Home > Oz Politics > La La, La Rouche, again

La La, La Rouche, again

December 13th, 2009

Via Mark Bahnisch, this piece from the Oz on the links between Barnaby Joyce and the LaRouchite Citizens Electoral Council. The story fits into the rather misleading “Crazy Barnaby” theme that has been developing since Joyce was appointed Opposition Finance spokesman by Tony Abbott.

It’s misleading not because Joyce isn’t influenced by the LaRouchites but because this is presented as a personal idiosyncrasy. As I pointed out here the great majority of the political right, including most rightwing commentators at the Oz and most of the current Opposition frontbench derive their opinions on environmental issues such as global warming and DDT, directly or indirectly from La Rouche[1].

fn1. Mostly indirectly, because of LaRouche’s insistence on implicating the British Royal Family in the alleged genocidal plots of scientists, environmentalists, and the Left. If he would only drop this stuff, he could be the new Matt Drudge or Glenn Reynolds.

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  1. December 13th, 2009 at 16:31 | #1

    But oddly LaRouche seems to be left-wing. He loves FDR. The British Royal Family thing is nutty but fits into the anti-Imperialist theme. On science he is very pro-technology, space exploration etc. and doesn’t like to hear about any problems created by technology it would seem. So it’s weird that the Australian right wing would take their views from LaRouche.

  2. paul walter
    December 13th, 2009 at 17:02 | #2

    Certainly astounded at the false dichotomies in the OZ article.
    Poor AFTINET Convener, Dr Ranald, featured in the previous thread, must be overjoyed that for resisting the real (not Rouchie) “fraud” of globalisation, she is a Chifleyite Luddite and perhaps also a raving anti semite, should she have ever questioned the influence of the Zionist Lobby in the West !!
    God help anyone who resists the Totalising doctrines of neoliberalism and lobotomised consumerism, after “Farenheit 451″ ; forgive those who seek to conserve what’s good now, or put in place what’s necessary fo a sustainable future, in favour of phony “markets” based on inbuilt “situatonal bads”,
    with artificial rationing of supply of commodities like water and electricity rationed to maintain prices for the new energy oligarchs.
    And heaven help us when communities trying to defend what makes their communities worthwhile, dare to mitigate; suggest a little protection to help them adjust and transit thru change rather than just lie there being F—ed over by selfish interests with no more concern for the locales they invade than an ant they’d tread on.
    No, the Oz article is at the same level as the Rouchies, it’s just peddling ideological claptrap, but of a different flavour to the Rouchies.
    All about trying to obscure social democrat theory by linking the left with the Rouchies.

  3. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 17:59 | #3

    @paul walter
    Agree. I am so OVER neoliberalism, consumerism, clientelism, globalisationism, free (phooey) markets Paul. Its a load of absolute bunk that has been deployed to enrich the already rich!

  4. paul walter
    December 13th, 2009 at 18:26 | #4

    Alice, funny thing with the rich. The richer they get, seemingly the hungrier.
    As for the Rouchies, they are just there to prevent the Great Unwashed from realising who it is that is really skinning them. Something dreamed up in the US think tanks and financed for just that purpose of diversion.
    The thing is, even the Rouchie footsoldiers, for all their ignorance, are at least better motivated, than the conscious spinners of Murdoch black propaganda.
    These spinners try for the double-header, smear of the Greens by association with the Rouchies, whilst damning the communitarian aspect of conservatism that resonates with some on the left.
    The eco rat blitzkreig must continue on at any costs, until the physical and cultural/ cognitive habitats of all are destroyed on the Vanities bonfire along with the dislocated neolib Zombies responsible for it all.

  5. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 18:38 | #5

    I just knew it was an offspring of the League of Nations JQ. They do seem to live in Queensland these days – this doesnt surprise me AT ALL. They have some historical links to De Groot who shot to fame stealing the scene and opening the harbour bridge on a horse with sword ahead of the oficial opening…yes, QLD, what can I say but “home to the crucial inbred yokel”. Not only that but JH has ancestry connected to this far right group if I recall.

