Workers of the world unite, right? Okay, but how? This is a special episode where Shane Reside, an organiser with the International Transport Workers Federation, interviews Jamie K McCallum (@jamiekmccallum) author of Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing about a new kind of labour internationalism: the global union federation. What are they? Where did they come from? Are they any good? Do they challenge the inequalities between workers in the North and South or recreate them? How useful are the Global Framework Agreements that they use? Focusing on the history and experience of UNI Global Union Shane and Jamie talk about all this and more. There are no easy answers here. Whether you think the union makes us strong (you know who you are) or that unions are forces of recuperation (as do you) this is a must-listen-to conversation about the real experience of the global labour institutions.
In this special #qldvotes2017 episode of Living The Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) engage in all the froth and illusion of electoral politics. We chat about the broader situation in Queensland and the impact of the slowdown of capital accumulation and the rise in state debt and the general degeneration of all the major parties. What is the ALP government all about and why is it so boring? What is left of the LNP and what kind of reactionary mindblowingness is One Nation engaged in now? Why are power bills rising and why are the mainstream solutions so shit?
We end the podcast with a chat about the revitalised and radical campaign of the Greens. Can this contribute to radically changing society? What are its promises and what are its limitations? Can elections play any role in anti-capitalist strategy? If so what? Is this a new way forward or old-school recuperation?
Some of the stuff we mention is:
Australia is currently in the midst of a non-binding postal survey on same-sex marriage and it seems likely that the ‘Yes’ vote will win by a massive majority. Yet the ‘Left’ and supporters of same-sex marriage seem miserable and downcast about this. In this episode Simon Copland (@SimonCopland) helps Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) make sense of it all. We talk about the role that homophobia and sexuality plays in capitalism, the histories of Queer struggles within neoliberalism, and how certain sections of the Yes campaign have internalised a pessimistic perspective about people and democracy. We finish on a high-note about what the expected resounding Yes vote will mean for Australian society and the possibility of further struggles. This episode starts with Dave mispronouncing Simon’s name.
Writers and articles we mention include:
Wendy Brown – States of Injury
Dennis Altman – Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation
Melinda Cooper – Family Values
Sarah Schulman The Gentrification of the Mind
Music by Bob. B Soxx and the Blues Jeans and by Dark Blue
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pKTq8WEc1oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
In episode 2 of Marx’s Textbook Dave (@withsobersenses) looks at two very different ways of understanding the broad dynamics of capitalism. Mainstream economics asks us to think of capitalism as simply a system of wealth creation and consider questions of what is or isn’t an efficient use of resources and when or if the state should intervene; whilst Marx argues that capitalism is primarily compelled by the drive to make profits and accumulate capital, the source of which is the exploitation of labour and that it has an inherent tendency to crisis and creates the material possibilities of a better society – communism. Which approach is correct? (Spoiler: it is Marx’s – capitalism is a profit driven system of exploitation with a tendency to crisis and we are its gravediggers).
Littleboy, Bruce, Akila Weerapana, and John B Taylor. 2013. Macroeconomics : Principles and Practice. Asia Pacific: Cengage Learning Australia ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/lib/uql/detail.action?docID=1990996.
Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Ben Fowkes. Vol. 1. London: Penguin Classics.
Marx, Karl. 1991. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by David Fernbach. Vol. 3. London: Penguin Books in association with New Left Review.
Marx, Karl. 1992. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by David Fernbach. Vol. 2. London: Penguin Classics.
Marx’s Textbook Ep.1: An Introduction to the Critique of Capitalism & of Economics
This is the first episode of a new Living The Dream series entitled Marx’s Textbook. In each episode Dave(@withsobersenses) takes a chapter of a basic macroeconomics textbooks –
in this case Littleboy (2013) – summarises the content and then presents how Marx can help us think about these issues and challenge the dominant assumptions. What we find is that Marx doesn’t just provide different answers rather he compels us to ask different questions. Each episode will only be approx. 30 minutes long and is aimed at helping people to understand and critique both capitalism and economics as an ideology. No prior knowledge of Marx or macroeconomics is required.
