Saturday, April 30, 2016

April, 2016

April begins. The ship of fools sails on. The Prime Minister tries to sell us down the river to little america this time aping the tax system where we get more freedom and democracy through decentralisation and states rights. Very appealing to the conservative mind this decentralisation. The conservative mind takes class rule as a given. Decentralising the tax system will end up disenfranchising the majority of the citizenry from access to the overall general wealth of Australia. The Prime Minister knows this. Once taxing power is devolved to the states and territories the argument for cutting public health education and welfare becomes more easily connected to cutting taxes as the standard of living plummets in some states and fools rush to raise or save their standards of living by cutting the poor lazy undeserving out of the shelter of public services. But the best laid plans of mice and PMs go down to defeat as much as last year's minor premiers go down to teams they beat the last year. Honestly I find it disgusting how the corporate logos get patched onto Aussie Rules footy players. In the WAFL it seems every member of every team now has to wear a big yellow Mcdonald's M on their guernsey. Makes them look ridiculous. I suppose that's the point in a way just as the Nazis used yellow stars and pink triangles to decorate their subhumans. Does anyone else notice I wonder how absurd it is that a sport which claims to be very aware of how it is influencing children constantly scolding its players for larrikin behaviour sells advertising space for fast food joints on its players clothing. Turning larrikin stock into bourgeois expression is part of the process of teaching children how to become successful adults. A real adult is bourgeois anything less is immature. A little more cheapness please. To gain market share of course and stay on top of the race to the bottom. The commodity is everywhere and everywhere it is the world becomes more hollowed out. The world and market become ubiquitously connected. We take it for granted that anything or anyone is for sale. Who will buy this fine shiney object. The price is right. Indeed bourgeois ideology surrounds us. Our freedom is understood to be based on others' unfreedom. The unequal political power between all men and women undermines their desires for social justice peace and happiness just as it undermines the relation we have with our ecosphere. Our psychological health is undermined this way. Narcissism is now being noticed on a mass scale. Perhaps commodification itself with its relentless push to cheapen has undermined our ability to think more deeply about how the social relations of power relate to interpersonal relations. After all a big part of divorce has to do with the division of property. In an ancient way this also has to do with who should have custody over children. Take an easy number. Imagine the world a thousand years ago. The law made of course by the ruling class of the time made it so that wives and children were the property of the husband. Actually one can trace this legal principle back to the beginnings of debt 5,000 years ago as David Rolfe Graeber has done. Debt and property ownership entwine producing unnatural social relations. For tens of thousands of years before humans discovered how to use domesticable plants and animals and escaped the near total hegemony of nature humans lived in communities which were not based on private property. Certainly tribal territorial boundaries existed but this was not the private property we see after the advent of producing more food than you have need for. These classless democracies were not free of belief in the supernatural. Still humans in them did possess wisdom. The things which worked for example hunting and gathering skills within the tribal boundaries were passed down from generation to generation. I think a lot of ancestor worship has been rooted in the respect for the wisdom passed down to living. People grew wiser with materially effective knowledge. Obviously our ancestors were not all knowing. One thing they did know which we have forgotten was their ability to relate to each other as political equals. They rejected individual power mongers who wished to dominate by shunning making fun of them and sometimes exiling or even murdering them. Reverse dominance hierarchy as Boehm puts it was the dominant social relation of power in classless tribal societies. It was and is definitely NOT the natural condition of human beings to be depriving abusing making war on each other. Humans only develop these aspects when one class or one person owns most of the wealth being produced. Sometimes that kind person lends a friend some money or grain. Of course he'll need some collateral. That's where the wife and kids come in. The labour time of his family is promised to his kind friend. And so the power game goes and many friendships run aground. With it all comes the psychological stress we call civilisation. Our ruling class would prefer not to celebrate the human nature of classless societies. It prefers to sell us social Darwinism via pop culture which in turn becomes the commonsense answer to most social questions by social conservatives. From little things big things grow. Big ideas like religions spring out of peoples' need to know. Thus and only thus do ideas become a material force. Most all settlements are invasions. The human race has been invading in this sense at least since it emerged out of Africa 50 or so thousand years ago. Violence. Well violence is a possibility for a tribe on the move to happier hunting and gathering grounds. When class rule is added to the mixture settlement means war. I think of Australia in this context with all the argy bargy over the word invasion. The people living in Australia before 1788 were not living in societies divided by class ownership of property. Aboriginals did not neeed no steenking deeds. Therefore the Europeans dubbed Australia terra nullius nobody's land took it over privatised it. After all how could you have power over property without papers demonstrating your ownership. Besides they were not Christians. They were savages. And so it was that the class ruled Europeans strong armed their way to private ownership over Australia. Guns germs and steel same thing the world over. It has all been written about before. Many books but the ideas contradicting the socially learned dogmas of social Darwinism are not that widely spread. It's human nature don't you know. We've watched televised nature shows by the hundreds by now. We know that all animals including that most evil animal of all homo sapien has always been and always will be a violent beast who would live a short nasty brutish existence if it were not for his ruler. Or her ruler nearly always one of hims. Out of this mix we see what we call injustices emerge. My point is that the nature of human social relations changed radically with the introduction of private property the patriarchal family and the class ruled political State. Upside down thinking prevails. Jobs are allowed to be done which will contribute to our eventual demise. A new coal mine is being approved by a Labor government in Queensland because of jobs. The capitalist has his spin doctors say the mine will mean 10,000 jobs. Under oath the capitalists' representatives say 1,400 jobs. Meanwhile the bourgeoisie is caught with its tax dodging pants down with the Panama Papers revelations. The $32 trillion dollars stuffed away in tax free accounts and shell corporations represents the wealth workers create or will produce for wages and the potential wealth lying in the planet's natural resources. This wealth SHOULD be used by its producers to bring our ecosphere back to health. But according to the laws made by the bourgeoisie's politicians destroying the Earth and squirreling $55 trillion offshore I include the Cayman Island revellations here free from taxation to pay for public health education and welfare is all legal. But then many things which don't benefit the producing class are legal. And we're all equal under the law of course. So we'll just have a fair go and be done with it. Accept it. It's progress. What can you do. Nothing to be done. We're still waiting for Godot. We still cannot see the forest for the trees. This is my patch. You have yours and I have mine. If I get mine I don't need to think about you not getting yours. You see how it works. Bourgeois individualism is still enveloped in the totality of class domination. Acceptance of the wage system involves an acceptance of the notion of hooray for me fuck you ism's negative freedom. Class rule is like that. Has been for ages. Sorry Judith. Got to exchange your labour time to Olaf to pay off that seed loan he gave us last spring. We've had a good harvest. Time to repay our debts. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Amen and all that. But the power relation remains and the poor will always be with us. Certainly we are better off under the democratised rule of the bourgeoisie complete with civil rights than under the absolutism of monarchs. Certainly we are better off under their rule than that of the fascists of the 30s who went to war to make the working class servants under their nationalist cum racist industrial feudalist order. But some would say no. For some the victory of the Allies over the Axis meant nothing. Workers are still class ruled. This is true. What is also true is that the workers' well being is better served with more not less democracy and civil liberties. The left would have been largely extinguished if the Axis had restored absolutism after winning WWII. To be sure the USSR was also a form of industrial feudalism with a new very controlled and planned at the top wage system and all but it was not based on racist nationalism. Folks who fail to see the difference between fascist Germany Italy and their partners in monarchist nationalist Japan and the USSR are failing their class and their kind. Humankind would have suffered a terrible retrogression under Axis rule. People who don't see that can turn out to be the garden variety sort of New Left culturalist. They can see no difference between the Labor Party and the Liberal Party because they do not see that the roots of power lie in ownership of the labour time and social product of labour and that what makes a person into a leftist is recognition that more of the social product of labour should be directed to the needs of those who produce it the bottom 90% the working class. Still the overwhelming majority will never accept the proposals which they see as being an open invitation for poorer people to settle in their country which of course is not their country but the political State which expresses the sovereignty of their ruling class. The workers have no country. The workers are never told this by their national leaders. The emancipation of the workers from the wage system and national liberation have nothing more in common in terms of class interest than employers and employees do. Joie de vivre and free-time are the keys to happiness. Of course, some people get sick and even sicker as they age. Some don't. Be glad if you're in the group who stay healthy as health provides the material basis on which you can concentrate on joie de vivre. Of course genes have a lot to do with how long we age and how much illness we must endure. Capitalist dictum. Find a need and fill it by making a commodity out of it. Then sell it with a view to profit. When will we learn to turn human need into a social desire to spend labour time to fill it. In this case it's your aging because you will age until you die. And luckiest amongst us will grow old. And as long as the wage system exists the upper 10% will enjoy a more comfortable toboggan ride to destruction than the rest of us. As for education the more it is privatised the less education for the bottom 90%. As education becomes a commodity it must be useful for employers to buy. What's useful for employers are employees who produce saleable wealth. Philosophers artists and anthropologists do not produce saleable wealth. Those disciplines fall by the wayside as education becomes more and more commodified. As the price climbs the debt of future workers to the banks buying the education debt grows. Debt and subservience are married. Dialectical methodology would conceptualise them as forming a unity of opposites. The realm of necessity grows as freedom shrinks. The workers in harness to Capital producing the wealth necessary to pay off their debts as they become debtors again with mortgages and car loans. Fear of job loss becomes a real issue undermining any publicly political or union presence. The kids come and the cycle of wage-slavery is in place while the unionists chant to the powers that be jobs for our kids. Tough for the kids too. Education becomes more expensive and while the price of their parents' main retirement asset inflates they are priced out of the housing market or take on unrealistically large mortgages as the jobs for our kids are jobs requiring more cheaply priced labour power. The transfer of wealth continues. Capital accumulates. Edna had a job in the pretty city where she found another man. Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged. The struggle continues. The mind attempting to control reality with ideas and reality ever revolting reality slapping it in its eye. The roots of Idealism can be found in the convincing argument the mind makes to itself about how its ideas should control reality. Of course God is an Idea. In my opinion Hegel gave the Absolute Idea the best run for its atemporal money. But very few people actually read Hegel. Still the persistence of Idealism is admirable for Idealism is where radical subjectivity lies buried in some sort of zombie state. The state varies with the individual's material being within his or her time. One wouldn't expect a Buddhist to bloom in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. An Islamic theocratic warrior yes. A Hindu worshipping at the foot of a statue no. Religion represents the triumph of the Idea in the mind's eye. The sigh of the oppressed is enveloped within vicissitudes wound within a prediction of eternal life. It is in our interests to believe that life will go on forever. Radical subjectivity is buried alive entombed so to speak. Delayed gratification is guaranteed. The mind agrees to the sacrifice. This life for that one in the afterlife. Still the Idea becomes corrupted by reality because reality becomes. We desire. We want. We need. For some pain is so deeply ingrained that they imagine they need it. For most mutual pleasure without pain feels heavenly. Here lies sin. Women giving men erections. My god would disapprove. Therefore women must appear sexually unattractive in public. The puritan desire for near constant celibacy and the rights of men over their private property are assured. What more could the power mongers of patriarchy want. The thing is that some women think liberation lies in the direction of establishing the mirror image of patriarchy. Matriarchy would be oppressive as all versions of the inequality of political power are. Making Communism into an ideal was precisely what happened when Lenin was alive and later when Stalin became the leader of the State and made Lenin's words into the dominant ideology of the ruling Party. The upper 10% rule because they employ the bottom 90% to produce the wealth they end up owning in exchange for the market price of skills. It's all legal. It's called the wage system. The wage system is inherently an unjust system because the producers do not own or control the collective product of their labour. Now you know why I'm for the abolition of the wage system and the establishment of social ownership and democratic control over the collective product of labour. This idea is the most dangerous political position anyone in the bottom 90% can hold. Ideas are necessary for radical subjectivity. Zombies aren't. The wage system was never abolished by the producers of national wealth in the USSR. Thus, commodity production for sale continued, albeit in a controlled, curtailed way. The workers were never made consciously aware that they should control what they produced and democratically manage it. That job was left to their betters in the Party hierarchies of