NUMBER 37 SUMMER 2011/2012

                      Issue 37 - Summer 2011/2012

Editorial: In the current global economic environment we have more to fear from the paradox of thrift than the level of public debt, even if the debt is financed by central bank printing presses.

Ian Dunlop explains that the energy transformation needed to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees of warming provides an opportunity to overcome current financial instability.

Clinton Fernandes writes on the life and ideas of Noam Chomsky who has been described as America’s greatest living intellectual and who visited Australia in November 2011 to receive the Sydney Peace Prize.

Nic Maclellan outlines the bipartisan consensus between the ALP and the Coalition on the need for closer integration of US and Australian military forces, a consensus which fails to address the underlying causes of conflict in our region.

Tony Lynch argues that the two dominant political ideologies of today – neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism – have at best an ambivalent attitude to democracy, at worst a deep-seated hostility to it.

Jason Foster clarifies the issues involved in the debate about the church/state relationship.

Patrick O’Keeffe investigates Serco – the company responsible for managing immigration detention centres, private prisons, correctional centres, aspects of security in every defence base in Australia and logistical support to Australian troops in Afghanistan – and how it managed to continually win contracts to conduct key government services.

Ian Cunliffe discusses the flaws in the Baillieu government’s attempt to reinforce its ‘law and order’ campaign (which played an important role in its surprise Victorian State 2010 election win) by partnering the Murdoch tabloid, the Herald-Sun, in a loaded survey of community views designed to elicit support for tougher sentencing and reduced judicial discretion.

William Bourke argues that population growth is causing or exacerbating virtually all of Australia’s major economic, environmental and social problems. He asks, if big is better, why do the top six per capita wealth countries have stable populations under 10 million?

Mike Rafferty and Dick Bryan show how governments and corporations, through the process of financial deregulation and privatisation of many services which were once free or provided at cost, have increased household entanglements with financial markets to fund or insure against exposures to risks associated with life events.

Max Wallace contends that the heavy government support to religions institutions to provide education services – such as the $400 million commitment by successive federal governments to school chaplains – flies in the face of the principle of separation of church and state.

Stanley S. Schaetzel argues that the greatest danger to the continuation of all human life on earth is not anthropogenic global warming – which is real enough – but is more likely to be related to one or more of the following issues: human fertility, damage to our genome, limits to food production, war, and the appearance of an uncontrollable super bug.

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