Wednesday 20th of June 2018

the gods must be crazy .....

the gods must be crazy .....

As a rich, university-educated middle-class white guy, I do it tough. I am, dare I say it, oppressed. There, I said it, so I guess I do dare. Oppressed by shrill and difficult harpies like Germaine Greer, who by her own admission just the other day is only interested in my penis.

Oppressed by a horde of uppity little groups, and races and culture gangs who, having inconsiderately thrown off my rich, white forefathers' oppression of their poor, not-so-white forefathers and, er, foremothers, now seem intent on getting some payback.

I am oppressed by the end of a long, happy history of rich white guys just going out into the world and doing whatever they damn well please. (Well, it was happy for us.)

Oppressed also by a generation of pushy, overeducated women who turned up on campus and took all the good marks, before turning up in the workplace and taking all the nice corner offices with their bloody hard work and attention to detail.

Oppressed by a whole raft of anti-discrimination laws that prevent me and the other rich white guys from getting together in the last bastion of our rich white guy clubs to bitch and moan about how tough we've got it these days.

But at least I'm not a super-rich white guy. Because then I'd be oppressed by Wayne Swan. Just for being all super-rich and awesome and not at all an officially oppressed minority. Then I would be Clive Palmer.

Clive it was - poor, brave, super-rich Clive - who finally called out our bullying Dalek of a Treasurer, for being all racist and sexist against rich white guys. Clive, and Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, and Gina Rinehart (who, yes, is technically not a rich white man, but what the hell, she gets two out of three), they're as mad as hell, as mad as all comparatively rich white guys, and they're not gonna take it any more.

"All Australians have an inherent right to be treated equally under the law," thundered Clive, "regardless of our race or means or where we live."

And as a guy who lives in a very large house, on top of a high hill in an expensive suburb, I can only add, "Huzzah, for you Clive Palmer, huzzah!"

At last someone is speaking up for those of us who can't afford our own multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns to choke the life out of any government that passes any law with which we don't agree or, say, a mining tax in Clive and Twiggy and Gina's case.

I frequently sit in the larger of my two home libraries, seething with impacted, indignant rage that I have to pay some tax every now and then while writers who are nowhere near as good as me, as evidenced by their subsistence incomes, poor blotchy skin and distended "famine bellies", pay nothing. That's right! Nothing. Because they're too poor!

I ask you, and Clive asks you, does this sound like a country where all of us have the inherent right to be treated equally under the law, regardless of our bank balances and exclusive postcodes?

"We are one nation," says my man Clive, "with a diverse and rich background."

Some of us less diverse and a bit more rich than others, but that's the price you pay for freedom, people. And I do mean you. We rich white guys tend to get comped. I sometimes think, and I'm sure Clive would agree, that guys like Swan would actually make us less diverse and rich if they were given half a chance.

How fortunate are we then - we "of means" anyway, rather than you "of colour", or "of no means at all, save for the coins down the back of the couch" - that Clive has stood forth to secure our interests by ranking them with those of the various oppressed?

"To classify people by their means, race, class or gender is not a substitute for robust discussion about ideas or solutions to pressing national problems," he declares, and quite right too.

Right now, I'd like a robust discussion of the problem I'm having with you lot putting your hands out to snatch my hard-earned airport novel dollars to pay for your substandard state schools and aged parents' hip replacements. There is an Apple TV coming soon, you know. And I've already taken down some of my minor Whiteleys and Olsens to create a space on the wall in the second lounge for it.

But if Clive and I have to keep paying for everything in this country, and getting no respect in return, well, by God, we might just take our whole gig offshore.

I was thinking Paris, in the northern spring.

Clive Palmer Hits Back At Swan

the ruling class...

New Haven, CT - Karl Marx never visited the United States, but he nevertheless understood the country, because he understood capitalism. As you know, there's no American ideology that's mightier than capitalism. Equality, justice and the rule of law are nice and all, but money talks. 

In their 1846 book
 The German Ideology, Marx and co-author Frederick Engels took a look at human history and made a plain but controversial observation. In any given historical period, the ideas that people generally think are the best and most important ideas are usually the ideas of the people in charge. If you have a lot of money and own a lot of property, then you have the power to propagandise your worldview and you have incentive to avoid appearing as if you're propagandising your worldview. Or, as Marx and Engels would put it: The ruling ideas of every epoch are the ideas of the ruling class.

The ideas of the one per cent become the dominant ideas because the one per cent convinces the 99 per cent that its ideas are the only rational and universally valid ideas. Consider free-market capitalism. The idea says that growth provides prosperity to all, that government governs best when it governs least, so there's no need to discuss the redistribution of wealth. That's neoliberalism and that idea has been the only acceptable economic policy since the Clinton era. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was its greatest champion. After the collapse of the housing market, he said he was dead wrong. Even so, the idea remains dominant. Why? Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but the ruling class happens to make a lot of money from a free market.