Winter doesn't really begin for me until solstice. Temperatures tend to climb to the low 20sC for the first half of June. The rains have already begun. Nino is becoming Nina. Many of my Geraldton sunflowers have gone to seed. Doves and King Parrots are having a feast. The brewers at Little Creatures have come up with a fine stout. They call it Hotchkiss Six after an early 20th century naval cannon. Nothing like a genuine pint or more of stout on a sunny blue sky day exchanging yarns with a great mate a brother really. Fortunate am I what with my free-time and enough of the old dough-ray-me to buy real beer to drink for a couple of hours in a cool place with pretty good music sans ads. Is the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) militant or not. That is the question. I share beer with those comrades too. What does militant mean to retired members of the AMWU. Something to be avoided for class collaboration and labour peace can be achieved as long as these militants can be kept from being in control of the union. This point of view goes mostly unchallenged in the AMWU from top to bottom. You have to understand that before The Accord there were all kinds of unnecessary work stoppages happening for maybe the majority of wage-slaves to tolerate. Militancy began to be equated with a loss of pay and a lower standard of living in the minds of a growing number of the working class. I can see their point. What good is ideology if it only makes you poorer. Does eating the scholar's wreath make the consumer a scholar. Pushing action without theory does not necessarily result in an advance for freedom. All too often it leads in the opposite direction to conservative and even reactionary political positions. Of course a lot of that is the fault of the leadership in control of communication with the workers about what the union movement means. A fair day's robbery for a fair day's price in the marketplace of commodities is what is considered commonsense. The class struggle becomes merely the expression of haggling over a fair price. The very few know what is really going on in the AMWU and the ALP. The rest follow on in a haze of accepting vague fact and figures. The AMWU is in decline because manufacturing is in decline and its political power is hogtied at the work place by right of entry laws and other strings attached to the so-called Fair Work Commission. The road to serfdom is paved with class collaboration and notions of labour peace promoted by the bourgeoisie and their champions in Parliament. Follow the leaders because they know best. Those who want to change the world have their heads in the clouds. Dismiss them with cynical realism. Is this not the correct and normal way for a wage-slave to think. There is nothing possible beyond bondage. We must be subservient to those who own what we produce. It only makes commonsense. Amen. Use the union dues payer's money to promote charities which in turn does the PR work necessary to create an image of the angelic good combatting the image of thugs the right-wing pro-capitalists want to project. Bring back the death penalty and the cat o' nine tails. That'll straighten these murderers rapists and paedophiles out. So sayeth those with enough socially conservative commonsense. Justice takes time. The reactionary has no time. Action is all that counts and the sooner the better. Reflection is a wasted moment. You see how this fits in with direct-action militancy on the left and right. Pleasure is the key to motivation. Workers should have a motive for their political desire to possess what they produce. We should be able to see how pleasure works by looking into the problem of addictive drugs. Freedom lies another direction toward individual sovereignty. Freedom and pleasure should be a unity of opposites and are when sublated with reason. Critical reason informs us that pleasure can also lead to dependency structures which are antithetical to our emancipation. The death culture, tobacco, corporate drugs and speed are part of a totality rooted in bondage. Liberating pleasures exist. Embrace them. Imagine them. Engage in them. A sane society would be spreading that message with as much enthusiasm as the present one is amplifying advertisements for commodities or its political message of personal responsibility for following the laws the bourgeoisie have had enacted in the name of the nation. Rights should be attached to reason. The right to individual sovereignty should exist. That it doesn't has been recognised by many as being unreasonable not usually with time worn philosophical reflections but mostly with emotional outbursts partially informed by a sense of truth justice and the American way to borrow an old 50s TV introduction to "Superman" or to put it another way wondering what Jesus might do in such and such a situation. Gambling losses amount to $1,100 per person annually in Australia. Meanwhile the LNP state government is giving Crown Casino an $18 million tax subsidy. Apparently 15% of the voting public will be voting for micro parties in the coming election. The price of opportunism is high. The major parties don't want a federal corruption and crime commission. The LNP wants to raise the eligible age to receive the age pension to 70 for MPs it's 60. Meanwhile members of parliament receive more than generous pensions ten times the amount the average Centrelink age pensioner is entitled to receive. The upper 10% worry about negative gearing changes which will put a damper on