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Monday Message Board

January 19th, 2015

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Donald Oats
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:35 | #1

    Joe Hockey speaks sh*t on taxes paid:

    When Australians spend the first six months of the year working for the government with tax rates nearly 50 cents in the dollar, it’s a disincentive.

    followed by:

    You’re working July, August, September, October, November, December just for the government and then you start working for yourself and your own household income after that for another six months, it is a disincentive, so we’ve got to bear that in mind.

    Apparently, this is okay to say, as Joe was speaking in “broad terms.” I’ll add that to my collection of euphemisms for “bald-faced lying”.

  2. Dave Lisle
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:16 | #2

    Careful what you say about Smoking Joe – as Fairfax recently learnt his love of free speech is eclipsed by his propensity to litigate. That aside, Joe’s case for low taxes (on the wealthy) is based on strong empirical ground. A few years ago he was in Hong Kong. There he found the top personal rate at 17% and corporate tax half a point lower. Unemployment was at 3.4% and inflation and government debt were under control. The policy implications for Australia were very clear (to him at least) – low tax rates equal economic success. I learn this from reading his 2012 speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs in London which declared war on the Age of Entitlement – I continue to mine it for nuggets of wisdom. In sum, the primary effect of tax is to undermine the incentive to get out of bed in the morning and contribute meaningfully to society – accordingly it is scourge (unless it is levied on the politically impotent).

  3. Donald Oats
    January 19th, 2015 at 15:26 | #3

    @Dave Lisle
    The second quote which I provided above, makes clear that Joe is conflating a marginal tax rate (of 47% for $180K and above) with a total annual tax (of 50% of income).

    Joe can put that in his pipe, and smoke it!

  4. Collin Street
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:27 | #4

    So.

    Our Tone has four knighthoods a year to give out, which by my numbers means he’s got to give out at least one by this time next week or the whole thing becomes an even more undeniable farce.

    Who?

    For extra credit: who are the people who knocked it back?

  5. January 20th, 2015 at 09:06 | #5

    International students send aid to Donbass, oppose Kiev and U.S.-backed war

    This article was originally published on Fightback!news on 31 December 2014. See also: “Feeling of ‘solid Western support’ behind Kiev’s renewed assault on Donbass” on RT. For more news on the fight by the people of of Donbass against the Kiev regime, read other Fightback! articles on Ukraine or visit the #Donbass Twitter page. Article also includes 2 embedded videos: “Ukraine: Helping rebuild homes” (7/1/15) (2:57) and “Donbass under fire: Separatists” (27/12/14) (58:12)

    After the U.S.-backed fascist coup in Kiev, Ukraine in February 2014, the people of Donbass rebelled for independence from Ukraine. A popular anti-fascist resistance quickly emerged. The breakaway state of Novorossiya, or New Russia, was formed and Kiev sent in troops and tanks to crush the people’s resistance. Civil war gripped the country. Now, almost a year later, while the resistance soldiers on, a humanitarian disaster perpetuated by the Kiev government’s war of aggression has struck the citizens of Donbass.

    International Students Aid to Donbass, based in Wroclaw, Poland, is one of many aid groups springing up across the world in solidarity with the ongoing resistance and the victimized people of Eastern Ukraine.

  6. January 20th, 2015 at 09:32 | #6

    The URL was omitted above, my apologies. Here it is:

    International students send aid to Donbass, oppose Kiev and U.S.-backed war

    The action by Polish students is particularly brave, given that:

    1. The Polish Government is supporting the Kiev regime in its war against Russian speakers in the East with military ‘advisors’.

    2. There are large numbers of Ukrainian emigres within Poland, many of whom support the neo-Nazi anti-Semitic regime in Kiev.

