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Local filmmaker, self-described transcendental fascist and, more recently, Trump fanboy and partisan of the AltRight,* Richard Wolstencroft, established the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) in 2000 after the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) declined screening his 1999 film Pearls Before Continue reading
Trumpwatch. Pressing on with deregulation. 105 rules down.
Since India is getting the Green Guernsey and the US is getting a wrist slap, we know for sure this chart is not based on actual CO2 emission trends, or perhaps even any numbers.
The US, after all, has reduced emissions more than anywhere else while India is doubling its coal mining. Is that what we should aim for?
Australia, meanwhile, can never do enough, despite reducing our per capita emissions by a phenomenal 28% from 1990-2013. We sacrificed our electrical grids, have implemented an Emissions Trading Scheme and say we are aiming for the same obscenely tough 28% reduction that is the fashion despite being a heavy industrial quarry, with the lowest population density, biggest distances, and highest electricity costs in the world. To make it harder on ourselves the chief commodity we are disadvantaging happens to be our second largest export industry. Despite all this, CAN ranks Australia Very low.
Dan Mitchell. The equality trap. With the very best of intentions of course.
When talking to such people, my first priority is getting them to understand that its possible for an economy to grow and for all income groups to benefit. I explain how even small differences in long-run growth make a big difference over just a few decades and that it is very misguided to impose policies that will discourage growth by penalizing the rich and discouraging the poor.
I sometimes wonder how vigorously to present my argument. Is it actually true, as Thatcher and Churchill argued, that leftists are wil...
10:25pm As my last contribution for tonight, here is a map of the booth results and the Greens swing (which can be toggled).
8:23pm Im gonna turn off for a little while and will come back once most of the votes have reported.
8:22pm With seven booths reporting preferences, the Greens have won six. Labor held on with 53.3% in Darebin Parklands, but that was a swing of almost 21.8%.
8:20pm Six booths have reported preferences. The Greens are on 55.3%, but are projected to increase that to 60.7% as the remaining booths come in.
8:18pm Just back from dinner now. 10 out of 14 booths have reported the primary vote. The Greens polled 48.3% of the primary vote so far, and my model suggests it will creep up to about 49.3%.
7:49pm Four 2CP booths have reported, and the Greens are on 56% of the vote after preferences. This is a swing of 17.8% in these four booths, and youd expect that Greens vote to grow as bigger booths report.
7:47pm Weve now got six votes reporting primary votes, and the swing to the Greens remains above 14%, which would put them on track to win a majority of the primary vote.
7:43pm 14% primary vote swing to the Greens in Preston South. Its worth noting the best Greens areas have not yet reported its possible they will not gain as large swings there.
7:39pm 21.5% swing to the Greens after preferences at Alphington North.
7:33pm We now have preferences from Alphington and Darebin Parklands and the swings are just as big. A 14.7% swing in Alphington and a 21.8% swing in Darebin Parklands. Between these two booths its a swing of 16.8%, which would project to a Greens 2CP just over 60%.
7:29pm Another big swing to the Greens of almost 15% in Alphington. Overall swing to the Greens is sitting on 14.8% after four booths.
7:23pm Alphington, in the south-east, saw another double-digit swing to the Greens. The Greens gained 10.7% for a total of 43.6%, while Labor dropped 5.3%.
7:22pm Off two booths, the Greens are up 15.25%, and Labor is down 9.6%. Its worth noting both booths are in the north of the seat, which is one of the more pro-Labor areas. It suggests the Greens are making inroads in Labors better areas.
7:21pm The second booth, Bell, is substantially bigger than Darebin Parklands, and has a similar pattern. 13.6% swing to the Greens, 7.8% swing away from Lab...
One of the striking outcomes of the equal marriage survey is that a lot of people who had always assumed themselves to be part of (in Spiro Agnews phrase) the silent majority have been presented with undeniable evidence that they are actually in the minority. Not only that, but the minority to which they belong on equal marriage would be even smaller if it werent boosted by lots of people theyve always thought of as undesirable minorities. Most notably, the note vote was swelled by Muslims and recent migrants from more traditional cultures.
Against that background, its not surprising to see people who have never had a good word to say about the United Nations, or about a Bill of Rights, embracing the idea of incorporating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights into Australian law (were already a signatory, but that has no legal effect).
