(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 11:43:19 +1100

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Number 238

24th February - 2nd March, 1997


The cloning of an adult sheep by the Edinburgh Roslin Institute in = Scotland raises very important practical and ethical questions about = human cloning. In a nutshell the Scottish scientists took a cell from a = mature sheeps udder, they extracted the nucleus (the part of the cell = that contains the genetic material) from the cell. They then took an = egg (ovum) from another sheep and extracted the nucleus from the egg and = replaced it with the nucleus that they took from the adult sheep's = udder. They then placed this embryo into a surrogate mother (incubator) = who gave birth to a sheep identical to the original mature sheep.

The same procedures that have been used on a sheep can be used on a = human being. With the right technology somebody could take a cell from = your body, take out the nucleus from the cell, find a human female ovum = (egg) remove the nucleus from the ovum and reimplant it into the person = they took the ovum from or a surrogate mother who would then produce a = child who is your identical twin. If you had access to the technology = and the women you could produce thousands of living, breathing replicas = of yourself. Not only can you do this, you could alter the genetic = material in the nucleus of the cell to introduce new characteristics in = your offspring.

Currently the only obstacles to the introduction of this technology = among the human population are ethical and legal. We all know that = ethical considerations have no bearing on what happens in a capitalist = society or a dictatorship. The only ethical considerations that make it = out of the sandpit are money and power. We all know that legal = sanctions do not work. In a capitalist society or a dictatorship money = and absolute power are able to override any legal sanctions.

The best way to prevent this technology from gaining a toe hold anywhere = in the world is by people becoming involved in campaigns and activities = that challenge notions of absolute power and economic inequality. A = dictator could use their absolute power to force scientists and = thousands of women to become involved in a project to create thousands = of identical clones of themselves. Any transnational corporation could = use their unlimited financial resources to buy thousands of third world = women to act as incubators for this new technology. You can't put the = genie (technology) back in the bottle, you can't control dubious ethical = practices by enacting and enforcing laws and you can't force every = laboratory to maintain some mythical ethical standard. The only way to = put a brake on technology that removes power from people and places it = in the hands of individuals is to create a society where no one has the = power to dominate other people and force them to do their bidding. = Anarchism's strength lies in its basic principles of association. A = society based on egalitarian principles of association has the best = chance of neutralising technology that reinforces the power of a = minority at the expense of a majority.


"The colour of the cat doesn't matter, what matters is whether it can = catch mice."

Deng Xiaoping's death last week has raised important questions about the = ultimate fate of a 1/5th of the world's population. The death of Mao = Tse Tung in 1976 was followed by the rapid rise of Deng Xiaoping, the = capitalist roader. After the disastrous consequences of the Great Leap = Forward, and the mayhem of the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party = bureaucrats realised that centralised economic planning would never be = able to deliver the economic rewards that were necessary to maintain = their power.

It's no accident that the "arch capitalist roader" Deng, was elevated to = the position of paramount leader. Deng's attitude to life and economics = can be summed up in his most famous saying "The colour of the cat = doesn't matter, what matters is if it can catch mice." Deng realised = that state capitalism and centralised planning would never solve China's = economic problems. As far as he was concerned Mao Tse Tung's legacy was = the legacy of failure. Marxist/Leninism had been tried and found to be = wanting. Essentially Deng didn't care what ideology was used as long as = it produced the desired results.

In an attempt to kick start the Chinese economy from the doldrums it = found itself in, he dismantled Mao's legacy. He closed down the = collective farms, he encouraged the growth of private enterprise and he = forced state industries to compete with each other. China ditched its = policy of self-sufficiency and began trading with the rest of the world. = Irrespective of the warmth and strength of the eulogies that have = accompanied his death, Deng's cat has been just as unsuccessful as Mao's = cat in delivering economic results to the Chinese people.

Deng's reforms have raised the spectres of the past. He has created a = new ruling and middle class who have profited from the changes he = introduced. Unfortunately the great bulk of the Chinese people have = actually seen a deterioration of their living standards and are now = living in a society where economic insecurity is a way of life. It's no = accident that crime has soared and an increasing number of Chinese are = finding it difficult to keep the wolf from the door.

