Are you an Innie or an Outie?

Are you an Innie or an Outie? By Terry Barnes.

That great Greek bloke, Aristotle, said that in society some are born to rule and the rest of us to obey, and like old Ari, [the IPA’s Matthew Lesh] writes there are two broad groupings in Australian society.

First the Inners, urban-dwellers who by their upbringing, education, or membership of various social, economic and media elite groups including business and trade unions, determine the national agenda. Inners control the public conversation, and dominate key public institutions including the ABC and the universities and, as universities’ disgraceful treatment of the Ramsay Centre’s proposed Western Civilisation programme highlights, howl down any dissent from their identity politics and ideological frolics.

Then there’s the Outers, ‘instinctively traditionalist’ Australians on lower and middle incomes, mostly with less fancy educations and occupations, and who are more concerned with stability, safety and unity. These are the people who produce the national income that the Inners waste in their own pet causes. Outers are characterised by Lesh as living in the suburbs which means, presumably, that battlers in rural and regional Australia are Far Out. Outers can, through educational and career success, become Inners, and once they are there forget their origins. …

His key insight is that Inners, and their dominance of Australian politics, transcend party lines: Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten share common interests in preserving the system, or rather the political class’s role in it. …

It also explains why so many Australians are alienated from the political class, while apathetically letting politicians and nanny staters run rampant over their lives. …

Lesh suggests that traditional ways of looking at the divisions in Australian society — whether class; progressive or conservative; even Liberal or Labor — are obsolete. The leaders of major political parties and activist organisations have failed to keep up with the evolution of the broader society they claim to reflect and, in their all-knowingness, ride roughshod over their grass-roots supporters. When so many of us feel our aspirations and values don’t matter to the elites, is it any wonder that parties and politicians of protest, like One Nation, Derryn Hinch and the Greens, have corroded the Coalition and Labor vote? …

Now that arch-Inner Malcolm Turnbull has gone (though his destructive and narcissistic poltergeist remains), the Coalition under born-Outer Scott Morrison must realise the key to its future is not tickling the tummies of elite Inners, but thanks to its hijacking by ultra-Inner Turnbull, its fate is almost certainly to be doomed to learn these lessons in protracted Opposition. …

The intense fight raging for the soul of the Liberal party is a microcosm of the nation.