Tuesday there were crowds (up to 1000) in front of Parliament House attending rallies for Stop Adani and medical evacuations of refugees from their island gulags (though you wouldn’t know it from the mainstream media).
There was some interest in the People’s Embassy and its message ‘Drive the money changers from the temple of democracy’, though the numbers were not large. Mostly a passing ‘good on you’.
A highlight was emphatic support for the message from Greens leader Richard DiNatale, who was cruising the crowd.
Come Monday 11th next this sign will be outside new Parliament House, as we set up the People’s Embassy to Parliament. People count for so little inside the big house, because Big Money has taken over, that we need an embassy.
But it’s only an interim arrangement, until we drive the money changers from the temple of democracy and take it back for people.
Join us, spread the word, support us, start your own branch, have politicians and wannabe politicians sign the pledges, if they dare.
I still encounter people who say ‘There’s always been climate change’, meaning don’t worry about global warming, it’s not our fault and there’s nothing we can do about it. You hear other excuses too. So should we not worry about the Reef and the rivers, about Townsville, about Tasmania, about the kelp forests and the mangrove forests and the many other symptoms of a climate awry?
Do the ‘sceptics’ think the scientists haven’t thought of all the ‘reasons’ they find to ignore global warming? Evidently so. But of course the scientists aren’t quite that stupid. They have thought of all those possible ways out of the conclusions, and a lot more besides. They’ve checked them all out. They don’t work.
Global warming, caused by us, is still there, pretty much on the course predicted decades ago. Except that it may now be accelerating.
Next week, as Parliament resumes, I will mount a protest against corruption of the Parliament, namely a People’s Embassy – to our Parliament. See the explanation on the dedicated page A People’s Embassy.
Corruption of our democratic system is flagrant, but hardly commented upon. Politicians accept money from the rich and do favours for the rich, against the known wishes of the people. It may be all nudge-wink, but it is plainly there and plainly subverting our society.
Several pledges will be available for politicians and candidates to sign up to. The most important are the Sunshine Pledges, to reveal contacts and financial support in real time, and to limit donations to individuals and small amounts.
The concepts and rhetoric of both old capitalism and old socialism obscure the great opportunities at hand to create a thriving and enduring way of life. A broader, longer and better-informed perspective might pre-empt unnecessary conflict among putative allies, such as accusations of being racists, or fellow-travellers of either ideology.
The need for a fundamental re-organisation of our societies in order to return them to viability within Earth’s biosphere focuses our attention on how we are organised and what our options might be. The conventional framing of our options is a dichotomy between capitalism and socialism. So entrenched is this framing it seems to be difficult for many to imagine anything else, to the point that if you criticise one you are presumed to be a supporter of the other.
Don’t end the crimes against humanity being committed on Manus and Nauru, don’t bother with a human rights charter for Australia, address the housing bubble through the housing supply rather than the money supply, propose some new (but not too dramatic) policies on inequality and reconciliation, drop a few crumbs to the complainers. Don’t even think of mentioning the highly counter-productive ‘alliance’ with a rogue super-power. Global w– … what?
A recent exchange between Jason Hickel (and here and here) and Dean Baker (and here) on whether humanity can have a viable future and still have ‘economic growth’, nicely highlights the way old concepts and words can trap us in unproductive debate and action.
The way forward is to recognise the need for a fundamental re-framing of the nature and purpose of our societies, and their economies. The terms growth, GDP, capital and capitalism are so ill-defined, confused or inappropriate they only hinder debate.
Score voting avoids the vagaries and gaming that are intrinsic to preference ranking systems. It is simpler and more reliably reflects the will of voters. You have probably used it if you have completed a survey. We should use it in political elections.
The 2018 Victorian election has turned up another result in which ‘preference whispering’ by minor parties has distorted the will of the people ($, William Bowe at Crikey), if we take the will of the people to be indicated by first-preference votes.
Minor parties scored 25% of upper house seats from 20% of first-preference votes, whereas the Greens scored only one seat with votes that exceeded almost all minor-party votes individually. In one case a primary vote of 1.3% beat a Greens primary vote of 13.5%.