While there is room for people like Joe Tripodi in the ALP, it cannot be a genuine workers' party, writes Marcus Strom.

If you close your eyes till your vision goes blurry and you conjure up a parallel universe, you can just about imagine that Joe Tripodi is part of the labour movement.


The brutal Israeli assult on Lebanon is a direct result of the failure of the US plan for the Middle East, writes Noah Bassil.

Horrific images of the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of Israeli-US military force in Lebanon and Gaza are a reminder not only of Israel’s disregard for civilian casualties in its role as the "strong man" of the Middle East but also of the failure of the US project of "refashioning" the region.


Labor's immigration spokesman says there is "no such thing as an illegal human being". Marcus Strom finds it hard to disagree.

In the context of the refugee movement the slogan, "no human being is illegal" has traditionally been adopted by the radical left that supports an abolition of all immigration controls. In France, such a slogan is used by the leftists involved in the National Coordination of Sans Papiers; in Britain it is activists involved in groups such as No Borders and No One Is Illegal that use such language.

It was therefore quite surprising to hear such sentiment come from the mouth of Tony Burke, shadow minister for immigration.


Jack Conrad questions the romantic image of prehistory presented by green thinkers

Almost without exception, greens of virtually every stripe, variety and hue display a half-dreamy, half-atavistic tenderness for the pre-capitalist past. They did things better then.

Feudal greens such as Edward Goldsmith imagine England returned to the social stability and ecology of contented serfs, loyal vassals, chaste damsels, gallant knights, christian alms-giving and strong monarchs. Essentially, a dull-witted repetition of Young England in the 19th century: “The greatest owned connexion with the least; from rank to rank the generous feeling ran, and linked society as man to man” (Lord Manners England’s trust 1841). Everyone has their place and everyone is in their place


Condemning Israel is not the same as anti-semitism, writes Marcus Strom.

Mel Gibson's anti-semitic rant while drunk and under arrest will not come as a surprise to anyone who has seen The Passion of Christ. The film, which has grossed more than $US620m at the box office, repeats the lie that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, the Christian and Muslim saviour-cum-prophet. And while Mel Gibson's views on Judaism may be reprehensible, what is most shocking about them is that they express a view held by many conservative Catholics.


Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition says it's time to overhaul the ALP's refugee policy at next year's national conference

Until June 2002 when legislation was introduced excising thousands of islands from the effects of the Migration Act, federal Labor had supported all of the Howard government’s changes to refugee policy: from the One Nation policy of temporary protection visas (TPVs) to the Tampa legislation. Thanks to Labor’s bipartisan support for Howard’s policies, the refugee movement has suffered under an effective senate majority for almost the entire period of the Howard government.


Should a democratic republic maintain common law or seek codifcation of law? Mike McNair argues that codification gives more power to the working class.

Labor Tribune “stands for the immediate abolition of the monarchy system and its replacement with a democratic republic”. Marcus Strom, Labor Tribune editor, asked me as a Brit communist and advocate of a democratic republic in Britain, who is also an academic lawyer, if creating a democratic republic involves breaking with the common law.


Demonstrations against Israeli aggression were the largest Arabic-Australian mobilisation for years, writes Caine Grennets.

Demonstrations were held in Australia's state capital cities on July 22 against Israel’s war on Lebanon and on the occupied Palestinian territories. The largest by far was in Sydney, called by more than 50 groups under the umbrella of the Australian-Arabic Committee for Solidarity with Palestinian & Lebanese People. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people assembled at Town Hall, spilling out to fill not only the square, but across all lanes of George Street.


While Big Brother may be crap television, it isn't up to John Howard, the state or the Christian right to decide what we watch, writes Kelly Boundary.

The alleged sexual harassment episode on Big Brother and the subsequent expulsion of two housemates from Big Brother revealed the imminent danger of Australia becoming a nation of wowsers, while the state continues to kneel to Christian influence.


Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987, Louis Althusser, edited by Francois Matheron and Oliver Corpet, translated by GM Goshgarian, Verso, London/New York, 2006

Scott Hamilton asks if there is life after death for Althusser and his last minute discovery of the anecdote

Twenty five years ago, at the beginning of a particularly cold northern winter, an elderly man strangled his wife in the Paris flat they had shared for many unhappy years. November 16, 1980, marked not only the end of Helene Althusser's life but the end of her husband's career as an academic philosopher and communist political activist.

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