Obituary

This purportedly was an obituary printed in the London Times. It was in fact a circular e.mail I received. I thought it worth reproducing. 

 

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

 - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

 Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

 His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

 Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

 It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

 Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

 Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

 Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

 Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

 He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

 Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.  

Book Review : Night

Night

By Elie Wiesel

Penguin Books : Penguin Group Australia 1981.

This is perhaps one fo themost important books of the last century.

Please see my review under the Literature & Film reviews section.

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Poor Bloody Australians – can’t play tennis; can’t play cricket; can’t play rugby – can’t govern ourselves.

 

 

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I am Mordechai Brown.

I am a former soldier, political apparatchik and academic. Now formally retired, I am a scholar and political activist.

I am an unreconstructed melange of contradictions. I am a Hobbesian realist; a Marxian idealist and an unashamed Deist. I am a moral conservative, a social traditionalist and a political radical. I believe in most things now considered unfashionable – such as good manners, respect for ladies, elders and my fellows. I have a firm belief that little children should be seen and not heard.

I have a deep and enduring detestation of social engineering, apathy and cowardice. I despise political correctness; relativism; fence-sitters and those that keep their silence when they should speak out. I dismiss any political party, movement or group containing the world ‘liberal’. I respect those with convictions, especially those who hold the public courage of those convictions, irrespective of whether I agree with same. I believe in the inherent superiority and desirability of Christendom and am an advocate of the traditional values contained therein.

I believe in the inherent common sense and the voice of the so-called ‘common-man’. I am unreservedly Australian and am an active advocate of what used to be traditional Australian egalitarian values. And I believe that, consequent to our declining ethical standards, our political structures are failing us and that we are in dire need of a period of thorough political upheaval – violent or otherwise - to cleanse our soiled constitutional stables.

New to my Domain? Hello and a very big Welcome!

Keep the Aspidistra Flying
"Aspidistra"
Watercolour 1971
by Eric Malthouse

The question of engagement is fundamental to the healthy working of a democratic society. In such a society you have the right to remain an outsider, an observer or an apathetic cypher in the political and social processes. By choosing thus you accept what happens to you and you forfeit the right to complain about the consequences of social or political policy. Alternatively, you can choose to ‘engage’ with these processes and endeavour to exert some little influence over your life and the future life and health of your society.

I belong unashamedly in the latter camp. I am also a moral conservative and very much a political freethinker. I can see worthlessness equally in all political actors – indeed, if there is a leitmotif in my writing, it is a deeply held suspicion of politicians and their works. A short professional career in political party organisation imbued me with the idea that politics and social policy is too important to be left in the hands of self-serving politicians. Why a short career – a victory of principle over corruption.

Thus much, but not all, my writing is about politics and social policy. For those interested in my comments in this area, I invite you to turn to the Menu and click onto my “Blog” or browse through the list of items under “Politics”.

As an historian and biographer in my real life I write about history and people. I will be increasing this content in the site in due course. I also intend to write reviews and other items which are of interest to me. I hope you might share some of these interests.

Please feel free to leave me a message: to do so you are required to leave your e.mail address - I hasten to add that it remains strictly confidential and unavailable to me - it is a digital process which allows the programme to generate a direct e.mail to you alerting you that I have responded to your comment.  

I shall also post below the title and location of some of my more recent offerings for your convenience.

Have fun, drop me a comment and Keep the Aspidistra Flying!

Mordechai

At War with the Political Establishment!

The state of politics in the Western world is of concern to most of us.

The political paradigms have changed dramatically under our noses; our political classes have sorely failed us save in one respect, our expectation of their rapacity and arrogance; our belief in and respect for our democratic and judicial institutions is crumbling daily towards the abyss and we, the supposed font of political power, feel increasingly disenfranchised and alienated from the political system. No matter whom we vote for, we end up with a politician we are facing a crisis in our political culture.

For too long have we fiddle-faddled, content to let our elected representatives run loose in the farmyard. It is, I suggest, nigh-time that we, the people, took charge, round-up the chooks and cleanse the House of its filth.

Now is the time to say enough! Now is the time to declare war on the political establishment! In doing so I am strongly reminded of the words of Oliver Cromwell, as he dissolved the Rump Parliament in London on 20 April 1653:

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. In the name of God, go!”

For more essays on this subject please click the Menu button 'Politics' and browse through the headings.

Welcome to my Domain

A misty Autumn day in 1983 taken with a 1959 Zies Ikon Contaflex by the writer.

