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Keywords: America

  • AUSTRALIA

    Does the 'Let it Rip' approach have a eugenics problem?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 January 2022
    10 Comments

    In the early part of the twentieth century, Francis Galton (a cousin of Charles Darwin) used the latter’s work to argue that human breeding stock could be improved. He would weed out the weakest and the less able and produce a sturdier race. Until recently, the crematoria of Hitler’s death camps were enough to remind most that this was not an idea consonant with actual human flourishing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for basic, public values

    • Greg Craven
    • 25 January 2022
    42 Comments

    One reasonably could ask whether this is the moment to write a book about the potential of Catholic Social Theory to contribute to Australian politics and policy. After all, the Church is still struggling to come to terms with decades of child abuse, hardly a recommendation for social potential. We currently also are attempting to make sense of a Plenary that is both confused and confusing.

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  • RELIGION

    The makings of a saint

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 January 2022
    4 Comments

    On the fifteenth anniversary of Rutilio Grande’s death, I went to a memorial celebration in Aguilares. This crossroads town was the centre of the Jesuit local mission of which Grande had been part. I had already been struck by the affection with which everyone spoke of Rutilio Grande. In a society where any ministry to people who were poor exposed one to constant danger, it was natural to become hardened in order to survive. Rutilio Grande, however, was remembered and treasured for his vulnerability.

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  • MEDIA

    Best of 2021: Facebook unfriends Australia

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 January 2022

    Instead of retaining its control of a fruit market, or preserving an oil monopoly, Facebook harnesses another resource: data. Any regulator or sovereign state keen to challenge the way the Silicon Valley giant gathers, monetises and uses that data will face their ire.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Best of 2021: Why corporatism, not capitalism, is the root of social harm

    • David James
    • 04 January 2022

    There really is no such thing as ‘capitalism’ — or rather there are so many capitalisms that the word is altogether too imprecise to be useful. A much better term to identify the problems, even evils, of modern developed economies is ‘corporatism’. This can be precisely identified and its transgressions and general harm are getting worse.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Legitimised judicial captivity: The Assange case

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 December 2021

    The legal pursuit of Assange is disturbingly unique not only for using an archaic law against a non-US national; it is also the first instance of an international application of it against a publisher. The law, if applied in the way suggested by the charges, criminalise the receipt, dissemination and publication of national security information, irrespective of motive. If the US Espionage Act 1917 were applied in this way, it would appear to subvert the free press provision in the United States Constitution.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ownership

    • Jamie Dawe
    • 06 December 2021

    I own my proclivities and short comings / I own the transgressions of those which have inflicted wounds some unhealed /  I own the sublime moments of subjective joy / I own little but I am rich in compassion / I own not the land it owns me

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The sovereign good

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 November 2021
    20 Comments

    Attitudes towards truth have changed. Now we accept the idea that there are different sorts of truth: the phrases historical truth, narrative truth and emotional truth come trippingly off the lips of vast numbers of people. Then there are the complex notions of fantasy and fiction: we have long subscribed to the notion of novelists making up various ‘lies’ or fantasies in order to tell underlying truths about human nature. But we also have to accept, I think, that a gentleman’s word is no longer his bond.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Climate change trillions

    • David James
    • 08 November 2021
    1 Comment

    The Glasgow United Nations Climate Change Conference has been advertised as an effort to focus on sustainable environmental solutions. What got much less attention, if any, is that it is probably at least as much about having a sustainable financial system. Many noted that China, did not send its leader: Xi Jinping, president of the world’s greatest CO2 emitter. There was also another significant absence: the financiers who are hoping to profit from the trillions allocated into climate change projects.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Revisiting American Dirt

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 November 2021
    12 Comments

    Writers inevitably learn bitter lessons, including one about readers who will be wounded, hurt, or at least deeply offended by their work. There is usually more than one group of these, for people become upset for reasons that are many and varied. Such is the case in the reaction to Jeanine Cummins’ fourth book, American Dirt. Cummins has been variously accused of stereotyping, racism, narcissism, and of lacking in empathy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Your poetry questions, answered

    • Philip Harvey
    • 04 November 2021
    8 Comments

      Although I teach poetry and do occasional workshops, the following is written in response to one such workshopper, new to writing poetry, who in lockdown would message me on social media with fairly open-ended questions about poetry. My answers are written after the wry manner of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska; wry, but generally helpful. They are not the launch pad for a new poetics. I have stopped for now at 12 questions, but the questions keep rolling in.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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