Category: Society

Identity Crisis: Radical Gender Theory and the Left

Identity Crisis: Radical Gender Theory and the Left

In his latest series of documentaries Can’t Get You Out of My Head (reviewed by Guy Rundle in Arena Quarterly No. 6), sociologist and filmmaker Adam Curtis focuses on a number of individuals who sit at the uneasy intersection of modern individualism, an increasingly technologised vision of the human mind and human behaviour, and a liberatory politics denuded of grand historical narratives.

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The Rome Zoo, by Pascal Janovjak

The Rome Zoo, by Pascal Janovjak

In his extraordinary novel The Rome Zoo, French author Pascal Janovjak uses the eponymous institution to observe one species in particular: not the imperious lions or the mischievous chimps or the pygmy hippopotami, all of which are there in the background, but the human beings that would remove those animals from their natural habitats and put them in cages.

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Review of Blood Lust, Trust and Blame

Review of Blood Lust, Trust and Blame

Though Monash University is named for a soldier, I’ve no doubt at all that this important offering from its In the National Interest series – Blood Lust, Trust and Blame, by Samantha Crompvoets – will be labelled by some as unpatriotic for raising a number of uncomfortable questions about the functioning of Australia’s military.

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On Tim Jackson’s Post Growth: Life after Capitalism

On Tim Jackson’s Post Growth: Life after Capitalism

With the Budget Bingo cards now mouldering in the trash, and the budget itself now mouldering in the memory, it’s worth reflecting that the ideological character of an era has less to do with the disagreements between political parties than with the assumptions they share …

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On Kate Holden’s The Winter Road

On Kate Holden’s The Winter Road

‘The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying “This is mine”, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.’ So wrote the Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Discourse on Inequality (1754) …

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Review of On Life’s Lottery, by Glyn Davis

Review of On Life’s Lottery, by Glyn Davis

In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison assures us, ‘if you have a go, you will get a go’. In other words, those who make an effort are guaranteed a shot at success. It follows that if you don’t make an effort, you only have yourself to blame when success remains stubbornly out of reach.  

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Review of Power and Consent, by Rachel Doyle

Review of Power and Consent, by Rachel Doyle

Rachel Doyle’s Power & Consent is about as well-timed as a book can be. Published as allegations of rape and a ‘culture of silence’ swirl around Canberra, it is a formidable salvo aimed at a field already strewn with casualties. Indeed, it is almost too well timed …

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Review of The High Road (Quarterly Essay), by Laura Tingle

Review of The High Road (Quarterly Essay), by Laura Tingle

Laura Tingle’s Quarterly Essays are about politics in the narrow sense. Unconcerned with Big Ideas – ideas of human flourishing, or of the status of the great political traditions – they take politics as ‘the art of the possible’ and judge its practitioners on their mastery of it. A key word in the essays is ‘pragmatism’, which entails working with the grain of events and placing ‘ideology’ to one side in the name of compromise and steady reform.

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Review of Just Money, by Royce Kurmelovs

Review of Just Money, by Royce Kurmelovs

To date, Royce Kurmelovs has written four books and written off at least two cars … Newcomers to his work will hope that the young author is a better writer than he is a driver. Those, like me, who are familiar with it will know they’re in for a treat.

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‘The First Cry of a Newborn World’: The Trinity Test at 75

‘The First Cry of a Newborn World’: The Trinity Test at 75

The footage is black and white, and silent, but it still has the power to shock: the sudden violent flash of light, so bright that for a second or two the horizon is invisible; the massive pyrocumulus cloud rising up over the arid valley; the way the night sky seems to quiver and throb as the light from the explosion fades.

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