There’s a story going around the neo-con blogs titled “The Squirrel and the Grasshopper”. It was forwarded to me by a business associate with the claim that it’s “right on the money”. It’s strange that someone could be considered to be “right on the money” for Australia when essentially the same text is posted in the UK, New Zealand, and Sweden (from a 30 second google search – I’m sure that the neo-cons in other countries have posted it too).
The following are the neo-con ideas promoted by the story in question:
- To mis-represent a local main-stream political party that is known for representing workers (the ALP in the case of Australia) as being extremist and associated with Greenpeace (an organization that is out of favor at the moment and disliked by many people who vote for main-stream parties).
- To spread the “liberal press” lie that wing-nuts like to believe. Any analysis of the press will show that most multi-national media organizations are quite biased towards the right-wing groups.
- Making false claims about the legal system to drive support for recent fascistic legal changes. In the case of Australia this means allowing employers to lay off employees and immediately re-hire them at a lower rate, allowing employees to be laid off if factory equipment breaks down, and for almost any reason you can imagine. Driving the idea that the judges are incompetent and therefore imposing legislation to remove judicial discretion is an important step in removing civil rights.
- Claims that the government is communist and takes the property from the middle-classes and gives it to unworthy people. In fact the opposite is true (for Australia at least). Large companies and wealthy individuals are routinely given community property. The toll roads are the best example of this, the government closes public roads that can be used as an alternative to a toll road, and then politicians get paid off after they leave office. Far from taking money from people who work (as the neo-con propaganda claims) the government allows big corporations to do so with impunity. The Australian government (as many governments in first-world countries) has been becoming increasingly fascistic recently.
- The claim that asylum seekers are terrorists. If the government wanted to stop terrorism then they would cease involvement with those parts of the world. However only plebians (people like us) are likely to be hurt by terrorism so the government has little motivation to stop it – it’s good for winning elections! By joining the invasion of Iraq the Australian government helped al Quaeda establish new training bases while also giving al Quaeda (and related organizations) a reason to target Australia. Also whenever a war is started people will be forced to leave their homes and seek asylum else-where. If you don’t want asylum seekers seeking entry to your country then you don’t want to mess up other countries and force people to flee.
- Support for the “war on drugs”. That war has been at best a stale-mate and generally a loss for a century now. The approach that is being adopted experimentally of legal supply of hard drugs to addicts seems to have more promise. Incidentally the breaches in border security that are established for the purpose of drug smuggling are available for any illegal purpose that pays enough – if al Quaeda wanted to smuggle weapons into a first-world country they would probably get drug dealers to do it for them. I’ll blog more on this topic in future.
There you have it, The Squirrel and the Grasshopper covered all of the neo-con propaganda bases apart from the pro-Christian angle.
For the benefit of anyone who is thinking of forwarding on a “parable” in future, the first thing you might want to do is a google search on it. Search for comments and also search for who is promoting it. If a message you are considering forwarding is being promoted by people who are obviously racist or who discriminate against people on the basis of religion then you might consider whether you want to associate yourself with them by forwarding the message.