  6. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 18:47 | #6

    @paul walter
    Yes Paul its true – “Alice, funny thing with the rich. The richer they get, seemingly the hungrier”.

    I have seen the income tax redistribution figures for individuals in this country since 1945. Back then the top decile funded all the redistribution to other deciles. In 1975 they mysteriously offloaded half their burden to the ninth decile. BY 1984 they managed to get rid of another bit of redistribution responsibility to the 8th Decile and there it has stayed. People seriously wonder why inequality has risen??

    The top decile bears half the burden for redistribution that they did in 1945 – because they are shoving the burden down the line – and all of this under “feed the rich more” policies. Soon they will be expecting the lower deciles to carry the entire burden of income tax redistribution while they pay ZIP.

    Pardon me but what neoliberal panderers and sycophants let them pull that one off?

  7. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 18:57 | #7

    @Alice
    Ill say this – at the height of her fame Pauline hanson was riding a la Rouche wave…
    you know some things…just some things…..the left and the far right (well at least la la Rouche style) could just find a meeting place…

    Im over globalisation and free trade crap (and being done over by US forces) and so it seems are the La Rouchies and the QLD local yokels?? Do I have more in common with Pauline Hanson than I ever realised?

    God help me!

  8. ken n
    December 13th, 2009 at 19:25 | #8

    Good grief, that’s a long bow.
    The connection seems to be that Joyce is on the CEC’s Mailing list and shares some of the same dopey ideas. Joyce is best understood as one of those old fashioned agrarian socialists. With most of them it comes from spending too much time on the tractor thinking with no-one to tell them they are being foolish. Bit like Rudd spending his holidays writing 8000 word essays away from his minders.
    Joyce will not last long in the shadow cabinet. His appointment was a lapse of concentration by Abbott, which itself is a worry.

  9. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 19:35 | #9

    Well if we look at CEC Australia which has distanced itself from the La Rouchies but is still right..this is their agenda

    The establishment of a “New Bretton Woods International Monetary System”.
    The establishment of a National Bank and State Banks.
    The repeal of all federal and state anti-union legislation
    The repeal of recent laws, such as the Australian anti-terrorism legislation, 2004, which the CEC believes have “taken away the civil rights of Australians”
    An immediate halt to the privatisation of Commonwealth and State assets and regulatory bodies
    An immediate moratorium on foreclosures of family farms
    The immediate elimination of the National Competition Policy
    The elimination of the Goods and Services Tax
    The reassertion of national control over Australia’s oil and gas and huge mineral resources
    A “dramatic expansion” of resources to all public health facilities
    A “dramatic upgrading” of federal and state infrastructure
    A “real war on drugs”
    The establishment of “generous immigration quotas”

    This lot of “wants” IS interesting because there are quite a few on this list a lefty might actually like to see as well instead of the ruinous neoliberal ideas that have left us all mightily ticked off(they are ailing…but just not dead yet).

  10. ken n
    December 13th, 2009 at 19:40 | #10

    Seems like a socialist agenda to me Alice. And a very old fashioned one at that.

  11. Charlie Bell
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:08 | #11

    The CEC hasn’t distanced itself very far from La Rouche. I just picked up the latest copy of their “newspaper”, The New Citizen, and both the front page articles have “La Rouche” in the headline.

    La Rouche: Defeat the British Empire of Monetarism!

    Mass Strike Shapes U.S., World Politics – “LaRouche Plan” now on the table.

    Page 3 carries a headline “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Kevin 007?”

    Is there anyone they don’t despise?

  12. jquiggin
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:09 | #12

    As I say in the post, Ken, the real link between La Rouche and the political right is much more direct than the long bow the Oz has drawn with Joyce. Steve Milloy, and not the CEC, is the primary link.

  13. paul walter
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:12 | #13

    Alice, we seem to have Ken N’s approval!
    Nice to meet someone else with a concern for fellow humanity, eh?
    Not.

  14. nanks
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:13 | #14

    ‘crazy barnaby’ is a great tactic – the libs can now point to Joyce and say – we’re not crazy – He is! Even getting rid of him after some supernaturally bizarre gaffe will be perfect – the voice of moderation prevails within the libs.

