Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the Green virus? « Previous | |Next »
June 12, 2010

I've stopped regarding The Australian as an authoritative voice on national issues and have come to regard it as the partisan voice of Australian conservatives with bile in their hearts, especially when it comes to the Australian Greens. Their rising electoral support, and the central role the Greens will probably play in the years ahead, must be causing Australian conservatives some anxious moments. So we can expect attacks on the "ideological dogma" of the Green to be launched from the pages of The Australian.

Some will come from the conservative women columnists, such as Miranda Devine, Janet Albrechtsen and Angela Shanahan. Shanahan is a Catholic moral conservative who voices the views of family-oriented women, supports the traditional family unit in opposition to the rampant individualism of civil society; natural law; the right to life of the unborn and sees feminism as an enemy.

In her Christians must boost immunity to Greens virus Shanahan fears that progressive Christians---the left-leaning Christian humanitarian brigade---could be:

infected by the Greens virus...for this group it is not the environment so much as the ostentatiously humanitarian credentials of the Greens that draw them away from the main parties. But the Greens are neither harmless nor a ginger group...They are notable for their impracticality: an odd mixture of do-goodism, libertarianism and almost totalitarian control on issues such as energy consumption. The Greens would be quite at home in Havana.

The reason? Why Peter Singer is their "inhouse philosopher" and in his writings he puts humans and animals on the same moral level, embraces animal liberation, supports abortion to term and euthanasia and even gives qualified support for infanticide. For Shanahan that is well down the road to eugenics. Remember the Nazis?

Singer's utilitarian arguments for this position? These are of no concern to Shanahan. It's just enough that The Greens adopt some of them (abortion and right-to-die legislation) and are are consistently anti-freedom of religion, are vehemently opposed to religious schools.They are unChristian. So don't vote Green. That's all that needs to be said.

Humanitarianism (of the utilitarian variety) is a problem for Shanahan because it separate politics from religion. In her Godless politics has gone too far for democracy in The Australian she says:

It always amuses me how little the opponents of religion understand the complex philosophical foundations of Western democracy and the debt they owe to religious philosophy in our understanding of the human being.Nor will they even concede that men and women of religious bent took on most of the great human rights battles of the past, such as the abolition of slavery and even the foundation of modern labour movements.Today, nowhere is this denial more evident than in the battle over human life, human rights and freedom of conscience.

Well that does away with the Enlightenment doesn't it.

The Greens stand for godless politics.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:00 AM | | Comments (20)


You know....I ALWAYS get the shits whenever I see "do-gooder" used as a derogatory term. I immediately stop paying attention to anything else the speakers says...

They---journalists in Murdoch’s media empire--- never call politicians "do gooders" do they? The pollies say they enter politics to improve the lives of ordinary Australians, rather than to make lots of money but they are not "do gooders".

This is a media empire that acts like a bully boy in the local schoolyard--- eg., play ball or else we will carve you up. The Greens won't play ball so they will be carved up.

Curse those "do-gooders"...!!!

Empathy is for the weak.
Idealism is for the simple-minded.
Social conscience is for the pathetic hand-wringers.

Murdoch's mob are resolute, square-jawed, hard-headed, thick-skinned, two-fisted, flinty-eyed, fearless, realists. Hurrah! (apparently)

Yeah I caught the virus about 10-15 years ago [I think my wife gave it to me].
At first it was mild in its symptoms which included a vague disgust at the cynicism, greed and selfishness of the 2 major parties and a growing awareness of the general bigotry of the 'big religions'.
But I took lots of doses of various medicines, the 'don't ask questions, just obey and accept' elixir, "its all about pragmatism" lozenges, some 'apathy' tablets. I found that 'ye old tribal loyalty' pills worked well for a while.
But gradually the effects of these prophylatics wore off and I could see myself getting more and more ethical , analytic, evidence driven and the like.
Recently the virus semms to have taken over almost completely.
Strangely enough I feel healthier and a better person for it, able to face my grandkids and say "I tried".
Weird eh?

fred... did you try absorbing large doses of commercial TV? It seems to work a treat for many of our fellow citizens!

Nice one mars08, I'll pay that.
Actually, serious comment, weaning myself off mainstream media definitely enhanced my health and the quality of information received.
And its not just the commercial media, I briefly, and even briefly was too long, had a look at the crap emanating from ABC 'Insiders' today. Definitely not a healthy thing to watch.

Sadly weaning yourself off the msm is a two-edged sword. I started the process about a decade ago...

I found that ignoring the pap & crap meant that I was out of step with most of my social circle. I could no longer engage in the conversations because I was seeing things from a completely different angle. Certaily I wasn't as frightened as much stuff as they were.

