The colonisers’ descendants might also raise the question as to whether Māori were, in fact, colonised at all. Not a question that anyone would have thought to raise fifty years ago. In the 1970s the argument that Māori had not been colonised would have been laughed out of court. Back then it was generally accepted that, under the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori had ceded sovereignty to the British Crown. What’s more, the British, very soon after the signing of the Treaty, had exercised their sovereignty by annexing New Zealand, declaring it a British colony, and appointing a Governor to rule it. Oh yes, the Māori had been colonised alright – they’d been colonised good and proper.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK? At every level, on every subject, the same explanation is offered for Māori disadvantage – colonisation. What’s more, the word itself has acquired such a talismanic quality that its mere utterance is sufficient to close down any further discussion. After all, the only people likely to challenge the colonisation explanation for Māori disadvantage would be the colonisers’ descendants themselves. And they would say that – wouldn’t they?
But, fifty years later, the story has changed. Today we are enjoined to believe that the Māori chiefs gathered at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 did not cede sovereignty to Queen Victoria. Indeed, no less a body than the Waitangi Tribunal has declared that the sovereignty of Māori iwi and hapu remains intact to this day.
It is a curious sort of coloniser who, 180 years after the event, proclaims the untrammelled sovereignty of the indigenous inhabitants of the islands his ancestors had claimed as their own. If the indigenous people of New Zealand were not subjugated by military force, relieved of their lands, forests and fisheries, and pushed to the margins of colonial society, then what was going on between the 1850s and the 1970s?
In the most brutal and unvarnished terms, what was going on between the signing of the Treaty and the military suppression of all Māori resistance in the 1860s and 70s, was a deliberate policy of overwhelming the indigenous people by settling tens-of-thousands of immigrants across the country, to the point where their numerical superiority rendered the construction of a second Britain in the South Pacific a feasible proposition. What made “New Zealand” possible was the reduction of the Māori to a militarily and politically powerless minority in their own land.
A particular kind of colonisation, then? Not at all the same as the colonisation visited upon India and Africa. Not even the same as the colonisation visited upon England and Ireland by the Normans. That sort of colonisation featured a relatively small number of conquerors and a very much larger number of conquered. Hundreds-of-millions of Indians were ruled over by around 100,000 British soldiers and administrators. This was the sort of colonisation which colonised peoples could dismantle – which is pretty much what they spent most of the twentieth century doing.
But, the Anglo-Saxon colonies of North America and Australasia were a very different proposition. In a relatively short period of time the indigenous peoples of those lands were reduced to insignificant minorities by an unceasing flood of settlers from Europe.
This huge discrepancy in numbers rendered military resistance futile. Always there were more, and more, and more Europeans to replace the settlers and soldiers killed by the indigenous tribes. North America and Australasia thus became “Neo-Europes”, ruled over and overwhelmingly populated by Europeans. Even where they escaped becoming the victims of outright genocide, indigenous cultures: their languages, customs, modes of political and economic organisation; found themselves smothered by the sheer pressure of European numbers.
This is the process which Māori, along with the many other indigenous peoples forcibly assimilated into the Neo-Europes created by Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, call “colonisation”. The cultural suffocation that inevitably attended the submerging of indigenous peoples beneath a relentlessly rising tide of nineteenth century immigrants. Settlers who came to stay – and who, more than a century later, are still here.
Within the institutions of the state, and even in a number of private organisations, the answer to colonisation is being presented as “decolonisation” and “indigenisation”. As if the cultural and demographic facts of New Zealand life can be re-configured to the point of somehow undoing the facts of New Zealand history. Regrettably, this strategy carries within it distressing intimations of coercion. The threat is there, all the more daunting for being unstated, that those who refuse to decolonise and indigenise will pay a price.
