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January 2012
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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?
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
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

(0)

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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (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)

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The rotten theory that drives Ron Paul

THEORY MATTERS. Such is the mantra of so many socialists–and it is when cults of personality build up around individuals, such as the racist, sexist, classist Ron Paul, that we see why, argues Paul Guild in Socialist Worker.

Ron Paul, the ideological grandfather of the Tea Party movement, has become a political enigma by garnering support not just from disgruntled right wingers, free-market enthusiasts, neo-Nazis and Klansmen, but also from individuals claiming to be on the left of the political spectrum, including those who believe they are on the radical left.

What reasons could self-proclaimed leftists have for supporting a man who has had incredibly racist articles, at the very least, printed in his name, if he was not the author himself? A man who has come out against abortion rights? A man who holds a completely unrestrained market at the center of his ideology?

“Well, at least he wants to bring all the troops home” or “He’s against the war on drugs” are the common refrains his blindly dedicated devotees on the left have stuck to. “Not even Obama will do these things.”

Of course, such arguments are almost instantly revealed as a belief in the politics of “lesser evilism” as soon Paul is portrayed as being “better than Obama,” even if he still has “a lot of positions I disagree with.”

But this is not the key problem. In a two-party, capitalist political system, there will always be those who argue that we have to resort to lesser evilism in order to prevent things from getting really bad.

The dangerous problem that self-proclaimed leftists create when they support Paul is that they disregard theory and begin to rank individual policy points as more or less important than others.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHEN PEOPLE support Paul because he wants to shut down all U.S. military bases abroad and bring the troops home, they ignore why he has this motivation. Unlike activists on the left who have been campaigning for decades to end U.S. imperialism, Paul is a staunch isolationist–he still wants American hegemonic dominance in the world, he just doesn’t want to waste precious U.S. resources to act as world police.

All one needs to do is look where he wants to put the returning troops to see where his priorities lie; the military in Ron Paul’s America would be used to create a border with Mexico that makes the Korean DMZ look like Disney World.

While there is no doubt that we have far too many military bases and personnel in too many countries, the answer should be withdrawals accompanied with disbanding, rather than withdrawals only to re-station our military along our southern border.

As for Paul wanting to end the war on drugs and legalize just about every kind of drug; while this might be the first step in beginning to treat a societal and public health issue for what it is, rather than criminalizing the people who need help the most, it is important to remember that Paul also wants to get rid of any and all public funding for health care.

While some may be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for not saying that we should let the uninsured die in the street (it was a fanatical Tea Partier who shouted “Yeah!” when Paul tried to respond “No” during that debate), his policy speaks volumes more than an answer he gave to sound like more of an nice guy than he actually is.

Ron Paul may be crazy, but he is not stupid.

He realized, when answering Wolf Blitzer during that debate, that only the cruelest human being would actually say they wanted people to just die in the street, or boo veterans, or applaud the idea of well over 200 executions. But that does not change what his stated positions would actually result in: no health care, except for what private companies are willing to provide, and no publicly funded emergency rooms or health clinics.

As a result, Paul’s end to the war on drugs would only mean private companies could enter into the heroin- and meth-dealing business, while those facing addiction problems would be left to die in the not-so-proverbial streets.

Ron Paul is the prime example of why theory is important and why individual issues alone are not enough. The “how” and “why” are just as important as the “what.”

If members of the left begin to forget this, we face a growing danger of reactionary, right-wing politicians like Paul being elected; probably not in 2012, but with greater possibility each year that Paul and his son Rand (named for the most famous egoist of all time, Ayn Rand) grow in popularity.

This is why those on the left who combine their politics with theory must object to support for Paul every time it appears.

