Socialism within capitalism?

To look over the landscape of socialism is to be persuaded that again and again that Marx was the socialist thinker who had something enduring to say, non-Marxist socialism is fated to merge into liberalism, and if we were looking to political guidance Leonard Hobhouse probably more offers more than the Webbs.

One Nation and the Tea Parties, Hutaree and the New Guard

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Tip/Wag – Hutaree Militia & ABC www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Reform Can the ‘Tea Parties’ attract significant support from outside conservative ranks? I doubt it. What does Australian history tell us about militias? Nate Silver discusses recent polling: There are two […]

Obama’s lost opportunity?

Has Obama’s presidency been a wasted opportunity for American liberalism? Was there ever a prospect of establishing a permanent Democratic majority? Via Mathew Yglesias an interesting analysis from an American dating site using membership data to track the relation between ideological identification and partisan allegiance.

One of the greatest Speakers?

As health care reform passes this afternoon it is noteworthy to consider Nancy Pelosi’s outstanding role as Speaker. Back in 2006 before the Democrats won Congress I was the first Australian observer to highlight her potential importance: The task of uniting the Democrats in opposition has been surprisingly well-handled by San Francisco liberal and Democrat […]

The South Australian Liberal revivial

The strong performance by the Liberals in the South Australian election campaign has surprised many and driven Labor to resort to a highly negative campaign as shown. One clear pattern in recent Australian politics has been the recasting of the national Liberals as a strongly conservative party. Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall was evidence of this.

American health care reform and NSW power privatization

In the US currently debate about the political impact of health care reform, public opinion is on average mildly hostile, although this partially reflects misinformation and some of the opponents of the current proposals think it does not go far enough. Can it be advantageous for a government to do unpopular things?  Joshua Tucker asks:

Union-free America?

More evidence of the rightward drift of American public opinion on economic issues apparent in distrust of unions from Pew Research Center: Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions while about as many […]

Republicans resurgent

Noteworthy that in the last few weeks liberal commentators, such as Mathew Yglesias and Jonathon Chait,  have begun to seriously contemplate the possibility, even the likelihood of the Republicans securing a House of Representatives majority this year. Some of this commentary has been in response to the recent analysis of Harry Joe who has argued […]

Lenin, economic management and public opinion

Recent commentary by some on the left in Australia and the US has highlighted the extent of public confusion about economic policy and criticised populist campaigns by conservatives against debt and deficits. This is certainly true but it also counts against the tradition of left-wing populism that has tended to attribute economic liberalism to an […]