Archive: Arena Quarterly #17

Great Powers Adrift in the Blue Pacific

Successive Australian governments have been forced to manoeuvre between the Indo-Pacific strategies of Western allies and the desire of many island neighbours to maintain a foreign policy of ‘friends to all, enemies to none’.

In Fiji, Vunisavisavi on the Edge: How top-down adaptation to sea-level rise went over the top

The world is riddled with disastrous adaptation projects—cracked water tanks in drought-prone areas, monstrous seawalls that have shifted sediment downstream, elite capture of resources.

Unsettling Scorsese’s Killers

Is this a filmmaker casting his gaze back across a body of work or recognising the extent to which his creative artefacts have been confined by his subjective positioning?

Endgame for Beginners: The US push to retain empire is part of an older plan

The Bush doctrine of unipolarity, military domination, pre-emptive (aggressive) war and regime change still rules.

Big History for World Revolution?: Karatani’s and Graeber and Wengrow’s very different new perspectives

If, for almost all of our history, humans have creatively and continuously improvised new ways of living in common and wilfully abandoned experiments that failed, why has that process stagnated so completely in the modern world?

Save Humanity! In 30,000 AD! With Crypto!

Simon Cooper

3 May 2024

What is ‘good’ or of ‘value’ is a complex question, one radically narrowed by the utilitarian, quantitative approach, which assumes that what is good is what can be measured.

Degrowth and the Technocratic turn?

Despite its claim to de-naturalise economic growth, environmentalism’s reliance on naturalist metaphors obscures a technocratic thread, which risks obviating its stated political commitments to democracy.

Los Alamos to Neuralink

Albert Einstein issued a dire warning: that we were living under threat not only from the atomic bomb and the spectre of extermination in nuclear war, but also from a second weapon, one he considered just at dangerous for humanity and the planet—‘the Information Bomb’.

Israel as the Abyss: On Antony Loewenstein’s ‘The Palestine Laboratory’

Ned Curthoys

11 Apr 2024

The reality of Jewish suprematism, the grind of occupation and the constant harassment and humiliation of Palestinians by Israeli police generated shame as to what was being done in his name as a Jew.

Much More than a Mirror Man: John Pilger’s life of truth-telling, remembered

Pilger’s lengthy career marked the high-water mark for a certain type of journalism that could still at the time make it into various mainstream outlets. This eventually altered.

Mongrel Mobs? The Gang Crackdown in Aotearoa

Emerging out of postwar state- and church-run institutions, early gangs were a social and cultural response to shocking abuse perpetrated predominantly upon Māori and Pacific Islander children.

Editorial: Prometheus Unhinged

The announcement that Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corporation has succeeded in implanting a microchip capable of working with a human brain has hit the news just as I write this editorial. By the time you read this, it may have vanished again into the news-ether, or it may be all anyone is talking about. It is […]