Greens really think they’re Left – we’ve a long way to go

Ben Raue, a fairly senior New South Wales Greens member, has a post on his blog discussing the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections and the Greens results there. It’s a fairly standard sort of post, spinning the results as good for the Greens and not so good for the Liberals, but the interesting thing is that Raue labels the Greens as the “left-wing” party in those seats.

The Greens achieved a strong result in a right-wing heartland seat while running an explicitly left-wing campaign.

Raue is of course not being merely dishonest, even though calling Clive Hamilton, (the Greens’ candidate in Higgins), a left-winger is utterly laughable. Rather, left-wing politics has degenerated to such a degree that people who are suspicious of modern industrial civilisation and want to slow it down are considered Left, merely because they dislike capitalism.

This article in The Spectator attacks that idea, pointing out that many Green ideas come from the right-wing position of Thomas Malthus, whose arguments Marx and Engels rejected.

However the Greens are the only even semi-major political force talking about things like the rights of unions, freedom from internet censorship (even despite Hamilton’s appalling position) and the right to gay marriage, it’s easy for them to be seen as left-wing, and to attract support from many who could be won over to a real left-wing position. Such a left-wing position would include confidence in modernism and humanity, a belief that humans are more important than the Earth for it’s own sake, and a belief that people shouldn’t just demand a “fair day’s pay” but should take over society and run it themselves. Clearly there’s a lot of agitation to be done to spread these ideas.

6 Responses to “Greens really think they’re Left – we’ve a long way to go”

  1. 1 informally yours

    Funny enough, the best argument I’ve seen against Malthus and Malthusian social policy and ideas was written by Germaine Greer. A 1984 book, wonderfully entitled ‘Sex and Destiny – the Politics of Human Fertility’. It is an expose of the International Pharmaceutical industry and World Health Organisation “population control” and fertility control measures.

    Not sure how relevant much of it is to current practice, but the chapter on Malthus is worthwhile as I recall.

  2. 2 Jayjee

    Call me an old-fashioned Housing Commissioned raised Westie whose old man left school at 13, worked in an abbatoir, was a delegate for the Meatworker’s Union, and yet from 1996 onwards has voted for the Shooter’s Party, One Nation, and Howard. The man knows and has always known a much wider more multiculti/racial circle of friends, associates than I ever will, and he has an IQ over 120, so the “racist redneck” shtick doesn’t wash.

    Left-wing politics and class struggle was born, and has always been about MATERIAL issues. You know, working class/blue-collar/manual labourers (blue and white collar) organising to get a larger slice of the pie. And that includes a house bigger than a shoebox – which the bourgeois-left sneer as “MacManion Plasma TV-watchers”. My Dad loves his plasma TV and to invite his Islander, aboriginal, and Eye-Tie mates around to watch the footy and suck on piss. He also loves his guns, to go hunting, and compete at sub-professional level. He loves having been able to squeeze enough out of the Clive Hamilton’s of this world that his dream to go to America and visit the Smithsonian Institute has been fulfilled. He can now afford airconditioning and a respirator to allieve his asthma, which if Clive and the gang had their way he would have died of years ago.

    Anybody who claims to be “left-wing” and sneers at materialism is a deluded poncey ass.

  3. 3 Jayjee

    As for gay marriage. Overwhelmingly those who are giving this vile proposition oxygen are bourgeois Green heterosexuals. Of course, this is a subtle form of homophobia. Rather than fight to get the state out of the marriage business, they pity the gays who they shreik at their heterosexual opponents that the gays should transform their relationships to be exactly like those of breeders with all the attendant state-control.

    At every opportunity, I tell them to “fuck off, mind their own business, and just keep breeding, stay away from demos. After all, the gays sure are”!

  4. 4 yea right.

    How can you trust the Greens after they ran Hamilton as a candidate with his opinions toward censorship etc.

  5. 5 opit

    That note on Germaine Greer was interesting.
    I roam a lot online and ran into information about framing NPT compliant nations as dangerous to world peace : a classic bit of DoubleThink. The idea is also based in Eugenics and the notion of ‘Carrying Capacity’ : something that would be more righteous if it wasn’t being curtailed and even perhaps destroyed on a global scale.
    And the vehicle ? Global Warming. A scientific fraud based on the ‘danger’ of plant food and moderate climate.

  6. 6 Barry

    An article about the Internet filter proposal in today’s ‘Australian’ newspaper (8 May 2010), by Ross Fitzgerald, argues that the Rudd government has put the issue on the backburner, to avoid it becoming an election issue, but is still intent on implementing it, if re-elected.

    Fitzgerald is one of the few mainstream media commentators to identify the role of the Greens’ Clive Hamilton: “Through senator Scott Ludlam, the Greens appear to be leading the charge in the parliament against the filter. But when you consider they preselected the architect of Conroy’s internet filter, Clive Hamilton, at last December’s Higgins by-election, you have to wonder about their commitment. There are plenty of rumours going around that they will do it again. Preselecting Hamilton for a marginal Victorian reps seat would be a huge mistake for the Greens and would undermine much of Ludlam’s efforts to date”.

    Perhaps there will be a split in the Green party over this issue.

    Anyhow, Fitzgerald reckons the Sex Party is the only reliable party that contests elections to “lead the charge”.

    He concludes thus: “Conroy may think he has won the battle but this war is far from over. In the green room no one can hear you scream”.

    Full article here:

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