The Chaser’s war on the powerless
Posted by Leonie, June 6th, 2009 - under ALP, Aborigines, Afghanistan, Australian Labor Party, Australian politics, Classes, Imperialism, Indian students, Muslims, Power, Powerlessness, Racism, Refugees, Rudd Government, Rudd Labor.
Attacking dying kids. What a hoot! Or so the undergraduates from the Chaser’s war on everything thought.
(For non-Australian readers the Chaser are a ‘comedy’ team on our publicly funded television station. Their humour is mainly second grade university material.)
Why not lampoon a foundation which raises money to give dying kids one last wish before they die?
Their inhumanity knows no bounds. But that is because our ruler’s inhumanity knows no bounds.
The Chaser skit merely reflects the reality of the dog eat dog society we live in, an upside down world where the rich and powerful daily attack the poor and powerless (or seemingly powerless working class).
Our society is built on oppression and exploitation. What better way to reflect that than to attack the ultimate symbol of powerlessness, dying children?
Our alienation expresses itself in a range of actions, including the pathetic attack on sick kids from Chaser. Indeed perhaps the very nature of the Chaser ‘comedy’ expresses more generally the alienation we all suffer in our society and our attempts to address that within the exploitative system by belittling others.
But it is not just belittling humour that is a seeming outlet for our alienation. The objectification of others, especially women, and drugs and alcohol ( a friend of John’s for some time) are other ways, as is attacking the “other”, especially through the agency of the capitalist state.
Thus the ‘other’, powerless people are often the object of state attack.
The Nazis for example used the Jews as a means of diverting attention from the crisis of profitability and to divide workers. This partly helped the fascists to smash the working class defensive organisations like trade unions and labour and communist parties and as a consequence drive down wages and conditions, thus restoring profit rates. (The criminal failure of the Stalinist German Communist Party to join with the German Labor Party to smash fascism was also a major reason for the successful rise of Hitler to power.)
Here in Australia our racism is so ingrained as the inheritors of a brutal colonial settler state and a federation based on white Australia that attacks on Indians, Muslims, refugees, aborigines and immigrants go almost unremarked.
Indeed our two main political parties have led the attacks on Aborigines through the racist Northern Territory intervention, on refugees through border protection and on Muslims through the war on terror and oppressive security laws.
Rudd Labor federally, like Brumby Labor in Victoria, has done nothing about the spate of racist attacks on Indian students.
Our beloved hypocrite, Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has attacked The Chaser crew.
Mr Rudd says the the team “should hang their heads in shame”.
“… having a go at kids with a terminal illness is really beyond the pale, absolutely beyond the pale.’
Yet let’s have an honest look at Rudd’s record.
His Government has troops in Iraq. Our contingent has been an integral part of the Bush invasion which on realistic estimates has killed over one million Iraqis, many of them children.
No crocodile tears from Rudd there.
In Afghanistan our troops killed five kids under the rules of engagement. No crocodile tears there.
Nor any for the tens of thousands of kids that NATO troops have killed as part of the war on ‘terror’ in Afghanistan and now Pakistan.
No crocodile tears from Kevin Rudd for the Palestinian kids the Israeli war machine killed in its recent invasion of Gaza. Nothing but support for Israel.
No crocodile tears from Kevin Rudd for the Tamil kids the Sri Lankan racist state has and is killing right now.
None of this is surprising. Australia imperialism, in alliance with US imperialism, cares nothing about kids’ lives. They are the ‘collateral damage’ in a deadly struggle between various imperialisms (Chinese, European, American) for economic dominance.
I hope the Chaser team does a skit on those kids Rudd’s troops have killed or whose deaths Rudd ignores as imperialism around the world (of which Australia is an integral part) destroys their lives.