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(en) Australia, Anarchist Age Weekly Review - #595 17th to 23rd May 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 25 May 2004 09:02:48 +0200 (CEST)


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A thousand close friends and supporters of the Prime Minister
will be attending a gala evening this Thursday in Sydney hosted
by his close friend Alan Jones to mark the 30th anniversary of his
entry into Federal Parliament. John Howard, a man who has built
his reputation as a political conservative, will be feted as the
doyen of conservative politics in Australia. It's ironic that a man
who likes to project the image that he is a political conservative
has done more to undermine this country's institutions than any
Prime Minister since Federation.

The Federal government's legislative agenda has undermined the
credibility and diminished the role of some of the country's most
important institutions. The Federal Police, the Courts,
Parliament, the Public Service and the Armed Forces are just a
few of the institutions that have been politicised by his
government. Institutions that traditionally served both the State
and the people, have, under his tutelage become de facto arms of
the government of the day. Conservatives do not support
measures that undermine the credibility of existing institutions
because they understand that such measures call into question
the role these institutions play in society. The politicisation of
State institutions is the primary tactic that has been used by
authoritarians, both from the right and the left to maintain and
extend their grip on power.

John Howard has never acted as a conservative politician, he has
always acted as an authoritarian political figure would be
expected to act. He has never hesitated when his grip on political
power has been threatened to undermine the power and authority
of this country's existing institutions if it suits his political
agenda.

The Prime Minister's political style and ideological agenda has
little if anything to do with maintaining conservative values and
everything to do with imposing his authoritarian agenda on the
Australian people by politicising the very institutions that have
evolved to protect the individual against the excesses of the
government of the day.

TWO SETS OF BOOKS

It looks like Peter Costello, the Federal Treasurer has in his last
budget indulged in a time honoured Australian past time.
Although most businesses do all the right things, some have over
the years got into the habit of keeping two sets of books ­ one
for the tax man, one for themselves. Since the Howard
government was elected into office 9 years ago, the country's
(you and me) unfunded liability for superannuation payments has
jumped from $66 billion to $99 billion. Just in case you are
wondering what unfunded liability means ­ it means that the
Federal government has to pay $99 billion to Federal public
servants when they retire. Let's give the Howard government the
benefit of the doubt and say although they haven't put the money
aside, they will be paying employee's superannuation when they
retire. Ironically there are laws in place that don't allow
companies, both large and small, the luxury of not paying their
employees superannuation contributions into a superannuation
fund. Those that don't do so face both financial and criminal
sanctions.

Getting back to Costello's 9th budget. While the Treasurer
projects that the country will achieve a $7 billion surplus next
year, he has forgotten to take into account in his figures the fact
that the Federal government has a $99 billion superannuation
black hole. Even I know that if you take away 7 from 99 you're
left with 92. No company enjoys the luxury of not paying
superannuation contributions, let alone not listing any shortfalls
in their contributions in their annual report.

Even if the Federal government is good for the $99 billion and I
have no reason to suspect they're not, you'd think that the world's
second greatest treasurer (Paul Keating was the greatest) would
have at least told the Australian people that the country will be
$92 billion in debt, not have a surplus of $7 billion next year.
That's the beauty of keeping two sets of books, you can make the
one that's out in the public arena present a picture that has
nothing to do with reality.

SHIFT OF EMPHASIS

Defend and Extend Medicare Australia, has been following a
strategy of holding public rallies to highlight the problems that
Australians face accessing the health care delivery system. As
the Federal election draws closer, they have decided to follow a
strategy that is followed by most political and community groups
­ targeting marginal electorates.

Electoral politics in this country is a matter of winning Federal
marginal seats. Political parties spend most of their time and use
most of their resources to influence the vote of about 100,000
swinging voters in marginal electorates, who after everything is
said and done determine the outcome of Federal elections. The
Howard government has skilfully used this strategy to win the last
two Federal elections, despite not winning a majority of the votes.

