Capital Hill (2020)
Over the last ten years, our nation’s political scene has effectively devolved into a populist sham. Opinion polls now precede the implementation of policy. Demagogues do battle over who lodges in the Lodge. Parliament is nothing more than cries of, “It’s the Lib’s fault! It’s Labor’s fault!” Ironically, Labor is spelt without the British English u.
There is perhaps no better example of Western populism than the United States of America. Populism is engrained within America’s constitution, its laws, and even its collective psyche. Americans elect to be led foremost by a president, not a party. America is the birthplace of social media and reality television. America was even born of a populist revolution and has enjoyed civil war. Is enjoying. As I write this note, “domestic terrorists” are storming Capitol Hill. Capitol. There’s another needless Americanisation.
Archetypal populism is cyclical. It first incites. Then it ignites. Then, unsustainable, it implodes upon itself and spends a period of time languishing in exile before inciting again. Think of the Third Reich, or the Soviet Union, or even the Roman Empire. These states and their cosmetic ideologies were all birthed by populist tyrants. Capital Hill is an expansion of my thoughts on these matters and others. I tender it as a national expression, one that stands vehemently against the Americanisation of our enduring commonwealth. Populism has no place within Australia. Should our government, our universities and our media corporations continue to embrace populism, they invite catastrophe upon us all. My thanks go to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Cybec Foundation. Capital Hill is dedicated to my grandfather, E. W. Voltz.