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(en) Australia, Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 622 6th December ­ 12th December 2004

From philmcc@optusnet.com.au
Date Wed, 8 Dec 2004 11:23:32 +0100 (CET)


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EXTRAORDINARY --- It's extraordinary to hear the Prime Minister of Australia use the same
arguments to justify the stripping away of indigenous communities rights and
liberties. 'The most important civil liberty is to stay alive and unless
people are given the opportunity to do so, then you can't really start even
talking about civil liberties', is what Chinese Communist Party Politburo
members use to justify the denial of human and civil rights to their citizens.
John Howard's interview on the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday night gave
Australians a chilling insight in to the Prime Minister's attitude to both
human and civil rights for both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
Human and civil rights cannot be turned on and off like a tap, they as the
Eureka miners demonstrated 'We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by
each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties '(Eureka oath 1854)
are inalienable.

They go hand in hand with adequate food, shelter and personal security. One
cannot exist without the other. Through the ages those who exert authority
have justified the denial of these inalienable rights because of a person's
colour, race, religion or class. The stripping away of cherished rights and
liberties creates the very conditions that lead to and reinforce poverty,
hopelessness and alienation.

The Prime Minister's assertion that rights and liberties can only flow to a
community when they have been able to achieve progress in the struggle to
eliminate poverty and achieve better housing, education and health gains is
both wrong and dangerous. Those senior indigenous leaders, who have
clambered on the Prime Minister's 'practical' reconciliation bandwagon, do
both their communities and themselves a disservice. Trading away their
community's rights and liberties for access to services that the rest of
Australian society take for granted, is akin to giving away their lands for
a few blankets and a handful of trinkets.

CULTURE WARS?
The Howard government's most successful campaign has resulted in the
continued community denial of the Australian historical record. Aided and
abetted by neo-conservative historical revisionists who hold senior
positions in the Murdoch publishing empire, the Howard government has been
able, through the use of selective pedestrian historical research, to push
back the gains that were made in the 1960's, 70's and 80's. Ideas that were
thoroughly discredited during this period have once again gained prominence.

Over the past 10 years, the Howard government has stacked a series of Boards
that run public institutions with hand picked neo-conservative revisionist
who have to a large degree been able to whitewash Australian history through
a selective analysis and interpretation of historical fact. Their denials
rival the claims made by the Holocaust denial industry. The Howard
government's active support for Australia's denial industry has paid
significant dividends within the Australian community, giving people who
hold racist, anti-union, anti-immigration views an ideological framework by
which they can justify their opinions.

The denial industry has become an important tool in the hands of a
government that attempts to maintain political and ideological grip on
Australian society by reinforcing the prejudices of the past. It
reinterprets the historical record to suit its ideological jihad against the
poor, the unemployed, the dispossessed, the marginalised, racial minorities
and the trade union movement.

Supported by donations from the doddering port-swilling brigade, given a
leg-up by the ideologically blinkered Murdoch press and encouraged and
supported by the Howard government, the denial industry continues to play an
important role in shaping and reinforcing community prejudices that should
have been discarded long ago.

DEPRESSING
It's sobering to think that 1 in 25 visits to a General Practitioner in
Australia, is due to a significant depressive disorder. Depression, after
hypertension, is the single most important cause of a visit to a doctor.
It's extraordinary that in a period of human history when so many peoples'
physical needs have been met, that so many suffer major depressive
disorders. Traditionally, depression has been diagnosed as reactive or
endogenous. Reactive depression is related to a person's experiences, while
endogenous depression is related to genetic factors.

Depression in Western society is normally managed as an individual problem.
Treatment is tailored around the individual and their immediate family or
circle of friends, little if any notice is taken of societal factors. The
increasing levels of depression in wealthy Western societies, in comparison
to levels of depression in Third World countries, raises concerns about what
factors in Western society are contributing to this epidemic. It's clear
that increasing levels of depression is not just an individual problem.
Factors exist in post-modern society that makes physically well people,
mentally ill.

Alienation, poor self-esteem, increasing working hours, insecurity and a
life style devoid of any meaning, have had an impact on the collective
psyche. The replacement of the citizen ­ an individual with collective
rights and responsibilities, by the ubiquitous individual consumer, has
created a void both in expectations and outcomes. Nothing seems real or
worthwhile. All effort seems to be worthless.

