Western society was founded on the basis of classical liberalism. That is, the belief that government should be small and encroach in our lives only when needed. Today, social liberalism has overtaken us. This means we now face a situation where government knows best and encroaches in our day-to-day routine as we are incapable of managing our own lives. The result is that we are faced with over-regulation, bureaucratisation of the masses by the few, and the belief that no matter what the topic, government and activists know best.
As we are well aware, all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And, for the most part, that is precisely what good men do. Let me clarify that point. Good men and women are too busy living their daily lives, working hard, earning an income to care for their family, and, hopefully, having a little bit of free time to enjoy their loved ones and relax on the weekend. They are the same people who have been the bedrock of western society's strengths for many years. They are the very people with whom common sense and decency resonates. They are the 'forgotten people', as former Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies described them, the 'Howard Battlers', as they were termed under the leadership of former Prime Minister John Howard.
They can decide their gender for themselves
Yet today, they have slid into the background, as activists rule our lives. Whenever the government of the day has an issue to discuss, like education policy, for instance, they go to the activists within the education lobby for opinion. These people are almost always from the left, and although they may well have good intentions, end up recommending policy that parents deride. Take the Safe Schools Program, for example. It began with the intention to stop bullying in schools by educating children to have respect for all. It ended with a curriculum that tells children they don't need to accept the label they've been given, that is, 'boy' or 'girl', they can decide their gender for themselves. Empowering children to decide gender issues disempowers parental guidance. What role does the parent play or can the parent have in their child's upbringing if they are being told at school that they are not who they appear to be?
This program is not an opt-out program. It is a part of the curriculum in most public schools across the state of Victoria and likely to spread elsewhere. It is based on the 'nanny-state mentality' that government knows what is best for the governed. The same applies to other industries, including such mundane issues as consumer finance, where finance companies now have to decide whether a loan is in the best interests of the lender, instead of the lender deciding for themselves where they believe their best interest lies.
Just the other day, on the nightly news, there was a story that Australia is considering introducing a sugar tax, already accepted in other countries. Are we to believe we don't know what is best for us? The idea came from The Grattan Institute, who call themselves, on their official website, https://grattan.edu.au/, "independent, rigorous and practical." They are allegedly non-aligned, and yet can still announce support for a regressive tax on food.
Thank goodness for common sense. In his article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 'We're not food fascists': Ministers rubbish soft-drink tax proposal', http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/were-not-food-fascists-ministers-rubbish-soft-drink-tax-proposal-20161122-gsvfi7.html Matthew Knott sites the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, who says;
"If you want to deal with being overweight, here's a suggestion: stop eating so much and do a bit of exercise."
He goes on to refer to the suggestion of a sugar tax as "bonkers."
These days, a tax seems to be the solution to just about everything. A backpacker tax, a sugar tax, a death tax, what will be next, I wonder.
So if we want to reclaim our lives for ourselves, we better start doing so now. At least there appears to be a movement in the air - in the air in Britain, the United States, and Australia. It's a movement to reclaim our nation for ourselves. I speculate whether this attitude is a movement we really want to join. Nationalism can lead to isolationism after we've worked so hard to build a global society. Free trade will continue to reduce the incidence of poverty if only we let it.
The movement we need is one of liberalism - to undergo a correction, of sorts, from social liberalism to classical liberalism. This can only happen if we reclaim our lives for ourselves, lobby against unnecessary government intervention, and succeed in weakening the role of activists of the left and lobby groups with access to the ear of government.
I'm an adult - are you? Together, we can build a life for ourselves, like Abraham Lincoln said;
"Let not he who is houseless pull down the house of another but let him labour diligently and build one for himself."
Let's start now.
Published by Owen Tilley