It would be absurd to incorporate a document dealing with topics as diverse as the death penalty and war propaganda (both prohibited) into the Marriage Act. Nevertheless, now that the issue has been raised, its a great opportunity for Australia to get something like a Bill of Rights enshrined into law (though of course it wouldnt change the Constitution).
Its tempting to use the thumping majority recorded in the survey as a stick with which to beat those (variously described as dinosaurs or reactionaries) who campaigned against equal rights on this occasion. But all majorities are temporary. It would be far better to use this moment to make common cause in support of protections for minorities of all kinds.
A couple more points
As occasional commenter Fran B points out on Twitter, theres no risk of the ICCPR becoming a backdoor way of implementing Brandis right to be a bigot. Section 18(3) reads
Freedom to manifest ones religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
and this clearly includes the protections of our current anti-discrimination law, not to mention Article 26 of the ICCPR which prohibits all kinds of discrimination.
Another appealing feature of this approach is that it doesnt leave room for lots of quibbling about what rights to protect: we cant amend the ICCPR, so the appropriate approach is to legislate it as a binding set of principles, then use subsequent legislation to interpret.
So, lets get equal marriage done straight away, then turn to the broader question of protecting civil and political rights for everyone.
One nation that is holding out against its own dissolution is
Hungary. Its Prime Minister, Viktor Orbn, gave a
speech this week to a congress of his political party, Fidesz.
It is, in the main, one of the great inspirational speeches from a
major political leader.
I say this, even though it is difficult to categorise his speech politically. Is he a Christian and nationalist right-liberal? Or a traditionalist? At the very least, he is shifting the Overton window back toward something close to a traditionalist politics.
One reason I hesitate to label Orbn a traditionalist is that he excludes race as a foundation of national identity. I have written before (here and here) that I disagree with those who think that a communal tradition can be founded on racial self-interest alone. Orbn goes entirely the other way. He provides a rich foundation for a communal identity, but excludes what realistically ought to be there, namely a common ancestry.
I will now hand over to the extraordinary Hungarian PM:
...we should realise that the spirit of the age is not the same as the prevailing media trend. We should realise that the soothing melodies pouring out of the speakers of powerful global corporations and global political organisations siren voices encouraging breezy irresponsibility, frenzied consumption and boundless self-indulgence are not at all the same as the spirit of the age. Under the soft blanket of dreams laid down by the global elite, one finds the cold, hard reality of life. We see tens of millions of Europeans working hard and struggling day in, day out to keep themselves and their families afloat. We see how they yearn for security and order. We see how they cleave ever more firmly to their cultural identity, and fight every day for every square metre of their normal European life. This is the true spirit of the age. So we should refocus our vision, and well see that in fact the spirit of the age is on our side: it is on the side of hardworking and responsible Europeans who provide for their families, love their homelands and insist on their Christian roots. We are in a majority in an overwhelming majority. It is only a question of time, and we shall prevail not only in Hungary, but in the whole of Europe; indeed, we shall prevail in the entire Western world.
This is also well understood by globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the Soros-type networks that embody their interests. They understand it well, and therefore theyve invented the magic wor...
Entertainment editor John Turnbull checks out recent releases from Americas sweetheart Kelly Clarkson, hyper-patriot Kid Rock, punk survivors Anti-Flag and pop septuplets Maroon 5. read now...
Of the thousands of words in the hundreds of articles written about Sally McManus none describe her more passionately or more succinctly than these offered by Trish Corry: Sally McManus is everywhere. Fighting the good fight. Travelling all over Australia. Standing with workers. Speaking words of hope [my emphasis]. Fighting for workers. Standing
My RMIT colleagues Chris Berg, Jason Potts and I have a new working paper out on the economics of identity.
Identification forms a key part of all but the least sophisticated economic and political transactions. More complex or significant transactions demand more formal identification of the parties involved. In this paper we develop an institutional economics of identity. We distinguish between a Demsetzian evolutionary view of identity institutions and a legal-centric view of identity institutions. In the former view, identity is a contextual, fluid and subjective, and evolved for market, social and political exchange. In the latter, identity is uniform and permanent, and created (imposed) by governments. Governments have an interest in identity insofar as identity is used in the process of tax collection, entitlements, and conscription. Private organisations free ride off state-provided identification services. The paper concludes with a discussion about technological change and identity management. We characterise two possible futures: one in which new technologies enable states to create more comprehensive uniform identities, and one in which new technologies enable identities to be federated and transferred to citizens.
