Jeff Sparrow

There is a debate as long-running as climate change itself: can capitalism, with its demand for endless growth, be sustained on a planet with finite bounds and limited resources? Freemarketeers say yes. For them, the issue is not capitalism per se but an economic model that does not factor in the true cost of emissions. As a result, we the people and the planet are subsidising industries that pollute for free. The counterargument is based on simple intuition: How on earth can capitalism, the unstoppable force be contained inside the inelastic object? This has never received a convincing reply.

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Whatever benefits it has brought, aggressive globalisation has also dislocated industries, wrecked communities, and fostered social alienation. Large numbers of working-class, blue-collar, and rural voters (these categories overlap) feel abandoned, anxious, and economically insecure, even when they have ...

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Letters to the Editor: Tony Kevin from Gordon writes on Jeff Sparrow's Trigger Warnings; John Lowe from Ormond on D. H. Lawrence; and some comments on Behrouz Boochani and his poem 'Flight from Manus' ...

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Is it surprising that Jeff Sparrow should write a book on Paul Robeson, the great American singer who was also a civil rights activist, a man of the left, and the most celebrated Othello of the twentieth century? Sparrow is a broadcaster and columnist, but he is also the immediate past editor of Overland, a literary journal dedicated to a mixed diet of – ...

Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left edited by Antony Lowenstein and Jeff Sparrow

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September 2012, no. 344

Few would suggest that global capitalism is in rude, unqualified, health. Greece has just voted on whether to stay in the Euro, global markets continue their rollercoaster trajectory, and millions of workers in advanced Western economies remain jobless. With much of the rich world halfway into a lost decade, capitalism is suffering another of the periodic and devastating crises that seem an ineradicable aspect of its nature.

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In 1963, ASIO opened a file on a disreputable fellow named Laurie Oakes, who was then living with Alex Mitchell, another Daily Mirror reporter. The two men came to the spooks’ attention when Mitchell suggested hiding unionist Pat Mackie from the police ...

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Overland 200 edited by Jeff Sparrow

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November 2010, no. 326

From Menzies to Gillard, from the Cold War to Pacific solutions, the history of Overland magazine offers a leftist version of post-World War II Australian political, cultural and literary life. This issue of Overland is its two hundredth. As Jeff Sparrow, the current Editor, points out, survival is an achievement: ‘The “little magazine” is a peculiar animal. The life cycle of the species generally follows a predictable pattern: birth (usually marked by the ritual issuing of manifestos) and rapid growth, followed by financial crisis, paralysis and death, a cycle that typically unfolds within the span of six months or so.’ Sparrow, one of Australia’s more penetrating commentators, might have granted himself more space to discuss the future of Overland, and, more broadly, to reflect on challenges facing activists who challenge the assumption that capitalism can save – is saving – the world.

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