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John Passant

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April 2012
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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. 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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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I will never stop writing

Writing defines me. It is my labour, that which makes me human.  But I am not paid very much for it about at the moment $3 a week. My day job as a casual tutor also doesn’t pay well. My public service pension keeps me fed but I couldn’t survive if Patricia wasn’t working.

I write to help me understand the world around me. I write to help others understand the world around them too.

But like the revolutionary left across much of the developed world the audience for the ideas of revolutionary socialism, of socialism from below, are small. But that will and maybe is changing in some countries in Europe where real struggles against austerity have broken out. According to a poll in Greece for example 40 percent of the population will vote at the forthcoming elections for the radical left.

The steady activity of the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt over many years  laid the groundwork for them to play a role in the demonstrations and strikes that ousted Mubarak.

Now the changing nature of the revolution has, according to a recent talk from a social democratic eyewitness there, allowed the group to grow its ideas are proved in practice to be a good analysis of the situation. Mubarak is gone, now for the generals and similar slogans have proven correct.

Writing cannot be a substitute for struggle. For example today my union held a meeting against proposed staff cuts at the ANU.  The Vice-Chancellor announced a proposal to consult on cuts of up to 150 staff to save $ 40 million, $40 million lost by a less than stellar return on investments ($25 million) and increased depression ($15 million) because the University built new buildings.

Buildings and investments don’t make a great University. Staff do. All the while, ANU is making a surplus every year, and this year it was $14 million.

150 staff agreed to reject the proposals, call on the Vice-Chancellor to withdraw them and meet again on 26 April to consider the campaign and what directions to take as well as demonstrate then against job losses. 

The motions, with some amendments from me and other militants, passed with one vote against.

It was a small example of the unstated strength of workers but one that I experienced today and have not for some time.

Let’s see how the Vice-Chancellor reacts. We may yet have a real fight on our hands to defend jobs. But given the mass support for a further meeting and the palpable anger and desire to stop the VC we are right to feel we can stand up to the job cuts. 

The act of writing about this does a number of things. It helps me clarify my own thoughts. It relays the class struggle in a small way to others and hopefully makes them to reflect on class and struggle or lack of it by and large in Australia.

I don’t want to get too carried away. I am not Trotsky or Marx, and my blog is more like the Daily Telegraph of the left, fairly simple and basic to get the ideas across.

My blog is a small contribution to the wider attempt to keep alive the ideas of genuine socialism, of democracy and revolution. Even though it is more or less unrewarded labour in the monetary sense, it is rewarded in another sense. It is my own, my free labour in a world of alienated labour. I will never stop writing.

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Comments

Comment from angry
Time April 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I wish you would stop spamming though. STOP SPAMMING THE /R/SOCIALISM SUBREDDIT

Comment from John
Time April 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

The site ask for socialists with blogs to submit their material. I do. That isn’t spamming. Don’t read my material if you don’t like it, instead of trying to censor me. I have had this discussion with another administrator of the site and we agree I am not spamming.

Comment from Darin
Time April 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

John,

You don’t know it, but you educate and inspire everyday. Keep up the great work, whether everyone agrees with points of view or not, your thoughts are valid, and should be respected.

Weather the naysayers, and defend your right to express your views.

As for ‘angry’ the crank – pfft.

Keep going John!

Comment from John
Time April 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

Thank you Darin.

Comment from angry
Time April 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I’m not “censoring” you. Your posts are always downvoted because nobody wants to read every single one. You’re banned from reddit, and can only post on /r/socialism because you used to be a moderator. Create a new account and post from that and see how long you last before getting banned again. I wouldn’t care if you pick and choose what posts to submit but you post every one and I think it’s automated. It’s not a high-traffic subreddit, and your spam fills it up.

Comment from John
Time April 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Reactionary nonsense. Stick to censoring. It isn’t automated, and I am merely following the request of the site for socialists with blogs to post links. Afraid of ideas are we? Am I banned? Oh, shock horror. Where from? The socialism reddit? Love to write another article on the essentially reactionary philosophy of reddit sites. my one post a day -spam as you call it – fills up the socialism site. Dear oh dear, if only more spocialiost wqould fill it up. Spam? Sort of says it all. And people vote me down? Shock horror. Shaking in my boots. One of the other administrators says the reactionaries get on site and vote me down. Seems reasonable to me, and they encourage me to post. Now you are trying to ban me for posting socialist material on a socialist site. Keep up the reactionary nonsense, Angry, and hide behind a pseudonym. Have you left your last name off, Anderson?