What next ?

I’ve had my say on the election, and don’t intend to engage in post-mortems. The only question of interest for me now is: what to do next?

I can’t see any useful contribution I can make to Australian politics for the moment, though I’m happy to take suggestions. Serious policy development is going to be off the agenda for some time, and I’ve got nothing new to say about political strategy or day-to-day politics.

‘But the big issues I’m interested in (climate change, and the choice between socialist and Trumpist futures) are global and long-term. I’m going to spend some time thinking and writing about them. I want to put forward some possible visions for the long term (2050 or 2100) future, while maintaining urgency about the threats we face right now.

32 thoughts on “What next ?

  1. There is a bit of talk around about Labor needing to move back to the ‘centre’. Its better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Remember Thatcher thought her greatest achievement was moving her opposition so far to the right.

  2. Curt, you have completely derailed this thread. I’m deleting all your comments, along with responses (although I endorse most of the). Please any future comments along these lines to the sandpit, avoiding any references to physical violence.

  3. It’s a conundrum, trying to guess what’s best for everybody. The ALP platform was well meant and it’s increase in public funding to essential services should have been a no brainer. But their tinkering with super and property was not well thought out, the implications on dividend imputation are complex and profound and negative gearing has already been tried and proven to be a political bomb.

    IMO that was the real issue, the ALP presented a threat to both homeowners and super holders everywhere and those that did not have the resources to work these issues through voted No.

    As is their right.

  4. John Q: I hope you will revisit thus decision in a while.
    1. It matters a lot what lessons Labour draw from the reelection. Was it the climate policy, redistributive taxation, or an uncharismatic lead candidate?
    2. The incoherence of the Morrison government will be underlined by events, as with Trump’s. If Australia follows the American pattern, the gap will be partly filled by state policies. That’s current politics too.
    3. Rupert Murdoch is 88. Death of Rats (see Terry Pratchett) is sharpening his scythe. The funeral games will be dynastic politics on the grandest scale. Progressives should be ready to exploit the confusion as the empire fractures.

  5. JQ you say; “But the big issues I’m interested in (climate change, and the choice between socialist and Trumpist futures) are global and long-term”

    How nuanced are you re “between socialist and trumpist”? Your statement sounds a tad binary.

    Do you decide priorities?

    And then I suggest gamification of “what next”.

    Jared Diamond oulines below (2), prioritising is not the answer; “… We got to solve all four of those problems.”.

    Problems with out priority which Diamond says must be solved;
    – nuclear holocaust
    – climate change
    – unsustainable resource use
    – maintaining or increasing inequality

    1) Levitsky and Ziblatt; …”Of all the books that this new democracy-defense industry has produced, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die makes the most coherent case, by way of comparison, for why Trump’s presidency may well endanger one of the world’s oldest republics. As scholars who have worked primarily on Latin America and Europe, Levitsky and Ziblatt demonstrate how a global perspective should shake many people out of the complacency created by their cherished beliefs about American exceptionalism.”…(1)

    2) Jared Diamond says; “But the United States today believes what’s called American exceptionalism. That phrase, American exceptionalism means the belief that the United States is unique, exceptional, therefore there’s nothing we can learn from other countries.”…

    …“We should not be prioritizing our efforts.” It’s like someone asking me, “Jared, I’m about to get married.”…

     …”So for the state of the world today, how do we prioritize what’s going on in the world? We have to avoid a nuclear holocaust. If we have a nuclear holocaust, we’re finished, even if we solve climate change. We have to solve climate change because if we don’t solve climate change but we deal with a nuclear holocaust, we’re finished. If we solve climate change and don’t have a nuclear holocaust but we continue with unsustainable resource use, we’re finished. And if we deal with the nuclear problem and climate change and sustainable use, but we maintain or increase inequality around the world, we’re finished. So, we can’t prioritize. … We got to solve all four of those problems.”

    1) https://www.thenation.com/article/how-democracies-dies-how-democracy-ends-book-review/

    2) Jared Diamond: There’s a 49 Percent Chance the World As We Know It Will End by 2050 

    I agree with 1 & 2 above that amajor impediment is American exceptionalism. Trumpism being a symtom of continuing feeling of, and protection of percieved exceptionalism.

    And “trying” won’t effect exceptionalism…

    “In the United States, we’ve arrived at a pair of mutually exclusive convictions: that liberal, capitalist democracies are guaranteed by their nature to succeed and that in our Trumpist moment they seem to be failing in deeply unsettling ways.” … “…but my answer is admittedly more ambitious: It’s time to give socialism a try.”…

    Trying socialism is easy to give up. Choosing to do is what is needed as language and mindset matters. The socialist zeitgeist seems like zeno’s arrow, always nearly there, gaining on the target by 50% each time step. But then “we” vote, or the entrenched change system parameters and the target / goal posts / system is moved away again.

    And so to my suggestion for what your next medium of communication may be …

    “The Waiting Game’ Communist Monopoly’ Teaches Downside of Socialist Life” was made to show younger generations how communism was ” bad “.

    So my suggested gamification encompassing your aims of what to do next…

    With minor changes “The waiting game” would, ironically imo, show neoliberalism / financialisation / free market ideologies are basically as “bad” if you are not one the top say, 20%. 


    Seriously – make a game platform to allow 15 – 33 yr olds ( avg age gamers in US 33) to see how their decisions NOW effect THEN to show how they can be happy, healthy and social in the game called “possible visions for the long term (2050 or 2100) future, while maintaining urgency about the threats we face right now” game. Short name: What Next – Your Choice!

    It may be a hard sell though to beat fortnite and league of legends!

    View at Medium.com

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