Over the next few months, Defend and Extend Medicare will be
holding public meetings in four marginal Liberal electorates in
Victoria Deakin, Dunkley, Flinders and MacMillan, in an attempt
to hold a blowtorch to the soft underbelly of the Government's
electoral strategy ­ health. It's important that those people who
participate in parliamentary elections have the facts at their
fingertips before they cast their ballots.

Defend and Extend Medicare believes that electors in these
marginal electorates should have an insight into the Federal
government's and the opposition parties Medicare and public
hospital policies. The only way that this can be achieved is
through going to marginal electorates and engaging in and
promoting public debate about these important issues. The more
debate and discussion, the more awareness will be generated
about the shortcomings of all the political parties health care
policies and the importance of having a well funded and
resourced public health sector and a private sector that is
accessible to everyone who needs it through a universal health
care delivery system.

SO?

It doesn't seem to matter that children and their innocent parents
continue to be incarcerated in Australian detention centres. The
acceptance of a further 92 Afghans who have been held in Nauru
as refugees makes a mockery of Howard's assertions that no one
from the Tampa would ever set foot in Australia. What may have
won the Government the election in 2001 may well turn out to be
a liability in 2004. Few people realise or care that many of the
refugees held in Nauru have been there 3 years. In that time the
Taliban were routed and now they're regrouping in Afghanistan.

Iraqi refugees in Nauru are still being treated as prisoners,
because according to the Federal government it's safe for them to
return to Iraq. Amanda Vanstone seems to have taken a less
confronting approach than the Liberal Party's great white hope,
Phillip Ruddock and more refugees are receiving temporary
protection visas. The Howard government has been able to get
away with its shabby treatment of refugees because most
Australians still believe that people who arrive in this country
without papers are criminals and terrorists.

It seems that in Australia even convicted criminals and terrorist
have more rights than refugees. Refugees can be held indefinitely
in some of the most deplorable conditions without charges being
laid. They are as much non-citizens as America's prisoners at
Camp X. Out of sight out of mind seems to be the guiding
principle that determines people's attitudes to them. If they could
be offloaded somewhere, anywhere, very few people would have
any serious objections. It's hard to reconcile the myths
surrounding this country and the way this Government treats
refugees. What at first seems incomprehensible makes a great
deal of sense when you remember what happened to indigenous
Australians and the thousands of Kanaks, some who had lived
here for over 20 years who were deported in 1904 as a
consequence of the white Australia Policy.

"SHINING INDIA"

The defect of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India, another of
those economic irrationalists parties (like the government in
Spain) that was an odds-on certainty of winning the un-loseable
election, has highlighted the bankruptcy of the privatisation
agenda. Nothing highlights the lunacy of economic irrationalists
more than the B.J.P.'s 'Shinning India' political agenda. The
problem with using the shining analogy is that although the
outside looks nice and new, the inside doesn't change.

Privatisation, deregulation and globalisation have a nice veneer
about them but no substance. The greater the degree of
privatisation and deregulation, the greater the numbers of people
miss out. The abandonment of the iron rice bowl policy in China,
the break up of the collectives in Russia and deregulation and
privatisation in Australia have only benefited a minority of the
population. Not everyone can be a capitalist in a capitalist
society. For every economic winner there are a bevy of losers.

'Shining India' was a poorly formed B.J.P. conjuring tricks that
fooled political commentators but didn't fool the Indian people.
The defeat of the B.J.P. is a shot in the arm against privatisation,
deregulation and the transfer of political power from the hands of
the people into the hands of an economic elite. The Indian
electorate instinctively understood that all that glitters isn't gold
and threw out the B.J.P., a political party that long ago lost touch
with the aspirations of ordinary Indians.

The neo-conservative experiment has well and truly failed. We
are about to witness the death throes of an ideological dinosaur
that has been tried and found to be wanting. From the ashes of
the neo-conservative funeral pyre will spring an ideological
phoenix that will breath new life into a movement that will
challenge the economic orthodoxy that has dominated the
thinking and practises of the post modern era.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. ARE ALL STATES THE SAME?

