(AA)++ AAWR 211

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Wed, 7 Aug 1996 22:00:31 +0200

Number 211

5th - 11th August, 1996

Superannuation is an unequal three way binding contract
between workers, the corporate world and the government of
the day. Every week every wage earner in Australia is forced
to hand over part of their weekly wage to create a little nest
egg for their old age. The richer the worker the bigger the
nest egg at retirement age. The corporate world has come to
rely on workers superannuation payments as their seeding
capital for speculative ventures on the world's stock markets.
Over thirty percent of capital that flows through the world's
stock markets comes directly from money that is deducted
from workers wages. As superannuation contributions grow,
governments lick their chops at the thought of milking the
superannuation cash cow.

Both the corporate world and governments see workers
superannuation contributions as their personal savings. Today
we have the ridiculous situation where the very money that
workers earn from their forced involvement in a capitalist
society is being used to prop up and bankroll the worst
excesses of capitalism. As the corporate world fritters these
savings away, governments continue to enact and pass
legislation that not only ensures that workers will be given a
trickle of their savings when they retire. It also views these
assets as a cash cow that can be milked when they want access
to money. The loser in this unequal contract has always been
the worker who has been forced to bankroll this nightmare.

The current debate surrounding the Federal governments
attempts to change current superannuation protocols,
highlights how vulnerable superannuation contributions are.
Irrespective of how hard people try to and how long people
make superannuation payments for, at the end of the day they
are lucky if they receive as much money as an ordinary old age
pension. Superannuation is one of the biggest cons of the 20th
century. Anybody who honestly believes they will receive a
lump sum to retire on, needs to look at the small print as far as
their superannuation contributions are concerned.

The increasing percentage of weekly wages that goes into
superannuation payments is little more than highway robbery.
Money is being taken out of workers pockets to bankroll an
economic system that exploits them not only while they work
but in retirement. It's no accident that governments and the
corporate world are so keen for workers to contribute to
superannuation schemes. Without contributions to
superannuation schemes, capital would be hard pressed to find
the necessary funds to extend their global empire.

When you take a close look at the situation, as a society we are
about to move from a system that provides the basic necessities
for people who have contributed to society all their lives, to a
system where the retiree becomes responsible for their own
pension payment. The generous provisions that were part and
parcel of the countries first superannuation schemes, were
designed in such a way as to give workers the impression that
they would be able to retire with a lump sum. The reality is
very different, when a worker retires they will be provided
with a weekly payment which is similar to the current pension

We are moving from a scheme that provides retirees with a
basic income irrespective of whether they worked in the waged
or non-waged sector(home sector) to one where those who
received wages for their efforts will receive better retirement
benefits than those who worked in the non-wage sector. We
are in the middle of a transition process where a universal old
age pension system is going to be replaced by a pension system
that mirrors an individuals income during their working life.
It's a national tragedy to see so many people used and abused
by the corporate sector and government.

It's over for the next four years. In one thousand five hundred
and two days the Olympic Games will be sprung on an
unsuspecting Australian public. Over two hundred Nation
States will disgorge their finest athletes to strut their stuff for
them. Listening to the hype surrounding the end of the
Atlanta games it's obvious that the Olympics are nothing more
than a great big show case for the corporate world. So much
national pride is tied up with the efforts of the Olympic
athletes, the athletes themselves are little more than disposable
bodies to be replaced at a moments notice, if they are not good
enough to beat the world.

As Sydney prepares for the 2000 Olympics batches of children
are being pushed and prodded to see if they can come up with
the goods for the 2000 Olympics. National pride is at state, it
doesn't matter how many children are exploited so that
Australia can produce athletes who can win fifty or sixty
medals in Sydney. Does it really matter who can jump
highest, run fastest or swim fastest. When you think about it,
it doesn't make much different if a runner represents North
Korea, or the United States. Are Nation States who win more
medals than others somehow superior? Are the billions of
couch potatoes who see the Olympic Games through the
filtered lens of the corporate sector, somehow uplifted by their
experience? Are Australians brighter and better than most
other people in the world, because as a Nation our politicians
are willing to bankroll a sporting system whose goal it is to
produce world beaters? Of course not. In many ways the
methods Australian sporting officials are using today are the
very methods that they criticised the Communist world for

The post-modern Olympics have travelled way beyond their
use by date. As a spectacle they may quicken the pulse, as a
gathering of the world's athletes they leave a lot to be desired.
Nationalism and commercialism have become the
cornerstones of the post-modern Olympics. If the Olympic
games continue to go their merry way Sydney 2000 will be a
nightmare not a joyous gathering of the world's best athletes.

