Many years ago, our school class (cannot remember which one) had a student teacher, who introduced to us the concept of ‘Austerica’, an amalgam of the names Australia and America. It is a word coined by the architect Robin Boyd in his book ‘The Australian Ugliness’ from 1960. It referred to the slavish adoption by Australians of American styles in everything from neon-lighting, outlandish fins on cars, to some of the cheapest and silliest mass-produced items. It was later applied to the adherence by Australia to American economic imperialism and foreign policy1. That still endures, despite clear evidence that following these unquestioningly is a recipe for disaster.

Historian Geoffrey Serle expanded the concept into ‘Austerica Unlimited’ but that never really caught on. His thesis was that we had exchanged the British neo-colonial situation for an American one; that we had abandoned the prospect of independent nationhood; and that we were going to become just slightly different sorts of Americans. As Serle said: “The entertainment, hotel and advertising industries have succumbed almost entirely to the cheapest, most meretricious aspects of American life, and flaunt their debased, shoddy, second-hand gimmicks as ‘everything desirable, exciting, luxurious and enviable’. It is sad that the United States should export so easily so many of its worst features; and sadder still that these should catch on most readily in Australia.”2

As if to emphasise this slavish adherence to American idiocy, throughout the Murdoch media empire in Australia, there have been supporters of the Trump presidency. This is despite the fact that any, even a superficial, reading of his history would demonstrate what a universally ignorant, dangerously narcissistic, pathological liar he was; and that any observation of the ethos and actions of the Trump White House would show how incompetent, criminal and childishly thin-skinned Trump and his malevolent crew were.3-6

In addition to supporting Trump, these Murdoch idiots have also started importing the same supposedly disparaging epithets from the far right of the Republican Party and their nutty supporters. Importing the drivel that passes for political discussion in the US is so extraordinarily funny, when our own is just as vacuous.

Bronwyn Bishop, the intermittent visitor to the Sky After Dark menagerie often refers to socialists as a warning to the nation. However, as in the United States, Bishop’s use of the term ‘socialist’ is for anyone not a rabid uber-capitalist. Believe it or not, she actually said “Malcolm Turnbull brought socialism into the Liberal Party and the legacy of that has to be buried. He’s the one who made us completely reliant on China, he’s the one who signed the French submarine deal, he’s the one who ratified the Paris agreement and he’s the one who made the doctrine of climate change one that decimated our industry”7. It is clear she has no idea what socialism is, and is more motivated by hatred of Malcolm Turnbull, than any economic understanding. Socialism is by definition a political economic and social philosophy mostly characterised by social ownership of the means of production, and democratic control or workers’ self-management of enterprises8. The way socialism is used by the RWNJs in Australia is in the sense that it is a combination of anything designed to decrease inequality, in reference to anything the Labor Party does, or anyone who points out that for most of her working life she has been on the public teat9.

It was the idiotic Victorian state Liberal MP, Tim Smith, who, during the lockdown in response to the second wave of Covid-19 in that state, referred to the actions by the government as being like communist Eastern Europe, and called the Premier, Daniel Andrews, “Chairman Dan”, implying that the Labor Premier was running the state in the style of an oppressive communist regime10. That is the closest RWNJs will ever get to returning to the ‘reds under the bed’ panic of the 1950s, as they are starting to realise that communism effectively collapsed under the weight of its own inconsistencies, some 30 years ago.

Another derogatory term much used by RWNJs in the United States is ‘liberal’. It used to mean laissez-faire economics and free trade; science-based enlightenment; democracy and the supreme rights of the individual; and religious freedom. It has now been turned into a derogatory term drained of all political meaning by the RWNJ media faces who simply use it as an insult11. It’s funny how that one hasn’t been imported to Australia.

