A Creeping Paralysis Of Australian Society
From Signs of Senility by P Atkinson (12-Nov-23)

The Effect Of Paranoia— as joy is crushed by anxiety, invention dies with freedom, and initiative stalls alongside industry.

Frozen By Fear
Nuclear power has the potential to supply all our Nation's energy, water and military needs, however our citizens are concerned not with the promise of this marvellous technology, but the problems that it may create. These reservations have obtained the level of superstitious fear, making the technology taboo. Our society is neither able to build power stations, nor can it develop weapons which would make up for the inadequacies of our military forces, nor can it attempt to develop and refine the technology that promises such power and wealth.

Rural Decay — retreat from difficulty
Agriculture feeds the nation so it is a crucial concern for every Australian, yet when in the 1950s atomic power offered desalination as an affordable, fabulous solution to Australia's perennial droughts, our nation chose to ignore it. Instead of grasping the opportunity to turn our arid drought-stricken continent into arable farmland and boost the wealth of the nation, if not the whole world, Australians did what they have always done, wait for rain. By choosing to wait for rain instead of acting to get the essential water, the Australian community demonstrated it has lost the ability to overcome problems. The inevitable result being a retreat from all problems, which is why there is a general exodus from the rural areas (Rural Decay), where life is harder, to the cities, where life is much easier. And this retreat is in every aspect of communal life including procreation, where the number of children being born is shrinking along with the size of the population: a decay that is seen also in Europe, Russia, and Japan.

Condemned By The Electorate
We have been condemned by the electorate, that faceless tyrant who decides the futures of politicians and their parties; a creature whose whimsical opinion is cited as the final arbiter of right and wrong, and is itself beyond criticism. Nevertheless, the fabulous entity created by democracy is a coward, and our community is enjoying the inevitable results of being ruled by fear, a creeping paralysis as we allow the possibility of peril to deter us from all action, and growing tyranny as citizens suffer the inevitable oppression caused by exchanging freedom with its risks, for compulsory safety with its boredom and stagnation.

Danger Seen Everywhere
Every action carries risks, so an anxious imagination will discover dangers in the most mundane proposal. The demolition of two old buildings in Manly, Sydney, 1991, was suddenly frozen because a group of citizens thought the necessary destruction prior to rebuilding was a threat to our heritage. Under the slogan of saving our heritage expensive demands were placed upon the developer. People who bore neither responsibility nor cost, felt able to dictate to the party taking all the risks and paying all the bills. The buildings were insignificant, old and deserving demolition, there was simply no good reason why the houses should not be replaced. The result was two decaying buildings, covered in graffiti, and no progress. (Nine years later (2000) the Brisbane City Council has incorporated such fears into legislation and suspended the development of all old Queenslander houses.)

Halting All Development
This instance of stalling development is just a part of an increasing pattern that is being repeated ad nauseam throughout the nation. The cable car connecting Karunda with the coast, which was eventually completed in 1995, was delayed incessantly by people whose prevalent qualification was an excess of free time. Citing 'threats to the environment', construction of a safe harbour on Magnetic Island (off Townsville) has been held up continually by people with little or no investment in the community. Building of a resort near Cardwell has been halted because of similar dangers, despite initial Queensland state government permission to proceed granted by the Goss Labour government.

Impotence Of Officialdom
Official go-aheads mean nothing as demonstrated by the Hindmarsh Island bridge project. It had still not proceeded (January 1996) despite a satisfactory environmental impact study and three subsequent inquiries, with the third being a royal commission that confirmed the initial permission. A fourth inquiry was then being touted by the Minister for Aboriginal affairs who was reported in the Telegraph Mirror 27th December 1995, as refusing to accept Judge Iris Steven's decision. In an article headlined 'BRIDGE INQUIRY A JOKE TOO FAR' the inept minister was lambasted for his continued objection to the project, which was portrayed as an attempt to salvage some shreds of Mr Tickner's shattered integrity. The joke was not just the continuing hold-ups but also the proposed new investigator— Senator Rosemary Crowley, who, in 1993, attempted to replace Christmas carols in kindergartens with a medley of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chants. (NB Construction of the bridge eventually started on 5th October 1999 and it was opened to traffic on Sunday, 4th March, 2001, but this did not end the legal wrangling.)

Absurdity Of Excuses
The rational for halting the Hindmarsh Island bridge construction was that it contradicted some aspect of aboriginal culture. This was not the first time such an excuse was invoked. Towards the end of 1992 the construction of dams was cancelled because of the effects upon aboriginal sacred sites. The superstitions of a Stone Age culture should never be cogent reasons for influencing anyone but primitive peoples, however they have become a significant influence in our society and become another source of reasons not to develop.

