The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Moral v national interest: does anyone care anymore? > Comments

Moral v national interest: does anyone care anymore? : Comments

By Nahum Ayliffe, published 15/12/2006

When it comes to global issues do we tend to act in self-interest, rather than by moral considerations?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All
Its mistaken to draw parallels between personal & community morality and the amorality of our governments neoliberal militarism. Howard talks up 'relaxed and comfortable' as he commits troops, stokes racism and slashes-and-burns the common wealth (workplace rights, Medicare, higher ed, natural resources..), just as any conman will tell you what you want to hear as he lifts your wallet. Our megacorporate lobotomised media parrots his lies daily, and so the naive feel confused about the mismatch between the rhetoric and the action. Ignore the MSM advertorials & 'follow the money' Mr Ayliffe and you'll find the world makes alot more sense.
Posted by Liam, Friday, 15 December 2006 10:09:52 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Nice piece, though the AWB scandal isn't as black and white as is being currently presented - one interesting nugget which doesn't seem to be bandied around all that much was that the UN Volcker inquiry found that more than 60 nations had been up to mischief with regards to the Iraq sanctions, yet only Australia investigated.

That isn't to excuse the heinous behaviour of the company, but the fact that Australia (not AWB) dummied up when no one else did seems a little unfair when there should be many more companies worldwide taking the blame.

There are a minority of Australians who do care about moral issues, but unfortunately there are a majority who don't. Unless we feel the effects of international actions at home (i.e. bodybags from Iraq) we simply don't care.
Is this a bad thing? Perhaps.
Is it understandable? undoubtedly.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Friday, 15 December 2006 2:12:54 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
A thoughtful article, but I do feel you've overlooked the double edged sword of morality; namely, its ability to act against the national interest and community wellbeing. If we use your example of Howard's moral stance on gun control, the evidence now shows that the billion or so dollars spent on it (and however much more the states have since spent on it) didn't lead to any reductions in violence. Nonetheless, Howard doggedly insists that his moral decision was for the good of the community, despite the facts telling us otherwise. Morality can be used to justify many things, no matter how misguided - so what do we do when the evidence shows that morality was misplaced?
Posted by The Yabby, Friday, 15 December 2006 2:17:13 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
It is truly disturbing how poorly people understand the implications of simplistic notions of "morality". Vague, emotionally driven yet poorly understood catchphrases such as "Global Warming crisis" or "Better treatment of asylum seekers" as unaddressed moral issues seems to suggest someone in a church or political party somewhere has the answer. THEY DON'T!

Please note Kevin Rudd is yet to supply a SINGLE SOLUTION to any of the supposed "moral problems" mentioned here, nor does this author. These issues are poorly understood and defined and do not have simple answers. Global Warming is a political issue and as such has lost its scientific objectivity. What are the facts? Depends which political leanings the scientist as much as the data.

Consider this: If we are a economically poorer country for not selling out Uranium for example, we will have less to give to struggling overseas nations. So what is moral?

So lets all leave at 5.00am to cycle to work every day to save the planet and get home at 9.30pm. Is this a "solution"?.

Do we really want to encourage people to freely land on our shores?

What's the answer Kevin?
Posted by Atman, Friday, 15 December 2006 5:48:10 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Firstly, I am against white-collar crime in a big way. However, we should not forget that the Iraqi children were able to get bread on the table during the sanction regime. Perhaps Australia was entrusted with this International responsibility.

But to answer the thread topic, and the question of moral compasses and whether we act as a Nation in absolute economic or rational terms, is a complicated question to address.

To answer Ayliffesí position that: If we wish for this proud legacy to continue, it is imperative that we confront the excesses of self-interest and mindless consumerism. Our failure to do so will continue to result in dire and despairing social externalities.Ē is also complicated. This gives us a glimpse of the enormity of the question.

I think, that on morality and economics, we have as a society, blurred the lines. Either deliberately, or by accident. I donít intend to answer that question. Economically, we seem to address macro-economics with a deal of caring and concern: some would say, where and how to spend. Some would ask, which priorities. Others look for ethical expenditure, such as aid, or recovery. However, at the domestic level, I reckon we have been somewhat de-sensitised. Hence, we see white-collar exploitation, mega-bank accounts, poor re-distribution from same, and un-inspired fiscal concern. Coupled with that, there is comparitively little responsibility incumbent on domestic expenditure for societal purpose.

A lot more could be achieved, if we re-focused our abilities on domestic affairs. So what we have is a complacency bordering on a morass, and that is dangerous. And then we see the Leftists banging the drum of responsibility, in the same fiscal milieu as the rest of us.

My realist opinion tells me that we need fundamental exposure to entirely new thinking. And I donít think Australia should be a morality laboratory; however, I do think that we must try to answer such questions in an academic fashion. Market economics will help many things, a whole lot; but it mustnít be let loose without a guardian. Im not in favour of earthly moral guardians either.
Posted by Gadget, Friday, 15 December 2006 5:51:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Excellent item Nahum.

For once I agree with both almost everything written and all the comments too.

In particular Liam's comment about the difference between government and the people. The problem is of course that the government(s) push their agenda every day and people just can't cope with it all and tend to believe at least some of what is belted at us daily. I strongly believe that the majority of people here are still the people we have always been. It's our governments that have changed.

It is our domestic politics that needs rugent attention as opposing issue by issue is a losing battle. We need to change the way government ignores and abuses what we want and need instead opting for their corporate mates and their own self interest. Labor included. Just look at Beattie and Carr if you are unsure about that. They operate exactly the same as Howard, Bush, Blair and all the rest.

We need to get over this Coalition vs Labor rubbish as a duopoloy is just as bad as a monopoly as they operate exactly the same way.

To me our supposed aid to the Pacific etc is simply Howard following through on his responsibilities as Deputy Sherriff. He's just doing what Bush does on a small scale. It's about terrorism and money, not helping the countries at all.

On AWB, it is black and white. Despite so called "lack of evidence (you'll note the current use of that line istead of the word "innocent".) government knew of the corruption and let it continue. End of story.

Are any of you actually interested in getting involved in trying to build a network of people that do oppose openly what is going on. Not taking to the streets. Just uniting all the little groups trying to oppose this on their own. You can make a difference if you want to. Just say and I'll add my email contact for anyone interested.
Posted by RobbyH, Saturday, 16 December 2006 10:41:10 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy