Thursday 1 April 2021

New Zealand The Way THEY Deserve It.

Rage, Rage, And The Crying Of The Right: Retributive populism is founded on the principle that the past was better than the present: and that unless there is a strong and unapologetic reassertion of the values and policies that dignified the past, then the nation’s steady decline will persist into the future. The truth or otherwise of this core populist assertion is irrelevant since the voters most likely to respond positively to it are aggressively unwilling to entertain anything in the way of counter-arguments. Evidence is for snobs. Real people are guided by their emotions.

THE NATIONAL PARTY is to be pitied. Those within its ranks whose personal political philosophies match the zeitgeist are inadequate to the task of expressing it. While the handful of genuinely talented politicians National possesses have convinced themselves that power can only be reclaimed by competing fiercely with Labour for the right to implement the same policies. This anything-she-can-do-we-can-do-better strategy is unlikely to succeed. If New Zealanders are happy with a cautious liberal party, committed to incremental reform, then why would they exchange Jacinda Ardern for Judith Collins, or Chris Bishop, for that matter?

If National wishes to remove Labour from office it must be willing to embrace the anger and vengefulness of all those who have not found a physical and/or spiritual place to call ‘home’ in 2020s New Zealand. This will require the party to cease pretending that the policies of the 1980s and 90s can somehow be rehabilitated and set to work with the slightest prospect of success. They can’t. Like the rest of the world, New Zealand is fast becoming ripe for retributive populism. Not so much “New Zealand the way YOU want it” as “New Zealand the way THEY deserve it”.

This is the populism of Victor Orban’s Fidenz Party, Poland’s Law & Justice Party and, less successfully, of Donald Trump’s Republican Party. It is founded on the principle that the past was better than the present: and that unless there is a strong and unapologetic reassertion of the values and policies that dignified the past, then the nation’s steady decline will persist into the future. The truth or otherwise of this core populist assertion is irrelevant since the voters most likely to respond positively to it are aggressively unwilling to entertain anything in the way of counter-arguments. Evidence is for snobs. Real people are guided by their emotions.

ALL OVER THE WESTERN WORLD there has been an explosion of what the German dissident philosopher, Rudolf Bahro, called “surplus consciousness”. In essence, advanced industrial societies have a tendency to impart more knowledge than they can usefully exploit. Increasingly, those who have passed through all the stages of education: primary, secondary and tertiary; are left knowing much more than they can sell.

In the former socialist states of Eastern Europe, this surplus consciousness manifested itself in movements determined to open up political, social and economic space for the highly educated. In late-capitalist societies, the possessors of surplus consciousness are used to manage and police those poorly educated citizens for whom the globalised economy is, increasingly, reserving only intermittent and poorly-paid employment. According to sociologist Beverly Burris, the role of this new Professional Managerial Class (PMC) is “objectively antagonistic to the working-class”, and that its “most essential and general function is … the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations.”

In the past, political parties dedicated to the smooth functioning of the capitalist system would have looked upon the emerging PMC as an important ally. The unceasing expansion of the PMC in both the public and private sectors of the economy, however, has given right-wing political thinkers cause to question the long-term political trajectory of the PMC. In the process of reproducing capitalist culture and class relations, these highly-educated servants of the system are also radically changing it. Capitalism, itself, is fast developing its own surplus consciousness. Far from integrating workers ever more closely into the capitalist system, the changes demanded by the PMC are alienating them from it.

A globalised capitalist system may derive no benefit from racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQI prejudice: indeed these thought systems constitute a barrier to its smooth functioning. At the level of the nation sate, however, the rational altruism of the PMC runs counter to just about every single one of the social traditions that have shaped its history.

