of independent critical thought. Attention spans are shorter. Deep thought is a very rare beast.

      • +1 we need to take back our intellectual capacity for nuance from the binary controversialists that profit from the chaos.

      • @Fitzroy
        There is a lack of independent critical thought. Deep thought is a very rare beast.

        This has always been true and is nothing new.

      • Perhaps it is merely the confidence of those that have little knowledge that is increasing. University as a kind of mass holding yard for our youth regardless of talent or ability has given us all a false sense of our own intellectual capacity. It’s the lies you tell yourself that get you in the end.

      • Case in point, I oppose abortion, but am pro-choice. Confuses hell out of the… less complicated minds out there.
        Nuanced ….Nah I think we simply call that hypocritical.

      • This. There is no middle ground any more. Either Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist or Christine Ford was a fantasist. No possibility of the truth being somewhere in between. And the views at the edge are so extreme – hence if you’re not a voting Democrat you are a “Deplorable”. As debate gets shut down, and both sides just yell at each other over the fences rather than talking to each other, the divide will get worse. This is how civil wars start.

      • @Fitzroy
        “People are getting dumber, especially those coming out of universities.”
        GIGO as they say.
        The people going into universities are on average getting dumber with increasing access, so why would you expect any other outcome. Previously University Graduates were smarter due to selecting smart people to enter university. It is the underlying intelligence not the University process that determines the smart/dumb thing.

      • Bjw I don’t disagree with what you say about the graduates, but it extends to secondary and primary education, its nothing that I can prove but it is something that I have observed. Look at the documentary from a great journalist interviewing the highest politicians in the country who were available, intelligent and had the interests of the country at heart. Look at the miners, the unionists, articulate and clever, probably not with a tertiary education, and the academics who were engaged with the community without any ideological filter, thoroughly refreshing.

      • A documentary will show you a very carefully crafted viewpoint. Go find all the news from that time, not just a cherry picked sample, and then you will get the real truth. Although the passage of time has already filtered out most of it. You ever heard someone say I wish they built buildings like in the old days, they were built to last. If this was true then we would all be in old buildings and there would be little need for new buildings. The filter of time has simply already destroyed all the buildings not built to last in the past giving the impression that all buildings from the past were built to last.

      • Maybe so, but it is worth looking at. I was really surprised, especially at the access to top people on the issue at the time. I am old enough to remember it when it was first shown.

      • Case in point, I oppose abortion, but am pro-choice. Confuses hell out of the… less complicated minds out there.

        Well that kind of depends on whether by “oppose abortion” you mean you personally think it’s wrong and shouldn’t happen, or whether you support and vote for people trying to make it illegal.

        Because I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone confused by the concept of ‘I think abortion is wrong but I won’t try to prevent anyone having one’.

        On the other hand, if you claim to be pro-choice but consciously act to make abortion impossible, well, I can see how that might be perceived as a bit… contradictory.

      • I know … the middle of the road kind – self employed, independent thinking types are “socialists” because they want to save the Barrier Reef, prefer renewables over fossils, private funding for private schools, ANY tax increase to multinats rather than pissy little reductions to small business – all sound pragmatic preferences … the binary that tears at the fragile cohesion our major political parties manage to demonstrate less convincingly, less frequently and in weaker form.

  6. I suppose what you describe here HnH is the thing that people like Greg Sheridan are feeling when they call for a return to the Christian roots of the West. Its what the Ramsay Centre unconcioulsly wants to do to. Recreate the conditions of the past by expressing veneration for that history.
    Your piece highlights how deluded that thinking is.

  7. Disagree with analysis. The paralysis is driven by a breakdown in in trust. This is because people correctly don’t trust politicians at all so one side is always easily able to discredit.
    Source of this distrust is the extreme right wing disaster policy agenda forced through by Keating – which Garnaut was a key part of.
    Despite liberal media delusion none of the Keating disaster policies were ever explained or wanted by the electorate. They were just forced through due to an ideological capture of the public service and shocked delight of the LNP.
    Once you have a mass party completely ignore the electorate and it’s constitutional objective and tear up the social democratic contract it built, why would anyone trust politicians?
    Classical neoliberal delusion to think there is some “centre” (read extreme right wing) policy agenda which is best for… because it maximises…
    Trust will return when Keating disasterism is disowned. This will include naming and excluding all the collaborators and returning authenticity back to politics. If you were part of or supported Keating disasterism you are compromised and forfeit all right at comment.

    • Nice point. The NDIS is a great example. All the cost effective established social infrastructure degraded or destroyed and replaced with a market solution that is a total disaster.

      • Agree with your example of the NDIS. As a comment though (I have worked on the edges of the system since its inception) in my view the motivators for replacing the prevailing State-based system was not market driven but ideological, primarily about the “right” of every individual to choose what support they needed and who delivered that support. Read the many discussion and conference papers published 2000 – 2014 (or thereabouts). The effectiveness or cost of the solution was hardly considered. But hey, you cant let real world issues get in the way of ideology.

      • Oswald

        +many. That is also my understanding though the centralisation of power in Canberra was a driver as well.

