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As Nero Fiddles…

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, November 13th, 2010 - 72 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, climate change, Economy - Tags: ,

So we are familiar with descriptions of climate change and the likely or possible consequences of raised levels of ‘warming’ gasses. We have heard the conclusions of various scientific disciplines and heard the social/philosophical musings of the likes of Suzuki. And that’s all good, because viewing a problem through multiple lenses offers the possibility of broader, better informed understandings.

But when it comes to what can be done, possible prescriptions are limited by the singular use of an economic lens. To be clear, generally disseminated prescriptions aren’t just economic, but are predicated on retaining market or command economies as the management mechanisms for production and distribution (consumption).

Consider the centrality of the economic rationales that necessitate NZ developing a climatically destructive dairy industry and how the primacy of economic reasoning remains fundamentally unchallenged. There are no human reasons (as far as I can ascertain) for NZ to be indulging in an export orientated dairy industry (and many human reasons for desisting in the drive to encourage dairy consumption in China, Korea and elsewhere), but that non-economic reasoning is not allowed to enter into the debate.

This narrowing of focus, which is essentially a very effective and deadly smokescreen, is partly maintained by the constant referral to climate change as the principle problem. So the market mechanisms that drive our industrial production, that in turn produces the waste that drives climate change, remains beyond the bounds of scrutiny.

Worse, they (market mechanisms)  become relied on as the only source of possible solutions.

So we are fobbed off with carbon trading schemes and carbon taxes, fantasies of carbon capture and geo-engineering,  how it’s all the fault of the promiscuous poor and finally regaled with the need to be discerning consumers. The advertising industry exists, afterall to demand products of industry and not as you might have previously believed, to create consumer demand for industries products. As such, the market will be preserved and as impacted by discerning consumer demands, will see us right.

Meaning that there can  be no sensible question of entertaining such anti-market initiatives as returning ownership of the planet’s resources to the commons. Which in turn means that there can be no sensible question of bringing production and consumption under democratic control. The only sensible questions are ones surrounding the preservation and perpetuation of financial profit.

I suspect many of us might be tempted to exonerate ourselves to a degree by passively, cynically or intellectually noting that  the fox is maintaining it’s position vis a vis the hen house, or that OJ is in charge of the crime scene or that the paedophile is running the crèche.

But far too damned few of us are being honest enough to acknowledge that as Nero fiddles we are applauding appreciatively.

72 comments on “As Nero Fiddles…”

  1. M 1

    Bill, first class post.

    I think things will be viewed through the economic lens until other factors like climate change, a lack of export markets either through the unaffodability of our produce or no means of getting it to markets because the end of cheap fossil fuel. I’m always amazed that dairy is so heavily promoted in Asian markets because it’s not something that the popluations of the area have traditionally eaten in great quantities and have read that lactose intolerance can be higher than 90%.

    The overproduction of consumer items along with all the other financial jiggery-pokery that triggered the Depression you would think would lead to more moderate production and consumption, but no, the post war ramping up of production and consumption was staggering and continued on unabated apart from periodic recessions aided and abetted by advertising.

    I was educated mostly by Irish nuns whose mantra was “live simply so that others may simply live” and have carried that message with me all my life. To utter that around someone like John Key would be tantamount to heresy and you would risk burning at the stake.

    Many seem to have an innate need to pursue as much travel as possible while ignoring the people who slave away for them at overseas resorts or they’re going to die if they don’t have the latest car, TV, phone or other must-have gimcrack conveniently forgetting that some poor slave in Asia is breathing in dangerous fumes manufacturing their “essential” consumer items.

    As a first-worlder I’m complicit in this slave trade because I do buy some of these goods but would much rather have people in my own country employed making them where hopefully worker protections enshrined in law are implemented.

    There are not many ways I can exercise my dissatisfaction at the staus quo as many things are now only made in China. My vote is only as useful as the political party I vote for is willing to promote jobs be kept in this country and informing the public that less can indeed be more if we’re to have any future on this planet.

    • Bill 1.1

      “There are not many ways I can exercise my dissatisfaction at the staus quo…”

      I’m hoping that a movement based on conscientious objection is just around the corner. Some of us are already digging our heels in and getting all due opprobrium poured on our heads. The same was true of conscientious objectors during the 1914-18 and 1939-45 world wars. Now it is ‘commonplace’, even in today’s professional armies, for soldiers to refuse war postings on grounds of conscience.

      Meanwhile, I’m aware of an employment case in Britain concerning dismissal that the applicant won on the basis that his refusal to fly for his job was because he genuinely held the view that scientific evidence determined that such activity had to cease. He won his case because the court held that his views on global warming; his sincere beliefs as backed by scientific evidence, should be treated no differently to mainstream religious belief. And since it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of religious belief, his employer was done with discrimination.

