- Date published:
1:26 pm, February 29th, 2020 - 16 comments
Categories: conservatives, corruption, International, Left, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: conservatives, corruption, left, moral compass
“We will not be able to successfully defend corrupt or crony capitalism. Honest capitalism – what we cherish, is under attack every day (…) by special interests and PACS inside the swamp of Washington DC. You know, sometimes it feels like it doesn’t really matter which political party wins the election, because in Congress, the winner is too often the special interest that shuttles around the most campaign donations.”
You might be forgiven for thinking the above comes from an Elizabeth Warren before she decided to take PAC money, or from a centrist Democratic Party representative sidling to the left. But you’d be wrong.
In actual fact, the words are taken from a speech that Matt Gaetz made at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland this week where he swore off taking PAC money.
That’s a big deal given that it’s coming from a Republican.
Anyone else thinking it’s time for a few politicians in New Zealand to wake up and smell the coffee?
Liberalism and all its attendant corruption is getting squeezed from both the left and the right. It’s water under the bridge, but New Zealand could have been ahead of the game if idiots and bad actors hadn’t lined up to take Cunliffe and Turei out at the knees.
This is some kind of joke right? David cunliffe being the bastion of progressivism and meteria turei being a paragon of virtue when it comes to the attendant fraud from liberalism?
the greens are far better off without meteria electorally, though the loss of Graham was a severe blow for the moral backbone of their position now they are in government. Shaw needs to become more aware of the power green values hold in the wider electorate, and disassociate from nz1, whose values are almost diametrically opposed when the votes start to matter
taking money from Super groups, which seem a comical vehicle designed to funnel money to single interest lobbyists, seems to be a return to the rotten boroughs controlled by the sugar barons and the east India company in britain. Good on one politician of any creed refusing their money. If enough resist the power crumbles
I don't think NZ is particularly fertile ground for this change at the moment – certainly in comparison with the USA where numbers are bandied round like 40% of Americans being unable to cover an unexpected $400 bill. The exhaustion, venality and plain inhuman evil of the status quo seems starker there.
Ardern's compassionate neoliberalism/soft social democracy is probably as good as it gets here for a while. When her time is up it won't be because of a turn to the left. It's far more likely to be due to a hostile, reactionary, culture war-based response to the few things her government will actually do. And all underpinned by economic fears of the personal cost that might follow from actually addressing climate change. Think Scomo with Kiwi characteristics.
The sum I've seen in relation to the US is the inability to take a US$1000 dollar hit. How many New Zealanders can afford a NZ$2000 financial hit?
How many New Zealanders are being endlessly recycled to the tail end of medical waiting lists because they lack insurance?
How many New Zealanders are living pay cheque to pay cheque?
How many New Zealanders are homeless?
How many New Zealanders are working multiple jobs and just staying still or going backwards regardless?
How many New Zealanders are better off and with better prospects than generations from the 60s and 70s?
How many New Zealanders are drowning under student debt, or simply can't afford to be educated?
I could go on, but the point is that the experience of being working class in the US isn't so very different from being working class in NZ.
Apples and oranges.
(but give it time)
Americans are, of course, the most thoroughly and passively indoctrinated people on earth. They know next to nothing as a rule about their own history, or the histories of other nations, or the histories of the various social movements that have risen and fallen in the past, and they certainly know little or nothing of the complexities and contradictions comprised within words like “socialism” and “capitalism.” Chiefly, what they have been trained not to know or even suspect is that, in many ways, they enjoy far fewer freedoms, and suffer under a more intrusive centralized state, than do the citizens of countries with more vigorous social-democratic institutions. This is at once the most comic and most tragic aspect of the excitable alarm that talk of social democracy or democratic socialism can elicit on these shores. An enormous number of Americans have been persuaded to believe that they are freer in the abstract than, say, Germans or Danes precisely because they possess far fewer freedoms in the concrete. They are far more vulnerable to medical and financial crisis, far more likely to receive inadequate health coverage, far more prone to irreparable insolvency, far more unprotected against predatory creditors, far more subject to income inequality, and so forth, while effectively paying more in tax (when one figures in federal, state, local, and sales taxes, and then compounds those by all the expenditures that in this country, as almost nowhere else, their taxes do not cover). One might think that a people who once rebelled against the mightiest empire on earth on the principle of no taxation without representation would not meekly accept taxation without adequate government services. But we accept what we have become used to, I suppose. Even so, one has to ask, what state apparatus in the “free” world could be more powerful and tyrannical than the one that taxes its citizens while providing no substantial civic benefits in return, solely in order to enrich a piratically overinflated military-industrial complex and to ease the tax burdens of the immensely wealthy?
