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John Passant

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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

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)



George W Bush – a fur ball in the gut of history

Commander in Terror George W Bush is a fur ball in the gut of history.  Thankfully the American body politic will vomit him out on 20 January 2009.

Bush came to power with the support of the powerful conservative and Christian right in US politics.  These fruitcakes include creationists and rapturists.  But while they supported him, Bush is really a warrior for his class, the bosses.  He has waged two class wars – one at home and one abroad.

Part of his agenda has been an incredibly aggressive free market approach to make the rich richer and attack the living standards of most American workers to help improve US profit rates.  The second part of the agenda has been to extend or at least maintain America’s economic dominance through aggressive military intervention around the world.

In terms of the neo-liberal program, while Bush has enriched those already well off, for the economic elite profit rates remain stubbornly low.  So despite all the sacrifices American workers have endured under Bush the class he represents is still not satisfied. They want more attacks on workers to drive down living standards and restore profit rates.  They will now turn to Obama for that agenda.

It is this crisis of profitability which is at the heart of the present economic crisis.  Current general profit rates in the developed world are low – much lower than a decade ago and much much lower than the 1960s. This is because labour is the source of value in the productive realm yet competition forces individual businesses to invest more and more in capital.   This means there is a tendency for the rate of profit to fall.

There are countervailing tendencies.  The most obvious ones are to cut wages, conditions, jobs, increase productivity and lengthen the working day.  Bush has tried them all and not been successful in improving profit rates.  Destroying lives yes, but improving profit rates, no.

What sacrifices have US workers made so far? The minimum wage has fallen in real terms. Living standards now are lower than when Bush came to power. Real wages have fallen.  During the last year unemployment has increased by almost 3 million, including half a million in November.  In the richest country in the world 30 million Americans are on food stamps to survive.  In the last year housing values have fallen almost 20 percent.  It is difficult to see where bosses can screw more “savings” out of workers, but that depends too on the combativity of US workers.

This attack on workers is Bush’s ruling class legacy in America. That, and the economic tragedy unfolding daily.

And all the while the rich got lots of tax cuts that would supposedly trickle down to the poor and working people. Bush has presided over a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and workers to the rich.  It hasn’t worked, naturally.

The bail out for Wall Street ($1 trillion and counting) managed to rescue some of the wealthiest individuals in the world from joining the rest of us on a pittance to live.  Main Street got nothing.  Maybe some of that money could have gone to New Orleans. But President Bush did nothing for his fellow citizens there because of his blind faith in market forces (at least until a few months ago.)  People suffer because Bush believes in unregulated capitalism.

His neo-con approach has destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world as the US contagion spreads.  And more is to come.

It was this belief in market forces that saw Bush ignore global warming, one of the the greatest threats to humanity, including the economic system Bush so loves.  8 wasted years.  His inaction is a crime against humanity’s future.

Bailing out GM and Chrysler so they can continue to produce gas guzzlers is stupid.  A free marketeer has done so, supposedly because of the impact on the economy.  Yet I think it is about the possible military tooling capacity of these factories.  I have an alternative suggestion – auto workers should take over the factories and begin producing socially useful goods.

All of this is just the beginning of Bush’s economic legacy.   The US economy will worsen markedly in 2009, no matter how large Obama’s rescue package is.

Apart from an economic legacy to match Herbert Hoover, Bush’s unilateral imperialism has murdered one million Iraqis and who knows how many Afghanis.  US military presence in 130 countries continues (so that must be a plus, hey?), laying the groundwork for Obama to intervene where he sees fit too.  And as his proposal to increase troops in Afghanistan shows, Obama is driven by the same imperialist logic as Bush.

Many more Afghanis are about to die at the hands of US troops. All for the crime of opposing foreign occupiers, just as they did when the Russians invaded.  And just like the Russians, the Bush invasion of Afghanistan will end in defeat.

Clearly Iraq is a defeat.  Invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, lying about weapons of mass destruction and then murdering 1 million Iraqis is about controlling the region and the oil flow to competitors like China.  It was also to show China, and Europe who is the militarily dominant power. The idea there is that with military dominance goes economic dominance.

Big mistake. Not being able to run the country either directly or through a puppet regime shows how poorly thought out the whole process was. All this Bush madness, murder and mayhem for US imperialism.  Criminal, criminal, criminal.

The war on terror is in fact the war of terror. The biggest terrorist sits in Washington, and he has accomplices in London and Canberra.  That is the logic of imperialism, and the attempts to retain economic superiority through military means.

Bush is a war criminal and should be tried in the Hague for his crimes in Iraq alone.

The hunt for Osama bin Laden is a joke.  Bush doesn’t actually want to find him since that would expose US complicity in the creation of their monster.  Maybe it is the journey, not the  destination, that is important.

Encircling Russia is a stupid idea. Not only is Georgia divided, the Ukraine is under pressure and of course the Russians are now buddying up, predictably, to the Cubans.  Strategic genius.

South America looks like another success.  Aiding a coup against the democratically elected Hugo Chavez was criminal.  The ferment of revolt (or at least organised anti-Americanism) could now well spread beyond Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.

But not to worry.  Australia and the UK are still supportive. Europe looks a bit of a problem though.  No wonder they don’t want to increase their troops in Afghanistan. The Europeans know no matter how many troops they send they won’t beat the resistance.  Afghanistan is lost.  The US should never have invaded, but the logic of imperialism drove Bush to do so.  Another war crime.

The Middle East is a disaster. Even handedness is a wonderful thing.  Israel, Israel, Israel, plus Fatah.  Hamas is the democratically elected Government of the Palestinian Territories, resisting Israeli occupation and aggression.

The two state solution won’t work.  It creates a Palestinian bantustan and legitimises their dispossession. The right of return is fundamental to a solution.   The US could force that on Israel but doesn’t since Israel is its watchdog in the region helping the US control the oil there.

America proclaims it is guided by universal principles. This is of course a lie.  The only principle Bush accepts is continued US economic and military dominance in the name of profit. Rendition, water boarding and Guantanamo Bay are consistent with that approach.

Bush has destroyed neo-liberalism for decades.  This is good.  But the warriors of the ruling class will adopt new mufti to defend their interests.  The war at home and abroad will continue.

Mayhem at home, mayhem abroad.  Goodbye you murdering ruling class criminal.