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Issue #1782      June 21, 2017


The first rule

The first rule once user-pays is established is that you now must “make a contribution” towards the service that is rightfully yours – and that contribution itself will gradually creep up in price.

Rights become privileges and the quality of services become dependent on your ability to pay.

In this process the individual is pitted against society as those in need of services are not seen as part of society, but instead a burden on it. Government responsibility to society is replaced by individual responsibility.

Ideologically, user-pays is the promotion of individualism: in practice it damns to hell those individuals who do not have the means to provide the basics of life for themselves.

In economic terms, user-pays is a central part of the privatisation drive. Once a service is put on a commercial footing and is turning a profit it is handed over to the private sector by direct sale or is contracted out.

Politically, governments are using this process to erode the basic rights of people. The private sector, which has and is taking over many government functions, is also absolved of any accountability or responsibility for its actions.

Contracting out builds a barrier between government and the people who use the service. This barrier protects profits and covers up incompetence, criminal negligence and corruption. This can be seen in its cold, inhumane manifestation where people are left to struggle alone.

Attacks on the rights of working people involve a combination of government trampling on democratic rights, the privatisation of services and the portrayal of the victim as an economic burden.

Privatisation also results in the replacement of legally enforceable regulation and government supervision by “codes of conduct” and self-regulation by corporations.

When it comes to handouts to corporations (corporate welfare) there is no shortage of money: they are given billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, such as the private health insurance rebate ($6.5 billion) in the government’s push to dismantle and privatise Medicare.

Privatisation and the promotion of individualism are the antithesis of the real development of the individual. It is the opposite of a truly democratic government, which is to represent the collective needs of, and be responsible to, society: the community and the individuals who comprise it.

The barriers to peace

Let’s be clear: When the US and Australian governments claim they are in support of One China they are lying. Everything they do diplomatically and militarily increasingly exposes the lie, including the current cold war rhetoric about connections with Chinese businesses and the Communist Party of China.

The only thing that constrains the US and its lapdog in the region is their desire to gain advantage from the massive and growing market for their goods and investments and the growing and economic, diplomatic and military strength of People’s China.

So, instead of pursuing genuine good relations, the Turnbull government is making belligerent announcements about confronting China in the South China Sea while dredging up the communist bogey.

Further, this is based on the false premise that more military spending brings national security, the argument used by the Turnbull government for its grossly increased military spending and the growing US military presence in Australia’s north.

The fact is, increased military spending will inevitably lead to war.

Real security for all countries can only be achieved by promotion of respect for the independence of all countries, non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations, equality between big and small, acceptance of the right of people of all countries to choose their social and economic system and the conduct of trade on the basis of mutual advantage.

What stands between these objectives being implemented is the likes of Turnbull and Trump and the transnational corporations they serve who regard other countries as primarily territories as a means for domination and exploitation.

These are the barriers to peace.

Next article – Stop TAFE cuts

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