Ode to Machiavelli’s Discourses.

Ode to Machiavelli’s Discourses of Titus Livy.

Y’know..I can sympathise with ol’ Machiavelli,
Seeing how things at this moment are not very
Agreeable..somewhat friable..if’n you’ll allow…
And HE did avow to explain with a lengthy refrain
The deeper meanings of one : Titus Livius..THE man.

I have picked over his “Discourses” as one does pick,
Thread-bits from a new coat..or the currants, thick
From granny’s fruit loaf..very nice..’til she thanks
You with a rap of the wooden spoon, you’ll soon
Learn to pay close attention to such indelible rune..

And wonder, like he, whether such honour indeed,
Bestowed upon those ancients, and their seed be
But an impersonation of admired esteem,
Less one’s smarts be seen as hollow sincerity, given as trope
To impertination so vain as to promenade that path again and again…and again?

Wisdom admired..but never imitated, even diluted, you may plea,
So that WE, who have gained this Earth and now lost our soul,
Given, on the whole, as fuel to the false god of intellectual flattery.
Assault and battery on lost integrity exchanged impressionably
For mutual back-slapping and the odd “gold echidna”.

I wouldn’t be kidding yer if I was to say, with an underbreath ; “Ole’”
That the measure of intellect today is, sadly, awry, Y,
‘Tis enough to make one cry..given what history has bequeathed
So each generation in turn could turn over a new leaf.
With so much, so ample that we have more than sample..it’s that simple.

“For our civil laws are but decisions by ancient Jurisconsults,
That teacheth our present Jurisconsults systems by which to judge…”
A drudge with nought to follow but example and re-assemble
Forebears preamble on things “socially medicinal”, as an endocrine?
Should work out fine ..if we but listen, not descend to vicious hissing.

The biggest mistake being; not understanding history,
But make mystery of what we WILL NOT see..Is it just me?
Or is it thee who takes more pleasure from the infinite variety
Of incidents in this or that society and such scandalous pleasure
As your measure of understanding, rather than demanding

We take heed to the answers to those deeds, as if these
Times have changed the behaviour of men and then of women too
It’s a shoo-in to see ; the Sun the Moon, the sea and thee
Have not changed their motions and power, hour on hour
From ancient times, I’d avower and from such error; allora!

I’d therefore call thee to hark to the wisdom of Titus Livy
And give time to study the erstwhile text of Machiavelli
Written in testament for us to understand such history
For ; Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai..
Which for this pleasure I now bequeath to thee…from me.


A Dystopian Reality.

Are you , like me when awaiting an authoritative decision to be handed down?..Like this very recent decision by the High Court on the Same-Sex marriage postal survey? I know I awaited the decision with mixed anticipation..One part of me was hoping for a positive outcome (for the High Court to block the Govt’) , while another instinct kept whispering in my ear that there was little chance that an authority with a vested interest in the same status and class as the very people and govt’ that desired a different outcome would disappoint their fellow travelers.

Of course, I had no reason to believe there would be any kind of collusion between the judiciary and the members of the Govt’..except a faint..nasty..nagging, instinctive premonition that we have been down this path so many times and the result seems..I say : “seems” to always end up favouring the conservative side of the ledger..and I just can’t shake that niggling feeling that there is a kind of ,if not actual collusion and back-slapping ;”We’ve got you covered on this one mate”, than a almost imperceptible nod and a wink of camaraderie to each other.

Like the recent several decisions on refugees..: A Google header..: Government can detain asylum seekers brought to Australia for … – ABC
May 2, 2017 – Photo: The High Court ruled the detention of the mother and daughter was lawful. … Related Story: Pregnant asylum seeker on Nauru flown to Australia · Related Story: Manus Island refugee dies in Brisbane hospital … medical treatment, a decision by the Commonwealth Government to send them back to …

There would appear to be an in-step cabal to back each other on matters conservative and controversial. Like the recent ruling on the Same-sex Marriage survey, a lay-person who has followed the preceding events leading up to the High Court challenge could be excused for thinking that there has been a miscarriage of justice..after all, those barristers who advised for the challenge would have some degree (one would presume) of insight as to the probability of success BEFORE bringing the challenge to such an expensive advocacy.

