This article was first published in the 2009 edition of WA Mining Club‘s Minesite, an annual collection of the club’s activities as well as those of its members. Ron is an active participant of WA Mining Club and never misses an opportunity to pen a few words.
Minesite is always pleased to present the insightful musings of Ron Manners, a regular contributor to our pages and an accustomed commentator on the state of WA mining. This year is no exception, with Ron fresh from the experience of completing his latest book ‘Heroic Misadventures’, capturing his unique observations on recovering from the global financial crisis. Confronting our present condition and considering how we got ‘here’, Ron picks up the theme.
Where is ‘here’? It is one tenth of the way through a century that will throw up more challenges and opportunities than any of us have ever dreamed of. Soon, it will be ‘quarter time’ in the game of Century 21 and our ‘coach’ will be holding us accountable for our scoreboard results.
If you fall for the trap of believing all the current headlines we are now living in a state of ‘perpetual crisis’. By definition a ‘crisis’ can’t be a perpetual condition, rather it is an anomaly which sticks its head up and bites you.
The concept of it being a ‘permanent condition’ suits only the best interests of our political rulers, as it empowers them to ‘take charge’ and intrude even further into our lives.
Unfortunately we have seen a political ‘follow the leader’ pattern develop, following on behind the US who successfully exported their home-grown financial crisis to the rest of the world and gave it the name global financial crisis.
Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, said: “The economic crisis facing the country is ‘an opportunity for us’.” He also said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before” – such as taking control of the financial, energy, information and healthcare industries.
So, as a result of this we have seen in almost all developed countries this eager embrace by politicians of the previously failed Keynsian policies of throwing money at any problem and describing the process as ‘economic stimulus’.
The challenge for all of us now is to work toward removing the suffocating blanket of government spending and controls and re-asserting our ability to make our own individual decisions.
As I commented, these thoughts are fresh in my mind, from completing my book Heroic Misadventures. The book actually started as a follow-up to Never A Dull Moment, which concluded in the exciting nickel boom days of Western Australia.
So, in short, this book-writing process has brought me face to face with one of the things that I value above all else. It is the fact that this journey found me travelling with so many truly remarkable people – and that is the ‘fortune’ that so few people actually find.
My thoughts are a simplified echo of Shakespeare’s magnificent Saint Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother ….
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
The challenges that face us today are no more significant than have been faced by productive and creative individuals in the past. They have never stopped us in the past. And I know they won’t stop you.
Article first published in Minesite 2009, 5th edition. WA Mining Club Inc.