joe.toscano's blog

The Changing Role of the State

It’s no accident the state is defined as sovereign political power. Traditionally the state was the apparatus that allowed those who exercised power within a specific territory to enforce that power. The sovereign enjoyed a monopoly in that territory on the exercise of power. Anarchists have traditionally considered themselves to be the enemy of the state because the state gives those who exercise power and accumulate wealth, the mechanism by which to enforce inequalities in the communities they control.

Anarchy and Chaos

Have you ever wondered why, in the English speaking world, the word anarchy is synonymous with chaos? Anarchism, the idea people can live their lives without rulers, not without rules, has a much wider acceptance in the non-English speaking world. To a large degree this is due to the fact anarchist ideas have never captured the public imagination in the English speaking world and no large scale political, social and cultural movements that promote anarchism have ever been a significant political force in an English speaking community.

God's Will, God's Plan, God's Word

When I first started on this political odyssey nearly 50 years ago I assumed religious belief would soon be shattered on the rocks of rationality. How wrong I was! Fifty years later religious belief has become the most important element in an increasing number of people’s lives. The search for meaning in a 21st century consumer driven society has become the single most important element in the current religious revival.

Everywhere you turn more and more people are discovering the word of God and those who refuse to listen, pay the price.

Jacqui, Jacqui

When the last Federal election was called I publicly stated on The Anarchist World This Week, one of my radio programs on Community Radio 3CR, Jacqui Lambie would be re-elected as a Senator for Tasmania and she would be the most radical member of the crossbench, if not, the Federal Parliament. Since the election a year ago, despite a number of ridiculous forays up political cul de sacs, her voting record has highlighted she has the best interests of those Australians who are struggling despite living in the land of milk and honey.

Do Leopards Change Their Spots?

I’m afraid not. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu Nationalist party led by the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was swept into office 3 years ago on a platform of economic reform. The BJP’s economic reform program has succeeded in making the rich richer and the poor poorer, in India. Facing a general election in 2019 the Indian government is moving away from its moribund economic agenda to a hard line Hindu Nationalist agenda.

Time Bandits

Have you noticed, the more time saving technological innovations we acquire, the less time we seem to have? Mobile phones or should I say, mobile handheld computers, are an excellent example. I was walking down the street a few weeks ago and counted 17 people walking down the same street using their mobile phones. Everywhere you turn an increasing number of people seem to be glued to their phones. In supermarkets you see people who are trying to choose a $3 pack of peas ring their better half to find out which pack to buy.

Outsourcing Fiasco

21st century government is based on the idea the private sector always does it better and cheaper than the public sector. The latest outsourcing fiasco is centred around labour hire firms that bring out labour from the Pacific Islands to work on Australian farms under a program that was initiated, supported and is policed by the Australian government. Instead of running the program themselves, the Australian government in its wisdom decided to outsource the hiring of Pacific Islander workers to labour hire companies.

The Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally

I'm looking at a postcard I bought from the Wonthaggi Historical Society booth at the Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally which is held in Nyora (10km outside of Korumburra) every March. I enjoy going to the Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally. There’s nothing glamourous about it. The same people turn up every year. The local Lions Club makes the chips, the heritage working horses turn up to do their thing. Tractors are pitted against machines.

What goes around comes around

I'm sure most, if not all, of you don’t remember the campaign Jean Ely and I conducted in Melbourne in 2012 when I stood as Lord Mayor of Melbourne and Jean as Deputy Lord Mayor. We came last of the 6 or 7 candidates and collected a massive 1.5% of the vote. Considering we spent $625 on the campaign and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle spent over $300,000 on his campaign, the amount of votes we received isn’t as pathetic as it first seems.

Insult, Offend, Humiliate

If you call me fat, stupid or a megalomaniac, I’d shrug my shoulders and say that’s your opinion. If you call me a wog or dago, that’s a different matter. Why? Simple. Terms like fat, stupid, megalomaniac are individual terms of abuse. They’re directly related to me. Terms like dago and wog (although we like to kid ourselves they’re part of the national vernacular) are terms of abuse that are directed at a whole group of people. The fact I’m Italian descent is nothing I can change. To be abused because of my nationality or race is different to being abused for who I am.

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