Nature Worshipped
Save the Gliders Habitat has become a fashionable slogan (1997) to stop activity. People with particular flora on their properties are prevented from clearing and improving the land because the altered country does not afford a home to the little furry creatures. An argument presuming the importance of the animal and reflects an attitude akin to animal worship; with those denying the merit of the argument being seen like any heretic. Indeed Gliders are just one creature among many who have obtained this revered status, for the veneration is not just directed at animals but Nature as a whole. Dugongs, whales, pygmy possums and trees are just some of the objects of worship that have been invoked to restrict or halt development. With the faithful demanding that every country shows the same reverence by abandoning such activities as tree felling, whaling, seal culling and dolphin harvesting.

Reason Ignored
The irrational but irresistible nature of this stagnation is confirmed by the actions of our political representatives. Being aware of the power of the polling booth makes them continually ignore recommendations to allow development, regardless of their source. On the same day as "Joke Too Far" appeared in the press, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported the refusal by the New South Wales planning minister Craig Knowles to allow the 131-lot Eastlakes housing development to proceed, despite approvals from the local council, his own department and the recommendation of a Commission of Inquiry. Inquiries themselves have become an expensive farce that achieves nothing, much like the community they represent.

Paranoia All Pervasive
This lunacy is not restricted to projects but pervades the community. Everywhere costs are increased while efficiency is deliberately reduced; child-proof tops are compulsory for such dangerous products as bottles of aspirin, disinfectant, petrol cans etc.. And it is not just opening containers that is becoming more arduous, but gates, doors and windows. Motorcars have become less powerful, more complex, harder to maintain and more costly, as the guardians of our safety impose increasing rules and regulations. Similarly, the speed with which these vehicles are permitted to travel is subject to the same effect, with speed limits dropping and becoming more numerous and conditional as roads become corrupted by traffic calming devices.

Raise Expense Reduce Effectiveness
PVC, a product used extensively throughout the community has recently become a suspected source of poison and subject to legal proscription, for no good reason. Refrigerators and air conditioners have suddenly become less efficient and much more expensive to buy and repair as panic suggests that planetary disaster can only be averted by changing the elements used as a cooling agent. The danger of the entire planet heating up has become a source of continuous statutory limitations and increased expense, revealing the greater the imaginary threat, the less vulnerable it is to reason and the more influence wielded on the community.

Research Not Immune
Naturally our communal stagnation extends to experiment and research. Despite the hysteria generated by the media coverage of oil leaks, release of genetically altered bacteria, to quickly and easily dissolve the grease, has been halted by our courts. Anxious citizens have employed the power of the judiciary to halt such developments, and these include the organisms that digest PCBs, bacteria that prevent strawberries from being frost damaged, and high dose radiation that preserve foods. Any citizen who wants to obtain the benefits of stem cell research now (2007) has to go outside of western civilization to get this miraculous treatment.

Law No Defence
Drug companies that manage to run the gauntlet of tests and delays introduced by our frightened nation, have still to survive possible court action claiming unexpected side effects. Legal bills incurred fighting such claims are so large that winning becomes a pyrrhic victory. Devondox cost its manufactures so much in court actions that it was withdrawn. There remains little commercial incentive to discover any new drugs, the profits are dubious, the costs astronomical and legal attack certain.

Legal Paralysis Extends To Sports
It is not just new drugs that are being stalled but previous traditional occupations like sailing. The Courier-Mail, 21/7/1999, reported one yacht race that had been cancelled with another under threat, while footballers now find their on-field actions are no longer just subject to a referee but may see them hauled up in front of a court.

Paralysis Extended By Soaring Price Of Safety
Driven by paranoia and selfishness the cost of Public Liability insurance is rising beyond the ability of most people to pay. It is also being demanded for almost every public activity, no matter how trivial. The inevitable result is the closing down of many facilities and clubs as being too costly to run. An official attempt to limit this social suffocation by legislation has proved ineffective as a 2012 media report reveals it is now extended to schools.

Social Life Not Spared
It is not just industry, research and commerce that are stalling but social interaction, the joy of life, which is being frozen. Tobacco and alcohol are two products that supply pleasure to the individual and stability to the community, but to our fearful society they represent only a menace. Smoking is becoming prohibitively expensive, restricted to fewer and fewer areas, and constantly portrayed as a dangerous and anti-social habit. While drinkers have become subject to attack by police. Drivers can be stopped anytime and if they have consumed more than a minimal amount of alcohol, they are fined and lose their licence, a drastic penalty for most people. And as drinking is primarily a social activity which must involve driving, the result is a suppression of socialising, an increase in solitary drinking and a good deal less pleasure for all.