NEW ZEALAND, for instance, is a nation state founded upon the deliberate subjugation and dispossession of the indigenous Maori. Racism is in its bones. New Zealand’s emphatically British cultural traditions constitute the bedrock of its Pakeha citizens’ identity. The country’s deeply-ingrained settler consciousness: sternly individualistic; aggressively heterosexual; proudly egalitarian; is not even remotely sympathetic to the politics of identity out of which a new multicultural “Aotearoa” is being fashioned. Well below the official radar, an ethno-nationalist backlash is, almost certainly, gathering force.

Labour’s current grip on the electoral loyalty of a plurality of the Pakeha working-class, as well as comfortable majorities of the Brown working-class and New Zealand’s own PMC, gives the party a huge advantage over National. Its ideological commitment to feminism, anti-racism and gender equality is perfectly congruent with its broader role as the principal facilitator of globalised capitalism within the New Zealand political system. If National is entertaining hopes of supplanting Labour in that role, then someone should “tell them they’re dreaming!”

The National Party’s only real hope of shattering the fast-setting concrete of Labour’s electoral hegemony is to take to it with the jackhammer of right-wing populism. What Labour and its media allies in the PMC will instantly decry as racism, sexism and homophobia, National will characterise as the bedrock values upon which New Zealand was founded, thereby announcing to all those who feel put-upon by the PMC and its “woke” avant-garde that the National Party has their back.

To make this realignment work, National politicians will have to surrender their disdain for the nation’s underachievers. Like Donald Trump, they are going to have to learn to “love the poorly educated”. They are also going to have to learn how to disengage from rational discussion with “mainstream” journalists. Aggressive repetition of a few key slogans – and a few key falsehoods – is all that’s required of right-wing populist politicians. And if they can master the art of representing leading journalists as purveyors of “fake news” as well as dangerously biased “enemies of the people”, then so much the better.

The other habit National will have to lose is its habit of mouthing neoliberal platitudes. If the workers want their jobs protected by tariffs, then tariffs they must have. If the underclass needs bigger benefits, then implement the WEAG Report in full. If the housing crisis requires an all-out effort by the state to build more homes, then resurrect the Ministry of Works and start building them. If red-blooded Kiwi blokes are worried that climate change will require them to give up their SUVs and utes, then proclaim the global warming a hoax. Tell conservative Kiwis what Dick Cheney told conservative Americans: that their way of life is “non-negotiable”.

It won’t be pretty: right-wing populism seldom is. It won’t bring New Zealanders together: but that’s not the point. To win back power, National must make itself the champion of every person who senses the old certainties crumbling beneath their feet. Every Baby Boomer who feels too old to change. Every Millennial who despairs of ever owning their own home. Every Maori resentful of being looked down on because she can’t speak te reo, and who just wants a fair crack at the sort of life the Pakehas enjoy for herself and her kids. Every factory worker offended by the salaries his union pays middle-class kids fresh out of university to tell him he needs to work on his “white male privilege”.

The zeitgeist of the 2020s is rage: suppressed, inchoate, stomach-churning and tongue-tying. Rage at the loss of, well, you name it. And that’s the trick, National: to name it. But, before you try, you need to get mad. Really, really mad.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Thursday, 1 April 2021.


greywarbler said...

You need to apply for a licence to print stuff like that. I don't approve of Guy Fawkes fireworks, they do more harm than good. It might be a traditional event that has grown from a historical one, but bringing it to the people does more harm than good. As you say there is a lot of tinder about, and anger is energy.

Odysseus said...

I believe the qualities New Zealanders still value highest in any government are fairness and competence. Ardern's management of the pandemic through 2020 was regarded as competent compared with many other countries and that is why Labour resoundingly won a second term. Most New Zealanders are not interested in ideology. They are concerned about divisiveness however and I detect increasing concern about the divisive agendas on race in particular being promoted by a flagrantly partisan media.

sumsuch said...

Flowing like a swift wind over your essay I settled momentarily on your last para with its list where 'I tort I taw' 'in-cubate' ! National, born of Michael Joseph Savage, isn't yet willing to leave the bounds of reality, scruples, conscience. But there is a lot of annoyance growing in the social area. Till now everyone who tries the Trump/Ozzie gambit gets burnt to a cinder in godzone. But there is an opportunity there. Our solidity is not relying on immediate carbon emission exports like Auzzie -- just secondary ones.