investing in anything but new housing. Reduction in capital gains allowances also bother them. Meanwhile I worry about failing a rent inspection and getting booted out of the place I've been living in for well over a decade. One can see without looking too far that there are differences between the major parties which more or less reflect the left right differences amongst the citizenry which are in themselves not very sharp. But a level of critical thinking through the usual political pablum is beginning to take shape especially as the pressures of climate change and the dysfunctional aspects of the wage system make themselves ever more apparent to an ever wider audience. We compare notes on the Internet on a global scale. This is politically dangerous. Rulers in some political States have become so worried that they have parts of the Internet blocked. Where democratic rights are weak authoritarians are more likely to be into direct forms of thought control. The history of the relation between the Catholic Church and the monarchies of European feudalism can be as instructive as the relation between the Protestant movement and the capitalist class. The liberation from the religious censors of aristocratic absolutism led to the freedom of the individual to self-censor and democratically choose which pre-selected bourgeois would represent an atomised citizenry in government. As the white clouds move across my view the wind cries Mary. Winter turns from gray cold rain to blue skied 50s F/10 C. Tassie's under water. The platypus splashes about in the overflowing creek. Certain people are very concerned about certain people growing their businesses while others continue to clean up the mess which floods leave behind. As I had my protagonists recall about the Great Collapse in WAGE-SLAVE'S ESCAPE:
That's my protagonists describing what will happen to us and what happened to them a hundred years from now. The signs are there for all to see every night on your TV. We're producing our own apocalypse. We chug along on greenhouse gases and go so far as to frack the Earth for more to spew into the 400 ppm polluted atmosphere. The fetid overcomes the fresh as the bourgeoisie grow their businesses. A hundred years ago Stephen Dedalus was said to have said: “I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.” Frigid breezes waft through the tops of the venetian blinds. Sunset's at 17:19 today. My alarm is set to wake me in 12 hours to prepare for my trip to Carlisle. The urge to push left is ever present. Handing ALP Tammy Solonec flyers out in the cold to bundled workers scurrying through the gates to get to the train on time. Off they whoosh to the CBDs of the Perthian hive returning home as darkness arrives. This is their routine part of which I share. Sunrise will be at 05:12. We reach Solstice at 06:33 on June 21 the day before the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Tens of millions of deaths later on May 8 1945 the war in Europe was over. My father drove a U.S. Army ambulance in Normandy in the latter half of 1944. My mother had been an Army nurse from the beginning of WWII but had to leave because she was pregnant with me. Conceived in the spring of '44 I was born on a wintry January 8th 1945. Binghamton was much colder than Perth is during winter. Perth heat has spoiled me. I was really never really comfortable in colder climes. Is being uncomfortable a creative spur. Methinks many would think it is. For instance it is why so many bourgeois ideologists say that communism would be the end of innovation to wit: we'd lose the spontaneity embedded in the free market with its ever mystically invisible hand waving over the marketplace. But what does buying and selling commodities have to do with the creation of the future's innovative devices. Why would it be beyond our ken to plan what we need by keeping track of what was being removed from the social store of goods and services while at the same time imagining new ways to communicate or produce faster methods of travel or.... Why can't free-time
be seen as the necessary catalyst for innovation. After all it already is. Geniuses selling their labour time to say the patent office in order to be able to purchase food and shelter is not what led to the theory of relativity. Neither was the freedom to shop. Free-time's what'sdunnit combined with the encouragement of curiosity spurring the imagination to posit hypotheses theories experimentation science technological application exploration not to mention painting literature music scholarship physical sport and so on down the line. As long as the necessities for survival are a given in terms of the time socially necessary for their production life can be good and can be made better by us through the use of our free-time for ourselves as a totality and individually. In the meantime conservatives keep barracking for lower company taxes to fulfill the mantra of jobs and growth. Lowering the company tax rate will NOT create more highly waged jobs and in fact will give the government a budgetary excuse to reduce the social wage because of the fall in revenue flowing into the treasury. The only growth lowering the company tax rate will result in will be a growth in the rate of profit and a growth in the amount of wealth being sent to offshore tax havens by the upper 10% and the companies they own. Nasturtiums putting their drum-top like edible green leaves sparkle with rain drops left by the last shower. The temperature outside my abode is ale