Thursday, December 30, 2010

National Veganism, Paganism and Environmentalism

by David Ellerton

In the year 2010, we saw another farcical election in Australia. The two major parties were so boring, and so out of touch with the public's feelings, that neither of them could secure a majority. The parties were out of touch, especially on the immigration issue. The Howard and Rudd governments, in the past ten years, brought in over a million immigrants into Australia, most of them Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino. Perhaps, if Labor or Liberal had offered to cut immigration to zero, and expel the immigrants who've already arrived, they would have won more votes. But, as it was, they were indecisive - not only on immigration, but on the economy as well.

Because of the election, people have been asking me what sort of policies I'd support. My answer is that Nationalist Alternative is not yet an electorally-registered political party. We don't yet have a political platform.

What I can do in this article is to describe, in broad strokes, my own personal world view, my own ideology. I won't be outlining any specific policies. Instead, I'll be talking in broad terms, and hopefully my readers will be able to see, for themselves, what sort of policies would flow from these ideas.

Firstly, my ideology is part of a world-view - what I call a pagan world-view. To explain:

I don't see man as being a creature who is separate from both nature and other sentient beings - that is, mammals, fish and birds. Man is part of  nature and the animal world. Together, they form a whole. In the Christian, Jewish and Islamic world view, of course, man has special rights and privileges. He's superior to the animals. Even the most degraded man - a heroin addict from Footscray or Cabramatta, or a Somali child-soldier rapist - has more rights, has more value, than a beautiful tiger or whale. I don't see man as having a special spiritual essence compared to nature, and to animal life, and indeed, my view is that some animals, and even birds and fish, have a greater value than certain degenerate human beings.

My doctrine is that white, Western man should live in harmony with nature and the animals. One of the implications is that man shouldn't chop down more trees than is necessary, and that man shouldn't eat, skin, exploit or injure animals in any way. I could go through a great many arguments as to why we shouldn't use animal products, and harm and kill animals, but, in the end, it comes down to feeling: either you feel an aversion to hurting intelligent life-forms, or you don't. The white, Western peoples have displayed more of this feeling than any other racial group. It was we who put forward the notion of animal rights, and laws forbidding animal cruelty. Some advocates of animal liberation recognize this: the British pop singer Morrissey, for instance, recently described the Chinese as a 'subspecies' for their treatment of animals - for their flaying, torturing and cooking dogs, and so forth. The British left-wing media were horrified by his statements, and attacked him viciously. One of the things that they didn't like was the notion that some racial groups may have less of a feeling for animal welfare than others.

This leads to my second point. In my ideology, there are great differences, real differences, between racial and ethnic groups, and, indeed, between one individual and another in that group. A certain racial and ethnic group may have splendid qualities compared to another - it may be more hard-working, industrious, intelligent, law-abiding, than another; it may be more healthy, more beautiful. As well as that, one individual may be greater than another; he may be more intelligent, talented, special. In short, genius, and great men, great individuals, exist. This view is in direct contrast to the Marxist world-view, which says that only the mass of people, the poor, exploited mass, who make history and indeed have value. Great men don't exist. What's more, great races, unique, special ethnic groups, don't exist either.

The Left, in Europe, America and Australia, wants to reduce man to the lowest common denominator. That's why they lobby, incessantly, for more and more immigration. They want to turn Western countries into dumping grounds for the refuse of the Third World. Take Sweden, for instance. This is a beautiful, prosperous, clean, safe, country. The Swedish people are renowned for their physical beauty, for their healthy lifestyle, their business acumen, which in itself has led to Sweden being one of biggest exporters in the world, and one of the richest countries. The Left resents all this. Unfortunately for Sweden, the Left has been in control of Sweden for a long time, and so Sweden has been taking in over a 100,000 immigrants a year, most of them from the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa. The intention of the Left is to degrade the Swedish people. The Left wants to turn Sweden into a dumping-ground for the refuse of the Third World, and give those immigrants the same rights, the same status, as native Swedes who have built up Sweden from being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe into one of the richest. The Left's message to the Swedish people is, 'You're nothing. A burkha-wearing pram-pusher, a Somali child soldier, is just as "Swedish" as you are, and has just as many rights to Sweden's wealth, prosperity, and to Sweden's welfare state, as you do. You Swedes may think you're better than Kurds, Turks and Arabs, but really, we're not. We in the Left are going to bring all the poor and dispossessed of the Third World, all the refugees and the people who can't find jobs back home, over to Sweden. And there's nothing you racist, bigoted Swedes can do about it. Nothing!'.

Now, let me say that what's happening in Sweden is happening here in Australia and all over the Western world. We find the same phenomenon, and the same causes behind it. We have a Left which is committed to the degradation and destruction of white Western man; we also find that the Left exerts so much control that even the so-called conservatives have given in. In the old days in Australia, you could hold racialist views on immigration, and be a member, in good standing, of the Liberal or Labor parties; now, anyone who holds racialist views has been pushed out of the mainstream of politics. The only place left for them is the so called Far Right. Again, that's thanks to the baby-boomer Left, who have worked for decades to achieve that goal.

So, what's the alternative? The only real alternative, in my view is racial groups living separately from one another: Anglo-Saxons living apart from Muslims, who live apart from Chinese, who live apart from Africans, who live apart from Indians. Separateness leads to a kind of harmony, in which all the different racial groups can go about living life, without interference with from the other, and without coming into conflict whilst still co-operating globally. This segregation has to take place at the national level. Australia, Britain, New Zealand and Canada will only have Anglo-Celtic-Europeans, for instance, India will only have Indians, China only Chinese.

The other component of that world view is that there must be harmony within the nation-state. Take economic life. In Europe in the Middle Ages, the different professions organised themselves into a kind of caste-system, a system of guilds. It was a similar to system to the one that existed in societies of the ancient world, for instance, in ancient Rome and India. Under this system, there wasn't any class conflict, any discord, until much later, until the end of the 19th century. That guild socialism is an ideal for Australia in the 21st century. That is, trade unions and labour should live in harmony, in peaceful co-existence and co-operation, with the capitalist and business class.

Then we have to address man's relations with nature, with the environment, and with animals. There's been a great deal of talk about the BP oil slick in the gulf of New Mexico. BP have been attacked for despoiling the environment, in particular, the wildlife, in that region. At the same, there's been a great of hand-wringing over how many fish will be killed, how this will ruin the livelihoods of the men in the fishing industry. Now you can't live in harmony with nature, you can't respect the rights of the wildlife, you can't have a pristine, untouched environment, while you have a fishing industry which kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fish a year. Many of the environmentalists who make their opinions heard in the mainstream media don't seem to understand this.

Environmentalism is, in itself, a good idea. It's very similar to my own ideology. The Catholic Archbishop George Pell condemns environmentalism as a pagan ideology, and he's right. Environmentalism doesn't put man above nature, it puts him at the same level. But the implication of that doctrine is that man is at the same level of the animals as well. A really thorough-going environmentalism would not only fight to preserve the environment, and set aside certain forests and lakes as natural-heritage, protected areas, but preserve animal life from being despoiled by humans. That means, in turn, that mankind must gradually wean itself off its reliance on animal products, and let the animals, fish and birds in peace, in the same way we leave those natural-heritage areas alone, untouched and unspoiled by the hands of man.

The problem with environmentalism is that firstly, it's been infected by the same kind of crazy racial egalitarianism as the Marxist Left. Secondly, environmentalism has become a victim of its own success. It's gone too far. We have compulsory recycling, which is really a useless activity, and would only be useful if there was a war on, and had to ration paper, plastic and the rest. We have overly restrictive rules on, for instance, the burning off of old-growth trees and other vegetation in rural areas, a policy which leads to destructive bushfires which end up destroying animal and plant life. We also have a policy of putting taxes on carbon emissions, which leads to super-high electricity bills. All of this has given environmentalism a bad name. Fundamentally, the ideal of man living in harmony with nature and wildlife is a good one, a great one. But environmentalism isn't the means of putting this idea into practice.

