Living The Dream has an #altright time in Melbourne

altright-melbourne
#altright type displays famous political irony

In this episode of Living the Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Kieran (@Kieran Bennett) about a recent Melbourne counter-rally to a Trump celebration rally  ostensibly organised by #altright types and attended by local fascists and neo-Nazis. From here Kieran lets us know who is who in the fascist zoo in Australia, the social phenomena behind the far-right and we discuss what a relevant anti-capitalist practice might be that can defeat the fascists and offer a genuine emancipatory alternative to the issues that we all face.

Kieran blogs at Kieran’s Review and is a member (of the perhaps soon to be rebranded) Anarchist Affinity

Articles and things  we refer to include:

Angry Workers of the World

Ghassan Hage – Recalling Anti-racism

Ben Hillier –  ‘All that is holy was profaned’: the year that was, and the politics we need (Ben recommends you also read ‘Post-truth politics’ isn’t peak populism, it’s peak liberal capitalism and suggests that my read of his argument is wrong.)

Campaign Against Racism and Fascism

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The (Ex)Secretary’s Speech: Jobs Plans, Unemployment And Illusions of the Future.

 

redback-graphix-if-the-unemployed-are-dole-bludger

 

 

Thus capital presupposes wage labour; wage labour presupposes capital. They reciprocally condition the existence of each other; they reciprocally bring forth each other.(Marx 1978, 33)

 

To my friends in the union movement I say this: Every worker needs a successful company. To the business community I say this: No company is successful without an engaged, energised and motivated workforce.(Howes 2014)

 

Introduction

 

This post was meant to be short and to the point – but it has really run away from me. The point of it is to use Paul Howes’ speech as part of a broader critique of the common-sense of the Left in Australia: that some kind of ‘capitalism with a human face’ is possible and that a set of policy options, specifically a jobs plan, could achieve this goal(Žižek 2000, 63). I want to show that Howes’ speech is the truth of such a claim and such a claim is both impossible and undesirable. Simply put such arguments fail to take into account the profound global crisis of capitalism. Thus the future such proponents imagine is a mystification. There is little chance of normality ahead of us, if by normality we mean the relative growth, prosperity and stability of capitalism in Australia post-WWII in both its social democratic and neoliberal forms.

 

This critique is aimed not only at the mandarins of the ALP nor the cretins of the centre-left commentariat but also at activists and the Far Left who continue to parrot such positions even if they add a radical gloss. There are no greater fools than those supposed anti-capitalists who believe that tailing social democratic illusions is a step on a torturous road to proletarian enlightenment. The truth is such a road never reaches its destination: it’s an endless illusion.

 

In discussions with comrades the use of various social democratic demands and slogans is often justified by an argument that goes this is where ‘the workers’ are at and we want to connect with ‘the workers’. However to my knowledge there is never any research that actually establishes this is what workers want, no mass investigation, no discussion groups, no militant inquiry: no one ever asks them their thoughts. Rather such an understanding is an assumption built on an ideological image of the working class that exists only in the minds of certain socialists. On the flip side these comrades who are workers themselves sublimate their own rebellious desires whilst hunting this ideological figment.

 

I also want to be crystal clear. My argument isn’t that we shouldn’t resist sackings, restructuring or privatisations or that we shouldn’t attempt to increase our wages and reduce our work. Far from it. My argument is against the idea that we can organise politically, focused on the state, to coordinate the generation of more employment as part of a return to some form of social democracy. Such a goal is neither possible nor desirable.

Continue reading “The (Ex)Secretary’s Speech: Jobs Plans, Unemployment And Illusions of the Future.”

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?”

Paper-sellers of the World Unite!….and takeover?

great moments

 

 

written by struggletown92

“The move towards a fusion of Socialist Alternative and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) has opened up an extensive discussion on the Australian left about questions of left unity, socialist regroupment, and what kind of organisation the left needs.” – Corey Oakley, Marxist Left Review, Issue 5

This has expressed itself in comradely discussions between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative via Marxist Left Review and also during Marxism 2013.  Both organisations argue that despite avoiding much of the devastation of the global capitalist crisis, assaults are being waged on the working class, Women, the LGBTI community, Indigenous people, refugees and our welfare system. It is because of this reason, they argue, that a real fight back and a real alternative are needed.  According to the Socialist Alliance (S.A) and the Socialist Alternative (SALT), a left realignment is a significant step towards presenting this alternative.

Continue reading “Paper-sellers of the World Unite!….and takeover?”

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