PRESIDENT TRUMP STRENGTHENING AMERICA AND FORGING NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER

The hard crucial choice for Americans: Triumph with an indomitably strong leadership or fail with a weak one.

“Great men have always done well, when they made use of their power before their enemies reached a position where they could tie their hands and destroy their power.” (Frederick The Great).

By Con George-Kotzabasis October 10, 2017

It is not the last time that in critical times, unexpectedly, men of gigantic ability, will-power, moral strength, and celerity in decisiveness emerge phoenix–like and take in their firm hands the reins of power to save their countries from dangers that threaten their existence. And certainly such men are out of the normal mould and crash against the conventional establishment that often makes them its bete noire. It is precisely this “unexpectedness,” especially in a climate of political correctness, that dumbfounds a sizeable part of the intelligentsia, that an outsider out of their own clan has the chutzpah and audaciousness to gate crash “their” political turf.

Such an outsider is ostensibly clear, is Donald Trump, whose entry into the oval office has shocked and appalled the liberal intelligentsia and a great part of the media that embodies and expresses their views and opinions. That the Fourth Estate and its liberal patrons have reacted against this out-of-the-norm new president with such unprecedented vehemence, using the ignoble and sordid means of vilification, defamation, lies, “fake news,” and sinister conspiracies, reveals that the opposition against President Trump will be vigorous, durational and unendingly dirty.

The democratic liberals, accustomed to having weak presidents who could be easily manoeuvred to adopt their own policies through the corridors of power, are dismayed and anguished that before a relentlessly strong president, such as Trump, they would lose the power to formulate the political agenda of the country. Up till now, “munching” happily on the weak “pop-corn presidency” of Barak Obama, and his two similarly weak predecessors, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, who had adopted and implemented all the economic, political, and moral tenets of the liberals that, according to the latter, had broken the backbone of an imperial America, they now feel threatened that with the Trump administration, they will lose the influence to determine the course of the country, and more widely, of the world. By being swept out of commandeering the ship of state, that the changing tempestuous winds of the Trump administration has brought on the political “seascape,” and the terrifying event of being sunk into the depths of oceanic oblivion, the liberal leftist intelligentsia, its media cohorts, and the politically immature young of the drop-outs and others of academe–who are used as storm-troopers of the left–are reacting with inordinate vituperation against the president. Hence, the liberal establishment is releasing all its viperous furies against Donald Trump; and in this ferocious attack against this “dangerous outsider,” they will not hesitate to use all the fiendish and vile means to remove him from the White House.

The attacks on all the policies of President Trump since taking office by this condominium of liberals and the mass media, evince, that this fight will take no prisoners and will triumph only on the cadaver of the president. His critics are even prepared to sacrifice policies that would make America stronger and safer on the altar of their righteousness. Their repudiation of the “travel ban” on countries that breed terrorists; their criticism of the President’s stand toward Europe and NATO, wherein the Europeans should share a greater part of the costs of the continent’s security and should not continue to depend on American largesse; their condemnation of his withdrawal from the Paris agreement on CO2 emissions, on the reasonable grounds that such an agreement would lead with certainty to the loss of jobs contra the uncertainty of perilous climate change; their assertion that during the election campaign Trump colluded with the Russians with the purpose to win the election, despite the fact that the court found no collusion; and their latest attempt to charge the president with obstruction of justice in regard to the investigation of the dismissal of the director of the FBI. All these censures of his detractors, even if they are found to be legal chicanery (The Supreme Court has fully justified President Trump on his “travel ban” by reversing the lower court’s decision and hence making it legal and hence exonerate the president from any impeachment), have the aim of generating such a mountainous negative public opinion against President Trump that would oust him from the oval office.

Nonetheless Atlas, the creative individualistic dynamism of the United States, is not to be “Shrugged”, under the strong and savvy leadership of President Trump. In appointing to key positions of his administration the strongest and the brightest, picking them exclusively from the most robust institution of the country, i.e., the armed forces of the USA, the president is determined to place America on a new course as the guardian of Western values and as the protector of civilized life against all implacable enemies who pose an existential threat to it. And just as importantly, President Trump “knows thy enemy,” the Islamist fanatics whose godly-agenda is to destroy the “great Satan” America and all the other transcontinental infidels. Moreover, he is aware that this enemy is irreconcilable and cannot be appeased by any change in the foreign policy of the USA that would apparently be favourable to this enemy. On the contrary, it would consider such a change as weakness on the part of the USA.

