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John Passant

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November 2008



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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)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Remembrance Day – the battle for the future

The war glorifiers have won the battle for the soul of Remembrance Day. Under the guise of opposing war, they ready the next generation of working class warriors to die in defence of capital.

What we have ended up with are myths about brave Aussie boys dying for democracy. This is untrue. Our soldiers were and are dying for imperialism – both of the dominant world power and our own.

Australian forces (from Sudan in 1885 to Iraq and Afghanistan today) have been the handmaiden of imperialism. Working class Australians have been shock troops for the British and American empires.

Australia’s ruling class supports the dominant world power by among other things supplying cannon fodder for whatever adventure this imperialist ruling class thinks necessary. Australia’s commitment of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan are re-runs of the First and Second World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.

Australia’s ruling class do this to both gain an insurance policy against attacks on our variant of the profit system and to allow us to operate as the chief imperialist power in our region. The Solomon Islands, East Timor and PNG are examples of Australia’s regional imperialism.

Another factor in this jingoistic myth making is the airbrushing of history. Australia Day, Anzac Day and Armistice Day – the holy troika of “our” nationhood – are all such incomplete truths that they become lies; lies designed to tie labour to capital and prepare the next generation of workers for slaughter if necessary.

The First World War – the War to end all Wars – created revolutions across Europe. The most well known is the 1917 Russian Revolution when workers created their own democratic organs of rule – workers’ councils – and took power.

But how many readers know that it was the outbreak of revolution in Germany in November 1918 that forced the Kaiser to abdicate and the German equivalent of the ALP to declare a republic.

The revolution, together with a worsening military position and the failure of the Spring Offensive, saw the German forces sue for peace and the Armistice declared from 11 am on 11 November 1918.

A little background. The Russian Revolution – with its slogans of “all power to the workers’ councils” and “land, bread and peace” – inspired workers around the world, including German workers. For example in early January 1918 nearly half a million workers went on strike in Berlin for peace.

The German working class was in ferment over the misery and destruction the war was producing. The worsening military situation heightened that ferment.

In early November 1918 the German military ordered the fleet at Kiel to fight the British Navy. The sailors knew they would be going to their death, for no reason. So they mutinied, and within two days workers and the rank and file military ran the city. Within a week councils of workers and soldiers ran Germany. When workers took control of Berlin the Kaiser fled and the German ALP declared (against their will but under pressure from workers) the German Republic. Two days later the armistice was in place.

It is a story we will hear nothing about on Remembrance Day, because it undercuts the real reason the ruling class celebrates this day – to glorify war in the name of Australian imperialism and to ready us for the next round of war in the inevitable military conflicts that will arise between competing blocks of capital.

Until we rid the world of capitalism there will be war.


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