perfect. I don't need to use precious fridge space to store my sixer. C'est ma vie. Remember all those legal offshore tax havens the upper 10% and the companies they own stash their cash. Ah yeah the Panama Papers Cayman Islands Luxembourg and so on. Remember that 34% of the multinationals paid no tax. All legal of course. And remember the ever rising real GDP. And remember the ever increasing productivity of the working class--2-3% per annum. And remember how the government borrows money from the upper 10% by selling them bonds which becomes known as the debt or budget deficit or budget crisis or "we will bring the budget back into surplus, sorry about these tough cuts but we have to live within our means". Now, ask yourself why the government insists on going into debt to the bourgeoisie rather than taxing the upper 10% and the companies they own more than they do now. Why have successive governments lowered the company tax from 49% to 30% and now propose lowering it to 25%-27.5%. Maybe that's why the bottom 90% in Australia enjoy 13% less of the GDP than they did in 1975. Maybe just maybe the reason is political. And maybe your class interests are taking a back seat to those who own what you produce. Of course they are. But we can rely on the charity of those who have more. They will stuff the holes in our cabins with recycled catalogue paper. Philanthropists must be looked up to. Of course they get tax breaks for giving. Why shouldn't they. They give from the richness of their hearts and we thank them by wearing their logos and thinking no ill thoughts about their presence in the community. In fact we look up to them. They are the good ones. Of course there are the evil ones too. Those we need to get rid of. The guillotine comes to moral mindsets mired in the swamp of individual responsibility. Murder is wrong unless it is legal. Systemic ill goes unnoticed in the emotional rush to retribution. The trap door makes its clang as Saddam Hussein yells out Allahu Akbar. Closure works in mysterious ways. Genes behaving badly cause cancer. But why do they behave badly. Did the devil make them evil. All over the world religious tradition keeps people in a state of social conservatism reacting to systemic ills by legally punishing sinners. The good look on as the teenage girl is publicly whipped for being alone in her bedroom with her teenage boyfriend. As the nine strokes are applied to her back the good munch from box lunches provided by public funds. All is well until the next sin is committed. To be sure sin will be committed even after publicly viewing cruel and unusual punishments. Like cells some people behave badly. The good and bad are all defined in the BOOK. The BOOK is the word of the god (s) you were socialised to believe existed. The Great Controller does not make mistakes. We cannot see our God's plan in its totality. Hegel might agree that our reason is not able to fully comprehend Reason. Like the forest we cannot see the totality for the trees. All the faith based ideologies in the world cannot reveal it. Which is why we have faith and why faith is not knowledge and why some of us are attached to aphorisms to rationalise ill fortune. For instance: "God works in mysterious ways". Thus we live in ignorance of our political totality fobbing off poverty disease murder rape robbery and misfortune in general as being part of something we can't control. We cannot control God even though we have no knowledge that God exists outside our creation of religion. Again we return to the power relation between subject and object. Went to bed early last night. Must clean the floors today in preparation for tomorrow's rental inspection by the landlord's hired representative. She's a bit of an obsessive compulsive perfectly fitted for the job. Life under class rule can be invasive. I go through the morning news and find that another Islamic dogmatist has murdered some apostates. The self-proclaimed IS supporter's father himself a Taliban supporter says that the current slaughter has nothing to do with religion. Of course the fruit of Nixon's Southern Strategy Trump will make political hay out of this event as the conservative right feeds off the reaction to actions of the conservative right. You can see it happening with the rise of the European nationalist right as well. Osama bin Laden was a political genius knowing that his conservative dogmatists would cause the reactionary right in America to act like it always does in an ever escalating murderous storm which would result in ever more Islamic dogmatists joining the ranks of the mythical Caliphate. To be sure the 49 who died in that blaze of holy informed gunfire were gay. And that seems to be the general focus of reporting in the amplified commercial media. The ABC is also turning the volume up on this angle to the mass murder thus deflecting the reactionary right narrative which is to blame all Muslims for the murderous violence committed by some Muslims and promoting national unity. Hatred for homosexuals is built into the interpretation of Islam accepted by a substantial number of Muslims around the world. By not telling their audience this truth the amplified voices of the bourgeoisie discredit themselves. These days with the Internet available a reference library is available to every Tom Dick and Harry as soon as they logon. Some Tom Dick or Harry is going to discover that not all Muslims want to criminalise homosexuality but most do because of how they read the word of Allah speaking