Rebranding the Liberals


Lets try hippie conservatism

A few thoughts, inspired by the example of Brian Penton, Karl Popper, Barry Humphries, Zorba the Greek (a man needs a little madness,) Yossarian (Catch 22) and the meditations of Montaigne, Oakeshott, Scruton and the conservative vagabond.

Some want the party to be more conservative and some people want it to be more green and pink.

What if it becomes more concerned with human flourishing, freedom and fun. That is the hippie part, inspired by John Stuart Mill and Karl Popper’s advice that a good thesis topic, like a good wife, should keep a man awake at night. If you are not writing a thesis, think about your vocation, whatever you are about that gives your life meaning and purpose, including political activism, and approach it in the curious, joyous and playful manner that you would engage with a new partner.

“Don’t die with your music in you”, spake the great rugby league coach Wayne Bennett.

What about the conservative part of the assignment? That is a framework of moral principles that can be found in the great religions that promote love and living well – honesty, compassion, social responsibility, personal initiative, civility, tolerance, prudence. Deirdre McCloskey is great on the bourgeoise virtues and what they did for western civilization.

EUROPEAN CULTURE IN CLASSICAL and Christian times spurned work and the bourgeoisie. Yet from 1600 to 1800, startlingly, it developed a lively appreciation of the ‘bourgeois virtues’, from which came the stirrings of enterprise that made the modern world.

But after 1848 the artists and intellectuals turned sharply against capitalism. From this, alas, came the events of 1914 and 1917 and all our woe.

A credo from the Funeral Speech of Pericles

We do not copy our neighbours but try to be an example. Our administration favours the many instead of the few: this is why it is called a democracy. The law affords equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, but we do not ignore the claims of excellence

The freedom we enjoy extends also to ordinary life; we are not suspicious of one another, and do not nag our neighbour if he chooses to go his own way. But this freedom does not make us lawless. We are taught to respect the magistrates and the laws, and never to forget that we must protect the injured. And we are also taught to observe those unwritten laws whose sanction lies only in the universal feeling of what is right.

Our city is thrown open to the world; we never expel a foreigner. We are free to live exactly as we please, and yet we are always ready to face any danger.

We love beauty without indulging in fancies, and although  we try to improve our intellect, this does not weaken our will.

To admit one’s poverty is no disgrace with us;  but we consider it disgraceful not to make an effort to avoid it.

We consider a man who takes no interest in the state not as harmless, but as useless; and although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.

We believe that happiness is the fruit of freedom and freedom that of valour, and we do not shrink from the dangers of war.

To sum up, I think that Athens is the School of Hellas, and that the individual Athenian grows up to develop a happy versatility, a readiness for emergencies, and self-reliance.

LIBERTY QUOTE

The rule of law bakes no bread, it is unable to distribute loaves or fishes (it has none), and it cannot protect itself against external assault, but it remains the most civilized and least burdensome conception of a state yet to be devised.

— Michael Oakeshott


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Roger
Roger
April 10, 2023 9:33 am

What about the conservative part of the assignment?

As Roger Scruton advised a young person asking what they could do to promote conservatism:

“Get married, have children and start a small business.”

Of co0urse, there’s more to be done than that, but it’s a good place to start.

Damon
Damon
April 10, 2023 10:42 am

Face facts. Children are generally happy. Adolescents are generally unhappy, because the world is not evolving as they wish. Eg, girls who wish to be boys should be so, because to object would be ‘transphobic’. The world should be ‘carbon free’, because to object would be a ‘denier’ (of what is uncertain). Western civilisation has retreated to adolescence.

Ed Case
Ed Case
April 10, 2023 11:43 am

Australians left the Conservative Party back in Mother England where it belongs.
The Liberal Party is the most successful Party Australia has ever seen, but they’ve never won Government with conservative policies and they never will.
Abbott won in 2013 with 1 liberal Policy, repealing S 18[c] of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Reneging on that promise doomed him and his successors, but it still took 9 years for the chickens to come home.

Roger
Roger
April 10, 2023 12:22 pm

Most definitely, Rafe.

Chris
Chris
April 10, 2023 2:07 pm

The stopped clock catches a glance.

Chris
Chris
April 10, 2023 2:18 pm

I just spent the weekend in the Nationals of a sport that has an average age of about 72.
It was good to be there, among us relics. The talk is “Oh I cant do that event, I can’t kneel anymore just lie down.”
“It’s bone on bone. Hoping a knee transplant will let me participate again.”
“With a bit of luck Joe’s chemo gets him back on deck OK. Stage 3 has a 70% survival these days.”
And the giveaway as to what we do:
“Them cartridge thingos will never catch on.”