After years of protests about the behaviour of the New South
Wales Police a Royal Commission was called by the New
South Wales government to investigate the large number of
allegations about corruption in the New South Wales Police
Force. After years of allegations about the behaviour of the
Australian Federal Police the coalition government has been
forced to launch an investigation into allegations about
corruption and illegal behaviour. It's interesting to note that
the Federal government has stopped short of calling a Royal
Commission into the numerous allegations that have been
made against the Australian Federal Police.

Obviously they're aware of that important political maxim,
don't call a Royal Commission unless you know the outcome
of the investigation. It's obvious that calling an inquiry into
the Federal Policy Force is tantamount to giving the Federal
Police a fresh coat of whitewash. The only body that has the
power to force witnesses to co-operate with an inquiry is a
Royal Commission. Calling an inquiry into the actions of the
Federal police is akin to asking somebody how many rooms
there are in a house, when you don't give them permission to
enter the house.

I don't expect the proposed inquiry into the Australian Federal
Police to come up with any major findings of corruption. You
can be assured that the corrupt members of the Federal Police
are celebrating the governments decision not to call a Royal
Commission into the A.F.P. If you look at the dirt that's been
exposed by the New South Wales Royal Commission into
police corruption you'd realise the only way that information
has been able to be collected was by the Royal Commission
using it's power to force witnesses to answer questions.
Anybody who believes that an inquiry will come up with any
important findings needs to look at the findings of the plethora
of inquiries that were held into the New South Wales Police
Force before the Royal Commission was called. Not one of
those inquiries that was held over a twenty year period was
able to find any major problems with the New South Wales
Police Force. So much for inquiries.

Fat chance that the Victorian Association will do anything to
prevent the expulsion of Constable Karl Konrad from the
Victorian Police Force. In one of the Victorian Police's finest
moments the Victorian police hierarchy have given the whistle
blower Constable Karl Konrad his marching orders because of
his unsatisfactory record as probationary constable. Over the
past 12 months Victorians have been witnesses to a sad little
saga that has seen Constable Karl Konrad lose his job because
he exposed some low level police corruption.

The extraordinary but expected sequel of Karl Konrad's
exposure of police corruption is the lack of support he has
received from his fellow police officers, the police hierarchy,
the State government, the Minister of Police and his own trade
union, the Victorian Police Association. Karl Konrad is right
when he says that policing in this State is bathed in a culture
of corruption. It's interesting to note that Victoria's beloved
Premier Kim Il Kennett has resisted all attempts to call a
Royal Commission into the Victorian Police Force. When you
analyse the close and friendly relationship between the
government and the Victorian Police it's obvious that the
Kennett regime is not going to do anything to sabotage its
relationships with Victorias finest. Poor Karl Konrad has
found out that there's no place for an honest person in any
police force anywhere in the world.

If anybody is stupid enough to believe what they see, hear and
read in this mass media, they could be forgiven for believing
that Crown Casino is a big vacuum cleaner which makes
millions from vacuuming the pockets of overseas high rollers
who get into Melbourne to give away their pennies to the good
souls who own Crown Casino.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The bulk of the
money that is turned over in Crown Casino comes from the
pockets of Victoria's both employed and unemployed not high
rollers. Many of the high rollers that jet into Melbourne go
home with bulging pockets, while most Victorians who put
their heads through the doors of Crown Casino came home
with empty pockets. Crown Casino is a cancer draining the
life blood of this State. It's malignant tentacles have spread
into schools, hostels, elderly peoples organisations and many
community groups. Through a series of clever inducements
they encourage schools, clubs and hostels to organise groups to
go to the Casino. The eventual pay off for these groups is that
a small amount of money will go back to the schools or clubs
that organise these wonderful outings. The going rate at
present is a $250 dollar donation to the school or club that
organises an outing to the Casino. Considering that Judas was
paid thirty pieces of silver to finger Jesus you'd think that
many of these clubs and groups would hold out for more that
two hundred and fifty dollars.