      • Perhaps, but it’s clear that the very concept of the ‘right’ to chose is premised on market economics as a successful solution. I can see the appeal in having a right to choose, but the reason for wanting to choose was caused by the degradation of the system and the false ideology of markets. Practically, it was obviously flawed from the start, both from a cost perspective and just by comparison to other attempts to commodify social services.

      • The NDIS is not like Medicare where they have allowed a choice to enhance the outcome, they have dismantled the other systems to put a market disaster in place.

      • aj, you say “the ‘right’ to chose is premised on market economics as a successful solution”. That was not the case at all, the market did not come into the discussion leading to the NDIS. Instead, it was premised on the ideology that individual rights over-ride everything else including community well being and who might bear the cost. It is the polar opposite to the older concept that people had a duty to their community.

      • Well that’s not really what i took from the discussion and policy/theory that i’ve read. Essentially, the belief was that the market will provide the solution if the government provides the money, and so facilitating choice. But that hasn’t worked, and was never going to by any sensible or objective analysis of cost efficiency or using other examples.

      • aj, one thing we agree on fully is that it hasn’t worked. The cost has escalated dramatically, the NDIA is struggling to cobble together policy on the run, many of the new policies are driving perverse outcomes and the benefits across the disability sector are distributed unevenly. A mess!

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      I was waiting for this! It does have the whiff of ‘anyone who disagrees with me is an ignorant moron’ about it. He’s on the Trilateral Commission ffs.

    • You really give Keating way too much credit.

      To the extent he supported some parts of the neoliberal agenda he was hardly alone….everyone did….except Sweeper and a few other hard boiled eggs that remained convinced that nationalisation was the solution for just about everything.

      You are going to have to come up with a slogan a bit smarter than “nationalise everything” as that is mostly a dead dog just as it was during the 1980s.

      You keep forgetting that people won elections promising to deliver denationalisation though they called it ‘economic rationalism’….yes yes I know you reckon everyone was stoopid and were brainwashed by propaganda but with that perspective I am not sure I understand why you think anything can ever change again as the brainwashing has got a lot better than “Watch out for reds under beds”.

      Oh thats right you dont think change IS possible and just get off on “I told you so.”

      What parts of the economy do you accept are not suitable for nationalisation? Anything?. Lemonaide stands?

      People are going to want to know ….and as you reckon you are the only one with the right to comment we are all ears.

      • I’d disagree, Keating was an incredible charisma, he was literally mesmerising to listen to. His role in the neoliberal excesses of Australia is a fair critique.

      • Keating charisma?

        He won ONE election (against Hewson !) and was generally hated by the public and once they got the chance they punted him in a landslide.

        Hawke had good reason to resist handing over to him as he feared he would be electoral poison.

        Keating charisma had a very narrow field of effect. Most people understood he was an elitist snob like many catholic righties in the ALP.

        Notice how much the Guardian loves him?

        But all of this is beside the important point that there was no secrecy as Sweeper claims.

        The ALP with Keating as Treasurer were open about what they were doing and won 5 elections in a row. 83, 84, 87, ,90, 93.

      • He was a great influencer of people, his full steam ahead neoliberalism was more than a bit part in the neoliberal consensus that has reaped so much damage.

      • aj, Joh BP also had charisma, believe it or not. No leave pass from me for the rest of his Government’s personnel, though there are honourable mentions. Keating was highly influential, even charismatic, but he was but one amongst some pretty tough nuts. Sweeper’s hatred seems personal – this is observation not judgement.

      • Fair enough, I don’t hate Keating, but we certainly know enough now to acknowledge he was wrong in many areas, and should own that.

      • 007, as usual you are just inventing stuff there. I have never said the public was brainwashed.
        The elites were ideological brainwashed no doubt about it but not the public. Something Skippy has noted etc.
        Keating disasterism was a program forced on the public by the brainswashed elites. It was never popular and it has been an epic failure. Even Keating a political merc if ever there was one has said the era of market liberalism is over. Yeah but what does that mean for your leadership? It means you were wrong for 30 years and wrecked the country. Some of us have memories.
        The public never bought in to Keating disasterism. And despite liberal media revision Keating never even made an effort to explain or sell it to the public because it was so unpopular.
        eg. Sale of CBA, Keating campaigned *against* it in the election before then turning around and giving to foreign shareholders after elected. With no explanation no valuation nothing. Just gave it away in the interest of no one except Murray.
        Or the float of the dollar. Never explained just pushed through in meetings with public servants. Legitimate criticisms were never aired. Just a bunch of ideologies incl. Garnaut playing out their prejudices. Or closing car manufacturing during a recession. Or “innoculating all future Treasurers” and moving the RBA to inflation targeting – the inflation target wasn’t even stated although it was obvious in 93-4.

        This stuff was so unpopular it had to be camouflaged with the politics of nothingness – republic, culture wars blah blah blah.

        You are right about the hard boiled eggs. I prefer to think of these people as the only ones left with a brain and a conscience. In any case these are the only ones who can be trusted to lead a movement forward. As for the media clowns whose writing serves the sole purpose of filling their empty chasm of insecurity. Nobody buys your line. You collaborated and have been wrong for 35 years. Go and do something else.

