Today’s guest author is The Pub’s very own realio trulio dragon – the magnificent Puffy – who sent me this post in an email titled “Hot off the press, barely edited” six weeks ago.
I responded immediately (as one does to a Dragon) letting her know that it was eminently publishable, but not just at that moment. Her generous reply was as follows:
You could keep it as a back up. … When the election is called we could do a make or break of Australia one along with a call to (political) arms.
Not Without Fight
Well, we seem to have entered (probably for nanoseconds) the equivalent of the Brits’ phoney war – yeah, sure, it sort of was for them, but definitely not for much of mainland Europe – so the time seems right.
Thank you very much, Puffy, for your contribution and your patience.
(I wish I were a Photoshop genius)
This is not a new question and the discussions about it could fill a few library shelves. There is, of course, no definitive answer.
Is our class or our race the stronger divide, particularly in the economic sense? Do the poor of the world have more in common with each other than with the upper classes of their own country?
Are the rich of the world more united as a class, looking after each other’s financial interests (while waiting for each other to fall over so they can vulture the carcase) at the expense of their race or nation?
Rupert Murdoch famously gave up his Australian citizenship to further his business interests in the USA. I believe this to be a clear case of class affiliation trumping nationality. Dick Smith is the opposite: not selling out the national interest for his pecuniary interest He also has a solid reputation for promoting the national good. Murdoch cannot claim the same, yet both men are successful in accumulating wealth.
Maybe it is not what you have, but how you got it and what you do with it?
Marxist theory of class promotes the idea that race is used by the owners of the means of production to divide the working class: a divided working class is unlikely unite to agitate for better wages and conditions.
Please note that in this sense ‘working class’ in my interpretation includes professionals, academics, tradies or anyone who trades on their labour, unskilled skilled, intellectual, artistic or running a small business.
My view is that the One Percent are more wedded to themselves than any race, nation or religion.
While the royal houses of Europe recognised as compatriots as well as rivals the members of other royal houses, for example, in Asia, the peasants were always the peasants. If peasants were busy hating and killing other peasants in wars, the ‘Royalty’ remained safe. Well, at least until they went overboard with it all with WW1.
I contend that, in the broad scheme of things, there is not much that divides the factory worker from the barrister or the small business person. They all are affected by the decisions of the highest class. The biggest division within the labour-selling class is access to resources, and the transmission of that access through generations. We have an upper class who are frustrating that access to those resources through right wing political parties that relentlessly attack social programs, education, aged/disability care and universal health. They also try to asset-strip families as the parents age, and load the young with debt to prevent accumulation. To them, universal superannuation is an anathema.
There’s been a relentless push since at least since the turn of the 21st century to pit one race, religion, or nation against another. That this has happened alongside the rise of social media cannot be a coincidence. At a time when we have the chance to unite and exchange information about ourselves and our condition instantly – with anyone almost anywhere – we are urged to find difference instead of similarity.
We are urged to fear instead of being curious; to withdraw rather than to learn.
So maybe the question has changed. Are we divided more by class, by race, or by digital access?