Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 05:34:26 +1000


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Number 245

14th - 20th April, 1997

THE JUDGES ARE WORRIED

It's time to ask yourself what's going on, when judges are concerned = about losing their illusory independence. On Monday Australia's Chief = Justice issued the first declaration of principles on judicial = independence. These principles dealt with security of tenure and the = principle that judges should not be dependent on a particular government = for their right to continue in office. Repeated government attacks on = the courts and some judicial judgements have highlighted the illusory = nature of judicial independence. Only the High Court and the Federal = Court are protected by the Australian constitution, all other courts are = at the mercy of government because they rely on convention not = constitutional safeguards.

Judicial appointees across the country know that governments are = circumventing convention by appointing acting judges. These "judges" = are appointed by the government of the day and are dismissed by the = government of the day. All governments in Australia attempt to appoint = judges that reflect their own political opinions and viewpoints. In = order to overcome the convention of appointing judges for life they = appoint acting judges, they then wait to see whether their judgements = support government policy and then make up their minds on whether a = judge will remain in office or not be appointed.

As the Howard government goes about its task of remodelling Australia, = it's stacking boards of statutory authorities with its own appointees, = its putting senior public servants on contracts which make public = servants the servants of the government which has approved their = contract not the public. In an attempt to blunt any criticism of their = policies the Howard government is trying to undermine the limited = independence that judicial appointments have.

No wonder judges have taken the unprecedented step of stating that the = judicial arm of the State should be independent of the executive arm of = the government. Irrespective of what the judges say and do, governments = will continue to limit the power of judges, public servants, statutory = boards and any other arm of the State that stands in the way of = parliament and protects the interests of the public.

UNIVERSITY SENATES ROLL OVER

It hasn't taken long for Australia's University Senates to roll over and = take on full fee paying students. In a particularly pitiful display the = Melbourne and Sydney University Senates have agreed to earmark 25% of = their places for full fee paying students. In just a few short years = Universities have been transformed from knowledge centres to profit = oriented businesses.

It hasn't taken the coalition government long to destroy the last = vestiges of free education in this country. In 1972 the incoming Labour = government abolished all University fees and removed direct economic = hurdles for students who meet university entrance criteria. Although = children who attended Private Secondary Colleges and came from education = oriented families still formed the bulk of University entrants, children = of working parents who were able to overcome the disadvantages of = attending State Secondary Schools and of living in an environment that = did not promote or encourage education, were able to minimise the = financial burdens of pursuing post Secondary School education.

How different things are today, in less than 25 years successive Labour = and Liberal/National Party governments have been able to turn the clock = back to the good old days when post Secondary Education was only pursued = by those who had the financial resources to pay for the privilege. = Amanda Vanstone and the Liberal/National Coalition have done more to = push education back to the dark ages than any other post Whitlam = government has been able to achieve.

Since the early 1970's many Australian working people have held on to = the hope that their children could escape their past if they embraced = education. Education has been seen as the way that hundreds of = thousands of children of working people can escape their parents past = and enjoy "the good life". Increasing unemployment levels among = University graduates as well as an increasing number of economic hurdles = has closed this pathway for an ever increasing number of Australians.

Instead of fighting this trend, University Senates have rolled over and = have decided to join the quest for the almighty dollar not knowledge.

SOUTHERN HILLS YIELDS NEW SPECIES

The Southern Hills are the only range of deep sea mountains that have = been chartered in Australian waters. They are a group of extinct = volcanoes about 35 million years old, standing 2500 meters below the = surface of the ocean, 100 kilometres south of Tasmania. Even this part = of the Southern Ocean has been devastated by trawling. The C.S.I.R.O. = has pressured the Federal government to temporarily reserve about 400 = square kilometres of ocean to prevent further destruction of this = marvellous habitat.

