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John Passant

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April 2012
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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)

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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
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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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Marxism 2012: a report from an interested party

Marxism 2012: revolution in the air was a great Conference both quantitatively and qualitatively.

It was three days of political discussion and debate. 925 people attended. Malalai Joya, John Pilger, Mamdouh Habib, Gary Foley, and comrades from across the globe (eg New Zealand, the US, the Philippines, Japan, Palestine, Bangladesh, Thailand, Egypt, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Chile and elsewhere) spoke and participated. There were over 70 sessions on a range of topics that could whet most radical appetites.

And the debates were great, from socialists to reformists, populationists, liquidationists, to anarchists and Greens and people interested in the ideas but not yet committed or convinced, all contributing or questioning. This was the Conference of the Left in Australia.

Personally Malalai Joya on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon was the highlight. Both her incredible bravery in opposing both the US Occupation and the Taliban, and her deep understanding of the international situation and Afghanistan’s position within it, for example the global reach and brutality of US imperialism and the need for American workers to overthrow the dictatorship of capital, made her talks the most moving of the Conference and perhaps in all of my political life.

I cried as she rebutted strongly again and again the hoary old white man’s burden argument that the West can bring liberation to Afghanistan. Foreign occupation cannot bring liberation. Only the people of Afghanistan can liberate themselves.

And she had us silent as she said chillingly but quietly and resolutely in response to the six assassination attempts on her life: ‘They can cut down the flower but they cannot stop the spring.’ What a brave woman fighting for a new Afghanistan free of the occupiers and their twin, the fundamentalists.

Malalai was scathing of Chavez, Castro and Morales and others for their support of the dictatorships in Iran, Libya, Syria and so on, arguing that the left must support the revolutionary upsurge of the people against these criminal regimes.

The Conference showed me yet again that Socialist Alternative is an organisation serious about understanding the world around it, engaging with it and changing it where possible and debating ideas and developing its own in the context of Marxist thought. It is serious about turning the world upside down to rid it of poverty, war, exploitation, oppression and the real threat of environmental catastrophe.

We have the capacity to do all that now with the level of the productive forces already developed but a system designed for profit cannot and will not address in any meaningful way these issues. Capitalism chains us to the past. However it has created the majority class, the working class, with the power to do liberate humanity through setting up its own organs of rule and determining democratically what is to be produced. That is socialism.

For more information visit Socialist Alternative at www.sa.org.au

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Comments

Comment from Shane H
Time April 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

Sounds great. Even more disappointed that I missed it.

Comment from John
Time April 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Yes. I learned a lot. And Malalai Joya was so inspiring, Gary Foley so funny and informative … There is always next year. Malalai might be there again. We put in a public plea to her to come back.

Comment from Ross
Time April 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Why were there not any Libertarians at your conference John? Freedom of the individual is more important than collectivist imperial or collectivist socialist autocracies.They are one in the same.

Comment from brid
Time April 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks John for your inspiring and moving post. Malalai Joya is my heroine. It pains me that still she has not been known as much as she deserves. If Afghans are really freedom-loving the have to protect her as one of their greatest daughters. To do this they have to fight US imperialism as well as fundamentalism. What do you think John what we can do for her in a substantial way in the West?

Comment from Doug
Time April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

When the wicked, brutal Americans leave Afghanistan, and the brave anti-imperialist Taleban take over again, I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Malalai Joya will skedaddle with them, and get a nice cozy job as a leftie professor in the decadent imperialist west.

Comment from John
Time April 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

6 assassination attempts on her life already and a pig like you denigrates her. Crawl back into your hole, filth.

Comment from John
Time April 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Oppose the wars our masters unleash.

Comment from jack
Time April 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Doug is probably right, John. Rather than debate his point, you opt for insulting him instead. Marxism in action, you gotta love it. Maybe that’s why ‘Marxism 2012’ could only find 925 attendees from the whole world.

Comment from John
Time April 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

So here’s another wanker telling us Doug is ‘probably’ right in the face of the bravery of this woman who has done more for the Afghan people and their defence against both the Taliban and the US criminals than any of the fuckers – ironically the Taliban and now apparently the likes of Doug and Jack joining with them – denigrating her. But hey, what would she know compared to a group of tossers like Doug and Jack? Victory to the Afghan people.

Comment from John
Time April 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Malalai on Lateline.She didn’t flee when the Taliban were last in power either. She ran undergound schools. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3473632.htm

Comment from Kieran Bennett
Time April 11, 2012 at 2:44 am

Far from fleeing, the opposite in fact.

Her family had fled Afghanistan to Iran when she was four. In 1998 she infilitrated INTO Taliban controlled Afghanistan in order to run schools and educate women.

That, in my opinion, is the definition of crazybrave.

Comment from Kieran Bennett
Time April 11, 2012 at 2:46 am

Malalai Joya’s presence, power and argument gives those who support the war for so-called humanitarian reasons one of two choices.

1. Re-evaluate and oppose the war. Or 2. Descend into utter racism and sexism.

The likes of “jack” and “Doug” are thus exposed for what they are.

Comment from TheLeftHack
Time April 11, 2012 at 11:03 am

Jack and Doug, we know what you are, and we know what you do. The problem of course, is that you don’t. Head on back to the anti climate change sites – you’re embarrassing yourselves, again. TLH

Comment from jack
Time April 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

John, if I’m a wanker for stating the bloody obvious, does that make you a cocksucker for your stupid comment?
Maybe Keiran can accomodate you.

Comment from John
Time April 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Here is a woman who risks her life for her people, whom the Taliban and others have tried to kill 6 times, who went into Afghanistan to set up underground schools for girls, who said she would love to come back to Australia for Marxism next year ‘if I am still alive’. Malalai Joya is one of the bravest, most courageous women I have ever met and you denigrate her with nonsense and lies about her fleeing to a cushy job in the US. Actually you denigrate yourself and expose your rotten politics. My contempt for you knows no bounds.

Comment from jack
Time April 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

looks like I was right, John, as you moved from insults, when that didn’t get you your way, to taking ‘the high moral ground’. As for your ‘Victory to the Afghan people’ rant, why don’t you fuck off over there if that’s how you feel.
Australia doesn’t need arseholes like you.
TLH, I’m not embarrassed by stating the truth. You can join in the man-train with John and Kieran.

Comment from John
Time April 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Ah yes, brave Malalai Joya against a turd like jack. The high moral ground? Oh you mean Malalai fighting against the Taliban and the US occupation? Crawl back into George Bush’s arsehole jack.

Comment from jack
Time April 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

John, I’d call you a cunt, but that would infer that you were useful.
I just wish I could find out where you live.
Again, if you love the Afgans so much, why don’t you fuck off over there and see how they will welcome you.

Comment from John
Time April 13, 2012 at 5:47 am

Oh you mean like Australian politicians and troops love the Afghans so much and that is why they are there killing women and children there?

Comment from jack
Time April 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

good one, John. I didn’t know that Australian politicians were in Afghanistan killing women and children. Is Bob Brown quitting parliament to go there and kill some raggies?
Your slander of our troops is treason.