[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.
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.
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.
Music by Goran Bregovic – (with possibly ambiguous lyrics)
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.
You can find Jon’s article on Labor, Trade Unions and the White Australia Policy here:
Some of us are old enough to remember the stunning images of indigenous rebels storming San Cristobal de Las Casas in 1994. We took in the reports with awe and excitement. These visions became emblematic of a wave of global struggles against late capitalism’s global trade plans and the subsequent impoverishment of the majority world’s peoples and lands. They captured the attentions of many different perspectives, under a banner of global resistance that continues to shape the world we know today.
Ten years later, some of us gathered together to form an organization in Australia aiming to think about Zapatista politics and critically engage with the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. Most of us had never been to Mexico, let alone to the Zapatistas’ autonomous communities. This didn’t matter. We could learn from the words of our Zapatista comrades regardless of where in the world we were. True, the situation that we confront in various cities in Australia was (and continues to be) very different to the situation lived in communities like La Garrucha or 22 de Diciembre. But we felt that we shared a desire for a world in common, not a world at the disposal of big capitalist ambitions to excavate the mineral resources, to destroy the forests and to put us all to work at the service of the bosses’ wallet. We too live on lands where genocide of Indigenous peoples continues to occur in order for capital to command the lands and the peoples who belong to the land. While Australia may be rich as a nation, it continues to have some of the world’s worst rates of curable diseases and poverty among Aboriginal peoples. The Zapatistas put into words what many of people here had felt for a long time.
In this episode Dave talks with Bridget Harilaou about the recent Imagining Abolition Conference organised by Sisters Inside. Bridget discusses the ideas that were discussed there, their implications for struggles and the kind of future abolishing prisons points to. She digs into how prisons quilt together histories of colonialism, the operation of patriarchy and the oppression of Indigenous people and thus why the struggle against them is so important.
Bridget’s work can be found in many places. Here is some of it:
2019! Wooooo! In this episode of Living The Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) take off the party-hats, pick the streamers from their shoulders of their tuxedo jackets, set aside the Champagne flutes and have a chat about what 2018 was all about what we think is going to happen in 2019. Climate Change, fascism, #libspill, disaster communism, power prices, radical social democracy, #changetherules, #metoo, book recommendations and angry clowns air boxing whilst riding unicycles – this episode has it all!
On Thursday 24 March 2016 I interviewed my friend and comrade Nick Southall about some of his experiences as a young activist in the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the interview we touch on a number of themes including Nick’s early involvement in the Young Communist Movement, his years as a full-time party cadre, tensions within the party between the national leadership and the South Coast District and the party’s relationship with international communist and resistance movements and domestic social movements. Where many histories of the CPA focus on machinations at the national level, Nick’s story reveals a living organisation with deep roots in the Wollongong labour movement and community that functioned as a family, if at times a dysfunctional one.
I have edited the transcript for clarity and length with Nick’s approval. – Alexander