The C.S.I.R.O. (Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research = Organisation), one of the few Commonwealth Government enterprises that = has not been sold off, has just completed a detailed study of life in = this part of the world. They have found a plethora of new species that = have been unknown to science. Dr Tony Koslow the head of the expedition = believes that they have found new species in nearly every group of fauna = they have studied.\

It would be a disaster if the Federal government removed the temporary = reserve status of the area and allowed trawlers to recommence hunting = orange roughie schools that inhabit these deep sea mountains. If they = did it wouldn't take long for the trawlers to make this vibrant area = pulsating with life into just another wasteland.

SYDNEY OLYMPIC BOYCOTT IN THE WIND

If the National Party is able to stampede the Coalition government into = passing legislation to extinguish native title in this country, = Australia will become an international parish. As cabinet struggles to = find a solution to keep all the players happy, the cry to extinguish = native title has reached a crescendo.

If by some chance cabinet decided to extinguish native title on pastoral = leases, radical elements within indigenous Australia are calling for an = International Sydney Olympic boycott. Anybody who remembers the = successful International sporting boycotts that were carried out against = the Apartheid regime, knows the devastating effect such a boycott can = have on a nation. Yes Australia, the eyes of the world are watching, if by some chance the = Australian government is stupid enough to extinguish native title on = pastoral leases, the International consequences of such a decision will = eventually affect each and everyone of us. Let's hope the Liberal Party = is not stampeded into extinguishing native title on pastoral leases by = the growing band of rednecks in the National Party. If they do we will = all pay the price for such a short sighted decision.

WALLIS - BLUE PRINT FOR FINANCIAL MONOPOLIES Listening to Peter Costello, you'd think the Wallis report into the = financial sector was the pathway to economic nirvana. If by some chance = you were silly enough to believe the Federal Treasurer's pearls of = wisdom you could be forgiven for believing that the financial sector was = about to lunge into a hot and sweaty competitive orgy.

Peter Costello has told Australian's that implementing the Wallis report = will reduce banking fees and lower interest rates. Reading between the = lines it's obvious that within a few years the only legacy of the Wallis = report will be two possibly three financial monopolies. Anybody who = believes that the Federal government wants to encourage competition in = the financial sector only has to look at how the A.C.C.C. (Australian = Consumer and Competition Commission) has been quarantined from any input = into this brave new financial Mecca.

One of the main outcomes of the Wallis report is the increased power the = Treasurer has to determine the future of the financial sector. Costello = will be able to decide who can and who can't merge and what foreign = financial interests will be allowed to buy into the Australian banking = sector. Already rumours are flying around financial circles that an = Indonesian bank controlled by the Suharto family is about to make a bid = for the A.N.Z.

The big is beautiful philosophy that is positively encouraged by the = Wallis report will lead to the death of regional banks, decreased = competition and increased consumer prices. Anybody who has ben revolted = by the massive profits that have been made by financial institutions = since deregulation has seen nothing yet. The large monopolies that will = result from the Coalition governments responses to the Wallis report = will be so strong they will not be able to be regulated. They will be = in a position to dictate policy to governments and will be able to = determine what industries and businesses will fail or prosper.

The Federal governments response to the Wallis inquiry highlights the = fact that the Liberal/National party is more interested in pandering to = the needs of the corporate sector than looking after the needs of = Australians.

CLINTON DITCHES NETANYAHU

"Peace with security" was Netanyahu's electoral pledge when he was = narrowly elected to the Israeli presidency just over a year ago. Today = Netanyahu's policies have not delivered peace or security. As the = Israeli government (with a little help from Rabbi Gutnick) attempts to = expand Jewish settlements in the occupied territories and East = Jerusalem, it finds itself increasingly isolated within its own country = and internationally.

The United States has clearly spelled out to Netanyahu that it wants the = Oslo Peace accord to be implemented and it also wants the creation of a = Palestinian State. Netanyahu has told Clinton he can't deliver either, = as the Coalition that helped him win the presidency would withdraw their = support. In an attempt to break the current deadlock Netanyahu is = seriously considering the idea of forming a government of National = Unity. Over the next two weeks sections of Liduk and the Israeli Labour = Party will form a government of National Unity that will kickstart the = faltering Oslo accord.