Such an enemy not only has to be defeated but also annihilated on the battlefield. This is the reason why President Trump has pointed his focus on his military personnel and placed generals James Mattis, John Kelly, and Herbert McMaster, as Secretary of Defence, Chief-of-Staff, and National Security Advisor, respectively. This will be a military and militant Administration, especially, as apparently anticipated by Trump, in light of the possibility that weapons of mass destruction or even nuclear ones could strike America. With the possibility of such an attack the president will have to declare a state of martial law, to defend America not only against an external enemy but also against an internal one, due to the large number of Muslims living in the country amongst whom there is a sizeable part of Islamist Jihadists who would be willing martyrs to the destruction of the United States. In such circumstances, ordinary laws will have to be suspended and replaced by an active military dictatorship, under the orders of the president, as only the latter will be effective in protecting the country from this deadly internal enemy.

Already a dress rehearsal of the new vital role that the military is going to play in this war against the Islamists or any other foe (as is shown by the threat of North Korea) is illustrated by President Trump’s speech on the war in Afghanistan a month ago. After mulling over on his initial stand to withdraw US military forces from Afghanistan he admitted, that he was finally persuaded by his military advisors to abandon this position and on the contrary to increase the US expeditionary force in its fight against the Taliban. And he made it clear, apparently again on the advice of his military councillors, that the pre-eminent role in this war would be played by military professionals.

In his speech, he sketched a radical transformation in the military strategy of the USA that no previous president dared to think, and least of all practice. He declared, that national building is over and there will be no micro-management of the war from Washington. The military will determine the strategy to win the war and conditions on the ground will determine US strategy, no arbitrary timetables made on the golf course of Washington a la Obama.

The Great Threat of North Korea

The nuclear-rattling of Kim Jong-un and his portentous tongue-in-cheek threats that he is making against the USA, are not going to be taken lightly by President Trump. If these threats are not to be consummated in the immediate future they will remain imminent for the near future. That is why the Trump Administration will not risk such a possible nuclear attack by North Korea and will have to resort to a massive overwhelming pre-emptive nuclear attack against the latter and totally destroy its capability to launch even one nuclear missile against the USA. It will be a pre-emptive strike that will end the war before it starts; unlike the Australian strategic analyst David Kilcullen, who is concerned about the great danger that it will be an exchange of nuclear missiles by the warring parties. US strategists will ensure, with algorithmic precision, that no such exchange will occur. And if it does, the missiles of North Korea will be destroyed in mid air.

In circumstances where a nation faces an existential threat, as America is, humane sentiments toward a deadly foe take a back seat. North Korea can avoid such an annihilating nuclear attack by the United States only if it completely dismantles all of its nuclear developmental facilities, under the meticulous observation of a United Nations agency that will make absolutely sure that these facilities are clearly destroyed, with no possibility of their clandestine restoration in the future. The question is whether this toddler leader of N. Korea will abandon playing with his nuclear toys and will abide with the demands of the United Nations to destroy them.

Another great concern of the Trump Administration is the flawed agreement that his predecessor Obama clinched with the Islamists of Iran, in order to prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons. This agreement has so many holes through which the mullahs can wriggle through and ultimately produce a nuclear bomb. It is for this reason that President Trump wants to revise this agreement that will render the Americans with a rigorous surveillance by which they will make sure that the Iranians will be totally deprived of the capacity to secretly develop a nuclear bomb.

President Trump’s awareness and astuteness in discerning the above dangers that threaten the existence of Western Civilization perforce put his presidency at the Archimedean point that will move the world in a new direction. Under his strong leadership and administration he will confront and annihilate these satanic forces, whose goal is to destroy all infidels and their economic, political, scientific, and social achievements. President Trump, by strengthening the USA and forging a new international peaceful order will guarantee the economic prosperity of all nations and peoples, who steadfastly affirm the liberal tenets of the free market and who are engaged in creating the institutions and business enterprises that will fulfil this laudable goal.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now.

 

 

Advertisements

Marxism is the Opium of the Intelligentsia

By Con George-Kotzabasis–July 22. 2017

The following is my contribution to a lecture given by Professor Vrasidas Karalis in the Greek Community Centre, in Melbourne, two years ago.

Bravura performance professor Vrasidas! Papaioannou’s head would lift from the grave in approval with a big smile on his face, unlike the skulls of Communism, which according to the ex-Marxist Polish philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski, will never smile again. Papaioannou was a bright star amidst a constellation of co-stars, like Raymond Aron, Ernst Nolte, Ayn Rand, and Hannah Arendt, not to mention others, who had foreseen, identified, and exposed the murderous traits of Communism.

However, the cocottes of the ideology of Marxism were able to allure with their bawdy charms and false historical promises nipple-fed intellectuals, whom Lenin had dubbed “useful idiots,” into the ranks of the Communist mirage. Intoxicated by the brilliant form of Marx’s writings they were blind to its toxic content.

