Why Clive Hamilton isn’t a leftist – article in The Australian @australian

I’ve got an article published today in The Australian attacking Clive Hamilton, the Green candidate for the by-election in the seat of Higgins that is happening tomorrow.

My article says that left-wingers should reject Hamilton’s politics as they are further to the right than the Liberal Party is:

It’s a sign of the decline of Left politics that a reactionary, pro-censorship sexual moraliser who hates the idea of working people enjoying a higher material standard of living could ever be considered left-wing.

If you find this article interesting, you might also want to have a look at this article published about Hamilton in forth magazine, a new Irish current affairs website. It talks about Hamilton’s pseudo-left politics:

Until now, the voice of Australian opposition to global-warming moralism and scaremongering by the likes of Hamilton has only come to the political right, such as the rather nasty populist Andrew Bolt, writing in Melbourne’s Herald-Sun. (10) It is crucial that more leftists move into the global warming debate and defend the vision of a left that supports the modern world, including industrial development. If we don’t, the argument for a modern world will be left to the capitalists.

12 Responses to “Why Clive Hamilton isn’t a leftist – article in The Australian @australian”

  1. 1 Legal Eagle

    I thought it was a great piece. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that someone like Hamilton is a traitor to the Left.

  2. 2 youngmarxist

    Hey LE, thanks for dropping by. The reaction on Twitter today has been mostly positive. Even many people who’d otherwise be sympathetic to the Greens in general seem to really dislike Hamilton.

    Senator Ludlam, for instance, has been pretty good about standing up against Internet censorship – but appointing Hamilton as their candidate has probably caused a lot of doubts in people who’ve been impressed by Ludlam.

  3. 3 steve owens

    David I thought that your piece in the Australian was excellent but I didn’t get the reference to old style catholic haters.
    Having re read it several times I think you mean that hes like Catholics who hate rather than people who hate catholics.

  4. 4 youngmarxist

    Yep, haters of the modern world who happen to be Catholic. The main one that comes to mind is B.A. Santamaria, who dreamed of creating an Australian peasantry on small farms like those that were given to returned soldiers after WWI.

    Conservative Catholics were a big source of dislike of capitalism, which destroyed the Church’s power, without wanting to move to anything more progressive.

  5. 5 patrick

    I was struck by this from the woman who chaired the meeting, in her closing remarks she said

    ‘…I was involved with the anti Uranium movement that actually put a stop to most of the Uranium mines in Australia and that was achieved through a massive movement of people talking about it but critically linked with the union movement so I urge people to get involved in our campaign; and on the 14th of December when the receivers make their decision about whether or not there is going to be a Solar Systems Company still alive we’re going to be commenting on that; its going to be our last meeting of the year plus social gathering at the tuku? bar at Melbourne University on the 17th at 6.30…’

    I may be wrong on this but I was under the impression that Australia is the worlds largest Uranium exporter! I wonder what a defeat would look like to this crank all these years later? I always though the three mines and being the biggest exporter in the world was just a little bit on the pregnant side.

    These people were hysterical about Uranium then and they have continued along the same path ruling out nuclear power even when it becomes economically viable in Australia after the price of coal is sent skywards due to their proposed tax.

  6. 6 steve owens

    David its interesting that B.A. Santamaria should be making a come back not only in the Greens but Im lead to believe that the new leader of the Liberal party has B.A. Santamaria as one of his heros.

  7. 7 steve owens

    Patrick you are 100% correct that the anti uranium movement failed in its aims to stop uranium mining. On the other hand I think that the movement deserves better than that it failed. A mass movement was initiated and sustained over a period of years bringing together hundreds of thousands of people over issues such as nuclear waste, nuclear proliferation, aboriginal land rights, civil rights and a questioning of how our society is run and for whom.
    At its height the movement stopped mining at Mary Kathleen through its support from the railway union and loading of yellow-cake was halted in Melbourne through the Maritime Union. Support for the Mirarr peoples struggle lead to a victory in stopping the Jabiluka mine.
    The movement was strong enough to force the ALP into its 3 mines policy which was to stop any further mines. The ALP ratted on the deal (surprise, surprise) and changed their interpretation to a max of three mines at any one time before dropping the whole anti mine stance.
    The anti uranium movement was central to the struggle for civil liberties in Queensland as peaceful anti uranium protesters were subject to police bashings.
    The movement was strong enough to force the Fraser government into lying about “our” uranium being used in nuclear weapons.
    Yes the struggle was lost but during the struggle hundreds of thousands of people became active to challenge authority over what decisions are made and who makes them.

  8. 8 DavidMc

    Clive Hamilton sure is creepy. Check this out from ABC unleashed. It is an open letter to the children of “denialists”.


  9. 9 keza

    The comments beneath Clive’s article reveal that it was a complete flop, and also that many people really do find him an especially odious person. That would include many who in fact have some sympathy for green ideology. Most of those who find green ideas somewhat appealing are people who genuinely want a better world.

    Clive is an ideal target because he unashamedly takes these ideas to their logical conclusion.

  10. 10 Legal Eagle

    David Mc, that is APPALLING. No other word for it.

  11. 11 Arthur

    Not just a flop, an active incitement to reject his politics. The very few comments from greenies in the thread are also mainly hostile to Clive Hamilton.

    BTW here’s some actual poetry from the thread as reminder that real prolie poets are optimists not jaded beaten cynics and can both think and spell:

    Deadman :

    09 Dec 2009 6:11:39pm

    Well, I try to heed the experts who say that I am dumb,
    I have monitored the HOGWASH and listened to the SCUM.*
    Our progress is the enemy, it seems from what they cry;
    if climates change, inventive man will just give up and die.

    So how could men survive the worst the weather threw at them
    in ages past? Did they just quit and moan a requiem?
    The ice-age men and bedouin and cunning Eskimo,
    have demonstrated humans can survive both drought and snow.

    If all the oceans rise and flood the land whereon we dwell
    we’d build more ocean liners and make mountain homes as well.
    We’d surely have some time to plan ”a little breathing space”
    before supposing climate change must doom the human race.

    Environmentalists today who claim they want to be
    at one with nature are, in truth, against humanity.
    The answer is quite simple for each carbon-hating dunce;
    to end their exhalations and to suicide at once.

    * acronyms for Hysteria over Global Warming and Suchlike Hooey, and Stupidly Criminal Unscientific Misanthropes

  12. 12 Jayjee

    Congrats for getting an op-ed published! And a very fine argument, too. I’ve had friends who’ve submitted dozens of op-eds without one bait. It is very interesting though how it is The Australian that Leftist putative op-eders would give their left nut/tit to get published in. 😉

  1. 1 Greens really think they’re Left – we’ve a long way to go at STRANGE TIMES

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