ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

February 2009



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


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)



Economic crisis:Recession and rebellion

I will be talking at a Canberra Socialist Alternative meeting on ‘Economic Crisis:Recession and Rebellion.’ The meeting is at 6 pm on Thursday 26 February in room G039 of the Copland Building at the ANU. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. I encourage discussion and debate.

I will look at the recession in various countries and its possible deepening impact on Australia. I will explain the crisis of profitability that underpins this recession, and the neoliberal and keynesian solutions the bourgeoisie offer, before addressing the  socialist alternative.

Some initial thoughts.

The global economy is in deep recession. In country after country GDP is falling. Governments are nationalising key parts of the economy to oversee the ‘creative destruction’ of capital and jobs and wages. Unemployment is increasing rapidly.

But amid the gloom there is hope. Workers around the world are fighting back.

From France to Ireland to Greece, and on to Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and other countries, Governments have fallen or are being shaken by strikes, demonstrations and  occupations.

In Egypt the Government represses the masses who are angry at Mubarak siding with Israel.  And they are hungry as food prices remain high and wages decline.

In Guadeloupe police are killing rioters.

In Ireland 120,000 workers recently demonstrated against the Government’s economic policies.  The occupying workers from Waterford Crystal led the march.

In France the next general strike is scheduled for 19 March and the most effective Opposition leader, according to polls, is a trotskyist who believes in workers’ control of society. He wants a successful re-run of May ’68 when workers paralysed society and almost bought de Gaulle down.  His support I believe is at about 23 per cent, almost double what it was a few weeks ago.

In China 20 million workers a month are losing their jobs and the dictatorship fears mass unrest.

The Governments of Iceland and Latvia have fallen and Lithuania might follow.

South America writhes with class struggle.

Australia is not immune from the economic crisis. Class struggle in response to the ferment can break out here too.

We have the same class divisions as other countries. Our bourgeoisie and Governments will attempt to shift the burden of the crisis onto workers.  That of course is already happening with wage freezes, reduced hours and sackings, and stimulus packages aimed at bolstering profits, and promoting attacks on wages.

Our economy is integrated into the world economy.  However the small dyke of trade with China is being swept away by the flood of the global economic crisis.

Nobody talks any more about ‘de-coupling’.  In fact, because we are such a small free trade nation dependent on the  export and import of goods and capital, the global economic crisis could wreak great havoc here.

At the moment we may be watching the crash in slow motion but fast forward is not too far away.

This means that at some stage class war will break out in Australia.  Workers in other countries are already showing the way.  Australian workers will learn the lessons of struggle.

It is in these workers’ struggles around the world against the crises of capitalism that the possibility of a new world of democracy opens up, a world where want and war are banished.

email: or visit



Comment from Chris Warren
Time February 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

Todays Fin Review suggests that the low paid may have their wages effectively cut.

This is classic class struggle. You can see the same trends in ABS data on shares between wages, salaries and supplements vs gross operating surplus.

So the class struggle is already here.

Comment from Ash
Time February 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I don’t get why you are promoting a class struggle.
It is in bad taste right now for you to be expressing excitement about the breakdown in our institutions.
“Management” and “workers” – can work better cooperatively so is it necessary to be barracking for a new ‘struggle’ against companies and profits?
The additional economic destruction from the uprisings and civil disobedience you advocate is merely going to reduce our workers superannuation returns even more.

Comment from John
Time February 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Thanks Ash. I am not expressing excitement. Far from it.

I am arguing that these ‘breakdowns’ are a natural consequence of the way capitalism is organised and they have catastrophic impacts on workers’ lives.

I am also arguing that workers can fight back to defend their living standards and jobs.

The TWU and other union bans on moving machinery out of Australia shows a little glimpses of the way forward for Pacific Brand workers to save their jobs.

Comment from mark
Time April 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Incredible site!

Write a comment