In September I presented two lectures with the focus on Australia: how we see ourselves and ‘others’, how we understand our place in the world, what kind of future we envisage for ourselves and the Earth.
Ours is a time of turbulence, but now on a planetary scale. Many in the western world, Auastralia included, are anxious about the future, unsure where to turn for guidance or inspiration. Some seek to exploit these anxieties, offering black and white explanations of our predicament. For some, the problem is immigration, for others Islamic fundamentalism, or simply Islam.
For others still, it is the conspiracy about global warming, or the forces driving globalisation. And so, for them the cure for all our ills is just as simple: cut immigration, or ban Muslims, or keep the coal industry going, or find security in the barrel of a gun. Hence, Trump’s catch cry ‘make America great again’ and Marie Le Pen’s promise of a revolution of ‘patriots’. Australia’s equivalent voices are less well known but no less shrill.