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The Forum > Article Comments > Realism and democracy > Comments

Realism and democracy : Comments

By Syd Hickman, published 31/1/2013

Our big parties are run by people who equate deep cynicism with political genius.

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You're contradicting yourself, Syd:

"As the world faces crises in energy, finance, food demand, climate change, water, and population imbalances..."

"Realist leaders wanting to make the necessary big changes..."

On the contrary, realist leaders know that these 'crises' are manufactured by activists and the media, and the only 'big change' necessary is to find a way to shut up or discredit these doomsayers and exploiters of panic and despair. Peace and prosperity, the rising of billions out of poverty, the provision of food and clean water for everyone, doesn't make headlines: but then 'realist leaders' shouldn't be seeking headlines, should they?
Posted by Jon J, Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:26:52 AM
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In this new era of globalization it is the market place that sets the bottom line values on what will succeed. It is no accident that the idealism of the West is named capitalism; Capital or money is king, as well as judge and executioner for the billions of the less fortunate.

If one cares about something else other than money these days, such as the environment, it is almost impossible to do anything that has or will have long term effectiveness, because the relentless momentum of the capitalist world machine will grind it to dust.

The first major failure of capitalism is the effective limit it places on cooperation and almost everything to do with the humanizing pardigm of Small Is Beautiful. While it does support the right of any individual to believe whatever he/she wants to believe, in practice, it makes it very difficult for any value system other than the materialistic and egoic "me for myself" to gain ascendency, in terms of real numbers, real organization, and real power. In effect, capitalism works to ensure that NO alternative value system could get big enough and powerful enough to threaten its ascendency, even as it argues the right of individuals and relatively small powerless groups to hold whatever views they like.

For the same reason, capitalism also tends to severely limit the size of genuine "communal units" that hold alternative views. In fact, generally the largest true communal unit in the West these days is the "family unit". Politicians often portray themselves as champions of 'family values"; but the deeper, unspoken implication is that no higher cultural cooperatives will be supported (unless you consider "big business" and transnational corporations as cultural cooperatives, which they clearly are not.

There are very few examples of larger communities actually living and working together communally under a shared system that is significally different from the materialistc/egoistic status quo of capitalism.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Thursday, 31 January 2013 11:37:34 AM
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Capitalism won the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War, the bipolar world collapesed into the unipolar world of capitalism, which is now, in effect, if not by intention conducting a "mopping up" operation that will subsume all remaining cultures.
The remaining countries in the process of being "mopped up" include Islamic countries; the holdouts from the Cold War (e.g. Korea); the various remaining indigenous cultures scattered throughout the world; and remnants of traditional cultures in Europe and Japan that survived the devastation wrought by both of the World Wars.

All look at the American Emire with both dismay and envy. Envy because all egos desire materialistic self-fulfilment; but also dismay, in that they see the soulless, adolescent culture (whose members appear to have nothing better or greater to do with their leisure time that watch "reality" TV and eat hamburgers and junk "food")taking over the world.

This "culture" is appropriately called "adolescent" insofar as it is partly aware of itself; it acts as if it will live forever; it thinks it can drive at any speed and not get into an accident; and it hasnt had any significant war on its own land that would gain it some Wisdom based on first-hand experience of the horrors of war. Its current generation knows and "fights" war at an abstracted distance and on TV.

This adolescent "culture" is creating a soulless world that is increasinly pleasurized in body and stimulated in mind, but also increasdingly empty and desperate at heart.

If you want to see what adolsecent USA "culture" is really all about I suggest watching the full-length movie Beavis & Butthead Do America.

Or alternatively read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Thursday, 31 January 2013 11:58:07 AM
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The Lib-Labs pander to monied interest groups, don't involve the membership in policy making and have declining membership. True, Syd.
But the Greens (now >10% of the vote not 8) - and who do involve members in policy making and have policies that the ordinary voter wants - can't support them because they're intellectually dishonest and self righteous ??
Posted by Roses1, Thursday, 31 January 2013 3:53:31 PM
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"Polling over many years has clearly shown that big majorities of Australians want strong public health and education systems. We want an end to moral control by small religious minorities, allowing euthanasia and gay marriage. We favour a republic, and the stabilizing of the population as opposed to more endless rapid expansion. We want our refugee intake to be selected by the government, not people smugglers."

If you ask a specific question, you will get a specific answer, so polls are not completely accurate. Elections prove this. I dont think most Australians WANT any of this. I think a minority want it, but the majority dont care. They dont care whether people are allowed to die, they dont care if people are gay, they dont care whether we have royals or not, they dont care about population growth, they dont care how the refugees come here. The media cares, but the majority doesnt. Your article refutes this very point. If people did care, then there would be more parties, greater political interest and more youth involvement. People dont care, they just want to be left to do their own thing. No law changes, no extra taxes, no responsibility. If they did want more, they would do more.

Daffy Duck, excellent post on capitalism.
Posted by RandomGuy, Sunday, 3 February 2013 6:41:59 PM
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