2020 vison can’t see the people

17 04 2008

Guy Rundle lashes Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit for having more faith in the state than its people:

Amazingly, the left-liberals behind the ‘2020’ conference seem intent on enacting exactly the sort of elite anti-democratic cultural push that the right had, largely falsely, accused them of pursuing during the Howard years. Unwilling to do the hard work of arguing the case for pet issues in the marketplace of ideas, they are taking an easy road which suggests they have little faith that their ideas express anything imporant to the lives of many Australians.

Genuine excellence in all its forms should be supported, but it doesn’t require the state to do it. Indeed, ‘2020’ can be accused of counterfeiting the concept; many of the best Australian thinkers, such as Germaine Greer or Pierre Ryckmans, are absent from the gathering (possibly by choice), while the ‘best and brightest’ includes a range of TV presenters and dim-bulb children of the wealthy and powerful in a manner more likely to encourage servility than free-thinking.

Whether we will get any true account of its successes and failings remains to be seen, as every major Australian media outlet has key representatives attending. Given an opportunity to stand up for free intellectual life, critical independence and a commitment to genuine excellence wherever it may be found, Australia’s left-liberals lack faith both in themselves and in Australia’s people.

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