keywords: Stalin

  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year fear and loathing

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 February 2019
    6 Comments

    It looks certain that over the next three months before the federal election fear will dominate Australian public conversation. Even if we deplore the appeal to fear, it is worth reflecting on why politicians indulge in it, under what conditions it is successful, and how it is best responded to.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Art, economics, science, and all that jazz

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 February 2019
    9 Comments

    The Five Quintets is a long, conversational poem of almost 350 pages. In an age that focuses on detail, its topic is vast: the nature of Western modernity and its future. In a secular age its perspective is unobtrusively but deeply religious. It is therefore unlikely to make the best-sellers list. But it is an important and rewarding work.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Passport paradox at the Israel-Jordan border

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 January 2019
    5 Comments

    As you couldn't enter Jordan with a passport in which there were Israeli stamps, officials in the Australian Embassy advised us to arrange a second, 'clean' passport. This was a weird business because we would be entering Jordan from Israel — our physical presence in Israel would deny the cleanliness of our passports.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nauru children: Why did we wait so long?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 November 2018
    11 Comments

    To distant observers the hesitation and delay are hard to understand. They ask how it is possible to look on idle and unmoved at children in despair when you are in a position to address the causes of their despair. What is it that enables us to pass by damaged children, untroubled? The answer may lie in the quality of our moral imagination.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Affirmative consent is good for everyone

    • Tim Hutton
    • 31 August 2018
    7 Comments

    A classic argument of those opposed to active consent is that it paints all men as predators. On the contrary, active consent should actually provide greater peace of mind to men than the current mainstream approach. When in doubt, ask. If the response is not unambiguous and affirmative, then do not proceed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is Western Civilisation anyway?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 June 2018
    60 Comments

    The dispute about the Ramsay Centre Foundation for Western Civilisation had everything for those who like pub brawls. The question least discussed but most intriguing is precisely what is meant by Western Civilisation. Protagonists praised or damned its ideological associations, but rarely troubled to share their understanding of it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anti-communism in the Liberal Party from Menzies to Turnbull

    • Evan Smith
    • 01 September 2017
    12 Comments

    Earlier this year, Turnbull made a speech in London where he called for the Liberal Party to return to its ideological base as laid out by Sir Robert Menzies. Turnbull suggested that the Liberal Party under Menzies was the socially conservative party that many on the LNP's right wish it to be, but it seems that what the Liberals have taken from the Menzies era is a revival of anti-communist rhetoric.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Behind Trump's 'Happy Gilmore' moment with Taiwan

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 09 December 2016
    2 Comments

    Trump's phone call with Tsai Ing-wen is to diplomacy what Happy Gilmore's slap shot was to the Pro Golf Tour. It defies all convention, is appallingly out of context, and should not even work, but it might just augur a new way of doing things. That conversation disrupted previous norms, some of which resulted from decades of delicate, often secret, negotiations. In the midst of the confected outrage it is worth considering the event within the context of contemporary US-China relations.

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  • RELIGION

    Rise of the celebrity pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 September 2016
    7 Comments

    Popes are politically significant because they lead a large international church that is present in many nations. The teaching, interests and opinions of popes affect the way bishops and priests act, and so influence Catholic attitudes. More recently, popes have also become celebrities. Their influence on public opinion, in wider society and in the Church, is increasingly personal. As a result the way individual popes understand and express their faith will shape the possibilities for their political influence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vacuous politics breeds vacuous politicians

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 March 2016
    6 Comments

    The standard explanation for the rise of 'outsider' figures like Donald Drumpf in the US and Clive Palmer in Australia is that there is disillusion in democratic countries with 'politics as usual'. Neal Gabler has blamed the media for turning politics into celebrity theatre. While he has pinpointed the symptom, I suggest that he has it exactly the wrong way around. It is because politics has already been hollowed out to be a slanging match of personalities rather than ideas that vacuous celebrities can flourish.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    I was a teenage Cold War Russophile

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 September 2015
    9 Comments

    When Josef Stalin died on 5 March 1953, a couple of months into my Matriculation year, my Russophile leanings seemed about to be intensified. Research in those days was a matter of consulting encyclopaedias, or, if possible, going to the Public Library, but in Stalin's case the newspapers were full of reports, history, anecdote, judgement and various degrees of relief, so there was suddenly plenty of information.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 September 2015
    4 Comments

    The recent National Reform Summit was lauded as an attempt to 'rediscover the art of reform that in the past generation helped to drive high living standards and made Australia the envy among smart nations'. Yet the urgency with which Australian pundits demand 'reform' corresponds with a peculiar opacity about what the term actually means, with its past association with the socialist movement but more recent appropriation as a neoliberal mantra. 

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