Why Albo is vomit


In a humanist world worth its salt, MB would not exist.

MB is a voice of reason. It proceeds using a classic scientific method.

Sometimes, it is deductive. Sometimes, it is inductive.

Those who understand the philosophy of science and epistemology will know this is an unresolved debate.

The ‘black swan’ is a good case in point.


Did ancient Europeans who had never seen a black swan theorise and seek evidence for their existence? Or did they simply see a black bastard in Perth one day and conclude “by crikey, I was wrong”?

The answer does not matter much these days because no matter how you rationalise reason, you cannot explain the contemporary political economy.

How does a Government set about dehousing the population that voted it in? Equally, how does the same polity continue to support the government that is dehousing it?

Neither of these questions can be answered reasonably.


Whether you theorised that such a government is incompetent and sought the evidence for it or simply observed Albo’s catastrophic housing shortage and extrapolated your thesis for why, neither makes sense—not even within its limited frame of reference of getting re-elected.

Rather, the only way to understand today’s political economy is to abandon reason and seek answers elsewhere.

Perhaps some fourth-dimensional thinking is the answer—an alien thought process from another planet to which we humans do not have access.


But, yoked as I am to reason and such rules as Occham’s Razor, I cannot accept such an absurd proposition. There is no evidence.

Besides, other systems of human thought can make sense of nonsense even if they stray from the strictly reasoned into the intuitive.

Based on that, I suggest that the Aussie political economy has wandered into a wilderness of madness, where reason has become anathema.


In anatomical terms, put it this way: The brain and stomach have operative synapses, the cellular network of thought.

In normal times, the brain holds sway. But in times of unreason, the stomach determines decision-making. Humans operate on the ‘gut’ to fulfil their needs.

The motivators of the gut are the need to belong. The fear of ostracism. A kind of compulsion to avoid individuated starvation.


In the gut paradigm of thought, being partisan, tribal, and embedded deep within the chosen community of unreason is a more potent priority than the brain sitting idly on the shelf.

I don’t know what environment stimulates the gut over the brain, but “jeopardy” or “danger” seems a likely culprit.

There is more than enough of that going around. Whether the threat is sovereign, political, social or financial, we live within a soup of threat.


Presented by many sources: from populist leaders, collapsing economic systems or perverse social phenomena radically amplified by the stormtroopers of the internet.

They all fundamentally threaten our need to belong and elevate the gut above the brain as the primary force of decision-making.

If we accept this description as the primary political economy of our time, the brain can observe a certain amount of sense in the nonsense from afar.


Hence, a government elected by low-income workers, the vulnerable and mentally ill, can still garner support even if its only policy of substance is to rip the roof off their heads and burn it.

In this particular example of the gut being preeminent over the brain, it is a short leap of logic to conclude that the movement’s leader is, in fact, vomit.

About the author
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.