There’s an odd contradiction in right-wing ‘thought’. On the one hand, they’re Randian heroes, the wealth creators, modern day Atlases who support the world while ‘parasites’ try to take their wealth and bring them down. On the other hand, they’re victims who need subsidies and special treatment. Fed Farmers CEO Conor English embodies the contradiction.
Check out his piece in the Dom on Monday.
It starts off by talking, rather oddly, about child policy:
If all parents had a positive rather than negative attitude towards children; saw them as an asset not a liability; saw the best in them, not the worst; were proud of them, not ashamed; supported, not humiliated or criticised them as they learned by making mistakes; and wanted the best for them – then we would be better off. If they simply just said to their children that they thought they were great and that they were valued, I suspect our crime statistics would be lower and many people happier.
Wow, Conor, better get your brother Bill on the blower and share that great policy: ‘Hey, Bill, I’ve got this great idea to solve our child abuse and crime problems’. ‘Yeah? Well Christ knows we don’t have any, what is it Conor?’ ‘Well, what if everyone was just nice to each other?!?’ <Click>
But it turns out Conor is just using child abuse as a metaphor for our attitude to ‘wealth creators’ like himself. That’s not as grossly offensive and insensitive as you might think. Nah, it is:
But while we may have concerns about attitudes to children, what about our attitudes on other fronts? If we changed the word “children” to “business person”, “exporter”, “farmer”, “manufacturer” or “wealth creator” – can we say New Zealand has an attitude different from that of some parents towards the children they abuse?
If we want to remain a first- world country, someone has to make some money somewhere in this country to pay the bills. The attitudes of those that contribute to making that money, and of others towards them, is critical. Wealth creators are like children. There is no future without them. Everyone has their part to play, but someone has to start the money-go-round…
… If we want New Zealand to be a place where talent wants to live, then we simply need more people that see the glass half full, whether they are looking at our children or wealth creators. So let each of us decide to be more positive. While we cannot control the attitudes of others, we can control our own. So are we up for it?
All of which is, I think, Conor’s ham-fisted way of saying ‘hey, arseholes, stop asking that we ‘wealth creators’ pay for our pollution and stop farming for untaxed capital gain, which results in huge international debt. Instead, give us bailout every time it’s too cold or too wet or too dry or too hot (remember, don’t expect us to pay anything towards containing climate change). Oh, and pay for our irrigation.’
Actually, I would respect Conor more if he had the guts just to come out and say that. It’s the blubbering tone he adopts when he compares the wealthiest and most powerful New Zealanders to babies in need of cradling and care at the same time as using the Randian term ‘wealth creator’ that gets me.
When did right-wingers become right-whingers?
[For a look at why rightwingers have adopted the language of victimhood to defend their position of privilege, check out Irish’s piece]