Today marks a victory, not just for a particular party, but for an embedded ideology that is focussed only on the self. I can see no other explanation for what has happened in Australian politics, media and business over the last decade. We have become a people willing to forgo any sense or ability to act as a society and ceded any notion of community for self interest.
We have allowed ourselves to lose a sense of a collective conscious and have been manipulated to the point where the only thing that matters is us — our stuff, our point of view, our beliefs, our money. There is nothing shared. There is nothing common. There is no common good because there is no longer a common people.
This loss has had a profound affect on our country.
We have allowed politics to become a cult of personality rather than a vehicle for democratic representation. We now choose one party over another, not because of the policies on the table, but because of the people behind them. We vote our representatives in, not because of the quality of their representation to their communities, but their allegiance to a party line. We’ve allowed politics to become a game where we, the people who it is supposed to serve, ultimately lose out.
We cannot share a vision of our country or as a people because of this ideology of self. We can’t articulate a ideal of what Australia or Australian is because we don’t allow ourselves to be absorbed into the whole, to unite under our commonalities rather than our differences. We are the centre of our own universe and we are unwilling to let go of the control that we assume we have. The media have made it impossible to share a vision because of their incessant reliance on forced perspective. Policy that is aimed at nation building is viewed through the lens of the individual, while those that represent the individual are blown up to be viewed as a snapshot of an entire nation. All to sell advertising for a range of shitty bits of plastic, wires and sugar water.
Business, the media and government seem to be run for the purpose of self aggrandisement rather than as a service for the people. They have lost any sense that they are constructs only possible in a social community based on shared benefit. All this wealth, this freedom, this beauty are only possible through the very fact that we live in and function as part of a society. Profits don’t exist if you don’t have a people, an audience or a community. The infrastructure that we rely on daily can’t exist without a society – the roads, hospitals, schools, banks, telecommunications – cannot exist without the construct of a civilised society.
Yet we consciously do almost everything in our power to destroy society by again and again acting only in our self interest. We subscribe to an ideology and a set of actions whose endpoint is the destruction of the communities we depend on. Without those communities we will have nothing that we rely on, nothing that we value and nothing but ourselves to blame.
Australia has become a nation of individuals unable to ever truly come together as one, or to even visualise ourselves as one united people … and that’s truly sad.
I don’t know what the solution is — but I think it starts with opting out. By not buying into the ideology of self, by forcing ourselves to think collectively, to share and collaborate we can begin restore community. If we look to unite through our commonalities rather than under the banner of our differences. If we can look past some of the embedded cultural and social differences we can not eat pigs together.
It is only as communities that we can assemble the power to truly generate the change needed in this country. If we began to change the way we discuss, consume and invest our money, time and effort to be more focused on shared experiences that would be a good start. If we stop thinking, behaving and acting as individual islands and instead to reframe ourselves as connected and consequential we begin to see our locale and embrace the diversity of people within it.
We don’t have to become nationalists, communists or socialists – we just need to understand we are part of something bigger, and that in itself is where the value lies.