Tuesday 27 September 2022

Workers’ Mail: Proud to Protest.


In Australia we’ve grown used to be endlessly lectured on how lucky we are for living in a liberal democracy. It’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people” this; “rule of law” that. Aussie pollies go around the world in a crusade against foreign autocrats.

It sounds good, right?

Our reality, however, is a lot less rosy: we have the right to ask, but our representatives are free to deny. If we are not happy, we can complain, but our representatives gave themselves the right to disregard our complaints. We can protest, as long as we do not disturb our representatives.

Our “representatives” do not represent us. In their views, we should be grateful because they are generous enough to allow us to ask, complain and protest, no matter how ineffectually. Their rule is redeemed not for the solutions it brings to our problems, but for allowing us some room to express our discontent.

In other words, we are not the masters, but the slaves. They make the rules and we are coerced into following them. And they are reducing what room we had to express our discontent.

If we want to slow down the constant empowering of our masters we are forced to act within the limits of what they still find acceptable.

So, if you, like me, are worried about the increasingly liberal democratic authoritarianism of NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, you should give a thought to the letter Sam, from Unions NSW, is promoting.

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