The dragon’s teeth spawned by Marx on the cerebral landscape would give rise to the monstrous leadership of Stalin, Mao, and the Althusserian trained ideologues of Cambodia, who would try to build their utopia on Gulag Archipelagos and killing fields. And when Communism would be achieved on these brutal homicidal grounds, then human concerns would take over: man fishing in the morning, playing the flute in the evening and writing romantic poetry in the night. Thus, the Marxian birth of the “all-sided man,” of the “politropos Anthropos!”

Marxism is not merely tragic drama, it is worse: it is kitsch, a pretentious worthless play staged on history. And the wrathful hallucinations and platitudes of Marx became murderous instruments in the hands of the epigones of Marxism.

Presently, a repeat of Marxist omniscience is to be re-enacted in Greece. The Tsipras Government, a politically arriviste, incompetent bungling blend of a withering crop of epigonistic Marxists, pseudo intellectuals, and populist sycophants, are pushing Greece into the abyss of their own “killing fields”. Failure in negotiations with the Troika will lead to the debt default of Greece and return to the drachma, with annihilating consequences to the standard of living of the ordinary people and to a political danger by the rise of dictatorship. Marxism is the opium of the intelligentsia.

\\

Is Tsipras and Close Associates Plan to Set-up Marxist Dictatorship in Greece

By Con George-Kotzabasis July 18, 2017

The beginning is the sign”. David Hilbert, German mathematician

In the doom and gloom of the political and economic landscape of Greece, a spectre haunts the country, the spectre of Marxist dictatorship. There are ominous signs that Prime Minister Tsipras and some of his closest associates are working on a sinister secret plan that would prolong their staying in power beyond the date of the expiration of their tenure. There are several signs (they will be identified and explained below) and all of them are showing clearly, like lighted roads that lead and meet at a central junction, that this central square is named dictatorship.

All the latest polls are indicating that the Tsipras government will get a merciless thrashing at the next election, to be held in 2019, in the hands of the electorate, as back payment for the historically unprecedented deceptive promises and prodigious lies that Syriza had told the people, for the purpose of winning the 2015 election, as well as for the severe cuts in pensions and increase of taxes that Tsipras, by breaking all his promises to the contrary, had imposed relentlessly and with no compunction, even upon the most indigent parts of society. Tsipras, therefore, and his bosom comrades are realising with great panic that their proud slogan of “First Time Aristera” (Left Government) is to be transformed into the terrified shameful “Never Again Aristera.” Therefore, to prevent this from happening, they will not hesitate to extract the most nefarious means from the arsenal of Bolshevism so they can remain in power. And as the game is up for them, politically and electorally, they have nothing to lose by taking these extreme measures, since they are fated to be consigned into the graveyard of history.

Yet this coup d’état of Tsipras will not occur under the rattling of the tanks but under the scratching of the pens. By making changes to the political processes of the country, apparently by abiding the Constitution, that would open the road toward dictatorship. (Not that he has any moral scruples in using the tanks–after all his ideological kin the Soviet Union, used them in Czechoslovakia–but only because he has no direct control over the armed forces.) However, before he comes to the real McCoy, i.e., the setting-up of a Marxist dictatorship, he will initially postpone or suspend the next election. And to do this he will use as proschema, pretext, a contrived national threat or a real one, such as provoking a military incident with Turkey. Hence by creating a casus belli he will render to himself extraordinary powers enabling him to suspend normal constitutional processes and govern the country by plebiscite.

What methods will Tsipras use to achieve his goal? Whether he will fabricate a fictitious internal enemy such as an association of so called right-wing politicians of New Democracy, and even involve its president, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with big corrupt business and bigwig criminals involved in the importation of vast quantities of heroin, or whether he will create a real enemy by provoking a military clash with Turkey, Tsipras will use the rationale, by which he will attempt to convince the people, that in order to fight either of these enemies successfully he must be given the right to make the necessary amendments to the Constitution and hence will call the people to agree to them through a plebiscite. It is hard to imagine, that in conditions of great dangers to the country, in the first case, the importation of heroin, with its deleterious effects upon the wellbeing of Greece’s children, by a so called evil combination of politicians, businessmen, and criminals, or a takeover of the country by a rapacious cabal of right-wing politicians and big commerce and industry, which will profit at the expense of the ordinary people, or the threat of war with Turkey, that it will be difficult for the people to be convinced of either of these dangers and will therefore render to Tsipras the right to make the appropriate changes to the Constitution. Furthermore, the crescendo of violent demonstrations by anarchist extremists of the left, in which the minister of public order deliberately refuses to take a strong stand against this disorder, as todays incidents in the heart of the retail trade centre of Athens shows, whose shops were broken and vandalized, may also be a part of Tsipras plan that will facilitate him to declare emergency measures or even martial law.

