The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The doomsday code that explains The Oz’s psychoses

Further to yesterday's post on The Australian's 'war on everything', I think I may have cracked it. The Oz’s crisis of self, and other bizarre psychoses, are most likely explained by a debilitating internal contradiction. A doomsday code, if you will.

On the one hand, The Oz worships the role of free markets and rails against rent-seekers and government subsidies (when it suits it to do so—ie, forget this logic in the case of the financial system). On the other hand, The Oz knows that unlike its Fairfax competitors it is not financially viable as an independent concern, and were the harsh disciplines of the market applied to itself, it would likely cease to exist.

That is, The Oz’s knows that its only reason for being is the munificence of Murdoch. And once the old man passes, The Oz’s survival, much like Packer’s Bulletin magazine, can no longer be guaranteed. It is but a billionaire’s play-thing.

Framed differently, the market strictures that The Oz subscribes to with pathological zeal would, all other things being equal, likely bring about its own demise. Now that, folks, is enough to drive anyone around the bend.

Every day the leadership of The Oz confronts this looming date with death. And so every day they try to rationalise their own existence; rationalise why they, and only they, can divine the nation’s destiny. This leads to incredibly odd behaviours—like the claim that the main thing we got from the first tranche of Wikileaks cables was that diplomatic staff read The Australian. Seriously.