The alternative to a government of National Unity is too horrible to = contemplate. It doesn't take much imagination to realise that the = Israeli State would have difficulty surviving if it lost United States = backing. The collapse of the Soviet empire has given the United States = government options it could barely imagine five years ago. Its control = over much of the Middle East gives it unlimited access to oil. The = United States no longer needs to support the Israeli State.

When he meet Bill Clinton last week, it was made abundantly clear to = Netanyahu that the United States would withdraw its support if Israel = didn't go back to the negotiating table. Middle East instability does = not serve United States interests in the region. The United States need = peace in this part of the Middle East so it can focus its attention on = Iran, Syria and Iraq.

ANARCHIST QUESTION and ANSWER

Q. Why wouldn't theft be a major problem in an anarchist society?

A. Theft is a major problem in a capitalist society. In Australia = billions of dollars are spent and tens of thousands of people are = employed by industries that try to contain theft. Great slabs of police = and court time are devoted to apprehending and punishing people who have = attempted to steal or have stolen property. Our way of life in = Australia is influenced by the fear of theft. Any society that is based = on structural economic inequalities is bound to be plagued by theft.

Theft in an anarchist society would only be a minor problem. Anyone who = steals in an anarchist community is only stealing from themselves. = What's the point of stealing something if you can go to a central = warehouse and take what you need. What's the point of stealing money in = a money-less society? Any community that holds its wealth in common = will not be troubled by people stealing. A few may horde products = because they believe the system will collapse. Even these people will = be won over in the long run, especially if the idea of a common = storehouse economy takes hold of the popular imagination. Who wants = their lounge room cluttered with consumer goods, when they can go to a = common storehouse and take what they need when they need it.

Theft is the logical consequence of any economic system, that rewards = some but not others. More police and private security guards as well as = more laws, courts and jails will not curtail let alone eliminate theft. = Even the Saudi Royal families draconian penalties have not been able to = eliminate theft. Every Friday convicted thieves in Saudi Arabia have = their right hand cut off in the town square. Even this brutal, barbaric = summary punishment is not enough to eliminate theft in Saudi Arabia, a = capitalist society.

Theft cannot be eliminated in a capitalist society. It can almost be = eliminated in a community that regards property as theft. An anarchist = community is the only community that follows the dictum property is = theft.

