Category: democracy

08 Dec


‘Abolishing the present state of things’


Paris Commune: the ‘reabsorption of the State power by society’

Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence. —Marx & Engels (1845), The German […]

14 Nov


Understanding Podemos (2/3): Radical populism


Monedero, Iglesias, Errejón

The first part of Left Flank’s series exploring the rise of Podemos looked at the positive incorporation in the project of the “Indignados” (15-M) movement’s participatory democracy and radical opposition towards “politics”. Here Luke Stobart looks more critically at the “radical populism” that has shaped the approach of its dominant grouping (and now formal leadership) […]

01 Nov

1 Comment

Naomi Klein, the ‘shock doctrine’ & Whitlam’s dismissal


FILE: Baroness Thatcher Dies Aged 87 - Thatcher On The World Stage

In the latest post at her personal blog, An Integral State, Left Flank’s ELIZABETH HUMPHRYS challenges Naomi Klein’s celebrated “shock doctrine” thesis of neoliberal transformation by looking at the Whitlam dismissal and the Fraser government’s failure to drive through neoliberal reform. But despite these concurrent ‘shocks’ — the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression […]

29 Sep


Occupying Hong Kong



GUEST POST BY KEVIN LIN  The past week has seen a dramatic escalation of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, against the Chinese government’s obstruction in Hong Kong’s electoral process. In scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring uprisings, 30,000 college students and supporters occupied streets in Hong Kong’s central financial district, encircled by riot police armed with […]

14 Sep


A federal ICAC? ‘Accountability’ & the decay of politics


[Graphic: Newcastle Herald]

It’s been enjoyable indeed to watch the humiliation of both sides of NSW politics on the ICAC witness stand. But, unlike Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald — or the Greens, who have been pushing the idea for some time — I don’t think a federal ICAC would either solve the problem of “political […]

07 Apr


WA result: Normal (anti-political) programming resumes


Ludlam Milne Siewert

For most of the Left the re-election, on a big swing and record vote, of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam will be the most cheering news from the WA Senate special election. The Greens campaign was carried out with a large army of enthusiastic and youthful volunteers — door knocking and staffing phone banks (the latter […]

24 Mar

1 Comment

Whatever happened to the Indignados? 2: Regime crisis


Catalonia 11 Sep

After the weekend’s million and a half strong “March for dignity” in Madrid, once again showing that the wave of radicalisation that has swept Spain since the 15-M protests of 2011 is far from over, LUKE STOBART returns to Left Flank with the second instalment of a special three-part analysis of the Indignados movement and […]

17 Mar


Whatever happened to the Indignados? 1: Radical struggle


David Flores Torrecillas

LUKE STOBART with the first instalment of a special three-part analysis of the radicalisation that has swept Spain since the 15-M protests of 2011.   *** Anti-politics and the 15-M movement On 15 May 2011 the new collectives Juventud Sin Futuro (Youth Without Future) and ¡Democracia Real Ya! (Real Democracy Now!), demonstrated in Madrid using […]

05 Dec


The Greens NSW, unions & political donations


...except not all of them.

With the Unions NSW-led High Court challenge to Barry O’Farrell’s donations laws awaiting a decision, a flurry of articles and commentary emerged in the press and social media recently, with several Greens activists defending the laws, and unionists, including Greens member and Fire Brigade Employees’ Union Secretary, Jim Casey, attacking them. Also coming out against […]

04 Dec


Abbott & the auto-unravelling of the Right


Grown-up government

For some time, this blog has insisted that an Abbott government — far from getting a smooth ride, even with a big parliamentary majority — would most likely face “crisis and volatility” at least as much as the ALP had over the last few years. By way of contrast, the rapid accumulation of problems for Abbott in […]