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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the media's psychosis « Previous | |Next »
June 14, 2007

The Australian's recent editorial entitled Reality bites the psychotic Left argues that by refusing to face modern realities, the Australian Left has dealt itself out of the national debate. It goes on to assert that closely related to the Left's hatred of the US is their contempt for capitalism. It then says that:

On one of the burning topics of the day, climate change, this profound hatred of capitalism has led them down another philosophical dead end which advocates a romantic vision of suffering for a cause. Rather than objectively assess the realities of climate change and the practical task ahead they advocate symbolic, but ultimately futile, penance. By persisting with a misguided campaign to turn back the clock and demonise the Howard Government for not being harsh enough, once again, the debate has passed them by. Kyoto is giving way to a new global compact at which the US and Australia are at the centre. As research into clean coal technology for electricity generation looks set to become not just a reality but much quicker than even optimists had expected, those who advocate a return to dark nights and cold showers again look foolish.

This is from a newspaper that has used every tactic to support any strategy to stall action on climate change to stem the green tide. The editorial goes on to claim that todays Left has allowed itself to become trapped in a parallel universe, out of touch and far removed from the mainstream where the real Australian discourse takes place.

Really? On climate change it is The Australian's trenchant denialist position that is marked by "distorted perceptions of reality" surely. It has traditionally held that a strong case could be made that no scientific consensus on climate change exists, and that it was the climate change scientists who were the true believers.

The Australian understood its stance to be one of scepticism, and it has continued to cling to this even though most Australians judged climate change to pose a real threat to their mode of life and a real danger to that of their childrens. It has dealt dealt itself out of the national debate on climate change with its vitriol and hysteria rhetoric about the neo-Arcadian Left being anti-affluence, anti-wealth, anti-economic growth. The Australian is resolutely anti-green underneath its practical approach, adopts a bully boy approach to its critics, and it lost the climate change debate by a long way. Ideology was no match for the enlightening science of climate change.

It is The Australian that looks out of touch and ridiculous as it whips up its mock outrage into a form of hysteria about the "psychotic" Left. So what is it going to do about its denialist position now that it has been left stranded on the far shore. It has to cover its retreat in some way.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:27 AM | | Comments (5)


have you read Janet Albrechtson's op-ed The Left needs to get real in Monday's Australian?

She says that Left need to go back to their dictionaries. While they are there, they may want to flick back to the “narcissism” word.Then this:

If you had to sum up the state of thinking from left-wing intellectuals, this word does the job. Their unrestrained intellectual vanity leaves no room for debate. So self-absorbed are they in their own genius, so obvious is their own correctness, disagreement is not merely wrong but immoral. Those on the other side of the political divide are not just misguided. They are evil. They are, said Dennis Glover in his contribution to the debate, “right-wing thugs”. These guys are bruised by two facts: there are now more people challenging left-wing orthodoxy (and they don’t like it one bit); and fewer people are listening to their left-wing diatribes (and they really hate that).

It is demonisation ---the evil one that must be destroyed. The Liberal staffers had a great time with their comments that reinforced the message about the vain and condescendingly supercilious, leftist, self-professed intellectuals in the universities that tried to browbeat conservative students so they feel so bad about themselves and their establishment bourgeois values. But it was all water of a ducks back for the young Liberals. They did not need to run home to mummy or find comfort in the warm embrace of the family's traditional moral values.

Just think what a marvelous contribution to the environment newspapers would be making if the just stopped printing them. But I guess they already know that.

yes I did. It mostly recycles the psychotic Left editorial.

The Australian’s denialist stance on climate change has been overwhelmed by the scientific evidence. They locked themselves into an anti-scientific position. Crazy stuff. So they backed themselves into a corner where they had to rely on faith to sustain their argument.They then tried to cover their embarrassment by accusing the climate change scientists of being religious fanatics.

The Australian's climate change denialists have a real problem climbing out of their counter-enlightenment hole and embracing one adopting a practical approach to climate change based on reason.

especially when we have tirades about the hate filled anti-capitalist Marxist Left; its deadening influence on the trinity of class, gender and race; its ideological strangehold on the intellectual and cultural life of the nation etc etc

It reads like a chanting of the catechism; a grotesque caricature of socaial democracy.

Gary, Have you ever noticed that when those on the "right" use such hyperbole they are almost always describing themselves and their "right" thinking fellow travellers -and the psychotic ideology and applied politics that they promote---such as bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to Iraq via shock and awe.