With the astounding new power-grab being attempted by Dan Andrews in Victoria, making him and the health minister effectively dictator for life while trashing democracy and human rights, we need to once again learn from the past. Philosophers and political theorists from Aristotle on up have spoken about ways in which despotism can be resisted and kept in check.
The need for organisations and groups which offset the power of the ever-increasing state is a major part of this. The naked individual against an all-powerful state is the dream of every tyrant and the nightmare of every freedom-loving citizen. That is why there is always the pressing need to have something that stands between the individual and the state.
These include the family, neighbourhood, churches, labour groups, voluntary associations, local communities, and so on. These have been referred to as mediating structures or intermediary institutions. Political thinkers have long stressed the importance of these.
Alexis de Tocqueville for example spoke about “the spirit of association” which he found throughout North America as he travelled there, and as he wrote about in his two-volume Democracy in America (1835-1840). And Edmund Burke wrote briefly about the “little platoons” in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).
More recent writers have run with this theme. They include, to name but a few:
- Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community. OUP, 1953.
- Peter L. Berger, To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy. AEI Press, 1977.
- Michael Novak, ed., Democracy and Mediating Structures. AEI Press, 1980.
- Charles Murray, In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government. Simon and Schuster, 1988.
As mentioned, with Victoria looking to strip all citizens of their basic rights, and effectively bypassing parliament, the need to once again affirm the vital importance of these little platoons is crucial. All power-hungry despots want nothing but them and the naked individual. The masses are so much easier to control this way.
But Dictator Dan is not alone in all this. Consider the Great Reset mob who I have spoken about before. See here for example.
Folks like Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum have been happily using the Covid crisis to further push their nefarious agenda, and are also using ‘climate change’ as another ‘crisis’ to exploit and bring in their dystopian future. And it is all about increasing the power of the state while reducing the power of the individual.
The only mediating structures the WEF want to run with are things like woke capitalist institutions – big corporations that can be harnessed to push leftist causes. One website that thinks there is too much conspiracy theorising on the Great Reset nonetheless has some very real concerns. It says this in part:
The idea of stakeholder capitalism and multi-stakeholder partnerships might sound warm and fuzzy, until we dig deeper and realise that this actually means giving corporations more power over society, and democratic institutions less.
The plan from which the Great Reset originated was called the Global Redesign Initiative. Drafted by the WEF after the 2008 economic crisis, the initiative contains a 600-page report on transforming global governance. In the WEF’s vision, “the government voice would be one among many, without always being the final arbiter.” Governments would be just one stakeholder in a multi-stakeholder model of global governance. Harris Gleckman, senior fellow at the University of Massachusetts, describes the report as “the most comprehensive proposal for re-designing global governance since the formulation of the United Nations during World War II.”
Who are these other, non-governmental stakeholders? The WEF, best known for its annual meeting of high-net-worth individuals in Davos, Switzerland, describes itself as an international organization for public-private cooperation. WEF partners include some of the biggest companies in oil (Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, BP), food (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé), technology (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna).
Instead of corporations serving many stakeholders, in the multi-stakeholder model of global governance, corporations are promoted to being official stakeholders in global decision-making, while governments are relegated to being one of many stakeholders. In practice, corporations become the main stakeholders, while governments take a backseat role, and civil society is mainly window dressing.
Thankfully some folks have been warning about this here in Australia. On Sky News, two voices at least can be heard sounding the alarm: Rowan Dean and Cory Bernardi. The former has often spoken out on this. In one of his discussions, he said there is no “secret agenda” about the WEF’s Great Reset – they are shouting it from the rafters:
“This is the plan by the World Economic Forum to encourage governments to use all the levers they use during lockdown, enforced business closures, 23 hour lockdowns, restricting how far you can go from your home and ridiculously aggressive policing tactics, in order to tackle climate change.”
And a recent post featuring Bernardi said this:
Sky News host Cory Bernardi has slammed the ‘Great Reset’ movement, a plan involving “dramatically increasing the power of the government” endorsed by the World Economic Forum. Mr Bernardi says the plan, termed as a ‘Great Reset of capitalism’, would use “vast regulatory schemes to coerce corporations into supporting left-wing causes”. “It’s not surprising that the likes of the hard-left Biden administration like replacing capitalism for crony capitalism,” Mr Bernardi said. “That way only the ‘special’ people get to make a profit for themselves. The rest of us just become government economic units.”
Finally, two politicians who often appear on Sky, Matt Canavan and George Christensen, have also been warning about all this. Canavan for example was featured here:
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says the World Economic Forum’s plan for the Great Reset is “crazy, kooky stuff”. Mr Canavan said the Forum recently released a video clip outlining that by 2030, “they don’t want anyone to own property”. “You’ll own no property and you’ll be happier apparently,” he said. “This stuff is crazy, kooky stuff.”
“The real battle line – in my view – in politics, is between those who want to allow people to take control of their own lives and communities and run their own countries, their own states, their own local councils … the way they’d like to see them run, and those who are pushing for one, unified, global order that takes away agency or sovereignty from any individual.”
“Because if we have one global order, you’re one of about 8 billion people and you can’t control your local environment. When we invest in smaller communities and give power to local governments, to state governments and to national governments, you can have a lot more influence. I think we’ve seen a push back against the globalisation order in the last few years. The more we give power back to local and small governments, the better communities we’ll have, the more investment, the more vested interest people will have in their local community and therefore the better decisions will be made.”
And on his own site Christensen recently said this about the Great Reset:
The WEF is a group of wealthy and powerful world leaders from politics, big business, and NGOs including Klaus Schwab, George Soros, the Chairman of the International Business Council, the CEO of the Bank of America, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Prince Charles, Al Gore, and even Greta Thunberg.
For years they have been trying to sell and market their agenda for change by influencing the policies of national governments. The great policy reset! In other words, an unelected global elite operating outside the law deciding for ordinary citizens how they will live, work, communicate and do business in the future….
Some of the WEF’s dangerous ideas include having a universal basic wage; “reforming” our democracy, giving away certain legal rights and property rights; and giving more power to unelected and unchecked global bureaucrats.
The now deleted WEF video had stated:
– “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.”
– “Whatever you want, you will rent.”
– “You’ll eat much less meat, an occasional treat, not a staple.”
– “Western values will have been tested to the breaking point.”
Remember whenever you hear terms such as ‘building back better’, ‘servitisation’, ‘stronger cities’, ‘smarter cities’ – that is the jargon used to persuade you to get on board with The Great Reset. And if you don’t, it will be done by force and centralised power.
In the light of all this, I hope you can see why the concept – and reality – of ‘little platoons’ is so vital. Individuals need protection from the ever-expanding state. These mediating institutions help in this regard. This is why all would-be tyrants want to see them eliminated or rendered ineffective. Beware!