Listen to Radio Mike Ballard

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.