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

anti-democratic tendencies « Previous | |Next »
November 25, 2013

The Australian Financial Review is celebrating 50 years and its policy record for reforms to create an open competitive economy. The assumption is that the “free” market and political democracy are two sides of the same coin and their narrative about Australian history simply contrasts the conformist and inward-looking Australia of the 1950s with the supposedly cosmopolitan, competitive and outward-looking nation we now live in.

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Yet, in looking back from the present, we need to temper the AFR celebration of open markets in a world where international capital is free to move wherever it wished in search of lower costs and therefore higher profits.

We can discern the disturbing trend whereby the forces liberated and empowered by “free-market” doctrines are threatening to override and ignore the safeguards supposedly guaranteed by democratic governments. The central core of liberal representative democracy is that the otherwise overwhelming power of those who would dominate an unregulated “free” market could be restrained and offset by the legitimacy and political power conferred on government through the democratic process.

Examples are the Murdoch media empire, the Big Miners and the fossil fuel industry. The position of these forms of international capital is that environmental sustainability needs to be dumped in the face of the overwhelming priority accorded to the corporate short-term bottom line and the Abbott government is increasingly acting to meet the demands of business.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:45 AM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

It is pretty clear that Murdoch used his newspapers to destroy the Gillard Govt.

It is ironic that it was a Labor Govt--Hawke + Keating-- who allowed Murdoch to takeover the Herald and Weekly Times and so facilitate News Corp's domination of the Australian press. Clearly, their fondness for market competition did not extend to the newspaper industry.

"It is pretty clear that Murdoch used his newspapers to destroy the Gillard Govt."

News Corp's attack dogs----Piers Ackerman, Andrew Bolt, Janet Albrechtsen, Miranda Devine etc----went in for character assassination of both Gillard and Rudd. It indicated that Murdoch's various state-based tabloids now operate as a single Australian tabloid political voice.

"Murdoch's various state-based tabloids now operate as a single Australian tabloid political voice"

This, coupled with The Australian, has enabled Murdoch to achieve significant political influence and a capacity to shape the political values of of Australia.

These political values are those of free enterprise, deregulated markets, and a deep hostility to the left liberal politically correct inner city elites.

There was a brief item in yesterdays Oz pointing out how Gina thinks that all young people should read the books of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman - nuf sed!