Fake Left and Fake Right in furious fake war

The Fake Right is appalled at the Fake Left, from Alexander Downer at the AFR:

My message is simple. All good people have to rally to support liberal democracy against those who are now destroying it.

Several years ago I was having lunch with Peter Carrington. He had been both the British foreign secretary and the defence secretary and in the 1950s was the high commissioner in Canberra. We were deep in discussion about the political events of the time. Then he said something which startled me. He said I shouldn’t assume that liberal democracy would last forever. It would struggle to survive. I argued with him saying that I was sure it would survive.

But these days for the first time in my life I’ve started to wonder. The drift away from the traditions of liberalism which have underwritten Western societies – and many beyond – are being seriously challenged.

Liberal democratic societies are not just about democratically held elections. As important is the commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and most importantly of all the equal value of all human beings regardless of class, race, gender and sexuality. This whole concept of the equality of humanity has its roots in Christianity.

These characteristics of liberal democracies are fundamental to political stability. People are allowed to campaign for any manner of different causes as long as they do so within the laws made by democratic institutions. They are allowed to express all sorts of opinions and to use what language they wish.

And they are allowed to protest, as well as deface a few statues if they wish and are prepared to wear any resulting criminal actions.

The Fake Left movement underway may be preoccupied with symbols over substance but so has been the Fake Right for many years. Since the 1990s, Coalition Governments have been far more interested in exactly the same, pursuing culture wars and racial-baiting, backed by their media supporters, as the real seat of power shifted from liberalism to oligarchy.

Under their watch, market economics transformed from the utilitarian to the rentarian. Public good economics became autocratic businessomics. Meritocracy became kleptocracy. Competition became the Game of Mates.

As economic regulation loosened, social regulation tightened via symbolic attacks on everything from Reconciliation to free speech and refugees.

The Coalition transformed from a sensible centre national interest political party into vertical market media gangsterism, equipped with a closed-loop of logic that constantly quoted itself in a sympathetic press while fantasising that it was somebody else.

The Fake Left was always going to figure out eventually that it needed to do the same if it was going to compete. Eventually, it did, and now we have two competing vertical market media gangs that compete for hearts and minds with closed-loops of logic that constantly quote themselves while fantasising that it is somebody else.

So far as I can tell, they are as bad as each other. Neither side addresses the forces of production and how they are distributed. Neither addresses broader equality, social and generational economic exclusion. Both accept that corporations rule the world while pretending otherwise.

It’s not that single-issue politics does not have its place. It does. But when it supplants sensible center politics then your society and its power relationships are, by definition, confined to fighting over the marginal.

As Karl Marx might say, both are obsessed with the irrelevance of the superstructure of capitalism while the base, where all of the power lies, watches on getting ever richer, more entrenched, and anonymous.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    “Both accept that corporations rule the world while pretending otherwise.“

    If it’s not run and directed by the Working class then it’s not fking “Left”
    What we get served up as a Political Left/Right dichotomy is nothing more than a social conservative v progressive factional battle waged by competing interests within our Ruling plutocratic oligarchy.
    They have turned our democracy into a fking culture warring Game of Wankers

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        It’s a subject party leaders and apparatchiks clearly avoid but amongst the rank and file it is often discussed.
        As I’ve pointed out many times before the leadership of all the major parties do not want a too large and unruly rank-and-file membership base Who would demand greater oversight of their activities and policy decision-making.
        They want just enough heads to turn up on election day to hand out leaflets.
        I have never seen a serious recruitment campaign for new members by any political party yet a membership base of 500,000 people instead of labours current 55,000 people would eliminate most of their funding issues but it means the establishment types that run the party would lose a large measure of their control and influence over the process of party policy decision-making.
        The leaders of any institutional structure will become self-serving and corrupted if not constantly held to scrutiny and democratic account,… from within.

        Greater real democracy is the only solution.

        • and that old son, in a [few] words is why I never signed up. As a kid (meaning 20’s) in early ’70’s I was courted by WA Labor but walked away as I could see the – what I now understand as the progressive intersectionality and globalist BS – beginning …

          took the view that if this what Labor was about, didn’t even bother with LNP and every minor party iteration ever since has been a profound disappointment. At some point along the line decided to just look after me and mine … ashamed to admit it but there you are ….

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        About 60 to 80% of the population in my view.

        The clear majority in all western democracies.