David George said...

Is this an April fools joke? "The National Party’s only real hope ..... is right-wing populism"

The government's manifold failings must be giving them a lot of hope. Apart from real, general incompetence we've got falling education rankings, rising crimes of violence (including sexual and gun crime), increasing homelessness, ballooning government and current account deficits, increasing hospital waiting lists and so on. Almost every recognised measure of a safe, successful, free and prosperous country in decline. Getting woker and broker?
There are good prospects for a socially responsible conservative party, one that would also attract the conservative, aspirational immigrant vote, middle New Zealand and the growing number of the young aware of the dangers of an obsession with group identity. National is their natural home. These people are not looking for extremist or far right or hyper nationalist policies, so no, it's a non starter. ACT can serve to support the liberal right, National the conservative/centre right.

Nick J said...

National versus globalised capitalism, theres an oxymoronic concept. Labour as the enabler of globalised capitalism, that should be oxymoronic.

Where Chris' argument for the bright sunlit uplands of PMC domination fails is in his underestimating the intelligence of the masses. They actually understand more about their predicament than the PMC elitist contempt for them allows. And their emotional response to this is predictable. It would seem that defense of traditional ideas once the domain of ruling conservatives have been assigned to them if only in the mind of modern progressives. Of course progressives, even when in an ascendent hegemonic position still need an enemy to project upon..deplorables.

After our arguments about Marx and the new forms of victim versus oppressor ideologies we might pause and give some though about class defined by relation to production. Going by Marx's model the PMC progressives fit the role of the bourgeoisie. As do the traditional supporters of National. Going by that model the question becomes who will lead the working classes? Can Labour, or are they a house divided and therefore cannot rule?

Tom Hunter said...

This anything-she-can-do-we-can-do-better strategy is unlikely to succeed. If New Zealanders are happy with a cautious liberal party, committed to incremental reform, then why would they exchange...

It's worked for National for eighty years now. And voters will make the exchange when the Adern government tires or Adern finally quits, as they have with previous Labour governments.

National doesn't anything else, let alone rage. It's just not in their DNA.

David George said...

Some relevant comment on this from Rod Dreher:

The backlash against wokeness from the right is definitely coming, but it isn’t going to resemble anything like 1930s Germany because the left controls the high and the low ground through its cultural power, particularly the controlling interest over the credentialing organs that determine who gets credentialed for participation into our non-hereditary aristocracy. The key test for whether or not the right is actually prepared to internalize the hard lesson of how weak their hand is and learn for it is going to be an important one, especially since it will determine whether or not more Trump-style grifting and blood and soil win out over the saner models.

As Douthat notes, the entire woke capital phenomenon is a cynical cost-benefit calculation by big business to concede on all cultural issues to the left in return for immunity on all economic issues. If the right wants to change that dynamic then it has to be prepared to inflict economic costs on big business, including antitrust action, regulation, support for big labor, ending tax breaks, and a whole host of issues. This is a complete anathema to the fusionist, business, and donor class of the party but if implemented it would be highly effective.

To sum up the reader’s critique, voting Republican is not enough. Conservatives, in his view, have to vote for Republicans who are willing to take on Woke Capital and other left-captured institutions, even the US military — and not just take them on symbolically, but really make them pay a price.

John Hurley said...

Reading 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism Thing 3
I am not arguing that immigration control should be abolished – I don’t need to do that because (as you may have noticed by now) I am not a free-market economist. Countries have the right to decide how many immigrants they accept and in which parts of the labour market. All societies have limited capabilities to absorb immigrants, who often have very different cultural backgrounds, and it would be wrong to demand that a country goes over that limit. Too rapid an inflow of immigrants will not only lead to a sudden increase in competition for jobs but also stretch the physical and social infrastructures, such as housing and healthcare, and create tensions with the resident population. As important, if not as easily quantifiable, is the issue of national identity. It is a myth – a necessary myth, but a myth nonetheless – that nations have immutable national identities that cannot be, and should not be, changed. However, if there are too many immigrants coming in at the same time, the receiving society will have problems creating a new national identity, without which it may find it difficult to maintain social cohesion. This means that the speed and the scale of immigration need to be controlled.

That last bit. Who is in charge in multicultural society?

I saw a tweet Elle @NZ On Air @PSA re Easter

"don't forget shops are closed. Get your alcohol today"
I took that as a dig.

John Hurley said...

This morning I listened to Bookmarks - Jim Bolger interview and i was trying to relate it to what I have read about moral psychology. Jim is Mr Spray-and-walk-away in his attitude to colonization. He could be a neighbor talking to another neighbor about an issue a third neighbor is having. His reasoning serves his intuitions and his reasoning says the treaty settlement process is having "tremendous" benefits.

Morality evolved to set rules for behaviour within society. Saying "the Brtish used to think you could just come in and claim someone else's lands" then thinking you are the good wise man and good will follow from those enlightened sentiments doesn't work in this case.

Effectively anyone born here has as much right to be here as anyone else. We are all here because we are part part of a coalition that keeps others out (that was the rationale behind the Falkland's war - I think?)

AB said...

" To win back power, National must make itself the champion of every person who senses the old certainties crumbling beneath their feet. "

This is standard conservative practice. It's what help oust the Clark Government in 2008 - remember light bullbs, shower heads and above all, a horror of 'political correctness'. The last of these forever undefined and undefinable, but viscerally understood.

"National politicians will have to surrender their disdain for the nation’s underachievers ... if the workers want their jobs protected by tariffs, then tariffs they must have. If the underclass needs bigger benefits, then implement the WEAG Report in full. If the housing crisis requires an all-out effort by the state to build more homes"

This the grandees of the National Party will never allow, not even in extremis. It is in direct contradiction of their financial interests. They will stick to what you call their "neoliberal platitudes" - that the way out of their difficulties for the worst off relies on freer markets, more entrepreneurship, lower taxes, less government and more freedom to create jobs. It's a big lie, but it still has legs, and it will be enough to have sufficient people drifting back to National to even up the race.

It's disappointing to acknowledge this. I for one would not mind the regression of the National Party into absurd and widely-hated right-wing populism. Or better still their complete disappearance, so that we could acknowledge Labour as the competent and civilised centre-right party that it is, and build a large socialist-green party to its left. But there's no reason to think that current conditions make this likely.

John Hurley said...

People have an innate response to strangers. They asses age, sex and race as a proxy for ally status. The later can be readjusted. Cultural symbols are important as an extension of me to us >us >us.

When the RNZ person reads the weather and replaces each place with a Maori name it is signaling that we are bi-national. No-one wants to live like that, people want their own territory.

I have never been able to get a satisfactory answer as to why people who object to RNZ's compulsory lessons are racist. There is a human need to exist in a coherent moral order.

Waka kotahi - 100 years of motoring - travelling together as one (traffic-jam)?

Anonymous said...

