What will it take for Australia to revolt?

US broadcasting legend, Larry King, says we should already be reaching for the revolver, at The Australian:

Veteran newsman Larry King has attacked Australia’s draconian freedom-of-speech laws, saying he would “react with violence” if police raided his home in a bid to identify the source of a story.

The American broadcaster, who hosted the eponymous Larry King Live on CNN for a quarter of a century, called on Scott Morrison to introduce legislation ­properly protecting whistleblowers and journalists, describing them as the cornerstone of a ­robust democracy.

King said he was outraged to learn Australian Federal Police had raided the home of News Corp Australia reporter Annika Smethurst and the ABC’s Sydney headquarters in June, in a crackdown on public interest reporting reliant on whistleblowers.

“I am not a violent person but, if that had happened to me, I would have reacted with violence,” the 85-year-old told The Australian.

Meanwhile, Marxism fantacist, Guy Rundle, says its inevitable at Crikey:

Nearly 10 years ago, the series of uprisings known as the Arab Spring began — triggered by outrage at corruption, Wikileaks revelations, the self-immolation of Tunisian vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi and, above all, mobilisation in Cairo. The first uprising substantially entwined with social media — the then-relatively new Twitter and Facebook — ensuring the event rapidly globalised.

As the journalist Paul Mason noted, by this point the world was thronged with newly-minted graduates — products of the long boom, whose futures were now cancelled by the 2008 crash. The disjuncture had created a fatal gap within which absolute demands for recognition and justice could form.

From Greece to Occupy to the Arab Spring, such malcontents had formed a new class in their own right, less likely to stoically accept a tightening of conditions than beaten-down workers and peasants. The new class could come together thanks to two newish things — the smartphone and social media — which in turn shaped their resistant identity.

Now, the world is rising up again. From Lebanon to Chile to France to Hong Kong people are in the streets. But this time it’s not principally or even significantly this new class; its gone one stage down to the old-fashioned working class.

In France it began with the gilets jaunes, protesters of a fuel tax, who had donned the safety vest that all French drivers have to carry in their car boot. They were angry that Macron’s elite government, who were flying everywhere, had imposed a tax which took many to the edge of solvency, and then airily spoke about climate change.

In Chile, the first neoliberal society — the wisdom of Hayek and Friedman imposed with death squads — the cause has been a hike in subway fares; in Ecuador, it’s the withdrawal of fuel subsidies. And in Lebanon the protests were triggered over taxes on use of the WhatsApp messaging system.

It would be easy to mistake these for old-fashioned middle class tax revolts (and I’m sure the IPA will), but something else is clearly going on. Governments with both a shrinking revenue base due to the mobility of capital, and with debt increasingly weighing upon them, are turning to easily applicable “life taxes” to fill the gap. These fall on workers and are better seen as a wage cut than a tax rise. For many, such taxes carve into their basic ability to live anything other than a “bare” life.

This sudden shift in peoples’ willingness to put up with the slow stagnation of their conditions is yet another sign that the decade-long period of “quantitative easing” has ended, and the effects of that are beginning to be felt. There was no real recovery after 2008; simply money pumped in vast quantities, much of it hoarded by its recipients (beneficiaries of bond buy-backs), and inflating prices on the real conditions of life. The money that did trickle down pooled into the easiest channels; start ups with no revenue base or realistic business plan, and consumer franchises.

…What happens next? This wave will eventually crash across the Anglosphere when all the Trump-Brexit bluster is revealed as such. And of course the ethno-nationalist right will adapt it to their own, more lethal, ends.

And in Australia? Should a major reversal hit this place, watch out. The hidden contradictions here are greater than elsewhere. Our traditions of mass protest are sleeping, but not yet dead. Politics, like economics, is a matter of time. That time comes when you can only live by changing life; a point that is reached when you can’t buy a tram ticket; when your life is weighed in the scales that have been taken from you.

I wish. Liberalism needs a reboot. As much to escape the totalitarian clutches of globalists like Rundle as it does to dodge the ethno-nationalist right”. Both are the enemy of progress.

But we have no history of mass protest worthy of the name to point to.

David Llewellyn-Smith

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

  1. It’s embarrassing to say it but Australians are largely servile as a people. We whinge momentarily then accept whatever is served up. The ‘she’ll be right’ approach to life makes us so easy to govern.

    The French are much better in this regard, if the government steps out of line they go berserk & ransack the joint.

    • Maybe the mainstream news organisations in France don’t only publish what the government wants them to.
      A big reason Bill Shorten did not win was that he wouldn’t make a deal with Murdoch.

      • No — the reason he didn’t win was because of his policies and that people didn’t like him. But hey, let’s blame Murdoch for everything instead….