Given the degree of coercion involved in colonisation itself, this hard-line approach is entirely understandable. Unfortunately, it is also likely to provoke the colonisers’ descendants into adopting an aggressively oppositional stance, which, given the balance of demographic forces, is almost certain to be counterproductive. Attempting to undercut “the tyranny of the majority” by unilaterally redefining the meaning of democracy will only make matters worse.
The decolonising concept of “co-governance” cannot succeed if it is understood by Pākehā to mean that Māori will be empowered to exercise a right of veto over the ownership and delivery of essential state services mostly paid for by Pākehā taxes. European cultural traditions and political norms are simply too deeply embedded in the Neo-Europe called New Zealand for this crude approach to righting the wrongs of the past, and overcoming the inequities of the present, to succeed.
Much more likely to secure Pākehā support is the argument that, in the making of New Zealand far too little concern was shown for the impact the colonists’ nation-building was having on the lives and treasures of Māori iwi and hapu. In their eagerness to create a second Britain in the South Pacific, the colonisers simply crowded-out the indigenous people whose rights they were pledged to respect. Presenting co-governance as a way of encouraging Māori to reclaim their lost space has a high chance of success. That the colonial state smothered and suffocated Māori culture and Māori rights is historically undeniable, and morally indefensible.
Ceding Māori the space they need to both rediscover and redefine their tino rangatiratanga is unquestionably the right thing for Pākehā to do. Encouraging Pākehā to join them in that expanded space is unquestionably the best way for Māori to make Aotearoa less European and more indigenous.
Decolonisation is not a programme to be imposed, it is a skill that Māori and Pākehā can only acquire together.
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 7 October 2022.
Yes, Chris (re your two last paragraphs). And we owe it to Maori in many ways.
But there's a hurdle: trying to reconcile the irreconcilable -- collectivism with individualism. The philosophical Big Ditch separating tribalism from modernity, as referred to by anthropologist Roger Sandall. Many Maori seem to be inherently tribalist. Tauiwi are not. And with a tribalist worldview comes, uh oh, politics.
I knew for many years a man whose wife is Maori -- an elegant and gracious woman. He was, of course, knowledgeable about matters Maori. Every so often I would hear him say, "Maori politics!!!"
Bring on the next constitutional hui. Let's get on with it.
Excellent piece. Good to see someone articulate all these points clearly as opposed to "covertly". Also think you're right in your final point. Understand, see what was wronged, work together. Everything is far too highly charged at the moment. No-one is talking in a neutral, productive way. More sensible voices required that sit in the middle.
A much better considered article than almost all you have posted on the subject lately. Well done.
Any form of governance that raises one race above another is destined to fail, as it should.
No amount of re-writing the history of New Zealand will alter the facts. You know them and we all know them and trying to view those facts through a brown lens doesn't change them, it just makes them harder to see.
I am not a "colonizer", I am a New Zealander born and bred. Most of those who claim to be indigenous share DNA from immigrants who arrived over the past 200 years. Humans in any case are not indigenous to New Zealand, unlike the tuatara or the North Auckland giant earthworm (Anisochaeta Gigantea). The Waitangi Tribunal contests the Crown's sovereignty over these islands. In that case why have they not dissolved themselves, since they must obviously believe they were established by a usurper authority? Having lived in many countries I am genuinely interested in learning more about other cultures. But you won't find a receptive audience if you borrow from the imported dogma of Critical Race Theory to denigrate mine. There is plenty of scope for peaceful co-existence based on mutual respect. It's a pity that the loudest voices today appear to think it's a zero sum game.
I’m still trying to figure out the difference between ‘colonisation’ and ‘civilisation’, and I haven’t found much. Perhaps someone can explain to me what Maori history and culture have to offer the modern world, beyond a study of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer tribes constantly at war, Rousseauian revisionism, Boasian relativism, and giving woke adolescents frissons of moral rectitude in the absence of mature ethical consideration. Of course, people interested in Maori culture should be welcome to knock themselves out with it, and perhaps improve on its 600 years of isolation and aesthetic and technical stagnation. Those who wish to live by Maori traditions, spirituality, protocols, rites, rituals, mores, values and virtues should be able to do so to the fullness of their hearts’ content, provided it doesn’t interfere with those who wish to live by other cultural standards. But why should those who value the accumulated cultural refinement of the modern world be forced to accommodate an extremely conservative and regressive culture which offers little to improve on the depth and refinement of that which the world has to offer?