  15. ken n
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:21 | #15

    Maybe, though some of your links in the 13 October post drew on the same bow.
    You do have a habit JQ of lumping all those with different views of the world to yours into an “evil” box even if they have little else in common.
    There is a goodish argument that the restrictions on DDT use following Silent Spring were an overreaction and resulted in many unnecessary deaths. Not a conspiracy or evil just an old fashioned and unfortunate overreaction
    You don’t need to be a right wing nut to believe that.
    And Milroy sometimes does a useful service. Complementary to Ben Oldacre in the Guardian.
    Just because someone says or writes something you think is wrong does not condemn everything that comes out of their mouths.

  16. nanks
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:29 | #16

    @ken n
    what argument is that ken n
    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2008/05/rehabilitatingcarson/
    a little biology would be enough to follow the argument

  17. Fran Barlow
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:34 | #17

    And LaRouche of course begun his politically life amongst the Trotskyist left, under the namke Lynn Marcus. For a time in the early 1960s he was with the predecessor of an organisation I supported in the 1970s.

    A strange, eccentric, charismatic person with a very sharp mind who could argue any case and sound plausible.

  18. SJ
    December 13th, 2009 at 20:43 | #18

    Just because someone says or writes something you think is wrong does not condemn everything that comes out of their mouths.

    This sounds to me like the false claims about Mussolini making the trains run on time. Can you suggest something specific that he’s said (Milloy, that is) that useful and not complete BS? I’m afraid that “Complementary to Ben Oldacre in the Guardian” is just meaningless nonsense.

  19. Michael
    December 13th, 2009 at 21:47 | #19

    I have heard that the La Rouchites managed to stack at least one TV audience. Sometimes I wonder whether they are active on online newspaper comments. There seems to be an inordinate number of commenters promoting views that are inline with them. It certainly wouldn’t be difficult for a well organised active group to hijack.

  20. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 22:15 | #20

    The La Rouchites think anthropogenic global warming is utter bunkum. Durkin, the guy who made “The Great Global Warming Swindle” has an interesting history as a La Rouchite of both the Trotskyist left as Fran Barlow mentions Lynn Marcus was, but then he swung to the far right on a number of issues/ideals fairly early on. It seems that quite a few of the extreme right start off as extreme left, which makes me think of the the political spectrum as more like a circle than a straight line marked “Left” at one end and “Right” at the other. But anyway.

    On a not entirely unrelated note, it seems that Marc Morano, the attack poodle of Senator James Inhofe in the USA, has been emailing a new (recycled with fresh paint) list of scientists who have seen the light and become raging loons errr quiet, engaging, deeply thoughtful sceptics of claims made by every scientist for or against the theory of AGW. He seems to be emailing to the membership of some societies or associations, and at least one medical doctors’ website I go to has had the email sent to its medical members.

    These guys are playing for keeps.

  21. Tim Dymond
    December 13th, 2009 at 22:15 | #21

    ‘It is not necessary to wear brown shirts to be a fascist….It is not necessary to wear a swastika to be a fascist….It is not necessary to call oneself a fascist to be a fascist. It is simply necessary to be one!’
    –LaRouche, “Solving the Machiavellian Problem Today,” New Solidarity, July 7, 1978

    http://lyndonlarouchewatch.org/newamericanfascism.htm

  22. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 05:11 | #22

    @nanks
    Yes, nanks, I read the Prospect piece at the time.
    Not convincing, not persuaded.
    When he has some fairly good points to argue, JQ way overstates his case to the point where one is inclined to reject the lot. A pity.
    Before SS there was dangerous overuse of DDT. Since then there has been almost complete rejection of it, allowing malaria to re-establish in many areas of the world. Moderate use of DDT would save many lives.

