The visible hand of Reagan

Type
Article
Category
Economics
Politics

In the US, Laffer’s supply-side doctrines, once the province of the hard-right of the GOP, now command the allegiance of an entire party, whose presidential contenders are willing to embrace an economic platform based wholly on the mythical powers of the top marginal income tax cut. The LNP have not descended to those depths – Hockey, for one, seems to be belatedly aware of the need to maintain government demand – but the room in the party for people with views like Fraser, egged on by the tin-foil hat brigade, is clearly growing.

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Game
Type
Article
Category
Culture

Communist Mutants from Outer Space, etc

The Battlefield and Call of Duty series are fantasies of empire. America’s Army is literally a recruitment tool. And don’t forget that the storyline in games is all about you the individual: you are there to save the world, get the girl or become the king. But modern players moan about the repetitive nature of these games.

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Type
Polemic
Category
Politics
Racism

What comes after sorry?

Reading back over Kevin Rudd’s apology, there is a word that sticks out because it almost never appears in contemporary discussion of Indigenous ‘issues’: injustice. White Australia’s narrative about Indigenous inequality is remarkable for how depoliticised it has become. Rather than talking about remedying injustice or righting a legacy of institutional racism, we talk about closing the gap. We have bureaucratised inequality into ‘disadvantage’.

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Type
Article
Category
Culture
Sexism

Testing Bechdel

Like most online phenomena about gender, the Bechdel test has its critics. A panel at New York’s women-focused Athena Film Festival last year was dedicated to discussing precisely why it was important to move beyond the Bechdel test, seeking to expand the debate around gender and film. They underscored that the Bechdel is hardly a best-case scenario.

Anzac-cover
Type
Article
Category
Debate
Politics

From Anzacs to the Islamic State

The willingness of young Australians to risk death and injury to kill abroad has long puzzled the left. In the First World War, Australia produced an exceptionally high number of volunteers for the cause of the British Empire. Young Australian men, largely from the manual working-class, rallied to the defence of an imagined Britain whose boundaries stretched from Scotland to Tasmania.