ACTION BOX - "I DON'T HAVE ANY TIME" I don't have any time seems to be a catchcry that is used again and = again by people who express an interest in anarchist ideas but don't = become active. For some reason time seems to be in short supply for = many people in the nervous nineties. Considering the number of labour = saving devices that every home is fitted with, you'd think that people = would have an abundance of time. Maybe just maybe their working two = jobs to make the repayments on these labour saving devices. If you're one of those legions of people who never seem to have any = time, maybe it's time you sat down and looked at how you spend your = days. If you're unhappy with your current situation, if you're angry = about how things are in your community and this planet, it's time you = looked at your priorities and possibly made some time to become involved = in activities that make anarchist ideas accessible to other people. = Nothing will happen and nothing will change for you and your family and = friends if you don't make the time to initiate or become involved in = activity. Most people in post-modern society are so busy consuming they don't have = the time for anything else. Anybody who lives in a regional or urban = centre is faced with a plethora of consumer orientated activity. Even = if you're a non wage earner you can fill in your time watching = television, listening to radio, surfing the internet of if you want to = you can worship daily at the post-modern temples of consumption that = litter the regional and urban landscape. People who say they have no = time are either not interested and are unwilling to say so or they = genuinely feel they have NO time. If you're not interested just say so. = If your interested and have no time look at your priorities. Do you really need to work so hard to pay off all those labour saving = and leisure devices you don't have any time to use? Do you really need = to spend so much of your life consuming their news, their dreams and = aspirations? Are you so financially over extended that you have to work = at two jobs to keep the money maggots from the door? If you are, then = is it really worth it? If you don't have any time, look at your = priorities, see if you can make time to become involved in anarchist = activity. If you can't the chances of change are just that little = further away. AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY MELBOURNE-CHICAGO LIVE RADIO LINKUP 1st May 1986 One of the important events that marked the Australian Anarchist = Centenary Celebrations from the 1st to the 4th of May 1986 was the live = radio hookup up that was organised between the Chicago Anarchists who = were celebrating the centenary of the Haymarket affair and participants = in the Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations who were celebrating = the establishment of Australia's first anarchist group - The Melbourne = Anarchist Club on the 1st of May 1886. On the 4th of May 1886 a bomb was thrown into a protest group in = Chicago. Eight anarchist organisers of the march were arrested and = charged with capital crimes. Four were executed on the 11th of November = 1887, one committed suicide the night before the hangings and three = served long prison sentences. Later on all were exonerated of the = charges and all eight received pardons from the State of Illinios. A few days before the 1st of May 1886 Fred Upham, the two Andrade = brothers and two others formed the Melbourne Anarchist Club and held the = first anarchist meeting in Australia. The events in far away Chicago had = a profound effect on the fate of Anarchism and anarchists in Australia. = The prejudice and odium that Australian anarchists met in the 1880's and = 1890's can in no small measure be related to the bigoted strident = response from English speaking news organisations across the globe. At 8.30pm on the 1st of May 1986, anarchists from across the world = crowded into studio two at the Community Radio Federation Station in = Smith Street, Fitzroy Melbourne and linked up with representatives from = Chicago anarchist groups who were organising the Centenary celebrations = of the Haymarket Affair. Ha Ki Rak from Korea, Phillipe Pellitier from = France, Miura Seiichi from Japan, Marianne Enckell from Switzerland, = Alain from Belgium, an Italian anarchist, Horst Stawasser from Germany, = Dwayne from Sydney and Steven Roper and Joe Toscano from Melbourne were = all participants in this historic live radio hookup that had been = organised by Steve Roper and Joe Toscano. Over the next 30 minutes = ideas were exchanged, the international nature of anarchism was = discussed and the significance of both centenary celebrations was = reinforced. As the participants chatted on the airwaves their thoughts = were relayed to those participants at the Australian Anarchist Centenary = Celebrations in Storey Hall in Swanston Street, Melbourne.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS It was half past 8, maybe 9 in the evening, who knows, it doesn't really = matter. I was sitting in the car waiting for the lights to change when = I turned my head and saw him. We've all done it hundreds of times, most = times we're not even aware of what we are seeing. For some reason he = had the light on in his car, maybe he'd forgotten to turn it off. Maybe = he didn't like driving in the dark. He was at least 70, had little if = any hair, wore horn rimmed glasses and believe it or not wore a red = cardigan which was buttoned up at the front. I don't remember seeing a cardigan for years, although I've been told = that they're back in fashion this year. I couldn't imagine our friend = being concerned about fashion. I think he was driving a 1980 white = lancer, not a very fashionable car. For some reason I began thinking = about our friend, maybe it was the red cardigan. Who was he, what was = his life like, was he dispirited and disappointed with life or was he = happy with the hand that he had been dealt. Had he ever been in love = had children, done anything with his life or would his passing go = unnoticed. It's strange isn't it, the more communication devices are foisted on us, = the more we travel the less we know about our neighbours. We can live = in the same place for years and know more about somebody on the other = side of the world wide web than we know about our neighbours. We can = live in a locality for years and don't know and don't care about what's = happening in our local community. At the same time we're happy to = devote slabs of time to some cause on the other side of the planet. Privatised mass communication has opened virtual windows on the world = for almost all of us, making us captive targets for those who own the = airwaves. While we sit in our lounge rooms watching the delights of = nature flickering on the screen, we breath polluted air. The capacity = to live lives divorced from our local communities is our weakness and = their strength. While we continue to be isolated and drip fed by the = aspirations and hopes of their consumer dreams, we will continue to be = their hostages. Maybe, just maybe, I noticed our friend because he encapsulated the = isolation most of us feel as we go about our lives. Interestingly I = made no attempt to capture his attention, if I had he would have most = likely thought I wanted to mug him. That's the price we pay for living = in a privatised dream world everybody is a potential enemy, anybody = outside our immediate circle who takes even the slightest interest in = what we do is a potential enemy who covets our body, our goods, our = home, our job and our family.

