The Ranter remembers a kinder, gentler time and recalls youth and its belief in itself - when we thought we mattered and would prevail. He reads history and imagines when peoples' movements established true democracies, when the world was "Turned Upside Down" by Diggers, Ranters, Levellers, Quakers and Seekers. He knows too of the Paris Commune as well as of Rojava today. Even though winter is coming he remembers the spring of childhood. . .
There's a lot of uninformed ranting going down right now about "Australia Day" and #ChangeTheDate. Personally I don't want to "change" the date - I want to understand it and ask why have national days at all? In the interim, consider this contribution from Alexis Wright . . .
There's a muted memory in the capitalist world, a reluctance to acknowledge the Bolsheviks and what they did. We don't need to see it as a binary, good or bad, this or that - it happened and understanding why can only help us deal with today's problems. One hundred years and we still grapple with huge inequality, power abuse, oppression and unfulfilled hopes . . .
A common view is that banks act as middle men between savers and lenders - storing all those pennies from the nation’s piggy banks and lending them out to investors and entrepreneurs who then make a profit so the repayments return to us as interest on our savings accounts. Nothing could be further from the truth . . .
Theories abound as to how Donald Trump came to be President of the USA and how we are to understand our own responses to him. This article, originally Towards A General Theory of Trump: For a Strategic Red-Red-Green Fightback, is reposted from Progress in Political Economy. It gives a pretty good Modern Marxist analysis. By Paul Mason.
We never studied Australian history at school. Maybe we never actually “studied” at all, but we were schooled if not educated. Either way, there was no such subject as Australian history, just British history and later a sort of general world narrative focussed on heroic leaders and imperial wars. The template for this grand narrative was a map on the wall showing the whole British Empire upon which the sun never set.
It’s so simple it sounds ridiculous. They take everything they can lay their hands on and commodify anything left. The commonwealth is replaced by private assets and the earth is left bare. . .
His last hit song, My Way has been said to epitomize Sinatra - chauvinistic, narcissistic, unapologetc and grandiose. An interesting fact is that it was written by Paul Anka as a rip-off of the French classic Comme d'Habitude. From all that's been written, Sinatra emerges as a conflicted, self-centred weakling with powerful friends, who called the shots. We have to "dig" to get at the man's real beliefs. But as the edited interview shows, we can always learn from anyone - when we listen.
I was in a Carlton bookshop, browsing but not buying. I opened “And the weak suffer what they must” at a random page and read compulsively. Written by Yanis Varoufakis after resigning as Greece’s Finance Minister, this was no economic treatise and certainly no dry text book. It turned out to be...