The triumph of a culture that reduces everything to its individual parts and
that levies a cost on these parts, has contributed to the current depressive
epidemic. Depression is both an individual and community problem. Tackling
one and not the other, is a recipe for the creation of a society where
living becomes an individual nightmare.

LIVING TREASURE
Andrew Bolt's extraordinary attack on the artistic director of the Eureka
Dawn Lantern Walk (Herald Sun 5/12) cannot go unchallenged. I first met Mr.
Graeme Dunstan when he contacted me last year to be the 'leading light' at
the Eureka Dawn Lantern Walk in 2003. The Ballarat City Council, through
the Bendigo Fine Arts Gallery, had been supporting the dawn walk since it
was started in 1997. In 2003, funding from the City Council was withdrawn
for a number of Eureka events including the Eureka Dawn Lantern Walk.

Mr. Dunstan used his own meagre resources to ensure that the 2003 Eureka
Dawn Lantern Walk went ahead. He was paid $2500 for his role in this year's
extremely successful Eureka Dawn Lantern Walk. He spent over 300 hours,
spread over a month, to make all the necessary preparations that are
required to make the walk such a success. This means he was paid the
princely sum of $8.00 an hour for his efforts. I don't believe many people
would do the work he has done over the past 7 years for such a paltry sum.

Mr. Dunstan has not received any other arts grant money in the past 20 years
as stated by Mr. Bolt. He has no property, lives in a van and for the past
40 years has provided his services as a lantern maker to many community
festivals around Australia free of charge. Before denigrating Mr. Dunstan
from his column, Mr. Bolt would have been wise to check his facts. His
claims that Mr. Dunstan feeds off art grants are wrong. Mr. Dunstan
finished 3 years of a 4 year course at the Royal Military College at
Duntroon in the early 1960's. He was so upset by his experiences that he
has spent the last 40 years promoting peace as an alternative to war.

Graeme Dunstan is one of those unknown Australian legends who, through a
lifetime of work, have made a positive impact on this country. In my
opinion, his attempts to bring people together through his artistic
endeavours over a lifetime, far outweighs any community contributions Andrew
Bolt may have made through his superficial and divisive column in the Herald
Sun.

P.N.G. DREAMING
The placement of Australian Federal Police on the streets of Port Moresby
and the insertion of Australian bureaucrats in senior positions in the
P.N.G. bureaucracy is a direct attempt to bring P.N.G. back into the
Australian orbit. Faced with the prospect of open revolt in the South
Pacific region, the Australian government has taken the opportunity to use
its economic and military muscle to try to recreate the South Pacific in its
own image.

It's dangerous to believe that reverting to gunboat diplomacy is going to
make the South Pacific a safer place for local people. The spiraling crime
rates and the break down of essential infrastructure are outcomes that are
largely due to endemic corruption and the increasing gaps in income that
exist between those who exert power and the tens of thousands of South
Pacific Islanders who are abandoning traditional lifestyles and flocking to
live in squatter camps springing up around major urban centres.

The solutions to the escalating problems are not found in more police and
the re-imposition of gunboat diplomacy. Solutions cannot be imposed on
communities by the use of strong-arm tactics. Solutions to the current
problems are based on the redistribution of wealth. The current
unsatisfactory situation in many parts of the South Pacific is a direct
legacy of the 'divide and rule' approach that was practiced by colonial
authorities in the South Pacific. They created a local ruling class to help
them both control local people and exploit their resources. When they left,
this new ruling class continued to exercise the power they enjoyed when
their countries were colonies.