        Much propaganda is expended to have people “identify” with not being working class when they really really are.
        It’s a Branding and Consumerism thing I suppose

        Simply having the “Socialist” institution of Medicare removed and replaced with the American system would have hundreds of thousands of Australians realising just how middle class they fcvking aren’t,…Every year.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          These are just vague motherhood statements you use so that you can point to anyone you don’t like and say, essentially, “you’re not working class so you’re wrong”.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Now that’s a somewhat more useful definition, though it likely excludes a boatload of (retired) people who were working class and may not exactly be living the high life. Probably *includes* a lot of multi-IP owning Howard’s Battlers who I expect Ermo doesn’t count as “working class” either.

    • Australian middle class has had the “wealth effect” of high house prices thrust upon them. I’m inner city Brunswick, Carlton, Fitzroy type person – I grew up in a hard core ALP house hold with several members directly in local, state, federal politics.

      The wealth effect from high house prices has pushed the wealthy inner city middle class into this repugnant bourgeois self aggrandizing identity politics of morality – thats the left. They don’t worry about putting a meal on the table, school fees, or anything like that. Its all trips to Italy, Bali, New York, renovations, and chuck it all on the equity – their parents all own several Victorian workers cottages in inner city Melbourne that they live in rent free – and then chastise everyone for not being “left wing” and anti-racist.

      Thats left wing – not racist, not sexist, not bigoted about anything – morally perfect, with the only debate to be had is voting ALP or Greens – anyone who questions migration being a racist.

      High house prices have a lot to answer for.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        No they haven’t. As even a cursory perusal of the policies page will show.

        If you’re saying the only thing you hear on the news from the Greens is complaining about racism, well, maybe you should consider who’s creating the news.

        • Yes they absolutely have. I was an active member of the Greens (the type to turn up to local meetings and also hit the pavement for them) for a long while, left in disgust because ANY discussion of limiting immigration was branded racist, and any person that opened their mouth on the issue censured.

          They are a despicable party and as far away from an environmental party, thanks to their approach to immigration, as you can get. Sustainable Australia are 10x better for the environment than the Greens.

          Not one single point (of 34) on their Immigration policy page relates to decreasing immigration or linking overpopulation to environmental damage, almost all 34 relate to expanding access to Australia and more rights for people to come. https://greens.org.au/policies/immigration-and-refugees

          • I don’t know if that’s fair. The Greens used to talk about limiting population for environmental reasons and so the Liberals launched a wedge attack by calling them racist (this was right around the time Pauline Hanson and One Nation entered the national spotlight). So the Greens (rightly or wrongly) decided to pick their battles, presumably calculating that they would be less likely to have a chance to push their environmental/human rights agenda if the “racist” label actually stuck. And while these days they may not actively agitate for explicit cuts in immigration numbers (they seem to prefer talking about what they are for, rather than what they are against), they do make it abundantly clear that they are against bringing in low-wage workers on temporary visas to compete with Australian workers. From the very page you linked to, as number one in their list of “Aims” it says:

            “The Australian Greens want:
            1. A permanent migration program for refugees and migrants to Australia that prioritises family reunion and humanitarian entrants…”

            “Permanent” and “prioritises family reunion and humanitarian”!!!

            And most of the rest of the page is really about refugees/asylum seekers. Nowhere does it say anything about opening the borders to workers. In fact the only mention of workers says they want:

            “5. Skilled migration programs that do not substitute for training or undermine wages and conditions in Australia.”

            And:

            “6. Consistent, timely and fair processes to assess the qualifications of skilled migrants permanently settling in Australia.”

            Edit: Forgot to say refugees is but a fraction of overall immigration. In fact family reunion has a limit of 60,000-odd per year so if you add the 10,000 or humanitarian visas you get around 70,000 permanent visas (and no/few temporary visas, remember), or about the number called for by MB.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Yes they absolutely have. I was an active member of the Greens (the type to turn up to local meetings and also hit the pavement for them) for a long while, left in disgust because ANY discussion of limiting immigration was branded racist, and any person that opened their mouth on the issue censured.

            Yeah, nah. I’d be pretty comfortably putting a pineapple down on that being bullsh!t given your general alt-r1ght/wh1te national!st commentary.

            Most environmental issues facing Australia are tenuously linked to immigration, at best.

          • Reply to “First”
            Your argument is Green weaselling.
            They do not lower overall immigration by being against “temporary-visas”, they maximise it by being for permanent visas being offered in preference, and converting temporary visas to permanent.
            Similarly, by making no callout to overall migration numbers, and reducing them, or linking immigration to environmental damage, their efforts to BOOST access to Australia, just as I said, are clear.
            If you swap temporary visas, for more permanent, while leaving off mention of reducing overall immigration, whilst spending most of the policy text on re-iterating they’d expand access to partner, family, parental, refugee (etc) type visas it is a policy in total, of increasing or maintaining high migration, not reducing it.

