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The Forum > Article Comments > Class, privilege, ideology > Comments

Class, privilege, ideology : Comments

By Sarah Burnside, published 18/6/2010

The 2010 election contest is likely to bring long-muted questions of class, privilege and ideology to the fore.

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A good article that will fall mostly on indifferent ears. The one matter I disagree on, if I read the author aright, is the class-differential topic. There is of course an increasing gap between rich and poor, at both private and corporate levels, but the 'poor' these days are sufficiently enslaved to commodity fetishism as to rate well and truly within the bourgeois spectrum. Marx's economic predictions have come incredibly accurately to pass; the only thing he's erred in is that capitalism has survived far longer than he imagined it could. This has been accomplished by extraordinary improvisation in the development of commodities, which have now attained the sophisticated realm of virtual goods, including the hardware that facilitate them--via which humanity continues to be seduced by bagatelles. The true working classes are offshore, out of sight and mind while the bourgeoisie plays and the new aristocrats reap. The master stroke of capitalism was to raise the living standards of the working class sufficient to keep them docile; but it always unsustainable and crunch time is underway economically, environmentally and culturally.
The truly remarkable thing about late capitalism is the phenomenon of ideology or hegemonic-consciousness, as in the case of the mining moguls enjoying the support of Labor voters, who seem to lap up the kind of hackneyed phrases the vested interests employ, which the author cites in the article.
It's been my experience that the bourgeoisie as a class is incapable of assessing the economics or the ethics of their situation objectively--that is, outside the petty purview of their suburban self-interests, which are qualitatively identical to the selfish logic of the mining barons. These people scream socialist! the same way others scream Greenie! or deny evolution, without having the faintest idea what it is that they demonise, only perceiving a threat to the conditions of life to which they've grown accustomed.
I thought Rudd had made a shrewd move with the mining tax, but now it seems he's a dead man walking, and all thanks to the power of ideology, creature comforts and a 'pull the ladder up' mentality.
Posted by Squeers, Friday, 18 June 2010 10:36:57 AM
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What! “Labor itself has jettisoned its former commitment to socialist principles.”

Chairman Rudd is hard at it, interfering in business and pushing government into every part of our lives, including censorship of information and lying to us, and over-riding the law with regard to taxpayer funded party advertising like any good totalitarian, communist dictator - and this woman claims that Labor has jettisoned its socialist principles!

She refers to both Hawke and Keating who did realise in some ways that Australia was not Russia or China, but Comrade Rudd has certainly put a stop to that sort of thing.

Perhaps Sarah Burnside (any relation to Julian?) is so busy with the law, history, native title, nationalism and politics (theory only, it seems) that she hasn’t had time to find out who is actually at the head of Labor these days, and the socialistic damage he has done to Australia and Australians in everything he has touched in the past two and a half years.

The Coalition might be busily “recycling” the fears that Labor is incapable of running the country, but why should they bother? Every man and his dog knows that every Coalition government has left a surplus, and every Labor government has gone through that surplus in no time flat then, on their way out, left a hug deficit for the Coalition to deal with.

And, what more than Rudd’s two and a half years in government do we need to know that Labor is economically illiterate? Billions gone into a stimulus package incurring public debt when no stimulus was needed; a mining industry that kept our heads above water (not the stimulus) during the GFC that Rudds wants to tax at almost 70% (what’s next? nationalisation to really stuff it up); an insulation scheme that was rorted and cost lives; a fast broadband scheme that didn’t even havea business plan and which most users don’t need or want. The list goes on. And, Rudd has the front to tell and interviewer that he has kept 90% of his promises!

Posted by Leigh, Friday, 18 June 2010 12:02:54 PM
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Given Chairman Rudd’s butchering of the economy and general managerial incompetence, Burnside’s reference to the ALP being accused of “… as having an irrational hatred of economic success” seems to be a valid criticism of, at least, Rudd-branded ALP.