      • “was a program forced on the public by the brainswashed elites. It was never popular and it has been an epic failure.”

        I think the elites would beg to differ on the epic failure part. It has achieved exactly what they wanted it to.

      • Sweeper,

        “..I have never said the public was brainwashed. The elites were ideological brainwashed no doubt about it but not the public…”

        What complete rubbish.

        The implication of EVERYTHING you and Skippy roll out is that the general public have NO AGENCY.

        Are you arguing that the public stayed home in 83, 84, 87, 90 and 93 and left the grown up business of voting to the ‘elites’ whoever they are.

        Classic old school lefty denial.

        You lost the debate and claim “We WUZ robbed”

        The pendulum swung and swung too far and now it needs to swing back.

        The irony of course is that BOTH you and Skippy have spent hours and hours over last few years arguing for a model of the monetary system with private banks baked in at the core with the public Central Bank role little more than to provide support and a public guarantee to privatization.

        Any opposition to this fundamentally dysfunctional model is dismissed as “money crankism”

        But then you work for a bank and Skip has family ties so I suppose it is just an bit of understandable self interest.

        Instead of fundamental reform of the monetary system both of you insist the current model with private banks is fine if only we can work out how to regulate them on a sustainable basis.

        Hypocrite.

      • To the extent he supported some parts of the neoliberal agenda he was hardly alone….everyone did….except Sweeper and a few other hard boiled eggs that remained convinced that nationalisation was the solution for just about everything.

        Count me among the few.
        Looking at the results of privatisation and Neoliberalism, I rest my case.

      • I agree with Sweeper as to the effect of the so-called ‘Keating reforms’. However Keating could not have pushed this all through without the earlier corruption of University Economic schools. The result is an idiocy that infects every institution of any economic or financial influence.
        John Stone was the only one I can remember who had even half a brain. The collective madness of Universities et al is more dominant these days than it was even in those times.

      • 007, when you speak on behalf of the public you are really projecting your own experience:
        For example:
        1. The public was brainwashed;
        Should be: 007 was brainwashed
        2. The public supported Keating disasterism;
        007 supported Keating disasterism
        3. The public doesn’t support nationalisation
        007 doesn’t support nationalisation
        4. Keating disasterism went to far but no one knew this at the time.
        007 didn’t know at the time
        5. The public is neoliberal
        007 is a neoliberal

      • Sweeper,

        You have no response to the fact that millions and millions of Australians voted for the ALP again again again in the 1980s when they were not selling what YOU claim everyone wanted.

        Which is why you and Skippy bang on endlessly about how everyone was brainwashed and indoctrinated.

        The public have no agency must be the explanation.

        Classic rubbish trundled out by those selling stuff no one wants to buy.

        If the ALP listened to all your recommendations the conservatives could rightly claim to be born to rule.

        It may upset you but the fact is that most people do think they have agency and do feel that they can make decisions and be responsible for a lot of what they do.

        Telling them that as you and Skippy do that they are just fodder for Bernays brainwashing aint a winning strategy.

        Sadly the ALP DO listen to you when it comes to supporting the role of private banks at the core of the monetary system.

        You should celebrate your wins.

      • You think they were born to rule because *you* support the conservative agenda.

        What you are saying is not a correct representation of the period at all. ALP were elected during that period largely through fear campaigns and tribalism and LNP disorientation at being outflanked from the right.
        Once elected Keating would then go back to strangling the country with his trusted ideologues behind closed doors. If there was a bit of backlash he would then invent a crisis and send it to Paul Kelly.

      • 007, as usual you are just inventing stuff there. I have never said the public was brainwashed.
        The elites were ideological brainwashed no doubt about it but not the public. Something Skippy has noted etc.

        There is a (very) fair point here.

        Survey after survey reports that the public really, really wants comprehensive, well-funded, strong public services – schools, hospitals, [no toll] roads, etc. They want strong regulations for industry (particularly FIRE). They want workers rights and job security.

        This is true even in countries like the UK and Australia who are way further down the path than we are.

        The problem they have is they don’t have anyone vote for anymore who has those policies (well, except the Greens – or SAP – but you know what I mean). Which ties into Stephen Morris’s oft-repeated points about our political system.

        Picking the lesser of two evils is not the same as endorsing the lesser of two evils. The real brainwashing has been that there’s only two options to pick between – something that both of those options are in absolute lockstep about.

      • Is choosing between dictator 1 or dictator 2 really any different than just having dictator 1 to choose from? What about if dictators 1 and 2 are virtually identical?

      • Sweeper,

        “..What you are saying is not a correct representation of the period at all. ALP were elected during that period largely through fear campaigns and tribalism and LNP disorientation at being outflanked from the right…”

        LOL

        You can’t help yourself can you. Talk about fantasy alternate history.

        The case you need to make is how Keating and his ‘secret’ buddies managed to take over the Party and the union movement which at that point still represented a large chunk of the workforce.

        All brainwashing huh?

        The reason they managed to persuade (read that word carefully as it involves acceptance that most of the public have a brain) the membership and the general public was that what you extremists were offering was on the nose and had been for about 30 years. Which is why of course the ALP had been out of government effectively since 1949.

