The origins of the Liberal Party

Jerome Small The official version of the Liberal Party’s origins is all about “personal freedom”, “choice” and “enlightened liberal policies”. However, history shows that for the Liberals, freedom for ordinary people is a disposable commodity. The Liberal Party was formed in 1944 from the remnants of p...CONTINUE READING

Who rules Australia?

Ben Hillier Who rules Australia? The most obvious answer is “the politicians”. After all, that’s what this federal election campaign is all about: choosing which group of people will run the country for the next three years. Right? Not exactly. The government wields a degree of power and influence. Bu...CONTINUE READING

The uses and abuses of democracy

Mick Armstrong The first general strike in history occurred just over 170 years ago. It was a strike of insurrectionary proportions led by a mass revolutionary movement – the Chartists. Involving millions of workers, the strike swept through the industrial regions of England as mass pickets marched from...CONTINUE READING

IMF begins to question neoliberal fictions

Allen Myers Who would have thought it? After only three or four decades of neoliberalism stuffing up the world, a small brave band of economists at the International Monetary Fund has begun to doubt whether neoliberalism is really all it’s cracked up to be. Heresy! And from IMF economists! It’s almost...CONTINUE READING

Borders drawn in blood: the construction and destruction of the Middle East

Vashti Kenway “I should like to draw a line from the ‘e’ in Acre to the last ‘k’ in Kirkuk.” British colonel Mark Sykes was stooped, finger poised, over a map of the Middle East. Over his shoulder stood French diplomat François Georges-Picot. The year was 1915. They were discussing a secret agreement th...CONTINUE READING

The road to a police state: how 'anti-terrorism' is destroying democracy

Vashti Kenway In 1956, science fiction author Philip K. Dick wrote the short story “Minority Report”. In it, a shadowy government agency known as “pre-crime” arrests people in anticipation of crimes they suspect individuals will commit in the future. What appears as a dystopian fictional nightmare in 19...CONTINUE READING

Gender and capitalism

April Holcombe “Is it a boy or a girl?” Before we take our first breath, society sets out a path that we must follow. Before we know our own name, others presume to know a whole lot about us. If our parents don’t know already, the midwife will glance down between our tiny legs and immediately assign a se...CONTINUE READING

Panama Papers show that capitalism is working perfectly

Ben Hillier One law firm, working for over 40 years with more than 14,000 banks, lawyers and incorporating authorities, set up more than 200,000 off-shore shell corporations to enable mass tax avoidance by rich people and large corporations around the world. Some of the details now have been widely-re...CONTINUE READING

Australia’s rebel heritage of poetry and song

Mark Gregory Ballads like this one published in Borough, London, by the famous printer HP Such, had been sold on the streets of the towns and cities from which convicts were transported to Australia from the First Fleet onwards. This street literature was hawked for less than a penny and was sung, or “...CONTINUE READING