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John Passant

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December 2010
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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?
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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)



Wikileaks and the narrowing of democratic options

Capitalism has a veneer of democracy.

Around the globe many of the democratic rights we take for granted have only been won through the struggle of ordinary working men and women against the dominant power – the capitalist state and the system it represents. 

The bourgeois and state attacks on Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange for the crime of exposing their lies are a further indication of the threadbare nature of the democratic veneer of capitalism. 

The men and women who invaded Iraq have the blood of over a million innocent people on their hands. The men and women who invaded Afghanistan have the blood of tens of thousands  on their hands. When will these criminals be bought to justice?

Instead they now clamour for the arrest of Assange and in some cases his assassination, either judicially or extra-judicially.

Julian Assange is Julia Gillard’s David Hicks.

The Labor Government has joined the witch hunt because the power of the Australian capitalist class, and its capacity to continue to exploit its workers, depends in part on the military strength of US imperialism.

From Guantanamo, to internet filters, pat downs and x-rays at airports, racial profiling, all the way to the Northern Territory invasion and the Australian Building and Construction Commission – a try-on for a future body aimed at all workers undertaking action to defend their interests – there has been a narrowing of democratic options in the Western world and in the case I know best, Australia.

This is not because of the threat of terrorism or other nonsense. It is because US imperialism is losing power to China.

Yet the American empire is massively armed and spends on its war machine what the next 16 countries combined do. It is a fatal combination – a military superpower and an ageing and weakening economy. 

As the economic power of the United states declines, its use of force to defend its interests will become greater, not less.

But there is an enemy within too – the working class of each of the developed countries.

They stand as a threat to the unbridled right of the capitalist class to exploit its workforce and make profits out of our labour. Those profits are under threat as the capitalist system in Europe and North America ages and becomes more sclerotic.

The welfare state stands in the way of more short term profits. The bourgeoisie is dismantling this historic compromise between labour and capital in Europe after the second world war.

Until the global financial crisis that dismantling was more or less gradual. Since the GFC and the rescue of major financial institutions the attacks on the welfare sate in many European countries have become brutal.

Increased power readies the capitalist state for dealing with possible working class fight backs against their attacks on welfare, jobs and conditions.

It is no accident that in the same week the global bourgeoisie has targeted Assange, the social democratic party in Government in Spain has ordered its aircraft controllers back to work at gunpoint and the UK police have kettled and beaten protesting students in London.

The grand compromise is at an end. The profit system cannot afford better health and education for its working classes, although it depends in the long run on them being fit and educated to make profit for the capitalists.

The attacks on workers will deepen in the bourgeoisie’s attempts to bolster their profit rates.

To date the response has been sporadic and led by reformist trade unions and parties who are imbued with the logic of capitalism. The lack of a mass revolutionary party in any of the major European countries means that one has to be built at the very time it is most needed.

If the working class does not do this then the next step before barbarism is further and more brutal authoritarianism.



Comment from Arjay
Time December 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm

You are right John.The USA neo-cons want war since they have trashed the US economy and now can make more money out of human misery.It is also their escape from their own people whom they have stolen from.

Comment from Ross
Time December 6, 2010 at 6:40 pm

It is a fatal combination John, an ageing self destructive empire with more weapons than anyone else with the temptation to use them.

The USA Govt and the neon-con banksters are more fearful of their own people whom they’ve shafted,than China or Russia.War will be their escape from the treachery,theft and murder which they have perpetrated.

Billions in super and life savings did not disappear.It is the hands a few banksters and their thugs in Wall St.

Comment from Walter
Time December 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm

“Julian Assange is Julia Gillard’s David Hicks.” Oh come off it Mr Passant, that is just hyperbole. Hicks was a terrorist, he trained with terrorists whose aim was to kill people like you and me – just lucky you were not at the WTC or on a London or Madrid subway!

All this blood on our hands, but how about the blood of the Tibetans (whom you never mention), the blood of the Kurish people, the Coptics in Egypt, the gays of Cuba etc.

Capitalism is far less evil than what the world looked like 100 years ago. We are safer now than ever before, and it is because of the USA and its allies.

Comment from Arjay
Time December 6, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Walter,you have a disconnect with faith and reality.Many people have lost half their life savings in the GFC scam.The US Federal Reserve precipitated the 1930’s depression,and now this one.In the next few months you are about to lose even more of your super.I know how they do it. Do you want to know the truth?

Comment from Walter
Time December 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

Arjay, so in the great socialist states like China, the old Soviet Union, Cuba etc, there was no such thing as an economic depression? And workers had access to Super (many thanks to Paul Keating and the Labor Party!!) and everyone had their incomes protected?

The truth is that you appear to enjoy the fruits of Australia – a free, open Capitalist society run by a very good centre-left government; you are not persecuted by the ‘state’, not arrested for making claims that our leaders are ‘war criminals’, not tortured for your outlandish comments … and you complain that the GFC is the worst thing to happen?? Try the Gulags? The Soviets’ 5 year plans, the genocide against the Tibetans, the persecution of gays and dissidents in Cuba, Chavez’s insane repression of the media, the killings of Christians in Egypt and so and so forth.

Here’s my reality check – I recken most of the world’d people would swap places with you and live their life here in Australia!