Categorised in:

Foundation Arena Articles: Paul James

Four articles by Paul James (one with Freya Carkeek), from the eighties and early nineties: ‘Australia in the Corporate Image: A New Nationalism’, ‘The Nation and its Post-Modern Critics’, ‘ Theory Without Practice: The Work of Anthony Giddens’, and ‘ This Abstract Body’

Australia in the Corporate Image: A New Nationalism

From Arena issue 63, 1983. PDF, 1.5 MB.

In 1972 Australian political culture was in a state of flux. Two significant but superficially unconnected changes were in process and these provide the dual focus from which this paper begins. The most prominent of these, the ‘new nationalism’ of Labor’s electronic election campaign, seemed certain to sweep the party to its first electoral victory in twenty-three years… At the same time, though instigated without any fanfare, the Australian subsidiary of the world’s largest corporation, the wholly American owned company Exxon, was revamping its advertising campaign in an attempt to quash public questioning about the role of multinationals in Australia…

The Nation and its Post-Modern Critics

From Arena issue 69, 1984. PDF, 0.7 MB.

This essay is written as a critique of the post-modernist argument that the nation is nothing more than a coercive social construct that should therefore be dissolved. In the face of Ronald Reagan’s invocation of ‘One Nation under God’ which is having remarkable success in galvanizing support from America’s youth, or similarly, the Hawke Government’s ideological consensus as it too draws on a new nationalism, it would seem than an argument for the death of a nation should be affirmed without question. However it is not so simple…

 Theory Without Practice: The Work of Anthony Giddens

From Arena issue 78, 1987. PDF, 0.6 MB.

Anthony Giddens has been engaged for some time in writing an extended and serious critique of historical materialism. While his work has a tendency at times to ‘expose’ problems that all but the most dogmatic marxists have long since disavowed, this has never led him towards the current fascination with Nietzche or into the easy and increasingly commonplace talk of a terminal crisis in marxism… He remains, I will argue, a synthesizer and critic of social theory, not a theorist of the possibilities of political practice…

 This Abstract Body, by Freya Carkeek and Paul James

From Arena issue 99/100, 1992. PDF, 0.8 MB.

The avant-garde tend to read about it rather than do it. Nevertheless, techno-sexuality – technologically mediated sexual relations, sex without the embodied presence of another person, or technological enhancement of the sexual body – is a burgeoning phenomenon. As one facet of a broader phenomenon of techno-disembodiment, that range from practices of telephone sex to cosmetic surgery, it illustrates an emergent but already pervasive development in these postmodern times…