Tsipras therefore is confident that there will be no mass reaction to his moves, and rests this confidence on the passivity of the people as well as on the passivity and indifference of the armed forces, which, since the experience of the Junta, stand at arms-length from politics. What other forces therefore could oust Tsipras from power, when all the key posts of government will be held by people of his own ilk?

However, it will not be easy for Tsipras to convince the guardians of the Constitution, the Judiciary, of the necessity or correctness of these changes to the political processes of the country. This is the reason why from the beginning of this year there has been a concerted and vicious attack against the Judiciary by some ministers of the government, and even by the Prime Minister himself, who has stated in public, that the Judiciary is a “hindrance” to some of the policies of his government. And the primo uomo of this attack is the Minister of Health Polakis, whose cursing cacophonous mantinades (Cretan couplets) against the Judiciary, may sound noetically jarring and stupid but they hide behind them a clever purpose, i.e., to degrade, erode, and weaken its authority. Also, the involvement of the Minister of Defence, Kammenos, in the investigative operations of the police in regards to this huge quantity of heroin that was smuggled into the country by criminals, which is a blunt violation of the separation of powers, i.e., of the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Legislative, has also the same aim, that is, to debilitate the Judiciary and its personnel. All the above are lucid signs of the Tsipras government plot to disparage it and wear down its authority. As it perceives, that the main obstacle to turn itself into a proletarian dictatorship, is a robust and independent Judiciary, that espouses the separation of powers and checks that the actions of government are in tangent with the rules of the Constitution. The conspirators, however, will be attempting to make ‘tailor-made’ interpretations of the Constitution so that they can suit their actions which will creepily lead to their dictatorship.

But the most significant revealing sign is the appointment by Tsipras, of the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Vasiliki Thanou, as head of his Legal Office. Mrs. Thanou, is known for her skills as a lawyer as well as for her political credentials of being a left-wing supporter of long standing. She served, with the support of SYRIZA, as interim prime minister prior to the election of Lukas Papadimou in Government. It is obvious that Thanou, will be advising Tsipras on changes in the legal and political processes of the country and on possible changes to the Constitution that would facilitate him to consummate his secret plan. Indeed, she will be knitting, with her skilful fingers, the regal toga that Tsipras will be wearing as dictator of the proletariat. Since her appointment, she launched a vehement attack against New Democracy for its audacity to criticise her appointment.

The question rises with no easy answers. How can one kill the plan of Tsipras at the initial stages of its incubation? But there is an answer, and it comes from a most unusual quarter, by which the Tsipras plan will be dead in its first breath: Ancient Greece comes to the rescue of modern Greece, Iphigenia in Aulis: Since it is impossible presently for the Opposition to force an election, the only way that would impel an election is by the resignation of Prokopis Pavlopoulos from the presidency. The reasons for his resignation would be plausible and cogent, that is, that he is unwilling and it is repugnant for him to preside under the fiendish machinations of the Tsipras government to undermine the Constitution, and its attacks against the Judiciary, that would lead to the subversion of democracy. Hence, Pavlopoulos will be summoned to be the modern Iphigenia whose sacrifice would release the storming winds that will sweep Tsipras and his comrades from The Maximou House (The White House of Greece). In this solution time is a crucial factor, and those persons who are close to Pavlopoulos will have to move swiftly and persuade him to accept this summons and go to the Euripidean Aulis, to his rendezvous with destiny. The question is: Will Prokopis Pavlopoulos have the spiritual and moral fortitude and intellectual insight and strength to sacrifice himself for the sake of Greece?

 

PS There might be within SYRIZA some righteous people. But if they do not oppose this insidious plan of Tsipras, they will suffer the Aeschylian fate. “A righteous man by himself is formidable. But a righteous man conjoined with the wicked perishes with them.”

 

UNION POWER: THE WINGS OF AN EAGLE ATTACHED TO A PIGEON HEAD

I’ve “excavated” this essay of mine from the deep-end of my archive in view of the powerful CFMEU’s threatening decision to publish the names and addresses of building watchdog inspectors with the aim that their “kids will be ashamed of who their parents are.” This union as king-maker, whose power is unparalleled in the industrial history of the country, which can crown and dethrone leaders of the Labor Party, as it did by appointing Bill Shorten as the federal leader of the ALP, has not the slightest concern that by naming the families of these inspectors puts at high risk the safety of their spouses and children. Moreover, its impending amalgamation with another militant union, the Marine Union of Australia, MEU, will make the CFMEU the power-broker extraordinaire. And inrease more its forte to continue to break the rules and regulations of the Industrial Court with total impunity. I hope the readers of this blog will find it to be of a bit of an interest.

