THERE IS A DREADFUL LOGIC to the growth of fascism. To begin with, it seldom emerges in circumstances of left-wing weakness. Indeed, fascism is almost always a response to what the Right regards as the dangerous strength – or even the imminent triumph – of the Left. Fascism seeks to check the Left, and establishes its typically dictatorial political regimes to prevent the Left from rebuilding and reasserting the power that made fascism “necessary” in the first place.
I couldn’t help musing upon the genesis of fascist movements as I watched a recording of the Dargaville meeting organised by the Christian evangelist Julian Batchelor. The third of many such meetings planned by Batchelor under the banner: “Preserve Democracy, STOP Co-Governance”.
The explicit purpose of Batchelor’s roadshow is to build a mass political movement of Pakeha New Zealanders, not only to stop co-governance, but also to halt what he sees as the state-sanctioned elevation of Māori over European culture. Batchelor’s principal targets are the “tribal representatives or elite Māori” and “elite Māori treatyists” who, he alleges, are hell-bent on transforming New Zealand into “the Zimbabwe of the South Pacific”.
The planned culmination of Batchelor’s anti-Co-Governance crusade is a 100,000-strong gathering to be held at the Auckland Domain on the eve of the General Election – Friday, 13 October 2023.
This is a truly ambitious target. The largest political demonstration ever recorded in New Zealand took place on the eve of the 1938 General Election, when 70,000 supporters of the First Labour Government – most of them trade union members – rallied at the Auckland Domain in a non-violent show of working-class strength.
For Batchelor to succeed, he would need to awaken a huge, and so-far undetected, strata of angry Kiwi racists. And when I say “huge”, I’m talking in the order of a million citizens. A million! Yep. To get a crowd of 100,000 supporters in the Domain, he would have to generate at least that many followers. In any organisation, the ratio of passive to active members is generally around 10:1. Batchelor is, therefore, hoping that at least 20 percent of New Zealanders are mad as hell about co-governance, everything it stands for, and that they’re not going to take it anymore.
About now, the readers of this post will be saying to themselves: “Not. Going. To. Happen.” What they may not be factoring-in to this political equation, however, is the dangerous dynamic at work in what appears to be Batchelor’s method of building his mass movement.
The crowd that gathered in the Kaipara Community Hall in Dargaville on 9 March 2023 was not composed solely of angry and/or curious Pakeha. As any astute observer of current events in the Far North could have predicted (especially following the “Karakia Incident” at the Kaipara District Council meeting back in October 2022) roughly half of the people turning up to hear Batchelor were angry and/or curious Māori. Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for the meeting to dissolve into rancour. Local Māori were shocked by Batchelor’s uncompromising rhetoric. Accusations of “blatant racism” elicited angry responses from those supporting the speaker’s argument. The Police were called. Things turned nasty.
And it was all recorded. Cleverly edited, the confrontation at Dargaville, may yet serve as a powerful recruitment tool for Batchelor’s cause. Posted on social media it may persuade a larger number of angry/curious Pakeha to turn up to the next meeting. Which may turn even nastier, because, predictably, Māori and their anti-racist Pakeha allies are threatening to turn up to shout down Batchelor’s “hate speech”. Undoubtedly, the Police will, once again, be present to keep the antagonists apart. All the elements will be there for another riveting social media post.
Thinking ahead – and apparently unaware of the many legal and political fish-hooks embedded in their intentions – Batchelor’s opponents are planning to contact local councils around the country and urge them not to allow the “blatant racist” to hire their facilities for his public meetings. If some local councils, perhaps worried that Batchelor’s meetings might become unruly, or, even worse, attract threats of serious violence, decide to deny him access to their facilities, then as sure as eggs-are-eggs, the Free Speech Union will become involved. Instantly, Batchelor’s cause will expand to embrace not just the “dangers” of co-governance, but the threat its promoters pose to New Zealanders’ freedom of expression.
It is at this point that Batchelor, providing he possesses both the political smarts and the rhetorical skills to take full advantage of the unfolding situation, may be able to break his movement out of its narrow psychographic confines to engage with a much broader ideological community. People who may not be as hostile to co-governance as Batchelor, but who are extremely hostile to the angry crowds who turn up to shut his meetings down, may feel obliged to, at least, defend his freedom of speech. There may even be an element who feel strongly enough to offer themselves as “security” for Batchelor’s meetings. Naturally, they will wear uniforms – to assist both the Police and the public in distinguishing them from the “extremists”.
