Tuesday 22 March 2022

Democracy's A Drag.

What’s That You Got There? For an increasing number of people, both here in New Zealand and around the world, Democracy is the problem – not the solution. It gets in the way. It’s fake. It slows everything down. Or, it just takes too much effort.

LET’S FACE IT, Democracy’s a drag – in every sense of the word. The beatnik sense: It’s drag, man. Meaning a state of affairs characterised by boredom and frustration, where something or someone stands between you and your desires. Then there’s the “drag” of play-acting, imposture and pretending to be something you’re not: He appeared in drag. Not forgetting the scientific definition of “drag”: something that retards or impedes motion, action, or advancement. And, finally, “drag” in its most common usage: to cause to move with slowness or difficulty. There’s more, of course, but you see where this is going.

For an increasing number of people, both here in New Zealand and around the world, Democracy is the problem – not the solution. It gets in the way. It’s fake. It slows everything down. Or, it just takes too much effort.

Out on the edge of our political culture – the place where the people who were evicted from Parliament Grounds usually park their camper-vans – Democracy is often dismissed as a chore and a bore.

That’s because representative democracy involves a lot of work. Founding a party. Drawing up a constitution. Working out what it is that you stand for. Collecting the names and addresses of more than 500 eligible voters who have also paid the party’s membership fee (receipts required). All of these things must be done before you can be registered by the Electoral Commission as a political party. And, of course, you’ve got to be a registered political party before you can field electorate candidates and/or lodge a Party List.

What a load of bullshit! How is people’s freedom protected by forcing them to jump through all these bureaucratic hoops? Obviously, it just a way of dampening the ardour and deflecting the energy of free individuals.

You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to see that the moment your movement agrees to adhere to the Electoral Commission’s rules and regulations, the whole sick business of politics becomes inescapable. Factions form. Factional leaders appear. Factional strife erupts. The most ruthless and thick-skinned bastards in your movement end up running the show. You’re fucked before you’ve even begun to raise money and trudge the streets in search of votes. Which is exactly what the Powers That Be intended all along.

Democracy? It’s a drag, man.

Then there are the people who for whom Democracy is a Drag Queen.

The costuming is fantastic: Freedom! Justice! The make-up is perfect. Have you ever seen anyone who looks more honest, caring, or kind? But that’s all it is, folks – lipstick and a wig. Fake News. Forget the frocks, the face-powder, the accessories. Lady Liberty is really Captain Capitalism. And all those love songs to the people she belts out? Lip-syncs the lot of them. Captain Capitalism can’t sing a note.

Neoliberals also characterise Democracy as a drag. Not drag as in boring. Not drag as in fake. But drag as in something which slows everything down. Most particularly, as something which slows down or – even worse – actively impedes the operations of the free market.

That’s why Neoliberals do everything within their power to make “government of the people, by the people, for the people” a practical impossibility. Strip the people’s representatives of their power to interfere in the workings of free enterprise. Privatise everything owned by the people. Starve the state of the funds it needs to look after its citizens properly by cutting taxes – and then by cutting them some more. De-regulate everything you can persuade the voters is an impediment to their happiness – especially the overweening power of the trade unions! Make a bonfire of rules and regulations. In the immortal words of Mark Zuckerberg: “Move fast and break things.”

Don’t let Democracy become a drag on your freedom.

And then there’s the rest of us. The ordinary, decent, conscientious participants in the electoral process, for whom Democracy has come to feel like a huge and heavy collection of failures and broken promises that we are compelled to drag behind us.

Every general election it’s the same. The political parties lay out their wares before us in the political marketplace. We lay down our money and we make our choice. If we’re lucky our party wins. If it loses, we shrug and say “there’s always next time”. The problem, though, is that, win or lose, nothing ever seems to get better. No matter which party occupies the Treasury Benches, the business of living just gets harder and harder.

There was a time – or so the history books tell us – when the promises of politicians meant something. Every three years the parties would issue manifestos stuffed with policies which, if they won the election, they would implement. The parties themselves were large organisations, with thousands of members, and political mechanisms for translating their wishes into policies, and policy into law. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it worked well enough to keep people believing that Democracy was something to be cherished.

Exactly when it all started to go wrong is difficult to pinpoint – although there are many who identify the election of 1984 as the beginning of Democracy’s decline in New Zealand. They point to the fact that what Labour put in its manifesto bore absolutely no resemblance to the policy revolution unleashed upon the country by David Lange and his Finance Minister, Roger Douglas. New Zealanders were told that there was no alternative to the Labour Government’s “reforms” – which must have been true, because in 1987 Labour didn’t both to publish a manifesto at all.

Others say that the rot really set in in 1990. Tired of Labour’s reforms, nearly half the country turned to the National Party’s Jim Bolger who was promising to restore the “decent society” that Labour had destroyed. Except that, even before all the votes had been counted, National began to break its promises. Instead of the decent society, New Zealand got the “Mother of All Budgets”. More of the same – only worse. Much worse.

Democracy no longer seemed to work, but the people could neither repair it nor improve it. They tried. New Zealanders abandoned their First-Past-the-Post for a Mixed Member Proportional electoral system. But, if anything, that only made matters worse. The decisiveness of governments elected under FPP, the power to keep their promises, was swapped out for government by coalitions, which, as everybody knows, can only ever be as honest as their most deceitful members.

Promises no longer mattered, because no party was ever in a position to keep them, or, at least, not all of them.

Until the election of 2020, when, in recognition of its superb handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government won an absolute majority of the seats. Now, at last, her party’s promises could be kept.

But they weren’t. Labour politicians and the governmental system they served appeared to have forgotten how.

And so we poor Kiwis keep trudging forward, harnessed like plough horses to this dead weight at our backs. This rotting corpse of Democracy that we are forced to drag behind us. It’s a sad story, but the saddest part of all is how easy it would be for the right person, using the right words, to persuade us to cut the traces connecting us to our democratic burden – and simply let it go.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 22 March 2022.


Barry said...

Its not the conditions of elegability that are the problem, its that when a group or party get onto the treasury benches they suddenly cant tell the truth, they almost never do what they promise, and they will do anything to get back into power.
At least with a dictator you know what they will do when they get into power.
Both systems seem to move towards self destruction over time, even though they start off looking good and doing good.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"There was a time – or so the history books tell us – when the promises of politicians meant something. Every three years the parties would issue manifestos stuffed with policies which, if they won the election, they would implement. "

History books tell us? I hope that was exaggeration for effect. I lived through it. :)

And I asked old Ted what history meant
As he sharpened his hedging shears
"What a bloody fool question that is my boy
I lived it for 83 years"

Redgum: Ted

TimS said...

Don’t forget Democracy is based on “one person, one vote”. Labour’s co-governance proposals, based on the undemocratic He Puapua strategy, are subverting Democracy. A sure vote loser?!

DS said...

Exactly when it all started to go wrong is difficult to pinpoint – although there are many who identify the election of 1984 as the beginning of Democracy’s decline in New Zealand.


Mark Wahlberg said...

"How easy it would be for the right person, using the right words, to persuade us to cut the traces connecting us to our democratic burden – and simply let it go."

Back in 1978 didn't Jim Jones do exactly that? At the count of three, "we all drink the Kool Aid!"

That didn't work out so well, but not to worry, there is always Plan B.

Archduke Piccolo said...

... and here's my thinking that maybe we ought to give Direct Democracy a crack. In my view, what we have been calling 'democracy' is not democracy at all - merely an elective oligarchy. In fact I don't reckon that such oligarchies even pretend to democracy. It is well known (by now) in the US that the ordinary citizen has practically zero influence on policy, however strong the groundswell in favour of this or that action by government.

In New Zealand, I do not believe that matters are significantly better. Evidence? Recall how sweepingly popular Rogernomics and the subsequent 'policies' attached ... weren't.

