Author Archives: Stuart Rees
Political cultures also foster sadism, justifying such behaviour by an alleged need to protect national security. And once specific population groups have been dehumanised, they become targets for cruelties.
No need to be a wowser to insist that respect for truth cements civil society and that personal relationships, conduct in organizations and the implementation of governments’ policies depend on claims based on proven facts.
Fault lines beneath US politics explain the fragility of democracy and the invasion of the Capitol building. Like a thug armed with high explosives, President Trump exploited each weakness and lit the fuse to guarantee an explosion.
The British judge’s ruling that Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States is welcome, but it comes after the charade called justice in which British authorities held an unconvicted person in a top security prison and made his … Continue reading
No deal Brexit looms. Britain will be leaving the EU. Nationalist Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises the use of the Royal Navy to protect British fishing boats and to keep foreign vessels out, even though the EU emphasized inclusiveness. There’s … Continue reading
If politicians re-learn the principles which dignified the rule-based order, launched in 1948 with passing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this should affect the chances that 2021 will not see a repeat of the cruelties of 2020.
In common with other countries, Australian rejuvenation after the Covid pandemic depends not only on a vaccine, but also on a language for humanity, as in advocating the return of human rights principles and displays of courage in public life.
Article 1 of the UN Charter declares objectives to promote and encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. But the Morrison government ignores the abuses of its … Continue reading
Courage to say sorry to anyone wrongly offended is an invaluable quality in personal relations and in the cement which builds a dignified civil society, but courage and dignity is still absent in the treatment of NSW Labor MP Shaoquett … Continue reading
Slaughter in Paris and Nice by Islamist extremists raises the issue whether it is worth risking discussion of actions taken in the name of a religion, let alone re-asserting the value of satire.
Under the guise of a phenomenon called security, currently interpreted as ‘suspect any pro-China sentiment’, or ‘don’t reveal murder by US forces’, sinister theatrics play across Australia. These reveal Shaoquett Moselmane MP as one victim, ABC journalist Dan Oakes another, … Continue reading
The powerful prey mercilessly on the vulnerable and the mainstream media let them get away with it.
Regarded by international jurist Richard Falk as ‘A road map for humanity’ and by Noam Chomsky as ‘a wonderful guide to the challenges we face’, Stuart Rees’ ‘Cruelty or Humanity‘ identifies world-wide threats to freedom and democracy and displays the humanitarian … Continue reading
Scapegoating Victoria suggests indifference to global issues. A touch of internationalism could replace the hand wringing pity which has been compounded by partisan attacks on Premier Andrews.
In disdain for human rights and to display power, governments deploy police forces to harass or arrest citizens, and then justify their actions with claims about the influence of foreign forces.And it’s happening right now in Australia.
Even before a Covid-19 vaccine arrives Coalition politicians, limited by their assumption there is no alternative to capitalism, are recommending the resurrection of Reagan and Thatcher policies to treat everyone and everything as a commodity.
Responses to the mayhem caused by the destruction of Beirut will have much in common with the aftermath of Covid 19: long term recovery from devastation coupled to an opportunity to build societies so different from those which preceded the … Continue reading
Politicians, defence strategists and media enthusiasts for the armed forces will use words from the Defence Strategic Update proposal to spend $270 billion on weapons for the military. Via the language of non-violence, it is also valuable to convey other … Continue reading
Australia identifies with and supports US democracy, yet values and dominant modes of thought in America have produced a form of governance so dysfunctional that Australians should question their assumptions about the two countries’ similarities.
A healthy civil and democratic society depends on citizens’ ability to weigh up diverse views, to re-frame issues and to consider the dangers when powerful people make claims without any obvious evidence.
In response to Israel’s intention to annex up to 30% of the West Bank, respect for truth by all the parties involved, Israeli, Palestinian, US, European and Australian, has been replaced by calculations about the benefits of deceit.
Over six thousand kilometres to the north of Australia, a dangerous pandemic is spreading and needs to be contained. President Duterte of the Philippines is consolidating his dictatorship with an Anti-Terrorism Bill which defines terrorism so broadly that free speech … Continue reading
Authoritarianism as a way to govern has been embraced in democracies and by dictators. It rests on assumptions that leaders know best, dissent should be suppressed, democracy derided, free speech stifled, control made effective by violence and secrecy.
In relation to Israel’s decades of military occupation of Palestinian lands, a cowardice spreading pandemic has infected Australian politicians and public servants. Recent symptoms are evident in the Australian government’s submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that an investigation … Continue reading
The notion common humanity presupposes regard for respect, dignity, tolerance, thoughtfulness, generosity and support for non-violence. Recent attacks against the Assistant President of the NSW Upper House, Moslem Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane, displayed none of those qualities.
New words and phrases, lockdown, self-isolation, flattening the curve, have been coined to explain ways to cope with Covid-19. Language to promote the traits of a post corona society is also needed.
The raiding of supermarket shelves shows the influence of capitalism at its worst: competition, selfishness, exploitation by the successful raiders at the expense of those who could not compete or decided not to.
Sickness and deaths from the corona virus present challenges to save lives, but could also prompt discussion about different ways to live.
The operation of Copyright Laws amounts to a giant con, a legal farce and an opportunity for corporate greed.
The world is being asked to believe that cruelties and illegalities amount to a feasible Trump plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.