The Wild West ... the outback ... The new world of the 1800s was a time of true liberty. People stood on their own merits. They won or they lost and they reaped the rewards or swallowed the consequences. There were no cubicle dwelling civil servants hell bent on saving you from yourself. No planning permits no licenses no permissions no heritage overlay no bylaw no regulators no inspectors. And guess what ... it worked

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While some may feel that this is a bit of a gutless approach it is the only way we can ensure free and open discussion without jeopardising our paycheques.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Introduction to "Australia's future in the world" - submissions from Australia 2020 (Lone Ranger)

I wrote this last year, but much of its is still current. I suspect now with the election of president-prophet-godhead Obama, the anti-americanism would be somewhat toned down if 2020 was held today. I will post some reviews of individual submisison shortly.

Australia's future in the world

While there are exceptions, many of the submissions about Australia’s future in the world were variations of a series of common themes:

More power to multilateral institutions - there is a touchingly naïve but also worrying assumption in most submissions that world peace will be realised and global poverty ended simply by giving more power to the United Nations and other multilateral organisations. It is as if the prosperity and freedom we have known is somehow unrelated to the nation State, or to the culture and values of the West. The fact that nearly everything the UN has ever tried has ended in failure is irrelevant – we just have not given enough of our money and sovereignty over to this unelected world body. Even worse is the assumption that the UN is somehow a superior way of promoting human rights. In 2009, the UN Human Rights Council will include paragons of freedom such as China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia, which represent some of the most brutal, arbitrary and undemocratic regimes on earth – do we really want to entrust future freedoms to nations such as these?

But perhaps that is the point – the people that promote human rights are quite happy to trample over your rights and mine if it gets in the way of achieving what they want.

Another key theme is that Australia should give lots more overseas aid. Where this money is to come from is never specified, nor how it would be used, other than motherhood statements around “eliminating poverty” or “education” or “feeding the poor”. Never mind that welfare dependency – whether at an individual or national level – is equally crippling to the capacity to look after oneself. Never mind that Australian taxpayers would impoverish themselves sending money to all and sundry overseas. Never mind that hundreds of billions of dollars of global assistance have been poured into the third world for decades with no effect on production, productivity and freedom.

One of the most bizarre themes is the need for Australians to learn foreign languages, thus promoting world peace. This reasoning is hopelessly misguided – countries will seek to promote their national interests, regardless of how fluent their citizens are in the languages of others. After all, even if, by learning a foreign language you “understand” foreigners better, it does not automatically follow that you will therefore agree with their perspectives. Even if I was to learn Farsi, wI dount that I would support the nuking of Israel, for instance.

Of course, given the leanings of most submission authors, there was a strong current of anti-americanism. Actually, anti-americanism doesn’t quite describe the level of contempt in some submissions. Neither Americans nor the US Government are perfect – far from it – but the current American led global order has been far more benign than many others. Even if you disagree with this statement, the idea that somehow China would provide more warm, fuzzy international leadership than the US is delusional.

To sum up, the level of naivety about international relations and the true drivers of national interest are both amusing and scary. The desire for more international Government, more foreign aid, more bureaucracy was typical.


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