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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Sunday, November 06, 2005

News bytes

- A revolution is brewing in Latin America. We can imagine a world beyond imperialism, neoliberalism, capitalism, and US domination.

- "Is it seditious to want the defeat of liars?" asks Keysar Trad, founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia. Wishing for the end of a brutal and illegal occupation should be the aim of every sane man and women.

- When the head of pro-Zionist organisation, the Anti-Defamation League, claims that institutionalised Christianity has grown too extreme in the US - after all, many Jewish groups have long worked with Christian Zionists - something is stirring.

- Georgie Bush has instructed his staff to undergo ethics training. Yes, satire is dead.

13 Comments:

Blogger anthony said...

We can imagine a world beyond imperialism, neoliberalism [...]

Um... just curious, but what is it that you hate about liberalism?!?

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:55:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Er, liberalism and neo-liberalism ain't the same thing, A.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 4:13:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Well I can honestly say this is news to me. I'll happily take a better explanation.

Are you simply referring to the different schools of liberalism or is there an entirely different movement I know nothing about?

Sunday, November 06, 2005 4:29:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Read on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-liberalism

Sunday, November 06, 2005 4:46:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Just from that basic Wikipedia article, it seems to me that what you call neoliberalism is simply neoclassical liberalism. Still liberalism, but in a different camp to social Darwinism and welfare liberalism, united by the commitment to the rationality of the individual and freedom from the state.

I take it then, that your opposition derives not from such values, but from your view of globalisation and free markets?

Sunday, November 06, 2005 5:48:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

A belief that the market solves all. In my humble opinion, bollocks.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 5:57:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

Its interesting how you constantly vilify memebers and representatives of the Australian Jewish community, yet cite Keysar Trad -- a spokesman and apologist for racist extremists -- as a legitmate commentator.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 7:24:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

He's just one more voice and I'm well aware of his previous associations, many of which are indeed troubling. But the points in his article are valid.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 7:42:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

anthony said...
"Well I can honestly say this is news to me. I'll happily take a better explanation."

Preface: I haven't read the Wikipedia article.

The whole matter is messed up because of the US use of the word 'liberal' seems to be sometimes synonymous with 'social democratic'.

In the rest of the world, 'liberalism' is a bit of a 'junk-box' term these days but could be tolerably tied to J.S. Mill's 'classical liberal' vision of freedom as expressed in his On Liberty: freedom of the individual in their private and public actions and thoughts. The proviso was that physical harm not be done to others. This guaranteed (pretty much) untrammelled free speech. (Mill also thought that that free speech was not only a moral right but that critical speech was also desirable because of its consequences - challenging dogma was more likely to lead to lead to intellectual growth and truth than not challenging dogma. One imagines this aspect of classical liberalism is most attractive to A.L.) 'Actions' here includes the free exchange of commodities between individuals in a market context, but careful consideration had to be given to situations where exchanges could (a) ultimately result in harm to others, and (b) be unfair or unscrupulous. Mill was also keen to point out that while market exchange was important, this was not the be-all-and-end-all; markets tended to leave the poorest by the wayside, capitalist wealth-maximisers could be exploitative, and there were various 'commonweal' goods that markets failed to supply - thus government regulation and intervention and independent action was also required.

The term 'neoliberalism' is even vaguer, but is often associated with people like von Mises and von Hayek. They tend to take liberalism but regard the concern with 'market failures' as overblown when looked at in the long-run and the response of government protections against these failures as a case of the 'cure' being worse than the 'ailment'. Thus, the neoliberal usually ends up advocating freedom of the individual in their private and public life from government intrusion, including in the market context.

Note the difference between these both these camps and what we now call the neoconservatives: freedom from regulation in the economic sphere for large corporations (but also government support to be 'freer' overseas), and simultaneously more government regulation in the 'private' sphere (over, e.g., sexual behaviour, contraception use, abortion).

Monday, November 07, 2005 2:42:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Speaking of revolutions brewing, Anty, what maketh you of Paris (and A'dam and Copenhagen and Dijon and Marseilles...) burning?

As an aside re: Keysar Trad, an Islamic 'leader' complaining about liars is funny, given the Muslim doctrine of Taqiyah...

Monday, November 07, 2005 7:30:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

It's ironic that a group calling itself the Anti-Defamation league, is itself the target of so many defamation charges. Furthermore, based on their hit rate, they usually come out of on the receiving end of court cases brought against them, the worse for wear.

The neo-liebral confusion is understandable. Look at the Neo-con label, which is usually associated with Troskyistes and Straussians. Many of the neo-con cabal used to align themselves with the Democrats until they jumped ship.

Monday, November 07, 2005 9:34:00 am  
Blogger Mannie said...

Keysar Trad advised a group of Muslim students at a seminar on homosexuality at the University of Western Sydney a few years ago that people should ignore the anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws in New South Wales. Homosexuality (see Trad's web pages) is an "abomination" and homosexuals should be dealt with as prescribed by holy books.
Now this does not allow one to have an awful lot of faith in someone with these beliefs and no matter what his views may be as expressed currently, I for one am unable to take him seriously over any issue. He is totally discredited no matter what he says on any topic!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:40:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Mannie said...
Homosexuality (see Trad's web pages) is an "abomination" and homosexuals should be dealt with as prescribed by holy books.
Now this does not allow one to have an awful lot of faith in someone with these beliefs and no matter what his views may be as expressed currently, I for one am unable to take him seriously over any issue. He is totally discredited no matter what he says on any topic!


That's pretty weak. The current Pope (Benny) goes on about homosexuals pervert natural law (the nice theological way of saying its abominable) and is pure evil. That doesn't mean I'm going to ignore what he says about the evils of unilateral invasions of countries or the evils of poverty. In order to be fair to the issues (never mind the person speaking) and to have a hope of getting at the truth, one has to take everything on its merits. Blanket 'write-offs' work against that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 1:12:00 am  

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