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John Passant

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October 2021



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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)



Archive for 'Stalinism'

Squaddism, Trotsky and fighting the fascists

As fascism organises in Australia today, Trotsky’s thinking about the squaddism of the German Communist Party in the early 1930s seems to me to contain important lessons for the left today.


Is Cuba coming in from the cold?

In a wide ranging and thought provoking article in RS21, Mike Gonzalez charts the recent deal between Washington and Havana and asks if this really is the end of an era with the lifting of the embargo. He concludes:

For socialists there is nothing to be gained from pretending, as some international commentators have done, that nothing has really changed and that the agreement is a victory for Cuban socialism. Nor can we associate ourselves with the gloating of a global capitalist class which, sadly, will be the beneficiary of the decision. From the Cochabamba water wars of 2000 onwards, a new understanding of what socialism means has been on the agenda, active on the historical stage. And it is a very different understanding from the centralized, bureaucratic state structures of the Soviet era, which Cuba reproduced. The new vision is of a society run and controlled directly by its majority, shaped by their priorities, and defined by its transparent, democratic processes. That is some way ahead, but it is present and alive in the logic of the movements that have brought change to Latin America in this last exciting decade and a half and that will continue to organize, in a complex reality, for the realisation of the dream of a better world.

To read the whole article click here.

State capitalism and the fall of the Berlin Wall

Here is a snippet from a good article in Solidarity in Australia about the fall of the Berlin Wall. It describes the Stalinist regimes as state capitalist. I would urge those interested in understanding how ‘socialism’ could be overthrown by the very workers it supposedly ruled for to read this. I would especially urge members of Socialist Alternative in Australia to read it to help re-discover their hidden history and analysis.

Where to for Cuba?

It is this political vision advocating for the democratic self-management of Cuban society that can shape a compelling resistance for what is likely to come writes Sam Farber in Jacobin magazine. Through cultivating solidarity with those most vulnerable and calling for class, racial, and gender equality, a future movement can build a united front against old and emerging oppressors.

In that vision lies hope for the people of Cuba and the broader region.

The New McCarthyism in Australia: defending the Stalinists

The best way to defend the Left from successful ruling class attacks in Australia on our right to organise is to politically destroy Stalinism in Australia by building a left absolutely free from any of its influences. The immediate task in doing that paradoxically is to defend the rights of the new Stalinists like Tim Anderson to organise, to speak and to work.

Stalinist tyrannies ruling in the name of socialism

I posted this article a month ago.

Paul D’Amato explains why those countries that call themselves socialist are nothing of the sort, as part of his series on the ISO’s “Where We Stand” statement in Socialist Worker US.

Confronting the Stalinist legacy

In this article in Marxist Left Review, Red Flag editor Corey Oakley in 2011 makes the socialist case against Stalinism and its rotten heritage for and impact even today on the Left.

Stalin’s rivers of bloods

On the 60th anniversary of the death of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, Ian Birchall in Socialist Worker UK looks at his life and how his politics damaged the idea of socialism for decades. Stalinism offers a bleak image of what socialism is not. But the early years of workers’ power in Russia, and the traditions of those who resisted Stalin’s rise, often at the cost of their lives, offer a vision that can inspire and teach us.

Why read Trotsky?

There was a reason why Stalin wanted to kill Trotsky, even in exile. Trotsky and his ideas represented a real alternative to the dictatorship against the workers that Stalin had set up.

The Berlin Wall: tearing down Stalinism’s anti-working class legacy

If we on the left are about human liberation we must reject the Stalinist legacy and its physical and intellectual walls and turn once again to Marx and the working class. The emancipation of the working class as the act of the working class, and with it the emancipation of humanity, must become again our watchword and guide to action and activity.