Category Archives: reflective writings

I Am A Racist

Are you a good parent? Do you love your child? Would you would do anything to save it from harm?

“Yes,” you say.

And I reply, “That is what makes you and me racists!”

Harsh words in these days of political correctness yet perhaps they reveal a truth about humanity which is being hidden from us by those who believe the word is the thing. The “word-nazis” who believe that if we all say we are not racist, then we are not racist.

Shall we set up a small “mind game”. Imagine that your four year old daughter has a friend over for the night. They’re both sleeping in the same room which catches fire. In breaking down the door to their bedroom, you have dislocated a shoulder.  You now have only one arm to carry a child out of the burning room. Both children are equally within reach. Which child do you grab?

An impossible situation in which to make an instantaneous life and death decision. A decision we all hope we would no have to make. I will try to be as honest as possible here. I would grab MY daughter. I think most parents would do the same. Because my daughter is more important to me than my neighbour’s child.

Let’s leave that mind game. It just stopped being fun. The conclusion you came to, though, is important.

It follows from that conclusion that my family is more important to me than your family. This is so obvious that it hardly needs repeating. By extension, the people in my extended family or my neighborhood are more important to me than those people on the other side of the city. When my children’s school plays sport against the school from the other side of town, I support MY school.

Even more important is the City Team, basketball, baseball, football or tiddlywinks. It doesn’t matter. I support my City team against your City team.

Our civic officials know how important it is for them to win that big new factory for our city than it is for the next city down the highway. It means jobs for OUR city. The fact that there will be no jobs for that city down the highway is just their bad luck. We are looking after our own citizens.

I think you can see where this is leading. Me and mine are always more important to me than you or yours.

This is true at family level, city level, state level and at country level. It is also true at a language level and at a racial level.

We are all racist.

It is how we react to that truth which determines whether we are good human beings or not.

It is impossible to like everyone in the world. Heck, there are people in my family I don’t particularly like. But those people, I mean, those supporters of the opposition tiddlywinks team MUST know they are supporting cheats. Those men in that army we are fighting really are bad people who will destroy our civilisation, given the chance. Of course, we are fighting this war to change THEIR civilisation, but that is an unimportant distinction and should never appear in the media or in the public conscience.

There is every reason to dislike people who are different. Yet we see examples of different groups combining for a common cause. It may be opposing Soccer teams combining into a national team to compete at the Olympics or in the World Cup. It may be groups of people from different states forming into a unified national defence force.

Who are they going to defend against? Why, those people who are defending their own city, state, nation. Of course there are reasons for war between countries and races. Often not the reasons which we are told. If we depend on oil for our economy then we must make certain of its availability. If we have too many people for our water supply, then we must ensure a greater water supply and if it means taking it from those people over there, then so be it. If our population is too large for our available land supply, then we must increase our land area. Sorry, in this time of rising sea levels, neighbours, we have to move you out.

There will now be a couple of new words invented. I cannot find recognised English words to use for the exact thoughts I need to express. “Them-ist” refers to that quality other groups of people possess which causes me to mis-trust or dislike. “Us-ist” refers to that quality members of my group possesses which cause me to like and trust them.

All this seems to be a long way from saving your daughter from a fire. Going backwards through all the steps, it is simply a difference in degree. There is no way that we can overcome this, maybe not “racist” but perhaps “them-ist” problem, even with religion. Religions are inherently exclusive. Yet there is still one final hope.

Many of us know the story of the groups of German and English soldiers in the First World War at Christmas, 1915. They both fell into the Christmas spirit, sang carols together and walked into “No-Man’s Land” where they talked together and exchanged gifts. Their generals recognised the danger of this sort of behaviour and moved both regiments to different areas of the front line.