political power. The reified mind set which Lukacs shined his philosophical lights on, lived on in the USSR and the wage system established within its political borders eventually morphed into what you see today in Putin's Russia. The human race first appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago then spread to Europe and Asia and eventually crossed into the Americas roughly 15,000 to 20,000 years ago using a land bridge that once connected Siberia and Alaska. The first phase of human settlement in South America coincided with the extinction of many large animals including elephant relatives saber-toothed cats big ground sloths giant armadillos and huge flightless birds. During this period the human race underwent boom-and-bust cycles by exhausting local plant and animal resources. Some people in the Andes regions discovered how to domesticate certain animals plants including squash and peppers. But most of the human race residing in the Americas remained nomadic hunter gatherers. By about 5,000 years ago people settled into agricultural societies launching 3,000 years of exponential growth when the continent's population roughly tripled. Development in the means of production led to population increases which could be sustained without hunting the local mega fauna to extinction. Of course it was too late for the megafauna by the time this happened. And then there is a theory afoot which makes Australian Aboriginals the first to settle on the South American continent. But that's another story so we move on to today's very different capitalist mode of production where we have agricultural on an industrial scale owned by large corporate entities and the Panama papers which show us that the wealthy will stuff at least as much as $32 trillion of their mega cash holdings into tax free offshore accounts. The figure stored in these accounts is undoubtedly higher than $32 trillion in total. Nevertheless it's parked. Ever wonder where all those company tax cuts went. You know. The ones which were going to stimulate the economy. The wealthy are supposed to be the investors in new businesses the capitalists. The problem that the capitalists find today is that they can "earn" much more wealth by investing in financial assets e.g. credit default swaps than they can by investing in businesses where they employ workers to produce goods and/or services for sale with a view to profit. And why is that. Because the rate of profit per commodity sold declines with the increasing productivity of the working class. Productivity is measured as output per necessary hour of labour. Those capitalists who who buy the latest, best machinery, can employ their workforce to produce more goods and/or services in less time thus out competing their foe capitalists in the marketplace of commodities. Negative interest rates being used by capitalist governments today will do nothing to stimulate investors to do much other than pull their money out of bank accounts in certain countries and place those assets in offshore banks located in political States with lower to zero taxes on wealth. As for the average Jack and Jill with money in savings' accounts it will make them start stuffing their cash under their mattresses or if they're dumb leave their money to slowly drain into the coffers of the banks. In a way negative interest rates work like reverse mortgages dumping the assets of the working class back into the accounts of the finance capitalists. In the meantime the young will be encouraged to blame the old for their falling standard of living. Because the Boomers supposedly all own homes. Sometimes investment homes they rent out to members of the younger generation is way overpriced, compared to the actual use value of the accommodation. Out of this with encouragement from the capitalist media eager to sell such a story, they blame the older for being priced out of the market. The bourgeoisie's political mentors know that the workers divided will always be defeated. As real wages decline and the social wage is cut politically ignorant workers begin to fight amongst themselves over what they've been led to believe is a shrinking economic pie. So of course their fair share of the pie they produce must be reduced. They believe in the fair wage as they believe in the fair go as they believe or are told to believe that we Australians are all equal under the law although we have unequal means at our disposal to hire lawyers of great ability. To me socialism means social ownership and democratic control over the collective product of labour. Socialism means that wage system has been abolished, along with classes, including the working class. Of course the establishment of such a change would mean that the mode of producing wealth would also be changed to one where the associated producers would be creating wealth in order to distribute it on the basis of need. The buying and selling of commodities would be a thing of the past and civil liberties would be expanded from today's levels with the view toward increasing individual sovereignty. Neither Marx nor Engels ever used the term "socialist State". Socialism yes. But socialism for Marx and Engels meant a classless democracy and the political State was always meant to describe class ruled government. Of course I'm a socialist but not an advocate for the creation of a socialist State. Included in Marx's and Engel's description is a workers' State. But it is understood  by them that a workers' State would not be socialism. It would be class rule by the overwhelming majority a proletarian democracy. Today we live within a bourgeois democracy. Marx and Engels used the word State to indicate the governing structure of class rule. A socialist State would be a contradiction of terms much as military intelligence is an oxymoron. Reform or revolution. Is this an either or question. Some would say it is. I don't. To me reform is related to revolution as the class struggle for control over the social product of labour is related to the ultimate victory common ownership of the social product of labour. Reforms which increase the producers' control over their lives and over the collective product of their labour are to be encouraged and supported. They can also serve as reminders that the strategic goal of common ownership has yet to have been reached. Reforms which lower the standard of living of the useful producers should be critiqued and rejected. For instance the Nixon initiated reform known as the "war on drugs" should be the subject of severe condemnation whereas the legalisation of marijuana use should be applauded. One must remember at least one thing about the "war on drugs".  It was used deliberately to disrupt the anti-war movement and the struggles against racism which erupted in the 50s and 60s. The post '68 election prison stats tell it all. Massive increases in the amount of imprisonment with prisoners having darker skins way overly represented. My own experiences with mescaline and lsd during the 60s and 70s led me to a greater appreciation for the interconnections between myself as an individual and the philosophical Universal. The material need for the human race to rediscover its necessary dependency connection with the ecosphere is something which substances like mescaline can act as a catalyst for. Many a shaman of the hunter/gatherer period of the human race taught this. Class dominated civilisation has resulted in the creation of cultures which have distanced humanity from nature. Indeed more and more treating nature as commodity to be possessed and sold to the highest bidder has become the norm. The ancient Greeks had a great fear of falling back into the chaos of the past. Zeus and his imagined tribe of gods were an expression of the desire to transcend the bad old days before the establishment of the political State with its civilised hierarchies of political power of one or one's family or classes of humans over other humans. The domination of Nature was seen both as a curse of the past and proof of the realities of human triumph over the necessities imposed before agriculture and animal husbandry became fountains of privately owned wealth. Some of the contingencies of life passed into the past and with them tens of thousands of years of cultures based on the intimate necessity of living in harmony with Nature. Either that or suffer extinction. Religious practices were memorised then as now. Then they usually had something to do with respecting Nature in order to live sustainably. When those practices failed priests were undoubtedly taken to task although we have by definition no writings from prehistory. All that rigamarole took up a lot of people's time. I remember kids who spent hours learning their catechism. Priests in cultures had their ways of contacting the gods who as everyone believed were the ultimate controllers of reality. The gods told the priests that sacrifice of wealth was necessary to gain their favour. In those days people were considered wealth as well as sheep goats and cattle. Time was also sacrificed to religious and other rituals including the rituals involved with maintaining hierarchies of power reflected in dress. Roman slaves were required to go barefoot while patricians wore nice boots. God said to Abraham kill me a son..... and all that time which went into sacrificing wealth added up to what Bataille would call the accursed share. It's pretty well established that humans living in hunter/gatherer societies had more free-time than the majority did after class dominated society emerged. Sustainable populations were also considerably smaller. Necessity and freedom are like reform and revolution a dialectical unity not an either or proposition. Political apathy is connected with rationalisations which usually spring from generally accepted cultural ideologies. In his own way Voltaire made fun of naive engagement. The best of all possible worlds was a perception put into Candide's mind by Pangloss. Hamlet knew better. The Prince dismissed the aphoristic wisdom of his father-in-law to be and accidentally dispatched the poor man behind his mother's curtain. Polonius advised us that we should never become borrowers or lenders. The increasing power of Capital over social relations since the 16th century ensured an ever growing role for credit and debt to play in political-economy. Fear develops. What if I lose my job. How would I pay my debts. Thus we rationalise that it would be better to keep a low profile. Concentrate on the immediate family. Love them. Forget the needs of others because you now embrace the wisdom of let's just pick one example the Catholic Church: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." The things you cannot change are eternally internal to individual human beings. We are born into sin. We were ejected from Paradise on Earth for disobeying our Creator. Wickedness and saintliness reside within another mystification known as our soul. And so we rationalise our political disengagement and live our lives in this best of all possible worlds tending our own personal gardens much as Beckett's Moran tended his. No matter. Soon t'will be Bloomsday. Molly's Soliloquy awaits another listen. "What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class." Hegemony exists and the power of an idea which has become a generally accepted dogma is found in what people do with their lives or how they live their lives if you prefer up to the point of where some would die to prove their devotion to their preferred dogma. Some still think that Atta is now being delighted by 72 former virgins. One accepts a certain lust must have occurred in his supposed afterlife. You see. I'm a socialist. Bernie Sanders is a liberal. Hillary Clinton is a conservative. All the Republican Presidential candidates are reactionaries. Theocrats want to push history back to feudal times. Such a political position is reactionary. A socialist wants labour to control and democratically manage the product of....well....labour. A liberal wants capitalists to control and own the product of labour but also desires a kinder gentler form of exploitation via the wage system. Liberals of various hue want what Australian unionists in the know call a social wage of varying size depending on the liberal's generosity vis a vis the social product of labour. A conservative wants the social wage the liberals have legislated cut back because they truly believe the product of labour belongs deservedly to the capitalist to use as the capitalist sees fit. Who needs a social wage when philanthropy exists amongst generous capitalists. So it's tax cuts for the capitalists taken from cuts to the social wage. A reactionary wants to go back to a time when when leaders did not have to share political power at all with the general population. Various forms of absolutist rule are their preference and their strategic political goal. Meanwhile on the hustings so to speak actually door knocking for Labor on one of those April Saturdays in Vic Park with a Comrade named Bryan I discover a couple of citizens who won't vote for either major party because of their stance on refugees. I don't discuss my stance with them as it would take too long to explain that I'm for an increase in the the refugee intake but that I oppose a larger Australia and am totally opposed to starting up another people smuggling operation in the geo-political region closest to Australia. How is that done other than by decreasing the official rate of migration. Another political problem is that we don't have the public infrastructure i.e. funding for public health education and welfare set up to support a larger Australia.  When I say that I include the public infrastructure which will allow us to live in harmony with the Earth. The bourgeoisie won't support such a use of "their wealth" without powerful political pushes. Taxes on the upper 10% and the companies that they own will be resisted by those able to influence the public and what informed debate is allowed air time. Wouldn't want to lose advertising now would we. It might cause job loss. He he. Another fellow I door knocked today is a firm Labor supporter. He tells me that he wants to put a lawn sign out for Tammy aka Comrade Solonec but tells me at the same time that nobody will listen and the the sign will be ripped down. On announcing this he takes me to his car unlocks it and pulls out a sign telling the postal deliverer that this was so and so number of this street not so and so the same number with an "A" after it which was across the street of a major intersecting cross street. The sign has been largely ineffective as it has been torn down or vandalised on numerous occasions. Also of interest a Party member confesses to wanting to keep the Queen of England as head of State while others disagree. This happens after the door knock is finished nearing one in the afternoon at the pub. The Comrade is not drinking anything but lemon lime and bitters. Bryan and I are the only ones drinking pints of White Rabbit a dark ale brewed in Geelong. I say nothing critical on the refugee issue or the Republic to the concerned amongst the door knocked or at the pub in the wake of the door knock although my mind is made up. It won't matter if Australia becomes a Republic like the U.S.A. did back in 1776 or 1781 depending on how you're counting.  