Category Archives: Australia

Working class alienation as a driver of political polarisation

This is based on a comment I made here. The US has a legislated two Party system. (Left-cynics say that if the Soviet Communist Party had divided itself into two wings who disagreed on abortion, it would still be in power.) The UK has working class voters who will never vote Tory, so the Labour […]

Montesquieu and the US: explaining the US’s Presidential aberration

That pioneer political scientist Montesquieu‘s theory of the separation of powers was both a very odd take on the English system of government (which he claimed it to be) but also very influential in the drafting of the US Constitution. Listening to a paper on considerations of Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws by Louis Althusser and Albert Hirschman, a […]

Giving something away for free is not a sign of it having value

The progressivist push against citizenship took another big leap forward with the British Labour Party decision committing the Party to giving the vote in general elections to all UK residents. As things reveal their nature (and importance) in their history, a quick trip through citizenship’s backstory helps to see what is going on. Origins and […]

The urban rural divide in the US and other complexities of polarisation

Former libertarian, now progressive, Will Wilkinson has a report up on the rural urban divide in US politics (pdf), connecting the concentration of economic production in a service economy in megacities, sorting by migration and internal movement, and cognitive patterns (particularly pertaining to Openness to Experience and, to a lesser degree, Conscientiousness) to the drift in the […]

Whiteness is not property: deconstructing critical race theory

This is a long post, in part because I do not have time to write a short one. It is a response to a 1993 Harvard Law Review essay by Cheryl L. Harris arguing for the notion of whiteness as property. I not only critique that claim, doing so gives me an opportunity to demonstrate […]

Migration complexities and the campaigns against social bargaining

This is based on a comment I made here. Coming from a country (Australia) with a much higher proportional immigration flow than the US, I find US debates over migration odd. First, the level of illegal immigration in the US is clearly a huge problem. It distorts the debate, creates a black market in labour and gives lots […]

The dissident right and the race thing

The blogger Zman provides a very useful summary of the dissident right: If you were trying to reduce the main points of the Dissident Right with a few bullet points, it would be: The people in charge have dangerous fantasies about the future of society and the nature of man The mass media is just propaganda for those fantasies […]

A comment on border walls

This is based on a comment I made here. The success of Israel and Hungary in putting up border barriers has been cited as evidence in favour of President Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall. A counter-argument raised against such citing is that those walls are much smaller than the Trump proposal. It is true that the US-Mexican border is 3,201km long, […]

Why I am voting Yes in the SSM postal survey (but won’t be telling anyone else how to vote)

It probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me well that I’ll be voting “Yes” in the Same Sex Marriage postal survey. After all, I’m a small-l liberal, non-religious legal academic with many friends in same-sex relationships. I’m the stereotypical “Yes” voter. But I have become increasingly concerned that the “Yes” vote will not win, despite […]

You cannot make people love & accept you: so stop trying

British people often react with incomprehension at how compulsory voting changes the way Australians approach elections. The ABS postal survey on same-sex marriage is a reminder of just how different Australia’s usual voting procedure is from that in most other developed democracies: people are running the campaign as though it were compulsory, you see, and […]