‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER STILL FLOCK TOGETHER’! by Betty Luks

Thought I better be clear in my mind as to what are the current definitions of some words seen in mainstream news reports these days.  Being of an older generation the terms and/or words could have had their meanings deliberately changed from when I was a girl.

Identity Politics:  According to one internet source “identity politics” means:
A tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.
According to another source:
Identity politics definition, political activity or movements based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize ...
 
And then there is ‘populism’:
At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite. The word populism comes from the Latin word for "people," populus.
Or another source:
Populism is a political style of action that mobilizes a large alienated element of population against a government seen as controlled by an out-of-touch closed elite that acts on behalf of its own interests. The underlying ideology of the Populists can be left, right, or middle.

I must be an ‘Identitarian Populist’!
I for one ‘identify’ myself by my race, religion, culture, social background, etc., so I must be one of those people the mainstream media are on about.
 
As to ‘populism’, I am certainly one of a large alienated element of the population angry with governments who are controlled by out-of-touch elites that act on behalf of their own interests – so I must be a ‘populist’ into the bargain.
 
I have a far different understanding of what is the true purpose of governments and I don’t limit my understanding of ‘traditional’ to anything that goes back a mere century – so I do not accept the concept of ‘traditional broad-based party politics’ as the mainstream media would have me do!  
 
So, all in all, I must be an Identitarian Populist!  But wait, it appears I am not the only one:  “Rise of populism in Europe a bigger threat to the continent's stability than Brexit, says KPMG boss” were The Independent’s headline 31/12/2016:

“A string of high-stakes elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands could bring even greater uncertainty to the bloc in the year to come.  The rise of populism in Europe is a far greater threat to the continent’s stability than Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the global chairman of KPMG, one of the world’s top four biggest accounting firms, has warned… John Veihmeyer, said Brexit is not the biggest threat facing the EU or the global economy next year.
 
In an interview with Business Insider, he said: “The elections [in Europe] and the decisions [that are going to be made in 2017], like what will happen in France, could be very impactful for the rest of Europe – especially if we begin to see a trend or more similar activity in the Netherlands and other countries.
 
“It could threaten the [European] union. It would mean a disruptive period for years especially since there will be a focus more on Brexit.  I wouldn't underestimate the concern I have for the health of the global economy and how this can become the biggest impediment of growth. The world is facing a lot of major uncertainties.”
 
The anti-establishment tide that voted to sweep the UK out of the EU and Trump into the White House is rising steadily across the continent and Mr Veihmeyer is not the only one to express his concern.  A string of high-stakes elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands – along with possibly Italy – could bring even greater uncertainty to the bloc in the year to come.
 
Earlier this month, David Cameron warned the euro could be plunged back into crisis and added the election of France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen would be a “big body blow” for Europe.
 
French former Socialist prime minister and presidential hopeful, Manuel Valls, previously said “Europe could die” in the face of “attacks from the populists”.  Meanwhile, Wolfgang Schäuble, German’s finance minister, has warned of the scourge of “demagogic populism”.
 
AND AUSTRALIANS ARE NOT GOING TO BE LEFT OUT
 
Andrew Charlton and Lachlan Harris wrote an excellent article in The Monthly which I happened to read on Dr. David Pascoe’s Facebook page:
 
A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES
https://www.facebook.com/OVHRepro

“… Australia is not immune from this global populist uprising. In fact, it is already upon us, albeit in a uniquely Australian form. Instead of embodying a political Godzilla like Donald Trump, Australian populism is manifesting itself through the rejection of establishment politics and the embrace of a raft of minor parties that are connected – in both style and substance – to the rebellion against centrist parties occurring across the globe.
 
Australian minor parties adhere to many of the same inchoate themes that have animated populists everywhere: inequality, environmentalism, nationalism, immigration and fear of the effects of trade. Pauline Hanson’s playbook of heavy nationalism and light xenophobia bears more than a passing resemblance to those of Marine Le Pen and the UK Independence Party’s Nigel Farage. Clive Palmer at his peak shared more than a little of Donald Trump’s billionaire bluster. David Leyonhjelm’s evangelism for small government, low taxation and libertarian values is something of a poor man’s Tea Party…
 
But these are ultimately superficial similarities. The factor that really unites populists around the world, including in Australia, isn’t an idea. It’s a sentiment. And that sentiment is disempowerment.
 
