Listen to Radio Mike Ballard

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July, 2016

The Australian Federal election will take place tomorrow. Morning distribution of ALP how to vote literature took place in 5 C weather. My hands were so cold that putting my right one in my trouser pocket caused a cut to open. I only noticed after I'd bled on a flyer. Embarrassed I kept my right hand away from the flyers blotting it on my jeans as I distributed leaflets using only my left hand. The directions on how to distribute vote numbers intrigued me. I had not seen them before. They were not chosen by our candidate in Swan of that I was assured by Tammy herself. Now I'm confronted with the prospect of handing out more of them tomorrow at Saint Norbert's where I'll be assisting at the polls. Fortunately this will only be from 8am-10am. Some ALP authority has decided to instruct voters in Swan to put Tammy first the Australian Christians candidate second the Greens candidate third and the Liberals Steve Irons last. Swan only has four candidates competing for seats in Parliament. I'm more inclined to put the Christians last. Senate voting will have many more parties and individuals. I'll have no problem with the ALP choice there. Of course Labor will be number one. Surprisingly though the Sex and Marijuana Hemp Party who are filing a joint ticket are the ALP's number 3 recommendation. They'll be my second. In any event the corporate and State owned media have called the election a slim victory for the LNP--in advance of the actual election. They know the Turnbull government will be returned because of the polls. The dominant media knew the remain vote would overwhelm the Brexit vote as well because of the polls. Only 58% of eligible Aboriginal citizens are registered to vote. This in a country where voting is mandatory or the voter faces a $50 fine. Surely the other 42% are not being fined. Benign neglect is part and parcel of the gap the nation's government pledges to close. Obviously fining these folks should not be the solution. A massive registration drive should be the focus of an effort to educate the unregistered what differentiates the left from the right and get them out there expressing their political choices at the ballot box. Most would vote left if they had a clue about how left and right divided the wealth produced by the working class of Australia. Raising the social wage would be a victory for the producers and the unemployed and that's essentially what the left stands for although not always with as much consistency as one would desire. So I got out of warm bed to enter the cold shadows of St. Norbert's Catholic school to pass out the aforementioned how to vote leaflets from 8am-10am or so. That's about all I can do before I pacing lamely looking for a toilet. Long underwear comes in handy for outdoor activity in winter where even the bottoms of your feet feel frozen against the cemented walkways. Time marches on rubber soles. An old Comrade comes by camera in hand. Des Bowers retired from government work in health and safety. He's very concerned about asbestos contamination. He takes photos of the various and sundry campaign literature taped to the walls of Norbert's school rooms. Another failure of authority has occurred. Collier the LNP government's Minister for Education has supposedly informed all parties that they are not to tape campaign material to the walls of school buildings where citizens will be voting for when the tape is removed asbestos is quite likely to be dispersed into the air and general environment. Asbestosis is a great and growing danger in Australia. So much of it about. Comrade Bowers is that very essential squeaky wheel irritating government bureaucracies with his insistence that they follow the law even though doing so might disturb the bourgeoisie's pursuit of profit in the marketplace of commodities. The bureaucrats fob him off but Comrade Bowers always comes back looking for grease to stop his squeaks. Workers like Des are champions in the class struggle. A Liberal Party woman stands next to me. She hands out how to vote cards to the incoming too. This expatriate from Berlin is perhaps a couple years older than myself. Born in 1938 she moved to Munich then to New Zealand and finally to Melbourne where she married a German and had some children. I connect with stories of my favourite Berliner Kneipe Wilhelm Hoeck's. It's 10:20 or so before I part company to make my contribution to voting the conservatives out of government. Counting the early returns the ABC reports that Swan has been retained by the Liberals. Irons' win could have had something to do with authorities in Labor choosing to preference the Australian Christians over the Greens. Our loss was also due to lack of letterboxing. A Comrade came up to me as I was handing out how to votes complaining that he didn't even know who Labor was running in Swan as he'd never gotten one of Tammy's leaflets in his mailbox. Tammy's mentions of ethnicity were overplayed. The need was not there. Robo calls from political parties including Labor made me angry enough to unplug my landline for the duration. I shouldn't be a bit surprised if others felt the same way. We spent too much of our labour time phoning door knocking and having one on one coffees with constituents. Hopefully we will learn from history and knock Irons off his sinecure at the next election. The overall results were more interesting than the pollsters and the major media predicted. Close voting in a few marginal seats means that the make up of the next government may not be known for a month. Turnbull showed his true colours 'round midnight declaring his Party officials told him the LNP would be able to form government in its own right without the need to negotiate with minor party upstarts. He then went on to attack corrupt unions screwing things up for his pals who own pieces of the construction industry. After all the double dissolution election was called because Labor Greens and crossbenchers in the Senate had refused to go along with resurrecting the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). As Malcolm embraced little Johnny Howard Bolt called for his resignation. Truth be told Labor won the election even if it lost it. Again the polls and pundits were wrong. Citizens are stirring. It's reflected in the latest votes both in Britain and Australia. Clarity is