Of course, the working-class radical in me immediately jumps to the accusation of “Class-privilege / Class collusion”. But then one has to be judicious on such an accusation less it start to sound more as a shrill whinge rather than accurate assessment. And it’s not to say that all judiciary emanated from the same class background, indeed some have quite humble heritage..But one has to concede both through example and personal experience, where one comes from is not always a certainty of how one will act when reaching a higher affluence lifestyle..

Consider Thorsten Veblen :

“As has already been indicated, the distinction between exploit and drudgery is an invidious distinction between employments. Those employments which are to be classed as exploit are worthy, honourable, noble; other employments, which do not contain this element of exploit, and especially those which imply subservience or submission, are unworthy, debasing, ignoble. The concept of dignity, worth, or honour, as applied either to persons or conduct, is of first-rate consequence in the development of classes and of class distinctions, and it is therefore necessary to say something of its derivation and meaning. Its psychological ground may be indicated in outline as follows.
As a matter of selective necessity, man is an agent. He is, in his own apprehension, a centre of unfolding impulsive activity—”teleological” activity (Teleology is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose or goal..; ME.) . He is an agent seeking in every act the accomplishment of some concrete, objective, impersonal end. By force of his being such an agent he is possessed of a taste for effective work, and a distaste for futile effort. He has a sense of the merit of serviceability or efficiency and of the demerit of futility, waste, or incapacity. This aptitude or propensity may be called the instinct of workmanship. Wherever the circumstances or traditions of life lead to an habitual comparison of one person with another in point of efficiency, the instinct of workmanship works out in an emulative or invidious comparison of persons. The extent to which this result follows depends in some considerable degree on the temperament of the population. In any community where such an invidious comparison of persons is habitually made, visible success becomes an end sought for its own utility as a basis of esteem. Esteem is gained and dispraise is avoided by putting one’s efficiency in evidence. “ (Thorsten Veblen ; “Theory of the Leisure Class).

Armed with a certain prejudice against that class that appears to hold all the best cards of law and authority, one can be excused for harbouring a feeling of being “hard done by” in the realm of justice and equality, after all, it just appears logical that those who possess all that a society values in regard to position, wealth and power, would do their damn best to cultivate a favourable advantage to keep them…AND form a network of like-minded fellows in the various departments of social control to maintain that advantage.

The dystopian connection here is the feeling of disconnectedness between our nurtured sense of what constitutes social “fair play” and the “impartial rule of law”, where the latter seems to too frequently fall solidly over the other side of the fence of upper-middle class solidarity.

Perhaps it is just me, and I have spent more than a little time analysing my prejudices..but then I also have this instinctive faith, brought about by many years’ experience, in trusting my intuition on matters subjective..and , as you can read above, by falling back on past authors so much more wise and informed on such subjects than myself.

And on such a note, I will give another author well versed in the mechanics of class politics to have the last word on an “independent judiciary”…

“…From this incident there is to be noted that which was mentioned above, that it is useful and necessary for a Republic with its laws to provide a means of venting that ire which is generally conceived against a citizen, for if these ordinary means do not exist, they will have recourse to extraordinary ones, and without doubt these produce much worse effects that do the others. For ordinarily when a citizen is oppressed, even if he has received an injustice, little or no disorder ensues in the Republic, because its execution is done by neither private nor foreign forces which are those that ruin public liberty, but is done by public force and arrangement which have their own particular limits, and do not transcend to things that ruin the Republic…for the accusing of a powerful one before eight judges in a Republic is not enough; it is necessary that the judges be many because the few always judge in favour of the few.” (Niccolo Machiavelli : “The Discourses of Titus Livius”)

So you can ”judge” for yourselves.

