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9 May 2003. Thought for the Week: "The true significance of what is going on has been concealed by the use of the abstraction Man In the older systems both the kind of man the teachers wished to produce and their motives for producing him were prescribed by the Tao (Natural Law) a norm to which the teachers themselves were subject and from which they claimed no liberty to depart. They did not cut men to some pattern they had chosen. They handed on what they had received: the initiated the young neophyte into the mystery of humanity which over-arched him and them alike."
C.S. Lewis in "The Abolition of Man" 1947
REPRIEVE? OR FURTHER REGRESSION?
All the pundits say that Prime Minister Howard
has escaped unscathed from the Iraqi war. He is, they say, in the box-seat,
with his polls sky-high, a demoralised and ineffectual Opposition squabbling
about a leadership for which there are only one or two mediocre contenders,
and all the necessary ingredients for an early election if he wants
it. He has announced he is close to making a decision about his own
future - whether to retire while so far ahead, handing over the reins
to Peter Costello, or whether to ride on to one more inevitable electoral
victory, so that he can be ranked with the most successful of Australia's
Prime Ministers. And we can be certain that Coalition party coffers
will be full to overflowing whenever Howard decides to go. From all
of which, we are expected to believe, Australia is in a healthy position,
ready to bask in the benefits of a stable and glowing future..
I have just been re-reading C.H. Douglas's Social Credit, first printed in 1924, a mere six years after the Great War. In this prescient work Douglas foreshadowed the gradual descent of the human condition he saw as inevitable if the fingers of power were not loosened from the tiller of money. He looked accurately past wars and depressions to a moment of final conflict between the refinement of process in the economic system and the need for paid activity to justify existence for the majority of humanity. He foresaw the corruption of power on a scale never envisaged before, as the scramble for incomes tore in pieces every cherished principle of justice and mercy. This period, he concluded, would carry us to a final critical moment, in which we either descended into a new, barbaric dark age, or in which a last call for sanity would penetrate the darkness, swinging the world away from disaster towards a new beginning wherein people could live in peace, security and freedom.
The older ones among us can remember vestiges of such a condition, when relaxed families built their own community entertainment; when personal dreams would have found little expression in the never-ending stream of consumer icons advertised on TV. Heritage and family tradition were strong, to be enhanced for coming generations. And in which young people could choose their future life on norms other than the chance of income. It is still something of a shock to discover large numbers of young people for whom such a picture is an utter mystery. The scramble now is simply materialistic - not just keeping up with, but getting ahead of the Joneses. If the race leaves you in anything but a "winner's" position, you are automatically a "loser". We seem perilously close to Douglas's "critical moment".
GOOTLIEBSEN'S 'CRITICAL MOMENT'
Robert Gottliebsen is one of the more discerning
commentators. But he sees the future very much in terms of the share
market. Whether there is to be any sort of recovery depends very much
on 'consumer confidence'. In other words, are they prepared to continue
borrowing in order to spend. His article in The Australian (29/4/03)
It is as much as to say that the destruction of the average US household is vital for economic recovery! And Australia's level of household debt is equally dangerous, even though the growth of borrowing is included in the "growth" figures that indicate our strength! It just may be that we have another short spurt of frenzied financial borrowing and gambling on already over-stretched Stock markets. It is likely - if it happens, and there is considerable doubt about this - to be a last 'death-rattle'.
HAS THE IRAQI WAR ENDED - OR JUST BEGUN?
It was sickening to see US Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld cavorting in glee in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces,
remembering that the last time he was there was to shake the former
dictator's hand as he came bearing gifts - armaments, nerve agents and
money - for the war against Iran. With the news that the US military
base in Saudi Arabia is to be shut down the question is whether the
Saudis are to be "cast into the outer darkness" with Iran and Syria?
With four new military bases in Iraq, and an upgrading of Qatir to Saudi Arabia's immediate south, the US has all the facilities it needs in the Persian Gulf area. What it is doing in other less-publicised quarters is significant.
Peter Hartcher, in Washington Australian Financial
Review - Weekend 24-27/4/03)said:
With three military bases in the area, ostensibly established to invade the Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan, one suggestion is that their long-term presence is to secure Caspian oil and add it to the US portfolio. Any potential ally who will cooperate in this objective is welcome - however cruel and barbaric. And we thought it was all about freedom and democracy!
But the states north of Afghanistan were formerly members of the communist USSR. Vladimir Putin is hardly likely to view a succession of American bases in what was once Soviet territory with enthusiasm. US policy is brinkmanship on an impossible scale. With military bases strong like a necklace along the Tropic of Cancer, ever extending the bounds of military empire, the Zio-cons who run the State Department in Washington are naïve if they believe thay can keep the peace by quelling the aspirations of an irate Islamic world.
