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John Passant

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March 2015



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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)



Why Solidarity: some early thoughts

I wrote this in response to a question on a Facebook thread about the differences between Solidarity and Socialist Alternative:

‘… it is not appropriate to go into comparisons.The comrades in Socialist Alternative have chosen a different approach. So be it.

Some of ‘the positives for me about joining Solidarity are that I have rejoined a socialist group, and am part of the struggle with others to win a new world. It is democratic and open, full of intelligent, active and, in Canberra branch anyway, young people involved in various campaigns and building them and building their understanding of the world including by working with others in the struggles of the day as best we can but also through our own education. It is such a joy to go along to branch meetings and hear the discussions and debates, all in a comradely and welcoming fashion.

‘In terms of a more general approach the commitment to socialism from below in the form of the state capitalist analysis and the fact it is at the heart of its analysis of relevant events (e.g. the 25 th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall anniversary, Cuba etc) and reflects a commitment to socialism from below and its public promulgation as a sign of that ongoing commitment is also very very important to me. There are more positives but that will do for starters.’



Comment from Ross
Time March 29, 2015 at 9:35 am

I see no policy on Govt owned banks so how can they address the core of our problems ?

They are internationalists, well so is the Corporate New World Order run by Central Bankers.

Strength comes from diversity not a unipolar world run by a few. I believe in national sovereignty.

Comment from Mike
Time April 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm

John, I hope you find membership of Solidarity a useful experience.

I have no direct experience of them as a group so can’t comment on their strengths and weaknesses.

However, I used to live in London and knew many people who were SWP members. Some left the SWP in 2012/13. Some remain members.

Solidarity is part of the same international group as the SWP. I don’t know if that means they replicate most of the same ideas and practices. I hope not.

While the SWP pays lip service to ‘socialism from below’ they have been widely criticised for really practicing ‘Zinoviev-ism from above’ – a determination to build what is in effect a narrow and elitist vanguard organisation that substitutes its privileged theories over engagement with class struggles as they actually exist.

Despite recent events in the SWP, little appears to have changed. See the defence of the SWP’s traditional understanding of Leninism in the International Socialism Journal (144) against that of Lars T Lih (and see his response in the Weekly Worker).

It is difficult to interpret the SWP’s version of Leninism as anything other than an elitist and conspiratorial exercise in ‘high-Jacobinism’ that has little real interest in the ‘socialism from below’ that you (and I) believe to be vital to the revival of socialist politics.

I hope Solidarity have an independent and critical stance on such issues. Although the history of international Trotskyist groups is that their affiliates in Australia tend to be highly derivative of what their leaders in London think and do.

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