A. Although every State has the infrastructure and potential to
assume absolute power over its citizens, not all States are the
same. The amount of power those who control the State
apparatus are able to exert, depends on checks and balances that
exist and the power that people are able to exert on the State
apparatus. When the Falangists launched a military coup in
Spain in 1936, the coup was defeated because people took to the
streets and took up arms against those who attempted to usurp
power.

An anarchist living in Australia faces a different set of problems
than an anarchist living in North Korea or Saudi Arabia. The
fewer checks and balances that exist, the greater the power the
State is able to exert. As conditions change, the types of activity
that can be conducted openly changes. The greater the amount
of freedom, the greater the scope to organise and build
organisations and structures that can act as alternatives to the
State. In times of crisis, organisations that have been operating
legally may have to go underground to survive.

Once an organisation is driven underground, its ability to
influence what's going on around it, is severely limited. That's
why it's important that anarchists fight tooth and nail to protect
and extend those few liberties that we currently enjoy. Allowing
the State to remove checks and balances that exist gives them the
power to use the State apparatus to silence them. The fate of the
Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) in Australia during
World War One is a salient reminder of what happens to a
dynamic movement for radical social change when those checks
and balances are removed and an opening functioning social
movement is driven underground.

ACTION BOX
YOU MUST BE KIDDING?

In this week's Anarchist Age Weekly Review is a letter that I sent
to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mr. Mick Keelty
last week. This letter asks him to launch a criminal investigation
into allegations made by prominent Australians against the Prime
Minister John Howard, the Sydney radio commentator Mr. Alan
Jones and the chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority
Professor David Flint. These allegations were made a month ago
and interestingly no one has requested that a criminal
investigation be launched into the matter.

The best the Labor Party can do is call for a parliamentary inquiry
into the allegations. We're constantly told in this country that
we're all equal before the law and that the rule of law is the
foundation stone of Australian society. I'm sure that if the same
allegations were made against any one of us, we'd be facing a
criminal investigation. The Howard government has time and
time again asked the Federal Police to launch criminal
investigations against public servants who are suspected of
leaking material into the public arena.

It says something about the society that we have become that it
takes an anarchist to request the Federal Police to launch an
investigation. It seems the fourth estate, the bureaucracy, the
judiciary and the police seem to be unwilling or incapable of
initiating investigations into allegations against members of the
Federal government. It's both tragic and ironic that an anarchist
organisation should lead the country in this matter.

We're either equal before the law or we're not, if we're not, it's
about time this matter was brought to the public's attention. If
you're as annoyed as I am about the hypocrisy and double
standards that seem to govern life in this country, I encourage
you to take up this matter with Federal politicians around the
country. Ring them up, make an appointment, bring up the
matter with them, ask them to forward your concerns to the
Federal Police.

If you want to take up the matter directly with the Federal Police,
write to:

Mr. Mike Keelty Federal Police Commissioner G.P.O. Box 410
CANBERRA, ACT 2601.

It's important that we realise that the only thing we need to fear is
fear itself. As citizens we have rights. If we want to extend these
rights, we need to exercise these rights to let those who wield
power know they are our servants, not our masters.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
WHY EUREKA?

I received an email this week from someone who believes that the
arrival of the first fleet and the landing at Anzac Cove are much
more important as far as the history of this country is concerned,
than what happened at Eureka. It was one of those emails full of
hatred and expletives that you'd expect from someone who's lost
the capacity to argue rationally, let alone think logically. What I
found amusing was that he thought the Anarchist Media Institute
was pursuing some type of radical nationalist agenda. Talk about
confused.

Anarchists are interested in and celebrate the Eureka rebellion not
because we think it was a nationalist revolt but because of the
principles underlying the rebellion. The central elements of the
Eureka rebellion are principles that are as important to anarchists
today as they were in 1854.

The radical spirit that we want to reclaim is a spirit that's based
on direct democracy, direct action, solidarity and
internationalism. Eureka was first and foremost a rebellion about
rights ­ 'We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each
other and fight to defend our rights and liberties'.