Hartcher concluded his article: " On the 12th day of the US-led invasion of Iraq in the name of freedom and democracy, the US State Department put out its annual report on human rights practices round the world. The report detailed how each of America's new friends in Central Asia practised political, religious and gender repression, with special sections on torture and disappearances "
Since the late sixties the League of Rights has waged a lonely battle in favour of the family farm. The nature of the battle can only be understood by those with a real affinity with the soil. Farming is, as it has been for millennia, a way of life. It is only in the last few decades has it been turned into no more than another commercial operation. Such books as The Evolution of the English Farm, going as far back as the eighth century in Britain, describe one unchallengeable principle - a farm should always be left in a better and more fertile condition that when purchased or inherited. This principle took precedence over commercial considerations.
Profit, though not despised, was never given precedence over fertility. There has been a wholesale massacre of family farms and rural communities round the world. In the United State there are now more people in prisons than on the land. If a manufacturing company closes and puts 2,000 people out of work there are headlines. But a far greater attrition takes place annually out of farming communities without publicity. Where do they go? To drive taxis, do security guard jobs, or stagnate in squalor on the dole? And what of future food production?
The ecologically-conscious small farmer is being replaced by much more efficient large-scale enterprises, in which the financial bottom-line ranks much higher than the soil left for the next generation. And how is this state of affairs accounted for in the "GDP" figures by which Peter Costello measures the economic health of Australia?
The small kingdom of Bhutan has another set of figures - GDH, or "Gross Domestic Happiness". The only thing forbidden in that kingdom, it transpires, is plastic; which would doom the Australian dollar from the start! The Bhutans love their children and sing many songs together. Suicide is unknown, and the only creatures on drugs are pigs, which are fed on the marijuana plant. This leads to a state of perpetual porcine bliss which is much less venomous than that found in our revered Houses of Parliament in Canberra!
The next stage, in all probability, is to turn the prison populations into the farm slaves of the future, as they did in the last stages of the Roman Empire, where the latifundia, or amalgamated farms, produced deserts from previously productive land.
ANZAC DAY AND THE WAR IN IRAQ
The discussion with my granddaughter was interesting - and rewarding. She wanted to know and understand why was I so opposed to the involvement of Australia's sons and daughters in the war of aggression against Iraq, and yet, not only did I participate in this year's Anzac Day services, but I had done so for many a year. I am, after all, the daughter and sister of returned servicemen and women.
I think my position can be summed up in the universal
principles of Justice, Good Faith and Veracity:
Why do you think the Turkish people allow us to hold Anzac Services on their soil? Surely it is because of the respectful memories they have of the brave men who fought at Gallipoli? Not because we invaded their land! "Courage has got to be harder, heart the stouter, spirit the sterner, as our strength weakens. Here lies our lord, cut to pieces, our best man in the dust. If anyone thinks of leaving this battle, he can howl forever." (Anglo-Saxon) Oh yes, as much as is within me, I am to live at peace with my neighbour. "Love your neighbour as yourself," (Christian) but there could come a time and a situation, when to turn the other cheek, that once too often, is not love, nor humility but cowardice. And, when deceitful leaders are in power, leaders who serve powers other than their own people, another Law comes into play.
The Law of Good Faith and Veracity: "I sought
no trickery, nor swore false oaths." (Anglo-Saxon)
WHAT TO DO WITH A LEADER WHO LIES
Readers will remember Edward Rock's words to
John Howard (7th April 2003) "For months on end you lied to us about
your intention to bow to the forces of evil in the world demanding war
on Iraq. You continuously told us you had no fixed intention to comply,
while knowing it was always your intention to comply. You lied because
you feared the political backlash would thwart the carrying out of your
How to deal with a leader who lies - from Donald Rumsfeld: It is not one single lie that has an effect on the public. It is the cumulative effect of dozens of lies, big and small, reiterated daily and challenged rarely. That is the effect that has brought us to where we are today. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking 19th January, 2003 on the ABC, (USA) offered the media splendid advice on how they should handle in their broadcasts and articles a leader that lies: "Well, first, Saddam Hussein is a liar. He lies every single day. He is still claiming that he won the war. His people are being told every day that they won. It was a great victory in 1991 when he was thrown out of Kuwait and chased back to Baghdad. Now, it seems to me that almost every time you quote something from him, you should preface it by saying 'here's a man who has lied all the time and consistently."
