Monday 31 July 2023

Forward To A New Day, Or Taking The Country Backwards?

Beginning Again: Te Pāti Māori is unequivocal, the system under which 2.1 million New Zealanders earn less than $30,000 per year, must be brought down. Their slogan draws on a metaphor as old as politics itself. Out of darkness a new day must dawn. The nation must be re-made. “Aotearoa Hou.”

TE PATI MĀORI’S ELECTION SLOGAN is “Aotearoa Hou”, which, roughly translated, means “A New Day”. NZ First’s slogan is “Let’s take back our country”. This, in essence, is what the 2023 General Election will be about.

Are New Zealanders still capable of imagining a brighter future, or are they, indeed, desperate for a return to the better country they remember. Most of the other party slogans are variations on these themes. National wants to get New Zealand “back on track”, for the Greens “the time is now”, while Act is promising “real change”.

Labour’s slogan, “In it for YOU”, stands out by being determinedly agnostic about New Zealand’s future direction of travel. All the voters are being asked to do is place their trust in a clutch of politicians who are in the game solely for their benefit. (By which, presumably, they mean the voters’ benefit, not their own!)

A number of political scientists have pointed out the lack of ambition in Labour’s slogan. Traditionally, the Party has focused voters’ attention on the need for change. It has also favoured collective over personal pronouns – as it the upbeat slogan of 2017, “Let’s do this!”

Rather than linking Labour and the people in a combined effort for national improvement, the “In it for YOU” slogan conjures-up the image of a gaggle of well-meaning do-gooders (many on salaries of nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars) desperately anxious for YOU to believe THEY are without sinister, ulterior or selfish motivation. Labour: A party of altruists, pure as the driven snow, and they’re doing it all for YOU, baby!

It’s a dismal admission of failure, but one which has been implicit in the Labour Party that emerged from the splits and divisions of the Rogernomics era. When Labour was a party of 100,000 paid-up members and financial supporters, “we” had real political heft. To be a member of the Labour Party was to be a member of an organisation that that had transformed New Zealand’s economy, society and culture.

By 1990, however, Labour had been reduced to an organisation of fewer than 10,000 members. Most of these looked upon the party as a sort of social club in which, if they were lucky, they might have their photo taken with the prime minister. These folk actually hated political debate – it only led to unpleasantness. When the minority of political careerists who actually ran the party called upon these stalwarts to guard Labour from dissidents and traitors they were only too happy to oblige.

The present Labour Government constitutes a grim demonstration of what happens to a political party that no longer possesses the transformational impulse that animated its predecessors. (Even the Fourth Labour Government, albeit from the wrong end of the telescope!)

Having been handed the reins of government by Winston Peters in 2017, the party that Helen Clark and Michael Cullen had carried for nine years, almost entirely on the strength of their own prodigious political competence, took less than five years to demonstrate a heartbreaking degree of political ineptitude. Not even an unprecedented (under MMP) parliamentary majority, delivered in recognition of Labour’s initial success in handling the Covid-19 crisis, could help it get whatever “this” was, done.

If this Labour Government really is in the business of government for us, then we can be forgiven for wondering just how much worse-off we might be if they were actually in it for somebody else!

That the National Party can think of no more inspiring slogan than to get the country “back on track”, is evidence of how far it, too, has fallen since the days when John Key (state house boy made good) promised New Zealanders a “brighter future”. National’s current metaphor portrays New Zealand as a train derailed, and itself as the maintenance gang with both the engineering expertise and the heavy-lifting machinery needed to get things moving again.

All of which would make perfect sense if New Zealanders were confronting a more conventional economic and social crisis – one screaming out for remedial action. But, is that the mood? Or is it, rather, that instead of a derailment, New Zealanders are gripped by the conviction that the train they are on has been surreptitiously re-directed towards a destination they were not told about, and would not have chosen if they had been.

The problem with National’s slogan is that it offers the voters no possibility of travelling in a new or different direction. The best they can hope for is that National will convey them in the same direction as Labour, only with a little more attention to their health and safety. The party might just as well have inscribed “National – we’ll get you there in one piece” on their billboards.

