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Why conservative philosophies and government policies have created the uncaring country

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  • Why conservative philosophies and government policies have created the uncaring country

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ID:	79699 The eyes have it

    I
    first put this up on facebook, and got such a strong indication of support, it made me think that maybe, just maybe there are many others that do feel the same.


    I started off by saying - "Forgive my lengthy tome. I just felt I needed to express more of what I am feeling as the result of a young Melbourne musician being hounded to his death by Centrelink, and so many distressing issues I see daily as those who are most vulnerable in our community just sink deeper and deeper into despair!


    I see myself as a Socialist and this is why I am happy to be labelled a Socialist.

    Forget about socialism of the industrial revolution I am more concerned about the much-needed social revolution that our country so desperately needs right now!

    We are often labelled the “Lucky Country” – first so described post WWII when the prevailing belief was that Australia would always be a “rich” country because we could always ride on the back of primary products and minerals – the Wheat, Wool and Coal country.

    Donald Horne first coined the term in his 1964 book titled “The Lucky Country.

    The weather was fine, there was full employment and wheat, wool & coal was in great demand and so the term found great favour to describe the country and its citizens.

    Things change and that’s fine for anything that does not change in fact stagnates. However, prevailing conservative government policies over the years have focussed more and more on “rewarding” the “entrepreneur”, rewarding those who have “more” by encouraging them to have even, more!

    For a while the average Australian seemed to be coping, but here we are into the second decade of the 21st century, and the average Australian is certainly not coping now!

    We seem to have been encouraged to see being rich as a good thing. Now through both government policies, demands and “punishments”, we have arrived at a point where the almighty dollar not only rules – it governs this nations very soul.

    I care about people who are fast being left behind. I care about equity, I care about equality, I care about a society that cares - where we do not reward big business, corporations and rich individuals for generating more and more profits, but seek to provide a society where the $ is a means of providing a caring, equitable society.

    I care that the growing majority are disenfranchised, are feeling helpless and are even made to feel guilty that they are not rich.

    I call myself a socialist because I believe in socialism. I am concerned that if you Google socialism you will see words and feelings that harkens back to the days of the industrial revolution, that actually do smack of elements of Communism.

    I am NOT a communist – I am a “modern” socialist. I do believe there is a need for entrepreneurs and private business – BUT I also believe that we have a government that ensures that far from paying their share, that through those political philosophies and government policies and practices, we find big business and corporations are able to keep the maximum whilst paying the minimum. These people should pay more in order that those who have less can be part of our society and feel that they are empowered instead of constantly punished.

    The fact that centrelink is hounding the unemployed, the aged, the single parent, is just part of a bigger story of the rise and rise of conservative politics.

    We have retirees being pushed into poverty and those looking toward retirement being told they may have to keep working until they are 70 years of age. If individuals so wish to keep working and are physically able – fine!

    Anything more than this is punishment.

    However it is indicative that conservative philosophies, policies and practices are about division and separation.

    Whether we live in the “Lucky Country” is something each of us can decide upon, but one thing I am certain of, we do not live in a Caring Country!"

    • Amanda Dweck
      #1
      Amanda Dweck commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: Article: Why conservative philosophies and government policies have created the uncaring country

      An essay in Pierre Bourdieu's "The Weight of the World" speaks of the aesthetic of the social security office as being demoralising. The atmosphere of the CentreLink environment is intentionally depressing. It seems that although governments offer these "humane"(?) payments, they actually would prefer to fund something that is going to make them lots of money.

      I remember being absolutely appalled at hearing Malcolm Rifkind, a UK conservative politician just before the Blair governments win in UK, being asked the question "would you get rid of the National Health Service?" Rifkind's answer was "The Conservatives would love to abolish it but it would be political suicide"

      In Canada in the 1980s, you had to work and pay into your own social security payments.

      As I see it most Conservative governments would like to remove all social security and their opposition can't and won't add to the funding of these important caring facilities
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