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April 2011
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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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Is the one sided class war over?

For decades the ruling class in the United States has waged a one sided class war against American workers. There has been a massive shift of wealth to that tiny minority that owns or controls the machinery and factories, mines and offices. This is where we workers produce the wealth they steal.

For example wages in the US have been falling for over 3 decades. Tax cuts have overwhelmingly favoured the rich. 

So confident is the US ruling class that is is supporting Tea Party Republicans whose agenda has been to openly attack workers’ rights and their ability to further resist cuts to their wages and conditions. (Obama’s agenda is to produce the same result but with agreement rather than confrontation. However that is another discussion.)

Wisconsin surprised the ruling class. Workers occupied the Capitol for 17 days with teachers and others striking in defence of union rights and health insurance schemes. 

The labour movement has been reinvigorated. Sort of. To quote Marx out of context ‘the tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.’ The task is to overthrow the muck of ages in the US labour movement through struggle. Wisconsin may herald the beginning of cleaning out the Augean stables of reformism and decline.

But Wisconsin exists not on its own but as part of a wider resistance to decades of neoliberalism. In Europe Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain or the PIIGS are on the brink and the crisis of capitalism and overaccumulation there has produced massive resitance. In Iceland the government fell and the people have twice rejected referendums in support of bailing out the bankers. In France there have been a number of general strikes against the Sarkozy austerity program, a program which may intensify if the PIIGS debt crisis spreads to their bankers in Germany and France.

In Ireland five socialist members of the United Left Alliance were elected to the Dail earlier this year, promising to use it as a platform to resist the neoliberal austerity program.

In Greece there have been eleven general strikes in the last 18 months against the Socialist Party’s austerity program. The program has entrenched poverty in the class but not yet worked to save the bankrupt bosses.  The ruling class is demanding more and more attacks on workers and the anger, already at high levels, may increase and turn the one day strikes into something more, something that threatens the whole edifice of Greek captialism and its impoverishment program.

In the Arab world the masses are challenging the neoliberal agenda of their dictators, demanding food and freedom, justice and jobs. The US is trying to retain power in the region through a combination of force and cajoling, of support for Obama-like ‘change’. Changing leaders however does not change the system that produces poverty and unemployment.

It doesn’t, if Egypt is any guide, even produce real democracy. This is because democracy threatens the local bourgeoisie and US imperialism.

Here in Australia 30 years of class collaboration has produced a massive shift in wealth to the bourgeoisie. According to a recent ACTU Economic Bulletin: ‘The profit share of national income is now near the record highs it reached in 2008, while the wages share of income is the lowest since 1964.’

We can’t predict what the spark will be in Australia for the resistance to the neoliberal agenda, but the events in the US, Europe and the Arab world give us great confidence it will happen.

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Comments

Comment from Calligula
Time April 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hello, HELLO. HEELLLLOOOO – anyone at home?????

It isn’t a class war.
It is a greed war.
It is an ignorance war –
And has become a war of attrition.

Admit it Mr. Passant.

She’s become a world war driven by desperation.
This innings, the seppos have ‘almost’ bankrupted themselves beyond recall while thrashing away at an enemy they’ve invented themselves – an enemy that doesn’t exist outside the hate they’ve brought down on their own heads.

Almost?
Bullshit. They ARE bankrupt and everyone with half a brain bloody well knows it.

How does that impinge upon us?
Hasn’t Gillard been making the decrees lately?
She’s not at Anzac bloody Cove this weekend, is she?
She’s not going to Pommyland to be a bridesmaid next week, is she?
She hasn’t produced anything over the last few months so that any of us could ‘BELIEVE’ it, has she?

Nor have any of her ministers – nor any man-jack of HM’s useless, twitchy, incompetent, flyblown, opposition.

The entire show HAS gone for a Burton, hasn’t it?

En Passant, a strategic move in chess.
Something useful in the early stages of the game.
Not much help towards that end-game approaching us all like that light at the end of the tunnel.
We all stupidly expected there to be the glimmer of hope, what, with all the wealth from the resources boom?
Grow up Australia. Profit goes straight overseas.

We missed our opening gambits over a century ago.

Playing someone else’s game has cost us dear.
The ‘sheeple’ (good term, borrowed it) of this sometime arid, now waterlogged dump expect to be dealt with fairly when they’re too damned stupid to lobby for a charter of rights.

Why is this country morally bankrupt?
“Cos it hasn’t progressed since 1788.
Why not since 1788?
‘Cos the first sign of initiative has always been bashed down, senseless.

And if not, then greed is patient and crossgrained men have to die someday.
Flat doesn’t MATTER whether their legacy is sold off cheap – or scrapped.
Flat doesn’t matter so long as we RID ourselves of the heritage and the memory of their determination.
Just get RID of it before it embarrasses us.