I received an e.mail from an old friend, an American expat living in Australia, and a former card carrying and now Hon. Life Member of the "I hate Karl Marx Society".  

 In his correspondence he asked me why I had a photo of “Old Carbuncles” [Karl Marx] on the Front Page of my Website. Good Question. Answer: because I took it and rather liked it. I won’t go into his further and witty comments about old Carbuncles, nor is it my intention to bore readers by entering into detailed dialectical counter-argument here, but his comment served to remind me that perhaps the page could do with ‘freshening’ up.  Those that miss ‘Old Carbuncles’ will find him on my next page: About this Site.

 However, continuing in the theme of being peripatetic, I attach a photo of an international architectural icon which I took decades ago whilst staying in a studio flat just around the corner of the street. The object of my research whilst there was Vichy France and the tragedy that was la Guerre d’Indochine (1945-54].

 On the subject of Paris I will however take the opportunity to remind readers, and my good friend, that the 1848 révolution de Févrie; Victor Hugo’s 1862 masterpiece, Les Misérables, and the revolutionary socialist 1871 Paris Commune served as inspiration for Karl Marx.  Indeed, he devoted much time to analysing and writing about the latter which he described as an example of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

 My friend finds it difficult to understand my not so crypto-Marxism. He also knows me as a staunch anti-Communist and proponent of freedom. He knows I loathe dictatorships either by the proletariat or by anyone else. Moreover, he also knows I also hold deep spiritual views – so how therefore can I countenance the atheism of Marxism. This raises the interesting question – can one hold two irreconcilable views and remain committed to both?

 Quite probably not, that’s why I’m confined to my own private asylum which allows me to vent my unsolicited passions on you, my poor friends and readers. And the operative word here is ‘passion’.

 Having faced the Marxist enemy over battle sights so to speak, I sought throughout my academic life to get into his brain. In doing so, my concerns and opposition to communism - both academic and political – were reinforced. Notwithstanding, I came to appreciate many of the subtleties that Marx had to offer rather than just his simplistic account of the millenarian march of history and the hijacking of his ideas by evil, power drunk, politically pathogenic lunatics. 

 So, I contend that whatever his faults in economics and however simplistic his history, his narrative about la condition humain remains a significant contribution towards our understanding of society. And what cannot be denied is his passion. His passion for humanity, for a better way of understanding economics and his passion to conduce to societal equity remained with him until his old age.  These passions reflect in many respects my own world view.

I remain angry about the same things I did whilst a young man. I loathe capitalism rampant - evidence the exploitation of third world workers to feed our hedonist materialism. I loathe the stock market – as I have said elsewhere – if the stock market is the apogee of our Western civilization then we really haven’t come too far. I abhor political hypocrisy and the sham that plays out daily in our parliaments in the name of liberal democracy. I am disgusted at the materialism of our society; appalled at our smugness in moving our filthy industries off shore; I am saddened at the decline of the church; I despair at the lack of spiritual values in our society and, last but certainly not least, I worry about our armaments industry and our propensity to keep finding wars to fight.

 None of these contradict my spiritual faith, far from it.

 Conversely, I loathe quasi-Marxist leftist revisionism and post-modernist relativism. The decline of university standards; the morbid idiocy that passes as tertiary level social studies programmes; the obvious political bias inherent in so many quarters of our education industry; the arrant rubbish that serves as Australian history; graduate journalists who have no idea what a “Patron” is and who think the Viet Nam war was fought in 1900. Primary school teachers who don’t know who their current premier is – do I need to go on?  This dumbing down of our education system ergo our society is a direct consequence of the deliberate application of quasi-Marxist policies. I deplore the replacement of a justice system with a legal system and I remain particularly critical of political correctness and the muzzling of the free press. All of which can be directly slated to social engineers trained in the closed-mind school of progressive social sciences.

 Well we don’t have to put up with it. The internet has given us a tool to express our views in any number of ways. I have said elsewhere in this website: “You and I can make a difference. We can read the papers. We can say no! Enough already! We can write to politicians. We can vote responsibly rather than ideologically or the way we’ve always voted.  We can sign on-line petitions. We can keep in touch. We can go to church, the temple, the mosque or the synagogue. We can lend a helping hand. You name it, we can do it. No matter how old or frail we are.”

 Suffice it be said that I shall continue, in Dylan Thomas’ immortal words, to “rage against the dying of the light” – and to me that light is the ethical health of our society. I urge you all to rage at what you see as injustice, ignorance; corruption and sheer evil-doings. We certainly won’t all agree, but at least we’ve been true to ourselves. 

……….