A MANIFESTO FOR AUSTRALIA by News WeeklyNews Weekly
, January 13, 2001
Almost 20 years of uncontrolled deregulation has brought unparalleled prosperity to those who have managed this process or been able to adjust to the shock of the new.
But it has also caused widespread job destruction in productive primary and secondary industries; replaced full-time work for many with part-time or casual employment or contract labor; forced thousand of farmers off the land; created a huge pool of young and middle-aged unemployed and under-employed; and downsized essential public services in banking, health, education and communications.
The purpose of this Special Edition of News Weekly is to establish the necessary conditions for any political movement to achieve change in Australia.
First it sets down clear philosophical principles and a New Social Manifesto for Australia;
Second it analyses 20 years of Globalism and economic rationalism;
Third it outlines a practical economic policy agenda;
The Editorial suggests practical ways that organisations can work together to channel the changing political tide in Australia.A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT
A ship can transport people and goods great distances but cannot steer itself to a destination. Similarly, capitalism has produced unprecedented wealth, but unregulated and without direction it cannot guarantee a strong economic foundation for all families, or create healthy thriving communities, or ensure a stable democracy. An economic system needs a values system to regulate it and guide it.
Today there is a growing struggle between those who hold the levers of economic and political power and benefit enormously from Globalism, and those who are victims of the newly deregulated system.
In reality, this is a struggle between two opposing value systems.
On one hand, Globalism is founded on the idea, "I have a right to do as I please without regard to the common good of society." This system is a product of the secular humanist philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s cultural revolution.
On the other, there are those who believe that capitalism needs to be guided and regulated by a values system that financially strengthens families, builds healthy communities and underpins a vibrant, strong democracy.
There are five philosophical primacies of such an economic system.
- The integrity of the human person from the beginning of life until death;
- The family as the central unit of society;
- Decentralism, meaning a preference in the economic and political system for the family farm, the small business, the cooperative, and decentralised government and administration over big business, government, unions and bureaucracy.
- Patriotism: the love of one's country as expressed by a willingness to defend it from military aggression and from the rogue international financial markets.
- Judeo-Christian values which underpin our institutions and provide the social cement that holds society together.
Based on these values, a new Social Manifesto is urgently needed to counter the socially destructive forces within Globalism and to assert the responsibilities of the government and the economic system to its citizens, families and country. This includes:
• A return to a property-owning democracy, in which Australians can reasonably expect to own their own homes, farms, and small businesses.
• Vigorous support for Australian businesses and farmers to help them prosper and win markets overseas.
• As the major banks have turned into investment houses, families, small-medium businesses and family farmers need significant new bank to service their needs.
• Re-establishment of a social wage that provides a good income for single income families. This means access to full-time work supplemented by a taxation, savings and family assistance package that allows families to flourish independent of the welfare state. Extra effort is needed to bring the young and the long-term unemployed into the workforce.
• All Australians need guaranteed reasonable access to education, health and hospital care, and communications services.
• For economic and security reasons, Australia needs to increase its population through pro-families policies and immigration, and to substantially increase its defence forces.
• Recognising the size of Australia and its enormous natural resources, a national infrastructure program is urgently needed to address the resources, water, transportation and other vital infrastructure needs of the nation.
To implement this Social Manifesto, benchmarks targets and an implementation timetable are needed, and a unified, national movement is required to lift these ideas onto the national agenda.Contents of this Special Issue