Far Right – Binary Bound

Now we all vaguely understand that computer program language is based on lots of zeroes and ones somehow alternating at amazing speeds, so that we can do online banking, muck around with Facebook and other internet stuff. A convenient extension of our social and economic selves to be sure.

However a new Australian political variant poses a fundamental and worrying question about whether the human cost of this binary universe is too high, particularly on the far right of the spectrum. Evidence is accumulating with the launch of a political party tagged Australia First, which may be inspired by One Nation.

When considered with Family First, it seems that far right adherents have developed an obsessive fixation with One and its adjective ‘First’. Could this be religious, as in The Blessed One, or does it imply exclusion, of the Other?

History in the 20th century shows that politics built on notions of  a binary world can easily take on totalitarian forms of ‘us and them’, and threaten our Australian way of life. What happened to the beauty of second or third, both respectable silver or bronze medal-winning positions in our Olympic records? And the great Aussie tradition of a ‘fair go’ for the underdog?

Emphasis on First and One is therefore unAustralian and flies in the face of our proud sporting traditions, not to mention Anzac history, where we came repeatedly second or even dead last. Its political manifestation will be rebuffed by all patriotic citizens of the Wide Brown Land.  OY! OY! OY!


  1. My dear POH,

    A post on binary politics is most certainly an unabashed, full frontal provocation to and invocation of TSB. I must step up to this occasion, and join you on this pas de deux. As you know, it takes two to tango.

    Binary is not such a bad thing. And if it’s not bad… it must be good! Look, there are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

    See, to be binary is to be divine. Light and darkness, the lands and the seas, night and day, waters above and waters below… the Creator went around pretty much sexing it all up in pairs. And so are we, sexed into male and female, mind and body, thought and emotion, love and passion.

    Listen, binary is universal. And it is definitely German, as your duo partner would surely confirm. Or, at least was that guy, Leibniz, who laid out the simple yet strange grammar of binary arithmetic in 1666 (talk about the diabolical divine!). But… wait… stop the press! Leibniz read the I Ching… no, really!! And that’s at least 3000 years old!!! (go ahead, write that down in binary)

    The Chinese and binary go way back. It is said that those who understand binary, amongst the 10 types of people, and can make head and tails of the Book of Transformation, can foresee and foretell the future. Isn’t that a scary thought? The two McKenna brothers seemed to think so, when they used the I Ching to predict that the rate of technological innovation would continue to accelerate and reach infinity at time zero in 2012. And that was in the 70s, way before anyone had yet started yarning about the Mayan calendar. Granted, they were on acid, though.

    The Mayans, by the way, understood binary. They already had a symbol for zero when the Greeks were still dialoguing whether they could represent nothingness. And theirs is the symbol we still use today: the circle. The circle has no sides and no angles. No opinion and no agenda. However way you turn it, it always looks the same. It is infinitely symmetric.

    This is in contrast to the symbol for one, always sticking up. It certainly has an opinion on anything and everything, always holding its finger out. After all, it is *the* one – there is ‘none other’. But, zero and one must always go together. What would we have without them both? Nothing. Infinite nothingness!

    1. Thank you TSB, a wonderful treatise indeed! And I rest my case, as you point out the exclusionary nature of ‘the’ one, which then clearly negates the other.

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