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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 'Socialist Worker UK'

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.’

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The Magna Carta 800 years on – taking liberties with history

Ken Olende in Socialist Worker UK cuts through our rulers’ attempts to spin the Magna Carta as the basis of democratic rights in Britain

The British left must unite to be an alternative

We have to shake off the petty narcissism of our different projects and work together to create united left wing alternatives to neoliberalism both sides of the border writes Alex Callinicos in Socialist Worker UK. History will judge us very harshly if we fail.

Does debt drain the economy?

The UK government has spectacularly failed in its mission to reduce the deficit. Dave Sewell in Socialist Worker UK shows that even if it achieved its aim it would do nothing for ordinary people.

Imperialist powers go in to battle for spoils of Syria’s revolution

The Syrian revolution has few friends. Western powers want to tame it, Russia wants it crushed, and none of them want it to succeed. But despite recent defeats, it remains resilient. There are few illusions left in Syria. The revolution is learning the bitter lesson that it can only rely on itself.

Austerity economics: If I use an umbrella, will it lead to rain?

Both the US and Britain had higher than 90 percent debt after the Second World War. Rapid economic growth made this problem disappear. And this points to the real problem facing Western capitalism today. The rate of profit today is much lower than it was in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

But this is beyond the ken of Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart and their ilk.

Cliffhanger for US economy

In Europe as well as the US the super-rich and their media and political hangers on have done very well in the neoliberal era. This coalition has defined the deficit as the big problem that is holding the economy back.

Obama agrees with the Republicans about this. So he ended the debt crisis in July 2011 by agreeing on a set of tax increases and cuts in spending that were set to come into effect automatically on 1 January. The only way to stop this was for Congress to come up with a programme of measures to cut the deficit.

These automatic increases and cuts are the fiscal cliff.

Tunisia: two years on

The struggle for real justice and democracy continues. Many Tunisians are angry that the new government has done little to fulfil promises made in the run-up to the elections. Unemployment is over 17 percent. And the security forces have responded viciously to sit-ins outside parliament and other protests. Strikes and protests across the country—particularly outside the capital—are shaking the government. Graffiti stating, “The people want another revolution” has appeared in the farming town of Siliana.

Obama’s re-election: myths and reality

The disarray of the Republican Tea Party right will give confidence to all those that want to fight back. Our hope must be that in doing so, workers discover the power to unite and go well beyond the Democratic Party that has taken their votes for granted and delivered so little.

The Titanic: a disaster built on class

After the Titanic sank there was a rush to provide additional lifeboats on transatlantic ships and legislation was rapidly brought in to make this compulsory. The notion was that you should have sufficient lifeboat capacity for the passengers you are carrying. I think only capitalism could have evaded this until such a late point.

What would I conclude? The flawed “ideal city” of the Titanic sank into the abyss. Unfortunately the model survived on land.