"Real people are guided by their emotions."
Yes, that is part of the zeitgeist, not particularly or exclusively an attribute of politically disaffected populists. You will find it implied or stated in any left-wing liberal "mens group" in the country, it is the basis of modern feminism and journalism. The strength of one's feelings is more important than the strength of one's arguments, and the one with the strongest feelings on an issue is deemed to be the one who should be allowed to prevail. So it is no wonder that the rightwing populists express their feelings so extravagantly.
"NEW ZEALAND, for instance, is a nation state founded upon the deliberate subjugation and dispossession of the indigenous Maori. Racism is in its bones. New Zealand’s emphatically British cultural traditions constitute the bedrock of its Pakeha citizens’ identity."
The first two sentences are true only of the colonial state (which is not strictly speaking a nation state).
The last sentence is not true at all. Early European settlers considered themselves as either "British" on the one hand or "Pakeha" on the other. Pakeha were those who had moved away from or had never adhered to British cultural traditions, and had more or less assimilated into Maori culture. The "British" were those who continued to serve the British crown even unto the third or fourth generation.
The name of this blog alludes to a road in North Otago, in Te Wai Pounamu, which has a distinctly different history and a different culture to Te Ika a Maui where the bulk of our people live. We can respect that difference, but it would be a mistake for you to assume that the culture and history of Bowalley Road is the culture and history of Aotearoa.
In general, our people are not racist. The most obvious exceptions are among those, both Maori and European, who are struggling for place and advantage within the colonialist system. That system is inherently racist, and so the people who work within it tend to take racist positions even while insisting, and perhaps believing, that they are not racist.
Pakeha identity, like Maori identity, has grown out of the land, and Pakeha and Maori will go on together to overturn the colonialist state. Perhaps this will not be quickly apparent on Bowalley Road, in either its physical or virtual manifestations, but in the rest of the motu it is undeniable and irresistable.
Geoff Fischer

greywarbler said...

I think AB has hit the nail on the head. To win back power National will have to do a swift turn and embrace all they now disdain, such as wokedness. The woke and the sensitives demand change and rights and utopian ideas. They are crying out for some strong outfit to come along and embrace them as they throw themselves in to the fray like rose petal victims under the crusher's feet.

National to represent themselves as saviours! It will only take a gaggle of PR people to turn the ship around. Do what Edward Bernays* did with the trendy, so-cool female models smoking cigarettes, not the ordinary ones but in long elegant cigarette holders; breaking all the social rules.

Marketing people can take the project on. It is known that marketing can find a way of absorbing the essence of every protest movement and turning it into something saleable for commercial exploitation. It definitely is the way to go for National.


Nick J said...

Just looked at the picture of the lady protesting at the top of the article. Her T shirt reads "Talking to you reminds me to clean my gun". That statement indicates communication break down.

She and the people around her look nothing like rich enough to have interests in common with the ultra wealthy classes. Now if the Left hadn't so cosied up to capital......

greywarbler said...

I don't find your reasoning/feelings hang together well Geoff Fischer and if you are to be at the head of your faction, and factions will surely arise in number, I don't look forward to any cohesion or commitment to pay attention and concede each other's views. Your utopian views seem to look into the past lightly and project only its virtues to the present. The past is gone, some virtues have been maintained and could carry us through to better times, but not your divisive ones. It is a sad end for a country that was trying to work its way out of a bog under difficult circumstances, now each side bad-mouthing each other and looking past the looming golden hand of capitalism willing to annihilate any race that is not of value. It is always there gaining profit from discord, eventually even removing people's gold teeth.

The Barron said...

Still reeling from the repeal of the Corn Laws and the first Reform Act, Disraeli realised that for the Tories to remain relevant they needed to embrace electoral reform despite the dangers of short term set backs. Reform Act 1867 (or the Second Reform Act) expanded working class franchise. The Tories lost the next election, but continued as the dominant political force in Britain to the day (helped all the time by FPP).
The NZ National Party might take note: a move to the progressive can keep them relative.
Bill English saw this in his attempts to diversify National with Maori, Pasifika and new migrant communities. The election of Todd Muller hinted at the realisation.
A move to the populist right may isolate the antipodean Tories for generations if they go against the political tide. I am sure Judith can look through her old album collection and find Disraeli Gears.

sumsuch said...

Following on from Nick, why the official Left is weak is they hold on to the 1980 freemarket establishment. Biden, Jacinda. They refuse like the devil to go back to representing the people. They'll ever be thin walls with that attitude.