Pax Romana, Pax Britannia, Pax Americana.

The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) was a period of relative peace and stability across the Roman Empire which lasted for over 200 years, beginning with the reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE).

“ Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is sometimes credited with the idea of the Pax Romana. He writes:

[Notwithstanding the propensity of mankind to exalt the past and to depreciate the present, the tranquil and prosperous state of the empire was warmly felt and honestly confessed by the provincials as well as Romans. ‘They acknowledged that the true principles of the social life, laws, agriculture, and science, which had been first invented by the wisdom of Athens, were now firmly established by the power of Rome, under whose auspicious influence the fiercest barbarians were united by an equal government and common language. They affirm that, with the improvement of arts, the human species was visibly multiplied. They celebrate the increasing splendor of the cities, the beautiful face of the country, cultivated and adorned like an immense garden; and the long festival of peace, which was enjoyed by so many nations, forgetful of their ancient animosities, and delivered from the apprehension of future danger].”

I think the above passage gives ample example of the delusion embraced by the historians of that era for what was believed to be “civilisation under rule of law”..strange as it is when a contradictory passage in “The Agricola” by that other great Roman historian : Tacitus has been roundly exampled as a salutary lesson of how NOT to rule a people : “Calgacus to his troops.” http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/readings/agricola.html
(That speech could serve to explain both the below latter-day attempts at conquest, so I will not enlarge on this point lest the article become a discourse of great length).

Pax Britannica (Latin for “British Peace”, modelled after Pax Romana) was the period of relative peace in Europe (1815–1914) during which the British Empire became the global hegemonic power and adopted the role of a global police force.

Pax Americana (Latin for “American Peace”, modelled after Pax Romana and Pax Britannica ) is a term applied to the concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the world as a result of the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States beginning around the middle of the 20th century …

My reading of history informs me that the only moment when an imperial power declares for a “Pax” ..a Peace, is when it has either thoroughly conquered by arms the territory it wants to exploit, or having reached a situation where it becomes too expensive in either man-power or materially to continue with a conquest by arms, it sues for a peace which leaves it not only in charge of annexed territory, but in a favourable position to continue to exercise divide and rule of the peoples within those territories. But with the subtle trick of instituting a system of governance and laws most favourable to itself, it conjures the image of “civilised debate on the floor of the house”, where the imperial power still holds all the best cards of convenience and argument to obtain an end result that is most favourable for itself and /or its vested interests. Let us not deceive ourselves that the Parliament is anything more than a re-location of force-by-arms from the field to the floor of the House, and in an environment most suited to those who consider themselves “born to rule”.

So it was with the “Pax Romana”, when Caesar Augustus set about to withdraw from the high-cost of attack in far-flung lands and set up a defensive line of forts and borders , usually on the nearside of a large river or mountain range, that it could secure and control by regulated customs crossings both persons and taxable imports.

Likewise the “Pax Britannia”. As many of us baby-boomers who were indoctrinated with the imperial British histories in our school years would know. The “red parts” on the atlas denoted “rule by British law”..but in reality, those colonies of Sth. Africa, Canada, Australia/ NZ. and India (to name the major ones) were ruled with the iron fist of search out and destroy all opposition both real or imagined…using their own constructs of “rule of law” to justify the action and then plead that the local natives “never had it so good” under such a benign jurisdiction of “Pax”.

The more recent “Pax Americana” of post war years (both 1st & 2nd) gave opportunity to exploit to the maximum those countries not centrally governed or secure in that governance so that the American corporations could play the role of coloniser under the guise of “open for business” to the smaller nations of Sth. America and the Mexican peninsula, corrupting and if need be ; sending in the troops to “protect their business interests and to restore peace and order”…and other spurious excuses.

