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Australia - migration/debt/climate change

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Spikymike
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May 24 2019 10:29
Australia - migration/debt/climate change

Australia fared well compared to most developed capitalist economies during the most recent recession, benefitting in part from massive exploitable natural resources and trade with an expanding Chinese economy, but the trade war between USA and China, the effects of changes in economic migration, recent severe effects of climate change and more, are maybe suggesting that the famed 'Australian luck' is running out? See here:
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/20019/05/17/australia-luck-runnin...

Spikymike
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Jan 20 2020 13:13

And to drive home some of these issues further in relation to climate change are the current devastating bush fires as referred to here:
https://en.internationalism.org/content/16783/bush-fires-australia-harbi...

As this article points out the Greens and such as 'Extinction Rebellion' have no real answer to all this, but there is a growing activist movement that is trying to understand and act on these dangers with a particular history in Australia, in which a communist analysis is sorely required backed up by some concerted intervention rather than simply denouncing such efforts. See this, and the last section relating to the local steel industry for instance:
https://revoltsnow.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/strike-blockade-shut-it-down...

asn
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Jan 3 2020 11:42

Spikymike: Such a communist analysis unfortunately won't help and distro amongst these activoids - what is required is direct action by workers particularly affecting key arteries of the capitalist set up and affecting profit making by the corporate set up and workers forcing employers to improve things on the environmental front. We have of course seen this sort of thing with the NSW BLF in the late 60's and early 70's - the famous green bans. This direct action stemmed from much 'long term' on the job organising supported by outside the job organising by the Communist Party and this advanced action followed an important victory on bread and butter issues - the margins dispute involving direct action - e.g. sabotage and workplace occupations. The BL's morale was raised and open to more advanced actions (See review of Green Bans Red Union by Merridith and Verity Burgmann on archive section of www.rebelworker.org) On the world strike day on the environment - in Sydney and elsewhere the Maritime section of the CFMMEU did take industrial action on that day - but just token action and no doubt aimed at cultivating its fake militant profile - so as to draw in naive and gullible leftist activoids into its smoke and mirrors performances associated with enterprise agreements - fake picket lines as tableaux for media stunts for ALP election campaigns and old style Stalinist stand over tactics and thuggery - as occurred with the notorious Hutchinson Ports dispute in 2015 (See relevant article in RW). The article you link to of course fails to discuss in any way the corporate nature of the so called unions in Australia - how they are interwoven with the ALP/Greens/Liberal setup and the corporate setup garnished with ballot rigging where required by the state and massive corruption via rorts by the union bosses and employers subsidies/pay off's see report of the Liberal's Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption and Governance and relevant articles in 2018 editions in RW. Of course these 'bosses unions' aren't going to do any thing serious on the environmental issue and currently collaborate with plenty of corporate rorts - the poor flimsy charade of OH&S in work sites/shoddy building work/ pollution etc. However on going work by the ASN via its transport paper in NSW and Vic. would be critical to getting serious direct action such as strike waves going which has the potential to raise worker morale in various sectors and in the context of new syndicalist union drives supported by transport workers -the situation on the job - which is going down hill for many workers can be turned - morale raised in that context can result in major workers direct action on the environmental front being achieved - not just stunts by fringe corrupt bosses unions. Back in 1999 militant building workers from many sites were approached by the ASN re getting a grass roots movement going with a paper - a bit like with the rank & file movement in the old BLF - but they weren't interested - presumably due to harsh conditions eg black listing etc. Stunts by those activoids aren't going to change things on the job - and will only play into the development of the neo-liberal strong state. Something like this has occurred with the Anti-Globalisation movement. The hard and unglamorous yards - of outside the job organising to assist on the job organising is required not exciting stunts and the fantasy of short cuts. ASN work in transport industries is critical to all this and certainly requires assistance.

Owentiffie
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Jan 6 2020 16:31

Well said, asn. Well said. smile

Spikymike
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Jan 15 2020 12:50

This critique of the various 'Green New Deal' policies being proposed by 'radical activists' amongst the green and social democratic political movements in many countries from the USA to Britain and Australia is also relevant:
https://internationalistperspective.org/hope-or-hoax/

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sherbu-kteer
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Jan 19 2020 15:06

The critiques of the GND stuff are all fair and valid but part of me thinks it should try and move forward on not just a political level, but on a more... moral? level -- I'm not quite sure how to put it exactly, but a lot of the activist-y people my age in Aus at least who are gung-ho for the new deal (which includes self-declared anarchists and left-communists) are gung-ho because it represents a possible way of reversing impending doom.

To much of the young, politically conscious generation, climate change is apocalyptic. A Green New Deal that fixes all the problems is like the only potential salvation remaining. If a GND is not likely to happen, then all hope is lost. Telling these people to put their hopes in the working-class's ability to fight on their own terms is like telling them to put their hopes in Christ.

I don't think they can be written off as "activoids" like ASN does, it's still worthwhile trying to communicate with them, but the communication needs to address this stuff on a deeper level. I've been trying to write something about it to encourage a more optimistic but reasoned outlook on things, but am finding it hard to put it all in to words and to try and explain why the future doesn't depress me.

asn
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Jan 20 2020 13:03

"Telling these people to put their hopes in the working-class's ability to fight on their own terms is like telling them to put their hopes in Christ."