    Poland, in terms of the proportion of the pre-war population who died in the Second World War, suffered even more than the Soviet Union. That the Polish Government is supporting a government, which worships Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi invaders, is one of the bizarre paradoxes of geopolitics in 2014. Another is that those Ukrainian collaborators, worshipped by the Ukrainian government of today, assisted the Nazi occupiers in their “ethnic cleansing” of Poles within Ukraine.

  7. jungney
    January 20th, 2015 at 13:10 | #7

    New Matilda has a good summary of the history of Whitehaven Coal’s in which recent developments are that ‘FOI Documents Cast Further Doubt On Economic Viability Of Maules Creek Mine’. It’s just more evidence of corporate capture of two levels of the state in which bau provides the ecological slime in which corrupt bottom feeders become captains of industry and model citizens.

  8. patrickb
    January 21st, 2015 at 11:01 | #8

    I note that paper of record, the Australian, has a front page article detailing a breakthrough in proving wind farm health risks. Apparently someone called S. Cooper (Google shows that he is some sort of rogue engineer) has had people in the vicinity of the farms ‘diarise’ their ‘sensations’. The Oz appears to think this is the first step on the road to findings that will show that wind turbines placed in the countryside are as much risk to human health as smoking and fails to report any contrary opinion (NHMRC, Senate enquiries). Meanwhile on the AGW front they continue to proudly exercise their ‘robust scepticism’ in the face of vast amounts of empirical research validating the hypothesis. The thing is a joke.

  9. Dave Lisle
    January 21st, 2015 at 11:02 | #9

    @Donald Oats
    Ben Phillips from NATSEM writes in the Conversation today that the median Australian with a tax liability earns $55k and is liable for $10,318 tax. That is an average rate of 18.8% (or 69 days of the year “working for the government” – unless they’re a public servant of course). Given his overt contrition about dancing around his office to “the greatest day of my life” (or whatever it was) after handing down the last budget and his and smug (sort of) apology for the gaffe about poor people not driving, perhaps he will reformulate his comments along the following lines:
    “When Australians spend January, February and the first week of March working for the government it actually seems like a pretty good deal, so we’ve got to bear that in mind when confronting the budget emergency of our imagining. Upon reflection, our approach to fixing Labor’s debt and deficit disaster, which is actually Howard’s fiscal booby trap, is a bit like using a pair of single bladed scissors – we focus on spending whilst ignoring the other side of the ledger – taxation”.

  10. Hermit
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:27 | #10

    There must be some perceived disamenity to living next to wind farms otherwise we would’t have the development of ‘good neighbour’ payments
    http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/neighbour-deed-palmer-wind-farm-south-australia/
    Note the signing up fee and annual payments.

    I’m not sure what happened to the litigation for loss of land resale value near Cullerin Range NSW, perhaps it was settled quietly.

  11. patrickb
    January 21st, 2015 at 14:46 | #11

    @Hermit
    “perceived disamenity” as opposed to actual evidence of damage. Without reading the link in detail (it is to the Waubra people so hardly worth it) it looks like standard contract stuff, no contract without a consideration etc. I have no idea of the case you’re referring to, perhaps it was quietly withdrawn on the basis that it was unsound?

  12. Hermit
    January 21st, 2015 at 15:09 | #12

    @patrickb
    The ‘good neighbour’ payments were covered by the ABC and other m.s.m. Without re-reading it I think the deal was $1000 upfront and $2500 per year if you lived within 2km with provisos for adding new turbines at no extra payment. If I recall the NSW action was for 35% of the former valuation of the adjoining farm. Perhaps they settled on the basis of the SA formula.

  13. patrickb
    January 21st, 2015 at 18:18 | #13

    “Perhaps they settled on the basis of the SA formula”
    The word settled may not be accurate. It’s more a case of offer and acceptance rather than a claim for compensation under negligence. There doesn’t appear to be any question of injury or damage, just the waiver of rights for agreed sum.

  14. J-D
    January 21st, 2015 at 20:18 | #14

    @James Sinnamon

    How are Ukrainian collaborators with the Nazis worshipped by today’s Ukrainian government?