CXH said...

The protesters had a much better grip on the idea of democracy than our present government. They had been ignored for decades and demanded they were at least listened to.

The government, instead of listening to a group they are meant to serve, turned their backs. Who did these ferals think they were, challenging the Podium of Truth.

Now they just force through whatever they feel is a good idea. Our MP's no longer represent the people. It has become the opposite, they now represent the government. They are there to sell the government plans, if there is any push back.

Except for my area, Kelvin Davis and Willow-Jean Prime are just totally missing in action.

Shane McDowall said...

Democracy is the worst form of government, unless you take into consideration all the other forms of government that have been tried.

Anyone can be a critic. Much harder to come up with an alternative.

USA has gerrymandering and an arcane electoral college.

Switzerland is politically paralysed because they need a referendum to fart. Women did not get the vote until 1971.

New Zealand could use a four year term. Aside from that, we have got democracy about right.

David George said...

One answer might be the introduction of the recall petition/referendum/election.

"A recall election (also called a recall referendum, recall petition or representative recall) is a procedure by which, in certain polities, voters can remove an elected official from office through a referendum before that official's term of office has ended. Recalls, which are initiated when sufficient voters sign a petition, have a history dating back to the constitution in ancient Athenian democracy[1] and feature in several current constitutions. In indirect or representative democracy, people's representatives are elected and these representatives serve for a specific period of time. However, where the facility to recall exists, if any representative comes to be perceived as not properly discharging their responsibilities, they can be called back with the written request of a specific number or proportion of voters."

Hard to see the turkeys voting for Christmas but maybe alongside a move to longer election cycles who knows.

sumsuch said...

Democracy without demo-cracy can't last.

Now, my specialty, America -- which seems to come to NZ in some way always. The failure of their 'Left' is ... they need the speech marks. In the last 5 years they've spent all their missiles on attacking the endlessly attackable Trump. Rather than restoring 'by the people for the people.' They are a thin white line so. Why are the Trumpists the closest America has come to the people having a say in the last 40 years?

John Laurie said...

I think this cynicism about democracy is quite awful. The basic value of democracy is that it provides a peaceful way of removing our rulers and substituting others. It also means that our rulers have to pay attention to keeping as many people as possible happy with what they are doing.

sumsuch said...

Some bugger can go off and try to overthrow democracy, but I don't think we will accept it. The strength of our history. More likely, some bugger can go off and restore democracy. We've seen Jacinda go off, and why not our natural Left side?

The problem is the endless Machiavellism of the Left over these 40 years. Understandable but ... not helpful now. Another Kirk would do it.

David George said...

There's a great culture war going on, a war the forces of liberalism and democracy are loosing. It's clear which side the present government are on as they sacrifice long held principles to the delusions of prescriptive equality. We've seen democratic rights extinguished and moves against free speech; Alexis de Tocqueville's prescient warning is being played out here and now:

"I think that democratic communities have a natural taste for freedom: left to themselves, they will seek it, cherish it, and view any privation of it with regret. But for equality, their passion is ardent, insatiable, incessant, invincible: they call for equality in freedom; and if they cannot obtain that, they still call for equality in slavery. They will endure poverty, servitude, barbarism – but they will not endure aristocracy."

Eric Kaufman in a recent essay, A Generational Threat To Free Expression:
"The clash between socialist and liberal economics defined the late twentieth century, and this century brings a cultural version of that struggle. Today’s culture wars pit advocates of equal outcomes and special protection for identity groups against defenders of due process, equal treatment, scientific reason, and free speech. Our political map is taking shape around this new divide between what I will call cultural socialism and cultural liberalism.

Cultural socialism, which values equal results and harm prevention for identity groups over individual rights, has inspired race-based pedagogies and harsh punishments for controversial speech. Rooted in the idea that historically marginalized groups are sacred, this view is no passing fad. Letters, associations, universities, and media defending free speech notwithstanding, the young adherents of cultural socialism are steadily overturning the liberal ethos of the adult world."

