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22 September 1989. Thought for the Week: "It is one of those manifest truisms which may on account be acknowledged by anyone in the career structure of science, that ... far reaching and heavily financed investigations into the building blocks of the matter and energy of the universe and of life itself, however fascinating and magnificent in themselves, are grossly unbalanced and premature, in that they confer a degree of power upon some men which is blatantly beyond their capacity to handle without disaster. It is like handing over the piloting of an airliner to a five-year-old... No men have the necessary mental and moral stature to enable them to manipulate the genetic structure of other organisms, let alone of fellow men. All such decisions as are now being made have to be made on a basis of immediate or short term considerations and ephemeral, contemporary knowledge which will probably be shown to be erroneous in a few years' time."
Dr. Geoffrey Dobbs in Home, U.K. Quarterly, Summer issue
THE BASIC CAUSE OF THE PILOTS' STRIKE
The pilots' strike, with its far-reaching economic, social and political consequences, provides a classic example of the explosive effects of continuing monetary inflation in highly centralised societies, dependent on sophisticated technology, in which the traditional value system has been badly eroded. The old Aussie spirit of "mateship", a reflection of the Christian Law of Love, has been diminished, the result being that demands for higher payments, legitimate in themselves because of the deadly effect of inflation, are now often made without much consideration for others.
No one doubts the competency of Australian pilots, but like all unions, the Pilots' Federation has sought to ensure that maximum employment is available for all pilots. The general public's perception of pilots is that they are reasonably well paid with relatively short working time. The demand for a 30 percent increase in salaries was seen as "greedy' by the great majority of Australians bearing the brunt of the HawkeKeating policy of "restraint".
But it is the double standards of the
Government, which has contributed to the pilots' strike. Anyone
who reads the advertisements in the papers knows that massive
increases in salaries are being offered to recruit senior
executives. Doubling the salary of the Chief Executive Officer
of Australian Airlines to $230,000 a year, while asking pilots
to practise "restraint" could almost be construed as a deliberate
incitement to the pilots to strike.
There is a calculated political motive behind Bob Hawke's ranting approach to the issue. By putting his credibility on the line in the way he has, he is playing for big political stakes. If he can prevent a "greedy minority" from wrecking his wages accord strategy, he can go to the electors projecting himself as a Prime Minister of "principle", even prepared to support the type of stand Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen took in ending the Queensland power strike.
Irrespective of who "wins" from the present national crisis, the basic cause which creates continuing form of civil war, inflation, will remain. Continuing inflation has a segregating effect, with growing differences between different sections of society. Pilots can point to the substantial increases in salaries of senior executives, such as those in Telecom, judges and others, not overlooking the massive increase in the postal allowances of Members of the Federal House of Representatives from $9,000 a year to $30,000, but a lower middle income earner is likely to feel incensed when he sees pilots striking for salary increases of up to $30,000, more than his total yearly income.
While a rising price level aggravates the differences in incomes, a stable or falling price level minimises the differences, and prevents growing social friction. As we have demonstrated over many years, inflation is an insidious policy, which inevitably creates the type of crisis now affecting Australia.
The true cost of production has been
falling with every improvement in technology, and a realistic
financial policy would reflect that fact. A partial application
of that policy was applied in all English speaking countries
during and for a period after the Second World War. There
was no inflation in Australia for five years, from 1943 until
A spate of tragic car accidents, with most of the victims being young people, has produced the depressing negative "solution" of more controls, with serious suggestions that all motorists should be compelled to wear helmets. The basic problem is the attitude of people, particularly the young, towards their fellows. There is a case for attempting more adequate education of the young about driving. But there is an even stronger case for a return to a value system based upon self-discipline. There are no real answers to young people committing suicide on the roads, or by abusing themselves with drugs, until the educating of the young includes the teaching of a value system which stresses personal responsibility and respect for others. There is an old saying that "Manners maketh the man". Regretfully, manners are today regarded as "old hat". The tragic results of this belief can be seen everywhere.
The Sunday Herald of September 17th quotes a Japanese-born Australian academic, Professor Yoshio Sugimoto, as warning that plans to establish an Australian-Japanese technological city in Australia could prove to be a "Trojan horse" for Japanese colonisation. Professor Sugimoto, who has lived in Australia since 1975, bases his warning on the introduction of a range of undesirable features of Japanese life. The Professor, who describes himself as "a refugee from the Japanese corporate culture", is Dean of Social Sciences at LaTrobe University. It is significant that those Asians who have lived in Australia for a lengthy period, are the strongest opponents of any mass Asian immigration. Professor Sugimoto says that Westerners are confused about Japanese culture. He also stresses that Japanese are widely disliked throughout Asia. Are you listening Senator Ray? Clearly the Japanese generally have a different value system to that of Australians. The brutal treatment of prisoners of war was simply a reflection of a value system, which has little respect for human life.
NO, WE DO NOT NEED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!Annual Basic Fund Launched
The Australian League of Rights does not need the millions of dollars, which the anti-League politicians claimed in the Federal Parliament the League requires for the growing impact it is having in Australia. The truth is that the League operates on an extremely low cost budget, with a modest Annual Basic Fund making it possible for the League to operate. The strength of the League is dedication to Truth and an army of volunteers. As far-reaching changes take place on the global chess board, the next few years are going to prove critical, perhaps decisive, concerning the future of Australia. The growing national crisis is not going to be resolved by merely removing the Hawke Government. What is required is a rapid expansion of the growing grassroots movement throughout Australia, pressing for the implementation of the principle of the Swiss constitutional system of the Initiative Referendum and Recall.
The in-depth educational work of the League over the years, educational work that no other movement has even attempted, has produced a growing number of highly qualified "social engineers" to provide expert advice to those involved in all phases of political and social action. As always, the League is involved in planning new initiatives in the developing situation. All phases of League activities and services are to be increased. A small amount of new technical equipment is required. Book selling is to be expanded. And much more. League salaries have always been a source of amazement to many - far less than the stipends paid to today's clergy. Extra income above the basic fund is generated through meetings, schools, sale of literature and similar activities. But all of this depends upon the Basic Fund being filled.
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