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John Passant

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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
(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)

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The Canberra Times and left-wing writers

I sent this to the Canberra Times, with whom I have a love-hate relationship, on Saturday morning.

John

D J Taylor wonders ‘if the Murdoch press would so readily publish the views of a far-left H Ronald counterpart?'(Letters Thursday April 9). From personal experience of having had all but one of my hundreds of letters over the years submitted to The Australian rejected, despite being praised by one of their columnists as a thinking socialist who used facts to make his case, and approached by the National Affairs editor to help him understand tax issues, the answer is no.

However, I did at least receive a truthful response from an opinion editor there to an article I submitted which included an argument for revolution. They said:

Thanks for your contribution, which I enjoyed. Your call for an overthrow of capitalism, however, runs counter to the ethos of the paper. It would be odd to publish it.

The Australian at least has the decency to respond to my article submissions and in the case above state explicitly they don’t publish socialist writers.

The Canberra Times doesn’t have that decency to respond to my submitted articles nor does it spell out the obvious – that we on the socialist left of society are no longer published in the paper. That is a pity really because, for example, as a former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation and tax academic, I might have had something interesting or even worthwhile to say, for example, on tax avoidance and tax reform. As it is we will have to wait till the end of April when the next edition of the socialist magazine Solidarity (www.solidarity.net.au) is published.

As to letters to the Canberra Times, again to personalise it, the paper of late has published few of my [sarcasm alert] wonderful, erudite, witty, well thought out and thoroughly enlightening and entertaining letters either. When it has, the editing of two letters it has published in the last few months has resulted in very different messages to those I wanted to convey.

The bigger picture is that The Canberra Times is part of the machinery that manufactures consent for capitalism. The far right, the right, the centre and the left that wants only to reform capitalism don’t challenge capitalism so are much much more likely to be published in the mainstream media, irrespective of the often misleading description given to these mouthpieces of capitalism as being either left wing or right wing.

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Comments

Comment from Peter
Time April 12, 2015 at 7:42 am

The absence of an independent mass media was the cause of German fiscal collapse after WWI and the consequences. The absence of independent mass media today is the reason for increasing inequality of wealth. The Internet compounds this problem because divided we fall. Every reactionary organisation has its little band of devotees who agree with each other, but there is no over-arching mass medium that will unify these protests. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d think the internet had been created solely for the purpose of distracting the plebs with sex and circuses while their patrimony is pillaged.

Comment from Kay
Time April 12, 2015 at 7:57 am

Well, does either The Australian or the Canberra Times publish extreme right wing articles and letters? I mean, real extreme right wing articles and letters, not just articles with which you disagree, and hence label “racist and fascist”. I suspect not, if those letters or articles are attempting to incite some sort of attack on democracy – like your letters clearly do (“….an article I submitted which included an argument for revolution.”).

I would rate your articles at around 50 to 1 in regard to ridiculous versus sensible. So I guess I rate you slightly higher than the MSM. Only your articles dealing with taxation have any logic to them at all. Logic and facts are not your forte – ideology is.

BTW if you actually traveled to socialist, and former socialist countries, you would realise that well-regulated capitalism gives the best outcomes to the biggest percentage of the population, and actually lifts millions out of poverty every year – as opposed to socialism which fails to deliver good economic outcomes (you can easily see all around you the extreme poverty and crime in these countries, just for starters). Capitalism does need to be regulated more to better re-distribute some of the wealth – but it is still the best system to date for the populace as a whole – even though, in both socialist and capitalist regimes, greed dictates that some families do get filthy rich. I mean, both systems are run by self-serving, greedy human beings who manipulate the system for their own benefit. Thus would also be the fate of your particular brand of socialism! Travel around the world has shown more than any books do the results of failed socialist regimes – most recently for me, in South and Central America.

Comment from John
Time April 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Oh dear. I see no point in discussing matters with someone who can only repeat the same silly points over and over.

Comment from Kay
Time April 12, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Pretty much ditto with you! It is very easy to see why there are so few socialists in this country. Your articles certainly make no sense to anyone other than your ideological mates. And you wonder why MSM won’t publish your articles and letters!

