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What's wrong with the right: a social democratic response to the neo - liberals at home and the neo - conservatives abroad : an address to the Centre for Independent Studies: Sydney: 16 November 2006
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Kevin Rudd MP Page: 1

What’s Wrong with the » Right

« A » « Social » « Democratic » « Response » « to » « the » « Neo » - « Liberals » « at » « Home » « and » « the » « Neo » - « Conservatives » « Abroad »

An Address « to » « the » Centre for Independent Studies

By Kevin Rudd MP

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade « and » International Security

Sydney

16 November 2006

Precisely 30 years ago, in November 1976, « the » Centre for Independent Studies

published « a » set of three lectures by Professor Friedrich Hayek.

This publication followed Hayek’s month-long lecture tour of Australia in

October-November that year, which had about it all « the » trappings of « a » Royal

Tour - meetings with Prime Minister Fraser, Deputy Prime Minister Anthony,

Queensland Premier Bjelke-Petersen, Chief Justice Barwick, Secretary of « the »

Treasury Stone, « the » Reserve Bank Governor, numerous captains of industry, as

well as « the » leading lights of « the » academy.

Notwithstanding « the » title of « the » lecture series “ « Social » Justice, Socialism « and »

Democracy”, Professor Hayek’s published itinerary did not seem « to » be exactly

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awash with « the » actual subject matter of his series - « the » political left. I presume

this was because Hayek had concluded 30 years before that we were « the »

problem - not « the » solution. « A » pity because maybe we could both have learned

by looking beyond « the » entrenched stereotypes of « the » time: in Hayek’s case that

« the » centre-left was somehow still wedded « to » « the » state socialism, planning « and »

ownership of « a » quarter of « a » century before; in our case, that Hayek had nothing

useful « to » say about « the » operation of « the » market. Well I’m sure, in « the » collective

absence of « the » left, Hayek’s meeting with Joh Bjelke-Petersen would instead

have been « a » truly Scottish Enlightenment experience for « the » Anglo-Austrian

nobel laureate.

For « the » record, when Hayek visited my own university, « the » Australian National

University, on that tour, I neither attended nor protested. Young Labor had not

yet consigned me « to » « the » road « to » serfdom. More importantly, Hayek’s ANU

lecture was on 19 October that year: Mao had just died, « the » Gang of Four were

being purged « and » « the » end of « the » Cultural Revolution was in sight, heralding « the »

beginning of something new for « the » Middle Kingdom. We first year Sinologues

were therefore otherwise intellectually engaged with « a » revolution of « a » different

type.

No quarter was given in Hayek’s systematic assault on « the » left during his

Australian tour. It was consistent with what he had written previously since « the »

publication of « the » Road « to » Serfdom in 1944. His first lecture was confrontingly

entitled: “ « The » Atavism of « Social » Justice”.1 Hayek’s opening sentence « and » salvo

was as follows:

1 Friedrich Hayek, “ « Social » Justice, Socialism « and » Democracy”, « The » Atavism of « Social » Justice (Centre for Independent Studies: Occasional Paper No 2, 1979)

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« To » discover « the » means of what is called ‘ « social » justice’ has been one of my many

chief preoccupations for more than ten years. I have failed in this endeavour - or,

rather, have reached « the » conclusion that, with reference « to » « a » society of free men,

« the » phrase has no meaning whatsoever.”2

Here Hayek echoes his broader polemic of « the » same year entitled: “ « The » Mirage

of « Social » Justice”3 where he compares « the » widespread belief in « social » justice « to »

« the » former “universal belief in witches or « the » philosopher’s stone”.4 Hayek’s

polemic against « the » left was an axiomatic component of his advocacy of « a »

radical, neo-liberal alternative - one which argued « the » absolute centrality of « the »

market; « a » role for « the » state as « a » protector of that market but little else besides;

« and » apocalyptic warnings that any political interference with « the » integrity (even

‘sanctity’) of « the » market would place « the » entire national project on « the » “slippery

slope” « to » totalitarianism.

Over « the » intervening 30 years, Hayek has had « a » profound effect on « the » politics,

public policy « and » even foreign policy of much of « the » collective West. In 1976,

Margaret Thatcher was still Leader of « the » Opposition « and » Hayekian neo-liberalism was « a » minority intellectual sect. By « the » time Thatcher left office in

1991, Hayekian thought had become British public policy orthodoxy. Through

Milton Friedman, « the » Hayekian project was further entrenched in Reagan’s

America. Hayek « and » « the » intellectual system he represents also moved from « the »

margins « to » « the » mainstream of « the » Australian academy « and » bureaucracy - both

in « the » manner in which intellectual « and » public policy questions are framed « and »

in « the » substance of « the » answers given.

2 Hayek, Atavism, 3. 3 Friedrich Hayek, “ « The » Mirage of « Social » Justice”, Law, Legislation « and » Liberty: Volume 2. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978)

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My purpose tonight is « to » state that « the » time has come « to » reflect on « the » impact of

« the » Hayekian economic revolution on Australian politics, society « and » « the »

environment - together with Australian engagement with « the » international

order. Specifically I want « to » re-examine three things:

• First, Hayek’s core philosophical claims on « the » role of an unfettered

market « and » « the » regulatory state;

• Second, how « Social » Democrats respond « to » Hayekian market

fundamentalism with « a » coherent narrative - retaining support for market

disciplines while not jettisoning « a » commitment « to » « social » justice; « and »

• Third, how market fundamentalism has split « the » political right down « the »

middle along « the » traditional fault lines of conservatives versus liberals

« and » how this in turn provides Labor with fresh political « and » policy

opportunities for « the » future.

Tensions within « the » right have come « to » « the » surface in « a » number of policy areas

in recent times, including « the » impact of industrial relations changes on « the »

family; « the » failure « to » respond effectively « to » global climate change; as well as « the »

abject failure of « the » American « and » Australian neo-cons over Iraq.

All three of these topics nonetheless go « to » « the » heart of « a » major philosophical

divide within « the » political right - between conservatives on « the » one hand « and »

radicals on « the » other. Furthermore, in « the » most relevant « and » recent touchstone

debates on industrial relations, global warming « and » Iraq, « the » radicals have won

« and » won consistently.

4 Hayek, Law Vol II, xii.

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But, as « the » market fundamentalists have prevailed with Workchoices « and » Kyoto

« and » « the » neo-cons with Iraq, Australians are feeling decidedly uneasy that, free

of Senate restraint, John Howard’s political project has gone « a » bridge too far.

This therefore presents « a » rich policy « and » political opportunity for Australian

« social » democrats « to » restore « the » balance « and » once again reclaim « the » centre

ground.

Hayek’s Neo-Liberalism

It is important « to » state clearly « the » essential elements of « the » Hayekian orthodoxy.