Act’s invocation of “real change” – especially in the context of presenting itself as National’s hard line/hard core coalition partner – merely confirms to voters that David Seymour intends to get them to the Right’s neoliberal destination at top speed, ignoring the safety regulations, and without making any further stops.

Having arrived at the terminus, however, it will soon become clear to the travelling public that National and Act have not taken them anywhere they haven’t been before. That Act’s “real change” is really just (big) business as usual – and, maybe, something even worse.

Deconstructing NZ First’s slogan presents a much more intriguing proposition. “Let’s take back our country” invites the voters to participate in a daring act of political intervention. Rather than sit back passively as the ship-of-state sails on into a worsening storm, Winston Peters is inviting the voters to turn him into their Fletcher Christian. With them at his back, he will storm the bridge and take back control from the neoliberal Captain Blighs who stole the good ship “New Zealand” from them forty years ago, and under whose command it has become less-and-less seaworthy. “Let’s take back our country” is nothing less than an invitation to electoral mutiny.

It is only Te Pāti Māori, however, which is offering the electorate the prospect of something entirely new. Only the Māori Party which is willing to take the necessary next steps beyond the Greens’ plaintive warning that “the time is now”.

As Te Pāti Māori has demonstrated with its radical tax policies, the intention is to strike at the very heart of the neoliberal status quo. Tinkering, argues Deborah Ngarewa Packer and Rawiri Waititi, is no longer enough, the system under which 2.1 million New Zealanders earn less than $30,000 per year, must be brought down. It’s a metaphor as old as politics itself. Out of darkness a new day must dawn. New Zealand must be re-made. “Aotearoa Hou.”

This essay was originally posted on the website on Monday, 31 July 2023.


The Barron said...

“In it for YOU” ???

When casually developing an election slogan, I would suggest it is worth considering how those with permanent marker might change late at night. We remember "Helen Clark delivers", and the addition of the word pizza. Those in Auckland Central will remember the Arthur Anae billboards. Capitalizing what is a respected Samoan name, allowed the indignity of the top two horizontal lines of the E to be covered.

The Labour slogan just cries out for "Sh" to be added.

Anonymous said...

Labour is a party for the middle classes.The recent backdated pay rise for the nurses once again proves they are captured by vested interest.

John Hurley said...

On One Roof, a foreign buyer paid $11m for a property on a lawn with windows everywhere (St Helliers).
Sam Zang said that this shows NZrs don't have the capital and don't want it.
He seems to think it is a deficiency on NZrs part.
I pointed out that this is because buyers are earning money on foreign economies and it would be better if they bought land rather than capital.
My wife has a couple of friends in 2 bedroom house-ishes who each have 2 kids. They are working class. An old house next to me with a converted garage is forsale with an asking price of $900,000. I look out of my bedroom at its peeling paint.
The owner can sell it to X and X can put up 3 x 3 story apartments.
When Kerry Burke declared diversity was of immense benefit (blah, blah) he laid the foundations for the censored society and the rent-seeker John/Max/Paula Greedy-Pants Coalition.

John Hurley said...

What Labour did in 1984 was what a group of academics had been pushing for is an ethnicless society. Part two is Maorification.
The ethnicless society combined with skills based migration (and their capital earned offshore), makes the elite feel superspecial at the cost of the NZ working class.
Due to the censorship- industrial complex (Jack Tame/Hosking/Ryan), they get away scot free - because "democracy".

David George said...

I suspect most people give slogans the respect they deserve. Remember "Let's Do This" and laugh.
Anyway the Latest Roy Morgan poll is out, let's see what the people really think:


National - 33.5 (up 3.5)

Labour - 26 (down 4.5)

ACT - 14 (down 1)

Greens - 9 (down 0.5)

Maori - 6 (down 1)

NZ First - 5 (up 2)

TOP - 4 (up 1)

David George said...

The median annual income (June'23) is $56,836 according to Stats NZ.

How did the Maori party (or Chris?) come up with: "2.1 million New Zealanders earn less than $30,000 per year"? Or thinking that somehow justifies "bringing down the system"?

