By David McKnight
Maps the demise of politics according to the normal competition among Left and correct, and provides a provocative argument for the emergence of a brand new values-based politics in Australia.
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Extra info for Beyond Right and Left: New politics and the culture wars
Today, this non-commercial sphere—from the level of public institutions down to family life—is shrinking and is itself being commodified, its elements being produced or packaged and sold on commercial terms. Old-fashioned notions like the public good blur and the quality of life changes in so many ways. We live rushed lives, jamming work, fast food and leisure into the constricted space of our lives. One response is the popular radical movement in Italy today called the ‘slow food movement’—which stands for a different way of living, not just of eating.
Markets encourage the values of self-interest at the expense of common interests; they promote commercial and utilitarian values in place of human and traditional values. Market mechanisms can be useful in the economic sphere but are destructive when routinely applied to the wider society. Individuals, families and communities depend on human values in order to flourish. The relentless march of markets is slowly but inexorably corroding these human values in ways that even their enthusiasts fail to comprehend.
The social and moral crisis that is implicit in advanced countries is explicit in the under-developed world. In the latter, the crises exacerbated by the global neo-liberal economy can be a matter of life and death. For example, it can mean the denial of life-saving drugs to the dying due to intellectual property rules tightened at the insistence of pharmaceutical companies; it can mean the stripping of jungle mountains and plains of their natural cover by logging companies; it can mean the dumping of toxic waste from mining into rivers which are the lifeblood of local communities.
Beyond Right and Left: New politics and the culture wars by David McKnight