Hayek’s political philosophy is premised on « a » stark view of human nature that

« social » democrats find confronting. In his Australian lecture, “ « The » Atavism of

« Social » Justice”, Hayek argues that « the » altruistic feelings human beings had for

one another in small tribes in primal society are rendered redundant by « the »

impersonal demands imposed on human beings in more complex societies

through prices determined in « the » market. Hayek states:

“When I pass from « the » morals of « the » hunting band in which man spent most of

his history, « to » « the » morals which made possible « the » market order of « the » open

society, I am jumping over « a » long intermediate stage…From it date those

codifications of ethics which became embodied in « the » teachings of « the » mono-theistic religions”.5

Hayek’s utilitarian view of religion (confirmed elsewhere in his writings) may

shock some who have become religious handmaidens « to » « the » neo-liberal agenda.

5 Hayek, Atavism, 7-8 .

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Hayek states explicitly that “general altruism, however, is « a » meaningless

conception. Nobody can effectively care for other people as such; « the »

responsibilities we assume must always be particular”.6 « And » if that was not

sufficiently clear, Hayek elsewhere states that « the » retention of primitive

altruistic values impedes market efficiency:

“As an example, continued obedience « to » « the » command « to » treat all men as

neighbours would have prevented « the » growth of an extended order (i.e. societies

within markets). For those now living within (this) order, they gain from not

treating one another as neighbours but by applying in their interactions « the » rules

of « the » extended (i.e. market) order…instead of « the » rules of solidarity « and »

altruism”.7

Hayek argues that human beings’ altruism is « a » hangover from their primitive

tribal experience, reinforced by religion, « and » must be purged if we are « to »

optimise our individual liberty through rational self-centred participation in « the »

market. He concedes this is difficult because “…it is more probable that many

of « the » moral feelings they acquired have not merely been culturally transmitted

by teaching or imitation, but have become innate or genetically determined”.8

Hayek does not believe we should be passive about such outdated moral codes.

Enter Hayek « the » unrepentant « social » engineer:

“Rational behaviour is not « a » premise of economic theory, though it is often

presented as such. « The » basic contention of theory is rather that competition will

make it necessary for people « to » act rationally in order « to » maintain themselves.

6 Friedrich Hayek, « The » Constitution of Liberty (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960), 78-79. 7 Friedrich Hayek, « The » Fatal Conceit: Errors of Socialism (London: Routledge, 1988) 8

Hayek, Atavism, 5

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Competition is as much « a » method for breeding certain types of mind as anything

else…”9

In other words, Hayek sees « the » market not just as « a » natural expression of « a » pre-existing self-interested human nature - but as « a » mechanism for actually

developing « the » “selfish gene” « and » liberating it from outdated moral constraints

focussed on « the » wellbeing of others. For fear that anyone accuses me of

overstating this absolute dichotomy in Hayekian thought, Hayek states with

clarion clarity in “ « The » Atavism of « Social » Justice”:

“These are kinds of obligations which are essential « to » « the » cohesion of « a » small

group, but which are irreconcilable with « the » order, « the » productivity, « and » « the » peace

of « a » great society of free men.”10

Here is « a » critical difference with Adam Smith, from whom « social » democrats in

part draw their inspiration. Smith concluded that human beings were, in their

nature, both self-regarding « and » other-regarding « and » that political economy

should reflect both these concerns. Hayek also recognises « the » existence of both

natures but concludes one is primitive, « the » other modern; that « the » primitive

must yield « to » « the » modern; « and » that part of « the » purpose of « the » market is « to » re-engineer primitive altruism out of « the » human condition altogether. I would

suggest that Christian enthusiasts for « the » neo-liberal agenda should reflect

carefully on where Professor Hayek may be taking them on this count.

Having established « the » values parameters within which Hayek’s paradigm is

constructed, « the » centrepiece of his intellectual system operates around « the » idea

9 Friedrich Hayek, “ « The » Political Order of « a » Free People”, Law, Legislation « and » Liberty Volume III (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973) 10

Hayek, Atavism, 13.

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of « the » market as an internally regulated system that maximises individual

liberty. Hayek argues that « the » market creates « a » “spontaneous order” whose

“equilibrium is set up from within”. Hayek expressly refers « to » « the » market as “ « a »

game” - specifically « the » game of “catallaxy” (taken from « the » Greek word “ « to »

barter”) - « and » argues that like any game “it is « a » contest played according « to »

rules « and » decided by superior skill, strength or good fortune.”11 Critically,

Hayek concludes that “ « the » game” is « the » only determinant of « a » just allocation of

resources - as opposed « to » any other external governmental invention. In other

words, “justice” can only be validly determined by « the » market.

Hayek goes further. Not only is it « the » market that determines « the » fairness of « the »

outcome for each player, Hayek argues that it is immaterial whether players

have unequal opportunities « to » participate in « the » game in « the » first place: “It is

not « a » valid objection « to » such « a » game…that « the » initial prospects for different

individuals, although they are all improved by playing that game, are very far

from being « the » same.”12

In other words, « social » justice, whether it is taken maximally « to » mean equality of

outcome, or more minimalistically « to » mean equality of opportunity, has

absolutely no place in « the » Hayekian scheme. « The » latter in particular is of great

significance « to » « social » democrats, who reject equality of outcome but embrace

equality of opportunity as « a » valid expression of equity. « The » only “equality” in

which Hayek is interested is what he describes as “equality before « the » law” (i.e.

« the » rules of « the » game) which he elsewhere interprets narrowly as « the » criminal

law, « the » law of contract « and » laws for maintaining « the » integrity of « the » market.

When, therefore, I describe Hayek’s neo-liberalism as market fundamentalism, I

do so with these explicit considerations in mind.

11 Hayek, Atavism, 7.

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Hayek’s Road « to » Serfdom contains his analysis of how states fail « to » protect « the »

market, thereby reducing « the » realisation of liberty for their citizens, « and »

imperilling « the » same citizens with « the » certain destination of totalitarianism. In

Hayek’s moral universe, socialism in all its forms is « the » principal threat « to »

liberty because, however well-intentioned « a » « social » justice intervention in « the »

market might be, « the » “spontaneous, self-generating order” of « the » market is

damaged « and » , as « a » result, liberty is impaired. This is Hayek’s doctrine of « the »

slippery slope: “…if one starts unsystematically « to » interfere with « the »

spontaneous order there is no practicable halting point « and » …it is therefore

necessary « to » choose between alternative systems”.13 Or put more colourfully in

« the » same text: “If you do not mend your principles, you will go « to » « the » devil.”14

« The » principal function of government in all of this is « to » establish, defend « and »

maintain « the » market. In this sense, Hayek’s market, unlike Smith’s, should be

detached from politics. In many respects, it is conceived of as being above

politics (as Hayek’s later « and » extraordinary ruminations on democracy

demonstrate). In Hayek’s “spontaneous, self-generating order” that is « the »

market, he concludes that “ « the » particular function of government is somewhat

like « a » maintenance squad of « a » factory…” - i.e. protecting « the » market, but little

else besides.15

So what does Hayek exclude from « the » market domain? Hayek, like Smith, does

concede « the » existence of public goods - but offers no definition of their proper

scope other than « to » say “there are certain goods which are necessary « to » « a » society

12 Hayek, Atavism, 11. 13 Friedrich Hayek, “Rules « and » Order”, Law, Legislation « and » Liberty Volume I (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973): 58. 14

Hayek, Law Vol I, 58. 15 Hayek, Law Vol I, 47.