Matthew Arnold said it better in his preface to Culture and Anarchy, “…culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world; and through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, mainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically.”
What a load of nonsense.
There are no Maori.
There is 16% of the population that is part Maori.
The pre-European Maori culture was abhorrent by the modern standards of civilisation.
The language is useless internationally and spoken by less than 10% of New Zealanders.
Celebrate your heritage whatever your ancestors but do not denigrate some at the expense of others.
Remember though the catalyst of colonization was capturing the ecosystem with agriculture?
Interesting result in Taranaki, the Maori Wards had the lowest turnout (ie lack of interest) yet leftists saw them as liberating. I propose that (apart from vested interests such as Maori Studies) the colonial narrative (up to Kenneth Cumberland's Landmarks Series) was NZ's foundation stone, and that realistic Maori would see that.
Even Ranginui Walker who was influenced by Fannon etc , and despite is book "Fighting on Forever" he suggested the divide between Maori and Pakeha would be settled in the bedroom.
As for the immigration begun under Labour; the idea of a "truly multi-racial society" and the notion that (somehow) you can have a multi and bi-cultural state: how will that be experienced by "Maori" at the bottom? How will status meaningfully be displayed other than high incomes for all Maori? Maori aren't "tribes" as much as family reunions. If one family member is a lawyer and a distant family member is down and out there ain't much connection.
See this UC should we employe journalists who belong to NZ First
"Presenting co-governance as a way of encouraging Māori to reclaim their lost space has a high chance of success."
I'd like to think you are right - because it would be a good thing. It is happening slowly by default anyway, but that fact is exactly what is causing such agitation. I think the Brashian notion that Maori had a stone age culture not worthy of serious attention is very widespread - it was always the justification of the 19th century colonial project you describe. NZers will welcome individual (and individualised) Maori excelling in sport, entertainment, business or public service, but not the intrusion of a Maori world-view.
Whatever the faults of pre-contact Maori society, they did not put human beings into gas chambers.
A civilisation that gave the world Auschwitz and the Gulag is in no position to judge others.
When it comes to savagery, the Pre-contact Maori were amateurs compared to the Europeans.
It is obvious, Mr Slater, that you do not like Maori. That being so, why don't you bugger off somewhere else?
If pre-European Maori society was abhorrent by modern standards of civilisation, how do we judge things like the Holocaust? That's a result of modern civilisation is it not? And in fact it was the artefacts of modern civilisation that allowed it to happen on an industrial scale. So do Anglo-Saxons bring this to the table when they talking about civilisation?
If your ancestors were British, they were engaged in a war approximately every 18 months during the 19th century. Are we proud of that aspect of modern civilisation?
What about the Irish famine? That probably could have been stopped in its tracks if the British government bless it didn't believe that private charity would take care of it all.
What about the various massacres performed by the British Empire? The torture in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising? The indigenous children's graves discovered in Canada? The Magdalen laundries?
And yet ignoring these everyone seems to be an expert somehow in Maori history. Perhaps if you had learned some of your own?
Jesus Christ doesn't take much to bring the racists out doesn't just mention Maori getting something "for nothing".
I think Glenn Webster's 8/10 17.45 views are abhorrent as he spends no time in reflection and just reacts to what he doesn't like as a child would.
Celebrate your heritage whatever your ancestors but do not denigrate some at the expense of others.
