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John Passant

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April 2015
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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. (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)



Woolworths, ANZAC Day and taking the (Carlton & United Breweries) piss

I see Woolworths is under attack for trying to cash in on ANZAC Day with its advertisements (now pulled) saying the fallen are fresh in our memories and reminding us all Woolies are the FRESH FOOD PEOPLE and don’t you forget it. I heard Michael Ronaldson, the Minister for Veterans Affairs, say that he had to approve the use of ANZAC by business and others.

It is so good to see that, rather than fresh food, ANZAC Day is reserved for traditional things like getting pissed on VB, with all those Carlton & United Breweries ads to remind us of the link between grog and killing Johnny Turks for King and Empire.  I wrote a paragraph in 2009 on the VB ads for ANZAC Day (disguised as Raise a glass and with money going to the RSL) called ANZAC Day: What’s beer got to do with it?  Similar ads (but not with the now Governor-General) are being run this year too.

The logic of the market demeans all things held sacred by the upholders of the market and those they indoctrinate. Or as Marx and Engels put it in a slightly different context in the Communist Manifesto:

All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

Marx and Engels also said in the Manifesto that ‘The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.’

Thus does Anzac Day fall prey to the vultures of capitalism. What irony that ANZAC Day itself remembers an imperialist war in which workers from all sides sacrificed themselves for the very people today unleashing the profanities of Woolworths and CUB against the supposed ideals (but not the reality) of the day. There is a logic that is unrelenting to this marketisation of one of Australian capitalism’s holiest days.

And it is a double bonus. Not only do some businesses get to commodify the ‘ANZAC spirit’ they get to sell alcohol, the real opiate of the masses in modern day Australian society. All those veterans suffering PTSD from the unjustified wars our brutal rulers sent them too will no doubt be self-medicating more happily now.



Comment from Peter
Time April 16, 2015 at 7:59 am

“….Not only do some businesses get to commodify the ‘ANZAC spirit’ they get to sell alcohol, the real opiate of the masses in modern day Australian society. All those veterans suffering PTSD from the unjustified wars our brutal rulers sent them too will no doubt be self-medicating more happily now.”
Very well put! A truth teller no less.

Comment from Pen of hrba
Time April 18, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Woolworth’s campaign is no different to the campaign conducted by the government trying to mythologise what essentially was an act of genocide by order. WWI was for all intents and purposes the greatest folly ever undertaken in human history. I do not suggest the stupidity of ordering men to their certain death by having them charge towards men firing Maxim machine guns at 600 rounds per minute should be forgotten. I suggest that we remember it for what it was: a crime against humanity.

The saddest part of this campaign is the mythologising the cause of WW1, what most people believe is utter nonsense; the death of the Archduke Ferdinand was not the cause, but it was the orchestrated catalyst. It merely highlighted the long existing tensions over territory in the Balkans, in some respect not unlike the recent grab for east Ukraine by Russia. Then it was Austria-Hungary competing with Serbia Russia for territory and influence in the region by which they successfully pulled the world’s Great Powers into the conflict through various alliances and treaties. At the basic level the cause was governments trying to control the lives and the taxes of people who they did not control, in other words greed. So 15 million people died in the cause of greed and that does not deserve mythologising what it wasn’t.

Comment from John
Time April 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Well said Pen of hrba.