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Abstract

As the financial system internationally shudders and shakes and disappears, only to reappear as something else, we are entitled to ask if this finally is the death throes of capitalism. Or is it merely the end run of what Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called “extreme capitalism”? Rudd’s diagnosis, of course, is problematic, precisely because he fails to see the systemic fault-lines. Instead, he points to personal greed and unfettered finance as the causes, when both are merely symptoms of a more deadly neo-liberal disease. And the current Labor Government, rather than tackling this disease directly, pushes empty rhetoric while pursuing policies that enhance the problem. Thus Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard refers caustically to the previous Government letting the market rip with regard to child care but refuses to take over the private child-care industry on behalf of the community.

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