The solution to what seem to be intractable problems in the region, revolve
around breaking the monopoly on economic activity these groups enjoy, not
increased policing and a takeover of the bureaucracy and government by the
new colonial superpower in the region-Australia.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. Would an anarchist society be able to undertake a major infrastructure
project?
A. Of course it would, the problem isn't one of reinventing the wheel. The
technology is available to anyone who cares to use it. The problem is one
of needs and resources. If a need exists and people within a number of
federations agree that the project will be allocated so it can be carried
out, the problem arises when a single federation has particular needs but
doesn't have access to resources to satisfy these needs. In these
situations, surrounding federations will be asked for help to overcome the
problems that the federation faces. It's highly unlikely that these
federations that are asked for assistance will refuse. This time, it's
their neighbour that has a problem, next time it may be their turn.
Mutual aid plays a very important role in the relationship that exists
between federations. Mutual aid acts as the bond that allows federations to
attack problems collectively. It's no one's interest to hang onto excess
surpluses or to deny other federations' access to much needed resources.
Denying surrounding federations the right to access needed resources would
soon lead to conflict between groups. It's no exaggeration to say that an
anarchist society could not survive if the federations that make up that
society did not practice mutual aid. Mutual aid is the glue that keeps the
disparate parts together. Mutual aid is neither a moral or ethical
decision, it's the pathway to survival.
Even in the most authoritarian and hierarchical communities, mutual aid
plays a significant role in the lives of people within those communities.
It's quite possible that once a decision has been made to carry out a major
infrastructure project, the time taken to complete that project will be much
shorter than a similar project in a capitalist society. This will occur
because the community has been involved in the decision making process and
understands that their active participation and support will help to shorten
the length of the project.

ACTION BOX
WE'RE OFF!!
Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule was launched on Friday 3rd December
2004, the 150th anniversary of the Eureka rebellion at the Eureka stockade
site in Ballarat. The Party was launched at the Eureka stockade site
because 'direct democracy' played a pivotal role in the activities that led
up the Eureka rebellion.
Decisions were made at monster meetings that were held at Bakery Hill in
Ballarat, delegates with specific mandates were elected to carry out those
decisions. Delegates who did not carry out the mass meetings decisions were
recalled and replaced with new delegates. The Eureka rebellion is an
example of the important role that direct democracy can play in the lives of
communities.
Launching the Party is the first step; the next step requires your active
assistance. Over the next 6 months, we need to enrol over 500 members to
register the Party so we can participate in the 2007 Federal elections.
Registration of the Party gives us the advantage of being able to use the
electoral process to highlight the major differences between direct
democracy and representative democracy. We will be able to use the
electoral process to promote 'Direct Democracy' as a legitimate option.
Registration allows candidates who stand for Direct Democracy Not
Parliamentary Rule to have the Party's name placed beside their name on the
ballot paper and it allows the Party Secretary to lodge multiple nominations
across the country.
We need YOR HELP to gather the necessary members. This isn't a task that
can be done by a small organising group. Without your active help, this
idea will not get off the ground. Photocopy the membership form you
received last weekend and pass them around to your friends and families.
The time has come to raise a direct challenge to the illusion that real
power lies in parliament, that giving a signed blank cheque every 3 years to
a politician to make decisions on your behalf has anything to do with
democracy.
The future of Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule is directly in your
hands. JOIN TODAY, organise a public meeting to promote the idea that
'Democracy is rule of the people, by the people for the people' not the
charade that goes on in parliament today. Join us radically transform your
community and the world.
VOTE A RADICAL INTO PARLIAMENT, VOTE DIRECT DEMOCRACY NOT PARLIAMENTARY RULE

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
'THAT MONUMENT'
Those readers who made the pilgrimage to Ballarat for the 150th anniversary
of the Eureka rebellion and participated in any of the activities that were
held over those 3 days would have at sometime found themselves in Eureka
Park, the likely site of the Eureka rebellion.
In one corner of the park is the beaut Eureka Centre built from seeding
money given by the Federal and State government to the Ballarat City
Council. This is a modern building built a few years ago run by the
Ballarat City Council that promotes the idea that it provides a
comprehensive view about Eureka.
On the other side of the park is an old fashioned hall that was built in the
1930's that is used by various groups as diverse as the Anarchist Media
Institute, the Eureka Association, local dance groups, the CFMEU for their
annual picnic at Eureka Park and locals celebrating milestones in their
lives.
An interesting, old fashioned memorial that was built in 1884 nestles next
to the hall. Made of bluestone, rectangular in shape, a few steps lead to a
platform on which rises a monument where a marble slab that records some of
the names of the miners killed as well as the names of the soldiers killed
in the Eureka massacre was added sometime in the 1920's to the base of an
old fashioned sandstone obelisk that was erected in 1884.
On top of that rectangular monument which is around 1.5 metres high, stand 4
old fashioned cannons set into freshly painted green timber mountings that
stand on each corner of the monument. It seems the cannons were a gift of
the British government to the Victorian government for their assistance in
the Crimean War.
The Victorian State government, unsure of what to do with the 4 cannons that
it suddenly found in its possession, passed them on to the Ballarat City
Council. The Council, finding itself in possession of 4 Crimean cannons at
the very moment the Eureka monument was being built, incorporated them in to
the monument. When you first look at the monument, the placement of the 4
cannons tends to look as an after sight, as they are way too big for the
monument.
The stockade site memorial is an open monument to many of those who died on
the Eureka battlefield, as well as a silent and forgotten monument to those
colonial soldiers from Victoria who participated in the Crimean War on
behalf of mother England. What seems a very strange juxtaposition in 2004
is something that seems to have been readily accepted in 1884.

