Issue 26 – 7 January to 13 January 2021

Australian conservatives go to extraordinary lengths to deny the reality of rightwing extremism
Jeff Sparrow | The Guardian
Conservatives in Australia, like their co-thinkers in the US, have long performed extraordinary gyrations to avoid acknowledging the reality of rightwing extremism. 

Scott Morrison should shut down his MPs who dance with disinformation propaganda | Van Badham
Van Badham | The Guardian
Alas, for all their self-conscious stars-and-stripes, the mob represents an international problem, not merely an American one. It’s a growing awareness of that problem’s tentacle reach that has Australians concerned at a conspicuous division between Morrison’s words and his actions.

Trump as a gonzo Jefferson taps into the deep well of American resistance
Guy Rundle | Crikey
Throughout the political career of President Donald Trump, the mainstream — and that is most of us — have repeatedly declared him finished with each fresh outrage. Through the last four amazing years, we’ve developed some understanding of Trump’s capacity to transform politics rather than be destroyed by it. But we’re never fully on top of the transformational process.

The way to defeat authoritarian power grabs is mass mobilisation
Denis Rogatyuk | Green Left Weekly
While millions across the world have just witnessed this in the US, I experienced a case of a déjà vu, as I remembered the dark pattern of similar right-wing revolts against legitimate left victories across Latin America.

The fascist farce on Washington
Josh Lees | Red Flag
Success in gaining entry had more to do with the sympathy that the cops and other security agencies have with the far right than the protesters’ actual strength.

Don’t sweep the ugly truth about US ‘democracy’ under the carpet
Pip Hinman | Green Left Weekly
Miranda Devine, one of Murdoch’s senior Australian MAGA cheerleaders, is fuming about how Donald Trump’s “freedom rally” outside the White House ended up as a “tragedy for the Republican Party, for conservatives and populist nationalists, and for Donald Trump and his legacy”.

Australia’s economy is faring better than most – but that’s not saying much
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
As we begin 2021, the economic questions mostly involve wondering when will things return to normal and what that normal will look like. The worst is behind us, but we have a way to go yet to be out of recession and a great deal further to go before we can suggest the economy is strong.

Zero Attribution: Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology keeps silent on climate science
Sandi Keane, Tasha May  | Michael West Media
Climate attribution involves understanding and quantifying “how much of the credit or risk for an event (or type of events) should go to global warming and how much should go to natural weather patterns or random climate variability”. Australia’s meteorological service remains silent on this breakthrough technology.

We Can’t Lose the Collective Experience of Going to the Movies to This Pandemic
Owen Hatherley | Jacobin
Going to the movies feels fundamentally different from simply streaming videos: it’s a collective experience, and often inspires discussion and argument. In 2021, when the pandemic finally recedes, we should build socialist film clubs.

Charity Rorts: how private schools and big business rob from the poor to give to the rich
William De Maria | Michael West Media
The richest schools are charities, as are big businesses like Queensland Sugar Limited. Even the likes of AI Group and NSW Business Chamber Ltd, organisations which fight against higher pay and better conditions for workers, enjoy charity and tax exempt status. Why should taxpayers foot the bill?

2020 in hindsight, and a perspective for 2021
Omar Hassan | Red Flag
Marxists such as Rob Wallace, author of Big Farms Make Big Flu, have written extensively about the connection between intensive capitalist agricultural practices and the emergence of this and other viruses, so there is no need to repeat their arguments here. Their essential point is that COVID-19 should not be seen as an exogenous shock (that is, something coming from the outside) to our otherwise healthy social system. Rather, the pandemic is a side effect of capitalism’s extractive relationship with the natural world.

How Capitalist Competition Hobbled the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
Costas Lapavitsas | Jacobin
Big pharma firms like Pfizer are marketing COVID-19 vaccines for a profit, yet the research behind them would have been impossible without universities and public funding. The lack of an international public health response has placed capitalist profit over human need — and will leave billions of people unvaccinated.

Lake Torrens on track to become next Juukan Gorge
Rachael Knowles | National Indigenous Times

Venezuelan revolutionary MP: ‘We need a patriotic, ethical and democratic National Assembly’
Melitza Orellana, Frederico Fuentes | Green Left Weekly

A victory for the movement in the streets: inside Argentina’s abortion win
Jordan Humphreys | Red Flag

Trump’s legacy: A global fascist movement
Rashad Seeden | Independent Australia

Even the US Capitol attack is an opportunity for climate deniers
DeSmog Blog  | Independent Australia

Australian acting PM’s ‘all lives matter’ comment labelled ‘beyond disgusting’
Daniel Hurst, Namaan Zhou | The Guardian

Origin of the specious: how a family business polluted a democracy
Eric Beecher | Crikey

Socialists condemn right-wing US coup attempt, call for mobilisation on January 20
Metro DC branch Democratic Socialists of America | Green Left Weekly

Federal Govt’s peak corruption scheme scores $400m in 2020
Michael Pascoe | The New Daily

Wake up and smell the smoke
Isabel Vieira | National Indigenous Times

What Delhi Tells Us About Neoliberalism: from a site of working class politics to breezy recreation
Thomas Crowley | Jacobin

National centre for disease control the cure for COVID bungles: doctors
Cait Kelly | The New Daily

Drive Spain’s Francoites From Their Palaces (and Boardrooms)
Vincent Galiana I Cano | Jacobin