With unnerving speed, Batchelor’s movement will begin to acquire all the historical hallmarks of fascism. This will only increase if the Police and the mainstream news media are widely perceived to be – and are criticised for – taking the side of the protesters. Batchelor’s essentially conspiratorial argument that “the elites” are determined to destroy New Zealanders’ rights and freedoms on behalf of anti-democratic “treatyists” will, in the eyes of more and more citizens, be vindicated. The claim that the Left has become too powerful will find a growing number of adherents.
Observing the rapid growth of Batchelor’s far-right pressure group, the National and Act parties will find it very difficult to resist the temptation to range themselves alongside it. Neither of these “official” representatives of the Right will want to be caught opposing Batchelor, for fear that their rivals will immediately come out in support. It is equally hard to see NZ First and the other, even smaller, right-wing parties turning down the chance to piggy-back on what Batchelor’s opponents are angrily calling New Zealand’s shameful “white supremacist” movement.
An awful lot would have to go completely right for Julian Batchelor before his currently tiny travelling roadshow burgeoned into a movement capable of mustering 100,000 New Zealanders into the Auckland Domain. The best reason he has for optimism, however, is the current febrile state of the New Zealand Left. More than any other single factor, the Left’s reaction to Batchelor’s campaign will determine whether it remains a passing curiosity, or develops into something really nasty.
It is, sadly, entirely possible for the worst to happen. If Batchelor becomes the voice of aggrieved Pakeha. If National, Act, NZ First, and all the others rally to his cause – for fear of being lumped in with “treatyists”, “cultural Marxists”, and all the other manifestations of the “Woke Left” – then a great, 100,000-strong, gathering of the right-wing clans in the Auckland Domain on Election Eve suddenly becomes a “live” proposition.
Fascism almost always starts small. Sadly, it doesn’t always stay that way. Especially when the Left helps it to grow.
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 17 March 2023.
Talk of left and right don't sit right with me. I tended to come from a conservative old Labour side where state assistance was there for people in genuine need, where the state or council owned and employed logistical resources, like the old Ministry of Works, to overcome the frailties of the private sector. And even the nuclear power thing, given the French were intent on destroying the South Pacific with their bomb testing.
But the "left" went to university, got all embarrassed about its white privilege it thinks it has and went looking for causes. And it's exactly where Jacinda Ardern and her government of academic university dwelling drones fits in.
Ardern talked big, spoke in broad aspirational visions but had no idea how to achieve any of them. But the real story not stated was the Mt Albert/Grey Lynn liberal Facebook group think her government put into action. Drug use is a health problem, yeah it's is, for everyone else not participating. "Jail is bad", has reached the point where even charging someone is, just ask Leo Molloy! Which has seen lawlessness and violence especially in Auckland go off the scale. Who'd be a bus driver, much less a dairy owner?
And the coup d'etat, the Treaty, or "tiriti". Interpretations on it have become ever more fantastical and inventive and its clear this mutation of left politics could not get enough. Behind the scenes it went from strength to strength, never campaigned on. Ardern powerful communication skills were deathly silent on the policy but it is now clear how fundamental it was to her and her ilk. Im fairly sure Willie Jackson could not believe the blank cheque he'd been given by Ardern, Robertson et al. But 3 Waters mirrored this secrecy, but overtly and with that went any chance of the Ardern government being re-elected and for that matter, Labour even surviving as a political entity.
A lot is being made of this anti co-governance front man's religious beliefs, I guess to slander him, to Brian Tamaki the cause, but don't ignore what it means because its not complex. And its not facisim, its New Zealand for god sake. People have had a guts full of interfering Aunty knows best government. Co-governance is an extreme part of that and it is not an option and it will not work. People are over the bullshit emanating from academia and from bungling well meaning sickly liberal politicians. They do not want people in unelected positions of authority based on race. What clear minded reasonable person on this planet does? Again, this is not complex!
Hence Chippy is backpedalling as fast as his little legs will go but at this point most of us aren't reassured he gets it!
What a confused column. How has the defence of democracy based on universal and equal suffrage now become "fascism", which as you well know was a movement instigated by Italy's leading Socialist of the 1920s and 30s, Benito Mussolini? An overwhelming number of New Zealanders are rightly concerned about 3 Waters and now also the RMA replacement legislation, among other divisive initiatives promoted by the Labour Party. Time for some perspective please.
I don't agree with the gift of mana whenua naming five new south auckland train stations in te reo maori.
OK, let me get this straight; the people seeking to maintain our universalist democracy are the "fascists" while those supporting an ethno nationalist and ethno corporatist takeover are the good guys?
I don't believe huge public protests will happen, or achieve much if they did but I'm pretty sure that these issues will be, and should be, front and centre come election time.
Whether or not Julian Batchelor is a Christian (i.e. a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth), I have no idea. But let's not refer to him as an evangelist -- a herald of good news. He fronted as such in times past. But no longer.
Are you suggesting that opposing separatism and rule by a tribal elite starts with Julian Batchelor? Its genesis is much earlier, the One NZ Foundation of 30 or more years ago. And to lump all those who agree with him, to some degree anyway, as racists is perverse. Advocates of Maori rule are the true racists.
Let's calm down a little. The word "fascism" (like "racism") has a historical meaning and needs to be used carefully. In any case, aren't the "Stop Co-governance" crowd merely pushing back against the "revolution" (another strong word) that you, Chris, have repeatedly (and with some reason) warned us is underway?
Thank you Keith, I think you've nicely articulated what a lot (most?) of us think and feel.
Before I address co-governance and the opposition to it, the most striking features of this article is that 1) fascism is never defined, and 2) it is presupposed that it is a bad thing. Maybe it is a bad thing, but no case is made to support the assumption. The article is predicated on an undefined concept and an assumption that that concept is a priori and self-evidently undesirable. Not a very strong foundation for anything that follows, I would have thought. But the less-defined a concept is, and the less a word denotes, the more amenable it is to misuse and to drawing loose associations.
Fascism is a political ideology and a principle of social and economic organisation, usually based on a collective identity (e.g. racial and/or national), acknowledging but tempering individual interests and subordinating them to the good of the collective, and usually headed by a strong and charismatic leader who enjoys wide popular support. You could say that it is nationalism without capitalism, and socialism without internationalism, a formula which indicates why “the rise of fascism” – however unlikely that is in practice, being really just a rhetorical device– is considered to be such an existential threat to the neoliberal hegemony that shapes public opinion, given that they benefit so much from internationalism and capitalism.
But fascism isn’t a behaviour, and popular movements are not synonymous with fascism. Fascists may well have used violence against their political opponents in the 20s to 40s, but then again, so did the far-left Marxist-Leninists when they established by force their left wing dictatorship in the Soviet Union, and in the course of all the various similar revolutionary left-wing movements across the globe. Even our liberal democracies drop bombs on women and children in the Vietnamese jungles or in the Middle East in the name of spreading freedom. This is also extremely violent, but is it fascistic? Doubtful. No, the violence perpetrated by 20th century left-wing Marxists, as well as by contemporary neoliberal democracies, is just violence, identical to that perpetrated by those on the right end of the political spectrum. Similarly, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao and all of the other leftist dictators were just as authoritarian as Hitler and Mussolini were, in fact, probably more so – that doesn’t make them fascists, though, because like violence, authoritarianism and despotism is a behaviour and an instrument, not an ideology.
So where does Julian Batchelor and the high (and mounting) level of public opposition to the notion of Maori co-governance in New Zealand coincide with "the dreadful logic of fascism"? Who knows. The article doesn't really say, it just hints that a development which Chris (apparently) opposes is “fascism.” Oh, and opponents are also “racist” by the way, again without evidence. I grant that they are “angry” however.
The article seems to equate genuine public sentiment and a growing popular movement that contradicts the preferred narrative in favour of the policy (vocally opposed by a small minority of institutionally-endorsed radicals who want to reshape our constitutional arrangements and who seek to disrupt the right to organise of those who disagree with them), with fascism. This is a bizarre equation. Isn't enacting the popular will, even if it is opposed by a minority, the theoretical basis of democracy?
Even if it were true, to claim that “opponents of co-governance are racist fascists” is not an argument in favour of co-governance, it’s just name-calling. The argument against co-governance, as I see it, reduces to “it isn’t legally or morally justified, it won’t work in practice because New Zealand has moved on irrevocably from what existed in 1840, and it will sharply divide New Zealand society along ethnic lines in 2023.” No “fascism” or “racism” is necessary in that argument.
No one seems to worry about our Anglo-Celtic tribal elite.
Parliament might be a bag of mixed lollies, but the New Zealand rich list is lilly white.
'Tribal elite" for many years the office of the Tainui Trust Board was the boot of Bob Mahuta's car. Steven O'Reagan worked gratis for Ngai Tahu for about 30 years.