We don't know the consequences of the end of democratic liberalism for sure but "poverty, servitude, barbarism" certainly don't sound so good with a long and bitter journey back to where we are now.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"It is notable that Ellmers makes no claim that the 2020 election was 'stolen' – he doesn’t allege manipulation, voter fraud, or conspiracy, and in fact explicitly acknowledges that more people voted for Biden than for Trump. He does not peddle conspiracy theories. Yet Ellmers maintains that the outcome of the 2020 election is illegitimate and must not be accepted."

"Ellmers is outraged precisely because he accepts the fact that a majority voted for Biden, that 'authentic Americans' have become the minority in a country which they are supposedly entitled to dominate. Here we have a striking glimpse of the depth of despair underlying the pervasive siege mentality on the right. What’s scandalous about the 2020 election, in this interpretation, is not that it was “stolen”, but that “un-American” forces straightforwardly won."


A somewhat disturbing analysis of what some on the the extreme right think about the American election result. I'm beginning to pick up echoes of that here, particularly from that idiotic mob that was in Parliament grounds.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Funny David, how you post stuff about the alleged threat to free speech from – I see it's now cultural socialism instead of cultural Marxism, still anti-Semitic though is it? – while ignoring the actual boots on the ground of right-wing threats to free speech over much of Eastern Europe and in the USA.
Why don't you write about the laws that forbid the teaching of "divisive" concepts in conservative states in the US? Why don't you write about the efforts to remove books about sex and sexuality from school libraries?
Are you okay with this? "In October 2017, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal was convicted of producing “terrorist propaganda” in Turkey and sentenced to more than two years in prison."One of your right-wing buddies did that. Why don't you talk about restrictions on the press in Hungary or Serbia where press ownership is concentrated in the hands of right-wing friends of the government? Or attempts to bribe the press by Netanyahu in Israel? Or the fining of newspapers for writing about protests in Poland? Or the right wing thugs that assault reporters in India?
So tell me again how the left is the danger to free speech.
It's not "cultural Marxism" we have to worry about I'm afraid so much as "cultural fascism" if I could coin a phrase. You people aren't interested in freedom of speech for everyone, just freedom of speech for your own. Maybe if you removed the beam from your eye, I might take you more seriously.

John Hurley said...

that sound was the ringing of a bell outside the prime minister's office indicating that the house was ready to put an issue to vote.

Mr Fraser responded with the alertness of a fireman answering an alarm. We left the parliament house at one in the morning and the government was still at work symbolically perhaps in view of the fact that all New Zealand seemed to be gainfully employed. The week we were there official figures showed that out of a population of a million six hundred thousand only 138 people were without jobs. Minister of Internal Affairs Perry explained to me (almost apologetically) that some of the 138 were in regions remote from employment opportunities and others were physically handicapped.

He told me a lot more things I never knew about his country that all cabinet ministers for example are elected by the people not appointed politically and then though I was about to leave the country he handed me a government book entitled Introduction to New Zealand. Its Forward seemed to me to sum up the character of the Dominion.

New Zealand is a democracy, it said, with all the question marks of democracy. It is independent, it has party conflicts, it assails itself, it admires itself. It tries to learn through experience; it is the usual bundle of contradictions that make up a democratic society. It has a certain unity.

We don't want to seem conceited but we don't want to be too absurdly humble either. We think our country is beautiful and interesting.

Well I thought so too and I thought moreover, that the experiment of this beautiful and interesting little democracy is one which the world might well watch and study. For New Zealand is boldly attempting to reconcile the best features of private enterprise and socialism and to eliminate the worst of each.

From the standpoint of a traveler looking for signs of harmony between these two great poles of world economy, this was a country important out of all proportion to its size.

