ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

November 2008



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



PJ O’Rourke admits the Right is a failure

The Australian Financial Review today (13 November) quoted P.J. O’Rourke from a November 8 article in the The Weekly Standard in the US.  P.J. O’Rourke is one of the shock jock writers for the Right in the US, but with quite a good style and turn of phrase.  The article has a scatological joke running through it and the ending plays that up subtly.  But that’s not the reason for running it.  It’s the frankness of the assessment of the failure of the right to deliver its promises that is interesting.  None of the shock jocks in Australian newspapers have had the courage to admit they got it wrong.  Akerman blames fairness, and Janet Albrechtsen has retreated into becoming a Schumpeter trumpeter, praising the creative destruction of capitalism.  (See previous Crap Corner posts here for fuller details of their delusional states. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.)

Anyway, under the heading We blew it here is what the AFR quotes P.J. O’Rourke as saying:

Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye.  Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone – gone with the bear market and Bear Stearns and the bear that’s headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

An entire generation has been born, grown up and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected.  And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honour, trust, truth, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue or mosque?  it lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble.

None of this is the fault of the left.  After the events of the 20th century – national socialism, international socialism, inter-species socialism from Earth First – anyone who is still on the left is obviously insane and not responsible for his or her actions. No, we on the right did it. The financial crisis that is hoisting us on our own petard is only the latest (if the last) of the petard hoistings that have issued from the hindquarters of our movement.

O’Rourke’s comments show us the Right is losing the battle of ideas and ideology in the present economic crisis. The King of neo-liberalism is dead. That doesn’t mean there will be a big swing to the revolutionary left.  Another pro-capitalist ideology – Keynesianism in various forms – is winning credibility.  Long live the Keynesian King.

The task for the revolutionary left is to patiently explain the ideas which we have made our own over the last decades based on great socialists like Marx and Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Tony Cliff.

The emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class.  Capitalism is a system of crisis. Stalinism is state capitalism.  Workers need to build their own revolutionary party to be able to lead and be led by the working class, ultimately to Revolution. And in that revolution workers have to smash the bourgeois state by setting up their own democratic organs of rule.

The number of people at this stage of the crisis attracted to these ideas will be small but there is a palpable questioning going on in many sections of society. And it maybe that some sections of workers will fight back although the fear of losing their jobs might impact on them doing this.  The economic crisis may well weaken their objective position to defend themselves.

This is not a time to look at tea leaves.  it is a time to explain, explain and explain our ideas. And where appropariate to argue for militant collective action to defend  wages, conditions and jobs. There is an audience out there for our explanations.

And in re-building the revolutionary left let’s make the P.J. O’Rourkes of the world realise that we are not insane.  Capitalism is madness. Socialism, the self emancipation of the working class, is the sanity of today.

It is not just the Right which is, as O’Rourke accepts, rubbish.  The system is shit.  As war and want stalk the world it’s time to flush capitalism down the toilet of history.


Write a comment