Both state capitalism and private capitalism have not been able to = deliver the economic fundamentals that create a secure economic = environment. It's time the Chinese people found a cat that can catch = mice. Possibly the anarchist black cat is the cat they have been = looking for. Only time will tell.


Howard government stops mercenaries being deployed in Papua New Guinea, = scream the headlines. In one of the most hypocritical acts of the = decade John Howard has criticised the Papua New Guinea government for = hiring a few dozen foreign mercenaries to assassinate the Bougainville = Revolutionary Army Leadership, while lending their support to the Avalon = Air Show in Melbourne.

If you believed what you read in the newspapers and saw on the = television screens, you'd think that the Avalon Air Show was just one = giant peaceful aero-nautical display that could be enjoyed by tens of = thousands of aviation enthusiasts. Patrons saw F1-11's burning off = fuel, they saw magnificent men and women perform in their flying = machines and they were able to see the latest and the best planes that = money can buy. All harmless fun, or is it? The Avalon Air Show in Melbourne is nothing more than an international = aero-nautical arms show. The first four days of this six day expo are = closed to the public. Nearly every arms manufacturer in the world has = their latest and greatest killing machines on display. Every tin pot = dictator in the region sent representatives to have a look at what was = on offer. Many made substantial purchases. It's no accident that the = Avalon Air Show has become such a success with foreign "dignitaries". = The show is marketed throughout the world as a wonderful showcase of = military apparatus on the one airfield.

For the first four days military buyers were able to look a what was on = offer and were able to strike a number of mutually rewarding deals. = Representatives from Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, The South Pacific, = Malaysia, Vietnam and many other countries were given the opportunity to = buy the best killing machines in the world. While the Howard government = has taken such a hard line position on mercenaries in Papua New Guinea, = it has fallen over itself in its rush to provide visas for the merchants = of death. It looks like it has given its blessing for Australian soil = to be used as an international arms bazaar. So much for their concern = about foreign mercenaries in Papua New Guinea.


Ronnie Thomas was found guilty of the murder of S.P. bookmaker Peter = Wade and his girlfriend Maureen Ambrose on the 22nd December, 1991. = Although a career criminal who had spend 26 of his 47 years in jail for = the murder of a night watchman in 1968 and for armed robbery in 1982, he = gave himself up at the Rocks police station in central Sydney on Sunday = 19th January, 1992.

He was charged with Wades and Ambroses murder and was found guilty of = their murders in the Queensland Supreme Court in 1993. He has = steadfastly maintained his innocence and is pursuing a number of legal = avenues to have his conviction for murder squashed. He claims he was at = the wrong place at the wrong time, he says he knows who the murderer is = but fears his mother will be killed if he identifies the murderer.

Late last week the police received a threat that Arnott's biscuits = would be laced with poison and distributed throughout New South Wales = and Queensland if the New South Wales police who gave evidence against = Ronnie Thomas did not take public lie detector tests. Although blame = for the threats was laid at the feet of John Victor Bobak, another = career criminal who was accused of the murders of Wade and Ambrose, = there's information about that John Bobak had come to a sticky end long = before the extortion threats.

The whole affair resurrects the spectre of police verbals. The New = South Wales Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Force has = uncovered a litany of corruption that has infiltrated every pore of the = New South Wales Police Force. The Queensland Police Force has its own = sorry tale of corruption. The former Queensland Police Commissioner, = Terry Lewis still languishes (albeit in quite a nice country retreat, = I've been told) in jail. Both police forces have a long history of = verbals.

It's not beyond the realms of possibility that Ronnie Thomas is innocent = of the murders, why would he give himself up if he was guilty? With his = past record you'd think he would be the last person to give himself up. = Whey would somebody go to all the trouble of making threats to poison = Arnott's biscuits and risk a lengthy jail sentence if they did not = believe in Ronnie Thomas's wrongful conviction?

The extortion threat seems to have achieved its purpose. Once the media = embargo was broken people began to discuss the Ronnie Thomas case and = the possibility that the wrong man is serving a life sentence for = murder. This case raises some very important points about the ultimate = impartiality of the criminal justice system. It goes to the very heart = of policing in this country. Important questions have been raised about = Ronnie Thomas's guilt or innocence.

