Australia’s PM – lessons from Cicero

December 7 was the anniversary of the assassination of Cicero, the Roman statesman, orator and Sceptic. He is known for maintaining that humankind keeps making the same six ‘mistakes.’ One was ‘attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do,’ and Australia’s recent emotional attacks on China bring this to mind. Despite Australia’s feelings, China’s population is likely to be mostly content with President Xi Jinping’s actions, given their association with much-improved material circumstances. The Russians were similarly satisfied in Soviet times – greater access to education, housing, and healthcare made it worth keeping one’s nose out of politics. Nor will the Chinese accept the idea that China must be contained; they will consider it their turn to enjoy the perks of being a great power, well overdue given its delay following gunboat colonization from Europe and Japan. A second Cicero ‘mistake’ is ‘neglecting development and refinement of the mind.’ The Chinese picture-cartoon of the Australian army’s shame in Afghanistan is a disturbing but justifiable comment – we can’t say it was unfair, given it was Australia’s own investigations that revealed these fundamentally immoral actions. A wiser Prime Minister would have acknowledged our shame and offered our apology, not demand one from the Chinese. It is in our interest that our leaders dwell on how a refined mind might act and suppress emotional outbursts, see ‘Einstein’s Last Message.’

One thought on “Australia’s PM – lessons from Cicero

  1. Chinese Tiamin Square massacre is well documented and broadcast on TVs the world over. At present we only have undocumented accusations about SAS in Afghanistan. So Chinese apology is required but we know they have not the moral backbone to give one. Can’t lose face under any circumstances.


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