Time Travel Through Unfinished Business

A story.

From the US Maelstrom to Political Economy

University campuses across the United States were implacable scenes of angry debate and protest. There were clashes with helmeted police in adjoining streets. In April 1968, students occupied administration buildings at Columbia University, one of the causes being the university’s conducting of classified war research. There is an iconic photograph of student leader Mark Rudd sitting defiantly at the university president’s desk…

Cultural Appropriation and the Politics of the Imagination

If art has largely been stripped of its transcendent power—a casualty of commodification and oversupply—and is now measured by utility, it is simultaneously policed for its potential negative effects. In another reversal, much of this comes from elements of the ‘Left’ rather than conservatives.

Who Are You?

What caught me by surprise was how quickly I’d lost touch with all the nuances of whole-body presence that, once upon a time (was it really only twenty months ago?), we routinely read and responded to in any of scores of encounters on any given day…

fishtime

Arena Online

UB

31 Dec 2021

Everyone smells like fish... What's wrong with just being human...? Maybe this is just a bad dream. All I need to do is hold my breath and swim for the surface...

Australia’s Nuclear Future?

…if Australia can’t renew itself within terms appropriate to its own region—that is, renew our relations with Indigenous Australians, as well as the peoples of the Pacific and of Indonesia and Asia generally—it will remain an outpost supported only by imperialist powers…

Revolution in Myanmar

Whereas the military junta sanctions its violence through a conception of state sovereignty as commandment, its opponents upend this repressive notion of power by investing the popular will, the power to constitute political order anew, in theirs.

Fracked Futures

If production proceeds in the Beetaloo Basin, it will unleash a carbon bomb of huge proportions, and expose the Northern Territory’s environment and people to numerous other risks associated with fracking, including contamination of groundwater supplies, which make up 90 per cent of the Territory’s consumptive water use.

What Are the Submarines Really For?

The decision to acquire nuclear-powered boats reflects what has been the Australian Way of War for more than a century: to operate inside the strategy of a superpower by contributing a well-chosen, niche capability to augment the larger force.

The Judicial Kidnapping of Julian Assange

What was truly shocking last Friday was that the High Court  judges ... who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.

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’.

Suture Shock: Humanity goes Under the Knife

As we become ever more remote from ‘meatspace’, it’s worth considering the role the scalpel and the needle may play in that development.

Morrison, ICAC and the Berejiklian Gambit

The prime minister may have stopped the revolving door of palace coups and knifed leaders, but he has also ensured the thriving of a mephitic culture in desperate need of an airing by an integrity commission.

Darwin Calling

The reality, the ‘truth’ of this situation, is that there is no way in the world white Australian children would be detained in such a place. This really is apartheid. How has Australia descended this low?

Forever Partnership, Forever War

…if the next war is against China, over Taiwan, the South or East China Sea, or some contrived event, Australia will become involved, will be a principal target, and will lose the war. China is not the Taliban.

Editorial, Arena no. 8: Battening Down the Hatches

Despite all our problems—all our terrible forebodings—it seems we remain wedded, yet, to a form of life that is, simply, unsustainable, and to a form of human organisation that is ethically bankrupt.

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.