So let's summarise. Animal welfare, conservation, racial segregation and racial harmony, harmony between the social classes: all of this, in my view, forms part of the ideal that we in the West ought to be striving towards. It's all part of an ideology which tells man to accept his place in the universe, and his being part of nature. Most religions will tell you that the divine essence of things, the spirit, doesn't lie in animals, lakes, forests, or even in man's body itself - man has a soul separate from his physical self, his body. Man's physical self, and nature itself - including the animals that live within it - are not spiritual, and so are to be abhorred. That's the Christian, and Jewish-Islamic, teaching. My world view is different. Nature does have a value; so do animals; so does man's body, his race, his degree of physical fitness, health and beauty. There is more spirituality, in my view, in an Australian native forest, or a track and field event with healthy Australian young women, than there is in a grubby synagogue or mosque. That's why I call my world view pagan.

In a future article, I'll to describe the specific and minute political policies which follow from this world view.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free Market Fallacy

by Michael Kennedy

The Free Market. The ideological pinnacle of neo-liberalism, the idea which will give wealth to all, eliminate poverty, create every kind of good and service imaginable, cure disease, make the trains run on time, save the environment and bring unicorns back from extinction. It is touted as the economical panacea, the cure all for any social or economic woe which may come up. Supposedly, if we are to take its supporters at face value, the free market is the only moral way for people to earn wealth, the only successful financial ideology which can exist. Everything else is just godless socialism. Neo-liberalism, an ideology which puts the market above all, puts the market as the arbitrator of morality, as the determining factor of the future of society. It is essentially left wing liberalism or anarchism applied to money.

In 1776, Adam Smith, a Scottish economist published “The Wealth of Nations”, a book advocating the abolishment of government interference in matters of economic importance and advocated commerce and trade without barriers and without limitations (much in the same way the Liberals advocate movement of people without barriers of limitations). This 'free market' was to be controlled by the 'invisible hand', market forces which would keep unfettered trade, production and consumption in check. The 'invisible hand' would play the role which the government would have played in regulating the free market. Simply put, it supposedly works like this. Rather than have the government intervene on behalf of employees, setting minimum wages, minimum conditions and such, the 'invisible hand' of the free market would provide the same safety net. Supposedly, if there were no regulations regarding employment and employees were also as free in choosing where to work and negotiating conditions, then employers who offered sub-optimal conditions would find themselves unable to hire people, as people would be choosing to work with companies who offered better conditions. So the competition for labour between employers would see those who offered the poorest conditions unable to compete, and thereby having to raise the standard of their wage and benefits to attract the employees they desire. This is the 'invisible hand', an example of the mechanism by which neo-liberals believe their free markets would work. This is supposedly the force which will lift the 3rd world out of poverty, as jobs go overseas offering these unfortunate peasants jobs which may pay $2 an hour instead of $1. Capitalists regard this as the free market improving the condition of life for these people, completely overlooking the fact that a slightly less evil form of exploitation is still nevertheless exploitation.

Another example which they put forward might run like this. A company which produces products at a great cost to the environment, would lose custom due to people boycotting those product due to the environmental damage their production entails. If customers who had freedom to choose between competitors, then people who value the environment would not purchase their goods. This comes at a financial cost to the company, and they may find themselves in a position where spending extra for 'greener' production would result in greater profits from greater sales. Under neo-liberalism, a company would be free to buy pristine old growth forest, and raze it to the ground for profits. Their solution to those who argue that the environment should be protected, is that citizens who value that forest are also free (should be free) to pool their money to purchase it and protect it. Don't like the fact that a refinery is going up next door and going to drop toxins next to the school? Just get the parents to pool their money together to buy the land! Neo-liberals actually put forward these exact arguments without any sense of irony, sarcasm or shame.

Neo-liberalism also advocates abolition of government sponsored programs, programs such as social security and public health care which are tax payer funded. Again, they advocate that market forces can produce all that is needed. Jobs abound (there is no need to be unemployed) and people would find capitalistic ventures by which they can make a business selling help to those who need it. The education system need not be public and tax payer funded, but those who desire to educate themselves or their children should pay, and those who don't make use of those services shouldn't have to. It is to many an appealing argument. Why should someone who doesn't have a car, pay for roads? Why should someone who doesn't have a child, pay for primary schools? I work hard, why should the fruits of my efforts, the money I earn, be taken and given those who don't? Neo-liberalism pushes personal responsibility head of social welfare. Only personal responsibility exists, and according to neo-liberalism, one only goes without because of their failures, and any tax dollars used to help them is theft from the hard working and creative. It's a seductive train of though which appeals to peoples sense of entitlement, to their perceived superiority and self righteousness. Like Liberalisms obsession with social rights which must be absolute, neo-liberalism takes the same attitude towards economic rights. The liberal catch cry “take your hands off my body” (in regards to abortion) could just as well be a neo-liberal catch cry of “take your hands off my wallet”.

The free market, the idea that an economy and society can work with no regulation and provide optimal results is the fundamental principle which drives neo-liberalism, a dominant ideology in today’s world. Free-marketism is based on a number of assumptions which as we will soon find out, are simply not true. We are given simply examples of two stone age people trading food for manufactured tools as the archetypal form of free trade, with the insinuation that free markets today work with similar simplicity.

This hypothetical example is easily debunked. One of the fundamental assumptions is that people trade on equal terms. As two people reach a deal, advocates of neo-liberal free markets say that both people would reach a consensus which maximises the individual advantage of the trade for both as far as is possible. For two children trading collector cards, this may be true, but is it true for all cases? Is the employee just as free to negotiate as the employer? Practical experience which we are all familiar with shows that this scenario is just a day dream, a non-existent hypothetical example that we are given as what is supposedly the norm. For someone who's job has been lost, who has a mortgage and children who need to eat, the negotiation of a contract for a new term of employment is less than equal. Does the prospective employee have the freedom to argue against the clauses in the contract which not only demand “reasonable overtime” where required, but also states that it will be unpaid? For the job candidate, its take it or leave it. It's take the job or foreclosure. It's accept the conditions grudgingly, or walk away without means to feed the family and watch a solution to the supposed skills shortage take it instead, because they have lower standards. The fundamental principle which supposedly guides the 'invisible hand' from employers having to accept lower and lower standards is greatly flawed. Unequal trade abounds and it is only through the pressure of trade unions or government laws, that one party doesn't have the opportunity to completely and utterly subjugate another through the leverage they find in being owners of property and means of income.

Another example is a young person competing against a baby boomer investor buying a house. Is there equality here? The boomer has had the advantage of free education, relatively higher wages and having sold another investment property which they subdivided at great profit. They can easily outbid the younger person because of different histories, different economic conditions and different periods of time they experienced them. They were paid more for perhaps doing the same job, due to different environmental conditions. They had less competition for work, less expenses to remain socially competitive. Even the simple fact that someone has had more time to save up money creates and inequality. The point is that two people putting equal work mentally and physically do not end up with the same financial earnings. Chance and environment play a role, but does this mean the person who ended up with less is less deserving of the same property? It's hard to justify an answer of 'yes', but this is the reality of our society. It can be argued, that the younger person should just settle for less, but anyone with even basic knowledge of our housing market knows that even 'entry level' properties are out of their range. Does government restriction on the release of land make the issue worse? To a degree yes, and perhaps by 'freeing' the release of land according to free market ideals might solve this issue, but land developers would simply create the artificial shortage themselves, instead of the government, as it is profitable to do so, and that is exactly what they would do.

