Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Victorian State Election

Apropos my last post, recent events in my home state, Victoria, Australia, illustrate just how important principles are when it comes to determining what constitutes the "Right".

Australian politics, much like U.S. politics is divided into two main camps. The Australian Labor party, on one side, represents the Left in Australian politics which has become progressively more radicalized. The Right, confusingly, for U.S. readers is represented by the Liberal Party of Australia.
The Liberal party of Australia was formed by Robert Menzies from a coalition of various different "right" parties in the 1940's,  but the values it represented were those of a conservative Christian Protestant Australia.  It wasn't an expressively religious party but it's values were derived from the "habits" of traditional Protestant Christianity even when the faith wasn't there.

Australia's glorious age, from 1950-1973 were in large part due to the near continual governance of the party.  A large part of the party's success could be attributed to the fact that the Australian Labor Party was effectively neutralised by an ideological split bought about by the Cold War in the 1950's  being effectively divided between the socialists and the the DLP, which was  and explicitly Christian Catholic interpretation of the labour movement. It's formation is one of few instances where communists have been beaten at their own game, and it was engineered by Bob Santamaria, one of the unsung heroes of the cold war.  The DLP did a lot to moderate some of the harder economic rationalist ideas of the Liberal party thus ensuring its electoral success.

The rapid secularisation that occurred during the 1960's result in the modernisation of the liberal party and the loss of voter base for the DLP.  So that by the early 1970's the Liberals had secularised and become progressive and the DLP died as a political force.

Robert Menzies, disgusted at what his party had become voted against it for the DLP on two occasions. Bemoaning to Bob Santamaria that the DLP was the party he wished the Liberals to have become.

From my perspective, the Liberal party transformed itself into the worst of all things. Strictly economically rational while socially progressive, the party of Ayn Rand in many ways,  and for many years drifted in the wilderness, only really gaining a foothold with the pseudo-traditionalism of the Howard years. Since his election loss the party has been drifting left.

State elections were held over the previous weekend and the Liberal party was routed, despite running against a candidate who appears to corrupt and who is spending away all the seed corn.  The magnitude of the setback shocked the local Liberals and seems to have frightened the federal Liberals as well. It also seems to have started off a vicious civil war within the Liberal Party of what the party actually stands for.  On one hand, there are the small-l-Liberals, who much like the Rockefeller Republicans are progressive in everything but economic policy. Then there are the large-l-Liberals, who increasingly rejecting the globohomo agenda and are increasingly asserting their Christian underpinnings.

In the post election analysis, many of the lefty media and the small-l-Liberals blamed the election loss on the fact that the party had not moved sufficiently to the Left. Despite the party really being indistinguishable on many issues from the Labor party. This of course has raised the question of what does it mean to be an Australian Liberal. No one really has the answer.

This is why principles matter.

I don't like purity tests as much as the other guy but you've got to think of them as akin to a mooring posts or as cardinal points on a compass, something that stops you slowly sliding away from your original ideals. It also stops infiltrators from from undermining your ranks from within as has so devastatingly been demonstrated in Victoria.

I welcome this fight, it has to happen. Nothing can be fixed till it happens. Whatever else may be I think its fair to say the right side of Australian politics as it currently stands is dead.

14 comments:

Bruce Charlton said...

But surely, all secular politics is Leftist - just variants; and we have (surely?) learned since the mid 60s that habits (including Christian habits) will never suffice or survive in modernity?

In mainstream modern politics all 'fights' are just inter-departmental scuffles within the single bureacracy.

Without religion, 'principles' mean absolutely nothing - over the medium term; they will melt to nothing, usually at the first temptation.

In my observation/ experience, everybody who is not seriously religious sells-out when it becomes expedient for them to do so (and, of course, quite a few religious do as well - but not *all*).

Michael Dyer said...

@Bruce

I think yes and no really. Honestly most people sell out unless they have a stronger reason not to, a bone level belief in God and judgement being the only real solution with a few exceptions.

On the other hand, I don't believe in going full Amish. It's not always about good and evil so much as better and worse, and we are not facing equal evils. Just as St. Paul used the Roman legal system to his purposes, we ought to use all legitimate means to our purposes as well.

I say yes and no but really more yes. We were faced with atheistic evolution, marxism, and German higher criticism in the late 19th century and basically gave up progressively over the next hundred years until we're here. These are all eminently defeatable piles of nonsense but we just got bluffed. It's worse in some ways than normal paganism, because the other fellow thinks he "knows it all already" and has chosen the path of reason. Not anything he could really back up, mind, but...

