A selection of media I have consumed recently has revolved around three themes: the Spanish Civil War (Homage to Catalonia), imperialism and neo colonialism (The Jakarta Method by Vincent Bevins) and the 1973 Coup in Chile (Chicago Boys). By selecting A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende, I inadvertently found a book that covered all three of these phenomena.
Proposing to an affluent, white, male, cisgender Left-liberal in 2016 that someone like Trump might be elected president would likely have one greeted with a response comparable to the 'Blue Screen of Doom' that is displayed when one's PC freezes. Or an incredulous laughter borne out of unexamined hubris, although this may have been a defense mechanism against an inconceivable, unacceptable and terrifying truth soon to be tangible.
To those reading this in the developed North and in wealthy countries, I ask the following question: have you ever considered what that a world under the worst outcomes of climate change might really look like?
Since I gained political consciousness, environmental preservation has been portrayed by its opponents in the developed world as a niche cause that wealthy, white hipsters in chic suburbs use to flaunt their moral superiority over salt of the Earth laborers.
The moment that has had the greatest impact on my political worldview and personal morality occurred in 2001. For those outside Australia, Australians under the age or twenty or those not familiar with the enveloping venomous tide of propaganda, vilification and obfuscation concerning asylum policy in said country, what I am about to describe may be completely foreign. For those who are, they will know that the Tampa Affair is a grim cultural landmark for the country of my birth.
Upon reading Vincent Bevins' 'The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World', I realize that the specious premise many in the First World have been sold of the Cold War being a battle of morally righteous, white and selfless Americans starting down Boris Badenov cum Ernst Stavros Blofeld Russian apparatchiks were fallacious, mendacious and just plain wrong.
To understand why I bought and am reviewing this book, it's important to know my deep respect, gratitude and appreciation for the intellect of and ethos espoused by Michael Jamal Brooks.
I write this article as someone who has never experienced first-hand the types of bastardry, misanthropy or tyranny that I am about to describe and refer to. On the contrary, I write it as someone who has been blessed by the type of living, schooling and housing that my great grandparents' generation could not fathom. I write it as a son, brother, husband, runner, podcaster, environmentalist, bilingual, bibliophile and human rights activist.
While Melbourne is a beautiful city in parts with a vibrant cultural life, you are always aware that there is a schism that exists. When locals think of Melbourne, there is a tendency to think of the leafy mansions of Kew (which Jack burgled), the trendy cafes of Brunswick, the restaurant strip in Carlton, the bayside suburbs of Elwood and Brighton, and the chic shopping boutiques of Prarhan. However, even when passing through most of these suburbs, you will run into people who have been left behind and discarded.
There is an irony in me publishing this in the forum that I am. I am aware of that. However, the amount of discussion about lack of privacy online published online makes this disclaimer cliched.