The indigenous peoples here in Australia are just these last few decades coming to terms with their most cruel suppression, after an attempt of total crushing of both the spirit and flesh of many generations since colonisation, disguised and lied about under the same old ideology of “Pax”..a kind of “Pax Australiana”, where the ruling class has taken the liberty, along with the land to exploit without redress the minerals, the natural environment and the indigenous peoples themselves.
The lie of a confected history was constructed and spoon-fed to many generations of white school-children, so that the line between “what was good for them” and “what they as a conquered race deserved” was blended together until it justified the “authorised” systematic White-washing of culture, class and history.

It failed.

Like the Romanization of Britain failed after 400 years of occupation. The only remaining certainty from THAT experience was an indelible hatred by the Brit’s of ever being conquered again..a force so powerful, it gave strength against the fury and onslaught of the war machine of Nazi Germany in the 2nd.WW.

The same sentiments were felt by the early American colonies about “taxation without representation” when the settlers in that Eastern American colony revolted against imperial rule, strangely though to evolve into a cruel coloniser and imperial power itself later over the native American Indians and the nations south of its own borders…The fruit never falls far from the tree.

The lessons learned from these histories ought to be more salubrious in this century, when all this information is available to any number of literate people, but sorrowfully, we again see a new age of “colonisation” taking place…a market driven colonisation not of territory, but of demographics..of entire suburbs, cities and regional centres, where a steady stream of Libertarian propaganda that reassures the citizens that they “ought to feel comfortable in their own skin”…and with such a banal slogan from such a rodent Prime Minister, one can hear an echo of self-perceived disadvantage from those MOST COMFORTABLE in their own community skin feeling threatened of having to fair-share that privilege with their neighbours or , heaven forbid, the indigenous peoples who owned the land in the first place…NOT that they would suffer any disadvantage in doing so, but would perhaps have to suffer a self-indulgent “indignity” of witnessing an oppressed people being delivered a long overdue justice that they do not believe was earned.

The histories of these lies, these “Pax Colonisation” actions that have delivered riches and privilege to the few and heart-breaking debt and dispossession to the many, need to be re-interpreted, re-written, the false doctrines sifted from the true-grit, the propaganda and lies from the struggles and declarations of injustice. It needs to be done so we can move as a nation joined rather than divided into a more balanced, equitable future for all.

AWAKE!..To a new day.

Are you full to the gills of the endless bullshit and denial from the right-wing nut jobs and the cynical swinging voters about the continual arguing on such subjects as economic rationalism and the trickle-down effect..Climate change denial or as it is now; climate change shifting of the goal posts, Indigenous treaty/Land rights/history/ culture wars, etc,etc..by a right-wing politically useless class that no longer has any contribution to make to further discussion into this century?

And then there is the renewable energy question..or rather ; NON-question, as only an absolute cretinous imbecile could work up an argument AGAINST free fuel for an eternity..and also let’s not mention the wha, wha..NBN!

Well, I’m here to give you the good oil…There really is no longer a need to take the slightest heed of those troglodytes of the right of politics. They are an anachronistic excuse, just a dying fish out of water floundering around and drowning in their own wasted space. Time to leave them behind.

Back a post or two, I mentioned that I was intending to block from my Twitter stream every direct right-wing news or information source or commentator..well I did..except for Lyonheljm, and he just told me to get f#cked, so I will keep him to annoy when required, after all, no-one can really take HIM seriously. But the rest I have and will and I do not miss any news from the action of doing that. The likes of Divine, Bolt, Kenny or Albrechtsen and the others have no positive or constructive message to give, nothing intelligent to add to the conversation..and with Social Media now becoming THE major broadcasting source of ALL world news and views, I can do without helping to relay right-wing sourced news and views..I would suggest we all do the same, for without the circulation of hard-copy newspapers, and then being cut from much access to social media, companies like News Ltd. Will be further restricted from an audience.

But we must do more than this. We must curb the cynicism toward soft-progressive politics in place of more radical politics and get this lefty cab off the rank..and once we are “on the road” and freewheeling, we can push for more radical policy. Because we are still a long way from winning the next election, and you can bet London to that brick the Murdoch crawlers will be sifting through that chest of 8×10 glossys and the dirt-filing cabinet to come down on any one of the left politicians, be they Green, Labor or a sympathetic cross-bencher.

