Soulless Economics 101

Van Dormael (1978: 32) quotes the British Economist John Maynard Keynes in 1941 as saying

‘the secular international problem‘ of maintaining equilibrium in the balance of payments – a problem that ‘had that had never been solved since methods of barter had given way gave way to money and bills of exchange.’

(and)

‘To suppose that there is some smoothly functioning automatic mechanism of adjustment which preserves equilibrium if only we trust to methods of Laissez-faire is a doctrinaire delusion which disregards the lessons of historical experience without the support of sound theory.’

Basically the problem with economics is that there is no way of establishing a rate of exchange. What is fair and what is unjust? Who knows? The only alternative seems to be no rules and that as been a disaster. This leaves a situation where human attributes (or lack of them) determine economic policies and outcomes. If the object is create a society that has a soul and acts humanly towards all its peoples then human qualities such as empathy and compassion have to be the guiding principle of economic decision making. If screwing the poor to give to Rupert Murdoch is the aim then Joe Hockey is the man for the job, but don’t suggest for one moment that there is any empathy, compassion or soul involved in Hockey’s policies.

Presenting spending years of mental and physical suffering in a squalid concentration camp with no charges laid and no prospect of release as being the only alternative of crossing the seas in a leaky boat is the act of a totally soulless country. How can a country that rushes to war in a foreign country at the slightest excuse, and without being asked but refuses to give significant aid to help stop Ebola until being forced to by universal condemnation from the rest off the world say it has a soul.

I used to like Australia when it had a soul, the days before Abbott became leader of what used to be the Liberal Party. The days before Kevin Rudd sent refugees of to concentration camps. But those days are gone. Can those days be revived?

The simple answer would be to bury Abbott and his whole front bench down the same hole as Azazel never to be seen again until judgement day, but that would be too simplistic. The problem is that if a despot is deposed what happens then? Is there any alternative? Sadly in Australia at this time I don’t see any viable alternative. Bill shorten seems a reasonable sort of fellow but he is no match for Abbott and he leads a party that has lost it’s soul. A beginning for labour would be to accept that Rudd’s refugee policy was a political move that failed and that it was also inhuman. If Labour reversed its refugee stance and supported speedy onshore process and humane treatment of all peoples it would be a beginning. A little bit of soul is better than no soul. Bill Shorten moving aside for Tanya Plibersek would be a major step forward. Tanya is a lady who seems to have empathy and compassion as well as the ability to stand up to Abbott.

With only about eighteen months to the next election we need to begin rebuilding Australia’s soul now because if the extreme right of the Murdoch/Abbott government becomes entrenched Australia’s soul could pass beyond revival.

Reference

Van Dormael, Armand. 1978. Bretton Woods: Birth of a Monetary System. United Kingdom: Holmes &; Meier Publishers.

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Australia’s Fascist Government

There are several characteristics of a Fascist government. Two of them are using military forces to control civilians. Another is censorship. The using of the Navy to tow boats carrying refugees back to the edges of Indonesian territorial waters and then censoring any news of the event should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that Australia now has a Fascist Government. Why are so many Australian’s too polite to say so?

If we are to have democracy we must be prepared to speak out against totalitarian governments. I am not anti-Liberal, but Abbott does not lead a Liberal government; he leads a Fascist government.

If a government is elected democratically there is no complaint whoever wins the election, but when a government is elected on false propaganda generated by a biased monopoly media it is not democracy. It is time for all Australians who believe in democracy, whether Labour, Liberal, Green or free thinking in their political leanings to speak out and say ‘no’ to Fascism in Australia.

The Murdoch/Abbott government will fall. Dictatorships always do in the end. The question is ‘How much damage will this government do before it goes down in flames?’ Can we please try to make the Murdoch/Abbott fall as soon and as complete as possible?

Remember history or repeat it.

New year supposed to be a time to look forward not back. In the case of the Murdoch/Abbott government if we don’t look back the future will be very bleak. The Murdoch/Abbott government is not breaking any new ground. Abbott, as a disciple of B.A. Santamaria has his philosophies laid out in full. Santamaria may be dead but his ghost lives on in physical form in the body of Mr T Abbott. Remember that central to Santamaria policy is that all public and private policy must be in strict accordance with Catholic dogma. Abbott’s radical Catholicism, a form of Catholicism rejected by most Catholics, has become part of Australian government policy. Starting with Howard radical religion has increasingly become part of politics in spite of a definite point in the Australian Constitution separating state and religion.