  23. jquiggin
    December 14th, 2009 at 05:39 | #23

    Ken, given your self-assigned role of expressing concern, I wonder that you didn’t express any such concern at this repetition of Milloy’s blood libel against environmentalists, at Catallaxy

    http://www.catallaxyfiles.com/blog/?p=6628

    And, if you can find any good in Steven Milloy, you should share it with the world. It would certainly provide hope for the worst of us.

  24. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 05:53 | #24

    JQ every dog can choose the tree up which it will bark. I am not very interested in AGW fights so I only skimmed and did not react to the posting that got you so excited.
    The need to do more to combat malaria is an issue that does interests me. Milroy has, in the past before he became totally obsessed with AGW, written some worthwhile things about DDT.
    It seems clear that millions have died unnecessarily.
    There is quite a bit of junk science about and it’s good to have someone point that out. Respectful Insolence also does a worthwhile job.

  25. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 06:06 | #25

    @paul walter
    Not. Agree.

  26. jquiggin
    December 14th, 2009 at 06:18 | #26

    @ken n
    Perhaps then, rather than making generalized complaints about tone, you’d like to offer a substantive response to the Prospect piece (longer version here). Everything Milloy wrote about DDT was in the service of his (undeclared) employers in the tobacco industry, who needed a stick with which to beat environmentalists and health advocates. The lies about Rachel Carson and DDT, borrowed from LaRouche, were part of that.

    The millions of dead with whom you should be concerned are those killed by the tobacco industry, with Milloy’s active connivance, not the imaginary victims of the equally imaginary ban on DDT about which he wrote.

  27. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 06:44 | #27

    JQ you and Lambert seem to have invented a massive conspiracy. But your conclusion, that DDT should be part of the armory in the fight against malaria carrying mosquitoes, is reasonable. If that had been recognised and followed in the years after publication of SS the death rate would have been less. There was no ban but as a result of SS, use was reduced more than it should have been.
    Re-reading the article, I am not sure why it took you so long to get to such a reasonable conclusion and why you felt to need to burn so much on the way.
    I don’t believe Carson should be called a baby-killer and I don’t believe that it is reasonable to tar the pro DDT case with tobacco. And yes, as a result of tobacco, millions died though I am not convinced that the tobacco companies did in fact successfully slow laws against tobacco marketing etc. What seems to happen is that when a practice (smoking) gets below about 30% of the population, governments feel able to impose harsh restrictions. Before that they lack political courage.
    Many, perhaps most, of the bad things that happen are the result of weak and foolish governments. Rarely does conspiracy contribute.

  28. jquiggin
    December 14th, 2009 at 06:50 | #28

    We didn’t “invent” or even “discover” the conspiracy, Ken. The US courts convicted the tobacco industry of conspiracy well before we wrote the article, and it’s the evidence revealed in the associated trials that exposed Milloy as a participant and led to his being thrown out of Cato (Fox News, unsurprisingly, had less moral scruples).

  29. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:00 | #29

    A conspiracy to destroy Carson’s reputation?
    I can’t see any reference to DDT in the references to the tobacco trials.
    Sorry, JQ, all I am saying is that you are often on the side of the angels but you weaken your case by exaggeration.
    Perhaps a common failing of the young.

  30. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:08 | #30

    JQ provides the factual history of the conspiracy by the tobacco industry. It would appear that Ken, in fact, conspires to deny factual history through a) insinuating that JQ has invented a tobacco industry conspiracy b) diverting the responsibility for the conspiracy away from the private tobacco industry to “weak governments”.
    Ken may fool some of the people some of the time…but he doesnt fool me.

  31. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:11 | #31

    One sad thing about the La Rouche nutters is that sometimes they attack policies or organisations that ought to be attacked, but because they talk such nonsense and because they are nutters, to be attacked by them does nothing but confer some sort of credibility.

  32. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:14 | #32

    Yes, Freelander, it is difficult when one’s enemies occasionally say something that makes sense.
    Complicated place, this old world.

  33. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:32 | #33

    @Alice

    Yes, I agree. JQ is right. Conspiracy is not at all unusual. People get together, formally or informally, to pursue their own goals and to more effectively pursue those goals often disguise what they are up to. Often they go to considerable lengths to disguise what they are up to. They always have and always will. The extent to which they succeed varies but it is callow and, perhaps, a ‘failing of the young’ to imagine that it does not go on.