Unknown said...

It's Victoria, it'll blow over.

MK said...

SP: Liberal party...worst of all things...economically rational while socially progressive

I'll take it as long as it doesn't interfere with my freedom to live the Christian life.

Why? In a democracy, Christians must submit to God's command in Gen 1:28 to multiply or necessarily lose political power to those who do. We've chosen the latter. Neutrality is more than we we deserve.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Bruce

All politics, is to an extent secular, even Christian politics. Politics is simply the prudential application of priori values within the realms of the politically possible. I think it's very important to separate Christian principles from their real world applications, especially in a secular world. I, for example, regard abortion as murder and would vote against it, but to impose it on a secular populace, where I would expect widespread opposition would be politically disastrous. i.e. prohibition. Not every "compromise" to political reality is a compromise of principle.

Christians need to maneuver politically in such a way to make Christian life possible among Christians, not try and convert them through the power of the state. I think many Christians miss this point.

@Michael

I think one of the problems of Traditionalism is that it tends to go "Amish", the problem for the Christian Right is how to engage the world without going Amish.

@Unknown.

I think it's different this time, I really do. It's been building up for a while--as it has in all Anglosphere countries--and the Victorian election seems to have pushed things over the edge.

@MK

I'll take it as long as it doesn't interfere with my freedom to live the Christian life.


Well it has here, especially for me in my line of work. The legislation in question was supported by many "conservatives."

MK said...

SP: Well it has here, especially for me in my line of work. The legislation in question was supported by many "conservatives."

Of course it has! As a USA Christian I'm seriously grateful to eat, have a family, and worship/live in peace. I never even considered to have a profession dominated by liberals after what my parents generation did to the culture, let alone mine. The gloves are off. It's open war.

If (when) we reach USSR/China levels we will only then start to reap our just reward for ditching Gen 1:28 for the porridge of materialism/comfort. This may happen quite suddenly. Don't complain; enjoy the deep breath before the gathering storm.

To paraphrase Ramius: Forty years I’ve been at war with liberals. A war with no battles, no monuments. Only casualties. I widowed my career the day I followed Christ.

Waves said...

I'm wondering how you determine causes. In the years you cite most of the Western World was at its peak, and even other parts of the world too, such as South America and Russia by comparison to their decline. Most say the 50s through the 70s were the best.

Yet it can't then be the religion that caused it because the religion in South America was Catholic, in Canada and the USA and Australia it was Protestant, and in Russia it was Communist and atheist.

Is it in fact just global cycles and everyone brings their hobbyhorse to the cause or cure of what they perceive to be problems?


The Social Pathologist said...

@MK

Great quote.

@Waves

Russia?

It was a totalitarian shithole for most of the 20th C. How can you even compare it to Argentina for instance. Not to mention a country like France or Holland.


Firstly you have to determine what "peak" means. Peak= human freedom, safety, material and cultural prosperity.

Secondly, you have to determine where the cultural factors which directed the administrate class in pursuit of its goals.

Drill back further and look at the foundations of culture. Religion is usually the bedrock.

Waves said...

Russia, yes. I don't really know what you mean by shithole in this case, you mean you see Russia of the 60s and 70s as the same as Trump sees parts of Africa?

Russia was the main competitor militarily and globally to the USA, the USA was scared of Russian global dominance, Russia went to space first, massively industrialized, and many Russians say the 50s through the 70s was the best - relative - time.

In a recent report on Bolsonaro people in the article interviewed said it was relatively better in that same time up to the 70s in Brazil and they were sick of the current chaos and more difficult living, yet Brazil was Catholic and has become more Protestant so it's not improved due to that change in faith.

Same thing in Iran, again with a change from monarchism to ultra-religious in that time period, from good times to worse.

If people in those respective countries have differing religions and faith levels yet report better times during a similar time period then it must be a larger global cycle of some kind.







The Social Pathologist said...

@Waves.

I'm not sure if you're trolling me here.

I don't really know what you mean by shithole in this case, you mean you see Russia of the 60s and 70s as the same as Trump sees parts of Africa?

In many ways it was worse than Africa, with it's efficient terror apparatus and people that "disappeared in the night."

Russia was the main competitor militarily and globally to the USA, the USA was scared of Russian global dominance,

In the same way it was scared of German dominance and the appeal of fascist ideology in the 1930's. Likewise, Germany was way ahead of the curve in many technologies like aircraft design, machine production, infrared imaging, rocket propulsion, etc. Yeah, but advances occured in an environment where there was almost no chance to express ideas freely outside the lines permitted by the party. Long term it would of killed the culture, just like in the case of Soviet Union.

