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A note on class war

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(Image via @johnnybridge2)

So we are told not to be human, not to envy Rinehart's wealth or Trump's crooked billions nor hold them to account. 'Give me a break', says Bob Elllis.

CLASS WAR has been the stuff of politics since Roman times.

Spartacus led the slave revolt against the upper classes of his country, the Nazarene’s allies the Zealots sought to cast off the imperial invader, the insurgent Arthur made war on the occupying Romans, French peasants on the Ancién Regime, Grant’s anti-slavery armies on the Confederate aristocracy, the shearers on the cockies in 1891; and so on.

Politics is class war. Curtin’s refusal to let the Poms decide where we fought and died in war, Chifley’s attempt to nationalise the banks, Whitlam’s cancellation of the Birthday Ballot, were all class war. So was Dunstan’s restoration of Aboriginal land, and Keating’s Redfern speech, and Rudd’s Apology, and the Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy of many churches.

And yet we are told — by Murdoch! — we mustn’t do it any more. Lincoln was wrong to resist the enslaving aristocracy and Bernie Sanders wrong to want to punish the banks.

This is really absurd. Who, on earth, does not envy Rinehart’s wealth or resent Trump’s crooked billions? Who thinks Assad deserves his palaces or does well to kill hundreds of thousands defending them? Who thinks Rebekah deserved her £15 million payout? Anybody?

Yet, we are told it is wrong to envy inherited wealth or to call, like Shorten, for a “fair go”. When, oh when, will it sink in that this is just human behaviour, as human as the Syrians, in millions, fleeing dangerous tyranny and seeking prosperous ease and safety and opportunity in Germany and France?

Envy is what populates Sex And The City, and Boardwalk Empire and Veep. Class warfare freed Ireland from 600 years of upper class Protestant occupation.

Say why it is wrong to demand Turnbull pay his taxes at the same rate we do. Say why it is wrong to criticise the millions made by Greiner, the tobacco executive or James Hardie, who sent men coughing and bleeding into asbestos mines for personal gain and did so knowingly.

Do you know one person who has not felt envy and spoken it? Do you know one migrant who has not felt embattled, and resentful, of the Anglo-Saxon rulers of their municipality?

So we told not to be human and never buy a lottery ticket, because this is the way of the world. This is a race we have already lost. This is our fate, get used to it. Get used to travelling steerage.

Give me a break.

We must never, never hold, as they say, the rich to account for the crooked ways they gained their wealth — killing Aborigines, enslaving South Sea Islanders, digging up sacred ground, exploiting foreign students after midnight in 7/11s.

This is class war. And long may it continue.

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