CS Lewis once wrote;
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
‘What!  You, too?  I thought I was the only one.’ ”

With Twitter and Facebook and all the other platforms we have the chance to make friends. In making friends from all over the world we have a chance of overcoming the “Them-ist” prejudices which are built into the human psyche. Suddenly we realise that the friend we are communicating with on the internet is supposed to be one of “Them”. But that friend is just like me. The same likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, failures and successes. If we become enemies, we are tearing an “Us-ist” group apart.

I have made friends all over the world through social media in all its forms. The people I have met and made friends with have met and be-friended others. In the continuation of that series of small steps, there is hope for mankind.

In spite of our inbuilt racism.

(I first wrote this essay decades ago. Every now and then I return to it and make changes which I hope improve it. In its last incarnation it was a blog post in 2006. I know it exceeds my self-imposed 1000 word limit)


I Have Learned #17

I have learned 17

And I Have Always Been Told

That He was born in Bethlehem.

Or is Bethlehem the City of David?

It does say “IN” the City of David, not “Near” the City of David.

Perhaps we got the wrong Saviour for Christmas



I Have Learned

I have learned 7

Rant on Abusers and Bullies

I wrote this last night for Facebook. It a rant about the abuse in institutions, specifically military institutions, in Australia. My “overseas” readers may or may not, find parallels in their own countries.


Sometimes I have incorrect thoughts and wild, unsubstantiated imaginings. This is one of them. So you have been warned.

Back in the 70’s there was a rather insensitive game played in football and cricket clubs. It was claimed that one person in twenty was gay and the game was to try to work out who it was in any group, team or club.

I am playing a similar game at the moment.hat

Different criteria. This time it is “Who are/were the abusers at the various Military training and intake facilities?” Information released today indicate that over a thousand abusers are still in the ADF. There would be many more who have left the military. Yet there seems to be little action on historic offending.

My “game” involves trying to spot the abusers in their post-military occupations.

How many ex-military are there in the assorted police forces or spy agencies in Australia? How many have gone into teaching, into social services, into the Public Service?

With the knowledge that a person is ex-military, we will now look at him/her with a little suspicion and that is unfair on the majority of ex-servicemen.

Yet, statistically, some of them WERE abusers and bullies.

With our ex-military now occupying positions throughout society, up to and including the Governor-General,  I wonder just how many of our elected representatives or appointed vice-regals throughout the country are ex-servicemen or women.

I’ll let YOU ask the next obvious question.


I Have Learned #2

I Have Learned 2

The Free Market; Maggots and Tapeworms

We keep hearing about “The FREE MARKET” capitals included as though it is some sort of Holy Grail.

The Institute of Public Affairs keeps extolling its ancient and venerable beauty. Its ineffable desirability.

In my perverted mind I sometimes ask unwelcome questions and so, with some inevitability, I asked these questions.

Just when was the time in human history when the FREE MARKET ruled in its sublime wisdom and , secondly, should I support the FREE MARKET?

It led me to think seriously about humanity’s march from the Hunter Gatherer society to the modern Nation State. How has society changed and are there any lessons hidden in history?

In the dim distant past, our ancestors cooperated with each other. Had they not, then sabre toothed tigers would have sent us extinct before our ladies had a chance to learn about agriculture.

Then, without a need to hunt for food, we blokes muscled in on the agricultural scene and found a way to regulate it, to help it grow and to control it. Women could now be locked up inside the cave, for their own safety of course. This great new way of life also led to other human tribes invading and killing us which wasn’t the best thing for the cropping cycle.

Kings and Emperors and petty Princelings began to rule over us. Gods were invented and had to be fed, just as the other Rulers were. Of course there was a warrior caste whose job was not to farm but to protect the farms. They had to be fed as well. “Tax” was invented so the leaders, the soldiers and those who talked to God were able to do their thing without having to actually produce anything. The farmers were a bit of a problem but they bred freely so were always replaceable.

There was a lot of confusion about just how society should be ordered so a very wise King named Hammurabi wrote everything down in the world’s first set of Laws. Now everyone was happy so the status quo lasted for thousands of years.

