Search Results: Class Wars

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remembering forgotten wars as fallen soldiers return

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 06 June 2016
    5 Comments

    Thirty-three bodies returned to Australia last Thursday in the country's largest repatriation of dead servicemen and their dependents, including six children. All of the dead were connected with Australia's involvement in overseas conflicts which have been archived and, in some cases, forgotten altogether. Returning the fallen has been a contentious matter. In some cases, the issue has been politicised, with dead soldiers discarded for being the immoral instruments of disputed foreign policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Questions for sub happy Australia

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 May 2016
    15 Comments

    If Australia knows who its enemies are, presumably these putative enemies have a fairly good idea who they are as well. How are they likely to respond to a purchase of submarines? By initiating military countermeasures? By exacting trade sanctions? By diplomatic reprisals? These questions are vital, not just for military planners but also for anyone who is likely to be affected by Australian foreign policy as well as those who want to know more generally how their tax dollars are to be spent.

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  • RELIGION

    Anzac Day and just war scepticism go together

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 April 2016
    26 Comments

    The classical arguments originated at a time when casualties were suffered mostly by soldiers. In modern warfare, civilians overwhelmingly suffer. Just war theory is used as spin to give specious justification to military campaigns in whose devising ethical considerations played no part. Wars that governments wage are just; those waged by their enemies are unjust. By joining in such debate churches are co-opted into playing an intellectual game designed to make legitimate killing and destruction.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning how to die with chimera Montaigne

    • Patti Miller
    • 13 October 2015
    13 Comments

    I have always felt guilty about an inability to commit to any belief system. So when Montaigne said 'Only fools have made up their mind', I felt an enormous sense of relief. He knew that those who are certain are the ones to shut down newspapers, lop off heads, blow up planes, burn books. There is a thread throughout his essays, too, of him finding sex undignified and therefore unfitting for grown men and women. It is one of his many contradictions and confronts me with my own contradictory attitude.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 July 2015
    7 Comments

    It's hard not to admire Reece Harding, whose sense of social justice, idealism and internationalism led him to take up arms against an organisation he seemingly believed lived up to Tony Abbott's characterisation as a 'death cult'. The Federal Government has warned Australians against travelling to the Middle East to fight on any side. But these calls are drowned out by decades of contradictory rhetoric that has seen the Anzac legend placed at the fore of our history and culture.

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  • The challenge of education for social justice

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 July 2015
    3 Comments

    I suspect Pope Francis had some of our Jesuit alumni in mind when he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: 'A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth... True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The last Anzac's bullshit detector

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 April 2015
    26 Comments

    We can judge the exuberance of the Anzac commemoration against the nonchalance of the last Anzac Alec Campbell. He said he went to Gallipoli for adventure and, to him, 'Gallipoli is Gallipoli'. John Howard argued Anzac defined our 'sense of self', although he did acknowledge that Anzac is something that was made up. It's better to let historians rather than politicians select events that define the nation, even if they opt for the frontier wars of the 19th century that depict white Australians as violent and racist rather than heroic and virtuous.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Avoiding the other 'F' word

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 03 February 2015
    12 Comments

    To prevent arguments, I have given up using the word 'football' for any code. I now almost exclusively use the terms soccer, Aussie rules, rugby (union) or league. What matters is not the shape of the ball, but whether a sport can provide great stories and spectacles on the field.   

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Aussie diggers' pen as mighty as their sword

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 December 2014
    9 Comments

    A soldier's life is usually one of bursts of brief action followed by extended periods of drudgery and boredom, and never was this more true than during this dreadful war of attrition that dragged on apparently interminably between 1914 and 1918. A book titled Aussie was published in 1920 as a bound collection of AIF soldiers’ own paper of the battlefield, wholly written, illustrated and printed in the field. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wee Mary MacKillop minds the shop

    • Brian Doyle
    • 15 December 2014
    4 Comments

    I can tell you that Fitzroy always was and will be a wry wilderness; Every colour and ethnicity and language you can imagine lives there... And now I see wee quiet shy Mary MacKillop there, minding a shop. She is fourteen. Her people are Scottish. She will be legendary, later.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politics of mediocrity threaten Blake religious art prize

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 December 2014
    9 Comments

    Our fickle politics shows that the majority of Australians are prepared to gloss over serious issues such as how to answer the life and death needs of the refugees whose lives have been disrupted by the wars we wage. Politicians are driven by opinion polls, and most corporate sponsors are inclined to follow their lead. That is why Saturday's 63rd Blake religious art prize may be the last.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good parents don't make gender stereotypical choices

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 December 2014
    16 Comments

    Among this year's silly season news stories is the trivialising treatment of Greens Senator Larissa Waters' deadly serious call for parents to avoid buying Christmas toys that gender stereotype their children. 'Blue for boys, pink for girls' is a dogma that can do real harm to young people, and parents should focus instead on what makes their children genuinely happy. There is no room for judgment and coercion that seeks to make them someone they are not.

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