  15. Megan
    January 21st, 2015 at 20:29 | #15

    Member of the governing coalition, Svoboda, worships Ukranian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera as a “hero”.

    On 1 January thousands of their members, and also ‘Right Sektor’ held a torchlight march in Kiev to celebrate his birthday.

  16. Megan
    January 21st, 2015 at 22:22 | #16

    As an aside, CIA boy “our man Yats” was in Germany on 7 January to meet Merkel and appeared on German TV with this bizarre rewrite of WWII:

    Yatsenyuk said, “Russian aggression in Ukraine is an attack on world order and order in Europe. All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany. That has to be avoided. And nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War. And that is exactly what Russia’s President Putin is trying to do.”

    Hitler and Bandera were just trying to pre-emptively protect Germany and Ukraine from the Russian invasion. Everyone knows that.

  17. Megan
    January 22nd, 2015 at 00:20 | #17

    The Russian’s, weirdly, have fairly strong feelings about WWII.

    After all, the Nazis (and Ukrainian SS fans like Bandera), only killed about 27 million of them.

    Having a CIA installed puppet government, a CIA/NATO fuelled, armed and funded war right up against their border makes them anxious.

    We proud brave Aussies would do well to remember that as we bloviate over the anniversary of a couple of thousand dead in a militarily futile battle of aggression – i.e. Anzac 2015.

  18. January 22nd, 2015 at 02:11 | #18

    Evidence that Ukraine putschists worship Nazi collaborators

    On January 21st, 2015 at 20:18 J-D asked:

    How are Ukrainian collaborators with the Nazis worshipped by today’s Ukrainian government?

    There is a vast amount of documentary evidence, including photographs and videos, which shows that those who came to power as a result of the CIA-instigated coup of 21 February 2014, openly endorsed the legacy of wartime Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi German invaders. (If you look at my own local copy, linked to above, you will find a number of other linked articles, some of which include embedded videos.)

    One article, republished on my web-site, candobetter _dot_ net, and first published on Global Research, is “Moment of Truth: ‘Fascism As It Is’ in Ukraine” (30 Jun 2014).

    Another, also previously published on Global Research, is “New York Times discovers Kiev’s Neo-Nazis at war in Eastern Ukraine.”

    Articles about Ukranian Nazis, from the Russian news service RT, include “Russia slams Ukraine’s UN envoy for publicly justifying Nazi collaborators” (4 Mar 2014) and “Ukrainian neo-Nazism threatens to spread across Europe – Russian diplomat.”

  19. rog
    January 22nd, 2015 at 02:20 | #19

    Telstra are using solar to manufacture hydrogen to run a power cell that is used as backup power for some remote exchanges – up to eight hours capacity.

    Solar energy in a bottle

  20. Hermit
    January 22nd, 2015 at 07:21 | #20

    In Washington state the Stuart Island initiative does PV–>hydrogen–>fuel cells
    http://www.siei.org/mainpage.html
    If you click on Efficiency in the index that page gives a round trip efficiency of 7%. However more recent projects claim better results. See the wiki article on Power to gas. This concept has a long long way to go in cost, efficiency and compactness for urban energy needs.

  21. Patrickb
    January 22nd, 2015 at 08:18 | #21

    @Hermit
    That’s great mate, keep reporting the positive news. We all need to do our bit to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

  22. patrickb
    January 22nd, 2015 at 11:17 | #22

    Tony Abbott on radio today: “look, I’ve never been a skite – never intend to be a skite;”
    Skite? Have we elected a man or a schoolboy? And he’s wrong anyway, he’s mislead people by omission.

  23. rog
    January 23rd, 2015 at 05:56 | #23

    Anthony Watts (wattsupwiththat) claims that AGW is a construct by Wall St bankers. Seriously.

