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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Gong Commune at Bushfire Snap Action in Wollongong (1 of 2)

GONG COMMUNE

Lauren Tynan of Koori Country Firesticks and Gong Commune gave this contribution to the bush fire snap action in Wollongong on the weekend:

Acknowledge Country

  • Protection here by the escarpment and thousands of years of people caring for Country
  • Acknowledge all the local mob down the coast supporting families and communities, especially those who wanted to but can’t be here today

My name is Lauren Tynan and I’m a trawlwulwuy woman of tebrakunna country in northeast Tasmania and live here in Wollongong.

I’m a Director of Koori Country Firesticks Aboriginal Corporation, a cultural burning organisation based in NSW.

I’m also conducting a PhD on relationships with Country through fire and cultural burning practices.

Because our relationships with country have changed.

Today we’re talking about change – we’re talking about these wildfires in relation to climate change. Climate has changed but the real change we can see in this place over…

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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 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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