I don't believe that Maori is being hoisted to the top tier, at the cost of others being pushed down. But each culture, it should be admitted about one's own too, has dark as well as light sides to it. There will have been past indiscretions very probably, and also worthy exploits. Extolling your own culture as superior is wrong-headed, extolling its worthy side is good, then looking at the side where it lacks provides a holistic view. Gaining the broad view would give a broad, nuanced understanding of past history involving all.
Nice one, Kit.
What a load of nonsense.
There are no Scots in New Zealand.
There is the 20% of the population that is part Scottish.
Pre-English Scottish culture was abhorrent by the modern standards of civilisation.
Gaelic is useless internationally and spoken by less than 0.1% of New Zealanders.
Celebrate your heritage whatever your ancestors but do not denigrate some at the expense of others.
In the Sprinkbok tour protest, did "people come out of the game calling "Jews, "N word" "communist" acrchetypical othering?"
Interesting point here Chris
In 1985 Maori women made up 15% of women in prison; now 60%. What is going on. She blames Christianity which can't respond to Critical (power analysis) Thinking.
Back in 1984 Labour began it's drive to create a "truly multi-racial society". Essentially Maori are loved because they have a historical right (not because of who they are). Multiculturalism weakens belonging. I keep thinking of those churches in Waimate with their diminished flocks. Not because of religion perse but the social role it fulfilled.
Guerilla Surgeon needs to understand what civilisation means. Civilisation is a process of continuous refinement, while primitive cultures remain static. Like the scientific method, civilisation has to discover what works and is to be kept, and what fails, to be rejected. But it shows improvement every step along its path and the Western world will not tolerate the mistakes of the past. Conservative values hold onto the foundations and build up. Progressives, whose values are utopian and untested, dismantle and rebuild the foundations in order to achieve utopia, and fail each and every time. As with the Tower of Babel, progressives play God, destroy the products of civilisation, confound their language, and fragment society.
But civilisation is fragile, reliant on the strength of its institutions and on democratic support. The ethno-nationalism of the Maori elite, like that of post-Weimar Germany, threatens democracy as much as Santayana’s ‘children and barbarians’, and the Energizer Parrots which lack the capacity for insight and debate with their squawks of ‘racist’, and quash it at every opportunity.
Mr McDowell (10 October 14:00) should incorporate proportion into his assertions. Historian Dr Michael Bassett wrote, “In the thirty years before the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 warring Maori tribes had slaughtered between 40,000 and 50,000 fellow Maori, including women and children, pillaged their economies, enslaved many, and eaten some.” Given that Chris Totter has said the Maori population “never exceeded 150,000 individuals”, this is an ethnic felo de se of unparalleled savagery.
I haven’t expressed an opinion about Maoris, so Mr McDowell should be more careful in what he says. I have little interest in Maori culture, finding it unrefined, shallow, and obsessed with protocols, but have no objection to it at all. I do, however, have an objection to it being forced into prominence in a deliberate act of confusio linguarum, and the unjustifiable act of elevating a primitive culture to rank with one the world’s greatest. But my strongest venom is reserved for the PMC class and their acolytes who are piece-by-piece destroying civilisational culture in an act of suicidal misanthropy. This is the culture that brought to the world freedom of speech, of association, of expression, of religion, from want, from fear and from oppression; brought about the nation-state, a source of identity and the protection of its citizens; ending tribalism and its continuous warfare; abolished (in intent and law) caste systems, slavery, cannibalism, human, child, widow and animal sacrifice, polygyny, child and forced marriage, FGM, child labour, and racial, cultural, sexual and religious prejudice. It brought about maternal safety and security, religious tolerance, and its balance with reason; an increasing value of human life and an increase in life expectancy; the Green Revolution, the control of famine, and ecological balance with respect to population growth, a global reduction of poverty, welfare for the poor, unemployed, children, the sick and the retired; rights to low-cost education and health care systems, limits to working hours and days; employee rights, minimum and living wages, and worker safety; the rule of law, common law, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence, and judgement by peers; human rights, Magna Carta, rights of women and children, prisoners, animals and minorities. It offers universal suffrage, democracy allowing for continuous moral change; societal self-criticism; capitalism, the commodity cycle, and limits to exploitation; checks and balances of the powers of the state, and the reduction of corruption.
