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John Passant

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November 2011



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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?
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)



Is real change coming?

After two weeks on the picket line Baiada workers have accepted a much improved offer that addresses many of their claims. They have voted to return to work, victorious.

It shows what class struggle and solidarity can win.

Nurses in Victoria continue to defy the orders of Fair Work Australia and are closing beds in their fight for better wages and conditions.  Their great struggle continues and they have a real chance of winning.

QANTAS workers on the other hand are going through the dead end of arbitration and will get an unpleasant shock for playing by the rules of the one percent. They will not win job security from Fair Work Australia.

In Europe the austerity program of French and German capitalism wreaks havoc and produces fightbacks across the continent.

In the US the Occupy movement continues to grow, powered in part by the repression of the elite. 

In Syria the opposition confronts the barbarism that is the Bashar dictatorship. Thousands have died for freedom.

And in Egypt, the next phase of the revolution is unfolding. The overthrow of Mubarak did not get rid of his system. The counter-revolution has responded with repression, corruption and more of the old regime’s policies.

The heroes of the 25 January revolution have re-taken Tahrir Square and the army and police have responded with violence. Over 30 are dead and nearly two thousand have been injured.

The second phase of the Egyptian revolution has begun and the potential for profound social change exists. What happens next depends on a range of factors, including the class consciousness of those in struggle and the lack of wiggle room the ruling class have.

One task for socialists in all this is to understand what is happening in the world. The grand post war compromise between labour and capital that is the welfare state in Europe and other developed countries is over or under great threat.

US imperialism faces a real challenge in the medium term from Chinese imperialism and makes the American beast more dangerous.

The economic crisis mean capital and its state must turn on workers and their living standards to restore or improve profit rates.

The 30 years of class collaboration across most of the developed world have left the working class ill-prepared for struggle. It will be necessary to re-learn the lessons of struggle, of strikes and demands, of opposition to neoliberalism and perhaps even to re-learn the politics of revolution.

The contradictions between the needs of the profit system and that of its workforce will play out in different struggles across the globe.

But as the system becomes less and less capable of providing improvements in the lives of workers, it is possible that more struggles will break out to defend the gains of the past and build the future on the present.

The reality of liberation, of overthrowing the fundamental backwardness that is capitalism today, can only be realised through the existence of class conscious workers acting together for immediate aims and long term goals.

That won’t happen overnight but having socialists involved in the struggles of the day, socialists with an understanding of the tasks necessary to win a better world here and now and into the future and coalescing around common ideas about socialism and democracy is an important part of the ultimate success of the liberationist project.


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