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following article was written on April 2000. It’s republished here on this blog as I think it’s still relevant as unions continue to have a strong grip on the Labor Party. And with a possible impending recession in the US that would inevitably effect the Australian economy, a Rudd victory in the coming election will bring the unions exercising their pernicious behind the times influence on the front benches of a Labor government. And hence exacerbate the peril of the economy of the country in conditions of recession. Lest we forget, it was in the UK in the mid-sixties under Labor governments that ‘trade-union-led “wage push” was the driving force behind inflation and subsequent breakdown of Keynesian policy’. Richard Kahn, one of the closest disciples of Keynes, when he was asked about this breakdown of Keynesian policy, he answered, ‘we never thought the leaders of the trade unions could behave so stupidly’. This stupidity was coined at the time in the term of stagflation, the proud creation of the unions. And this doltishness of the unions is alive and well in our times as it’s still fueled by the false Marxist doctrine of class struggle. This is the danger that trade unions could inflict to the Australian economy under a Rudd government. As for Rudd’s “education revolution” by providing students with laptops, the mountain has brought forth a mouse. Australia is already among the top nations that provides computers to its students. But on the quintessence of education revolution which has to deal with its human capital, i.e., its teachers, who have to be selected on merit and ability and on their teaching methods, two burning issues on which the education unions will not budge, Rudd remains silent. He also claims that his government will be a government of “fresh ideas and new leadership”. But after his lustful embrace of me tooism of some major liberal policies during the electoral campaign, Rudd pellucidly reveals that his government will not be a government of “new leadership” but a government of mimicry. 

                               ________________________________________
The ascendancy of the Labor Party to the treasury benches in Victoria, has churned in its wake a billow of waves of industrial action by an amalgam of union power that threatens to shipwreck the economic vibrancy of the state. The outcome of such fatuous action by the unions will be to induce a flight of investment capital from Victoria to other states, as current and would-be employers of this state would feel too insecure to invest in an environment of industrial turmoil. This is especially so when the Labor government and its leader Steve Bracks are perceived to be irresolute and too weak-kneed to control and rein in this outdated aggression and belligerence of the unions against employers.

The excessive and irrational demands of the unions for a thirty-six hour working week and a 24 percent increase in wages, which if they were successful in obtaining initially in the construction industry and their inevitable flow into some other industries, would have the ineluctable result of throwing thousands of workers among the ranks of the unemployed. This would be a tragic repetition of what happened in the metal industry in the late 80s as a result of excessive union claims, under the then Federal Secretary of the Metal Trades Union, George Campbell—a political stallion of the Left and presently a Labor Senator who is going to be replaced by another stalwart left-winger Doug Cameron who has indisputable credentials of being in the past a real “communist under the bed”—whom the Treasurer Paul Keating accused of having a necklace of 100,000 dismissed metal workers around his neck.

It’s obvious that the unions are afflicted by an innate inability to learn from their past sloppy errors. And like a recurring malady they are bound to contaminate the economy of the country with the calamitous mistakes of the past. The consequences of a repeated mistake, however, are more tragic than the consequences of an initial one and therefore carry a greater responsibility. An action that is performed for the first time is experimental in regard to its consequences, as no one, without the gifts of Tiresias, can predict or foresee whether its results will be benign or malign.  (Not that the unions could be excused for their first error. There was ample evidence of a global scale at the time, and enough forewarnings by eminent economists, that excessive union claims within the confines of global competition would inexorably lead to the flight of capital from regions these claims were impacting upon, and hence to unemployment.) But an action that is repeated deliberately and wantonly in spite of knowledge of its harmful effects in the past is intellectually malevolent and morally culpable.

