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John Passant

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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
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


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. (0)



Christmas under capitalism

Christmas captures the contradictions that are capitalism. People across the globe yearn for peace and goodwill because we live in a world of war and hate.

That yearning is commodified. So too are loving relations. We express our love through giving material objects we have purchased. The social relations of both those who produce the presents and those who give and receive them are hidden. Retail capital and through it productive capital rejoice at the cash registers of Christianity.

Christmas is also a time for a break from work. In Australia it is summer and the break is longer than in Europe, whose real holiday from work is in mid-year, their summer. Since our humanity is sold to make profits for capital and we work longer and more intensively than previous societies, there is a need for restorative and relaxing breaks from our alienated work for capital.

Christmas provides one of those opportunities. Yet the real world that is capitalism continues.

On Christmas Day in Australia news came through that Israel had bombed Gaza killing 3 Palestinians, including a 3 year old girl, in response to a sniper attack. Occupied Palestine, the land of Christ, is too important for US imperialism and its control of the region to allow the people there, like much of the rest of the Middle East, their own independence and democracy.

With China’s economy growing rapidly and the US declining, but with the US as the most powerful military nation in the world by a country mile, the world today looks much like situation before World War I when the only recourse for late developing capitalism like Germany to grow was to re-divide the already ‘settled’ world through military means.

Of course the close relationship between American and Chinese capitalism must nuance this analysis. Yet the geographic reflection of national blocs of capital is antagonistic as well as cooperatively competitive.

And it is this tension which offers a future not of peace and goodwill but of war. Even under the umbrella of ‘peace’ (understood only as the absence of war) today, war is the order of the day.

In many countries the war on the poor and working class continues. In Australia the Abbott government has made cuts to services and agencies serving the less well off. It is likely these attacks will escalate after the Business Council of Australia dominated National Commission of Audit hands down its recommendations in January and March in the lead up to the May Budget.

After the GFC the number of people around the globe in poverty grew markedly, as did the numbers of those starving or malnourished. There is enough food produced to feed the world. People starve because they are too poor to eat.

In Australia, one of the richest countries in the world, 12.8 percent of people live below the poverty line. More than 17 percent of children, 565,000 kids, live in poverty. The top twenty percent own about 62 percent of the wealth; the bottom twenty percent own less than one percent of the wealth.

The Abbott government here has continued the war on refugees, the 21st century version of Palestinian and refugee Jesus Christ. The contradictions of Christianity are highlighted by the fact that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, two deeply committed Christians, are leading the attack on refugees and locking them up in concentration camps in Australia and on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The desire for peace and goodwill, for a better future arises because peace and goodwill are what the system lacks right now. They are wonderful human feelings and desires arising from a rotten inhuman system.

Under capitalism they are unrealisable because profit not human need is the aim of the system, its raison d’etre. Thus individualism, dog eat dog competition, becomes the norm for all society at a propaganda and in many situations a practical level. War is the national and natural expression of this.

To realise the dream of Christmas we need not to reform the current unreformable capitalist system but to overthrow it. For a warm caring humanity, for Christmas every day for everyone, we need socialism, a democratic society in which production occurs to satisfy human need.



Pingback from Christmas under capitalism | OzHouse
Time December 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

[…] Dec 25 2013 by admin […]

Comment from duen
Time December 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I hope you had a very merry
Don’t-do-Christmas at the beach. In the northern hemisphere our winter solstice nights are long and brutal, and to make the summer come back again we must all go shopping. It’s not a coincidence, so quit trying to steal our sun.

“We must overthrow the capitalist system”
Did you just figure that out? I think you hung out with the trotskyoids too long.

Comment from John
Time December 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I did have it at a suburb near the beach. It rained for 2 days.