        Of course to your lot that was no problem because you just got to whinge and blame that on how the general public lacked ‘consciousness’ and/or the CIA.

        Even now 30+ years after the event you have NOTHING to offer other than failed political centralization ideas from the ice age.

        Perhaps if you were offering a real alternative that appealed to the public they would vote for it.

        But nope the best Sweeper can do it is tear down any one suggesting an alternative that does not involve nationalizing the means of production.

      • Not a hard case to make.
        Centralisation of the union movement. First generation of professional unionists like Kelty (with his micro economics training). All of them ambitious.

      • Sweeper,

        Right so now it was Keating AND Kelty that brainwashed the party, the union membership and the ALP base.

        Amazing how brainwashing only works with neoliberal ideology. Especially when we consider how toxic it is and how the whole population according to you hates the stuff.

        What is wrong with you tankies? You should be pushing against an open door.

        Slogans and memes and banging on endlessly are usually your specialty.

        Perhaps you need to do a whip around and find someone who can write a better slogan that really cuts through like those odious neo-liberal ideas seem to do.

        Even better perhaps re-think your model of utopia to accommodate what actually interests people.

      • Pft…

        You still cling to your camps ex ante cornerstones regardless of repetitive historical failures, hence the endless need to externalize them e.g. the money did it, government, voters [broad spectrum ageism aka failed rational agent birth batches], et al….

        This is in full refusal to accept new information and reconcile it wrt the human condition and our understanding of our enviroment and our effect on it.

      • Again 007 what gives you the right to speak on behalf of people?
        How do you know what “people” want?
        I don’t claim to know but I sure as hell know it isn’t what you 3d and Mig want.
        I see you conveniently ignored Smithy’s post. I thought Smithy’s post was very good. Care to comment?

      • Pft…

        Stop with the ex ante rhetorical posturing based on esoteric beliefs about individual wants like they are impervious to environmental conditions e.g. born into vs an informed choice.

      • This is true even in countries like the UK and Australia who are way further down the path than we are.

        That should have been “UK and USA”.

  8. Day after day The Guardian rips away at the “informed centre” with a focus on its handful of chosen issues

    I have no problem with the Guardian selecting AGW as one of its “chosen issues”. It’s the only news outlet that does it, and much respect to them for doing it. On this topic, it is the “informed centre”. Okay, there is a little SJW stuff at The Guardian, but that’s infinitely preferable to The Australian, which runs antiscience denier garbage as lead stories on a regular basis.

    • The point is they ignore the truth and facts when it suits them, just like the Aus. It destroys trust.

    • Look who is on the board.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Salz

      As I posted above you will never here a challenge to the private bankers power to create money in the Guardian, with the Vice chairman of Rothchild on the Board.

      We are not permitted this conversation. The Swiss are.
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-swiss-vote-sovereign/swiss-vote-on-radical-sovereign-money-plan-to-upend-banking-system-idUSKCN1IP1IZ

      You can only maintain an outrageously oppressive system by consent. The Guardian is part of that.

      It is bread and circuses. See EP’s post above.

      • I don’t look to a newspaper to change the way banking is done. That’s for Inquiries and academe to push.

      • Read EPs post. Watch the video. You are missing the point. Academics will say what they are paid to say.

      • “You are missing the point. Academics will say what they are paid to say.”

        Sounds like a market dynamic.

    • The Guardian itself is careful to never read/report anything that might cast doubt on its absolutism. The problem is people like you get all their ‘scientific’ information from the Guardian and consider yourself the supreme source of truth.

      • Well put flawse, ‘absolutism’ is an excellent term. In R2 we see the left in all its impotent angst. In a general sense for the neomarxist left, it’s hard no to see it as a form of projection of personal impotence for entitlements destined to come that were never realised.

      • people like you get all their ‘scientific’ information from the Guardian

        How would you know where I get my scientific information? 😵

        projection of personal impotence for entitlements destined to come that were never realised.

        Say what? I’m a wealthy man … not sure how you’ve decided I’m impotently waiting for entitlements?! 😂

      • In a general sense R2, the angry left are by any global and historical standard richer, healthier and freer than most of history.

      • The only thing I’m angry about is that we’re in the process of going extinct, mostly because of stupidity and vested interests.

        “We are slowly beginning to leave this earth.” (Samuel Beckett)

      • Angry to the point where human institutions of debate and knowledge discovery no longer matter? Angry to the point where the rule of law is incidental to your cause? Angry to the point where others must be made to believe by any method necessary?

        Angry to the point that all discussion is a dumbed down binary that serves the forces of chaos much more than the forces of change? You are the problem.

      • aj…

        Please define this thing you call left, are you talking about social libertarians looking for equal rights in the market place or what.

  9. “* 83% of Americans making less than $50,000 dislike PC; 70% making over $100,000 do.
    * 87% of Americans who never attended college dislike PC; 66% with a grad degree do.”
    Aren’t statistics wonderful – these could just as easily support the hypothesis that stupid people dislike PC and smart people support it …

  10. And yet climate sceptics are denied the right of reply, the very definition of hypocrisy. Thats the funny thing about progessives, they preach tolerance yet are completely intolerant of anyone who disagrees with their world view.

