It’s the Stupidity, Stupid! On Technocratic Populism

…while it is clear that Australians in general are more persuaded by ‘positive liberty’ arguments than the new libertarians would like to imagine, it is striking that the case for lockdown, or indeed for mandatory vaccinations, is only rarely made in those terms.

When the General Calls: Military Tactics Against COVID-19 in Australia

Warwick Anderson

25 Nov 2021

…the lesson of history that I'd so reluctantly distilled was, in effect, to organise the Australian vaccine rollout as if it were a practice of pacification and counterinsurgency. That is, to follow the style of colonial militarisation from which ‘ordinary’ public health had derived over a century ago...

The Research-Rent Curse

The corona crash has done nothing to shift this mining-town view of education. If there are no international students to exploit, what’s the point of funding universities? Do we keep digging when we run out of gold?

Green Prometheans and the Fossil Brown Right

Now begins a new process, and for many from a ‘red–green’ nexus informed by past struggles and ides, it is a bittersweet moment.

Relational Medicine

Re-mediating the oldest intimate communication practices—a message from a caring friend or relation—is helping to counter diabolically antisocial influences.

Framing the Crisis: COVID-19

‘This is a crisis’ is not a mere empirical observation that can be unproblematically represented in a semantic act. Instead, ‘This is a crisis’ is a logical observation—it is a claim. And it is, moreover, a conceptual claim.

The Australian Way of Delusion: The Prime Minister at COP26

The Australian Way meant ‘technology, not taxes’. The airy assumption here is based upon technology that has yet to bear fruit and upon a total absence of modelling and detail.

Crimes Against Humanity on the Polish-Belarusian Border

These stories are drastic and sound like a Nazi horror film—but this is what is happening in an EU country right now.

The Long Night Before Dawn: The Assange Appeal

Thirty former US officials have come forward to reveal aggressive spying on Assange and his associates by the CIA, including the outlining of options for Julian’s abduction or assassination.

Meta-Facebook: The Quest for the Infinite Office

Zuckerberg describes the metaverse as ‘an embodied internet’. In this, he could not be more wrong: the metaverse is precisely about deepening the forces of disembodiment.

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’.

Squid Game’s Failure

Maybe you can’t berate someone for what they haven’t done, but it seems that it’s the things that aren’t there in Squid Game that are the important ones.

Judith Butler: Gender Politics versus Fascism?

Given the ease with which Western state and corporate power has welcomed gender inclusiveness (while hypocritically propping up forces that actively suppress gender diversity elsewhere)…there is little evidence that a pro-genderism stance necessarily disrupts entrenched forms of power…

The Mistreatment of Tunisian Migrants: Fortress Europe ‘Protects’ Itself Against Border-Crossers

…the videos document that Tunisian border-crossers have all been put in tight, crowded spaces with complete disregard for the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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…