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« and » cannot be provided by « the » market”.16 Smith’s list of public goods includes

education. Hayek’s does not. This exclusion is consistent with Hayek’s hostility

« to » equality of opportunity as noted above « and » represents another critical

distinction for « social » democrats between Smith’s tradition « and » Hayek’s

tradition of « the » market economy. On welfare, Hayek does concede as « a » public

good « a » minimum provision of food, clothing « and » shelter for « the » destitute.

« A » much more complex exclusion from Hayek’s spontaneous, self-generating

market-based order is « the » family. Hayek makes « a » clear-cut distinction between

« the » morality that governs all external relationships (ie « the » market « and » « the »

market alone) « and » « the » family (where there are undefined “natural” ties).

Hayek’s conceptual problem is that he cannot simply decree that one order of

relationships be quarantined from « the » impersonal disciplines « and » dislocations

of « the » market. Hayek recognises « the » critical contributions that family life makes

« to » « the » wider society:

“Among « the » greatest assets which « a » society can use…are « the » different moral,

intellectual « and » material gifts parents can pass on « to » their children - « and » often

will acquire, create or preserve only in order « to » be able « to » pass on « to » their

children.”17

But Hayek fails « to » answer why these values are any less primitive than « the »

general altruism towards « the » wider tribal group that he seeks « to » expunge

through « the » « social » engineering processes unleashed by « the » market. It appears,

therefore, « to » be little more than an ex-cathedra pronouncement, driven by an

entirely understandable personal « and » political necessity, but utterly incapable

of execution. As I have stated elsewhere, an unrestrained market is an

16 Hayek, Constitution, 223.

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unsentimental force that is capable of sweeping away all that impedes its

progress - « and » that includes « the » commodification « and » marginalisation of all

human relationships, including family relations. This fundamental

contradiction of « the » Hayekian system is also of profound interest « to » « social »

democrats - particularly in « the » context of « the » debate on « the » future of « the »

industrial relations system.

« A » final problem in « the » Hayekian order is « the » problem of « the » political order in

general « and » democracy in particular. Hayek’s third essay in his 1976 Australian

Lecture Series, delivered « to » « the » Institute of Public Affairs in Sydney, is entitled

“Whither Democracy?” « A » shocking element of Hayek’s overall schema is that

liberty is guaranteed more by « the » market than by democracy itself. Hayek

states:

“I must confess « to » preferring non- « democratic » government under « the » law « to »

unlimited ( « and » therefore essentially lawless) « democratic » government.”18

Hayek argues that « the » critical law in question is that which protects « the »

integrity of « the » market. « And » « the » problem with an unlimited legislature,

uninhibited by convention or constitution, is that “it is bound « to » become

egalitarian” which brings into immediate focus “ « the » fundamental immorality of

all egalitarianism”.19 In Hayek’s view, that “immorality” lies in « the »

predisposition of « democratic » legislatures « to » distort « the » market by favouring one

group over another.

17 Hayek, Atavism, 11. 18 Friedrich Hayek, “Wither Democracy?” « Social » Justice, Socialism « and » Democracy, (Centre for Independent Studies: Occasional Paper No 2, 1979): 35. 19

Hayek, « Social » Justice, 39.

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Hayek’s solution is « to » create two legislatures - one for administration, « the » other

for legislation that affects « the » operation of « the » market. Hayek further

recommends extraordinary qualifications for « the » type of person who could be

elected « to » « the » latter body « and » « to » render it “immune from any pressure of special

interests” so that “any special or discriminating order it issued would be

invalid”.20 Obviously Professor Hayek had not been specifically briefed on « the »

credo of « the » Australian Country (later National) Party when he met Deputy

Prime Minister Anthony in 1976.

« A » « Social » « Democratic » Critique of Hayek

« Social » democrats have « a » range of objections « to » « the » market fundamentalism of

« the » Hayekian system - « a » system which represents « a » radical departure from « the »

schema expounded by Adam Smith two centuries before in « the » Wealth of

Nations « and » « the » Theory of Moral Sentiments. Hayek in general seeks « to » silence « the »

“market-tempering” devices alive in Smith, as well as « the » ultimate political

constraints expressed in « the » theories of representative democracy that we find

in Locke « and » Mill. Hayek is in every sense, therefore, « a » radical - but « a » radical

nonetheless whose philosophical system continues « to » drive much of « the »

intellectual « and » policy software of « the » Howard Government, together with « the »

bureaucracy that serves it.

« Social » democrats identify at least seven sets of problems with Hayek’s

overarching schema. First, « social » democrats reject Hayek’s « a » priori assertion that

altruism is « a » primitive value which can « and » should be purged from human

consciousness. « Social » democrats accept « the » Smithian view that human beings

20 Hayek, « Social » Justice, 42.

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are equally self-regarding « and » other-regarding « and » , as noted above, both

should be reflected in « a » « social » « democratic » political economy. « To » « the » self-regarding values of liberty, security « and » prosperity should be added other-regarding values of equity, solidarity « and » sustainability. Properly constructed,

these latter values are also market-enhancing rather than market-detracting.

Furthermore, this spread of values embraces « social » « democratic » concepts of both

negative « and » positive liberty - not just « the » absence of coercion of « the » individual

but equally creating « the » opportunity for « the » individual « to » participate fully in

economic, « social » « and » political life.

Second, « social » democrats do not share Hayek’s belief that « the » only fair

allocation of resources is what is determined by « the » « the » game” of « the » market as

driven by « a » random cocktail of strength, skill « and » luck. « Social » democrats

(consistent with Catholic « social » teaching) « a » priori believe that all human beings

possess an equal « and » intrinsic dignity « and » therefore « a » value beyond that which

« a » market may apportion « to » them.

Third, « social » democrats do not accept « the » mutual incompatibility of liberty « and »

equity as argued in « the » Hayekian market order. If by equity we mean equality

of opportunity rather than equality of outcome, equity does no violence « to »

market competition. Furthermore, if education « and » training become « the » engine

room for equity in « the » « social » « democratic » project, this investment in human

capital will enhance market performance by enhancing total factor productivity.

Fourth, « social » democrats, consistent with Smith’s more expansive definition of

public goods, argue that education, health « and » « the » environment fall properly

within « the » definition of that which markets will, of themselves, fail « to » provide

effectively. « The » manner in which these public goods are delivered is « a » separate

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matter. « A » cocktail of private « and » public delivery modes may be appropriate,

depending on « the » relative cost-effectiveness in « the » physical delivery of « the »

public goods in question.

Fifth, « social » democrats do not accept that critical family, community « and »

broader « social » relationships can be insulated from « the » market simply through

philosophical decree. « Social » democrats also believe that these human

relationships are critical incubators of « social » capital - without which market

performance is impeded « and » human life often becomes meaningless. For these

reasons, families deserve higher legal « and » institutional protections (particularly

in « the » labour market) than Hayek is prepared « to » countenance.

Sixth, Hayek’s technocratic concept of politics is unsustainable. « The » idea that

markets should be kept free from « the » discretionary, political domain is fanciful.

