Team Australia? F*** Yeah! “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious” – Oscar Wilde.

‘You don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join our team’: Tony Abbott renews push on national security law

Ignore, the hypocrisy of Abbott commenting on the opposition just saying “No” to everything in the video, focus on his comments of “Team Australia”, they ring of nationalist sentiment, often the sound of the preparation for a wonderful, good old fashioned, rhetoric thick and slogan heavy fear campaign about the threats to our national identity. Bring out the divisive distraction, the budget still isn’t popular.

The Government’s push to make Telco’s retain metadata is just a part of broad policy push on national security, did you know, the National Security Amendment Bill (2014) includes an amendment giving immunity from prosecution to ASIO, its affiliates and anybody involved with a special intelligence operation when they break the law, including if they only “believed” their actions to be part of the operation…. Think about that for a second…. A law to break the law…

Other amendments include:
1) Wiping away existing protections such as the need for ASIO to get a warrant to put a tracking device on someone.
2) Allowing wholesale tampering with information and hacking of computer networks
3) Increasing the jail terms from 2 to 10 years for leaking information plus removing the Attorney-General’s discretion on when to prosecute

Plus there are definitions in the computer hacking section that as so broad they could apply to the entire internet, it’s all framed by rhetoric of “addressing local terror” concerns to protect our very way of life. But is it all over-hyped and played on to try to gain traction in the polls and stir up some rabble rousers in the Government’s corner rooting for the above changes under the pretense of being a “team player”? Meant to bolster a nation largely unimpressed with it’s Government, according to all polls, to stand behind it’s Government as an act of patriotism?

Remember the film “Team America: World Police”?  Anyone who paid even a little attention to the U.S. after 9/11 will recall there was a fast silencing of genuine debate of the merit of anti-terror laws, this silencing was enforced not just by official dogma but by the fear of your neighbours and friends, through the use of heavy nationalist rhetoric and accusations that non-compliance with the push for security was unpatriotic, even if the pushback was rooted in upholding existing national values. These laws were pervasive and intrusive and required a sacrifice of freedoms and liberties of privacy for the bettering of security, but security and patriotism had new meaning in this nationalist rhetoric, you weren’t in favour of anti-terror laws, you must be in favour of terrorism, guilty by association, you could not be a patriotic member of  Team America. We still hear the cries of nationalism regularly from the United States when it is repeatedly claimed by it’s President that America is the “greatest” country on the earth.

Lets come across to Russia, it introduced a series of policies between 2008 and 2014 that targeted homosexuals, immigrants, women, and the disabled to varying degrees, all these policies whether they were cuts to programs and support payments or the criminalisation of marginalized groups of society occured during a time of sweeping austerity across Europe and massive cuts to health and education in Russia. The marginalized were fair game for a distraction, Russia already had a strong nationalist movement, but the nationalist rhetoric was upped around the changes to policy around immigrants and other groups deemed undesirable in Team Russia. The presence of an “other” can bolster a divided nation together over a common “enemy”, if you can appeal to the people’s patriotism and convince them their national identity is under attack from this other, the fear and anger that follows, with the right response, can push your patriotic popularity through the proverbial roof. Nationalism unifies a nation state through a common enemy, whether it is internal or external, real or imagined.

Now let’s not even get into the role of Nationalism in the Israel-Palestine Conflict… Whole other can of worms.

But here we are in the land down under, and “cyber-terrorism”, the “dole-bludger” and “immigration” are threatening our national identity, what it means to be Australian, threatening what it means to be a part of “Team Australia”. This is all backed in harmony by divisive metaphors of “lifters and leaners”, the call to arms has been sounded, are you a team player for our nation? Will you ring in to your local radio station, write to the editor of the paper, or vent your spleen all over your Facebook page to prove you’re a real Team Australia front runner, nobody will question your patriotism then right? Noone will think you an “other”? You’ll be a “lifter” right? Or will we not be fooled into rushing with heads in the clouds the Southern Cross and Union Jack wrapped in a blinding fashion across our faces into giving up privacy for unproven security, into demonizing the marginalized who arrive on our doorstep or those amongst us who are in need of a helping hand?

Don’t be fooled by the word “TERRORISM” being thrown around all the time.

This is pretty much how the NSA formed PRISM in the states legally and covertly, by making it legal to do what had been illegal — spying on millions of people who have done nothing wrong whatsoever — and doing it while everyone was unified in abiding consent and blinded by allegiance to their flag.

Some Quotes to reflect on Nationalism:

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.

Charles de Gaulle

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

Albert Einstein

In some states militant nationalism has gone to the lengths of dictatorship, the cult of the absolute or totalitarian state and the glorification of war.

Arthur Henderson

In its haste to bolster nationalism, in its obsession with security, Europe is losing its soul.

Tariq Ramadan

All of nationalism can be understood as a kind of collective narcissism.

The sublimated idealism of the Enlightenment, the spirit of the League of Nations and of the United Nations Charter have not proved strong enough to control the aggressive dynamism of nationalism.

I’m really not big on nationalism, to be honest with you. I really don’t think it gets people anywhere except near a pile of dead bodies. I’m Irish, yeah, but I don’t need to get up on a soapbox about it.

Nationalism has a way of oppressing others.

Noam Chomsky

A good nationalism has to depend on a principle of the common people, on myths of a struggling commonality.

I don’t believe in nationalism. I think it’s a bunch of slogans. It’s a bunch of poor attempts at creating pride. My problem with nationalism is that it becomes exclusionary. We start to exclude people.

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
VoltairePatriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….
George Bernard Shaw

People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one
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One thought on “Team Australia? F*** Yeah! “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious” – Oscar Wilde.

  1. well done for picking up about the NSAB 2014 bill.

    it is before parliament now for 2nd reading and amazeballs suddenly there are police trumpeting to media about their anti-terror operations

    “look at us working hard to keep you safe from beheading. Now give us unlimited powers and go back to sleep.”

    it’s just like Orwell wrote in 1984. You don’t want to write that cliche but try as you might you cannot avoid it

    heard this grab on the news yesterday: “We are watching, we are listening and we will catch you.”

    If you sacrifice your freedom for safety, you will end up with neither freedom nor safety

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