Archive for September, 2011
Union members could make a counter demand on Qantas that goes beyond the limited claims of their leadership. If they really fought, and went on strike for a while, they could demand and win 30 percent over 3 years and an increase in the workforce in Australia of ten percent per annum to overcome the extra work burden Qantas has imposed on its workforce over the last decade or more. That would strengthen the union against management attacks now and in to the future and increase its membership.
The cracks at the top have implications for the consciousness of those at the bottom. Crisis can push the masses into action—but equally it can paralyse them.
The short term embarrassment of racists like Bolt might turn into a longer term strategic disaster for the left. Certainly I will celebrate the Bolt’s loss, but the left needs to be careful. We might unleash the Right on their terrain – the bosses’ courts. Far better for us to fight on our ground – in the workplaces and the streets to stop racism.
Ultimately of course only a democratic working class revolution can sweep away the capitalist roots of racism. The struggles of today however can force the beast back into its lair for a while and help too to build the struggle for that new world of democracy and production to satisfy human need.
While the media likes to give the appearance of debate and balance, the parameters are limited to discourse acceptable to the capitalist class. It is the self-activity of the mass of ordinary people that will give us confidence in our own opinions and interests. If there is no struggle, there is no challenge to the media’s lies and distortions, no alternative to the world-view of highly paid, well-connected editors and producers. Challenging the power of the media requires those who want to do so to become activists, not moaners.
The aim of socialists is to build a mass revolutionary party that can cohere working class resistance to the attacks of the capitalist class and eventually lead a revolution that will bring workers to power. But the reality is that in every country socialists are a very long way from achieving that goal. There are today no mass revolutionary parties and a genuine revolutionary party is not going to be conjured from the air. There are no short cuts, no magic formulas. It is going to take determined effort by serious-minded socialists. But the previous history of the socialist movement does provide us with some important guidelines as to how to approach the task.
Enough is enough. The Labor government, whose election in 2007 raised the hopes of millions that we would finally see an end to the right-wing reactionary policies of the Howard era, has betrayed its supporters on almost every front.
Labor’s Parliamentary Left is so wedded to the Labor Party that it will remain the apologist for and provide the cover to Labor Party reaction. It is as much the enemy of liberation and progress as the right wing.
Our task must be to build a Socialist Alternative to enable workers to challenge the rule of capital.
You have fought all the wars. You have worked for all the bosses. You have wandered over all the countries. Have you harvested the fruits of your labors, the price of your victories? Does the past comfort you? Does the present smile on you? Does the future promise you anything?
Personally I think if Kevin Rudd is the Messiah then Labor is lost in the desert forever and no new Moses is ever going to save them (to mix religious metaphors).
Many Palestinians are raising their voices in opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s statehood strategy. Given the long history of UN resolutions and votes on Palestinian rights that have gone unheeded, these voices make the case that the statehood strategy carries little prospect of tangible progress, while putting at risk the national rights of millions of Palestinians, both within Israel and in refugee camps throughout the region.