I looked everywhere trying to find a few lines or hear a few
words spoken about the significance of the 6th of August. The
only thing that I stumbled across was an inane campaign to
encourage people to fill in their census form. Ah I said to
myself the 6th of August must be important because it's census
day. On digging back into the recesses of my memory I
suddenly realised that the 6th of August marks the 51st
anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic bomb on
Hiroshima. Fifty one years ago tens of thousands of people in
Hiroshima and six days later in Nagasaki learned first hand
about the dawning of the nuclear age. Fifty one years later not
one major media outlet in Australia remembered the
significance of the 6th of August. Most were too busy
encouraging people to participate in that tawdry little exercise
of filling out a census form.

It's significant that no-one in the Bureau of Statistics realised
that their pathetic little exercise clashed with Hiroshima day.
As the coalition government embarks on a major campaign to
blow the lid off the former governments three mine uranium
policy, it's significant that no-one apart from the Friends of the
Earth raised the question of Australia's increased participation
in the world's nuclear industry. The 6th of August is
important because it raises questions about the devastation one
small nuclear bomb can wreck. It's important because it raises
questions about the viability of the worlds nuclear industry and
Australia's increased participation in this cycle of death.

I'm distressed to think that so few people remembered
Hiroshima Day. I'm distressed to think that somehow the
compulsory collection of data by the State is more important
than remembering what happened 51 years ago. So much for
the priorities of post-modern civilisation and our government.

Q. Would there be any role for a Stock Market in an
Anarchist Society?
A. The stock market is a mechanism by which corporations
and individuals raise capital to finance projects. Capital is
normally raised from workers superannuation contributions,
financial institutions and private investors. Theoretically the
stockmarket acts as a reservoir of fuel for capital. Practically
the stock market has little relationship with the stability and
profitability of a corporation. The main factors that drives
various stock markets across the globe are speculative factors.
Windfall profits and losses are made as a consequence of
speculation not productivity.

There is no need for a stock market in an anarchist society, as
access to capital is not interlinked with productivity. The
three main factors that govern productivity in an anarchist
society are access to resources, human need and people.
Access to capital is not required to initiate or carry out a
project. If you cannot access capital you cannot initiate or
carry out a project in a capitalist society. The single most
important driving force in a capitalist society is the need to
accumulate capital through involvement in profit making
ventures. The human and social costs that are required to
generate profits are of no concern to people and agents who
invest capital in the stock market.

The principles that an anarchist society are based on are
diametrically opposed to the principles that a capitalist society
are based on. The satisfaction of human needs not a mad
scramble for profit irrespective of the human and social costs
forms the cornerstone of an anarchist society. You don't need
access to capital to initiate projects to satisfy human needs.
You do need access to resources and people to satisfy these
human needs. The ultimate difference between a capitalist
and anarchist society revolves around the concept of security.

Insecurity is the dominant feature of a capitalist community.
If you don't have access to capital your life can become a never
ending struggle. Security is one of the dominant features of an
anarchist community. If you're a member of that community
you have access to the wealth of that community. Your access
to wealth and support is determined by your participation in
the community, it is not determined by access to capital.

There is a need for institutions that co-ordinate access to
resources in an anarchist society. There is no need for
institutions which collect and redistribute capital. As
resources and land are held in common, the concept that
capital is the primary fuel of an economy becomes irrelevant.
In such a society there is no need for anything resembling a
stock market.

It's very tempting to pull the blankets over our heads and just
wait for all of it to go away. Unfortunately irrespective of how
hard we try to hide it won't go away. If we want to change the
society we live in and if we want to cope with and survive the
pressures we face everyday, we need to keep abreast of what's
happening in our society. The problem that we are faced with
in post modern capitalist society is not a lack of information,
but an avalanche of information.

Although we are bombarded with an overwhelming barrage of
information, most of this information reinforces societies most
dominant moves. Most of the material that appears is based
on a number of underlying assumptions. Whether we watch
news, read newspapers or magazines or listen to radio we are
faced with a set of assumptions that assume that competition
capitalism and the nation state are the lifeblood of all

Irrespective of how difficult it is, it's important to try to
understand what's going on around us. Although we are
flooded with irrelevant information, it's important that we try
to understand what's happening around us and the changes
that are going on in society. To be informed is to be
forewarned. Irrespective of how a particular piece of
information is presented, it's possible to obtain some useful
material from it. It's important to listen to those around us.
It's important to read what is being written and it's important
to see what's happening.

