Tuesday 22 October 2019

Paying For Our Pakeha "Guilt" And "Privilege".

Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and can never be again – the Maori who inhabited these islands before Cook’s arrival. Is it not the case that both peoples are victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt?

PERHAPS THE BEST WAY to assess the quality of the NZ Herald’s “Land of the Long White Cloud” is by studying Tom Clarke’s characterisation of James Cook. Clarke begins by making Cook a member of the British aristocracy. He gives him the accent of Hugh Laurie’s Bertie Wooster, along with most of his mannerisms. Clarke then proceeds to deliver a false description of Cook’s mission – complete with jokes about planting flags and claiming countries. All done with a smile, of course, in the interests of lightening what the series’ creators clearly believe to be a very serious matter. Even so, if you’re trying to dispel some of the myths surrounding New Zealand’s origins, then falsifying the historical record would seem to be a very peculiar way of going about it.

Because James Cook was not a member of the British aristocracy, he was a plain-speaking Yorkshireman of humble origin. Tom Clarke should, therefore, have based his accent more on the characters of Heartbeat and Last of the Summer Wine than on Jeeves & Wooster. Indeed, had Clarke bothered to read anything written by a reputable historian concerning Cook’s voyage of 1769 (Anne Salmond’s springs to mind) he would have encountered a clever, considered and compassionate man of (for his time) unusually enlightened opinions. Trouble is, satirising that sort of Englishmen would have required more of the actor than he was either able, or permitted, to give.

Clarke’s representation of Cook does, however, speak directly to the profound intellectual weakness at the heart of this so-called documentary about “white guilt”. The expression “begging the question” is often used erroneously to indicate a failure to raise the obvious and most important question/s about an issue. While LOTLWC certainly fits this description, it also conforms to the expression’s classical meaning. LOTLWC begs the question because the conclusion arrived at by the series’ makers – that “whites” are guilty – is derived entirely from their original premise – that “white guilt” exists.

It certainly explains why the makers selected the eight individuals whose opinions constitute the series’ content. Originally pitched to NZ On Air (the series’ principal funder) under the working title “After White Guilt”, the first of the six recorded episodes contains not the slightest hint that attaching the word “guilt” to New Zealanders of European origin might be in any way problematic.

LOTLWC simply assumes that the Pakeha settlement of New Zealand was a crime. (Why else use the word “guilt”?) Accordingly, New Zealand’s colonial history is presented as the work of murderers and plunderers. The descendants of these criminals – the Pakeha New Zealanders of 2019 – find themselves cast in the role of people living off the proceeds of crime: receivers of stolen goods. The suggestion, so far unspoken, but lurking just beneath the surface of the participants’ remarks, is that these crimes must be acknowledged and atoned for, and the stolen property returned to its rightful owners.

One must assume that the participants in and the creators of LOTLWC really are as naïve and innocent of political reality as they appear. To assume otherwise casts them in the role of conscious and deliberate inciters of hatred and division between Pakeha and Maori – to the point of risking full-scale civil war. Nothing in the history of the human species suggests that people can be persuaded to part with their property, or their autonomy, without a fight. Nor does the historical record attest that such wholesale dispossession can be accomplished except in the aftermath of their complete and unalterable defeat.

“But that is exactly what we are saying!”, one can imagine LOTLWC participants expostulating. “That is what our ancestors are guilty of – and we are the beneficiaries of their crimes!”

Except, when viewed in its entirety, the history of human occupation in these islands suggests that what happened between Maori and Pakeha in the middle of the nineteenth century was far from exceptional. For the best part of 500 years, the killing of human-beings and the appropriation of the survivors’ property and autonomy, had been the norm. All the Europeans brought to the game were more effective weapons and superior tools – both of which the Maori acquired and mastered in a very short space of time.

Indeed, what distinguished the 70 years between the arrival of Cook in 1769 and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, was an astonishing escalation in warfare, killing, dispossession and dislocation – not at the hands of the Europeans, but by the indigenous people. When Cook arrived, New Zealand boasted approximately 100,000 inhabitants. By the end of the Musket Wars, in the mid-1830s, between 20,000 to 30,000 Maori had disappeared. The Europeans were impressed, but not surprised, they’d been doing the same things to one another for the best part of 3,000 years!

When the Pakeha settlers finally launched their own war of conquest in the Waikato in 1863, not only could they rely upon the 12,000 soldiers sent from Britain to support the colonial government, but also on the military support of Maori tribes unwilling to turn the clock back to the time before Cook’s arrival. They wagered on their people being strong enough to survive te riri Pakeha, the white man’s anger, and his greed, and they were right. Two-hundred-and-fifty years after Cook’s arrival, the Maori population of New Zealand is five times what it was in 1769. That is not a claim which many of the planet’s indigenous peoples can make – especially those inhabiting its temperate zones.

The brute facts of New Zealand history suggest that if it’s blame Maori and Pakeha are looking for, then there’s plenty to go around. Rather than apportion guilt, would it not be wiser to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and can never be again – the Maori who inhabited these islands before Cook’s arrival. Would it not, therefore, be wiser to accept, finally, that both peoples are victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt?