through the written utterances of his Prophet Mohammed. Mind is full of individuals particulars and totalities leading to the Universal Hegel be praised. Another strand of deflection is the one dealing with the fact that this bloke was physically and verbally abusive to his wife proving once again the need for men to be re-educated in ways which will make them reject the rape culture. However the rape culture must never be linked to the teachings of the Prophet on women's role in society. That would be Islamophobic. One must be very careful these days not to step on the other's toes verbally. We are directed to become silent lambs following the thoughts perhaps even memorising the uttering of our moral betters who are of course not promoting but negating the feared grand narratives of the dreaded ideologists who would lead us to the Gulag and/or Holocaust. The left and right are after all basically the same. The calculus of commonsense is irrefutable once you've accepted the assumptions its true believers hold about human nature which of course is not an ideology. We make up ideas about ourselves based on some shared experiences we have and form our identities therefrom. I am this. I am not that. The other is built in to the individual. If I am not you then we are not together coo coo ca choo. Humans have been doing this number on themselves for aeons. Religion is like that. How far back do commonsense notions concerning the supernatural influence on our lives go. Wouldn't it be interesting to interview a talking bonobo about the miraculous. Penny at Stanford had mutual communication with Koko. What did Koko think was happening when Penny turned the lights on in a room. You can hear how reason emotion and time fit into music. Do animals begin to cross the line into reason with song. On the election trail we know that Comrade Shorten is doing very well answering questions from the public. We know this because of his Q and A appearance on ABC. We also know that Labor will not increase the money age pensioners receive in their allowance. In real terms increases will be kept in line with the consumer price index but not beyond that. MPs pensions are not mentioned. As they are already quite generous they might not need to rise any faster than the CPI. However nobody is asking political candidates for election this question. We also know that Comrade Bowen's negative gearing proposals will not result in lower house prices. Labor's goal is to have house prices rise more slowly. Workers now priced out of the housing market will remain priced out of the housing market and the landlord class will continue to clean up as the real estate bubble inflates. Cigarettes will cost $40 a pack under Labor just like they will under the Coalition. They will use the revenue to lift the freeze on Medicare rebates for GPs. At least Labor will be more likely to tax some companies than the Coalition which is hell bent on cutting the Company Tax to 25%. Labor is not giving any but the small businesses a tax cut to 27.5%. Cockroach capitalists are defined as having a turnover of $2 million or less. Labor's NBN will be an improvement. Labor's policy stance toward the unions will be more favourable to workers' power. Still Labor will not support a change in the balance of power between classes and as it stands now the bourgeois have the upperhand while class collaboration is the dominant ideology amongst the union leaderships. The rank and file are not clamouring for a more militantly fought class struggle. Many workers will be voting for the conservatives. How else does one explain the near 50/50 split between the left and right reflected in the polls. It is obvious that most workers do not see themselves as producers of the wealth of Australia cheated of its ownership by the system of wage labour. Labor could never get elected if it appealed to a rank and file class consciousness which doesn't really exist. Comrade Shorten feels that he's being daring standing behind the change to negative gearing which will come into play by July 2017 if Labor is elected. In short Labor will continue to serve the national interest by serving the class interests of the bourgeoisie while not being as harsh on the working class as the LNP would be. One has to understand that many producers in post Whitlam Australia now make their living from being in one or two man businesses for themselves. Plumbers electricians and handymen have been transformed into guys driving utes with tools to do the odd jobs which come up from suburbia to downtown. This lot may also be engaging in a bit of housing investment to take advantage of negative gearing. Labor will not attack the existing standard of living of the working class like the Coalition is doing but many in the conservative strata of the working class see Labor as softies on crime border protection and prison sentencing. Will this increasingly dissatisfied mismash be enough to push Labor over the line. We shall see on July 2. The left should stand united behind Labor to keep the Coalition out of government. We should learn from the history of the last great depression. Unity on the left kept the right from taking government in France during the 30s. The French right was quite strong and surfaced viciously after the German Occupation and the establishment of Vichy. The French left learned its lesson from what had happened in Germany when the KPD and the SPD denounced each other at the hustings splitting the left. Thus the mass of the left