Dissent Issue 33 - Spring 2010

Editorial: Julia Gillard’s accession to the leadership of federal Labor coincides with two major challenges – the ongoing problem of global warming and the growing likelihood of a double dip recession leading  to the third global depression. The answer to both is a planned increase in renewable energy, financed in part by a carbon tax.

Rod Beecham says that neoliberalism in Australia had its origins in the Hawke Government which was influenced by the rise of Thatcherism and Reaganomics and a perceived need to distance itself from the Whitlam Government.

Judith Ajani explains that the native forest hardwood chip industry is under siege from plantation timber. The industry is trying to promote the use of native forests for wood electricity and other bio-mass feedstocks behind a miasma of greenwash rationalisations.

David Lowe argues that history remains a powerful source of legitimacy and authority for politicians to persuade voters of their policies.

Ian McAuley contends that the original Resource Super Profits Tax would have been in the national interest by achieving a balanced economy and slowing down the resources boom.

From his perspective as an undergraduate and leading student politician David Barrow sets out what motivates Generation Y and the barriers to student involvement.

Richard Teese argues that, while the growth of non-government schools (promoted by public subsidies) is justified on the grounds of choice and beneficial competition, this growth denudes public schools of the capital represented by educated parents and motivated and successful students. It also creates an underclass and poorly-performing schools.  

Elizabeth Cham points out that the money put into philanthropic funds is not purely private, it is heavily subsidised by the general taxpayer and therefore the funds should be required to make public how they operate and who they benefit.

Tim Smith is a retired Supreme Court Judge who demonstrates that political corruption is an ever-present risk and he discusses the systems needed to prevent this.

Melody Kemp exposes serious shortcomings in lending by Australian banks to developing countries by reference to ANZ bank lending for development projects in Laos. These projects are destroying land in a country where 86% of the people live by farming, foraging or hunting.

John M. Legge reviews books by Martin Feil and Joseph Stiglitz which both attack mainstream economics.

David McKnight reviews Hayek versus Marx by veteran activist Eric Aarons and looks at their relevance to today.

Kevin Morgan examines the agreement between Telstra’s management and the Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, and suggests that it may benefit Telstra shareholders at the expense of taxpayers and the public interest.

Stanley Schaetzel looks at the links between human sexual instincts and church practices.

NOTE FOR EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: For permission to reprint articles, or for interviews, contact Kenneth Davidson or Lesley Vick on tel/fax 03 9347 7839 or email

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