September 18, 2013
The conservative's deployment of the culture wars in Australia are well under way and this polarization has been politically successful so far. The polarization of Australia is what we call the “culture wars”.
This polarization has taken the form of Abbott as the champion of traditional gender roles taking on liberal feminism and successfully establishing that anti-sexism is the preoccupation of a tiny elect elites and irrelevant to the problems of the many Australian battlers.
So we have the old conservative meme refrain of the Australian people --the common folk---vs the inner city elite; a reworking of Richard Nixon's rhetoric of two Americas: the quiet, ordinary, patriotic, religious, law-abiding Many, and the noisy, élitist, amoral, disorderly, condescending Few.
Abbott is a culture warrior and as Tim Dunlop points out this strand of conservatism:
is built on resentment, the resentment that comes from a perceived loss of prestige.The anger of certain men at rising gender equality is this resentment's most obvious manifestation.
The men are back in charge. The women have been put behind the closed door. The natural order has been restored.
This conservatism both builds on , and cultivates anger, anxieties and resentment of right-wing populism. The other strand is the the white Protestant roots of their movement and the resentment towards multiculturalism and nonwhite immigration. This conservatism has little use for other values—the belief in equality before the law, for example, or the defense of each citizen's fair and full participation in democratic life--and it is much more than backlash or reaction to the 1960s'-- a counterculture.
There is its appeal to national unity and familial bonds and its fears about federal bureaucracy and centralized government or centralized political power. This gives it an essentially negative character of an insurgent movement and its ability to understood the art of politics---to controlled the language and move the political parameters to the right. It is a politics that seeks confrontation on every front. . . . the new Abbott government will seek to divide Australians into red and blue, and to divide the people into those who stand with them or against them. This is not a centrist government---it is part of a movement to stop the drift of a democratic country toward social democracy.
The question is whether politics matters more than governing--and hence a failure to adapt to new circumstances and new problems to provide solutions to the problems of today--wage stagnation, inequality, health care, global warming.