Australia displays many of the hallmarks of an ‘ethnocracy’ – albeit one cloaked in the rhetoric of multiculturalism.
Australia was designed at Federation to ensure nationals of British descent would be able to create a society populated by individuals as much like themselves as possible.
Through reframing issues, strong leaders can adopt and promote strongly humanitarian policies toward issues such as refugees.
In a globalised world, the credibility of the birthright lottery as grounds for excluding people from protection may be diminishing.
To date, Donald Trump’s campaign has offered us a powerful blend of hope and horror.
Utopia and dystopia are combined in current political thinking, from Donald Trump to the universal basic income.
What do you call a democracy that depends on the exclusion of whole groups from political participation?
Democracy today contains within itself impulses towards both inclusion and exclusion. Spinoza's thinking on aristocracy should alert us to how democratic rule by the people can be hollowed out.
The Labour elite doesn’t think Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to make it in Westminster.
Labour reformers toyed with the image of democratic participation without realising what it would actually lead to – a democratic debate. But the next step is not to backpedal against democracy.
Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation.
Capitalism has become focused on expanding the proportion of social life that is open to data collection and processing – as if the social itself has become the new target of capitalism’s expansion.
Greens senators staged a walkout during Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech.
The normal rules of political engagement – coherence, consistency, fact, logic, proportion – do not apply to members of the paranoid right like Pauline Hanson.
Donald Trump has enacted the paranoid style, giving its ideas a platform and legitimacy, in his presidential campaign.
How does Donald Trump get away with the type of campaign he’s running? Why, if he’s a narcissistic demagogue, has he found an audience who respond to his politics?
Japan astounded the world with its economic performance for decades.
One thing became dramatically apparent in the economic sphere following the Cold War: capitalism was ubiquitous, but it looked very different in Japan, Germany, the US and China.
It would seem to be the case that Mike Baird needs a refresher course in liberalism.
In office, to what extent has New South Wales Premier Mike Baird acted according to liberal principles?
Tea Party supporters have been demanding to be heard for a long time.
We are witnessing the global rise of populism. Once seen as a fringe phenomenon from another era or only certain parts of the world, populism is a mainstay of politics today across the globe.
How well prepared are federal MPs to undertake the arduous tasks that will confront them daily?
Unlike most occupations, MPs are not obliged to take part in any education and training programs to prepare them for their role.
Others might be more inspired by American democracy if the US were widely seen to be a just and tolerant society and its leading politicians were not loudmouthed xenophobes.
The value of democracy needs to be restated and defended, rather than presumed. In doing so, there is value in adopting a more tempered stance, one that understands its worth but also its flaws.
Do outdated fantasies of anarchism simply play into the agendas of the rich and privileged? Nuit debout in Paris, 2016.
Today’s anarchists should give up the fantasy of 'abolishing the state'. That simply plays into the agenda of the rich and privileged.
‘Ownness’ is a form of freedom that profanes institutions and acts as though power no longer exists. The Berlin Wall, November 1989.
Between institutional collapse and false promises of utopia, people seek to define their own lives and their relations with others by thinking and acting as though power no longer existed.
Anarchism’s opposition to arbitrary power is often militant, but liberty is no simple thing.
Liberty is a political matter bound up with institutionalised struggles for equality among individuals, groups, networks and organisations. This is where the cult of the free individual falls down.
Anarchists once took constitutionalism very seriously and might well do so again to develop radical decision-making practices.
If anarchists reject private property and the state, they need to devise alternative, radical practices of power-sharing. Republican constitutionalism offers one way to think about this.
The people in a democracy can be likened to the cells in a jellyfish.
Mike Johnston/Wikipedia Commons
If democracy were an animal, which one would it be? This short play, set in an Australian pub, explores this question to contrast ways we understand democracy and our roles within it.
Donald Trump is a spectre of things to come: of political performance in an age of projection rather than representation.
The faultlines in democratic politics are clear. On one side is a system of democracy that is bad at making people feel represented. On the other are anti-politician performers like Donald Trump.
There is no better alternative than the rise of the populist left for Europe and beyond.
The People's Assembly Against Austerity
The future of democracy depends on developing a left-wing populism that can revive public interest by mobilising political passions in the fight for an alternative to neoliberal de-democratisation.