• Erik Paul


Violence is structured in the commodification of people and nature and the transformation of society into market relations, where people, things, and nature are transacted, bought, and sold, as commodities. Commodification processes include personal debt loading in the provision of education, the casualization of employment, and the destruction of solidarities in communities, unions, and public education. Commodification intensifies competition and exploitation and generates processes of victimization and construction of vulnerable groups, including women and children, the aged, and people with disabilities. Economic growth and degradation of the living environment make people sick. The capitalist process of wealth accumulation promotes unsustainable consumption and further damages the continent’s major ecosystems.


Humans and nature as commodities Debt Casualization Society as market relations Victimization Costs of economic growth Destruction of human habitat 


  1. ABC. (2008, October 7). Risking our kids. ABC TV. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  2. ABC. (2013). Student debt climbs to record $26 billion. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. ABC. (2014, November 24). First peoples’ freedom summit. ABC, Late Night Live, ABC Radio National. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  4. ABC. (2015a, March 17). Racing Queensland stand down 23 more greyhound trainers after live baiting scandal. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  5. ABC. (2015b, March 9). Bringing the war home. ABC TV, Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  6. ABS. (2005). The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 2005. Canberra, Australia: Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.Google Scholar
  7. ABS. (2010). Employee earnings, benefits and trade union membership. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6310.0. Canberra.Google Scholar
  8. AHRC. (2014). Fact sheet: Domestic and family violence. Canberra, Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission.Google Scholar
  9. Atkinson, M. (2007). The exiled child. Griffith Review, 15.Google Scholar
  10. Atkinson, R., Wulff, M., Reynolds, M., & Spinney, A. (2011). Gentrification and displacement: The household impacts of neighbourhood change (AHURI Final Report No.160). Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.Google Scholar
  11. BBC. (2013, May 10). Bangladesh factory collapse toll passes 1,000. BBC News.Google Scholar
  12. BBC. (2015, March 6). Hormone-disrupting chemicals ‘cost billions’. BBC News.Google Scholar
  13. Benson, K. (2008, August 18). Fat fight. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  14. Boyd, C. (2011). The impacts of sexual assault on women. Australian Center for the Study of Sexual Assault, April. Australian Institute of Family Studies, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  15. Buchanan, J. (2004). Paradoxes of significance: Australian casualisation and labour productivity (Working Paper 93). Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training, University of Sydney.Google Scholar
  16. Burchell, D. (2007). Trying to find the sunny side of life. Griffith Review, 15.Google Scholar
  17. Burrows, S. (2010). Contesting the social impacts of neo-liberalism: Economic recovery, unemployment and young people in the Illawarra region. Research Online, University of Wollongong.Google Scholar
  18. Carroll, L. (2014, June 14). Heart disease on the rise in young people. The Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  19. Catalyst. (2015, March 31). Our chemical lives. ABC-TV, Catalyst.Google Scholar
  20. Chomsky, N. (2014, March 2). On academic labor. Counterpunch.Google Scholar
  21. Clemens, J. (2015). Torturing folk. Overland, 218.Google Scholar
  22. Corderoy, A. (2015, April 15). Slash mental health in hospitals: Review. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  23. Cox, L., & O’Brien, N. (2015, April 2). Coal fuels big rise in toxic air pollution. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  24. D’Cruz, A. (1986). Australia’s best kept secret. Australian Left Review, 1(95), 48.Google Scholar
  25. Diamond, J. (2005). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or survive. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  26. Dovey, C. (2015, February). Schoolyard crush. The Monthly.Google Scholar
  27. Dowling, J., & Blackburn, R. (2007, July 1). Health fears over diesel. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  28. DSS. (2009). Economic cost of violence against women and their children. Canberra, Australia: Department of Social Services, Australian Government.Google Scholar
  29. Ellul, J. (1964). The technological society. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  30. Federici, S. (2014). From commoning to debt: Financialization, microcredit, and the changing architecture of capital accumulation. South Atlantic Quarterly, 113(2), 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Flannery, T. (1999). The future eaters. Sydney, Australia: Reed New Holland.Google Scholar
  32. Foley, G. (2014). Gary Foley: Tangled up in black. Sunday Extra, ABC Radio National. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  33. Frew, W. (2007, January 11). Poor control bleeding aquifers dry, say experts. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  34. Friel, S., & Denniss, R. (2014). Unfair economic arrangements make us sick. Joint report by Australia 21, the Australian National University, and the Australia Institute, Canberra.Google Scholar
  35. Garnaut, R. (2008). The Garnaut climate change review 2008. Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  36. Gittins, R. (2013, December 11). US trade treaties, a treat for the US. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  37. Gittins, R. (2015, August 12). A problem more significant than taxes. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  38. Glover, J., et al. (2004). The socioeconomic gradient and chronic illness and associated risk factors in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Health Policy, 1, 8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hamilton, C. (2002). Social democracy under consumer capitalism. Speech to the National Left ALP/Trade Unions Conference, ANU, Canberra, 11 May.Google Scholar
