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28 May 2017

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Here is an interesting article from Counterpunch on casino capitalism by Henry Giroux:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/19/the-mad-violence-of-casino-capitalism/

It references an extremely interesting and recent book from Michael Yates entitled the Great Inequality:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1138183458/counterpunchmaga


I think Queensland with Pauline Hanson's One Nation (those 17% support) will probably emulate Trump and his entourage of "Middle America" much faster than the possibility of insurrections in PNG stemming from "the bushes of PNG". In that sense Australia is truly in danger than PNG.

I think you’re right Chris that we probably are in broad agreement on most things. I feel terribly sad at how corruption is eroding PNG, just as I feel sad at the pathetic state of the West.

I have no idea if Trump will be successful. But I see him as a revolutionary. He used his own money to run his campaign so he is not indebted to any of the vested interests than hamstring American politics. But in doing so, he’s earned powerful enemies who are trying to bring him down.

However we live in a time of crisis, and at such times a braggart might succeed where a gentlemanly type would fail.

I’m sure we could both agree that a hard-drinking Winston Churchill is preferable to a teetotal Adolf Hitler.

Ross Howard

I think that Ross and I are probably agreed upon the desired outcome of a fairer society, both in PNG and elsewhere.

Also, we would be in broad agreement that liberal democracy and some form of capitalism are the best available systems to achieve this.

We certainly agree that socialism based upon Marxist principles, as practiced in places like the former USSR, Cuba and Venezuela, is no the way to go if you want to create both a fairer and more prosperous society.

Where we probably part company is on how to achieve this.

I definitely do not see someone like Donald Trump as being able to take the USA towards a fairer and more prosperous future. Quite the reverse in fact.

I detest Trump as a swaggering, self aggrandizing bully and braggart, lacking any qualifications for the high office he holds.

That said, he is not literally wrong on everything he says or does, just mostly so. He succeeded in tapping into the anger and resentment of many Americans who felt betrayed and ignored by politicians of every colour. His opponent in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton, represented a great deal that is wrong about mainstream politics in the USA, where self interest, parochialism and entrenched interest groups tend to dominate the process.

My personal view is that we need a more highly regulated version of capitalism, that curbs the worsts excesses of the huge international corporations that increasingly dominate the world economy and our lives, as well as the out of control international financial system where rampant greed over rules ethical considerations every time a decision is made.

In this context, I believe that PNG is the near helpless prey of these rampaging corporate entities. Just look at the flagrant abuses of many, perhaps most, of the timber, mining and energy companies now in PNG.

Bureaucratic reform also is obviously necessary, both in PNG and elsewhere.

In Europe, it means replacing an appointed European Commission with something that is more directly accountable to the people it purports to represent, plus turning the European Parliament into something other than a talking shop.

This, in turn, means those European countries who wish to be part of the EU surrendering a significant amount of their sovereignty to the new supra national body. This is what the individual states in the USA, Canada and Australia have done, even if they don't always like it.

This issue, incidentally, lies at the very heart of the Brexit vote in the UK, something the so-called Remoaners find very hard to understand.

In PNG bureaucratic reform means rooting out corruption and incompetence, as well as putting in place systems and procedures that ensure transparency, due process and proper accountability. This can only happen if and when there is a government genuinely committed to instituting an honest, open and accountable form of governance.

I reckon that Ross and I would agree on this latter point at the very least.

Sam Basil of PANGU Pati is promising to reinstate Sam Koim and begin investigating all the corrupt within 100 days of achieving in government.

Will he and Gari Juffa etc. have enough members to form a government after the election or will the same old, same old, continue to be reelected in the voter's vain hope that these failures will achieve what they promise?

Is anyone running a book on this happening please let us know? My best wishes go to Sam but I'd like to make money.

On the other hand, I'd be happy to lose if indeed there is a change at the top and therefore a change in direction.

Maybe that's a 'win/win'?

While I generally like Chris Overland’s writing, in this article he displays an ability to spin words to mean the exact opposite of what was said, an ability that would be envied by those masters of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels and Willi Munzenberg.

Chris writes: “we are once again in an era where capitalism is in mortal danger if it cannot adapt to the needs and expectations of those whom Donald Trump might describe as losers.
Trump and others seem to have forgotten an important lesson of history which is that, when placed under sufficient duress, the losers can decide to grab their AK47's and do a little wealth redistribution all on their own.”

Trump specifically used the word “losers” while referencing terrorists who had just targeted young teenage girls for murder using a nail bomb. These terrorists were “evil losers in life” said Trump.

For decades, the West’s pathetic leaders have crafted rhetoric that circumvents Islam completely when talking about terrorism. How we talk about terrorism is important. The whole topic has been obscured by euphemisms and feel-good talk supposedly to win hearts and minds. Think that’s worked? A bit of straight talk in front of Islamic leaders just might.

Trump hasn’t forgotten history’s lessons at all Chris. It was capitalism’s losers in the USA who voted for Trump in the hope that they could share in some of the wealth they have missed out on for decades. They hope Trump can give that to them without resorting to grabbing AK47’s.

Conversely, it is the corrupt status-quo that has led to this state of affairs—the wealthy, multinationals, bankers, media, entrenched bureaucracy—who all opposed Trump and Brexit.

And I’m continually incredulous how people can continue to suggest Marxism as a solution to anything after the blood-soaked, failure-ridden history of Marxism and communism. Talk about not learning history’s lessons!

I’ve no doubt that Chris and I would like to see the same thing—an end to the rampart corruption in PNG that is depriving the nation of so much of its wealth. How to achieve this goal is usually the perennial problem.

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