    That said, there are also many conspiracies alleged where they do not exist. A good example of one of these is that idea many climate change deniers have that, AGW is some giant conspiracy by the green socialists to implement a world government. Or more recently, ‘climategate’, which is another conspiracy that doesn’t exist.

    Conspiracy is probably more effective in a ‘free’ society exactly because it is often hidden in plain sight, amongst the myriad of faux conspiracies. Even when the truth surfaces many don’t recognise it.

  34. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:40 | #34

    @Tim Dymond

    Even nutters can, occasionally, string together sentences that are correct. I am sure there are straight-jacked psychotics, in psych wards who occasionally string together sentences as trivially true as “One and one equals two”. Whether this ability aids their recovery, or counts as evidence against their malaise, is a different matter.

  35. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:52 | #35

    @ken n
    You also say “What seems to happen is that when a practice (smoking) gets below about 30% of the population, governments feel able to impose harsh restrictions. Before that they lack political courage.
    Many, perhaps most, of the bad things that happen are the result of weak and foolish governments. ”

    You would be well aware that resources of magnificent value are often deployed by private firms in pursuit of maximum favourable de-regulation (and indeed maximum and completre de-regulation and minimal government intervention is seem as favourable by libertarians) but when things go awry as in the Tobacco industry case, you suggest its the “weak and foolish” governments fault for not regulating more harshly sooner?

    The “government” too often becomes the conveniently wheel-barrowed out and propped up scarecrow scapegoat for every and any anti social, harmful and destructive failure of private industry. The scapegoat for all seasons.

    Let the responsibility be borne by those responsible Ken and yes, there was a factual (not imaginary) conspiracy by the Tobacco industries just as there was a conspiracy over the sale, ratings, boxing and promotion of ballistically high risk CDOs by large financial firms in the GFC. These were monumental failures of private industry firms, many of whom persisted in calling for greater de-regulation ultimately to their own detriment and the detriment of taxpayers. Just like the Tobacco industry case.

  36. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 08:05 | #36

    “you suggest it’s the “weak and foolish” governments fault for not regulating more harshly sooner?
    Yes, mostly. Though perhaps foolish is a bit hard. Few governments are going to oppress 30% of the population, even when it is the proper thing to do.

    And very few situations in this world are “just like” another case. It’s what makes it all so damn complicated. Which has been the point of most of my comments here.

  37. robert
    December 14th, 2009 at 08:19 | #37

    Years ago (1993 I believe) I once suggested to some Australian monarchists that they might care to make some serious public criticisms of the LaRouche brigade (then only just finding its feet in Australian life – I don’t think the CEC had started running candidates yet).

    Because no sooner did a LaRouchee open his mouth, than he began burbling to 58 journalists about how Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were in league with Henry Kissinger to make the entire Australian populace into cocaine addicts. Indeed the LaRouchees actually organised a Canberra conference to this effect.

    I tried pointing out that if the Royal Family per se was powerful enough to make 20 million Aussies into stoners, then presumably Her Maj would also be powerful enough to prevent the avalanche of anti-royal media publicity which was occurring, in Britain no less than here. But you can’t reason with these people.

    And of course the monarchists did nothing in response to the LaRouchee attacks on them. To the suggestion that associating Turnbull with the LaRouchees might have the effect of making the former look ridiculous, I just got blank stares.

    This was my first introduction to the profound truth that has shaped my outlook ever since. There are two sorts of political activist. There is the Disraeli / FDR / Graham Richardson sort of activist, who whatever his dreadful faults, can actually discern that there is a deep existential difference between victory and defeat. With him you can do business.

    Then there is the other sort of political activist, for whom (whether he or she be “right”, “left”, or anything in between) victory and defeat alike mean nothing, and for whom it is all a branch of group therapy, like Pilates classes, I suppose. You associate with that sort at your peril.