  24. rog
    January 23rd, 2015 at 06:25 | #24

    Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight – climate change and nuclear weapons being the terrible two sources of major catastrophe

    the perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world, 2,000 of them ready to launch in minutes, and the destruction of human habitats from climate change

    .

    See more at: http://thebulletin.org/about-us#sthash.EHliGf0m.dpuf

  25. Collin Street
    January 23rd, 2015 at 09:15 | #25

    Have we elected a man or a schoolboy?

    I have a theory on that, you know.

  26. Patrickb
    January 23rd, 2015 at 11:57 | #26

    @Collin Street
    Do tell?

  27. Megan
    January 23rd, 2015 at 14:03 | #27

    Newman and Seeney suing Alan Jones for defamation seems to be – politically – a really stupid thing to do a week before an election where very real questions about appearances of corruption, interference in the judiciary and pre-2012-election lying will be key, if not deciding, factors in the outcome.

    Luckily for the LNP the ALP is useless.

  28. Hermit
    January 23rd, 2015 at 15:00 | #28

    LNP MPs suing Jones illustrates the old adage ‘no honour among thieves’. On talkback radio Jones urged thousands of web illiterate codgers to attend the anti carbon tax rally in Canberra. He did his own calcs on CO2 buildup which were only a few orders of magnitude out. However his co-plaintiff Seeney went one better by removing sea level rise as an issue for coastal developers. I gather a new coal mine will remove Jones’ old home town from the map, an understandable slight. On many issues Jones, Newman and Seeney are on the same wavelength yet they fell out.

  29. Megan
    January 23rd, 2015 at 15:21 | #29

    Not only did Seeney do that, but at the time:

    Cr Sutherland told the ABC last night the Deputy Premier made his feelings clear about the matter at the meeting with council representatives.

    “At the meeting he said ‘I’m not having people’s property values devalued by what amounts to a semi-religious belief in climate change’,” he said.

    “It’s unbelievable that the Deputy Premier would come out with this.”

  30. jungney
    January 23rd, 2015 at 16:48 | #30

    Megan, there will come a time of reckoning, within our lifetimes, for these fools.

  31. rog
    January 23rd, 2015 at 18:09 | #31

    Harry Clarke, on his new website, has an interesting review of Richard Tol’s latest book. Restrictions on links on this site will mean that readers will have to google the link. In his book on climate scenarios Richard Tol refers to the IPCC reports. Yet he has already judged the IPCC reports as being subjective

    There has been no statistically significant change in the estimates over time. Nonetheless, subsequent assessment reports convey different messages in their Technical Summaries, with even greater deviations in the Summaries for Policy Makers. The IPCC should rely more strongly on objective methods.

    Why would Richard Tol use an imperfect source for his book?

    https://ideas.repec.org/p/sus/susewp/6914.html

  32. jungney
    January 23rd, 2015 at 19:32 | #32

    @rog
    It is with a wry smile that their is still a strong tendency within modern humans, deeply mystical, really, like a faith in rationality and record keeping, that I read:

    … to derive the total economic impact as a function of climate change.

    Neither data nor the most sophisticated of reflexive knowledge will save the world.

  33. rog
  34. January 25th, 2015 at 19:35 | #34

    In the lead up to Australia Day there has been an endless parade of the post-modern liberal usual suspects who claim that Australia is some amazingly diverse country which needs to refashion itself to “be relevant in the 21 C” or “define our place in the region”.

    Or something.

    People are entitled to their own opinions, no matter how fatuous. It is a free country, or supposed to be, until sufficient number of us turn into digitized versions of Stazi snitches.

    But they are not entitled to their own facts. And the facts indicate that AUS is still an overwhelmingly Occidental country, largely identifying with Caucasian Europeans in race, Christian mainstream in religion and Constitutional monarch as ruler.

    About 61.1% of the population denominate as Christian (ABS 2011)

    About 58% of the population have an active support of the monarchy (Roy Morgan 2012).