For anarcho-syndicalists its about outside the job organisation helping on the job organisation - strategy, analysis and associated long range industrial work - not putting hopes in things.
Some of these activoids - could help out with this activity - eg salting - getting jobs in the transport sector - they probably won't last long but could do some useful work linking up with/energising militant networks and bring these activoids down to reality land re serious work - and helping out otherwise with ASN transport organising/activity on a peripheral level. Such elementshowever can get up to 'mischief' unfortunately by being taken advantage/manipulated by sect/cult gurus and the impact of the Trotskyist/Stalinist legacy, etc. Their spectacular stuff however will always be taken advantage by the corporate set up - re facilitating moves toward the neo-liberal strong state. This has been the experience of the Anti-Globalisation movement.

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sherbu-kteer
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Jan 20 2020 15:01

I obviously agree organisation in the workplace and related support activity is important, but people don't operate merely based on strategy and analysis. I mean part of militant workplace activity is encouraging people to get involved, and giving them the feeling that their activities can make a difference, that they have the ability to not only fight back but to win.

That's what I mean by hope, I don't mean pie-in-the-sky stuff, but things that can motivate a person to get involve and commit themselves to industrial militancy. From my perspective at least there's a serious crisis of demoralisation among radicals; the "activoids" are not going to do things like salt workplaces if they don't feel there's any point, if their activity is just going to be ephemeral and fade away, if in the end it doesn't matter much anyway because the sea is rising and half the country's on fire and we're never gonna get proper socialism anyway.

Not incidentally, taking part in the building of a militant workers movement is something that can increase the morale of people and give them hope in their own abilities. I do think that's a "cure", so to speak, but to actually draw people in you have to speak on a different level (and also not sneer down to them).

asn
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Jan 21 2020 13:35

Certainly you are right on the issue of low morale these days amongst many. However you must take into account the role of the corporate media and its absolute predominance in the Australian context in facilitating it.(Whilst much of the fringe and Trot group (likely subsided by ALP/Union hierarchy fronts) media is also involved in cover-ups to help out the union bureaucracy and ALP/Greens. Covering up and helping out the corporate set up. In previous eras there was more of an alternative media and much more difficult for cover-ups and of course the Communist Party for many decades put out out numerous workplace news sheets. See the books 'Radical Sydney' and a 'Few Rough Reds'. So If militant workers win victories assisted by such as the ASN or otherwise 'spontaneously' occurs, unless you read RW or our transport paper you would never know about it. A particularly brazen example of this sort of thing was the major industrial action at Central Station in this case spontaneously over framing up for the sack of workers in Dec. 1997 which led to 100,000's of commuters being delayed to work for hours that day resulting in the defeat of these sackings.. The corporate media, rail unions etc just blotted it out as well as the other fringe media . It never happened according to them!! Whilst in Sept. 1999 there was a NSW wide lightning rail strike. This was part of a very sophisticated smoke and mirrors performance again involving the union hierarchy and bosses aided by the corporate media to out flank militants assisted by the ASN to run a grass roots controlled campaign to fight privatisation. If you read the corporate and Trot media you would have got a totally false impression - that the union officials had taken militant action to defeat the privatisation push. It was also about heading off grass roots direct action at the Olympics. You had a similar 'performance' by the RTBU union bosses, and corporate media with the 'fake' lightning strike following Constance NSW Transport Minister advising plans for Region 6 of State Transit privatisation in 2016. This was a very sophisticated operation and was really about heading off 'genuine grass roots' wildcat action which would have foiled the privatisation push. See reports in RW and our industrial paper exposing it.
Also you must take account of how the employer offensive is implemented here - its all about the corporate unions doing much of the heavy lifting for the Govt. and bosses. If you can out fox the union bosses and expose their ploys to the grass roots - you can defeat spear heads of the employer offensive without any industrial action being taken. This has occurred with the defeat of Driver Only Operation on the Waratah Trains when introduced some years back and the defeat of an initial push to introduce DOO on new trains just recently in which the ASN played a very important role and militant networks. In Sept 2014 the ASN also assisted militants to foil moves of the Union bosses and Rail bosses via a rigged enterprise agreement ballot with a clause to severely undermine their job security to carry out the associated mass sacking of most station staff in NSW. All this is sort of behind the scenes stuff. Most people would never hear about it or understand its far reaching ramifications and is not reported in the corporate media. So the impression many of these activoids and others get is everything is going down hill. In reality there are victories by the grass roots - some extremely important but covered-up or completely distorted by most of the media and 'leftist groups'. Whilst many would see the ASN through the prism of the left subculture - seeing us like some of the hopeless trot/left groups.Not understanding what we are doing and importance.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 21 2020 15:20

Use paragraphs.

asn
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Apr 18 2020 09:04

Check out Latest RW Vol. 38 No.1(225) April - May 2020 on web site www.rebelworker.org regarding info on important victory in the NSW Railways in late 2019 assisted by the ASN which needless to say the corporate, fringe and trot media are silent about.

baboon
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May 23 2020 15:21

Another aspect of climate change is the ability of the ruling class to profit from their own destruction and a new element of imperialism's "Great Game" is being played out and intensified over the melting slush of the Arctic.
https://en.internationalism.org/content/16860/how-make-profit-ecological...