What does matter is the possibility of Australian citizens gaining a Bill of Rights similar to but more advanced than those enjoyed by the citizens of the U.S.A.. Imagine a right to less time at work for every increase in the the nationally measured output per hour of labour aka productivity in your Bill of Rights. There are around 60 million displaced persons on planet Earth now. Should they all come to Australia. Should they all come to Australia native born Australians would become a minority. Onshore processing for refugee claimants combined with the possibility of maritime arrivals being settled in Australia would certain be a boost for the bourgeois shysters in the people smuggling game. Certainly the population would potentially grow if the refugee intake were raised to 27,000 per year or to 75,000. Still this would make a very small dent in the problems of displacement being suffered by most of those aforementioned 60 million. Open borders is a policy that even most refugees don't want especially after settlement. The question of number comes up say 75,000 per annum. And then there are the political problems associated with taxing the bourgeoisie and the companies they own at a rate sufficient to provide the necessary public infrastructure and environmental protections especially considering the considerable publicity resources which their wealth allow them to employ in their class interests. The only way a politician would be brave enough to put forward a policy conforming to the moral tone of those now condemning current refugee policy would be for the general public to clamour for it. The general public is being assaulted with cuts to public health education and welfare all in the name of fiscal responsibility at a time when the real Gross Domestic Product of labour is rising. These observations are rarely combined. The voting majority are not protected from these cuts and so have little time for charity. Most of them have been and are told on a daily basis that there is no alternative to this best of all possible worlds. The bourgeois of course have time for charity. They sponsor contests which the more well off in the working class can participate and feel somewhat better about themselves. They are not fearful of losing their means of making a living educating their kids and/or seeing their parents condemned to living on an inadequate age pension. Members of Parliament enjoy relatively generous pensions. You see how it works. You see why most people are not as concerned as some about refugees and how this plays out in getting elected to government the only legal way to change things. Most people don't want to pick up the gun. Even most people who say that elections are undemocratic, immoral and the general populace racist are unwilling to actually learn how to shoot a rifle by going to a rifle range for target practice. Just try to get a Young Hegelian gun club going. You do get a few Idealists. Unfortunately for the left most of those people are on the right. So what is left but the voice of reason connected to class interest. Of course we do have strikes street demonstrations parties and unions to work within as well we should. We should learn from the history of the human race that it does not move as quickly as some of us want toward more freedom democracy universal love or the best of all possible futures to name but a few. If the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction didn't motivate us to make a communist revolution no threat will.  This includes our current catastrophic dance toward an extreme degradation of the ecosphere. I know WE are class divided. Because we're nationalistically united with our ruling classes most of us are sleep walking toward a very different life by the end of the 21st century. Of course most of us reading this now will be dead by the end of the 21st century. From the root of indifference to class power comes the acceptance of socially produced wealth becoming privately owned by the ruling class. Confucius couldn't have expressed it better. He has been revered by Chinese rulers forever. Political apathy is based on the rationalisation of matters as they stand. Inertia keeps us going. As long as we're safe the world can go to hell. After all individuals are not responsible for what's happening to others outside of their families. Each individual knows this which is why they know that politics is a waste of time. And so it goes. Besides we're all too busy. Our time has been purchased although we don't think of it that way. We prefer to think of ourselves as acting responsibly. We take our work home with us. Homework has been schooled into our daily lives especially if we've been good students. Oft times even our dreams are invaded as we sort out the mess of our social relations within surreal mindscapes of rem sleep. I am resolved. I am not in a hurry.  I will not be hurried. I will slow down. I will savour my free-time. Then I forget my will. I get carried away with the current. I drive to keep up with the traffic. The little children cry indoors. They rarely get outside anymore. Do you still hear them playing in the streets or around homes. Of course you don't. They remain inside behind their screens. Probably best. The world is more dangerous than it was before when bushrangers used guns to hold up horse drawn wagons traveling down the Albany Highway to the Narrogin Inn. I will not speed up. I will watch the evening news on TV and hear of the latest crimes being committed between my fellow humans most of them not very rich. I will be afraid. I will be very afraid. I will only travel distances greater than from my front door to my mailbox in my locked automobile. I will walk. Yes I will walk through well policed shopping centres. I will take my screen device with me and keep my eyes glancing to it at all times. Sometimes I will get a call. So I will talk. Sometimes I leave a message.  Mostly I text my feelings. When I was a kid and then a teenager I seldom spent my time writing anything about my feelings except for the occasional love letter or letter home to say hi this is what I'm doing love Mike. Phone calls were relatively rare compared with today's volume. A long distance call would cause a minor panic rushing to the phone to avoid paying for unused long distance time. The expense don't you know. Other than that I just spoke with people in person. I think there's a whole lot less of that now. Maybe not though. I don't hang out with kids anymore. Maybe texting increases the quantity of conversation without necessarily increasing the quality of conversation. And if that quantity is low what effect does that have on cheapening social relations. The old anomie never really leaves us. The quality of conversation was not much better in the 50s. No Down Payment comes to mind. The in wake of WWII many a woman married a man because that was what you were supposed to do to be able to live happily thereafter in Holy wedlock 'till death did you part. By the 60s that dream got old. Then came the pill rock 'n roll and no fault divorce a relief to some an eternal sorrow for others. Material reality was beginning to challenge idealised monogamy. Still people want that image of a perfect home life. Father mother children a four bedroom house with a backyard and bbq all based on a secure job for life as long as you didn't become an alcoholic and skip work too many days. The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Remember that tune well for the spirit of which it sung in U.S. culture was of freedom from slavery whether the people who declared the war or not wanted it so. In the end owning another person was outlawed. Of course the old slavocracy got around the law political power-wise by making laws which tended to put their former slaves into prison and forced labour. So the hell with Dixie. It's Solidarity Forever.  You know. The tune to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. It's the same tune meant to be sung in a similar spirit. This time the appeal was for class solidarity against wage-slavery. Thank you Ralph Chaplin thank-you from now to 1914. People who need the expertise of others choose them. I've needed doctors mechanics teachers and so on all my life. Some I've elected. Others not so much. People who need political leaders should become more class conscious. When you know that you produce the wealth of the world you know that you should own it and use it for your own purposes. Wealth is produced socially which is why it needs to be owned and administered democratically. Once this is understood you can move toward the goal on your own in dialogue with your fellow workers. I found it very much easier to come to a clear understanding of what was happening to my class and my kind after reading the critical observations of Karl Marx. In fact one of the reasons I took the time to speak "Value, Price and Profit" into youtube had to do with the way the scales fell from my eyes after I grasped what Marx was getting at. That happened as well by engaging in conversations with my comrades about it. There's dialectic in dialogue. Reform and revolution are dialectically intertwined in the class struggle over the social product of labour. For workers to deny themselves access to parts of the collective product of their labour because they refuse to be "bought off" is pure Idealism. When we as a class organise to demand everything we will emancipate ourselves from the wage system and establish common ownership and democratic control over what we produce. Until then the struggle over what we produce how we produce it and how much of it we politically get ahold of continues. Whether Sanders and/or Corbyn wins or loses this conflict will continue. Class domination stimulates it. But people are continually being buried under a load of ideas which bubble around them within whatever culture they can find. And what they find is mostly commodified for sale. Market share is an important aspect to consider here. The greater the market share the more cultural commodities can be sold. But the seller must be careful here. After all individual humans are involved. In very large numbers the lowest common denominator within reason is where hungry talent gravitates. For television I've heard the average police show or family program is a spam sandwich aimed at a maturity level equivalent to a 12 year old. Maybe I heard all this in a wrong way. Maybe the medium has a more mature cultural message in other capitalist States. Oh yes, TV also exists in the monarchies of the world. The wage system is under more direct control. Absolutist rule what ya gonna do. Still the market gods must be noticed worshipped and thanked with sacrifices of wealth become burnt offerings. Within the culture though the choice of spam is much more restricted. By the way most Saudis do not even own their own home. The aristocracy is another matter entirely. In any event the public availability of the cultural commodity is more limited in some States than others. We should be happy or at least happier than we are. Perhaps it would do us well to compare our lives with those who came before us. Herodotus tells the story of the Xerxes attempt to invade and defeat the Greek Confederacy. The army and navy of the Persian Empire was enormous much larger than the Greeks. Whole towns are slaughtered. Athens is burnt to the ground. The King of the Spartans dies a hero's death at the battle of Thermopylae. A minor king gouges the eyes of his sons out for disobeying his orders to hide in the mountains rather than being drafted into fighting for the Persians. Life was often nasty brutish and short during the 6th century BCE. Compare that with my life today on an old age pension drinking ale in the backyard on a cooler autumn day in Perth Australia. Ah 71. What a beautiful age to have been lucky enough to get to. Still we endure indeed accept the kissing up-bully down people. Well some of us do anyway. There is pent up anger out there. Mostly it's unarticulated. Once in awhile a Sanders or a Corbyn find themselves in the right place at the right time. We listen because they pluck similar chords if we've been listening at all since we were born. August Cesar Sandino once remarked that the workers and peasants would get there in the end. Where is there. It is certainly not in the here and now. We have not come to the end of history. History is a human product. It will not die. As long as humans exist conscious use of time will continue. Of course most of the time we're acting unconsciously going through our daily routines some of which involve harnessing our consciousness to tasks we are obliged to perform. It's what our employers pay us to do. We do it because we need to sell our time and skills to them. How else would 90% of us make a living. But we won't sell at a price below our value. We demand a fair day's price for a fair amount of time. The operant word here is fair. What is fair to buyers and sellers in the marketplace of commodities. The content of that answer could involve you spending more time at work for less a share in the product of your labour. This is the other material question. Is the social product being separated from its producer ever fair. Methinks not. This view is not given much oxygen. I am currently a member of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. Neither give oxygen to the notion that labour and natural resources are the sources of all wealth. It's whatever they determine a fair day's wage for a fair day's work actually amounts to. Jobs of course. Liberals promise jobs too. Where do jobs come from. The employing capitalist class. So kowtow to them in the right way and they'll hire you to do a job for them. With regard to a fair price of course the employing class who are as good at haggling as any class in the market. Suffocating comes to mind when I think of the ALP and the AMWU. It's our product and I want more of it which is why I'm in the ALP and the AMWU. I just don't see why we can't have it all. Oh wait. I do see it. The block seems to be in the minds of folk who don't realise that they produce the power because they produce the wealth and that they are being used. One might even use the word exploited. Even if we are in the Sanders or Corbyn orbit we can't seriously be thinking about ridding ourselves of wage labour in exchange for democratically controlling what we produce within the very industrial division of labour we have created. Don't we know that Bill Gates or even better Steve Jobs would not have been possible within communist social relations. Well yes and no. Both would have been born but neither would have become capitalists. Perhaps inventors. Inventors are useful producers. Real estate agents aren't. Homes should never have become the speculative commodities that they function like today. It makes me sad that we cannot see ourselves destroying that possibility today especially as we have every material capability to make homelessness history. It makes me angry to see the well off making charity gestures in order to apply salve to the wounds its system inflicts. The Paris Agreement has no politically enforceable mandates for reducing carbon emissions. The bourgeoisie don't want their free market to be saddled with regulation. In order to combat climate change the market must decide. The idea that the bourgeoisie's own political State would engage in restraint of trade is ludicrous. It doesn't as the wiggle room around the European ETS have shown. Restrain of trade is done only when it benefits the bourgeoisie. The post-WWII General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade comes to mind. Today's Trans Pacific Partnership also comes to mind. Those legal agreements are all about restraining trade to benefit the capitalist class. The Paris Agreement is a toothless tiger legally speaking which is why the bourgeois of the world don't mind having their political States sign on to it. Anzac Day nationalism is upon us. Capitalist rule erupted out of political revolutions against ancient monarchist expressions of absolutism. The revolutions of modernity (from Cromwell’s Puritans in the mid 17th century to Colonial America’s yeoman farmers and private property owners, to the overthrow of monarchism in France by its citizens and in country after country well into the 19th and 20th centuries) all resulted in the establishment of national political States. All nationalisms were political expressions of the rapidly changing social relations between the producers of wealth and the appropriators of wealth in the ruling class. From peasant subjects to wage-labourers the producing classes were united after nationalist revolt as citizens alongside their ruling capitalist and landlord classes in one big political State. These conditions were accompanied by new political notions primary amongst them the rule of law and the classless identity politics which proclaimed that sovereignty was no longer the king’s but for the ‘people’ of the nation. From these material circumstances sprang a need by the ruling class for the legitimation of their system of political dominance thus the impetus for public intellectuals to invent and spread the gospel of the various and sundry nationalist brands. One of the first tasks these amplified intellectual voices had to confront was to define who ‘the people’ were. The promotion of Anzac Day by public intellectuals ends up delivering the working class once again into the political hands of the national capitalist class. Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi. "Stop the industrial economy" is NOT what needs doing. We need to take, hold and operate the means of producing wealth which we humans have developed and use them to reduce our necessary working day to the minimum needed to live in harmony with the Earth. Creating more freedom through increased leisure time is the key to happiness, progress and, indeed, survival. The assumption being made by anarcho-primitivists is that "the industrial economy" is the problem. The reality is that the wage system is the problem because it separates us from democratic control over the collective product of our labour. What I'm saying is that if we enjoyed common ownership over what we produce, we would not choose to commit species-wide suicide. It is the wage system which has us in thrall. And when I say "us" I include the capitalist class who rule us. Destroying "the industrial economy" sounds like something Heidegger would have come up with during his more nostalgic moments walking through the Black Forest with images of happy, healthy early 19th century peasants tending their fields and their cattle popping into his head. Destroying "the industrial economy" would result in human megadeath. Using what is useful about the industries we've produced to emancipate ourselves from waste generating, ecocidal activity is the way I recommend going. This will mean that we have to decide for ourselves to emancipate ourselves from wage labour and the rule of Capital. There should be no conflict between changing the method we use to produce wealth and distribute it and the faith that believers have in an eternal life. If there is those believers are politically supporting the wage system. Stalin went from banning religion as the great atheist to using it in many ways especially during the Great Patriotic War. Stalin himself made Lenin into a religious icon and turned Trotsky into a devil. Nationalist ideology is oft times mixed with religious ideology some would say souped-up on the supernatural. We honour those who died for the nationalist cause. Dawn services are held. Flags fly at half-staff or half-mast depending on the nation you're in. We remember them as human beings bravely doing their duty. Of course it's more complicated than that. More than a billion words have been written about war in fiction alone. That's just a guess. Life and death in extremis which is what war seems to be generates the desire to act quickly and decisively. Adventure proper has a similar effect. The speed of life increases. The dramas real and fictionalised are rich with the texture of individuals' personal history makings. For that's what they do. Humans make history by being alive and acting in the world. By making choices to do this or that or meet him or her and so on even up to and including making existential choices about life and death. Imagine it's 1944 and you're a Red Army soldier making your way across the snow covered forest floor in Finland. You see a soldier. A Finnish teen in uniform carrying a very efficient looking sub-machine gun. The boy is ten metres in front of you. If he sees you he will kill you. Think of your choices. You've been issued a PPSH-41 capable of shooting a thousand rounds a minute. His Suomi KP/-31 burps an equally deadly spray. Lest we forget. We say that nations make war. But nations do nothing. It is the ruling class who come to a consensus to declare war on another ruling class. It is the workers and peasants who do the killing. Some would call it murder. Just as some would call legal execution by the State murder. The distinctions one makes about life death and survival can have profoundly political implications. And you all caught up in the system not seeing the forest for the trees signing up for military service an especially urgent task during war. The social tempo increases. Emotional tales of the other side's murders shrilly told by money making media sellers. We are the market. Will we buy what's on offer. Of course we will. Homo economicus makes rational choices in the marketplace of commodities. The mysterious saleable ware sold by a reliable brand. Of course we will. We are the coalition of the willing. What's that old Christian song. Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus marching on before. Uncle Sam needs you. Take your pick. You'll get a proper religious burial when you come home in a box. The living will give a thought to your sorry ass for a moment every year. On the next day they'll return to their work duties. Time has been sold. This and that must be done and sold forever and ever amen and thank-you. We will remember. We will not be allowed to forget. Still we have pubs even RSL Clubs where we can see the cheery faces of the lads and lassies as they smile for the camera before blood spurts missing limbs and screams begin. An older person a survivor listens to the songs popular during a long ago youth. Ah the comfort of an old blanket. I remember once upon a time being in a meeting of the Reference Department at Green Library. The book selector for the discipline of economics was in attendance. He said that he could never understand what political-economy was supposed to mean. I think he was directing his observation to me as he turned to look in my direction in that blink of an eye moment. I was well known for being the resident socialist in the Department. Referring to Marx's critique of political-economy has never been something I've shied away from. I just let his remark stand as he was both my direct supervisor and the remark itself I thought made him look the careerist cretin most knew him to be. The economic choices governments make are political hence political-economy. Workers have been producing machines which have led to shortening the time it takes to produce wealth for more than a couple of hundred years now. Unfortunately if workers don't have the political will to ensure that shorter work time is legislated the employers of their labour power will ensure that they work longer hours to increase the rate of profit. A reserve army of the proletariat will result from some of the working class labouring more way more hours than they need to produce enough wealth to cover the price of their skills and their social wage.The homeless and poor come to be seen more and more as a surplus population. Collateral damage is everywhere to be seen. “The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious." “...the more alien wealth they produce, and…the more the productivity of their labour increases, the more does their very function as a means for the valorization of capital become precarious.” And nowadays we have the new concept of the precariat being sold into the marketplace of commodities. Its intellectually influential buyers the radical liberal post-modernist cultural left who refuse to read Marx and Engels because they're out of date delight in their cool cutting edginess. Much has changed since the 19th century. But what Hegel was getting at with the concept of sublation aka aufheben is that while history moves forward toward God or the Absolute Ideal it both negates the past as it keeps the past. Sublation is the unity of opposites resolving into a new beginning. History is not some absurd tabla rasa synthesis but a continuation of much and a leaving behind of some. The capitalist mode of production is still with us. We have not abolished the wage system. We do not officially endorse legal concepts like separate but equal anymore although we are still for the most part separate and equal before the law even as the police kick the shit out of some of us on the streets. Levels of wealth under our control separate us. The more wealth you have the more paywalls you can climb and even construct around yourself. You can more easily forget those who do not pay you. What can the dead do for you. They can no longer loan you cash and once the will if any is read it's over. Forget them and their dying wishes. Listen to AM radio's right-wing call in shows between shots of the latest country hits. Smoke your tobacco. Drink your wine. Cynically sneer at humanity but love all the animals. Feel useless out of harness to a boss paycheck comin' in. Don't you hear the bugles in the distance. The horses' gallop gets louder. Hillary and Donald are firmly in the saddle. The opposition is is being left behind. The bandwagon is filling. FDR and Ike are more or less safely down the memory hole. In Britain it's Nye Bevan returned as Jeremy Corbyn this time at the head of the Labour Party. Must be attacked in the capitalist/State media. Commodity market dealings in order to solve social problems and all that those solutions imply are still au courant on the left. At least we've got a time commitment to ensure that 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030 from my ALP. Why not moratorium on the company tax for renewable energy producers and distributors is beyond me. Does the ALP refuse to provide leadership for fear of coming up with an unpopular policy every once in awhile.  We Party members can do better with more support from the grassroots may you keep on pushin'. Here in Oz it's Whitlam whose policies and political programmes are now more or less an embarrassment wrapped in naivete ignored eviscerated in the process of privatisation. The left is still tied to the free marketplace of commodities as the commodification of humans relations continues apace. We try the best we can to keep monsters at bay. Somewhere around Chernobyl now there's a wolf eating a radioactive mouse. Remember THEM! Giant ants coming out of the desert to terrorise the good American citizens of LA. Sewer dwellers these ants monster sized by exposure to nuclear fallout from A-bomb and H-bomb testing sites. Alamogordo New Mexico. More of us knew that it existed then. That's part of what sublation means too. The forgetting accumulates. It becomes enormous. Bring in the flamethrowers. Kill THEM! People worry about being forgotten hence gravestones. Giant ants don't get gravestones. THEY just get movies which eventually fall down the memory hole. Crazy yellow ants now that's a different matter. Senator Dodson replaced Senator Bullock today. I went to the ceremony at Parliament. Speeches lauding the new Senator's qualities as a fighter for justice especially for Aboriginals were ubiquitous. But one of the Liberal Party members got up and used the opportunity to deliver a speech condemning gay marriage relevant in a way as Labor Senator Bullock had resigned his position because he could not support his Party's policy supporting gay marriage. Stealing the show is politically opportunist. Peter Abetz knew that. Members from the gallery where I was expressed their disapproval. I await our new Labor Senator's response as I found out today that he once wore the frock of a Catholic Priest. Senator Dodson quit the priesthood over disagreements about integrating Aboriginal spirituality into his practice of Catholic doctrine. He also quit the Labor Party in the 80s for reasons I have yet to find out about. I think Comrade Dodson fights and quits a lot. I've done that as well. Sometimes you just can't stand the backbiting anymore. You shun. You ignore. You stop paying dues. You withdraw. Democracy isn't just about going along with what the majority votes for. Democracy has liberty as a core strategic goal or it is a sham. If the democracy you're involved with does not lead in the direction of individual sovereignty it is not worthy of support. Individual sovereignty can't be brought into existence merely through assertion although the insistence on its assertion is part and parcel of its content. As Eric Fromm critically observed: “If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being 'asocial' or 'irrational' in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to 'explain', which usually implies that the explanation be 'understood', i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.” A good conscience is an important aspect in the development of one's sovereignty. Authenticity ought to hook up with this notion of sovereignty as should autonomy. All too often we give these away to others. Indeed we are wrapped up in a totality which demands that we become as alienated from each other as we are from the social product of our labour. Exchange of this for that money changes hands for a commodity. Obedience at work for a paycheck. Silence in the face of disagreement can promote peace. With stand and deliver we are presumed to understand that the exchange involves a choice. Our money or our lives with our lives almost always being the democratic choice. As for the flag of our bourgeois democratic republic why not just remove the union jack and leave it as it is. The bourgeois democratic republic sans aristocratic pretensions. It would be interesting to see a King Charles come along advocating vegetarianism and the use of used cooking oil to power automobiles. I would find that situation very amusing. Conservatives would begin to see the folly of carrying water for a such a monarch and get together with the liberals to declare an Australian Republic. Like I said just remove the union jack and carry on. Add a modern Australian Bill of Rights to the Constitution while you're at it. Uh-oh. Maybe just keep the Australian King. The air chills as we move toward May. An equivalent weather would be experienced as Halloween approached in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course there is a vast difference between an October in Yuma and one in Burlington as there is between Derby and and Hobart. May Day on the morrow will see this weather again. Workers must stand together or risk getting hanged separately. "All the world that's owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone. We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone. It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own. While the union makes us strong." It's April 30 1986 and I'm in the part of Berlin which is Hauptstadt der DDR. The Kneipe is close to an old burned out Synagogue which has been kept in its sad condition as a reminder of Kristallnacht. The bar is full of workers knowing they will have the next day free. They also know that a radioactive cloud from the U.S.S.R. is fast approaching. Cynical abandon is complete. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March, 2016