« The » task of politics is « to » craft constituencies through policy leadership capable

of delivering long-term market-friendly reform - reform tempered by « social »

responsibility. Hawke « and » Keating did this for 13 years. Howard has done little

by comparison. But « the » proposed Hayekian cop-out, which would place « the »

defence of « the » market beyond politics « and » leave it in « the » hands of « a » glorious

council of « the » great « and » « the » good, is completely off « the » planet.

Finally, tempering « the » market with « the » interventions outlined above within « the »

categories of market failure, public goods « and » « the » preservation of « social » capital

do not place « social » democrats on Hayek’s “slippery slope” heading towards

totalitarianism. In fact, on this argument, Hayek is already hoist with his own

petard. It will be recalled that Hayek had already accepted « the » concept of

minimal welfare. In « a » famous exchange with Keynes in June 1944, just after « the »

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 15 of 36

publication of « the » Road « to » Serfdom, Keynes wrote « to » Hayek in « the » following

terms:

"You admit ... that it is « a » question of knowing where « to » draw « the » line. You agree

that « the » line has « to » be drawn somewhere, « and » that « the » logical extreme is not

possible. But you give us no guidance whatsoever as « to » where « to » draw it… As

soon as you admit that « the » extreme is not possible ... you are, on your own

argument done for, since you are trying « to » persuade us that so soon as one moves

an inch in « the » planned direction you are necessarily launched on « the » slippery path

which will lead you in due course over « the » precipice."21

Hayek appears never « to » have replied. Hayek’s writings in 1944 « and » later

deliberately conflate market-enhancing forms of « social » democracy on « the » one

hand with state socialism, state planning « and » mandatory state ownership on « the »

other. There is no empirical evidence of « a » slippery slope between « the » limited

market interventions of « a » « social » democracy « and » « the » totalitarian destination that

lies ahead for all on « the » centre-left - according « to » « the » full-blown Hayekian

apocalypse. In fact, « the » post-war trend embodied within « the » centre-left across

western countries has been almost entirely in « the » reverse direction - with

Attleean forms of socialism yielding « to » « the » Blairite enabling state that is

characteristic of much of modern « social » democracy.

Furthermore, Hayek remains oblivious « to » « the » fact that « social » democrats are

ultimately shaped by Smith (among others) rather than Marx. « Social » democrats

have always respected « and » accepted « the » creativity, « the » efficiency « and » « the »

wealth-generating capacity of markets. But « social » democrats, unlike Hayek’s

« neo » - « liberals » , have never been blinded by free market fundamentalism. « Social »

21 Quoted in Lord Robert Skidelsky, « The » Road « to » Serfdom Revisited. Manhattan Institute. Hayek Lecture. 14 June 2006.

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democrats, by contrast, have always recognised « a » positive role for « the » state in

performing functions « the » market cannot - « and » in preventing market capitalism

from tearing itself apart through « the » destructive « social » « and » political forces it is

capable of unleashing from time « to » time. Economic history is replete with

examples of Hayek’s “spontaneous, self-regulating order” not working as well

as it might, with « the » resulting requirement that governments (often « social »

« democratic » ones) are required « to » rescue capitalism from itself.

For these reasons, « social » democrats maintain « a » robust support for « the » market

economy - but one shaped by « the » tradition of Smith, Keynes « and » Samuelson,

rather than Hayek, Friedman « and » « the » fundamentalists. We also maintain that

« social » justice is an essential component of « the » « social » « democratic » project - both as

an investment in positive liberty for all « and » , consequentially, as an investment

in human capital capable of enhancing « the » market economy. For Labor, this

provides « a » rich policy terrain for « the » future within « the » framework of « a »

distinctive, coherent, « social » « democratic » narrative about Australia’s future - one

which credibly embraces « the » dual themes of « a » strong economy « and » « a » fair society

« and » one which therefore, in « the » eyes of « the » Australian people, restores « the »

balance.

Divisions within « the » Right

Hayek’s world view is not only challenged by « social » democrats. It is also

challenged by many within « the » centre-right including both conservatives « and »

« social » (or “small l”) liberals. I have documented this split within « the » right in « the »

November 2006 edition of « The » Monthly in an essay entitled “Howard’s

Brutopia”. I do not intend « to » traverse those arguments in detail again here.

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Hayek’s attack on conservatism is explicitly documented in his 1960 chapter

entitled “Why I am not « a » Conservative”. 22 Hayek says « the » only common plank

between liberals « and » conservatives was « a » common opposition « to » fascism « and »

communism. Take that away, however, « and » there is little by way of « a » common

program. Hayek accuses conservatives of being constrained by ill-defined,

sentimental “tradition” while having no fundamental commitment « to » « the »

central organising principle of « the » market:

“…they lack « the » faith in « the » spontaneous forces of adjustment which makes « the »

liberal accept changes without apprehension…it is indeed part of « the » liberal

attitude « to » assume that, especially in « the » economic field, « the » self-regulating forces

of « the » market will somehow bring about « the » required adjustments « to » new

conditions, although no-one can foretell how they will do this in « a » particular

instance”.23

Against Hayek’s measure, Robert Gordon Menzies was an abject failure for his

broad embrace of both old fashioned, high Tory conservatism as well as « a »

classical liberalism considerably less doctrinaire than « the » Hayekian variant.

Menzies’ boast near « the » end of his long prime ministership was scarcely « the »

stuff of Hayekian zealotry. Menzies said:

“We have greatly aided « social » justice, we have shown that industrial progress is

not « to » be based on « the » poverty or despair of those who cannot compete. After

fourteen consecutive years …we can point « to » …achievements in industrial justice

« and » peace, in « social » services, in « a » growingly successful attack upon poverty in

22 Hayek, Constitution 23 Hayek, Constitution

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 18 of 36

widely distributed rising standards of housing « and » living generally that can be

matched by very few counties in « the » world.”24

Commenting on « the » competition within « the » Liberal Party for « the » Menzian

legacy, Petro Georgiou, « a » “small l” liberal, has argued recently:

“…Menzies’ legacy has been distorted by some who have attacked « the » concept of

« social » justice he constantly advanced…Menzies’ philosophical legacy was that

Australian liberalism is « a » broad church. Within that church are two fundamental

arches. Under one arch reside « the » market, free enterprise, opportunity « and »

incentive. Under « the » other arch shelter stability, security, « social » justice « and »

equity. « The » cornerstone of « the » arches is « the » state. « The » state supports « a » free market

society at « the » same time as it upholds its obligation « to » « the » weak, « the » sick « and » « the »

unfortunate”.25

Georgiou goes on « to » concede « the » obvious - that « the » moderate stream, « the » « social »

justice stream, of « the » Liberal Party has now become virtually extinct. Menzies

spoke of « social » justice. Georgiou speaks of « social » justice. When has John

Howard ever spoken of « social » justice? It is simply not part of his Hayekian

intellectual architecture - « and » John Howard is « the » intellectual creature of

Friedrich Hayek.