Economic interactions and the factors which influence the means by which people can acquire capital through their efforts are complex, seemingly random and never exactly repeatable. Free market economics simply doesn't take this into account, and instead, neo-liberalism blames the individual for any shortfall, rather than recognising the complex external environment, technological and social shifts which can greatly influence peoples financial outcomes despite the same input. Seemingly simply properties, like ones history, date of birth and location can give them great leverage or disadvantage over others when trading goods or labour on the market. To ignore this fact is to turn a blind eye to the chaotic events which prevent fair trade to occur. Events beyond peoples control leads to some having the ability to exploit others, and neo-liberalism provides no means of recourse to those who are economically exploited or powerless, as it assumes that their fate is their own responsibility, and that it is within their means and within the means of the free market to lift them out.

The fallacy of the informed consumer.

Earlier we mentioned the example of the customer who chose to boycott or avoid a product based on the environmental practices of the company. It may be employment standards that a customer is concerned in, or something more directly related to the product, such as their quality control and for the example of companies which produce food, hygiene and cleaning standards. A customer may be able to make an informed choice, if all operations relating to the creation of the product were transparent and all information available. With the recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico from offshore oil drilling, someone may wish to use 'market forces' and their purchasing power to avoid buying fuel obtained from oil extracted from risky offshore drilling. Now, is the customer who is about to purchase petrol really able to determine which processing plant the fuel came from, from which shipment of oil? Is the customer seriously able to trace back the supply chain all the way back to the rig the crude oil was extracted from? A customer buying a sandwich is able to get the best deal, if they are able to compare every sandwich available for sale in the world. These might be extreme examples, but lets take more common examples. In a completely deregulated pharmaceutical market, how can you determine whether the paracetamol you are giving to your child was produced with quality high enough to avoid potentially harmful contamination? Are you as a customer, able to make this determination for yourself? For the invisible hand to guide companies towards social responsibility and sustainability, for the invisible hand to stop people from literally killing others and the earth for profits, not only must the population of 'consumers' be aware enough to realise what monetary value must be placed, but they must also know the complex web of interactions and processes which end up creating the product. Potentially possible but infeasible. People would end up spending their whole lives in research, in order to try and avoid business with those who could potentially harm or kill, or cause great social and environmental harm.

Witness the 'cheap' products from Chinese manufacture. The free market has led to manufacturing going offshore, but these goods can only be produced cheaply due to human exploitation and disregard for the environment. Practices which exist there would not be legal here in Australia, nor tolerated, but the distance of China, the lack of knowledge and information available of the true cost of manufacture means buyers here can't make informed choices.

There is no complete freedom anyway.

Lastly, the rich corporate oligarchs who push neo-liberalism do not operate and CAN NOT OPERATE in a completely free, deregulated world. Corporations exists because of government law. Some form of state apparatus must exist for property rights, the very cornerstone of capitalism, to exist. Some form of law against theft must exist, and laws against fraud. Copyright law, which allows large record companies to operate cannot exist without state intervention and market regulation. In a true free market, an artist would not be able to ensure that they are the recipient of commercial sales of their work, but it is only because of government intervention that a music artist can ensure that the revenue stream from the sale of their art goes to them.

Without government intervention, the legal apparatus which enables trade to even exist, wouldn't, and would leave behind a state of anarchy. Neo-liberalism never demands the removal of government, only the extraction of the state from affairs which affect the earnings of the wealthy, of those who have influence, of capitalists. When a government uses its power and funds to make a nation more appealing to investors, no free marketeer objects. When the government of the U.S. bailed out Wall Street due to their own mismanagement of an over financialised money market, neo-liberals did not object. Working class Libertarians who are also pro free market did, but quickly ditched the cause in favour of more dubious ones, such as rallying against science. Perhaps led to these causes by the very businesses which have hijacked the Tea Party and usurped the concern of Americans for the future of their country for their own purposes.

Complete government de-regulation would not allow neo-liberalism to exist. Bill Gates would be poor if not for government spending which developed computer technology or for government enforced copyright and patent law. How else can Microsoft make their money, without having monopoly over the sale of their own products? Hedge fund managers would be nothing if not for the legal structure which allows the financial entities that they trade to be recognised universally. Property developers need state sanctioned ownership of land to develop. So given that no neo-liberal truly argues zero government interference, from where do they draw the line where government regulation should stop? Why is government enforcement of property rights acceptable, but taxation not? On what moral basis?

The basis by which free markets have been portrayed has moral are flawed and do not seem to have originated as the conclusion from an objective study of humanity. Assumptions that parties can trade on equal terms, that the non monetary value of aspects of life such as clean air can be effectively factored in to consumption by consumers are simply absurd. Free market ideology suffers from the same fundamental form as anarchism. Without organised structure, the strong simply overpower the weak and there are no checks and balances on their actions. Nations and people exist or die on the whims of the oligarchs, the commons disappears and base human emotions such as fear and greed become primary social drivers. Look at our current economy as an example of what happens when fear and greed are its prime movers.

Opposing neo-liberalism doesn't necessarily mean supporting a centrally controlled economy or extreme economic egalitarianism where everyone is equal, as many neo-liberals suggest. It is merely a recognition that existence is a constant compromise between freedom and co-operation. A prosperous society, which by definition encapsulates the ‘group’ category beyond the individual or his sole family, requires a balance between free enterprise, free trade, and state regulation and government projects. History has shown that the most prosperous period of the 20th century was not when neo-liberalism become dominant in the 1980's, but when free enterprise and economic freedom was living alongside large government funded projects and regulation.

One doesn't have to have unfettered free markets for a just and prosperous society. Economic dogmatism has caused much misery in the 20th century, and with the 2nd decade of the 21st century starting in the economic train wreck that is the remains of the Global Financial Crisis, a crisis which may be nothing more than the prelude, the welcoming fanfare to a larger economic catastrophe. Th economy and the social and legal structures which a nation create to put economic theory into practice must exist to serve the people, rather than being a structure, a God which the people must serve, worship and sacrifice for. The neo-liberal experiment cannot solve issues such as environmental degradation and the decline of the west and its catastrophic demographic shifts. Its solution to global warming is a carbon trading scheme, a scheme which is designed to simply create another commodity which can be used to create another asset bubble and traded for profit. A strong nation needs a strong economy, but an economy can only serve its purpose by being a servant to the people, which means that the people must retain mastery over it, an ideal at odds with neo-liberalism, where the people relinquish all control over it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beware the Faux Anti-Globalists

by Tom Sinclair

1. What every nationalist politician needs

We nationalists certainly have a radical program – if by radical we mean uprooting the tendencies and habits which have formed in the West over the past thirty years. The chief tendency, which we oppose is, of course, multiculturalism and mass non-white immigration into the West – a development foisted upon the Western nations by our own politicians, and welcomed by our media, intellectuals, economists, trade union and business groups. Disparate nationalist groups, from Britain to Russia to New Zealand to Canada, are all united on one thing: non-white immigration into the West must cease; and the non-white immigrants already here must be encouraged, through state policy, to return to the homelands of their forefathers.

That is, one could say, our key policy: and certainly the one which attracts the attention of the public. The masses are not really interested in, for instance, the BNP or the NPD’s opinions on global warming, industrial relations, or public health care: they want to hear about immigration. They will vote for a nationalist party for its positions on immigration, mostly because no other politician is brave enough to speak out against it, no matter his or private feelings on the issue, and every political tendency across the board – from the mainstream, liberal democratic parties, conservative and social democratic, to the radical Left – are all for multiculturalism and immigration. “Racists” have been purged, even from the conservative parties of the West, long ago. The likes of the BNP and the NPD, then, constitute an alternative to the mainstream political consensus.