My grandfather, who was known as the gentle one in his furious borderer family fought like bloody-o with a dairy-owner who gave him an aussie coin in change. He put respect first no matter how pedantic foremost, I who try to understand have often been put upon. I think the '35 Labourists had my granddad's values, by which they made us. What would '84 Labour make of that? Those lineal descendants of nitwit Roger.

John Hurley said...

Indians and Chinese are migrating to Australia. Immigration policy is "market driven". People from UK tend to be older - retirees.
But what is happening in the cities - livability is declining. The Migrants are escaping dreadful environments, over population but they are buying at the top end and don't notice the decline in livability.
Compare to the spin we get on TVNZ and RNZ - no wonder Paul Spoonley looks a bit uncomfortable in the Q & A.
This recording freezes - it keeps on going but has gaps

John Hurley said...

John Campbell rips into Peter Brown (NZ First): "but 160, 000 of those immigrants will be born here Mr Brown. You know that!"

Here Paul Spoonley says:

When we look at it most of the Asians born here are overseas born, but by 2030, they’ll be NZ born and our research shows that those New Zealand born Asians have quite different views about their position in this society what this society ought to be and of course who we are as New Zealanders
So we begin it raises a series of questions: about bi-culturalism, multiculturalism, about the flag, about the anthem, about how we describe ourselves. So we’re right in the middle of significant change and I think by 2030 we would have seen a very different New Zealand emerge.

A Japanese friend showed me pictures of her young son boogie boarding on New Brighton Beach. For all those kids you would want the same acceptance as anyone else. But there is more going on here. This is competition. Did anyone say the young Japanese boy isn't happy to join the same New Zealand I was born into? My Japanese wife is a royalty fanatic.

Elites (the brains) are determined to create a society for every culture. The young Japanese boy speaks English and Japanese and has 4 grandparents and cousins in Japan. My roots go back to (what is left of( the UK - thanks to Jacinda's mate Tony Blair.

It is kind of clear that the ordinary people have lost their voice. The ability to have a say tends to associate itself with resources (those doing well out of a status quo including a managerial elite – people like Paul Spoonley who gets to speak about “this tolerant New Zealand at international conferences”).

As proof that we have lost a voice look no further than public radio which once reflected a public and now has the luxury of reflecting a public(s). They can mock the white population and (in fact) revel in it. [Check out NZ On Air]

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well I'm back, I've been away and I found that I didn't miss this place is much as I thought. It's nice to have a rest from the racism and bigotry you come across online all the time.
I see things haven't changed here though. People still complaining about a few Maori words on TV or radio. "Because nobody asked us." I find it difficult to be polite about this but let's say this – nobody asked me about daylight saving, and that's far more of an inconvenience to me than a few Maori words. Nobody asked me if I would want to do have to renew my driver's license when I turned 75, and that's a bit more of an inconvenience than a few Maori words. For that matter, nobody asked me if I wanted to pay taxes, obey road rules, or pass a test to own a firearm. Now if I was a conservative I might be saying

"New Zealand love it or leave it."
"Suck it up snowflake"

But I'll leave it at – I see nothing has changed.

I see Chris that you have accused me of authoritarianism. No point in replying on the old post it's way too old. I'll say this though, I think I'm a lot less authoritarian than many of the conservatives who comment on this site. I don't care for instance how people use their wedding tackle. I don't care what gender they want to assign to themselves. I don't believe that gay people should be tortured to make them change their sexual orientation. I don't believe that just because someone is a criminal, then the police and the justice system should be allowed to do what the hell they like with them.

But if the best you can say about the anti-vax movement is that it is difficult, and we should perhaps make sure that the truth gets out, it's a sad state of affairs. After all, if someone lies about another person and thereby damages their reputation, we allow them to be sued in civil court and damages awarded. I can't see an essential difference between that and someone lying about vaccinations and causing people to die – in fact I think that's probably worse. It seems to me you want to allow people to lie without consequences.
As to making sure the truth gets out, you run into the difficulty that reputable and truthful sources such as respectable newspapers are becoming rarer, while sites that promote all sorts of bullshit are proliferating like rabbits. How in fact are we going to get the truth out? In fact the truth is often way behind the lies, and it didn't stop people from invading the US Capitol and killing five people.
Nobody seems to be able to answer this question, and I notice that everyone but you and Dave seem to be avoiding this whole subject like the plague.

