February 10th 2001

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Articles from this issue:

Cover Story: US power crisis - is this where we're heading?

Editorial: Why family farms are at risk

Western Australia: Much at stake in WA poll

Queensland: Election outcome difficult to forecast

Agriculture: Inquiries to look at AQIS apple decision

Canberra Observed: Family trusts - will government bite bullet?

Straws in the Wind

The Media

Letter: Manifesto important

History: The real Frank Hardy?

Comment: Pollies protest too much Comment: Pollies protest too much

Victoria: Bracks' new social engineering Bills criticised

United States: Bush moves promptly on abortion funding

Books promotion page

Letter: Manifesto important

by Hon. Clyde Cameron AO

News Weekly, February 10, 2001


I applaud the decision to publish a Special Edition of News Weekly (January 13, 2001) against the economic rationalists who favour the globalisation of corporate capitalism, thus enabling foreign multinational corporations to shift Australian industries to the cheap labour costs of Asia.

Not only has this resulted in mass unemployment, but globalisation is allowing 60 per cent of multinationals operating in our country to pay no tax, and 40 per cent to pay very little tax and merge with other multinationals in order to eliminate competition.

I recall that in 1936 Bob Santamaria wrote an editorial for the newly launched Catholic Worker linking monopoly capitalism with the evils of Communism and saying:

"Communism is NOT our greatest adversity. The position of Public Enemy No 1 is reserved for Capitalism, not because it is a system which is intrinsically more evil than Communism - they are both equally false, and equally fatal to human personality - but because today it dominates the world. Capitalism - that is the enemy!"

That was in 1936.

In 1992, the late Bob Santamaria drew attention to the fact that the top one per cent of US households were worth more than all of the assets owned by the bottom 90 per cent which comprise 84 million households (Weekend Australian 2 May 1992).

Not surprisingly, he saw such an unfair distribution of wealth as a recipe for economic disaster and he kept up his pleading for reforms until he passed away.

In December 1995 Bob reminded his readers that the great French philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, declared that the terrible, bloody French Revolution of 1789, stemmed from the enormous benefits enjoyed by the French nobility and bourgeois which had added to the burdens placed upon the peasantry. He went on to quote from an article published by the French newspaper Le Figaro likening the 1995 scene in France to the events leading up to the French Revolution and wrote:

"If for 'the nobility' one substitutes today's major corporations which dominate the economy, and for 'the peasantry' the middle and working classes who have seen their taxes increase while the quality of their social services diminish, Le Finaro's comparison may not seem improbable" (Weekend Australian, 16 December 1995).

On 9 January 1996, I sent Bob a copy of my paper on the CIA warning of international terrorism and on 22 January, he replied saying:

"Your article is absolutely first class ... Have you thought of getting it published in one of the dailies? The information is indispensable. l suppose that as the media are monopolised by the tax-evaders, it will be difficult. But do what you can".

I did as Bob recommended, but received a two-line reply from the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald reading: "Please find enclosed your unsolicited work which we are unable to use on this occasion." It was also rejected by The Advertiser.

I wrote to Bob again on 16 April 1996, saying:

"It has been your articles in the Weekend Australian that have helped me to believe that the fight for a better Labor Party will one day produce the desired results.

"You question: 'Why should a man not do what is now within his power to do? Can one establish a morality which really works over all, other than on a religious basis?'

"They are great words ... Keep up the fight! You are a really great advocate; and in the meantime, l shall continue to remain, Yours very sincerely."

Bob Santamaria did, indeed, become the political idol of the millions of traditional Labor voters who derived comfort from the knowledge that the true Labor Party had not passed away. On the 25 February 1998, we lost a hero whose soul was not for sale.

In a six-page valedictory I wrote for The Australian, l said:

"No other person had such an influence on the political scene as Bob Santamaria during the last fifty years of his life; and no other political figure engendered the same devotion from his followers, or fear from his opponents ...

"In a letter dated 4 May 1990, he told me that from the Seventies, the internal divisions in the Communist Party had led many to turn 'King's evidence', and as a consequence, 'the inequities of the banking system during the last decade, gained a new lease of life, and I have returned to my original position (i.e. that Capitalism and not Communism is the worst enemy) ..."

I wrote that:

"I shared Bob's sadness over the way politics have deteriorated to a position that is now a contest between the rich and the poor; the privileged and the underprivileged; the exploiters and the exploited; the tax avoiders and the taxpayers; the greedy and the needy; the buyers of labour and the sellers of labour, with the odds always stacked up in favour of the first party ...

"For the past eighteen years Bob Santamaria has been warning that the whole Western financial system would face a major crash.

"He made the point that international banks are not concerned with whether the governments they help are Communist or anti-Communist. Their only concern is with profit, not ideology."

I know News Weekly's Special Edition exposing economic rationalism and the globalisation of corporate power would have received the wholehearted support of Bob Santamaria.

Hon. Clyde Cameron AO,
Tennyson, SA

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