It seems I am the only one with a crystal ball.
We will not return to large-scale international trade and tourism in the foreseeable future. The entire globe would be healthier without such things, regardless of the continuing pandemic.
Australia needs to resign itself to becoming self-sufficient, to using its own minerals for nation-building of Australia, rather than for nation-building of China.
Our governments need to nurture manufacturing industries, to explore for shale oil, to expand our workforce so that we have fewer low-paid hospitality workers and retailers and more workers in nation-building industries. Those industries which are still crying out for government aid by way of Job-Keeper should realize that it is time they were defunct and their C.E.O.s and workers branched into other industries.
I am growing weary of nagging. When is the private sector going to take notice? When is Government going to facilitate the transition? We are dragging in quicksand.
At the risk of being labeled insane, I say that I can see three possible futures:
1. World War 111, instigated through Jewish intransigence and abuse of Palestinians.
2. World domination by China, as a result of the rest of the world being economically weakened by the continuing pandemic and needing a strong nation to hold Iran in check.
3. China and Australia in partnership nurturing the rest of the world back to health, through their moral and economic strength.
If Australian authorities would heed me, the third scenario could eventuate. It will not happen while Australia indulges in self-absorptive issues of gender at the expense of running the nation. It will not happen while Australia depends on China for trade, tourism and overseas students, and whines that China is being unfair about trade. It will not happen while Australia carps at China over its human rights issues.
You may think that I have no compassion for the Chinese Uigars and others who are persecuted. I do have less compassion than some of you bleeding hearts might expect. I look back in history. In past centuries religious and political martyrs “rejoiced” in their suffering. I wonder what is different about modern Uigars’ faith that they whinge and protest at their martyrdom. Their moral courage has slipped along with the moral courage of the rest of the Western world.
With regard to the threatened invasion of Taiwan by China, I remind you history is brief. It is less than a hundred years since Western nations encouraged the seizure of Arab lands in Palestine to make a homeland for the Jews. It is less than two hundred and fifty years since Australia’s British ancestors invaded the land occupied by the people we now know as Australian Aborigines. It is not long since Britain seized India, and parts of Africa, and invaded the Americas. And we have constantly and consistently interfered in the Middle East. Allow China some licence to expand its territories and exert pressure on its neighbours. The entire world does not have to live to our new standards. Our new standards are not so very virtuous, in any case. Let us change our ways and lead by example rather than by authoritarian pressure, carping and fault-finding.
Australia needs a moral revival. We need to go back to some of the values of the nineteen-sixties, when we cared for our neighbour, when we were ready to work, to suffer and die for our beliefs and our nation, willing to be thrown under a bus rather than thrown under the lights of a television camera.
In the nineteen-sixties we were close to having a Golden Age, but we squandered it. We followed the uncouth barbarian United States of America, aped its skewed values. The United States of America is paying for its sins, and we may well pay too, if we do not heed the message of Nature. The pandemic and climate change are telling us to change our ways. We need to heed their call rather than heed the bells of the stock exchange. Their warnings are muffled in the sound of silence. It is past time for change. I just hope and pray that inevitable Fate will stay its hand long enough for us to pull out, turn back, and live differently. I do not want to be alive to say “I told you so.”
My alter ego, Peggy, claims to see the past and the future. They look similar. Time flows in circles, or with luck, spirals. I am praying we spiral into a new circle, a circle of a New Age, a Golden Age, rather than circling into another pattern of destruction, of atomic war and the death of the planet, or domination by an authoritarian government which, without guidance -without strong, moral, healthy example- may take centuries to liberate the world’s people.