After careful deliberations with my fellow colleagues of Fog of Chaos. I have come to the conclusion that the labor party has lost strategic control of the government. By that, I don’t mean a palace coup by disgruntled military officers and senior bureaucrats. Rather the Labor party or more specifically Julia Gillard has lost control of the governments narrative. Governments in some sense live a story or better said a ‘vision’ as some Paul Keating worshiping journalists say.
If you start from the Misesian assumption that; a) 95% of government functions can either be provided by the free market or are simply not necessary. And b) that if the government were to shrink to only 5% of its current size (roughly what Australia and the US were around1900), the world wouldn’t end. Humans have endured much worse.
Government vision then becomes of monstrous importance, for it is its raison d’être. Vision in plain speak, is government propaganda that justifies its own existence and furthermore provides vindication for greater interference into our own unregulated private spheres.The vision or story is what provides government bureaucrats and politicians cover to spend tax money.
Maintaining the narrative is of the up most importance for government, its called public opinion. In ALP speak its called getting the message out. “The government must sell its message”. If the citizen were to stop listening to the government, then the governments utility comes into question, followed by its legitimacy, finally its existence.
Gillard has lost control of the reason why the ALP should rule. The ALP is ruling for the sake of ruling, there is no mission. It seems that Gillard plans from week to week. I don’t see any long-term strategic mission that the ALP wishes to fulfilled. The Carbon Tax which was to be a building block in the new crusading climate change agenda, failed for tactical reasons. Democratic governments, socialists ones in particular conservative ones less so, rule by the method of divide and conquer. They slice the electorate up by wealth redistribution. By playing segments of the electorate off against each other. Keep in mind that is all that governments in essence do, shift wealth around, never create. The carbon tax is a burden to everyone and a boon to none. So which mercenary army did the ALP buy with its Carbon Tax? None, if you excluded the minuscule doctors wives and greens voters. Its stupid politics from the Machiavellian point of view.
It can be safely assumed that the Carbon Tax was a failed attempt at vision by labour, now they are adrift, losing their religion as the band REM sang. The best description of the proclivity of government to write its own story is by Gary North. He refers to this political philosophy as the messianic state:
The messianic State is a crude imitation of a religion of redemption. It makes the State the healer and, ultimately, the savior of all mankind. This messianic religion is what the early church battled theologically and risked martyrdom to oppose. Christians refused to toss a pinch of incense onto the altar symbolizing the genius of the emperor. For that seemingly minor resistance to State power, they were thrown to the lions. Both sides knew the stakes of that contest. Christianity was a dagger pointed at the heart of the messianic State. It still is.
This is also why defenders of government programs have a certain missionary zeal to preach the gospel of Carbon Tax, National Broadband Network, Universal healthcare, Education Revolution and so on and so forth. The fact that said programs, or any government program for that matter won’t work on logical grounds or is simply unnecessary will not tire the defenders of the government agenda, for they are in possession of ultimate truth. Which also happens to coincide with their gravy train of corruption.
This mess really began in America during the progressive era by mainline protestant evangelicals who made the massively costly and ultimately utopian mistake of trying to create a kingdom of heaven on earth. This kingdoms first building block was the temperance movement. Of course to prohibit alcohol arbitrarily requires power. And Power dear reader is created through government bureaucracies. Please read my previous post: Church, State, Gay Marriage and Saurons Ring.
The media’s role in this should be clear by now. Officially we are told the media is to scrutinise government. Unofficially, the mainstream media is complicit in the construction of government stories, visions, myths whatever. The media is able to alter the world through its ability to either expose government lies or cover them up. We see this with the pathetic journalism of Peter van Olsen, who refuses to expose the Gillard/Gordon & Slater corruption right under his eyes. This explains why certain stories never here the light of day. The some stories compromise the official narrative of government and its cosy power-sharing arrangement with media. Media and Journalism are ultimately fights over how the narrative will be shaped/manipulated. The Canberra press gallery are to some extent actually government spokes persons, selling the gospel message. Andrew Bolt and his posse have started so many grass fires of controversy that labor and its media defenders are having a difficult time re-establishing the labor government story. Hence the Gillard government has lost control. It doesn’t know what vision it is fighting for any more.