And we wouldn’t want to embarrass ourselves before our allies while they sink us into their bog – would we?

Comment from John
Time April 23, 2011 at 7:14 am

In your terms, I can agree it is about greed, but unlike you it is the bosses’ greed – for more and more profit from our labour.

Comment from Ross
Time April 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

We have to fight this on many levels.Freedom and true democracy with constitutions based on the Magna Carta has to be a starting point.It is no good having a Socialist Govt that is totally self serving like our corporate controlled Govts.

I see reform of the banking system as being central to change.They are now putting pressure on Japan to sell off its $ 3.2 trillion Govt Bank to private interests to fund their post tsunami reconstruction.They have very high public debt negative inflation so they can go this alone.There is no shortage of workers,just an artificial shortage of money created by the World’s private Central Banks.

All Japan needs do is to slowly lower the fractional reserve ratio of money creation for their private banks and the slack can be taken up by their Govt Bank,ie creating money debt free.

Comment from Gardool
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

See, Cal, this is why I have a problem understanding your plaintive calls for my involvement in a “discourse”. When I read this rambling diatribe I see no discourse, I see disjointed thoughts thrown out into cyberspace without any real desire to engage in a discourse … at all. JP is much easier to work with. It’s all about class war etc. For JP I have devised Passant’s Law of Perpetual Inertia (or PLOPI – I know the Far Left loves a good acronym). Refer my 14/4 posts for details. Have a great Saturday and look forward to that “discourse” … in due course … of course. GD

Comment from Magpie
Time April 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

John,

You might be interested in having a look at this post:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2011/04/revolutions_and_the_price_of_b.html

Comment from Calligula
Time April 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

John –
What makes you think I disagree with you about the bosses?
I do make the point that there are bosses and wannabes.

I suggest the wannabes are more dangerous than the set you call the bosses – more dangerous because there are many more of them – increasingly more ignorant – more readily manipulated – less literate – and well and truly more desperate.
They call themselves ‘the managerial class’ in this allegedly classless society and believe themselves indispensable.

What did Tze Dong call ‘em – ‘running dogs of capitalist imperialism’?
We have the ‘yapping dogs circling the sausage on the stick’.
Or is that ‘donkeys chasing the proverbial carrot’?
Amounts to the same thing, I suppose, though it seems the Chinese have demonstrated that they possess a better human resource.
After all, despite all the opposition and their life being a bit rough and Commie still – they do seem to be winning.

I wonder where Mao put his running dogs while he was getting that show on the road?
I’m reasonably sure what he did with the old bosses.

Yeah. I know Drools – rambling – nonsensical – a complete waste of electrons.
Let me know how else I went wrong.

Comment from John
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Calligula, now I understand your point. Certainly there are ‘aspirationals’ wanting to move from beign working class to being bosses, and the managerial class who often run business for the bosses. Not sure about the Chinese stuff. never been an admirer of the stalinists and their dictatorial state capitalist project.

Comment from John
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Thanks magpie. That is fantastic. I’ll post it on facebook. I have argued consistently it is about food and freedom, justice and jobs.

Comment from Gradool
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Cal, don’t be such a sad sack. What is your point … of discourse? GD

Comment from Gradool
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Well Cal, I’m just being honest. Where’s your attempt at discourse? Not there mate. Feel free to at least try, but nothing you’ve posted so far qualifies. Happy to play but you really need to say something first. e.g. Your thoughts on PLOPI? Pro or con, with reasons. Over to you. GD

Comment from Ross
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I tend to agree with Calligula,John.This is not just a class war.It is about greed driven by insecurity.They say 6% of the the pop have psychopathic inclinations.It only takes a very small % of them who are driven by insecurity to become leaders on the Political and Corporate sphere.They don’t think like us and will nothing stand in their way to achieve their personal aims.Very often they will make decisions that not only hurt their society in general but also themselves and their familes,all for ideology and power.These are the true sociopaths/psychopaths and there are a lot of them.

What is insane and counter productive to us, is the norm for them.They need to identified early and not given positions of power and influence.

Comment from Gradool
Time April 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

Ross, perhaps eugenics is the answer? You know. A wide spectrum test at birth to flush out those bad eggs!! Sounding familiar? Welcome to Cal’s world. His Brave New World. (Apologies to Aldous). GD

Comment from Ross
Time April 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Gradool.No eugenics.Just expose them and educate the masses.

Comment from Gradool
Time April 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

How & how Ross w/o the worst excesses of fascism? I mean, really.

Comment from Gradool
Time April 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

“the masses” will already have some form of education, do you mean “re-education”? I can feel a Gulag coming on Ross, can’t you? Best to check with “the masses” first eh? No, what would “they” know!!!?? GD