Which immediately raises another interesting question: Why NZ On Air felt moved to promise the makers of LOTLWC (aka “After White Guilt”) close to $140,000 of public funding? As already noted, the series is not an exploration of the way in which Pakeha have responded to a dramatic expansion in the range and depth of historical understanding in New Zealand – that would have been a very useful exercise to have supported. It is, instead, the result of taxpayers coughing-up a lot of cash for eight individuals, all subscribing to an extreme and highly tendentious interpretation of New Zealand history, to lecture them on what awful people their ancestors were, and what they should be doing to assuage their “guilt” and off-load their “privilege”.

That $140,000 question deserves an answer, especially given the fact that LOTLWC’s sponsoring institution, the New Zealand Herald, was founded in December 1863, five months after after the invasion of the Waikato, for the express purpose of ensuring that the colonial government (also based in Auckland) did everything possible to extinguish the “native rebellion” and seize the “rebels’” lands. In the light of that little snippet of New Zealand history, would it not have been more appropriate for NZME to assuage its “Pakeha Guilt” out of its own pocket?

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 22 October 2019.


John Hurley said...

I went to Joker. At first I didn't know what to make of it. Now however I can see why the left hate it: Joker isn't supposed to exist yet he is the one the likes of Jordan Peterson refers to when he points out poor whites with low educational attainment as he debunks white privilege. Also the rich powerful figure (oppressor) of Gotham could be your privileged white (sneering) liberal?

David George said...

What we have here is a heavily distorted view of history; ignore/whitewash the history of slave owner and mass murdering warlord ( and my ancestor) Hongi while ascribing the worst possible motivations and their results to the European settlers. The Maori (even Hongi) were, for the most part, enthusiastic supporters of integration with the British, it's technological, cultural and practical benefits and the elevation of the status of the individual inherent in its religion, Christianity.
The question is why are indulging in this unreasonable and dishonest view, who is promoting it and why is this motivation prevalent across the Western world. Denigration of your culture, it's history and its heroes is a very destructive thing to do; to then assign (or accept) guilt based purely on a minute genetic connection to the participants is criminal.
There's a very good essay that might shed some light over on Quillette: ‘Oikophobia’: Our Western Self-Hatred. https://quillette.com/2019/10/07/oikophobia-our-western-self-hatred/
"Conservatism and progressivism are both needed, but in different doses at different times. A more progressive outlook is important for an early society that needs to adopt new ideas and absorb the strength of outsiders in an effort to get ahead, while a more conservative outlook is needed in late society in order for it not to lose its grounding and its ability to stand up for itself. The perennial doom of Western societies is that early on, many people tend to be more conservative, and later on, many people tend to be more progressive, the exact opposite of what is needed.

It is a shame that we are in the grip of oikophobia, and it is indicative of how we have let other cultures crowd out our own; it’s a pity because it should be possible to express interest in and to learn from other traditions while at the same time remaining appreciative of one’s own heritage. But many people are incapable of handling that balance, and the more oikophobic we become and the more we embrace the idea of cultural diversity, the farther we are removed from the sources and thereby the understanding of our own culture. Since we do not understand this culture, one often hears oikophobic Westerners refer with disdain to “Western values” or to those who say they treasure “Western values”—but in fact those disdainful people themselves adore Western values; they just don’t know it"

John Hurley said...

The New Zealand Wars Documentary Series: Discursive Struggle and Cultural Memory
This series is also likely to have been influential for many people involved in the funding, production, broadcast and reception of TNZW, because as Horrocks (1999) pointed out, The Governor was “such a national event…it coincided with a kind of new nationalist spirit in the 1970s…The Governor came at just the right time to be a catalyst for public discussion”. Despite being broadcast two decades earlier, this series, and the ‘event’ surrounding it, contributed to an awareness amongst many people involved in the production of TNZW, that such a series could potentially function as a very controversial ‘national event’.

NZ On Air was a "fanatical" supporter of the New Zealand Wars Series. Is all about 'cultural intervention" and "nation building" by a bunch of elites who are out of touch.

peteswriteplace said...

Being a descendant of Scandanavian immigrants in the early 1870's Banks Peninsula, then Canterbury, now Christchurch, I don't feel any guilt. My great and grandparents had a hell of a hard time breaking in their land, setting up the blacksmith's smithy, and bringing up young children in a harsh and unsympathetic environment. Now a parent, grandparent and great grandparent of my own 20 plus descendants of Pakeha, Maori and Pasifika descent my suggestion to the cuzzies in Gisborne is to get a life. It is history and Cook wasn't really a bad egg himself, it was the sailors he had that sometimes caused the problems. Some sailors had an option - life imprisonment or life on the high seas.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" he points out poor whites with low educational attainment as he debunks white privilege. "

Hahahahahahaha – the thought of Jordan Peterson debunking anything. Even Paul white people get a better suck of the sav than black people. At least in the US where Peterson seems to operate. Even that bastion of communism the Cato Institute admits that black people are treated differently by the police, stopped more often, arrested more often, and shot more often. Jordan Peterson knows nothing about white privilege – like the fish knows nothing about water.

John Hurley said...

This seems a good take on Joker it sets up stereotypical political narratives and then smashes them this NZ on Air own goal is a prime example.

Geoff Fischer said...

In my experience the "white privilege" and "white guilt" argument is only advanced by those who serve the British Crown.
It is a nonsense perpetrated by those who wish to conceal the truth of the matter which is that the Crown is the guilty party, not Pakeha, and it is the Crown which has arrogated to itself the ultimate "privilege" of sovereign authority over our people, Maori and Pakeha alike.
I haven't watched "Land of the Long White Cloud" but from this account it is a classic case of colonialist deceit and distortion of the truth.

