Imagine how much better this world
would be if we changed our perspective, writes Petar Vodogaz. We live in
a world where politics and religion – in the main – are archetypes of
I type this not just as an Australian born man but also as a citizen
of this beautiful, blue-green world we call Earth. And I fear for all
our futures. I fear for the next generation after my own and I fear for
the next generation afterward. I fear for the soul and the integrity of
this island nation. This fear I speak of is caused by the polarisation
caused by elements of our society that has flourished and like a disease
has spread into the different strands of our civilisation.
I love my city of Sydney but I cringe at how uncaring we have become
to the plight of our own homeless, when you read some of the cruelest
comments in media comment areas after an article. We have stopped to
listen to each other. We have stopped to simply this – care. The growing
apathy I see on public transport when almost everyone is lost in their
own worlds in texts. People it seems for the most part want to recoil
from talking to another person and would rather lose themselves in
Our current political system is shambolic. The two party system has
run its course. Our politicians, rather than energise and uplift the
Australian people with compassionate policy have pandered to the
bigoted, to the extremists. Both parties state they “care about our
Nation” and yet if they cared for our nation and the people within in
it, they would not commit policies of class warfare, of using emotive
speech and terminology such as “welfare leaners” and would not use the
plight of asylum seekers in such demeaning terms.
The Australian people have either forgotten their government works in
their interest or the majority of people simply do not care until their
‘hip pocket’ is affected. The current Coalition Government states they
were elected with a mandate and yet we the Australian people did not
elect them to keep secrets from us. Operation Sovereign Borders is
simply a calculated piece of policy tainted in bigotry and smacks of
touches of the White Australia Policy.
The voter’s role does not begin and end at a federal or state
election. There has been enough silence as this current Government has
sought to divide and use sloganism and being protected by the Rupert
Murdoch media empire it has had a voice piece on commercial TV, shock
jock right wing radio and tabloids such as The Telegraph.
I have watched enough of Parliament’s Question Time to see that the
majority of politicians have lost touch and those few have not and do
try to help people are often drowned out by party politics. I was a
former ALP voter but I am now forever separated from politics and there
is no single party who I feel I can vote for. The Coalition is as bad as
the American Tea Party and the ALP have lost their way on many social
I believe Capitalism is a failed system. As I have become more and
more observant of our society, I can hear the vast and often cruel cries
of a vastly unhappy society pressurized and polarized. Both politics
and religion have been used as instruments of pain, manipulation and
above all has made people divisive. We decry the violence in our society
and yet have fundamentally chosen to be blind to the ideologies that
dull the senses and creates problems rather than helps to elevate and
propel humanity forward.
Capitalism is simply a monopoly where the Haves increase their share at the offset of the Have Nots.
If a highly advanced space faring alien species visited us tomorrow
and observed us and studied our history of our species, it would not be a
good read or a good result. If they were to pass judgment on us, it
would be severe and cold and callous. Because our history is stained in
blood, each page of our past has been about one ideology trumping over
another, about a belief that one race is better than another and so on.
We say collectively that we have learnt from the world wars of 1914 and
1939 that never again would be spill the blood of so many people and
allow hatreds and ideology to drag us into conflict. And yet we must
admit to something that ultimately vilifies us; that our race, is
aggressive and violent. That we have purged our planet of resources,
killed ecosystems and slaughtered animals sometimes just for fun or to
put them up on some mantle piece.
This is a gloomy picture, is it not? Am I painting something very
forlorn? Is there hope? Have I given up hope? You would not be surprised
if I said I had. But alas, no. I have not given up on humanity. And
this is why I have not given up hope.
There is something truly deep inside us that is inherently good and
that is our temerity to “learn”. Now to fully embrace this, we must view
violence in a different light. We must come to terms with our own dark
side and choose to change as a collective and this is how I believe it
can be done . . .
It starts from you and me. It starts with a smile. It starts with
realising each one of us is inter connected with the other. We cannot
view ourselves as “lone islands”; we must come to see our love of
violence, in movies, media, in militarism and in regalia of the past.
All wars kill people, there is no right or wrong “side”. Not just does
it kill our own numbers but it taints our planet.
Take for example the senseless story recently of a father who stabbed
to death his 3 year old son. I cannot and would rather not understand
this man’s mind for it is rooted in violence.
To start to change society monumental steps must be taken now. First
and foremost humankind must see politics and religion as archetypes of
violence. The violence of the past and the present can be brought down
to a singular form rooted in either manipulative concept. You have the
Middle East that has forms of ideology that countless generations
believe in and would die for. And if they thought rationally, people
would ask themselves “why do we kill and hurt each other for such unseen
beings?” And if these ‘gods’ existed and if they were omni-potent and
all powerful and caring of humanity, why would they allow all this
senseless and cruel pain and violence to continue?
And furthermore the same would be mentioned of politics, where people
support a party, sometimes so blindly to believe in some very vile and
inhumane policies. Policies that are sugarcoated in nationalism and
I call on an old wisdom, Pacifism. And for this to work, the old
‘order’ must fall and this can only fall if humanity or enough people
wake up to the fallacies of violence.
You are not a lesser person if you show a softer side.
You are not weak if you don’t anger or show kindness
Turn off the violence. See the beauty of our fellow man and woman by
appreciating each other and each moment. For the end of senseless and
cruel violence only begins when each of us takes the first steps and the
first realisation that for this species to survive each one of us needs
a change in perspective. The grand principle of the heavens . . .
braces on the razors edge of truth.
From this moment onwards, I simply do not call myself an Australian. I
call myself a Citizen of this Earth, a planet we must preserve and live
in harmony with.
This is our moment. We deserve better.
Petar Vodogaz (pictured below) is a
former ALP member who lost touch with the party after the inhumane
policies of re-implementation of the Offshore Detention Policy. Petar
has had a change of perspective in relation to a number of social and
political issues. A resident of Sydney who has seen the concerning rise
of polarisation within our society and believes we must change the way
we see and do things before it is too late. He has not given up hope and
does believe there is a positive path forward for humanity, only if we
choose to adopt new ways of thinking and ways of doing things.
John Lord. I started to compile my own political wish list for 2013 and
then thought it might be fun to ask others to add their thoughts. I
could be accused of being biased and idealistic, however, I truly
believe we can raise the political standards through social media. So
how about some serious…
guest post from Stuart Whitman. National Convenor of Local Labor. It is
possible to argue a similar case for acting on Labor Party reform as
the former federal Labor government argued for pricing carbon and
addressing climate change, there is no time to lose and that it is
better to make small sacrifices now…
where did they go? Mysteriously 3.3 million eligible voters went
missing at the last election. That is a whopping 15% more than the
previous one. There is something fundamentally wrong when, despite a
huge recruitment drive by the Australian Electoral Commission, 1.22
million citizens failed to enrol to vote and 400,000, or one third…