g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Tue Aug 20 01:06:50 MDT 1996
At 02:54 PM 8/19/96 -0400, you wrote:
>To the Comrades from Down Under:
>Just saw on CNN's website that y'all have been engaged
>in what your PM, at least, seems to think is some very
>un-Australian conduct in the capital!
>What's going on?
>-- Matt D.
>-- Finger afn02065 at afn.org for PGP Public Key --
> --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
Ken and Jeff and Tony have posted excellent pieces on about this. My
immediate response is that things have got suddenly very hot here. We will
of course pull back and the union leadership will get control but for a
while yesterday outside parliament the bureaucracy lost control. It seems
that the police stupidly tried to stop Aboriginal marchers from joining up
with the main trade union rally. Aboriginal Australians are the most
militant demonstrators I have ever seen outside of media shots of Korea. The
aborigines headed towards the gates of parliament and the trade unionists
followed them. The rest is history!
They battered down the doors and forced their way in. There was blood on
the marble. Middle class Australia is in shock and outrage, naturally, but
there is also a goodly element of fear. Fear of the workers and that for the
first time in decades. The Prime Minister, a little shit of a petty
bourgeois class warrior, strutted thru the wreckage doing an imitation of
his beloved Churchill. The media dutifully out did themselves in condemnation.
Suddenly, such are the irones of the dialectic, the reds have it seems
reappeared beneath the bed. We were assured on the Government station this
morning that "Trots" were behind it all. Not so long ago they were
congratulating themselves on the total death of communism. Now it seems
WE'R BAAACK! the nightmare is once more haunting the imaginary of the
What will happen from here? Difficult to predict. The spectre of class
struggle is now out of the bottle. Of course they can get it back again but
yesterday proved conclusively that the working class will not go down
without a fight and if they link up with Aborigines and students then there
will or at least could be a severe social explosion.
My bet is the govt. will make a big deal of law and order in the media.
The labor bureaucrats will out do themselves in condemnation of the "
violence" but that the Tories may retreat. If they do not then there will
be more explosions. People are frightened. The hand of the bureaucracy has
been lifted from the necks of the workers. People voted for a conservative
government and they got a radical right or post-traditional conservative
govt instead. That is at least part of the reason for yesterday's riot.
The bureaucracy's problem is an interesting one. Their years of class
collaboration in an Accord with the Labor govt saw a great decline in union
membership. My guess is that the extent of the decline encouraged the
ruling class to think that they could have a go at the pulverisation of the
working class and so they moved to the Conservative Coalition option.
The bureaucracy need to show the ruling class they are still relevant and
that only they can quieten down the class struggle and produce a cooperative
working class. Hence they have encouraged stuggle but if a real fight
develops then they too could get swept aside. Oh precious thought!
Got to get back to class!
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