needed. Most reactionaries are stupid ignoramuses but some reactionaries are quite clever. Violence is their political calling card achieving political power is their goal. Osama bin Laden was an extremely clever reactionary. Getting his fellow fundamentalists to act like suicidal soldier bots for God was no easy task. Religious conservatism was an historical given in 90% of the world dominated by the Muslim faithful. Everyday life droned on within feudalist norms of everyday life. The quiescence of the Dark Ages once common in Europe Africa and Asia still abounded. Loyalty to landlords kings and princes become warlords in sleepy lagoons of a planetary people not yet set afire with the challenges presented to them by an actively acquisitive capitalist class on the lookout for more ways to extract wealth from wage-labour and natural resources in national competition with each other within the turf wars of the Cold War which prevailed. History barely being pushed met history being convulsively shoved by
nationalist political revolutions of the bourgeoisie. The long awaited emancipation of the wealth producing wage-slaves and peasants was once again subsumed under the rubble of class rule's ideology of narrow individualist freedom national liberation or national independence with all its social Darwinist teeth gnawing competitively in the game of devil take the hindmost. Osama threw a rock wrapped with the promise of restoring an order of pre-existing conditions into the sleepy lagoon. Idealist Sunni jihadis marching off to murder the corrupting influence of bourgeois civilisation and establish a holy Caliphate. IS thinks of any Muslim outside its ranks as engaging in apostasy. Apostates must convert or be murdered. This ideology is a particular type of Sunni Salafism. IS is an ultra-right theocratic expression of Islam. Spectacularly deadly assaults would be undertaken to stir the infidel into angry use of his military power in turn accelerating recruitment to the cause of defending the Sunni faithful. Neo-conservative crusaders had been plotting the downfall of Saddam Hussein for a decade. All it took was the election of a Texan POTUS with father issues supported by toy English poodle of a PM easily influenced by fallen Trotskyist intellectuals now committing their Idealist zeal to militarily enforcing regime changes of those political States which stood in the way of establishing U.S. compliant bourgeois democracies on a worldwide basis. Afghanistan had already been touched by this Idealism. Titoist Yugoslavia would also be targeted for dismemberment into competing bourgeois democratic nationalist slices. Osama's upbringing in Salafist Saudi Arabian feudalism was steeled in the furnace of holy vengeance wreaked against the Stalinist left government and its Soviet Red Army backers. Gone was the monarchy of Afghanistan but feudal ties to the landed warlords remained. Deeply entrenched tribal loyalties combined with generalised ignorance and an iron commitment to fundamentalist dogma. Al Qaeda's cauldron was brewing martyrs on their way to glorious arrivals in the afterlife they'd always had faith existed. Apostates must die especially the Shia. "The invasion of Iraq was neither in self-defense against armed attack nor sanctioned by UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force by member states and thus constituted the crime of war of aggression, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva." Equality under the law is ever corrupted by the wage system which guarantees that lion's share of the wealth will end up in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Thus the promise of liberté égalité fraternité embodied in the bourgeois revolution was ever an Ideal materially undermined by class rule. I learned this from Marx not Piketty whose work is seriously flawed from the start with his interpretation of Marx's critique of political-economy. The production of wealth is not gained from the wealth previously produced and which appears as capital. Possession of wealth is not the premise for the production of wealth. Thus Piketty's constant pro-capitalist social democratic twaddle. He can get no further than taxing the wealth appropriated by the bourgeoisie from its employment of wage labour. You see in ways I've become less compromising as I've gotten older. We're up against the wall motherfuckers. Most people don't consciously grasp that life 20 years from now will be quite different from life today. Climate change will force a change in social relations. Collectively produced wealth must become socially owned and democratically controlled over time or the general community will suffer more violence as the power structure erodes. Tensions based on racial paranoia are already fueling the murder of citizens by police in the USA. In turn some citizens are murdering police as revenge sweeps an armed populace. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And the NRA with all its propaganda about how this or that crime could have been prevented if say the teachers packed heat in the classroom or gay dancers carried derringers in their underwear. Such talk is all now coming back to bite the right honourable conservatives in the butt. The Black Panther Party tried to start this conversation 49 years ago. Let us remember who ended up murdering Malcolm X. Let us remember how Huey Newton died. Let us remember Fred Hampton's bloody corpse after that raid on his abode by Chicago police in December 1969. Let us remember that big talking Eldridge Cleaver became a Moonie attempting to peddle a new type of male trousers with a cod piece. Let us remember the co-founder of the Black Panthers Bobby Seale who renounced violence and ran for mayor of Oakland California coming in second in a field of nine. Bobby is still alive. As Hegel observed "What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it." More's the pity. Lots has changed over the past 49 years. What hasn't changed is the lack of awareness over the fundamental issue which is at the root of the many social problems which we encounter today: the mode of producing and distributing the wealth of nations i.e. the wage system. Getting the majority off the tit of racist explanations for the inferior position of everyone who isn't a "WASP" has been a major accomplishment of our times. A man with Kenyan genetics could never have been elected POTUS back in MLK's day. So we have