    Approximately 85% of the population have been genetically idetified as descendants of European settlers and immigrants. (Genome research 19.5 (2009): 804-814.)

    So, for the foreseeable future, Australia will still be a nation that pays homage to a somewhat diluted version of the traditional trilogy God, Queen and Country.

    The intractable nature of Australia’s moderate brand of social conservatism appears to drive post-modern liberals up the wall. Which probably accounts for their bilious and vitriolic reaction to innocuous displays of patriotism, such as wearing flag capes or sporting a Southern Cross tattoo.

    And of course don’t start them on the idea of celebrating the arrival of the First Fleet. The fact that, in less than a hundred years, the Stale Pale Males were able to turn a prison colony situated at the ass-end of the world into the per capita richest nation on Earth, complete with the full suite of liberal democratic institutions, is sort of rubbing it in.

    Talk about a stress test of the British model. The achievements of the current generation of elites don’t stack all that well to those of our ancestors.

    So three cheers for Australia Day:

    Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!

  35. Julie Thomas
    January 25th, 2015 at 20:59 | #35

    Jack

    Have you read that book by Robert Hughes, “The Fatal Shore”? That is an expose of the First Fleet and all the corruption, violence, ineptitude and small minded bourgeous hypochristianity and is tragic and very sad and hardly worth celebrating.

    All that bitter and twisted stuff about post-modern liberals – who are these people specifically? Can you name names? Allan Jones perhaps?

    I learned at my dad’s knee that patriotism turned into jingoism and was the last resort of knaves and the cause of wars; but really it’s the irrationality of the whole thing that is so silly and why I stay away from these ‘celebrations’ where people wear flags.

    Doesn’t happen in my little town thank goodness. Actually nobody is going to organise anything this year I heard because there are only 5 people left on the Committee and they are all over 70 and very very few people turned up last year. Have you been to the regional areas lately?

    It’s the hatred that has been added to that oi oi oi thing that creates the angst among your enemies and this angst is a real problem you refuse to acknowledge,…. or perhaps you can only see things from one point of view?

    And if Southern Cross tats are so ok, why doesn’t Tony get one? People might like him more.

    Tomorrow, I’ll be wearing my new t-shirt and thinking how good we could have been if we had worked with the blackfellas to integrate with them and build this country co-operatively.

    http://www.darkanddisturbing.com.au/shop/drive-like-stole-vernon-ah-kee/

  36. Ikonoclast
    January 25th, 2015 at 21:33 | #36

    @Jack Strocchi

    Why are you so obsessed about our being an occidental and caucasian (white) country? Do you believe there is something special about white people? Are white people superior in your judgement? There is really no other construction that can be put upon this great emphasis of yours your “Holy Trinity” of being Caucasian, Christian and “Constitutional monarch as ruler” (sic). You might be surprised that when people talk about diversity they are mostly not talking about skin colour. They are quite correctly talking about cultural and language diversity.

    As to us being Christian, well about 60% might nominally identify as Christian but very few act like true Christians so the Christian identification is operationally and morally meaningless. True Christians would not turn away the needy, like refugee boat people. True Christians would not harp on about their “Christian-ness” being a defining feature which legitimated rejecting other people rather than accepting and caring for them equally.

    As for this nonsense of crying out “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!” this was never a feature of the traditional Australia I grew up in and to which you nostalgically hark back. I mean the Australia where there was no black kid or Asian kid in a 700 student school and the Queen’s picture was on the front wall of every classroom.

    You want to return to that era (White Australia) and also add in the jingostic, backward-looking yobbo’s identification call.

    You don’t even identify what is really important and valuable in the Western tradition: democracy, science and humanism. Instead you fixate on skin colour, Christian nominalism and the Monarchy as a vestigal consitutional fetish.

  37. Megan
    January 25th, 2015 at 21:39 | #37

    -“I’d like to report a murder.”

