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August 29th 2010 print

Bill Muehlenberg

Australia’s New Class

If you think things are now bad in the Labor Party, just wait until its leap into bed with the Greens comes to full fruition. Talk about an oppressive New Class warring against the masses. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Milovan Djilas was the Vice President of Communist Yugoslavia. In 1957 he penned an important volume entitled The New Class. In it he showed how communism necessarily develops a new, elitist class whenever it comes to power, a class which holds the masses in a condition of slavery. Tyranny, not freedom, is the inevitable price of communism.

In 1969 he penned The Unperfect Society: Beyond the New Class. In it he refuted the “scientific” basis of communist ideology, showing that the perfect classless society has never existed and never will. Once it comes to power, communism – like all forms of utopianism – can only result in tyranny. And Djilas knew this from experience, having spent nine years in prison for his anti-communist views.

But it is not just in communist countries where the New Class can be found. Around the Western world, progressives and leftists have morphed into a New Class as well. While conservatives have long noted its existence, it is interesting when leftists also note, and bewail, its existence.

This is especially seen in the Australian Labor Party’s betrayal of the working class. For example, when the Party was pushing a whole raft of trendy lefty agenda items, including homosexual adoption rights and legalised abortion and porn, Kim Beazley Sr. famously took a strong stance against this madness.

At a Labor state conference in 1970, he blasted his comrades for this movement toward insanity and chaos: "When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now all I see are the dregs of the middle class. And what I want to know is when you middle class perverts are going to stop using the Labor Party as a spiritual spitoon."

He was not alone in such concerns. A decade ago Michael Thompson wrote a damning indictment of the Australian Labor Party. In Labor Without Class: The gentrification of the ALP he chronicled how the Labor Party had abandoned its working class roots, and was captured by the trendy chattering classes.

And he is not any happier with Labor today. Indeed, things have only gotten worse in the Labor Party, and Thompson, a man of the Left, is not happy with what he is witnessing. His anger has not abated, as witnessed by his article in the current Weekend Australian.

Called “My party was trashed by the middle class,” he warns about how “Labor’s self-appointed progressives despise working-class values”. He begins this way: “This is the story of the university-educated, middle-class Left’s rise to power by installing themselves as Australia’s moral guardians, dividing the electorate into race, gender and other such groups for whom they claim to speak, and then holding the Labor Party to electoral ransom if it fails to tailor its policies to their political agendas. It tells of their tactic of character assassination of the working class, and of how members of this Left looked after themselves very nicely.”

He continues, “There is a ‘new’ class whose identity and political machinations are largely hidden from the working class. They call themselves ‘progressives’, while conservatives call them ‘inner-city elites’ or the ‘political elite’. However, for the most part, I will call them the ‘chattering class’ as they love nothing better than sitting down to good food or a cafe latte and chattering away about politics. It’s their religion and sport rolled into one.

“The chattering class is drawn from among the tertiary-educated middle class whose members have gone to university since the 1960s, where they imbibed the social causes of feminism, multiculturalism, environmentalism and the like, which their counter-culture lecturers had imported from America. They now occupy many of the senior positions in politics, the ABC and SBS, universities, schools, government departments and agencies, courts, anti-discrimination and other such boards and non-government organisations, and also in the private, non-traded-goods sector (e.g. journalists and human resource management).”

The New Class actually disdains the working class: “They stereotype the working class as racists, sexists, environmental vandals (‘deniers’), homophobes and neo-Nazis, as depicted in most Australian-made movies, such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Romper Stomper. A seething mass of nasty little prejudices, genetically predisposed to bark like junk-yard dogs on hearing the ‘dog whistle’ of any populist demagogue, such as Pauline Hanson.

“The chattering class can’t openly smear the working class; instead, they themselves turn to the cowardly act of dog whistling, using labels such as ‘rednecks’, the ‘mob’, the ‘masses’ and the ‘great unwashed’ so as not to be seen singling out the working class as a class, since this would make their stereotyping plain for all to see.”

And the mainstream media is up to its ears in all this: “In large part, this dog whistling is the job of chattering-class broadcasters, journalists and commentators in the so-called ‘quality media’, who would have us believe their views largely reflect public opinion, notwithstanding that on most cultural (and many economic) issues they are invariably to the left of centre.

“If widespread disagreement with their views should surface during any public debate, they straightfacedly denounce ordinary Australians as holding extreme right-wing views. And why not? There can be no comeback. For they know the working class don’t listen to Radio National, read the broadsheet newspapers or watch the ABC or SBS, and so their dog whistling is out of range of the working class’s hearing.”

The New Class is nicely subsidised by the tax payers, including the working class tax payers: “The social causes so beloved of the chattering class are frequently the source of employment opportunities in the public sector for those among them wanting to ‘make a difference’ (those employed in the poverty industry and appointed to boards). Hence their calls for increases in public spending.

“But their conflict of interest doesn’t end there, for they also oppose means testing and defend middle-class welfare and ‘social engineering’ (Family Payments Parts A and B and flexible work provisions in the Fair Work Act). Then there’s their rampant nimbyism. The chattering class’s claim to moral superiority is accompanied by their incessant chant of ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’.”

He concludes with these words: “It’s now time for all the ALP’s traditional working-class supporters – not just the Howard battlers – to seriously think about abandoning the careerists who have whored their party to the chattering class. Labor’s claim to working-class loyalty has been forfeited.”

His entire article is well worth reading. And keep this in mind: if you think things are now bad in the Labor Party, just wait until its leap into bed with the Greens comes to full fruition. Talk about an oppressive New Class warring against the masses. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.