Nick J said...

So GS, to address the issue of what Jordan Peterson knows....first a question to you. Have you ever listened to him and critically analysed? Have you ever thought about what he observed from a non ideological view, rather than an empirical viewpoint?

I don't rely upon second hand judgement, so I admit that I have assessed Peterson first-hand. And others like Scruton, Peter Hitchens and Douglas Murray. Have you GS? The reason I ask is because I don't care about the person, it's their ideas that need to be benchmarked and tested against our own.

So what does Peterson know about white privilege? I'd suggest he knows a lot about white non privelege, after all he picked the "deplorables" of the rust belt to vote Trump (or should I say against the well heeled liberal Left). The genius of Peterson's observation is that he credits these "deplorables" as having intelligence sufficient to see reality and act accordingly. The liberal Left by contrast assumed "moral" superiority along with the associated lattes and Chardonnay (they didn't have to drive long haul trucks).

Nick J said...


Who amongst Maori wish to revert to pre European times? Stone aged, none of today's modern conveniences. A short and brutally tough existence.

Who amongst modern Pakeha would go back to the dark satanic mills, to the hell of industrial revolution Britain?

Who amongst those mongrel amalgams of both Pakeha and Maori families would have their whakapapa / lineage "cleaned up"?

When two (or more) cultures are trying to create a future that both can live with, does a goody / baddy narrative , an oppressor / victim narrative help anybody?

I don't think so, and I resent paying for it.

David George said...

That's a very unfair response GS.
Dr Peterson's discussion of white privilege (so called debunking) is a lot better informed and nuanced than you are willing to credit.
His assertion is that it is a majority rather than racial privilege and goes on to quote examples, in various societies, of how and why the majority race/culture are more successful. Obviously there are examples where the minority are on top due to overt oppression.
His intention? To examine and (hopefully) undermine the claims of both the white supremacists (we're successful due to racial superiority) and the claims that success is largely due to actual oppression.
A supporting observation is the rise of the Asian American, now with higher average incomes, higher education achievement and general life outcomes than European Americans. A dishonest, superficial supporter of the racial oppression line could argue that a lot of Asians are no darker than some Europeans (true) and therefore, also, beneficiaries of "white privilege" but it's a very facile argument.
It looks like a willingness (enthusiasm?) to embrace and participate in the main stream culture, regardless of race, is the deciding factor and the best indicator of success.

John Hurley said...

3 hours ago
Do you just come back to every episode to give your shitty racist takes? What good is a large population if is founded on fraud, murder, and rape?

Cultural Dementia
3 minutes ago
@Raiylu You sum this series up beautifully!

Sam said...

John Hurley:

In the 1980's Tim Burton Batman and most of the comic books and most of the animated series the Joker origin story centred around a vat of chemicals making his go crazy. Visually and for the plot it's easier to point to imply a thing did it to fit the plot into a half hour time slot. where as Thomas Phillips 2019 origin story develops the Joker Character over the full 2 hour length movie and changed the origin story from chemical making Joker go crazy to a much more nuanced and entertaining origin story about the environment and circumstances making Joker crazy.

Some one like Jordan Peterson argues in his great debate with communist philosopher Slavoj Zezik that the individual is sovereign and society dosnt owe you a "damn" thing (I belive that's the way Peterson puts it now adays).

Where as Zezik argues that there are some challenges that are to great for the individual to overcome on there own. And as the film Joker illustrates psychosis can be a very alluring trap indeed.

If Batmans guiding principle is not to commit murder under any circumstances then the Jokers guiding principle is to commit murder.

Iv said this before. The genius of Thomas Philips Joker is that he got the whole left and right of the political spectrum talking about a fantasy film and making the story there own.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Dr Peterson's discussion of white privilege (so called debunking) is a lot better informed and nuanced than you are willing to credit."
Bullshit. It's not nuanced at all.
He says that the only people that focus on race and ethnicity (and he doesn't really distinguish between the two) are Marxists. Presumably he means his usual "cultural Marxists" a meaningless term, invented by Adolf Hitler I do believe – or perhaps Joseph Goebbels. These people are supposed to be undermining society by educating our children and turning them all into raving commies. Well they're not doing a very good job are they.:)
But that aside, the people who canonised races away of distinguishing or judging people in the US, are those who imported the slaves. And they certainly weren't Marxists, cultural or otherwise. They established a hierarchy, with white people at the top, and it was supported by the science and indeed pseudoscience of the day, which maintain the black people were less intelligent than white people, and had a lot less emotional control. Among other things.
He thinks that white privilege is merely majority privilege. But again, black people were enslaved and regarded as inferior for at least 500 years – their position was set in stone by white people and white privilege is largely a result of this. You don't just benefit because of your whiteness, but because of the historical injustices of white people.
White privilege simply describes the way things are in the US. And if you think it's majority privilege, perhaps you should take a trip to China or Africa, where if you are white, you are to some extent protected from the consequences of your minor stupidities. White reporters in Hong Kong are off-limits to the police where Asian reporters, no matter where they are from our certainly not. And even in the US, in places where black people are in the majority, white people get privileges. Peterson seems blind to this.