I had not seen many places where people were free, busy, healthy, unworried and at one with their minorities. I had not seen many places where children were strong, well fed, well clothed, well housed, well educated, and happy. And in the laughter of the school voice of Rongotai, in the exuberant good spirits of young New Zealand there seemed to be a sound of hope and a promise for the inheritors of tomorrow.

then we have political entrepreneurs who gain income and status as miners of grievance. The MSM became The People. Traditionalists were branded white supremacists and hounded from public life.

John Hurley said...

Guerilla Surgeon
Harvard scholars Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt argued in their book How Democracies Die that there has never been an example in history of a successful multiracial democracy where the once-majority group has become a minority.

David George said...

Another concept for the protection of democracy that we should consider:

"To prevent legislation being pushed through without a mandate, New Zealand needs a 90-day ‘People’s Veto’ – similar to the democratic protection enjoyed in a majority of US States. A ‘People’s Veto’ would enable the public to challenge new laws through a binding referendum process – as long as sufficient support for a veto petition is collected within 90 days of the law being passed."


David George said...

GS: "Why don't you write about ......"

I don't pretend to know everything and won't write about things I've never heard of. Sorry.
BTW, where did the antisemitism thing come from, Kaufman is a Canadian of Jewish descent and highly respected academic. I linked to his essay because it was a worthwhile discussion about threats to the liberal order, and to democracy itself, in countries such as ours and relevant to Chris's essay. What happens in India or Israel not so much.

David George said...

One other thing GS: I have written about the teaching divisive doctrines in schools as you will be aware - CRT and it's manifestation in our twisted history lessons for example. I applaud the parents for taking a stand on this and the OTT obsession with homosexuality and transgenderism which reeks of promotion rather than information.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Harvard scholars Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt argued in their book How Democracies Die that there has never been an example in history of a successful multiracial democracy where the once-majority group has become a minority."

And yet – democracy has died in Russia where if anything ethnic Russians are more of a majority now than they have been in the past.
Democracy has died pretty much in Hungary, where ethnic Hungarians are still in the majority.
Democracy has died pretty much in India, where Hindus are still very much a large majority.
Democracy is in the process of dying in the USA, where white people are still a majority, and are still in charge of the government.

Might be helpful if you given us an example of a multiracial democracy where the once majority group has become a minority. Preferably one where democracy has died.
They also say this:

In their view, any solutions to democratic decline in the U.S. “will not work if the Republican Party remains reactionary.” This is because, as Ziblatt put it, “democracy requires that politicians lose graciously.” As long as Republicans are driven by “the fear of losing,” they may compromise democratic systems to win.

We already have at least one prominent nutty right-winger saying that there is something illegitimate about Arderne's election. So American opinions seem to be catching. I'll be watching your comments with interest if this thing catches on. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

You obviously don't know everything David, but you also don't seem to have made any effort to educate yourself about much of the rest of the world where "free speech is dying". I wasn't so much making the point about that as the fact that over much of the developed world it is your far right mates who are destroying free speech. Something which for reasons of your own you don't write about – either ignorance or disingenuousness. Both of these are dangerous conditions.

Cultural Marxism (Or rather Bolshevism) is an old Nazi expression, its antecedents are anti-Semitic. It was used to describe one aspect of Jews in Nazi Germany – Where they were hated for their Bolshevism, AND their capitalism. Another one of those contradictions that conservatives seem to be able to hold in their minds without so much as a tiny hesitation. And it's used often today by anti-Semites - and perhaps the ignorant who know nothing about its origins.

And as for CRT, you obviously know nothing about it, your opinion about it is not particularly valid, and you are falling into the trap of accepting Christopher Rufo's position, whether you believe it or not, that (we want) “... to have the public read something crazy and immediately think ‘Critical Race Theory’. We have decodified the term, and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans"

He seems to have succeeded with many conservatives, none of whom have read widely about it from what I can see, but he has established a moral panic similar to the witch crazes of the Renaissance, and the satanic panics of the 1980s. Rufo and people like you have politicised this whole affair because you don't like the teaching of anything other than a sanitised version of race relations. Maybe because as the meme says – you don't want to "explain what Granny is doing in the background of that picture in the social studies class".

