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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Post#161 All The Free Speech You can Handle (Why not? Like most free things..it's worthless)

We can all do without the secret police (and the Spanish Inquisition) but I've begun to wonder whether political "freedom" really exists in any community larger than a nomad camp or a very small Greek city-state.

The background noise in English-speaking countries is always the sound of the politicos telling the inhabitants about the wonderful heritage of the "Westminster system". The received wisdom is that freedom of speech, parliamentary elections and an independent judiciary make our way of life superior.

In practice, the obstacles to applying these prerogatives are formidable. The citizen who wishes to test the principles will find that the promise held out of glorious freedom is one of the better ironic jokes.

The capacity of Ministers of the Crown to ignore the community is infinite. No matter how often we tell them that we want the banks reined in they ignore us. No matter how loud the objections to public company fat-cat salaries, nothing is done. There seems to be a religion established in Western lands that has replaced the traditional theisms. It's called "reform" and it is based on the proposition that anything done to unleash greed is very good indeed. Politicians are obligated to subscribe to this cult or suffer beratement by the enthralled commentators of the right-wing media.

Well, I blaspheme against the false god Reform. I defile its sacred books; The Wealth of Nations and Atlas Shrugged. I profane its doctrines as propagated in The Australian and other News Ltd organs.

Reform (the real thing as opposed to the cult object) is change and that's all it is. The cultists believe that the word is a synonym for "improvement". Here's a simple proof to the contrary: Give me a two-kilo hammer and a Ming vase and I'll use the hammer to re-form the vase. Not many will find the result to be an improvement.

Can anyone get past the ranting of the Reformists and challenge their wreckage of the national assets? Joe Hockey has had a small go at the banks on that theme and even he can't beat the bullshit down. The fact that millions agree with him doesn't matter a damn. It's regarded as a quaint proof of the ignorance of the masses who don't know well enough to unquestioningly worship Reform.

Shit to Reform and all who adore it. I'm allowed to say that ... because it won't make a bit of difference.

3 comments:

Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

A powerful argument, Retarius, clearly straight from the heart...or the hip. :-) It is all relative, of course; we live in democracies, you and I, but democracies are no more than elected dictatorships. What's the alternative? Endless declarations of personal independence or desert island isolation. Oh, you really should have a close look at the Wealth of Nations. You might be surprised.

Retarius said...

Yes, I remember what Churchill said about the worst form of government. What's exasperating me is that all of the new electronic media by which the citizens may express themselves don't seem to break through the obstacles to real participation in governing.

I have read Wealth of Nations...the only thing I was surprised by was that such a pedestrian and limited work could acquire the status of Holy Writ.

Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

Because he was the first kid on the block!