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12 June 1970. Thought for the Week: "The young are not fit to be students of philosophy and politics for they have no experience of life and conduct, and it is these that supply the premises and subject matter of these branches of thought."
LOWERING THE VOTING AGE
"The Federal Council of the Liberal Party yesterday overwhelmingly supported a lowering of the age of adulthood from 21." - The Age, June 9th.
The popular consensus of opinion plumps for 18 as the age of adulthood. The Liberal Party has joined the bandwagon along with the Labor and Country parties in imputing increasing wisdom to the younger generation. The main argument seems to be that as 18 year olds they are so much more educated than previous generations. The parents and middle aged are told ad nauseum that such is the case, and it would appear that the political party leadership at least has something of a phobia about the matter. However it would appear to us that Aristotle should not be ignored even if his experience of modern youth is limited by over 2000 years of time elapsed.
It is a fact that education has its roots beyond the turn of this century or later. Had those roots not been cut off we would not be commenting on this matter. Experience cannot be replaced with anything else but experience, something the mere acquiring of knowledge will not give. But it may be pertinent to ask the question that if the acquiring of knowledge as ground out by modern educational institutions is to be the measuring stick of adulthood, and if as we are assured the body of knowledge available is increasing daily at a far greater rate than ever before, within a year or two the 18 year olds will be replaced by the sub teenagers and greater progress must be assured!! But judging by the results we see emerging from our Universities in the increasingly lawlessness of students, and the decreasing acceptance of responsibility by professors and lecturers, we conclude that Aristotle was a far wiser judge, and therefore a sounder step to harness the wisdom of adulthood would be to raise the voting age limit to perhaps 25 or 30 and in so doing we may restore responsibility in both our educators and our political representatives.
SOUTHERN AFRICA'S ACHILLES HEEL
Mr. Eric Butler wrote the following report at the conclusion of his South African tour, during which he lectured in eight of the major centres.
Mr. A. B. Grobler of Durban served with the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was awarded the British Defence Medal, the Atlantic Star, the Burma Star, and was mentioned in dispatches. Mr. Grobler has reacted to the cancellation of the South African cricket tour of the United Kingdom by sending his war medals back and by sending Prime Minister Wilson a stinging letter, observing that Wilson had spent the last war in a bureaucratic foxhole. Mr. Grobler's action has been supported by a number of other ex servicemen.
Major Van de Byl, father of Mr. P. Van de Byl, Rhodesian Minister for Information, a former member of the South African Parliament and a colleague of the late General Smuts, was widely publicised when he said that Harold Wilson's despicable action of using the MCC as a tool for his own purposes, had seriously reduced the prestige of Britain amongst those South Africans who had been always proud of their links with the United Kingdom. He referred scathingly to Prime Minister Wilson's past references to Prime Minister Smith and his colleagues as frightened little men", pointing out how Ian Smith's wartime record compared more than favourably with Wilson's, and that now the Wilson Government had capitulated to the revolutionary demands of a small minority. "Who are the frightened little men now?" he asked.
The mounting international campaign
against South Africa's traditional way of playing sport will
make no contribution whatever to improving race relations
inside South Africa, but it is assisting the Communist inspired
campaign against the whole of Southern Africa. And it is undermining
the remaining pro British sentiment in South Africa.
At the conclusion of a lecture I gave
at the Port Elizabeth University, attended by senior lecturers,
several Professors and local businessmen, my first questioner
prefaced his question with a long statement attempting to
defend the Marxist-Fabian John Maynard Keynes, and his economic
theories. I was not surprised to learn that he was the Professor
of Economics at the University; and that he had studied at
the London School of Economics. Even though the late Dr. Verwoerd
is generally described as a conservative, the fact is that
he was operating the same financial policy, which is now starting
to become openly destructive. His Minister for Economics was
a product of The London School of Economics.
The more developed the South African economy becomes under present financial policies, the faster the generation of debt, both public and private the higher the level of taxation, and the more destructive becomes inflation. After a period of attempting to control inflation with the classical type of "credit squeeze", the South African Central Bank has now made it possible for the trading banks to pursue a much more liberal policy of credit creation and lending. The inevitable result must be a further upward thrust of the price level.
The South African opponents of separate racial development are correct when they state, as does the head of the vast Oppenheimer complex, Harry Oppenheimer, that the pressure of economic development will force the break down of present race policy. The Cape Chamber of Industries has recently recommended to the Government that there will have to be a relaxation of the policy of controlling the employment of Africans in European areas. The economic systems of countries like the U.S.A. have become monsters devouring enormous quantities of materials and manpower with decreasing real benefits for the individual.