Three quarters of the Federal ministers forced to leave their posts in the last 45 years have been from the conservative side of politics. Alan Austin continues this exclusive Independent Australia series. read now...
Im not sure I know the question to which Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer, but whatever the question, it is the wrong answer for me. As it happens, these are things I have lately been thinking about myself having come across another article looking at these same issues but from a very different perspective. And while it is difficult to sort through the various labels one can put on ones personal ideology, the closest I have been able to come up with for myself is Gladstonian liberal which is quite different from classical liberal. So let me take you to an article about the naming of things where classical liberal is the equivalent of insane while conservative represents prudential common sense.
The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivatedfor bad reasons as well as good onesto fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.
Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.
Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in depreciating national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.
Here is the definition of Gladstonian liberal from Wikipedia which seems accurate enough for me and is utterly distinct from the classical variety as defined above.
Gladstonian liberalism is a political doctrine named after the British Victorian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstonian liberalism consisted of limited government expenditure and low taxation whil...
But further to that question, what about persons who receive any governmental transfers?
What about persons who work for businesses whose main or only client is Government?
If owning a share of a shopping center where Australia Post is a tenant may expose David Gillespie and warrant High Court review, why not the above?
It is unlikely that most of the members of the ALP and Greens , and several of the current Liberals will have ever worked for a business, but what the hey.
Given the length and breath of Government in Australia, that might not leave too many people who would be eligible for Parliamentary services. Maybe it might create the incentive to reduce government. One can only dream.
Over to you Attourney Brandis QC.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Australia chose a rather round about, and dangerous way, of getting to the finals of the FIFA World Cup. Qualifying by playing a South or Central American opponent has its pitfalls, the most memorable being Argentina at the Allianz Stadium in 1993. On that occasion, the valiant Australians went down, if only just, losing the
The post A Tale of Two teams: Australia, Italy and the World Cup appeared first on The AIM Network.
By Melanie Philips: The Deconstruction of Humanity. You will just have to read it for yourself. Ill give you the first para, then the last plus one from the middle.
If you want a break from the spectacle of Britain tearing itself apart over leaving the European Union, you can upset yourself instead watching the spectacle of the western world tearing apart the very notion of what it is to be a human being. . . .
Rigorous science. How quaint that sounds. In our ideologically fluid world, that too is being washed away as we steadily dismantle not just the foundations of western culture, not just morality, not even just the primacy of reason but our very understanding of what makes us what we are.
Heres the one from the middle. In her view this is the problem.
The ostensible aim of all this is to end discrimination, prejudice and social exclusion. This is untrue. The aim is unilaterally to change the entire basis of society from one governed by external moral rules and duties to one in which the only rule that has any authority is the duty to actualise our own inner potential and fulfil our own desires.
Could be. I actually think the left have run out of genuine problems to fix so are inventing distinctions to show how forward looking they are in comparison with everyone else. Whatever, it is the young and they are making the world in which they will have to live. Too bad for them.
MORE ON TOO BAD FOR THEM: This is Kurt Schlichter discussing At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials.
But while were still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. Theres that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we dont fix it bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.
I just wish I thought it was funny, but things werent so great in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In fact, it took more than a thousand years to get back to the same standard of living that had already prevailed in the second century AD.
Refugee Action Coalition Media Release Media Release Emergency rally: still no safe settlement as Manus defies the siege Despite constant claims from the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister that new relocation areas are safe and ready, photos from West Lorengau on Manus Island show that the area is still a construction site. Duttons claim that
The post Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege appeared first on The AIM Network.
Media Release The pro bono human rights law firm, the National Justice Project has applauded the forensic and thorough findings of the NT Royal Commission into Youth Detention as a blueprint for positive and much needed change. Principal Solicitor at the NJP, Adjunct Professor George Newhouse said today that the Royal Commission and Board of
The post A blueprint for change NJP applauds NT Royal Commission appeared first on The AIM Network.
