Articles by: John Hinkson

Author Biography:

John Hinkson lectured in the Education Faculty at La Trobe University for many years. He is a longstanding Arena Publications Editor.

The Government is Criminal!: The Robodebt report is to be commended, but there are deeper social processes in play

John Hinkson

7 Nov 2023

The accusation that a government is criminal is usually a throw-away line, a sign of disaffection over some action that outsiders or opponents regard as immoral. It is not actually a legal claim. In its stronger forms, it may be a wish that the act in question could be addressed legally, but usually it is a statement based in political division.

PODCAST: Setting the World on Fire: the new nuclear push

An audio recording of the Arena public discussion hosted by the Institute for Postcolonial Studies (IPCS).

AUKUS, Nuclear Technology and Australia’s Future

To survive in this region Australia has to change its spots profoundly. It needs a form of cultural re-generation, in significant combination with its First Peoples, to justify its presence outside of the strategies of colonial power.

The Limits of Human Control: Nuclear technologies threaten all life, so why do we persist?

The hubris of science towards the everyday world is not a new phenomenon, but where the practices of technoscience now frame our world this tendency is radically escalated.

Our Failing Economy: Where might the instability and nervousness of the markets take us?

A strong case can be made that for half a generation Australia has been living a fantasy. Borrowing to finance nuclear submarines is only the latest example.

Intellectuals and Social Being

Marx makes many references to how ideas are related to a social basis, but Sohn-Rethel regards it of great significance that science escapes this focus.  Elaborating no social basis for scientific ideas allows them to stand alone as essentials to be simply taken for granted, their source and social formation unquestioned.

What Lies Beneath: The Russia–Ukraine War

Simplistic, black and white judgements are dominant right now, but there is good reason to think that this war may turn out to be much more than a struggle over a lily-white democratic versus autocratic principle.

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…

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.

On Capitol Hill

…we should not take too seriously the portrayal of Biden as a leader deeply formed in the experience of grief…he is also a Cold War warrior, with a demonstrable inclination to pursue the Democrats’ hawkish orientation towards war where it encounters resistance.

Editorial, Arena no. 3: Defence After the Rise of China

Rather than addressing the realities of our place in the region, the Morrison government’s emerging defence strategy is an attempt to hold the old assumptions in place. It is utopian conservatism at its worst.

Informit: Defence after the rise of China