Are all members of the Liberal Party rapists? Probably not. Are they all bad people, and in many cases likely genuine sadists who derive pleasure (sexual or otherwise) from inflicting pain and suffering on others? The overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that they are.
The Liberal Party exists to serve the wealthiest segment of the Australian population—those for whom the status quo of capitalism represents the best of all possible worlds. Research has shown that the richer you are, the more selfish and lacking in empathy you’re likely to be. A 2015 study by psychologists at Arizona University found, for instance, that while the rich were more likely than the poor to self-report that they were empathetic people, MRI scans taken while they were looking at pictures of suffering showed that “people who are higher in socioeconomic status have diminished neural responses to others’ pain”.
To anyone familiar with the culture and institutions of the rich, this will come as no surprise. Children brought up by wealthy parents simply don’t have the same opportunities to exercise basic human emotions like empathy as poorer kids do. The spawn of the rich are sheltered and protected from suffering, whether their own or that of their immediate circle of friends or family.
The world, to the rich, appears as a playground for the realisation of their desires, and the people in it, particularly those less fortunate than themselves, are reduced to the status of objects—to be manipulated, controlled and abused at will. This attitude isn’t just a passive inheritance of each new generation of the ruling class. It is actively fostered and encouraged by the elite educational institutions in which they are moulded into future leaders of capitalist big business and politics.
For the most part, the inculcation of core ruling class values and behaviours—of ruthless competition and victory at all cost, of trampling over others in the pursuit of individual success, and so on—takes place behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the public. Every now and then, however, we get a glimpse of the ugly reality.
Particularly in recent years, the extreme sexism in private schools and elite university colleges has gained the most attention. In 2019, a group of students from Melbourne private boys’ school St Kevin’s College were filmed singing a “call and response” style chant on a packed tram that included the lyrics: “I wish all the ladies were holes in the road. If I were a dump truck, I’d fill them with my load”.
Late last year it was year 12 students from Sydney’s prestigious Shore School who were in the spotlight for organising a muck-up day “scavenger hunt” involving a list of tasks including having sex with a woman weighing over 80kg, aged over 40 or rated “3/10 or lower” in attractiveness. In this case, it wasn’t just sexism and misogyny on display, but a generally offensive attitude to anyone deemed inferior. Another challenge set for the hunt, for instance, was for students to “spit on a homeless man”.
None of this can be dismissed as harmless fun. If the flood of testimony from private school students in response to an online petition started by a former student from Sydney’s Kambala girls’ school is anything to go by, the extreme sexism manifest in such schoolboy rituals all too frequently flows through into cases of sexual assault and rape.
The incidents that come to public attention represent just the tip of the iceberg. Generations of Australia’s ruling elites spent their formative years participating enthusiastically in similar rituals of degradation and abuse. Those like Christian Porter, who most revelled and thrived in those environments, emerged best equipped to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of modern capitalism. The scum, as they say, always rises to the top.
The people who choose to join the Liberal Party and pursue a career in politics are without doubt the worst. They aren’t content with simply amassing wealth as a member of the exploiting class, or of winning privileges for themselves by serving those people in a private capacity. No, the Christian Porters of the world are broader minded than that. They don’t just want to abuse, degrade and exploit a few people here and there. They believe in, and want to build and defend, an abusive, degraded and exploitative society.
Why foster a toxic culture just in your own workplace (although, as recent revelations have shown, the Liberals are very good at that too), when you can shape an industrial relations regime that’s so pro-boss and anti-union that it creates conditions for rampant exploitation and abuse in businesses everywhere? If you’re Christian Porter, you’re not limited to allegedly raping women you encounter in your own life. You can rest assured in the knowledge that the policies you preside over have, by making workers afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs, likely helped thousands of Australian bosses to get away with such behaviour too.
Why content yourself with racially abusing people in the street or on public transport when, like Peter Dutton (and before him, Scott Morrison), you can lock thousands of refugees away in a network of torture camps, and regularly use your media profile to stoke the flames of racial hate among your followers? Why just spit in homeless people’s faces for year 12 muck-up day when you can be part of a government with housing policies that overwhelmingly benefit the richest few and which guarantee that thousands more people will be thrown into homelessness every year? Why spit in just one person’s face, when you can help destroy the lives of so many more?
The list could, of course, go on. Whether or not any particular member of the Liberal Party happens to have their disgraceful personal behaviour exposed and documented is to a large degree besides the point. Rapists or not, they’re all inhuman filth.
Socialist representatives in local government have led a push for councils to take a stand against Israel’s war on Gaza. Opposing them have been Labor Party councillors.
From the outset, the Labor Party has steadfastly defended Israel’s crimes.
Waste companies in Ipswich have been poisoning residents for decades, toxifying the air and making life unbearable. For people living in the suburbs surrounding the Swanbank Industrial Area in Ipswich’s south, it can be a hazard even to step outside.
“Just because we’re young, it doesn’t mean we can’t have political opinions”, Ramona says. She’s a 14-year-old student at a Melbourne High School and one of the organisers of the school strike for Palestine on Thursday 23 November.
More than one-third of Australians experienced “moderate” to “severe” food insecurity in the last twelve months, according to a new study.
Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines. The rich and powerful have their own political parties. We need ours. It’s the time to throw yourself into activity and join a revolutionary socialist organisation.