Australian workers’ living standards declined by about $800 last year and will go backwards by another $2,000 in the first half of this year, according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions. If current trends continue, workers will be $4,000 worse off by Christmas.
Why is war, or the threat of it, a permanent feature of our society? The most common answers point to contingencies – the psychology of particular world leaders, for example, or the specific gains to a company to be made from a conflict. Alternatively, they rely on universal claims that religion causes eternal strife or that conflict is part of our human nature. Battles between groups and states predate capitalism, and the reasons for particular wars are often complex and dependent on specific circumstances.
Karl Marx became a radical in his teenage years, but in his early 20s wanted to be an academic. Yet his mistreatment by the authorities and exposure to the plight of local peasants pushed him in the direction of communism, writes Ben Hillier.
The world has been turned on its head during the pandemic, and there is no end in sight to COVID-19. While the future remains unclear, the last two years have furnished us with many lessons about the nature of our society. Here are five things we’ve learned.