David George said...

The Fijian Indians now want to be recognised as Pacific Islanders not Asians. An elevation in the hierarchy of victimhood and the recipients of special treatment and state largess as a consequence?
Over 60% of the Otago medical school intake are now in the special category which allows lower entry qualifications for Maori and PI students. European and Asian students are being squeezed out, similarly hospital waiting times are manipulated to favour Maori and PI so there is plenty of motivation to cynically claim PI ethnicity. Perhaps we're all Pacific Islanders, residents of a Pacific Island are we not?
Anyone that thinks these things are widely seen as acceptable needs to get out more perhaps.

John Hurley said...

Explaining politics

In the ANZSOG video - with the (unfortunate) missing bits he says
1. Immigration is the fifth pillar of a market lead economy - demand from business and universities whose economic model is based on fee paying students
2. The numbers are transformative - huge and you would have to ask yourself what is this based on? Ultimately land/territory.
3. They buy in at the top - social status. He poses the question "you have to think about the effect on the rest of the population". They (the migrants) aren't aware of the decline in liveability - living on North Shore. He is pro-migration and his answer is infratructure.

In this context it sucks the way the media chair lead it, but is it any wonder when Paul Holmes has an ocean going yacht and lives on a nudist colony at Palm Springs.
On Q & A Arthur Grimes laments how boring NZ used to be. Spoonley says "I remember that" - that arrogance of those two being a proxy for public opinion.

Chris Trotter said...

To John Hurley.

I think you mean Paul Henry, John. Paul Holmes (oops, Sir Paul Holmes) has gone to that big television studio in the sky.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Guerilla Surgeon.

A man of your erudition, GS, should accompany an accusation with a citation.

I do, however, recall making the comment. My apologies if you were offended.

You should be aware, however, that I hold you (and all my progressive commentators) to a considerably higher standard than the ideological knuckle-draggers you are constantly crossing swords with.

Oh, and just for the record, when it comes to the list of things you don't care about, thee and me are a perfect match!

Anyway, it's good to have you back.

Jack Scrivano said...

I knew Paul (Holmes) from when he were but a lad. A 'nudist colony at Palm Springs' doesn't sound like Paul's idea of heaven. :)

The Barron said... want ...
Just because you read about it in the paper recently for the first time, does not make it new. Both in NZ and Fiji, the Fijians of Indian decent have been wishing to be viewed by nationality rather than Ethnical decent. The indentured labour began to arrive in the 1870s, most having been generationally in Reunion or Natal.
In Fiji, the government had removed ethnic labels, and all must be legally viewed as Fijian.
As someone who had previously identified as 'Kiwidave', it is sad you cannot see that others may identify sincerely with the land (or ocean) they have ancestral connection for 150 years.

John Hurley said...

Blogger Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well I'm back, I've been away and I found that I didn't miss this place is much as I thought. It's nice to have a rest from the racism and bigotry you come across online all the time.
I see things haven't changed here though. People still complaining about a few Maori words on TV or radio.
Robert Sapolsky says "a touch can be an act of endearment or an act of betrayal". All these things have significance: they are road signs. That fact that it doesn't bother you that "a few words Maori words on radio and TV.." is because your perception of society is that it should all go in the dumpster (Like Landmarks Documentary Series (1981)). Clearly actions and symbols have meaning.

Look at the way some European Students were hounded "when the lights come on the rats scurry away" -Duncan Grieve on 7 Up (or it's counter part). They analyzed the squiggles and font and decided it was Third Reich.

Some things matter. If a man sleeps with another man's wife you can't say: "well you were at work and we took precautions".