I think what pisses me off most about him is that he goes on and on about Marxism without having read a great deal of Marx. I think he only mentions it because he knows it triggers people like you. I listened to one of his lectures and he did quote from Marx, but only the same old thing that everybody knows, nothing substantive. The one about losing the chains. Completely out of context I might add. And he doesn't even know when the Communist manifesto was written he was out by about 40 years. Marx was dead by 1890 when he suggested it might have been written. How on earth can you take the man seriously? If he can't get the small things right he almost certainly won't get the big things correct either.
Honestly, as soon as the guy strays outside of psychology he's lost. I suspect that he chooses a sort of pseudo-philosophy, because he can get away with all sorts of vague statements he can't make when he's talking about science. But even philosophers think he's rubbish. He certainly doesn't understand what post-modernism is that's just another triggering word for his base. The man just gets an idea in his head and ignores everything that contradicts it and simply looks for stuff that supposedly confirms it. Not someone I bother with.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Who amongst modern Pakeha would go back to the dark satanic mills, to the hell of industrial revolution Britain?"
Any number of industrialists and business people. In fact, we are well on the way there already with this post Fordist society. It's just dressed up in some fancy words.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Mr Trotter

A lucid and rational evisceration of modern day political correctness.

You'll be banned from every faculty lunch room in the country.

Tauhei Notts said...

The National Library's excellent Papers Past site easily enables one to see what a distorted picture the New Zealand Herald portrayed in its early days. I agree with Chris Trotter when he writes that the present day publishers of that newspaper should pay for the distorted series, not the mug taxpayer. After all, the present day publishers paid a large sum for that newspaper's masthead.

Anonymous said...

History used to have it that colonisation and integration were inevitable and just. Now the pendulum has swung the other way to the equal and opposite idiocy.

I think the truth is that Māori are much better off in most respects than if they had remained an uncontacted people, but they are far from as well off as they could have been were colonisation or its substitute conducted in accordance with basic human rights– a curate's egg if you will.

Anonymous said...

All this revision and dissection of history and it's aftermath is full of "what if's." What if Cook didn't arrive, what if Maori were left alone, isolated from the world? Here's another "what if" - if Maori arriving in their waka on these shores, had encountered an already indigenous population, what would they have done? Turn around and go home, land and suppress (if possible) such population or any other possibility? What has happened is history and a repeat of everything in the world that has gone before. We need to live with the now and try to get along as best we can.....

Geoff Fischer said...

There are people who say it is all about race and change is necessary. They are generally either multi-culturalist or bi-culturalist, left wing and progressive.
Then there are people who say race is irrelevant and change is not needed. They tend to be implicitly British mono-culturalists, right-wing and protagonists of global capitalism.
We do not accept the proposition that it is all about race. Not least because our true history does not support such an interpretation. But also because except by a miracle of God, Maori will not be liberated without the support of Pakeha, and, less obviously, Pakeha can not be liberated except through te rangatiratanga.
Neither can we accept the proposition that change is not needed and that global capitalism and "a modern representative democracy" gives us the best of all possible worlds.
Every day in every town and village, farm and factory we have confirmation that this is not the case.
So there is a litmus test, which has nothing to do with "white privilege" or "white guilt" but is based on this simple question "Do you or do you not support the British Crown as the sovereign authority in Aotearoa?".
We did not invent this test. The Crown did in 1863 and the Crown continues to use this test to control access to citizenship and to restrict the membership of its parliament.
But we also can see the paper change from red to blue or blue to red. We know that those who refuse allegiance to the British Crown or to any other foreign power are one with us.
For us, they pass the test even though it was not us that put them to the test.
The people who say it is all about race and white guilt are almost without exception those who follow the Crown, and avert their eyes from its horrific legacy of blood guilt, while thumping the tub for "multi-culturalism" or "bi-culturalism".
We have only one culture. In other words we have cultural integrity.
We are open, we are inclusive, and we are accepting of difference, not despite holding so tightly to our culture, but because those values are an essential element of our culture.
So let's have an end to the nonsense.
Are we for the Crown and British race sovereignty, the divide and rule policies of colonialism, or are we for rangatiratanga and kotahitanga?

Trev1 said...

Free to air television is dying and NZ on Air will die with it. This series is the last meaningless whimper of a smug, entitled elite. The distortion of historical accuracy is clearly intended to foment racial hatred but don't expect to hear anything from the Human Rights Commission because it plays to their agenda of rooting out "white supremacy". Rotten to the core.

David George said...

GS, You've fallen into the trap of making assumptions based on a single criterion.
an example of this type of thinking: Men are twenty times more likely to be imprisoned than women and receive longer sentences (for the same offence) when they do. Therefore there is systemic oppression against men.
The example I gave of Asian Americans contradicts the notion of systemic racial oppression/supremacy/privilege but we'll just ignore that will we. Doesn't fit the narrative.
You haven't got a clue about Jordan Peterson, that rant proves it but this one takes the biscuit:
"gets an idea in his head and ignores everything that contradicts it and simply looks for stuff that supposedly confirms it"
A little self awareness wouldn't go amiss GS.

David George said...

