(en) ++ Anarchist Age Weekly

Crusader (crusader@cyberdude.com)
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 02:25:05 -0500 (EST)


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Number 232 13th - 19th January, 1997

WHAT'S A REAL JOB!!

The debate that's going on in the Australian community about what is and what isn't a real job seems to have reached a new crescendo. Listening to the all powerful (in their own minds) economic irrationalists you'd think that the only real sustainable jobs are those that generate profits. As the Australian communities social supports are stripped away and as an increasing number of people are forced out of the paid workforce, we are told ad nauseam that you need to break a few eggs to make the perfect economic omelette. What the economic gurus fail to mention is that you need to do more than break a few eggs to make an omelette.

Applying the economic irrationalists definition about what is a real job, the hundreds of thousands if not millions of Australians who are involved in socially useful work that does not generate a profit are basically a drain on the economic well being of the Australian community. Taking their illogical arguments a step further the 50% of the population that are involved in voluntary work or who perform unpaid labour in the home are just wasting their time.

What a load of utter garbage, about the only members of the community who are not doing any real work are the army of computer console watchers who are needed to ensure that the profiteers in our community continue to salt away more than their fair share. Anybody who has followed the rush to create "real jobs" can see that the direction society has embarked on is one that will lead to increasing social dislocation, personal violence and even insurrection.

Real jobs are not those that generate profit, but jobs that satisfy human needs. Many jobs both paid and unpaid do not generate a profit or will ever generate a profit. Their value lies in the fact that they build social cohesion, breakdown economic differences between people and generate a sense of community. Real jobs satisfy human needs, they don't necessarily produce a monetary profit. The profit they produce can be measured by the strength of the social cement that binds communities together. As these socially important jobs are whittled away, the social cement that binds our community together will crack and we will be plunged into a dog eat dog scenario where nobody will feel safe or secure.

KIM IL KENNETT SUBDUES A VERY TAME MEDIA

Kim Il Kennett (takes his name from Kim Il Sung - the beloved departed leader of North Korea) seems to have subdued most Victorian mainstream media outlets. The latest batch of media scalps that have been added to his belt have been the scalps of Jill Singer and a number of her producers. The Channel Seven News team were the only television news team that were willing to raise questions about Kim Il Kennett's forays into a number of questionable share dealings.

Over the past four years the Great Helmsman has been able to develop a cosy relationship with 3AW and a number of FM radio stations. The blood letting at 3LO/ABC has seen a number of commentators rise to prominence who wouldn't be game to take on a petty criminal let alone the Great Helmsman. The lads and lasses at the Herald-Sun and the Herald-Sun editorial team have always had a very cosy relationship with Kim Il Kennett and the Victorian Coalition government. About the only media outlets that have raised questions about Kim Il Kennett's style of government have been a few Age staff members and the staff and producers of the ABC 7.30 Report. Even these two last bastions of resistance seem to have made their peace with the Coalition government and Kim Il Kennett.

It's no accident that the Victorian Coalition has a 25 strong media liaison unit (paid by you and me) to spread disinformation among those few independent segments of the mass media. Kim Il Kennett and his cronies are able to get away with an increasing number of bodgey deals because most media interests in this country are owned by people whose profit stream ultimately relies on their relationship with the current government.

Maintaining such a relationship means that employees in most media outlets are not able to run with stories that are critical of the government of the day. If they do they will eventually be hung out to dry. It's no accident that most independent political commentators in Victoria are watching the main game from the sidelines. As criticism of the Victorian government is aborted by an unholy alliance of media owners and government ministers the importance of independent media outlets like 3CR and this humble news sheet cannot be underestimated.

WONDERFUL PATHETIC WONDERFUL PATHETIC Wonderful is a word that can be used to describe the rescue of lone yachtsmen, Tony Bullimore and Thierry Dubois. The nation stood still as the Australian Navy went about the rescue and many people felt a sense of relief when against all odds, Tony Bullimore was plucked from his upturned boat. Truly pathetic is the word that can be used to describe the Australia's media response to this rescue. It's been a long time since I've seen so much hype and exaggeration in the media. To label the yachtsmen hero's is stretching credibility a little too far. They did what had to be done to survive and the Australian government through the Orion crews and the Adelaide crew did what they had to do.