If the South Africans are going to attempt to make their economic system work by following the American lead, by attempting to export more and more to the north in an endeavour to build up the African States, then they must attempt to use more and more Africans in that system, with predictable disastrous results. Could anything be more fantastic than the concept of insisting that primitive peoples, whether in Africa or in New Guinea, should in a few short years all be provided with washing machines, motor cars and television sets? Or that these people should be forced into a system, which is leading to explosion in European nations?
A much slower rate of development is necessary if there is to be any prospect of stability. But present finance-economic policies compel the mad drive, which has brought the American society close to the point of a major explosion. The one encouraging feature about the situation in both Rhodesia and South Africa is that there is a growing willingness to study the implications of present finance-economic policies, and to consider realistic alternatives. If these alternatives can he applied, the Rhodesians and South Africans will not only demonstrate to the world how to operate economics in the best interests of the individual, but will also be able to demonstrate how to develop a pattern of harmonious race relations. The present Achilles Heel of Southern Africa not only concerns the people of Southern Africa; it is of vital interest to the whole world, because of the great strategic importance of Southern Africa.
PROFESSOR CRITICISES ECONOMISTS ACADEMICS
"Many economists, academics and others, seem to have adopted a fanatical opposition to farmers and all those concerned with the basic activity of producing food and materials from the land." - Professor J, Francis of Queensland University, speaking at the official opening of the Queensland Farmers and Graziers Association conference in Brisbane, - Report from the Toowoomba Chronicle May 29.
The remarks of Professor Francis reflected the growing dissatisfaction with the advice coming from professional economists employed by government and universities, and offered to the man on the land. Coming on top of the broadcast reply by Mr. Jeremy Lee to Dr. Henry Schapper the prophets of doom and disaster with their prescription of "get bigger, or get out" have been taking a shellacking in the past week and must continue to receive increasing criticism as the patent stupidity and lack realism they advocate is increasingly exposed.
Professor Francis in dealing with one of his fellow academics, Dr. Davidson referred to him as one advocating or implying that the small farmer should be satisfied to receive the basic wage or little more. "Apart from supplying capital the farmer, be he large or small, has to make innumerable judgements," said Professor Francis, "and be familiar with a wide range of techniques whereas many people who receive far more than the basic wage on the production line, due to militant trade union activity, have to make hardly any decisions at all. I therefore regard Dr. Davidson's suggestion to be a very considerable impertinence."
Professor Francis went on, "As he holds such quaint views, I would suggest that Dr. Davidson, rather than the dairy farmer, should be put on the basic wage - or even the dole!" Professor Francis remarked that opposition to farmers from the academic fraternity seemed to stem from a form of primitive jealousy resulting from an instinctive feeling that life on the hand is a more manly occupation than life at the desk. Certainly Professor Derek Tribe is on record referring to the problem of clearing the country of "clodhoppers and hayseeds." but the main bugbear of Professor Francis' fellow academics is their insistence that economic policies causing the cost price squeeze are infallible and inevitable.
They join the Marxists in a dogmatic assertion of man-made laws controlling the future destiny of society. Like the little boy with the toffee apple believing it will last forever, and resentful of anyone who points out the lack of substance in such a fallacy they assert with child-like repetitiveness, "the cost price squeeze must go on." Against such a mental blockage it is impossible to establish any correlation between superiority in productive capacity achieved by the farmer and financial reward. It is time the objectivity of the academics was redirected to the examination of other premises. They may then come up with truthful answers.
CAN WE BRIDGE THE GAP?With three weeks left to fulfill the League's $25,000 appeal the deficiency stands at $5817-40. We stress again the importance of those who have already contributed to save contributions for the 1970-71 appeal. The fund can be more than adequately fulfilled by those who have not as yet taken part forwarding their contribution.
ARROGANCE FROM A.B.C.
"The A.B.C. Staff Association began yesterday lobbying Federal Parliamentarians by phone calling for a system which would sever all Treasury control of the purse strings." - The Courier Mail, May 25.
It is time the government made it clear to the arrogant spokesman of the ABC that they are there to serve the people and the parliament of Australia, not to dictate to them. This latest move is only an extension of the attitude adopted by those imposing their views on the Australian people through the agency of an organisation financed by the hapless taxpayers. As it is they exert little or no control over the way their money is spent. The $50 million annual budget of the ABC is no more than a compulsory levy on the Australian taxpayer, which if he had any choice in the matter he would much rather spend on his own cultural pursuits.
To suggest that not only should the ABC be assured of an annual dip into the taxpayer's pool, but that also this should be given without any control by parliament is the cool arrogance of those accustomed to the exercise of power without responsibility. This arrogance expressed itself more clearly when the president of the ABC Staff Association, an individual named Read expressed himself in a letter to the press on June 8 telling the Post Master General Mr. A. S. Hulme, to "put up or shut up." Taxpayer's money should not be spent to pay public servants to insult ministers of the crown, and action should be taken immediately to rectify the situation. If strong action were taken it would have a much-needed effect at this juncture.
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