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Flood Goes to the Pub: How Labour Built Neoliberalism

  • Morrison Hotel 640 Stanley Street South Brisbane Australia (map)

Along with our friends from Living the Dream, Brisbane’s second-best anticapitalist podcast, we are pleased to host a forum and discussion with Elizabeth Humphrys, political theorist and author of the groundbreaking book How Labour Built Neoliberalism.

When you think of neoliberalism you might think about Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan. Or even John Howard or maybe even Scott Morrison. If only we could go back to the good old days of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating...

But what if Whitlam’s government represented a proto-neoliberal stage in Australian history? What if Medicare was actually a heavily watered-down compromise from a Hawke Government otherwise intent on ushering in Australian-style neoliberalism? And what if it was the trade union movement and leadership that help defeat any potential opposition to neoliberalism in Australia, while perversely creating the conditions for their own demobilisation and defeat?

These statements are the complete opposite of the common sense of Australian left history and yet form the basis of Elizabeth Humphrys’ groundbreaking book, How Labour Built Neoliberalism.

Come for a discussion on the history of neoliberalism in Australia - how Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Australian trade unions were crucial to its implementation and what implications this might have for the contemporary left and trade union movement in Australia. Followed by a QandA with time for audience questions.

Pre-order the book and read more here.