What I find so disappointing about this whole saga, is that as a country we can't seem to be able to harness the same enthusiasm and energy to tackle the day to day problems that cause the death of so many Australians. It's strange that we can mobilise so many resources to rescue two yachtsmen who find themselves in a precarious situation because of their desire to sail around the world. While on the other hand we can't seem to find the time and resources to provide basic care for an increasing number of the poor, the homeless and the sick. It seems that the life of a person in the cameras eye is worth much more that the life of a person who isn't in the cameras glare.

When the idea was floated that the armed forces know how and resources be used to build infrastructure and teach local people to look after this infrastructure in remote indigenous communities, many Tom, Dick's and Harriett's jumped up and down suggesting that the armed forces are there to protect the interests of the Australian State and their expertise should not be wasted in building infrastructure that private corporations could build. It looks like when it comes to drive, energy and enthusiasm and the debate about the cost of a human life, the Australian media is much more interested in rattling the can for a few yachtsmen who were plucked from the Southern Ocean, than the unnecessary everyday loss of life that happens in Australia because the Government and private sector is unwilling to mobilise resources to tackle these problems.

GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED

There seems to be an urban myth around that the government will guarantee depositors savings in case of a bank failure. Many people choose to place their savings in a bank instead of a credit union or building society, because they mistakenly believe that the Federal government guarantees bank deposits on a dollar for dollar basis. The current Wallis inquiry into the banking sector has raised the hoary old chestnut about whether banking deposits are government guaranteed.

Although the Reserve Bank and Treasury oversee the workings of private banks and have the power to intervene in a banks affairs if they believe that bank is heading into financial difficulties, the government of the day has no legal obligation to make good any depositors losses. As the deadline for submissions draw closer it's interesting to read Treasury's and the Reserve Bank's opinions about how to protect depositors funds.

Treasury officials believe that the government of the day should not have to repay depositors for any losses incurred by a bank's failures. They are keen to see the current ambiguous position replaced with a statement that bank funds are not guaranteed by the government. In their submission they have stated that if bank depositors want some type of guarantee about their deposits, they and the banks they deal with should take out commercial insurance to protect them against a bank collapse.

On the other hand Reserve Bank officials are keen to see the introduction of legislation which guarantees the money of small depositors and small businesses. Either way the Australian sacred cow that bank deposits are government guaranteed is well and truly dead and buried. Most people are under the impression that government is there to protect them through thick and thin, the reality is a little different. As the Australian government becomes more closely aligned with the corporate sector and as it divests itself of the responsibility of providing essential services and providing financial guarantees for its citizens, more and more Australians are beginning to realise that government exists to maintain the current inequalities in society not to look after the interests of its citizens.

PACKERS GAIN YOUR LOSS

Court lists in all major cities are becoming flooded with the human misery created by this country's rapid expansion of the gambling industry. As Packer begins to reel in the Sydney Casino, many segments of the Australian community are beginning to feel the social consequences of this gambling explosion. As the economic situation becomes more difficult for an increasing number of Australians, many turn from being recreational gamblers to becoming problem gamblers.

Many people gamble because they feel the only way they can escape from their dreadful situation is through some gambling windfall. Most people don't realise that of every $1000.00 dollars gambled only $550.00 returns to the punter. The rest goes into maintaining a gambling infrastructure and profits find their way into the pockets of shareholders. Gambling is one of the few industries in society which does not contribute to the economic, social or cultural welfare of any community.

The privatisation of gambling in this country has delivered a cash cow into the hands of Packer and his ilke. Even in a capitalist society steps can be taken to minimise the harm done by the gambling colossus. All gambling outlets should be held legally responsible for crimes that are committed by people who are addicted to gambling. All it would take would be a few high profile court cases where findings were found against the gambling venue, for gambling venues to offer support and help for chronic gambling. If it's an offence for publicans to serve drunks, it should be an offence for gambling venues to continue to take money from problem gamblers.

Gambling venues should only be run by registered charities. Although there's a history of bingo halls being run by charities, tattslotto agents, the TAB, Casinos and racing clubs are all run by private corporations. If gambling venues were run by charities profits could be ploughed back into the community instead of the pockets of private investors. If people want to gamble fine, but lets develop and finance programmes that encourage recreational gambling not pathological gambling. At the same time lets use the profit that's generated from gambling to build community infrastructure and support hospital, charities and educational programmes.

