Corporate management and the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship
Written by: (Contributed) on 14 November 2023
A recent study of the views of Australians toward the economy has produced some interesting insights; a substantial section of the electorate has serious concerns about corporate management.
The corporate sector has also taken notice of the problem: their cronies and associates deeply penetrate government departments in Canberra and provincial cities, international financial institutions and other influential organisations. Little escapes their notice although whether they admit it is another matter; problems of liability merge with political expedience and the hidden identities of their trusted informants.
It has been noteworthy, therefore, how the corporate sector has chosen to deal with the problem, who selected the Australian delegation for the recent Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) conference in London, and the political line they appear to be formulating for future agendas.
The recent SEC Newgate Mood of the Nation survey of more than 1,600 Australians has revealed nearly half thought the corporate sector was not behaving in an ethical manner: key points included excessive profits, unjustified price increases, tax avoidance, political interference, stagnant wages in relation to executive pay, and the general treatment of employees. (1)
Australia, like most of the world economy, was swept along by the tide of US-led globalisation implemented through international financial institutions; after four decades of economic rationalism marked by deregulation, privatisation and liberalisation, however, ordinary Australians have received little benefit. It remains particularly revealing, therefore, to note only twenty per cent of the sample agreed with corporate sector ethics. (2)
The fact many of the richest people in Australia, and globally, pay little or no income tax on their immense wealth remains a serious matter of contention. (3)
In fact, a total of 63 per cent of the sample thought Australia was heading in the wrong direction and, 'are increasingly uneasy about the long-term prospects for the economy'. (4)
The bigger picture, likewise, is not rosy; economic rationalism has not created a vibrant economic environment.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook, published last month, upgraded Australia's growth, but only from 1.6 per cent to 1.8 per cent; the figures reveal a mediocre level of sustainable economic development. (5) The report noted global growth was again slowing from 3.5 per cent last year, to a projected 3.0 per cent for 2023, with an even slower level of 2.9 per cent for next year. (6) So much for the dynamics of globalisation.
The corporate sector, however, is not oblivious to the economic quagmire they are largely responsible for creating.
As a means of consciously distancing themselves from traditional US-led international financial institutions they have recently established the ARC which held its first major international forum in London last month. A total of 1,500 delegates paid a conference fee of $2870 to attend a talk-fest amongst former political and economic leaders and those who have been groomed to revamp the flagging fortunes of the corporate sector. (7) The extensive use of flowery language, carefully fine-toned to create an image of something new and fashionable, included the view that 'Davos man became a caricature of itself, almost the platonic ideal of elites out of touch with ordinary people and common sense'. (8) This refers to the notion of 'Davos man' being the symbol of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The ARC sales and marketing personnel would appear to have been working alongside specialists in psychological warfare techniques to create a viable alternative to existing bodies such as the WEF and other international financial institutions.
When studied closely, however, the ARC is not different but a continuation of the same political and economic traditions of right and far-right positions; it merely marks an attempt at re-packaging traditional conservative positions, making the way for a takeover by right and far-right forces, if, and when, required. In fact, it is not surprising to note the ARC would appear to have direct lineage to earlier, largely US-based, political front organisations including Western Goals, the American Security Council and the Conservative Caucus which were major players during the previous Cold War. (9) They are now being revamped for the present Cold War.
The Australian link in the elite ARC patronage system chose a motley crew to steer the country into higher levels of capitalist exploitation which appear more in line with far-right positions than the supposedly democratic ideals usually associated with Canberra and other provincial cities; the delegation carried some considerable and curious baggage, to say the very least.
Three former Australian right-wing prime ministers attended the London ARC conference: John Howard, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, together with Dominic Perrottet, former premier of NSW, and the First Nations quisling who almost single-handedly brought about the defeat of the Voice Referendum, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price. They enjoyed a wave of favourable publicity in the mainstream media. (10)
All, however, was not what it seemed at face value.
John Howard, for example, has held a long-time involvement with the notorious World Anti-Communist League (WACL) and its renamed counterpart, the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), although has always presented himself as a political figure of the centre. (11) He attended their 22nd annual conference in Brisbane in August, 1989, which was composed of 120 delegates representing fifty countries. (12)
Political expedience and downright duplicity merge; studies of the WACL/WLFD conducted by interviewing former members and their associates have revealed it is, 'largely a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-semites, sellers of forgeries, vicious racialists, and corrupt self-seekers … the very existence of this organisation is a total disgrace … and it is a … collection of fringe ultra-rightists, religious nuts, aging ex-Nazis, emigres and cranks'. (13)
It is important to note those hosting the Brisbane conference were not only able to invite WACL delegates from such backgrounds but to also enable their safe passage through stringent Australian border controls without difficulty and without too many questions being asked about sponsoring organisations and their political affiliations. Grey flannelled dwarves in the corridors of power obviously served their purpose as Mr and Mrs Fixit.
