Long ago, around the time Malcolm Fraser was in power, the Greens made a useful contribution to political debate. They raised awareness of the environment as a critical issue to be taken into account in all aspects of social and economic reality. Fraser held them in contempt. Now he is campaigning for them.
Most of us have come to accept the Greens original position, while debating the specifics. But the Greens themselves have degenerated into the party of 'moral frivolity'.
Their current great mission is to represent those who see themselves as vastly morally superior to the rest of us and refuse to let reality intrude on this self-adoration.
To realist Australians 'asylum seekers' are people who can afford to pay people smugglers tens of thousands of dollars to transport them from poor nations to a better life in Australia. To the Greens they are a means to express their own deep empathy with the oppressed.
There are fifty million or so displaced persons in camps around the world. Most of them would welcome the chance to get to Australia but can't afford the airfare to Indonesia or the fees for people smugglers. They are of little interest to the Greens.
Most Australians believe that entry to Australia should be decided by our government, not people smugglers. That leaves the Greens portraying themselves as more generous and kind and caring than we are, and that is all they really care about.
Because they are so morally committed to importing endless people from dysfunctional nations the Greens refuse to admit, as many serious environmentalists do admit, the environmental impact of population growth. The current and impending population-driven disasters in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are seen simplistically as reasons to bring in more sad people and make them happy.
The fact that the great success of China has been built on a one-child-policy that has lasted thirty years is simply ignored. For all the Greens' bleating about poverty they condemn China for its governmental imperfections and ignore the fact that they have taken hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in a few decades by switching to a more capitalist mode of economy and making a very tough decision on population. That is greater success than all the aid programs in world history put together. But when people stop being poor the Greens lose interest. They can no longer portray themselves as saviours of the oppressed.
On energy questions the Greens, again unlike many serious environmentalists, simply portray carbon-based and nuclear fuels as evil, and solar plus wind as good. They used to include hydro among the evil but have relented a little now that the big dams are all built.
Complex issues of using oil and coal to build out alternative energy systems, let alone the virtues of mini-nuclear plants, do not interest them. Since cars are considered evil they ignore the possibilities of hydrogen-powered cars. For the Greens all energy matters are reduced to simple calls of good and evil with the sensible majority condemned.
The Greens also have a special take on multiculturalism. They love every failed and unsuccessful culture, no matter how oppressive of women and individualism in general. They don't like rich and successful cultures, and they particularly don't like the culture of Australia. They never tire of railing against our racism, sexism, elitism, disparities of wealth and so on.
Realistic Australians are happy to see a nation of multicultural individuals. The Greens favour the failed idea of a nation of different cultures, as if groups of Greeks, Vietnamese or Sudanese could live as such in Australia and not become at all Australian. The aim of the Greens, as usual, is to put themselves into a minority that can claim some superior morality. Lack of moral consistency and any sense of reality does not deter them.
Essentially these Green positions are anti-community. They are against most forms of economic production that have been so successful in eliminating poverty. They reject ideas of personal responsibility and community contribution, except for wealthy people. They are all for increasing government spending while they advocate destroying the tax base. They encourage free-riding and social fragmentation.
All the self-righteousness of the Greens is taken by some people to be 'nice' and 'good', if a little unrealistic. In fact it is destructive and anti-social. Journalists should take them to task and demand they explain the contradictions rather than simply allowing them to run the moral superiority line and use that to criticise people trying to find real solutions. Asking them how many refugees we should take and how they should be selected would be a good start.
At their very best the Greens were preservers. Now they are usually wreckers. They are not about building anything, or about making very difficult social, political and economic transitions. They distract good people from more sensible courses of action. In campaigning for them now Malcolm Fraser should be ashamed of himself.
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