Thursday, May 15, 2014
Machiavelli meets the Habbit ...
Every so often the pond likes to drop in on the Jesuits for a theological perspective.
Just as a thoughtful correspondent provided the pond with the text of jolly Joe Hockey rampaging about snatching grog and ciggies from corrupt bludgers and poor people, so another correspondent reminded the pond that the Jesuits were restless.
It turns out that Tony Abbott is a latter-day Machiavelli, and as we all know that makes him a cynic, a manipulator of belief, a cad, a bounder, a deviant, quite possibly an atheist, destined at least for a period in purgatory, or perhaps even hell, where all the Satanists, and possibly Tony Abbott, belong.
Good old Neil Ormerod was at it yesterday in Whose rule book is Abbott playing from?:
In late 2010 when Tony Abbott had risen to the leadership of the Coalition, as leader of the Opposition, I wrote a piece in Eureka Street questioning his moral core. I compared him to a high school debater whose commitment is only to the present argument, and what he needs to say in order to win. Put into a different situation, he is more than happy to argue the opposite position if it suits his then objectives. The article concluded with the following observation:
Much is made of Abbott's Catholic faith, but it seems to me that the rule book he plays from has more in common with Machiavelli. Machiavelli famously concluded: 'Therefore it is necessary for a prince who wishes to maintain himself to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it according to the necessity of the case.' In the end everything can be sacrificed to gain and maintain power.
Now with the formulation of the budget strategy clearly in the public domain, we have a direct indication of the rule book Abbott is following.
And then Ormerod spells out the lying, and the cheating, and the broken promises, and the assaults on the most vulnerable members of society and the government's ideological targets, which all sounds a lot worse than jolly Joe Hockey envisioning the poor rolling in grog and ciggies:
The first of these rubs against the grain of Catholic social teaching, with its strong commitment to the common good, particularly the most vulnerable — but it plays well to those looking for scapegoats in times of social anxiety. The second plays well with the think tanks and business interests who have the Government's ear.
Now there's a fair argument that Machiavelli was at the very least anti-ecclesiastical, and in many ways heretical and deviant and perverse (see Nick Spencer in The Graudian, Machiavelli's The Prince, part 6: was Machiavelli an atheist? or just head off to Project Gutenberg and read the original, here, in rather verbose translation, but that's what you get for being too scrooge to shell out for a more modern version).
And then Tim Kroenert decided to head his review of The Double, Seeing double in Hockey's dystopia, because Joe Hockey's Australia is just like Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and then Andrew Hamilton went directly for the Hockey jugular, with A Budget to enshrine inequality, apparently failing to understand that the poor were getting on the grog and smoking themselves to death, and his budget was designed to stop all that nonsense by getting them to abstain.
Australia will survive this Budget. But it will survive as a more divided nation with less sense of mutual responsibility. And the enshrinement of inequality will further exacerbate the disillusion with democracy characteristic of so many Western nations. Democracy rests on the acknowledgment of the unique and equal value of each citizen. The culture of inequality corrodes that belief.
And so on and so forth.
Well it's good to know that Abbott ignores Catholic teaching. The kindly Ormerod stops short of saying it, but the pond can sniff out a heretic at a dozen paces.
As for Machiavelli?
As a theory Machiavellism may perhaps be called an innovation; but as a practice it is as old as political society. It was a most immoral work, in that it cuts politics adrift from all morality, and it was rightly put on the Index in 1559. (Catholic Encyclopaedia)
So Abbott should be put on the Index.
Won't that please Gerard "prattling Polonius" Henderson and Cardinal Pell ...
Of course there's a pagan comparison that can also be made, and Moir managed it, though these days you'd inscribe the stick with "lies" and "broken promises":
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/15/2014 01:48:00 PM