Language is one of the most basic mechanisms of societal infrastructure. Changing it signals intrusion. It isn't just the quantity but the assumed authority - who put journalists in charge, or more likely: "who are they taking the heat for?"

John Hurley said...

If anyone on Twitter claims racism I ask why it is racist but all I get is a run around. After all it is racist to want an all white NZ but is it racist to want to slow the pace or even give the public a choice? After all we are talking major demographic shifts (as policy)?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Sapolsky also said:
So you take people, and you're doing the same routine in a brain scanner: you're flashing up pictures of faces, and you flash up an Other race face and the amygdala activates. And no God, that really sucks. And the person in some visceral level is feeling the aversiveness of that response. And what you see is in a substantial subset of people, I don't know maybe 50% or so what you see is, a second or two later, there's activation of a part of what is called the frontal cortex, which is about conscious regulation of behavior, and of thought, and of emotion. And every time you feel like telling somebody, that the dinner they prepared at the dinner party is the most repulsive thing you've ever eaten. But you don't say it's because your frontal cortex is working properly. So what you see is two seconds later, in about half of people, the frontal cortex activates, what is that? That's you feeling bad that that was your visceral response. That's your, oh my god, don't say that. Or that's not who I am. Or that's not who I want to be. Who are the ones who activate their frontal cortex, two seconds after having an implicit racial bias. People who categorize themselves as liberals. CONSERVATIVES DON'T SHOW THAT BECAUSE THERE'S NO DISSONANCE FOR THEM. TWO SECONDS LATER, THEY'RE NOT FINDING ANYTHING WRONG, IF THAT WAS THE VISCERAL RESPONSE.

Emphasis mine. :)

Anonymous said...

Jon Haidt:
 Liberals reject three of these foundations. They say "No, let's celebrate diversity, not common in-group membership." They say, "Let's question authority." And they say, "Keep your laws off my body."

Liberals have very noble motives for doing this. Traditional authority, traditional morality can be quite repressive, and restrictive to those at the bottom, to women, to people that don't fit in. So liberals speak for the weak and oppressed. They want change and justice, even at the risk of chaos.

Conservatives, on the other hand, speak for institutions and traditions. They want order, even at some cost to those at the bottom.

So once you see this – once you see that liberals and conservatives both have something to contribute, that they form a balance on change versus stability – then I think the way is open to step outside the moral matrix.

Context NZ highest immigration per capita in OECD. NZrs majority/minority in Auckland is a few decades and all a hands off "demand driven" affair. If we are responding to skills shortage how come that skill requirement is never satisfied?

My Pongolian wife said she went to a food show today. You buy a ticket and that lets you sample the food at the stalls.

At one stall they were selling soda machines. She asked is she could sample the soda water as other people were doing it. The staff told her "no". She says that has happened before - it appears to be an imported prejudice from India, the idea that she is inferior to a local.

I received a scornful look for asking a mini skirt if she had seen her bag among a stack waiting to be loaded on to the bus(ie checking) - "how dear you lower caste person talk to me".

Anonymous said...

If you want a feeler on society ask a Go bus driver what they think of their job. At night they are a morsel to be picked at by the dregs of society. Then you have a son of Mexican elite calling police dogs "attack dogs" and saying crime has root causes in society.

Obviously that broad statement is true but how come people feel safer in Asian countries?

Staff march out of the Yokohama Police Station nonchalantly swinging large truncheons.

sumsuch said...

Us ordinary imbeciles need a people's party. That delivers to us. Grant and Jace's history horizon is the 1999 'winter of discontent'. Putting off the difficult if it's unpopular, whereas climate change requires the reverse.

Glad to have joined Labour and voting against these two's first leadership bid. Glad also to never having voted for 'Labour' in 36 years. Truth is always beautiful, and I don't need bread, for the moment.

sumsuch said...

Labour has learned not to proselytise, just play the presented game.