  38. nanks
    December 14th, 2009 at 08:46 | #38

    @ken n
    patronising you might be ken n but how do you refute Lymbery?
    http://tinyurl.com/blgdm
    note the final comments re the insult to people who actually do the work in health care – why do you insult them, why do you think people who don’t work int he field have the answers when the refutations are obvious to anyone with a basic biol degree?

  39. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 10:30 | #39

    @robert

    The Royals leave the LaRouchees alone to provide an effective cover for their stoner conspiracy. All adds up, doesn’t it.

    Signing out, so I can go away and have a puff.

  40. ken n
    December 14th, 2009 at 10:42 | #40

    I do not insult anyone, except perhaps a few who feel insulted when it is pointed out that they are overstating their case.
    I believe L is skipping over the period when use of DDT was cut back after SS.
    It does seem that malaria carrying mosquitoes were almost beaten but for a number of reasons – including DDT cutback – they were allowed to come back.
    If the current mix of weapons – DDT, bednets etc – was used continuously it seems many fewer would have did.
    There was no evil or malice in any of this. Just overreaction and poor judgment.

  41. December 14th, 2009 at 10:55 | #41

    The use of DDT was cut back in agriculture after SS, not in vector control.

    When is was cut back in vector control was because it was becoming less effective – I’d be interested to know how advocating for the use of a less effective persticide would be saving millions of lives.

  42. robert
    December 14th, 2009 at 11:09 | #42

    Freelander :
    @robert
    The Royals leave the LaRouchees alone to provide an effective cover for their stoner conspiracy. All adds up, doesn’t it.
    Signing out, so I can go away and have a puff.

    Yeah, and don’t forget the Great Vatican Conspiracy To Force Honest Englishmen To Eat Garlic. That’s why the European Union was founded, dontcha know? That’s why Benedict XVI is visiting the Queen in 2010.

    (I’d always thought that modern popes regularly visited heads of state anyway and that European unification might’ve been connected with some guys bearing names like Adenauer trying not to have World War Three; but then, who am I to talk?)

    Having lately been to London – a sin on my part which I don’t intend to commit afresh – I was aghast to discover that more or less the entire London mass media are controlled by people who now think like this. It really gives you the flavour of what life must have been like in the Maoist Chinese Cultural Revolution. If you reckon Andrew Bolt might get his facts sometimes wrong, I have news for you, bruvva. His rhetoric is vicarage-tea-party stuff compared with what prevails in London newspapers now.

    You ask a more or less rational-looking human being in London (who at least left school at an age later than nine) a more or less rationally-phrased question about whether Brown or Cameron will win at the ballot box. In response, you get an earful of sub-Maoist agitprop about The Foreign Devils.

  43. Peter T
    December 14th, 2009 at 11:20 | #43

    I wonder if Barnaby and a few others – and much of the reaction visible on UK blogs – are not (sub-consciously) tapping into a swing to a well-established reaction to impending crisis – pull back from wider engagement, direct resources to the fundamentals of survival, look after your own. Best exemplified by the 30s, but also, I think in some earlier periods.

  44. Fran Barlow
    December 14th, 2009 at 11:24 | #44

    Dona Oats said:

    It seems that quite a few of the extreme right start off as extreme left, which makes me think of the the political spectrum as more like a circle than a straight line marked “Left” at one end and “Right” at the other.

    This is an increasingly common view and one that is hard to refute if one takes the view that what defines left and right are slogans centred around public ownership. Communitarianism is by no means the exclusive property of the left. There’s a short step from her to the argument made by American Libertarians that fascism and socialism are twins.

    I’d argue that what divides left and right are attitudes to the social empowerment of working people on a world scale. What matters utlimately is not the name on the sign outside the facility producing socially necessary goods and services or even the legal title holder, but the relationship it bears to to bona fide manifestations of the global social and political interests of working people. If one can really conclude that a particular enterprise in a particular setting is an instantiation of that interest, then advocacy for such begins to define one as a leftist. If the advocacy coheres with a multiplicity of such instantiations, one is a leftist.