In all these, it offers the rest of the world societal standards which they have adopted, mutatis mutandis, not just because they are the best, but because they are continuously improving.
Maori culture offered none of these virtues, and has perforce little capacity to add anything of significance to them, so should remain as New Zealand’s background culture.
Kit Slater: I fear those who wish to maintain the values of Western civilization are increasingly like the monks of the Dark Ages, shut off from the world and struggling to preserve the luminous texts of the past alone and under constant threat. The ruling authoritarian elites are increasingly intent on restricting what can be freely shared or debated in public on any subject that threatens their orthodoxy, including the religion of climate catastrophism which provides cover for their subversive agenda. Ardern's shocking speech in the UN General Debate last month caused the Editor of the Times of London to write an editorial comparing her to Putin. This unflattering reference was of course suppressed by the New Zealand media.
Mr Slater, according to demographer Ian Pool, the pre-contact Maori population was no more than 100,000.
Michael Bassett seems to have accepted estimates of casualties as hard facts, and then padded out those numbers.
Had 50,000 Maori died as a result of the Musket Wars, the Maori would be extinct.
Did Dr Bassett give an estimate of how many Maori died of introduced disease? Europeans were very pox ridden. A fact many Europeans prefer to ignore.
The Musket Wars were devastating. Clans that got their hands on guns first were able to decimate other clans. Next year marks 200 years since Hongi Hika and his allies decimated Te Arawa whanui on Mokoia Island.This event is burned into the minds of the clans that live around Lake Rotorua.
Still, six million Jews is hard to compete with. Three million Soviet POWs is hard to compete with. How many died in the Gulag, Mr Slater?
As I said, when it comes to savagery, Maori are rank amateurs compared to Europeans.
Oh dear. Kit maybe you should define "progress". Or "improvement". Actually let's forget about it that's the biggest load of babble I've seen for some time. Utterly meaningless.
However you HAVE expressed opinions about Maori (the plural is in fact Maori but then I guess you're rebelling against something.) in previous posts which show that you disapprove of their way of life – whatever. And if "unrefined shallow and obsessed with protocols" is not an opinion – honestly I think you are having problems with definitions here as well as racism.
Personally I think you could make the same criticisms about New Zealand/British societies. Try going up to King Charles and calling him 'me old China'– I think you'd be frozen solid. If not arrested.
Again if you're talking about continuous warfare, your own ancestors indulged in it a lot. It wasn't Maori who started World War I or World War II, and as I said, your ancestors fought a war on average every 18 months in the 19th century. Also in the 19th century your ancestors were using human body parts in medicine which makes them cannibals.
Of course alongside all this human rights stuff, which was not particularly apparent in European or I guess loosely "white civilisation" until the 1960s, given the treatment of black people in Britain and the USA, there were places where your civilised values hardly took root. Switzerland didn't even give women the vote until the 1970s.
Magna Carta had very little to do with human rights. There was more about fish weirs in the Thames than there was about human rights the human rights thing is a 19th-century romanticisation.
Honestly I give up – you know nothing about Maori, and you know nothing about your own history.
Well Trev, I'm quite happy for you to struggle, because some of the values of Western civilisation aren't that great. As Winston Churchill said when someone attacked him about the "traditions" of the Royal Navy "What are those great traditions? Rum, sodomy and the lash." Through he was a conservative, occasionally Churchill came up with some quite sensible opinions.
Nice to see you acknowledge the ruling authoritarian elites however, what on earth are we going to do about Hungary, Poland, Brazil, and the US Bible belt?
Nothing to disagree with there Kit.