STOP PRESS - THANKS BIG FELLA!! I must be one of the few people in Australia who's thanking not cursing = Mal Colston. As the media bleats about Mal's overindulgences and the = parliamentary hypocrites try to purge Mal from their ranks, I keep = saying thanks Mal, thanks a heap. Irrespective of the things Mal's = accused of doing, one thing he should be lauded for is the kick in the = midriff he's given to the parliamentary process. In a few short months, Honest John and his mob of short arm long pocket = colleagues in the coalition government have done more to destroy the = credibility of the parliamentary system in Australia than Australian = anarchists have been able to do in the last century. Anybody who still = believes that parliamentary democracy is the most sacred thing in this = country must have been living in the time capsule that's buried in the = foundation of stone of parliament house. Mal Colston's change of allegiance early in his parliamentary term and = the improper behaviour he's been accused of, have highlighted the = limitations of a system of government that gives representative carte = blanche to do what ever they like between elections. Nothing has = highlighted this fundamental weakness more than the coalition, the = labour party, the democrats and Mal's recent behaviour both in the upper = and lower house. Any parliamentary system that does not have a = mechanism by which an elected representative can be recalled by the = electorate that voted him or her into power is fatally flawed. Once again I'd like to publicly thank Mal Colston for inadvertently = highlighting the limitations of parliamentary rule. THANKS BIG FELLA!!

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

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK C.N.T. No. 220 March 1997, C/- Molinvos, 64, 18009 Granada, Spain. Tel: = 958 22 00 65. Fax: 958 22 01 19 **** Le Libertaire No. 174 March 1997, 25 Rue d'Amlemont, 76600 Le Havre, = France. Tel: 02 35 53 33 41 **** Le Monde Libertaire No. 1077, 1078 27th March, 2nd April / 3rd-9th = April '97, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France. Tel: 0148 053 408. Fax: = 0419 299 859 **** Graswurzel Revolution No. 218 April '97, Kaiserstrade 24, 26122 = Oldlnburg (Oldb), D 4025E, Germany. **** 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 PO Box 5035, Alphington. 3078 Melbourne, Write in for a leaflet = outlining our activities.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY Sick & 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 Media Institute Public Discussion Meeting Albania - Blueprint for Post-Modern Revolution? ~=20 Joseph Toscano, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 3000, 8.00 pm, Door Open = 7.30 pm All Welcome, Thursday 24th March Anarres Bookshop will have a bookstall on the night.

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.

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.

REGIONAL ANARCHIST FLAG 5 feet x 3 feet Approximately 175cm x 110cm, Cost $25.00 (includes = postage within Australia), $35.00 (Inc. 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.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE MARCH OBSCENITY AWARD Has been awarded to ALEXANDER DOWNER THE FOREIGN MINISTER - For his = dithering performance during the Papua New Guinea Constitutional crisis. = A3 copies of the award available, non laminated $5.00, laminated $8.00. = Colours available green, white, yellow, orange, purple, blue you choose. = Make out cheques or money orders to Libertarian Workers PO Box 20 = Parkville 3052. Melbourne Australia.

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 & Leave It In = Doctors, Dentists, Vets Waiting Rooms & In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, = Libraries & 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 $1810.40. 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 16.4.97 - $1810.40

Anarchist Media Institute Obscenity of the Week Must go to Honest John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister for his = transparent cynical manipulation of the Mal Colston affair.

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