  40. Hamilton, C. (2004, October 15). Diseases of affluence and other paradoxes. Australian Financial Review.Google Scholar
  41. Hare, J. (2015, April 15). Runaway loans: Students set to owe $70bn. The Australian.Google Scholar
  42. Harrison, D. (2014a, November 15). States blamed as more residents face removal. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  43. Harrison, D. (2014b, November 22). Aborigines will become refugees, warns Dodson. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  44. Hasham, N. (2015, April 17). Lurnea units rise as Millers Point sales proceed. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  45. Hewson, J., & Brain, P. (2001, November 2). We all fall down. Australian Financial Review.Google Scholar
  46. Hutchens, G. (2015, February 13). Abbott government rocked as unemployment hits highest rate since 2002. The Age.Google Scholar
  47. Jensen, E. (2011, June 1). Age no barrier as bowel cancer rises in young people. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  48. Kelly, N. (2014, May 22). Australian changes may saddle students with US-style debt levels. The Conversation.Google Scholar
  49. Kerin, J. (2000, April 15). The rich get richer, poor get sicker. The Australian.Google Scholar
  50. Kezelman, C. (2015). The cost of unresolved childhood trauma and abuse in Australia, adults surviving child abuse. Sydney, Australia: Pegasus Economics.Google Scholar
  51. Lloyd, C. (2008). Australian capitalism since 1992: A new regime of accumulation? Journal of Australian Political Economy, 61, 31–56.Google Scholar
  52. Lowe, I. (2005). A big fix: Radical solutions for Australia’s environmental crisis. Melbourne: Black Inc.Google Scholar
  53. Lowe, I. (2013, June 1). A global environmental crisis. National Press Club Address.Google Scholar
  54. Maddison, S., Denniss, R., & Hamilton, C. (2004). Silencing dissent (Working Paper No. 65). Canberra, Australia: Australia Institute.Google Scholar
  55. Mansillo, L. (2014, January 28). Private schools do not deserve a cent from our public funds. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  56. McEarchern, D. (1991). Business mates: The power and politics of the Hawke Era. Sydney, Australia: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  57. Merhab, B. (2015, August 5). Fels says mental health spending is wasted. The Age.Google Scholar
  58. Metherell, M. (2010, September 27). Call for greater social reform as health gap widens. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  59. Munro, K. (2011, January 31). Nothin’ but a pound dog, but now with a great future. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  60. NSW. (1997). Newcastle steelworks closure. New South Wales Parliament Hansard, 7 May. New South Wales Parliament, Sydney.Google Scholar
  61. O’Malley, N. (2005, October 27). Hawke’s claws are out over Americanisation of Australia. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  62. PC. (2015). Report on government services: Justice. Productivity commission, Australian Government, Canberra.Google Scholar
  63. PL. (2014). Domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia: An overview of the issues. Research Paper Series, 14 October. Parliamentary Library. Parliament of Australia.Google Scholar
  64. Rafferty, M., & Yu, S. (2010). Shifting risk: Work and working life in Australia. Workplace Research Centre, September, University of Sydney.Google Scholar
  65. Robotham, J. (2010, March 22). Asthma linked to particles in air pollution. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  66. Schultz, J. (1985). Steel city blues: The human cost of industrial crisis. Sydney, Australia: Penguin.Google Scholar
  67. Schultz, J. (2007). Respect versus division. Griffith Review, 15, 7–10.Google Scholar
  68. Segar, M. (2015, May 13). Nearly 200 scientists warn of cellphone health risks. Reuters.Google Scholar
  69. Smith, R., & Lowrie, B. (2009). Slow death by Rubber Duck. Brisbane, Australia: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  70. Smith, A., & Robotham, J. (2005, July 30). Car fumes driving us to early grave. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  71. Stokes, A., & Wright, S. (2010). Are university students paying too much for their education in Australia? Journal of Australian Political Economy, 65, 5–27.Google Scholar
  72. Trinca, H., & Davies, A. (2000). Waterfront: The battle that changed Australia. Sydney, Australia: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  73. Trounson, A. (2015, March 14). Disability soars for Vietnam diggers. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  74. VCOSS. (2013). Economic abuse: A choice between violence or poverty. Melbourne, Australia: Victorian Council of Social Services.Google Scholar
  75. Wade, M. (2015a, August 24). The Sydney schools becoming Anglo ghettos. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  76. Wade, M. (2015b, March 15). Higher income offset by obesity, mental illness and less job satisfaction, economic index shows. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  77. Watts, K., Bell, L. M., Byrne, S. M., Jones, T. W., & Davis, E. A. (2008). Waist circumference predicts cardiovascular risk in young Australian children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 44, 709–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. WEF. (2014). Global gender gap report 2014. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  79. West, A. (2008, April 5). Named: The wharfies’deep throat. Sydney Morning Herald.Google Scholar
  80. Wilkinson, R. (2009, March 16). What difference does inequality make? Mrzine.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Paul
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Peace and Conflict StudiesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations