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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)



Tag: Cuba

Fidel Castro has died

History must judge Castro both as the freedom fighter whose defiance humiliated US imperialism and as the ruler of a repressive, unequal society. It was right to support his resistance to the US attempts at revenge. But he cannot be absolved of abusing the idea of communism to rule over a capitalist society. The socialism he claimed to represent is as important as ever—but making it a reality means workers’ self-activity, not state control from above.


Cuba is not socialist

Many (including socialists and those opposed to socialism) see Cuban society as a model for socialism. But a look at its history presents different conclusions, argues Mark Gillespie in socialist magazine Solidarity. Written six years ago Mark outlines the development of state capitalism in Cuba. Another article I will post in the days to come will outline the ongoing shift in Cuba from state capitalism to market capitalism.

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.

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.

Is Cuba heading towards the free market?

The current economic reforms being embarked on in Cuba do not represent a transition from socialism to capitalism. Cuba never ceased being a capitalist society. Rather, the Cuban ruling class is attempting to deal with their economic problems by modifying their state capitalist economy.

Where is Cuba headed?

The Cuban government of Raúl Castro announced last week that it would push 500,000 workers out of state jobs next year. According to the official trade union at least half of the 500,000 workers would be given new licenses for self-employment, and another 200,000 would be absorbed into cooperatives. The layoff announcement marks the latest […]

Aborigines, education and Cuban teams

Cuban educational teams in East Timor have improved literacy at low cost there.  Considering they run at about 30% of the cost of other NGO, UN etc programs which may not have the same success, imagine what could be achieved through funding the Cuban teams to the same extent. If the Australian Government invited them […]

Cuba: Stalinism isn’t socialism

One of Marx’s unique and profound contributions to socialism is his idea that the emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class.  This is the very reason Cuba isn’t socialist. In 1956 Castro arrived in Cuba with 82 middle class nationalists to overthrow the US backed Batista dictatorship.  After being attacked […]