Australia. uncaring racist nation?

Yesterday evening I attended a lecture by Jonathan Holmes at Curtin University. I left feeling very depressed. The reason for my depression at Jonathan Holmes’ talk and the discussion that followed were general comments about how low the interest in politics and other issues were in Australia.

I did agree that it unrealistic that our media should be unbiased and the best we can have is that we have a diversity of bias. As I understood the conversation the opinion was that there is little hope that the Murdoch press can ever be broken up and true diversity re-established in Australian MSM because who in their right mind own a newspaper? Also if the current trend continues Murdoch and the ABC would be the last two MSM entities standing. Although it was not part of the conversation I did wonder how unbiased the ABC can be when it relies on government funding? This is not just under an Abbott government but also under any government.

Apart from the issue of the improbability of returning to any form of diversity in print media there was this issue of whether or not Australians cared about any real issues at all.

Figures where not quoted, only a general trend. It seems that now there is a reasonable on line presence of media across all spectrums of our society it is possible build up a picture of what our society is interest in.

Politics just doesn’t rate as an issue of interest on the internet. Nor do stories about Aboriginal issues rate in any form of media. The case was cited in MSN where the West Australian ran a photo of an Aboriginal elder on the front page and circulation dropped by twenty thousand. Staff members had warned the editor that it would happen but the photo was run anyway and the prediction proved to be true.

The general picture that I took away from the talk was that Australia was racist, sexist uncaring place where self-interest ruled supreme. It is place where anyone with a real interest in exploring issues of inequality or oppression would not be heard because nobody is interested. This was the reason for my depression after listening Jonathan Holmes and others. It is not that inequality and oppression exists, that was apparent to me before yesterday evening. The depressing thing was that my suspicions that nobody cared were confirmed.

So why do those who do care blog about political and social issues? The only reason I can think of for all of us who do want to make a difference is that we can do it for the good of our own soul in the vain hope that sometime someone might listen.

Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. Joseph Goebbels

This is a comment I received from zwetschgen after my blog on Murdoch and the Fourth Reich. It is an excellent addition to the conversation so I have included it in my blog with permission from zwetschgen.

“On his Australian social experiment/political manipulation, Rupert Murdoch has already tweeted, “other nations to follow in time” – perhaps he’s has been reading Joseph Goebbels.

“To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realized as being true, that is called propaganda. In the beginning there is the understanding, this understanding uses propaganda as a tool to find those men, that shall turn understanding into politics. Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin (Canberra?), and when I speak in Bayreuth (Western Sydney?), I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall (the Party Room). That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Those are found in other circumstances, I find them when thinking at my desk, but not in the meeting hall.”

***Speech by Joseph Goebbels 9 January 1928 to an audience of party members at the “Hochschule für Politik”, a series of training talks for Nazi party members in Berlin.
(bracketed suggestions are mine)
original quote taken from, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels”

 

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Propaganda and Murdoch

Whilst researching for a new book I came across the following quote. I thought immediately of the Murdoch press. Some things never change.

 

During the War, propaganda was a means to an end. And this end was the struggle for existence of the German nation. Propaganda, therefore, should have been regarded from the standpoint of its utility for that purpose. The most cruel weapons were then the most humane, provided they helped towards a speedier decision; and only those methods were good and beautiful which helped towards securing the dignity and freedom of the nation. Such was the only possible attitude to adopt towards war propaganda in the life-or-death struggle.  If those in what are called positions of authority had realized this there would have been no uncertainty about the form and employment of war propaganda as a weapon; for it is nothing but a weapon, and indeed a most terrifying weapon in the hands of those who know how to use it.  The second question of decisive importance is this: To whom should propaganda be made to appeal? To the educated intellectual classes? Or to the less intellectual?  Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. For the intellectual classes, or what are called the intellectual classes to-day, propaganda is not suited, but only scientific exposition. Propaganda has as little to do with science as an advertisement poster has to do with art, as far as concerns the form in which it presents its message.

 

Hitler ,Adolf. Mein Kampf . Translated by James Murphy. http://www.gutenberg.org/

Murdoch has torn up his Australian Passport.

The question of acceptable foreign ownership of Australia media outlets has long been an issue of debate. My question is why a foreign national has so much influence in the Australian Media that he can control the debate leading up to an Australian election. I speak of Rupert Murdoch.

