Are our socialist kids our fault?

Posted in opinion on March 8th, 2021 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

I see the rise of the infatuation with socialist, Marxist and communist ideologies in our young and realise it IS our fault.

Decades of economic growth and prosperity in the west has led to complacency and an amnesia that this prosperity actually resulted from hard work.

Enter the kids, who grew up in a time where they were told they could be and do anything, obstacles to their success were mown down by lawnmower parents intent to ensure their paths to success were easier than their own and with the least chance of triggering anxiety, they were rewarded for simply turning up, everyone got a ribbon, and the lesson learned and ingrained was you don’t have to try to succeed because everyone’s a winner so no one’s psyche is hurt. 

At the same time there were – as there always are – economic ups and downs – but because of the prosperity of the previous decades, the global financial crisis enabled governments to empty treasuries and toss around welfare even to those who had never previously received it, in an attempt to “stimulate the economy” – the lesson being when times get tough, spend, not tighten belts and (gasp) go without – and then later as we saw in the COVID-19 pandemic, governments paying people to sit at home and play Xbox and watch Netflix.

Is it no wonder that these kids have the view that hard work is unnecessary and the government should look after them – because frankly many of them have never actually seen hard work in action.

Image: https://www.redspark.nu

We express surprise when our kids espouse socialist ideals yet we have taught them through sport, for example, that even the kid who comes last gets a prize (therefore trying hard isn’t worth it) and you raise yourself up by pulling others down (online bullying) – two very socialist ideas.

Ideologically and theoretically socialism, communism, Marxism all have similarities –  and in Marxist theory socialism is a precursor to communism. What is attractive to the young is the idea of wealth being shared and ownership of resources by the people. And it does sound great … in theory – it has never worked in practice – no not even in Venezuela (where a recent survey showed 96% live below the poverty line and reports are that they are ‘quietly quitting socialism‘) or Nordic countries (the latter who are not strictly socialist states, but who regulate capitalism and as in the case of Sweden businesses can still be privately owned, entrepreneurism is still allowed, and they have the third highest income tax rate in the world – at 57%).

According to Kristian Niemietz, author of ‘Socialism. The Failed Idea that Never Dies‘ and head of political economy at the Institute for Economic Affairs, London:

“Over the past hundred years, there have been more than two dozen attempts to build a socialist society. It has been tried in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Albania, Poland, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, North Korea, Hungary, China, East Germany, Cuba, Tanzania, Laos, South Yemen, Somalia, the Congo, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Nicaragua and Venezuela, among others—not counting the very short-lived ones. All of these attempts have ended in varying degrees of failure.”

Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2020/03/16/socialism-the-failed-idea-that-never-dies/?sh=6059c8f423cc

You can only tax a profit and tax is one way governments pay for things like welfare, education, infrastructure, health. It may leave a bad taste in your mouth that the wealth lies in the hands of a few, but the fact is profits generate tax.

Whilst America is vilified as the fat cat capitalist with a tiny portion of the population controlling the majority of the wealth, interestingly they actually have a mix of capitalist and socialist ideals running side by side. Capitalism drives the economy yet the government is responsible for the welfare of the people through defence, transport, infrastructure, education, fire and police, Medicare… sounds just like Australia…. This is why we see some things controlled by the public sector and some by the private sector.

In truly socialist or communist countries there is no free market economy. Entrepreneurship is non-existent, the state controls everything and distributes everything according to what they deem appropriate – in many cases keeping the majority of it for themselves (“absolute power corrupts absolutely” – George Orwell, 1984) and not raising people up, but bringing all of them down to the lowest common denominator.  We have seen situations in China where the state believed it was better that an estimated 15 to 55 million people died as a result of starvation and malnutrition in The Great Chinese Famine (considered to be the result of a combination of radical agricultural policies, social pressure, economic mismanagement, and natural disasters such as droughts and floods in farming regions) than that the people be looked after.

More recently, the Tiananmen Square student-led protests which started in April 1989 and called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech – were forcibly suppressed on 4 June by an estimated 300,000 troops with machine guns and assault rifles and backed up by tanks (killing protestors and bystanders alike). Reaction to the protests set limits on political expression in China, limits that have lasted up to the present day.

