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27 November 1992. Thought for the Week: "There are really two basic questions: Number one: We've got to learn to distribute the abundance we know how to make. Number two: Ultimately we've got to find a way to give people a more rational means of choosing between gadgets and leisure. We have to find a way to satisfy man's need for creative expression during his leisure hours. And just having two more television sets in the house to sit and look at does not meet this need."
Sir Walter Reuther, President of the United Auto Workers of the United States. Quoted in A Matter Of Life Or Debt, by Eric de Mare.
THE VICTORIAN REVOLUTION
by Eric D. Butler
Every student of Marxists dialectics knows why the Marxist-Leninist answered as he did Menzies represented the thesis against which the anti-thesis could be launched in order to produce that violent revolutionary situation out of which, according to the Marxist, true progress emerges. The dedicated Marxist, and there are still some about, even if these days wearing different labels, fears genuine reform, this reducing tensions in society.
Few will dispute that there is enormous scope for reforms in the State of Victoria, but instead of proceeding in an orderly manner which always bears in mind the human factor, the Kennett Government is making it clear that it is governed primarily by prevailing financial conventions. Irrespective of any possible short-term gains, the end result must be an increasingly violent and poisoned society.
Big changes in the Victorian educational system
are long overdue, with particular reference to what the young are being
taught. Or, equally important, not being taught. But there is no evidence
that the closing of many schools, the sacking of thousands of teachers
is related to achieving this highly desirable objective. The central
thrust of the Minister for Education's argument for his actions, is
that the Education budget is too high, and that it must be reduced in
order to help the State's debt situation. Some schools are to be closed
because they are "uneconomic".
It is generally agreed that Victoria's public
transport system is one of the poorest in the world. Nothing could be
more calculated to demoralise people than to have them standing for
hours pretending that they are checking suburban railway tickets. There
is an overwhelming case for the introduction of modern ticket machines
similar to those used elsewhere in the world.
Before resorting to such measures, which must have nationwide repercussions, with further hardships for the great majority of the Australian people, Jeff Kennett and his colleagues should examine alternatives. This would mean, of course, breaking from a dehumanising financial orthodoxy.
It is highly debatable that taking conductors off Melbourne's tram system is desirable or necessary. Many people, the elderly and young mothers often require some assistance. The tram system, powered by electricity, has a number of advantages over buses, including much less pollution. If the Kennett Government persists in imposing its proposed reforms without reference to the human factor, which means a changed attitude towards debt-finance, it is going to poison Victorian society for a long time to come.
Socialism as a system is a complete disaster. But the prospects of living in a society dominated by the Debt Monopolists, with alleged efficiency measured by the balance sheet and completely ignoring the human factor, are not a genuine alternative.
GATT CONGRATULATIONS PREMATURE
from David Thompson
The second question is what real advantages exist for Australians? Even Australian wheat growers could well have left their properties before they see benefits from the latest agreement. According to the agreement, Europeans will reduce the volume of subsidised exports for wheat and other farm commodities by 21 percent over six years, beginning in 1994. That is, by the turn of the century, European subsidies may have been reduced by less than a quarter. Any export gains made by Australians can only be made at the expense of producers in some other country. The struggle for "markets" continues, driven by rising financial demands, mainly generated by increasing debt.
FINANCE AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Irrespective of any possible short-term advantages of a GATT resolution, the fact remains that international trade has long since ceased to be an exchange of surpluses. A production of massive surpluses is now the objective of all economies; not to feed the people of that economy, but to export. The "credits" that are received as a result of the exports, are ever more essential to keep domestic economies operating. Trade is now being used as a weapon to destroy domestic economies, and globalise them.
The real purpose of the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade has been to facilitate this internationalism. For example, in a report from Europe last weekend, a journalist noted: "The 108 nations in the Uraguay Round of trade liberalisation talks hope to reduce by one third tariffs and quotas on imports of products and services including banking." It is clear that the GATT arrangements have the full support of international banking groups.
The power of international finance has traditionally fostered a perverted form of "free trade", because this undermines any hope of nations retaining any form of self-sufficiency. The idea of the independent nation state has always been attacked and undermined by international finance. The political front men, like Prime Minister Keating, who welcome deals like the GATT agreement, simply oil the wheels of international finance.
The N.F.F., claiming to represent farmers nationally, has been in the forefront in pushing the GATT/international finance agenda - the elimination of protection for domestic economies, with the result that domestic economies are gradually merged with the "global market". Only now is there a general uneasiness in the bush about the "politically correct" stance of the N.F.F.
Some Canadian Jewish leaders are arguing that it has proved counter-productive to attempt to keep British historian David Irving out of Canada. Banned from entering Canada because of a conviction in a German court (this being appealed), Irving entered just the same and was arrested while addressing a meeting in British Columbia, and was deported. He then re-entered the country and was then released on $20,000 bail, this being provided by a Canadian supporter. As no court gag was applied, Irving continues to address Canadian audiences before the Canadians decide what to do with him. This affair has provided Irving with enormous publicity for both his meetings and his books.
The Sunday Age of November 22nd had a headline stating that Australia stands to gain $1 billion in trade from the alleged trade agreement between the U.S.A. and the E.E.C. countries. Australian farmers are asked to believe this type of rubbish. Under present financial policies for Australians to gain $1 billion in increased export sales farmers in other countries will have to lose the same amount in sales. Not, of course, unless there is to be an expansion of the money supply by $1 billion. This is not about to take place. In the meantime the French and Belgian farmers are making it loud and clear that they are opposed to their politicians entering into any agreements, which will worsen their position. Those who believe that trade wars are going away are in a dream world.
THE CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE MOVEMENT
A general letter sent to various prominent people on October 8th:
"What lessons can we learn from the election of October 3rd (the Victorian election which brought Jeff Kennett and his Liberals to Government)? Violent swings of the political pendulum do not indicate satisfaction with the incoming government, only hope they will be better than the disgraced government. We badly need initiatives, which will result in Christian economic policies supplemented by Christian financial policies. There is absolutely no indication of such a possibility coming from the Liberals. Our future and that of our children remains bleak. Christian Economic Finance policies would completely change that scenario.
"The most potent force in any society is the independent lateral thinker who proposes alternatives which by their obvious rightness (righteousness) are gratefully acceptable to the hungry and leaderless majority. "The casting of a vote is a spiritual exercise involving delegating and withdrawing power given by God to each individual, which should never be relinquished as Esau did in exchange for a mess of pottage. It is irresponsible to believe we can discharge that responsibility by putting a mark on a piece of paper every three or four years.
We need a mechanism, which enables us to either withdraw or vary our vote in order to get better results from our representatives between elections. Switzerland grappled with this problem over 120 years ago and introduced Citizens Initiated Referendum and Voters Veto enabling voters to both directly initiate legislation, and to veto unwanted legislation between elections.
"Switzerland has the justified reputation of
having the highest level of political and economic stability in Europe.
Eighteen years ago Italy adopted similar legislation and through C.I.R.
& V.V. solved grave social problems by referenda, and is now recognised,
along with Japan and Germany, as one of the miracle economies of the
world. Italy is now tackling the Mafia problem.
"In our recent Victorian elections we had a
strong independent minority vote, but as it was proved that vote was
a fractured vote incapable of challenging the party giants on their
own ground. Even an independent vote must have a unity of purpose to
be effective. In those countries that have adopted C.I.R. & V.V. there
has been wide bi-partisan support for the measure.
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