Tony Abbott, likewise, has a long history of nasty right-wing politics and was mentored by Bob Santamaria, founder of the notorious National Civic Council (NCC). (14) The NCC was, and remains, committed to a political strategy of establishing front organisations which spew anti-communist positions and socially conservative Catholic bigotry in line with 1930s clerico-fascism. (15)
Scott Morrison would also fit comfortable into the mould of religious bigotry, holding right- wing evangelical positions which were subsequently pushed into the political arena. His tenure as prime minister was continually marked by highly questionable behaviour, which at times, bordered well into the illegal 'grey' areas of constitutional irregularities together with the notorious and illegal Robo-debt scandal. Morrison, nevertheless, remains a man in denial behind a smug grin.
Last year Morrison also joined the board of the International Democrat Union (IDU), which has been described as being aligned with 'the intolerant far-right'. (16) The stated position of the IDU was openly flouted by Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who in 2020, addressed an audience which included Tony Abbott with praise for Australia due to its 'brave, direct and Anglo-Saxon constituency which it has shown on migration'. (17)
The fact that John Howard held the position of IDU chairman from 2004-14, is evidence of his far-right position. (18) His period of tenure was marked by disturbing trends of openly resisting asylum-seekers, which appeared blatantly racist and Islamo-phobic in nature. Howard, even to the present time, has openly admitted he has 'always had trouble with the concept of multi-culturalism', despite the fact contemporary Australia is a truly multi-cultural and multi-racial society of a vast number of different cultural and racial types. For him, the Anglo-Saxon European world in which he resides, takes precedence over the rest.
Jacinta Price has embraced this world, telling the Conference that she rejected “our most marginalised being told they are victims of their racial heritage, of our country’s history, because of colonisation…”. Instead, she said, as individuals “we all have agency”, implying that if someone is marginalised and disenfranchised it was because they had failed to use their “agency” successfully. Referring to the right-wingers and racists who had backed her campaign, she said its success “has emboldened every day Australians”. (19)
And, finally, there is the case of Dominic Perrottet; while being carefully groomed as a 'party animal', it eventually emerged he had the disposition of liking to get 'dressed up', including wearing Hitler's uniforms. When challenged about his strong identification with German fascism he dismissed it on the basis, 'he had nothing to disclose that could embarrass the Liberal Party'. (20) The NSW Liberal Party, historically, it should be noted, has come under considerable scrutiny on a number of occasions for harbouring far-right figures masquerading as loyal party members. (21)
Perrottet has been particularly noted as remaining close to John Howard and the product of a family background with strong allegiance to the reactionary Catholic Opus Dei sect; all sexual activity is for procreation only, with sublimation including flagellation. (22) The norms lend themselves to a closet lifestyle based on secrecy to avoid open identification and ridicule.
In conclusion, the corporate sector appears to be pushing the ARC agenda as a means of strengthening their class and state power to enable higher levels of exploitation of the working class; the Australian contingent, however, have chosen some highly questionable leaders! Others, associated with the Australian ARC link, have yet to be identified; for reasons perhaps best known to themselves. They appear to have no wish to openly identify themselves as being associated with the ARC.
A noted strategy used by the right and far-right, however, has always taken the form of the 'use of double agents and sleepers by the conservatives – people who join the Liberals, claim to have moderate views and become friends with the moderates, while secretly working for the right and taking over their branches'. (23)
1. Voter rage against corporate profits, Australian, 7 November 2023.
3. See: Alan Kohler – Make billionaires and multinationals pay more tax? The New Daily, 25 October 2023; and, Survival of the Richest, Oxfam publication, 2020.
4. Voter rage, Australian, op.cit., 7 November 2023.
5. Global economy still limping along: IMF., Australian, 11 October 2023.
7. Meeting of minds for a better future, The Weekend Australian, 28-29 October 2023.
9. See: Inside the League, Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, (New York, 1986), pp. 155-61.
10. Meeting of minds, Weekend Australian, op.cit., 28-29 October 2023; and, Howard's way 'leads to harmony', Australian, 3 November 2023.
11. See: Howard's way, Australian, ibid., 3 November 2023.
12. Website: WACL., 9 January 1990.
13. Inside the League, Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, op.cit., page 88.
14. See: Crusader who gave lift-off to a PM., The Weekend Australian, 1-2 August 2015.
15. Ibid; and, John Maynes and the National Civic Council, Chapter 12, The CIA's Australian Connection, Denis Freney, (Sydney, 1977), pp. 59-67; and, B.A. Santamaria, Your most obedient servant, selected letters: 1938-96, Edited, Patrick Morgan, (Victoria, 2007), pp.185-86; and, Catholic spies in ASIO's network, Australian, 11 August 2017.
16. Scott Morrison signs on with global political network home to 'intolerant far right', The New Daily, 14 September 2022.
19. See: Jacinta Price
20. Wikipedia: Dominic Perrottet.
21. See: A right wing and a prayer, The Weekend Sydney Morning Herald, 10-11 September 2005; and, Putsch to extremes, The Weekend Australian, 17-18 September 2005; and, Ardent Nazi took Liberal to extremes, Obituary: Lyenko Urbanchich (1922-2006), The Weekend Sydney Morning Herald, 4-5 March 2006; and, A man and his dogma, The Weekend Australian, 14-15 April 2007.
22. Wikipedia: Dominic Perrottet.
23. Party animals, The Weekend Sydney Morning Herald, 1-2 July 2006.
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