Sources

  1. Davison, G., Hirst, J.B., Macintyre, S., 1998. The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Oxford University Press, Melbourne 716p.
  2. http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/Serle-Austerica-Unlimited.pdf
  3. https://blotreport.com/2017/05/11/president-life-trump/
  4. https://blotreport.com/2017/03/04/why-dont-republicans-dump-trump/
  5. https://blotreport.com/2017/03/02/congress-trumped/
  6. https://blotreport.com/2017/02/22/mad-king-trump/
  7. https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6150263532001
  8. https://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism
  9. https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/12/22/top-four-examples-of-socialism-bronwyn-bishop-bravely-called-out-in-2017/
  10. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1329878X20981780
  11. https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article10359293.html

9 Comments

  • Arthur Baker says:

    The problem with the word “liberal”, uniquely in Australia, is that the word was hi-jacked years ago to name a political party. I wasn’t in Australia during the MIng era (arrived right at the end of Poor Wee Billy McMahon’s pathetic stint, just in time for the “It’s Time” campaign), so I can’t say from personal experience whether the party ever genuinely was liberal, but as it’s lurched further and further to the right, it sure as heck has lost any claim to be so now.

    Naturally, the party’s politicians and other adherents wouldn’t use the word as an insult (fishmongers don’t stand outside their shops shouting “Stinking fish! Stinking fish!”, as my dad used to constantly remind me), but “Chairman” Dan did have a good shot at it when Joshy FriedEggInABurger abused him, commenting, in one of the more memorable moments of the forgettable year of 2020 “He’s not a leader – he’s just a Liberal”. Raised a laugh in our household.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      The Liberal Party in the days of Ming was roughly as the classical description would have us believe. In his ‘forgotten people’ speech Ming basically stated that the people the nation needs to care for are those in the working and middle classes, while the wealthy could look after themselves. I discuss it here in the third last paragraph: https://blotreport.com/2017/05/30/trickle-down-tom/

      It was Thatcher and Reagan who started the ‘trickle-down’ con job. This was followed in part by Hawke and Keating, but really got going under Howard, when corporate welfare and tax cuts for the wealthy really started to take off. That has continued. The current government is anything but liberal. They say they are all for personal responsibility, yet they want to control the lives of others. It is mostly because they have been taken over by religious nutters; and religious nutters are all about control.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Ah yes, the “Forgotten people” speech, whence Joe the Hock plagiarised his infamous “lifters and leaners” caricatures. So hopeless he couldn’t even make up his own metaphors and had to rely on some of Ming’s from the middle of the second world war. Got any more of those cigars left, Darius?

        • admin says:

          Arthur,
          I am always amazed at the lack of ability of most of those in politics. They seem to have a singular lack of ability with writing speeches. I was at the citizenship ceremony in Canberra where Morrison gave his speech (more on this another day), and it was replete with motherhood statements and read like a shopping list. It felt like it was put together by the work experience kid. It was awful.

  • Russell says:

    Recently I watched a drama series centering on a nasty guy who gets his just desserts – indeed, a Murdoch minion who fell heavily from grace. I refer to abject specimen Roger AILES, who moved from news at CNBC into Murdoch’s grubby lair. Feted around New York as a fine people manager and news innovator, the larger-than-life Ailes, Republican conservative to his boot soles, snapped up a top lucrative position at the Moloch empire in 1995. He initiated and headed Fox News, and made it into the totally biased monstrosity it remains. The TV series must give truly old-style “liberal” people much glee, at the point where Ailes finally destroys his own (repulsive ) success with News Corpse. As a temperamental control freak who readily swore at and bullied people like a slum lord, at Fox News Roger’s verbal whip lashed almost everyone. However, rather unwisely the rude Ailes also alienated Murdoch heirs Lachlan and James. Murdoch’s sons were basically civilised, much more so than Daddy Rupert and his tough-as-nails lieutenant Roger. Lachlan loathed Ailes’ brutish manner and gross self-adoration. Ailes’ rapidly got off-side with the young Murdoch, who relished his future demise after a scandal broke out.