Jay Wetherill in SA. And Daniel Andrews in Vic., and now Mark McGowan of West Aust’, are setting a good example by taking on the energy market and pedalling their states into the future for fair and equitable delivery of policy..at least as much as they can be expected in this nation of quite conservative thinking. SA’s energy policy has to be the way to go, along with the bank tax and I would hope this will lead to more radical thinking along the lines of public transport and water resources protection. I will note that Federal Labor has thankfully moved a tad further to the left and is adopting a more radical stance on many policies. I trust they will go one further and finally address that open wound of asylum seekers if they win govt’. But they are in a good position now with the electorate who have had enough of this wastrel, useless LNP.

Now for that new day!..I believe we need to talk up more State (Fed / state govt’)controlled utilities, restoring the Murray/Darling Basin plan, restoring a Govt’ bank, Govt’ energy supplies, and a host of other necessities that are now outsourced or sold off to an incompetent private sector. We need to talk up the need for a more equitable tax system and restore proper funding to our schools, universities and health sector..There is so much to be done and I don’t believe we need to waste any further time on arguing with RWNJ’s about their fear and loathing. Their stupidity will not change and will only delay the implementation of much needed policy.

I think if we can direct our optimism and energy and enthusiasm toward those policies and ideals that most move us, and make the debate for those ideals the centre of our discussions, there will be so much more impetus and energy pushing those good policies forward, rather than wasting our energy and spirit on those hopeless, depressing beings on the dark side.

Because the right-wing of politics is now no more than a dead-weight, without a life-force to sustain it, has become likened to the futile supporting in a sea of ideas, the inert body of a drowned companion. A hopeless, risky and thankless task and we have to let go of trying in vain to carry this corpse of lost hope any further….let them as a collective go, let the cadaver sink into the sediment of history as fertiliser for a future of grand ideas. Further as another metaphor; We have carried their unresponsive corpse for far too long, we have tried in vain to keep nurtured the body of bi-lateral politics for the good of social cohesion, heavens knows how long and wearily we have tried, but now is the time to switch off the life-support of an already dead body-politic, and do no more than stand away as its corrupt and evil spirit is spent into the trash-can of history.

We, of the progressive side of politics have work..much work to do. There is a world of nature that needs our undivided attention, and the hard yards of environmental resuscitation will have to go on uninterrupted by any more delays and foolishness. The social contract between the many ethnicities and cultural beliefs needs also a load of hard work…but the foundations are there, we have many of us already given our word to the reunification of the nation, those good and decent intentions cannot and will not be in vain.

Let us awake ..to a new day!

We have a VERY serious problem.

We have a very serious problem. A quite dangerous precedent happening with the deliberate covering-up of political damaging information by the main-stream media. This , combined with a never ending onslaught by the Murdoch employee journalists to attempt to divide the community on ethnic, demographic, religious and personal life-style preference lines is slowly corrupting our community. We are already a divided nation on ethnic and religious lines, driven sometimes to fatal fever-pitch by Right-wing shock-jocks feeding the Murdoch media hate machine.

A study of past societies will easily demonstrate that a nation divided cannot stand, but it is also well documented that while leadership could be corrupt, if the people living under that tyranny are in the majority united and acting with their core decency intact, that nation can rise above such corruption. This is the case now in Australia, I believe We, as a people have a core decency that can rise above this corrupt government and once again restore the respect and honesty to governance that is required.

BUT..if this current condition of giving the Murdoch Media a free rein to spread its vile base of division and hate continually through our community, the eventual result of such cancer could tip the scales so that if the majority of the citizens is persuaded to go along with the corruption promoted and practiced by this govt’ and its vested interests, there will be little hope for long term Peace and equality in our community.