It has to be admitted, however, that the policies of nationalists on non-racial topics which have little to do with immigration – e.g., trade union law, interest rates, financial regulation, recycling, old growth forest logging, maternity leave and the like – attract little attention from the public for another reason. That is, those policies are undeveloped – which is a euphemistic way of saying that nationalists don’t have any. There is very little consensus on these areas of policy in the nationalist world when they do come up for discussion.

The danger is that this locks nationalists out of mainstream political debate. Suppose that a representative for an Australian nationalist party were to do an interview on the current affair program The 7.30 Report. Kerry O’Brien, the host of the show, and a notoriously tough interviewer, would hammer that representative, relentlessly, on areas where the nationalists are weak: he would ask, ‘What does your party think of the ACTU’s latest Living Wage claim? Or increased financial regulation in the wake of the recent financial crisis?’. The representative would mumble some clichés about ‘true Australian worker’s socialism’ in response to the first question, and, in response to the second, perhaps blame the recent financial crisis solely on a single special interest group. All the while he would be hoping that O’Brien would turn the line of questioning back to the question of immigration. At home – in the living rooms across the country – the average Australian television viewer would be shaking his head: even though he may agree with that nationalist party about immigration, he can see, straight away, that the party – given its inability to formulate even the most basic positions on current political topics – is, in the jargon of the mainstream media, ‘unelectable’.

Is it so hard? Does a politician need to have a clear, fixed position on everything to be able to negotiate an interview, or hold a press conference? Does he need to be able to recite facts and figures on almost everything, at a moment’s notice? No: all he – and his party – needs are positions on three or four contemporary political issues. In an interview, at a press conference, on the campaign trail, he can adroitly steer the discussion towards one of those key issues, and then expound the party’s position on it. Enoch Powell made a political career on four issues: immigration; Britain’s membership in the EU; the conflict in Northern Ireland; and monetarism. For Pauline Hanson, it was Aboriginal welfare, Asian immigration, protective tariffs for Australian industry and agriculture, and rural and regional unemployment and under-employment (and socialist remedies for solving that problem). In the case of both Hanson and Powell, their ideology covered a broad range of issues. It should be noted that with his discussion of monetarism alone, Powell was involving himself in a discussion of one of the most contentious issues of the day, involving many mainstream, respectable politicians, economists, journalists and academics. He was not simply a ‘Send the Asians and Coloureds home’ one-trick pony.

And this is the main problem: to introduce the nationalist to mainstream debate – to open doors which have been closed to him because his opposition to immigration was not ‘respectable’.

The purpose of this article is to look at a particular issue which is of great relevance to Australia today, and to educate the nationalist reader who has little to no prior acquaintance with it: hopefully, then, a clear position can be formulated in his or her mind on the topic.

2. Chile in the 1970s

The history of Chile in the 1970s is, in itself, intrinsically interesting to the student of politics. Chile, a Latin American country with a predominantly white population, went from a Chavez-style socialist banana republic to a typical Latin American style military dictatorship banana republic in the space of a years – albeit with a difference: Chile, under the military dictatorship, was the first experiment, in the post-war era, in what is now known as neoliberalism. After the military coup in 1973 that deposed the Marxist Allende, the Chilean military junta enjoyed – after imprisoning, exiling or killing thousands of Chilean communists – absolute power. Faced with a desperate economic crisis, the junta took the (uncharacteristic, for a Latin American ‘fascist’ government) the step of implementing structural reforms to the Chilean economy, which included deregulation, privatisation (Chile’s electricity grid was sold to the Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond), the privatisation of superannuation (or social security, to American readers), labour law reform, cutting of tariffs on imports and the like. The junta’s economic policy-makers were known as the ‘Chicago Boys’, having studied economics in the University of Chicago under the economists Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. This was the first instance in history of an authoritarian regimé applying neoliberal measures.

The results are controversial: those with inclinations towards neoliberalism use statistics to show that the Chilean experiment was a success – inflation and unemployment fell, economic growth rose, etc. – while the opponents of neoliberalism (a diverse array of Communists, socialists, Keynesian economists) use statistics to show that the Chilean experiment was a failure. What is certain is that Chile broke new ground: Australia, along with many other Western countries, embarked on widespread deregulation, privatisation, cutting of import tariffs, in the 1980s, a decade later (the Chilean privatisation of superannuation preceded the Australian). Furthermore, it is unlikely that the ‘Chicago Boys’ could have carried out their program without the complete control of economic policy given to them by the Chilean military: their policies met with substantial opposition, not only from the regime’s Communist opponents, but from organised labour and big business as well.

Communism is based on myths and personality cults. The case of Allende in Chile is no exception. Allende was, and continues to be, exalted by the radical Left as a superman figure, a sort of Marxist higher man bringing socialism to the masses, wooing them with his oratory, charisma and rare genius. In his personality cult, he is like so many Communist leaders before him: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che, and lesser lights such as East Germany’s Honecker, Romania’s Ceauşescu and Albania’s Hoxha.

The BBC documentary series on Allende and the coup that toppled him – ‘The Other 911’, which is available on YouTube – even evokes, unwittingly, parallels to Hitler and his fall. Allende perishes, by his own hand (blowing his head off with a submachine gun given to him by Fidel Castro), in a fortified presidential palace, besieged by soldiers from the outside, defended by a small, but ideologically determined, praetorian guard of Chilean Communists. The females are evacuated as the palace is besieged (bombed by Chilean air force jets) and Allende, to the last, makes heroic addresses over the radio to the Chilean people, mourning the end of the Chilean socialist dream. The similarities between Allende’s last days, and Hitler’s, are obvious – even if the Left is not willing to acknowledge them.

The circumstances leading up to the Chilean coup, and the aftermath, will not be covered here, interesting as they are. The objective is to look at the main myth about Allende’s Chile: that he had introduced valuable ‘social reforms’, that it was a kind of ‘socialist paradise’. At the time, Allende’s Chile was upheld by the radical Left – like Chavez’ Venezuela now – as a model to the world, as a path, towards ‘democratic socialism’ and ‘development’ worth emulating. In contrast, Pinochet’s Chile, when the ‘Chicago Boys’ ran rampant, was a time of great poverty, misery, inequality, etc. My intention here is to expose the myth: not by measuring statistic against statistic, but by showing how everyday life was, in Allende’s Chile, would be unbearable – in terms of personal freedom, comfort, and the efficiency in the provision of services – even to the most radical of Leftists in the West today.

The question is: why is this of relevance to nationalists in the West?

In the year 2009, Communists have, by and large, infiltrated the environmentalist and anti-globalist movement, and are bending both to Communist purposes. And they are not troubling to define their terms and substantiate their claims. They speak of themselves as anti-capitalist, without defining precisely what capitalism is, or, moreover, what their alternative to capitalism is (at least to the general public – at bottom, they want Soviet-style Communism).

Now, many nationalists are eager to join forces with the anti-globalist movement, or at least, find common ideological ground. Because of their ideological and theoretical vulnerability – in short, their not having a position on these subjects – they can easily be seduced by the arguments of the anti-globalist/anti-capitalist crowd, and end up endorsing a kind of hazy socialism or communism without thinking of the implications of their statements (against greedy bankers, corporations, excessive economic growth and personal consumption, neoliberalism (however neoliberalism is to be defined). So they need to be shown what the consequences are – in a country such as Allende’s Chile, in which the government provisions ‘social justice’ and ‘social reform’, and is run by ‘the workers’. However Communists don’t seem to concern themselves too much in relation to the Ethnic/Racial Heritage of its workers and this is one of the major contrasts between it and Nationalism.