made some progress vis a vis the appeal of racial superiority as an explanation of why political power is arranged the way it is. The immense majority still fall for the pseudo-scientific notion that there are multiple races of humans however. The difference is that they are convinced that all the "races" should be celebrated and should tolerate each other. Class awareness has also grown as demonstrated in the Occupy Wall Street movement's focus on the 1% which in turn was reflected in Bernie Sanders' campaign a campaign which would not have had much political traction back in the mid-60s. My definition of worker includes college educated who are dependent for making a living on marketing their labour power. I quit the IWW in April, 2012 when I saw identity politics starting to trash the focus on the abolition of wage labour amongst the membership most of whom were not college educated intellectuals. When I was living in East Lansing from 1972 on I was a member of the Socialist Labor Party. A very slim minority of the SLP were college educated intellectuals. I suppose my Comrade and best friend Bud could be considered acollege educated perhaps intellectual. I only met four others during the days of my membership and two of them wanted me out of the National Office where Bud and I were writing for the official organ "The People" formerly "The Weekly People". Most workers don't know what the wage system is and how it works. Once upon a time both the political and industrial organisations I was a member of did tell them. The SLP committed a kind of slow Shaker-like suicide. The IWW was taken over by post modernists posing as anarcha-feminists among other identities. I've been trying to correct that lack of class conscious awareness for years now. Most of the college educated intellectuals on the left haven't helped one little bit in that area. Most are and remain radical liberals. A progressive tax applied to the upper 10% and the wealth they have accumulated is the way the left should approach budget repair. The budget needs repair because Labor and now the Liberals have sold government bonds to finance capitalists as opposed to taxing companies and the upper 10% adequately to fund our social wage. The right thinks of the social wage as a burden on their ability to grow their businesses a confiscatory set of policies designed to rob them of the wealth they own. And where does this wealth they own and accumulate originate. Think of it this way: how much wealth would be produced during the month of August, if everyone who depended on having their labour power purchased to make a living went on a 31 day strike. With media weapons of mass enthrallment we have been taught to believe that having both husbands and wives wage-slaving away their lives producing wealth for the bourgeoisie to own and market is liberating. In place of class conscious praxis we have gay lesbian, and trans people now openly serving in wars of choice and military occupations of impoverished people. Classism as a civil rights struggle has replaced the class struggle over the collective product of labour. The ruling class has selected from a panoply of grievances the ones to use as sops to haze the reality of systemic exploitation. Again we cannot see the forest for the trees. Thomas Jefferson's egalitarian ideology overcome with the realities of his material power over the slaves he owned. Most political power is materially based on the possession of wealth. Common ownership and democratic control of the collective product of labour would remove the material basis for the political power of one over the other. The felt need for revenge would ebb perhaps even dry up for good. Think of how the social relations of political power work out when one human owns another and all the other produces. Wage-slaves aren't owned body and soul. Wage-slaves are free to sell their time and skills to anyone in the marketplace who wants to buy them to use them to produce wealth over mutually agreed limits of time which is then priced for sale. The wealth slaves produced was sold too except services being used for the owners' own needs. Imagine. Heartfelt revenge may be a primary driver for sadistic behaviour retribution for past hurt by power mongers as the social machine of class ruled society continues to hum along as it has since the domestication of figs millet flax and peas took place 11,000 years ago and amongst the fauna domesticated dogs go back 17,000 years in that cradle of class dominated society the fertile crescent some 7,500 years ago around when what probably emerged as the first political State was established. Sumerians were first to begin writing around 5,500 years ago in order to keep track of the exchange of private property between those who owned it. We know this profession as accounting today. In any event the production of agricultural wealth was becoming the material basis for the separation of society into classes. One class of wealth producers and one class of owners who lived on the lion's share of that wealth by both using it for themselves especially with regards to hiring armed bodies of men to protect them and their property. They are called law enforcement these days. Of course laws had to be made to show who rightfully owned this or owed that. Those who may have suffered crop failure might borrow seed from a luckier farmer. In return the borrower might spend some working time along with perhaps his family members to repay the debt. Over time classes and class rule grew to become the codified norm along with chattel slavery. War breaks out between States over wealth. The defeated's soldiers, wives and children become the private property of the victors if they are not raped then slaughtered outright. Sadism has its historical roots in the social relations which emerge as private property become mutually recognised legitimised if you will. Another boring rant with little to zero impact except perhaps for you dear readers the ones not already snoring. A Magpie's song might be of more interest on a blue sky sunny day in July. A reminder to readers in the Northern Hemispere of out planet July is our February. I remember hating February when I lived in the USA. Especially in Michigan and Pennsylvania with all that dirty snow and slush. My feedback to Comrade Solonec's campaign which will in all probability never be read by more than one or two goes as follows:

