Living the Dream – Last Drinks in (the workers) Paradise?

qld pic
State Of Queensland (Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning)

In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk about the meltdown of politics in Queensland and the failure of the ALP government to carry out a coherent plan to address the decline in capital accumulation and facilitate social reproduction. Rob Pyne resigning from Labor(#corbynofcairns ?), candidates sending dicks pics and the shared anti-political language of both sides of the referendum campaign show a political class in freefall and deeply out of touch with the concerns of everyday people.

Should we care? Or just point and laugh? What is the relationship of the political to capitalism on a whole and to our struggle against it? How much of this is this a broader and global phenomenon and what can it tell us about life in Queensland?

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Articles we refer to include:

The State Infrastructure Plan

Humphrey McQueen – Queensland: a state of mind

Kathleen McLeod – “I Will Protect You With My Body” The Case For A Radical Sanctuary Movement To Protect Asylum Seekers In Australia

Andy Paine – Rewriting the political script

Chris O’Kane – State Violence, State Control: Marxist State Theory and the Critique of Political Economy

Mario Tronti – The Political (1979)

Left Flank and An Integral State

Mike Beggs – The Void Stares Back

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Ergon workers defy Qld ALP’s Debt Action Plan

bundaberg workers strike

On the 20th January workers at Ergon Bundaberg Depot walked off their jobs in protest at proposed plans to cut positions and increase outsourcing. This followed a similar action in Atherton the previous Friday. Whilst this industrial action has received little news coverage it is of incredible importance. It is the articulation of a group of workers’ collective self-interest in a way that actually points to the deep flaws in the ALP state government’s attempt to manage the challenge of funding social reproduction and honouring the state’s debts (in the context of the end of the mining boom which is a symptom of the Global Recession). What this struggle shows us is that under the layers of mystification debt is ultimately about class struggles:  debt hinges on the struggle between the ability of capital to secure the future of its profits via the imposition of work and discipline today and our collective ability to refuse it and assert our dignity and desires.

Continue reading “Ergon workers defy Qld ALP’s Debt Action Plan”

Stranger Choices: Getting ready for the hangover

 

voted-for-kodos

In part four of our three part series on the Qld election we talk about what can we expect after the votes have been counted and what does this mean for emancipatory politics, where can we draw our hope and power from and what do we mean by ‘we’ anyway?

Music by Razar

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You’ve got to be Jo(h)king: History, the Left and Queensland

joh-newman

(This is a guest post from a friend of The Word From Struggle Street Jon)

It was the 40th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising recently. On the 17th of November 1973, tanks rolled onto campus, and in a bloody orgy of violence unwittingly sealed the demise of the regime of the Colonels. The Polytechnic uprising holds a vital place in Greek radical mythology – hell, there’s a public holiday for it – and it is a constant reference point by the media and the generation of ex-protestors – who now hold power in Greece and have set themselves up as the arbiters of radical memory – whenever another spate of political engagement emerges.

One ex-protestor, Mimis Androulakis, a student leader during the dictatorship period, “has argued that the Polytechnic Generation acts like a group of ‘vampires.’ In his view, through its deification, the Polytechnic Generation absorbs younger generations in its own past, rather than allowing them to develop their own genuine rebellions.”[1]

I want to briefly explore herein whether something similar can be seen to be occurring in Queensland. With the Newman conservative government rising to power, and a movement emerging to counter it which makes explicit and constant references to its ‘glory days’ during the rule of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, I want to ask whether a similarly parasitic relationship with the past is emerging, and point to a few ways it might be avoided. In the end, a successful movement needs to engage in a productive dialogue with the past, and with the currently global context of austerity, in order to be successful.

Continue reading “You’ve got to be Jo(h)king: History, the Left and Queensland”

Will we be kicking out Campbell Newman in two years?

The rally on the  7Th August organised by the union Together was at best a fairly dispiriting affair. The thing that I found the most depressing was a dual lack of vision and possibility. Most noticeably the lack of vision of the leadership of the union, a lack of vision which means not only can they do little to lead an effective resistance to the slow (now gathering pace) austerity of the LNP Newman government but also more despairingly they are contributing to the political disempowerment of the working class and setting us up for defeat. But the second lack of vision is the lack of vision of the anti-capitalist or radical left (to use a term that few will be happy about) to do anything to change the situation, to contribute to a real mobilisation of the class, or lay the foundations for emancipatory politics. What was on display was the double poverty: the poverty of the left-over machinery of social democracy and the poverty of those who want to do something about it. This needs to be addressed and discussed and ways out planned – ways out based not on ideological purity but reality.

Continue reading “Will we be kicking out Campbell Newman in two years?”

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