Living the Dream with ScoMo

Now that the hot-takes have gone cold and are stale as bricks @JonPiccini and @withsobersenses take out their artisanal slow-cooker take on the recent Australian Federal election. Why did we get it so wrong? Why did #changetherules suck? What will a Morrison Coalition government look like and what does it mean for our strategy?

CW: This show contains a discussion of misogyny and domestic violence.

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Stuff we mention includes:

Elizabeth Humphrys – We Live in Anti-Political Times

Amy Thomas – Federal election 2019: What the hell just happened? Five arguments

Jeremy Poxon, Tash Heenan & Jon Piccini – Australia Needs A Green New Deal, Not More Centrism

Music by Class War

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Living The Dream during #Ausvotes2019

[Edit – the audio file was replaces at 4pm 15/5/2019]

In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) try to work out if we have anything useful to say about an election that is all hype but actually a snoozefest. What does it tell us about the state of Australian society, what can anticapitalists draw from it? Are we about the #Changetherules or will Clive Palmer be leading us into a Kangaroo Reich? What happens the morning after?

We also address some criticisms we have received and try to muddle through some blindspots in our thinking.

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Stuff we mention includes:

Whiteness and Class Struggle

Anti-politics and how to watch election night

Fully Automated Luxury Communism? | Ash Sarkar meets Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

Whiteness Again

Sojourner Truth Organisation: Understanding and Fighting White Supremacy

Floodcast 10 Petition Me Daddy

Living The Dream with Acid Communism and/or Acid Corbynism

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Keir Milburn (@KeirMilburn ). Keir is from Leeds and has been an anti-state communist for a respectable amount of time (and is an all round good egg). Previously a member of Class War and the Leeds May Day Group/ The Free Association he is now part of Plan C. Recently he has been trying to think through how anti-capitalists can related to the rise of Corbyn and the return of social democracy. We talk through the arguments and deal with some of the critiques. He has a new book Generation Left out now.

(Due to human error my vocals sound a bit shit)

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Some stuff we mention includes

Acid Corbynism is a gateway drug

Class War is Dead… Long Live The Class War

On Social Strikes and Directional Demands

Turbulence: What would it mean to win

What can an institution do? Towards Public-Common partnerships and a new common-sense

Living The Dream at Deebing Creek


In this episode of Living the Dream Feargal and Bill report from the campsite out at Deebing Creek. They have a chat with Shale and James about what is going on, the nature of the struggle, the relationships of solidarity that are being built and what they think will happen next.

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Follow the struggle at Deebing Creek here:

Yuggera Ugarapul Tribal Elders

Save Deebing Creek Mission

Sign the petition for a Commission of Inquiry 

Music by A.B. Original  (feat. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu)

Living the Dream with the Struggle to Decriminalise Sex Work

Image from Respect Inc

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Elena Jeffreys (@ElenaJeffreys) from the sex worker organisation Respect Inc. Elena talks about the history of sex worker self-organisations, the conditions of sex workers in Australia today and the importance of the struggle to decriminalise sex work to improve the working conditions and lives of sex workers. Elena digs into the what is wrong with the ‘Swedish Model’, the negative and violent impact it has had on peoples’ lives, and the role that sections of feminism and the Left have played in instituting it. Content Warning – the episode mentions violence against women.

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Music by Goran Bregovic – (with possibly ambiguous lyrics)

Living The Dream with the Anti-Nuclear Movement in Japan

Alexander Brown participating in an anti-nuclear demonstration

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with excellent comrade Alexander Brown about the anti-nuclear movement in Japan. Alexander talks about the role nuclear power plays in Japanese society, the pre-Fukushima influence of the New Left, the freeter movement and alter-globalisation struggles, the impact the Fukushima disaster had, the tactics and strategy of the movement, its links with the global wave of ‘squares’ and ‘Occupys’, what’s happening now and the increasingly importance of solidarity in East Asia. Alexander really digs into the thought, concepts and understandings of the movement.

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You can find Alexander’s book, thesis and blog below.

Anti-nuclear Protest in Post-Fukushima Tokyo

Power struggles: the strategies and tactics of the anti-nuclear movement in contemporary Tokyo

Love From Tokyo

Living The Dream reads On Fairness by Sally McManus

In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) review ACTU Secretary Sally McManus’ book On Fairness.We try to dig in to how McManus fails to understand the actual dynamics of capitalism – rather blaming bad people and bad ideas for the problems we face. This means the book points us in the wrong direction. Rather we need to address the core dynamics in our society if we want to fight exploitation and oppression today and struggle for and create a society where we can live lives worth living.

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You can find Jon’s article on Labor, Trade Unions and the White Australia Policy here:

            A White Working Man’s Country

Statement from organisations and collectives in Australia: the EZLN is not alone.

25 January, 2019

To our comrades Zapatistas in Chiapas,

To our comrades in Mexico and in the world.

Some of us are old enough to remember the stunning images of indigenous rebels storming San Cristobal de Las Casas in 1994. We took in the reports with awe and excitement. These visions became emblematic of a wave of global struggles against late capitalism’s global trade plans and the subsequent impoverishment of the majority world’s peoples and lands. They captured the attentions of many different perspectives, under a banner of global resistance that continues to shape the world we know today.

Ten years later, some of us gathered together to form an organization in Australia aiming to think about Zapatista politics and critically engage with the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. Most of us had never been to Mexico, let alone to the Zapatistas’ autonomous communities. This didn’t matter. We could learn from the words of our Zapatista comrades regardless of where in the world we were. True, the situation that we confront in various cities in Australia was (and continues to be) very different to the situation lived in communities like La Garrucha or 22 de Diciembre. But we felt that we shared a desire for a world in common, not a world at the disposal of big capitalist ambitions to excavate the mineral resources, to destroy the forests and to put us all to work at the service of the bosses’ wallet. We too live on lands where genocide of Indigenous peoples continues to occur in order for capital to command the lands and the peoples who belong to the land. While Australia may be rich as a nation, it continues to have some of the world’s worst rates of curable diseases and poverty among  Aboriginal peoples. The Zapatistas put into words what many of people here had felt for a long time.

Continue reading “Statement from organisations and collectives in Australia: the EZLN is not alone.”

‘…they all knew that they didn’t agree on lots of, quite often very important things, but they managed to find the common’ An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 3)

On Thursday 24 March 2016 I interviewed my friend and comrade Nick Southall about some of his experiences as a young activist in the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the interview we touch on a number of themes including Nick’s early involvement in the Young Communist Movement, his years as a full-time party cadre, tensions within the party between the national leadership and the South Coast District and the party’s relationship with international communist and resistance movements and domestic social movements. Where many histories of the CPA focus on machinations at the national level, Nick’s story reveals a living organisation with deep roots in the Wollongong labour movement and community that functioned as a family, if at times a dysfunctional one.

I have edited the transcript for clarity and length with Nick’s approval. – Alexander

Part 1 can be found here, part 2 here.

Continue reading “‘…they all knew that they didn’t agree on lots of, quite often very important things, but they managed to find the common’ An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 3)”

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