Didn't New Zealand vote on the basis of a pretty face last time around? I seem to remember NZ Labour, led by the guy who preceded her, and who fronted for the same basic politics as her, was tanked in the polls.
Gender and youth, I reckon.
btw, you're close to completing the circle with this, and your fondness for the idiot Gaetz's political theatre at a PAC conference
Gender and youth and pretty face is all the same shallow identity driven shit.
Do you think Gaetz is bull shitting? We'll see. But on face value, a Republican swearing off PACs for the reasons he gives is noteworthy. Maybe he’s a genuine conservative (I don’t know).
btw, you're aware there are a whole lot of conservatives who are closer to being left on a number of fronts than many liberals, yes?
Lots. A criminally large number. But unfortunately I don't see much sign that this is driving the sort of political change we need. When this government runs out of steam and is replaced, I think it will be by a National government even more conservative than the previous one.
So the underlying conditions are comparable, yes? But an identifiable catalyst that would mobilise people is absent.
That's where Cunliffe and Turei come into my observations. Remember how Turei's WINZ speech energised large numbers of people claiming entitlements because finally someone was speaking their language and understanding their experience?
And then she got taken out.
Cunliffe seemed to echo Savage – basic social democracy. Media and his own party stymied him, much in line with how it was for Corbyn in the UK.
And now Sanders has the Democratic Party establishment and media side swiping at every opportunity.
But to the basics of the post – corruption. That's been one of Sanders' central planks and is a core message of the Justice Democrats who gave us "the squad" in the US.
A Republican coming into the slip stream of that call to get money out of politics is no little thing…
And bear in mind, what happens in US politics tends to have a disproportionate effect on the politics of other aligned countries, aye?
Not seeing the connection in what you've written. Capitalism, sure.
At heart, liberalism is the notion that individuals navigate markets, and that individuals, being rational and informed, negotiate with one another via market mechanisms to produce optimal outcomes.
It's capitalism without much in the way of restraint.
And corruption walks through the open door of people naturally seeking leverage in such a situation.
Social democracy, given it's different set of priorities, lessens the necessity for leverage, and so also the corruption the need for leverage presages.
Both liberalism and social democracy are predicated on how best to manage capitalism – so yes, neither represent an optimal state of affairs, but given those two broad approaches are the only ones that have ever been proposed for managing a capitalist environment, it's a no-brainer to figure out which school of thought has more moral foundation and is more concerned with the well being of society as a whole, and as a result, is more preferable from a working class perspective..
Money systems are corrupt, money is a get ahead disease. There will never be a welcome change, unless the young take the reigns and create a world without money
There have been many monetary systems. Not all have imbued money with value. Some have merely used money to mark that an exchange took place.
We have PACs: unions.
Wouldn't have a Labour government without them.
You could try to make that argument, but I was thinking more along the lines of Winston and the racing industry, Jones and fishing and National's dark money.
A complete collapse of the corrupt financial system would actually be good for us here in NZ.
Trump is really trying to reverse the so called 'free trade' paradigm…because the off shoring of manufacturing has weakened the U.S position and the US$ as default 'currency' for world trade.
If you have to 'hunker down' ..NO country is better positioned than Aotearoa to handle a crisis.
The U.S billionaires already know this ..that's why they have bought up large here…isolated.good infrastructure,temperate climate=food,power,water…we are selling out too..cheap!