Science, magic and the climate crisis

‘Understanding the world we live in requires a bit of observation and a bit of imagination. A bit of science and a bit of magic. Changing the world will require the same.’

andypaine

I’ve always been one of those people (you know, the artists,
religious believers and flat-earthers) who believes not everything can be
explained by science. Science is good for understanding the mechanics of how
things work, but not necessarily why we should care how they work. Scientific
studies are rarely unburdened by the individual biases and influences of the scientist,
and a “scientific worldview” carries its own preconceptions.

Like any ideology, it can be used to avoid debate and blind us to other possibilities (“it’s simple science!”), and can be frustratingly conservative, like when evolutionary psychologists give answers to explain why we act in certain ways with no acknowledgement of the very human (evolutionary) urge to explore and progress.

In recent years, in the struggle to stop catastrophic
climate change, one of the repeated catchcries has been to “listen to science”
and its studies of climate impacts. Like some kind of…

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Living The Dream with a Green New Deal

In this episode of Living The Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) catch up with Tash Heenan (@tashellenheenan) and Jeremy Poxon (@JeremyPoxon) to discuss the Green New Deal. Jon, Tash and Jeremy are partisans of the Green New Deal, seeing it as a way of addressing immediate concerns and opening pathways to more radical transformations whilst Dave remains something of a half-reformed ultra-left curmudgeon who can do nothing more than yell ‘but the value-form’ at worried passer-bys.

We chat about what a Green New Deal may or may not be, if it is an attempt to save or destroy capitalism, its relationship or not with creating communism, the hard limits the environmental crisis imposes, the disappearance of the commons as a concept, and a whole lot more.

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Writings we reference include:

Australia Needs A Green New Deal, Not More Centrism

We need a Blak New Deal to fight the climate crisis

A Red Deal

Three Ways a Green New Deal Can Promote Life Over Capital

Responsible minerals sourcing for renewable energy

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

Between the Devil and the Green New Deal

Music by Meatraffle

Reflections on the Global Climate Strike! Friday September 20th Brisbane

I was just one of the crowd in the Brisbane leg of the 20th September Climate Strike. I have no privileged insight into the inner workings, debates or mechanics of the day. These reflections are offered to help to understand where we are at and where we are going inspired by Noel Ignatiev’s readings of CLR James’ practice: ‘As a person who had decided to devote his life to revolution, my job was to Recognize and Record the new society as it made its appearance…’

Continue reading “Reflections on the Global Climate Strike! Friday September 20th Brisbane”

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

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

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