Issue 23 – 17 December to 23 December 2020

COVID-19 vaccine arrives, and with it a reminder of capitalism’s evil
Guy Rundle | Crikey
Truly, the apparent discovery of an effective COVID-19 vaccine is a cause for rejoicing, proof of the success of a massive interconnected global effort, subcontracted to both private and public entities but driven by the power of the state to foot the bill.

Antennas Aflame: Cybernetics, Conspiracies and 5G
Timothy Erik Ström | Arena Quarterly
Amid collapsing ecosystems, roiling social decay and fragmented consciousness, the captains of industry maintain that the long march towards a glorious future must progress. They all envision lifestyles of increasing technological mastery, infinite on-demand consumption and disembodied integration, all promoted through the mantras of ‘efficiency’, ‘convenience’ and ‘connectivity’, each term increasingly separated from any kind of social or ecological grounding.

Don’t blame gig economy for job insecurity, that’s only half the story
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
One thing we’ve learnt from the pandemic is that, for those who rely on evidence rather than anecdotes, what we believe to be The Truth keeps changing as we learn more. Take the way the medicos changed their tune on mask-wearing as more evidence came in.

NSW: lives are worth more than Christmas shopping
Diane Fieldes | Red Flag
There’s a renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in New South Wales, initially centred on the Northern Beaches region of Sydney but now spreading throughout the city and the state in ways that are all too familiar. Lock down NSW now.

Sky News Australia is increasingly pushing conspiracy theories to a global audience online
Jason Wilson | The Guardian
Sky’s success is partly premised on partnerships with YouTube and Facebook, who are sharing the spoils of the eyeballs and advertising money the new focus has yielded.

Without a reboot in 2021, can Anthony Albanese win the next election?
Van Badham | The Guardian
A “Covid bump” insulated swathes of incumbent governments worldwide against electoral punishment during the pandemic crisis, yet Labor only trails Scott Morrison’s Liberals by a slim 51-49. All of this would be good news for true believers if people thought Albanese could actually win the next election. But does anyone? Really?

The Morrison Government’s program of class warfare
Rashad Seeden | Independent Australia
The reality is the Coalition Government has engaged in blatant class warfare that has punished and disenfranchised workers and the most vulnerable, whilst protecting corporate interests and its political donors.

Australia’s outlook for 2021 is improving but we don’t expect normal life any time soon
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
As we reach the end of the year, almost as many people are back in some form of work as at the start of the pandemic. But despite the economy performing better than expected, people are actually no more optimistic about the future than they were in July.

After animal acts and Labor cowardice, the Corkman pub destroyers finally face jail
Guy Rundle | Crikey
It was a piece of rare good luck in a year of misery — but the Corkman wreckers facing justice won’t bring back what’s gone, and it won’t expunge Labor’s cowardice.

2020 rushed us into a future beset by issues we should have already fixed
Bernard Keane | Crikey
Neoliberal capitalism — with global supply chains, insatiable exploitation of natural resources, precarious work, massive international travel and, in many countries, inadequately funded healthcare — is the perfect vehicle for bacteria and viruses to spread in ways previous generations never had to fear.

Again and Again: Settler-colonial extractivism and the Juukan Gorge inquiry’s interim report
Jon Altman, Dan Tout | Arena
History is replete with fine intentions and many ‘never agains’, articulated with great sincerity by politicians to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

Thank Socialism for the Vaccine. Blame Capitalism for Its Distribution.
Leigh Phillips | Jacobin
The jaw-dropping speed of COVID-19 vaccine development is a glorious marvel of science, cooperation, and economic planning — a glimpse of how much more an egalitarian world could produce and achieve. But the lifeboat ethics of vaccine rollout is a horrifying display of the inefficiency and cruelty of capitalism.

Mainstream media either ignore or castigate youth
Elizabeth Minter | Pearls and Irritations

Torres Strait eight backed by UN human rights experts
Darby Ingram | National Indigenous Times

The Coles Warehouse Lockout Is a Front-Line Struggle in the Battle Over Automation
Lauren Kelly | Jacobin

2020 in review: Rorts, fires, a plague and more rorts
Michelle Pini | Independent Australia

Moreland council condemns secret immigration detention centre
Chloe de Silva | Green Left Weekly

When will leaders lead and stop Black deaths in custody?
Caroline Andersen | Green Left Weekly

Ecuador: Popular progressive alliance gains electoral certification
Harvey Goldberg | Green Left Weekly

Police intimidation and media scapegoating behind the Brisbane killing
Priya De | Red Flag

The CIA’s Secret Global War Against the Left
Branko Marcetic | Jacobin

There’s No Solution to Big Tech Without Public Ownership of Tech Companies
Thomas M Hanna, Michael Brennan | Jacobin

A Guaranteed Job? Radical idea to combat automation, alienation gathers momentum
Callum Foote | Michael West Media

Coalition’s war on casual workers a harbinger for assault on permanent workers
Alison Pennington | Michael West Media

Torres Strait fear China and PNG deal
Darby Ingram | National Indigenous Times