Who would want to be a tribal leader? You get total strangers speculating about your finances. Your children get insulted by strangers, and even their own teachers.
People like Julian Batchelor, Don Brash and Lindsay Perigo are what I call ' non-racist anti-Maori bigots".
They claim to be non-racist, and I believe they are sincere. But, based on their own words, they are clearly anti-Maori bigots.
This clown Batchelor should get himself 500 voters and form a political party.
I am willing to 'donate' a name for them: The Honky Party.
It's really our responsibility to ask the questions and not take any BS.
What are the people engaging with public issues like those raised by Stop Co Governance doing? Or those concerned and interested in what is happening at their children's school, for example? Budding fascists? Really?
Perhaps what they are doing is taking responsibility. What happens if they don't, if they just let things happen? If they allow those that couldn't care less about them or are driven by some mad theory or will to power to call the shots? Whether it's on the individual, familial, social, communal and national level the result's the same - tyranny of one sort or another.
"The responsibility you abandon turns into the arbitrary power of someone else"
Jordan Peterson https://www.dailywire.com/episode/episode-3-construct-an-identity - paywalled
The need for clear headed, responsible citizens to enter the discourse has never been greater.
“the sheer complexity of the world, and the genuine diversity of individual ability and preference means that distributed decision-making is a necessity, not a luxury: no elite technocracy is capable of knowing best and then determining how we should all move forward as individuals and communities.”
Well said LittleKeith.
I was loathe to comment as I regarded this as an odd column from Chris labelling those seeking to retain democracy, one man one vote, as fascists.
I'm sorry to say but after the maori partiy's extreme views on many subject being promoted and labour's sweeping away of personal freedoms I'm pretty sure I knw where the label should land and it's not at the feet of the Julian Batchelors out there demanding the simple retention of democracy.
"Observing the rapid growth of Batchelor’s far-right pressure group, the National and Act parties will find it very difficult to resist the temptation to range themselves alongside it."
Well, as Prof Paxton says in his excellent book "The Anatomy of Fascism", there has never been a fascist government come to power without the support and connivance of conservatives. In Italy and Spain it was largely the church, which was so fanatically against communism that it and its fellow conservatives refused to I lie themselves with more moderate left-wing parties, similarly in Germany without so much of the church. Act will certainly be all over this like a cheap suit, where the national has enough people with common sense remains to be seen. I'm reasonably optimistic about them although they must be pretty damn hungry for power after so many years without it. Might cloud their judgement.😇
Whether you like it or not, this of course is a typical extreme right wedge issue, that they will push in order to make the white middle-class feel afraid. You can see the results in the US, where right-wing figures such as Tucker Carlson are streets ahead of this guy in using weasel words and dog whistles to stir up the troops.
They will welcome violence and possibly even go out of their way to provoke it, because that makes the white middle-class is even more afraid. I don't know anything much about the Christian background of Bachelor, but if he is, it fits.
It can't be long before we have our own chapter of the "proud boys", and have everyone talking about the great replacement theory. Still I suppose it makes a change from Jewish space lasers.
"Fascists may well have used violence against their political opponents in the 20s to 40s, but then again, so did the far-left Marxist-Leninists when they established by force their left wing dictatorship in the Soviet Union,"
Oh – that makes it all right then.
"So where does Julian Batchelor and the high (and mounting) level of public opposition to the notion of Maori co-governance in New Zealand coincide with "the dreadful logic of fascism"?"
1. They promote a sense of crisis.
2. They believe that their group is a victim.
3. They believe their group is declining under the some sort of alien influence.
4. They are afraid of and denigrate "the other".
It's not necessarily fall om fascism at present, but it's getting there. Give it time.
If you search through Papers Past, the label "the Left" wasn't commonly used with New Zealand's politics in the 1930's. The earliest I can were a few articles about the British based "the Left Book Club" that was established in 1936. The book club promoted Socialist and Communist material with the aim to "help in the struggle for world peace and against fascism". In 1937 Christina Foyle of Foyle's bookstore fame established the Right Book Club which aimed to promote books of conservative and classical liberal themes.
During the late 1930's, Laissez Faire (Free Market) liberals were subscribers of the Right Book Club. In the 1980's the same ideas were labelled as the "the New Right". And now they are "the Left". These terms of left and right have been twisted so much they now mean completely different things to people of different ages.