It was based on direct democratic principles. The miners elected
delegates to carry out decisions made at monster meetings of
10,000 to 12,000 people. The miners and their supporters were
willing to take up arms and use those arms to both protect and
extend inalienable rights they believed they should have enjoyed
as human beings. They were willing to work together to fight for
these rights and they welcomed people from all races and
religions to their struggle.

Direct democracy, direct action, solidarity and internationalism
are radical principles that are as important in 2004 as they were in
1854. Anarchists, militants and activists from around Australia
will be coming to Ballarat on Friday the 3rd December to
celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Eureka rebellion, a
milestone in the history of this country that will continue to be
celebrated long after Invasion Day and ANZAC Day have been
forgotten.

BOOK REVIEW

READERS DIGEST: BOOK OF THE ROAD The Complete
Driver's Atlas and Touring Guide to Australia'
1ST Edition 1999, Reprinted 2003, ISBN 019 554015 8 Project
Editor Averil Moffat.

I'm sure most readers of the Anarchist Age Weekly Review have
at some time travelled along the highways and byways of
Australia. In many cases it's only when you get home that you
realise that you did too much driving and too little looking. I'm
impressed by this 464-page colossus. Every road, every track,
every town, every roadhouse listed. Not only are they listed, each
page begins with a short historical account of the area on the
map.

There is also information about the major towns on the map and
most importantly of all, a list of local festivals. I was really
impressed when I saw Coochiemudlo Island listed in the Index
­ Page 381 L10. (Yes I've been to Coochiemudlo Island) If
you're about to do that around Australia trip you've been
promising yourself for the last 30 years, you can't go past the
Book of the Road. Behind the detailed maps lays a fund of useful
information. This isn't an accommodation book, it's much more.

Although comprehensive, the Book of the Road is more of a how
to get to a place book than what can I do when I get there book.
Major cities are poorly catered for, you'd need city maps if you're
going to spend time in larger cities and towns as the book is
designed to facilitate your journey not provide comprehensive
guides to major population centres. Another weakness is the
poor quality of the information about Aboriginal communities and
indigenous history. Apart from those concerns, it does what it
sets out to do, provide a comprehensive guide to every nook and
cranny in the land.

The book is well designed, easy to read, portable and gives a good
account of the country you're driving through. You can use it for
a short trip or a round Australia trip. I usually keep away from
Readers Digest books as they tend to be full of self righteous
articles that have little to offer humanity. In this case I'm happy
to say that my misgivings are not warranted. If you do a lot of
road travel, this is the book for you. If you never leave the city or
fly from A to B, you won't get much value from the Book of the
Road. Cost? I have no idea, as my copy was a gift. This is one
of those books that require a huge organisation to research and
print. That is why Readers Digest has done it so well.

I'm happy with it. The only problem is cost, not the cost of the
book, but the cost of petrol relative to the cost of airfares. If you
enjoy that rotten egg unleaded petrol smell wafting past your
nasal hairs, you can't go past Book of the Road.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION

There is nothing more satisfying in life than opening your eyes to
find that the room you're sleeping in, is bathed in sunlight.
Opening one eye than the other, you think about getting up, close
your eyes again. You're alive!! Soon you find yourself struggling
with the twin demands of lying in bed and letting the warm
sunlight play with your body and the rush of responsibilities
swirling through your head.

The demands of everyday living clash with the demands of the
moment. You decide to stay warm, lie in bed and re-examine the
familiar walls with the eye in you mind. Autumn sunlight has a
special quality about it that purges the soul of the strictures of
existence. Nature finally steps in, hours of sleep have produced
bucket loads of waste that needs to be expunged.

The longer you stay in bed enjoying the autumn sunshine
streaming into your life, the more you become aware of the needs
of your bladder. You drift off but wake a few moments later, you
either get up or wet the bed. The magic has dissipated, biological
reality has cut in with a vengeance. We are human, we suffer, we
are told we are cursed with original sin. Once you're up,
everything else falls into place, the mundane takes precedence
over pleasure.