The psychological rather than the political GS.
Perhaps an understanding of Peterson's psychological basis for his contempt for the elevation of victim-hood and the politics of resentment can be gleaned from this essay; the forward to the 50th anniversary edition of The Gulag archipelago.
"We all belong to a group—some group—that has been elevated in comparative status, through no effort of our own. This is true in some manner, along some dimension of group category, for every solitary individual, except for the single most lowly of all. At some time and in some manner we all may in consequence be justly targeted as oppressors, and may all, equally, seek justice—or revenge—as victims. Even if the initiators of the revolution had, therefore, in their most pure moments, been driven by a holy desire to lift up the downtrodden, was it not guaranteed that they would be overtaken by those motivated primarily by envy, hate and the desire to destroy as the revolution progressed?

Hence the establishment of the hungrily growing and most often fatal list of class enemies, right from the very first moments of the Communist revolution. The demolition was aimed first at the students, the religious believers and the socialists (continuing, under Stalin, with the old revolutionaries themselves), and was followed soon thereafter by the annihilation of the successful peasant farmer “kulaks.” And this appetite for destruction wasn’t of the type to be satiated with the bodies of the perpetrators themselves. As Solzhenitsyn writes, “they burned out whole nests, whole families, from the start; and they watched jealously to be sure that none of the children—fourteen, ten, even six years old—got away: to the last scrapings, all had to go down the same road, to the same common destruction.” This was driven by the perceived—even self-perceived—guilt of all. How else was it possible for the hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of informants, prosecutors, betrayers and unforgivably mute observers to spring so rapidly into being in the tumult of the Red Terror?

Thus the doctrine of group identity inevitably ends with everyone identified as a class enemy, an oppressor; with everyone uncleansibly contaminated by bourgeois privilege, unfairly enjoying the benefits bequeathed by the vagaries of history; with everyone prosecuted, without respite, for that corruption and injustice. “No mercy for the oppressor!” And no punishment too severe for the crime of exploitation! Expiation becomes impossible because there is no individual guilt, no individual responsibility, and therefore no manner in which the crime of arbitrary birth can be individually accounted for. And all the misery that can be generated as a consequence of such an accusation is the true reason for the accusation. When everyone is guilty, all that serves justice is the punishment of everyone; when the guilt extends to the existence of the world’s misery itself, only the fatal punishment will suffice."

greywarbler said...

Director Kathleen Winter - https://loadingdocs.net/he-kakano-ahau/

We have been working over a number of decades to get out of the rut we were in and acknowledge in NZ that we are bicultural. But toffy nosed pakeha don't want that and want to be up 'where we belong' as if the world gave them a silverplated spoon when born. So we have tried to move closer to fairness to Maori and Maori have worked to put their case forward and not have all the advantages used up in legal costs. But we have got somewhere and then these red faced, plump old pakeha fat cats male and female, can't put up and shut up. See in Tauranga this Hollis and his supporters have got him in the Council after he badmouths the Treaty.

One reason would be that no depth of NZ history has ever been taught or talked about with him and his peers; because of the bloody Lange Labour government setting up local rights for educators to choose subjects except for basics. So we get somewhere, but faint-heartedly we then turn around and abandon that smart position for the dunce's chair. That then makes room for the grievance campaigns to start up again.

It is so disappointing that NZs can turn themselves inside out to worship Ed Hillary for climbing mountains, yet we can't find the admirable traits of determination and quality of character in ourselves, to meet and treat with Maori wholeheartedly and completely, recognising how the mingling of our intrinsic qualities will unite and produce a unique and enhanced national people. Climate change and stupidity in action, looks likely to wipe out the chances before we can achieve real maturity!

sumsuch said...

Here in Kihipini (Gisborne) I understand Maori protest against the replica Endeavour's visit. Would we celebrate the anniversary of the first Japanese battleship if they'd won in WW 2? I comprehend things are a way on between Maori and Pakeha but they're still at the bottom. And we haven't attended the bottom for many decades, whatever colour.

Even the approach of the Japanese, down to the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), saw British 'Home'-lovers in NZ liquidizing their assets. My Great Uncle made his way to Paritai Dr on the steps of returned cars to his salesyard then.

Over-simplified narratives, no good of course.

Nick J said...

Can't deny that observation GS, this time it's all of us, Pakeha Maori etc. Those with the power have got us all under assault for their neo feudal aims.

Sam said...


The way I see it, kiwis are stuck in this argument which is kind of immoral where if Māori can not walk around and korero Māori unmolested and comfortable then New Zealand history will be an uncomfortable subject to learn.

In view of what Captain Cook did which was to lay the foundation for invasion. Well okay this was pre enlightenment stuff so judging someone from 300 hundred years ago with today's morals when there was a lot more stuff going on before that has to be taken into account if you're going to give a descent class in New Zealand History.

To say Captain Cook did horrible things over there as a judgment on New Zealand history would be about the same sense as saying Christianity should be dismissed because of the catholic inquisition, or the destruction of native Americans by Christians or the holocaust against Jews, gays, gypsies, blacks and so fourth committed by Christian Germans and on and on and on. The peak of the Christian world peaked with 2 world wars. We on the left don't make these sorts of arguments. We on the left take on the fascists. We don't become the fascists by imitating there cheap hatred to grab power.

The only thing Jordan Peterson would have to say about left wing warmongers is fairly sophisticated stuff that poor people get angry at rich people and envious of there success. This is of course an insult and why I was able to enjoy Jordan Peterson and then one day just flip out at him. Apparently Jordan Peterson doesn't like those who criticises inequality so I felt I needed to respond.