Image: ‘Tank Man’ – Tiananmen Square – Pinterest

Many of the kids espousing the virtues of socialism or communism have spent the last four years sitting on a university campus, living off Youth Allowance or other government-funded assistance schemes and have yet to go out and work full-time for reward. It’s probably no wonder that having grown up with no motivation, and reward for no effort, having experienced government support, they are loathe to give that up.  Many have finished degrees and so now are faced with not only the loss of government support but the requirement to pay back HECS debts. They may be jealous of the wealthy but lack the motivation to go out and BECOME wealthy. They see the wealthy as sponges living off the backs of the workers – though haven’t witnessed the work that went into building those empires and that success – and ignore the fact that Australia for example has had an industrial relations system protecting the rights of workers since 1904! They see money and the success of the wealthy as dirty or immoral – not as a motivator to go out and get it themselves.

Yet no socialist country has eliminated poverty and raised up every citizen to even middle class status. The point our youth also miss is one of the first things to go in a socialist/communist state is free speech … something they dearly love and use whenever the opportunity affords. This alone should be enough to be cause for pause before the banner waving begins.

What our kids are probably more leaning towards is Social Capitalism – not true socialism, and definitely not communism – that ‘blends the free market sensibility of capitalism with the welfare outreach of socialism‘. They are worried about the inequality of wealth but benefit from taxes paid to the government; they want universal healthcare; and to benefit from a free market economy – but it makes them uncomfortable to say they actually support capitalism and therefore think the only other option is socialism – or communism. We have compounded this by giving them a false notion that effort doesn’t matter and that everyone gets a prize. As Buddy says in The Incredibles:

“When everyone’s super, no one will be.”

Buddy, ‘The Incredibles’

What they fail to see – since they have never had to experience it – is that governments who become too powerful can also become oppressive – they move away from socialism to totalitarianism.

Reform is good (though not for reform’s sake). Let’s hope since our kids are our future they don’t take us down that path.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Our Tiny Home

Posted in environment on May 12th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

2020 – the new ‘1984’?

Posted in life on April 5th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Shopping used to be fun. I enjoyed the weekly shopping trip. Now, not so much.

Over the last 5 weeks I’ve watched things slowly deteriorate and I am now reminded weekly of people’s stupidity. Now it’s eggs. EGGS??!!! What, have the chickens all died? Are they no longer laying?? WHY ARE THERE NO EGGS????

I feel like we’re in some kind of weird social experiment. “How can we control them this week?” asks the faceless puppet master pulling the strings.

I bought some deli. The assistant said “Please stand back from the counter on the green dot.” What green dot? Oh that one, coz like I look at the floor and NOT in the cabinet when I’m at the deli. Thing was I’m now 2.5m from her. “Are you going to just toss it to me?” Joviality… but it wasn’t funny.

Get to the checkout. There are now big perspex guards over the checkout – sneeze guards if you will. And now we have to pack our own bags “for the safety of you and our staff”. Riddle me this Batman: I put the stuff on the conveyor belt, the checkout chick handles said stuff and HANDS IT over to my husband who is dutifully packing the bags. Say what now? So she can’t put the stuff she has just taken from me into the bags? Somehow handing it to my husband to do it himself after I’ve touched it and then she’s touched it, is going to protect her? And us? Can anyone else see the absolute STUPIDITY AND FUTILITY of this particular scenario??

It’s depressing.

I’m usually a pretty go with the flow kinda gal but I have to say this shit is really starting to bite. Never in my life did I ever for one second think that I would be living my life in the pages of an Orwellian dystopia. But here we are. With faceless voiceovers in the supermarket telling us to “keep 1.5m distance from other shoppers” and “Staff, it’s time to wash your hands”. How much longer before we hear “It’s time for your daily exercise Winston”.

For those unsure of, or too young to understand the reference, ‘1984‘ was a book written by George Orwell; a political statement wherein the central character struggles against Big Brother in an attempt to retain the one thing he thinks he still has control over: his own thoughts. But he stands alone. The majority of the population don’t feel the need to think freely.

“His fellow intellectuals have sold their inalienable right to think freely for security and a semblance of physical well-being.”

Edmond van Den Bossche – The New York Times

Sound familiar?

What the actual FECK!!! And for what? 34 deaths. We have turned our lives LITERALLY UPSIDE DOWN in this country and potentially shoved ourselves into a recession for 34 deaths. Not to mention a handful of items cost us $260!!!

How many people die of the flu each year? How many in aged care facilities during gastro outbreaks? No hue and cry. No nationwide lockdown. No drones checking on people; no shutting down of public spaces and sending businesses to the wall; no sacking staff by the thousands (millions?); no GPS tracking-enabled ankle bracelets for breaking the “rules”.

