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they reform nothing; they seek to control everything

In Guy Rundle’s essay in Overland 197, he describes the evolution of modern Labor:

The party no longer seeks to take control of objects (the products of the economy) for the benefit of subjects (the working class and the Australian people in general) but instead seeks to control subjects (especially the sub-groups and cultures that make up or replace the working class) for the purpose of social reproduction without significant change. This is not a sinister scheme for social manipulation but rather the opposite: a petty series of controls compensating for the absence of a larger vision of the good society, and a total separation of thinking and reflection from the process of governing.

Stephen Conroy’s decision to introduce compulsory internet filtering illustrates the point perfectly. In the name of solving a completely non-existent problem, Labor’s prepared to subject us all to slower speeds and the supervision of some sinister panel of censors.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland. He is the co-author (with Jill Sparrow) of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, the editor (with Antony Loewenstein) of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left and the author of Communism: a love story, Killing: Misadventures in violence, and Money Shot: A Journey into Censorship and Porn.  On Twitter, he's @Jeff_Sparrow.

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  1. Who will decide what goes on the black-listed website list? This is just another way the government is trying to control what we see. The public won’t know what content is being filtered out. This must be violating some kind of rights? It’s total crap.

  2. The black list shall be run by Fate, and it is Fate were all information shall be stored to be processed.
    From the Eye, our lives and actions shall be recorded for scrutiny.
    From the Ear, our conversations shall be recorded, every word said against our beneficial government shall be remembered.
    It is the Nose, however, that shall sniff out our wrong doings and make it known that we are doing wrong against the government that cares about us.
    But it is the Finger that shall bring us to the brutal justice we deserve for the safety of our people.

    (Sorry, couldn’t help the good old V for Vendetta thing, is it just me or is Alan Moore bloody brillaint?)

  3. These are Orwellian times in which we live. The list will be formulated by an independent body as if that is any consolation, the list will be kept secret, and will only be added to over time. What will this achieve? If this could actually stop terrorism why haven’t they employed the same tactics to stop child pornography rings?

    I would go on but I live in fear of the sedition laws.

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