I suspect that threats to our liberal order come more from the banning of any mention of Martin Luther King than learning about New Zealand's history of race relations. It's not pretty, it's never been pretty, and however much you would like to sanitise it, kids are entitled to know about it. God I'm remembering 60 years ago when it was boasted that we had the best race relations in the world. Not remotely true. Certainly not if you were listening to the conversations in the lounge bar of a Friday night. You of course would prefer to hide your head under the blanket and pretend it's not there. Not the way towards a healthy society or healthy race relations.

As far as sex and gender is concerned, why is it OTT for kids to learn that some kids have two fathers or two mothers? In countries where there are books in school libraries that explain this, the sky hasn't fallen. In fact my sons school library has for the last God knows how many years had books by Paula Boock (Who even you must realise is a gay author, who discusses some of the problems of gay kids) without anybody complaining or any kid suffering the least bit of harm.
I'd offer to provide you with a bibliography on CRT David, but I can't see you bothering to read about it in any great depth. Perhaps you are correct not to do so, after all the time I spent reading about and listening to so-called "conservative thinkers" for good old Charles, my opinion was simply dismissed with "meh" – but I like to think I would be a little more charitable about yours.

Doug Longmire said...

Rawiri Waititi has commented publicly that "We [Maori] are sick of trying to manipulate the current system.." and that democracy is bad because "the majority rules."

The Barron said...

1st NZ election 1853, Maori were still majority until 1856-7

Chris Slater said...

GS – “Cultural Marxism (Or rather Bolshevism) is an old Nazi expression…”

Well, yes and no. Shireen Qudosi gives a far more nuanced – and up-to-date assessment – of cultural Marxism as a more expressive version of neo-Marxism. The word ‘cultural’ is critically important for revolutionary Marxists. No surprise, then, that they would deflect attention from it by using anti-Semitic tropes.


David George said...

Yes good essay Chris, thanks for the link.
Yarom Hazonay confronted the nomenclature issue in his excellent essay, The Challenge of Marxism, and decided, in the absence of anything better to go with "Marxism" for reasons he explains well.

Of course, as we've just seen above "Anti-Marxist liberals................. are often not confident they can use the term “Marxist” in good faith to describe those seeking to overthrow them. This is because their tormentors do not follow the precedent of the Communist Party, the Nazis, and various other political movements that branded themselves using a particular party name and issued an explicit manifesto to define it. Instead, they disorient their opponents by referring to their beliefs with a shifting vocabulary of terms, including “the Left,” “Progressivism,” “Social Justice,” “Anti-Racism,” “Anti-Fascism,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Critical Race Theory,” “Identity Politics,” “Political Correctness,” “Wokeness,” and more. When liberals try to use these terms they often find themselves deplored for not using them correctly, and this itself becomes a weapon in the hands of those who wish to humiliate and ultimately destroy them."


Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ah, A "nuanced and up-to-date" take on Nazism and anti-Semitism? Similar to neo-Marxism no doubt. Funny, when Jordan Peterson was asked to name some of these "cultural Marxists" whose job it is to take over the world – he managed about five. You think they'd need more wouldn't you? They must be very, very clever to be able to take over the world with so few.

Well Chris, Young Shireen claims that nobody uses it in an anti-Semitic way today.She's obviously never heard of William Lind then.

"...the theory is that 'a small group of Marxist Jews who formed the Frankfurt School set out to destroy Western Culture through a conspiracy to promote multiculturalism and collectivist economic theories.' Lind began promoting these ideas in the late 1980s and continued to do so throughout the 1990s. In 2002, he even presented them to a Holocaust denial conference sponsored by the anti-Semitic Barnes Review.Anders Breivik was also a fan I believe.
Not to mention that extreme right "thinkers" are churning out articles with titles like:

"The Frankfurt School and Political Correctness", " Freud and the Frankfurt School"
It is supposed to have been introduced in America byA number of people with Jewish sounding names according to extreme right "authorities", and apparently funded by George Soros – Jewish right?
So I'm calling Bullshit on Ms Quodosi – and you.