Whose Culpability is Greater the Union’s or the Government’s

Two questions therefore arise. Is the intelligence of unions commensurate with their powers? Or is it the case that union power is more like the wings of an eagle attached to a pigeon head? If the answer to the second question is affirmative, then one further question is posed, i.e., why then was the political wing of the Labor Party, which is now in government and having the expertise of knowing better about the dire economic effects of industrial unrest to the country nonetheless was unwilling to intervene promptly and decisively to block the irrational and pernicious claims of its industrial wing, which as a government of all Victorians—Premier Brack’s slogan—was committed in doing? Furthermore, why was the government’s immediate reaction to blame the Federal government’s industrial legislation for the ongoing industrial unrest instead of doing something that would have stifled the industrial dispute in its initial stages, for which it had prior knowledge, and using the subterfuge of an excuse that it was constrained by the legislation and could do nothing effective toward its resolution? Both the deputy leader of the government John Twaites and the Minister of Industrial Relations Monica Gould, used this feeble argument, when in fact with the return of the Premier from Davos  the latter forced the union involved in the dispute of the Yallourn power station to return back to work by imposing hefty fines upon its members, hence demonstrating that the government had the power to do something effective to resolve the dispute? Wasn’t it rather, the attempt to shift the blame to the federal legislation, a poor ruse, indeed, a camouflage, to cover its lack of will to intervene timely and decisively and derail the union from its “crashing” course? Yet, the belated action was effective, even if it was done halfheartedly. But what other alternative the government had, at the end of its honeymoon with the electorate, other than to send the stalled fire engines out to extinguish the full blown fire, if it was not to be seen, and impugned, in the electorates eyes, as politically effete and incompetent?

This is a basic characteristic, however, and an irreversible syndrome of Labor governments. To intervene in industrial disputes only when political necessity dictates, i.e., only when these disputes have reached a high point with the potential of harming the economy, and hence would be politically damaging. For organizational and ideological reasons Labor governments are not prone to intervene in the wrangles of their comrade-in-arms with employers, but do so only as a last resort.

This general inaction of Labor governments in industrial disputes is a result first, of a common ideology shared with the unions whose core emanates from the principles of socialism, and secondly, from its constitutional organizational structures that tie the political and industrial wings of the Party into a powerful body and into a compact of consensus that determines the functions of each wing. In conference after conference of the Party, the common and often repeated refrain is that Labor occupies the treasury benches only for the purpose of implementing policies which are discussed and ratified in state and federal conferences in whose conception the unions and its sundry representatives, mainly academics, have a major input. The union’s dominance is illustrated not only in the generation and formation of policies (Its architects generally are academics from the Left, whose intellectual frustration is at a boiling point because their ideas and policies cannot pass muster among other academic luminaries, but who do find a paradisiacal outlet for their “time-stopped” ideas, as well as an adulatory audience among their comrades in the unions, who normally cannot separate the wheat from the chaff of these ideas), but also on the conference floor as sixty percent of its delegates must be union representatives according to the Party’s constitution.

The larger and, especially, the more militant unions have such a firm grip in the election of delegates to Party forums, that even ministers and would-be premiers often cannot be elected to these meetings. Many ministers , therefore, who are unable to be elected to conferences on their own authority, resort to “begging” less militant unions to be placed in their delegations as constitutionally the unions have the authority to do so. Hence only as supplicants to the unions are ministers able to participate in conferences. For example, Jim Kennan, the Attorney General in the Cain Government, for many years was a delegate of the Clothing Trades Union. Likewise too, Steven Bracks, the current premier, was a delegate of the same union, who had taken Kennan’s place with the latter’s departure from politics. Other ministers who are not as fortunate to be union delegates attend conferences as visitors and observers without the right to move, or vote for, resolutions of the conference. Hence, ministers and many of their advisers are left out from the formulation and ratification of the Party’s policies. Such is the power and influence of unions in the organizational procedures of the Party, that often they cal “lock-out” important ministers who are not close to their ideological positions, from the highest policymaking bodies of the Party.

Moreover, the grip of the unions is extended to the pre-selection procedures of the candidates of the Party as well as in the choosing and changes of the parliamentary leadership, both in the state and federal domains. Who can forget for instance the telephone call that Paul Keating made, during his challenge of Bob Hawke, to Wally Curren, secretary of the Meat Workers Union asking him for his support in the coming challenge to Hawke for the leadership of the government? And Curren obliging, by forcing those MP’s from Victoria who owed their position in parliament to his patronage, to vote for Keating? This irritated Bob Hawke so much asking who Wally Curren was pretending thus ironically that he himself who had ousted and replaced Bill Hayden with union support was not cognizant of the influence trade union leaders have in pre-selections. As for the branches of the Party they play a superficial role in the pre-selection of candidates as they too in turn are influenced in their decisions by the organizational power of the unions.