It must be made clear that Paul is not some savior, delivered from on high to “restore America” or make America “proper.” The only people who benefit from Paul’s popularity are those who truly wish to see us cast back into the Gilded Age jungle, where robber barons rule and the rest of us are left to live or die by mercy or luck.
Craig Guild, from the Internet

Readers might also like to read Ron Paul: a bigot through and through

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Comments

Comment from Shane H
Time January 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

The question surely is why key positions associated with the left – end military interventions, ending the war on drugs, closing Gitmo – the things which Obama promised are being articulated in public by a conservative republican – however odious his other views.

Comment from Shane H
Time January 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

Like this from Glenn Ford in Black Agenda report

The Republicans are ugly, nasty and evil. President Obama is the most attractive and articulate servant of Wall Street and war – and, therefore, an even more effective evil. There is only one alternative, and that is mass political action in opposition to the rule of the rich. Without a people’s movement, the people inevitably lose. http://blackagendareport.com/content/wasteland-democratic-politics

Comment from dl
Time January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

This is fair enough. Some of the positions that Ron Paul has taken in the past have even given me a surprise. For example, there’s the story of his ex-staffer Eric Dondero made the claim that he refused to use the bathroom of a gay staffer, and refused to shake the hand of a gay supporter. He does tkae the principle libertarian position that Homosexuals have the right to do whatever they want in private, which is right of him. Also, his position on civil rights is wrong. The private sector is often less effective than the government in creating social change. However, his position does come from a minarchist, keep-the-gov’t-off-private-property perspective, and is not necessarily racist. Some of his Austrian school guided economic predictions, such as hyperinflation due to quantitive easing, have also proved incorrect.

Personally, the reason I still like him so much despite these things is because the guy is so damned genuine. I mean, the lack of prevarication that I have seen in his interviews, and the fact that some of his political positions haven ‘t wavered during his time in politics stands him in good stead in my books.

Also, he’s the only candidate that stands for any sort of change in the status quo.
For example, this is list of Mitt Romney’s top 10 campaign contributors from opensecrets.org:
Goldman Sachs $367,200
Credit Suisse Group $203,750
Morgan Stanley $199,800
HIG Capital $186,500
Barclays $157,750
Kirkland & Ellis $132,100
Bank of America $126,500
PriceWaterhouseCoopers $118,250
EMC Corp $117,300
JPMorgan Chase & Co $112,250

So in terms of al the viable candidates for 2012, it’s essentially a contest between Ron Paul and the candidate of the bankers. Obama is also a servant of these bankers. I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist when I say this either, as the numbers shown speak for themselves.

This being said, I actually don’t think that Ron Paul will change much, should he get into power. Obama said he would take on the financial industry coming into 2008, and he did absolutely nothing. The american political edifice has a great power in bringing people into conformity.

Comment from Ross
Time January 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm

There is no way that Ron Paul will cut out social security in such dire times.You all have to remember that the US Federal Reserve and it’s interests in the financial system,drugs in Afghanistan,Military sales, drug companies etc almost totally control the US Congress.Paul is wrong on a gold based monetary system, free trade (fair trade) but his most imortant policy is the restoration of the US Constitution which has been trashed by Bush and Obama.The US now a virtual police state.The latest one is the Defence Authorisation Act in which the Military can now arrest anyone in the USA or here, throw them in gaol with no legal reps or real charges.They don’t even have to tell anyone what they’ve done to you.

Paul is still a long way from being President but I think his positives far outweigh his negatives.He is the only one that cannot be corrupted and all the parties hate him.

Comment from John
Time January 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

Cutting social security is an important part of his agenda.

Comment from John
Time January 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Except you might be able to say the same about some of the extreme right here too.

Comment from mat tamady
Time January 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Great stuff! If you liked this article, then you’ll love this one:

http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/17/theory-that-drives-ron-paul

It has very similar ideas, specifically the exact same text verbatim, and in a better font. Interestingly enough it was even posted a day before this one. Weird! RON PAUL 2012!

Comment from John
Time January 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Yes, as the article says in the first line it is from Paul Guild writing in Socialist Worker and with a link. I guess Ron Paul supporters have trouble with reading and comprehension.

