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The total wealth on the Financial Review Rich List is a record $233 billion. The top 10 wealthiest Australians are worth about $75 billion alone, while the average wealth for the 200 list members is a whopping $1.16 billion, the 2017 Rich List reveals. Anthony Pratt tops the Rich List with record personal wealth of $12.6 billion and is one of three billionaires worth more than $10 billion –
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On May 21, a report by the Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing, based at the University of Cape Town, released a report that estimated sub-Saharan Africa’s middle classes at 100-million, excluding South Africa’s.  Any proper assessment of Africa’s middle class should consider the vulnerability of this class rather than hold a romanticised view. Definitions of who the middle class is
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In the recent French presidential election of the 35,467,172 who went to cast a vote, a near-record 25 per cent abstained from casting their ballot and some 4 million put a blank or spoilt paper into the ballot box. That's about 11.5%. Who says not voting for any of those on offer can not become a valid political tactic in the future? In a few weeks we will again be invited to attend at
15 hours 34 min ago
People living in other countries which are not the land of their birth are grimly accustomed to invectives like "fucking foreigner"; "parasite"; "refugee", etc. and it appears matters have been getting out of hand in recent years. Xenophobia is on the rise. "Patriotic" citizens are quick to assert, nationalistically, that the "aliens" have come to take over their country, their resources, their jobs, their culture, and what have you. It is important to understand that society today is divided into the rich and the poor. Every main political party is owned and controlled by the rich who contribute money to it which is used to canvass the support of the poor masses. Thus a party in power is, in reality, the executive committee of the rich people behind it. Such a party, therefore, rules in the interests of the owners. All its policies are consequently aimed at the welfare of the rich. Now, since there will arise a conflict of interest between the rich owners and their poor followers, the ruling party or government will have to spend huge chunks of the country's money on arms, maintenance of the army, the police, prisons, etc to hold down the masses so that the rich can make their profits without hindrance. In the process basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, education are underfunded. The little that is provided can only be afforded by the rich. The result, undoubtedly, is discontent, alienation, and disobedience among the masses. Clearly, there is a surge in support for populist parties and politicians across Europe and in the USA who peddle nationalism, xenophobia, and racism and pose as champions of the people against the establishment. Widespread disaffection with and mistrust of the mainstream political parties have emerged. It is not too difficult to see why this discontent has come about.
In order to ward off unrest, various tactics are employed by governments. One of them is creating divisions among the suffering masses by, for instance, blaming foreigners and whipping up nationalistic feelings. This diverts attention from misrule and mismanagement. Secondly, and in response to the official lies, the masses who are hungry, sick and illiterate are taken in by the government's ploy. Now, since a hungry man is an angry man and since anger is emotional and overpowers reason, the least provocation can result in misdirected violence vented against vulnerable fellow citizens or be turned loose on the "aliens". This is the real cause of xenophobia - the rich pitting the poor against the poor. Our ruling class has opened a Pandora's Box of nationalist rhetoric around migrants and allowed a space to open up in groups and individuals influenced by fascist and racist ideology. Far-right political violence is becoming increasingly commonplace.

Socialists do not speak of ‘we’ and ‘us’ in relation to so-called nationality in where we happened to have been born. We know that, in every country, there are two classes with opposed interests: the class of those who own and control the means of production and the rest, the vast majority, who do not and, to live, have to sell their mental and physical energies to those who do for a wage. Nationalism is used by our rulers to win support.  The Socialist Party condemns nationalist ideas. They are stumbling-blocks to working-class understanding of socialism.  This above all is why we find such attitudes pernicious and repugnant.  The nationalist seeks only the most crude and superficial explanation of social problems. They need a scapegoat to explain the loss of what they called “national identity”. For the working class national identity has always meant congested decaying slums, insecurity poverty and, very often, the dole-queue. National identity is a cunning political device by means of which the working class, who own no country, are duped to identify with their exploiters, the capitalists, who own virtually everything. However, it is a typical contradiction of capitalism that its private-property relationships produce nationalism, and yet commodity production and the profit motive find nationalism an encumbrance. Like all the other political issues, this one is being debated within the ruling class. For no ruling class is ever completely unanimous.  Capitalism creates conflicts within each ruling class; no two capitalists have interests which are exactly the same. Some members of the capitalist class take advantage of any "foreign" immigration to whip up nationalist feeling The capitalist class is interested in maximising profits. Whether the wealth they accumulate is derived at home or abroad is a matter of indifference to them. What capitalism encourages in one situation, it actively seeks to prevent in another. 

Capitalism in creating a world in its own image also creates a world-wide working class with common interests. This common interest cuts right across questions of colour, language, and place-of-birth. It prompts all workers to understand the world they live in and to take enlightened action to banish the major social problems, by changing society. The whole of humanity and the entire earth are the only limits to society. Capitalism divides because the means of production are owned by a few. Socialism will embrace all mankind because the earth will be owned in common.  We stand together as friends, work colleagues and members of our communities. We stand side-by-side and will not allow a wave of xenophobic nationalism and racism to threaten our lives and well-being.

 What an extraordinary notion it is that so many members of the human race should be forced to remain on that small section of the earth's surface in which they happened to be born. Who gave the world's rulers the right to tell us which bit of land we should live on? Nationalist feelings arise because of the incessant propaganda of the ruling class in each country to persuade the working majority that they are in some way essentially different from and superior to everyone from other countries. The apologists for capitalism who try to foment ill-feeling towards "foreigners" landing here, whether they come to escape persecution, or to obtain slightly higher wages, never attack those many members of the upper class, including many newspaper proprietors and football club owners, who swan about the world as if there were no such thing as borders and visas. But then, in a capitalist society, you can't really expect the rulers and the ruled to be judged by the same standard, can you?


15 hours 34 min ago