At this moment, it is without doubt that it is the Murdoch media above all other MSM outlets which is concentrating its vitriol on the most vulnerable. The recent admission of the once Prime Minister ;Tony Abbott, to laying drunk in the building while a vote on the rescuing of the economy of our nation was being debated on the floor of The House demonstrates how inept and unsuitable for the office of Prime Minister that man was. Yet this most important and political dynamite information , while being well known (and suspected along with other salacious hints of behaviour) in the Press-Gallery circles and “insiders” of government house, it was not delivered to the Australian people by those self-appointed guardians of democracy ; The Fourth Estate, until just recently…Sure, the rumours did fly, but were not corroborated, in fact, I would go so far as to claim these facts along with a host of other totally outrageous behaviour actions, including the obvious flirtations with his chief of staff, that was a most gross insult to his marriage partner and in itself ought to have disqualified him from holding any office above janitor for Alan Jones’s private dunny!

What has been happening is the deliberate and conspiratorial collusion by mainly the Murdoch media and its employees to have a LNP govt’ foisted upon our nation so that vested interests could lobby such a govt’ to damage, destroy or implement policy disadvantageous to the national interests so as to facilitate an open-house, free-market, winner take all economy most suitable for the 1% and the devil take the hindermost.

This is now reached its most dangerous stage. The politicising of overseeing authorities, the castration of the office of Solicitor General , the corruption of the ACCC, the implementation of a ruthless ABCC to hit upon union activity, the strange and inconsistent behaviour of the policing and security agencies, the complicit behaviour of a certain magistrate in a recent TURC royal commission, and the list goes on…we have a serious situation in place that will warrant intense investigation as one of the first order if Labor gain office at the next election.

There will have to be some sort of investigative tribunal put in place to look into the connections between those vested interest institutions like the banks, the business council, energy suppliers, the above govt’ authorities and the Main-stream media..PARTICULARLY those arrogant mouthpieces in the Murdoch media , who, while sheltering under the protective umbrella of their Australian passport seem only too willing to sell the interests of our/ their nation out to an overseas national who is their paymaster..an act of treason if EVER there was one, and a behaviour that should deserve the most stringent account before a court of law!

There will have to be oversight of the MSM, particularly in regards to the Canberra Press Gallery. This “institution”, acting now as little more than a cabal of vested interests and lobby groups will have to be stripped of its press-status and admission to the The House press Gallery and a complete review done on each and every member. They have shown past reluctance in the integrity of their responsibility of “frank and fearless” reporting of those representing our democracy, and if they cannot be relied upon to tell the truth or report the details relevant to our making a decision on who is to future govern the nation, then they do not deserve the privilege or right of entry to the heart of the Parliament.

I, in my own tin-pot way will be exercising my right from this day by serially blocking all MSM journalists from my Twitter Stream that I do not feel have come up to a decent standard of honest reporting on the politics and politicians of the day..and THAT will certainly be EVERY Murdoch journalist without exception..and I acknowledge it may not seem much of an action, perhaps even laughable in some quarters, but I am also aware, as should we all be, that in this moment of history, Social Media is THE MAJOR source of outlet for the distribution of information AND DISINFORMATION…and by blocking them, I am protesting against the spread through my followers and their followers of THE most vital distribution outlet of the Murdoch Media.

They can go screw themselves!

Renmark to Mildura in a Rowboat.

This article originally appeared in the “Riverlander” March 1958.
The author, Therese Hocking, who is now in her 85th. Year (now deceased), did the trip with her parents in the depression years, when work and money were very scarce. It shows the determination of the hardy souls in those times.

Row-Boat from Renmark to Mildura.

