By Christian Marx
Over the past three decades, the political and sociological narrative has become narrower than ever. Sensible social policies are now trumpeted as “dangerously communist”. The most basic social systems are labelled “hand outs for bludgers”. The Murdoch press is a hateful echo chamber for the intellectually stunted and the shallow thinkers. It is no accident that the Murdoch media has reached a dangerous zenith. He was aided and abetted by both sides of politics. In fact, it was the Hawke/Keating government that paved the way for Murdoch`s evil grip on Australia`s democracy. They weakened the media monopoly laws.
Murdoch is just one factor in the erosion of our democracy. His rise is ultimately a symptom of a much deeper problem. The system itself! How can we have a system that is run by the very wealthy capitalists? How can we the people expect a fair and balanced society and egalitarian policy? The answer is that we cannot. When both parties are totally corrupted by corporate influence, their allegiance to serve the ordinary citizen becomes void. Especially in a country with massive media monopolies, which have a very far-right agenda to propagate.
Even if a party wanted to go against corporate influence, the fact that our media is almost totally corporate owned will go against them. We have seen time and time again, whenever a government or individual goes against the wishes of corporate vested interests, they are smeared and their character is assassinated. Julia Gillard was a classic example of this. She was smeared, defamed, and even her family were used as fair game in an ugly attempt to destroy her. All because she dared to suggest putting a price on carbon.
While many deride the two party duopoly, the situation will not change until the whole system is radically altered. The fundamental problem is that the entire system has been designed and implemented by the wealthy elites. A cleverly deceptive system, designed to give the voters the illusion of choice. The reality is that the choice is severely limited between one centre-right party and one extreme-right organisation. Ultimately it matters not which party gets elected, the wealthy will always benefit at the expense of the working class.
We all know that the LNP have attacked the very idea of a robust welfare system from their inception. The LNP were founded in 1942, with a manifesto to protect the profits of the very wealthy. Labor did start off as a very noble party, which were originally honest in their intentions to protect the interests of the poor and the middle class. This has, however, changed substantially over the past 30 years. We have seen them support some terrible policies in recent years. The support of the concentration camps on Manus, the moving of single mothers onto the lesser Newstart amount, their reluctance to fight the Trans Pacific Partnership, and their tacit support of the demonisation of whistle blowers such as Julian Assange.
While the Greens are a welcome breath of fresh air and for now remain a progressive force … what will happen once they have a very real chance of power in government? I can`t help thinking that they will, just like Labor before them, be forced to do deals with very powerful corporate interests. These interests will be diametrically opposed to the well-being of the ordinary worker.
If Australia is to be a true democratic state, it needs strict media ownership rules and a system in place, whereby all money and corporate influence is removed from parliament and policy making. Only then will we see a truly honest, robust, egalitarian system designed for the benefit of the many. Not just for the privileged few!