I’ve never been much of a morning person but some mornings it can be a struggle to get out of bed. Crippling depression aside, peeking at what passes for news in the mainstream media to find out what is going on in the world can be enough to send me running for the covers.
Just last week there was the announcement that after his latest pay rise, the Macquarie Bank CEO Nicholas Moore “earned” $1586 every 12 minutes. That’s roughly the same amount the average Australian worker takes home in a week.
Then there was an opinion piece in The Australian by Maurice Newman claiming that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the United Nations to take over the world. "This is not about facts or logic. It's about a new world order under the control of the UN," Newman wrote.
Normally such opinions are the reserve of tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists in the most paranoid corners of the internet. But this was written by a man who is the Abbott government’s chief business advisor; someone who has the direct ear of the prime minister; and this was published in Australia’s biggest selling national newspaper.
One can only laugh in the face of such absurdity, if only as means to keep from crying. Luckily I’ve found there is an antidote to this madness, and since you’re reading this, you do too. You’re holding it your hands (or reading it on your electronic device).
One of the rejections I come across quite frequently when selling Green Left Weekly on the street is “Oh no thanks, I don’t like to read bad news”. Whenever I come across this reaction I try to challenge this misconception, because Green Left isn’t just a catalogue of the human misery and environmental destruction caused by capitalism.
It’s also about people standing up and fighting back against these injustices, about resistance and human solidarity and changing society for the betterment of all humanity.
In 1996 Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello interviewed Noam Chomsky on Radio Free Los Angeles. In response to a question about how social change works Chomsky replied: “The civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the sharp critique and breakdown of illegitimate authority in all sorts of domains which took place since the 1960s; the environmental movements, the feminist movement, the solidarity movements in the 1980s — all of these things changed the society a lot. How did they do it? Well they just did it. People get together, they organise, they pressure, they try to learn, they try to help others to learn. That's the way things change.”
That is primarily the reason for Green Left’s existence. It’s about making the links between the progressive struggles for change, connecting all the members of the 99% together and empowering them to create a society that is not based on exploitation or domination.
That’s not something that can be easily commodified and so we don’t attract advertising. Because we aren’t anti-science climate-change deniers we don’t receive any government funding. This is why we rely on our readers and supporters to help keep us going.
You can support us in this important work by donating to the GLW fighting fund on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia). Donations can also be made to Green Left Weekly, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account no. 00901992. Otherwise you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007.