By Therese Hocking.
Have you ever thought of travelling by river? Not in a comfortable steamer, but in an open boat. My father and mother, my sister and I, tried it some years ago when we did the trip from Renmark to Mildura and back.
Our two-roomed canvas cottage that stood on blocks was exchanged for a rowing boat and a white tent. We rolled the latter, stowing it with only what was necessary, including a fortnight’s groceries, into the boat and left early one morning.
It was my job to mind my little sister, while mother and father, seated side by side, rowed the boat. Unfortunately “Mary” developed a love for watching things zig-zag down through the water out of sight. I am unable to remember how many odds and ends we lost this way until she tired of it. We then began to count the scarred trees out of which the aborigines had cut their canoes. On the lonely stretches of the river there often were many.
Posts for the tent were cut whenever we decided it was too chilly to sleep under the stars, or if we stayed a few days to fish or set rabbit traps. In fact, we travelled ‘Wagga’s way’, as we came to call it; because he was the only other person we met using a rowing boat for that purpose.
Wagga was the first, but one of the many characters we happened to meet. A big man, straight, in spite of sixty years, He had a huge, rounded beard as black as midnight. So was his big cat “Satan”, who sat on the prow of his master’s rowing boat and was the most ‘human’ cat I have ever met. Wagga always pushed, facing the front to row his boat, as he “liked to see the way”, He was a super-cook and used the native way to cook fish or wild game, straight from line or gun, wrapped in clay and placed amongst glowing coals: When cooked the feathers stripped off with the clay.
We first met him one evening when he rowed across the river to warn us that the side where we intended to camp was haunted. The story was that a woman passenger on one of the paddle steamers had wandered off while the crew were cutting logs for the boiler fires. She was never found. Her spirit, we were told, used to come back to that part of the river looking for the boat.
Mother is Irish, so we did not stay to find out the truth, but quickly crossed to the other side. It was here next day that a huge ram frightened us. Father and Wagga went off shooting and We other three sat on a fallen gum tree to drink in the surroundings. Suddenly mother’s sixth sense caused her to look round and there, not more than three yards behind, stood the ram. His curled horns looked really dreadful. We hastily and quietly withdrew to the boat and continued enjoying peace and wild beauty from there.
Between towns we met several families who had settled on the banks of the river. One that astonished us was the goat farm people. They were a big family and owned goats of every kind, size, sex and colour. They ate goats, milked them and used home-tanned skins for rugs and mats. We were welcomed like old friends. A huge meal was prepared for all and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I have often wondered how they never grew tired of goats, goats, goats.
Sometimes we never met anyone for days; there was just the never-ending scrub and the gurgling of the Murray River. Then, round a bend, a home stead would come suddenly into view. The people of the homesteads were mostly kind, giving us meat and often flour. In return father would solder their leaking kettles and things.
There was only one accident.Mary, running down to the water’s edge to watch a paddle steamer, cut her foot badly. We came to a homestead next day and the people there re-bandaged it. Not a scar was left.
We reached Mildura four days before Christmas, pitched our tent opposite the town and decided to stay a few days.
The next couple of mornings father spent in the township, trying to get soldering or other work. We others washed and cleaned every thing, giving, the camp oven a good scrub with the clean, white sand found at he water’s edge. Christmas was spent quietly, it was cool under the giant gums. Then it was decided we would go back to Renmark. In Renmark the fruit picking season was about to start and father had been promised some work. So we started back. It took six weeks to come up, and a fortnight to get back.

Last Post on an Origami Government.

The object of origami is to take a piece of paper and with dexterous folding, you produce a facsimile of a “real-life” object. Of course, the folding of paper gives an angular abstract of the desired image, but that is good enough, the imagination does the rest. Such also is the dream of LNP / IPA. society.

Planning, Costing, Promoting and Selling of such a phony dream also has that “angular-edge” appearance of origami..and you have to ask..;”Is it real….or are these sharp, flat lines of “Agile Politics” a sculptor’s fantasy?” Like a child in anticipation, with all the anticipatory hand gestures of the impatient to get a touch of the object, Malcolm Turnbull draws pictorial images of what HE imagines the finished product will look like…and not having competent command of those Aussie vernacular words adequate for even the most simplistic description, he stutters, stumbles and finishes with the fumbling tongue smacking of :’Look..look…it’s like this…” Like a child really…like a little child.