Multilingual mumbo jumbo creeps into life as we go through the
motions of existence, waiting for Godot or was that God, poising
as Godot. 101 tasks take precedence over the warm autumn
sunshine. The cat knows that the human race is flawed and
suffers from original sin. It sits in the warm autumn sunshine,
eyes closed, its body attuned with its natural environment.

Animals don't have souls, the Pope has told us they don't. They
enjoy the moment while we worry about what could have been
and the vagaries of the future. The present doesn't exist except
for the moment when we open our eyes in the morning and know
we are alive.

STOP PRESS
IT DON'T MATTER

Whether voters believe that they will be better off under the
budget doesn't really matter. The budget was not targeted at the
country as a whole, it was targeted at the 13 marginal electorates
that will determine the Howard government's fate at the next
Federal election. It's wrong for Phillip Hudson, the Sunday Age's
political reporter in Canberra (16/5), to get too excited about the
Sunday Age's Tarvener Poll findings.

The Costello budget is carefully crafted to meet the expectations
of aspirational voters in marginal electorates. It's likely that the
next Federal election will be decided by less than 100,000
swinging voters in 13 marginal Federal electorates. Swinging
voters tend to be swayed by what the Government can do for
them, not what they can do for the community. It's interesting to
note that families with children under 6 and between 12 and 17,
are more likely to vote for the Coalition as a consequence of
Howard's 'most family friendly budget Australia has ever had'.

These are the very swinging voters that this budget is aimed at.
Families with children tend to live in that swag of outer urban
marginal electorates that has seen the Howard government win
office with 49% of the vote. Voters who live in safe electorates do
not count. Opinion polls that are not directed at marginal
electorates do not count. Electoral politics revolve around the
aspirations of less than 100,000 swinging voters in marginal
seats, nothing else matters. The political and electoral process
has become corrupted by the electorate-based system. It's time a
debate was initiated about whether parliamentary politics as
practiced in Australia has anything in common with the
democratic traditions that are needed to create a classless and
tolerant society.

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

FILM REVIEW
THE PENTAGON PAPERS
Director Rod Holcomb. 94 min. 2003. USA

Made for TV, The Pentagon Papers is based upon the true story
of Daniel Ellsberg, whose actions at the time were considered to
be acts of treason. A Pentagon analyst, he worked with
information regarding the Vietnam War. His final goal & largest
achievement was to make known to the public what has been
known as the Pentagon Papers, a descriptive outline that revealed
the truth about the US engagement in the Vietnam War. There
are no subtitles or extras in the DVD feature. Review by Greg
Hurney.

ENTERTAINMENT *** POLITICS*****


LOYALTY TO HUMANITY IS TREASON TO
GOVERNMENT

The truth turns out to be that US Presidents, of both Democratic
& Republican parties, from Eisenhower through Kennedy,
Johnson & Nixon used the "fear" of threats abroad to consolidate
their regimes at home. On behalf of the military industrial
complex now known as Corporate Capitalism these politicians &
generals lied & escalated to become the superpower of the planet.
Daniel Ellsberg (James Spader) was born in Detroit, Michigan in
1931; obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard
University; served in the US Marine Corps for 2 years before
returning to Harvard to obtain his doctorate in economics. With
stunning educational credentials he moved on in 1959 to join the
RAND Corporation, to server as an analyst for their economics
department.