    • The left has a problem with open discussion and the rule of law for sure, but the right has a serious problem with corporate gaslighting and profit before honour. Look at tobacco, sugar and now ecological and carbon science. But that’s the point isn’t it, it’s time for the middle to take back our consensus and sensible politics, to realise we agree on most things and put those that profit from division in the bin.

    • climate sceptics are denied the right of reply

      Nonsense. For years and years they were given the right to reply unfettered, and yet all they could come up with was truthiness and post-modern claptrap along the lines of Tony Abbott’s “feelings matter more than facts“. Eventually, with no scientific support for their “skepticism”, and increasing evidence that their protestations were funded AstroTurfing, they were shut down.

      • BS! I notice you didn’t bother with the papers I recommended the other day! Bit too mathematical for you?

      • Nothing to do with maths. I won’t look at papers already debunked by climate scientists, who have panned your man Roy Spencer repeatedly. He’s affiliated with various conservative fossil fuel-funded think tanks. And Spencer is on the Board of Advisors of the Cornwall Alliance – a religious group that essentially believes God wouldn’t let damaging climate change happen. Spencer has also made some controversial comments, calling those who disagree with him “global warming Nazis” as well as declaring “I love FoxNews” and saying, “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        lol

    • And yet climate sceptics are denied the right of reply, the very definition of hypocrisy.

      ScienceClimate sceptics have had the right of reply since day dot and still the best they can come up with is rehashing of tired, long-refuted ideas and god-of-the-gaps nonsense.

      You’d struggle to find a scientific field in human history that’s been more closely scrutinised than climate change, yet the most powerful argument against it is essentially the size of the error bars.

      Dig down into most climate “sceptics” ideas and what they’re really complaining about is the concept of a global problem requiring a global solution.

      • There’s definitely a bit of that, but i’m wondering if the problem isn’t also to do with the nature of the solutions that generates a sort of irrational backlash in search of a validation. Not once has the problem with greenhouse gasses stopped billionaires from flying big planes, or politicians from driving big cars, or moviestars from buying big boats or industrialists from taking helicopters. There is an elite consensus that the problem is stuff the poor do, like running the lights or heating the house or driving to work or running the farm. In a volume sense this is probably right, but it’s also incredibly convenient for the wealthy elite. For example, when the carbon price was introduced, the rush to rent-seek of this baby from the big end of town was simply incredible. An alternative solution, like a progressive carbon tax didn’t generate anywhere near the excitement.

        That and the fact that there’s a ton of old rich guys/gals making a motza so they can spin that puppy.

      • Abbott wrote in his book Battlelines: “To a conservative, intuition is as important as reasoning; instinct as important as intellect. A way of life has far more demonstrative power to a conservative than a brilliant argument.” So what you feel about an issue is more important to a conservative than what science is telling you. So as Asimov put it, “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Does one have to say anything more?

        BUT
        “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” Aldous Huxley

        So our lives are being controlled by a small group of people who are themselves controlled by greed.

        “I think we’re lucky to be living when we are, because things are going to get worse” Sir David Attenborough, 2013

      • Not once has the problem with greenhouse gasses stopped billionaires from flying big planes, or politicians from driving big cars, or moviestars from buying big boats or industrialists from taking helicopters

        How the hell would you know that? Are you privy to all their personal decisions?

        And wtf difference does it make what the so-called “elite” are doing regarding influencing what society votes for and decides for the future? You seem to have a giant sense of resentment and inferiority vis-a-vis the rich. Get over it.

      • That’s clearly not what i said, or what was meant and i certainly support change on this issue. I do think that without genuine support from the elite, their push for change is looking a little hollow. But once again your capacity to dumb down a debate to simplified binaries is destructive to sensible discussion R2. You may want to look in the mirror to see why political discussion has atrophied.

      • What makes me smile R2, is that you came here, generally berated and abused people that didn’t agree with you, reinforced your own beliefs, didn’t convince a single soul that didn’t already believe, managed to alienate a moderate like me (and others probably) and basically achieved nothing to negative value for your cause. If you don’t think you are part of the problem you are incredibly naive.

      • a moderate like me

        When AGW is discussed, you immediately start on your hobby horse of how the “elite” (by which you seem to mean rich people) have responded. This smacks of envy and an axe to grind. It’s certainly not moderate.

  11. The Traveling Wilbur

    Brilliant article. Great comments. But to put all of the above another way:

    Just because the people have found a voice doesn’t mean those that have to listen to it should. If the Pollies in Australia all acted in the best interests of their country, things would be entirely different.

    • We have to accept that the major parties are corrupted, and vote for high quality independents and minor parties as this puts debate back on the floor of the parliament, and not in some boardroom or academic office.

    • Wino ShinyfaceMEMBER

      that’s the best comment yet – and also really depressing when you think about it

    • I think the problem is that everything is corrupted. The facts are that people vote for ‘what’s in it for me’ We are all corrupted – I have a personal theory that watching TV and the advertising that is on it were a major part in generating the problem – brainwashing on a grand scale.
      Our universities and financial institutions are corrupted by a false dogma that grew out nof a need to justify self – indulgence. This baloney exploded in its effect after the US established itself as the world Reserve Currency.