The failure of liberalism in the 1920’s and 30’s led to an anti-democratic, militant nationalism with an intolerance for others based on their culture and ethnicity. The nurturing of militant ethno-nationalism in New Zealand, the support of stiff-arm Nazis as heroic “cultural warriors” overseas, erosion of civil liberties, growth of the National Security State, silence of dissent in media and the dismissive contempt for democratic mandate suggests that neoliberalism has itself become quasi-fascist. In doing so, it has opened Pandora’s box for a whole spectrum of nasty intolerants to enter on the political stage.
"Parliament might be a bag of mixed lollies, but the New Zealand rich list is lilly white."
Oh dear, a comment by someone who doesn't have the slightest idea of where the people on that list came from. Why are you characterising people who have made their own fortunes by colour. Sounds rather desperate to me.
Pretty sure the Apatu family would be unhappy with your comment.
Madame B - [Fascism] is presupposed that it is a bad thing. Maybe it is a bad thing, but no case is made to support the assumption. The article is predicated on an undefined concept and an assumption that that concept is a priori and self-evidently undesirable.
I think it is normal, reasonable and on justified grounds to presume fascism is a bad thing. Seriously, does Chris or anyone else have to respond to this? However, I shall take the bullet (undoubtedly something I would literally have to do under fascism) and supply some easily available definitions.
"Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy."
"a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"
Cambridge Dictionary -
"a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control, and being extremely proud of country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed.'
Collins Dictionary -
"Fascism is a set of right-wing political beliefs that includes strong control of society and the economy by the state, a powerful role for the armed forces, and the stopping of political opposition."
That will do for now. The very fact Madame B is suggesting that fascism should be contemplated in a liberal democracy certainly puts the "mad" in Madame.
If it comes to a binary choice – Batchelor’s status quo or He Puapua’s blut und boden reforms, who gets your vote?
Thanks for your little list of the various definition of Fascism. However, you still haven't argued against it, you've enumerated some of its characteristics, but you're just presupposing that it's objectively bad.
"I think it is normal, reasonable and on justified grounds to presume fascism is a bad thing."
Maybe you do think that, and that's fine: but you have not employed reason at all nor justified your position in the slightest. All you've done is "presumed" a lot.
And that was my central point in my OP: in 99% of cases, the critics of Fascism, and those who invoke "fascism" to mean "anything I don't like" typically don't know anything about it, and instead rely on a popular caricature and Wikipedia articles.
Authoritarian rule by a defined group and violent suppression of opposition and defined minorities.
It worries me that the more we move from the World War 2 generation we have to justify condemnation of the system they fought and sacrificed against.
Throughout the 20th century tens of millions killed by those supporting fascism and many more tortured and disabled. Many because their views or those of a family member opposed the disempowering system or they were part of a targeted minority.
I am unaware of any regime held up as the friendly face of fascism. The a priori reason is that fascism by its very nature is about the removal of universal human rights.
This is not presumed but intrinsic to the political philosophy.
Anyone wondering about the role of fascism today should read Foreign Policy's encyclopedic Don’t Call Donald Trump a Fascist.
The Eco link is dead but his article on 'ur-fascism' can be found here:
Reductively, those on the Right want stability, those in the centre want incremental improvement, and those on the Left want radical change. The Right sees life as inherently unfair and it’s a personal responsibility to maximise happiness, what Aristotle called eudaemonia. The centre sorts out problems as they arise with no recourse to ideology. The Left sees unfairness being caused by the oppressive structure of society and seeks societal change.
In extremis, both the Left and Right will use their useful idiots to commit violence and deception in their cause. They will disparage centrists as populists, sheeple, racists etc. depending upon their stance. The Left tilts towards chaos and nihilism in the creative destruction of society in pursuit of their utopian ideal, and damn society’s foundations. The Right will act defensively in support of established values, and damn moral progress.
Both create an ideology which (by my definition) identifies the problem thwarting utopia and provides the solution, and it applies the solution by any and all means possible. It creates a narrative which distorts reality and deceives in order to convince the public of its inescapable veracity. Fascism for the Right, Marxism for the Left.
Both fascism and Marxism are spent forces, their 20th century failures testament to the consequences of extremism. Usage of the terms is now meaningless. Their compromised progeny, however, lives on as a mongrel owing little to its ideological heritages.
The Right’s personal responsibility becomes tertiary education, forming the professional managerial class. It is from them comes what I call the clerisy (with a nod to Julien Benda), Danyl McLauchlan calls the “brahmin Left”, Daniel Pipes the ‘6Ps of the secular priesthood’ and John McWhorter the ‘The Elect’. It is they who set the agenda using the inculcation of Gramsci’s long march through the institutions, itself a secular process since it worked equally well with neo-liberal economics, and instituted in NZ by the ostensible Left.
