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16 August 1996. Thought for the Week: " the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else."
John Maynard Keynes, British economist
THE ROOT OF THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS
by Eric D. Butler
Over the centuries the philosophy of centralism has had many different exponents, using different terminology to describe what they proposed, and often in conflict with their fellow centralists. One of the greatest myths of modern history has been that Hitler was strongly motivated by anti-communism. The reality is that Hitler's philosophy was basically that of the Communists. Douglas pointed out that Mussolini's Fascism was merely Bolshevism wintering in the Mediterranean. Fascism is the concept of the corporate State. If Fascism is accepted as a term describing the corporate State, then what is left of the Free World is moving towards Fascism.
Premier Jeff Kennett and his colleagues would, of course, be deeply offended to be told that their programme for restructuring Victoria, including what was once called Local Government, is a manifestation of Fascism. Hitler's programme for a European Common Market, if he had been successful, was basically the same as that being attempted by the planners manipulating all Western Governments. Hitler's planners proposed one Central Bank, a common currency and Free Trade. What's in a name?
While there are a number of respectable authorities on Communism who believe that the collapse of the Soviet Empire was the result of a long term dialectical move to ultimately defeat the West, it is certain that what is being attempted in the former Soviet Empire is rooted in the philosophy of centralism. It is not surprising that former top Communists are operating in key positions in the present structures. They are now called Social Democrats.
The International Bankers have blatantly made millions available in an attempt to prop up that "changed" Communist Yeltsin. Like Stalin and those who went before him, Yeltsin has been brutally frank about his attitude towards those like the Chechens who want to be completely independent. He sends in the tanks.
There is little response but some tut-tutting from the Clinton administration, where the global planners still hanker after some type of a World State. A strong centralised Russian government is preferred to any decentralisation. As long as the philosophy of economic centralism is accepted as being "inevitable", politics will continue to reflect the philosophy of centralism. The Communists called it "economic determinism". Again, what's in a name?
The Communists were fervent supporters of the view that Bigger is Better. Which raises the question of whether Communism is really dead. Australians are fortunate in their heritage of a form of constitutional government, which does help to check the centralists. But the more matured political observers are noting how the Howard Government is reacting to the centralist philosophy. Note how there are suggestions that the election of the Senate should be changed so that "minority" groups cannot thwart the government's financial and economic planning.
That master of "pragmatic" politics, John Howard, is already indicating that he is not adverse to considering a change in the taxation system with the introduction of the very G. S.T. that was used by former Prime Minister Paul Keating to defeat the Hewson-led Opposition. Needless to say, a new description will have to be coined to describe the tax. Even on the issue of the Constitutional Monarchy, there are clear signs that there is a weakening of attitude.
Unless policies rooted in the philosophy of centralism are checked, the Australian States are ultimately doomed as sovereign entities. Because the centralist philosophy in practice produces growing friction, it obviously runs contrary to reality. As the famous anti-Zionist Jewish philosopher Dr. Oscar Levy said, "The ideal is the enemy of the real." The liberal idealists who believe that mankind can be forced into a centralised, multicultural world, are in direct conflict with genuine evolution.
Instead of spending billions of dollars attempting to discover whether there has ever been life on Mars, the scientists involved would be more profitably engaged in considering the realities concerning life on Earth. They might consider the wisdom of the statement concerning those fools with their eyes on the ends of the earth.
WHO ORGANISES PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD?
by David Thompson
Feely, an ambitious industrial relations lawyer, helped to ram the Kennett Government's controversial industrial relations legislation through the Parliament. She later led negotiations with Victorian unions during the bitter dispute over privatisation of the State's electricity industry. Nicole Feely is described as John Howard's "trusted adviser and close confidante" (Good Weekend magazine, 15/6/96), "undoubtedly one of the most influential individuals on Capital Hill .... A senior bureaucrat describes her as 'an amazing choice.... I would think that the conservative part of the Liberal Party must just think she's abhorrent'...."
A journalist offers the view that Feely has a lot of power, and she's not afraid to use it. Howard trusts her implicitly, gives her a lot of room to run, and she uses that, too." Conservatives within the Coalition, if there are really any left, must wonder at John Howard's choice of staff. If sensitive decisions, such as that concerning the draconian new firearms legislation, are to continue to be made, the role of Nicole Feely must become even more central. Her influence over Howard must already even eclipse the influence that Juni Morosi had over Whitlam's Treasurer, Jim Cairns. Nicole Feely may offer an answer to the question of who influences John Howard's decisions.
COURT RULES AGAINST DAVID IRVING
The Full Bench of the Federal Court in Perth last week dismissed David Irving's appeal to have his unsuccessful Australian visa application reconsidered. The Court found that the (former) Minister for Immigration had properly considered Irving's application, and was satisfied that the correct procedure had been followed. The Minister had previously refused Irving's visa application, claiming that he was not a "person of good character".
The Minister claimed this conclusion on the basis that Mr. Irving had been deported from Canada, and convicted by a German court of having "defamed the dead". It now appears that David Irving must continue with the laborious task of exposing the so far successful attempt to smear him by persons unknown, by placing false information about him on the United States Immigration computers. He is also attempting to challenge the German court ruling, based on German legislation, which makes it an offence to question aspects of the "holocaust" because this allegedly "defames the dead". Freedom of speech is not regarded as a valid defence by the German courts for remarks such as Irving is alleged to have made.