Comment from Shane H
Time January 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

How about this in Today’s ‘Crikey’

5. While Labor fights in Qld, its young leader joins GOP campaign

Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook writes:

The president of Queensland Young Labor has revealed himself to be a staunch supporter of conservative Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, using his annual leave from the Australian Workers Union to campaign for the anti-abortion libertarian as the GOP primary season heats up.

Chaiy Donati, by day an AWU organiser at the Queensland state office, appears to have embraced Paul’s radical vision of limited government, hitting the phones ahead of key primaries to slap down Barack Obama and get out the vote for the controversial septuagenarian congressman.

On Donati’s public Facebook wall, a Paul shill, Eric Alan Antisell, congratulates his comrade on a recent bout of phone canvassing in New Hampshire, reporting Donati had “statistically one of the highest rates of persuasion out of all the callers in the entire US!”.

“Even though it was already obvious to everyone in New Hampshire how much of a difference you were making, now we have the hard statistics to prove it!” Antisell writes.

Another congratulates Donati “for traveling across the world to Join the fight for Liberty. Your dedication really shows how far this R[3vol]ution has spread.”

Donati’s political positioning on the fringe of the libertarian Right may prove to be a career-limiting move given AWU National Secretary Paul Howes and Wayne Swan’s staunch support for Obama.

The ALP’s official website contains a link to the US Democrats’ site, which it lauds as an “equivalent” and “like-minded” organisation.

A spokesperson for the AWU’s Queensland branch told Crikey this morning Donati had conducted the campaigning while on annual leave and hadn’t utilised any union resources. “He was acting as a private citizen,” the spokesperson said, noting he was scheduled to return to work today.

But Young Labor activists have expressed concern that while junior members prepare feverishly for the Queensland election by door knocking, staffing telephones and stuffing envelopes, Donati, who did not respond to requests for comment, had been effectively missing in action.

A senior Queensland Labor Left source slammed Donati’s actions as “disgraceful on two fronts. One is that it’s [a] campaign against a Democratic president that’s been instrumental in campaigning for universal health care cover and secondly he’s publicly supporting someone with a proven track record of disgraceful racist statements.”

In 1992, Paul published an edition of his Ron Paul Political Report that claimed order was only restored after the LA riots “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks”.

On Facebook, Donati jokes the “one issue alone” that convinced him to “support” Paul is that he backs “losing your virginity in a large chandelier”, a cryptic reference to an altercation in which the young go-getter apparently took a stand against racism.

Donati’s support for Paul has been an open secret inside the Queensland ALP for years. In 2007, he posted a message to the web proclaiming it was “invigorating to know at the end of the day he supports liberty, freedom and limited government”.

“I am a big fan of ‘Mr No’ (Ron Paul). I know there is a Free State Project in New Hampshire @ which point he might announce his candidacy. A Republican, ran for President in the 1980’s at [sic] a Libertarian,” Donati wrote.

“This guy has truly been around the block. And its invigorating to know at the end of the day he supports liberty, freedom and limited government: D.”

It appears his recent efforts have only born limited fruit — despite Paul finishing a respectable second in New Hampshire in the wake of Donati’s phone blitz. In South Carolina the great-grandfather came last out of four candidates.

This is not the first time right-wing young Laborites have revealed their support for the Republicans in preference to the Obama-led Democrats. In the lead-up to the last presidential poll in 2008, arch-conservative Michael de Bruyn, the son of Australia’s most powerful unionist turned Victorian Young Labor president, set up a Facebook group entitled “Labor Supporters Against Obama”.

He also posted approvingly in a group called “A McCain/Palin victory would have been in Australia’s national interest”.

A spokesperson for Queensland ALP State Secretary Anthony Chisholm did not return calls this morning.

Comment from John
Time January 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Shane. So does he also support Campbell Newman? These Young Labor people sound just like the Young Liberals.

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