There is no way to begin this essay, at this time, other than by acknowledging the remarkable, mind-bending moment in which we write these words. It is a time of pandemic, one destined to shape the future of human civilisation for years, if not decades ahead. In Australia, the economy has all but shut down, with little open for business besides medical centres and hospitals, supermarkets and food outlets, and a very select number of other essential services. Against every ideological bone in its body, our conservative government has announced unprecedented stimulus packages, to avoid masses of people in our affluent nation from falling into destitution. The Coalition’s ‘jobs and growth’ mantra now seems terribly outdated in these post-normal times, a quaint reminder of when the economic engine was turning.
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