Archive for the ‘neoliberalism’ Category

“Australia’s political malaise runs deep”

June 21, 2011

There’s a fine piece in today’s AFR, entitled Australia’s political malaise runs deep.
It’s by Ian Marsh at Australian Innovation Research Centre and Greg Barns, former Liberal Staffer.
They argue that there have been three post-war policy-making dispensations.

1) post war to 66, two parties running the show, mobilising their supporters
2) 66 to 83, New Social Movements (feminist, peace, aboriginal rights, gay rights etc), with parties as brokers
3) 83 to present “neoliberal think tanks emerged as primary agenda setters, ataining influence by mobilising the elite”

“Australia’s pro-globalisation agenda was implemented primarily via major party bipartisanship, which was often tacit. The fallout from this economic policy consensus was that the broader party structures were hollowed out.”

As in, Hawke and Keating were Thatcher and Major. John Howard was Tony Blair… ok, the analogy just stretched to breaking point…

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Salacious gossip about Nugget Coombs

December 26, 2010

It shows how childish I am that I get to the end of a long and fascinating Wikipedia article about the most important Humphrey Appleby that Australia has ever had (Keynesian growth a-go-go), complete with interests in Indigenous Affairs and the environment and the thing that really sticks in my brain is that he had a 25 year secret affair with the magnificent poet/activist Judith Wright

The story was broken by Fiona Capp in the Monthly, in June 2009.

Learning from the Gramscian right?

November 23, 2010

.. the free market think-tank Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). At the IPA [Gary] Johns drew on public choice theory and the ‘new class’ theories of the American neo-cons, evincing a determined obsession with curbing the activities of NGOs, bent as they are on peddling their self-serving, undemocratic agendas and influencing governments…. A valuable, if small, Australian literature on think-tanks now exists. The most detailed study I’ve read is Damien Cahill’s PhD thesis, which forms the basis of numerous published articles. Cahill tracks the funding sources, leadership and participant base, and strategies used by institutions like the IPA to install radical new right ideologies as ‘common sense’. There is, however impressively thorough, something missing from this approach. Cahill analyses arguments and shows how the rise of certain ideologies since the 1980s has shored up ruling-class interests. We would be mistaken to conceive of all this as a carefully designed and skilfully executed grab at power. The ideas in themselves are, to their adherents, compelling, alluring, and inspiring.

Who is Bennelong? Eve Vincent, Arena 89

Here’s a talk by Cahill (haven’t read it yet)

And here’s his University of Sydney page, complete with useful list of publications.