But you are right, that there are a subgroup of Russians, East Germans and others who regarded life as better in those days, but the majority didn't. That's why they had to build a wall to stop people fleeing those countries. You see, as an ideology, Communism had much appeal until one got to live under the "system". Then the reality of it became apparent and people wanted out. Cue Venezuela.

yet Brazil was Catholic and has become more Protestant so it's not improved due to that change in faith.

See, this is what many people, especially those of an atheistic bent get wrong. It's not just a matter of having faith, it's a matter of having the correct faith. i.e. faith that is reality calibrated.

n a recent report on Bolsonaro people in the article interviewed said it was relatively better in that same time up to the 70s in Brazil and they were sick of the current chaos and more difficult living, yet Brazil was Catholic and has become more Protestant so it's not improved due to that change in faith.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.


If people in those respective countries have differing religions and faith levels yet report better times during a similar time period then it must be a larger global cycle of some kind.

Yes, there is a global cycle going on, the Christian inspired culture of the past didn't just die out overnight--except in places like Russia where it was actively destroyed--and has instead gradually faded away. Think of it like an old building, where no maintenance is done, and things seem good for a long time until the building starts to crumble and rather quickly falls down. We've been living on the fumes of Christianity for a long time and now are going to get to embrace the full force of secularlism.




Waves said...

If you want to state as an article of faith it's prior Christianity faith levels then so be it. It would be good to have real world examples to support the supposed connection.

The Phillipines is one of the most God-believing nations yet most wouldn't say they have the best society.

Spain, Quebec, and Ireland were under strictly enforced Catholicism for many years, now they are all very liberal.

Those nations when more religious weren't greater than non-Christian, animist Japan either.






Hoyos said...

Waves, you can't really measure anything like that.

Spain once had the lowest murder rate in the world. Failure? Quebec was doing great, the center of Canada despite being the minority. After the silent revolution and borderline civil war, Toronto became the new home to anything new, no one wanted the hassle. Ireland wasn't so bad off either. "Now they're not". Yes, things change. For the worse in each case.

Christmas and Easter Catholic is not the same critter as daily communicant, personally faithful Catholic. "Believing in God" barely counts; it's the default position of all of mankind since forever.

Non Christian animist Japan had some success, but they also murdered and raped their neighbors whenever they got the opportunity, so not really "great" either. They also have corruption that would boggle the mind. But hey I like law and order too, it tends to work.

There is no "supposed" connection. Modern Western Civilization is based on Christianity so deep it boggles the mind. Science and mathematics started or preserved by monks, literature, art, law, military traditions, etc. Double entry accounting was invented by a monk for goodness sake.

On a philosophical level a creator God creates an intelligible universe. All of this stuff was invented in the west. Coincidence?

Waves said...

Hoyos, many North American indigenous traditions have a Creator or Great Creator. They did not also do what was invented in the West even though they also had a Creator.

If the answer to the West's decline is supposed to be ultra-Catholicism I don't see the eras of more Catholic Ireland or Quebec as examples of being so desirable to return to or that they vault higher than others.

Denmark and Japan look good to me.


The Social Pathologist said...

Hoyos, many North American indigenous traditions have a Creator or Great Creator. They did not also do what was invented in the West even though they also had a Creator.

Having faith in a Creator is not enough, it's the content of the faith that matters. Shinto did not produce the same outcome as Christianity.

f the answer to the West's decline is supposed to be ultra-Catholicism

You're clearly new to this blog. Who is advocating a return to Ultra Catholicism, especially the Irish or Quebec variants? Anyone who has been here for a while knows that this type of Catholicism has been toxic to the faith. Any future Catholicism is going to be different from the old, while still maintaining a continuity with it.

Denmark and Japan look good to me.

Denmark, like most of Europe, is living off the fumes of Christianity. The habits of faith persist for a long while even after the motive for doing so is extinguished.

Japan, if left alone, would still be a backwater if it weren't for the Meji Restoration. The Emperor clearly recognised his countries inferiorty to the West and ordered that"Knowledge shall be sought all over the world, and thereby the foundations of imperial rule shall be strengthened."

Japan had to "ape" the West in order to compete with it. Modern Japan is an oriental/West hybrid. As is all of advanced Asia.

Niall Ferguson deals with this as does David Landes: Both non-Christians.