I was in conversation with someone that asserted that all cultures were of equal value, a clearly absurd, but surprisingly commonly held, belief. A belief that can only be true if the idea of value itself is rejected - which makes the argument even more absurd. A post modernist way of looking at things which may be intellectually intriguing but leads down a rabbit hole to nowhere?
The current beatification of all things Maori has left the realm of reason, gripped the gullible and has become, in effect, a state religion. What could be more telling than our Reserve Bank governor transforming the Bank's foyer into a pagan shrine and preaching of the guidance to be found from Tane - god of the forests. He's clearly a fantasist (or worse) but far from alone in that.
The West, and all that is good about it, is under threat, from within and without, like never before. A fascinating revelation from within the EU governance:
"It’s been a big week for Josep Borrell, the European Union’s most senior diplomat. In two historic, borderline apocalyptic speeches this week, Borrell laid out a stark vision of Europe’s threatened place in a world of growing insecurity and competition between states, grappling with a reality the continent’s leaders have until now been too slow — perhaps fatally slow — to apprehend.
Channelling Edward Gibbon’s famous opening lines from the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Borrell remarked across both speeches that “Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that humankind has been able to build,” but “the rest of the world is not like this.” Indeed, “Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden… Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden.”
Echoing the warnings of the German political theorist Hans Kribbe, Borrell observes that “We are too much Kantians and not enough Hobbesians,” because we have failed to “understand the world the way it is,”
Have we lost the ability to see the world "the way it is"? Perhaps that's the problem.
Trev1:.“....the Editor of the Times of London to write an editorial comparing her to Putin. This unflattering reference....“
Unflattering to Putin, who is neither autocratic/authoritarian nor lacking in intelligence. He could run rings around her in the brains department. Russia is a democracy. We have extended family there.
Shane McDowall: "....they did not put human beings into gas chambers."
It's important to remember that it was a smallish group of people who brought that particular horror to central and eastern Europe. It would be inaccurate to characterise the entire population as being either guilty of it or capable of carrying it out.
That said, the capacity for violence and cruelty is part of the human condition. None of us can be holier-than-thou about it, even if we wouldn't do what the Nazis did.
Some years ago, a family member researched the documented oral history of pre-European Maori habitation and conflict in the Auckland area.
Prior to first European contact, NZ wasn’t a bucolic paradise: it was Hobbesian. Tribes were ruled by hereditary elites; slavery was the norm. Inter-tribal conflict was frequent and violent, cannibalism routinely practised. Maori didn't use gas ovens because, in the first instance, they didn't have the technology. And in the second, even if they had, they wouldn't necessarily have come up with that idea.
"When it comes to savagery, the Pre-contact Maori were amateurs compared to the Europeans."
No. Their savagery was commensurate with that of Europeans, given their lack of technological development.
"...that you do not like Maori. That being so, why don't you bugger off somewhere else?"
That's a bit of a leap, isn't it? Critique doesn't necessarily entail dislike or contempt. Better by far to stick with the countervailing argument.
Odysseus: "...I am not a "colonizer", I am a New Zealander born and bred."
Ditto. I take exception to the term being used about any of us now alive. Or about our antecedents, come to that. NZ was a colony (of NSW) for a short time only. It was self-governing from 1856, or perhaps a bit earlier.
We Irish know about being a colony: 700 years of rule from Britain. That didn't happen here.
"Most of those who claim to be indigenous share DNA from immigrants who arrived over the past 200 years."
Indeed. Not many old pakeha and other immigrant families don't have some Maori connections. My own family is a case in point.
I'm reminded of the situation in South Africa. The first white settlers arrived centuries ago. In recent times, I've read about some white South Africans asking: how long do we have to be here before we're seen as African? The same might be asked by those of us who aren't Maori but whose grandparents were born here. How long do we have to be here before Maori (and the woke left) stop calling us colonists?
D'Esterre 15 October 2022 at 16:42 - I've just watched F@ck This Job on Apple TV ($0.99 at the moment, also on Kanopy but for Russian speakers since it had no English subtitles). It didn't find Putin "neither autocratic/authoritarian" or Russia a democracy.
