Could a randomly selected tree make a better president than Donald Trump?
If people are starting to look much worse in democratic terms, trees are starting to look much better. We are learning that plants engage in meaningful and, more to the point, truthful communication.
Donald Trump’s reinvention of the royal fiat as rule-by-tweet, or ‘twiat’, is anti-democratic and needs to be resisted.
Donald Trump is reinventing the royal fiat by novel means: the rule-by-tweet, or 'twiat'. This move is not an extension of popular democracy, but its enemy, and it needs to be resisted.
Thomas Piketty has demonstrated how inequality can be – and has been over time – fundamentally destructive of sustained economic growth.
The crisis confronting neoliberal capitalism suggests that its internal contradictions are now undermining its very foundations. What can we expect from a post-neoliberal world?
Just say no! Tyranny depends on mass subservience.
The origin of tyrannical power is irrelevant: whether by election, inheritance or force, if rulership is oppressive, it is tyrannical. And the way to beat it is deceptively simple: refuse to comply.
Graffiti on a wall in Sana'a, Yemen, denounces US drone strikes that have killed scores of civilians.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once observed that Persian rulers indulged the habit of getting drunk when making important decisions. When sober and sensible next morning, their custom was to reconsider…
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.