  45. James
    December 14th, 2009 at 11:25 | #45

    Ken n, DDT use for vector control began to be cut back before Silent Spring was even published, because the mosquitoes were already becoming resistant and the governments of developing countries were running out of money.

  46. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 11:57 | #46

    @robert

    Yes, European Union. Napoleon and Hitler would have loved to see their dream finally coming to fruition.

  47. jquiggin
    December 14th, 2009 at 12:11 | #47

    @James
    Actually, the abandonment of the WHO eradication program took place in the late 60s a few years after Silent Spring was published, but well before the US ban on non-public health uses in 1972. But the reasons were the ones you give, and not the influence of Rachel Carson.

    Of course, the ban on agricultural use (although never fully enforced in poor countries) slowed the development of resistance and saved lives, a point Milloy & Edwards try to wriggle around.

  48. December 14th, 2009 at 12:21 | #48

    Pr Q says:

    the great majority of the political right, including most rightwing commentators at the Oz and most of the current Opposition frontbench derive their opinions on environmental issues such as global warming and DDT, directly or indirectly from La Rouche.

    Mostly indirectly, because of LaRouche’s insistence on implicating the British Royal Family in the alleged genocidal plots of scientists, environmentalists, and the Left. If he would only drop this stuff, he could be the new Matt Drudge or Glenn Reynolds.

    This badly misrepresents the ideological valency of the Larouchites in general and CEC in particular, thereby doing something of an injustice to their alleged right-wing confreres. These groups have a long geneology in settler societies which broadly falls under the head of “agrarian socialism”. They are thus an admixture of the Old Left and Old Right, very unlikely candidates for “the new Matt Drudge or Glenn Reynolds”.

    But some of their platform, including their implacable hostility to monarchy, could have been taken straight out of the Quiggin playbook. The CEC’s 2001 platform lists the following key policies (Quiggin channeling in links):

    – The establishment of a “New Bretton Woods International Monetary System”;
    - The establishment of a National Bank and State Banks;
    - The repeal of all federal and state anti-union legislation;
    - The repeal of recent laws, such as the Australian anti-terrorism legislation;
    - An immediate halt to the privatisation of Commonwealth and State assets;
    - A “dramatic expansion” of resources to all public health facilities;
    - A “dramatic upgrading” of federal and state infrastructure.

    Most of these proposals would be regarded with horror by the likes of Drudge, Reynolds or the Oz op-ed crew. But they seem to fit into the socialist ideology quite nicely, a fact noted by Pr Q himself in his semi-facetious dig at Wilson Tuckey’s love affair with Chinese model of statist energy policy.

    Of course Pr Q is more soundly economic rationalist in most other areas of policies. But still…

    Politics makes for strange bed-fellows.

  49. December 14th, 2009 at 12:28 | #49

    Look at the graph here. Malaria did skyrocket in India in the 70s. But not because they cut back on DDT spraying because of pressure from environmentalists. The graph shows that they didn’t cut back on DDT, but dramatically increased its use. So how come malaria increased? Well, the increase in DDT use was in agriculture. This caused the insects to become resistant, so they had to use more DDT to get the same effect. This caused more resistance, so even more DDT was used and so on. The end result was that in the areas where DDT was used in agriculture, the mosquitoes became completely resistant and DDT no longer stopped them from spreading malaria, with the disastrous results shown in the graph.

    Restrictions on the agricultural use of DDT saved lives. Ken and the Larouchites will not admit this.

  50. ken
    December 14th, 2009 at 12:58 | #50

    TL From my reading, I am still not convinced that your final statement is correct.
    Health policy can rarely be expressed by such bald statements.
    (Tobacco excluded).
    But I’m not going to enter one of those knock down drag out fights that seem to be common here. I agree that those on the weird right have made DDT a political touchstone but it is disappointing that you have followed.
    Enough.

  51. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:11 | #51

    @ken

    Yes. I found Tim’s post fairly convincing as well so I don’t think I will dispute it.

  52. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:43 | #52

    @Donald Oats

    which makes me think of the the political spectrum as more like a circle than a straight line marked “Left” at one end and “Right” at the other.