People have been talking about inequality for thousands of years and the whole point of speaking Te Reo was to explain why inequality under colonisation didn't go away. Colonization was brought in on the backs of the enlightened Y'know, freedom, equality and fraternity. Everyone knows and even Jordan Peterson should know that we have colonization but we don't have freedom, equality and fraternity. We ain't even close to that. Mr Peterson's own speech in the debate with Slavoj Zezik is an indication of that. You can watch the full debate here : https://youtu.be/lsWndfzuOc4

Now why do we not have equality under colonization and the answer is in the analysis of the history of New Zealand. The way in which the crown organized New Zealand with farmers and police and the under-class such is the parallels with British lords that employed the underclass who put the wealth into the hands of the already wealthy there by excluding the mass of Māori from the progress and justice and so on brought in by the enlightenment of the last 160 years. In any case if those who call Māori racists and apartheid understood that then there critique of Māori would not come across like a con-artist.

Instead those who seek out to sanitize Māori history (now I don't mean Chris Trotter, I mean the people who are one down from white supremacist who literally say verbatim "Māori are racist and apartheid" and people like Jordan Peterson) want to make it about the envy the poor have against the rich with this caricature, Y'know this straw man that white supremacist can knock down with gusto. Y'know for those who know something about Māori, listening to a white supremacist argument is embarrassing.

David George said...

Thank you Sam. There were two great discoveries when Cook et al came upon these Islands. The world discovered New Zealand and, perhaps more significantly, New Zealand discovered the world. That later discovery would have been utterly profound; beyond what we today can probably conceive. One can possibly imagine Hongi's thoughts following his visit to Britain and meeting with the King; there's no doubting his realisation that things would never be the same again. The days of splendid isolation were over.
So here we are.
You quote "want to make it about the envy the poor have against the rich"
Not sure that I understand this last paragraph correctly but Dr Peterson is deeply concerned with the dangers of attributing fault or innocence based on identity in all it's manifestations. Race against race, rich versus poor or any of the countless ways we can identify. The excerpt I copied above makes his position perfectly clear.
He has gone to some lengths to try and understand, from a psychological perspective, the Nazi oppression of the Jews for example.
The Jews have always set themselves apart, separate, stick together or we are destroyed; understandable given their history of enslavement and persecution. But when times were hard they were an identifiable and obvious target for blame. The whole race/culture was presented as evil oppressors/vermin/conspirators against the German people regardless of individual culpability. Almost an exact equivalent to the horrors (outlined above) of the Red Terror but with different actors.
I was in Phuket Thailand recently and was very impressed with the way the many races and religions got on together. There appeared to be genuine friendship and affection between the people. It occurred to me that it was because they all saw themselves as Thai first and whatever else second. It probably helps that the King is promoted and perceived as the physical embodiment of the idea of Thailand; a unifying presence. The denigration of the idea of the nation, above but encompassing it's various identities, is a very bad idea. In a multicultural/multiracial society it could prove fatal.
I don't understand the reasons for the denigration of the idea of the nation. Perhaps a mistaken overreaction to the causes of WW2 but that was imperialism not nationalism in the proper sense of the word. This foolish belief was a big factor in the formation of the EU and we are seeing the consequences play out in Europe today;' the dilution of the nation and, consequently, the power and value of their citizens. There is nothing left to identity with and nothing to bind together the people that live together. The great nebulous, unaccountable, undemocratic monstrosity the the EU has become, like the Tower of Babel, will surely fall.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The example I gave of Asian Americans contradicts the notion of systemic racial oppression/supremacy/privilege but we'll just ignore that will we. Doesn't fit the narrative."

Actually no we don't ignore that, but Asian-Americans are usually used by the so-called 'alt' right as part of their narrative of racial prejudice to show that they are not in fact prejudiced. But that's partly because they regard them as passive and not a physical threat. And Asian people's success in the US has been in spite of systematic discrimination against them, beginning with restrictions on there migration to America. Their work ethic and family-oriented society gave them advantages that black Americans didn't have, having been enslaved and had their culture taken away from them largely. Interestingly, Nigerian kids who have migrated to the US recently with their culture intact are outperforming American students in schools by a considerable margin – again in spite of systematic discrimination. Now that doesn't get bruited around in alt right circles, because that doesn't fit their narrative.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"gets an idea in his head and ignores everything that contradicts it and simply looks for stuff that supposedly confirms it"
I stand by that statement. Jordan Peterson has become a "public intellectual" which he seems to think gives him the right to make public pronouncements about areas of knowledge which he simply doesn't understand and has nothing more than a superficial knowledge of – including as I said Marx. Not saying he doesn't have that right, but if you actually read him critically, and take in some of his critics – who are experts in their respective fields, and who you don't seem to have bothered with – you'll find that many of his opinions are simply laughable. And again, if you read him critically you will find that he does ignore everything that doesn't "fit his narrative".

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Have you ever listened to him and critically analysed? Have you ever thought about what he observed from a non ideological view, rather than an empirical viewpoint?"

Yes I have, as I have just said. But I have also read his critics. I don't care about his ideology – although it does colour his body of work. The plain fact is that outside his area of psychology he simply gets stuff wrong. And as I have repeatedly said – getting a little tired of it – people who are experts in the various fields that he pronounces on think he is talking bullshit – in their respective fields.
So I have read and listened to Peterson, but you obviously haven't listened to or read anything by anyone who critiques him.

