author: Jeff Sparrow

  • INTERNATIONAL

    El Paso shooting and the rise of eco-fascism

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 07 August 2019
    4 Comments

    The widespread despair about climate change, and the seeming inability of progressives to offer a solution, provides fertile soil for ecofascism to grow. In a sense, given the scale of the crisis, their apocalyptic vision of an environmental race war can sound more realistic than the pallid centrist nostrums that everyone knows won't work.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Religious freedom feint has Liberals in knots

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 17 July 2019
    9 Comments

    The conservative base wants religious protection for Christians, but has a long history of vilifying Muslims, who, presumably, could also claim protection from any new law. One struggles to imagine a law that might enable a footballer's right to send homophobic tweets, while enabling courts, parliaments and schools to ban burqas.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The west's fossil fuels problem is strategic, too

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 July 2019
    5 Comments

    When discussing climate change, it's easy to depict the world's reliance on fossil fuels as primarily a technological problem, to be resolved by new methods for harnessing renewable energies. But that's only part of the story, as the example of Saudi Arabia shows.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    'Climate emergency' endangers democracy

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 21 June 2019
    7 Comments

    Historically, a declaration of emergency, whether in response to war, civil unrest or natural disaster, allows the state to suppress debate to enable a militarised response to an urgent problem. You can see why that might appeal as a solution to the environmental crisis. But addressing climate change requires more democracy, not less.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What went wrong for Labor on climate

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 20 May 2019
    19 Comments

    Had Labor flatly opposed Adani, it would have been better positioned to sell a different model for the creation of local jobs and security. Instead, the lack of clarity prevented the ALP from articulating a persuasive economic alternative to a mine it wouldn't say definitely was closing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reckoning is due after Afghanistan endgame

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 31 January 2019
    18 Comments

    John Howard promised to 'stay the course' in Afghanistan. So too did Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. So complete was the political consensus that parliament didn't even debate the Afghan intervention until nine years after it began. Now that there's no longer a course on which to stay, we're due some accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    12 Comments

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Latham and Hanson's marriage of convenience

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 November 2018
    3 Comments

    If we say the man's lost his mind, we must, in fairness, acknowledge that he possessed a mind to lose. Bizarre as the notion now sounds, Latham brought consider intellectual firepower to the Labor leadership. His deep commitment to free market policies meant his hostility to Hanson always came as much from the right as the left.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's always Happy Death Day in Canberra now

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 30 October 2017
    6 Comments

    Turnbull's response to the eligibility crisis showcased the mixture of bluster and incompetence that's become characteristic of this government. Like Michaela Cash's attempts to link Shorten with union corruption, his declaration that the court would rule in favour of Joyce saw strategy and common sense give way to short term manoeuvring.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons for ALP in UK Labour fightback

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 June 2017
    17 Comments

    When Corbyn invoked the many against the few, he did so while advocating free education, the renationalisation of utilities and a break from the US alliance. By contrast, Blair coined the phrase in a speech where he urged listeners to put behind them 'the bitter political struggles of left and right that have torn our country apart for too many decades. Many of these conflicts have no relevance whatsoever to the modern world - public versus private, bosses versus workers, middle class versus working class.' We all know which version sits closer to Shorten's heart.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fall of Aleppo caps off wretched 2016

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 16 December 2016
    12 Comments

    Assad's victory epitomises, in a sense, the reactionary tide prevailing just about everywhere in this, the Year of the Donald. The hopes raised during the Arab Spring have, it seems, been crushed, with the Syrian regime consolidating its grip over a nation it has oppressed for so long. Yet Aleppo also illustrates how little the Right's victories have actually settled. The Right's biggest asset is often the Left, with progressives seemingly determined to validate all the smears levelled against them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Where's Australia's Trump and Sanders?

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 30 June 2016
    8 Comments

    Last week Sam Newman said he'd been approached to run for mayor in Melbourne on a 'Donald Trump-like anti-political correctness platform'. The announcement raised an interesting question: where's the Trump, or Sanders for that matter, in the Australian election? Richard Di Natale has articulated a vision of the Greens as 'the natural home of progressive mainstream Australian voters', yet we might equally say that he embraced politics-as-usual just as politics-as-unusual began to manifest everywhere.

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