Labours tacit acceptance of TMP racism and all round craziness suggests they're not much better.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I'm not given to praising blog owners articles – it sounds a little patronising to me. But let's say I pretty much agree with all of this. Labour has been captured by the middle-class, National by business, ACT is lunatic territory, the Greens are middle class if well-meaning, New Zealand 1st is simply Winston Peters – or his ghost. 😇 After he pops his clogs I suspect it will be Weekend at Bernie's for a while. And while I might not agree with everything that Te Pati Maori stands for, as I said the other day that tax policy looks pretty damn good to me.
Labour simply lacks any vision these days, say what you like about Douglas & Co they did have a vision twisted though it was. I think they sincerely thought that it would lead to a better New Zealand, and having so much of their mana tied up in it they simply refuse to believe that it had buggered the country. Or at least buggered the working class. But both Labour and National consists largely of placeholders these days.

It'll be interesting to see policy. What National has released so far seems to be a huge big bribe for people who want to take their cars from Auckland to the Coromandel. It has the benefit at least of providing jobs for people who work on the roads.
Labour has nothing at the moment, so lack of vision is handcuffed to lack of visible policy. If they do as has been suggested take GST off food items then it would be a step in the right direction although a pretty damned small step. There was a time of course when Labour stood for progressive taxation – long gone.

My main worry of course would be ACT dragging National over towards lunatic territory. Admittedly our libertarians don't seem to be quite so ignorant as the ones in the US,( but God help us they are still reasonably ignorant, and as utopian as early communists used to be. They don't seem to be able to grasp that in most cases government regulation is a good thing – it stops your food being poisoned for a start. It stops the agricultural sector being destroyed by imported pests. But they are true believers in the Eric Hoffer mould so ...

Anonymous said...

The old saying, "he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon" comes to mind.

TPM are a race party first and foremost which is ugly. I cannot think of a single solitary race party that had done anything but harm.They are not interested in whitey as whitey is the colonisiser and oppressor. Whatever their policies, they are not in it for everyone, only 14% of the population and themselves and John Tamihere of course. And it's control of the other 86, at their whim, whatever that may be, is the real objective.

But regardless of that, I cannot think of a reliable relationship that could be had with TPM based on what I've seen as they are highly likely to storm of in a hissy fit laden moment of principles. In other words, a waste of time to even consider them!

Guerilla Surgeon said...

What worries me somewhat is the fact that there should be certain things we should all be able to agree on no matter what our political persuasion as long as it's not too extreme. This is becoming less and less common as people on the right simply get more right, and as people start believing in conspiracy theories put out by people with no actual knowledge, rather than listening to people who've studied things their whole lives.
Maybe I'm wrong. My statistical sample tends to come from people who comment on blogs, most of my friends have rather similar opinions to me if not identical. One or two are not and we rarely discuss politics because when we do it in is up with something like "in 5 years time the language of instruction in all New Zealand schools will be Maori." and me trying to be polite.

And believe me, it's a lot easier to be polite face-to-face then it is somewhere like here.

People have begun to define words in ways that make them pretty much meaningless.

Socialism = anything the government does that I don't like.
Woke = anything anyone else does that I don't like.
Critical race theory = anything about race relations that makes me uncomfortable.
Racism = any time Maori get anything from the government.

It makes it very difficult to have a conversation, so of course we all end up talking past each other and nobody ever changes their mind. Still, we have to think of the lurkers and possibly the children. Some of them may still be capable of looking at evidence and changing their minds based on it.

David George said...

The Mama Bears have well and truly fallen out of love with Labour, now only 22.5% of the under fifty women support them, only slightly more than men of the same age - 19.5%.

What's up? The loss of the Jacinda effect? Creepy gay/trans indoctrination of their kids? A PM that doesn't even know what a woman is? Or just their all round incompetence?

John Hurley said...

An overseas buyer has shelled out more than $11 million for a “crazy mansion” in St Heliers three months after he fell in love with it and put an initial offer on it.
The Waimarie Street home had been on the market earlier this year when the owner decided to move overseas with his family just as his no expense-spared dream home in Saint Heliers was finally completed.
Barfoot & Thompson agent Veronica Schoonraad had the initial listing for the property in March this year and said there were three buyers interested – but two had been unable to buy it due to the Overseas Investment Office rules.

Sam Zang
Shows that nz buyers don't have that capital nor is the property wanted by new Zealanders
John Hurley
Is that a deficiency on NZrs part, or is it because the government allows people with money earned on foreign economies to compete? Working class NZrs can no longer raise their kids on a back yard.
How about foreigners bring land not capital?
Lon Hua
John Hurley if you can’t afford it then who are you to blame? The seller for not wanting to accept a lower price? Life is competitive.
Lon Hua Why should NZrs compete with foreigners for property though. Foreign investment and immigration policies should be based primarily on the net benefit to the host nation?

Is there any politician who would answer those questions? Although the answer is implied as a net positive in the chewing gum that RNZ and TVNZ churn out: New New Zealand with Nigel Latta; A Slice of heaven with Noelle McCarthy; That's a Bit Racist etc, etc.
Maybe an anti-racism exponent on Bowalley Road would care to try?

CXH said...

Aotearoa Hou - a new day for New Zealand. One where the direction is driven by a party that has zero interest in most of the country. That proudly proclaims better genetics than the lower cast. That feels and possible discussion on the direction it wants to go is purely racist, colonialist dog whistling.

Oh yeah, some new day that is going to be. Just get your papers ready.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed in this superficial stuff. Behind the Brown’s slogan is a racist policy platform that Trotter has previously derided. It is a dangerous road and we’ve been on it for some time already, but no matter what we do to address poor statistical indicators, it’s never enough.

M Hughes said...

An intriguing account of how political slogans might link to a party's ideas on the nation's direction and future policies. They are on their way out. They have worked/woked themselves up into a frenzy. Your brief assessment of NZ First (which I support) seems to me accurate, and was their rejection of neoliberalism that first drew me to them over a decade ago. Easy to sum up some of the others: Labour (useless), ACT (devious) and National (God only knows what they are up to -- Luxon doesn't!). The Greens have spent the last several years working, or do I mean "woking", themselves into a frenzy over largely irrelevant side issues. Now for the Maori party: you are right that they also seem to reject neoliberal economics, for what I'm not sure, but they have not been giving that much if any emphasis. If they did, I think that they and NZ First really wouldn't be all that far apart on general economic policy! But instead they have been dwelling almost exclusively on, let me put this politely, "problems related to race." This is a divisive and harmful strategy. And to the extent that they busy into woke ideology they make themselves worse than useless.

David George said...

Despite the huffing and puffing from the Maori party we're, for better or worse, a multicultural society now. They and the rest of the identarian Left are ultimately on a hiding to nothing, thank Christ.

Perhaps the idea of a pluralistic society really is anathema to the very people that pretend to promote it. They can't even accommodate the Muslims, Methodists and Mama Bears concerns about the promotion of sexual depravity to their children.

A very good essay on this:

Excerpt: "But on sexuality at least, Cormack, though representing a tiny faction both politically and socially, wants his views on these matters dictated to the children of the religious to the letter.

The efficiency of contemporary sex education in schools needs proper scrutiny too. A few educators have shared with me now that students privately pour scorn the subject, akin to our generation’s deriding of religion in schools. It is even proving a sense of mirth for them. Children are not always the sponges we pretend them to be and can often be far more sceptical than adults.

Cormack and others presume that their perspective should be universally embraced, irrespective of the vast array of backgrounds and experiences among individuals and groups. This approach contradicts the very essence of multiculturalism, which cherishes the richness of thought and cultural heritage across diverse communities. Consequently, such dogmatism risks alienating minority groups, including Muslims, African and Asian Christians, and others, estranging them from the hard Left’s purported inclusivity."

