The May 18, 2019, Australian election will not change the trajectory of Australia.
A Shorten-Labor victory will certainly accelerate economic stagnation and expand the size of government. However, a Morrison-led Liberal government will merely slow the rate of decline.
The reasons for this are varied.
The seeds were sown in the 1980s at a time when governments were dismantling most features of the federation “settlement”.
One outcome was the emergence of the union-capitalists. As compulsory superannuation gave birth to union backed funds, Australia began a path towards a European, continental form of capitalism. The logical end point of this experiment are investments with environmental, social and industrial relations strings attached.
On the cultural front, the intellectual left shifted from spreading Marxism to expanding the green movement. Combined with the emerging tool of identity politics and post-modernism, followers of the Frankfurt School have been extremely successful in delegitimising and debasing Enlightenment goals of progress and personal improvement
After 2000, successive governments expanded direct and indirect regulation, oversight and federal involvement in the economy. The National Broadband Network and ALP’s proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency are all part of this drift to centralised, managed capitalism which encourages corporatism rather than entrepreneurship. The growth of “Sustainability Managers” are a symptom rather than cause of this trend.
What is to be done?
Regardless of the election result on May 18, 2019, we need to turn our sights well beyond the current election cycle and consider what will be needed by the mid-2020s. When Australia enters a recession, sound free-market ideas must be ready for an era where crypto-currencies and fin-tech are maturing. Rather than looking backwards to a golden era of economic reform under Hawke, Keating and Howard, we must update, refine and modernise classical liberal concepts to a new generation and new set of conditions.
Most importantly, we need to reverse the long march through institutions. We need not engage with the left directly. New technologies, organisational strategies and platforms give us more choice and options.
Fortunately, post-modernism is empty and nihilistic. It offers little in the way of optimism and purpose. Millennials will reach a point where they want to be defined by something more substantive than their gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. They will discover the joy of building a career, company and family. At some point they will encounter the totalitarian restraints or diktats of the bureaucracy; the politically correct brigade; or the social media lynch mob. Just as Jordan Peterson burst onto the scene by pushing back on progressive language policies, so too will such leaders emerge in Western Australia.
Mannkal will continue to provide domestic and international experiences to help prepare leaders to be ready when they reach breaking point and feel compelled to stand up for common sense and classical liberal ideals of individual choice, liberty and freedom.
By assisting students, be it from Bunbury, Broome or Belmont, learn from great thinkers, great books and great leaders, we aim to prepare them for the challenges beyond the election.