Granting the large swing in Swan toward the left due to the amazing amount of

labour time we put into the campaign and the usual lackluster performance of our

opponents in the Liberal Party, why did we lose?

First, it has to be admitted that Swan District is becoming populated with what seem

to be wealthier people. One need only pass out flyers at the Canning Bridge location

to notice this. I would venture to say that these seemingly wealthier people are up to

their ears in private debt via their mortgages and car loans. They are anxious about

keeping the jobs they have so that they can service the debts they owe. I would

guess that the core of Liberal Party support comes from those who own investment

properties and attempting to negative gear themselves into safe harbours.

Second, one can also detect a lot of poverty in Swan’s lowlier enclaves where the

lower strata of the working class i.e. renters predominate e.g. Saint James. A lot of

those people are fed up with politicians’ promises as they experience their own

standards of living going down, even as the lines grow longer at Centrelink, their

rents go up to levels where it is eating up more than a third of their meagre income

while cuts to the social wage seem as relentlessly inevitable as rises in regressive

taxation. Labor could gain more than cynical sneers here, if it didn’t cater so to real

estate investors and launched a stronger campaign to raise revenue from

progressive taxation of the upper 10% to fund a higher social wage. The do­ nothing

but vote for cuts Irons could have been targeted much more effectively e.g.

presenting his voting record on cuts to the social wage and cuts to company tax

”Do you really want this man representing you?”

Irons' win could have had something to do with authorities in Labor choosing to

preference the Australian Christians over the Greens. All of the votes for that Party

would have flowed to the Liberals whereas the Green votes would have flowed to

Labor. Lesson: Never block with right­wing parties for so doing only backfires in the

end. It also makes Labor look like opportunists in whom voters cannot put their trust.

On top of that Irons ironically ends up getting the votes of Labor people who naively

put 2 in the Klompf box.

Our loss was also due to lack of letterboxing. A Comrade came up to me as I was

handing out how to votes complaining that he didn't even know who Labor was

running in Swan as he'd never gotten one of Tammy's leaflets in his mailbox.

Tammy's mentions of ethnicity were overplayed both in our literature and in the

media. The need to know this information amongst the majority of the Swan District

electorate was not there. Lesson: give the media the issue. If the media take it up,

have them ask the Liberal candidate the same questions about where his ethnic

roots lie. They won’t do that. Face it, the capitalist media are not going to preference

the left. The hirelings of “The West” know that the editorial policy is toward rightward

spin. The ethnicity question is right­spin connected to playing on the anxieties about

becoming the victims of crime amongst voters and guilt about the obvious gap: “Will

electing a minority “race” have a negative effect on my life”. Racist fears do exist

amongst a significant portion of the electorate. On the other hand, Tammy’s picture

alone, played a significant role in garnering votes from citizens who don’t think of

themselves as being “white”. So, less emphasis on cultural roots and more on Irons’s

obvious political (not personal) failings as a rep, would have been a better way


Robo calls from political parties including Labor made me angry enough to unplug

my landline for the duration. I also began to turn my mobile off toward the end of

June. I shouldn't be a bit surprised if others felt the same way. We spent too much

of our labour time phoning, door knocking and having one on one coffees with

constituents and not enough on letterboxing. Not that we shouldn’t phone etc, but we

should never use robo calling. In fact, we should emphasise the human quality of our

interactions while subtly criticising the cashed up Libs’ ability to robo call Julie

Bishop’s voice. We should also drop the scripts and allow our volunteers to speak to

citizens as citizens concerned with raising the majority’s standard of living. BTW, this

sort of phoning and letterboxing should go on on a regular basis during the next

three or so years.

Hopefully we will learn from history and knock Irons off his sinecure at the next

election. We need to examine the issues which the Liberals used against Labor in

Swan. My letterbox was jammed with Lib lit playing on the anxieties of citizens about

boats, border security and economic instability. We need to come up with some

withering fire to combat these anxieties and even turn them to our advantage.

