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John Passant

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October 2009



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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)



The Liberals’ fine mess

It is a joy to see the Liberals descending into complete rabbledom.  But remember; Labor a few years ago was the same.

Politics without power for capitalist parties is frustrating. This is especially so for the conservatives – the first eleven of capital.

When the second eleven are winning all the games it is not unreasonable for those who perceive themselves to be better getting a little frustrated.

Th problem they have is that with the Global Financial Crisis came the collapse of neoliberalism as an open ideology. 

The Liberals, unlike Labor, have been unable to give their neoliberalism a new name and dress it up as something else.

As well, the divisions in the preferred profit party reflect the divisions within the ruling class itself over climate change, and to a lesser extent the economy.

Capitalism is about short term profit.  But even to make profit in the short term you have to plan ahead. 

Hence the capitalist state tries to rule for all of capital (with its accompanying plethora of economic, environmental and other experts and apologists ready to advise them on how best to extract extra profit from workers). 

And big business has its own planning processes to organise how they can better expropriate the wealth we produce over the next five to ten years.

Climate change threatens the very existence of the capitalist system.  But the focus on short-term profit makes this a difficult message to get across – unless there is a buck in it now, or in a few years time.

So addressing climate change is the venture capital of the future – risky, unpredictable and maybe without any monetary rewards. 

The Liberals don’t want to invest. It is too risky evidently.

Labor wants to invest but by both propping up the present bunch of capitalists (at the expense of environmental risk capital) and by giving a few tidbits to the future.

Labor has momentarily managed to transcend the bourgeoisie’s divisions over climate change with a less incoherent response (do little and do it very very slowly while giving the impression of implementing meaningful change).

The debates on the environment and the economy are all about profit, and how to extract surplus value from workers.

There is not even the ameliorating influence from the working class via the ALP in this.  In terms of policy the Labor Party may now be a completely bourgeois party.

The same process is playing out through the debates over the economy.  The Australian economy (contrary to my and others earlier apocalyptic visions) has so far avoided any major catastrophe, at least from the point of view of the ruling class.

This has little to do with who is in power and more to do with riding the tiger successfully.

The problem is no one knows or understands what the tiger will do next or why.

But the underlying problems of the economy  – in essence the low profit rate – haven’t been addressed. There has been no massive assault on living standards; no clearing out of ‘inefficient’ blocs of capital; no massive re-orienting towards a green economy.

As its habitat disappears the tiger will kill again.


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