NUMBER 34 SUMMER 2010 / 2011

Dissent Issue 34 - Summer 2010 / 2011

Editorial: The increasing resistance to paying taxes over the past four decades has coincided with rising real incomes and felt community needs which can be best met though public spending. This attitude is undermining social solidarity and economic efficiency.

Doug Cocks contemplates the issues which will determine our prospects of survival as a species and asks whether an overshoot in terms of overpopulation, global warming, over-extraction of resources and runaway complexity of human interconnection is already occurring.

Richard Tanter outlines the beginnings of the internationalised civil war in Afghanistan and the eight steps necessary to a sustainable peace.

David Spratt argues that the politicians are a long way from facing up to the scientific reality of climate change – that in the face of catastrophic risk emission targets must be based on the latest science rather than what is politically palatable.

Andrew McNamara discusses the role of urban design as an instrument of politics and the limits to technological efficiency in resolving the big issues of the 21st Century.

Michael Buxton explains how state governments have undermined their own sensible urban planning regimes by releasing urban fringe land to the financial benefit of property developers but where the new residents are dependent on cars for mobility.

Anthony Ashbolt points out that the present regime of state aid means that the days are long gone when the vast majority of middle-class parents could easily decide that the local public school met the needs of their children.

Bill Russell maintains that Australia’s freight transport system – reliance on semi-trailers and B-doubles rather than vastly safer and more efficient freight trains – is unsustainable and outlines why the public interest requires an expansion of rail freight.

Michael Fisher examines the reasons for the defeat of New Labour in the UK election and the lessons this may hold for progressive politics in Australia. British Labour must develop new policies based on restoration of rights and freedom of trade unions to influence industry policies.

John Greenwell argues that secular society may be unwise to ban the wearing of the burka because banning may create more problems than it solves.

Matthew Fisher explores the role of cognitive neuroscience in explaining the dynamics of human nature and its part in forming social behaviour affecting social cohesion.

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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