These divisions are not simply internal « to » « the » Liberal Party. They are rife

between « the » National Party « and » « the » Liberal Party. Between Family First « and »

both « the » Liberals « and » « the » Nationals. As well as between « the » independents « and »

all of « the » above. « The » dividing line within « the » right is clear « and » irreconcilable: it

is between Hayekian market fundamentalism « and » those on « the » right who are

24 Petro Georgiou. 2006. Address « to » « the » Murray Hill Society of « the » University of Adelaide, October 4 2006.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 19 of 36

seeking « to » protect families, rural communities or community life in general

from « the » ruthless, impersonal logic of an unconstrained market. Of these

various fault-lines, « the » most significant by far is « the » family - « a » major

battleground for « the » 2007 election given « the » prospective impact of « the »

Workchoices legislation on Australian family life.

Divisions within « the » right are now greater than at any time since « the »

debilitating divisions of « the » late 1980s « and » early 1990s. « The » critical factor is

however that these divisions are not simply « the » product of isolated,

idiosyncratic disagreements but rather « the » product of « a » long-term structural

cleavage within « the » right on how « to » deal with « the » free market fundamentalism

of Friedrich Hayek. Once again, these divisions provide rich opportunities for

Labor.

« The » Question of « the » Family, Family Life « and » Family Values

« A » key dilemma within Hayek’s neo-liberal system is « the » role of « the » family.

Hayek concedes that « the » family is « a » unique vehicle through which “moral,

intellectual « and » material gifts” can be passed from parents « to » their children.

Hayek’s challenge is threefold. First, what “moral” gift is useful for our children

given « the » amorality of « the » market order where rational self-interest alone is « to »

prevail? Second, as noted above, what separates « the » moral worth of family

relationships from « the » other “atavistic” relationships of « the » primitive group that

Hayek argues we should be rid of because they impede « the » market? Third, « and »

most critically, what system does Hayek construct « to » prevent family values

25 Ibid

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 20 of 36

being cannibalized by market values through « the » inexorable processes of

commodification?

Hayek’s solution « to » « the » latter challenge is simply « to » declare that « the » family « and »

« the » market belong « to » different “orders” - « a » private order for « the » family « and » « the »

“extended” order of « the » “open society” or “great society” of « the » market. But this

is formalistic nonsense given that Hayek’s fundamental concern is individual

liberty « and » « the » same individuals who are participants in family life are active in

« the » market. Is it seriously contended that behaviours in one sphere do not affect

behaviours in « the » other? As David McKnight has noted:

“Hayek recognized this paradoxical inconsistency « and » proposed that we must

simply learn ‘ « to » live simultaneously within different kinds of orders according « to »

different rules’ - those of « the » market « and » that of « the » family. We must be ruthlessly

self-interested in « the » market « and » sweetly caring in « the » family, greedy at work,

selfless « at » « home » .”26

In Australia, changes in labour market laws « and » practice are increasingly

rendering it impossible « to » separate these two domains - « to » « the » extent that they

ever were separable. Barbara Pocock’s recent study entitled « The » Labour Market

Ate My Babies seeks « to » analyse « the » impact of what she describes as « the » “re-commodification” 27 of labour in Australia on « the » quality « and » sustainability of

family life. Through comprehensive qualitative analysis, Pocock surveys « the »

impact of « the » hours now worked by parents on « the » relational health of young

people. « The » rapid commodification of care (both for children, « the » aged « and » « the »

26 David McKnight, Beyond Left « and » Right ( Sydney: Allen « and » Unwin, 2005), 72. 27 Pocock, Barbara. « The » Labour Market Ate My Babies: Work, Children « and » « a » Sustainable Future. (Sydney: « The » Federation Press: 2006) 5.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 21 of 36

infirm) is creating new behaviours that are weakening family « and » other « social »

relationships.

« The » driver of these changes is time: longer working hours; less predictable

working hours (thereby reducing « the » capacity « to » plan family « and » community

activities); more ‘anti- « social » ’ hours worked; less flexibility from work for

emergency family care; « and » overall an environment where bargaining rights in

« the » workplace for family-friendly work time are reduced for many workers. For

example:

• « The » number of Australian employees working overtime has increased

from 33.6 per cent in 1997 « to » 37.3 per cent in 2003;

• « The » number of employees working excessive hours (i.e. 50 hours per

week) has increased from 15 per cent in 1979 « to » 20 per cent in 2000;

• Employees working unsociable hours (i.e. 7pm « to » 7am or weekends) has

increased from 56 per cent « to » 64 per cent in 2000; « and »

• 45 per cent of women now work part-time, making Australia « the »

international standout case in « the » developed world.28

Keith Windschuttle has argued that, while all this may be occurring, it does not

matter because greater economic prosperity has been « the » consequence « and » « a »

range of family-related data taken over « the » last decade indicates all is well with

« the » world. I do not dispute « the » data he has deployed for his argument. But I

note, at « the » same time, that he has not chosen « to » deploy data such as that

contained in research by « the » National Centre for Epidemiology « and » Population

Health at « the » Australian National University on « the » measurable impact on child

welfare arising from unsocial working hours by parents. I also note that « the »

28 Pocock, 54-56.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 22 of 36

rapidly escalating rate of childhood obesity is omitted, despite « the » impact of

fast-food in « a » time-poor environment for stressed working families.29 In

particular, I note that none of « the » data Windschuttle refers « to » is capable of

capturing « the » impact of « the » most radical changes « to » Australia’s labour laws

we’ve seen in « a » century that only came into being in March 2006. I would

therefore strongly caution Windschuttle against any premature declaration of

victory as « the » accelerating process of change in « the » Australian workplace has

barely begun. In « the » meantime, I would be interested in Windschuttle’s

repudiation of « the » alarming qualitative survey data contained in Pocock’s

September 2006 study.

« The » other critique from Windschuttle is that « the » analysis on which I have relied

is driven by radical, left-wing feminism. I think Windschuttle needs « to » widen

his circle of friends « and » enemies. Windschuttle should read for example (from « a »

demonstrably non-left perspective) works such as Anne Mannes’s Motherhood -

How Should We Care For Our Children where she points « to » « the » colonization of

our life world by « the » values of « the » market” including parents who now find

themselves speed reading bed-time stories « to » their children, « the »

“McDonaldsization” of childhood « and » « the » industrialisation of childcare. Deep

« social » changes, such as « the » commodification of care, are under way as « a » direct

product of « the » neo-liberal economic project which Windschuttle apparently

unquestioningly champions. « The » open question is: where « and » when will its full

costs be manifest « and » who will bear them?

« The » dilemma for « the » political right is that, in John Howard’s Australia, it’s not

supposed « to » be like that. « The » white picket fence « and » all it stands for is supposed

« to » be enhanced, not undermined, by Hayek’s economic revolution. « And » , for « a »

29 Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey: Summary of Results. 2004-05, ABS 4364.0

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 23 of 36

political party that trumpets family values, « the » impact of « the » quality « and »

quantity of time that families have together as « a » direct consequence of

Howard’s industrial relations revolution is now « a » matter of great personal « and »

therefore political importance.