BOOK REVIEW
'THE SEVEN SISTERS OF THE PLEIADES ­ Stories from Around the World'
By Munya ANDREWS,
Spinifex Press 2004, ISBN 1 876756 45 4
To be honest, this isn't the type of book I'd normally review, but Michael
from Ocean Grove sent me a copy of 'The Seven Sisters Of The Pleiades' to
review. So here goes. Humans share common experiences which they use in
different ways to make sense of their world. Munya Andrews, a Bardi woman
from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, shares her grandmother's
story and her story with us about the role the constellation Pleiades played
and continues to play in her life.
Human beings share the night sky, different people have used the
constellations to decide when to sow, when to harvest, how to cross the
oceans and most importantly of all, how to make sense of their place in the
world. Through her grandmother's dreaming, Munya developed a deep felt
affection for the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades.
In what is a remarkable piece of research, Munya Andrews has brought
together stories across time from different cultures about the extraordinary
role the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades have played in the human history of
this planet. This isn't a rational, scientific treatise; it's an emotional,
spiritual journey that charts peoples' reactions to a constant in their
life. Munya brings together stories about the Pleiades from Hindu
mythology, Aboriginal Dreaming, Polynesian folklore, Greek legends, Japanese
folklore, Aina folk tales from Hokkaido and Ancient Egyptian stories to the
reader. The author concentrates on the repeated association of the Pleiades
with water and women's business. Story after story highlights the important
role that the Pleiades played in the lives of women in communities as far
apart as Hokkaido in Japan, India, Australia, Ancient Greece and Ancient
Egypt.
I was surprise at how many stories revolve around the stories of seven
women; The Seven Sisters of the Dreamtime, The Seven Wives of the Seven
Rishis, Seven Star Girls of Devil's Tower, Seven Daughters of Atlas and
Pleione and the Seven Little Eyes of Heaven.
I know this book has made can impact in some circles, but if I had a choice,
I don't think it's the type of book I'd have chosen to read.
'The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades' was published on the 11th of August 2004
and costs AUD$34.35. Copies are available from most bookshops. If you
can't get a hold of a copy, ring from your local bookshop, fax or write to
Spinifex Press,
P.O. Box 212, North Melbourne, 3051 AUSTRALIA.
tel:03 9329 6088 fax:03 9329 9238.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION
I'm afraid I'm all Eureka'd out. Three days of non stop remembrance. Up at
3am on Friday the 3rd December, verbal jostling with inebriated remnants of
the previous evenings concert that are warming themselves next to 44 gallon
drums, hastily erected on the Eureka monument.
4am sanity, 100 hardy souls form a circle waiting for dawn to break behind
the Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka rebellion banner on the spot
the battle took place 150 years ago. The Southern Cross gives way to the
light, the screams and groans of the injured provides a silent witness to
the monument. Hundreds gather beside the lake next to the Eureka Centre to
gawk at a choreographed spectacle bankrolled by the State government.
Massed choirs sing sugared thoughts. The Premier co-opts the celebrations
by singing the praises of Clayton's democracy. The dead diggers, bystanders
and soldiers are fortunately relieved of the need to see history rewritten
by the State to suit the interests of the moment.
Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule launched at the Eureka stockade site
150 years ago after the sons and daughters of Bakery Hill seized the moment
and rewrote history. 9am, banners raised, black and blue and white flags
raised, the long march begins. 100 excited souls reclaim the streets, walk
6 kilometres to the Old Ballarat cemetery to pay respects to workers who
died at either end of a bayonet. We regroup and march to the Ballarat
Hospital to pay our respects to Jeffrey Currie, a fellow militant in
hospital, who patiently awaits the inevitable.
The group walks off, banners raised, seizes the initiative and marches down
the main street of Ballarat to the blank stares and occasional show of
support from those who have come to shop till they drop. Bakery Hill
beckons, we swear the Eureka Oath repeating the words spoken by a 12 year
old girl who has walked over 10 kilometres with us, 'We swear by the
Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights
and liberties'.
We walk back to Eureka Park 5 hours later and join the CFMEU picnic on the
stockade site. Saturday the Diggers march, Sunday 3.30am the Eureka Dawn
Walk, the Eureka oration follows the walk. Lunch at the Old Colonist's Club
in the heart of Ballarat from midday to 5pm, raw emotion baked dry in the
oven of conformity and expectations, no wonder I'm all Eureka'd out!!

