With the recent upheaval around the Senate hearing on Personal Choice and Community Impacts or the “Nanny-state” initiated by Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm a few things become clear. The ‘left’ have all but vacated the terrain of stemming the overreach of the state. In recent years it’s the whilsteblowers gone public, the Snowdens and Mannings, upon who it has been incumbent to raise the questions of state infringement on freedom.
In Australia, it has taken a libertarian, elected by a combination of good fortune and brand confusion, to ask questions about the overreach of the state. By chance, the formation of the Senate Committee coincided with the releasing of a set of draconian requests by the Parramatta Local Area Command governing the behaviour of Western Sydney Wanderers fans. This added a pronounced class dimension. Continue reading Wanderers Fans ARE a Threat
As working class, migrant kids from the Western suburbs of Sydney who ‘made it’ to University we shared an experience of alienation. We carried an organic tendency towards communism as an analysis of our respective everyday experiences and thus gravitated towards ‘the Left’. Participation in the Left required physical debasement from our home suburbs, trekking into the inner city often the only way we could participate. The travel to meetings and events was long, moreover, the composition of the Left as we encountered it featured very few who shared our experience. Before long – or sometimes sadly after much pain – we grew weary of a ‘Left’ whose theories of change revolved around working class liberation, yet ironically operated in spaces where participants from the this very same class were alienated. Continue reading Why Western Sydney?
Spoiler Alert: If you’ve not read Shaun Tan’s Tales from Suburbia, then we recommend you do so before reading the following piece.
Shaun Tan’s short story ‘Alert but not Alarmed’ (found in his series of short stories Tales from Suburbia) elegantly identifies the capacity for the working class to subvert the function of the state in even the bleakest of conditions.
The somewhat dystopic narrative reflects upon a time where the housing of ICBMs (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) in suburban backyards is so ubiquitous that no one really thinks about them. The story outlines the seemingly logical rationale, which over time, led to the creeping militarisation of suburbia. A growing, foreign threat is the pretext for the proliferation of missiles requiring the citizenry to be drawn upon to store and maintain them. Continue reading Alert But Not Alarmed
When one ponders the status of life in our Universe we are riddled with a question. With the boundlessness of our observable Galaxy (the only neighbourhood worth considering in an expanding Universe), and the plethora of Sun-like stars orbited by planets in Goldilocks conditions, why haven’t we found any life? The probability suggests that life must be out there, but the applications of our best methodologies leave our searches empty. The arguments inevitably are raised, maybe what we are looking for is the problem. Maybe what we consider life to look like does not coincide with non-Earth life. Continue reading Are We Alone?