Australian politics has possibly reached an all time low. In a rapidly decaying world people look for inspiration, a measure of altruism and hope from their leaders. Like much of the world Australians are increasingly disappointed and pessimistic. In September the federal election will be held.
On the one hand we have the incumbent labor government, which although it has accomplished some major reforms (the Gonsky education one and the Disability Support program) has simply made too many mistakes to be trusted. Their school building policy, their home insulation policy and their solar panel policy all resulted in massive overcharging by private contractors. Add to that the un-means tested payments to people during the GFC and you have a considerable financial stuff up. It’s only we, the people, who have to pay for it.
On the other hand we have Tony Abott (affectionately known as budgie smuggler or Big Ears) and the Liberals who want to grind down workers’ wages to third world levels, abandon the environment to whatever happens and generally assist the wealthiest, most selfish people to become even more so. As far as they are concerned, if the national balance sheet is soundly in the black and the rich can sail their yachts, all is right with the world. Future planning can take a back seat, the environment can go to hell and the poor can just drop dead.
The third choice is the Greens, probably the least of three evils. The Greens have a sound social and environmental policy but are a little light-headed about fundamental realities. Their progressive policy towards asylum seekers who arrive by boat may well increase the numbers of such arrivals as to burden the total infrastructure of the nation. Even the most of enlightened policies need to be funded and considered against future realities.
A large proportion of human charity involves saving the lives of the less fortunate in the poorest part of the world. Much of medical science has worked ceaselessly to cure countless diseases and to prolong life.
At the same time it is clear that there are too many humans on the planet and to wilfully increase the number, especially by prolonging the lives of the elderly and infirm seems almost ludicrous. We as a species are following our best instincts on a micro level to preserve and save lives. Yet on a macro level we are almost certainly dooming our species to extinction. I myself give to charity and I can see the contradiction between helping individuals, groups and entire countries and the impending doom that is hanging over our species. Neither politicians nor scientists seem willing to discuss this patent contradiction in our endeavours. I can foresee a world, in the not too distant future that has become totally intolerant of the infirm and aged and is likely to eliminate those who cannot work.
Workers in many countries, including Australia, are forced to gamble with their superannuation and retirement incomes. Most Super funds invest heavily on the stock market. Contributors are often required to choose between; maximum growth with attendant risk, balanced investment, defensive stocks or cash. Workers thus have to make a judgement call, which in these days of high volatility (as the financial gurus like to call risk or probable loss) is a horrible choice to have to make. It is gambling with one’s future. Gone are the days when retirement pensions were simply that. Now they are caught up in the manic capitalistic frenzy which seems to define the contemporary world. Whether a retiree lives a comfortable existence or faces extreme poverty, depends on the throw of the global dice!
Jesus (and Buddah) were right in saying that you should love all things, including your enemies. On a spiritual level that is the most sensible way to approach life. Stop to sniff the flowers and love them! On a personal and individual level, that is all there is.
Yet on a biological and species level it is more than likely that Hitler was right. If one desires that humanity goes on and prospers such ruthless policies as elimination of the disabled and weak make a great deal of sense. Post WWII the world we have inherited is worse than ever. Aging populations, ever increasing numbers of humans and finite resources are all spelling doom. At present we have multitudes of people in nursing homes, many with dementia. In the near future (unless humanity entirely becomes enlightened) I can’t see the rich and the greedy sacrificing anything for these unproductive individuals. I suspect it will be a case of “Arbeit mach frei” (Work sets you free). You guessed correctly, that is a slogan of Nazi Germany.
I don’t have to dream very hard to imagine a coming world where people who no longer work are disposed of. No, this is not a world created by Hitler. This is the world that prospered after his defeat. It is more than just for amusement and the occupation of time that the elderly continue to work. It probably makes them feel safer.
After all, if humanity doesn’t quickly get its act together, both from an individual and species perspective, Nature almost certainly will remove us, one way or the other.