But in moral terms the agenda is written by the Left, its process of societal change enforced with immigration (contrary to the interests of its historical constituency), diversity (with its history of failure), equality of outcome (contrary to its doctrine of equality of opportunity) and decolonisation (with its catastrophic record).
This amalgam of ideology is being identified as ‘woke’ and marked with intolerance of the outgroup. It purports to liberate the oppressed, but through its authoritarianism creates an even greater number of oppressed. Useful idiots apply the thugs’ and hecklers’ veto, deplatformings, cancellings, defenestrations, multi-signatory denunciations, and the memory-holing of journal articles.
It is the bastard child, the morbid symptom, the slouching rough beast, of cultural Marxism.
Thank you Kit, that's a fine summing up.
1. They promote a sense of crisis.
2. They believe that their group is a victim.
3. They believe their group is declining under the some sort of alien influence.
4. They are afraid of and denigrate "the other".
All of which is true.
Camus "Great Replacement" is true.
Humans developed ways of distinguishing us from them (people who aren't us can become us and vice versa)
The explanation that we learnt this from "scientific racism" - (Paul Spoonley), is pathetic [ref Great Debate - Xenophobia]
What Labour did in 1984 was (attempt to) disrupt the New Zealander identity such that there is no "us". That leaves "us" without the argument "this is our country". "New Zealanders will have sunlight space and beauty" is no longer valid as New Zealander is now the well-heeled Kiwi from Pangolia who "seeks a better life" and whose spending "keeps GDP ticking over".
You gotta see my Sketchup rendition of HRZ (1.5 m setback at North. 50 degrees recession 3m from the boundary up to 12 m. East West 1m from boundary and 60 degree recession.
As far as I can see I will only get sun midday above 29 degrees. It's all about climate change though.
I found this article by Mary Harrington relevant
The non existent layer between Hayden Donnells activism and his role at "Media watch"
The uglies who had Stephan Molyneu and Lauren Southerns venues shut down and Phil Goff (in his suit and tie); MSM; Paul Spoonley ("expert on the far-right")
The lack of action on that Samoan womans poem; Stuff's "be kind" comments policy
FB "Experts tell us that white (European) nationalism is essentially white supremacy." Volemort.
She says that the dark figures of social media work with those in suits (Phil Goff); they organise and shut down and they are in the institutions.
It means we are post democratic so somethings "don't get politicised" (Paul Spoonley needs to be there).
Eg you can't say: working class white and Maori cannot enjoy and garden (as Harry did in a state house in Riccarton) because of "an unmandated million" (shades of racism and fascism there)
Might upset National Party Ratbags of Realestate
Rich Lawyers who drive Range Rovers
Architects with jackets and skivvies and holiday homes overlooking the sea.
Chris This is what High Density Residential looks like
One thing that could lend force to his anti-woke crusade is the feeling that Ao/NZ is slipping from the ranks of first-world nations and that too much indulgence of such things as Mātauranga Māori is one of the reasons.
In 1920 Europe the left was a highly modernising force, but this is emphatically not the case in Ao/NZ where the left is basically anti-modernist, from Damn the Dam through to Mātauranga Māori.
Ironically, this anti-modernism is a great threat to the working class in search of jobs and houses, who find no champions in Labour or the Greens, broadly speaking.
Could it be held that "make America great again" had the same inspiration, one that the left has failed to grasp over there?
Whether it is progressive or not, the left tends to think that the right's politics of radicalised/weaponised nostalgia is purely anti-progressive, when in fact this is not the case and there is an element of what some political theorists have called "reactionary modernism."
Or to put it another way, as Walter Benjamin said, every fascism is the product of a failed socialism: either beaten back as in Europe after which the right was forced to adopt some of the left's modernising ideas (the original meaning of the term reactionary modernism) or alternatively, in this country and in the Anglophone world more generally, a left that has dropped the ball of modernism and come to embrace anti-modernism instead, whereupon the right becomes a modernising force in ways that Muldoon's National Development Act, Think Big and Growth Strategy actually trailblazed in the days when Labour was leaning more and more toward putting a stop to every kind of development scheme in order to harvest the votes of young counterculturalists.
Anyway, if so, there is certainly scope for a revival of Rob's Mob.
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