Happy February 11, friends! There are two Verso Radical Diary entries for today: on this day in 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested for distributing a pamphlet about birth control; and on this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years as a political prisoner. It’s enough to make one feel slightly guilty about spending the day in one’s air-conditioned cubicle at work, but at least one gets to write a link roundup.
First of all, if you haven’t listened to the Brisbane smash hit anti-capitalist podcast Living the Dream (hosted by Flood contributors Dave Eden and Jon Piccini), a) what on God’s green earth have you been doing with your life and b) now is an excellent time to start, because they have a new episode out on Sally McManus’ book! Full disclosure, I haven’t actually listened to this yet, but I know what I’ll be doing on my lunch break today.
As soon as I saw the words ‘Shorten tipped to …’ in the headline of this morning’s Crikey Worm email, a wave of dread and revulsion washed over me. Sure enough: ‘Shorten tipped to falter on medical transfer support’. Apparently there is a ‘middle ground’ on medical transfers (!!!) and the Labor Party is committed to finding it. Well isn’t that just fantastic. Thank god for left-wing opposition, hey? Time to take some deep breaths and re-read one of my favourite articles from last year.
Big thanks to reader Ryan, who sent me this very interesting study - which he worked on! - examining exactly how long it takes for the world’s biggest musicians to earn (“earn”) average salaries. Spoiler alert: not very long! Truly our society is broken when Newstart is 30% below the poverty line but U2 (objectively the world’s worst band, to add insult to injury) makes a year’s minimum-wage salary in 67 minutes. I would also hazard a completely random guess that not much of that gets paid in tax. Isn’t capitalism great! Also, this is a good opportunity to note that I remain very open to reader contributions to link roundups - if you come across an article that you’d like to see included in a future link roundup, email me! floodmediabrisbane at gmail dot com.
A new book by Verso, ‘Socialist Strategy and Electoral Politics’, should be relevant to many of your interests. The chapter on American Indian citizenship and decolonisation, by Nick Estes, is up now on the Verso blog and is well worth a read. While it is about the US, parts of it could have been written about Australia: “This settler nation has historically opened Native lands for capitalist development to ease its own internal economic, political, and racial turmoil—and it has killed, removed, and disappeared Native people to do so … But what does it mean to be a citizen of the nation that invades your land?”
Further to last week’s links on the UTLA teachers’ strike, here’s a piece on what we can learn from the strike, and the realistic steps that can be taken to build on the teachers’ success. This is an excellent, comprehensive, and realistic explainer of the (many!) elements of the teachers’ struggle and how they continue to play out. It also highlights the crucial importance of strike action itself: “Many of the demands that teachers won through the strike— especially limits on class size— were only possible to win through a strike … Seeing the example of the LA teachers strike will inspire thousands of union and non-union workers across the city to see what is possible through struggle.”
Until next week!
PS: Jeremy’s Big Marrow Energy has nothing to do with any of this week’s content, I just came across it again this morning and it sparked so much joy that I couldn’t not include it.