The NSW Government has decided to name the newest member of its ferry fleet Ferry Mcferryface. This is not a joke. Apparently.
In homage to this wise and considered decision, for the coming week, your humble commentator will write under the nom de guerre of Sparty McSpartyface. I suspect that 1 week will be about how long it will take for this decision to be reversed.
Catallaxy McCatallacyface comments are invited.
With the ACTU's new 'Change the Rules' campaign, Sally McManus is playing the long game, says Jay Goodall. read now...
Shakin' Ray Stevens may be in trouble in Mermaid Beach, with a credible Independent candidate, Mona Hecke, challenging him at the 25 November Queensland State election. This is Mona's story. read now...
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided good breakdowns of the SSM data by electorate, so I asked myself a question: was the turnout correlated with the % Yes vote?
The nine seats that voted No by the biggest margins are all controlled by the Labor party, with the seven biggest all located in west and south-west Sydney.
Here is what I find:
Ive highlighted those seven highest No voting seats which SBS says are Labor held.
Fairly clearly from the data there is a correlation between turnout and the percentage of Yes votes. Furthermore the seven Labor seats with the highest No votes also have some of the lowest turnouts.
This suggests a couple of things:
The first point suggests that the real proportion of voters who favour Yes to same-sex marriage is lower than the headline number of 61.6%. A cohort of as many as 10% of voters in low turnout electorates, who probably would choose No, in the end did not vote. Whether this was because of fear of backlash, concern about confidentiality or other reasons is not clear. But it does seem clear that the total Yes vote has been biased upwards somewhat by these shy voters.
I will leave to readers to draw their own conclusion about the second point.
My answers to our current challenges are simple ones. Lets begin at the beginningwhich for the liberal is basic human equality. We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point. And if you are an advocate of liberalism and you find yourself standing (metaphorically or literally) alongside anyone asserting the superiority of one group over another you should know you are in the wrong crowd and you need to move in opposition quickly to leave no doubt in their or others minds.
Liberalism is liberal. It is an emancipation philosophy and a joyous celebration of the creative energy of diverse peoples near and far. The liberal order is about a framework of rules that cultivates that creativity, and encourages the mutually beneficial interaction with others of great social distance overcoming such issues as language, ethnicity, race, religion, and geography.
We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point.
Bumping and Bargaining
At a foundation level, no one is privileged over any other in recognition of our basic humanity.
As the great practical philosophical teacher in my lifemy MomElinor Boettke, used to like to say people are people that is who we are, we just have to let each other live, and that is that.1 We are fallible but capable human choosers, and we exist and interact with each in a very imperfect world.
No one of us, let alone any group of us, has access to the truth from the Almighty Above, yet we are entrusted to find rules that will enable us to live better together than we ever would in isolation. We bump into each other and we bargain with one another to try to ease the pain of bumping or avoid the bumping in the future. But, we must recognize that despite our basic human equality, we argue and we dont naturally agree with one another about how we are live our lives.
So in our bumping and bargaining with one another, it is critical to keep in mind that we will soon face severe limits on what we can agree on. In particular, we have little hope of coming to an agreement among dispersed and diverse individuals and groups over a scale of values, of ultimate ends that man should pursue.
As Hayek put it in ...
Australia can end this human rights tragedy. Wherever they end up eventually, the Australian government needs to immediately bring these men to safety.
SYDNEY Since October 31, hundreds of men have barricaded themselves in an abandoned complex on a naval base where security forces have previously shot at and attacked them. Exhausted, with no power and no running water in the tropical heat, they stockpiled food, dug water wells, and collected rainwater in trash cans to drink. Now, they are dehydrated, starving, and scared.
These men are not in a war zone, though many of them have fled war in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. They are refugees and asylum seekers trapped on remote Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. They are there because of Australias harsh refugee policies.
The UN has described the situation as an "unfolding humanitarian emergency." On October 31, the Australian and PNG governments closed the regional processing center where these men have lived for the last four years. Other less-secure facilities are available in a town a 30-minute drive from their current location. But these men, refugees and asylum seekers, refused to leave, terrified by escalating violence against them by some local residents in the town and frustrated by the lack of a long-term solution to their predicament.