The Liberals? I kept voting for Howard after 1996 in the apparently mistaken idea it was necessary for Australia’s good. I assure you that when Abbott squished on fixing the debt, and to a smaller extent on 18c, and then they hatched the cuckoo in their nest, I realised they are just a batch of oxygen thieves who are worse than Labor because they actively and gloatingly betray the values of their voters.

Chris
Chris
April 10, 2023 3:51 pm

My conclusion: A radical re-capture of the Liberals by conservatives or rationals or bitter clingers or TEA Party types joining Lib branches might improve them, but the sort of people who would launch a re-capture are not likely to defeat the system which is designed to preserve the power of the insiders in the party.

Therefore, I should go live by the values the bastards have abandoned and let them fester without my vote, my volunteering or my donations.

Vicki
Vicki
April 10, 2023 4:55 pm

Hey Rafe, citations of Pericles from Thucydides ! Excellent.

However, for all the esteemed qualities of 5th century Athenian democracy, it ultimately succumbed to hubris. Not unlike contemporary western societies, it suffered its own ‘affluenza,’using commercial success and expansion to encroach upon the domains of other states.

In spite of its great naval reach and strength, Athens and their allies ultimately failed to withstand a morally uniform and disciplined state of Sparta and her allies. I hope like hell this is not a lesson we are about to learn anew.

But the evolving reorganisation of current global alliances, and the confused and deteriorating moral strength of the West, does not bode well.

Tom
Tom
April 10, 2023 5:13 pm

Lets try hippie conservatism

Why not? The Stupid Frigging Liberals have tried every other left-wing fad that’s directly opposed to their founding principles.

What the hell was Robert Menzies thinking in the 1940s when he named his creation the Liberal Party of Australia?

The starry-eyed young Menzies was utterly naive about the human race’s capacity for evil.

Carpe Jugulum
Carpe Jugulum
April 10, 2023 5:28 pm

And the giveaway as to what we do:
“Them cartridge thingos will never catch on.”

I straightaway think muzzle loaders or early single action revolvers

I’m a shooter.

Revolvers and lever action rule.

Chris
Chris
April 10, 2023 5:38 pm

I straightaway think muzzle loaders or early single action revolvers

I’m a shooter.

Revolvers and lever action rule.

Correct! Embrace the healing power of ‘and’.
On FB you can see pics from each day of the Nationals on the group ‘SSAA Muzzle Loading’.

Cassie of Sydney
April 10, 2023 5:48 pm

“The Liberals? I kept voting for Howard after 1996 in the apparently mistaken idea it was necessary for Australia’s good. I assure you that when Abbott squished on fixing the debt, and to a smaller extent on 18c, and then they hatched the cuckoo in their nest, I realised they are just a batch of oxygen thieves who are worse than Labor because they actively and gloatingly betray the values of their voters.”

I think you’ve said it best…but the Liberals don’t actually betray their voters, they actually spit in the faces of their voters. They despise us. And you know what? I can’t, I won’t vote for a party that hates me.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
April 10, 2023 6:03 pm

I’d settle for branding them.
With a hot iron.
Moo, herd animals, moo.

Ditch net zero or die, Libs.

Megan
Megan
April 11, 2023 8:35 am

Therefore, I should go live by the values the bastards have abandoned and let them fester without my vote, my volunteering or my donations.

This the point I have reached in my journey through the tail end of life. Politics today, with an increasingly miniscule number of exceptions, is simply a haven for the useless, the lazy, the terminally ignorant and those who are labouring under the impression that they are the saviours of this country, or worse, of a dying planet.

Our once solid post-war education system, one that gave me and the other working class kids in my neighbourhood the ability to read, write, spell and calculate with confidence before leaving primary school, has disintegrated into a heaving, stimking morass of post-modern, disgustingly woke rubbish that has denied children and young people the necessary ability to think for themselves.

Despite the prevailing conditions pushing us towards the rocks, I still have the ability to flourish, be free and have fun and I plan to spend the time that’s left to me to teach my grandies exactly how to do that.

The Liberal Party and its third class acolytes must disappear into the far reaches of the galaxy. They never will be missed.

wal1957
wal1957
April 11, 2023 8:43 am

Bruce @ 6:03pm

Agree 100%
No party peddling that nonsemse deserves a look in.

Nelson_Kidd-Players
April 11, 2023 1:39 pm

My takeaway from this thread:

Australian Liberal Party: diligently raising one cuckoo chick after another.

m0nty
m0nty
April 14, 2023 9:04 am

But after 1848 the artists and intellectuals turned sharply against capitalism. From this, alas, came the events of 1914 and 1917 and all our woe.

At the heart of every conservative is a simpering powdered courtier.

m0nty
m0nty
April 14, 2023 9:05 am

That is to say, “conservative”. Because what you mean by the term these days is a confection that has little to do with actual conservatism.

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