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09 April 2014

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I follow your thinking Ross Howard.

It is always down to the vote.

If we could get voting done right, PNG would really see what the meaning of democracy is.

The moral failing goes to the heart of the matter.

The fate of my nation pivots on this smallest of matters: morals.

Intimately personal choices, with nationally profound implications.

My observation: the average Joe Blow simply doesn't care because he/she has lost hope, or is too scared, or fattened on the milk of bribes to care.

How do we make people care about their country enough, to take it back when they go to the next election?

Nere tere and similar election tactics are based on two premises: greed and fear.

Greed of those with the wealth to protect and gain more.

Fear propogated by those greedy people over the voting populations during election time.

Greed and fear rules PNG.

We are not free. And God will not save us from our moral decisions no matter how many carvings we chainsaw and burn.

Morality is not divine intervention, it is human choice.

Martyn Namorong gets a lot right:

“The interaction of forces that triggered the Bougainville crisis are complex…Starved of finances from outside, the people have used their own initiative to literally build from scratch… unregulated exploitation is rampant… The Constitution is trampled on and amended to suit the needs of whoever pays the political prostitutes in Waigani… A government that is heavily in debt is not likely to negotiate from a position of strength.”

But to suggest that Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine “perhaps best explains events in this country including the Bougainville crisis” is to reduce complex issues to a naïve left-wing conspiracy theory which blames everyone else for one’s problems.

It’s rather like Karl Marx proclaiming that his theories were “scientific” rather than the unscientific political polemic that it was, and which thus ended in so much misery for hundreds of millions of people.

Klein’s analysis is flawed on almost every level. She argues that capitalism goes hand in hand with dictatorships when in fact the reverse is true, and countries with political freedoms tend to pursue economic freedoms as well.

In support of her argument that “shocks”—tribulations real or imagined—are used by unscrupulous people to consolidate power and implement market reforms she cites, inter alia, China during the Tiananmen Square crisis, suggesting it was to crush the opponents of market reform, and Britain under Margaret Thatcher, who she says used the Falklands War as a cover for unpopular economic reforms.

However the issues in China were many and varied and Chinese market reforms have lifted tens of millions out of poverty. Thatcher’s economic reforms had widespread support from a country that was being strangled economically by Left-wing unions.

Rather than “Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics” spawning “the notion of profiting from disasters”, extremists have long realised they can prosper during chaos. Hence the old communists tried to control key trade unions where they could inflict most economic damage on capitalist systems by strikes.

Similarly extreme Greens create economic destruction by opposing nuclear power, coal power, fracking, and dams which produce hydro power, and supporting costly and unreliable wind power.

But theories that blame others are attractive because they offer an excuse for one’s own shortcomings. Thus Mr Namorong is able to excuse corrupt politicians by saying “when one looks at the high turnover rate of politicians, it may actually be that the wrong people are being heavily penalised.”

And for him to suggest that a “so called problem of crime” benefits the security industry is a bit like saying that a drought benefits the makers of rainwater tanks.

Recently, the Irish Minister for Agriculture and Food, Simon Coveney, was asked whether the economic disasters of the Celtic Tiger period represented mainly a moral failing in the Irish nation, or was it more problems in banking policy. He was honest enough to say that it was mainly a moral failing in the people.

PNG has a free press and some fine journalists who are not afraid to write about corrupt politicians and business people. It’s about time the people elected more honest politicians and not looked for scapegoats.

It is amazing to me how so many in the financial world today view Milton Friedman as an architect of something good.

In fact, as you point out, the outcomes fostered by this economic doctrine are anything but constructive.

It wasn't until reading Klein's treatise that I realised the global dimensions of this plan. Eg: It explained the otherwise inexplicable flood of refugees from the South American economies in the 70's to Australia (most were of middle class origins from the manufacturing sectors).

Those nations today are no longer self sufficient but interdependent and net importers of goods and services.

Writer: Zine Larbaoui recently stated:

"Naomi Klein wrote the book, “Shock Doctrine,” inspired by the brainwashing and sensory deprivation techniques used by the CIA to destroy the memory of the subject, break his resilience and achieve a “blank page” on which to write a new personality.

"At the population level, the objective is to obtain a “clean slate” from the past by reducing to zero the country’s public heritage, to annihilate its social and economic structures and build a new society mirrored on the ruling class utopian will.
"Deprived of their sense of orientation, literally in shock, populations affected by this treatment are robbed of their public assets (education, health, pensions) and freedoms by the oligarchy and its elites without even being able or willing to defend themselves."

Martyn, I applaud your bold assertiveness in opening the thread of origins and outcomes as it applies to PNG.

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