ANARCHIST QUESTION and ANSWER

Q. What do anarchists think about free trade? A. THEY LOVE IT. That's right they love it. It's amusing to see the current push to globalise the world economy and break down protection barriers, described as a struggle to promote free trade. The current push by transnational corporations to break down protection barriers has nothing to do with free trade. A global anarchist economy is the only economy that's based on free trade.

What's described as the struggle to promote free trade is actually a struggle that allows segments of the global community that have money to have access to products that are made by segments of the global community that require money to meet their commitments or build infrastructure.

Any community that doesn't have any money or doesn't have anything to barter is not able to participate in so called global free trade. All trade in a capitalist society is not free. It's based on the generation of a profit. Any capitalist community that can't find a market or make a profit from its attempts to trade is likely to hold onto their products until the market improves or it may even dump that particular product if there is no market for it.

An anarchist economy is based on need and planning to fill a need, communities that can't fulfil local need will rely on free trade to fulfil that need. Not every community is able to be self-sufficient. Some will specialise and produce particular goods and products. These communities will have free trading agreements with other communities that produce what they need.

Trading arrangements will not be based on a monetary system or barter arrangements, they will be based solely on need. The economic relationships between anarchist communities will be based on free trade arrangements. One community freely gives away its excess production to a community that has a need for that excess production. At the same time that community that receives that excess production, may give away some of its excess production to another community that has a need. Only an anarchist economic system is based on the concept of free trade. Anarchist communities freely produce and freely accept goods from communities that produce an excess. ACTION BOX - FORMING A COLLECTIVE The new year is always a good time to review debt levels and living arrangements. The new year is also a good time to review how we live. We are all involved in a series of relationships with other people, some personal, some commercial. Review all your commercial relationships, do you have a mortgage? Do you pay rent? Where do you buy your food? Where do you go for holidays? Travel arrangements? Etc.. See if there's any aspect of your living and work arrangements that you can collectivise. Collectivisation and mutual aid are a central feature of anarchism. Although we cannot collectivise all aspects of our lives in a capitalist society, we may be able to save time and energy and money if we collectivise some aspects of it. You don't need thousands of people to form a collective. All you need is a few people with a common need or common interest who want to work together to supply a service, fill a need or produce a product. Forming a small collective throws a direct challenge to the mainstream economy. It also forces you and the people you have formed a collective with, to deal with each other to keep the idea going. Being a member of a small collective gives you first hand experience of the problems that bigger collectives face. It also gives you the confidence to meet your own requirements and take on greater challenges in the future. It's no accident that increased privatisation of life and leisure has produced a community that is based on consumption not production. Although involvement in a collective may be more time consuming than applying for a personal loan from a bank or purchasing your clothes and food from a supermarket, such involvement in the long run gives you greater control over your life. If you want to break your current work and living arrangements? If you're unemployed and want to work, but don't want to work for the State, a boss or yourself, think about forming a collective. Just thinking about it may give you the impetus to form one. If you want to form a collective send us an advertisement for inclusion in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review. You've got nothing to lose by exploring the idea.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY CREO STANLEY

Creo Stanley was the first woman to Chair an Australian Secular League (A.S.L.) meeting. The A.S.L. was a hot bed of early Australian anarchist activity. Many members of the A.S.L. were militant anarchists who supported antiparliamentary action. In mid 1891 she forced the New South Wales Trades and Labour Council (T.L.C.) to allow female delegates from female unions. She was elected secretary of the Female Employees Society on the 20th of July 1891 and was appointed the first female delegate of the N.S.W. T.L.C. on the 1st of August 1891.

She established a co-operative laundry at Pyrmont Sydney in late 1891. She described the workings of the laundry in the following terms.

"The girls provide their meals on the premises, living and labouring in harmony without the intervention of unnecessary authority and dividing equally among themselves the net profits resulting from their labours".