Climate Change « and » Market Failure

« A » second area where « the » government’s neo-liberal orthodoxy has failed « to »

deliver an effective policy « response » « to » date is climate change. Hayek’s writings

exhibit total confidence about « the » absence of environmental impediments « to »

growth « and » assume that if ever any arose, « the » market’s spontaneous, self-regulating mechanism would take effect. In Hayek’s final work « The » Fatal Conceit

- « The » Errors of Socialism published in 1988, he states:

“In any case, there is no danger whatsoever that, in any foreseeable future with

which we are concerned, « the » population of « the » world as « a » whole will outgrow its

raw material resources, « and » every reason « to » assume that inherent forces will stop

such « a » process long before that could happen.”30

So confident was Hayek of « the » market mechanism, he proclaimed in « the » same

text that “… it will perhaps not be long before even Antarctica will enable thousands of

miners « to » earn an ample livelihood.”31

This approach contrasts directly with « the » recently released Stern Review on « the »

Economics of Climate Change commissioned by « the » British Government. Stern

concludes that:

30 Hayek, Fatal, 125.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 24 of 36

“Climate change is « a » public good: those who fail « to » pay for it cannot be excluded

from enjoying its benefits… markets do not automatically provide « the » right type

« and » quantity of public goods, because in « the » absence of public policy, there are

limited or no returns « to » private investors for doing so… Thus, climate change is

an example of market failure involving externalities « and » public goods… All in all

it must be regarded as market failure on « the » greatest scale « the » world has ever

seen.”32

Here we face « a » clash of two conceptual systems: Hayek believing « the » market

will rectify of its own accord; Stern arguing public goods « and » market failure.

Furthermore, these different philosophical conceptualisations have dictated

radically different policy responses: neo-liberal Australia « and » America

embracing an almost exclusively market-based « response » (in « the » form of « the »

Asia-Pacific Partnership or AP6); Stern arguing that “human induced climate

change is an externality, one that is not ‘corrected’ through any institution or market,

unless policy intervenes.”33

« A » core policy objective under « the » latter approach ( « and » reflected under « the » terms

of « the » existing Kyoto Protocol) is « the » establishment of emissions targets for

mitigating greenhouse gases - « the » central cause of climate change. Once targets

are determined by public policy decision, it is then possible « to » deploy market

mechanisms within « the » framework of an emissions trading scheme « to » reward

financially « the » better « and » punish « the » worst greenhouse gas emitters. Such « a »

scheme is not possible, however, unless governments act both « to » establish « a »

target « and » then « to » establish « and » regulate « the » market that will give effect « to » that

31 Hayek, Fatal, 45. 32 Nicholas Stern, Stern Review on « the » economics of climate change (London: Government of « the » United Kingdom, 2006): 25. 33

Stern Review, 24.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 25 of 36

target. Countries that ratify Kyoto « and » accept « the » national emissions targets

agreed within that regime, are also then entitled through « the » Clean

Redevelopment Mechanism, « to » give effect « to » their greenhouse gas emissions

targets by investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries. At

present Australia is effectively excluded from this market because we are not

within that regime as one of only two developed countries not « to » ratify Kyoto.

« A » second greenhouse gas mitigation measure involves greater investment in

research « and » development in relevant new technologies. This is in part

embraced by « the » AP6 proposal. But « the » yawning chasm between Kyoto « and »

AP6 is that Kyoto’s explicit public policy objective is “ « the » stabilisation of

greenhouse gas concentrations in « the » atmosphere at « a » level that would prevent

dangerous anthropogenic interference with « the » climate system” - an objective

outlined in Article 2 of « the » UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is

given effect by « the » binding national obligations entered into under Annex 1 in

which states agree « to » limit greenhouse gas emissions by « a » specific amount

within « the » first commitment period (2008 - 2012).

By contrast, « the » AP6 Charter has no such binding targets, only non-binding

aspirational greenhouse “gas intensity targets” (as opposed « to » absolute

emission targets); « and » seeks only « to » encourage technology investment « and »

transfer within « the » sector. On « a » public policy question as critical as global

warming, « the » hold of « the » Hayekian neo-liberal model, under which « the » market

is held « to » be ultimately self-regulating, is clear for all « to » see.

Foreign Policy, « the » « Neo » - « Conservatives » « and » Iraq

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 26 of 36

If Friedreich Hayek’s neo-liberalism casts « a » long shadow over « the » Howard

Government’s approach « to » both industrial relations « and » climate change, « the »

same can also be said about « the » « neo » - « conservatives » « and » their influence over « the »

recent direction of Australian foreign policy.

Neo-liberalism within domestic policy « and » neo-conservativism within foreign

policy make strange ideological bedfellows. This is not just « a » challenge of

terminology « and » taxonomy. It is also « a » challenge which derives from radically

different approaches « to » what might be described as ‘ « social » engineering’ by « the »

state. As noted above, Hayekian « neo » - « liberals » are notoriously sceptical, critical

« and » dismissive of efforts by « the » state « to » construct anything more elaborate than

« a » domestic, market-based order. In contrast, « the » « neo » - « conservatives » have

exhibited great optimism about what « a » unipolar state (that is, « the » United States)

can achieve by unilateral military « and » political intervention in « the » political

order. Within « the » ranks of « the » Republican Administration, therefore, we have

seen these conflicting tendencies at work: characteristic Republican pessimism

about « the » prospects of « social » engineering on « the » home front; uncharacteristic

Republican optimism (at least at « the » outset of Iraq) about « the » prospect of radical

« social » engineering on « the » international front.

Beyond « the » heady world of think tanks, neo-conservativism was given its first

formal articulation as « a » national security doctrine for « the » United States in « the »

National Security Strategy of « the » United States of America released in September

2002. As Owen Harries, former editor of « The » National Interest « and » more recently

of « the » CIS, stated in his 2003 Boyer Lectures:

“This document… is without « a » doubt, « the » most important statement about

American foreign policy, not just since « the » terrorist attack, « and » not just since « the »

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 27 of 36

end of « the » Cold War, but since « the » enunciation of « the » Truman Doctrine in 1947

for it spelled out how « the » United States intends « to » use its hegemonic power.”34

Harries’ second Boyer Lecture, entitled Taking on Utopia eloquently outlines « the »

four key elements of what has become « a » revolutionary document in « the »

evolution of US national security policy.

First, it is « a » strategy that seeks « to » assert American values, not just interests. It

states that it will “use this moment of opportunity « to » extend « the » benefits of freedom

across « the » globe… « and » will actively work « to » bring « the » hope of democracy, development,

free markets « and » free trade « to » every corner of « the » world”. This strategy commits « the »

United States « to » creating « a » balance of power that enables “all nations « and » all

societies « to » choose for themselves « the » rewards « and » challenges of political « and » economic

liberty”. As Harries noted, American power was « to » become « the » instrument by

which Fukuyama’s End of History (that is, liberal democracy « and » liberal

capitalism) was « to » be realised across « the » world.

Second, « the » 2002 US National Security Strategy is unequivocal in its assertion that

US military power will be used as « a » core instrument in « the » creation of this new

order.

Third, « the » 2002 US National Security Strategy represents « the » formal

abandonment of deterrence, after 55 years as « the » core American strategic

doctrine for dealing with America’s enemies. In its place, America would

pursue « a » doctrine of pre-emptive, « and » where necessary preventative, war.

34 Owen Harries. “Taking on Utopia”, ABC Boyer Lectures, 23 November 2003: 3.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 28 of 36

Fourth, this was « a » unilateral strategy. It was not developed conjointly with

allies. « And » , where necessary, it will be implemented unilaterally.