WAR GAMES

After 1961, Ellsberg & his colleagues at the RAND Corporation
began testing various scenarios & possibilities for what could
occur during wartime, essentially what is known as war games.
During this time Ellsberg wrote a paper in regards to the Vietnam
War that caught the eye of some in the Pentagon propagating
Mutually Assured Destruction. In 1964 Ellsberg was recruited by
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to work as an analyst at
the Pentagon. This was somewhat of a dream of Ellsberg, as he
always had a strong desire & sense patriotism to serve his
country. Prior to leaving for Washington, Ellsberg was reveled
with an unsettling truth. His wife wanted a divorce. Ellsberg
emotionally torn couldn't sway his wife to change her mind; he
even entertained the idea to change. But Ellsberg always had this
strong sense of patriotism & most likely could never be changed.
So when he arrived in Washington he was given an office in the
basement, where he devoted his life to studying intelligence from
Vietnam. After finding that reported intelligence couldn't be
trusted, as some intelligence contradicted other intelligence, he
volunteered to be sent to join US soldiers in Vietnam to confirm
authenticity of the info being sent to Washington. It was
imperative the info being given to the president be truthful, as
decisions made upon those would determine the lives of
thousands. While he originally intended for this journey to
Vietnam to be short, Ellsberg ended up spending over 2 years.
During his time spent in Vietnam, Ellsberg learned that the
intelligence being returned was in fact not accurate. He witnessed
the Phoenix Programme & its interrogations ie. torture a village
"pacification" ie. massacre & the lack of any real body count.
Upon his return to the US he drafted a very long document in
regards to his findings. After which he returned to his old position
in the RAND Corporation.

A 47-volume document was produced, top secret & highly
confidential records regarding the US true involvement in the
Vietnam War, The Pentagon Papers. Having worked on the
document, Ellsberg demanded to obtain a copy. No longer being
tied into the Pentagon, he didn't have access. But through the
RAND Corporation he was able to get his hands on a copy. With
the truth in his hands, Ellsberg learned of a true conspiracy within
the govt. He desired this truth be made known to the public & as
a "whistleblower" photocopied the documents & passed them on
to the New York Times and Washington Post. The Nixon lead
regime had the New York Times stopped from reporting the
documents, the paper appealed to the Courts & the govt lost.
Meanwhile the Washington Post also began to reproduce the
documents & Ellsberg's psych office was burgled by the
Watergate break-in crew. The Washington Post exposed the dirty
tricks & finally after a year of legal prosecution Ellesberg's case
was dismissed on "mistrial" grounds. There are no subtitles or
extras in the DVD version. Review by Greg Hurney.

ENTERTAINMENT *** POLITICS*****

TRIVIA: See also: The Fog of War (Robert McNamara from
Vietnam War to the World Bank plunder) currently showing at
selected cinemas. Other Vietnam era flicks: All The President's
Men; The Falcon & the Snowman; Jacob's Ladder, Platoon,
Boys From Company C, Full Metal Jacket, Tigercage & for the
bizarre inclined: John Wayne's pro-Vietnam War film Green
Berets.

Books: Vietnam at 24 Frames a Second, Jeremy M Devine.
1995. A critical analysis of 400 films about the Vietnam War
ISBN 029271601x. For an Aussie perspective: cultural battles,
the meaning of the Vietnam-USA war. 1998. Essays by Peter
McGregor ISBN 0958554900 Internet: http://ellsberg.net/

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST
ISSUE

ANARCHO-SYNDICALIST REVIEW, No.38 WINTER 2004,
P.O. BOX 42531, Philidelphia PA 19101, UNITED STATES.
www.syndicalist.org EMAIL: asr@labourstart.zzn.com

CNT No.301 may 2004, Organo de la Conf. Nac'l del Trabajo,
Pza Tirsio de Molina 5-2 28012 MADRID, SPAIN, Tel
913690838 / 913690792, Fax: 914200856,
redaccion@periodcocnt.org

FREEDOM Vol.65 No.5, 6th MARCH 2004, Anarchist News &
Views, 84b Whitechapel High St, London E17QX, ENGLAND
Email:FreedomCopy@aol.com

LE LIBERTAIRE No.246 MAY '04, Revue de synthese
anarchiste, Boite Postale 745, 76060 Leitavre Cedex FRANCE
Tel:(0148414594),
www.le-libertaire.org,libertaire@normandnet.fr

PENSAMIENTO NO.44, WINTER 2004, Conferedacion
General del Trabajo (CGT), Colle Sagunto 15, 28010, Madrid,
SPAIN, Tel:915931628, Fax:914453132, email:spac.cgt@cgt.es

ROJO Y NEGRO CGT No.103 FEB 2004, CGT, C/-Compania9,
10 1zda, 31001 Pamploma/Iruna SPAIN, Tel:948224766,
Fax:948212399, email:suscripciones@rojonero.info

