My 2020 Reading List

30/12/2020

As this rather wretched and exhausting year comes to a close, I looked back at my list from 2019 and laughed sadly at my optimistic plans to read more in 2020. Perhaps I did when you count news, analysis, etc. online, but in terms of books it was disastrously minimal. However, the books I did read offered brilliant insights or just fascinating bits of knowledge. So, in no real order:

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Did Gough Whitlam Play Us or the US?

13/12/2020

It has been generally accepted that the Dismissal of Gough Whitlam in November 1975 was a “soft coup”. It was the culmination of various tensions between Whitlam and the United States, namely its intelligence communities (and, by extension, our own). One of the oft cited reasons was Whitlam’s purported opposition to the US’ bases within Australia, perhaps the most infamous of which is Pine Gap in Alice Springs. But did Australia’s arguably best Prime Minister actually oppose them as public perception believes?

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Actually, Dave Sharma, We Want A Peaceful Transition of Power

09/11/2020

Liberal MP Dave Sharma critiqued a statement made by Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Senator Penny Wong on Friday regarding the US election result. Not only did he completely misinterpret the purpose of the message, but even if he didn’t, there was nothing untoward about Labor’s statement. It was a simple call to have Australia urge the US to, you know, remain a “democracy”.

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The Contradiction of the Zero-Sum Game

03/09/2020

There is a contradiction in the way the proponents of capitalism approach the concept of the “zero-sum game”, the notion that wealth created or owned in one place must come at the expense of others. This conversation has taken many different forms, from the power of the British Empire on a global scale to national debates over the merits of immigration and welfare. But one on side of the debate, there appears to be a glaring inconsistency in their logic.

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Drew Pavlou and the UQ-CCP Saga

30/05/2020

I first heard of Drew Pavlou, a UQ student Senator, in the height of the Hong Kong protests last year when he made local waves supporting Hong Kong at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) St Lucia campus. This demonstration, as I recall, got a little heated, but I didn’t hear much come of it until recently, with Pavlou reaching an international audience and entering the national discourse. The reason? That protest has since become a small movement of its own against UQ’s connections with the Chinese Communist Party.

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My 2019 Reading List

31/12/2019

Admittedly, I thought I had read more books than the ones on this list, but alas it is much smaller than anticipated when I compiled it. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, and 16 books is still a reasonable feat, in my view, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get through more. I would, however, suggest that finishing university and keeping up with news events and analysis probably makes up for that. Nevertheless, these are the books I read this past year, with a few thoughts looking back on them and links to piece that refer to them.

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Integrity Ensured

28/11/2019

This week, somehow more so than previous weeks, has been a disaster for the Coalition. The party has been rocked by scandals, seen continued fallout from their indifference and neglect regarding the bushfires, and one of the most troubling Bills they’ve introduced got thrown back in the Senate. They may have a majority in the House, but true integrity can’t be deregistered.

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Labor Has Mixed Approach to Unions

26/11/2019

The Labor party has, historically, been the party of the working class and the Union movement. This year, however, following their “surprise” election loss, they’ve opted for a more distanced approach from one of their greatest backers. Both on a State and a Federal level, there has been cause for praise and alarm, regarding policies that Labor has supported, from the Unions.

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The Protests Will Continue

10/10/2019

There were more Extinction Rebellion protests in Australia today. I wasn’t a part of it, but I was in Brisbane and watched on for a moment as Elizabeth St was closed. Some pedestrians got angry at a protester, people were arrested and dispersed, and at the time I went by there were more police and ES vehicles than anything else. Then earlier today I have seen more arguments for and against the protests and other various happenings.

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On Discourse: Climate Change

24/09/2019

I recently joined a student led and run Facebook group for my university (it’s mostly a “shitposting” forum with some decent posts and gems hidden inside). This coincided with the climate strike last Friday, and so there was a lot of buzz about the protest in the city. While I am all for free speech and even enjoy a worthy shitpost (including those against the strikes), it was the occasional disinformation and vitriol that caught my eye.

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