Replying to Brian was Re: Referendum Down Under

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Wed Nov 10 20:16:54 MST 1999


    I see here that you refer to Australia as a "white colonial nation."

    Is it your intent to say that in some sense, Australia suffers from
national oppression, from colonial domination?

    You also refer to "modernization." What does this mean in *class* terms?
Are you saying that there's some feudal remnants hanging around?  And if so,
why should the workers care about the bourgeoisie modernizing their state?
Is it really any of *our* business? After all, in terms of the practical
change -- how the titular head of state is selected-- the workers would get
no more of a say under the new setup than the old one.

    Finally, you say the workers are so *ignorant* that they voted against
this hand-picked-by-the-bourgeoisie presidential set up so that John Howard
couldn't get the post. That doesn't sound so ignorant to me, it seems like
pretty good class instincts are at work there. How is being opposed to
Howard becoming this vaguely-defined "president" a manifestation of
political ignorance?

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary MacLennan <g.maclennan at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 12:53 AM
Subject: Replying to Brian was Re: Referendum Down Under

>thanks you for the comments Brian.  Where are you?  Australia? What are you
>- nonaligned?
>My post was meant to address the problem of the perceived incorporation of
>the working class within the present arrangement.  I maintain they are not
>incorporated but alienated.  That is a crucial difference.  I disagree with
>you though on the matter of the absurdity of the question.  It would still
>have represented progress if the republic had got up.  It would have been a
>step towards modernization and although it is capitalist modernization that
>still represents a step forward.  The political impact of saying no to the
>Windsors in the context of a white colonial nation such as Australia cannot
>be underestimated with mantras about bourgeois dictatorship IMHO.
>But there is another side to it all.  At my son's job site the building
>workers voted no to the republic because they were convinced that the Prime
>Minister John Howard would become president if they voted 'yes'. That
>reveals a level of political ignorance that cannot be sloganize away.
>So the workers said no, but they have not a clue over what to say yea to.
>That is the problem.


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