Interesting the comment that the kids themselves are pushing back, that is what my teenage grandkids are reporting as well. The wokester school teachers unable to even see that kids pretending to identify as cats are taking the piss big time. There is hope.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Kids are not pretending to identify as cats and neither are teachers mistakenly putting out litter boxes for them. They call this the hoax with 9 lives, and it doesn't really surprise me that you have fallen for it David. But even you haven't and if they are it's just taking the piss, and I doubt somehow if too many teachers would be taken in by it. Of course there may well be one or two, and as usual you will be nut – picking them and implying they all do it – as I said before this is dishonest but one of your favourite tactics.
It's interesting to read your article though, because it wasn't so long ago that you people were against multiculturalism. Ah well, times change.

"which cherishes the richness of thought and cultural heritage across diverse communities. "

Now that's fascinating – given the right's general opinion on Muslim thought.
Anyway, I don't trust anyone who refers to "the hard left" in NZ – which in essence consists of a couple of hundred communists arguing about ideological purity.

As I said before, it seems to be only members of the hard right that describe anyone to the left of Margaret Thatcher as hard left.

Chris Morris said...

I wonder if the Maori Party's 2.1M people include all the under 15s who aren't allowed to work ?
This graph indicates like you stated, the median is a lot higher. Though not labelled, I think the x-axis scale is %

David George said...

A little off topic but I'd like to give a shout out to the Plain Sight website; doing what our pathetic, predictable legacy media should. A "light unto the world" might be overdoing it but they've some really great writers and thinkers. Folk like Dane Giraud. Here is on, of all things, Snow White.

Excerpt: "Doesn’t this deliberate reimagining of a classic tale stir a sense of disquiet in your soul? A narrative that once exalted the transformative power of love, has been usurped by a rallying cry for supremacy. We have shifted from a tale brimming with joy and hope, where an innocent heroine finds love, to a stern narrative that reveres the pursuit of power and authority. The original fairy tale held Snow White as a beacon of innocence, vulnerability, and a testament to the triumph of love over spite and malice. Supplanting this with a quest for leadership appears to push the narrative down a decidedly more sinister avenue.

Indeed, this mention of ‘leadership’ is steeped in ambiguity, tossed around with a nonchalance as if it were a universal antidote for all societal ills. What, one wonders, is this model of leadership they envisage? To where does this narrative intend to guide our young women, and our society at large? The more sceptical amongst us might suggest it’s pointing unerringly towards the shiny, towering edifices of the corporate world."

new view said...

The slogan competition in itself is a sad reminder of the first lie each party indulges in when in election year. Labours lie is thought provoking because did they even think it up themselves, or instead of using the collective over payed brain power of caucus did they hire a PR consultancy firm at our expense to come up with this masterpiece. Of course the others aren't much better and so I am wondering why have this immature BS at all. Its like the inanely puerile singalongs we get to hear from their political meetings. Nationals back on track works for two lots of people. Us older beings that can remember the good times of the sixties and seventies, or (many might disagree) the first six years of Nationals last term as government. At the time I didn't hear too many complaints about their first two terms, it was their last three years where National couldn't see the wood for the trees and the state of housing and infrastructure became apparent. To those who will vote for a Labour coalition are they convinced the situation under Labour will come right, albeit slowly. Those people are hoping our indebtedness and slow progress in everything won't really affect them, but of course it will.

sumsuch said...

Labour was brought to the table by violent talkers (but not for violence), and then the gentle Michael Joseph to win power. They took the gentleness to heart rather than the violent talk. Gentleness is no way to treat the powerful.

I keep imagining a way forceful political talk for truth can be reintroduced throughout the anglophone world. This is the time. I agree with you the talk always came from a favouring wind at the highest level.

Now the wind is wrong. Right from our comfortable ... fat.

John Hurley said...

