Living The Dream After White Australia Ep3: White Nation

In this episode Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) continue their discussion about race, whiteness and Australia. This time they are reading Ghassan Hage’s classic of ‘90s Theory’ White Nation . We talk through his ideas about Whiteness, White Nationalism and fantasy, his critique of tolerance and multiculturalism and try to work out what these ideas give us and also what they miss. How does Hage’s work reflect the changes in Australian society, its internal conflicts and the ruptures and continuations in radical ideas?

We finish this episode with Joe Dolce’s Shaddap You Face – picked as an example of a particular kind of humour produced by 70s/80s multiculturalism. Since then we have discovered that Joe Dolce, a self-declared Leftist, has moved over to writing for Quadrant, largely it seems due as a reaction to cultural debates. So there you go.

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Living The Dream After White Australia Ep2: A New Britannia

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) and Jon (@JonPiccini) discuss Humphrey McQueen’s A New Britannia. This is the first of three books we are reading as part of a series on race and capitalism in Australia,

We try to come to grips with his argument and its explanation of racism as arising from the specifics of class formation in Australia, how it challenged established Leftwing thought and its implications for today.

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We reference

Two Radical Legends: Russel Ward, Humphrey McQueen and the New Left Challenge in Australian Historiography

Music by Redgum

Living The Dream After White Australia Part 1

This is part 1 of our new reading series on race in Australia and the struggle against it. Over the next 3 or so months Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) will be reading A New Britannia by Humphrey McQueen, White Nation by Ghassan Hage and The White Possessive by Aileen Moreton-Robinson.  In this episode we set out why we are doing this, our thinking at this point in time and briefly discuss what the White Australia Policy was and wasn’t and the whys and whynots.

We encourage all our listeners to read with us and join us in the discussion.

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Correction: I mention Nelson Peery as being a member of DRUM/League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He wasn’t. You can find an interview with him about his life and works here

As for DRUM and the League you can find an interview with Darryl ‘Waistline’ Mitchell and Donald Abdul Roberts here

You should read Hard Crackers and its recent offshoot (split?) Gasoline and Grits too

Insurgent Notes has a special issue dedicate to the life and works of Noel Ignatiev

Music by Wyatt Waddell

Living The Dream with Full Employment

In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) have a chat with Anthony O’Donnell (@AnthonyODonne13), a Senior Lecturer from La Trobe and author of ‘Inventing Unemployment: Regulating Joblessness in Twentieth-Century Australia’. Anthony shows us how the category of Full Employment was invented and why and undermines the claim that the low levels of post-War unemployment were due to the magic powers of a white paper written under the Chifley Government rather than, say, the general dynamics of the boom. At the time it was low levels of unemployment that presented an issue for capitalism and the groundwork of the punitive regime the poor are subjected to today was developed then. Great stuff.

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Living The Dream with a Climate Emergency, COVID-19 and The Australian State

Cartoon by Alan Hardman

In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) talks with Anna Sturman (@anna_sturman) author of ‘Climate Emergency’, COVID-19 and the Australian capitalist state . Anna draws on the work of Nicos Poulantzas to present an understanding of the state, a diagnosis of the contemporary conjuncture of Australian capitalism and suggest ways that we can struggle for dignity and lives worth living.  We talk through the possibilities of the present, the opportunities for creating and using power and cut the Gordian Knot of  the great debate of 2019 – Jobs Guarantee or Universal Basic Income.

Music by Chumbawamba

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Living The Dream with a Workers’ Plan To Survive Covid-19 Crisis

In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Godfrey Moase (@gemoase) a director of the United Workers Union.

The UWU, a recent a fusion of the National Union of Workers and United Voice, has been receiving a lot of attention due to the industrial actions of its members, its claims to be revitalising internal democracy and its Workers’ Plan To Survive Covid-19 Crisis : a broad vision to address the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in a way that points beyond capitalism.

Here Godfrey explains the strategy and organisational direction of the UWU, gives a critique of the #changetherules defeat and presents what he thinks is a viable way forward to accumulate class power.

This interview with Tim Kennedy the National Secretary of the UWU in Jacobin is very useful: “We Can Use This Crisis to Reconceptualize the Economy” .

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Music by Meatraffle

Living The Dream in the time of COVID-19

If the unemployed are dole bludgers, what the fuck are the idle rich? -Redback Graphix remixed by Wendy Murray

In this episode of Living The Dream Dave @withsobersenses talks about the questions that COVID-19 is forcing us to confront – and then goes on to do an analysis of a report from Macquarie Wealth Management stating conventional capitalism is dying and finishes by looking at the latest developments in the provision of stimulus from the RBA and the Federal Government.

After recording this episode I found out that the story about dolphins in Venice wasn’t true. Bum.

Articles mentioned include:

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend

Conventional capitalism is dying: Macquarie warns

Music by Cable Ties

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Living The Dream against anti-Chinese Racism

In this episode, Jon (@JonPiccini) has a long delayed conversation with Shan Windscript (@ShanWindy), Phd student at University of Melbourne and organiser, who has played key roles in the fight for casual workers in the tertiary sector and the rights of international students. We talk about how the Coronavirus has served to weaponise long standing fears about China in Australia, how supporting movements for change in Hong Kong is not incompatible with working for political and economic rights on the mainland, and how Shan’s research on the inner lives of everyday activists in Maoist China undermines attempts to present the present CCP regime as omnipotent.

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Shan’s writing includes

Can Chinese Students Abroad Speak? Asserting Political Agency amid Australian Nationalist Anxiety

How to Write a Diary in Mao’s New China: Guidebooks in the Crafting of Socialist Subjectivities

Music by RE-Tros

Gong Commune at Bushfire Snap Action in Wollongong (2 of 2)

GONG COMMUNE

One of the contributions from Gong Commune to the recent snap action in response to the bush fire crisis:

I would like to Acknowledge that we are gathering here today on the lands of the Dharawal and Yuin People. To acknowledge that since invasion the struggle for sovereignty, community, Country and dignity has never ceased. The successful, careful custodianship for millennia that First Nations people have practiced here in so-called Australia, on the very lands we now stand, across the beautiful Yuin Country down south and across the entire continent, throws into stark relief the fundamental violence of settler colonial capitalism. In but a couple of hundred years, this system has wrought such deep destruction on these lands, of which the current fire crisis is just one aspect. I want to pay respects to all First Nations people present here today. Pay my respect to all elders past present and…

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