Labor Politicians at the Mercy of Unions

Being therefore at the mercy of unions for their parliamentary positions and for the buttering of their bread, labor politicians, with some exceptions, are cast as toadies of the unions. Only the Federal Executive of the Party can intervene can intervene and save a ministerial or a backbencher’s scalp from the tomahawk of the unions. This occurred when John Halpenny, the Secretary of the Trades Hall Council in Victoria. were placed in the number one position on the senate ticket, with massive union support, in the 1988 federal election, relegating the leader of the Senate, John Button, to the second position. And in the election following the one in 1988, some of the left-wing unions were deliberating whether or not to place Gareth Evans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the second position on the senate ticket. Only some sober heads at the last moment saved the glitterati Minister from the rusty and blood-stained tomahawk of the unions and from posthumous obloquy. (But the power of the Federal Executive is limited, as is illustrated in the present coming election of 2007 in the seat of Coreo, where the current seating member, Gavin O’Connor, is replaced by an assistant secretary of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), against the wishes of the Executive.)

It’s for all the above reasons, this congeniality of interests between Labor governments and unions that prevents the former from acting timely and decisively in industrial disputes. And even when they do as a last resort they cannot be impartial in their involvement. The Brack government being captive to the unions has to cater to the latter’s voracious appetite on a number of issues: On the restoration of common law damages for injured workers, which has already being done by passing the relevant legislation in parliament, on the restitution of industrial policy back to the State Government, so the latter can abolish the industrial contracts of the Federal Government, whose aim is to eliminate union dominance in industry negotiations, and to replace them with collective bargaining, hence restoring union coercion and thuggery during negotiations with employers. On these issues and on many others, the Labor government is hamstrung by union power. Whether the former will be able to deliver on these issues will depend on the political climate of the day and on the degree of resonance such a delivery will have upon the electorate.

Steve Brack’s therefore, like a trapeze artist, has to walk on a tight rope whose one end is held by the unions and the other by the community, and perform his balancing act. While gratifying the union claims, with potentially destructive consequences to the economy of the State, at the same time he has to keep its economic robustness, inherited from his liberal predecessor, Jeff Kennet, intact, hence erasing any fears or consternations the community might have about the new industrial course of his government.

It’s with this purpose in mind to win the confidence of Victorians and of some naïve employers that Steve Bracks lately set up a new stage with an old play. His government lacking any originality or lateral thinking in policymaking ransacked the ram shackled spider web storehouse of past Labor policies to bring out the nostrums of “old age”. The summit of “Growing Victoria Together”, chaired by that scion of Labor power, Bob Hawke, was such a nostrum. Imbibing a strong dose of self-deception, Bracks was hopeful that by attracting some old and new celebrities from the industrial club and from business to the summit the public would be hoodwinked and believe that something substantial would come from the coupling of these celebrities. What in fact happened, was that each spokesperson of this divided house of unions and employers, voiced plaintively their complaints and grievances against each other with the result that they were not able to reach an agreement as to how and by what prudent set of actions, they would carry out the growth of Victoria. The rhetorical statement at the end of the summit, spun by the golden threads of the cerebral and literary qualities of Bob Hawke and his wife, respectively, could hardly hide the practical hollowness of the summit. What the latter did was to set up a number of committees to look at a number of issues.  Such as education and training, investment in training, industrial relations, health and wellbeing indicators to measure performance in meeting social goals, infrastructure, the impact of payroll tax on job and wealth creation , and the audit of government services in country communities. It also set up an advisory body to strengthen community input, oblivious of the fact, that while the latter is important it is not a substitute for political leadership. Forgetful also of the fact that the achievement of this laudable “prospectus”, is absolutely dependent on calm industrial relations. And therefore cannot be achieved while the agitated firebrand steam of the unions continues unabated.

Hence, the mountain (the summit) has brought forth a mouse which is at the mercy of the cat’s paws, the unions. Furthermore, as so many of the issues are to be shoved to committees, whose members are deeply divided on the central issue of industrial relations, they are inevitably going to be dealt with in a banal hackneyed manner, since their members will be unable to reach a mutual agreement on the key issue of industrial relations. Hence the summit’s “debris-deliberations” will be proven to be a barren exercise.

The Bracks’ government by its farcical and enervating stand toward the unions and by its populist stand toward the public threatens to throw Victoria into the doldrums as well as empty the coffers of the treasury. This is not a government of substance but a government of images—the images of a dead past. But funeral rites for dead images can be very expensive to the general community, both in terms of tax increases and unemployment.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Thucydides Engendering Philosopher-Warriors is Saviour of Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a comment of mine in a Seminar held at the Greek Community Centre in Melbourne, on the 16 of March, 2017, whose theme was, “Thucydides as Philosopher-Historian.” 

The teachings of the philosopher-historian Thucydides are taught assiduously and meticulously in the military academies of the Western world, especially in the United States and Russia.

