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John Passant

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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 'Reformism'

The problem is capitalism, not just who manages it

While I think it is fantastic that the likes of Jeremy Corbyn are raising a whole range of issues from taxing the rich to re-nationalising public goods, from cutting billion from defence spending to supporting refugees and recognising Palestine, and by doing that giving hope to the millions disenfranchised by the tweedledee and tweedledum of neoliberal politics, we need to be clear that the real problem is capitalism, not just who manages it and how they do so. In the long term the only way we can win a better society is by us, the vast majority, uniting to overthrow capitalism and organising production democratically to satisfy human need.

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From reformism to struggle and regroupment

If there are two lessons I draw from the surrender of SYRIZA they are, first, not to pursue a grand reformist project, especially an electoralist one aimed at winning power to manage capitalism, and second to consider how to unite those small and disparate forces now on the ground in Australia that understand that the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class.

No more dogf**ker ‘humour’; bust the Budget instead

In the circumstances of reformism’s despair and degeneration, abuse becomes a substitute for politics. To win laughter back we on the left need to help organise the fight, fight, fight against the neoliberalism of both parties which renders so many on the soft left, in their passivity, humourless and without hope.

The myth of Labor’s progressive values

If you want to join the fight against the barbarities of capitalism, if you want to fight the system that breeds injustice and inequality, war, racism and homophobia, that sends vulnerable asylum seeks to rot in PNG, or even if you just want to find out more given that Labor is not an option, then you should consider one of the revolutionary socialist groups in Australia like Socialist Alternative.

Kevin: Messiah or Magician?

So while the reality may be, as I have argued elsewhere, that it makes no difference which Labor leader is selling us the shit sandwich of neoliberalism, in the short term it does. The swing to Labor under the newly recycled Rudd expresses workers’ hopes for a better world. Time, and the reality of capitalism, will destroy that illusion but at the moment many of us appear spell bound by the magician whose tricks give us hope.

It is false hope to be sure but it will take workers time and the experience of Rudd in power for longer than a few weeks second time round to understand that.

Is Labor dead, or just resting?

Labor isn’t dead. It may be wounded but the desire of workers for a better world and its expression within capitalism as reformism are part and parcel of life for workers under capitalism. This means that the ALP or some variant can and will grow again. One task for the revolutionary left is to develop an alternative narrative and build an organisation to attract the militant section of the class who can see through Labor’s lies and ultimately understand that capitalism here and now cannot deliver the hoped for reforms that benefit the working class.

Can we bring the ideas of Hugo Chavez to Australia?

I have a suggestion for Labor. Abandon neoliberalism. Adopt a radical program like that which Chavez put forward. Tax the rich to improve the lives of the 2.2 million Australians in poverty and fix up the 17% gender gap. Use this money to negotiate a treaty with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

That of course would just be the opening salvos of a radical program to fundamentally challenge the rule of capital.  It would involve nationalising the banks, mining companies and the other big battalions of capital and massively increase spending on public health, education, transport and social payments and develop a real program to address climate change.

That of course would just be the opening salvos of a radical program to fundamentally challenge the rule of capital.  It would involve nationalising the banks, mining companies, and other big battalions of capital and massively increase spending on public health, education, transport and social payments and develop a real program to address climate change.

Is Labor gone?

Is there an alternative to the failure that is Labor? The need now for a revolutionary socialist workers’ party is great. But we cannot hurry history. Workers will have to learn the lessons of struggle and history, with input from the revolutionary left where we can to patiently explain the way forward and our view of the world.

Labor might be gone but the struggle continues.

The politics of the rising European left

Versions of reformism will seek simultaneously to express workers’ resistance to capitalism and to contain it within the framework of the system. But it underlines the necessity of building a revolutionary left that is part of this great movement sweeping Europe but maintains its own political identity.

Random thoughts on reformism, profit rates and the demise of Larvatus Prodeo

I’ll miss Larvatus Prodeo and the cogent arguments it often gave for social democratic thought and policy. But for me the need to communicate socialist ideas to a wider audience continues and I can see no better way of doing that than through this blog and my activity as a member of Socialist Alternative.