VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
For the first time in 90 years, charities are feeding large numbers of Australians. Most are grateful to those who keep them from hunger, but bewildered at the unimagined difficulties they suddenly face.
Successive governments have gradually vacated the social welfare field. Most tax income relies on workers actually working, and with the middle and upper managers receiving tax handouts for the privilege of being relatively rich, the taxation kitty is pretty empty.
Our US imperialist overlord birthed philanthropy to promote its soft power. Originally focussed on the arts and research, it eventually flowed into Australia.
Corporate hands here have long held a stranglehold on peak arts’ funding and board seats. That control is seeping into many smaller arts’ organisations.
He who pays the piper calls the tune. Corporate uproar erupted when the Sydney Biennale called out its sponsor Transfield for profiting from refugee jails. Biennale funding was threatened and then slashed.
Recent federal laws penalise charities for political comment (except “Thank you, masters for your great generosity”) with loss of all government funding.
No wonder OzHarvest looked to corporations like Google, Lendlease, BP, Menulog, Domain and others to fund their food for the hungry.
The Big Issue’s content changed dramatically with the arrival of more corporate support. Gone were articles denouncing the cause of homelessness. In came front covers lauding the rich and famous.
Another multinational-sponsored charity is Aussie Helpers, touted by Alan Jones. Food Bank is a supporter. Foodbank itself has nearly 150 corporate supporters, including Nestle, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Zurich, QBE, ANZ, Linfox and Johnson and Johnson. The latter is struggling with credibility after its baby powder was exposed to contain asbestos for decades, while it also faced legal action over the US opioid epidemic, and over dangerous vaginal mesh implants and a number of other products.
We can also expect billionaire philanthropists like Dr Twiggy Forrest (pictured above) to try mop up some public feelgood deeds in the wake of this Covid disaster, especially as his Indue Card impoverishes people.
After the NSW flood disaster, the May 26 edition of Camden Haven Courier, lauded Forrest and his Mindaroo Foundation for financial support to the volunteer efforts of Disaster Relief Australia (DRA).
Alongside Mindaroo, major sponsors of DRA are gambling organisations Clubs NSW and Keno, plus a little known rising US multinational, Drone Deploy.
The newspaper’s Tracey Fairhurst wrote, “Eighty-five per cent of DRA’s crews are veterans or serving military while another 10 per cent is made up of first responders.”
The board of is mostly retired military brass.
Drone Deploy has 5000 corporate clients over a range of major economic sectors from mining to agriculture to construction, all described as unifying “commercial drone industry under one roof.” Military clients aren’t highlighted, but with drones buzzing the Delta hotspots in Sydney, militarism and paramilitarism hide behind civilian shields.
Effectively critiquing charities is difficult, because many will be fooled. The ruling class is reorganising the way it operates. When mobilising people we need to ensure we don’t play into the hands of their enemies.
Neo-liberalism’s day is almost done. Mindaroo’s links with the military prepares for capitalism’s next phase. Corporate feet already wear jackboots on the streets. But what they hold in their hands is also critical. In one is deception, and in the other, divide and conquer.
The people need to understand and be ready for all three.