Most citizens don’t know that official immigration accounts for an influx of 20,000

migrants a month into Australia. Most citizens have forgotten that it was Labor that

“stopped the boats” by making it legally impossible for anyone arriving by boat to be

settled in Australia. Dr. Ann Aly’s arguments for shutting down the people smuggling

rings should have been used widely and emphasised in our literature.

Labor’s protection of citizens from the economic downturn which occurred in 2007,

should have been highlighted alongside the Libs’ voting record on stopping

economic stimulus measures which would have led to a lower standard of living for

all. The “pink bats” controversy should have been faced with the truth that deaths

occurred because of shonky operators, not because Labor was stimulating the


As for the instability arguments because of Labor’s leadership changes during the

last Labor government, these should have been dealt with by informing the public

that Labor no longer changes leaders by vote of the PLP, but by a vote of the entire

membership of the ALP while at the same time reminding voters of the

Abbott/Turnbull factions fighting e.g. the one vote victory for Abbott; the constant

denial of leadership challenge by Turnbull; the constant undermining of Turnbull now

by the Abbott faction. Stability could also be proven by Labor pre­selecting Comrade

Solonec at the next battle of the hustings.

Of course I hear more snoring. As I young man being brought up within the idiocies of rural life I strove to break out. But I went from the frying pan to the fire. I was still curious enough when I was 22 to try to find some way of organising the life I'd seen and led into some coherent amalgam. I'd laid the foundations by 1972. Before that I was a sponge sopping up this and that bit of insight mostly from the left but also about the left and also my uni courses which really began to give me a theoretical foundation by the end of the summer of 1969. By 1973 I'd adopted the tactics and strategy to get to a social revolution political and industrial class conscious classwide organisation. I've been attempting to sharpen it all up and present my understanding through writing speaking demonstrations and general praxis since then. Nothing much happened though. I've tried for a very long time. I think I should just shut up now. Nobody is moving in my direction. Time to call it day now that I'm 71 and half. Time to sit back drink ale smoke dagga and enjoy the sensuality I have left. Better to burn out than rust on. Yo-ho. Capitalists don't support social ownership and democratic control of the collective product of labour. It's not in their class interests to do so. However in our upside-down ways of viewing the world of political economy the immense majority have been become used to nay even bought into the notion that we can better produce wealth and a higher standard of living through private ownership and capitalist control of the collective product of our labour. Are we not wage-slaves. Revolutionary workers would prefer a producers' democracy over a bourgeois democracy. Why not own what you produce. Point to the material benefits of having the government pay the for the goods and services provided by the workers in the health and you'll have more money in your pocket than you would have otherwise having to pay for a privatised cancer for profit industry. The ones who will suffer a loss in wealth to pay for the government to hire the workers in the health industry should be the upper 10% and the companies they own. I suppose you could just tax the 1% to accomplish the same thing. Would that we could get the upper 9% to fight the upper 1% over who should share the tax burdens for funding the social wage. The reality is that the upper 9% are more concerned with keeping up with the rest of the world playing Pokemon and drinking recycled sewage as is done in London. Perth's population is too large. You can tell when a living space is overpopulated because the aquifers can no longer supply enough drinking water. Growth has become a survival dogma. Living beyond what is environmentally sustainable threatens human well being. We seem to realise that when we recycle our beer bottles and bury organic waste in the backyard. We are constantly being sold a bill of goods when we hear about the need to grow businesses or perish. So we drink water from plastic bottles and practice getting into shape for the charity marathon sponsored by corporate entities looking for advertising space and tax deductions. All leftover proceeds to be donated to some incurable disease foundation headed up by a $200,000 a year manager. The economy is safe from much political interference as long as this dogma weighs on our minds like an alp. Of course all lives matter. Murder is not acceptable. Cops shouldn't be shooting citizens. Why do they shoot more darkly hued humans much more often than other citizens. I would argue that they think in terms of categorizing humans according to their so-called race. But there's more to it than that. One can Google around and find countless articles connecting crime with poverty and unemployment. On a per capita basis humans of darker hues are way overrepresented amongst the "surplus populations" of the unemployed and amongst the prison population because the cops are not only arresting them more often they are also being convicted more often for breaking the laws of the land. Hillary broke the law of the land. She was not brought up on charges. She's been politically undermined by the accusations but not arrested. On the other hand whistleblowers like Manning Snowden and Assange are under constant threat of or actually being subjected to imprisonment. Lady Justice is not blind to class and the realities of the racist dogmas which divide humans into hierarchies the power of one over another. Lady Law never stands so tall as when she stands on someone's hand. And so another murder psycho's inner rage transforms itself into suicidal outrage in Nice. Sometimes cops actually have to shoot citizens. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was our latest Charles Whitman. Murderers always seem to me to be mentally ill. Seems some are helped along in their madness by the pressures of their daily lives. Others have brain tumours and some have both. So much pain could be eliminated if control over what we produce was the norm. Mohamed might never have left the village he was born in if production of wealth for the use of those in need was just the way things were done every day of the year. Less madness would be a plus. Rain rain rain rain rain winter rains and still we don't have enough fresh water for all of us to drink. Capital's needs come before ecological balance. Sellers of labour power pay the price of their commodified time. We rationally embrace treated sewage water coming from our taps. It's in the Budget 2016. Done and dusted. Nevermind the antibiotics estrogen charged cosmetic waste which is mostly likely not adequately treated and will be flowing through our already asbestos contaminated selves. At least we still have Medicare. Rain whips across the roofing. Work drink be tired drag yourself back out of bed in the cold make coffee. Awake and on the way again to work for what. For life. For how could you put beans on the table and have an abode to sleep in away from the rain the near constant rain. You're afraid. Deeply held fear drives much human activity. We're animals. Animals' brains are attuned to survival. Watch them on TV hunting for food sometimes hunting each other food. Hunger stimulates. We animals respond. We need to find food and water to survive. In the modern age we need to sell our labour power to survive. We fear losing our happy hunting grounds. After all we must pay down our mortgage debt or rent and make the payments on the car. These days the bourgeoisie have us mortgaging our lives to pay for our education to become their trained wage-slaves or just to be part of the reserve army of the unemployed. So many obligations. So little time for ourselves. Most of humanity probably had more time for itself on the edge of the neolithic age when our access to food was just becoming easier as in less time consuming to produce. I imagine the Near East was warm fertile and free then. Now look at it. All crapped up with mutual murder. How great to see the sun shine on the newly sprouted barley. The valley stretches forward with only a few small homes dotting the landscape here and there. A dog walks alongside a man sniffing the ground for traces of game. The smoke from roasting meat is in the air. An Ibis flies overhead. A woman combs her hair. A child throws a stick and then runs to pick it up and throw it again. Another child joins in. A game begins. Rules are set. A woman gathers figs. There are many of these trees around more than enough to meet need. Last year's barely is this year's beer. Meanwhile a field of marijuana flowers forth. Flax grows as well in a field of its own. Both can be fashioned into weather protection garments. Flowers are smoked with beer during the afternoon when the Sun is hottest. Rest conversation and sex follow. As the dusk approaches the flutes and drums come out and the songs of our ancestors begin. Imaginative digression from the modern age can stimulate the imagination. I think a lot of individuals expect too much from their input. They get disappointed with their effect. They may drop out of the struggle for more freedom and end up twiddling their thumbs in the face of the latest disasters. I can see that. I can also see individuals who never put up a struggle against the harness--the cowards Camus refers to when he writes: "To live as if our choices make any real difference in the long run may be the act of a fool, but to live as if they do not, that is the act of a coward." Bottom Line is that what we do does make a difference. Humans can't help but to make history. The question is what sort of history the human race as a whole will make. Remember that Albert Camus thought of himself politically as being an anarchist and that implies hope not despair. Camus is full of warnings about complacency and generalised acquiescence in the face of those who would seduce humanity to the norms of class rule. Camping in the forest can serve to readjust one's perspective. Space without the sounds of aircraft taking off and landing. Birds singing and squawking flying through and perching on very tall tree limbs. Winter camping has three great advantages: no fires no mosquitos and no snakes. Cuddling in a double sleeping bag full Moon overhead along with stars and clouds and swaying tree tops can last an hour or so before the necessary retreat into swags takes over as the degrees drop taking their dewey toll. It is necessary to dream in your clothes and coat with watch cap firmly drawn down over your face. The chill does not leave until another sleeping bag is stuffed on top of the one you're sleeping in. Sleep is broken up into two to three hour cycles as the urge to urinate makes getting out of your swag a necessity. Necessity and freedom always intertwined in the dynamics of our daily lives and troubled sleep. Certainly though nice dreams can occur. Naked dancing women at the warm oasis in the middle of a star studded moonless evening. The sand sparkles reflect the starlight. You get to that special spot by flying literally jumping from the ground into the sky and then purposefully willing your body toward that oasis. All is joy and wonder. The smell of hashish fills the large tent set up the bubbling spring which keeps the date palms and fig trees thriving under a driving daylight summer Sun. Bliss is being there for a time. Anxiety sets in just at the moment when....and then you wake to feeling like you've got to