We can't expect people who have a different agenda to see and
analyse the situation for us. Fortunately we can still rely on
the media to bring us the bare bones of what is happening in
Australia and many parts of the world. Take the recent riots
in Jakarta, most media outlets have reported on these events,
some have provided an analysis of these events. As anarchist
supporters and activists we should be able to analyse the
situation and draw conclusions from the information that is
presented to us. Unless we have access to information we will
never be able to understand what's going on around us.

It's important to make the effort to keep informed. It's
important to look at, listen to and read what's available. If as
individuals and groups we decide to pull the blankets over our
heads we'll never be able to change what we find distressing
and unacceptable. By keeping informed we can keep one step
ahead of what's happening in our community and society at

The Melbourne Anarchist Club was formed on the 1st of May
1886, partly as a response of a call by the Federation of
Organised Trade and Labour Unions of the U.S. and Canada
for the 1st of May 1886 to be a day of international working
class solidarity. The club was the first known anarchist
organisation formed in Australia. The foundation members of
the Melbourne Anarchist Club were the Australian born
brothers David and William Andrade and Fred Upham from
Rhode Island U.S.A.

David Andrade wrote the manifesto of the Melbourne Anarchist
The objectives of the Melbourne Anarchist Club were:
1) To foster public interest in the great social questions of the
day, by promoting inquiry in every possible way; to promote
free public discussions of all social questions; and to circulate
and publish literature, throwing light upon existing evils of
society and the methods necessary for their removal.
2) To foster and extend the principles of self reliance, self help
and a spirit of independence amongst the people.
3) To uphold and maintain the principles of Liberty, Equality
and Fraternity. By Liberty we mean 'the equal liberty of each,
limited alone by the equal liberty of all.' By Equality we mean
'the equality of opportunity for each individual.' And by
Fraternity we mean 'that principle which denies national and
class distinction asserts the brotherhood of men and says' "the
world is my country".
4) To advocate and seek to achieve, the abolition of all
monopolies and despotism's which destroy the freedom of the
individual and which thereby check social progress and
5) To expose and oppose the colossal swindle, government
and to advocate abstention from voting, resistance to taxation
and private co-operation or individual action.
6) To foster mutual trust and fraternity amongst the working
people of all ranks and turn their attention to the common foes,
the priests and politicians and their co-adjutors attacking
principles rather than individuals.
7) To invite the co-operation of all, who have realised the
innate evils of our governing institutions and desire their
speedy dissolution for the general benefit of humanity.
8) To promote the formation of voluntary institutions similar to
the Melbourne Anarchist Club throughout Victoria and the
neighbouring colonies and with their consent to eventually
unite with them forming the Australasian Association of

The Melbourne Anarchist Club manifesto has been reprinted
from Anarchism and State Violence in Sydney and Melbourne
1886-1896 page 60, 61 by the Australian anarchist historian
Bob James. This book was published in 1986 and is available
from most Australian anarchist bookshops and book outlets.

Some people think it's strange that that great supporter
of dictatorships around the world, the United States of
America has shown some concern about what's
happening in Indonesia. Well their response is to be
expected. Over the next five years a number of United
States transnational corporations are about to pump
approximately sixty billion dollars into the Indonesian
economy. Considering the economic stranglehold Mr
Ten Percent (Suharto the Butcher) and his family have
on the Indonesian economy, its no surprise the United
States would like to see the end of the Indonesian
military dictatorship.
As far as the United States is concerned the Indonesian
dictatorship is bad for business and bad for profits. They
would love to see the Suharto dynasty replaced by a
regime that is sympathetic to United States economic
interests. Fortunately for the Indonesian people the
popular movement that has formed as a result of
Suharto excesses is aware that the United States
government wants to install a regime that is subservient
to it. With a little bit of effort and luck the emerging
Indonesian radical movement will bury both the Suharto
dynasty and the American based transnational
corporations that want to continue to expand their control
over the Indonesian people.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-
Managed Society.

Institute of Social Ecology, PO Box 5208, West End 4101 Bisbane,
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