This is the beginning of the oath Murdoch swore when he became an American Citizen in 1985.

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;

When he swore this oath of allegiance Murdoch tore up his Australian passport. He may have been born in Australia but he has chosen that not to be an Australian.

Murdoch has shown over and over that he has no loyalty to anyone or anything except power and money.

When he ran into a problem expanding his American media interests he tore up his Australian passport and became an American.

On the Religious level he is the copyright holder of the New English Version of the Bible, a Catholic ‘Knight’ bought by building a church and the publisher of the Satanic Bible. No recognisable loyalty there.

Instead of accepting responsibility for the policies behind the UK phone tapping scandal he pleaded he didn’t know and left those further down the pecking order to carry the legal consequences. I have no sympathy for anyone involved but it does seem to me they were stiffed by the man ultimately responsible.

He tried to buy the Whitlam Government and failed so instead he shafted them. Now he has found a man as unprincipled as himself in the form of Tony Abbott and it looks like he might succeed in buying a government this time.

How did Murdoch get this much power?

Abbott compares Murdoch with God (or Snake) in the Garden of Eden (I think).

I say ‘I think’ because it is impossible for me determine exactly what Abbot was saying when he was fawning before the great God Murdoch at the seventieth anniversary IPA dinner.

Almost at the beginning of his speech about says:

In the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve could do almost as the pleased but freedom turned out to have limits and it’s abuses, as this story makes only too clear. Yet without freedom we can hardly be human; hardly be worthy of creation in the image of God.

Tony Abbott April 4, 2013.

This is very confusing to me. Is he saying Eve supposedly defying God was good because it gave the Human race freedom (a common religious argument) or that God has rules that must be obeyed?

It is hardly surprising that Abbott does not know if Murdoch is God or the Devil. Murdoch ultimately has copyright over what the Fundamentalists claim is the word of the God, the New International Version of the Bible and he is the publisher of the Satanic Bible, written by the ‘Black Pope’ Anton Szandor La Vey. He is also a Catholic Knight Commander of St Gregory. No wonder Abbott is confused about Murdoch’s place in the Godship hierarchy.

Possibly Murdoch doesn’t give a shit as long as it is profitable.

There is a paragraph were he congratulates Jack Roskam for his defence of Western Civilization. I and completely confused by it, particularly the bit about the new version of the Great Australian silence. Exactly what Western Civilization did Jack Roskam defend and who is he anyway.

According to Abbott Roskam had a staff of 20 and Jesus had a staff of 12. I have no idea what that was about.

There is an enlightened section where Abbott says Murdoch has sometimes changed his political alliance but never his fundamental principles. At last Abbott has told the truth about something.

And he did spell out the Coalitions policies.

Repeal the carbon pricing legislation (he called it a carbon tax).

Abolish the Department of Climate Change.

Abolish the Clean Energy Fund.

Repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Repeal the mining Tax.

Privatise Medibank Private.

When he compared Murdoch with saving Paris in the Great War and Lord Florey, the co-inventor of penicillin I had this strange idea. Maybe Abbott is really as thick as he appears in public. Maybe it is not just an act to appeal to the bottom feeders of the Australian gene pool.

I had a lot more about the madness that is the IPA but instead please read the speech yourself from Abbott’s official website http://bit.ly/16uLdxF It gives valuable insights into the man who would be Prime Minister of Australia.

Is $9B enough to buy Australia?

$9B dollars seems to be enough. $9B is enough to buy the Australian Tea Party and its leaders. $9B is enough to buy public ignorance through a corrupt media organisation. $9B is enough to buy the Australian Internet. At the next election $9B may be enough to buy a puppet government. It may be enough money to create the Fourth Reich

When I saw ‘corrupt’ I am not making allegations of bribery or unlawful acts. Anything is lawful if there is enough money to use the law to support the unsupportable.

I am talking about the corruption of the most basic principles of journalism. It is impossible to be totally impartial in journalism. The journalist is part of the story and can never be totally removed from it.. It is however possible to separate news from comment and to do enough basic research on the background to the story to give accurate .

If a news provider has opinions then it should be made clear it is an opinion piece and not present it as news item complete with false background items. That is corruption of the media in the worst possible format.