Thomas himself has said "I didn't ask for this and I don't want it to = happen." Irrespective of what eventually happens enough doubt has = already been raised about Ronnie Thomas's conviction to excite the = interest of the New South Wales Royal Commission into Police Corruption = and the interests of the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission.


Superficially the user pay principle seems to be one that is attractive = to many Australians. People think if somebody uses something they = should pay for it. If people took a few minutes to look beyond the = superficial appeal of this idea they would realise that the user pay = principle condemns the great majority of people to a life of misery. = Everybody needs access to water, power, health care, housing and = transport. Why should someone who needs access to health care or = housing be forced to forgo these basics if they don't have the money to = access these services. Do we want to live in a society where a minority = live in comfort while the rest of the population are denied basic = essential services because they don't have the necessary funds to access = these services.

Cross subsidies go a long way to redressing the injustices that a user = pay philosophy inflicts on people. What's wrong with the idea that city = people cross subsidise country folk for the cost of the infrastructure = that's necessary to provide them with power and telecommunications. = What's wrong with water rates being determined by the amount of property = an individual holds. As more and more cross subsidies are removed, more = and more people are going to find out they can't afford to pay even for = the basic necessities of life. As individuals and groups we need to = resist changes to the cross subsidy philosophy that has served us so = well in the past. Unless we are willing to bury the user pay principle = we will find that sooner or later, most of us won't even be able to = afford the basic necessities of life.


Q. Would Environmental Degradation Decrease In An Anarchist Society?

A. One of the most potent images I've seen in my lifetime is the picture = of earth that has been taken from spaceships on their way to the moon or = other parts of the solar system. It hangs there fragile surrounded by = cloud, self contained all alone. Taking a closer look at this powerful = image it's obvious that life on this isolated, fragile planet will = ultimately be determined by the actions of those of us who live on = earth.

Any human society has the potential to destroy the earth. Capitalism by = its very nature poses the greatest danger to the planet. Any economic = system that is based on the generation of profit irrespective of the = social, environmental and human costs is bound to compromise life on = this planet. Most people and economic commentators recognise the danger = capitalism poses. Unfortunately over the past decade "green capitalism" = has been touted as the saviour of capitalism. In a nutshell economic = commentators are saying you can make a profit from marketing green = solutions to a corporate sector, that is intent on making a profit by = destroying the environment.

In order to be successful "green capitalism" needs to be coupled with = sustainable development. Sustainable development is an economic system = that goes hand in hand with a society whose economics are based on the = satisfaction of human needs, not profits. Although green capitalism may = deliver some short term profits to investors by prolonging the life of = an economic system based on profit, sooner or later, most likely sooner, = green capitalist solutions will not be able to fill the hole in the = environmental dyke.

An anarchist society is more likely to turn back the destructive = environmental tide than a capitalist society, because its economics are = based on the satisfaction of human needs through sustainable = development. They are not based on the generation of profits through = the exploitation of finite resources. Some activists believe that = anarchism is an evolutionary not a revolutionary phenomena. They = believe limited resources and increasing populations will force = communities to embrace anarchist economic principles if they want to = avoid mass bloodshed and possible extinction.

ACTION BOX OUR STORY "Those who don't know the past are doomed to repeat the failures of the = past."

Australia has a proud and long anarchist history. Australian Anarchists = were active in the 1890's the late 1910's and early 1920's. They have = also had an active presence in most Australian states since the late = 1960's. Unfortunately the forty to fifty year gap between the = disintegration of the I.W.W. in the early 1920's and the emergence of = the Anarchist movement as part of the new left in the late 1960's = spawned a movement that had no knowledge of its past.

Most Australian anarchists have no idea of their past. Each new = generation repeats the mistakes of the past, re-inventing the wheel as = they go about their activities. An analysis of the past turns up the = same discussions about philosophy, tactics and strategy that reappear = again and again and again. The debate between "life style anarchists" = and "workplace anarchists" that takes up so much of the time and energy = of so many activists in the 1990's was going on in the 1890's.=20

There is no excuse for not knowing our story. A number of people have = delved into our past and have come up with a number of snapshots that = are relevant to us today. If we know our past we don't have to repeat = the same mistakes. Researchers like the Australian Anarchist Historian, = Bob James, and the late Ian Turner have dug up much of the past and have = presented it in an easy to read and digest format.

