Category: Society

Suture Shock: Humanity goes under the knife

Suture Shock: Humanity goes under the knife

As we become ever more remote from ‘meatspace’, it’s worth considering the role the scalpel and the needle may play in that development.

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Not the debate we need: On mitochondrial donation

Not the debate we need: On mitochondrial donation

If a society consisted of human beings who had been partly engineered or edited, would we think about human life in the same way or would we lose a sense of reciprocity with others?

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Review of Harlem Nights, by Deidre O’Connell

Review of Harlem Nights, by Deidre O’Connell

‘As sure as guns is guns, if we let in coloured labour, they’ll swallow us. They hate us. All the other colours hate the white. And they’re only waiting till we haven’t got the pull over them. They’re only waiting. And then what about poor little Australia?’

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It’s the stupidity, stupid! On technocratic populism

It’s the stupidity, stupid! On technocratic populism

Even as it grows more menacing in point of imagery and political polemic, the Australian iteration of the anti-lockdown/anti-vaccination movement (if indeed it is a movement) still has the air of cosplay about it.

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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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