Perhaps the difference between the nationalist and the anti-capitalist/anti-globalist is that the nationalist has only a very vague idea of an alternative to ‘capitalism’ (however capitalism is defined) while the anti-capitalist/anti-globalist (who is, more often than not, a secret Marxist, or a radical environmentalist who wants to take the world back to the pre-industrial age) has a very clear, well-thought out plan. To the Marxist, the ‘anti-capitalist’ world of the future will be a lot like Honecker’s East Germany, or, at the least, Chavez’ Venezuela or Allende’s Chile.

The anarchist is, on the other hand, halfway between the Marxist/environmentalist and the nationalist in terms of vagueness. His idea of the future is one where property is abolished and where businesses are ‘run by the workers’ (syndicalism); or, better still, one where no-one has to work. How people are meant to survive without working – which, in the anarchist doctrine, is considered to be degrading and dehumanising – is not quite explained. All the same, the anarchist does, unlike the nationalist, have a consistent position as to what the alternative to capitalism is. Some Nationalists have flirted with using ideas from Social Credit and we do not discredit the possibility but it has never really been tried and tested too much.

While history has, most definitely, rejected Marxism, it has not rejected socialism. Indeed, socialism has, across the Western world, enjoyed something of a revival during the current recession (socialism in general always does well during a recession). At one point, then, the nationalist – if he wants to stay relevant – will need to come up with an answer to the question: socialism, for or against. Being vague in this area – while being extremely detailed on immigration (or rather, anti-immigration) policy will not do.

3. How it was

So, given the importance of the subject, what was everyday life in Allende’s Chile like? Rather than looking at statistics – which certainly do not give a full picture – we shall examine small bits and pieces, as it were, of Chilean-style socialism in action. (The quotations here are from an account by a Chilean economist, Daniel L. Wisecarver, who is quite biased against socialism, and definitely in favour of neoliberal formulas, but who has some quite hard to come by information).

We shall begin here with a description of the quite bizarre practice of setting ‘fair’ and ‘socially just’ prices by the government in Chile:

By the end of the Allende government, more than 3000 prices were explicitly fixed, primarily by DIRINCO (the Directorate of Industry and Commerce). It is quite clear that the process of price fixing could only be negotiating sessions (when interested firms were allowed to participate) and that the post of price fixer had to be one of the most remunerative employments in all of Chile. The printout lists of fixed prices, including such items as “chalet type” dog houses and woollen gloves for infants, served as inventories of goods that had at one time been available for purchase... [Even after the Junta took power] some specific price fixes were remarkably detailed, particularising the name and type of product, the distributor’s name, and the place sold. For example, in July 1974, maximum prices were set for retail sales of RANN brand detergent, imported by the Center for Purchases of the Ancud Chamber of Commerce; or the retail price of soybean oil from the Netherlands imported by Domingo Coro and Son... [Wisecarver, Daniel L., ‘Economic Regulation and Deregulation in Chile 1973-1983’, in ‘The National Economic Policies of Chile’, ed. Walton, Gary M., Jai Press, 1985, pp. 154-156]

Such a policy had consequences:

One of the most dramatic and visible effects of [Allende’s] price controls and economic policy was the generalised scarcity of most goods in formal markets, the emergence of well-developed black markets, and long queues. In fact, it is now part of Chilean folklore that, upon seeing any queue, people lined up, sometimes for hours, without knowing what was for sale but buying whatever it was in the maximum quantity allowed. [Ibid, p. 154]

Wisecarver gives examples of, of all things, socialist and interventionist policies in buses:

Some of the regulations that existed in 1973 and 1974 were truly spectacular. For example, children could be transported only in yellow buses, so much so that owners of yellow buses were at times able to convince the police to give traffic violation tickets to parents who took more than their own children to school in the family car. Or if any organised group wanted to charter a bus (or drive its own) for a weekend outing to the beach, it was first necessary to get permission from the Sub secretary of Transportation, with at least three days’ anticipation. In fact, no bus could go anywhere, anytime, for any purpose without express authorisation. And one of the many crucial decisions reserved for the Subsecretary of Transportation, one which required careful study and consultations with other ministers, was the color and fabric of the uniforms that bus drivers were to wear in the coming year. [Ibid, p.161]

On a more mundane level,

The authorities fixed the number of buses and the frequency of runs; the frequencies were uniform, regardless of the day of the week or the hour of the day, and were monitored by the police. To help enforce required time schedules, bus drivers were prohibited from taking rest periods in bus terminals... The Ministry of Transportation also set quotas on the number of buses that could be brought into Chile, their make, model, size, country of origin, etc. Most of these restrictions and controls were codified [in a decree]... which also required that the Subsecretary of Transportation ensure that there appear no unfair competition from similar transport services, specifically not from artificial cost reductions. Hence, all bus fares were fixed.

[Ibid, p. 161-162]

Price-setting and regulations gave the government officials in charge enormous privileges, and the right to be inefficient in providing a service:

It is necessary to mention the state’s ex-entry in this sector, ETC (the collective transportation enterprise), a firm which ran annual deficits on the order of US $10-15 million. At the outset of the current government, this public firm possessed approximately 35% of Chile’s buses, its own set of exclusive routs, its own replacement-parts factory, and more than 5000 employees. ETC was well known for its free “social” routes and for having its vehicles broken down in the shop up to half the year. [Wisecarver adds in a footnote] These routes often turned out to exist for the exclusive benefit of a variety of government officials, their employees, and their related social groups. [Ibid, pp. 164, 199]

As for taxis:

The number of autos that could be employed as taxis was strictly controlled by the Subsecretary of Transportation, the Traffic Director, and indirectly by the union of professional taxi drivers. Each municipality was assigned a fixed quota of taxis which were identified with special license plates, and the taxi plates were naturally worth several times the value of the car itself. The monopoly enjoyed by these taxis permitted them to provide poor service (they might agree to take a customer to certain places only if it was convenient). The only “control” exercised over those drivers who were lucky enough to be cabbies took the form of fixing legal taxi rates. [Ibid, p. 164]

Wisecarver gives an account of the practices of Chile’s longshoremen and dock workers, which makes bizarre reading. He first describes the activities of the unions:

In Chilean ports before 1981, there were a total of 77 separate unions up and down the coast, with as many as 17 in any one port. These groups had total monopoly control on moving any cargo within the ports; they determined the number of workers on each crew and fixed their remunerations as a function of the type of cargo. Every worker had his precise job and could and would do nothing more; no one not explicitly named to each task could work. In practice, the system degenerated to such a point that work crews doubled true labor requirements and, of course, the wage bill was correspondingly duplicated [i.e., workers would be paid for two jobs despite only doing one]. One of the major concerns of workers during half of each shift was said to be finding the most comfortable place to sleep. [Ibid, p.173]

Strangely, the Chilean port workers lived in a kind of feudal, hierarchical society, where unions had complete control over the workers’ lives:

The social structure that grew up around the port workers’ monopoly was, if anything, even more remarkable. There were at least five categories of workers:

1. Stevedores – These were the truly high-class workers, the ones with the legal monopoly to work, granted by the possession of an official ID (identity) card issued by the authorities.

2. Supplentes – These were the first-round substitutes for the stevedores, logically but not necessarily the first ones in line to receive the coveted (and lucrative) ID card. The suplentes were the first ones called to work if there were insufficient stevedores.

3. Pincheros – These “helpers” were a large group of lower class (at least in the port hierarchy) workers who might one day hope to be granted stevedore status. Meantime, they waited in the ports for any jobs that might be handed down to them by the higher-ups.