She went to Melbourne to set up another co-operative laundry but failed when the Victorian Trade and Labour Council refused to help her. Creo lived together with Edwin Brady an anarchist who was the editor of the radical publication, the Workman and later on he became editor of the radical publication, Truth. Creo Stanley identified herself as an anarchist, she is one of a small number of women who were involved in the anarchist movement in Australia on the late 1880's and early 1890's. Source for article "Anarchism and State Violence in Sydney and Melbourne" 1886-1896 by Bob James.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS 4.50p.m. Friday 10th January 1997 I always seem to be in a perpetual rush. It was late Friday I had to get to the bank to put money into my account to stop a few cheques bouncing. As I scrambled out of the car at Fordgate (Coolaroo Melbourne) clutching my deposit books I noticed two young girls, about thirteen or fourteen, licking icecreams in the back seat of their family sedan.

In the same instance I made contact with their eyes, they ducked clumsily trying to replace the veils they had just taken off so they could enjoy their icecreams. I then noticed that the back windows of the sedan were covered with curtains and that I had accidentally swamped their private domain when I stumbled half crouched out of the car I was driving.

The whole episode lasted less than a few seconds, I felt unsettled and angry as I made my way to the bank. Their car was gone when I returned a few moments later. Those precious few seconds taught me more about anarchism, than reading a dozen weighty tomes. Why should those young girls be forced to live a life of fear? Is the outside world in Australia so hostile that they need to be constantly veiled. Those few seconds have taught me that the desire for individual freedom needs to cross both cultural and social boundaries. It's one thing to respect a persons culture, it's another thing to accept oppressive practices in any cultural or social setting.

STOP PRESS GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT The Health Insurance Commission the Federal government authority that oversees Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is about to undertake an intensive investigation into "doctor shoppers", people who see more than 15 different doctors per year and those who receive more than 300 prescriptions through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Five million dollars has been set aside and a 20 strong unit has been set up to investigate people who they think are ripping off the public health system.

In am attempt to win public support for their actions, the Commonwealth government is initially targeting people who they claim over use tranquillisers, sleeping pills, narcotics and codeine analgesics. This unit has primarily been set up to save the Commonwealth government money. The Health Insurance Commission is targeting people who use potentially addictive medications so it can build public acceptance for the need for such a unit. If there is community support for the programme it will then launch investigations into people who they claim are heavy users of peptic ulcer treatment, lipid lowering drugs and even excessive users of the humble panadol table will be investigated.

If the Commonwealth government's initiative is as successful as its investigations into alleged medical practitioners Medicare fraud, it will only succeed in alienating an ever increasing number of people. Although over 450 doctors were called up for interviews last year because their "computer profile" did not match the average doctors "computer profile", only three were prosecuted.

Unfortunately the Health Insurance Commission's attempts to cut costs will eventually lead to the situation where people who need treatment will not seek it because they are afraid of being investigated. Over the past few years we have seen some doctors take shortcuts and miss important diagnoses, because they are frightened that they will be investigated because they may order too many tests. So much for the Commonwealth government's Health Insurance Commission's initiatives to save a few bucks.

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

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK ANARRES BOOK CATALOGUE Summer 1996/97, PO Box 150, East Brunswick 3057. Victoria, Australia. **** BARRICADE BOOK INFO/SHOP 1997 Mail Order Catalogue, 115 Sydney Road, Brunswick 3056, Melbourne Australia. Mail order PO Box 199, East Brunswick 3057, Victoria Australia. **** ALTERNATIVE LIBERTAIRE No.47 Nov'96, BP 177, 75967, Paris Cedex 20, France. **** FIFTH ESTATE Vol 31 #2 (348) Fall 1996, 4632 Second Ave, Detroit, M1 48201, United States. **** FREEDOM Vol 57 No.24 14th Dec'96, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E17QX, England. http://www.lglobal.com/TAO/Freedom **** LE FRONDEUR No.1 July-Aug'90, B.P. 105, 94402, Vitry Cedex, France. **** LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No.1063, 1064, 12th 18th Dec'96 19th Dec-1st Jan'97, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011, Paris France. Tel 0148053408, Fax 0149299859. **** NOTIZIARIO CDP No.147 July/Aug'96, Via Degli Orafi 29, Cas Post 347, 51100 Pistoia, Italy. **** UMANITA NOVA 76th Year 6th & 13th Oct'96, Italiano Rossi, CP 90-55045, Querceta (LU), Italy. **** OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK INTERNATIONLISM No.96 Dec-Jan'97, PO Box 288, New York NY 10018-0288, United States. **** j ANARCHIST AGE HOME PAGE j http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3879 ANARCHIST AGE EMAIL - email:anarchistage@geocities.com.