      • I don’t agree. It’s just the parties have gamed the system to destruction. For example, when the broad based sales tax (GST was introduced) if it wasn’t for the fact that the democrats were there as a block of sensible middle it would never have happened.

    • Your all a bunch of socialists…. some dude said…

      Great too see when the treatment is distributed – equally – the little piggy’s sing…

      • “you are a wanker of the first order… said someone not interested in using the latest trendy language to looker smarter than the average bear”. But fortunately, the C-grade machine is here to save the day, hey.

      • Non sequitur aj…

        Firstly your emotive state is irreverent e.g. the totality of belief is not vindication of it nor does it lend gravitas to it i.e. the power of your feeling toward an ideology is not to be confused with facts nor the antidote of it.

        My point is… many were happy with the ideology as long as they believed they were the apparent admins of it, once that expectation proved false the befuddled acolytes find the cog dis hard to reconcile. Self inflicted wound it would seem, something about not reconciling the distribution vectors in a non determinate language drama.

      • No sh6t w..r. Captain obvious flew by and explained how dressing up a simple statement in cool language makes a man look so much more than C-grade.

      • Sorry buddy, but your personal grading system [????] is a distraction at best or worse a hanfisted attempt to project your emotive state on me – as a form of wandering away from the topic. You seem very aggressive when questioned about certain specifics, hence the vitriol in lieu of a calm direct response.

        Seems to revolve around your personal belief system and the need for it to be – absolute truth – regardless of any evidence to the contrary – because that would mean you would have to totally reevaluate your world view. Not to mention accepting being wrong in some cases, then some are confused about the term inelasticity used in economics or path dependency.

        Just to clarify… there is no public left anymore: share of productivity w/ a side of the commons in the classical sense out side a few mobs like EPI or NEP et al. The populist right wing term left is directed at social libertarians seeking broad public acceptance in the social market place e.g. their not talking about economic matters, rather they seek non conservative social behavior.

  12. I draw two conclusions:
    Politics is a bullshit narrative that has nothing to do with real people.
    Reading The Guardian makes you unhappy.

  13. I dunno: All seems to fit under the broad heading:
    “Change is difficult”, especially if it involves doing things differently.

  14. FiftiesFibroShack

    The Friday article…

    It seems worth contemplating what the MacroBusiness ‘identity state’ is.

  15. “It sees the world in “discourses” of endless and equal value, created and recreated by the power and bias of language. The corollary is that changing language gives you the power to change reality. Thus the labeling of everything becomes the act of empowerment in any movement, as opposed to actually doing something about anything when history comes calling. This obsession with how everything is “represented” versus what it actually is, means the traditional power relationships – capital versus labour – that make up the contest of the centre are lost and politics becomes a fake game of yelling your own “discourse” louder than anybody else’s.”

    This is nothing new, Orwell wrote of newspeak in 1949, and as is always said “History is written by the victors” or in this case by the elites rather than the masses.
    Everything you think you know of what has come before has already been passed through the filter of history.
    Democracy has been unchanged in Australia since federation, and virtually unchanged for centuries in the UK. What has suddenly changed to cause this to only be in the here and now? What makes you think all this didn’t also happen in the past? The filter of history is a powerful thing.
    Compare and contrast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Gz_iTuRMM with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Karate_Kid.
    They are both accounts of the same events through a different filter. Without first hand experience of the events how do you determine which is true?

    • Yeah nah, I suspect we’re entering a post Sovereign era yet we continue to view the development of “our” society through the myopic lens of physical geography. Maybe the new world order is one where groups define their identity on the internet and create a broader global community with or without a dominant sovereign state leading the charge.
      The worlds biggest Corporations have embraced Multi-nationalism, they design in the valley, manufacture in Hsinchu and Shenzen and market globally, all supported by multilingual call centers in third world countries.It’s True trans-nationalism, similarly we have countless Internet groups defining their lives by their narrow shared interest, and in the process inventing a common language supported by a common currency (interestingly one that’s not necessarily exchangeable).
      It’s different, it’s new, it’s a change.
      As I see it Politicians are dividing themselves into two groups, those that will prosper in a post sovereign world and those that are devoted to devouring the carcass of the old world order.

    • I don’t think you are really saying much we don’t know here. But it runs the risk of accepting the ways of the past as the present, when in fact globally violence and violent death is lower than any point in history. Infant mortality and early death have declined to give humans amazing average lifespans. It’s too cynical to say history is just a filter of winners. History is the shared human learning – as you paradoxically prove by linking to an historical account to try and support your point.

      • True but was the East india company merely an extension of the british government and not really any sort of private company at all. Or a truly Independent corporate entity with little or no connection to the sovereign? I have seen both cases made and with no first hand knowledge actually have no idea. Which was my point.
        So what does the shared human learning have to say?

      • There will always be a level of complexity in finding, sifting and analysing historical accounts to formulate that history, but to say there is no possibility of reasonable objective knowledge unless you watched it first hand would be false.

