Warren Mundine: Reclaiming work as a virtue

Caption: Bundjalung family photo from the early 1900s. The baby on the left is Mundine?s father, the man holding him his grandfather.

Nyunggai Warren Mundine is one of the most remarkable Australians living. Instead of sitting on his keester, bitching and moaning, as so many of us do, he?s trying to tackle the actual work of building a better life for others, and reignite the spirit of a nation given over to flabby socialist resentment.

There?s really not much for me to comment on this piece, other than excerpt the best bits. But I urge everyone to read it in full, if they can. Quote:

My father taught me a simple lesson: when the alarm clock goes off, you get out of bed, have a shave, wash yourself, put your clothes on and go to work?Dad believed the measure of a person was whether or not they were a worker. He believed that working was a virtue. So do I. End of quote.

I think most of us of a certain generation were the children of Dads like this. Quote:

My grandfather worked as a labourer all his life, hard, dirty work that didn?t pay much. Every day he got up, went to work and brought the money home for his family. Dad, my aunts and uncles grew up thinking that was normal. When Dad left school, he started working?Until his seventies, he got up early every morning, went to work and brought the money home for his family. My siblings and I grew up thinking that was normal. And when we left school we also got jobs; some even went to university. Our kids thought that was normal and did the same. So from one man, my grandfather, having a simple labouring job over a century ago, hundreds of people grew up thinking work is normal. End of quote.

Reading this, I can?t help but think of my Dad, and of lying in my bed, listening to the sound of his car leaving: the gear-changes as he got to the corner of our street, and then fading into silence, as he went off to work the night-shift. His kids, too, went on to jobs, and some to university, too, sooner or later.

All that, from one man, just going to his job. Quote:

Work has always been essential to human survival. In the societies my ancestors lived in?If you didn?t work, you died. End of quote.

The industrial and capital revolutions changed the world, and the lives of the people in it, beyond measure, for the better. Quote:

The nature of work has changed?People no longer hunt their own food or build their own shelters. They do other kinds of work to earn income they use to buy what they need from others.

Somewhere along the way during this amazing transformation, many of the intellectual classes?[have] come to characterise work as a negative?The mindset of work as something negative is allowing many families and communities to be destroyed?

In the tribal societies of my ancestors, people pooled their resources in large family groups?Most western countries today have expansive welfare systems. The unintended impact has been a permanent underclass of people; families dependent on welfare for generations suffering a myriad of socio-economic problems. Long-term welfare dependence is the new poverty in western economies?I speak about this a lot when it comes to Aboriginal people. But they?re just an infamous example of a problem that exists all across our country and many others. End of quote.

The architects of the welfare state may have had good intentions, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. All around the globe, cradle-to-grave welfare has destroyed the working-classes it was meant to help. Quote:

Even if you doubled welfare payments, recipients would still live in poverty. Poverty isn?t just about money. It?s about deprivation of basic needs like employment; lack of purpose and aspiration; lack of autonomy and independence. Welfare can never deliver these. The solution to welfare poverty isn?t higher welfare. The solution is a job. End of quote.

Mundine isn?t the only person working to fix this. Quote:

Andrew Forrest is one of Australia?s wealthiest men?Forrest was determined to create employment opportunities for Aboriginal people?What Forrest found was that if a person stayed in the job for twenty-six weeks, he had them for life. They?d never look back. End of quote.

Caption: Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and Nyunggai Warren Mundine. Picture: Kym Smith.

Mundine and Forrest are hated by the left. To them, Mundine is a ?race traitor?, an ?Uncle Tom?, because he refuses to play to the script that the left has written for Aboriginal people. Forrest is vilified, just for being successful. The most left-wing government in recent Australian history were determined to sling people like Forrest with new, arbitrary taxes, specifically to fund their utopian welfare-state dreams. Quote:

It?s not cruel to want people to work?That?s having respect for people by not writing them off, and believing they?re worthy and capable of having fulfilling and independent lives. That?s compassion.

The greatest thing in the world you can do for another human being is give them the opportunity to work. As hard as it is for someone to climb out of that gulf, it?s worth it. They never look back. Nor do the generations after them. Work is still essential to human survival ? the survival of the human spirit. We need to reclaim work as a virtue. End of quote.

Sure, there are some issues I disagree with Mundine on, but the man is an inspiration to us all.