pee. You know you'll have to face a bone chill. Like those moments when you got up early in the dark morning to get on the bus to the train station to leaflet for Tammy's Swan District bid. I reckon the ALP could have won in Swan if we'd appealed to the working class in ways which gave them a boost in their standard of living as opposed to telling them that we'd hold the line on Medicare by imposing a higher regressive tax on those addicted to tobacco. We should have been able to tell the working class majority that house prices would go down to affordable levels for the majority under Labor as opposed to admitting to them that house prices would continue to rise even under our plan to shave negative gearing investment choices and the capital gains favouritism embedded in the legislation. We should have told them that we were for progressive tax increases on the upper 10% and the companies they own to fund the social wage. We should have been able to tell them that Labor was committed to helping Australian workers get the jobs now held by 400 series visa holders by abolishing the working visa program. We should have been able to tell voters that Labor was committed to adequately funding the public school system to make it entirely free of fees even if that meant cutting the subsidies now being funneled to the private school system. Issues such as union right of entry should have been fought on and an end to witch hunting money wasting Royal Commissions into workers in union for their safety and class interests in getting a better wages and working conditions. We'd get a hell of a lot more volunteers helping with the campaign if we did that. We should concede the landlord and business vote to the LNP. We should recognise that we'll never get a capitalist owned media spinning the news to favour our candidates. We should be staunch supporters of an ABC which tells it like it is as opposed to spinning for the LNP. We should have attacked Steve Irons on his own record in Parliament vis a vis cuts to this and that and subsidies for business here and there. If we had done all those things, we would have swung Swan. I don't think we should blame the right faction for not sufficiently supporting the left faction's candidates. I do think that Swan can be won next time if we get to work between the elections and inform voters via letterboxing what Irons is doing in Parliament vis a vis legislation. He will be voting for things which most people have no interest in and doing relatively little on matters that do interest them. I think I'll work with SOS during in the upcoming state election. In America herself we have the spectacle of a moderate Republican facing off against a batshit crazy rebel plutocrat neo-fascist in the race to be POTUS. First passed the post. Imagine a President Trump. Kind of like Gordon Gekko has become the down to Earth beer drinking peoples' choice. The upstart plutocrat caring not a fig for the Establishment's disapproval. Anti-authoritarian law and order type outlaws in thrall to Il Duce crow and grow in strength as another mentally ill Muslim goes ballistic. The political aim of contemporary acts of mass murder is the same political aim nationalist reactionaries have had in earlier times to turn the bourgeois democracies into reactionary war making machines thus bringing more recruits for the Cause. The Battle of Algiers was a case in point. It's working. The Caliphate is mobile and can land in the head of those who wish to die and go to heaven condemning a few apostates down to hell in the process. There are a lot of very conservative Muslims who are becoming more political by the day. Osama bin Laden's tactics are proving to be quite effective. Spectacular attacks by murderously suicidal believers will increasingly turn non-Muslim political powers toward more military/police action which will in turn lead even more conservative Muslims to embrace the establishment of a Caliphate. This is a conservative Sunni Salafist dream. Sufis Alawites and Shia need not apply as they are considered to be apostates as worthy of beheading as any apostates are. Apostates are us. Madness is essential for participation. Having led a largely meaningless existence of everyday life with its imperfections where you haven't achieved the bourgeois dream of a perfect family life with money and good job is an important driving force toward giving up this life for the next one in a paradise of fulfilled need. It's all too much. And so you take the plunge. Fool. Murderer. Pathetic suicidal maniac. And so I relax on a chilly July day in Perth. Hegel is like Beethoven you don't throw him out with the bathwater. Learn what sublation means. The violence against the incarcerated youth in the NT has been known by elected government authorities for years. It's only when the cattle or humans are being mistreated on film and the general public sees it that it gets the usual Royal Commission. Nothing will be done to "close the gap" until we get it through our heads that the upper 10% and the companies they own need to be taxed sufficiently to provide good paying government jobs and an adequate social wage to ALL Australians who now make up the reserve army of the unemployed. Instead what are we getting from the LNP in government: Another welfare crackdown on the "surplus population". On this day before my long awaited colonoscopy and endoscopy I drink only clear fluids plus litres of ColonLYTELY. My stomach growls with hunger pangs. My last morsel of food was a spoonful of cottage cheese on Monday night at 8 pm. I reckon my fast will last for more than 36 hours as I'm more or less sure that the invasive procedures will take place after 8 am on Wednesday. I should be home ordering a pizza to be delivered by 3pm or perhaps a little later. Must remember to weigh myself and be pleasantly surprised by the kilograms I've lost. I will hop on a bus on Thursday and wend my