Letters to the Editor

Phil Shannon et al.


Dear Editor,

Jan McGuinness is right to conclude that wading through two books on Gina Rinehart is not exactly one of life’s pleasures, but her review (November 2012) is a fine assessment of both Rinehart’s world of privilege, profits, and power, and of the qualities of Rinehart’s two biographers (Debi Marshall and Adele Ferguson) in capturing it.

Marshall and Ferguson, however, both bypass the opportunity to hold Rinehart’s religion of free market capitalism up to political and moral scrutiny. A negative judgement of whether the extreme inequality in wealth and influence between Rinehart and the rest of us is a good thing for society is at best implicit in both books, but they flub the chance to draw out this conclusion. Given that they are both business journalists with the mainstream press, the limits to their scrutiny are not surprising, and their awe and fascination with a capitalist titan, as well as large dollops of human interest padding and dynastic soap opera plot, do not help to make the case for radical economic transformation.

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