    -“Can you describe the victim?”

    -“Yes, it’s a man. A man made out of straw. I think Jack killed him.”

  38. ZM
    January 26th, 2015 at 07:02 | #38

    “So, for the foreseeable future, Australia will still be a nation that pays homage to a somewhat diluted version of the traditional trilogy God, Queen and Country.”

    Well, I am not sure since I am always saying about how the Queen should order all the parliament and subjects to stop causing climate change for God’s sake and our Country’s sake – but I have not noticed so many patriots that you remark upon flocking to agree with me so far…

  39. Julie Thomas
    January 26th, 2015 at 08:04 | #39

    @Ikonoclast

    Indeed no Oi Oi Oi would have been acceptable at any of the schools I went to during the 50’s and ’60’s. That sort of overt triumphalism was so ugly american and not what we Aussies were or wanted to be.

    I wasn’t even supposed to sing God Save the Queen or stand up for the anthem at school – ‘we’ didn’t believe in that. But this was very difficult to do at the small schools that I mostly went to. We moved quite often at one stage.

    I also wasn’t supposed to go to any religious instructions classes but my father had to give in about that also, because the schools wouldn’t, so he said that I was to choose any religious class I wanted, except the Catholic one, and then I was supposed to ask questions about what I was being told.

    My questions didn’t go down well and I mostly got to stand outside the door and hope the principal didn’t walk past and see me although at one school I remember that I was allowed to do whatever I wanted except be part of the religious instruction class.

    The regional areas are very different now and now we do get to see brown and black people out here; they are our doctors and physio’s, pharmacists and other professionals – those stale pale males – hehehe – don’t want to work out here in the bush and it’s only women and the other men who come out here and work.

    I suppose it was these professionals who used to be on the committees that ran things in small towns and now there is no one who wants to do these community things to keep the halls and old buildings from just falling down. Our hall can’t be sold because it is owned by ‘the community’, and if the community can’t be bothered cooperating to keep it in good repair it will just fall down and rot like so many others have.

    It seems that all the little towns around here built a ‘School of Art’s” Hall early last century but nobody cares about Art or Music now or looking after these reminders of what we were in the past.

    And there are very few churches that still function, there are not enough white priests to minister to the needs of the ‘religious’ – the Hypochristians. Some people in my town and in the neighbouring towns are beginning to stand up to these people who claim moral superiority just because they go to church on Sunday to hang out with their like minded profit seeking peer group.

    Recently, there was some criticism of the Catholic Ladies Association for ‘free-riding’ on an event that other people in town had organised and done all the work for. I have to admit that I was the one who pointed out that the behaviour of the Catholic Ladies could be called free-riding.

  40. Julie Thomas
    January 26th, 2015 at 08:04 | #40

    Oh no! Would not have been acceptable I meant to type.

  41. Ikonoclast
    January 26th, 2015 at 08:36 | #41

    @Julie Thomas

    Yes, more “traditional” Australia was a strange mix being much more racist but also more community minded albeit only inclusive within the white community (the in-group). The arrival of different ethnic groups vastly improved and enriched our culture, especially our food, at least that is the aspect I have noticed over the years. The old anglo-aussie diet was very boring.

    The greatest damage to our culture has been done by importing American cultural and economic attitudes and American eating habits. This is the area where foreign influence has been really damaging to us. Becoming more like the USA has been the worst thing that ever happened to Australia, especially the importation of neoliberalism (though we can blame England, Thatcher and the Adam Smith Insitute for that too), patriotic jingoism and the support of US imperialism and militarism.

  42. January 26th, 2015 at 09:08 | #42

    Julie Thomas @ #35 said:

    Have you read that book by Robert Hughes, “The Fatal Shore”? That is an expose of the First Fleet and all the corruption, violence, ineptitude and small minded bourgeous hypochristianity and is tragic and very sad and hardly worth celebrating. All that bitter and twisted stuff about post-modern liberals – who are these people specifically? Can you name names? Allan Jones perhaps?