Food Treated Like Medicine
Anxiety does not just prevent citizens enjoying traditional indulgences but prevents them from even enjoying food. Eating is now considered a serious discipline that requires restraint and care. Too much will bestow ugly fat while the wrong kind will reduce life expectancy. This places dining in the category of taking medicine, making it harder and less desirable to share with others.

Conversation Paralysed
Even when people socialise, the usual jokes and prejudiced remarks that signal individuals are at their ease, are now forbidden by political correctness, making relaxing in company very difficult and by not relaxing with others, they are not exchanging ideas and opinions; they cannot air their fears, clarify their understanding or be creative. This crucial mechanism for maintaining a sensible society is denied. Citizens' self-imposed ordeals are suffocating the intelligence of the community by trapping them in frustration and futility.

Tyrannical Agents Of Stagnation
And the agents who enforce stagnation are everywhere:

National Stagnation Spread Overseas
The nation that constructed the Snowy Water Scheme (a 25-year project that started in 1949 that harnessed water for agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin, and clean power for cities and towns in New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia) could not repeat the effort. No new major project may now be carried out in Australia; it would be drowned under a barrage of silly claims and protests. Nor is this stagnation limited to these shores but it reaches over-seas. The influence of our self-appointed guardians extends via the Green movement, through governments, into institutions like the World Bank. Aid given to developing countries is always conditional, and these restrictions now withhold the technology and resources necessary for progress.

Stagnation Is Killing
The Green movement openly boasts that in this way it has halted hundreds of dams, thereby forcing millions to breathe polluted air and drink tainted water, with the resulting high death rate and reduced life expectancy (see the Narmarda project). They also delight in preventing the Green Revolution being extended to these hungry nations. Such actions are not just absurd but criminal, regardless of the empty rationalisations of their demented supporters.

Growing Forest Of Signs Announce A Legislation Explosion
The explosion of rules and regulations is confirmed by the growing forest of signs announcing ever-increasing restrictions under threat of ever increasing penalties. More and more activities are being restricted or outlawed as a hidden army of malcontents complains to their people's representatives. Local councilors, state and federal members of parliament, as well as police commissioners are only too happy to indulge vocal citizens and extend the powers of their own bureaucracies by increasing their excuses for levying fines.

How do people now (circa 2000) enjoy themselves?
Eating, drinking, smoking and joking are the pastimes of people relaxing in groups, whose denial by anxiety and law immediately raises the question "What then do citizens do to relax?". The answer is they do what all tyrannized peoples do:

Cage Pacing Popular
Publicly; when they are not sedated by TV, videos or computer games, they pace their cages. "Keeping Fit" is the name given to the only leisure activity allowed by fear of becoming fat or unhealthy; they attend the gym, run round the block or walk with grim purpose to nowhere and back. This inane, unhealthy, activity is also anti-social as it prevents not only pleasure but also conversation.

Tyranny Demanded By Secret Complainers
Privately; they secretly complain about, and inform upon, each other. Our once laconic nation of long-suffering citizens has become a mob of carping informers who demand tyranny

"For our own good" tyranny is imposed into every area, replacing simplicity, pleasure and freedom, with complexity, fear and stagnation. (Also see "The Death Of Commonsense")

Imposing Tyranny Is A Never Ending Spiral Into Terrified Paralysis
The purpose of law is not, and never can be, to make people adhere to the law; it can only advertise communal values. Once it becomes the instrument of compulsion, which is rule by menace, the community must slide into a reign of terror. The growing imposition of restrictions cannot end the stream of complaints or the activities resented, so the prohibitions will increase and the penalties must become ever more severe, but there will never come a time when the community feels there are enough rules, or that the penalties are sufficient, until everyone is a law-breaker and the penalty is death. The only thing saving our community from this fate is public cowardice: modern citizens are too scared to licence authority to execute criminals for it might mean sanctioning their own death. Nevertheless, the Inquisition is now here and no-one is safe.

Changing Nature Of Road Signs Confirms Our Slide Into Terror
The community's slide into a reign of terror is clearly revealed by the changes occurring in the nature of road signs. Fifty years ago such signs were merely informative, then circa 1980 they began to incorporate dire warnings such as 'Survive This Drive'. Now (circa 2003) they have become abusive, High Speed, Low I.Q; No Belt, No Brain and menacing, Check Your Speed, Heavy Fines, Loss of Licence.

A person dominated by obsessive fears that increasingly inhibits them from living a normal active life, is considered to be succumbing to general paralysis of the insane; the condition seems to exactly describe our community.