"The civilisation of Christianity was incompletely embodied in the culture of mediaeval Europe, and is exemplified in Magna Carta. Its essential characteristic is courage, allied to 'love,' cf. "Perfect love casteth out fear". The knight of chivalry, the militant Christian ideal, watched his armour alone in the chapel through the night, and then went out to do battle alone for love against fear and oppression - a very complete allegory the object of the Anti-Christ is to keep mankind in ever larger mobs, thus defeating the object of Christ, to permit the emergence of self-governing, self-conscious individuals, exercising free will, and choosing good because it is good."
[Further reading: "The Realistic Position of the Church of England" by C.H. Douglas; "Yes Virginia, There is Right & Wrong" by Dr. Kathleen M. Gow; "Secular Humanism and Australian Education" by Dr. Rupert Goodman; "The Siecus Circle: A Humanist Revolution" by Claire Chambers.]
ARMED FORCES & THE CURSE OF BUREAUCRACY & POLITICIANS
British On Target, 11th & 25th January
A recent report in the Shropshire Star,
of 10th February, 2003, "Pay shock - for soldiers sent off to war-zone",
was therefore nothing new: "Troops facing possible war against Iraq
will lose pay because they have been sent to the Gulf, it emerged today.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that personnel receiving Local Overseas
Allowance because they are based abroad will lose 20 per cent of it
shortly after being posted. The deductions start after 17 days' deployment,
and the amounts lost range from 90pence to £5.70 a day. The decision
was branded "disgraceful" by Tory M.P. and ex-GuIf War veteran Hugh
Robertson, who said that even though the sums of money involved will
be small in many cases, the idea of soldiers losing income when they
are sent to a potential war-zone was unacceptable.
Major General sticks up for the troops:
Major General Corp, a former Director-General of Equipment Support (Army),
expressed the exasperation of the engineer and logistician in a letter
to The Daily Telegraph, of 4th February, 2003 headed: "Penny-pinching
incompetence saps morale":
Work experience is much in vogue. I suggest that a platoon of the MoD and Treasury colleagues responsible, led by a minister, be flown to the Gulf to spend a week working 16 hours a day with a paintbrush or spanner, sleeping in tents and eating Army rations - preferably on trooper's rate of pay. The balance of their salaries would doubtless be gratefully received by the Army Benevolent Fund" (emphasis added ed).
Defence Secretary "Holiday" Hoon could well reflect
on this report on British fighting efficiency, taken from The Daily
Telegraph 7th January, 2003:
Over to the MoD "Under Health and Safety, it is now necessary to use ladders when dismounting the Challenger Mark II tanks if they are in a concrete tank park", says a spokesman."
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBThe next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 28th May, 2003. Mr. Neil Baird whose subject will be: "Globalisation & Its Economic Effect to Australia". The venue is the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown, where there is ample parking and situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. There are nearby facilities for a meal before the meeting. The cost of attendance is $4.00 per person.
AUSTRALIAN MONARCHIST LEAGUE MEETING FOR W.A. BRANCHThe Australian Monarchist League Western Australian Branch will be holding a Cocktail Evening and General Meeting at the Victoria League, 276 Onslow Road, Shenton Park on Friday 2nd May at 5.00pm. Cost will be $13.50 per head.
For bookings and further information contact Neil Gilmour - Phone: 04 0777 5836.
RSVP Wednesday 30th April 2003. All supporters are urged to attend.
THE SAMUEL GRIFFITH SOCIETY, FIFTEENTH CONFERENCEWe have received notification that the Samuel Griffith Society's next conference will be held in Adelaide over the weekend of 23-25th May, 2003. The worthy list of speakers are Phillip Ayres, Ph.D.; Hon. Justice Ian Callinan, AC; Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Gibbs, GCMG, AC, KBE.; Hon. Trevor Griffin, Prof. Peter Howell; Hon Len King, AC; Julian Leser; Hon. Nick Minchin; Dr. Geoffrey Partington; Hon. Peter Reith; Prof. Geoffrey de Q. Walker and Keith Windschuttle. Subjects include: The South Australian Constitutional Convention; Citizen Initiated Referendums; Retrospect; Judicial Activism and the Teoh case; The Republic; The Aboriginal Question.
For bookings and further details, contact The Samuel Griffith Society, 17 Fitzsimmons Avenue, Lane Cove 2066.
Phone: 02 9428 1311 Fax: 02 9420 0063.
LATEST JEREMY LEE VIDEO PROVING POPULARAt a time of worldwide unrest and disillusion with the vested interests manipulating the lives of ordinary people, the material in Jeremy's video, "Retell the Story!" will prove a bombshell! How can nations, communities and families be so deeply in debt that there is no apparent way out? And, he asks, "Who's the mortgagee?" Send for copies of the video today. Available from all League Book Services for $20 posted.
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