    Yes, I have and yes I will. The FS is certainly the best of the very bad bunch of black-arm band histories. But I took from it exactly the opposite message that Hughes more literal-minded followers intended: AUS history is a triumphalist story when viewed in perspective of its inauspicious origins. Let the convict over-seers be as brutal and sadistic as you like, let the colonial officials be corrupt and venal, let the ministers of religion (Marsden my favourite) be sanctimonious and hypocritical, the net effect was a stupendous success story.

    In this respect the history of AUS, up until say the late eighties, is very much like the history of modern science. The steady march of progress, with very little in the way of set-backs. And only one dark stain, the shabby treatment of indigenous people.

    So its very hard to write a history of science or Australia without indulging in the occasional bout of Whiggish chest-thumping. Of course post-modern liberals (both Left- and Right-) managed it with ease, depicting life during the “Australian Settlement” as at best a stagnant and insular affair (Paul Kelly), at worst a long night of unimaginable oppression and exploitation (Humphrey McQueen). But then turning the truth on its head is the post-modernist area of expertise.

    Here I follow Stove’s rough-and-ready definition of a post-modernist as an intellectual who indulges in “the Great Reversal”, not just random guesses about the world but actually a 180 degree turn around for what is actually the case. Stove cites Popper as the man who opened the flood-gates to Jazz Age post-modernism which has raced through every domain of intellectual life (epistemics, ethics, economics) like “blow-fly strike”:

    In Austria the defeat of the central powers brought about the overturning of authority in almost every form: political authority, moral and religious authority, financial authority. As the old structures dissolved almost overnight, Marxism, Anarchism, Freudianism, Dadaism–any -ism, so long as it promised a Great Reversal–competed, not only for the minds of the young, but for government…For the mind of the young Popper, the fall of another and far more soundly based empire was no less formative: I mean the Newtonian empire in physics. In art, Western Europe found that its anti-academy had become its academy “even in the twinkling of an eye.” The galleries were suddenly full of the art of African societies formerly the most despised. Victorian architecture was all at once the object of a universal detestation, or rather horror. Black music began its long and excruciating revenge on the white man. The Jazz Age, in short, had arrived.

    Cole Porter’s words “Anything goes” are not quite right for this situation, though; for they suggest random change, or anarchy. He is nearer the mark with “day’s night to-day,” “good’s bad today,” and so on; for these words convey the idea of reversal rather than of random change. Of course it is often not easy to keep the two ideas separated in one’s mind. Even the prophet Isaiah, when he says that “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low,” is open to the suspicion of being not quite clear in his own mind as to whether he is promising us a plain, or only new mountains where valleys were before. Still, the two ideas really are distinct, and it is the idea of reversal, rather than that of random change, which is the key to the Jazz Age. 

    Its interesting to compare the post-modernist black-arm banders to the modernists both Left- and Right-, such as Hancock, Ward, Gollan and of course Blainey. They all had their own ideological agendas, no doubt. And no doubt they had their blind spots. But they simply could not bring themselves to deny the obvious, that AUS was pretty much the best country in the world for the average man and his family. And that in the era of the Common Man this was an achievement of which we could be rightly proud.

    Of course it was too good to last. Over the past 30 years or so every one else in the non-European world got wind of it and who can blame them for wanting to get a piece of the action? Certainly not me. What irks me is the way that liberal elites have systematically gone about trashing the achievements of our ancestors. (My father-in-law is a real dyed-in-the-wool farmer & mechanic whose ancestors were pretty much pioneers – they were so self-sufficient they built their own tools.) And not only that but they have been actively dismantling so many of the protections and privileges that came as a birth-right of AUS citizenship, particularly the fire-sale of publicly-owned utilities, breaking the promise of an affordable Australian Dream home and the dissipation of the priceless asset of national unity.