Most if not all of the major anarchist book outlets in Australia, = Anarres, Barricades, Black Rose, Emmas and Jura Books all have a good = selection of material on Australian Anarchist History. Try to get hold = of these books and read them and see what you can learn about our past. = Unless we make the effort to understand the past we are doomed to repeat = the same mistakes in the future. We have a rich history both modern = and ancient, let's make ourselves familiar with this history and draw up = plans to tackle the present and the future using the lessons we have = learnt from the past.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY WHO WAS DONALD GRANT? Donald Grant was the most well known of the I.W.W. twelve. He was a = popular Domain orator and thousands of people flocked to the Domain to = hear him talk. The case against Grant was tenuous of all the cases = against the I.W.W. twelve. He was sentenced to fifteen years = imprisonment for two sentences he is supposed to have uttered at the = Domain. It was alleged he had called on his listeners to "sabotage the = employers property." He claims he called on his listeners to "sabotage = the employers profits." It was also alleged he had spoken the famous = fifteen words that formed the backbone of the police's and the states = case against the I.W.W. twelve. "For every day Barker is in goal it = will cost the capitalists 10,000 pounds." The state argued that this = statement implicated Donald Grant in the Sydney arson attacks. Grant = stated that the statement applied to industrial action and strikes not = arson.

Donald Grant was one of the ten of the twelve that were freed on the 3rd = of August, 1920, nearly four years after they were imprisoned. Within = three weeks of his release Donald Grant was back at the Domain preaching = revolution. Grant finally made his peace with the Labour party and = parliamentary politics and became a Labour Senator for New South Wales. = He was living in quiet retirement in Sydney in the late 1960's and the = early 1970's. I've not been able to come across any information about = his ultimate fate and would be grateful if anybody could fill in the = missing pieces.

Bill Beatty another member of the I.W.W. twelve that was imprisoned for = "conspiracy to commit arson" was living in Brisbane in the late 1960's. = If Sydney or Brisbane readers have any information about the ultimate = fate of these last two survivors of the I.W.W. twelve then write to = Joseph Toscano, P.O. Box 20, Parkville, 3052, Melbourne, Australia.

Source of Information: Sydney's Burning (An Australian Political = Conspiracy) by Ian Turner, National Library of Australia, Registry No. = Aus 67-751. P.S. If anybody has any information about where any of the I.W.W. = twelve are buried please drop us a line.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS He didn't care, he really didn't care what anyone of us was doing. He = just stood there in his shorts and sandals staring straight ahead. = Hundreds of eyes trapped in stalled petrol driven chariots threw envious = glances at this renegade. While we battled the heat and listened to the = inane patter of bored drive time hosts, he took off his sandals and = rubbed his hairy calf against a section of the small wooden bridge he = was standing on.

We just sat there in grid lock, sweat pouring down our backs trying to = find our way home. He didn't care, he was surrounded by human beings in = hot metal cocoons. He didn't care or most likely didn't even know we = were staring at him. He sat down and dangled his legs in the water that = flowed under the bridge. He didn't feel the heat, he sat in a thicket = of trees in one of the few remaining public parks in this part of = Melbourne.

You could sense he was happy, you could sense he was taking in the = greenery and the water. Just then the traffic began to move. None of = us pulled over and joined him, we seemed to be more intent on travelling = a few more meters, than joining him. We're so keen to get home that we = couldn't afford to pull over for a few minutes and enjoy the greenery. = Had we forgotten that there's more to life than work, traffic and bills = or did we just want to leave him alone to enjoy his solitude. Who = knows? STOP PRESS! TWO BILLION DOLLAR FIASCO Over 200 million dollars have been wiped off the value of Crown Casino = shares in the past four weeks. Investors are beginning to worry that = Crown Casino is not the goldmine they thought it was. As the cost to = build this blight on the Melbourne landscape blows out from 1.5 billion = to over 2 billion dollars, and as the human and social consequences of = the casino culture that has enveloped Melbourne become more and more = transparent, punters are beginning to give the casino a wide berth. Crown Casino investors know that it will be almost impossible to cream = off enough money from local punters to meet the cost of the building, = unless overseas "highrollers" are willing to regularly use the casino. = To date they have been willing to use the temporary casino. It's highly = likely that once the hype surrounding the opening of the permanent = casino dies down, the "high rollers" will move on to greener pastures. = No wonder Ron Walker and his ilk are pestering their good friend Jeffrey = Gibb Kennett the Premier of Victoria to decrease the minimal taxes that = Crown Casino pays.