Thus, these academies are churning out—like Plato’s academy generating philosopher-kings—philosopher-warriors. One such military savant is general Petraeus, the vanquisher of al-Qaeda in Iraq; another two, are generals McMaster and Mattis, the present occupiers respectively of the posts of National Security Adviser and of Defence, in the Trump administration. And it is not an aleatory action or chance event but a deliberate choice, on the part of Trump, that he has appointed high military personnel in key positions of his administration: In anticipatory awareness that America could be attacked with bio-chemical, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, once the terrorists of Islam acquire them. Such an attack would overturn the USA in an instance from democracy into a military dictatorship, as only the latter could protect America and the rest of the West from this sinister existential threat that is posed by these fanatics.

Two Thucydidean fundamental principles in warfare were, “Know thy Enemy” and “Pre-emptive Attack.” Thus Thucydides in the twentieth-first century, will be the saviour of Western civilization.

Address to the Former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In view of the prevention of terrorists attacks targeting main public centres in Melbourne during Christmas, I’m publishing the following address that was delivered by me, at the private chambers of Sir Harry Gibbs (former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia) on December 14, 2002, who as Chairman of The Samuel Griffith Society presided over its annual general meeting.

 Mr. President,

I’m aware that the issue I’m raising is not directly related to the charter of our society. But because our way of life, our values and the lives of our citizens are under threat by a deadly network of fanatic terrorists, and because these values are written and reflected in the Australian Constitution, our society as a defender of the latter, cannot avoid from being embroiled in this war against terrorism and its state sponsors.

As in all wars, beyond the human and material mobilization of a nation, the moral and spiritual mobilization of its people is just as important, if not more important. I strongly believe that in the latter mobilization, our society can play a significant and important role.

Recently, there has been a cravenly and ignominious attempt to disarm the country of its strength from effectively confronting this terrorist threat. A secular and sacred chorus have sung an ode in praise of disloyalty and pusillanimity, as the best means of defence against terrorism. Four former prime ministers (Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating) a Governor General (Bill Hayden) and a motley of religious prelates, disseminated their nihilistic wisdom to the people of this country, as to whether Australia should support the United States in a war against Iraq. Their pronounciamento of No to War, was remarkable for its poverty of thought, for its lack of historical insight, and for its richness in levity. In the latter case this was demonstrated bizarrely by Mr. Keating, who in a tongue-in-cheek interview on channel 10, stated that while we should keep our important alliance with the USA, we should not support the latter in its war against Iraq. In his own inimitable words, he remarked, that a “clever nation—read a clever government under his premiership—could have its-own-cake-and-it eat—too.” Such a proposition is of course based on the assumption that the other party, in this case the USA government, is so stupid, that it would be willing to fall victim to Mr. Keating’s con-man diplomacy and would gratify his penchant of having his cake-and-eating-too.

But despite the lack of seriousness and frivolity of these ideas, propagated by this prominent group of court-jesters, it would a mistake to underestimate the great damage these ideas would make on the moral fibre and on the fighting spirit of the country. It is for this reason that this sophistry of these intellectual usurpers, must be countered and exposed for its spiritual and moral bankruptcy. It would be a historical and political folly to allow these political and religious romantics, the nipple-fed intellectuals of academe, and the populist media, to monopolise, dominate, and debase the debate on the war against terrorism. I believe that our society can play a pivotal role in counter-balancing this monopoly and exposing the brittleness of the arguments of this caricature of statesmanship.

Mr. President, I’m aware of the paucity of the material resources of our society. But this should not be a reason why the wealth of its intellect, imagination, and moral mettle, should lay fallow in these critical times.                

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austerity in Greece a Remedy not a Penalty for Self-made Ills

By Con George-Kotzabasis September 23, 2016

My short reply to a political theorist of the Jurgen Habermas School of Critical Theory

It is rather surprising to see a votary of Jurgen Habermas in using an analytic blunted tool that leads to the false inference that malevolent Europeans wilfully imposed upon Greece austerity measures to punish it. The truth is, that these measures were saddled upon Greece as a result of a consumer’s binge and an exuberance of public spending, fuelled, by a profusion of borrowed funds which inevitably pushed Greece into the quagmire of bankruptcy. Austerity therefore and the economic structural changes imposed on the country were a remedy, not a penalty, for the self-inflicted ills that past government policies, mainly of Pasok, engendered.

My question is, why you have not mentioned anything of the pledges, that Kyriakos Mitsotakis had made in his speech at the Exhibition of Thessalonica last Saturday, with their great potential to pull Greece out of its long economic crisis. In my opinion, a government, under the strong and astute leadership of Mitsotakis, will pull Greece out of its immiseration—as the Samaras government was close in achieving. An immiseration that the totally inept Tsipras government is exacerbating, with its historically obsolete neo-Marxist fixations and panaceas.