P U B L I C A T I O N S Weekly 4 pages of Anarchist comment on Local, National and International events. Subscriptions: $50.00 for 50 issues, $10.00 for 10 issues, Subscription includes postage. Monthly 36 pages of Local, National and International events. 12 issues $36.00 wage earners, 12 issues $20.00 non wage earners. Make out cheques or money orders to: Libertarian Workers, P.O. Box 20, Parkville, 3052. Vic, Australia.

REGIONAL ANARCHIST FLAG 5 feet x 3 feet Approximately 175cm x 110cm, Cost $25.00 (includes postage within Australia), $35.00 (Includes postage air-mail overseas).

The Black represents the International Anarchist Flag. The Black Flag negates all borders and all flags. The four stripes (red, green, yellow, blue) represent the dominant colours of The Aboriginal Flag (Red and Yellow) and the Torres Strait Islander Flag (Green and Blue). The red stripe represents the blood spilt during colonisation. The green represents the land. The yellow the sun. The blue the sea. Quotes available for larger and smaller flags and for bulk orders. Make out cheques and money orders to : LIBERTARIAN WORKERS P.O. Box 20 PARKVILLE 3052, Melbourne Australia.

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS CONGRESS Sunday 2nd February at Ross House, Hayden Raysmith Front Meeting Room, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne. 10.00am-6.00pm Agenda  Registration - 10.00am - 10.30am  Welcoming Address - 10.40am, Evan Ling/National Co-ordinator F.O.B.U.  Reports:- Autonomous Health Union - 11.00am  Community Union - 11.20am  Strikeback Organic Seed & Information Centre -11.40am  Reviewing the New Industrial Relations Act - Midday, Evan Ling (includes discussion on Enterprise Unions)  Lunch - 1.00pm - 2.00pm  Practical Workshop on how to form an Occupation Based Union - 2.00pm - 5.00pm Presented by members of the -  Autonomous Health Union  Community Union  Strikeback  Election of National Co-ordinator - 5.15pn A L L W E L C O M E Registration: $4.00 wage earners, $2.00 non wage earners Registration Form Name: ............................................................................ .................. Address: ............................................................................ .............. ............................................................................ ............................... Telephone Number: ...................................................................... Don't forget to enclose $4.00 or $2.00 of postage stamps to cover your registration costs. F.O.B.U. National Co-ordinator Evan Ling, PO Box 5006. Alphinton Vic 3078. Melbourne Australia. Any inquiries phone Evan Ling on 041 9394243, 8.00am - 10.00pm.

THRILL YOUR FRIENDS You too can have a copy of the December 1996 Anarchist Media Institute Obscenity Award won by The Dynamic Duo Senators Harradine & Coulston, "for giving the Coalition government a Chrissy present that belongs to the people of Australia". Size A3, Colour:- White, Yellow, Green, Purple, Red, Blue (you choose), Cost $5.00 non-laminated, $8.00 laminated. (Includes packaging & postage costs). Send stamps or make out cheques or money orders to:- Libertarian Workers & send to PO Box 20, Parkville 3052, Aust

The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review express the opinion of individuals within the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist Media Institute. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist Media Institute.

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.

@@@@ 1997 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL @@@@ help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help Our debt stands at $1922.15. We encourage all our readers and that includes all those anarchist groups who receive the Anarchist Age Weekly Review and Anarchist Age Monthly Review - FREE of CHARGE help us eliminate this debt. If everybody who read the weekly sent us TEN DOLLARS we could eliminate our debt overnight. If you have some spare cash, want to re-subscribe or want to buy a subscription for a friend make out cheques and money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS and send them to L.W.S.S. PO Box 20, Parkville, 3052. Melbourne Australia. DEBT 15.1.97 - $1922.15

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Has been won by the World's Second Greatest Treasurer Peter Costello, for berating the few metal workers who have negotiated a 15% wage rise over the next two years, while keeping his mouth shut when the "captains" of industry vote themselves a 50% wage rise over the next twelve months.

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CRUSADER (yep, that's my full legal name!) "Danced Disneyland" Palm Springs, CA (619) 869 1941 **Note: I'm the activist formerly known as Andrew Exler**

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