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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. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Cricket and the loony left lie

Sometimes you have one of those days. You get up early and throw together a heap of ideas you’ve been thinking about for days.

Just your average type of thought like – can you really apply revolutionary defeatism to sport? Is Australian cricket inherently racist? Wouldn’t a defeat for the arrogant imperious Australian cricket team be a step forward for humanity?

And so you wake up and put together some thought bubbles.  After all you’ve been too serious of late and having a bit of fun with cricket and class sounds like something different.

First it is arch reactionary Andrew Bolt who has a go at you for writing that the defeat of the Australian cricket team would be a good thing for the class struggle. 

Then you write another on cricket and conservatism which makes the not outrageous suggestion that Australian cricket and its thinking is conservative and shock horror, Ricky Ponting should have sent the Pakistanis in to bat on a green top in Sydney.

So Tim Blair has a go at you ( I think it was him since I didn’t read the piece, just a google search snippet) on the News Ltd blog about that article, suggesting you were premature in picking a Pakistan win after only two days. Of course you didn’t do that but that’s not the point for the reactionaries.

Nick Dyrenfurth – the ‘leftie’ at Rupert Murdoch’s Australian – attacks you for your cricket and imperialism piece and says you ought to lighten up.  Funny, that’s what I thought the article was doing. Obviously not very well if the razor sharp Mr Dyrenfurth missed it.

These three are reactionaries.  They are reviving the ‘left are loony’ campaign.

They want to convince people that all our ideas are mad. See the ‘crazy’ things John writes about cricket. His ideas about democracy and exploitation and wage slavery and Palestine and Rudd and racism must be just as crazy.

Now the soft left has joined in. Paul Norton at the Larvatus Prodeo blog has attacked my cricket and imperialism article with some specious rubbish about Mitchell Johnson’s mother being a Cuban agent.

I’ll leave aside the obvious point that I am not a castroite and want working class revolution to sweep aside the ruling class in Cuba.

For the Bolts and Blairs the Global Financial Crisis has destroyed their beloved neoliberalism as an open ideology. They don’t want any radical alternative to take its place, and to a large extent they have got their way with neoliberalism disguised as keynesianism seemingly saving the day for capital and its system.

In addition red baiting is what they are paid to do. It reinforces the group think of their readers.

So why not pick out two sentences from hundreds of articles by a fairly obscure leftist and think that you have triumphantly undercut all those crazy ideas about democracy and satisfying human need? Breathe easy. Capitalism is safe.

What a bizarre world they must live in if they think our ideas have any real sway at all in society just yet. Maybe they fear the potentiality of our ideas of democracy and production to satisfy human need gaining a wider audience? Who knows. 

For Dyrenfurth the situation is clearer. He has used the position of power Rupert Murdoch’s  Australian has given him to attack Socialist Alternative and myself on a few occasions.

He dismisses us as a sect yet spends rather a lot of time rubbishing us.

Dyrenfurth is a zionist and he hates the fact we defend the Palestinians against Israel’s attacks.  He is also on a campus where Socialist Alternative has some presence, attracting some students to our ideas, ideas which are anathema to this Labor Party hack.

So for example his latest diatribe against Socialist Alternative (which morphed into an attack on me) began with some bullshit about us demanding fresh bamboo for panda bears and then elided into a call for the immediate destruction of Israel.

The intent is clear. Our supposed and mythical ideas about panda bears or whatever other stupid made up example comes into his little mind are as mad as our ideas about Palestine and the rights of Palestinians to their homeland.

His agenda, like Bolt’s and Blair’s, is clear – to red bait us so that people will dismiss all our ideas as ‘loony’ before even considering them.

The red baiting from Larvatus Prodeo came as something of a surprise.  The soft left has nothing to fear from leftists like me. 

Even at a crude level their blog attracts something up to 35 more than mine at times.I would guess too that the readership by and large doesn”t overlap. They attract the respectable people who want to keep wage slavery but make it better for we slaves.

So why would they join Bolt and Blair in attacking me? Perhaps Norton fears difference.

Perhaps he fears extroverted thinking and jumbling together different ideas and seeing what comes out in some sort of dissociated flow. 

Norton thought he had a clincher with his comment to the effect that surely if the other team wins against Australia the other sides’ ruling class will be strengthened by the win?

This is arithmetic thinking and one that fails to understand the role of Australia as an imperialist nation. 

The LP comment was the same one thrown at Lenin for his dialectical position of revolutionary defeatism. The main enemy is at home. The call for the defeat of one’s own ruling class is perfectly sensible, especially when that nation is an imperialist power in its region.

In the battle between imperialist and non-imperialist nations, the left supports those fighting against the dominant power.

Now of course cricket isn’t war but it gave me the opportunity to try to explore the concept of revolutionary defeatism in a sporting context. It obviously didn’t work.

There’s something else here too.  As someone who has sat in the outer at cricket (and politics too I guess) in some games the crass nationalism and racism sometimes becomes unbearable.  It’s not too far from mindless chants at the cricket to riots at Cronulla. 

Maybe a defeat for the Australian cricket team might pause the constant rank nationalism and its close twin racism. We are just another country, nothing special.  We are just wage slaves. Maybe?

Red baiting and loony left caricatures are mechanisms to avoid discussing let alone dealing with and attempting to rebut the ideas of groups like Socialist Alternative.

We socialists won’t be cowered by the baying of the reactionaries. We’ll continue to put forward our ideas and attract a few more people to us on the basis of those ideas.

But we never lose sight of the ultimate goal – a democratic society in which production is organised to satisfy human need.

While they have a planet to destroy, we have a world to win.

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Comments

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Time January 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm

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Time January 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

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Comment from Chav
Time January 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

“The red baiting from Larvatus Prodeo came as something of a surprise. The soft left has nothing to fear from leftists like me.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise John. And as a revolutionary they do have a reason to fear you.

Comment from guy
Time January 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Thanks for the site John. I’ll put it on my favourites along with the ACP site for when I’m in need of a laugh.
Love the mast head photos. To the left in living colour the happy snap of a smug beneficiary of a lifetime of service to capitalism. A tax collector no less.Worshipfully lining himself up with images representative of a system that caused misery and death to millions.The self hating bourgeois pince-nez killer. How do you think you would have come off at one of his checkpoints when his minions checked out your soft pudgy white hands John? The nineteenth century beardo scribbler. Couldn’t provide for his family or indeed even himself in his entire cosseted worthless life, the living embodiment of marxism itself. The petty Russian noble, let off his leash by his Imperial German masters to unleash mayhem and indescribable suffering. The useful idiot, shot in the street by like-minded opponents before she had a chance to get rolling on her own personal death toll.
I saw one remaining image of Lenin when I was on my last trip in what was once the occupied western zone of the USSR , a villager had one of those black cast iron profiles of the bulbous foreheaded one ripped off a building and nailed up in his pig-sty. Your ideas are “loony” sir. What a pathetic spectacle you make of yourself, honking this clap-trap. You are an ignoramus, if you only had the first idea of the end result of this snail-trail of toxic drivel, and could see the results first hand and speak to people who suffered through the consequences of it. Find yourself another hobby-horse and become an ex-Trotskyite or Maoist or whatever other hair on the arsehole of communism you profess yourself to be. You inconsequential grub, you should be ashamed of yourself. Stick to poring over the stocks and shares of your Commonwealth Public Service Superannuation fund. Hypocrite.

Comment from John
Time January 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Crikey guy. I’m not sure how selling my labour power makes me a hypocrite. It makes me a worker or did until the last few years when I became a tax boss.