The Palestinian Question: Celebrating the Liberal Media?

A certain anti-intellectualism, perhaps especially rife in the Australian context, is arguably one of the major problems of mainstream respectable media.

‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’: Join the in-group, recognise the conspiracy

To be sensibly upbeat about what is coming round the corner is a big ask. Much easier is to sum it up and say, ‘It’s not my fault. We have been cheated’.

Googling Earth

The continually streamed view from above continues to show us increasing human impact and environmental degradation and loss, telling a story of a larger contradiction—that despite Earth being our only home, we relate to it as an object and an abstraction…

Trade routes or War Games?: Subs and the geopolitics behind the China threat

Australian strategic planners are well aware that it would be absurd to protect trade with China from China… In the real world, the military build-up is about whether foreign military and intelligence activities can be conducted in another country’s exclusive economic zone.

The Nuclear White Elephant

…when we see right-wing politicians and commentators in Australia on the nuclear bandwagon, it seems little more than a culture war to wedge the political Left, creating a fight over technological feasibility to mask the lack of an actual energy policy.

AUKUS: It’s about Sovereignty, not Submarines

AUKUS is also a screeching message to powers in the region that the Anglophone bloc, with its vast historical baggage, intends to police the region against a country never mentioned in the joint statement but crystal clear to all present.

The politics of vaccine passports

…it is tempting to argue that any society should resist both state compulsion and certification, and encourage the social recognition that global diseases and rapid vaccine development predispose us not to the primacy of individual bodily rights but to the recognition of our obligation to the other.

Alan Roberts Prize: What if Ivan Illich Were Elected Mayor?

The winning essay for 2021 in Arena’s annual Alan Roberts Prize.

Myall Creek: A Need for Deeper Reconciliation

When one stands at this memorial, one should be able to look beyond the sacred space, beyond the granite boulder, to land that honours the original inhabitants, land that welcomes all, land teeming with native wildlife instead of introduced cattle and sheep. Isn’t that the ultimate memorial, the ultimate act of reconciliation?

Australia’s Unfinished Timor Business

The following years of Indonesian occupation and violent subjection of the Timorese people were accompanied by a narrative of denial by the Australian government, aimed at protecting the Suharto regime from scrutiny and allowing the regime to continue its repression of East Timor largely unimpeded.

From the Archive

Australian society is being slowly fractured into classes of differential vulnerability, to whom different laws and rights apply.

From the Archive

‘Fire’ may be an appropriate way to think and talk about the climate-change emergency, not just because we are literally dealing with a burning world but also because it does not bring with it the concerns associated with ‘rule by emergency’.

Sub-Imperial Australia

Our focus on subs has long been an expression of our idea that any defence would involve us contributing a subordinated part of a giant US-led naval force in the region.

Paying for the Pandemic

On Australia’s present trajectory, the rich will be massively enriched, the well-off will be better off, and the costs of the pandemic will fall on the rest of the population. But the scope for radical change has rarely been greater.

The full truth of the past: native title and the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission

For Aboriginal people, formal recognition and, in particular, native title cannot be consigned to the margins or made invisible in the pursuit of truth and justice.

The US defeat in Afghanistan: An epochal moment

One does not have to be a Taliban supporter to see that this defeat reflects deep changes in not only geopolitical relations but ways of life that are making their mark on what the West can do practically.

The Bloody Trade

Can Australians trust bland assurances from the defence department that Australia’s ‘strict export controls’ prevent the illegal use or transfer of Australian weapons?

Climate Change, Mr Morrison, and Theology

The principle here—which, again, one does not need to be ‘religious’ to respect—is that justice and authority are not merely a function of procedural or executive power but are in the final analysis transcendent and spiritual in nature.