Sadly you are not very widely traveled and hence you are very inexperienced with other parts of the world – so you get most of your info from your socialist mates around the world – who also have a very blinkered view of their world.

Alas, at your age, there is very little likelihood of your modifying your views in any way. So you and your friends can continue to reinforce each other’s views – on and on. Meantime, I will continue my education by actually visiting other countries and taking to ordinary people around the world – the best education in the world.

Comment from John
Time April 12, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Chuckle.

Comment from Geoff
Time April 13, 2015 at 12:29 am

One is never too old to change! I see that in his commentary on the passing of Malcolm Fraser in the Australian this weekend, Phillip Adams wryly observes that while Malcolm had lurched decidedly to the left in his dotage, he (Phillip) and other former Trotskyists such as Padraic McGuinness and Keith Windschuttle, had gone in the other direction and become neocons. With this ample precedence, perhaps your politics may yet metamorphose through the alchemy of time and for us to not only see you appearing in the Canberra Times more frequently, as you desire, but also in such estimable organs as Quadrant and the Fin Review.

Comment from John
Time April 13, 2015 at 4:24 am

I look forward to it Geoff. My conservative dotage – it sounds like a great name for a chapter in my biography. I suspect however I am too set in my ways for that. The conservative revolutionary might perhaps be a better description.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time April 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

Kay is spreading propaganda.

Life under capitalism….

Thousands killed by cops.

http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2014.html

Food denied to unemployed.

http://archive.is/gIEKb

Christians rape children.

http://archive.today/BImLG

Economies smashed to smithereens.

Comment from Kay
Time April 14, 2015 at 6:52 am

Chris is an idiot.

Comment from John
Time April 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm

You only demean yourself with that comment. Chris’s points are worth considering.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time April 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm

I once belonged to a mainstream church before it walked away from its traditional values. Some churches are now teaching various elements of the pagan, Earth Mother religion.

I think John has some good ideas but needs to move away from certain policies which are likely to damage the society. I don’t believe a person can truly oppose capitalism while, at the same time, supporting the Carbon religion, as one appears to trade off the other.

A friend went on a holiday to Vietnam, which is a communist nation. As he saw it, all of the people were being fed and clothed adequately, which is more than can be said of the most disadvantaged Australians.

However people who visit China think it is a wonderful place, largely because tourists are kept away from certain places and experiences.

These days, we can’t even breathe or take advantage of discounts without one of the many Big Brothers watching and monitoring our every move. If I had a choice between a socialist society and a corporate neo-communist society, I feel certain I would choose the former.

Question: How does Kay know whether John has travelled or not, to be able to report it here???

Does she follow him around every day, hanging on his every word? Or is she the Big Sister working for capitalists, who ensures his articles are never printed?

Comment from Kay
Time April 15, 2015 at 8:58 am

Lorikeet

It is possible to gauge something about another person’s life experiences by their comments and attitudes. John appears to base his views on books and articles fed to him by his socialist compatriots around the world – always with a very skewed ideological bent. If he travels extensively, he must have keep his eyes shut, and not reflect his experiences into his comments.

Socialism has some good concepts, but so far it has failed economically in the longer term. I suggest you visit some socialist countries before you condemn capitalism. Nicaragua, ruled by a socialist Sandanista government, would be a good start for your travels – or Venezuela.

Capitalism also has some bad aspects, but if it can be better regulated, it gives the best opportunities for all. It is all about redistributing wealth without destroying incentive. Inequality always needs to be tackled because not everyone has the same capacity to look after themselves.

“Nearly 1 billion people have been taken out of extreme poverty in 20 years.” (see link below). This 1 billion figure refers to the entire world. As for China: “China is responsible for three-quarters of the achievement. Its economy has been growing so fast that, even though inequality is rising fast, extreme poverty is disappearing. China pulled 680m people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% now.” The ‘down’ side of this rapid development has been exceptionally severe air pollution. China has a state capitalist economic system, with a communist political system.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

Comment from Kay
Time April 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

“You only demean yourself with that comment. Chris’s points are worth considering.”

Chris may raise some points, but he only ever does it by personally attacking someone else. That devalues his comments right from the start. I have grown tired of trying to get him to debate topics without throwing mud at other bloggers – usually me. Hence my frustration at his same old combative approach.