Two generations ago, the eminent Australian social commentator Donald Horne coined the 'term 'Lucky Country'.
Australia's relative good fortune, Horne argued , was more down to luck than good management.
He had some contempt for the policy elite, exemplified by his best known comment:
"Australia is a lucky country run by second rate people who share its luck".
Today, with 2020 hindsight, it's hard to argue that much has changed in that regard. Of course, material prosperity has increased - especially for the well-off. No question about that. Technology has changed and in many cases improved dramatically. Some of our social mores would have been unimaginable to most people back in the 1960s/70s. The population has grown considerably.
But concern that democracy is failing - the idea that the elite of this country don't have the common good at heart - the sense of stagnant politics that lead nowhere and general hedonistic drift without real purpose.. all these are more intense now than a half century ago.
Australia is still lucky, but should our luck really run out, we could become a very sad society, with a fast deteriorating environment, declining living standards and a fearful, paranoid attitude to the outside world.
Are the today people who "run" Australia really second rate?
It's not a claim I'd make, although doubtless there are a few who meet the criteria. What's "second rate" - in my opinion, are the ideas and general ideology which guide them. That's even more true now that when Horne wrote 'The Lucky Country'; today's "public intellectuals" are utterly captured by second rate ideas. They are experts in these second rate ideas - after all, their key role is to replicate, amplify and promote them. But it genuinely appears these talking heads are unable to see outside their blinkers.
"Second rate" is probably not the most appropriate way to describe ideologies, ways of thinking and assumptions that are dysfunctional and irrational. The good old fashioned word "stupid" is a better fit.
Therefore, when, in this website, reference is made to "The Stupid Country", it's not intended to insult the Australian people as a whole. I'm not sneering at the average Australian IQ, which I suspect is not far beow the global everage and not much above it either.
I'm having a crack at prevailing ideologies and set verities that obscure rather obvious truths and consequently impede beneficial change.
We're in the Anthropocene now. Human folly is dangerous, not only to ourselves but life on earth in general.
It's high time to face up to some harsh realities and devise a better, sustainable future.