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John Passant

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September 2010
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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. (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)



Abolition of the wages system

As an unreconstructed leftie, I hope beyond hope that we eventually move beyond talk of a kinder, gentler capitalism and recognise the system for what it is – vicious, brutal, built on the exploitation of workers and interested in only one thing – profit, profit and more profit.

In Wages, Price and Profit, Marx talks about ‘that false and superficial radicalism that accepts premises and tries to evade conclusions’. He goes on: ‘To clamour for equal or even equitable retribution on the basis of the wages system is the same as to clamour for freedom on the basis of the slavery system. What you think just or equitable is out of the question. The question is: What is necessary and unavoidable with a given system of production?’

Later on he says: ‘Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work!” [or social deomocratic or other dreams of a cooperative and crisis free capitalism – JP] workers ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wages system!”

Marx’s point strikes me as completely valid. How can there be justice when the system is built on and exists on the injustice of exploitation?

On the other hand the struggle for justice in the here and now is important, even in the context of the capitalist system. The struggle against individual instances of the system’s brutality, its inherent inequity and criminal injustice in specific cases opens up the possibility of generalising the struggle to become one against capitalism, not just its particular manifestation of wrong doing.

That generalisation only has a chance of success if it challenges both the economic and political injustices the system is built upon.

To do that requires a committed group of revolutionaries building in the present for the future. Our aim is first to cohere and unite and give voice to the class conscious section of the working class around immediate demands and a socialist program of workers’ power. We workers then have a world to win.