way to the Flying Scotsman to read the West Australian drink pints of Coopers Ale and have a laugh or two. In the meantime I'm cold and hungry facing the prospect of drinking a concoction which tastes as I imagine dirty dishwater would. And then of course the seemingly endless toilet trips. The good news is that all went well. No perforated gut or stomach have I. Nor have I a recurrence of polyps gone cancerous or any polyps at all. My gut may contain a bit of unwanted H-pylori. Lab tests will be done and I'll consult with my GP in a couple of weeks about what if anything needs doing. My Iranian doctor friend never sees a physician. She thinks most doctoring is a waste of time. I've been more cautious since the discovery of my bowel cancer a decade ago. I've been cancer free since my right hemicolectomy in 2007--thank-you again Doctor Tan and my GP Doctor Wong. Now I can live on enjoy good coffee good ale good dagga good friends fine daughter good literature good weather good music good film good sex good marriage good food and sensuous life in general. I'm happy about all that. Hippy-fest can and usually does occur every afternoon. Becoming less attractive every year does have it benefits as well as its obvious turn-offs. Wisdom comes from knowing that those young women who "love" you on the Internet are not worthy of a second of your time. Same old blues with a time worn twist. Life is so unnecessarily repressed in so many ways which have absolutely nothing to do with morality but which are tied up in the moralities created by repressed class dominated creatures from the past. Identity politics started with the right and were adopted by the left. The right started it with the denial of political rights to all who were not identified as being white male property owners back in the 18th century. These identity politics morphed into segregation and separate but equal schools in the U.S. South. People were convinced that there was more than one race and that women's reason was dominated by irrational emotion. Once everyone was on board with the dominant ideology of the ruling class the new left began using identity politics as a way of escaping the class rooted dogmas of the old social democratic and marxist-leninist left while accepting the one true dogma that of class collaboration via nationalism the primary ideology of the bourgeoisie since its victorious political revolution over monarchism. Thus the Civil Rights movement began to be split by nationalism and separation of the 'races' into oppressed/oppressor 'races'. What identity politics has done is to divide and rule the working class and divert its attention from the need to abolish the wage system and establish a new mode of producing and distributing collectively produced wealth on the basis of need. The ruling class wants to punish you for wanting to be relaxed enjoying yourself. Smoking the dagga is prohibited. Beer drinking is frowned upon. Tobacco smoking is practically outlawed. Eating psilocybin mushrooms is illegal. Sex is restricted in many various ways. As a result the world is poorer more mentally disturbed. The humiliations of old age continue. If they don't get paid their passion evaporates. It was never there. It was fear of being fired. Just show up at a meeting of the Manufacturing Branch after those attending because their boss implies that it would be a good idea are no longer on the payroll. The wheat shall be separated from the chaff. No one is going anywhere politically without the working class. Having been around what we used to call "The Movement" for decades now I've witnessed all too many burnouts. One needs to temper oneself like good steel. Burning out is for those who believe that it would only take a minority to make a social revolution. I'm not one of them. The social revolution can only be the class conscious act of the immense majority. The rank and file comrades in the SLP taught me a hell of a lot about what socialism actually meant to Marx and Engels and how one could achieve its establishment in a country like the USA. They taught Comrade Jack London as well. He joined the SLP in 1896 but got suckered into joining the SP in 1901 or so. He left the SP in 1916. In his resignation letter he wrote proudly of his education in the SLP and in a way his regret at leaving an "up-on-its-hind-legs, fighting, Socialist Labor Party." Excerpt of his resignation letter from the Socialist Party in 1916: “Dear Comrades: I am resigning from the Socialist Party because of its lack of fire and fight, and its loss of emphasis on the class struggle.”Unfortunately Jack like most people of his time and even our own time was convinced that humanity was divided into races and that some races were superior to others. Social Darwinism pairs well with the dominance and submission rituals of class rule and its hire-archies of wage-slavery. Feminism means the establishment of equal political power between all men and women to me. I'm not sympathetic with establishing a matriarchy or shattering glass ceilings to sit at the top of the hire-archy. Abolishing the wage system and establishing common ownership and democratic control over the collective product of labour is what I'm for. I'm for changing the mode of producing and distributing wealth from systems based on commodity production and sale to a system of producing wealth for use and distributing it on the basis of need. When that system is established equal political power between all men and women will exist. The bourgeois notion of freedom is negative because it is dependent on another's unfreedom. The positive freedom of socialism is based on the notion that my freedom depends on your freedom and that we achieve more freedom through our solidarity. In the mean time of July I have been unable to witness the humiliation of the Fremantle Dockers. Perhaps 2017 will spell the beginning of our new footy rise in the standings.