Since July 2013, male asylum seekers traveling by boat to Australia have been sent to Manus Island, while men, women and children have been sent to the isolated Pacific island nation of Nauru. As Paul Tyson wrote for openDemocracy, in real terms, it is the boat people themselves the Australian government has criminalized, dehumanized and demonized, and it is against them that Australian politicians on both sides of party power...
An interest in supporting people with HIV/AIDS took Heni Mekes career from the frontlines as an army nurse to working in government. Now she heads Anglicare PNG, one of Papua New Guineas biggest NGOs, which has grown over the years with support from the Australian aid program. Anglicare runs a large HIV clinic in Port Moresby, which keeps 1,300 HIV-positive patients alive through anti-retroviral treatment. It also manages a nationwide adult literacy program and other development programs.
In the latest in our 2017 Aid Profiles series, Heni speaks to Stephen Howes about the challenges of running a complex national NGO, the impact of recent Australian aid funding cuts, and what drives her to keep going in a role that is sometimes just sleeping and work.
Catch up on all the Aid Profiles here.
It still has to make it through the Senate, but this is progress: House Republicans pass tax reform bill.
House Republicans on Thursday passed a monumental bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, the biggest step yet in the GOPs once-in-a-generation effort to overhaul the American tax system. . . .
The House plan would permanently chop the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and make other tweaks aiming to make businesses more competitive. It would reduce individual tax brackets to four from seven and make changes to several tax breaks. Among them, the bill would limit state and local deductions and the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the personal exemption and nearly double the standard deduction.
On other matters of more interest to the media, if you were
wondering about evidence and sexual harassment and what it looks
like, here is an actual example. Its sort of even more obvious than
the DNA on Monicas dress, and the woman was herself outraged:
Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And
Theres Nothing Funny About It.
It doesnt much matter since the media is not trying to remove Democrats from the Senate, only trying to prevent Trump-supporting Republicans from being elected, the same approach being taken by Congressional Republicans as well. There are many reasons that the Republicans got around to finally doing something on the Trump agenda, and their clear willingness to throw away a Republican Senate seat by not defending the person who actually won the primary in Alabama is a not insignificant part of it. Really, what are they good for?
Meanwhile, the American economy is going forward, growth is accelerating and employment picking up. But since these are natural phenomena that have no relationship to who is president nor what he does, we can concentrate on what really matters, such as the sexual practices of actors and politicians in Hollywood and DC.
The Kaiapoi River is turning salty, and irrigation is to
A freshwater Canterbury river is on the brink of turning into a saltwater estuary, in part due to water abstraction, new data shows.
It has blindsided some in the community and would permanently alter the river's character if the trend continued.
"The prospect of that river turning to a smelly, scum-filled seawater estuary is just totally unacceptable," Waimakariri District councillor Sandra Stewart said.
As braces of bloodhounds scour Parliament House for dual nationals, section 44(i) of the Constitution has crippled the government and, depending on the outcome in the seat of Bennelong, may make Bill Shorten prime minister.
Back in August, Tonga's king
dissolved the country's parliament, because he and the noble
caste did not like the elected government. Yesterday, Tongans
to the polls, and
re-elected Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva in a landslide.
Pohiva's Democratic Party won 14 of the 17 "commoner seats", giving
them an absolute majority in parliament and the ability to elect a
You'd hope that the king gets the message: that it is for the people, not the monarch or the nobles, to choose governments. And hopefully Pohiva will be able to use this mandate to push for further constitutional change, such as the elimination of the noble seats and the restriction of monarchical power. Because the current situation, where a third of parliament is elected by just 33 inbred nobles, is simply unsustainable. The sooner this undemocratic power is removed, the better.
An optimist sees the glass as half-full; A pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. Personally, Im more concerned about whether theres anything left in the bottle. Every now and then, someone will talk about mankinds current predicament and how were all going to hell and theres no hope. Others will argue that we all need
Im currently working on a new, investigative book on the global war on drugs covering vast parts of the world consumed by the drug war (from Honduras to West Africa). Itll be published by Scribe in Australia, the UK and beyond in 2019.