STOP PRESS
'THE BATTLE OF THE FLAGS'
Men, women and children trekked to Ballarat to pay their respects to the
dead, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Eureka rebellion. The Ballarat
City Council with the help of the State government has put on a show,
turning a sacred moment into blue and white entertainment. John Howard
stays away, Federal Parliament House surrounded by a sea of Eureka flags,
does not fly a Eureka flag from its massive flagpole.
The chattering classes tut-tut, the conservatives celebrate. The Queen's
honour remains intact, no rebel flag flying above Parliament House in
Canberra. The Ballarat City Council, a bastion of conservatism, secretly
hails John Howard, no Eureka flags for them. While the world wails about
the Prime Minister's insensitivity, the City Councillors escape public
condemnations. No Eureka flag flies from the top of Ballarat City Council.
The Councillors love the blue and white dollars the celebrations bring to
the city, but no flag flies from the highest point on City Hall.
A smaller Eureka flag shares a spot with the Aboriginal flag on a vantage
point on City Hall. No proud blue and white Eureka flag was flown from the
top of City Hall in Ballarat, although it was the 150th celebration of a
moment that continues to have enormous relevance to many people.
The Prime Minister is admonished for refusing to fly the flag. The Ballarat
City Council escapes public censure for not flying the flag at the very top
of Ballarat City Hall. If they want the city to luxuriate in the blue and
white dollar, they'll have to do better than that in 2005. If no blue and
white rebel flag flies over the top of Ballarat City Hall next year, the
blue and white brigade will keep their blue and white dollars in their
pockets.
People will come, mark the moment and keep their money in their pockets
unless the Ballarat City Council does more than pay lip service to the
Eureka spirit and flies the Eureka flag at the top of Ballarat City Hall to
mark the 151st anniversary of the Eureka rebellion.

Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
For A Self-Managed Society.

A partial review & polemical critique of
CORRUPTING THE YOUTH: A History of Philosophy in Australia, by James
Franklin, Macleay Press, Sydney, 2003
ISBN 1 876492 08 2 (With Index, 465 pages)
By Peter McGregor (Lecturer in Media & Social Studies, UWS) 11 November,
2004

WARNING: DON'T READ IF FREE SPEECH OFFENDS. CONTENTS INCLUDE IDEAS THAT MAY
DISTURB...

James Franklin, an Associate Professor in Mathematics at UNSW, a regular
contributor to philosophy journals, offers us a detailed & intensive account
of the history of the formal study of philosophy in twentieth century
Australia.
While Franklin has undertaken a substantial intellectual task, including
extensive referencing/footnotes, a twenty-page Index, & eight pages of
bibliographies & further readings, the quality of the analysis doesn't quite
match the quantity of the research.
Take the meaning of the title, deriving from one of the defining moments of
western philosophy: the execution of Socrates by the Athenian state for
'corrupting the youth'.How ? By "striving by example & precept to inculcate
the spirit of criticism, to encourage the questioning of received opinions &
traditions". (John Anderson, 'Socrates as an educator') And why ? Well,
because "the unexamined life is not worth living". In contrast to the
Sophists who used plausible argument to deceive, Socrates' method of
questioning everything, offered a powerful basis for learning, for finding
truths & gaining knowledge. (Not unlike Marx's "what we... have to do is the
ruthless critical analysis of all that exists: ruthless in the sense that it
fears not its own results, nor conflict with the powers that be".) Despite -
or rather because-he refused to repent, & was executed, Socrates'
philosophical method became perhaps the most revered epitome of the
intellectual as an honourable vocation ? Though, from the point-of-view of
vested interests & illegitimate power, a heretical, profane & dangerous
doctrine. Oscar Wilde clarified & made explicit the dangers involved:
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original
virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through
disobedience & through rebellion." ('The Soul of Man under Socialism')

