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

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 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 reads On Fairness by Sally McManus

In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) review ACTU Secretary Sally McManus’ book On Fairness.We try to dig in to how McManus fails to understand the actual dynamics of capitalism – rather blaming bad people and bad ideas for the problems we face. This means the book points us in the wrong direction. Rather we need to address the core dynamics in our society if we want to fight exploitation and oppression today and struggle for and create a society where we can live lives worth living.

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You can find Jon’s article on Labor, Trade Unions and the White Australia Policy here:

            A White Working Man’s Country

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