failed to stop the conservatives from appointing the NSDAP's Hitler to the Chancellorship in the aftermath of a very close election in 1932. The Nazis actually got fewer votes in that last election than they had gotten in the previous election earlier in '32. Hitler actually contemplated leaving politics after he saw the decline in vote for the NSDAP--it was less than the combined vote of the SPD and KPD. Lukacs saw the need for what would become known as the popular front in the late 20s. He was quite aware of the conservative political effect reification has on the mind of those ignorant of the fetishism of commodities. But Lukacs was not listened to until 1933. I don't plan to barrack for sectarian splits on the left. I have learned that even the most rational argument will never be interpreted exactly the same way by every individual. Splitting the opposition to conservative government would be making the same mistake that the German left made in the the lead up to the '32 election. All of which is why I have put my shoulder to the wheel to support Labor in this election. But I do not support Labor uncritically. Far from it. More or less I'm in the ALP's election activities to varying degrees depending on the candidate to help keep the Coalition out of government. As an individual I will always be a socialist in the sense that Marx Engels and DeLeon conceptualised that mode of producing wealth. Of course my individual politics puts me at odds on many issues with the politics of other individuals espousing radical liberalism class collaboration most anarchist tendencies Marxism-Leninism in all its varieties and pro capitalist politics of any kind including those of the Greens. I think I am both liked and dismissed within the ALP. However this is nothing new. Within every organisation I have ever associated a similar situation has existed. Note the past tense. I may feel it necessary to disassociate myself from the ALP and the AMWU at some point in my life just as I have disassociated myself from the Socialist Labor Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. Still I'm confident that the political and industrial organisation of the workers as a class is the key to emancipation from the bondage of the wage system. The struggle continues and will go on until the wage-slaves free themselves from the rule of Capital. Speed the day but of course not much is spoken about emancipation from class rule in the here and now. One of the reasons I'm expressing what I do is to put workers' liberation on the political agenda. If you don't talk about it it'll never be known. Gravity existed long before we were able to articulate science about it. We're still learning about that weak force and its waves centuries after Newton hypothesised why apples always fell perpendicularly from a tree as opposed to sideway or some other direction. That was three centuries ago. The colder greyer days of winter move on slouching towards solstice 2016. On Saturday I was under a cool blue sky in Collie chatting with Comrades of the Keg over real ales with games of pool thrown in for good measure. We took a stroll around the town and met with workers and other town members who will be affected by the 43% cut in pay dictated by Fair Work Commissioners for those who make sure the power's on for Perth. Griffin Coal's books are not open for public scrutiny. Coal capitalists are having a harder time marketing the wealth their wage-slaves produce. That much we do know. The class conscious also know that a reduction in wages will mean an increase in the rate of profit per tonne of coal sold. Praxis means a class conscious worker will attend the rally in Collie next weekend to demonstrate solidarity. The class conscious know that downward pressure on wages and working conditions are a constant dynamic in the class struggle. Working class conservatives hope to attain at least the level of becoming a cockroach capitalist. Working class liberals want a fair day's wage for a fair day's work to prevail in the marketplace of commodities. Working class revolutionaries barrack for emancipation from the wage-system. Simon Kuznets celebrated economic historian circa 1954 wrote “growth is a rising tide that lifts all boats”. Yet real wages in the USA today are below those of 1964 while real productivity of wealth by the working class has grown an average 2-3% a year since 1964. It's taking some time for Kuzets's aphorism to wear off. The populists are beginning to stir. Unfortunately they have no solutions outside of reforming the current mode of producing and distributing wealth through its commodification and sale. This Gordian Knot will remain tied until the working class establishes a communist mode of producing wealth for use with distribution of same according to need. Solstice morning is dark cold and clear. A full moon greets my gaze as I step outdoors to saunter to the bus stop. I have my AMWU watch cap on. In Australia you call it a beanie. I look like a union Santa on my way to deliver ALP leaflet presents to fellow wage-slaves in Swan District. The leaflets form a bulge under my leather jacket while my beanie rides up to a sort of point. Rotund and jolly the elf urges oncoming taggers to save Medicare vote Labor. Tammy and the Comrade from New Zealand are there already. The Sun also rises between the time I catch the 203 bus and I end up at Carlisle train station. Jen gets nothing in the mail this first real day of winter. Unusual as a more or less constant flow of goods