4. Medio Pollos [‘Half chicken’] – These were lower-class pincheros.

5. Cuarto Pollos [‘Quarter chicken’] – Lower-class medio pollos.

For every ship that had to be loaded or unloaded, the stevedores would be called in to determine work crews and costs. Only the stevedores had the legal right to employment, and therefore they were the only ones directly paid. They would then dole out jobs to their pincheros, who in turn would distribute tasks to medio pollos and cuarto pollos. The stevedores collected all the wages and passed them along, after deducting a sort of “commission”, to those below them who had participated in each specific job. At the same time, the union leaders collected a separate round of contributions from all the workers in order to finance the unions’ network of social benefits – housing, schools, health, etc. This network was sufficient to maintain the support of the lower-level workers for the union leaders and hence to maintain the pecking order within the ports. [Ibid, pp. 173-174]

Wisecarver mentions that, under these arrangements, workers were effectively controlled in where they wanted to work and live: ‘Anyone wishing to move and be able to work in a different port had to receive explicit authorisation from the authorities and respective unions’. [Ibid, p.175]

On the topic – of workers being paid for more than they actually worked – Wisecarver writes amusingly:

When the time arrived (1981) to change the legislation and eliminate the monopoly, the card-carrying stevedores reportedly “worked” between 400 and 600 days per year and earned more than $US2000 per month, substantially more than annual per capita income in the entire economy. Such statistics were of great use in stifling potential opposition to the new law among nonparticipants in the ports. [Ibid, p.174]

Finally, we shall look at a topic which has the most relevance to conditions in Australia at the present: Chilean labour law. A kind of guild socialism existed:

Consider the case of “professional colleges”. These colleges were basically highly specialised unions formed to protect the interest of the profession practiced by their members; each College, along with its legal faculties and responsibilities, was created by its own law. Without being a registered, paid-up member in good standing with the relevant college, regardless of professional qualifications, one could not work as a lawyer, public administrator, architect, librarian, accountant, newsman, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, professor, etc. The specific laws gave colleges the right to set fees charged by their members as well as standards for their work, prohibit the public sector from hiring nonregistered professionals, prohibit non-members from offering professional services to the general public, ensure that only dues-paying professional were registered, and so forth. [Ibid, p.186]

In general, the Chilean labor law was based on an ideological worldview akin to that of Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and the modern Australian union movement:

Starting with publication of the 1931 Labor Code, legislation governing labor relations blossomed into a network of some 70 fundamental labor laws by the end of 1973. Aside from the numerous statutes granting special privileges, two general types of legislation might be considered. On the one hand, for individual contracts, lawmakers acted as if employees were gullible and naive while employers were shrewd and ruthless. Therefore, in order to protect the former from the latter, it was necessary to legislate hours of work (normal and maximum overtime), wages (minimum at least), work conditions, length of vacations and when they could be taken, and so forth and so on – nothing was left to change or negotiation. [Ibid, p.187]

One consequence of the Chilean system was that unions played an increasingly politicised role – just as they did in Britain and Australia in the 1970s:

Over time the unions began to acquire more and more economic and political power, particularly those that could associate themselves with important, protected industries. As the unions became more extensive, and with state intervention in the economy becoming continually more generalised, any labor problem quickly became a political problem, one that was most readily resolved by granting union demands. Given the ubiquitous state intervention, once the firm or industry had granted union requests, it could turn to the state for a compensating favor of some sort – a price readjustment, higher protective tariffs or tighter import restrictions, a tax exemption, whatever. It was a neatly closed, if totally distorted, system. [Ibid, p.188]

4. Solutions

We have only covered part of Wisecarver’s article: not included are agriculture, railroads, air transport, maritime shipping, electricity, telephones, water, fuel, finance and banking...

To Wisecarver, what matters the most is greater ease, comfort, efficiency and freedom of personal choice in day-to-day living. Wisecarver looks at Chile, sector by sector, and recounts what to him are the happy results of a policy of deregulation. For example, he enthuses that:

Before deregulation the route between Santiago and Valparaiso/Vińa del Mar was served by two firms which were characterised by old, uncomfortable buses and somewhat less than reliable service. By the end of 1982, there were 12 firms covering the same route. Nowadays, at any time of the day, one can, for example, take the subway to the outskirts of Santiago, wait no more than 15 minutes, and get on a new, modern, air-conditioned bus, arriving at one’s destination within two hours The fare was lower in nominal terms than it had been five years earlier. And passengers to the coastal cities and sea resorts were not the only beneficiaries; daily rates for swimming pools in Santiago also fell. [Ibid, p.164]

Less electricity brown-outs, better phone coverage, less theft of cargo at the docks, less wasteful employment of government workers who do little to no work, better customer service in taxis and airlines... The list goes on and on. Life was bad under socialism; after the downfall of socialism, and the rolling-back of many of Allende’s splendid ‘social reforms’ (and the ‘reforms’ by the administrations prior to Allende) life improved – even if it became less ‘socially just’, more ‘inequitable’, more prone to ‘dog-eat-dog competition’ and ‘capitalism’. In other words, Chile approached the standards of ease, comfort, efficiency that we have become accustomed to in the West. Today’s Left, in Australia and elsewhere, could not abide life in Allende’s Chile – or Castro’s Cuba, or Chavez’ Venezuela, or Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea. (And lest one object that such ‘standard of living’ concerns are trivial, it is undoubtable that the rather dismal and grim existence in the Eastern European and Soviet regimes in the 1980s hastened the demise of Communism in that region).

That question – of whether life under Allende-style socialism is better (or worse) than under deregulation – is one we will avoid here. The question which should be asked, and which we rarely hear, is, ‘How on earth do we get deregulation?’. That is, how does a country, politically, go about getting these things?. The surprising answer is: to a large extent, not through liberal democracy.

In Australia, the remuneration of almost every single occupation is fixed by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), which in turns makes it decisions based on claims put forward by Australia’s small, but powerful, trade union movement and the reckonings of a special ‘judiciary’ whose job it is to decide what is a ‘living’ wage, a ‘fair’ wage. Competition is outlawed: one cannot offer to work for less than the specified award rate (that is, the minimum rate for each and every occupation). Under the Liberal government of 1996 to 2007, some competition was introduced: workers were able to negotiate their own agreements, called Australian Workplace Agreements, outside the award system. The agreements were vehemently opposed by the union movement, and one of the first tasks of the Labor government elected in 2007 was to abolish them and tighten up laws against competition in the labour market further.

That is what one expects of the Labor Party, which is a centre-left party completely funded and controlled by trade unions. But the Labor government, once elected, did introduce competition into the wheat export market, in a move which would have delighted Wisecarver. Before 2008, Australian wheat-growers had to sell their wheat through a government board, the Australian Wheat Board (AWB). Because it had the monopoly – it was the only entity which had the legal power to sell – it could charge a ‘fair’ price, a ‘just’ price, for wheat exported overseas. Australian wheat-growers were forbidden to sell wheat at anything less than a price determined by the AWB. Why, given its adherence to deregulation, privatisation, liberalisation, individual choice, etc., did not the Liberal Party abolish the monopoly? The answer was because it was in a political coalition with the National Party, an agrarian socialist party, for its entire time in office. The Labor Party, which was not bound by such an alliance, and therefore not in need of propitiating a small special interest group, had no trouble at all in abolishing the monopoly – despite the vociferous opposition of rural socialists such as the senator Bob Katter. (One beneficial effect of the policy, and one which was intended, has been to open the export market to farmers prepared to sell their wheat at below the ‘socially just’, ‘living’ rate set by the AWB).