Often we just experience the same idea returning in on line discussion and you quietly say to yourself "yea, we know that, but this hits the nail on the head:

Britain is now an elite dictatorship where majority opinions are crushed
Start listening to the voters on cars, crime and wokery, or there’ll be an uprising even bigger than Brexit

I'm not sure there’ll be an uprising even bigger than Brexit, but I am sure that all the forces of the state are arenged [I think that's a word] to prevent that. Steve Maharey said as much and Kim Hill implied it talking to Robert Wade. Even as we see the mould growing on Spoonley's ideology @ He Whenua Taurikura.
Spoonley's mould is propped up by John and Max Key "we may have to have a bit of density, but i just think to make the decision to come here is such a bold one". "And they WORK!" (Paula Bennet)!. The [___] who support that lot are the sort of positive (life is so much fun) types who build spec homes or have a lot of rentals. Ashley Church says "everything we know about Jacinda Ardern tells us she won't cut immigration".
You get rid of nation (a national society) and you just rearrange the deck chairs. Instead of trade being international it it regional (as with John Key and Chow Bro) and look at NZ it is all about the power to have a voice as foreigners buy the Kiwi dream from under us. We are getting a lot of Indian bus drivers and they are as good (or better) than New Zealanders, so that is good at the firm level. However I can't stop thinking about what Ha-Joon Chang said in 23 Things they Don't Tell you About Capitalism: A Swedish bus driver earns 50 times what an Indian earns and the difference is that the rich countries maintain borders.
Now I realise David Cormack, RNZ, Professor Paul Spoonley, the NZ Labour Party, The NZ National Party, the Greens, Bob Jones, David Seymour(?), won't agree (or care) about that.
It's all very well Winston filling halls but his message could use a bit more analysis.

Anonymous said...

2.1 million under 30k. Does that include kids and the over 65s?

Anonymous said...

They will have included all children (1 million), half of those over 65 (400,000), most beneficiaries (500,000). Around 2 million.

ZTS said...

Very interesting interpretation Chris and depressingly apt.

National and Labour are totally unaware that they are collectively the root of NZ;s problems or that we, the electorate, are waiting in a sense for them to have a Road to Damascus moment. Where they wake up and realise their job isnt just about what they value but about what NZers want.

I'll be voting Winstone for Free Speech and I suspect a Right Wing Govt may be more likely. I shudder at the thought because though they will be the best of a bad bunch I am not convinced National and ACT wont actually make matters worse.

Luxon genuinely scares me as he seems totally out of touch with what people want yet thoroughly indoctrinated in what not to do. Seymour will bring some necessary change and a change may be as good as a rest but the worry with him is his extraordinary destructiveness. Everytime I begin to think he is making sense, then out goes the baby with the bathwater and we are left on the side of the road in a cloud of dust as he sprints out of sight towards his next own goal.

I just cant wait for the election to be over. Its all becoming super depressing.

David George said...

"The most unhappy people are liberal men. And then I think the next most unhappy people are liberal women.”

Anonymous said...

That figure of 2.1 million earning less than 30,000 seems about right if the pop is 5.1 million. But only 3.6m are over 18. Children don't earn anything so including them is a fraud

Chris Trotter said...

To: Chris Prudence.

Please re-submit your comment, Chris, taking care to ensure that no real people can be identified by name.

Many thanks.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jordan Peterson has a habit of making statements he can't back up from actual evidence – I suspect this is one of them. Difficult to tell David because your link doesn't work properly.

Jordan Peterson: "who says women in the workplace are angry because they crave “infant contact”? Jordan Peterson who blasted the movie Frozen because, quote, its purpose is “to demonstrate that a woman did not need a man to be successful”? Jordan Peterson who says sex outside marriage is bad because it leads to, quote, “state tyranny,” since, again I quote, “the missing responsibility has to be enforced somehow”? Jordan Peterson who says gay marriage is bad because it’s pushed by “cultural Marxists” and is an “assault on traditional modes of being,”

Seems like quite an angry person himself.

"As S. T. Joshi reveals in this incisive profile of twelve leading conservatives, the right's rage is fueled by a gnawing sense that conservatives long ago lost the hearts and minds of the American people."

And have lost the future with a bit of luck.

If you can state that liberals are unhappy without evidence, I can probably say that conservatives are the most angry. And it's hardly surprising given their sources of information.