            Again I was a paying active local member & donor (across three divisions as I moved), and my characterisation of the party is correct as I experienced it, and their policy page in line with my characterisation here. And if anyone doubts the Green stance on expanding rights to migration go argue it should be curtailed with one of their members or elected officials.. as I have – you will have no misunderstanding after witnessing their response.

  2. Don’t know what happened to my first comment…but agree 100%. Our entire society is being financialised, homogenised and corporatised by fiancier parasites to enrich themselves.

  3. migtronixMEMBER

    I’m not sure they complete anything much less hearts and minds. I’m going to give Ermo a stiffy but of the past 25 years of LNP media dominance it was ALP that gave us the first female PM, dragged LNP kicking and screaming to SSM (last time I looked it hasn’t destroyed hetero marriages) and the banks royal commission.

    LNP gives us debt and high level mega corruption…

  4. NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

    How about we concentrate on fixing the inequity of the system by enforcing a livable minimum wage, improving free education and free health care? That would disproportionately benefit the people who are poorest in society, who are disproportionately minorities.
    The ‘End Racism’ screaming from the left isn’t a solution in itself – it actually lends itself to the backlash of ‘well, we aren’t allowed to be overtly racist to you anymore. You’re welcome. Why are you still 100x more likely to go to prison and die before you are 40?’

  5. Jumping jack flash

    “Since the 1990s, Coalition Governments have been far more interested in exactly the same, pursuing culture wars and racial-baiting, backed by their media supporters, as the real seat of power shifted from liberalism to oligarchy.”

    One could argue that they don’t have anything much else to do.

    Since the turn to Thatcherism in the same era, governments up until this day find themselves with so much more time on their hands. They no longer need to “run” anything. They just need a monthly, or better, a quarterly, report and then they get their staffers to prepare their report, and job’s done for the next couple of months.

    What to do? What to do?
    There’s only so many helicopter rides, Manila holidays, staffers, and bottles of red to quaff in the parliamentary cafeteria.

    Well, one could argue that the squeaky wheel gets the grease! The squeaky wheel being the groups of highly motivated whingers over the last 20 years, including the banks, and it is no surprise that governments everywhere, following the same Thatcherist recipe for reduced responsibilities, and devoid of any better ideas of what to do with all their extra time that used to be spent actually running the country, have pursued this loudly promoted agenda.

  6. The90kwbeastMEMBER

    “It’s not that single-issue politics does not have its place. It does. But when it supplants sensible center politics then your society and its power relationships are, by definition, confined to fighting over the marginal.”

    100%. Or, in other words, identity politics in it’s nature of divide and conquer has become so prevalent that you’re focusing on the social micro settings instead of social macro.

    It’s all a big sideshow designed to draw attention away from discussion of national interest topics that could improve the lives of everyone. Like you say, there is a place for identity politics where and as certain focus issues come to mind but it shouldn’t be as prevalent as it is.

    Perhaps its a result of the ongoing fracturing of western society that we are witnessing this.

  7. Liberals have never pretended to be anything but a socially conservative pro-business party.
    The article does not describe a party that has wandered from that remit.
    On the other hand Labor purports to be a pro-worker party, while pursuing largely the same policies, making IT a betrayer of its principles, members and Australia’s working class population.
    Workers rights cannot be protected in a mass immigration environment. The latter always involves selling out the former.
    Labor is unwilling to depart from its support for mass immigration, and so is unwilling to deliver for Australian workers.
    It is a sham party and so are the unions that keep it afloat.

  8. It’s all in the execution. The fake left took an adversarial approach shouting down anyone who disagreed with them, berating and beating them into submission. The fake right however were exceptional at gaslighting, having a very powerful media ally helped but they were adept at exploiting social media as the influence of traditional media declined.

  9. DLS’s commentary is silent on actual values held by individuals and communities that make society work. Its all big government, big corporates and politics of power that hurt the little people. This sort of wrong-way-round socio-analysis is part of the problem, especially cause it ends with Karl Marx.
    Society starts bottom up – with the individual, their intrinsic dignity and how (well or poorly) they show (relate) that to another individual. Not top down. The theory of a social contract takes too much for granted. Like the US Constitution – ‘we hold these truths self-evident”.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      You know the “intrinsic dignity” of the individual and all that flows from it is a pretty fundamental progressive idea, right ? Where all the progressive stuff like equality before the law, emancipation, suffrage, social security, public services, Democracy (the modern sort), free speech, discrimination and bigotry being bad, etc, etc originates.

      Conservatism doesn’t care about your individual rights, mate. You are production and property for the Aristocracy.

      • Now I’m sure you and I have walk this road before Smithy. What I learned then is we won’t get far arguing the toss about labels you obsess with. Again, it does seem we agree it starts with dignity of the individual.

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