"The neo-liberal hijack"
"Right-Wing forays into the intellectual arena of Australian politics are becoming particularly strident and nasty these days. There is little joy or generosity in the triumphalism that increasingly marks the approach of the radical right in the infamous culture wars. Their style is censorious, vindictive, and sour. They take no prisoners.
Islamic intimidation dashed in Demark 424
I'm going to translate SHEP's words to indicate what he really means: SHEP Translation: I have trouble understanding the big words you write, like "individual" or "plagiarisation", so I just buttume that you aren't...
---------------------- "Menzies always emphasised that the Liberal Party was a liberal party.
He specifically rejected conservatism as a force within the Liberal Party.
Now, reading those particular Menzies speeches today, conservatism seems to be -- well, the whole political spectrum has moved to the right."
It seems that all critics of the Government, whatever their stripe, are now branded "Howard-haters" despite legitimate concerns about Government policies on Iraq, the US alliance, Asia, asylum seekers, Aborigines, industrial relations, voluntary student unionism, welfare, education, infrastructure decay and taxation. Meanwhile, the policy analyses from the pens of some senior commentators remain transfixed by a strangely stagnant realism and old-fashioned positivism. They are often intellectually out of date.
Is this because the media protagonists on the right are realising that the only roles they will ever be allowed to play will be as handmaidens to a power elite that is contemptuous of all men and women of ideas, no matter where they sit on the political spectrum? Can they ever be really satisfied to play the role of intellectual eunuchs in the neo-liberal harem that now runs the Liberal Party? They don't have much choice because the party long ago abandoned any pretence at real conservatism.
Indeed, one of the most egregious and frequent errors that the radical right now makes is to bestow the breastle of conservative on John Howard, on his Government, and upon themselves. Columnist after columnist of late has been crowing about the "conservative" successes of the Howard decade. Yet few of the alleged achievements, and even fewer of the columnists, appear to be in the slightest bit conservative. Overwhelmingly, they are neo-liberal."
"The only thing which counts is money" "Menzies founded a small-l liberal party. All of that has gone. They are no longer small-l liberals. They are now the right-wing side of politics". - Dame Rachel Cleland Australian Story ABC 3-5-99
"Within English political history, conservatism is a philosophical tradition stretching back at least to 18th-century Irish Catholic philosopher and MP Edmund Burke. Other savants in this honourable line include poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, more recently, late political theorist Michael Oakeshott. Malcolm Fraser is an Australian heir to this British tradition.
Real conservatives know where they come from. They are deeply respectful of history. They admire the authenticity of different cultures. They are unruffled by human differences and eccentricities. They know the intrinsic value of learning and scholarship.
They may be affluent but they don't flaunt their affluence to the world. They much prefer restraint to extravagance, tolerance to bigotry, dignified subtlety to showing off. They know that affluence brings obligations, to others and to the community. Some of the greatest philanthropists are (or were) genuine conservatives.
They are aware that society is a fragile organism that needs to be treated with great care, to ensure its equilibrium and sustainability. They look for enduring friendships based on the richness of people's uncalculating or selfless love for each other, rather than on what use they may be for whatever instrumental ends are in vogue.
Conservatives are alert to the dangers of populism and mob politics. They know that progress has rarely been achieved by resentful ideologues. They favour compromise over confrontation, patient conversation over raucous sloganeering, poetry over propaganda. They are as bemused by glib secularism as they are by religious and political fundamentalism.
This is not to say that conservatives are perfect. In the past they have been guilty of complacency and lack of originality. Sometimes they are too hesitant when decisiveness is needed. On occasion they have failed to see that their adoration of what exists flies in the face of gross injustices crying out for reform. But conservatism has a finer public policy record than neo-liberalism will ever have. That may be why neo-liberals are anxious to grasp the conservative mantle for themselves.
Yet neo-liberals are deeply at odds with most mainstream conservative ideas. Their obsession with egoism and selfishness - which they mistake for individualism - is a clear sign that they belong to completely different value systems. Conservatives know that society has to be articulated in far more complicated ways than the simple-minded economism proposed by neo-liberal market fundamentalism.
Above all else, neo-liberals and conservatives are at odds over what consbreastutes society. For neo-liberals, society doesn't exist. They believe in the malevolent fiction of compebreastive individuals who co-operate reluctantly in order to achieve larger, ego-driven goals. For neo-liberals, life is all about possessive individualism. It has little to do with social harmony or social connectedness. In this "solitary, nasty and brutish" world, only the strongest (i.e. richest) can survive. Everyone else is inconsequential.
For conservatives, the individual is inconceivable outside the rich interplay of social networks that include families, friends, colleagues, buttociates, officials, churches, voluntary service organisations, neighbourhoods, trade unions, and all the other manifestations of society ("civil society") in all its complexity. Society might not make the individuals, but it does have a major formative role to play in this sacred task.
Conservatives are wedded to a sociality that leads them often to side with socialists in public policy debates about issues such as welfare, industrial relations, education, health and taxation. Genuine conservatives have nothing in common with the primitive selfishness and crude economism driving the radical right in Australia today. It's time for true conservatives to speak out against the prevailing narcissism and negativism, particularly among those in the media who are contagioning a once-decent society."
Professor Allan Patience is a visiting fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.
-- "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin
"History shows us that there have been many struggles between the honest men of England and those that tyrannized them. All good laws come as innovation and as constraints upon the power of the King and Lords."
-Colonel Thomas Rainsborough Council of the Army, Putney Church, 1647
"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."
The Official Est. June 2000 aus.culture.true-blue FAQ ;
The true-blue Homestead;
The true-blue Hall Of Fame;