manufactured in the People's Republic of China have been arriving by post on a daily basis for what seems weeks. Internet shopping has taken off. Jen and I take off for the beach with cameras and a need to run in the sand. Surf swell is good but the water temperature keeps everyone out. A few people stroll look for shells make sand constructions. One sunbathing woman lies on a towel. The SAS are engaging in target practice this solstice. The red flag is up meaning no passaran. I salute singing of the workers' blood. Nobody knows what I'm doing. More's the pity. At least the bees are still here visiting my sunflowers. The rosemary has flowers as well this time of year. The backyard is alive with yellow and purple. Sandgropers still sing in the evening. Gentle breezes move the lately mown grass. The Sun is out after rain on this day the 75th anniversary of the fascists' invasion of the Soviet Union. The class conscious amongst us know now that the attempt by the Bolsheviks to establish a communist society failed. Disputes erupt over when that judgement should have been made. Devotees of Trotsky will say that it occurred when Stalin betrayed the revolution. Stalin's followers will say that it happened after his death in 1953. Other socialists will claim the communist revolution was fatally flawed with wage-labour class rule and the political State from the get-go. In my political opinion, the dictatorship of a faction of the working class movement does not constitute the dictatorship of the workers themselves no matter how much a political party says that it does. This was a hard lesson to learn for the workers' movement a lesson which is still being learnt even by the more civil libertarian oriented left in the social democratic parties. A proletarian democracy is classwide not faction specific. Such a self-conscious political democracy would have the force to abolish the proletariat itself as a class and of all other classes in general. My own historical materialist analysis of the 20th century revealed to me that in practice socialism functions as a classless democracy. Certainly bureaucratic despotisms and left liberal capitalist democracies of wage-slavery have been called socialism by both their supporters and detractors but neither represent the socialism which Marx Engels or DeLeon spoke of or wrote about. I am not bothered by those in the Labor Party who wish to rid its primary documents about the need to establish socialism because the Labor Party never equated socialism with the establishment of social ownership and democratic control of the collective product of labour. Nationalising some industry has nothing to do with production of goods and services for use and need. It has everything to do with commodity production for sale with a view to profit. It's fear that keeps the working class in thrall. Anxiety is politically and industrially bred amongst the proletariat. Mortgage debt sits like a vampire on the producers' shoulders. Job loss would lead to homelessness poverty probable family break up and dishonour in the community. The spectre of an ever harassing Centrelink bureaucracy bullying the unemployed individual into accepting more lowly paid jobs breeds compliance. Unions in Australia are dying on the vine because of laws crafted by the Party they pay tens of thousands of dollars to affiliate with and which they have barely any influence. Meanwhile the rank and file are constantly sold down the river of serfdom via class collaboration with the employing class as opposed to class struggle with the capitalists over control and ownership of the collective product of labour. The Fair Work Commission was set up under the guidance of the Labor Party. A prime example is found in how union delegates are hogtied outside the workplace. Under the labour law the Commission administers unions have no right of entry to the workplace. To gain entry to the workplace union organisers must petition the company well in advance of the time. Private property ownership trumps workers' right to organise and maintain their standard of living on so many levels that unions appear impotent to the workers and to the law enforcers of the bourgeoisie. Workers engaging in industrial action are threatened with very large fines if they are convicted of breaking any labour law. Defying police orders to move on from a picket line can lead to imprisonment. The so-
called award level of wages is constantly dropping because it is never adjusted for inflation. This castration of the workers' movement has been presided over by their industrial and political representatives who are themselves rewarded for loyal service to the bourgeoisie with plum jobs in the highly paid upper apparatus of the corporate bodies of the wage system after they leave service to class collaborationist capitalism in the political State or from union leadership positions. As for the unexpected results of the Brexit vote even after lots and lots of browbeating commentary by the European elites to remain I can only say: Under the wage system labour power is a commodity. If you increase the supply of a commodity its price will go down. When the wages of the working class go down their working conditions go down with them. This creates misery and without class consciousness about who produces the wealth and who appropriates the lion's share it leads to reactionary politics of blaming other workers aka various and sundry identities: Muslims Jews Chinese women etc any identity other than the