Of course, his dream of “Corporate Democracy”, like his “Origami Government” is nothing more than that old nightmare of Fascism. The angular creases in the plan being the “lines in the sand” where “shit happens”…shit like Union decapitation..democratic protest debased…social media curtailed and the social welfare net ripped to shreds! In a democracy guided by “bottom-line” considerations, any emotive considerations for retaining loyal employment will not be considered, blind obedience to “profit consideration” will reign and as in the land of the blind, the one-eyed (in every sense of the word!) entrepreneur and speculator will be king.

Consider the personality type of our new rulers..; “Disciplined, methodical, tough-love, tougher-hate and control”. all the best characteristics of the budding tyrant…and a tyrant’s dynastic reign. There are numerous contemporary examples.

But I blame history..or rather ; a lack of understanding of it. Because the positioning of this govt’ and it’s “lay-down misere ” political business plan is the standard blueprint of many authoritarian govt’s as shown throughout history.

I have to agree this time with Machiavelli in his “Discourses of Titus Livius”..when he describes :

“… when I see, on the other hand, the works of greatest virtu which Historians indicate have been accomplished by ancient Kingdoms and Republics, by Kings, Captains, Citizens, Lawgivers, and others who have worked themselves hard for their country, to be more readily admired than imitated, or rather so much neglected by everyone in every respect that no sign of that ancient virtu remains, I cannot otherwise than wonder and at the same time be sad: and so much more when I see in the civil differences that arise between Citizens, or in the maladies which men incur, they always have recourses to those judgments or to those remedies that have been judged or instituted by the ancients.”

That there are set-pieces of both legislation and policy that once put in place will force the people to change their behaviour to be obligated by those laws to obey them..and like the set rules of origami, guided by realistic logic and exactness, a fold MUST be committed in a certain place, at a certain angle with a certain intent…or all is wronged and the model a failure. The deliberate manipulation of our history, our laws , our language and our mores by this economic rationalist philosophy has but one intent, one direction and one ideal..TOTAL CONTROL.

Again to Machiavelli :

“ … from not having a real understanding of history, and from not drawing that [real] sense from its reading, or benefiting from the spirit which is contained in it. whence it arises that they who read take infinitely more pleasure in knowing the variety of incidents that are contained in them, without ever thinking of imitating them, believing the imitation not only difficult, but impossible: as if heaven, the sun, the elements, and men should have changed the order of their motions and power, from what they were anciently.”

Time may have moved on, but not the mind-set nor behaviour of humanity within any given condition. Which is why we still gasp at moments of drama in a Shakespearean play, why we still absorb with interest the romance story of Antony and Cleopatra, why an ancient religious doctrine can insinuate itself so deep into the puerile imagination of humanity so it will kill, maim and destroy down through history and still, in this age hold sway over a nation’s heart.

Our human condition captures us on that “carousel of time”, we are mesmerised by rather than acutely aware of the repeating absurdities of our own behaviour…each generation believing they are inventing a “brand new wheel”.

Of course, having come this far on a well-worn track, it is of little effort to imagine where it may lead to from here. As with any “T-junction” we have two choices..

A : The same old-same old.;a mad dog-eat-dog scramble for wealth, position and power.

B : Equitable socialism with thorough regulation of speculation enterprises.

History shows perfect example of the end result of ; “A”, while the relatively “new” ideology of socialism has yet to be tried WIDESPREAD on a democratically elected society…it is not untried and where it has been sincerely used (I’m thinking of certain Scandinavian States), one has to admit it has less dramatic social upheaval than that capitalist love child; “ Laissez Faire”.

“In each of us there is that twist,
That in the end will come to this.
No matter the culture, the mother, the art,
Each to each,
Heart to heart.
My hair be silver,
My eyes still shine,
Each part of me is a part of thine,
I am the earth, the trees, the vine,
Drink of me, heart sublime!”