Of these four principles, « the » most controversial element of this strategy was

unilateral pre-emption « and » « a » preparedness « to » bring about « democratic » regime

change as « a » result of pre-emption. This approach was based on « the » logic that « the »

international behaviour of states was driven in large part by « the » domestic

character of those states, in which case any effective strategy aimed at changing

« the » behaviour of such states might well require « the » removal of « the » regime itself.

Liberal democracies, it was argued, rather than authoritarian dictatorships,

were less likely « to » create national security problems for « the » United States. They

were also, it was argued, less likely « to » provide safe havens for terrorists.

Furthermore, « the » expansion of democracy, albeit by force of arms, had « the »

added benefit of being for « the » betterment of all mankind as democracy was

man’s natural state. For these reasons, « the » Bush Doctrine has been variously

described as ‘muscular Wilsonianism’, ‘Wilsonianism on steroids’, or simply

‘Wilsonianism with boots on’.

« The » Bush Doctrine, as articulated in « the » 2002 US National Security Strategy, is

anchored in these dual principles of military pre-emption « and » « democratic »

enlargement. It represents « a » radical departure from « the » US foreign policy

mainstream. Previous Republican administrations have tended « to » be ‘realist’,

whereby « the » United States was primarily concerned with « the » preservation of

strategic stability with « a » balance of power, without any excessive regard for « the »

internal affairs of other states. Previous « Democratic » administrations tended « to »

be « a » combination of both realist « and » liberal-internationalist, with « a » pre-disposition « to » use multilateral machinery wherever possible « to » resolve political

« and » economic disputes.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 29 of 36

Not only was neo-conservatism « a » radical departure for « the » US foreign policy

establishment, it was an even greater radical departure for « the » Australian

foreign policy establishment. Let’s be absolutely clear-cut on this: « the » neo-conservative foreign policy agenda developed in « the » United States was not

forced on Australia. Prime Minister Howard « and » Foreign Minister Downer

willingly embraced it. Then they willingly applied it when it came « to » « the »

decision « to » invade Iraq. They embraced it as fully consenting adults « and » , in so

doing, made one of « the » most reckless decisions in « the » history of post-war

Australian foreign policy.

There is already « a » substantial literature in « the » United States as « to » why neo-conservatism has failed. « The » most public case of neo-conservative apostasy so

far has been that of Francis Fukuyama. Fukuyama’s 2006 book After « the » Neo-Cons is in part « a » post-facto rationalisation of his earlier advocacy of « the » project

« and » in part his mea culpa. There are « a » number of core reasons why « the » neo-conservative project has collapsed. « The » first goes « to » « the » heart of pre-emptive

« and » preventative war. « The » justification for such wars lies in irrefutable evidence

of imminent or likely attack. As demonstrated by « the » Iraqi debacle over

stockpiles of chemical « and » biological weapons « and » « the » claimed resuscitation of

Iraq’s nuclear program, accumulating irrefutable evidence, notwithstanding « the »

formidable national security assets at « the » disposal of « the » Untied States, is « a »

difficult task.

Second there is « the » question of legitimacy. In part this rests on « the » UN Charter,

« the » UN Security Council « and » « the » broader fabric of international law. In part, it

rests on « the » collective position of US allies. « The » fact that neither « the » US nor « the »

UK could get « the » UN Security Council or NATO on board with « the » invasion of

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 30 of 36

Iraq created « a » legitimacy problem from « the » outset. « A » failure « to » implement

international legal obligations under « the » Geneva Convention for « the » proper

protection of « the » civilian population of Iraq « and » prisoners of war after « the »

invasion compounded « the » coalition’s legitimacy deficit.

Third, « the » proposition that democracy can be delivered through « the » barrel of « a »

gun flies in « the » face of centuries of political history. Fukuyama’s recantation

challenges « the » universality of « the » American experience in general « and » « the »

particular belief “that democracy was « the » default regime « to » which societies would

revert once dictatorships were removed”.35 Fukuyama’s summary of « the » American

« democratic » dilemma is eloquent:

“Toqueville says that « the » march of equality is providential « and » that democracy

lies at everyone’s future. But there is « a » great difference between his

assertion of « a » broad, centuries-long historical trend towards democracy « and » « a »

belief that « a » stable democracy can be established at any place « and » any time.”36

Even more remote is « the » prospect that « the » armed removal of an authoritarian

regime, its forcible replacement by an ostensibly « democratic » regime « and » then,

by some invisible hand or « democratic » domino theory, « to » succeed in rolling out

« the » democracy project across « the » wider Middle East in its wake.

« A » final factor in « the » failure of neo-conservativism in Iraq has been « a »

conspicuous failure of nation-building. « The » literature on « the » absence of post-invasion planning for Iraq is already immense. « The » disjuncture between « the »

United States as « a » formidable war-fighting machine on « the » one hand « and » its

systemic incapacity « to » plan for « the » peace on « the » other, is now well documented.

35 Francis Fukuyama, After « the » Neo-Cons: America at « the » Cross-Roads. (London: Profile Books: 2006): 31.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 31 of 36

Bob Woodward’s most recent book State of Denial illustrates this point with « the »

reported exchange between former Defence Secretary Rumsfeld « and » « the » first

United States post-war civilian administrator of Iraq, General Jay Garner.37

Only « a » few weeks before « the » war was « to » begin, Garner was worried about « the »

amount of money he would need for « the » reconstruction.38 Garner went « to » see

Rumsfeld with options for « the » reconstruction of Iraq, saying that it would cost

billions of dollars. According « to » Bob Woodward, Rumsfeld said "Well, if you

think we're spending any of our money on that, you're wrong… we're not doing that.

They're going « to » spend their money rebuilding their country." In other words, "we

only do demolitions. We don't do nation-building”.39

What relevance, if any, does Hayekian neo-liberalism have « to » « the » neo-conservative agenda on foreign policy - notwithstanding their radically

different perspectives on state-driven « social » engineering? This is « a » complex

question. « To » some extent, « the » explicit championing of political « and » economic

liberty as « a » cardinal principle of « the » 2002 US National Security Strategy is not

without relevance. Similarly, Hayek’s generally recognised contempt for large

parts of « the » post-war international architecture - including « the » UN - would not

have placed « neo » - « liberals » in defence of Iraqi sovereignty. Furthermore, Hayek

was also explicitly critical of « the » realism of EH Carr, « the » founder of « the » modern

discipline of international relations theory, in his famous attack in « the »

concluding chapter of « the » Road « to » Serfdom. Hayek’s combined contempt,

therefore, for both liberal institutionalism on « the » one hand « and » 20th century

realism on « the » other, may well have made him an ideal candidate for « the » neo-cons overall foreign policy project. Hayek died, however, at about « the » time that

« the » current neo-conservative wave was getting underway in « the » early 1990s.

36 Ibid. 37 Bob Woodward, State of Denial. (New York: Simon « and » Schuster: 2006) 38

Peter Hartcher, “Proud in his bullet-proof best”. Sydney Morning Herald: 10 November 2006.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 32 of 36

« And » despite my reservations about Hayek on many scores, I still find it difficult

« to » see Hayek embracing armed regime change with any particular enthusiasm.