Everyone has an image in their mind of what a Trump supporter looks like: white, middle-aged, uneducated, lower income. Trump is the NASCAR candidate. Except that he’s not. RAND’s 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey looked at all the factors that unite Trump supporters. The survey showed that Trump’s base is remarkably diverse, spanning both very high- and low-income voters to capture an election-winning coalition. But one survey response was overwhelmingly common. Republican voters who agreed with the statement “people like me don’t have a say about what the government does” were 86.5% more likely to favour Trump than his rivals in the primaries. Trump spoke directly to these voters on election night, promising that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”.
 
Australian populists tap into this same vein of disempowerment and share the same hostility towards establishment insiders. Bob Katter’s advertisement during the 2016 campaign depicted him blowing the smoke off a smouldering gun barrel after shooting two members of the LNP and the Labor Party dead. Both sides of politics called for Katter to resign over the tasteless ad. Instead he stayed and significantly increased his primary vote. Pauline Hanson rails against the political correctness of “the establishment”. Nick Xenophon vividly accuses the major parties of being like “the Coles and Woolworths duopoly”. The front page of Jacqui Lambie’s website welcomes visitors with a simple message: “I am an average Australian just like you.”….”
 
(Original source: https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2016/december/1480510920/andrew-charlton-and-lachlan-harris/pox-both-your-houses)
 
“Rise of populism in Europe a bigger threat to the continent's stability …”
says the global chairman of KPMG, one of the world’s top four biggest accounting firms…”
 
Now I don’t think the fellow means the stability of the land-mass known as ‘Europe’ is at risk of sinking beneath the sea, but means the political, highly centralised “European Union” is in danger of fragmenting.  Why?  Because the various nationalities and ethnic groups that make up the centralised entity want to restore and retain their own “cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize them ...”
 
The development of representative government in the English-speaking world was originally based upon the conception of the individual possessing basic inviolable rights which no government could take away from him. The philosophy underlying this concept is Christian.   
 
As Eric D. Butler wrote in “Social Dynamics”
“No matter whether the society they are associated in is large or small, individuals require, in principle, the equivalent of the committee of a sporting association.
Government might be described as a type of general committee essential to help ensure that individuals can live harmoniously together.

Stemming from the totalitarian philosophy, there has in recent times been a careful fostering of the Big Brother concept of Government. The traditional British concept of Parliament was that it was representative of interests rather than of mere numbers,
and that government was like fire: a good servant but a very bad master.
Constitutional safeguards were therefore necessary to curb the tendency of all governments to increase their power. ‘This tendency is a type of natural law.
 
The more highly centralised government becomes, the more difficult it is for individuals to control the government. If governments take over more and more power from the individual, doing things for the individual which in a genuinely free society the individual should do for himself, then it is inevitable that the major part of government progressively becomes a swollen bureaucracy, a type of army of occupation whose top officials become the real policy makers….”
Keep reading here:  http://alor.org/Library/Butler%20ED%20-%20Social%20Dynamics.pdf

Effective Co-operation in the Service of the Common Will
In the preface to “Social Credit Philosophy” the author M. Oliver Heydorn, Ph.D. explained:
“Every human association, every organization of individuals into groups, generates an unearned increment in the form of social power, what we refer to in Social Credit theory as the ‘social credit’ (without capitals). This power can be directed toward the  achievement of various ends. The fulfillment of some of these ends redounds to the satisfaction of the individuals who comprise the association on a fair and equitable basis, while the pursuit of other ends undermines the association by involving its members (usually against their knowledge and/or will and always at their illegitimate expense) in the realization of anti-social objectives for the benefit of an oligarchic few.

Douglas’ social philosophy explains both why and how it is that associations often fail to serve their fundamental or true purposes as well as they might, and it also reveals what should be done in terms of rehabilitation. For what Douglas discovered was something that is often taken for granted but rarely, if ever, properly formulated as an abiding axiom for our guidance: there is only one basis for the establishment of a stable and flourishing association: effective co-operation in the service of the common will.”  (emphasis added…ed)

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