The perils of individualism and our dystopian present

Kathrine Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


As a child, I read constantly and I read anything. Of note however, before I had reached secondary school I had been immersed in numerous novels about the Holocaust, had read Alvin Toffler's Future Shock and had spent a lot of time delving into Alicia Bay Laurel's glorious hand written and illustrated Living on the Earth.

Mine was a childhood vision of a dystopian present and a dangerous future for which I felt the need to prepare by knowing how to survive. This was accompanied by a deep sense of responsibility to be accountable for my own consumption. (A responsibility I admit that I have been only partially successful in fulfilling.)

Surrounded today by news of climate extremes, oil drilling in the Arctic, the real possibility of dredging in the Great Barrier Reef, expanding coal terminals on the reef, mining approvals over biodiverse regions such as the Galilee Basin's Brimblebox Reserve, move on powers over Queensland's bat colonies (and so on) the dangerous future I had envisaged has come to pass. And the dystopian present of the 1970s has taken a turn for the worse.

All of these decisions, in which each of us is complicit, arise out of a fundamental dislocation of our very self from our environment and indeed from society. Our governments however have failed to provide a cohesive narrative around these decisions, thus failing to see the inherent inconsistencies in their own positions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurl: Property law, women and law, contemporary legal issues
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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