Archive for April, 2012
Changing Labor leaders would be like changing deck chairs on Clive Palmer’s new Titanic. Labor’s embrace of neoliberalism from 1983 has left it high and dry, with no wind in the sails and no steam in the engines. Its iceberg approacheth.
FOR SOCIALISTS, democracy exists only in name unless it consists of genuine popular control from below. Parliamentary democracy–in which we choose unaccountable misrepresentatives every two, four or six years–has been fairly successful in providing the illusion of real democracy in a society where a small number of very wealthy people and the bureaucrats who serve them make all the important decisions.
Earth Day organizers saw more than 300,000 people gather in downtown Montreal—the largest demonstration in Canadian history. The numbers were swelled by the ranks of student strikers and their supporters, as well as workers—including 100 locked out workers from Alma (six hours drive from Montreal), who three weeks prior had their own global day of action that striking students and workers across Quebec, Canada and the world joined. The sea of humanity in the Place des arts was sprinkled with red square badges—the symbol of the strike. The size of the crowd outstripped the 200,000-strong demonstration the strikers organized exactly one month earlier, while at the same time hundreds protested Charest in Gatineau.
300,000 demonstrated in Montréal on Earth Day, bolstered by some of the 170,000 University students in Quebec on strike against tuition fees and for the future of Quebec. Here is a link to a great recent report called Le printemps érable: another May 1968? in Socialist Worker Canada. (Le printemps érable is French for The maple spring. For those who don’t know the main language of Quebec is French.)
It is the ruthlessness required to rule under capitalism that imbues the rich with their characteristic selfishness and greed. So capitalism makes the ruling class scumbags as much as the scumbags make the system. But the working class and indeed the majority of the world’s population has no interest in the kind of greedy, self-serving mentality of the rich and powerful. We can best advance our interests through cooperation, unity and fighting against those who preserve the capitalist system of exploitation for profits.
On 1 May 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalise dissent in Baillieu’s Victoria and intimidate supporters of Palestine in Australia.
A vote for me in the people’s choice award means a left wing writer might have a chance of winning instead of the usual parade of reactionary or conservative or middle of the road writers. And food writers. Food writers! I mean, I ask you, can you believe it?
Vote early and vote often. Entries close on 9 May.
There are many Indigenous freedom fighters white settler society ignores; fighters who in a less racist society would be honoured for their stance and the courage of their resistance. Where are our monuments to these fallen heroes?
So this ANZAC Day, as beer companies take it over, I’ll be raising a glass – a cup of tea – to Malalai Joya and her message to the Australian and other invaders of her country, Afghanistan. Get out now.
The West must be swayed to use its powers for “good” in order to stop “evil”: this has been the key justification for empire since the 19th century, writes Robin Laycock in Socialist Alternative. Liberal voices have been crucial because they provide a left-cover to the more explicit arguments emanating from hardline neoconservatives and ideologues of imperialism.