|Problem numero uno: Australia and even moreso Melbourne is still the most comfortable place for an Anglo-Saxon to live. It is definitive of the comfort zone problem which effectively castrates much of the little latent opposition that might have survived the profit-motivated attacks of various fear mortgaging industries.|
Why lie? Because lies work brilliantly! And for those who are so dishonest to themselves to deny that evidence, there is always the paternalistic Nietzschian pretext that the masses cannot be trusted with the truth lest they slide into amorality. The resurgent authoritarian alliance of those driven to control and those happy to subserve are certain they would be greatly threatened if their lies started to dissolve. And even the subservients really do need their own sense of identity.
Does anybody care that the endorsed Green and Libertarian candidates for the US presidential election were each arrested for crossing police lines at the Bush-Kerry "debate"? Does anybody care that, apparently acting on a request from Swiss and possibly Italian "authorities", the FBI served an order on a US-owned multinational hosting company so that the UK police could confiscate Indymedia servers, disrupting dozens of Indymedia news and other services? Both events slipped under the radar during a few hours when we were too busy worrying about the return of the lying rodent and misdirected senate preferences.
There might be significant areas I can agree with in the Green and even the Libertarian platforms, although the latter draws a bit too much inspiration from one particular 200 year old document to be as relevant as it might to today's circumstances. The real problem seems to be that if there were only two contentious positions on each of ten significant issues that we had to deal with, that would still give us 1000 combinations and a 65% likelihood that no matter what any party comes up with, you are I are only going to agree with them on 4 to 6 out of 10. So ultimately we need first to get our quest for common ground down to a much smaller set of issues.
If you decided today to have a child, as likely as not that child will live to see the 22nd century, based on conservative extrapolation of historic mortality data. About the only thing that another 3 years of Howard or 4 of Bush will do for that child is to accelerate the crisis which the West now desparately needs to clean out 60 years of accumulated fuzzy thinking since our dominant values were last seriously challenged.
So what are the issues enough of us might agree upon?
If we grant that there are areas where collective interest should be paramount and others where self actualisation is appropriate, drawing that particular line in the sand might well be at the heart of the problem.
To my mind we first need a program to reduce the impact that human activity is having on our planet's natural systems before we irreversibly increase their vulnerability to the kind of external stressors (catastrophes) we know they have had to recover from over geological time. Our green agenda should outrank our humanist agenda except in so far as our humanist agenda is needed to gain poltical acceptance of our total agenda.
At the other end of the spectrum, we also need to recognise that many persistent products of human conversations have value worth protecting, be they our stories, our enterprises or whatever.
So if we could agree to be small "c" conservative with respect to both environmental health and cultural expression, what are the top two humanist concerns that might form the other pillars of our platform? For me, one would be to measure "social justice" in terms of "harm minimisation" (terms the Greens already try to associate). My other might sound more specific, but if you start to think about it you might also come to see that in practical terms it may prove equally profound: to better account the value of carers and caring in political equations.
This isn't the place to try to spell out such a four pillar platform in any detail. All I'm really trying to do is to see whether there might be an extant group which agrees with my priorities to reduce our environmental impact, support cultural expression, minimise social harm and better support carers? If there isn't I guess I'll just have to keep doing my own thing and stay away from big "P" Politics.