    In return, what have we got for all this “gnashing of teeth and rending of garments”? Well somewhat better treatment of minority of minorities. Good as far as it goes but it doesn’t go very far and subject to the universal law of diminishing returns.

    We had a great nation state but, as Franklin put it in a some-what different context, it will only remain so “if we can keep it”.

  43. iain
    January 26th, 2015 at 09:17 | #43

    “Approximately 85% of the population have been genetically idetified as descendants of European settlers and immigrants.”

    Wake up to yourself, Jack. 100% of the population is descendant from East Africa. Bogan-day alive and well in your part of the woods? Have fun celebrating a massacre, no matter however bizarre it may be to most right thinking people.

  44. jungney
    January 26th, 2015 at 09:45 | #44

    Jack:

    they were so self-sufficient they built their own tools.

    Strewth. Just like First Australians. Who invented the wing.

    You know, my favourite poster from the current outbreak of Aboriginal militancy features a photo of a cane toad with the text “I was born in Australia. That makes me Australian, right?”

  45. John Quiggin
    January 26th, 2015 at 09:57 | #45

    Jack, you’ve been previously advised that any reference to genetics or any related topic is off-limits. Take a week off commenting. In particular, don’t comment on the republic thread – I was going to relax the ban, but I can see you are in derailment mode.

  46. Julie Thomas
    January 26th, 2015 at 10:09 | #46

    @Jack Strocchi

    I am not surprised that you would know better than Hughes himself, what his message was in his book The Fatal Shore.

    The doco Hughes made in later life called The Fatal Shore Revisited revealed him to have turned into a pompous old fool with far too much self-serving self-esteem but you get that sort of personality change from those Aussies who go abroad and then believe they are better than those who stayed behind.

    As far as your understanding of post-modernism goes, I think you are as ignorant of ‘post-modernism’ in all it’s complexity and lack of Truth, as the feminist post-modernist lecturers in the Vis Arts faculty at my Uni who really believed that post-modernism was the truth.

    Your man Stove doesn’t sound very insightful so I won’t bother with what he said.

    It seems to me that my father and the people our family associated with back in the ’50’s and 60’s who saw clearly how awful and ugly and stupid aspects of our society were and spoke about it was a black-armbander?

    It really seems to me that you fail to understand anything much about the common man or woman in Australia, despite your claim to be a real Australian by dint of this; “My father-in-law is a real dyed-in-the-wool farmer & mechanic whose ancestors were pretty much pioneers – they were so self-sufficient they built their own tools.”

    Guess what? People in my family and so many of my country born and bred neighbours still build their own tools. Some of us are still ‘resourceful’. We build gates out of other things; we don’t go to Bunnings unless we have to.

    And my ancestor on my fathers side was Samuel Cook the first managing director of the Sydney Morning Herald. So by your reasoning does that give me more ‘authenticity’ and right to speak for the Australian common ‘man’?

  47. Ikonoclast
    January 26th, 2015 at 15:28 | #47

    As I said previously;

    Jack Strocchi does not even identify what is really important and valuable in the Western tradition: namely democracy, science and humanism. Instead he fixates on skin colour, Christian nominalism and the monarch as a symbolic remnant.

    The above facts illustrate the facile nature of Strocchi’s political philosophy. He fixates on the shallowest of things: what is literally only skin-deep, nominal and symbolic. These superficial and trivial emblems (of whiteness, nominalism and symbolism) are the perfect representive motifs for the shallowness of Jack’s political-economic thought.

    I don’t even care if Jack is banned from a response here. He approvingly quotes text that says;

    “The galleries were suddenly full of the art of African societies formerly the most despised. Victorian architecture was all at once the object of a universal detestation, or rather horror. Black music began its long and excruciating revenge on the white man. The Jazz Age, in short, had arrived.”

    I don’t think I need to spell out what kind of attitude this evinces.

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