    • Ironically most Australians will pot the French for being weak as p1ss yet when was the last time they lobbed a rock at a riot copper or torched a couple of cars? Fvcken never. Too busy, The Blocks on.

    • Australians are without a doubt some of the dumbest people I have met.

      Conversely they also think they are the smartest people in the world.

      Sure there are pockets of smart people in OZ, and plenty of idiots abroad – but on the whole it is a deeply unintelligent place.

      I think one of the worst aspects of the stupidity is the self congratulatory self indulgence of the inner city urban elite. Truly the absolute epitome of feckless wonders. Just mind boggling levels of stupidity all glossed over with an almost hysterical devotion to political correctness that leaves no need or requirement for any facts, education, reason, ration, debate or logic. Just hysterical devotion to absurd social just campaigns.

      I have come to the conclusion that Sam Harris, Peters, Chomsky, Hitchens belief in religion as an evolutionary manifestation – it can take on many forms, sinfulness is not restricted to the lords book.

      Its like a modern Temperance movement.

      The rurals don’t get off either – their denial of global warming and devotion to the LNP is disgusting its deep profound stupidity.

      ..

      • “Conversely they also think they are the smartest people in the world” is a common trait amongst the stupid people. Other common traits are Confidence and Arrogance. The confidence arises from the lack of understanding of the complex underlying variables in anything. As long as the house prices keeping going up , we are a happy bunch. Hey, we have also highest per capita wealth in the world and all because of our houses and not income or education

      • English speaking nations are stupid because they believe that land should go up in price every year.

        Japan has had a shrinking population since 2009 and it is doing fine with all the digital camera exports and other exports.

        Portugal has less people now than it did in 2001. In 2015, Germany had less people than it did in 1995.

        NZ, AU, USA, Canada, Britain are insane.

      • Absolutely spot on Genghis

        The average Australian these days is an Apathetic idiot who genuflects at the slightest hint of authoritative power.

        I think the problem mostly stems from the 20 year growth thing and the continuing circle jerk of “how good is Straya!”. We’ve been too spoilt for too long and this has allowed the powers that be to pick our pockets and curtail freedoms incessantly because we’ve been stupified by house prices, six figure mining jobs, annual trips to bali, tattoos, the block, married at first sight etc. The masses are being looted but they’re too stupid to realise.

        Hence why a recession or serious downturn would have a silver lining. Only some sort of serious existential crisis will people in this country actually wake up and maybe, just maybe, start pushing for real progress. I’m not holding my breathe though.

    • It was not always so. The mass protests in Australia that were called the Vietnam moratorium marches, stopped our involvement in that war. I was in the thick of it. It happened, and it worked.

      • That was well before Australian society experienced turbocharged immigration from an assortment of countries that do not have Judeo-Christian values and along with Neo-Liberalism act to atomize society to an extent where organized, serious rebellion on a large scale is nigh on impossible.

      • It’s easy to protest something that you see as foreign. Aussies have virtually no sense of introspection.

        • Our 20 yr olds of which I was one were being conscripted and sent over there against our will. 500 died. This was very personal mate!

          • And that’s a horrible thing, but the Australian people today have rationalized Vietnam as slavishly following US policy.

          • Were you conscripted and ‘sent to Vietnam’? I believed Conscripts could not be forced to serve overseas from those WW1 referendum.
            TD

          • I visited Vietnam it is a great country now despite the evil communists who won then made a great country and also invaded cambodia freeing the people from Pol Pot.
            Pol Pot was communist, Vietnam was Communist yet they took out Pol Pot hmmmm! Maybe just maybe the word communist is being used to miss represent evil when in fact it totally depends on the people governing not the headline.
            I personally am a capitalist for individuals/ small business and a moderate socialist in terms of corporations. The reason we do not protest is we have been conditioned to believe in extreme capitalism as the norm not as an exception that needs to be reigned in and controlled. Having individual Billionaires controlling the world and media as we currently have is asking for trouble. ie; climate change.

      • That was 50-60 years ago. The average 30 year old doesn’t know how to get off the sofa, let alone paint a placard.

        I’ve got more hope in 15 year olds than the adults.

        • Yeah, that was a different generation. I think they have a nickname, What was it? Oh, yeah, that’s right, they are the Boomers!

  2. Australians are being totally indoctrinated – it was impossible to find a news in Australia about over one million people on streets of Santiago
    Even Huxley would get goosebumps after seeing what happened here – we live in new uber brave world

    • Correct. The first thing to do is to overthrow the media status quo. Once people stop believing the publishers of press releases and the spin doctors other things will follow. Once they start asking how people like Liz Allen, Innes Willox and the band of usual suspect “economists” lead the discussion and debate they will begin to wake. Anger usually follows the realisation that you have been systematically lied to by the ideological and self interested. Most Australians have not yet realise that the Wizard behind the curtain is a corrupt media in bed with the finance, banking, speculation and real estate cartel that are driving the great population Ponzi. The hard to understand aspect is how the radical left threw in with the establishment to promote mass immigration. This has been an intentional strategy augmented by some really cynical manipulators and the white noise it creates prevents the truth about our “economy” and cost to our society from being known. That with the police state tactics of the last decade open up the possibility of truly frightening violence. If it happens the MSM should be held accountable for creating the conditions in which it fermented.