This week I was interviewed by the US podcast, Bitcoin Uncensored, on this book, what my research has taught me so far, what legalisation/decriminalisation looks like etc. And yes, the words are out of sync (technical issues):
Alan Austin analyses all Federal ministerial sackings and resignations since Gough Whitlams regime to show the Turnbull Government has by far the worst record. read now...
Now we are all agreed that Section 44 of the Constitution is creating the silly season of all silly seasons; but the Constitution still stands.
According to Section 44(iv):
Any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or member of the House of Representatives.
Now the law is clear that federal and state public servants are deemed to be persons who hold office of profit under the Crown and are ineligible unless they resign their positions prior to nomination. (Phil Cleary was a state school teacher and was knocked out.)
It is not so clear in respect of local government employees and councillors hence the hold up with the Jacqui Lambie nominee who is also the major of Devenport.
Where university staff fit in is also unclear. Arguably they are employed the universities which are established by state legislation and there is a variety of funding sources that cover the salaries of staff. But who knows really? There have been a few former academics in parliament over the years Neale Blewett, for instance.
But where do ministerial advisers fit in? They are paid by the Commonwealth. They are surely persons who hold office of profit under the Crown.
Talk about a cat among the pigeons? There are slews of current parliamentarians who were lobbed into their seats from being ministerial advisers. Should they be deemed to be ineligible under section 44?
And dont just think it would be Labors problem; it is now the preferred pathway for the Coalition too. Canavan and ODwyer spring to mind as former ministerial advisers.
Just a thought.
Friday 17 November 2017 1 On Tuesday this week my daughter, together with her two children, Jack 13 and Riley 11 visited for dinner. Its a standing date. Jack, who attends a Catholic college had previously told me that the boys had already openly discussed the issue of marriage equality and were on the Yes
A Global Atheist Convention was supposed to be held next February in Melbourne, Australia, but its been cancelled due to lack of interest. In a commentary for The Sydney Morning Herald, November 8, 2017, Dr. Michael Jensen, rector of St Marks Anglican Continue reading
The joy of insomnia, checking out past Roundups in CIS Policy.
From the Archive
John OSullivan, After Reaganism, National Review, April
OSullivan takes conservatives to task for being too slow in matching the shifting positions of radicals who have nimbly moved on to map out new directions to Utopia. The Left ought to be more confused than the Right by the ideological flux of the post-Cold War world [but] it is moving more quickly to redefine the ground rules of the new political game. This game, as OSullivan calls it, is the disintegration of existing society and the replacement of traditional relations with bureaucratic management. He examines this process at work in three areas the economy, social and moral issues, and the national question of cultural or political identity.
The economy is undermined in the interests of consumer protection, workplace safety and the environment. He notes some estimates of the opportunity cost of clean-air and clean-water regulation (6 per cent of GDP) and affirmative action (4 per cent of GDP). A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon youre talking about real money. But beyond the dollar cost is the agenda of control, bringing industry under bureaucratic control without the responsibility or the bother of owning it socialism without tears.
Concern for the environment has extended to indoctrination of school children with a quasi-religious obligation to the earth or Gaia which is higher than the long-term interests of the human race. OSullivan points out that this gives the interventionist Left a whole host of silent constituents who cannot answer back, namely, the environment and the beasts.
Listening to Al Gore one wishes that the animals really could speak. If would be interesting to hear the candid opinion of the sloth on welfare, of wolves on foreign policy, and of the cuckoo on family values.
In the moral domain the Left first discredits the values of traditional society (duty, fidelity and chastity) which help society to work without close bureaucratic supervision, then tries to resolve the resulting moral problems by law and regulation. At the level of national identity, OSullivan finds the greatest threat of all in the multicultural agenda, apparently aimed at the disintegration of the American people into a babble of contending interests. According to this agenda, the ancient symbol of failed communication, the Tower of Babel, becomes the Utopian dream.
Andrew Greeley, The Other Civic America: Religion and Social
Capital, The American Prospect, May 1997.
Greeley claims that religion can indeed be a source of social capital, in this case, by encouraging people to contribute their time I unpaid) for worthy causes. He drew upon two studies...
Until the December disclosure deadline arrives, both sides of politics are using s44 of the Constitution as a weapon to weaken the other side, says Dr Binoy Kampmark. read now...
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