April 10, 2014
Greg Jericho says that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had issued new social media guidelines that included a clause instructing employees that there "is an expectation" to dob in colleagues if they see them do anything on social media that might contravene the code of conduct. Such things include being "critical or highly critical of the Department, the Minister or the Prime Minister".
Such comment goes beyond the employees area of work to anything that might "compromise public confidence in the agency or the APS". Greg Jericho observes:
The vibe from the top is that social media is to be feared, and is now also to be used as a tool of fear. With so few jobs around, and some departments cutting a quarter of their staff, the time is ripe to force harsh restrictions on employees and silence dissent. And PM&C's guidelines will do just that.
This is an example of creeping authoritarianism that seeks to obtain its political end by coercion and sanctions in order to enforce and maintain quietism towards the political order.
This conservatism, which is pulled in two directions at once – towards both authoritarianism and libertarianism---attempted to present itself as the defender of civil liberties against an overly authoritarian and interventionist state. This is usually represented by a desire to protect the individual from an over-powerful state. However, the tradition of authoritarianism remains strong.
This is a conservatism, which is premised on ’’liberty’ in economic processes the market and ’authoritarianism’ in political relations, and is driven by a fear of chaos and absence of order. Political conservatives envision a world without God in which baser human impulses go unchecked, social institutions (marriage, government, family) fall apart and chaos ensues. It uses opposition to "political correctness" to mask the authoritarianism in the desire to silence dissent and their opponents and to keep the populace alarmed by creating an endless series of threats, all of them imaginary (eg., asylum seekers pouring across the northern border of Australia).