NUMBER 11 AUTUMN / WINTER 2003
EDITORIAL: Bush’s political
agenda – enforcing global hegemony by military force and cutting taxes
for his backers – relies on Western Europe and China accepting US
dollars for their trade surpluses. The US will be unable to maintain
its global dominance if these countries insist on payment in euros or
yuan – a likely reaction to Bush’s imperialism.
writes that Iraq was the great prize of C20th imperialism
until the discovery of vast oil deposits in Saudi Arabia in 1938.
Despite Bush’s promise to create an independent democracy in Iraq, the
earlier British example – an Iraqi administration with the prime role
of implementing British strategic interests – is the more likely course.
explores the security and economic risks associated with regional
dysfunctional democracies that confront Australia in its own ‘arc of
TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI uses Woomera to show how globalisation is not just a
horizontal spread of the market economy but also a social deepening of
the market. This involves an ongoing relationship in which the
financial connections between public and private, and the division of
responsibility for social outcomes become incomprehensible to citizens.
analyses five of the possible explanations for the big retreat from
egalitarianism in Australia and finds them unconvincing. Argy says that
governments which claim globalisation ties them economically are
JOHN M. LEGGE
argues that globalisation is about making all countries conform to the
neo-conservative values inherent in the Washington Consensus. This is
morally repugnant to those brought up in the European (or Australian)
tradition, and it doesn’t work – except for America which can hide its
inherent inefficiency behind a flood of dollars.
BRIAN ELLIS sees
different attitudes to property underlying the growing differences
between Europe and America about the global order – for Americans their
history tells them that land was there for the taking and ownership
conferred unfettered rights, whereas the Europeans see ownership as
part of an inheritance to be conserved for future generations.
says the arts play a vital role in non violent activism, pointing to
their prominent role in the February 2003 peace marches where the media
focused on the puppets of Bush and Howard, the imaginative banners and
the musicians and singers who led marches and played free concerts
argues that value-free research in the social sciences is not only
impossible, it is undesirable. Research into increasing government
dependence on gambling revenue to fund government services hides behind
neoliberal values linked with consumer choice, in order to avoid
dealing with the fact that the gambling tax is regressive for both
individuals and communities.
says there is no shared interest in Public Private Partnerships. The
government remains solely responsible for the public interest, the
private partners are acting purely for their own private interest and
the term ‘partnership’ allows PPP advocates to blur the fact that the
policy is privatisation by another name.
describes how the role of urban planners as shapers of the city acting
in the public interest has degenerated into planners as
experts-for-hire, providing ‘objective’ evidence in support of their
paying clients (usually developers) preferred propositions.
CHARLES LIVINGSTONE & GREG FORD explain that the Commonwealth has
used costly measures to drive consumers into more administratively
expensive private health funds. The money forgone could have paid for
an additional 1.5 million cases in public hospitals each year. Because
private health funds contribute only $4 billion a year (9%) of
recurrent health expenditure, an exodus from the private funds would
not be a significant problem and would lead to an overall improvement
in the equity and efficiency of the health system.
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