STICKS & STONES CAN BREAK YOUR BONES, BUT WORDS CAN CAUSE PERMANENT
DAMAGE...
Is there some sleight-of-hand-some sophistry-in Franklin's appropriation
of this doctrine for his own purposes ? He seems to be suggesting that under
the guise of Socrates' honour & fame, various Australian (& other)
philosophers, have lead the youth astray... But perhaps it is Franklin & his
ilk who are using plausible argument to deceive ? As a contributor to
Quadrant (edited by Paddy McGuiness), & with this book published by Keith
Windshuttle, one gets an idea of the political positions Franklin may
sympathise with. For instance, he seems to turn the Socratic take on
'corrupting the youth' upside down, as he finds much of the Andersonian
legacy, as well as other socially-engaged philosophy, guilty of leading the
youth astray. (With Peter Singer as a contemporary example.) That is, apart
from David Armstrong & David Stove-whose 'realism' & (allegedly)
politically-disinterested philosophy he admires. Hence, with the demise of
their Traditional & Modern Philosophy department-while the General
Philosophy department continues on-Franklin declares: "Sydney is no longer
a city where a student can find a respectable course of study in
philosophy."

NO, YOU DON'T NEED A WEATHER-MAN TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS...
As a conservative-including the sense of hanging-on-to-what-we-have -
Franklin sees himself as a realist, who is concerned 'to protect the
majority' (Walter Lippmann's 'bewildered-herd'), from the dangerous
scepticism of ideas, idealists & change. To defend the-way-things-are, &
ensure that "most people think that nothing but this wearying reality of
ours is possible"(Nietzsche), because the alternative, that we don't live in
the best-of-all-possible-worlds, presumes an epistemology where
'you-can't-step-in-the-same-river-twice'. Rather than defining reality as
static, the-way-things-are, change is surely a necessarily part of the
equation ? However, the antidote Franklin offers, to protect the majority
from change, is Reinhold Niebuhr's 'necessary illusions' of (preferable
Catholic) religiosity & tradition, where the shepherds become the wolves.
And where "those who have put out the people's eyes, reproach them of their
blindness".(John Milton) Rather than address how history reveals that the
majority have been corrupted by various systems of hierarchical orthodoxy -
from religion & patriarchy, to capitalism & nation-states (see Fredy
Perlman's 'Against His-story, Against Leviathan !')-an examination of the
intersections between academic knowledge, & the politics of daily life, is
derided in Franklin's conservative realism.
While Marx argued that "the philosophers have only tried to understand the
world, the point is to change it", Franklin prefers to explore what he sees
as the failings of such attempts-to change the world. From Anderson's
rejection of moral 'oughts' in favour of intellectual capacities, & his
atheism whereby religious education became an oxymoron; to the
beyond-the-campus appeal of the Sydney (University) Libertarians & The Push,
a romantic, bohemianism based in a respect for critical intellectuallity & a
rejection of conventional social mores. No wonder that by the early 60s the
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney (Hugh Gough), was sermonising: "is it not the
duty of governments to ... take action" against these immoral philosophers
who are undermining (Christian) civilisation ?

I LIVE ON THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE & I DON'T NEED TO FEEL SECURE...
It can be argued that as the Situationist were formulating-in Western
Europe, (primarily France)-the most coherent critique of western society,
precipitating the rebellion in May 1968 in Paris, the Beat-generation in the
USA, & the Sydney Libertarian/Push in Australia were expressing somewhat
parallel forms of dissent.
After all, one of the key texts of the Situationists was Raoul Vaneigem's
'Treatise on living, for the use of the younger generation' (Traite de
savoir-vivre a l'usage des jeunes generations): a more conscious attempt to
'corrupt the youth', in the Socratic sense, is hard to imagine.

