Gough Whitlam

1511 Words7 Pages
We are a government committed to bringing change into about social and economical aspects of our country." (Hayden, Speech, 1973) The Whitlam government's term was filled with controversy, scandals and public protest however, despite criticism of the government it is undoubted that within its term, 5 December 1972- 11 November 1975, the government was significantly influenced by socialist ideals through directing its policies relating to the social, economic and government aspects of society. The government adapted 'crash through or crash' style of policy change, reminiscent of a peaceful socialist revolution, however modified to suite the Australian climate. Whitlam's approach included more democratic elements and involved the people influencing the policies of his government, his eventual goal to solve the great problems capitalism had brought upon Australia. (McGavin, 1987, 55) His solution was quite simply to lessen the capitalist enemy of socialism, the class divide. The government promised the citizens of Australia better quality of life hand in hand with equality and said that these goals would be implemented in the improvement of education, health and welfare, stricter economic regulation as well as broad public ownership of several other basic industries and finally an extension of the national government's power promoting constitutional and electoral changes. Socialism is defined as a political doctrine concerned with the morals of society and relates to all economic and social aspects of society. Socialism is further characterised by the state ownership and nationalisation of all means of production, facilities and banking for the reason that under socialist control private barriers can no longer prevent the people from working together for the common good. (Bobbio, 1987, 44) This utopia is thought to be achieved through a peaceful political revolution, of course, in the best interests of the nation. (Evans, 1977, 23) Furthermore, socialism is defined by the belief that capitalism has unforgivably failed the working classes and that there is in fact simply no need for inequalities that exist within society. Socialist theory dictates that inequalities within society should be altered to the extent that the upper class minority can no longer hold exclusivity to privilege whilst the majority of the working classes suffer. Whitlam's breed of socialism embraced the practical and moral components of the ideology. Further, he was a great advocate for rapid change and this was extremely reminiscent of ideological socialist revolution. "We have a new chance for our nation. We can recreate this nation.
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