Whilst globally we have had 64,784 deaths (as at the time of publication). and I am in no way invalidating those, we’ve also had 247,000+ recover so far – with over 1.2 million confirmed global cases.

WHAT IS HAPPENING??

And yet we keep away, we avoid eye contact, we avoid ANY contact. Humans aren’t built that way. I really hope this doesn’t last much longer because if it does I’m not 100% sure how – or if – we’ll fully recover from the damage that is daily being done….

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Further Reading: The message for today in Orwell’s ‘1984’

Are we in a time out?

Posted in environment, health on March 25th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

My daughter didn’t have a phone until she was 15 … she got it because she started dating her very first boyfriend and, well frankly, we didn’t trust him. So I gave her my phone so that she could always get in touch with us.

Thankfully it lasted only a few weeks, but the bug had bitten and she wanted her own phone.

While we had some very strict phone use rules in our house (no phones in the bedroom; all phones in the kitchen to charge; no phones at night; certain apps were banned etc) we did notice the way teens were using their phones. Reliance on phones for texting and messaging seemed to lead to an inability to communicate face-to-face – something that is important for reading body language, subtle visual cues etc and a skill that teens of the day seemed to lack.

Fast forward to 2020 and we now have widespread social media apps and COVID19 – which has effectively – for the short-term at least – forced us all into isolation and the only way we have to communicate with loved ones is ‘virtually’ – through Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Facebook etc. 

Workers are going online and ‘teleworking’. Teachers are taking their lessons online and having students ‘dial in’.

So what once seemed to be the cause of the death of communication, appears to have evolved into new ways to stay connected. 

It did get me thinking however. In the lead up to this latest global challenge, all we saw this tech being used for was abuse and bullying online, strangers ripping each other to shreds over the tiniest thing, people being triggered over inane topics, arguments over climate change, Greta, refugees, religion, terrorism, Veganism, gender fluidity, pronouns, identity politics, diversity, intersectionality, walls, black, white, left, and right. Children being used in the frontlines of adult ‘wars’. We were all frankly acting like children. 

I wonder… is this the Mother’s way of giving us all a time out? Perhaps we should use it wisely and take a good long look at what we consider important and to re-evaluate just how we treat each other.

And just like that, all of those things that once seemed so crushingly important, just… aren’t.

In the face of an invisible ‘foe’ we are, after all, exactly the same.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

How to stop men killing their wives

Posted in relationships, women on February 21st, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Jesus the headline!!!! 🤬 This was the headline of a recent SMH article about the recent murder of a woman and her three children in Queensland by her estranged partner who then killed himself.

In the wake of this latest shocking incidence of family violence in Australia, the chief executive of the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, proposed:

“that during the period of separation, every man must be put on a program with mental health checks and scrutinised for signs of violence to ensure he is making the transition safely and not a risk to women, children or themselves. ‘We must target individual men.'”

(Sydney Morning Herald)

This is a dangerous precedent – it’s dangerous to even be talking about it! As much as an horrific event such as this wants us to rush to “fix” things, screening ALL men is abuse in itself!

As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I don’t advocate for screening all men – it’s not all men. It’s some men. It’s insulting to say just because they’re men they’re potential killers – and it’s also a dangerous attitude to have. It also ignores the many women capable of violence (yes overwhelmingly men are the perpetrators but we can’t ignore the flip side because it’s inconvenient). It also ignores the fact that not all relationships end in violence once the relationship ends because they end for a multitude of reasons.

Yes it is the most dangerous time when you leave IF you are with a violent person or one with the propensity to violence – the leaving is what led to my broken nose and eventual AVO – after I dripped blood all over my boss’s office floor.

I think governments have done a huge amount in terms of resources and education (certainly in the period from when I was a victim back in the ’80s when no one wanted to know about it); but it’s now up to us to change SOCIETY’S attitude towards it – and drop the “don’t ask don’t know” mentality.

SOMEONE had to have known what was happening in this case but said nothing, to him or anyone else. I remember the father of my abuser saying to me in the early days of the relationship “If he ever hits you tell me” …. I was flabbergasted but clearly he knew something of the character of his son I was yet to find out.

We have to encourage men and women to speak out when they see friends or work colleagues behaving aggressively, speaking disparagingly etc and to take a zero tolerance approach to aggression. Men AND women. Adults AND children. Between siblings. On the sports field. In sport on TV.

It’s a multipronged approach and we need a zero tolerance position in society to violence everywhere or we are enabling the attitude that it’s okay in any situation and therefore by extension, every situation.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom