Stepping Up to the Plate
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America, and Australian Democracy
Americans call themselves a democracy, but they are not. America has redefined democracy to make it conform to the capitalist economy and rule by wealth elites. When American leaders say they wish to make the world safe for democracy, they really mean that they want the world, including Australia, to subsume itself into this US project.
Any process resulting in Australia absorbing more of the United States' corporatist political culture will result in the serious erosion of our own democratic ideals. Australia should resist this, especially at a time when such corporatist politics is losing its legitimation. We are better served by our own robust system of democracy.
About the author
Graham Maddox FASSA is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of New England, where he was for twelve years Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton NJ. He was President of the Australasian Political Studies Association in 1995-6. His books include Political Parties in Australia 1978 (joint author); The Hawke Government and Labor Tradition 1989; Australian Democracy in Theory and Practice 5th edn 2005; Religion and the Rise of Democracy 1996; Political Writings of John Wesley 1998. He has edited and co-edited books on Australian republicanism, political legitimacy and cosmopolitanism. He is fully engaged with the musical life of his home town, Armidale, NSW, where he plays the oboe, sings in the chamber choir and from time to time conducts the symphony orchestra and the choral society.