Vaneigem wrote of 'the alibis of power':
"philosophers & wise men who explained to the worlds of science & art that
suffering had to do with the collective life of men...society as such... By
such theses as these... an inhuman social organisation attributes the
responsibility for its cruelties to its victims themselves. A nineteenth
century critic remarked: 'Throughout contemporary literature we find the
tendency to regard individual suffering as a social evil & to make the
organisation of society responsible for the misery & degradation of its
members. This is a profoundly new idea: suffering is no longer treated as a
matter of fatality.'
" ... Men are crushed under the wardrobe. Without lifting up the wardrobe it
is impossible to deliver whole peoples from their endless & unbearable
suffering. It is terrible that even one man should be crushed under such a
weight: to want to breathe, and not to be able to. The wardrobe rests on
everybody, and everyone gets his inalienable share of suffering. And
everybody tries to lift up the wardrobe, but not with the same conviction,
not with the same energy. A curious groaning civilization.
"Thinkers ask themselves: 'What? Men under the wardrobe? However did they
get there?' All the same, they got there. And if someone comes along and
proves in the name of objectivity that the burden can never be removed, each
of his words adds to the weight of the wardrobe, that object which he means
to describe with the universality of his 'objective consciousness'. And the
whole Christian spirit is there, fondling suffering like a good dog and
handing out photographs of crushed but smiling men. 'The rationality of the
wardrobe is always the best', proclaim the thousands of books published
every day to be stacked in the wardrobe. And all the while everyone wants to
breathe and no-one can breathe, and many say 'We will breathe later', and
most do not die, because they are already dead."

Verily, Franklin's book is an exercise in sophistry, attempting, by its
defence of the wardrobe, to lead us all astray. Yet another subversive alibi
for the manufacturing-of-consent, so essential for the maintenance of
business-as-usual: the maintenance of our exploitative, inhuman & corrupt
social system, whose survival requires false consciousness that includes
education via
'(oh-so-)respectable courses of study'. Is such an education another
oxymoron ?
- PETER McGREGOR

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST ISSUE
FREEDOM, Vol.65 No.22 13TH Nov 2004, Anarchist News View 84b Whitechapel
High St, LONDON E1 7Q, ENGLAND, TEL/FAX 020 7247 9249,
www.freedompress.org.uk
KATE SHARPLEY LIBRARY BULLETIN No.40, NOV '04, bm Hurricane, London WCIN
3XX, ENGLAND, www.katesharpleylibrary.net
ROJO Y NEGRO No.171, NOV '04, Publicacion Mensual Anarcho Syndicalist, C/-
Copania 9, Pamplona / Iruna, SPAIN, tel:948224766, fax:948212399,
email.rojoynegro@ctv.es
SETTIMANALE ANARCHICO, C/-Federazione Torinese, c.50 Palermo 46, 10152
Torino, ITALY, EL/FAX:011 857850, Mobile:3386594361, email:fat@increte.it
OTHER ANARCHIST RECEIVED THIS WEEK
WOMENS ABORTION ACTION CAMPAIGN 2004, 39 Nth Parade, Auburn 2144 NSW,
AUSTRALIA TEL:02 96499744, MOBILE:0407665857
INTERNATIONALISM No.132 NOV/DEC '04, Publication of the International
Communis Current in the US, PO Box 288, NY NY 10018-0288 US.
www.internationalism.org

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ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK
Has been awarded to the Victorian Premier Steve Bracks for attempting to
subvert the radical significance of the Eureka rebellion by ignoring the
pivotal role that direct democracy played in the events that unfolded at
Ballarat 150 years ago. Equating Eureka with parliamentary democracy is
like equating the virtual world with the real world.


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Email it your friends, it's the cheapest and best birthday present you'll
ever buy them. Go on, be a devil, spoil the day of all those people you
know who wield power in society and email them the Anarchist Age Weekly
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ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK
Heard across Australia. 10am ­ 11am every Wednesday.
An anarchist analysis of local, national & international events. Tune into
your local community radio station to listen to the Anarchist World This
Week. If they don't broadcast it, ask them why not! If they're one of the
150 community radio stations around Australia that are affiliated to the
National Community Radio Satellite, they are able to broadcast the Anarchist
World This Week.


ANARCHO ­ SYNDICALIST FEDERATION ­ EAST
Wants to contact readers who are interested in finding out what they're up
to and who may want to join them. Write to them at:
P.O. BOX 2282, RICHMOND SOUTH, 3121, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.
Email: asf@yahoo.com.au Web: www.asf_east.tk

GIPPSLAND PEACE NEWSLETTER No.4 Nov / Dec 2004
This is a free newsletter for the people of the Gippsland. If you want to
get a hold of this informative newsletter, write to:
Peter Gardner (ed), C/- P.O. Box Swifts Creek, 3896, VICTORIA
Email: ngarak@bigpond.com to receive it by email.
We encourage readers to support this local initiative.