      • Great comments :). Our media is carefully constructed and manipulated to the design of the world order led by USA & Israel. The news radio headlines/ news which broadcast hourly often repeated twice per hour as well as the news breaks/ main news on tv broadcasting the same message 20 times per day are the brainwashing tool. It is not true that if you don’t like it turn it off, radio & tv is often broadcast publically or at a friends or customers property or at work.

        My number one example of this is when 6PR in Perth broadcast the headline for days maybe 50 times or more in total; “north korea launches nuclear ballistic missile over Japan”. A total lie and spin of events. It was fired between a straight of 2 islands traveling almost in space and certainly did not contain an armed warhead. North korea cannot launch a long range missile unless it goes over another country’s territory due to its geographical location. It does not matter what side you are on it is simple, the media must tell the unbiased truth.

        • You might want to consider the biases of the people you are reading if you really think
          “the design of the world order led by USA & Israel.”

          • LOL,
            now if you said being orchestrated by multinational corporations and the wealthy that control them, then I might get behind it.
            70+ years later and the jews are still being used as a distraction quite successfully.

          • This is the problem the lack of common sense in debates. I am not the media or the mass media which is what I am referring to so your point of bias makes no sense. My parents are one jewish/ christian so I don’t base this on bias I base this on Murdoch/ Fox/ CNN/ Sorus/ Facebook the list goes on of the worlds media and finance owned and operated by Israeli supporters most also being USA citizens. A debate between Fox and CNN is a loaded debate they create 2 sides of any argument for the masses to choose from neither argument being the actual truth.

          • OMG! Can you guys not understand a simple thing? It’s the media who should be impartial not me ffs! This is a conversation not a media broadcast. Why can’t people think laterally… Ummm!, cause they have been brainwashed so much spin in their lives they don’t know up from down.

            USA & Israel have been invading countries and creating terrorist cells to fight governments. Our media tells about 5% of the truth as to what USA is really doing.

          • Kodiac: How many people on Fox news which is like one third of the USA media in terms of attention and views have a left wing agenda? How many talk down the republican party often? Probably like 1 to 5% of their journalists if any. What does this tell you?

            What percentage of the German population did the nazi party need to brainwash to take power?

            Answer: A minority. You only need to brainwash a minority and the rest will follow.

      • Settle down old boy spittle was hitting my face from here you could do yourself a mischief Keep calm man all is under control

      • Yeah …. nah. Agree about the manipulative conflicted media bit. I think many people realise how captured and corrupt the media is but accept it as business as normal as it facilitates rising property prices. So cog dis on a major scale. I expect better from you Clive. 🙂

        • Sorry to disappoint – must be my lumbago…

          I’lll dig a bigger hole and see if it helps…

          Because, what is the break-even point between property prices and declining standard of living and amenity? Most can also see the environmental stupidity of Big Australia but go along for the sake of the media edifice called ‘The Economy’. But The Economy has taken over ‘The Community’ and one realisation is sure to grow despite all the Soma, Kool Aid and cognitive dissonance – that we don’t live in an economy. It is wresting the fate of community, society and public values away from self-appointed social engineers and making it a democratic process where the challenge is. The biggest cognitive dissonance is that we have a democratic process at present when we have a duopoly that needs to be put to the knife.

      • I get a laugh when the talking heads arch up about voter dissatisfaction and disinterest with the political parties. Guess what; it’s what they want! If you’re interested in what they do, they have to give sh1t. If no one cares and switches off, the cvnts have got free reign to do all sorts of sh1t and it’s your own fault you got your a$$ reamed by a gimp b1tch.

    • Not Sheeple – frogs.

      Remember if you throw a frog into boiling water, it will immediately jump out.
      If you slowly raise the temperature, the frog doesnt notice it and that’s how you boil a frog.

      This is what has happened to Australia. The people are slowly having their rights eroded away and we haven’t noticed.

      Meet the new Australian. Apathetic mortgage slaves.

  3. If these turds read between the lines just a bit they’d realise that the cause of all this unrest is:

    Inflation (not DEflation which we are constantly being told to fear). Re-read the above piece for confirmation.

    It’s on the march and it will wash up on these shores shortly. And its chief cause is 10 years of unconventional monetary policy. And now QE is starting up again …. soon to be followed by MMT, UBI etc.