Sometimes (rarely) I'd speak up and try to point out the facts... but mostly it fell on deaf ears. (I guess my sarcasm didn't help). But it used to piss-off my (then) wife. So it wasn't a total waste of time!

Once again this delusional thinking from elements of the born to rule or those who imagine they are.
And what sits behind it?
The same phenomena Stendahl identified in the Scarlett and the Black" a famous novel set in the reactionary 1830's; militant "Ultraist" politico religious conservatism of a type propagated by the arch elitist of the time, Joseph De Maistre.
The line goes back further to Hobbes, St Augustine, St Paul and the old Judaic prophets and the Greeks, as with Plato, as to theories of politics expounded by him. Popper apparently conflated the role of aristocratic elites with revolutionary vanguards proposed by left theorists, to tendentiously link Communism with elitist reaction, but what I'm interested in is this sense right thru history of elites considering themselves as somehow maifestly obvious Guardians with the power of God over the (underserving) masses.
In Catholicism this equates to the "congregations" of the nineteenth century, with their incessant surveillance of fellow citizens, altho there is also a strain redolent of s Star Chamber mentality that also threads its way thru Protestantism thru Calvinism and its "elect" to modern (self) righteous American Pentecostalism.
Today dreadful people like Devine and Angela Shanahan, driven by a megalomaniac belief in their own righteous for no more than the flimsy fact that they were born into a particular church are already "with the angels", sitting in judgement of the rest.
The Israel mentality is a good example of what must be the consequences for delusional thinking and power and we should also remember that dictatorships driven by the mentality, thoughout the Latin World, are just barely out power by a decade or so, give or take.

Most of the anti-Labor stuff in The Australian these days is about Rudd's failings, how he is losing it,the rumbling in the ALP ranks; the factional leaders placing Rudd on borrowed time; Rudd only having a couple of weeks left to get his shit together etc etc.

It's a political campaign that feeds of, and spins, rumours and gossip, to undermine Labor.

We are heading towards a digital future---a shift from ink to screen---and the digital revolution is hastening the newsprint demise.

Even if we grant that newsprint will cling on for a good while, it is getting increasingly uncomfortable at Fairfax to work with falling profits and falling sales. The axe is bound to fall.

So it isa case of managing decline to keep the Fairfax head above water, so that there may be a successful digital future--opportunities that ensure journalism, as distinct from newspapers, survives.

That's the argument anyhow.

Catholics have become an increasingly powerful force in the conservative coalition. In politics, Catholic rightists in the 1950s favored a strongly anti Communist foreign policy and defended capitalism. Catholic social teaching promotes “social justice” or “economic justice” and “worker’s rights.” It says society and its institutions should have a preferential concern for the poor.

The Second Vatican Council, with its attendant upheavals and freedom of expression ( ie., Pope John XXIII’s reform movement in the 1960s) fragmented Australian Catholicism. In the 1960s and 1970s the united front among Catholic conservative broke apart----into conservatives and progressives. So we have Shanahan's attacks of Catholic progressives (liberals)? because they favour the Greens on environmental issues.

Another strand of attack is concerned with the “dictatorship of relativism”, which is defined as “following one’s own will”, while shifting “here and there with every wind of doctrine”. Cardinal Pell has articulated this view--he believes the church should be more confrontational in tackling secular values(on sexual morality, same sex marriage, euthanasia, and the sanctity of human life) and asserting absolute truth. You don't hear much about social justice from the Conservatives.

The transfer of Catholic allegiance from Labor to the Liberals at the parliamentary level has been one of the most dramatic shifts in Australian politics over the past 50 years.

'cos Jesus was a huge supporter of the status quo...

The Canberra Press Gallery is a culture of cowardice. It's filled with people who systematically suppress (or never develop) genuine convictions for the sake of career advancement in the corporate media

I used to regularly watch the Insiders --the ABC and public interest journalism. I've given up. Too much nonsense from Andrew Bolt and Karen Middleton.

It was anti-communism that held the political Right together. The glue of the threat disintegrated with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

nah... the new Right just found a bunch of other threats to get worked up about...

The Greens, feminists, Muslims, the Unions, climate change crusaders, anti-gun groups, intellectuals and elites, refugees. Oh, there's ALWAYS something out there that we need to be protected against.

yep but the new threats don't hold the right coalition together --eg., the censorship of the Christian Lobby doesn't cut it with the libertarians. The War on Terror has kinda fallen flat.

the mainstream media do go on about JUlia Gillard for PM. It's as if thats the only story that interests them and that's all people want to hear.

The mainstream media deals with gossip and rumours that are more like fairy tales--eg., Julia Gillard becoming PM soon.