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

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK ALTERNATIVE LIBERTAIRE No.49 Jan'97. BP 177, 75967, Paris, Cedex 20. = FRANCE. CNT No.211-212 Oct'96 A.P. 4040, 18080 Granada, SPAIN. Tel: 958 - 220065. Fax: 958 - 220119

EKINAREN EKINAZ No.3 Jan'97 CNT AIR. Ukibarri 4 abk. 89 Post Akufixatila 48970 Dasabru (Bizraia) SPAIN Tel:(94) 440 1057 Fax: (94) 426 3372

KLEINTJE MUURKRANT NO.303 21 Nov'96. Den Bosch, Postbus 703, 5201 As Den Bosch, NETHERLANDS htt;://www.telebyte.ni/-stelling/

LE LIBERTAIRE No.173 Feb'97 25 Rue D'Aplemont, 76600 Le Havre FRANCE. Tel 02 35 53 3341

LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No 1071 13 -19 Feb'97. 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 PARIS. FRANCE Tel: 01 48053408. Fax: 01 49 299859

ROJO Y NEGRO No. 82 Oct'96 Compania 9, 10 129. PAMPLONA/IRUNA SPAIN. Tel: (948) 224766. Fax: (948) 212399

SEME ANARCHICO Y-17 No.3 Summer'96. C.P. 217. 25157 Brescia. ITALY

SICILIA LIBERTARIA. YR 20 No.148. Nov'96. Via Galileo Galieli 45-97100 RAGUSA. ITALY

SOLIDARIDADOBRERA No.263 Oct'96 c/- Hospital 101 68001, BARCELONA. SPAIN Tely Fax (93) 441 38 02

UMANITA NOVA 76th Year 24 Nov'96 Italiano Rossi. C.P. 90-55045 QUERCETA (LU) ITALY TEL: 09 81 950684

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, PO Box 20, Parkville, 3052 Vic, Australia.

AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION MEETING Thursday 6th March 8.00 pm Ross House/ Mezzanine 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Observers Welcome

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS National Co-ordinator Evan Ling, PO Box 560, Altona 3018, Melbourne. = Australia. Inquiries Tel: Evan Ling on 041 9394243. 8.00am-10.00pm.

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). =20 The Black represents the International Anarchist Flag. The Black Flag = negates all borders & all flags. The four stripes (red, green, yellow, = blue) represent the dominant colours of The Aboriginal Flag (Red & = Yellow) & the Torres Strait Islander Flag (Green & 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 = & smaller flags & for bulk orders. Make out cheques & money orders to: = LIBERTARIAN WORKERS PO Box 20 PARKVILLE 3052 Melbourne Aust.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY Sick and tired of the parliamentary circus. Interested in Direct = Democracy then make a financial contribution to the Anarchist Media = Institute Direct Democracy account to help us fund our anti-electoral = campaign for the next Federal Election. Make all cheques & money orders = to DIRECT DEMOCRACY send them to PO BOX 20, PARKVILLE, 3052 AUSTRALIA.

ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK POSTER AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF A FEW STAMPS Want to help us find new listeners for the Anarchist World This Week = then send us a few stamps to AWTW, PO Box 20 Parkville 3052, Australia & = we'll send you out a colour poster (A3) for your use & a Black and White = poster you can photocopy & put up to help us increase the number of = people who listen to the Anarchist World This Week.

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.

6 6 6 1997 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL 6 6 6 help help help help help help help help help help help help = help help help help Our debt stands at $1,690.00. We encourage all our readers to 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 & money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS & send them to = L.W.S.S. PO Box 20 Parkville 3052. Melbourne Australia. DEBT 26.2.97 - $1,690.00

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Seeing Senator Amanda Vanstone, the Federal Minister for Further = Education and Employment "unreservedly apologising" for stuffing up the = "Aus Study" payments to tens of thousands of Australian students, is = enough to bring tears to an old cynics eyes.



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