TIERRA Y LIBERTAD No.187 FEB 2004, Periodico Anarquista,
Apartado 7.056 de Madrid, 28080 SPAIN, Tel:917970424,
Fax:915052183, tierraylibertad@nodo50.org

UMANITA NOVA Vol 84 No.14 EL 25TH APRIL 2004,
Settimanale Anarchico, C.50 Palermo 46, 10152, Torino ITALY.
tel/fax (011) 857850 Mobile 338-6594361 email:fat@inrete.it

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CHOMSKY CLUELESS
By James Emerton, Independent Activist

Noam Chomsky, well known for his clear-headed critiques of US
imperialism & of the system called 'bourgeois democracy'
(otherwise known as liberal or parliamentary democracy in
academic circles), has taken a strange turn in his politics. From
the clear-headed Chomsky, he's turned into just another
academic who's utterly clueless in their understanding of
bourgeois democracy & electoral politics. So what has changed?
His fear of what George W. Bush could possibly do is steering
him into that direction.

In an interview published on March 10 in Z Magazine ('Alam
Interviews Chomsky'), he stated in relation to the upcoming US
election: 'In a very powerful state, small differences may translate
into very substantial effects on the victims, at home & abroad. It's
no favor to those who are suffering & may face much worse
ahead, to overlook these facts. Keeping the Bush circle out means
holding one's nose & voting for some Democrat?' He's been
sending the same message in his more recent interviews &
articles. What he's advocating is a vote for John Kerry.

The anarchist position on voting in electoral elections & politics is
that it's not a useful tool in creating a voluntary, non-hierarchical
& classless society. Every few years in almost all 'western'
nations & in some 'eastern' nations, citizens are given the option
of which group of people they will give blank cheques to make
decisions for them for the next few years.

Irrespective of what citizens are promised, a politician can legally
change their mind while they're in parliament & an elector can do
nothing about it until the next election. Even this scenario is an
illusion b/c real power doesn't lie in parliament, but rather in the
boardrooms of corporations. What parliament can or can't do is
not only prescribed by a constitution, but also limited by the
needs of an economic system it doesn't control. In order to put
pressure on the political & corporate elite for change, people are
encouraged not to vote (or vote informal) & also fight for change
via extra-parliamentary means. (Apologies to Joseph Toscano for
using mostly his arguments on the anarchist position.)

In Chomsky's argument, it's interesting to note that he makes an
appeal to 'reduce human suffering' by voting for the billionaire
presidential candidate, who's already promised to stay in Iraq &
place 40,000 extra troops. That seems to be at the root of all
reformist political opinions?that the job of the 'left' is to 'reduce
human suffering', no matter what it takes. One of the things it
takes is gross historical ignorance. In 1964, the Republicans
nominated Barry Goldwater as their presidential candidate. He
was seen to be the 'warmonger' & Lyndon Johnson (Democrat)
the 'peace candidate'. More than a million Vietnamese were
murdered by US imperialism upon Johnson's election as
President. What politicians will actually do once elected is
impossible to predict in detail, but it will always be bad unless
there's massive discontent & even rebellion in the streets.

But is it the job of anarchists to 'relieve human suffering'? Are we
here to just 'help people', through charity or other means? It's not
a problem for individuals to devote time & energy toward the
immediate alleviation of human suffering, although they'll not
reduce the totality of it with any measurable effect. The quarrel is
those who wish to place 'relieving human suffering' at the heart
of our project; we would never find ourselves attacking the root
cause of human suffering ­ class society! However, Chomsky
argues otherwise. In his standard email response to questions
relating to his 'reluctant' endorsement of Kerry, he argues
'activist movements, if at all serious, pay virtually no attention to
which faction of the business party is in office, but continue with
their daily work, from which elections are a diversion ­ which
we can't ignore, any more than we can ignore the sun rising; they
exist.' This is a strange statement, if anything. Here, he admits
that bourgeois elections are a diversion from our real work &
then, in the same sentence, asserts that we 'cannot ignore them'
b/c 'they exist'. The US military exists. Why not take part in that?
The clueless Chomsky further stated: 'Those who prefer to ignore
the real world are also undermining any hope of reaching any
popular constituency.'