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Since last Jan's ALP nat'l conference in Sydney, when
the party firmly rejected the initiatives of Labor For Refugees & adopted
policies that pandered to the irrational & xenophobic fears in our
community, I have continued that support [of the Labor Party], torn between
a realisation that I share virtually nothing in common with the fed Labor
leadership & on the other hand the absolute necessity to defeat Howard...
"The Labor people who have joined & worked for Labor For Refugees represent
what is best in the party. They deserve so much better. In the moral vacuum
that's now fed Labor they're an embarrassing paradox-people who've not
lost the vision of a better world, who are appalled at Aust's involvement in
the illegal, immoral & unwinnable war in Iraq (the ALP was weak on the war
at the time & still is, the treatment of refugees & the failure to
distribute equitably the gains made in the economy, yet they remain in a
party that has moved so far to the right it no longer knows what it stands
for.
"As a disillusioned Labor voter said to me as I handed him a how to vote
card: 'You know what ALP stands for mate?' I said 'No'. He replied: 'It
stands for Another Liberal Party'...
"Hawke & Keating crossed the centre to the right & destroyed whatever
philosophical underpinnings ALP had with their 'reforms' of the Aust economy
in the 1980s. Those 'reforms' inevitably led to a weakening of ALP's
traditional ties, especially with its core constituents. Who does this party
now represent? When the answer to that question isn't immediately obvious,
then any party has little choice but to turn to focus groups, to the media,
to what is being said on talk-back radio, to 'expert' advisers, to
influential groups, especially business whose values now dominate our
society. The party must hear what people are saying. You then cut your cloth
to those who will buy. Weathercocks.
"It isn't surprising then that our leader in the recent election had nothing
to say about the economy. It's Labor's sort of economy. They've no other
model. Of course he was never going to speak about the two million Austs who
live in poverty or the 800,000 Aust kids in poverty. He had nothing to say
about the 65% of Austs who earn less than $600 per week & the growing
pressure on families where unpaid overtime has become the norm. He had
nothing to say about the growth of casual work & the real levels of
underemployment & unemployment.
"The Labor vision is now so narrow that our leader was never going to say
anything about int'l inequalities, about the developing world with its debt
& abysmal poverty. This is now a party that votes annually in favour of free
trade over fair trade.
"There's not a word about the scandalous Labor acceptance of the US-Aust
Free Trade Agreement. What can you say when your policy is the same as the
govt?
"Importantly, the ALP has failed to take up the challenge of defining the
so-called 'war on terror'. The 'war on terror' is open-ended nonsense. The
ALP has taken over the absurd notions of a fight between 'good' & 'evil'.
We've allowed Howard to frighten Austs with these nonsensical notions.
Howard & Bush's only solution is a fight to the death. This's no solution.
We know that it's impossible to generalise about 'terror'. We know that at
the heart of 'terror' is politics & real issues. We know that politics is
about solving problems not waging crusades.
"The ALP is undemocratic & secretative. Members are work-horses who are
trotted out around the streets during campaigns. New policies are developed
by a small clique for campaigns. Sitting candidates learn of new policies
when they are announced to the press..."
Kevin Peoples, ALP member & Secretary of Labor for Refugees in Vic.
ATNTF weekly anarchist news service visit us on the web -
www.apolitical.info to subscribe to our
email list.

If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This Publication and Leave It In
Doctors, Dentists,
Vets Waiting Rooms and In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, Libraries and
Restaurants Etc.
The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review reflect the personal
opinions of the authors, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the
publishers, the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist
Media Institute.
All material in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review can be used by anarchists,
anarchist collectives and non-profit organisations as long as the source of
the material is mentioned in the article. The Anarchist Age Weekly Review
reserves all rights as far as commercial publications are concerned.

ANARCHISM ­ ADVANCING IN DIVERSITY STRIKING IN UNISON ­ YAMAGUCHI KENJI
WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY ­ THE ANARCHIST CENTURY

NO GLOBALISATION WITHOUT DIRECT DEMOCRACY ­ ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE
'WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS TO STAND TRULY BY EACH OTHER AND FIGHT TO
DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES' ­ EUREKA REBELLION OATH 1854


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