Category: social democracy

27 Jun


Kevin Rudd, anti-politics & the ends of Laborism


In Capital, Karl Marx elucidates the inner workings of the capitalist mode of production by making certain assumptions about the behaviour of real people. He describes capitalists as mere “personifications” of capital and other social relations. But these assumptions are just that: assumptions for the sake of clarifying underlying social processes without having factors like […]

09 Jun


How having the Left in government made life easy for Abbott


Here is an edited transcript of the speech I gave at the Secure Jobs in a Green Future Conference. Thanks to the Search Foundation for inviting me along, and to the other speakers on the panel: Sally McManus, Andrew Giles, Cate Faehrmann, Nick Martin and Hall Greenland. You can now access many of the presentations […]

10 Apr


Thatcher, the ALP & the dregs of neoliberalism


If there’s one thing the entire Australian Left agrees on right now it’s that “Thatcherism was a very bad thing”. But beyond that, it may be appropriate to ask what exactly it is that people think was a bad thing. The answer to that question rests on one’s interpretation of what exactly was going on […]

10 Mar

Comments Off on Europe: The persistence of racism & the fascist threat

Europe: The persistence of racism & the fascist threat


  by KEVIN OVENDEN Below are the points, updated and a little amplified, I made in a contribution to the highly successful Unite Against Fascism conference in London on 2 March. The speech (and I’ve incorporated my summing up) was in a workshop with Petros Constantinou from Greece, Marwan Mohammed from France and Glyn Ford […]

15 Feb


Truth, lies & narratives: What ALP’s crisis is not about


In a considered piece at ABC’s The Drum on Thursday, Jonathan Green highlighted a phenomenon that seems to overwhelm Australian politics — the inability of simple facts about the Gillard Government’s performance to overcome the stench of crisis hanging over it. He is correct to point out “that in assuming that the mere facts of its […]

30 Dec

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2012 in review: The year that politics disoriented the Left


Just before 2012 closes out, I’m reposting my last Overland blog of the year, which originally appeared here. In some ways it is a summing up of themes we have developed at Left Flank since we started in mid-2010; chiefly in our attempts to present not just a general ideological or theoretical approach to the […]

13 May


The Greek inferno: First the unravelling, then the rupture


Read mainstream accounts of the massive electoral realignment in Greece and you notice a strange use of terminology. The pro-austerity parties — especially conservative New Democracy and centre-Left PASOK — are called “pro-bailout” and “moderate”, while the parties that oppose austerity are called “extremist” and “hard-line”. And there’s a tendency to portray the rise of new […]

19 May

Comments Off on A new Spanish Revolution? Tahrir comes to Madrid as crisis of democracy deepens

A new Spanish Revolution? Tahrir comes to Madrid as crisis of democracy deepens


  Dawn breaks in Puerta del Sol In 2006, migration and insecurity were the first and second worries of the population. Today, they are the last ones, and the levels of insecurity about the job situation and the crisis have gone [through] the roof. — Gemma Galdon Clavell, 18 May 2011 How quickly the tide […]