The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paul Howes dons his 'Papal' robes and dispenses his Grand Vision of a Great Compact. (Unions, Business, Government)

Let's remember who Paul Howes is. He is one who in his youth was a member of "Resistance" the radical extremist and often violent communist protest group. His biography is found by wiki'ing his name. It makes relishing reading.

Long story short, he was 'healed' of his spurious communist ideas by a visit to Cuba. Now he lingers on as a soft Socialist type, and sits on various boards and body's that place him close to the 'big' end of town.

Howes makes a pertinent observation from the perspective of a Unionist, ie.. that 'we desperately need a compact' (recycled Bob Hawke "Accord").  Yet I suspect that Howes real motivation, however well disguised in the rhetoric of concern for the nation, is pure political survival.

He is at least saying the right words, speaking of the need for all of us to get together and work for a national interest determined by some kind of consensus out of all these bodies.  It was this mention of a 'national interest' that particularly caught my attention.   The last time someone spoke like that he was wearing swastikas and speaking to crowd of hundreds of thousands in Germany.  This does not mean that the 'National Vision' of Hitler should be thrown out simply because he was the one we remember for this kind of talk. We can and should reject elements of Hitlers posture, primarily his racial superiority and territorial expansion ideas. They both led to unmeasurable catastrophes of hitherto unimaginable proportions.

The current robust and vibrant German Economy of today suggests that they have 'something' that we could all learn from. Specially considering that whatever they are today, they had to re-build it from the dust and ashes of a decimated social and political and economic order. Dresden was utterly flattened and burned with incendiary bombs, and Hamburg was destroyed.. Berlin didn't fare much better... but 'voila' look at them all today?

The German economy does have some kind of 'compact' or accord, but it is at the  local individual company level if I'm not mistaken.  Also, what they are today is largely due to events which preceded the first world war...and it relates to their philosophy of education.  There are two basic approaches to education of the people.. i) Create individuals ii) Create Citizens. (John Dewey)  There is a vast difference in methodology.  "Individuals" leads to a bunch of narcissists each going in their own preferred direction. "Citizens" are those who have benefited from an education which is limited in scope to those things which are most valuable to the pre determined National Interest.

In my own case, I was educated under just such a system (1950s-60s) but within this system, I found ample scope for my individuality, and a strong measure of personal fulfillment.  Looking at the confused shambles of American life today with African Americans SELF segregating themselves from Whites and other non Africans, with sexual minorities wanting to be segregated....it is evidence of individuality taken to absurd extremes.  It is also a complete ruination of the civil rights movement's noble goals of abolishing discrimination and segregation.

But back to Howes.  His words are right, but if we dig into it, and pick over the entrails, I feel we would find that his proposal definitely comes back to the retention of 'organized labor' with him having a prominent part in it.  I'm reminded of FDR's words "Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the measure of success goes hand in hand with an abandonment of the false belief that high public office and political position are to be valued only in terms of pride of place and personal profit"

I think young Pauly could benefit from some reflection on those words.  John Dewey's in depth analysis of the philosophy of education is extremely worthwhile to examine (avail on mp3 downloads from Librivox)   but he approaches the subject from the viewpoint of Skinnerian 'stimulus/response' determinism. I would not take Dewey's views as a basis for education, though they are useful in understanding some mental processes. His views have no enduring values, nor admit any eternal truths.  No amount of 'accord/compact' or chinwag will produce anything of enduring value, because as soon as opportunity opens it's door just a crack... a Cataline like creature will be trying to kick it open, hijack the treasury and split the wealth with his mates.  Perhaps, -or is it a certainty, that the likes of John Setka and his CFMEU mates will be donning Roman Toga's and looking suspiciously interested in any economic prize they can extract from anything that goes on?  Don't forget, a builders laborer receives around $100k in wages and allowances while a teacher with a degree will get between $55K starting and $85k after years of experience.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. While Paul Howes is on the right track, he, and organized labor, in the outdated failed Union pattern would doom it to a short life. Labor should be organized only at the local level. There does however need to be a Senior vulture above them to ensure they are neither pecked to death by the privileged bosses, or try to do some darkside pecking themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make comments here. Vulgarity or namecalling will not survive the moderator. Reasoned argument alone will survive.