keywords: The Matrix

  • ECONOMICS

    Welcome to the Matrix of materialism

    • David James
    • 27 January 2018
    7 Comments

    A visitor from an earlier time would be stunned to see how much we understand the world using monetary measures. Finance has come to be considered the first reality, not defined by, or reflecting, reality. To see how this creates distortions, consider GDP, which is taken to be a reliable measure of national wellbeing, but in fact is anything but.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • The inviolable inherent dignity of Aylan Kurdi

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 September 2015
    11 Comments

    I believe in Aylan's inviolable, inherent dignity as a human being like all of us, no matter what side of a national border we might live. I believe that a globe of 7.3 billion people with inviolable, inherent dignity confronts huge challenges and real evil when almost 60 million people are displaced. I believe that secure national borders for a country as geographically and jurisprudentially isolated as Australia confronts an enormous moral challenge, and that we are falling short, badly and selfishly.

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  • RELIGION

    Church blame in the frame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 March 2013
    37 Comments

    There is a temptation to see justice, compassion and transparency as the obsessive concern of western liberals. They are much more universal than that; they are the contemporary, institutional rendition of gospel values. The unaccountable hiddenness of Vatican clericalism has reached its use-by date.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Illuminating the St Mary's conflict

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2009
    25 Comments

    The conflict between Archbishop John Bathersby and Fr Peter Kennedy was passionate and public. This book shines a light on the dispute, setting it into a human context that is much larger than that offered by the media coverage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Climate change obscures the real moral crisis

    • Scott Stephens
    • 12 December 2007
    2 Comments

    The 2007 election saw the Howard Government caught in a perfect electoral storm. Boredom disconnected the Coalition from the electorate, and the refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol left the Government stranded in a kind of moral no-man's land.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reviving the domino theory

    • Daniel Baldino
    • 18 May 2007
    1 Comment

    The notion of preventing Islamic influence has strong echoes of the simple Cold War ‘domino theory’. This powerful metaphor and enemy image, popular in the 1950s and 1960s and used to justify US military intervention in Southeast Asia, was later widely criticised for its undeveloped and unstructured generalisations about political systems that are quite different.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Rushdie of the West: Remembering Jean Baudrillard

    • Scott Stephens
    • 04 April 2007

    Scott Stephens on the passing of Jean Baudrillard.

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  • RELIGION

    Jon Sobrino and the Vatican judgment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 April 2007
    16 Comments

    It is too early to explore the reasons for and the justice of the Vatican criticism of Jon Sobrino’s theology. But such judgments also affect human lives. So it may be useful to set this event in the context of the relationship between the Basque born theologian and the El Salvador to which he has committed his working life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The highs and lows of substance addiction

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 December 2006

    In a cerebral sci-fi movie, America’s war on drugs emerges as a reflection of the real-world War on Terror, where government forces rage against a demonised and largely faceless enemy.

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  • ECONOMICS

    NZ's riposte to modern economic myths

    • David James
    • 02 July 2019
    5 Comments

    While money can be transacted for things that are bad — air pollution, road deaths, cigarette ads — as long as more transactions occur, it creates the illusion the economy is growing, which, ipso facto, is good. Thus, Japan's GDP rose sharply after the tsunami disaster. New Zealand's initiative will track better what is really happening in the country.

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  • RELIGION

    Redress scheme's new class of have-nots

    • Cathy Kezelman
    • 08 April 2019
    8 Comments

    Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election, Australia must respond promptly and fairly to the needs of all survivors, not only of institutional child sexual abuse, but of all forms of childhood trauma. Every time we create a new class of survivor and more 'have nots' we replicate the inequities of abusive systems.

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