Naturally you people would prefer it to be uncoupled from its anti-Semitic beginnings, and for that matter its anti-Semitic continuation. But one of your own, the philosopher Russell Blackford has said:

" Like other controversial expressions with complex histories (“political correctness” is another that comes to mind), “cultural Marxism” is a term that needs careful unpacking."

The whole idea is lazy thinking, something which Jordan Peterson course is reasonably famous for, and simply one of those conservative buzzwords that evokes the emotional response necessary to stir up the base. Pretty much fact free, however I might change my mind somewhat if you can come up with a list of a couple of hundred cultural Marxists who have wormed their way into positions of influence in NZ universities and government, and who are actively promoting "degeneracy"?

Chris Slater said...

GS – the important thing to understand about cultural Marxism is that its goal – cultural hegemony – affects the Weltanschauung. It’s immersive, immanent and normalised. The process, the ‘long march through the institutions’, is secular and can be applied to any ideology. It was successful with neo-liberalism, and is working very well for Islam. ‘Cultural Marxist’ is your phrase, and not one I’ve ever used because I can’t justify the concept. Similarly with Jews; I’ve never found the need to use this racial or religious identity in any discussion of ideas at any time. They’re not needed for the forcible overthrow all existing social conditions since Marxists are doing it perfectly well themselves. So, it seems that in failing to grasp the concept and significance of cultural Marxism, you’ve resorted to sniping at a cavalcade of straw men.

John Hurley said...

There is an element of truth to anti-Semitic theories about the Frankfurt school.
One is the cultural memory of the holocaust. The other is Jewish intelligence which (on average) means they are over represented in many fields.

The key idea of Critical Theory is deconstruction; the problem is an evolved human nature.

Jews are also leading in evolutionary psychology.

The arguments against the Camus book are generally inferred, but boil down to "race isn't an objective reality" (neither is blue).

Guerilla Surgeon said...

No Chris, I'm not responding to strawmen. I'm simply asking for proof of these cultural Marxists, where they are, who they are, how many of them there are. If it's all as obvious as you say, you should be able to name a few – as I said your hero Jordan Peterson managed four or five. I would have thought they needed more than that to take over the world. The rest of your statement I can't really understand.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

More stream of consciousness John? It obviously means something inside your mind, but I doubt if even the one and a half people who bother to comment on your blog can understand this.

sumsuch said...

I like how your letter section bumps down to the bottom. I don't need to see people not educated by New Zealand's culture first.

I despise most of your commenters. Footnoters at best. Apart from GS and others.

My English teacher pa was definitely down on the un-understandable poems of the Listener back in the 80s and 90s. His poems were honest but terrible, but I think he got it right about the riddle poems of those times.

Chris Slater said...

GS – That’s the problem with ideologies and their followers – their minds have been made up for them, and the reality outside of the dogma is incomprehensible. Ideology is the perfect system and the answer to every problem, and anyone who doesn’t understand that must be mad, which is why in the Soviet era, dissidents were sent to mental hospitals.

I guess you only need one ‘cultural Marxist’ – Gramsci – and the rest follow obediently because he single-handedly changed Marxian dynamics with the introduction of the concept of cultural hegemony. But they’re not ‘cultural Marxists’ since your term is nonsensical. They’re Marxists of one stripe or another with one goal, which to repeat myself and Marx, is the forcible overthrow all existing social conditions. They may call themselves progressives, SJWs, BLM, antifas, socialists, democratic socialists, social democrats, whatever; I just hope not Fabians. Look out for academics who use the term ‘subalterns’, though. That’s a giveaway. And you may not think you’re sniping at straw men, but believe me, that’s exactly what it looks like, since you don’t seem to understand them either.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

So Chris, you actually got nothing. No names – and certainly no pack drill. Sorry, but these ideas are tinfoil hat stuff, and I – dammit – forgot to invest in aluminium foil years ago.