And there is the answer: under a representational liberal democracy, which, by design, represents small sectors of the Australian population, and not the nation as a whole, as an entire unit, deregulatory measures cannot be enacted on a large scale without offending some special interest pressure-group which demands that a government-enforced monopoly be upheld as long as possible. Furthermore, a democratically-elected political party often lacks the political power to take a policy of deregulation, liberalisation, etc., to the limit. To be consistent with regard to its stated beliefs, the Liberal Party ought to have abolished the entire award system, and the minimum wage; possibly, it could have done this in 1996 or in 2004, when it won crushing majorities (in 2004 in particular, it attained, for the first time, a majority in the Senate). But it did not. The reason why is that the Liberal Party had to contend with a pluralist liberal democracy. It is no coincidence that the policies of Chile after 1973 were enacted after the suspension of Chile’s liberal democratic constitution and a wide-reaching internal military campaign against the Chilean Left.

Advocates of neoliberalism do not often recognise this: they sneer at ‘big government’ and politicians and statesmen in general, and excoriate the state. They call for a ‘limited government’ which protects individual liberties against ‘tyranny’, that is, socialists in the legislative chambers. How that protection is to be achieved – through the diminution of the functions of government, and the excising of power-politics and national-minded statesmen from government – is never explained.

Some neoliberal theorists do recognise the conflict – between a competitive liberal society, and liberal democracy - presented here. In a pamphlet (‘The Conflict between Democracy and Economic Reform’, Political Notes no. 77, The Libertarian Alliance, 1993), Adriana Lukasova examines three governments which, in her view, successfully enacted neoliberal measures: the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile; the Thatcher government in Britain; the post-war occupation government in Germany in 1948. These governments were authoritarian (the occupation government in Germany was an Allied-installed dictatorship) and imposed their measures against the wishes of pressure groups such as the trade union movement, big business and the Left. Lukasova approvingly quotes the Chilean finance minister of 1981, Rolf Luders:

The Chilean tradition shows that governments endowed with strong authority, which have simultaneously guaranteed the exercise of economic freedom and of private initiative, have presided over the periods of greatest progress in the history of the country. (Lukasova, ‘Conflict-‘, p.2).

The formula is expressed, in some academic writings on the subject, as ‘Strong state, free economy’. Lukasova writes, of Britain in the Thatcher period,

In 1982 police were equipped with weaponry, police vehicles, communications devices, protective body armour and crowd control equipment. A system of national co-ordination was devised. The police National Reporting Centre, based at Scotland Yard, became a permanently available facility – to provide some of the benefits of a national police force without the odium of establishing one. (Ibid).

Again, the terms need to be defined: does a ‘Strong state’ equate a state with a large, well-equipped police force and army, and a secret police with special powers to carry out surveillance and arrest people without due process? France and Germany traditionally have had very powerful state security services: yet the French government is notorious for caving in whenever a large union demonstration against some unpopular ‘free-market reform’ takes place. President Sarkozy was elected as a neoliberal, but, in the end, gave in to the ‘French consensus’ – that is, sectional-group pressure – to abandon his proposals and stay with the same old French socialism and welfare-statism.

The same can be said of the term ‘free market’, or ‘free economy’. How are they free? No-one is free to buy or sell whatever they like and at any price. Otherwise, there would be, considering the large number of deviant consumers for them, a trade in child pornography or heroin.

These are some of the problems with the formula, ‘Strong state, free economy’. A more accurate formulation would be: ‘The state that says no’. That is, a state run by a small group of men and women who stay focused, at all times, on the national interest, and have the political strength to resist the demands of small, but highly vocal, political pressure groups. Such a state can ignore the union movement, and the industrial-relations judiciary, when introducing competition in the labour market; it can ignore the Marxist category of environmentalists and the indigenous rights lobbies in proposing sustainable development of the country’s gas, coal and minerals where it benefits the national (not international) interest; it can ignore the Bob Katter’s when deregulating agriculture; it can ignore General Motors when it asks for a $US70 billion bail-out (wasted on a company which is going bust anyway), it can ignore big business demands to increase the migration program to 300,000 per year, or developers demands to constantly expand cities and strip away every green belt. Such a state is a rare thing indeed, and rarely appears in a liberal democracy.

That state – one that says no - is one, by definition, that should appeal to nationalists. After all, a nationalist is someone who puts the well-being of the nation first and foremost. And surely it is no good for the nation when, for instance, 1.8 million Australians on welfare are unable to obtain work because, under the award system, the minimum wage rates for every occupation are being kept artificially high by a small special-interest minority, and so less jobs are created than would exist under a fully competitive system?

Many politicians confuse the special interest group for the people who make up the nation. The trade union movement, for instance, can mobilise large numbers of activists to demonstrate against an Australian government, in short notice; and, given its wealth, can mount extremely effective public relations campaigns using advertisements and other forms of propaganda and outreach. The politician, on the cusp of putting forward some proposal to reduce union powers to strike, or to bring about competition in one sector of the market, will look at those large masses of people and think, erroneously, ‘The Australian people are against me’. And often the battle can get ugly and involve actual violence, between unionists and ‘scabs’, and unionists and the police – as during the Australian maritime workers’ dispute of 1998, or the coal miners’ strike in Britain in 1984. In the liberal model, the state has the monopoly in coercion: that is, only the state has the legal right to arrest people, fine them, prevent them from entering certain premises, use some form of restraint and violence against lawbreakers. In a country politically dominated by large, violent trade-union movements, those functions are usurped: the state loses its monopoly, and unions can carry out coercion, commit acts of violence, at will. Given the seriousness of such conflicts, the politician can again mistake the actions of a small but powerful and well-organised group for the popular will, and hold back on introducing legislation for fear of starting what seems almost like civil war.

This is a problem in liberal theory: the constitution, the state structure, is there, in the liberal model, to protect individual freedom. What happens, then, if a small, well-organised pressure group use that freedom to push through legislation in parliament that violates that individual freedom – to work at a certain job at a certain rate, or to supply wheat on the international market at a certain price, or to prevent a rural land-owner from chopping down trees on his own property (in order to protect his house against a fire outbreak)? The answer is that freedom needs to be protected against such groups. Which is why a government, run on nationalist principles, needs to rule with a guiding hand, a firm hand.

Not serving the interests of such groups means that one is serving the interests of whole: which is what nationalism is all about. So, paradoxically, nationalists are, in this regard, advocates of a liberal society – perhaps the last defenders of liberalism in a socialist and environmentalist world. Nevertheless, it should also be noted that Nationalist Alternative is very much against unrestricted Free Market Fundamentalism which is Capitalism in its most terrorizing form. Genuine Nationalism is also intrinsically against Globalization too. This is because Nationalism wishes to preserve the identity, culture, and heritage of people and their Nations.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home Sweet Hell, how Australians are being priced out of their own nation

by Michael Kennedy

Anyone with a worldly outlook and an independent mind would be acutely aware of how the media play a pivotal role in determining for other people what is to be considered an issue and what isn't. The media set the tone of discussion. If the media brings something up, it must be an issue. If they don't, it mustn't be important. So some obscure issue which has always been around suddenly becomes 'water cooler' discussion because of its appearance on the front page. Yet a slowly unfolding revolution is considered worthy of being ignored, because the media choose not to focus on it. We take the view that it's not what newspapers, television or mainstream press which dictates what important, which problems we must tackle, but it's our own judgement and position.

One issue which has been glossed over, mentioned but never explored in the depth it deserves is the housing crisis. While the global financial crisis gets in depth coverage and the 'crisis' with Lindsey Lohan gets valuable airtime, this crisis is perhaps felt far more keenly by Australians is only time to time mentioned with no one seeming to even consider that it is a problem that we as Australians should consider resolving. The state of housing affordability in Australia has truly become a crisis. A financial crisis because of vast amounts of credits pumped into an unsustainable asset bubble which will cause economic problems when it pops, and a social crisis, as young Australians seeking to start a family and construct the very social fabric of the future of this nation find they are unable to do so.