"in a 2018 interview, Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump, said that the way to deal with the media is to “to flood the zone with shit.” Jonathan Haidt

But it doesn't take much to get them going, a few Maori words on national radio, a fluffy movie full of pink stuff, saying "happy holidays" instead of Merry Christmas, indicting an ex-president who has been committing crimes. A visit to the MSN comment section would probably be suitable here David but you probably approve of much of what they say – mind you, they get so angry over so little you end up worrying about their health.

David George said...

Thanks GS, the out of context "gotcha" quotes aren't convincing are they. Jordan doesn't seem bothered if this recent picture is any guide, especially considering what he's been through.

David George said...

GS: "If you can state that liberals are unhappy without evidence"
You will have noticed, in that short clip, the reference to research.
"Data from both the 2012 General Social Survey and the 2005 World Values Survey were used. Results from both data sets support prior research by showing a positive association between happiness and both political conservatism and religiosity. Importantly, it was found that political conservatism and religiosity interact in predicting happiness levels."

There also the claim that optimism tends to lead to happiness and less negative emotion. Sounds reasonable to me.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Difficult David given you can't – or at least I can't – get anything more than the abstract really. And even the abstract has caveats. And of course we don't exactly know why. Some studies suggest that social inequality which has increased over the last 50 years or so is instrumental in making liberals unhappy. Conservatives of course don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.
Anyway, there's this:

And at the very least it's debatable.

sumsuch said...

Only truth now, David George. I remember my mother's major stroke, prior to which delirious happiness. After which, 6 years of misery. How our species is now.

John Hurley said...

Raf Manji says the country is stuck and he want's to take us "forward".

I look at the Tops lineup and I don't think "ah ha!" smart qualified people. Rather I think of my wealthy brother in law (seat at Lords) and my sister talking to my other sister "are their any other Americans [where they live]? You have a good lifestyle" while I'm (feeling like the broom in the broom closet). The more up there you are the more liberal you are. Diversity is the help and the people who drool over you (and you them) while on the biennial overseas holiday.

David George said...

I can well imagine that the conservative/liberal happiness research is disconcerting for some but it is very solid - despite attempts to explain it away.

Jordan Peterson says that our levels of positive emotion (joy, hope, gratitude, pride etc.) are enhanced by moving towards a worthy goal . Nihilism, ingratitude, envy and hopelessness lead to (or are markers for) negative emotion, unhappiness and mental illness. It's beyond dispute - a positive disposition is your best bet in life.

David George said...

What is the correlation between leftism and mental illness - indicated by delusion, hypocrisy, projection, deceitfulness (lying, exaggerating, omitting, etc.), irrationality, unnecessary aggression when doubted, inability to accept new information, and feelings of victimization, self-hatred, and persecution?

Here's a link to a recent summary:

And to a research paper referred to:

Just how messed up are the Lefties? The left liberal Europeans are the only racial or ethnic group to have a deeply negative bias (unconscious bias?) against their own group. That's not going to help your mental state - or is it the other way round?

Lots of fascinating research there but last words to Nietzsche from 130 years ago:

"[They] dared to invert the aristocratic value equations, good = noble = beautiful = happy = favored-of-the-gods and maintain, with the furious hatred of the underprivileged and impotent, that “only the poor, the powerless, are good; only the suffering, sick and ugly, truly blessed. But you, noble and mighty ones of earth will be, to all eternity, the evil, the cruel, the avaricious, the godless, and thus the cursed and the damned!”

They do not call themselves the weak, they call themselves the “good.”

David George said...

"inequality ......... is instrumental in making liberals unhappy"

Hmm, that's possible I guess but it's difficult to imagine why inequality itself would trigger such a response. Actual material poverty has decreased massively across the world in the past fifty years. That should be a counter to celebrate. No?
Perhaps convincing kids the world is going to Hell in a handbasket, to hate the skin they were born in and confuse them as to whether they're a girl or a boy or a plastic toy wasn't such a great idea.

This study looks at The politics of depression: Diverging trends in internalizing symptoms among US adolescents by political beliefs.

"These findings indicate a growing mental health disparity between adolescents who identify with certain political beliefs. It is therefore possible that the ideological lenses through which adolescents view the political climate differentially affect their mental wellbeing."

Tip: click on the PDF logo to read the full paper.