Alfred Chandler and Amazon

What parallels can be drawn between contemporary transformations in the Internet and the corporate reconstruction of capitalism (to use Martin Sklar’s phrase) in the past? Says Xavier Rizos The internet took off there nearly 20 years ago with the wide dissemination of Netscape, the first web browser. Among the founding myths of this new economy […]

The (partial) unoriginality of Marx’s anticapitalism

Much commentary lately on the Pope’s critique of capitalism. Some even describe it as ‘Marxist’, this is silly, but so also are many of the evocations of the Marxist legacy on the left. Marx wasn’t the first or the last critic of capitalism. The originality of Marx’s work does not lie in his moral critique […]

Secular stagnation? Paul Sweezy in Australia

I have an article in Online Opinion on Labor’s post-election prospects although my comments applicable to the entire left including the Greens. One topic I touch is the implications of slower economic growth for politics. In recent weeks we have seen a revival of the ‘secular stagnation’ thesis that due to a shortage of investment […]

Capitalism and machine politics in Geelong

Celebrity photographer and nightclub owner Darren Lyons is en route for the a victory in the Geelong Mayoral by-election with about 30%, ahead of his nearest rival Stephanie Asher with 12%. It is a compulsory preferential ballot but with 16 candidates it would be extremely unlikely for Lyons to lose from here. The City of […]

Why bother with the ABC’s ‘Keating’ ?

I wrote recently that Australians don’t revere past politicians. But evidence against this, at least for elites, is the popularity of long-form interviews with politicians past. The most recent installment is the ABC series on Paul Keating. As a historian I consider that the value of open-form interviews with past politicians, who have had plenty […]

From the Rudd legacy to the Gillard wars

I have an article in The Conversation about Kevin Rudd’s legacy. In the next Overland I will have a longer article on Rudd and Gillard. I don’t find Rudd particularly interesting. Even his parliamentary supporters such as Richard Marles can only tell us he was a nice bloke, at least some of the time. The […]

Mark Latham political seeker

For last year my online commentary focus has been The Conversation. I am relaunching this blog. Today I have a review of former Labor leader Mark Latham’s recent book Not Dead Yet at The Conversation.  With seven respondents to Latham’s opening essay it is difficult to cover. Some additional points. The popular Labor party reform […]

Labor’s problem: workers or the self-employed?

Labor 93-10

Using the Australian Election Survey and logistic regression to estimate impact of becoming self-employed on the votes of male manual workers. I have also included deunionisation (a likely consequence of self-employment). This chart shows predicted Labor vote 1993-2010. Summary self-employment has a negative impact on Labor vote but this impact has actually declined slightly since […]