      • I never said objective knowledge was impossible, I said all history is passed through a filter. Everything is passed through a filter.
        How many objective facts have you actually established for yourself? Or do you simply have to believe that what you’ve been told is true?
        Have you seen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truman_Show. Most people I’ve spoken to say it is completely far fetched and they would know if they were in that environment, but the reality is that all that you think you know is what has been told to you by others and if your entire life you had been fed only information either true or not that leads you to have their desired understanding then that is what you’ll have.

      • You’re softening your case, and you’re still denying our capacity for objective truth. Humans are capable of making an honest assessment of what happened at a given point. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy or it isn’t impacted by those that want to distort the facts, but as a whole we can be reasonably comfortable that our institutions and social structures as they stand have the capacity to provide objective answers. That doesn’t mean it’s always the case, or that it isn’t damaged or delayed by corporate or ideological interests from time to time (sugar, tobacco, marxism, third wave feminism etc) but over time and on balance we are able to discern the facts.

        There is obviously a rise in the postmodernist view that all knowledge is subjective and truth is the product of the hierarchy or dominant autocracy, but that is arcane academic theory that fails utility at all practical levels.

  16. Mark Blyth said something along the lines that Twitter is the sweat of the fever that the world is suffering. As annoying as the identity politics from both sides is (I’m always amazed that outlets like the Guardian get heaped with this when other outlets like The Australian megaphone it back thus adding to the distracting nature of it) it isn’t the cause of our ills. Getting rid of it tomorrow would be great, yet there would still be a lot of anger within the community and no real push for substantial and benificial change from most of the bodies that are meant to shepherd the community. Talking past the nonsense and focusing on the fundamentals of what is wrong, what can be done and how it helps people to do it is more effective than arguing with someone over something a Van Badham or a Miranda Devine has written.

    • +1. The start is to recognise that paid controversialists like Alan Jones and Clem Ford, are there to create chaos for those that benefit directly from it. The vast majority would benefit from consensus building and nuanced discourse with a view to facilitating solutions.

  17. For me, smaller players like MB and Quillette are fare more educational and important than any of the mainstream nonsense. Certain people like nuance and exploring the grey areas in policy, economics, philosophy etc. Places like this give me hope that things can change….you gentlemen have done remarkably well in helping change the Zeitgeist of Australian economic, political and dietary orthodoxy….much respect and keep up the important work.

  18. Good write up. This is why I continue to read MB rather than any mainstream media propaganda sites like ABC, fairfax, news etc. which have no balance whatsoever.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Yes, good piece Dave,…motivated me to re Subscribe from the Plumbers CoOp car park.
      Better go andcearn some money my self now.

  19. Symbolic issues that can be captured in a sound bite vs real complex systems that really affect everyone’s lives. Words rather than action; we live in an age where the ability to talk/argue is valued over what value you can actually deliver. Don’t get me wrong – the Western World not just Australia has this sickness; we forgot what it took to get us to this successful position. That includes the sacrifices, the morality and ideals we had to get us here.

    I’ve personally experienced this from young people; when I talk about an issue they mention that there are better issues to be angry about and start to mention the symbolic issues of identity politics that really won’t affect their lives much or nearly have as much impact. Critical thought and curiosity is disappearing sadly.

  20. “The Republican Party under Trump “has become the party of white people, and the Democrats increasingly are the party of minorities – that’s not a good outcome”
    Disagree with this, and the fallacy of this assumption is the reason why the Democrats lost the election. They assumed they had the vote of minorities, based on the assumption that all minorities saw themselves as victims in need of Democrat “protection”. But the election results show that the five US States with the largest proportion of black voters, all went to Trump. It turns out that many minority voters believe in self-determinism after all.

    • But the election results show that the five US States with the largest proportion of black voters, all went to Trump.

      Do you need a worked example to understand why this doesn’t support your conclusion ?

  21. Cost IndexMEMBER

    “Fukuyama says that the rise of the angry Trump-led right is partly a reaction against the excesses of the left.”

    Precisely. I’ve said this before, the alt-right is the lefts baby, they just won’t accept it

    • Absolutely. Pauline Hanson was a product of the aggressive left activists that tried to shut her down, they threw the urine and they made her. Pauline’s base racism would have been easily dismissed with thoughtful rebuttal and her issues for small business, regions and outsize economic migration were worth listening to.

      And in reality, this is probably what the left activists actually really want, they want a fight, they are not looking for incremental improvements, or to build on the success of the past. They are the disaffected middle class, that want to attack every hierarchical norm whether good or bad, whether sound or not to recast the world in a mythical postmodern academic fantasy tied with all that frees them from any form of responsibility for their own actions.

      • And the left will lose… badly

        Sadly the far left’s tool and weapon of choice is Social Media, Cardboard signs and through social arbitrary constructs…

        Just looking at America, most of the right wingers are more prone to violence and if the current third wave feminism continue its blind rage to put down any men with power, it will come onto a full blown civil war over there. Most military men are center right…law makers are also towards center right it seems, heck the POTUS is deep in the right wings and he’s creating more divide indirectly every day as more and more left wingers absolve towards the far left… but the neutral men are slowly seeing Trump’s side of things with how feminism over there has labelled every men who’s not proclaimed their feminist biased to be an enemy or potential enemy…

        Based on the current things and barring impeachment, Trump will get re-elected, I believe he will win a lot of men’s votes, specifically the middle class white men in the next election.