David Irving is still free to make a fresh application for a visa to visit Australia, which would test the attitude of the Howard Government and the Immigration Minister Ruddock. Does this Government uphold the values of freedom of speech and open debate? Perhaps Mr. Irving will find out. It is clear that Irving's questions concerning the role of Hitler and Goebbels, and the nature and extent of the "holocaust" are the real reason for keeping him from visiting Australia. But John Gava offers a "solution" to the Irving problem. Gava, from the School of Law at Macquarie University, suggests that a compromise on Irving should be reached to protect freedom of speech. He proposes that Irving should be permitted to visit Australia, and to argue his views in public. But in order to satisfy the thought-police and the politically correct, Irving would be required to give equal billing to a speaker chosen by the Government!
Gava writes (The Australian, 9/8/96) that "It would not be difficult to find an historian eager to refute Irving's views". But this is the greatest mistake that Gava makes. In his visits in 1986 and 1987, David Irving found the greatest difficulty in finding any historian who would debate his views. There were any number of media gurus, like Mr. Gerard Henderson, who were quite prepared to shout down Irving, or pour scorn upon his alleged "views", but only one unfortunate historian actually debated Irving. Even then, the hapless sacrifice would only debate Irving on his views concerning Goethe, and was forced to slink away after a humiliating public mauling from David Irving.
Perhaps John Gava should be asked to conduct some preliminary research among his learned colleagues, to see if he can find one who would be prepared to debate Irving, and refute his views? With the publication of Irving's masterly "Goebbels - the Mastermind of the Third Reich", the task simply becomes even more intimidating.
NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT CENTRALISES POWER
The new Local Government Act in Western Australia, which recently came into effect, makes substantial changes to the structure of local councils, and their relationship with ratepayers. Western Australia, which was previously one of the last States to enjoy the facility of the "loan poll", has now lost this mechanism. The loan poll could be forced on a Council if ratepayers successfully petitioned the Council to hold a referendum, or poll, on the reasons for raising additional debts, which were always against the assets of ratepayers. WA. Councils have had debt levels among the lowest in the country because the loan poll had often been used to challenge increased Council debt. There is now no mechanism to force Councils to account to ratepayers for additional debt.
The new W.A. Local Government Act bears a remarkable resemblance to the Victorian Act, under which Premier Kennett successfully carved up Victorian local government by amalgamating many councils. Leaked information indicates that if the Liberal/National Coalition is returned after the next W.A. State election, widespread amalgamations of W.A. Councils can be expected to take place. In some cases, ratepayers will be able to challenge amalgamations by forcing referendums on changes to Council boundaries. But if the State (or the Commonwealth) is in charge of the purse-strings, any Council that rejects recommendations to amalgamate, must be prepared to suffer the removal or postponement of grants, thus starving reluctant Councils into submission.
WHAT HAPPENED TO 'THE FAMILY?'
It is now over four years since media headlines informed Australians of a dawn raid on a small Christian group known as "The Family", with a large number of children being taken from their parents. Wild allegations were made against the group, including sexual abuse and much more. One of the fathers whose children were taken from the Victorian country centre was subsequently charged with having assaulted one of the police involved in taking the children into custody. When the case came before a Magistrate, he was most scathing in his comments, stating that the man acted only as every normal father would when his children were being forcefully removed.
The incredible and frightening story of what happened will be outlined at the next Melbourne Conservative Speakers' Club, by Mr. Paul Kinear, the father charged with assaulting a policeman. Both in N.S.W. and Victoria the Welfare Department were eventually forced to retreat. The whole affair was expensive for the taxpayers and a taste of the Totalitarian State.
FROM THE PRESSIrving Visit: A Win-Win formula from The Australian, 9/8/96
"Should David Irving be allowed to enter Australia? Successive Australian Governments have decided that he cannot, and the Federal Court has just acknowledged its right to refuse Irving entry. While the Government has argued that Irving was refused entry because he was not of good character - he has been accused of a serious offence in Germany - it is clear that the historian's 'revisionist' views of Hitler and the Holocaust were behind the Government's decision.
"This episode raises disturbing questions about our treatment of people with unpopular views. In particular, it shows the absolutist, I win/you lose nature of political debate in Australia today.
"For many, the way to deal with the Irvings of this world is to keep them out. Their messages are seen to be so wrong, so racially insulting and so potentially anti-democratic that they do not deserve to visit Australia. They should not be allowed to abuse freedom of speech. "For others, overwhelmingly opposed to fascism and racism, denial of entry is wrong. Freedom of speech is so important that it should not be denied, even to holders of objectionable views. Refusing an entry visa simply because of political or historical views creates a dangerous precedent. Again, questions of conflicting principles are seen in a black and white fashion, except that here the value of free speech is seen to trump moves to discourage racist and anti-democratic propaganda.
"Is it possible to recognise both points of view and to accommodate them? "This requires trust and compromise. People have to accept that differences of opinion do not necessarily derive from ill will. Supporting Irving's choice to visit is not the same as supporting his views. It also requires recognition that neither side will get everything that it wants.
"How would this compromise work? To give effect to freedom of speech Irving would be allowed to visit Australia. But in order to recognise the importance of fighting racist and anti-democratic speech, he would have to give equal billing at public functions to a speaker chosen by the Government. It would not be difficult to find an historian eager to refute Irving's views. While this gives the Government control over expression it is far weaker than its current power of exclusion.
"While this solution appears messy and lacks the satisfying feeling an absolute victory gives, it does try to balance and give effect to fundamental, yet competing, values."
John Gava, School of Law, Macquarie University, N.S.W.
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