Sunday, 1 July 2007

Conservatism and values in Australia

More food for thought by Clive Hamilton:

“Most Australians, including those caught up in consumer lifestyles, feel the prevailing value system is warped. They believe Australia has become too selfish and superficial, that people have lost touch with the more desirable standards of personal behaviour such as self-restraint, mutual respect and generosity. Conservatives have been much more adept than progressives at tapping into these concerns, even though in the name of choice they promote the very market values and consumerist goals that corrode the values we seek.

“The desire of most Australians for a society built on core human values has been twisted into support for a retrograde conservative morality including vilification of single mothers, hostility towards gay relationships and attempts to demonise the “undeserving” poor. The values of a decent society have been overlaid by outdated prejudices and positions based on particular religious conviction.”

Clive then goes onto advocate what he calls a "politics of wellbeing", which I'll go into at a later date. I thought this was interesting in terms of why conservative politics often appeal to Christians.

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