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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)

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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?
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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Fascists, free speech and fools

Out they come, the free speech fundamentalists, defending the ‘right’ of fascist leader Nick Griffin to appear on BBC TV.

They shall have emblazoned on their banners ‘Free speech for fascists’ as the Nazis imprison them.

And possibly, given their tendency to acquiesce to power, these apologists for capital and exponents of parliamentary cretinism will bow before Hitler’s children if they grow in power.

These fools elevate free speech to an absolute principle. But even under capitalism today speech is not free.

Powerful barons control and mediate speech. 

The internet is no saviour. It lives in the shadow of thought that the capitalist media throws.  

Free speech, the right to organise and the right to vote did not come gift wrapped from the bourgeoisie. 

They were born of struggle against the established order.

They often sprang from the battles of workers for a just society. It is the working class which retains the power to defend those freedoms if and when the bourgeoisie wants them curtailed.

The BBC decision to give air time to the fascists is part of the future planning of the ruling class.

It will also lead directly to an increase in attacks on Muslims, Asians and blacks in society. The BNP is claiming a record number of enquiries about membership after the broadcast.

Hiding behind free speech and even handedness is also hypocritical.

Irish freedom fighter Bobbie Sands was elected to the British Parliament. The BBC did not (as far as I can find out)  interview him.

Instead they followed Margaret Thatcher’s order not to give Sinn Fein what she called ‘the oxygen of publicity.’

Apparently censorship is OK when used against those who challenge the established imperialist order, but an outrage when it threatens the bosses’ fascists, the brutal bully boys of capitalism in crisis.

The bourgeoisie will have no compunction in attacking basic freedoms if it is in their interests to do so to protect and restore profit rates.

The rise of the Nazis to power in Germany in the 1930s is a case in point. 

The crisis of profitability in German society saw the fascists grow from a tiny minority to being the largest party in the Reichstag. The Nazis won less than three percent of the vote in the 1928 elections, then over 18 percent in 1930 and 37 percent in the 1932 elections.

The Nazis were initially the political expression of the middle class, a class caught between big business and labour.  They attempted to appeal to both workers and bosses – hence national ‘socialism’. 

But while the German economy boomed, the bourgeoisie had little immediate need  for the fascists.

That changed with the collapse of the German economy during the Great Depression. 

The bourgeoisie found their strong leader in Hitler.

His task for the bosses was to smash the trade unions and political parties of the left, the German equivalent of the Labor Party and the German Communist Party.

Having done that the Nazis could then drive down living standards, reorganise capital and restore profit rates.

Hitler adopted a two pronged approach to organisation before winning power- the respectable parliamentary fascists and the street fighting mainly unemployed gangs.

It is an approach Nick Griffin in the UK is following today. Like Hitler he is mainstreaming fascism for future battles. The BBC is his accomplice in that.

And his street thugs, groups like the English Defence League, attract human scum to prepare for the battles of the future against workers and their organisations.

The BNP received 6 percent of the vote in the European elections in June.  This is partly because of the complete failure of New Labor to defend public services and living standards. 

Britain remains in recession while other countries appear to be coming out of it. 

In Germany in the early 30s both the Communist Party and the Social Democrat party were strong institutions of the working class.

They failed to unite against the fascists.

 The Stalinist tactic of attacking the social democrats as social fascists was a crime against history and, along with the failure of the left to mobilise workers as workers against  fascists, led to Hitler’s victory.

In Britain today there is no strong social democratic party, and certainly no revolutionary group with significant support in the working class. 

While economically the situation today in Britain is not yet like Germany in the early 30s, politically it is much worse.

Any worsening of the economic situation could see a swing to the British fascists among voters, including working class voters because of the lack of a left alternative and New Labour’s abject failure.

As the BBC decision to legitimise the BNP’s fascism shows, the British bourgeoisie is hedging its bets.

It does not need the fascists yet to destroy the weak labour and left movements.  But if the British economy worsens, it might consider using the fascists to drive down workers’ living standards.

This may not be by granting the fascists power.  The British Nazis already perform a valuable function for British capital.

They will be a magnet pulling the forthcoming Conservative Government further to the right and pushing it to massively attack public services, jobs and wages.  And Muslims, Asians and blacks.

The demonstration outside the BBC headquarters when Griffin turned up for his interview shows that some in British society recognise the danger. 

Unless British unionists begin to join them in droves and to exercise their power as workers against the Nazis, the fascists could grow rapidly.

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Comments

Comment from paul
Time October 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

The bourgeoisie found their strong leader in Hitler.

I think this is very true. Whenever you mention socialism to people they always refer to its extreme perversion which was communist Russia. But whenever you mention capitalism people never refer to its extreme perversion which was Nazi Germany.
Another good point is that the bourgeoisie never willingly gave women more rights and the people the right to vote. These were won by mass movements like the Chartists and the suffragettes. Tony Benn is very strong on this in his writing. One thing the age of mass media has been successful at is knocking protestors and making out that protest is futile. Another thing it has done has been able to be a pseudo outlet for peoples grievances while masquerading as a solution in itself. Jim Cairns in one of his books said the media is by definition pro capitalist and anti worker simply because it takes so much capital to set up a media organisation. The state of newspapers in this country is a disgrace with no voice for working people. And the unions are crap too. In the 90s they sold their radio stations in Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne. I utterly condemn this. In the early 90s on 2KY in Sydney the announcers on talk back were actually pro Labor. This sounds a million years away now where every talkback announcer is more or less anti Labor and anti union. The soon to retire Mike Carlton on 2UE in Sydney is the only commercial broadcaster nationwide who stands for a fair go in society and not rule by big companies and their lapdog cronies.

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Time October 25, 2009 at 10:05 pm

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Comment from Paul
Time October 27, 2009 at 5:51 am

Racism begins with our families, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, people we admire, respect and love.

However, as we grow and mature we come to the realization that what we were told by our family when we were children were slanted lies base on their prejudices. We realize that most people are like ourselves and not so different and want the same things, like a home, steady work, a Medicare plan and schools for our children (if you travel you will see this). We realize that most people are of good hearts and goodwill.

This reminds me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn’t stop to help him.

Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need.

Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his fellow man.

You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before us. The question is not, “If I stop to help our fellow man (immigrant) in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help our fellow man, what will happen to him or her?” That’s the question.

This current climate of blaming others for our woes is not new. We have had this before and we have conquered it.

Remember “Evil flourishes when good men (and women) do nothing”. Raise your voices with those of us who believe we are equal and we can win this battle again.

Comment from Matt
Time October 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I love the ads. Really makes everything ring true.

Don’t bother saying “we operate at a loss” or any other similar nonsense.

You, like everyone else supporting marxism, have had to make an ideological sacrifice in your effort to spread your ideology.

It just makes your words painfully empty.