You're in a meeting about political and economic matters affecting workers who have reached pension age. The meeting is made up of retired workers. Nothing is accomplished but many personal tales are told. One gets the impression that validation is desired something missing from daily life. The best meetings are the ones at pubs with friends especially after the second pint. The third pint of ale is sipped and savoured. The conversation of loosened tongues sans inhibited mind. The level of relaxation required for a productive meeting. Most of Parliamentary question time is bluster. The real decisions are made in policy committees. We retired members have no policy. We just meet react and tell stories concerning our personal history. To be sure these monologues usually relate to the conversation but the conversation is not based on achieving the goal of hammering out a policy. It is about form but content has largely gone missing because it was never there in the first place. Class conscious content is missing. Never put there. Never developed. The wealth belongs to the capitalists. They created it and gave us jobs at a fair day's wage. We put in that old fair day's work. We accept the system as it is. We don't think about trying to organise a better system. For us fairness and a more morally informed policy from our political leaders is the best we can hope for. Some of us are on the right and some are on the left. Our hopes for a better life are often dashed in market hurly burly. The markets have emotions. You learn this on the TV from commentators during the news about dollars and cents changes in the price of stocks bonds and natural resources or commodities as they're known. Of course all three categories embrace a series of brand names attached to capital of some sort or another which itself is a commodity according to the definition of the term in CAPITAL. We create capital during our lives at work doing our jobs in the great division of labour which ends up being measured as the gross domestic product. The real GDP keeps going up and our capital corrupted democracies keep telling us that we're broke. We owe capital to the capitalists who sold bonds to the democratically elected governments. Capital assets are measured by the money commodity. It's all perfectly logical. We produce capital. It's a friendly little social relation. A gentleman's agreement in a way. We're just happy that we have a job. After all the Reserve Bank must adjust the marketplace to make sure that 500,000 Australian citizens are unemployed during the fiscal year. Sometimes more citizens are without jobs. This is to be expected because of the business cycle. We must submit to the business cycle because it is entwined with the market. We can suffer some unemployment in order to keep the market from becoming angry. We don't want the market to go down because that would hurt our future as represented by our capital. You see we have super. Some of us own a house. Some more of us own investment housing. So you see the market is important to our very livelihoods. And the market is composed of commodities being bought and sold. There is a labour market. It is composed of buyers and sellers of labour power. The specific sorts of labour power sell for different prices depending on the social relations of political power between buyers and sellers and on the supply of and demand for the various skill sets being marketed. Varying prices also depend on the amount of labour time put into developing them. Education and years of experience on the job gives one a notion of the exchange value of labour power. Retired union members who remain organised in unions usually have a keen sense of the price of things. This may come from years of haggling with their wage-slave drivers. Capitalists don't generally manage their businesses anymore. They hire managers unless they're cockroach capitalists who can't afford to hire a management to drive the lesser wage slaves the ones producing the goods and services. I would say that many know the exchange-value of some commodities fairly well. The fact is that most people existing today don't want to live in a classless democracy. Most people feel comfortable with hierarchical power. They feel kind of lost without it. It's like the old SPGB saying goes people who need leaders don't know where they're going. But they do know where they're going. They're going to embrace reality which is the same thing as accepting it. And they will continue to accept as long as they don't suddenly feel threatened. Which is why climate change is problematic. We need time to adapt. Recycle your corn cobs. Grow your own vegetables. Take up your time with real matters. Don't keep your head in the clouds. Accept the reality that you can do little more than raise chickens. Changing the system is out of the question say the immense majority who are busy pooting through their days recreating the system they live in. Some fall into despair others into long bouts of boredom still others love their time at work. They feel lonely and useless when they're not in harness. They used to sit on park benches feeding the pigeons smoking and reading a newspaper as they chewed the fat of the present focussed on health theirs and others. Nowadays they sit behind screens screaming their particular pains out to whomever will listen. Some pains are more popular than others amongst the popular masses. Most pains could be solved with one good whack dumping bosses off our backs en masse. The popular masses have a rather narrower focus. Perhaps its the individual attempting to get notion of who he is by being a Jew a Muslim a woman an African American, an Egyptian a Slav a member of the white race a member of the red brown or yellow race a Hells Angel a Hegelian a Baptist a Shinto or a Hindu. Brahmins beware the Dalits are there. Being an individual who has found a conceptual identity which takes in more than just being an individual is important. After all we feel alienated and the solution is to set ourselves apart by category and then homing in with our home boys. Sect-ual liberation. A feeling of belonging descends over our aura. Kiss my aura Dora. Being a concept is an ontological necessity for an Idealist practitioner of identity politics. Even people who read and agree with Marx can in reality be Idealists especially if they call themselves Marxists. Anarchists' obsession with The Idea speaks volumes. Atheists don't get me started. Sovereign individuality gets lost in conceptual identities. Class can become a concept as well the idea creator dominated by acquiescence. Reality is determined by content not the ideas describing content unless by reality you are zeroing in on the behaviour of Idealists. But who am I to talk. My bozo sized shoelaces get caught in my bike peddles on the way home from Thirsty Thursdays at Franklin's and I fall into a hedge on the way home disengaging my chain to boot. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Double tie your shoelaces and continue on none the worse for wear. Yep 71 and still riding my bike to the pub albeit from now on without long laced sneakers. Perhaps boots. Perhaps sandals. Always double tying my long laced sneakers. Voting is not about faith. It's not about endorsing your masters either. You do that everyday you go clock-in for your fair day's pay for a fair day's work. Politics is about political power. You lot would have more power if you organised as a class of wage workers or potential wage workers people who need to sell their skills to an employer in order to survive. Organised for what. Organised to get control over what you produce and the conditions under which you spend your time producing the wealth you exchange for wages. Back up your ballots with your class consciously strong unions and you will win. Otherwise remain relatively powerless and laugh cynically at the morons who vote or morally wring your hands at the collaboration with power one must engage with in order to eventually destroy unequal political power between all men and women. Every national bourgeoisie has a State which uses a currency. Money is just the universal commodity which one uses to exchange for other commodities. The money commodity is a convenience used to trade equivalents or near equivalents. Money just represents the wealth the workers are hired to produce. Gold is just another commodity on the market. Its price is reflected in about $1,200 USD for an ounce of the element these days. All told the people of the world are seeing that it would take about $1,200 worth of labour time including the depreciation of labour time embodied in the machinery the science and technology used to extract gold from the Earth. Prices are never exactly accurate. Fluctuations in supply and demand always buffet the price of a commodity, all commodities. Taxes are just part of the wealth that workers produce as sold commodities. States appropriate this wealth by taxing its possessors--the bourgeoisie the proletariat and the landlords. Most of the wealth typically 80% of it is owned by the top 10%. How else can a ruling class keep the various regimes of class rule operational. After all you can't have everyone living under the rule of law without spending a little cash to keep the apparatus oiled and fueled with labour time producing goods and services like prisons hospitals roads courts parliaments various other pieces of infrastructure and so on. Non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) dictates that Australia must maintain an unemployment level of 500,000 workers to keep the dreaded threat of inflation at bay. So why are the 500,000 unemployed being hassled by the government i.e. being told that they are job snobs and nothing but bludgers and leaners. They should be rewarded for keeping inflation at bay. Sunflowers are inviting. Honeybees love them. Purpureicephalus spurius do as well. The males have red caps bright green bodies with purple breast and red underparts. The females have no red or purple just a lighter green with mauve underparts. In Western Australia they are known as King Parrots. They like to eat my sunflowers seeds and all. Humans are given license by the State to kill them if they become a nuisance on a farm. Just another tragedy of our irrational age. Daily over 22,000 children die quiet deaths due to impoverished material circumstances. Unnecessary. Unreported on the nightly news. I could go on. I must go on. I fail. I get up. I fail again. I go on. I fall from my bicycle on the way home from the pub. Thank you Samuel Beckett. You knew. Your black humour still shines through. Your Jewish friend being whisked away by the Gestapo in 1940 Paris. You saw. You resisted. You laughed. You went on. The Occupation of France by fascists from Germany met with acceptance by most. Tending their own gardens they were. Nothing to be done. Nazis are just an honest expression of human nature. According to current levels of socialised wisdom sadism is to be expected. Brutality what can we do. Evil exists. It's human nature not anything we learned from reading various good books or having your betters tell you so. We can go on. We must go on. We will go on. Even if people find out that other people lived within a different set of social relations for tens of thousands of years they cannot accept that human nature then under classless social relations was different. The more things change the more they remain the same or so says the conservative thinking pattern. History is made largely irrelevant in the minds of the many dominated by the ideas of the few whose lickspittles are many. Equal political power or unequal political power between all men and women will result in the same Nazi like behaviour because it's human nature. Dogma and cognitive dissonance are dialectically tied together. That's fair dinkum. By the way what is dialectics. Can they really break bricks. If god can dialectics can. If only I had known Juicy Lucy. Who do you love. Sometimes it's best if I'm not around. Listen to music. Toke again and get another ale from the fridge 'cause music is there just waiting to be tapped. Dancing requires your ears having freedom from earphones and the sitting position. Nevermind. Music is something to pour into your head. Militant ignorance is related to cognitive dissonance. You don't want to hear or read about matters which contradict the dogmas you've been socially immersed within. Which isn't to say that you've never been exposed to other perspectives although that does happen more now than it did in the past. Mass communication is much more pervasive than it has ever been before. Still we are not philosophically trained to be critical thinkers. We could be but we are not. Besides such a move would push the cost of public education up. Don't want to rock the boat as the economy might suffer. The markets might become agitated. Investors might lose confidence. Mostly we repeat the aphorisms which seem to describe reality best. This phenomenon happens on all sides of the political spectrum. It tends to be less nuanced amongst the less educated. As long as the less educated amongst the bottom 90% are kept safely the rude crude are kept from the public political sphere. But when they find a champion who says much of what THEY are actually thinking the realities roiling under the superficial political pablum peddled by pro-capitalist polytricksters come to the fore and bourgeoisie tremble at the prospect of defeat at the hustings. If I was an Hegelian I'd say the winning the side at the Battle of Marathon was a manifestation of Objective Spirit. As it is I'm just glad the Greeks won. Not that they were perfect although they did strive for physical perfection. Perfection is a failure's game. It seemed irrational at the time for the Greeks to battle an army and navy so much larger than theirs. Most Greek professional expertise saw reason in abandoning their freedom to the Persian Monarchy's domination. Of course the Spartans would never agree. Fight to the death they would no matter how many Persians would outnumber them. Athenians came to the same conclusion but not because they listened to professional expertise. Liberty drove the Greeks to furious murder. The Persian slavocracy's military might was defeated. Liberty seems irrational to rationality based on submission. Taste liberty and you'll never go back. If you want to get rid of war abolish class rule. Liberty is essential to that project as class rule cannot be ended except through the conscious act of the producers of wealth to socially own and democratically manage what they socially produce through the division of labour necessary to maintain industrialised production. Enough peas for ya. The free association of the producers has to be based on individual sovereignty from which flows equal political power between all men and women. International Women's Day began with a strike by garment workers in New York City on March 8, 1857. Now similar conditions are endured by producers in the garment industries of Bangladesh Honduras China Haiti and so on wherever the skills you need to employ have their lowest price. The rate of profit must be maintained increased even. If workers raise their hand in union against the employer the employers' State will legislate to weaken their resistance by criminalising organisational practices which increase the political punch labour potentially has as a class. I would agree with Wallerstein that the New Left revitalised a movement dragged down through the sheer weight of having to promote Stalinist pro-Soviet propaganda during the Cold War. The burden of anti-Soviet propaganda was also wearing on the left of the 50s up until the birth of the New Left came out of the womb of support the left gave to the civil rights movement. But his argument that this was the "indigenization of socialism" in the U.S.A. I would strongly disagree. This event occurred before 1917 with the members of the Socialist Labor Party the left in the Socialist Party the members of the I.W.W. and on various small fronts within circles of libertarian socialists/communists and anarchists of various stripe down to certain individuals who joined no Idea become cause but strove for the greatest freedom possible for a human being. By freedom I do not mean that which is based on the unfreedom of another. Nor do I mean the boring acceptance of the norms of class domination. No strife baby. Can't you hear me knockin' yeah you've got sad shoes. Help me baby. Ain't no stranger. Keeps pouring out of me 'round 3 in the afternoon. The long sounds of Bobby Keys on sax thumping drums of Charlie with the singing guitar of Mick Taylor it's all there tumbling out on a symbol. What is California dreamin' other than the dream we all have for freedom. Of course California is not free never was but did at one time stir the dream of freedom in many who still believed it possible. Mostly those were the young. Dream time is important to the first peoples who settled in this land we now call Australia. I do not know really know but I think this "Dreamtime" is related to our common desire as human beings for freedom. The ruling class pays its minions to put all thoughts of an alternative to their own version of the best of all possible worlds into the silly box. Some of our best cynics warn us with dystopian visions of slavery obedience, boredom and the road. Still we dream and our desires push history forward to more freedom for more and so on to the universality of sovereign individuality an association where the freedom of each is depended on the freedom of all. Solidarity forever an injury to one is an injury to all. Illegal now. Our organised political power is that weak. Our organised political power is in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Master/servant the dynamic continues and we endorse it because it's human nature. But then Occupy Wall Street happens. The applecart is upset. Sanders happens and the bourgeoisie are terrified because they have no candidate in the Republican Party who is winning primaries who is not a loose cannon. What's happening is the movement of a great mass of the people away from the ideological domination of class rule's commonsense and toward a visceral reaction against the obvious phoneys the Establishment has put up for them to endorse.
