The origins of inequality

Viktoria Ivanova “Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization,” wrote the late US historian William Durant. “Economic development specialises functions, differentiates abilities, and makes men unequally valuable to their group.” It is common sense that inequality...CONTINUE READING

Understanding Israeli apartheid

Andrew Cheeseman The conflict between Palestine and Israel is sometimes described as an ancient, unsolvable religious conflict fuelled by a perpetual cycle of violence and revenge. At other times it is described as a David versus Goliath struggle where “underdog” Israel tries to survive amidst a sea of ter...CONTINUE READING

Myths and ambitions: Australia in the Great War

Tom O’Lincoln In commemorating the Great War, which broke out 100 years ago next month, we recall one of history’s greatest crimes. Sixteen million dead and 20 million wounded. Such a grubby mix of murder and profit-hunger confronts us. Dividends rise and workers fall. Even conservative NSW governor Phi...CONTINUE READING

ASIO's dirty secrets

Martin Hirst Dirty Secrets: Our ASIO Files, edited by Meredith Burgmann, is a who’s who of former and current radicals, agitators and old communists. One of the best pieces is the chapter about Communist Party member and author Frank Hardy, written by his son Alan. Another is that of retired High Court...CONTINUE READING

The legacy of the Iraq invasion

Liz Walsh The invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States and its “coalition of the willing” butchers devastated the country. More than 1 million Iraqis lost their lives. Four million were displaced. US troops, under orders to crush a population resisting occupation, tortured thousands. Thousands...CONTINUE READING

Gerry Conlon: ‘It could’ve happened to anyone’

Jacob Grech “It could’ve happened to anyone, nothing special about me.” That’s what sticks in my head most of all from Gerry Conlon, who died in Belfast on 21 June after a short but intense fight with cancer – and a long and intense fight with the British justice system after he was framed, then impri...CONTINUE READING

It was always about the oil

Robert Bollard The dogs of war are howling once more in Mesopotamia. It almost defies belief that voices are once more being raised, suggesting that “something must be done” to stop the dreaded Islamist bogeymen from taking Baghdad. It’s worth remembering the first imperial invasion of the region – a gru...CONTINUE READING

William Cuffay, ‘the most cantankerous and disaffected of all the Chartist spouters’

Vashti Kenway The 19th century British working class stood at the forefront of the struggle for democratic rights. Its movement was known as Chartism – named after the People’s Charter, a document proposing the transformation of the British electoral system to allow working class participation. One of t...CONTINUE READING

The system is sick

Liam Ward Cigar-chomping millionaire Joe Hockey says, “People need to take responsibility for their own health.” It can seem like a fair enough proposition, right? It’s my responsibility to do a bit of exercise, eat well, clean my teeth. I don’t expect Joe Hockey to clean my teeth; actually I wouldn...CONTINUE READING