    Rupert was delighted by Ailes’ explicit idea that Fox would not report facts without bias, as proper news channels try to do. He crowed loudly to staff that Fox would create the very news itself. It would feed its own pre-cooked diet of aggressive right wing politics ( Reaganite Republican machismo) to the masses, who would swallow it with a sweetener of flaky talk shows and other assorted pap. Misanthropic by nature, Ailes regarded the public at large as jerks and suckers. Fox News soon had many such devotees whose already well-embedded racial, social and sexual memes or ideas got constantly reinforced. Ailes fulfilled Murdoch’s twisted dream for Fox News to be an echo machine for rank prejudices and ill-informed notions. It vomited into sitting rooms everywhere, shallow, hyped infotainment, lauding all-American dog-eat-dog capitalism at every turn. Half-truths and specious propaganda for the far right was Fox’s deliberate, sleazy stock-in-trade.
    And that is what we see with Australia’s ugly Sky channel today. In fact, Sky after dark might be even more raucously illiberal and mislead the public more than Murdoch’s station in the US. Ailes said Fox cable news had to be “the loudest voice in the room”, an idea that’s alive at Sky News here. They may be void of journalism ethics and due diligence, but Sky presenters bellow louder than measured, intelligent voices with meaningful information to communicate. Sky channel largely targets liberal minded scientists and academics with cheap slights spat out by Dean, Jones and Credlin. And now, added to those golems, enter the dendrite-deficient Corey (“Dopus-Dei”) Bernardi. He’s got his own time-slot, in which to peddle right-of-Abbott rubbish to the pitiable fans of Sky after dark.

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      I have recently seen both of the stories on Ailes; ‘The Loudest Voice’ and ‘Bombshell’. Both showed what an appalling animal [apologies to all other Animalia] he was. People like him seem to have no beliefs or principles, and will do anything they can get away with. What we need to combat the drivel put out by places like Faux and Sky are ‘truth in media’ laws, and their enforcement. The US had them, but Reagan got rid of them and that allowed the rise of Faux.

  • Jon says:

    9 Sociopathic Characteristics.
    https://www.health.com/condition/antisocial-personality-disorder/sociopath-traits
    There are plenty of examples which suggest these very closely match job/”personality” requirements at News Corp.

    Symptom: Lack of empathy
    Perhaps one of the most well-known signs of ASP is a lack of empathy, particularly an inability to feel remorse for one’s actions. “Many people with ASP do seem to lack a conscience, but not all of them,” he explains. Psychopaths always have this symptom, however, which is what makes them especially dangerous. “When you don’t experience remorse, you’re kind of freed up to do anything—anything bad that comes to mind,” says Dr. Black.

    Symptom: Difficult relationships
    People with ASP find it hard to form emotional bonds, so their relationships are often unstable and chaotic, says Dr. Black. Rather than forge connections with the people in their lives, they might try to exploit them for their own benefit through deceit, coercion, and intimidation.

    Symptom: Manipulativeness
    Sociopaths tend to try to seduce and ingratiate themselves with the people around them for their own gain, or for entertainment. But this doesn’t mean they’re all exceptionally charismatic. “It may be true of some, and it is often said of the psychopath that they’re superficially charming,” says Dr. Black. “But I see plenty of antisocial men in my hospital and in our outpatient clinic and I would not use the term charming to describe them.”

    Symptom: Deceitfulness
    Sociopaths have a reputation for being dishonest and deceitful. They often feel comfortable lying to get their own way, or to get themselves out of trouble. They also have a tendency to embellish the truth when it suits them.

    Symptom: Callousness
    Some might be openly violent and aggressive. Others will cut you down verbally. Either way, people with ASP tend to show a cruel disregard for other people’s feelings.

    Symptom: Hostility
    Sociopaths are not only hostile themselves, but they’re more likely to interpret others’ behavior as hostile, which drives them to seek revenge.

    Symptom: Irresponsibility
    Another sign that someone might have ASP is a disregard for financial and social obligations. Ignoring responsibilities is extremely common, says Dr. Black. Think, for example, not paying child support when it’s due, allowing bills to pile up, and regularly taking time off work.

    Symptom: Impulsivity
    We all have our impulsive moments: a last minute road trip, a drastic new hairstyle, or a new pair of shoes you just have to have. But for someone with ASP, making spur of the moment decisions with no thought for the consequences is part of everyday life, says Dr. Black. They find it extremely difficult to make a plan and stick to it.

    Symptom: Risky behavior
    Combine irresponsibility, impulsivity, and a need for instant gratification, and it’s not surprising that sociopaths get involved in risky behavior. They tend to have little concern for the safety of others orfor themselves. This means that excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, unsafe sex, and dangerous hobbies (including criminal activities) are common.

  • Jon says:

    ….. suggest at least some of these …..

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