Whether in family, business or government, power and control over others can become addictive, to the detriment of all. Gaining power seeds the craving for more, unless countervailing influence can be brought to bear.
The Maturity Model for decision making outlined in my book Becoming provides a useful tool for assessing expectations, responsibilities and choice, in context, so we can take healthy power over our life and circumstances. The model shows that when expectations increase, responsibilities also increase and choice diminishes. After too long in such a situation, like COVID, both parties become immature and high social and financial costs are incurred. How true has that proven! In order to change, we have to take charge.
Power of COVID
This is precisely what happened under COVID. Fear, the political tool of choice, was engaged as short lockdowns became longer, curfews, masks, sanitation, isolation, vaccination, checking in, checking that we’ve checked in, education, sport and entertainment cancelled. No talking, playing outside, on the beach, sitting on a park bench, or even suggesting safe meetings, brought down police power on hapless citizens, charges and fines. Heartlessly, attendance at weddings, funerals, sick or dying family members was denied. Power beyond cruel and stupid! To keep us safe!
It’s taken almost two years for those so drunk on power that they couldn’t see what was evident early on – we will have to learn to live with COVID. Still the whiff of power proves too strong for Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk, who keeps the border closed to people from interstate and overseas until 90% vaccination is attained, now imposes vaccination mandates that costs the jobs of dedicated front line workers. Premier Daniel Andrews, dictator of the world’s longest lockdown in Victoria, seeks to extend his pandemic powers indefinitely, imposing fines of over $90K and two year prison for individual breaches of new arbitrary regulations, and $400K on businesses, without debate in parliament. Never enough! Misuse of insatiable power destroys democracy until such time as the people take charge. We are not afraid.
Power and destruction of climate catastrophism
I don’t thank the Greens for much, they have become such liars and deliberate economic illiterates symptomatic of Marxism. However, they did alert the world to take greater care for the planet. OK, we are alert and working on improving our environment with considerable success, mainly because economic achievement enables us to do so.
Unfortunately for the Greens, success is never enough. Ever increasing demands are for global gaia, including destruction of the means of production that made our economy viable, along with the wealthy people who contributed. Net zero by 2050, nobbling financial institutions from financing fossil fuel development on which most of the world runs, and destroying opportunities with green law fare, are all in their toolkit to take us back to burning dung for our dinner of grass and nuts. Am salivating! Can’t wait!
So many “leaders” gathered in Glasgow for COP26 to preen their green credentials and bolster confidence amidst the dawning realisation they are naked to a grand scam. Australia’s commitment to technological and sequestration solutions is at least anchored in practical reality. Otherwise, once more, the “Never Enough!” demands of Green’s climate catastrophism, suckers us not only to loss of democracy but also loss of sovereignty to unaccountable global bureaucrats whose power is never enough. We must speak up and take charge, not just clamour to board the subsidy and grants gravy train.
Power in education
All ideologues striving for long term power seek to capture children’s minds and souls on the way to fostering future acolytes. Classic Marxism! Often, by choice or chance, they have no children of their own, so seek life satisfaction influencing children of others. Education is no different.
All credit to those teachers who earnestly endeavour to foster in students competence in basic literacy and numeracy, while having to use a curriculum ideologically infected with age inappropriate propaganda on sex, race, gender, environment and colonialism. Who can believe the fictional tale of Aboriginal urbanisation, Dark Emu, by English ‘Aboriginal’ Bruce Pascoe, discredited by respected academics, is still being taught as fact throughout Australian schools and is heavily promoted on the ABC. Acceptance of 30% functional illiteracy and sliding international rankings by Unions and education bureaucracy is the result. Yet ever there are demands for more – whether ideological control over curriculum, funding, resources and smaller class sizes. Never enough! Ministers, parents and teachers must speak up and be heard if generations of children are not to be further disadvantaged.
Power in Unions
There was a time when unions served a useful purpose, winning better pay and improved working conditions for members, especially as operating conditions and technology changed. Unions became a collective force to counter the power of management. Yet as workers and management need each other in symbiosis in order to be productive, room for negotiation prevails. Breakdown occurs when either (or both) parties expect too much. Risk is the firm or industry will go out of business as outputs become too expensive to be attractive to management and end users. Unionists then lose their jobs. Unions for Australian car manufacturing workers certainly sent the whole industry out of business by their extravagant demands and continued expectation of government subsidies. Most people who bought one of the cars off the line had already paid for it in taxes. Never enough! Demand too much, end up with nothing.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has undertaken a campaign of rolling strikes over 12 months compounding the impact of staff absenteeism from COVID. Industrial action to force container ships to wait up to 18 days to berth in Sydney, nine days in Melbourne, eight days in Brisbane and three in Freemantle, holding up delivery of Christmas stock desperately needed by stores who have been impacted by pandemic closures. According to the Financial Review, wharfies who in Sydney are paid an average of $172K on a 35-hour roster and work less than 200 days a year are understood to be striking for increased union control over manning levels and hiring. An offer of 2.5% a year pay rise for four years, no forced redundancies from automation and caps on casual labour apparently is not enough. Never enough!
The most egregious blot on unions’ copy book is their treasonous sabotage, theft and delays to troop supply ships, outlined in meticulous detail, in Hal Colebatch’s revelatory book, Australia’s Secret War: how unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II.
Power in family
Before we blame others we need to recognise that power can also be exercised inordinately in families: either by parents over children or vice versa. From experience we know that giving in to children’s demands leads to ever more demands, to the detriment of all. Clear boundaries become very important if we are not to create social monsters.
Parents need to be mindful of their parenting style – whether for control, autonomy or complacency – as outlined in my book Becoming. Too much control for too long results in children without resilience, unable to think and act independently. Focus on autonomy allows development of the child as experience in choice is gained within safe boundaries appropriate to age and stage of the child. Complacency lacks sufficient discipline to foster growth towards the child’s potential.
World trends begin at home. Be mindful.
Were we to take a step back to analyse the examples given, several things become evident. Firstly, there is no clear objective, which, if achieved, should result in a wave of satisfaction. Secondly, never is any gratitude expressed for efforts to attain goals: always the goal posts shift to extort more, like a spoiled brat. Thirdly, the selfish pursuit of own objectives deny consideration of others’.
To do our bit towards greater harmony at home and in the world we could: be more self-aware; take time to savour the satisfaction of having achieved goals; be grateful for the efforts of those around us; reconsider the necessity of asking for more; and, importantly, take charge and speak out when demands become outrageous.