Tim Wikiriwhi said...

Well written Chris.
Respect to you given you are a Lefty and yet you are prepared to stand up for essential historic truths that many of your Comrades seek to 'revise'.
I have noticed this virtue of yours several times.
Respect to you from a Libertarian on this defense of Cook and the real history of NZ.

Sam said...

kiwidave, quote:

You quote "want to make it about the envy the poor have against the rich"
Not sure that I understand this last paragraph correctly; end quote.

Now I don't actually do this because I think educating people in the comments section is a wast of time and energy. But since I am interested in the wellbeing of Māori I'll just go ahead and help you understand a bit better.

I don't think there's an agreed upon context with what we should teach do with Cooks voyages and even if there was I wouldn't consider it an objective historical context in any history lesson. It can't even be universalism because all the students would have to want the same thing then sure they would agree with the norm but that's not actually objective. It doesn't even matter what historical contexts Cooks voyages are taught if one or more disagree then it can not be said to be an objective class. So it wouldn't even matter if everyone actually agreed that Cook did good things the question is if some one comes along and disagrees because they don't want a colonialist society then is that moral proposition fair and an objectivist would say yes and a subjectivist would say no, and you're saying no which means you have a subjective view of history.

I can see your error, kiwidave, and I hope everyone will agree when I say this. Apart of what kiwidave is saying is objective but it doesn't make his arguments morally objective. So what kiwidave is saying is there is objective facts about what will maximise wellbeing amongst society. As an example it's an objective fact that if a vegan army was to beat up kiwidave then his well being would go down.

Okay if someone strong came and punched kiwidave in the face and stole his property then we can say that that is objectively true and of course someone could undermine us by saying is anything subjective? Can you prove its propaganda? Can you prove its theft? So we are assuming that there is an external world outside of the colonialist view.

So I'm going to say it's an objective fact that if Captain Cook came and punched kiwidave in the face then kiwidaves wellbeing is going to go down but that is the part that is the objective fact. Whether Captain Cook should or shouldn't punch people in the face depends on people's attitude. Someone who hates kiwidave might think the proposition that Captain Cook should punch kiwidave is true, and some who likes kiwidave might think it's false and it might even be true or false. Technically I think it breaks down into index propositions so that it wouldn't mean that there are any contradictions for teaching New Zealand history with in a measurable standard but we don't even need to go there.

The main point that kiwidave is saying is there are objective facts that will maximise wellbeing. It could be that we understand everything about how to maximize wellbeing and then someone who doesn't have the goal of maximizing wellbeing then for them it dosnt have to be true that New Zealand history has to be taught inline with the facts.

Let me put it this way. If we were to have the same goal then we could employ all the methods of science to help us achieve that goal. Apart of the goal is the subjective part that will maximize wellbeing and it does and maybe for some other person it dosnt. The thing that is subjective is once we agree on the goal then we can employ all the tools of science and economics and physics everything and all the objective science to determine what will bring about that goal. Not the fact of how to achieve the goal but the fact that the goal should be achieved is subjective.

Nick J said...

To the contrary GS. The critics all share one thing in common, that none of them can refute Peterson's challenge to post modernist victim culture. Zizek pointed this out much to my surprise. What it comes down to is the inability of his critics to critically analyse their own position. That equates to deliberate obstinate idelogical blindness, very akin to religious belief which the same people endlessly mock. Peterson may be wrong but in this debate he is the only intellectually honest and open player. Such is the impoverished level of Leftist thinking today, a real tragedy.

Sam said...

Speak for yourself Nick

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I'm not talking about his ideology, I'm getting sick of saying this it's his science that is at fault. It's like beating your head against a brick wall. Insofar as his science is wrong it makes a mockery of his ideology. That's all.
Let's see:
1. He seems to think that the twin snakes which is a motif in numerous primitive peoples art somehow represents the DNA double helix. Experts in both DNA and in mythology say there is no way this can be true. He also can't tell the difference between the cadeucus, and the rod of Asclepius. Doesn't give me great confidence in his abilities, because even I know the difference there.
2. He claims that quantum physics somehow supports his worldview. Experts in quantum physics say he knows nothing about quantum physics.
3. He equates the Buddhist nirvana with the Christian heaven. Experts in Buddhist philosophy and for that matter Christian theology have said this is rubbish.
4. He seems to think that you can't give up smoking without divine help. While my mother gave it up without any of that bullshit.
5. Lobsters. He makes generalisations about the way lobsters behave, and how serotonin somehow influences their hierarchies androids parallels with human beings. Lobster experts and experts on human serotonin uptake had claimed this is rubbish.
To the extent that you ignore this, you are simply a fan boy and haven't thought. Here is my acid test – I know what would change my mind on him. If all those experts on subject he plunders without knowing anything about them would somehow say "Gosh he's really got something there!", instead of "He doesn't lie what he's talking about in this area." I would say he might have something.

sumsuch said...

The Right are blessed with the simple goal, the simple storyline, of 'money'. The complexity of reality is left to the Left.

Even the governance of the Left regime between '35 and '84 was mostly in the hand of the Right because of that.

(Yep, folks , it ended with 'labour'. And the malefactors' beliefs are still prevalent in that party)

Overthrowing a people hasn't been overcome by them anywhere in the modern conquered and colonised countries. Doesn't matter being better off in many ways, if you're conquered.

