Outcome Clouded as Lucky Country becomes the Deluded Country
The United States and Australia are the two most weather conscious electorates in the world and the pending Australian general i.e. federal election is overcast.
Australia’s recent predilection for moral issues is obscured by its image everywhere else as the Lucky Country and which arrived at this felicitous state through a determination to avoid entanglement in the abstract and the obscure.
Federal politics illustrates Australia’s transition from being the Lucky Country to an excitable one. In politics personal value judgements publicly expressed predominate.
The Greek-derived word misogynist has become the barbed poison dart of Australian public life. It becomes more deeply embedded in the flesh of the target the more these targets expound why they are not in fact misogynist.
Curiously for a nation once proud of the way in which it thumbed its nose at the rest of the world, Australia consistently reveals itself now as a dedicated follower of fashions transmitted from the more rarefied drawing rooms and salons of the United States and Europe.
A pointer to the direction of the pending federal election is the frequency with which public figures chide each other for a perceived absence of a “moral compass.”
The pending election with its prurient preoccupations has about it an aura of a morality play.
A series of curious episodes in quite recent years show that Australia has concocted its own version of alarmism and which is quite different from mass moods elsewhere in the Anglosphere and indeed the developed world as a whole.
These fevered episodes have the peculiar characteristic of igniting passion in every part of society starting at the judiciary and its enforcement agencies all the way through to everyday people.
The first example of this modern moral panic was the Baby Azaria case in which a toddler disappeared from a camping site at Ayers Rock (pictured).
Though a burden of probability indicated the child was removed and killed by a dingo, a wild dog, there followed the incarceration of the child’s parents as an uproar fuelled from the top of society ran its course until evidence came to light utterly exonerating the parents.
Then and in very recent times this became mirrored by the hounding of Cardinal Pell which again was stoked by the same governmental authorities and with the notable addition on this occasion of the unrestrained glee of the government’s own activist public broadcasting channels.
Cardinal Pell was absolved of guilt after a tortuous series of court procedures culminating in the prelate’s successful appeal.
Both these cases were strongly imbued with the paranormal.
The baby Azaria case because of the child’s name and also because the parents belonged to the Seventh Day Adventist sect.
Cardinal George Pell’s because of the cleric’s extraordinary spiritual career journey from a provincial Australian working class background to become the second most powerful man in the Vatican.
In between these two revealing human events came the techno moral panic undertow in the form of the decision to retrofit French nuclear submarines with diesel engines.
This Quixotic institutional example of contemporary superstition faced its inevitable confrontation with geopolitical reality and did so very recently.
Australian taxpayers in atonement for this fevered retro-progressivism are now liable for more than $5 billion in contract termination penalties for submarines that were never built, let alone launched.
A national character once moulded around practicality, method and order and stoicism did in a mere generation transform itself into an erratic top down driven one jumping excitably between sorcery and contemporary taboos.