« The » key remaining question concerning American « and » Australia neo-conservatism is how it came about that Australia embraced this enterprise in

« the » first place. Once again, it’s worthwhile « to » return « to » Owen Harries’ Boyer

Lectures. « The » last of these 2003 Lectures was entitled Punching Above Our

Weight in which Harries traces « the » three dominant traditions of Australian

foreign policy - « the » Menzies realist tradition; « the » Evatt liberal-internationalist

tradition « and » what he describes as « the » ‘Spender/Casey/Keating’ tradition of

Asian regionalism.

On this score, Harries’ foreign policy schema is similar « to » our own. « The » Federal

Platform of « the » Australian Labor Party states that Labor foreign policy is based

on three pillars: our alliance with « the » United States; our membership of « the »

United Nations; « and » our policy of comprehensive engagement with Asia. We

have argued that, in Australia’s geo-strategic circumstances, together with our

broader international obligations, an appropriate foreign policy for Australia is

one which is drawn from all three pillars.

Harries, in his Boyer Lecture, arrives at « a » similar conclusion. He states that:

“concentrating these three traditions (that is realism, liberal internationalism « and »

regionalism), « the » question is not which one of them is right or « the » right one for

Australia « to » adopt in perpetuity, but what balance or mix of them is appropriate

at any given time, as circumstances, « and » « the » priorities of our interests, change.”40

39 Ibid.

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 33 of 36

« The » problem for Australia was that « the » neo-conservative enterprise in general

« and » « the » Iraq expedition in particular represented such « a » radical departure, not

just from « the » American foreign policy tradition, but from our own as well.

Harries’ opposition « to » neo-conservativism « and » « the » Iraq war was stated

explicitly in that Boyer Lecture at « a » time when it was not entirely fashionable « to »

do so. His reasons are well argued « and » consistent with his lifelong ‘realist’

tradition as « a » foreign policy analyst « and » , from time « to » time, practitioner.

Labor also opposed « the » Iraq war for « a » range of reasons. Some overlapped with

Harries. Others did not. Labor posed realist questions about « the » likely impact of

« the » invasion of Iraq on « the » global terrorist threat. On that score, our concerns

were vindicated. But Labor also raised other questions about « the » international

legality « and » legitimacy of violating « the » provisions of « the » UN Charter. In Evatt’s

tradition, we have deep concerns, from « a » national interest perspective, about

being party « to » « a » precedent that says « the » unilateral violation of « the » territorial

integrity of another state is now an accepted norm in international behaviour.

In « a » continuing age of Pax Americana, it may be fine « and » dandy, particularly for

US allies. But if Pax Americana passes away during « the » first half of « the » current

century, we may rue « the » day when we violated « the » rules of « the » current

international order, thereby setting precedents for others. I am entirely

conscious of « the » emerging international legal doctrine on « the » Responsibility « to »

Protect. But « the » invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 was neither conceived nor

defended under « the » rubric of any doctrine of international humanitarian

intervention.

« The » implications for Australia of having participated in this folly have been

significant. We now find ourselves indefinitely in Iraq without « a » mission

40 Owen Harries, “Punching Above our Weight”. « The » Boyer Lectures. 21 December 2003

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 34 of 36

statement. We have now become « a » greater terrorist target than would otherwise

have been « the » case. « And » our Prime Minister has traduced our foreign policy

into becoming « a » Kabuki play of key lines « and » themes: ‘stay « the » course’ or ‘cut

« and » run’.

In « the » battle for ideas on foreign policy, « the » Government has been found

wanting because of its all-too-ready acceptance of « a » doctrine of global military

pre-emption « and » armed « democratic » enlargement. For « the » Australian people,

neo-conservatism « and » Iraq have been « a » radical experiment which has put

Australia’s national interests at unnecessary risk. There is therefore, I believe,

an appetite across « the » country « to » restore « the » balance « and » « to » return « to » « the »

mainstream traditions of Australian foreign policy. This means « a » return « to » « the »

three pillars of our foreign policy - « the » US alliance, our membership of « the » UN

« and » « a » continued policy of comprehensive engagement with Asia. America

remains an overwhelming force for good in « the » world « and » we intend « to » work

closely with America in « the » future in pursuit of our common interests within

« the » Asia Pacific region.

These traditions - « the » three pillars of Australian foreign policy - have served us

well in « the » past. They are traditions which will continue « to » serve us well in « the »

future.

Conclusion

It is often « the » habit of those on « the » political right « to » quote George Orwell « to »

those on « the » political left - as « a » seer from within our own camp on « the » dangers

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 35 of 36

of an all-powerful state which « the » right believe « to » be so beloved by all within

« the » left.

In « a » little known review of two publications back in April 1944, George Orwell

wrote:

"Taken together, these two books give grounds for dismay. « The » first of them is an

eloquent defence of laissez-faire capitalism; « the » other is an even more vehement

denunciation of it. They cover « to » some extent « the » same ground, they frequently

quote « the » same authorities, « and » they even start out with « the » same premise, since

each of them assumes that Western civilization depends on « the » sanctity of « the »

individual. Yet each writer is convinced that « the » other’s policy leads directly « to »

slavery, « and » « the » alarming thing is that they may both be right.”41

« The » first of « the » books was of course Hayek’s Road « to » Serfdom; « the » second, long

forgotten, by K. Zillacus, entitled « The » Mirror of « the » Past. Interestingly, Orwell

went on « to » say of Hayek:

“In « the » negative part of Professor Hayek’s thesis there is « a » great deal of truth. It

cannot be said too often - at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough -

that collectivism is not inherently « democratic » …But he does not see, or will not

admit, that « a » return « to » ‘free’ competition means for « the » great mass of people « a »

tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of « the » State.”42

Orwell overstates « the » case against Hayek. But I believe « the » centre of gravity of

Australian politics has always had about it « a » deep scepticism about

fundamentalist ideologies of either « the » right or « the » left. Australians are

41 George Orwell. “ « The » Road « to » Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, « The » Mirror of « the » Past by K. Zilliacus”. Observer, 9 April 1944. 42 Ibid

Kevin Rudd, MP Page: 36 of 36

concerned about « the » impact of market fundamentalism (as articulated through

John Howard’s industrial relations revolution) on Australian family life - in

part their living standards, in part their working conditions, but in large

measure « the » ability of families « to » spend sufficient time together. Australians are

also concerned about « the » Howard Government’s failure « to » identify climate

change earlier as « a » classic case of market failure « and » « the » critical need, therefore,

for government intervention in defence of « a » universal public good. Similarly,

Australians are deeply concerned about « the » cost « and » implications of blindly

following « the » neo-conservative, foreign policy folly that has been « the » invasion

« and » occupation of Iraq.

All three are critical touchstones in « the » battle for ideas that ultimately shape

Australian public policy. All three also represent radical departures from « the »

Australian political mainstream. All three are seen as « a » bridge too far by « the »

Australian people. Which is why « the » season is ripe in Australian politics « to »

restore « the » balance « and » reclaim « the » centre ground.