I suppose this is an empathic mental leap of a Scot for my suppressed Irish brothers over our ( secretly much admired) cousin, the English.

Sam said...

Well I'd say both GS and Nick J are mislead by an academia and a media and a system they deserve. We all deserve a national party and farming lobby that want to bring forward the anthropogenic extinction sooner rather than later and implicitly so. And it's going to take everyone working together to confront these evil forces. These people are implicit in there unconcernce about human suffering which is evil.

Jordan Peterson is so far right that anyone to his left looks left wing to him and it's not true. It's not true that universities are full of post modern Neo Marxist. Universities are full of right wing neoliberals and the fees clearly show up the trend to be true. It's not Jordan's science that's the issue. The guy can research and he's good at debate, his just wrong.

Shane McDowall said...

Maori nationalists are either deluded or poseurs.

For decades I have pointed the Maori sovereignty brigade to Tonga if they want to see what New Zealand would be like under indigenous sovereignty.

Third World poverty with endemic Third World corruption.

In fact, Tonga and Samoa only enjoy the standard of living they have because they have exported tens of thousands of their people to New Zealand.

Maori were robbed blind and treated as second class citizens in their own homeland.

Even the hapu that fought for the Crown in the wars of the 1840s and 1860s got shafted by the Crown.

The Native Land Court, the Public Works Act and taking land by proclamation took way more Maori land than the confiscations.

New Zealand never had the "hard" apartheid of South Africa and the southern states of the USA, but we did have the "soft" apartheid of the northern US states.

Pakeha old enough to remember this have amnesia about it and younger Pakeha do not even know it happened.

Sam said...

Shane McDonald:

Treaty settlements are the greatest achievement for people through difficult times who have kept the faith and for Māori going through harsh times it makes their act of faith that much greater. It will be a long time before a crown government try's to divide this country again. It will be along time before another government try's to push Māori off of productive land and into poverty. Māori nationalists are to descent and conscientious and they are to interested in the land to wear those sorts of labels.

I do think that New Zealand values are on the line and the National opposition party want to travel back in time away from the progress New Zealand has become. A cooperative descent nice place to live where neighbours have regard for one an other.

David George said...

Sorry for the belated reply to your comments on Dr Peterson GS.
He has never claimed that the double helix as represented in ancient art indicates ancient knowledge of the DNA molecule. That is such an absurd distortion one can only assume a malevolent intent.
He does suggest that we, embedded in reality, have subconscious intimations of and an affinity to the basic structures of that reality. We can see that in our capacity for the appreciation of beauty; the overlying and underlying patterns that can so move us in music for example. Or the common reaction to the staggering majesty of the galactic spiral nebulae that we also find represented cross culturally; in the stylised embryonic fern frond we know as the Koru for example. These are questions beyond the temporal, material, realm, not of science.
I haven't heard or read JP make the claim that Nirvana and Heaven are the same thing - perhaps you could link to the source. Again these are hardly scientific issues and have been discussed at length for centuries by philosophers and theologians. A meaningless criticism.
Where did you get that nonsense about smoking cessation from? In his research on the effects of psychedelic drugs (psilocybin, DMT) one of the widely reported experiences was the mystical revelation, the intimation of the divine. He commented (more of a question) on the implications of the fact that these religious experiences seemed to give rise to lasting improvements in positive emotions, lowered anxiety and very high rates of (involuntary?) smoking cessation. These effects were absent from those that took the drugs but had no religious experience. Again, a deeply dishonest distortion GS.
The lobster is affected, as we are by serotonin; there's nothing noble in nit picking over the details in order to disguise the fundamental truth and discredit Dr Peterson in the process. After a dose of serotonin the defeated lobster (or human) bucks up in a positive way. There are obviously differences (the lobster doesn't have a recognisable brain for a start) but the overriding truth remains; we are not the masters of our own houses. We have the capacity to reach for the divine but we are also directed and bound to some extent by our evolved but still primitive physiology. Try telling someone that all they need to do is just buck up; these ancient, neuro chemical circuits are very powerful.
I suspect you've gleaned these criticisms from some very dishonest players hell bent, not on the discovery of the truth but the demolition of the man.
Camille Paglia claimed that Dr Peterson had (or one of) the greatest intellect she had ever encountered (and she's certainly no intellectual slug herself) and that many of even his strongest supporters didn't appreciate the value of his insights or the enormous significance of his work. I believe she's right. He is a widely cited scientist, accomplished artist and musician with a profound love for humanity; who better to help you peer into the deepest questions of existence and of the fundamental basis of reality itself.
You can watch a fascinating lecture on these topics (Neuropsychology of Symbolic Representation) direct from the man himself here. https://youtu.be/Nb5cBkbQpGY

Nick J said...

I was a young student when Dame Whina kicked it off and Joe Hawke followed at Bastion Point. By the time race was politicised by the Springbok tour a new path was evident. We had decided to be two people, one nation. National fell into line, but you can never trust the bastards. Create an aristocracy, divide and conquer. Well stuff them, Ranginui Walker said it would all be sorted between the bed sheets. Here's to that.

sumsuch said...

I believe at my own pace kiwidave, which is the only way to go these days. The underdogs' need and climate change is what I understand at the mo'.