Historically house prices have always oscillated but have always, with the exception of periods of economic recession and depression, been affordable to the working class. Yet in the 21st century, we saw housing reach new levels of unaffordability, during an economic BOOM. During a period of time when working hours were increasing, when the economy was growing rapidly, market forces were conspiring not to give Australians the opportunity to use their hard earned wealth to secure a residence, but to use property as a vehicle for profiteering.

The Generational War

The housing market as it is now, is generationally skewed, with the older baby boomer’s standing the most to gain from overinflated prices, and the most to lose from housing becoming affordable. For many younger “Generation X” and “Generation Y” Aussies, there is a clear sense of anger over the fact that they cannot achieve the Australian dream that their parents could. For many Australians who had working class parents, who paid off the ¼ acre block in the suburbs, they grew up and studied and worked hard to be able to afford the same. Now with many having gone through the education system, worked the entry level jobs they find that these very same houses, which were paid off by brickies, labourers and office clerks are not out of reach to young professionals. The houses which sold for $10,000 many decades ago, or even those which sold at $150,000 only two decades ago are now well over half a million. The property owners, who would still profit from selling the house at half its current 'market value' refuse to take anything less than the overinflated and grossly unfair market value. For these baby boomer’s using property to fund their retirement, they are borrowing, and that’s putting it nicely, money from a future generation. To put it more aptly, they are utilising the fact that housing is a basic necessity to set sale terms which are completely unreasonable.

The baby boomer generation claims that 'hard work' gave them their status, when in reality it is nothing more than the sheer luck of being born at a time when housing which was suitable for family life could be afforded on one wage. These conditions simply do not exist now, and younger Australians are being blamed for this inequity. It is supposedly the reluctance of “Gen X” and “Gen Y” to work hard or start small, according to these self righteous children of the hippie era, which is to blame for their predicament. But the truth is vastly different. The current generational inequity is the result of nothing more than the timing of economic and social change, with the older generation finding itself on the favourable line of the divide, and the younger ones drawing the short straw. Canberra University's National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling showed that during the financial boom of the 2000's, the one which most people missed out on, the divide between rich and poor grew further, with this divide having a generational angle too.

People over 65 increased their home equity by an average of $80,000 in the 10-year period - four times as much as for people aged 15 to 34. i

How has the government sought to address this, to ensure that hard working Australians are able to secure basic shelter? By giving home owners grants which did nothing apart from line the pockets of real estate agents, property speculators and investors. This divide is turning into anger between generations, turning children against parents, parents against children and reinforcing the worst form of individualistic, me, me, me trains of thought. Unfortunately, the growing anger baby boomer’s and the older generation is justified, as while they have profited immensely, obscenely, they are showing no regard at all as a collective demographic for the plight of the younger Australians who are doomed to worked well past 65 in order to fund the baby boomer retirement.

The Population War

Another contributing factor is the insane, reckless and poorly though out mass immigration policy. Hard as it is for new infrastructure and public transport to be put in place, as full as our roads, trains, hospitals and schools are, as competitive as the job and housing market are, the government nevertheless ramped up immigration, doubling and trebling it in the past decade or two. In a big 'up yours' to the Australian people, it completely ignored these concerns and opened up the country to 'skilled workers', without even mentioning how they would look after those who were here. The population grew immensely and Australia experienced the fastest population growth. Yet no plans were made to house these people, and no mention of how Australians would be ensured space and opportunity to make a workable life in this country. The government just didn't care, and many Australians are finding life less and less workable. Aaron Gadiel from Urban Taskforce Australia says that local councils are indifferent to the plight of home buyers and that

“Every credible independent report on the housing shortfall has found that the planning system and the restrictions imposed by local councils are front and centre to blame for the current situation we find ourselves in.” ii

The Speculators War

The third aspect is property speculation. Financial opportunists using property to further enlarge their asset base have pushed Australians out the market even further. People who already own a house, in a act which is nothing more than pure greed, buying up other properties for the sole purpose of profiteering. Buying an already overpriced quarter acre block in the suburbs for $550K, only to tear the house down, erect 3 units and sell the units at $400K each. People who are up in arms over a few cents per litre extra on the price of petrol and demand the blood of oil companies become silent and overlook this vastly more insidious gouging. The economic divide is growing, as people who already own multiple properties and obtain income through rent and subdividing the land, use this leverage to obtain even more properties, to drive up the price and push out first home buyers. It really is just greed and avarice which compels people who own multiple properties, who are aware of the housing unaffordability crisis to continue with this socially destructive practice for the pursuit of filthy lucre. The Liberals, in their true style helped kick off the speculative bubble, with Peter Costello in 1999 saying

"Work for a living and we’ll tax you at close to 50 cents in the dollar; speculate and we’ll only take 25 cents. Not only that but, as a special deal - while stocks last - we’ll pay half your speculating costs." iii

Halving the capital gains tax rate and negative gearing has been a boon to those who least need to enter the so called property market, those who already own a property. Meanwhile, first home buyers were given a first home buyers grant, which only served to allow buyers to leverage themselves even more applying for easy credit, and bidding up prices and succumbing to the spruiking of the only “profession” that doesn't require an education, the Real Estate Industry.

Yet such greed is rewarded through tax benefits such as negative gearing and lauded in economic circles. Financial analysts perversely call unaffordable housing a “strong market” and celebrate its further “growth”. From a nationalist viewpoint, any economic condition which weakens the social make up of the nation, which undermines the ability of people to secure a future for themselves is to be avoided, regardless of how profitable it is to the already rich, already well off social class.

What has the government done about this? It opened up property investment to the foreign market and we saw real estate agencies spring up whose sole purpose was to sell properties to Chinese nationals.

Nationalist Alternatives war against the housing crisis

We are unashamedly against greed and profiteering. Every other party treats this issue with kid gloves. The Liberals wouldn't dare upset cashed up investors and the boomer’s, and besides, they champion market forces and value them over the welfare of the nation. Labor has been completely inept and uncommitted, showing that they care not one iota for the many Australians struggling to afford just an extra bedroom for a child, or those facing the prospect of never being able to afford to live in a house which doesn't belong to someone else. The Greens have said nothing, but while they might fight on behalf of Australians against speculators, they wouldn't dare fight on behalf of Australians for population control. Without addressing the immigration issue, any effort made is worthless. Socialists just don’t care as the issue doesn't affect trans-gendered lesbian indigenous people in Africa fighting against imperialism.

We at Nationalist Alternative are wholly committed to affordable housing. It IS a right, just as clothing, food, medicine and education are a right. It is just as detestable in our opinion to use the market to price a vital product such as housing out of peoples reach for profit, as it is to auction food to the highest bidder for profit and leave others hungry. There is quite simply no excuse, nor any good reason for such a crisis to occur. The free market has failed, free markets being an abstract ideology that in real life is unworkable. Australia needs a government which as the courage to do its job and govern for the welfare of the nation.

Quite simply, housing should be MADE affordable. That’s not to say that the government should pay for peoples housing, but the cost of constructing a house is still affordable and within reach. It is the price of land which has lost all control. As land costs nothing to produce, it is entirely reasonable to expect Australians to pay fairly for construction costs. Such a demand even today would not be unreasonable, but it is not reasonable to expect one to pay $800K for an empty block in a traditionally working class suburb by Altona.

Nationalist Alternative is committed to ensuring that our economy serves US. There is no room in our society for practices which destroy our social conditions, even if they are of benefit to the few. Australians have fought and died to protect their nation, worked hard to pay taxes to their country, worked hard to build it up from arid sands into one of the best countries on earth. This work should not be in vain. Those who work to secure a future should not see their efforts destroyed. "20yrs of poor policy blamed for housing crisis” “How tax system egged on property speculation”