OK. We are up to the Middle Ages

Still no sign of a “Free Market”

Then the peasants in France got upset and cut off the heads of everyone who had bullied them in the past. Suddenly there was the French Revolution and the American War of Independence. In an orgy of Democracy, and in a two hundred year blink of humanity’s eyelid, Rulers and their class lost their heads and were swept away.

In that tidal wave of Democracy, everyone was free. Well, almost everyone. Slaves were not really human so they could not be free and women were definitely inferior to humans so they didn’t get a say in anything. But everyone else was free!

Democracy is in a museum.
Is it extinct?

No! Of course the Orientals couldn’t be free. They weren’t proper humans either. If they were they would have invented Democracy.

So everything became free. And everyone had a vote. And of course the Market had to be free as well. Please don’t ask me why, it just had to be. Everyone still had to pay taxes. To themselves, of course since it was all democratic. Even your business had to pay taxes. That was something sacrosanct. It had been so since time immemorial when Pharaohs had to finance wars against Hittites.

Just as it had become a human tradition to attempt to reduce the amount of tax they owed to God, the King or to themselves. Even at the risk of losing their head or their liberty.

One problem with all this Democracy and Free Thinking was that the rate of invention went up and there were suddenly lots of new stuff around. Some of it was quite big new stuff and needed lots of cooperation to create. Sort of a throwback to the cooperation of the distant past when it was needed to create a dead mammoth. Lots of bloodthirsty savages temporarily working together.

So big ships, big telephone systems, big railways all got built by these cooperating savages. And everything got faster. And spread further. So the biggest of the bloodthirsty savages from all over the world finally got to cooperate with each other. But that is only a difference in scale. Not something new.

Perhaps there was something I missed. Something very early on I hadn’t seen.

Uh Oh.

I just spotted an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Hammurabi’s Laws needed someone to explain them. Throughout this Body of Law, some maggots began spreading. And they became known as “Lawyers”!

Through ages of interpreting, re-interpreting and, when all else failed, by rewriting the Law, Lawyers became the only ones who could understand it.

For much of civilised time, we ordinary mortals just shook our heads and got on with life. Male mortals, of course because women, slaves and Orientals could not hope to understand important stuff like that.

Lawyers noticed that Democracy had made everyone “free” and so some of them set their mind to determine the ramifications. If people were free, and we have a free market, then obviously the inhabitants of “The Market” had to be free as well. And so Lawyers determined that the Companies within the Free Market were as free as people. In fact that determination led to the conclusion that Companies are People as well.

Now, finally, we have found something new.

The Gods had been sort of people, incorporeal but existent, for millennia, yet they only lasted for a while before being replaced. Now we have Companies which are an incorporeal construct yet being treated as though they have a mind and a soul of their own. They must be people for they grow and grow and now cover the world.

Now is not the time to go into the 127 real, born of woman, human people who control those Companies.

Instead we should look at the consequences of these Companies being People. These Companies are the Free Market. The Free Market, according to the Institute of Public Affairs, I should be supporting. Supporting totally because I am free as well.

  • Just as people in a Democracy have a vote, the Free Market Members have a vo – –

NO THEY DON’T! But they can lobby and bribe and corrupt.

  • Just as people in any Governmental system pay taxes, the Free Market Members pay taxe – –

NO THEY DON’T! Well, yes they do, within the limits that they allow the Government to tax them.

  • Just as people in in any jurisdiction who break the law go to jail, the Free Market Members go to ja – –

NO THEY DON’T! They do not go to Jail, except for an occasional “human person” scapegoat. They become too big to fail. They are certainly never executed for all the deaths they cause.

If Lawyers are the maggots in our body politic, then these Free Market Members have become the parasitic tapeworms within that body!

And so, my answer to my question is a double “NO“.


No! There never was a time when the Free Market was the norm for Human Society”


No! I do not support the Free Market.”

My question to you, my discerning reader is, “Do you support the right of tapeworms to suck the life out of you?”

Adapted from a post previously published on the archive.