FB thread: In many dictatorships, especially ones defended by conscripted soldiers, the legitimacy of the state depends, not on legality, but on whether it can provide for its people, otherwise it collapses in revolution.
Liberal democracy by contrast deifies the processes of governance rather than its outcomes, and sanctifies the means of attaining political power rather than the ends of that power. The danger is, to paraphrase Plato, that dictatorship arises out of democracy and the most aggravated tyranny out of the most extreme liberty.
At least revolutionary dictators come to power by making life choices that could have gotten them killed, but what courage does it take to become an Australian politician? If you present well and lick the right corporate boots, the monopolised media will win elections for you.
The reason many politicians can get away with arresting protesters, detaining them for blocking traffic and then releasing them on bail conditions that ban them from associating with other members of their own organisation or entering the city centre, is because Australians are some of the most alienated people on earth.
We live in suburbs where no one knows their neighbours, whereas in many postcolonial nations that had to fight for their freedom against a foreign coloniser, communities with an actual collective consciousness still exist, therefore, if your cause is popular, “the people” will actually join you in being disruptive (I was born in Kerala after all).
The reason Anglo workers revolted during the early phases of the industrial revolution in Britain is because they were subject to the dehumanising discipline and alienation of wage-labour for the first time, after generations of being peasants and living in communities where everyone knew each other.
Eventually, that collective sense of rebelliousness was killed off in the Anglo because their living standards, even as convicts in Australia, were subsidised by looted Indian wealth and stolen Aboriginal land. Then came the post-colonial immigrants, but why would they complain about political rights when this country is an “upgrade” compared to where they came from? That’s the middle class migrant mentality for you.
What is freedom other than our rebellion against the inevitable? Every Australian knows that Rupert Murdoch decides who becomes Prime Minister, and yet we have no freedom to change that because we think our “freedom” can change that. Julian Assange languishes in prison for exposing the crimes of a decaying empire, but the Ecuadorians protested for our citizen a lot harder than we ever did.
Margaret Thatcher was right, “there is no such thing as society”, especially when everyone is as rootless as they are here. Australia proves that a country doesn’t need to be a “dictatorship” for it to become a police state, all you need is liberal democracy and a population of frightened alienated cowards, drunk on the myth of their own civilisational exceptionalism.