      • Again please unpack what this left thing is… besides some contrived notion that has some sort of super natural powers to beguile everyone into doing the wrong thing.

      • So the arrogant false roo has finally turned up for a brawl in C-grade to shut the discussion down. Never made the grade in A, was ok in B he says, but still loves a blue how predictable. This is not an entry point to discussion skip, it’s a pretext for you to rehash a complex debate with arcane language that disappears up it’s own rear, and more importantly provides the platform for you to use many long words and engage in self aggrandisement and abuse consistent with someone with a low level mental disorder.

        For the record, the context used is in its parochial sense, consistent with the forum and well understood by those reading that reflects a set of values and ideas and behavioural norms that are consistent with the discussion. It is deliberately a simplified term to enable brief and reasonably light-hearted discussion.

      • Ahh sh6t, sorry mate – did I rain on your showoff parade. Don’t sweat it, there’s plenty more chance s for you to be king… of nowhere land

      • So rather than answer a simple request to define a key aspect of your argument your resorting to sophist argumentation which broaches ideological dogma virtue signaling…

        How academic of you…

      • Your question was answered – you just couldn’t cope with the answer because it didn’t give you the platform for the biffo you need. At least be honest and admit it wasn’t a question it was part of your standard model to allow you to release your inner w…r.

      • What is your ideological bias confirmation on the definition of left in this specific point in time and how do you quantify it. Saying left without any means to evaluate how you arrive at it is meaningless…

        Unless its a tool to set up imaginary strawmen to attack…

      • And nock me down with a feather here we are playing your deads6t game of fight fight fight. Love it when the coulda-beens come to C-grade to give their ego a refresher. The C-grade machine, the quintessential w..r.

      • What a load of complete subjective drivel.

        Answer the question or not but just don’t compound error.

      • Or… it’s just a colloquial term that has sufficient meaning in the context used to allow normal humans to communicate in an informal forum. Lol.

      • What! You’re not here to flash the ego and get a good fight – lol pull the other one mate. If it wasn’t me it would be another C-grader getting the treatment. As long as it helps you feel better, we understand A grade is bloody hard (pros are even harder) and most of those blokes are pretty bloody good. It’s hard to take for a coulda-been.

      • I did. It’s just not the answer you want because it’s not a platform for the big blue you want. How disappointing, that’s not what the coulda-beens come to C-grade for lol.

      • Where… I don’t see anything the begins to quantify what you think is left, you just say it.

        Not to mention that those banging on about the left are obviously talking from the right sphere e.g. your bias is to the right.

        Hence neoliberal.

      • That sort of desperation for a fight is a little embarrassing – if it helps I’ll admit you are one smart cookie that has the goods on all of us. Def not C-grade material, as evidenced by all the great fights you win. Haha, it’s late, night roo.

      • Asking for specific information about a term used broadly is not picking a fight, its a request to insure others understand exactly what your saying. Others taking it as an act of aggression is beyond my control.

      • Perhaps, but you are not asking for more information, you are building a platform to indulge in abuse and derogatory language. That, skip, is your standard model. I searched the news this morning and found over 100 references to ‘left wing’ across MSM, journals and independent media, so it clearly has a known meaning. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t deconstruct it as having inherent biases etc, but it also means that it does have a functional utility that sits above a micro-deconstruction.

        If you stopped being so abusive and nasty, then you probably might even add to the discussion, heaven forbid. But really that’s not what you’re here for is it. You’re here to fight, because…

  22. “right-wing identity politics. Muslims are terrorists and must be banned from entry; Mexicans are rapists and must be sealed off behind a wall; women are objects that can be grabbed by the pussy; and the Ku Klux Klan aren’t really all bad.”

    Pathetic drivel.

    The screams of the few, amplified by globalist marxist media, are simply being crowded out by the majority sensible vote.

    Screech on neuterdude-ite.

    Embrace the corpse you’ve killed, and howl for prosperity of times past you’ve vilified.

    • Media is owned by corporatists seeking profit and forwarding whatever rolls around in their heads e.g. how does one confuse that with Marxism.

  23. Jumping jack flash

    The problem is human nature.
    We are humans, ruled by humans and humans are inherently lazy and greedy.

    This leads to corruption, and corruption leads to destruction because a system can’t support corruption for any long length of time.
    We are quickly approaching peak corruption (legal corruption, but corruption none the less), and the system is straining under the weight. The system was never designed to be doing the things it is doing, and it is only doing them out of human laziness and greed.

    But on the other hand, if we were ruled by robots that probably wouldn’t be a very good thing either, because they would probably quickly realise we are inherently useless and enslave us all to cultivate and harvest our organic compounds and thermal properties.

    So what’s the answer? Is there even an answer? Is the cycle of civilisation doomed to repeat for us as it did for the Aztecs and Romans, and what would be the effect of that since we are essentially a globalised civilisation now?

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Yes Anglophone Feminism really has become a Privilaged White middle class womens racquet,…not unlike the Masonic order,…if you dont know the secret handshake,…fk you, your not in tge club.