In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) have a chat with Anthony O’Donnell (@AnthonyODonne13), a Senior Lecturer from La Trobe and author of ‘Inventing Unemployment: Regulating Joblessness in Twentieth-Century Australia’. Anthony shows us how the category of Full Employment was invented and why, and undermines the claim that the low levels of post-War unemployment were due to the magic powers of a white paper written under the Chifley Government rather than say the general dynamics of the boom. At the time it was low levels of unemployment that presented an issue for capitalism and the groundwork of the punitive regime the poor are subjected to today was developed then. Great stuff.
In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) talks with Anna Sturman (@anna_sturman) author of ‘Climate Emergency’, COVID-19 and the Australian capitalist state . Anna draws on the work of Nicos Poulantzas to present an understanding of the state, a diagnosis of the contemporary conjuncture of Australian capitalism and suggest ways that we can struggle for dignity and lives worth living. We talk through the possibilities of the present, the opportunities for creating and using power and cut the gordian knot of the great debate of 2019 – Jobs Guarantee or Universal Basic Income.
Music by Chumbawamba
In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Godfrey Moase (@gemoase) a director of the United Workers Union.
The UWU, a recent a fusion of the National Union of Workers and United Voice, has been receiving a lot of attention due to the industrial actions of its members, its claims to be revitalising internal democracy and its Workers’ Plan To Survive Covid-19 Crisis : a broad vision to address the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in a way that points beyond capitalism. This interview with Tim Kennedy the National Secretary of the UWU in Jacobin is very useful: “We Can Use This Crisis to Reconceptualize the Economy” .
Here Godfrey explains the strategy and organisational direction of the UWU, gives a critique of the #changetherules defeat and presents what he thinks is a viable way forward to accumulate class power.
Music by Meatraffle
In this episode of Living The Dream Dave @withsobersenses talks about the questions that COVID-19 is forcing us to confront – and then goes on to do an analysis of a report from Macquarie Wealth Management stating conventional capitalism is dying and finishes by looking at the latest developments in the provision of stimulus from the RBA and the Federal Government.
After recording this episode I found out that the story about dolphins in Venice wasn’t true. Bum.
Articles mentioned include:
Music by Cable Ties
Image: If the unemployed are dole bludgers, what the fuck are the idle rich? - Redback Graphix remixed by Wendy Murray
In this episode Dave @withsobersenses takes a moment to think about how and why COVID-19 is impacting the capitalist mode of production, what are the drivers of the looming recession and depression and why various Keynesian arguments get it wrong.
You should read Social Contagion
Music by Assück
In this episode, Jon (@JonPiccini) has a long delayed conversation with Shan Windscript (@ShanWindy), Phd student at University of Melbourne and organiser, who has played key roles in the fight for casual workers in the tertiary sector and the rights of international students. We talk about how the Coronavirus has served to weaponise long standing fears about China in Australia, how supporting movements for change in Hong Kong is not incompatible with working for political and economic rights on the mainland, and how Shan’s research on the inner lives of everyday activists in Maoist China undermines attempts to present the present CCP regime as omnipotent.
Shan's writing includes
In this episode of Living The Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) catch up with Tash Heenan (@tashellenheenan) and Jeremy Poxon (@JeremyPoxon) to discuss the Green New Deal. Jon, Tash and Jeremy are partisans of the Green New Deal, seeing it as a way of addressing immediate concerns and opening pathways to more radical transformations whilst Dave remains something of a half-reformed ultra-left curmudgeon who can do nothing more than yell ‘but the value-form’ at worried passer-bys.
We chat about what a Green New Deal may or may not be, if it is an attempt to save or destroy capitalism, its relationship or not with creating communism, the hard limits the environmental crisis imposes, the disappearance of the commons as a concept, and a whole lot more.
Writings we reference include:
Now that the hot-takes have gone cold and are stale as bricks @JonPiccini and @withsobersenses take out their artisanal slow-cooker take on the recent Australian Federal election. Why did we get it so wrong? Why did #changetherules suck? What will a Morrison Coalition government look like and what does it mean for our strategy?
CW: This show contains a discussion of misogyny and domestic violence.
Stuff we mention includes:
Elizabeth Humphrys – We Live in Anti-Political Times
Jeremy Poxon, Tash Heenan & Jon Piccini - Australia Needs A Green New Deal, Not More Centrism
Music by Class War
In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) try to work out if we have anything useful to say about an election that is all hype but actually a snoozefest. What does it tell us about the state of Australian society, what can anticapitalists draw from it? Are we about the #Changetherules or will Clive Palmer be leading us into a Kangaroo Reich? What happens the morning after?
We also address some criticisms we have received and try to muddle through some blind-spots in our thinking.
Stuff we mention includes:
In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Keir Milburn (@KeirMilburn ). Keir is from Leeds and has been an anti-state communist for a respectable amount of time (and an all round good egg). Previously a member of Class War and the Leeds May Day Group/ The Free Association he is now part of Plan C. Recently he has been trying to think through how anti-capitalists can related to the rise of Corbyn and the return of social democracy. We talk through the arguments and deal with some of the critiques. He has a new book Generation Left out now.
Some stuff we mention includes