“A vibrant clash of passions”: exploring agonistic democracy

The nature of democracy is an age old question. We are currently witnessing a crisis in representative democracy. Times of crisis present opportunities for questioning assumptions and asking fundamental questions including about our conceptions and practice of democracy.

Green Agenda spoke with Associate Professor Sarah Maddison about the concept of agonistic democracy and what it offers for the practice of politics.

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Fairness to fascism – Trump’s bait and switch

“Forgotten men and women”. “Struggling families”. “Mothers and children trapped in poverty”, not “sharing the wealth” of “the establishment”.

On one reading, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech is full of left wing imagery and ideas. So much so that I have seen it explicitly suggested that it was the kind of speech that Bernie Sanders might have given. Following his rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership as one of his first acts, the tendency to “give him a chance” is even stronger.

It strikes me that this is a misguided response, born of an accurate and important analysis of the political circumstances that led us here today, but falling for a classic fascist bait and switch. Continue reading →

Green Ethics

An interview with Peter Singer

Peter Singer is one of Australia’s most influential and controversial public intellectuals. A moral philosopher and bioethicist, Peter is best known for his books Animal Liberation, a seminal text for the animal rights movement, and Practical Ethics, which explores why and how a living being’s interests should be valued.

In 1996 Peter and Bob Brown published The Greens, the first book published in Australia setting out the political philosophy, policy framework and history of the Greens as a political party. Both Bob and Peter stood as Greens candidates for the Senate in 1996, the year Bob was first elected to the Senate. Continue reading →