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Mike Ballard
Attended Michigan State University
Lives in Perth, Australia
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Mike Ballard

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A few laughs.
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Mike Ballard

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Ring around adultery; pocket full of poseurs. Oh monogamy, how doth thy confines cause us such pain. And so begins "Miss Lonelyhearts". 

"You hate me for killing your mother," Adam's father tells him in prison. He killed Adam's mother after walking in on her having sex with another man.

"People are all frauds," Shrike tells him. His wife cheated on him a decade ago. Ryan sometimes shines through in his role as Adam's employer, William Shrike. But the script trips him up most of the time. It's pretty stilted. Myrna Loy knows that and so she sleepwalks her way through being Florence, Shrike's wife...with drink in hand.

Maureen Stapleton as Fay Doyle is the only great actor in this film. Stapleton, it seems, got the only believable parts of the script to speak.

Dolores Hart couldn't act her way out of a high school stage play. She's a wooden Justy, Adam's love. I could imagine her playing opposite Troy Donahue in some awful teenage beach blanket angst flick.

And Monty? I think he was dealing with alcohol issues as a person in '58. As his Adam becomes more and more deeply involved with his column, Monty plays the heavy drinker to the hilt.
"I didn't call you because I was too drunk to call you.....and other than that..." "A woman?" Justy deadpans. 

Marriage in the 50s was not the Norman Rockwell painting we might idealise it as having been.
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Mike Ballard

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Betty Grable's best movie with a musical score written by George Gershwin.  
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This is good news as the other guy was a total right-wing conservative nationalist.
Rolling coverage of election day in the world's third-largest democracy, as Indonesia decides its next president
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Important facts, figures and arguments contained herein. 
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Mike Ballard

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What a great speech by Alan Woodcraft at the bust the budget rally in Perth on July 6th, 2014!  Listen up.
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I enjoyed a lot of his music, not all of it; but a lot.
Jazz great Charlie Haden has died after a long illness. The NY Times has an exemplary obituary that makes sure to highlight his radical politics: The Liberation Music Orchestra, which released its ...
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Mike Ballard

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Open borders won't become a reality until workers decide to abolish the State.
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If I had my druthers, agriculture would be done organically, by law.  However, we live under the rule of Capital and that means an agricultural industry addicted to buying and selling pesticide commodities.  
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I fought the law and the law won. 
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Mike Ballard

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I agree with most of what your party puts forward about what socialism is and isn't.  Where we part company is in the notion that a class conscious proletariat engaging in a classwide general strike would be of no use because of the continued existence of the State.  A classwide strike would certainly be impossible without the radical subjectivity necessary to ensure that its political representatives in the State would support it.  

Our power as workers lies in our union at the places where we produce the wealth of nations.  When we become socialists, we know that the social product of labour should be ours to own in common and control democratically.  If we become socialists gradually over time, as opposed to all at once, we might elect our fellow class conscious workers to represent us in the government, representatives who would propose more access to the wealth we create by supporting the power of workers in their struggle with their employers and legislating more time for ourselves e.g. shorter work week with not cut in pay, without losing sight of the strategic goal of supplanting the capitalist State with an administration of things within a classless society.  

I would guess that the SPGB believes that the above proposal would lead to cooptation of workers; but my argument is that a class conscious worker cannot be coopted and if s/he can, s/he's really never been clear about the fact that socialism means a change in the mode of production and exchange which would result from the abolition of the wage system.  
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Work
Occupation
Promoting common ownership of the collective product of labour.
Employment
  • Writer
  • Stanford University Libraries
    1977 - 2000
  • Stanford University
    1977 - 2000
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Perth, Australia
Previously
Palo Alto, California - East Lansing, Michigan - Harford, Pennsylvania - Canal Zone, Panama - Hokkaido, Japan - Okinawa, Japan - Jackson, Mississippi - Fort Campbell, Kentucky - Monterey, California - Wickenburg, Arizona - San Diego, California
Story
Tagline
Class conscious worker and writer. I am an Earthling for common ownership of the collective product of labour, not a nationalist. I want to change the mode of production and exchange. Justice is an empty abstraction under the wage system and production of commodities for sale. I'm have no class interests in common with any employing class.
Introduction
I was born in Binghamton, New York in 1945. I was raised in eight of the United States of America and two foreign countries: Panama and Japan. I served honourably in the United States Marine Corps from 1963-1967 and then took part in anti-war activities in Haight-Ashbury and Michigan State University. After graduating from MSU, I worked at the University Library and joined the Socialist Labor Party of America, running for Congress on the SLP ticket in 1974. Subsequently, I moved to Palo Alto, California to work on the SLP’s newspaper, “The People”. In the late 1970s, I was employed as a wage-labourer at Stanford University Libraries, where I was involved in union organizing activities. On May 5, 1990, I joined the Industrial Workers of the World. I quit being a member of the IWW on April 5, 2012. On December 7th, 2000, I took early retirement from Stanford and flew to Perth, Australia to write my novel WAGE-SLAVE’S ESCAPE and other short literary excursions. I now live permanently in Australia with my wife, Jennifer. We study free-style martial arts together. Both of us are engaged in the creation of literature.
Education
  • Michigan State University
    1967 - 1971
  • Mountain View High School
    1961 - 1963
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married