June 12th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Financing of terrorism in Australia

EDITORIAL: BP scandal spreads beyond Gulf of Mexico

OPINION: Super-profits tax creates climate of uncertainty

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Beijing thwarts sanctions against North Korea

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Rudd Government planned showdown with miners

FOREIGN TRADE: China slowdown spells trouble for Australia

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE: Rudd and Abbott overlook stay-at-home mothers

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: The chilling reality of late-term abortion

ILLICIT DRUGS: Labor and Greens defeat DLP bid to ban bongs

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Regulators crack down on speculation

OPINION: Time to reclaim Australian history

ENVIRONMENT: Al Gore's actions speak louder than words

GREAT BRITAIN: Who will rescue Britain from its present madness?

Economic illiteracy (letter)

Statistically insignificant (letter)

ALP branch-stacking (letter)

The truth and Kevin Rudd (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: In praise of pessimism

BOOK REVIEW: THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: The Global Battle Over God, Truth, and Power, by Melanie Phillips

BOOK REVIEW: WHAT'S WRONG WITH ANZAC? The Militarisation of Australian History, by Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds

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In praise of pessimism

News Weekly, June 12, 2010
In praise of pessimism

In his blog for the French weekly magazine L'Express, the economist and former advisor to Fran├žois Mitterrand, Jacques Attali, condemns the widespread tendency to think well of optimism:

"It would be terribly dangerous to discredit pessimism. First and foremost because, unfortunately, in the blackest periods of our history the pessimists have always been right, and those who listened to them spared themselves much discomfort....

"And, finally, because the systematic denunciation of pessimism and the apology of systematic optimism corresponds to the attitude of the affluent. The rich can afford to be optimists because they know that they will come out of any maelstrom better than all the rest. For them even the current financial crisis may be a source of gain....

"The poorest, for their part, are no more than spectators, and they are right to fear a loss of social status. Criticising pessimism is thus contenting oneself with the world as it is; so in a certain sense optimism is conservative. Pessimism, by contrast, is revolutionary, the very opposite of being resigned."

Extract from Jacques Attali's blog, L'Express (Paris), May 31, 2010.
URL: www.eurotopics.net/en/archiv/article/ARTICLE70717-Jacques-Attali-in-praise-of-pessimism
URL: http://blogs.lexpress.fr/attali/2010/05/eloge-du-pessimisme.php
URL: http://blogs.lexpress.fr/attali/2010/05/in-praise-of-pessimism.php

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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