Monogamy sucks for most humans. Let gays have it. The privileges of joining in the legalised private property power game with many if not most ending up leading lives of quiet desperation even though they might feel morally superior to others should be open to anyone who really wants it. Sometimes it actually works. Moments will pass. Divorce single parenting relatively sexless lives of the bored in suburban neighbourhoods will drone on. The structure of class dominated society will not be touched. Who needs the religious police to enforce heterosexual monogamy or polygamy for that matter. A freer set of social relations between humans is possible but few see it as a necessity. More's the pity. Thomas More had this cogent observation to make in his UTOPIA:... Wherever you have private property, and money is the measure of all things, it is hardly ever possible for a commonwealth to be governed justly or happily--...Why not get rid of them. That would be a rational decision. Cassavetes made these films rich in the realities of everyday lives of individuals of his time. At the time most thought the films were boring. I think they just get more interesting with age as they shed light on a real time which Hollywoodised film hides. No matter how expensive the commodity it cheapens reality. Reality is temporal. A commodified reality has less labour time in it even as the quantity of goods and services increase the useful time of our daily lives. But who am I other than a pedantic pedant. Castration of the intellect via Freudian constructions of the individual. Science is based on knowing that the unknowable is an historical process. I'm managing my life and death quite well. Forget the debt you had they will not follow. Dylan got it right a lot of the time. He was talking about dancing with Mister D. Beware the ides of March for as it approaches you will be told of the hottest February in the recorded history of officially government employed weather bureaus. It was last month. The water in the pot will gradually come to a boil but the lobster will not know soon enough to act to save her life. Cracked claws anyone. Of course we will attempt to adapt after all its our own survival as a species at stake here. It gets very hot in Coober Pedy. But if you want to mine for opals this has been the place to be. Many miners live in underground hovels in Coober Pedy. It's cooler underground just ask the dead. Oh right. You can't ask the dead. Just ask the good citizens of Coober Pedy then. I really hope that they have access to lots of Coopers Ales. After all Coober Pedy is in the same state South Australia that Coopers Ales are produced. Fortunately we can still grow hops barley and ale yeast in sufficient quantities. Good water can become a problem in an era where we blithely whizz and poot through our busy days like lobsters in pots of water growing slightly warmer. It's only a matter of time. The energy is already there Sun CO2 methane growing to be a more powerful mixture by the day. Ales lower the risk of kidney stones but only if sufficiently clean water is available for drinking. It takes large combos of the two. And then there's the matter of sewage and that eternal question for the bourgeoisie what to do with the unemployed. There's surplus value and there's surplus labour and never the twain shall meet. It is written in NAIRU that too much employment or god forbid 100% employment would push prices up via the inevitable wage price spiral which is the current economic orthodoxy. We wouldn't want to make the market angry or be the cause of too much uncertainty for investors. Who has the cash to invest if not the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie are the much talked about investors. We must not upset them because if we do they won't invest and just stuff their cash in banks located in tax free political States. If they don't invest their cash there will be no jobs. We need jobs. We need to sell into the labour market. Will the bourgeoisie invest the money they got from us in the first place by marketing the collective product of our labour or will they park it. Interesting question. We are relatively powerless before the market. We worship it because it is true. Hallelujah I'm a bum because full employment can't be had without upsetting investors. This is the message which orthodox economics sends out to the policy makers. Blessed be the policy makers for they shall have access to the best pension scheme. Not the age pension. Oh dear no. Special pensions for those hard working policy makers implementing NAIRU. Are they not splendiferous in their sacrifice for the nation. I can't begin to trust a guy who never drinks beer. I also can't begin to trust a fellow who becomes more and more aggro as he drinks beer. Hitler and Trump have that in common both being teetotallers. Trump is more like Berlusconi than Hitler in policy direction. Capitalist buffoons appealing to the general public's emotional feelings of betrayal by the establishment followed by farce. Hitler had an ideology. Trump is an empty shell almost totally hollowed out by the relentless process under the wage system. The commodification of the intellect of the bourgeoisie continues. As a result it has less and less value. They become like nuts and bolts more cheaply produced by the day because they have less labour time embodied in what they do know. Of course a similar pattern appears in the mind of the working class where the individual attempts to reach meaningful levels of power through the purchase of the right commodity. Not that the bourgeoisie think much differently on the philosophical plane. But on the political plane they see their class interests more clearly than the producers they rule. The producers are still mired in dreams of becoming something more than others by hook or by crook. Thus bourgeois ideas of freedom make common sense to our minds. The law of the jungle is promoted to the degree necessary in order to prove that we're just a product of our genes and have no conscious will to freedom for ourselves. I invite you to swirl around the house with me. I swallow a tablespoon of honey before a little finger tip-sized toke washed down with a cold Coopers Mild Ale. Temperatures cool after the Ides of March. The autumnal equinox approaches. Round One of the footy season follows close on. So does the Federal Budget and election. Conservatives will tell us that "Australia" can't afford to keep spending the wealth workers produce for wages on public services which are used by the immense majority of the population. Once we accept that premise we're suckers for the old horns of a dilemma argument. Choose to help sick kids to become well or to help the frail and elderly. Sacrifices must be made. It's only hard headed realism which will put the budget in surplus again. By the way we're deciding to spend billions of the next decade or two to acquire F-35 jet fighters known affectionately as "the flying turd" by U.S. Air Force pilots. Raising the age pension is out of the question. The real GDP may increase 2-3% per annum but it can't be wasted on more public spending. In fact public spending for health education transport and welfare must be cut. The conservatives are on the political right. I am on the left. Hadn't you noticed. I want more of the socially produced wealth to be spent on the social wage as long as a democratic majority don't want to abolish the damn wage system altogether. The only way for that to happen is to progressively tax the upper 10% and the companies they own adequately as they possess 80% of the wealth the bottom 90% produce. The right do not want to hear this. The right believe that dog eat dog competition in the marketplace of commodities should be recognised and rewarded with tax cuts trade regulation which give national capitalists tariff advantages and even subsidies. All too often the official representatives of the broad left agree with conservatives about these matters. Thus it is that real wages are not keeping up with real productivity. Workers share of the real GDP has fallen 13% since the time when Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister. In terms of real wages average workers are paid less than they were in 1964 in the land of the free and the home of the brave the good old U.S.A.. Real productivity keeps increasing. Real wealth keeps increasing. Find the annual report put out by Credit Suisse. The exploitation of wage labour accelerates. Some would say it must to combat the fall in the rate of profit brought on ironically by the increase in output per hour of labour thus making the commodity cheaper allowing for market share dominance. And still many in the working class speak in reverent terms about a fair day's wage for a fair day's work at demonstrations for Aussie Navy ships to be built by Aussie workers. At least we've got footy to watch in Australia. The poor Americans don't know the game although they do have March madness basketball at its most exciting. I remember some young Stalinists in East Lansing who would sell their blood and then donate the money to their party the Progressive Labor Party. I never saw them have any fun. Puritans get things done. They don't waste their time on sports. They're constantly engaged in the cause. Real sensuous being is not an important part of being a revolutionary in fact it is most often objectively counterrevolutionary. Thus watching sports is considered to be all part of the bread and circuses which keep us from realising true socialism. And they wonder why communism fails to appeal to the proletariat. What can they do better. Perhaps a more perfect line. Improvement self-improvement transformation. Was it any different amongst the religiously devout during the time of absolutism. The social relations of feudalism can be applied to an industrialised division of wage labour. Fascism on the right and Marxism-Leninism on the left proved that industrial feudalism could exist in the modern age. Hell it still exists. Theocracies have been established to govern in ways not seen since the medieval Popes of the Catholic Church held political power. Blasphemy is a capital crime in some industrialising political States today. Making fun of the Great Leader is considered treasonous because a government dominated by the Korean Workers' Party running its own wages system of slavery makes it law to make it so. The dictatorship of a party calling itself socialist running a wage system would have Karl and Fred hopping critical. Consider the Critique of the Gotha Programme or Value Price and Profit. Consider the critique of the Blanquist dominated Paris Commune. Mind you Marx and Engels called the Paris Commune which began on March 18 1871 the first example of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Read all about it in The Civil War in France. I sincerely doubt that the bearded ones would affix such a label onto the Marxist-Leninist Party dominated States. The wage system and socialism are incompatible even in Denmark Sweden and Norway. Of course the oft mentioned dictatorship of the proletariat is incompatible with socialism too as Marx and Engels used those concepts. Why. Because a proletarian democracy would be as much a dictatorship of a class as capitalist democracies are today. Class rule requires the apparatus of repression. Which is why the political State disappears once social ownership and democratic control over the collective product of labour is established by a free association of producers emerging from a proletarian democracy. Class is based on private ownership and/or control of commodified wealth including the only wealth the workers have to sell to make a living their labour power. Capitalists buy labour power from workers. Commodities are exchanged. The product of labour is sold to the employer for the market price of a particular skill set. Capital is a social relation of lordship and bondage. Oh divine abstraction. I cannot see the forest for the trees. It's like a division of labour out there. Working in the office Madge thought herself lucky to have job which put her in the middle class. She knew she was in the middle class because she had a mortgage a cat and a girlfriend. They would get married as soon as the Referendum passed through a few thousand games of political football. Monogamy they swore. Then Karen fell in love with another woman and the long planned for wedding turned into the standard divorce. She did well at work. She pleased her supervisors with obedience and outcomes which pleased her supervisors even more as they generally got credit for what their staff did. Madge was good with figures which is why she majored in accounting at uni. Accountancy was in demand all over the world. Salaries were high in Dubai or so she had been told by the girls in her old sorority. Yes they all still met every once in awhile. But mostly communication had dwindled to a few e-mails and after some years nothing much. Keeping track of transactions involving enormous amounts of wealth was something she felt had a future. Thus the wedding plans now ruined by their separation. How could she do it. Couldn't she see that I was the very best in town at loving her. I guess not. Meanwhile Karen was smoking hash in a tent parked some kilometres from Abu Dhabi with her Persian girlfriend. Accountancy had been the right career choice for Karen. Madge too. Maybe she could mail herself to her. No. Scratch that. She'd heard that song about Waldo a couple of times at Karen's before they started living with each other. All that seemed an eternity now. Anyway she had a job until the robots and computers replaced her abilities a job which paid her bills. The abstract never seems close yet it surrounds us in our thoughts about everyday life our jobs our families our communities because thoughts separated from concrete reality is speculative a part of the imagination. From hypothesis to proven theory it's a process involving labour time of certain skill levels applied to accurately test an abstraction to verify its existence in the reality we inhabit when we're conscious. Dreaming is another matter. Some scientists speculate that other dimensions may