Link Roundup: April 15

Oh god there’s an election on. Again. I can’t even be bothered to write anything about it, it is so dull and uninspiring. Fuuuuuuck. Can someone write something good that I can link to in our next roundup. Thanks. In the meantime here’s some actually good content.

Along with much of the world, I watched Julian Assange’s removal from the Ecuadorian embassy this weekend in a state of utter existential horror. I was relieved to see that most of the left-wing people I know seemed to be similarly outraged - evidence, I hope, that the tide has turned toward support for Assange. For those who are still doubters and haters, Branko Marcetic’s essay in Jacobin lays out the high stakes and dangerous precedent of Assange’s arrest (and also includes the best opening sentence I’ve read in a while). The Intercept has also been producing consistently excellent coverage, based partially on Charles Glass’ years of visits with Assange. And now seems like as good a time as any to re-link to Andy Paine’s essay from last week on ‘What does solidarity look like?’

We here at Flood Media have been known to partake in some robust critiques of the contemporary Australian union movement, so of course we welcomed the publication of Elizabeth Humphrys’ book, How Labor Built Neoliberalism, although the unfortunate price means that we cannot afford to read it :( This is sadly typical of an academic press title, although there will be a cheaper paperback copy out within a year. For now, Godfrey Moase has written a very decent review in Overland. To quote: “Humphrys portrays the labour movement not only as victims of the neoliberal restructure but also as willing agents … By highlighting the movement’s role in actively constructing neoliberal society, Humphrys indirectly points to a future in which labour can unmake neoliberal society. If the complicity of the working-class was required to make Australia what it is today, then those same agents of history can withdraw their consent.”

The Masters of Content who brought you the viral AOC campaign ad are raising money to launch an anti-capitalist, worker-owned streaming service called Means TV. If you haven’t watched their trailer yet, go and do that right now, it made me feel the kinds of emotions that I usually take care to repress. They’re already putting out some stellar content - I especially enjoyed this short explainer of socialist feminism, this on capitalism, slavery, and colonisation, and of course Brett and Bryan doing dumb guy communism. I made a donation to help them meet their fundraising goal ($500,000! dream big!) - perhaps you can do the same?

This week in “the ALP is a hell party unable to sustain the involvement of anyone with even a scrap of left-wing principles”, Labor candidate for Curtin Melissa Parke was forced to step down after stating some true facts about Israel and Palestine. For fuck’s sake. Srsly. Opposition Leader Blib Shumpting said that ““I have a view that Israel has the right to security behind its borders and the Palestinian people have a legitimate issue in statehood.” Cool cool Bill. These are definitely two non-contradictory views that can be held simultaneously. U solved it.

From Sisters Inside: “Today is the 28th anniversary of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In 28 years, too little has changed: the violence of colonisation continues to cut short the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, mothers and girls. I want to take a minute to acknowledge the women, mothers and children who are no longer with us. We remember you. All of us who are settlers in this place [must] resist being complicit in colonisation and white supremacy, which continues to kill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children, and men. We must step up and show support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in collective struggles against colonisation.” (If you need to learn more about deaths in custody and the Royal Commission, this timeline published a few years ago by SBS is a good resource.)

I clicked play on the latest Chapo episode thinking it was going to be very, erm, educational (two economists talking about the book they just wrote on central planning) - but it turned out to be fantastically interesting and one of the best eps I’ve listened to in a while. (I listen to every ep.) (She said, surprising no one.) Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski get into the nuts and bolts of how central planning already works under capitalism - and how it will work (toward altogether more valuable ends than profitability) under socialism. There’s also a great and highly necessary discussion towards the end about climate change, Western living standards, and technological utopianism. If you want more, or if you can’t listen to a whole podcast episode at your desk (coward), there’s also a good review of the book in The Baffler.

Until next week!

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash