NUMBER 1 SUMMER 1999-2000
This first issue of DISSENT
focuses on the region. The main message from Des
Ball and Paul Dibb is that
Australia can afford to defend itself and its regional interests, provided that
defence expenditure is based on a rigorous, relevant strategic policy that sets
limits on what the ADF is expected to defend.
Nicholls gives a vivid personal account of the
atmosphere of terror and imminent violence created by the Indonesian-led East
Timor militia in the days leading up to the referendum. She conveys the fear,
rage and guilt felt by foreign observers whose own departures further endangered
the local population, who would be slaughtered in the absence of foreign
Mackie (politics), Kenneth
Young (foreign affairs), David
Bourchier (Indonesian military), Andrew
Mack (labour relations), James
Griffin (Irian Jaya), and Richard
Broinowski (Radio Australia) each look at the Australian/Indonesian
relationship from their own expert perspective.
Legge (why the Right is wrong) argues that the
past three decades of growing inequality has been caused by Milton Friedman’s
monetarist, pro-market policies, not by technological change. Legge points out
that the theory from which neo-liberal policies derive their model is based on
‘perfect competition’, which does not exist in the real world.
Wells and Paul Mees write on the crisis in our universities. Marginson points
out that current policies are depleting Australia’s human capital and the
economy’s ability to adjust to emerging global challenges. Wells shows the
adverse impact of cutbacks both on research capacity in universities and on
equity and access. Paul Mees looks at the implications of the attempt by the ANU
Research School of Social Sciences to close down the Urban Research Program, in
order to sustain research in areas far less relevant to the nation.
Feil argues that the World Trade Organisation is a
malign influence which now exists largely for the benefit of multi-nationals and
is legitimised by the ideology of free trade.
Russell and David
Hayward analyse the Kennett inheritance. Russell sets out realistic
priorities which should be taken up by the Bracks government. Hayward shows how
Kennett transformed himself from Premier of a state into CEO of a business and
forgot that power is still untimately derived from the ballot box rather than
the biggest shareholders.