exist. So far we can't get a coherent rattle from any intelligent entity from outer space. Maybe they don't exist. Aliens are dead. What a new beginning. The end of the Enlightenment prejudice about god. You had your aliens. None. Nobody out there is responding just like the gods if you ask me. The form is nothing material without the content. As our former Prime Minister crowed on the night the Coalition he led won the last election Australia is open for business. Of course it was always open for business. He was just emphasising his Coalition's subservience to the capitalist class. The Coalition has a new leader and Australia has a new PM as a result of Coalition caucus decisions to change form without changing content legal bias for bourgeois interests while espousing the equality of classes under the law. Allowing or legalising the employment of more 400 series visa holders to fill jobs commonly thought of as being jobs Australians won't do. The reality is that Australians won't do these jobs for the wages and working conditions non-citizen workers do them for. Granted there are some highly paid 400 series visa holders but mostly it's the employing class making higher rates of profit via lower wages and working conditions than they'd be legally obliged to pay Australian citizens even the more highly paid amongst them. The right's political job is to get legislation passed which benefits the bourgeois more than the producer. The left see no alternative to wage labour and try to use the political State to pry more wealth out of the bourgeoisie's grip to prop up the social wage and living standards in general. Of course they would like State power too. The left/right fight over what to do about climate change is an example. Living standards for most of us are going to decline significantly in the coming years because of the greenhouse gases which have been spewed up into the Earth's atmosphere. Who got rich off spewing. Who got and will get poorer living standards as result of them spewing. You got it. The producers who sold their rights to control what they produce for a hand full of dimes. Make it baby in our prime. Well maybe if we possess a deeply felt desire for freedom to do with our time and the collective product of our labour as we please. Of course we means you me and all our class. The ones who like Madge went to work within the giant division of labour necessary to keep the wage system alive and thought nothing of it connecting with her being a responsible part in human caused climate change. You see you don't get out of being an active participant in the current tragic episode of human prehistory history not yet consciously made by an association of free producers. It could all end with one good whack by dumping the bosses off your back but you don't really listen and you don't understand because you accept reality as it is because you're being realistic. Extremists talk about getting rid of business. Yeah we know what that means. It means we don't get to do what we want like drink Nescafe or join Facebook or buy into Super. Meanwhile our betters are planning for us to enjoy shorter retirements by raising the pension age. Again the U.S. ruling class showed the way by raising the age at which one could be paid 100% of their Social Security. You see how it works. The upper 10% don't care much. They're pretty well insulated and they get to lobby for measures which will allow their representatives in the political apparatus to barrack for lowering the tax burden being imposed now on the companies that they own. Increases in the rate of profit can come of such political moves. More profit more capital gain dividends even. The notion is that we have to reward the lifters not the leaners in order to compete in this jungle to become the alpha males and to a lesser extent the alpha females. The Sun always rises in our minds. Perhaps it's just as the world turns. Are you missing the bees. Are you lonesome tonight. The mini-thunder of another jet passes over. More carbon in the atmosphere. Easter soon. Believers in the Resurrection of Jesus will faithfully honour the one who made it possible for them to live forever in a very nice place. Lots of Christians support capital punishment after all life does go on after death. Lots of people believe they should have more power than others in class dominated society because they were all expelled by people who thought they should have more power in ancient class society. It has been told that way amongst believers as the world has turned since 72 AD. Cultural narratives give us an excuse to fall into dogmatic forms of Idealism. Much easier to surrender to the consensus on societal authority than question or confront it. Much easier to sit in the back of the bus than give equality under the law a test. How pleasant the weather is in Perth after the Ides of March. Saint Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland. Some drink green dyed beer. Some play beautiful music so blue and so Irish. There I said it a cultural thing. No need to get your knickers in a twist. New Zealand has no poisonous animals. Australia has heaps. My identity is not formed by propety nation or language but by friends. Individuals are different by definition but they can be friends at the same time. Dialectical much unity of opposites sublating through time. Unhealthy are those who sacrifice their friends on the altar of hierarchical power. The mind is sickened by these sacrifices. Beware. Another head is lopped off in the name of the one true god. You decide. Justification depends on belief in the narrative. A voice calls from the womb Eat some dates. Placebo effect. You believe so much that the wound actually heals. Faith does have power. The mind and the body connect. One influences the other and vice versa. Really it's a flow isn't it. The whole mess rolls on like it's going down hill. And it is. Going downhill from the peak of being born. Is this not our religious narrative. There is no death. Haven't you heard. We live forever. The question is how do we experience this eternal life. I mean who would like being eternally tortured. Certainly not the various candidates for the Presidency of the United States. I think the Republican candidates have had it all over their Democratic opponents in this regard. I mean what serious Christian would not see that Ted Cruz is nearly sin-less. He practically says so himself. Of course he is forgiven for the inevitable sins he is always committing by the Son of God. We're the musicians. We set the beat and the beat goes on. We make it so. We believe that this is the best of all possible worlds except for Sweden and we carry on. Marge carries the 8 into the next column. Karen's highly paid accounting job in Dubai allows her to buy the best hash while staying out of sight and out of mind. Wealth is power. The class biased legal system of dividing wealth is the essence of the power of the political State. Well that and the police military and prison system. Out of the forest and into the trees. Beautiful aren't they. Each individual in its own way bent this way and that with branches galore roots sunk deeply sap flowing. What next. Blood and soil. You are not a vegetable so stop acting like a right-wing metaphor. Most people in Harford voted Republican. The 1950s were more or less dominated by the Republicans of America most acquiescing to whatever the Chamber of Commerce wanted others just members of the Chamber of Commerce. Many of them still lived in small rural towns and villages. Harford was one of those villages. Most of the farmers who lived within the consolidated school district were Republicans. They liked Ike. They were skilled at milking cattle raising corn and a few other temperate climate crops including raspberries and blueberries. On Sundays they usually attended the white steepled Congregationalist Church picturesquely situated on the top of a rise in the town's main road Poles excluded as they were Catholics. Italians too if there were any. They all were good enough citizens to make sure that one of the farmers put the dock out on Tingley Lake every summer so the town's and surrounding farmers' kids could go swimming dive and do some underwater peeping in moderately muddy lake with perch and sunfish and frogs around. Not having goggles also interfered with sharpness of vision. But who needed goggles when you were making an exhilarating leap out into the lake from that dock that farmer put up complete with diving board. Cannonball style. Nobody really cared that much about seeing underwater. The thrill of the finding the occasional wild strawberry on the walk up to the lake was enough. That and flying through the air to splash into the cool water. After the farmer who put out the dock was persuaded that his best course would be to sell his farm the dock became problematic. And then came the question of the insurance. Nobody much thought about having insurance to cover injuries at the lake before. Thus the public space was eventually shut down. Free labour was good. Hiring labour would be too expensive considering the insurance costs. Meanwhile America changed in many ways driven by the system's relentless push to make labour more productive in order to own immense amounts of wealth to sell at lower prices than competitors. Small businesses have grown into multi-national corporations. Well some of them anyway. So long Studebaker. So long Mr. Farmer. More and more people are obliged to work for wages even as official economic doctrine keeps at least 5% of the unemployed to keep to a 2% inflation target. Of course the unemployed must have their standard of living cut as an incentive get a job cajoled to find an employer willing to purchase what they have to sell in the way of skills. Small farms disappeared in market swirls as big fish eat little fish don't you know. That was a favourite expression in Harford. Don't you know not big fish eat little fish. Most of them didn't know and if they did they didn't care. Things were fine in the 50s for most white folk isn't that right Bessie-May. All I've got to say is thank-you Dr. King and the movement of the people behind your struggle for civil rights. Chalk one up for more freedom. But here we are with Trump instead of Ike. We'll see the earliest Equinox since 1896 in 2016. Small businesses still exist. Maybe it's all a bad dream. Maybe Donald'll fix it up. He's tough ya know. He didn't do no time in the Army but he has done some wrestling on TV in his suit. His hair didn't get mussed either. Sunday. Autumn begins. The show must go on. Even so at the Carlisle as the magically fingered guitar master from Ireland makes a victory lap or two before heading on to greener valleys. Elections in July elections in November elections next March despite what the ultra-left says movement left or right will be confirmed. If you think it makes no difference which party wins elections you're not paying attention to how the collective product of labour is being divvied up. Of course that probably doesn't matter much because you've got a job a mortgage a spouse and kids to think about. That's enough for your plate. Besides nothing ever changes. It's all in the good book of some authority you have faith in. Meanwhile the prices of necessary commodities are rising faster than your wages are. And some conservative government chump allowed Chinese capitalists to buy the port of Darwin. Yet the LNP sails on. Its leader and Australian Prime Minister on deck serving the class interests of the upper 10% and the companies that they own. The legal seas are rough but already biased toward the class interests of capitalists and landlords. But the race is on and the left is weak because it is largely a left functioning on moral concerns as opposed to focussing on power where it comes from and why you don't have no matter how bitter your tears over the tragedies far and wide caused by your own adherence to the notion that one person's freedom is naturally dependent on another person's unfreedom. Thus freedom becomes slavery. It gets confused with domination and submission. This is when freedom becomes an empty abstraction. Even Hegel saw that truth is concrete. Brecht had that quote from Hegel posted on his desk when in Danish exile. Too bad about President Hindenburg handing the Chancellorship of Germany to Adolf Hitler in 1933. It was all legal. The truth is concrete. Here's Hegel's thought: "For the truth is concrete; that is, while it gives a bond and principle of unity, it also possesses an internal source of development. Truth, then, is only possible as a universe or totality of thought; and the freedom of the whole, as well as the necessity of the several sub-divisions, which it implies, are only possible when these are discriminated and defined." And the rains will come. That is true. But the world will not always make sense. The real is rational and irrational at the same time in flow. This unity in opposition moving living in moments of sensuous being becoming that is the truth that is concrete. Being becomes with a will which is socially formed and individually generated from genes too many and different to count although our valiant workers in science are trying. Parenting is part of both the social and genetic components of a maturing child. Friends and close members of one's immediate family also play parts in the maturation process. You are how you come out of these moments alone and with others. I know an individual who came out of working a long time in a lumber yard retired now and presently watching some workers cut a large neighbourhood tree down. I suppose they have to be cut down. Real estate development don't you know. Chain saws from two directions sputtering then rapidly spinning their way through trunks and branches. Some would call it rational others irrational. The struggle continues. One does what one can it really helps when others are doing their best to bring about more freedom and liberty. Time outs for music are something I need. Just me and the music or you and the night and the music. It's ok if it's not your thing. Go on now ahead. I will. Privatising means sales and increased sales increase the gross domestic product measurement. All hail the measurement. It's quantity over quality of life for the LNP--serving the class interests of the upper 10% and the companies they own for now and forever or until you overcome. We shall overcome. Well maybe. It's up to you. Unless you're a kid who has to become a wage slave at the age of three. John Locke thought that would be the proper age for humans to become useful. Jeremy Bentham preferred that paid employment begin at age four. Anyway that's all in the past for the children of today who don't life in India or one of the other industrialising nation States. Some are still using Mao's old formulation for these countries the Third World. What appears in the mind when one hears Third World is not a set of political States ruled by a class of people who own and/or control the wealth of produced by workers living there. No.  