The policies of the Murdoch arm of the Australian government mirror the policies of Joseph Goebbels. The fundamentals of both Goebbels and Murdoch are 1) work on the week and uneducated. 2) Feed them simple slogans often. 3) Never engage in philosophical argument. 4) Pick one ‘enemy’ for special treatment.

Look back at Joseph Goebbels and compare that with the Murdoch media campaign that elected the Abbott government. Look at Hitler’s writings on propaganda in Mein Kampf and the way to hijack a country is laid in detail. It is detail that has been followed exactly by Abbott and Murdoch. In Mein Kampf you will also find that Hitler followed a radical form of Catholicism similar to Abbott and Santamaria. Hitler and Santamaria both believed that they were on a mission from God; a delusion that is being carried forward by Abbott.

Delusional radicals from either side of politics are dangerous for any country. It is healthy for democracy to have a wide range of ideas and opinions, but there is a point on both sides of politics beyond which belongs to the dangerous lunatic fringe that potentially can destroy a country. We now have a Murdoch/Abbott government that belongs to that dangerous lunatic fringe.

We need to remember history if the future of Australia is not to be a repeat the very worst of history.

How much did Abbott Government Contribute to Holden Decision?

The report that the decision to close Holden came by way of a phone call half hour before the decision was announced sounds strange. It sounds as if the Abbott Government was bypassed in the announcement. If you look at the way the Abbott government has been trying to bully General Motors in the last week it is not so strange. If the decision was marginal it was time for negotiation, not for throwing governmental weight around in the media. Did Abbott tell GM of any of his announcements before he made them public? How would a company like GM react to a person like Hockey threatening them in Parliament instead of talking to them? Did GM simply join the long list of entities, such as Indonesia, China and the UN that the Abbott government has managed to piss off in the last three months? Did the ‘Perfect Storm’ GM refereed to include Abbott?

All over the world countries subsidies and support local car industries because they understand that a country that builds cars can build anything. Car making is the basic training ground and skills development area that all other manufacturing industries rely on. If Australia stops making cars the backbone of Australian manufacturing will be gone. If Abbott continues treating major manufacturing companies the way he treated GM the mining companies will be the only ones left and they only dig holes.

Abbott’s backward facing stance sees digging more holes and dumping the waste on the Greet Barrier reef as the way forward. Or maybe Australia becoming no more than a quarry is what this is all about. It might be good for the big mining companies in the short term but the world is changing rapidly and we need to be able to look after ourselves. That means the ability to be as self sufficient as possible. Take away the car industry and we become dependent on others in a way that takes Australia back 60 years.

Fortunately there is just sufficient time for one more election before Holden closes and I hope that Labour will start negotiating a deal with GM to keep manufacturing in Australia to be implemented when Labour wins the next election.

Will Polls change Labour tactics on WA senate vote?

The senate vote recount in WA was a complete debacle and Labour are trying to have the original vote reinstated. One week ago that would have seemed to be the best option, but now the polls indicate that a new Senate election in WA might just be enough to bring down the Abbott Government if Abbott sticks to his threats of a new Federal election if the senate refuses to pass legislation removing carbon pricing.

It is a long shot but with the dissatisfaction of Abbott coming from all sectors of the community Labour might just get into a position in the Senate to force Abbott to put up or shut up.

A new Senate election in WA may look like a local event on the surface but it will have significant national outcomes. It could be the difference between carbon pricing or no carbon pricing and another nine months of Abbott or another three years of Abbott. What is needed is to make the push for a new Senate election in WA a national event and to counter moves by MSN to bury the issue. When WA votes for their Senate representatives WA will be voting for the whole of Australia and making your voice heard, no matter where you live in Australia will make a difference.

WA needs your help to help Australia

It seems likely that there will be a new Federal Senate election in WA. We get a second chance to hold Abbott et al. accountable in the Senate. Maybe even force a new election for both houses if Abbott sticks to his promise of a new election if the legislation to repeal carbon pricing is rejected. The Abbott government is saying that if there is a new Senate election it must happen as quickly as possible before people change their minds. I can understand that reasoning.

The campaign does not have to be a re-run of the last one. Already we have experience of the double-dealing, censorship and non-action that goes with the Abbott government and this should be enough to mount an entirely new campaign against Abbott. This is not a WA issue. What happens in WA will effect every Australian in some way. Please help it a national campaign so West Australians hear what is happening in the East.

Abbott will probably try to keep it local to WA because of the isolation of WA and the lack of real information making its way across the Nullarbor. Usually the results of a national election is known before WA polls close. This time it is different. This time WA could determine the future of the Abbott Government. Please help make that future very short.

New Abbott Policy: Censorship.

I have heard over and over how Abbott will stop the boats. But that has changed. He now says he will not tell us when they arrive.