"what on earth are we going to do about Hungary, Poland, Brazil, and the US Bible belt?'
How about nothing! Let them pursue their culture as they see fit, perhaps value them as a control group, a counter to the Liberal experiment.
As late stage liberalism flounders, it's institutions, sacred and secular, fall apart perhaps it's we that are lost.
"It's important to remember that it was a smallish group of people who brought that particular horror to central and eastern Europe. It would be inaccurate to characterise the entire population as being either guilty of it or capable of carrying it out."
Wrong. Not only was it done with the active or passive support of most Germans, but a large number of right-wing people in particular in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe actually helped. Not just in Eastern Europe France also.
The rate of killing is neither here nor there, except that it was exceeded by the Rwanda massacres, using methods that pre-European Maori might recognise. What you people have been doing for some time now is demonising Maori, and saying that they have nothing to offer modern society, while playing down European wars and atrocities. Not very often I agree with Shane McDowall, but you don't have that right. Since even before the Holocaust.
We could look at Belgian rule in the Congo, Afrikaaner states in southern Africa, the treatment of Native Americans. I repeat, you don't have that right, all the moral high ground here.
Guerilla Surgeon 14 October 2022 at 15:38
‘Maori’ is an English word, derived from the Maori language but with a different meaning. As an English word, it is pluralised by adding an ‘s’. However, pedantic, petty and pretentious people can pluralise it without the ‘s’ to demonstrate feelings of racial rectitude and assumptions of sumpsimus.
Yes Kit, it's quite in order to add the pluralising or possessive 'S' in an English text. Thankfully we can talk about the tuis in the garden or Tauranga's water supply without the clumsy work arounds required in other languages.
No concerns about the wholesale appropriation and butchering of English words in what passes for the Maori language GS?
Kit Slater: "It didn't find Putin "neither autocratic/authoritarian" "
Russians are famous - notorious even - for refusing to follow rules they see as pointless and restrictive. The QR codes, for instance, were gone in Russia long before they were in the west. The government - having seen the lie of the land in that regard - wisely refrained from attempting to pass laws mandating them.
Of course there is political opposition in Russia, as there is everywhere, but Putin retains sufficient popularity to be repeatedly re-elected. Evidently, enough Russian citizens disagree with the above characterisation to see him still President.
There is of course in that part of the world a tradition of long-serving politicians. Look at the length of Merkel's tenure. Although I believe Adenauer's was longer.
"...or Russia a democracy."
Well now, that'll come as a surprise to the members of my extended family. Of course Russia is a democracy; it has been since the fall of the USSR. Its citizens certainly elect candidates: just not the ones the US/UK want them to elect.
Guerilla Surgeon: "Wrong."
It isn't, you know. I was referring to the Final Solution, the most egregious part by far of the Holocaust in its entirety. That came out of the Nazi high command. I have read that it was Himmler; whoever it was, it originated with a smallish group of people. The Wannsee conference was held in order to put that policy into effect.
And yes, there was widespread support in Europe and the UK for Nazi persecution and murder of the Jews. But it doesn't at all follow that there was widespread support for, or even knowledge of, the death camps. Although the US knew about them very early on: Allen Dulles had been told about the first of them by a German businessman, who had seen it under construction.
"What you people have been doing for some time now is demonising Maori, and saying that they have nothing to offer modern society..."
That's certainly not what I've said. Or read here by other commentators. Critique doesn't entail contempt or demonisation. If you have views about what traditional Maori culture has to offer modern society, then let's be hearing them. But it's best not to resort to claims of the your-savagery-is-worse-than-Maori-savagery sort. Which is what it appears that you are doing here.
I accept the awfulness of European treatment, both of each other and of the peoples of the countries they colonised. And of the Jews. But that doesn't entail attempts to whitewash Maori savagery. They share that characteristic in common with other humans.
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