Friday, February 28, 2014

Pillar talk

When a politician is so obviously in bed with big business, all sorts of pillar talk tends to come out.

In the case of Tony Abbott, the sweet nothings whispered in his ear from the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, various Chambers of Commerce, the Property Council and other unions of the capitalist class led to his identifying, prior to the election, five pillars that would underscore his term of government.

Those five pillars were not Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forrest, Gerry Harvey and WesFarmers, as has been claimed by certain cynics.

Rather, they were manufacturing innovation, advanced services, agricultural exports, education and research, and mining exports.

These five pillars were part of a service contract entered into by the Coalition to pleasure the ruling class for a three year term of office.

Housing, transport, health, education (public and free), and employment – the five pillars of working people’s livelihood – were not part of that service contract.

But they do form an essential component of a vitally necessary independent working class agenda.

We must take seriously the task of settling in for a protracted struggle for control of the vast urban stretches of our major cities.

We must anticipate the likelihood of contested responsibility for providing essential services to the people as we struggle to elevate them to their rightful position as the rulers and decision-makers of an anti-imperialist independent nation with key areas of the economy socialised, and with plans to advance to a fully socialist economy.

We must develop mass organisations around these five people’s pillars that can function through a lengthy period of dual power between the organisations and structures of the imperialists and their hangers-on, on the one hand, and the working class and its allies in the intermediate sectors of the people on the other.

One of the future tests of maturity of a working class vanguard will be the extent to which it can maintain a revolutionary, as opposed to an economist or reformist, orientation as it seeks to meet the lifestyle needs and living standard requirements of those it seeks to serve.

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