Fair Work and the horrible history of arbitration

Tom Bramble The cuts to penalty rates by the Fair Work Commission are not the first anti-working class decisions taken by this body and they won’t be the last. The Fair Work Commission and its predecessor organisations have for more than a century attacked workers’ wages, undermined conditions of empl...CONTINUE READING

Why democracy and capitalism don’t mix

Daniel Taylor When he took office in January, Donald Trump declared that he was “transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you: the people”. As the rain fell on the half-empty National Mall, the new president predicted: “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people beca...CONTINUE READING

Capitalism’s illusory freedom

Daniel Taylor World capitalism is a mess. Racked by political crises, teetering on the brink of economic crash or war, every year reaching new heights of economic inequality so extreme as to be almost unimaginable: the system seems to offer no hope for the future. We live in a period with no governing p...CONTINUE READING

What is Marxism?

Ben Hillier “All things obey money”, Solomon wryly quips in Ecclesiastes. Old wisdom seems obviously true. Our capacity to participate in society depends on our ability to purchase things. We are therefore in constant need of a supply of cash or credit, even if only a relatively modest amount. The lac...CONTINUE READING

When workers turned the world upside down

Mick Armstrong The 1917 Russian Revolution transformed world politics. For the first time ever, the mass of workers took control of society and began democratically and collectively to reshape every aspect of life for the benefit of the great majority. They created a new form of mass democracy – workers’...CONTINUE READING

Why protesting matters

Leela Yellesetty January saw the largest protests to ever greet an incoming president – and quite possibly the largest nationwide day of protests in US history. But in the days that followed, Trump moved forward with nearly every aspect of his reactionary agenda that millions of people had come out to oppo...CONTINUE READING

The roots of sectarianism in the Middle East

Omar Hassan It is nearly impossible to find a mainstream news report about the Middle East that doesn’t refer to the religious affiliation of the protagonists. Sunnis hate Shi’ites, Shi’ites hate Sunnis, all Muslims hate Christians, and, of course, every Arab has a profound and irrational hatred of Je...CONTINUE READING

Anti-Irish racism in Australian history

Mick Armstrong Anti-Irish racism was brought to Australia on the First Fleet and remained a core element of Australian politics for almost 200 years. It was undoubtedly the main racial/communal division in the working class for much of this period. The divisions were so entrenched that they persisted for...CONTINUE READING

I was a teenage socialist

Diane Fieldes Every time I hear Midnight Oil’s chorus – “Oh, the power and the passion. Oh, the temper of the time” – I am transported to the past. Not to 1982, when the song was released, but to the heady days of the early 1970s, when I first encountered socialist politics. An idea that something momen...CONTINUE READING