It's more thought of as being a nationalist abstraction with a genuine anti-imperialist abstraction moving the people as they march themselves in the direction of obeying the patriotic tenets of the State. Some on the left dare call this liberation which only adds fuel to the argument that the emancipation of the workers will have to be accomplished by the workers themselves and will not be accomplished by the left leading them to the liberation of yet another wage system in a New Jerusalem competing with other New Jerusalems or even a Caliphate.  The right wing political murderers of ISIS want to congratulate and thank all the right wing, reactionary conservative nationalists of the world who are helping out with the Caliphate's "true" (tm) Muslim recruitment drive. Reactionaries assisting reactionaries to become more politically potent. You kill. We kill. We all kill to to make our political dreams come true. “Lo! Those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way (4:137).” Good job you knobheads. You right wing reactionaries are acting in just the way ISIS wants after any particular murderous and or suicidal attack by jihadis now living the good afterlife in a heaven full of virgin attendants. Take this you political Islamists:“...No judgment on apostates is mentioned in the Koran...It is not mentioned in any of the Prophetical sayings (either)...” “He who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah a whit. Allah will certainly reward the grateful (3.145).” Yet it is the case that the American Indians (and other colonised hunter gatherers) were slowly forced into the market thus changing the material basis on which they had based their livelihoods whether it was by the organised slaughter of buffalo or ignoring deed writ long ago which promised them access to hunt on lands being turned into railways, cattle pastures and whaling villages. Similar power relations were established in Australia and really across the whole of the Third World when native born populations encountered the power of capitalist expansion. And today within those liberated industrialising States capitalists still use the labour power of children to accumulate wealth and use it rule. Wealthy people rule the wealth producing class of men women and children. Even in countries where the State owns all the capital this is true. And there are still a few monarchies around. Absolutist rule has never completely been sublated by class ruled political democracies. It even exists in post colonial political States. Democracy is dying on a withering vine of class consciousness. I read BEEN DOWN SO LONG LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME back in '69 while drinking retsina wine and smoking dope. I never shellacked a turd but I did date a woman of Greek heritage then. I'd been listening to Dylan's music up 'till the time he had his motorcycle accident. I'd been toying with the idea of buying a cycle myself. But I knew I'd kill myself if I did so I gave up on the idea the Greek woman and the retsina wine. Hey what is money anyway other than a symbol for the wealth we collectively produce and which lies in the natural resources of the Earth. Equal political power between all men and women can come about if we take it upon ourselves to establish common ownership and democratic control over the collective product of our labour and the natural resources of the Earth. Otherwise no it can't come about. You see it's all about political will after the collective product of our labour has become large enough to support mature desires including our collective recognition of the necessity that we must live in harmony with the Earth. And the much needed rain comes down again. Thirsty mint and sunflowers drink their fill. Oh happy plants. I fully expect our local pair of King Parrots to visit during breaks in the morrow's stormy skies. The Sun will resurrect itself on Monday. Apollo will steer his fiery chariot across the sky. We humans certainly have good imaginations. Cowabunga. Sitting in front of a black and white TV screen ringed with a fluorescent like white halo watching a somewhat snowy Howdy Doody on the one channel we could pick up with our ten foot high antenna channel 12 WNBF. Proud of our Sylvania we were. My dog was black and white too. Spot. The best dog ever. Spot explored the forests with me when wind whistled through the pine snow crushed by our footsteps and even when the leafy green returned with summer the criks flowed cold clear water over our bare feet. Spot and I were equals. I never thought of him as anything less. Unlike the dogs of today, he still had his balls and was never chipped although he did wear his dog license proof that he didn't have rabies. Then we moved to Arizona and Spot had to stay behind to be taken care of by my Grandma and Grandpa who took him to the pound where I later in life learned he met his fate. Know yourself and avoid excess on a daily basis but leave time for it on occasion. It's ok to cry if you feel the need. Stiff upper lip is for the stoics amongst us. They usually find it hard to enjoy themselves. I'm not one of them. I can suppress my anger frustration and sadness, always remembering to avoid excess. Yes know yourself but don't become obsessed with knowing yourself. One of the main reasons why monogamy doesn't work anymore is that individual humans have differing levels of sexual drive. Timing is also important to consider. People don't always want to enjoy sex at the same moment. In an age where pleasure is no longer contingent on a lifetime commitment to care for possible offspring monogamy becomes a fetter on the pleasure which is possible. Temptations have always been there. Monogamous infidelity is a major theme in the Blues. So is divorce with all its property/power ramifications. Pain is a fetter on pleasure just as the power wrapped up in ownership of private property is. Class rule is built upon those foundations. In any event most of us don't care indeed most of us are made unaware. Cool to be a cynic isn't it and perhaps even a supporter of gay monogamy. Civil rights for all. Why not. It is only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you realise there is always a way to solve problems without using violence. Is the capitalist ruling class facing a legitimation crisis. Yes. But not in the way Habermas based his conceptual critique in 1973. The reality is that Marx was more perceptive by focussing on political economy. The capitalist State is not capable of undermining the material basis of the class struggle anymore especially now that the Marxist-Leninist Party dominated States have been thoroughly de-legitimated for all but the thoroughly rusted on and the rate of profit has declined to a point where mere speculative activity inflates price over value forever blowing bubbles ready for pricking at any moment. Pinheads get too greedy and some of the slop spills over the side and the players begin pulling in their chips. The pot empties. The market falls and we all fall down with it as we must for our betters tell us so. Oh well it hasn't happened yet. Acquiescence isn't the political agenda for all though. One can see the reverse in the upswell of the Sanders' campaign in the USA and the Corbyn led Labour Party in the UK. We've even got our own mini-upsurge in our state's ALP with an MUA endorsed candidate running alongside an Aboriginal lawyer from Amnesty International for seats in the upcoming Federal election. But, the MUA candidate who is a worker also has a small business with his wife. Mom and pop store maybe. And the lawyer is well another lawyer running to represent workers in Parliament. Then again lawyers who work sell their labour time to employers are workers too. Partnerships are excluded from that category as are lawyers who sell their services directly to a client. Other so called professionals fall into this same group. They are an extension of a another time feudal if you will still extant within modern capitalist industrialism. In Australia they are usually taxed as sole traders. I suppose they constitute a class separate from the other classes workers capitalists and landlords. Two former leading lights of the ALP in Fremantle have warned against selecting a union worker to be pre selected to run there. Former ALP WA state premier Carmen Lawrence and the currently resigning seat holder in Fremantle Melissa Parke have since recanted. Chris Brown will run and Tammy Solonec will stand for the ALP in Swan. Parke is a lawyer. So year is alive with the sound of pollies. A major conservative political mantra is "starve the beast". What is this "beast". Public health public education public welfare. Welfare includes the age pension. By cutting revenue flowing into the "beast" the beast is basically bled to death and all public need pushed into the conservatives' best business friends in the private sector. Thus the GDP is grown by the conservatives for privatisation means a greater volume of goods and services will be sold to those who can afford to climb their paywalls. The growth of exchange value is not to be measured by public well being. Private well being for the upper 10% and the companies they own yes. The general well being of the citizenry no. Any lefty worth his or her salt supports measures targeted at improving public well being through the use of socially produced wealth. Full fledged social revolutionaries are a little greedier. Be realistic demand democratic control and social ownership of of the collective product of labour. Natural resources should also be under common ownership and democratic control. But they're not. The illusion promoted in the amplified voices of the bourgeois media proclaim business owners know best how to run the means of producing goods and services. This is the legacy of New Labour its embrace of the Thatcherite mantra there is no alternative. Socialism is dead. TINA says so. And we all believe. Well most of us do. We can't think beyond the wage system because we are never invited to imagine such a situation occurring. And the climate keeps changing because the captains of TINA can't come up with a solution bounded by the wage system. We seem to be caught in a chronic hysteresis as we begin to hit the limits of a life sustaining ecosphere. We're hung up on the categories we have reified as being our identities as opposed to being the individuals we are in reality. Having shared ideas about the how the natural or supernatural operate is one thing. Consciously limiting our social relations with other human individuals or even using what political power we have to put them down because they do not share our reified identities is another. From these roots spring a variety of neuroses of various determining strengths. I leave psychoses to genetics. But I'm a simple lad. Boy. Boy. You come here. I remember a time just after graduating from Michigan State University when I got a job as a busboy in a restaurant whose owner swooned at catering to the local business community and other honoured highly paid members of the upper 10%. I was a 26 year old ex-Marine with a B.A. in English. I was the boy who removed or "bussed" dirty dishes from the tables who changed the table cloths who arranged the silverware on the cloth napkins. I walked out on that job after meeting some interesting waitresses cooks and dishwashers. Not the same day mind you. Some months later I found myself bagging groceries with a Free Angela Davis pin on. I was the only one wearing a political pin. Nobody objected though. Most people just don't respond. Politics remains a meaningless mystery for so many. Much of a muchness or Labor Liberal they're all the same or politics is dirty business. I don't want to have anything to do with it. I would feel morally corrupted. Besides I give to charity. Sometimes I even go to church. I sang in a church choir when I was 16. But it was mostly because I wanted to be near a certain future girlfriend. Eventually I got to drive my mom's '51 Ford coupe. Loved that Ford. Had real good times in that Ford I named "Little Caesar" after seeing the Edward G Robinson movie of the same name on TV. Painted it in small letters near the driver's side wheel well. Words were black on the white body. The top was pink. Perhaps then I was still a boy at least until I had my first date with my first girlfriend the night after she'd gone to the senior prom with her boyfriend the captain of the Mountain View High School basketball team. Moral corruption seems endemic to the human species if such things can be seen as immoral. Sinners repent. Death comes to us all. We are all such sinners or so we are taught as we grow up. Grow up boy. Jesus didn't die and you won't either. Your choice on where you're going to spend your eternal life though. Now get busy and confess. You did it. You enjoyed your relation with another person. You even fell in love. It's all a sin. Or maybe out of immorality things may come to pass which are beautiful good and add just that much more love to our realities. Could be that when we die we as individuals are gone forever. Of course matter can neither be created nor destroyed in the Universe so the atoms which made us up will continue to exist here there and everywhere till the end of time if it ends. We came from stardust and to stardust we return.