He really didn’t have to say that because he could rely on Murdoch not to report the arrivals. We will never know if the boats have stopped or simply that we do not know they have arrived.

This is a dangerous precedent. It is censorship. This, coupled with giving the Internet in Australia to Murdoch means that we will be deprived of any means of knowing what is really going on.

Will he also be censoring news of global warming? Will we not be told when he plunges Australia into recession? If we begin with one piece of censorship it will quickly multiply, and if we are deigned a free Internet we are in real trouble.

In the past Murdoch could be relied on to plaster Abbott all over the front page of his rags and Labour friendly news on page 15, but to say that the arrival of refugee boats will not be reported is a new low. Abbott is now admitting that he will censor the news. This really is the Fourth Reich and must be stopped.

Welcome to the Fourth Reich

Whenever control of the media falls into the hands of one individual the country is in deep trouble.

Every country has an underbelly of ignorance and stupidity that is not representative of the country but when mobilised as a block distorts the democratic process. To mobilize the underbelly of a society there needs to be a concerted and consistent distortion of reality.

The Ultra-right wing of politics has known this for a very long time and mass media has been consistently used for this purpose.

In the lead-up to the Great War the big media baron in the UK was Alfred Harmsworth, later 1st Viscount Northcliffe. Harmsworth believed that war would be good for selling newspapers and actively suppressed news of the high level negotiations taking place to avoid a war. He also spread a vile campaign of hatred to all things German and manipulated ‘public opinion’ against any form of resolution.

Hitler had Joseph Geobbels to run his Minister for Public Education and Propaganda. In Mein Kampf Hitler lays out how to control and manipulate the poor and uneducated into an unthinking political force. Mein Kampf is well written and is clear in its methodology which is one of the reasons it is so disturbing to read.

As disturbing as it is please read Mien Kampf to understand how a country can be slowly led down the path to hell. Australia is not immune to this form of manipulation. Forget ‘She’ll be right mate’ it might not be.

That methodology of Mein Kampf bears a striking resemblance to the tactics of Murdoch in suppressing any information that did not conform to his unrelenting patronage of Abbott. These tactics must not be allowed to continue in Australia.

It is no use trying to fight ignorance and stupidity as those opposed to Hitler found out. Ignorance and stupidity are not natural states, they are learned, and in Australia we have a great teacher in Rupert Murdoch.

The fight to save the soul of Australia begins with the establishing a free and open press. We also need to put in place checks and balances to ensure that Australian democracy can never be distorted by the likes of Murdoch.

If we can regain a free press the next election might be about policy and future direction instead of a free-for-all based greed and a lust for power.

Australian Democracy is not dead, But it is on Life support.

I don’t believe all Australians are ignorant and stupid, but as within all countries there is a significant minority who are. When a single person has controls media and has ability to mobilise this significant minority with lies, bullshit and prejudice to vote as a block democracy becomes severely distorted. It saves this minority from thinking and gives the election a significant bias before it even begins.

Rupert Murdoch has that ability to distort the election and has used that ability unmercifully for the last three years. If democracy in Australia is to be restored to health the ability to control the flow of truth and give an utterly distorted slant to the media must be taken out of the equation. Murdoch must go.

It is unreasonable to expect media to be unbiased. The media cannot be separated from the reporting. However, we need a full range of bias if we are to have the ability to sort truth from fiction. One person controlling seventy percent of the media does not allow for that full range of bias.

Not only must Murdoch go if democracy is to be nurtured back to health but there must also be limits placed on the amount of control one person can have over the media. Democracy is not a ‘free for all.’ Democracy must have checks and balances to ensure that a minority cannot distort the process.

No-matter what the outcome of today’s election it will not be democratic. The result will be a distortion of the truth by a minority block led by a person with nothing but self interest as motivation. It may be difficult but with the remaining scraps of democracy we have left we can bring about changes to the media ownership laws. If that happens the next election might be democratic.

Whoever wins Australia loses

I am Dreading Saturday. I will have to put a number next to Abbott and Rudd knowing that whoever wins Australia loses.

There have been poor candidates for high office in the past but this election really is scraping the bottom of the gene pool.

It is a choice between bad policy, lies and economic vandalism and bad policy, lies and economic vandalism in an election dominated by biased media polling. This should not happen in a place like Australia.

I have decided to vote for Rudd only because if Abbott is elected it will be the return of the Australian cringe, and overseas Australia will be confirmed as Bogan Central. I have dual citizenship so if I travel overseas I will claim to be British rather than admit I belong to a country that has Abbott as Prime Minister.