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Byron Shire
August 14, 2022

Why so awful?

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Ziggi Browning, Mullumbimby 

As we endure the death throws of the worst Australian government in living memory I can’t help but wonder what is it that makes them so awful? 

The shit-storm of scandals engulfing it is so dense that it feels pointless to try and identify any particular detail for scrutiny.

But the bigger question in my mind won’t go away; why are they so awful?

Surely it’s not incompetence. By any measure, this is a group of successful businessmen (the words business-people don’t seem accurate somehow). They must have some intelligence and skill to have climbed all the way to the top of the stinky political dungheap.

Are they simply nasty, selfish, egotistical pricks? Are they driven purely by self-interest, fuelled by an inflated sense of entitlement, simply out to become mega-rich-and-powerful at the expense of everyone else, and think that a job in parliament is a pretty good way to achieve that aim? 

Despite so much evidence to support that view, in my bones I don’t believe that it’s really true. I don’t believe they are actually deliberately and maliciously setting out to destroy the planet so they can make a quick profit. I don’t think the ever-widening chasm between the haves and have-nots is actually the plan.

The evidence of the folly of their ideology is everywhere. The climate is going nuts. Ecosystems are in collapse all around us. Natural resources are being pillaged as fast as we can transfer the funds from their sale to multi-national corporations’ overseas tax haven bank accounts. Wages are going backwards and jobs are less secure. Nastiness is on the rise. I mean seriously, how can anyone not see how fucked up it all is?!

So why then? Why are they prosecuting their awful agenda of greed and divisiveness with such righteous conviction in spite of overwhelming evidence. Just a modicum of decency and common sense should be enough for them to take pause and think it through, right?

The only answer that rings true to me is that they are doing it on faith.

I think that we have ended up with government made up of religious extremists who are dogmatically pursuing their extremist beliefs.

These are true believers in the unofficial church of the western world; Capitalism. They are devout worshipers of the omnipotent god, Growth, and his mythical power of infinite wealth generation. But more to the point, these guys are Neoliberals – the most hard-line of all of Capitalism’s sects. 

Blinded by their faith in the free-market, they have out-sourced their morality. The idea that the free-market is a pure expression of truth has taken a deep root into their very being. According to this dogma, having an economy with strong Growth takes precedence over all else. 

I think that the Neoliberals truly believe that when they make a choice that helps the economy, even at a terrible cost to the environment and/or society, that this is still a just and righteous thing to do. 

No one thinks they’re the bad guy. We all justify to ourselves our own actions some how. But the misguided actions by this lot are causing terrible outcomes that affect us all. Our dystopian present is on course to be a nightmare of a future. 

These narrow-minded crazies have been wrecking the place for too long. But there is a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. This slow motion train wreck is grinding painfully to a stop at the upcoming election. Please Australia, don’t blink now. Ignore the desperate fearmongering and the pandering to our greed. Anything would be better than enduring more of this.

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