    I was thinking that exact same thing last night but didn’t pen it, so to speak. But in a traditional view of political alignment, either way you’d call them wingnuts.

  53. December 14th, 2009 at 13:55 | #53

    Do tell, Ken. Exactly what evidence would be required to convince you that mosquitoes evolve resistance to DDT if you spray the environment with it and that DDT resistance makes DDT less effective in the fight against malaria? Well?

  54. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:58 | #54

    @Tim Lambert
    Facts and evidence, bit below the belt isn’t it?

  55. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 14:09 | #55

    Sad to see Jack Strocchi peddling the same line as the Oz article.

    Quiggin is merely reminding us that the economy is about more than just benefitting a few greedy oligarchs.
    Of course many conservatives would also understand what globalisation is about; their communities are being destroyed by rubbish like the AUSFTA; hence untrammelled global environmental damage,for example, since neoliberal globalisation is just deregulation of any rules, good or bad, by stealth, that might block the narrow objectives of control and profitability
    But the rightist think tanks are never backwards in coming forward with more disinformation.
    The sort of rubbish written in the OZ article is a typical example: try to drive a wedge between certain types of small c conservatives, moderates and lefties who have also woken up to neoliberalist “divide and conquer”, of the sort you read constantly in the Murdoch press: not for “the economy”,or “society”, but in the narrow, self ordained interests of people like Murdoch and his sponsors, preferably at the expense of everyone else.

  56. James
    December 14th, 2009 at 14:13 | #56

    Guy Rundle has an interesting article on Barnaby and the worldview of those susceptible to the CEC in today’s Crikey. Adam Schwab points out that if his remarks had come from someone else, e.g Volcker, they might not seem all that crazy.

  57. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 14th, 2009 at 15:08 | #57

    Actually the phenomenon of switching political alignment isn’t that uncommon. It was noted on numerous occasions during the height of the Bush presidency, that many of his neoconservative foot soldiers had actually started out as liberals.

    This is what wikipedia says about the subject:

    The term neoconservative was used at one time as a criticism against proponents of American modern liberalism who had “moved to the right”.[5][6]

    The bit on George Orwell is also interesting. He is held up by neoconservatives as the first neoconservative, yet this is what he said:

    Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.

    This is why using the terms left and right is fraught with misinterpretation. The terms that I’ve seen used to describe old school alignments are paleo-conservativism and socialism. Liberalism is the neo-socialism. And as we’ve seen it’s really hard to classify wingnuts. At least that is my interpretation. :?

  58. Ken Nielsen
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:05 | #58

    I concede, TL, I concede. You are correct in every particular. Always have been always will.
    It is always foolish for someone to question the truth of what you say or write.
    I’ll never do it again.

  59. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:18 | #59

    The didactic element at this blog is a wondrous thing.
    Present and educate people with the concept of evidence and then present actual evidence, which may be unfamiliar for those used to a diet of Tabloidism and in the example above – ken n’s epiphany- will surely lift the spirits of those here who had come to believe that the internal communications system of this society basedon reason and logic, had broken down completely.

  60. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:53 | #60

    I don’t understand why DDT is a left / right issue. The left ban stuff but so does the right. Drugs being a good example of the latter. I have not looked into the DDT story in depth but the Quiggin / Lambert position seems quite reasonable to me.

  61. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:03 | #61

    @Ken Nielsen
    Good for you. Most are unwilling to recognise when they are wrong.

  62. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:33 | #62

    @Freelander
    Freelander – dont be fooled by Ken’s charm. It was a most ungracious and unwilling concession.;)

  63. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:35 | #63

    ;-) most of my smileys dont work (Ill give up this silliness soon).

  64. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 14th, 2009 at 20:23 | #64

    Ken n, I am a bit thick and slow these days for bugger if I can find the term ‘agrarian socialist’ in The Nationals Constitution which you have labelled Barnaby Joyce. I believe you are an Oxford trained laywer and could do with some help.

  65. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 20:44 | #65

    Alice, perhaps you should pusue a gravatar instead- maybe a nightingale maybe, or wren.

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