Profiting from the 'casino culture' in Victoria

[Green Left Weekly, #214, December 5, 1995]

Since its 1992 landslide election win, Jeff Kennett's Coalition government has made an indelible impact on Victoria as it has sought to increase corporate profits at the expense of the state's working people. The "can do" government has done so much to revive business confidence and restore the bottom line to its rightful place in our lives.

UN at 50: Still dominated by the West

[Green Left Weekly, #213, November 28, 1995]

"The dominant impression of the massive international jamboree that marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations", wrote Martin Walker in the November 5 Guardian Weekly, "was the extraordinary degree of resentment that the delegates of most countries now feel for the United States. The clearest display was the speech by Cuba's Fidel Castro, who was cheered to the echo in the longest and most fervent ovation of the three days, even though he did not attack the US by name."

Chasing the 'battlers'' vote

[Green Left Weekly, #210, November 7, 1995]

With a federal election looming, both the ALP and the Coalition are stepping up their propaganda aimed at the so-called "battlers", ie, the mass of low-paid workers hard-hit by the capitalist economic restructuring of the last period.

Can the planet survive tourism?

[Green Left Weekly, #209, October 31, 1995]

"The world", enthused a recent Time magazine feature, "is at the dawn of a new Golden Age of travel — an age of voyaging on a truly global mass scale. As the 21st century unfurls, people of every age and class, and from every country will be wandering to every part of this planet."

Defend the public sector!

[Green Left Weekly, #205, October 3, 1995]

Privatisation is at the cutting edge of the current capitalist attack against the working class. Throughout the western world, state assets and functions are being sold off, with drastic consequences for both the workers employed in the given sector and those who depend on the services provided. A previous article ("Privatisation is theft") sketched in the general background to the privatisation phenomenon in Australia and put forward some broad guidelines for resisting it. However, any fight against the sell-off of the state sector inescapably raises two central related issues: reforming the public sector in a progressive direction and the nationalisation or renationalisation of privately owned companies.

Privatisation is theft

[Green Left Weekly, #201, September 6, 1995]

Throughout the western world, governments are engaged in a veritable orgy of privatisation of state assets and functions. In the poor and dependent countries of the Third World, this process is being brutally imposed by the IMF and World Bank as a condition of desperately needed loans. The only real winners from this process are the corporate rich; working people are everywhere worse off as a result. In Australia, privatisation is in high gear. There are a number of key questions socialist and progressive forces must ponder in considering how to respond. Just what is happening? What is behind the relentless development of this process? Is it really possible to resist this trend? Is the demand for nationalisation still a valid and realistic element in the socialist program today?

Urban nightmare: The restructuring of Melbourne

[Green Left Weekly, #189, May 31, 1995; based on a paper presented to the Marxist educational conference Campaigning for Democratic Socialism, held in Melbourne at Easter 1995.]

The view of a modern city from the window of a plane as it descends is often breathtakingly impressive. The panorama is truly a miracle of social and technical organisation. Taking in the endless pattern of roads, houses, buildings and the night-time latticework of street lights can be a moving experience. The spectacle seems to say: this amazingly complex artificial environment we have created, all this is what human beings are capable of.