And Rudd is certainly not “obsessed with ‘teams’”. He is a one-man band, not even liked by his Ministers and back-benchers for his controlling nature.

Rudd has certainly brought back the politics of envy and the hatred of capital even though he likes having money himself. But, remember, that Chinese dictators also do much, much better than the plebs they keep down.

It should also be noted that Burnside, like the government itself, is attacking Abbott and the Coalition rather than talking about reasons to re-elect the Rudd government. That’s because there is not one single reason to re-elect the Rudd government, A Gillard government, or any other Labor government.
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 18 June 2010 12:04:01 PM
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Spot on Squeers, it is indeed only the power of hegemonic-consciousness or ideology that has enabled late Capitalism to survive ... thus far. Blinded by self-interest and ignorance the bourgeoisie are indeed incapable of comprehending and evaluating the economics of their situation objectively. Tragically, whilst they may continue to live out their lives in blissful ignorance and debt-laden affluence, their children and grandchildren are unlikely to fare anywhere near as well, ending up, in all probability, as "the poor white trash of Asia", as Millionaire Paul (Keating) notably predicted.
Posted by Sowat, Friday, 18 June 2010 12:41:44 PM
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Australia stands virtually alone amongst advanced Western countries in failing to articulate and uphold its key national values. The absence of an enduring frame of reference (a sense of the core principles of our national character) means that national discourse is often dominated by short-term sensational issues, lowest-common-denominator politics and a focus on personal denigration. The initial (unmet) expectation that the current Prime Minister could provide some sort of broader national narrative and articulate a positive and uniting vision for the future is a symptom of this sense of anomie.

There are many unpleasant aspects to a fundamentally insecure, indistinct and immature national identity. These include the expectations we place on our sportspeople in the international arena, and the speed with which we savagely turn against them when they prove to be human. As a nation we hate to be disappointed, even when our need for success and approval is unrealistic and insatiable. An enduring apprehension about “foreigners” and the changing multicultural face of Australia is another indicator of our defensiveness, with overt discrimination finding an “acceptable” outlet in a punitive and inhuman asylum seeker policy. Most remarkable is the expression of bitterness, intolerance and resentment once the personal limitations and fallibility of public figures are (inevitably) revealed.
Posted by Donkey, Friday, 18 June 2010 3:21:54 PM
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The SUPER TAX is "Socialist Income Redistribution" plain and simple.

It is a belated attempt at socialising a profitable industry.

Anyone who thinks Labor has put aside it's 'class war/socialist' views has not spoken in depth with any labor flunkies lately.

Dean Mighel has an interesting view of 'class war'...he used it to get something like $150,000 wages for Tradies at the desalination plant.(Melb)
Miners are paid incredible salaries compared to the rest of us.

KRUDDY and his lefty mates have just looked around and said;

1/ Boys.. we NEED something to win back the working class! or we are DEAD meat in the next election.

2/ Look...THERE'S the Mining industry..those Cappo pigs don't deserve all that.. let's take it off them and spread it around to enhance our chances of re-election!

SARAH 'BURNSIDE'... any relation to the other one? ? Your politics seems the same.

CLASS PRIVILEGE and IDEOLOGY ? "Brought to the fore" you can jolly well bet your nickers on that honey!

*The Privilege of the Union bosses
*The Class of transport they fly in
*The Ideology which they 'say' they follow...

We are becoming increasingly aware of those dark and Green forces who are out to control us so much that we will soon have to have a licence to sneeze and have a baby.

We will hurl your EOC star chamber and your 'Income Redistribution'
and your "International Law binds us" into the furthest filthiest sewer we can find, with our VOTES.

Yes.. many of us are eagerly awaiting the next election..and in my case TWO elections.. where some serious changes will be made.

You can take your

-Political Correctness
-Divide and Rule
-Socialist Income Redistribution

and shove them!
Posted by ALGOREisRICH, Saturday, 19 June 2010 7:31:46 AM
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