capitalist class. Solution: Abolish the wage system, establish common ownership of the collective product of labour under democratic control. The winter of our discontent continues. Polls suggest up to 30% of the voters will choose micro parties in this election. Five days to go. A class conscious uprising at the polls is not happening. Tiny is as tiny does. I carry on to do my part to keep the LNP from governing. The distributional question is being asked more fervently with less clarity than necessary elsewhere. The separation of the political and historical from the economy is something Piketty deals with in his CAPITAL in the 21st century. Many who find the book difficult to comprehend might do well to digest the version of CAPITAL from the 19th century. I would recommend but not require a philosophical grounding in the dialectical method first to grasp the author's profundity. Granted it was a critique of political-economy using historical materialism just like Piketty's is a critique of distributional consequences of capitalist economy. The big difference I suppose is that Marx wanted to sublate that mode of production/distribution and Piketty wants it to become just through taxation of wealth. And this brings us to the question of where wealth comes from. Of course with Marx it was from applied labour power and natural resources hence the communist challenge to the mode of production/distribution. Can we hope the critique of political-economy is back. Will Piketty express the theory that dares not have its name known in the economics' departments universities. Only further reading will tell. In the meantime the budget is held above our heads like a whip. The absurdity of capitalism is that workers grow the real GDP every year with their increasing productivity while the conservatives in the upper 10% tell us we have to live within our means as they direct their politicians to cut the social wage. Piketty's historical materialist analysis of how inequality grows with the return on capital being greater than the growth of manufactured wealth r>g
demonstrates that our means vary with our class. Piketty doesn't embrace what he calls Marx's apocalyptic vision at least partially because he doesn't grasp what Marx is saying. For instance Marx never theorizes that eventually productivity comes to an end that there is zero productivity growth over the long haul of capitalist dominated history. Indeed such a theory would signal the end of history and time for productivity is measured by labour time. Increasing productivity does not eliminate socially necessary labour time altogether it merely reduces it. Thus less time is needed to produce wealth all of which should translate into making a life of greater free-time for the producers of wealth. Of course under the rule of Capital the producers do not socially own or democratically manage the collective product of their labour. Capitalists privately own and undemocratically manage the social product of labour i.e. capital. As productivity grows the capitalists find efficiencies in the workplaces of the world by shedding workers whose labour time is no longer necessary for producing goods and services for sale. Of course these efficiencies bleed into the need for State provided services. Thus does government become a cost-efficiency democracy. After all the market can only absorb so much of the commodified collective product of labour because the market reflects
how much of the wealth we have in our pockets to purchase what we produce as a class. Empty pockets in the markets translate into no sale zones. The poverty of unemployment produces the need to break the laws of the bourgeoisie. The prison population grows along with the police force needed to arrest the criminalised. Those who remained gainfully employed groan under the prospect of conspicuous consumption i.e. we actually don't need more clutter in our lives. There are limits to growth as the bourgeois gathered within the Club of Rome partially realised back in the 1970s. Climate change is telling the human race to stop growing wealth in the old ways. Global warming will change the way we think about well being. There is no way to stop the temperature rises humankind will have to endure along with the catastrophic weather patterns 400+pmm greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will engender. Our goose is cooked so to speak. We can mitigate the catastrophe for the sake of future generations but we cannot stop it from taking place. "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." goes an ancient Greek proverb and is partly why I play my part in the Labor Party at this stage of my life. Other humans will have to deal with the deal which has gone down later. I will be dead by then. I am taking what I consider to be the most effective action class conscious political and industrial socialist praxis. Many if not most wear that secret small all knowing smile of being cynically in touch with reality around me for wanting to change the world. It was Anton Chekhov who wrote: "Any idiot can face a crisis. It is this day-to-day living that wears you out." At times I want to chuck the whole socialist project and live the rest of my days in peace and quiet. And then I remember that meaning in life is organically connected with helping to move the wheel of progress in the direction of more freedom. Naive! So cries the person unconsciously lapping up the ideology of social Darwinism while spouting its conclusions as commonsense.