why the people who run the world think everyone is else is also avaricious, just like themselves.
THE JUSTIFICATION FOR GREED
The people who run the world mostly call themselves conservatives, but are really radicals of the most rapacious kind. They have built up a vast armoury of dogma to justify their sociopathic level of greed.
As economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:
‘The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.’
Neoclassical economics and its ideological offshoot, neoliberalism, provide the bedrock of this dogma.
It provides, indeed, one of the fundamental assumptions of modern economics: “rational self-interest”, or “market theory”. It is the theory that everyone always works to maximise their self-interest — to do otherwise would be “irrational”.
So let’s finish by describing the venality of our political system. For all political parties, winning is all that counts. With it comes power, privileges, influence, prestige, and of course, money!
Time and again we have seen our leaders propose measures that serve their aims, or promote their entrenched ideologies, rather than the common good. Whenever a leader looks generous, whenever a politician offers something that seems too good to be true, you can be sure it is. Look behind the show of generosity and goodwill and you will see what’s in it for them. You’ll always find the reward they expect. Political parties are open to bribery – they are venal. They accept donations that are nothing more than bribes to gain an advantage, no matter whom it disadvantages.
The vengeful Tony Abbott habitually exhibited venality. He instituted inquiries and a Royal Commission hoping to nail Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten, and the unions. The courts have thrown out all charges arising out of these witch-hunts. Millions were wasted. Abbott failed ingloriously. His successor is not much better. His most recent venality is the deliberate timing of the upcoming by-elections to advantage the Coalition and disadvantage Labor.
Politicians are merchants of venality, and everyone knows they are, even the millennials, as this Deloitte study shows.
Deregulation, self-regulation, red tape, green tape, nanny state, small government, privatisation, asset recycling, compliance costs, free market, one-stop shop – these are some of the phrases religiously chanted by big business, and echoed by conservative think tanks and governments, with a certainty that smacks of zealotry.
We are told that the private sector is more efficient so we outsource service provision to them. We sell off valuable assets and profitable government-owned enterprises. We remove regulatory oversight and streamline approval processes.
We sack public servants, urge wage restraint, remove penalty rates, freeze the superannuation guarantee and hobble collective bargaining.
We provide so many concessions for the owners of capital and assets that they end up paying little to no tax. We encourage exports whilst enduring shortages at home. We provide a guarantee for the banks to protect them from the financial turmoil afflicting the rest of the world. We have a whole government department dedicated to making sure the private sector does not face unfair competition from the public sector.
And still, even as companies continue to announce record profits, it’s not enough – they want more.
New report reveals systemic destruction of koala habitats in Queensland and says 34 million native animals are lost each year.
Source: How Rupert Murdoch went bad