To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them. “The Crowd” by Gustave Le Bon
The market is the best information processor the world has ever known. In its perfect form, aided by government to the extent of its needs, it has led the western world to prosperity over the last 50 years. This perfect form is achieved through neoliberalism.
This is the story that champions of the market have sold to us.
I am not describing the world of laissez-faire capitalism and small government. We moved on from there after the Great Depression. If you’re over 40 today, you knew an anomalous period before neoliberalism gained a firm grip on society.
During this time it was easier, comparatively, for people to pay off a home and build a nest egg or six in the form of investment properties, share portfolios and superannuation. For most young people today, the only share they know is accommodation, super is weak and the door to home ownership has been slammed shut.
It was of particular interest to me that Scott Morrison called John Howard seeking advice on how to address the recent bushfire crisis. Four days after ScottyFromMarketing’s celebrated visit to Cobargo, the ex-Prime Minister was called to refloat a ship with more holes than a cullendar. I wondered what sort of advice he would give? So I went looking for “Australia’s Greatest Ever Prime Minister’s” recent contributions to climate policy. As a man of the people, I am sure that from hereon he won’t mind me calling him John.
With time to reflect away from the savagery of Parliament, this man of principle and vision would surely be the Aussie Sherpa that our society needed. It was then that I came across a twenty minute YouTube clip (see below). from August last year where John spoke to a Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie. This was just a couple of months before the bushfires so we could expect a close parallel between what John told the miners and the advice he gave Scott.
You and I are doing our bit for the environment.
There’s the cloth bag we keep in the car to carry our plastic wrapped purchases from Coles and Woolies. We’re assiduous recyclers and maybe even composters but are these enough? Disappointingly, these actions haven’t had much impact on the Murray-Darling water flow. The summers keep getting hotter. Craftily crafted projects sneak through despite the best efforts of regulators.
While you were watching Adani, a uranium project five hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie gained approval despite the protests of subterranean fauna. Forty years of resistance to this project by the traditional owners goes down another drain. As if things aren’t bad enough, a few weeks ago no-one could find the the Federal Environment Minister. Now we simply don’t know who it is.