If he'd been observing the presidential elections of the last
decade, he'd not say this at all. Half of the eligible voting US or
more already ignore the so-called real world. It seems the
potential 'popular constituency' for those who reject electoral
politics is rather large. Why does Chomsky insist to tell these
people to vote in what they recognise as a farce; especially since
he also recognises it as a farce? In this election Chomsky should
be telling the US people the plain truth. No one they vote for is
going to change their life for the better. If they want a better life,
they'll have to fight for it.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

MELBOURNE CONFERENCE 21ST ­ 24TH MAY
2004-05-17 http://stateofemergency.nomasters.org

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE
WEEK
Has been awarded to the Bush administration's spin doctors for
calling torture 'prisoner abuse' and for the government gelded
ABC and the corporate media for gorging themselves on the
White House spin doctors.

Abuse ­ 'wrong or improper use'

Torture ­ 'the act of inflicting excruciating pain especially from
sheer cruelty or in hatred'

YOU DECIDE!!

STAMP APPEAL We spend over $500.00 on postage stamps
per month. If you're writing to us or have any spare stamps
floating about stuff them into the envelope & send them to us.
JOIN our $5.00 a month group & send us a book of 10 50 cent
stamps every month.

EMAIL MADNESS Have access to cyberspace? Want to help us
save on printing & postage costs? Then why don't you receive
the AAWR by email? INTERESTED?? Then email us at
anarchistage@yahoo.com & arrange to have the weekly emailed
to you.

ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK 3CR RADIOTHON
10AM ­ 11AM WEDNESDAY 16TH JUNE 2004

I'm afraid it's that time of year again. Yes, your nightmares have
come true. It's 3CR RADIOTHON time. Firstly I'd like to thank
you once again for your support over the past few years and
hopefully your support this year. As you most likely know 3CR is
the only radio station in Australia that has given anarchists
consistent access to the airwaves. Over the past 26 anarchists
have had a voice at 3CR. The money donated during 3CR's,
yearly radiothon is used to keep the station on air 7 days a week,
twenty-four hours a day.

So, get out that moneybox, stop consuming legal and illegal mind
altering substances and put your pennies aside for the
RADIOTHON. Enjoy the delicious irony of knowing that you can
obtain a LEGIT tax deduction for donating to the 3CR radiothon
and supporting the Anarchist world this week.

In order to guild the lily we are offering a weeks subscription to
the Anarchist Age Weekly Review for every two dollars you
donate. If you donate $100 dollars you will receive a years
subscription to the Anarchist Age Weekly Review. Everybody
who donates to 3CR as a consequence of the Anarchist World
this week will also receive a poster that gloats about how they
received a legal tax deduction from the Howard government for
supporting the Anarchist World this week on 3CR and post to
P.O. BOX 5035 ALPHINGTON 3078 MELBOURNE

All you have to do is either put a cheque or money order made
out to 3CR in the stamp addressed enveloped provided and send it
off ASAP or You can ring in between 10.00am to 11.00am on
WEDNESDAY the 16th of June and make your pledge to 3CR
during the special radiothon program.

Telephone (03) 9419 8377 or (03) 9419 0155.

BOOK LAUNCH
THE DISSIDENT GURU By Allan Scarfe 6.00 ­ 7.30pm
FRIDAY 4TH JUNE 20904 WARRNAMBOOL CITY LIBRARY
Liebig Street, WARRNAMBOOL, VICTORIA.

Ring the library on 5562 2258 by Friday the 28th May to confirm
you are going

******** THANKS ********

We'd like to thank the folk behind All The News That Fits for
buying us a domain name that will make it much easier for people
to access the Anarchist Age Weekly Review.

http://anarchistmedia.org Our email address remains the same
anarchistage@yahoo.com

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.

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
CONSERVATIVE?

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



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