Littleboy, Bruce, et al.,. 2013. Macroeconomics : Principles and Practice. Asia Pacific: Cengage Learning Australia ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/lib/uql/detail.action?docID=1990996.
In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk with all-round good egg Troy Henderson (@TroyCHenderson) about the idea of a Universal Basic Income. Troy provides us with an intellectual history and we discuss if it is a techbro attempt to sure up capitalism, a radical social democratic attempt to fix capitalism or if it contains radical elements that point in an anti-capitalist direction? We also talk about why a Jobs Guarantee is horrid and shit.
Some stuff we may have mentioned or should have:
Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams Inventing the Future Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
Antonio Negri Benoît Hamon and Universal Income
Immaterial Workers of the World (Paolo Virno) What Did I Tell You?
Andrew Leigh Why a universal basic income is a terrible idea
Chapo Trap House Episode 123 - UBIsoft feat. Clio Chang (7/10/17)
Music includes Soft Pink Things and The Business both covering CRASS
In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) talks with Craig Gent from Novara Media. We talk about the recent UK General Election and the surprisingly good result Labour under Jeremy Corbyn received. Craig tells us about how Novara have chosen to orientate to Corybn and elections, the contradictions of social democracy and what the election may or may not mean for larger anticapitalist practice.
These contradictions are represented artistically by starting the show with a sample of Corbyn reading Shelley and finishing with a classic anti-parliamentary anarchist banger by Chumbawamba – representing the wide gamut of UK radicalism in verse and song.
Articles we mention include:
Where We Go From Here – Richard Seymour
Global Economic Prospects: A Fragile Recovery – World Bank
In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) are joined by Liz Humphrys (@liz_beths) who torpedos the hagiography of the ALP Hawke-Keating government. Whilst the talking heads of the ALP like Van Badham and Wayne Swan argue over if the Hawke-Keating government was mainly excellent with a few flaws or really excellent with none, Liz’s ground breaking work on the Accord shows how the latter was the central plank of the implementation of neo-liberalism in Australia and the method of delivering an epoch defining defeat to the working class and the decomposition of our power. Not one for pointless pessimism Liz also gives us some key insights from this history that can help us recompose a viable anticapitalist project today.
Liz’s work can be found at:
And we take umbrage at these confused musings of and about Australian Laborism:
For those interested in the subject matter of this podcast the Brisbane Labour History Association is presenting the Alex Macdonald lecture: Labor, labour and Australia in the 1980s feature historian Frank Bongiorno 7th June 5.30 for 6.00pm at the QCU Building, 16 Peel St,, South Brisbane.
This podcast contains music from Painters and Dockers that encapsulates the feel of Australia in the 1980s
In this episode of Living the Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Godfrey Moase (@gemoase) the General Branch Assistant Secretary of the National Union of Workers. Godfrey had a number of criticisms of our last show . We talk about these and Godfrey also addresses the broader strategic and tactical possibilities for anticapitalist struggle and how they relate to trade unions.
You can find some of Godfrey’s writings here:
- Maintain the wage rage (with Carina Garland)
- Defending Australian Labor
- The case for a 30-hour working week
- Absorbing Corbyn
Other things we mention include:
Music by The Sweatshop Union
In this episode Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk about the recent cuts to penalty rates by the Fair Work Commission . We dismiss the idea that this attack is actual just a product of ‘the Right’; rather it is a continuation of the 100+ year tradition of arbitration supported by the ALP and the mainstream of the ACTU in the context of the real contradictions of capital accumulation. We discuss the movement against penalty rate cut as well as the Big Steps walk off of early childcare educators and the challenges the class faces to recomposing our power and secure emancipation.
Stuff we mention includes
Fair Work Commission 4 yearly review of modern awards – Penalty Rates
Music by Barrett Strong