C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Crikey on Class

Online mag Crikey has had a couple of interesting articles recently, both of which are worth bookmarking for future reference.

The first is by Jeff Sparrow, editor of the Overland journal, who argues that US forces are colluding with Shi'ite elites against the nationalist Iraqi resistance, composed largely of the underclass:

According to George Bush, "Iraqi security forces are waging a tough battle against militia fighters and criminals in Basra, many of whom have received arms and training and funding from Iran." But hang on a minute. In that "tough battle", isn’t the US providing air support for an organization called the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq? Wasn’t the SCIRI (more recently known as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) founded 25 years ago as an Iranian proxy? Didn’t, until May last year, the SCIRI/ICI explicitly take its spiritual direction from Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?

I've seen this theme elsewhere of some of the left-leaning blogosphere, and I'd be interested to hear from anybody who knows more. Anybody who still believes that the Iraq War was an emancipatory project should be disabused of their illusions upon learning that private security firm Blackwater has had its contract in Iraq renewed, in spite of allegations of civilian massacres, and in spite of the wishes of the Iraqi people.

Closer to home, Crikey has published an article examining the disparities in wealth between Australians, and puts paid to the Howardian myth of unparalleled economic prosperity:

St. Vincent de Paul assisted over 2.1 million Australians in 2006. An estimated 100,000 Australians are currently homeless. The percentage of the population living in poverty increased in 10 years (1994 to 2004) from 7.6% to 9.9%. Australia ranks unfavourably against most OECD nations on poverty.

It's good to see such issues receive a bit of attention, when the rest of the media is focusing on Wayne Carey's foibles, and newsreaders coming out of the closet. Traditional leftist considerations of class, and the analysis of struggles between classes are still essential is a supposedly post-Marxist, postmodern world.