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John Passant

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August 2009
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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)

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Sick kids and paying upfront


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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)



Beware Gillard’s culture of change in the workplace

When Julia Gillard talks about creating a culture of change in the workplace to unlock productivity be afraid.

For workers productivity is a dirty word.  It is about screwing more hours out of us at faster rates often for less pay.

This is the trifecta that the bosses in Australia have been achieving over the last 25 years but now must have more just to stand still.

Economic crises are endemic to capitalism – they flow from the very way the system is organised. 

Labour creates economic value.  Yet competition forces bosses to invest more and more in machines to survive as capital.

This leads to a tendency for the rate of profit to fall. 

There are countervailing tendencies that for a time can offset this fall in profit rates.

One way of increasing productivity is to make  workers work harder and often to do so for less.

Certainly that is what Gillard has in mind for us.

More productive processes in those industries making the necessities of life reduce their cost and so allow the bosses to expropriate more of the value workers produce.

Productivity is also about cooperation in production – that is bringing together more and more workers.

The cooperation necessary for production both concentrates more and more power in the hands of the working class and lays the productive foundation for socialism itself – democratic decision making over what and how much is produced to satisfy human need. 

Productivity is also about the specialisation of labour.  

Specialisation can increase productivity, but that requires a society with the appropriate planning for training and development of skills that are and will be relevant. I don’t see any evidence of that.

And then there are new machines, processes and technology, which exist under capitalism to produce more capital more efficiently (in other words to steal more economic value for workers).

The rule of capital means that machines dominate humanity.

For workers this productivity is about profit for the bosses – about working harder and possibly losing jobs as machines replace their labour.
On  the waterfront a decade ago the Maritime Union waged a campaign against the new owners, Patricks, to save the last vestiges of workers’ control over the ports.

The union won in the courts but lost in the ports. 

Speed-ups and new technology destroyed the humanity of working there at a humane pace and the consequent increase in turn around times destroyed working class lives in the name of profit.

When Julia Gillard talks about a culture of change she is really taking about increasing the exploitation of workers so the bosses can make more profit. 

She wants to Patrickise the whole Australian.

Labor wants us to work harder and harder so that the bosses can steal more profits from us and the next economic crisis can envelop us all.



Comment from Arjay
Time August 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

John to a large degree you are right,but I disagree with you in the way of making the world a better place.
I think you are a man of integrity and with the best of good will for all our humanity like John Pilger but there is a pressing truth now which we all must confront.see

These are architects and engineers now approaching 900 who want an independant inquiry into 911.

See also There are serious anomolies that need to be addressed.

Obama is not all he seems and in my view just a puppet of Global Corporatism.Julia Gillard has good intentions but has not a clue on how to achieve equality.If you really want some perspective just read some of Webster Griffin Tarpley’s work on foreign policy.Just google Webster’s vast works.He is no fool.