    QE and cheap credit is the main cause of wealth inequality and it’s the chief cause of declining standards of living. Just saying …
    The media unfortunately do not understand economics so they rely on MS economists to feed them information which they dutifully regurgitate without ever understanding what it is they’re publishing — and so the public are ‘educated’ by complete ignoramuses.

  4. Representative Democracy’s greatest achievement.
    As long as people think that voting for the right team will fix thing, then there is absolutely no reason to revolt. We just need to vote right next time.
    So what will it take for australia to revolt?
    Complete collapse in belief in democracy.

      • H’n’H and the commentariat of this blog isn’t even there, yet they understand the problems far better than most.
        Australia as a whole is so far from there you can’t even see it.

  5. When it happens to a respected journalist, rather than a gender-hire from the ABC.

    Most people know this is wrong, however they despise the ABC due to their bias, they regard this as the lesser of two evils…. Stupidly, the punter’s problem is they think they can reverse this when .gov oversteps the line again.

    Then you need a second amendment to claw it back, and we are amongst the most disarmed people in the world. Tyranny needs a disarmed populace, ergo, we deserve the tyranny we will end up getting.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      If you want to get a true view of how out of touch the ABC is now, do their Australia Talks survey and look at the results in the end. The dreamer bias is astounding. The number of stories they are currently running off the back of their bias data is quite amusing, They are putting forward supposed Australian Views of the population on all type of stuff such as the views of Aussies on migrants and if they make enough effort to fit in. Supposedly 50% think they do. Of course they think that, because the survey is really just capturing the view of those brainwashed by the ABC/SBS etc on how great the Vibrants are… In fact that 50% of that group think that the vibrants are NOT doing enough, shows just how badly we have screwed up our society by allowing anyone in the door and allowing them to go sit in their own slums rather than forcing them to speak the language and pay some taxes.

      • WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

        I really wondered how much of that survey was a feedback loop of ABC viewers/listeners. I was extremely suspicious of the results, it doesn’t seem representative

        • John Howards Bowling Coach

          It is a natural feedback loop as their sample is purely taken from their own viewer/reader base.

  6. Australians are only interested in protesting US gun laws. They don’t have the balls for anything else.

  7. Include the family home in the pension asset test. I guarantee you there will be protest on the street everywhere.

    • +1, We are a country that allows a rich person to live on Bondi beach in $2 million home & transfer the wealth to the kids via a trust or whatever then get a pension. Meanwhile an old lonely lady has to live miles away from a hospital or their family and survive on baked beans and no aircon on the same pension.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    Everyone is far too busy repaying debt, or trying to obtain the debt that is now required to succeed, to revolt.

    Income and saving simply is not enough for the average person to obtain the things they need. Debt is required, and an enormous amount of it.

    And those who don’t have or need debt are far too busy living the dream, cashed up on someone else’s debt, to notice that anything is wrong.

  9. John Howards Bowling Coach

    It seems that even having the CCP voted into parliament in the form of Gladys Liu is not enough to get the average Aussie to revolt, what a disgustingly apathetic bunch of fence sitting whiners we are. Get some passion for the nation Aussies, you are fast losing it.

  10. White Northern European’s are averse to interpersonal conflict, so much so, someone could take a crap on their desk and they’d sit there and do nothing.

  11. 1. The CCPis the majority in Parliament so be happy we lucky enough to have a press at all!!
    2. Agree when at last (and it will) the depression hits there will be protests in heaps and spades the Unions will come back with a vengeance. As usual we are late to the party and (judging by streets in Phuket) the last to leave, but boy do AUssies party once they get going.

  12. US broadcasting legend, Larry King, says we should already be reaching for the revolver

    Revolver? Doesn’t he mean revolvers? Who only has one revolver?

  13. I’ve always admired Larry King. Even more so now.

    Can we start a Go Fund Me to bring him to Aus and appear on all the lousy shows like A Current Affair, Today Tonight as well as the Project and the ABC and the rest of the MSM.
    We need the more right wing conservative of voters to hear a bastion of American media talk about how bad this is and many of them watch ACA and TT.

  14. well, about two weekends links ago, Djenka explained what can happen and Australia will still not revolt. Anyone care to dig it go ahead. Not last but one before last weekend links. LOL
    Otherwise, I am not sure what needs to happen for us to revolt.

      • Or an increase in unemployment
        … which is more likely to lead to increased racism due to “foreigners stealing our jobs!” rather than the government being held to account for decades of barely controlled immigration.

  15. To Tonydd. Yep, conscripts definitely went to Vietnam. I was lucky my marble did not come out of the barrel in that obscene lottery. Not all conscripts went away, but around half of the blokes that I knew, who got called up did.