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January 2016
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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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Archive for January, 2016

Martin Luther King – oppressed and oppressors

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Patriots fighting the state?

The right-wingers who have taken over federal property in eastern Oregon claim to be fighting a tyrannical government, but their outrage is selective, writes Eric Ruder in Socialist Worker US.   THE ONGOING occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon raises a thicket of political questions significantly more important than the squabbling […]

Are we heading towards a slump?

The disasters of the free market will lead to radicalization and political polarization argues Socialist Worker US.

Fighting for justice for Essendon players

Given the power imbalance in professional sports like AFL (and the National Rugby Leagues too) between the players and their clubs it is unjust to import guilt to players whose only fault was to follow the instructions of their employer. This same employer gave them assurances everything was above board.

To me penalising the players for something the boss forced on them is like blaming building workers for deaths and serious injuries on building sites. The point might be to challenge the power imbalance by striking to stop the bosses imposing their will on the players in the future. We on the left have to ask how that power imbalance between clubs and players can be overcome? A players’ strike? Other clubs providing top players to Essendon?

Star Wars: The force of nostalgia awakens

The pop cultural juggernaut that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens is built on a kind of monetized nostalgia, writes Nicole Colson in Socialist Worker US and republished here. There’s something obnoxious, not to mention elitist, in cantankerous Marxists looking down their noses at Star Wars fans and proclaiming that we need to “get a life” and stop wasting so much time and energy on debates about Sith lords and the properties of the Force. It’s even more obnoxious to castigate the movies for not being properly “political.” Capturing a certain truth about the approach of some on the left to culture in general and Star Wars in particular, the satire site “Worker’s Spatula” teased:

‘Not once in the entire Star Wars trilogy does any character make reference to Marxism-Leninism or dialectical materialism. When Luke’s master, Yoba, dies in the first film, while it is true that the Rebel Alliance hold their fists aloft and praise him as a great revolutionary who has become immortalized in their struggle against fascism, no reference to class is to be found in the Rebels’ ideology.’

Can unions smash the straitjacket on strikes?

If left union leaders are serious about defending their members, themselves, and their position then the general strike in 1969 to free Clarrie O’Shea and smash the penal powers shows a real way to win the right to strike. Union members could begin to organise in their unions now to run any campaign to smash the modern day equivalent of the penal powers.

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London, by Dylan Thomas

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953 Never until the mankind making Bird beast and flower Fathering and all humbling darkness Tells with silence the last light breaking And the still hour Is come of the sea tumbling in harness And I must enter […]

Laurie Penny in New Statesman – we can’t let the bigots steal feminism

Laurie Penny has written an excellent article in New Statesman explaining why the racism of the bigots and their false claims about cultural differences explaining sexual assault are lies designed to give cover to bigotry.

She says among other things:

“The sensible thing to do in response to the Cologne attacks would be to call, as many German feminists are doing, for a far more rigorous attitude to rape and sexual assault across Europe. Instead, the solution on the table seems to be to clamp down on migration. That fits in with the shibboleth that only savage, foreign men and hardened criminals rape and abuse women – despite the fact that most rapes, in Germany and elsewhere, are committed by people known to the victim, …and migrants have not been shown to be more or less sexually aggressive than any other group. As usual, white supremacist patriarchy only concerns itself with women’s safety and women’s dignity when rape and sexual assault can be pinned on cultural ‘outsiders’. ”

To read the whole article click here. After Cologne we can’t let the bigots steal feminism

Taxing economic rent – what a capital idea

This is a first rough draft on taxing economic rent. Feel free and very welcome to comment. I have my own ideas bubbling away for it.

Comments close very soon. For access and to log on to comment click here. Taxing resource rents in Australia: what a capital idea

German socialists respond to Cologne attacks – Sexism is not a foreign import

Dozens of women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in Germany. But rather than connecting the events to everyday sexist violence, politicians and the media have turned to stoking up racism. Silke Stöckle and Marion Wegscheider respond in this article for German socialist group Marx21, translated by Kate Davison and re-published from Socialist Worker UK