Australian Left Review


Australia is in the process of an economic restructuring which is throwing up tremendous problems and dislocations in people's lives. The present rate of unemployment, homelessness, high rents and interest rates, and the threat of a severe depression, the lack of amenities and social services in the new boom towns are just some of these problems. Politically, government is supporting the new capitalist development and withdrawing what little social support there is. Ideologically, the withdrawal of social support systems is being justified by blaming the breakdown of the traditional family for such problems as violence, homelessness, inability to get work and emotional instability. Since the breakdown of the family is said to be the cause of such problems, obviously the capitalist solution must lie in reconstituting and strengthening family structures so that private profit can be maximised and social responsibility in such areas as education, health, child care, care of the aged and disabled, transport, etc., can be shifted back into the family at the expense, mainly, of women.



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