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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. 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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Labor’s death agonies

Opinion polls come and go.

But the latest one, just 3 weeks before the election, should scare the hell out of what passes for the Labor Party brains trust. With 52 percent of the vote on a two party preferred basis, the Conservative coalition would easily win the election.

There are two trends discernible. One is the short term one – the possible defeat of the Labor Government at this election.

The other is the long term move of the ALP from ‘the left’ (broadly defined) to the right.

This long term trend finds expression in the similarity between the two major parties on most policies.

Where are the real differences between them on Afghanistan, refugees, climate change, the ABCC, the gender pay gap, the Northern Territory invasion, the transfer of wealth from workers to capital, the lengthening of the working day, the slow privatisation of public services  etc etc…

I see little difference at all.

The structural changes within society and the increasing role of the managerial class of capitalism have reflected themselves in the ALP and its takeover by that sub-class both personnel wise and intellectually. Labor has become little more than the second eleven of capital. 

This is played out through the agency of Julia Gillard.

Higher pensions. Can we afford it asks Gillard? Paid parental leave. Can we afford it asks Gillard? A $14 billion gift to the big miners in the form of a backdown on the Resource Super Profits Tax to shut them up. No questions from Gillard at all about the costs of that. We know clearly where her priorities and those of the party that brought her to power lie.

The long term left wing shift to the Greens is not an aberration but a consequence of the ALP’s abandonment of the pretence of leftism.

The decline of the Labor Party coincides with the long term stagnation of global profit rates and the capitulation of almost all of the trade union bureaucracy to the ideas and practice of class collaboration.

The ideas of struggle, let alone their practice, have been lost. No matter who wins government we will have to re-learn them.

The global economy is weak and could tip into another recession.  There has not been a destruction of capital sufficient to restore profit rates, in part because of the too important to fail syndrome. The stimulus packages, bailouts and quasi nationalisations have perhaps won the battle only to lose the war.

The shift in the share of national product going to capital at the expense of labour has not addressed this stagnation either.

The forces of resistance to the inevitable onslaught on workers’ living standards after the election are small and weak. The trade union bureaucracy will not lead a fight back. Its sorry history has been one of capitulation not struggle.

As capitalism burns itself out (literally and economically) the liberationist project becomes not only more important but a necessity for our survival as a species. 

Workers will have to re-learn the lessons of history and the ideas of struggle to win the ultimate prize – the end of the exploitative system and the defence of humanity through a world of democracy and plenty for all.

The Labor Party and its milksop lackeys in the trade union movement have shown themselves not to be worthy leaders of the working class during the next crisis. Their every action exposes them for the shamans they are.

History belongs to the working class. Its task is to remake society.

Our role at the moment is to prepare ourselves intellectually and organisationally and as best we can by building the fight backs of today to ready ourselves for the next upsurge in working class and movement struggles. 

It will come. Are we ready?

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Comments

Comment from Dave Riley
Time August 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Are we ready to do what ? Spell it out godammit: tell us what is to be done?

Comment from John
Time August 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I thought you had all the answers DR.

Comment from Arjay
Time August 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

What puzzles me is the change of tack by the Murdoch Media machine.They are in bed with the neo-con war mongers in the USA and Israel.

By change I mean that if Labor are back on the Carbon Tax juggernaut and why then trash them in the media? They desperately want this carbon tax to bail out their derivative share market disaster and finance their new world order.

Tony Abbott said he would not rule out a carbon tax in the future.Are the neo-cons finding something more to their advantage by backing Abbott? The Coalition are more than likely to get in and say ,”shock horror ,it is worse than we thought.” and we get shafted even more.

The Liberals can now effectively blame all future disasters on Labor and justify severe austerity.Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull will rise again and we get the carbon tax anyway.

Call me a cynic,but I think that much of what we see is orchestrated behind the scenes by powerful corporate interests.

Comment from Marie
Time August 2, 2010 at 2:07 am

Great article, John! You could’ve been talking about Canada. I fear for democracy ~ and the working class ~ in my country, too…