It is the corruption of a nation. It is a corruption of democracy. A news media willing and able to report accurately and with some degree of impartiality is essential to democracy. People can only vote in a democratic way if they are being told the truth, and the Murdoch press does not tell the truth.

The Murdoch press does not tell the truth and has become a force for corruption  of our society. It seems that with $9B it is possible to currupt a whole nation.

Are Newspapers Really Dead?

I do most of my work on a computer and online. I am focused (mostly) and busy when working. But I must confess I like newspapers.

I like the relaxing, almost recreational experience of reading a newspaper. I find I can read a few lines and drift away for a bit and see were it leads, and then return to the text. I don’t mind the bias provided that facts are truthful. It would be unrealistic to expect a newspaper not to be biased.

Whilst living in London I was used to buying two or more papers and getting the bias of both. Balance can be achieved by seeing the bias of several sources and deciding for yourself..

The real problem I have with Australian newspapers (Murdoch) is that the bias is not balanced. There is no left wing paper to read to give the alternative view to the rampant right wing dogma of Murdoch. The alternative view can only be accessed on line.

I live in the Land of the Cashed Up Bogans. The only state daily newspaper is the West Australian, aimed directly at the CUB market. I rarely read it. The Sunday newspaper is Murdoch’s Sunday Times. The result is that as much as I like newspapers I don’t read them. I buy the Sunday times (If a cannot score a free one), remove the TV guide and throw the rest away.

It is a paradox that if there were two biased newspapers with different slants I would read both. But as I only have the choice of right wing dogma or nothing I chose nothing.

I don’t think that newspapers are dying because of the Internet. That is a simplistic answer. I see the immanent demise of newspapers as being the lack of diversity. The greater the concentration of powers the less diversity and newspapers move closer to death.

My view is that if we want a dynamic alternative to the Internet there has to be diversity of ownership and bias in newspapers.

Keeping the World Wide Web open and democratic.

The media, or those interested in the media, come up with ideas about how the media should behave. There is supposed to be balance, objectivity and other concepts that give us, the paper reading public, fairness in reporting. Dream on.

Even if media starts from a position of being fair and balanced it only takes one person who sees power as the main game to pervert the whole system.

The media offers the best way of establishing a public that is well informed with the ability to make decisions based on fact and policy. It also provides the opportunity for the power hungry to create a brainwashed and easily manipulated mob of unthinking robots that believe whatever they are told to believe. Democracy becomes mob rule.

The only way that I can see to avoid mob rule by the robots is to ensure that our physical media exists in small groups with diverse ownership. It would be unrealistic to expect balanced reporting from any block but there would be a diversity of views. We would have choice.

The media I am using now, the World Wide Web, must remain free to all views. On the web I can only express my views only because everyone else can express theirs. Freedom for one must mean freedom for all.

In the lead up to the last election Tony Abbott’s policy was private ownership of a sub-optimal system whilst saying repeatedly that he knows nothing about technology http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWAN5zkEaok . Tony Abbott’s Broadband policy has not changed. It is the only Abbott policy that is not aspirational or mobile.

We are living in an Internet environment where technology is changing so quickly that no matter what broadband speed we have it is never going to be enough and where it is essential that the Internet is never privately owned..

Privately owned would mean that every thing that any of use did on line, every email, every phone conversation and every little thing would be instantly available to the owner of the Internet. No need for phone taps when you own the line.

Subtle forms of censorship, such as slowing speeds to sites that were considered not in keeping with the Internet owner’s interests would abound. If my blog took five minutes to load would you read it?

There is an election next year. The fate of the WWW in Australia could depend on the outcome of that election. Not only the fate of the Internet is at stake. If a politically motivated entity gained control of the Internet it could be the end of democracy in Australia.

I want the Internet infrastructure in Australia to be a wholesale system where there is an entity charged with maintaining the highest levels of technology and making the system available equally to everyone without censorship.

The World Wide Web provides the conditions necessary for democracy. It give small groups or even individuals such as myself the ability to express ideas and beliefs without the power to impose those ideas or believes on others.  It establishes what is missing in the print media.  Democracy in Australia is under attack from many directions but at least we can keep the WWW open and democratic.