By David McKnight

Maps the demise of politics in response to the conventional competition among Left and correct, and gives a provocative argument for the emergence of a brand new values-based politics in Australia.

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44 Between one-third and a half of the world’s forests are gone, together with about half the mangroves and other wetlands. About three-quarters of marine fisheries are over-fished. There is a crisis in the loss of biodiversity, with large numbers of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish facing extinction or already extinct. The use of oil and coal together with deforestation has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The result is human-made climate change, with the melting of icecaps, erratic storms and desertification.

The result was the cultural and political revolt of the 1960s, which saw a blossoming of libertarianism. Credit for this revolt has been largely claimed by the Left, but its effects were far deeper and more complex. While the conservative moral order enforced by government and churches was flouted, it was only a matter of time before all sorts of other restrictive regulatory policies, including those on businesses (small and large), came under fire. 2 Such were also the terms of Left libertarianism of the 1960s.

In 2001, a new company, ABC Learning Centres, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. ABC runs over 200 child-care centres, caring for more than 20 000 children. ABC is profitable: within three years, its share value increased tenfold and in 2001–02 it made a $12 million profit. Those supporting community and non-profit child care, such as Alma Fleet of Macquarie University, argue that any spare money should not be for the shareholders, but should be ploughed back into the welfare of children.

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