Much has been written about the rise of neoliberalism and the ‘recent’ decline of standards in political debate. I am on the fence with this one. Was politics really so much gentler and kinder at some unspecified time?
What evidence is there that political leaders have not always been giant bullies who demand obedience from their own while mercilessly cutting down their opponents? Who play politics with the lives of the least advantaged for the purpose of seeking and holding power over those same people and expecting us to what? Trust them? Believe in them? Like them? Vote for them?
The dreary conformist respectability politics 101 narratives go like this: Tim Minchin had a point about accountability for priests who rape children, but he was doing it wrong. He used mean words. But it is okay for Malcolm Knox to use racist patois to rescue a white woman from the scary black man Chris Gayle I know this because Peter Fitz said so.
‘Expert’ commentators note that the Greens, a political party, are playing politics with Senate voting. White men paid from the public purse endlessly gossip about political leaders and staffers while pretending to discuss matters of state rather than, well, gossiping. It is not at all sexist to deploy psychobabble to note that Peta Credlin was a paid staffer rather than elected official.
George Christensen and Cory Bernardi are controversial. It is imperative that progressive thinkers invest our energy in defending a misguided nasty white man like Tim Wilson because gay.
What are we thinking, us tree-hugger hairy-armpit femmos, that we do not take up the cry as directed by the mainstream and immediately re-direct our time and resources to the urgent task of defending Tim Wilson and Peta Credlin and their self-interested greed and quests for power? How will they muddle along without us?
Unfortunately there is just not enough evidence to convict a single police or corrective services officer for causing the death of an Aboriginal person in custody. Ever. Not once. Not even a young Aboriginal woman in police custody with broken ribs who had committed no crime and required urgent medical attention and died on our watch while the state eats lunch.
Sadly our government perpetuating gross human rights violations of people with disabilities and their carers and Aboriginal people and the unemployed and students and young people at massive cost to taxpayers is the price we all pay for cashless welfare to help people on social security to make healthier choices – as the planet burns.
Controversially, heteronormativity and religion are so important in a nominally secular multicultural democracy that kids discovering their own sexuality and gender identity should be immediately and loudly stigmatised and the government should waste millions providing succour to bullies and bigots who hate them.
THESE ARE LIFE AND DEATH ISSUES. CUSTODY KILLS. CASHLESS WELFARE KILLS. BIGOTRY KILLS. ACTUAL HUMAN PEOPLE DIE FROM STATE NEGLECT AND POVERTY AND SUICIDE.
BUT HEY KEEP GOSSIPING AND POSTURING IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND BE HANDSOMELY REMUNERATED BY US TO DO SO. POOR DISABLED BLACK LGBTQI YOUNG LIVES DON’T MATTER AND NOR DOES THE PLANET.
I am not sure what else to say. I could furnish evidence that every single human society in every known place and time – no matter the era, no matter which location on our planet – has created social norms to accommodate gender fluidity and the poor. There is no known human culture or society, anywhere, without specific laws to punish those who take the life of a fellow human being.
These are universal, eternal truths. Part of the human condition. Part of ourselves, because what it is to be human across space and time defines us all.
Yet here we are with a bunch of immature white men, religious bigots all, with the power to make laws, redefining reality and the human condition for their own vicious self-interested ends.
Neoliberalism has no social conscience. It rejects society and, as such, it rejects humanity. Neoliberalism is an abuser. The polity, the citizenry – us – we are its victim hostage partner. Neoliberalism is white heteronormative ablist neurotypical cis patriarchy on steroids, the worst of the worst.
I despair. And because of how much power neoliberal men wield, I despair for us all.