      The case didn’t receive any coverage here. None that I’m aware of anyway. Interestingly, NZ employment law also makes it unlawful to discriminate on religious grounds….

  2. Zorr 2

    –shrug–

    Working towards the eventual goal of being self-sustainable and living off the grid. It is a long haul (mostly because I am still young and without the built up equity that would allow me to immediately move forward) but it is a goal that I believe in. I don’t personally believe that I will be able to alter the discourse in NZ so I don’t intend in trying. I intend on focusing on saving me and mine and hopefully influencing those I come in to contact with.

    Sure, while Nero fiddles the world is burning. Time to do my best to get out of the city limits.

    • Bill 2.1

      But Zorr, when time lag that is built into climate collapse catches up with a future ‘present day’, whether your descendants are living in a rural or urban setting is going to be irrelevant. eg, crops don’t grow when there are no seasons.

      Meanwhile, you say you are seeking to build up equity in order to move towards self sustainability. But how do you build up equity without participating in the current economy? Your descendants are going to encounter problems that are directly attributable to the market economy of today, the same one that you intend to use in order to garner the resources (financial capital) to remove you and yours from, well…the problems that are being created by the market economy.

      It’s beyond irony.

      • Zorr 2.1.1

        So, let me get this straight. Your issue with my position is that I am saying I need resources that are going to be garnered from within the current system to break free from it? How is that remotely ridiculous? I am in the system currently, have total savings of somewhere between zero and nil (not much debt though at all which is my one saving grace) and looking to escape without putting my dependent family in hardship.

        The goal is set. The objectives along the way visualized. To immediately break free without anything behind me is an impossibility when considering my responsibilities as a breadwinner and caregiver. You may attack my position as ridiculous. I define it as pragmatic.

        The main point in your post I felt was that, to a large degree, the moderate greenies/lefties/scientists amongst us are “comfortable” with action against climate change being modeled on the current failing system and just, essentially, donating to the cause. I am working to do much more than just donate but yet you attack me as being “beyond irony”. Thanks for being so understanding…

        • freedom 2.1.1.1

          Zorr,
          don’t let the blinkers worn by so many cast shadows over your ambition.

          Groups of people sharing what little we have, is all there will be

          As with many selfless acts, the first response is ridicule and fear.
          Ridicule of the person and fear of the reality

        • Bill 2.1.1.2

          I wasn’t attacking you Zorr.

          But don’t you see the irony (perhaps even folly?) of relying on the root cause of a problem to provide a solution the problems it is creating?

          • Zorr 2.1.1.2.1

            To state it simply Bill because it appears you have some wires crossed here. Where in my stated goals is there a reliance on the modern market economy? I state that the road I am going to travel requires me to have some finances behind me in order to “buy in” to the solution that I believe in. Land, simple building materials, renewable energy sources (just to name a few) require funds in order to be able to invest in them. With aiming to be self sufficient I am looking to be moving so far away from the “global market economy” that I would be anathema to the Jonkeys of this world.

            However this talking point has come up previously when RWNJs try to state that one can simply opt out of capitalism. Short answer, you can’t. Long answer, you can but it takes significant effort and sacrifice.

            Just in case all the stuff I just said doesn’t answer you simply enough, here it is in list form.
            1) I am a wage-slave
            2) I don’t want to be a wage-slave all my life
            3) I don’t even want to be “working”
            4) I want to invest in the future that I believe in
            5) Most of this investment is in time and energy but there is still a financial component
            6) Hence the need for some money
            If you are willing to give me the money in order to help speed up my exit from the market economy, feel free. If you are just going to sit back and criticize me for the fact that I am desperately trying to pull myself out of the hole that society has dug for me with the only tools available, then you are just as much of a detriment to the advancement of an actual answer as any of the climate change denying RWNJs out there.

            • Bill 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Can you bear in mind that what follows is said in the full acknowledgement that the market economy dominates terms of trade and most aspects of current societies as well as having ‘all’ resources more or less tied up?

              In other words, I’m agreeing that it can’t just ‘be walked away’ from and will continue to have an influence on attempts to create alternatives.

              If I had a whole pile of cash, I’d already have loaned it at 0% interest to people utilising an Act such as The Industrial and Provident Societies Act ‘ (1908).

              Any loan made would have been contingent upon purchased land being under the common ownership of the people occupying it as well as all structures on the land being under common ownership.

              Income generation would have to be through communal efforts (ie no individual income per se, or where that happened, income sharing mechanisms developed) and be predicated on a form of a worker collective conducive with the Act. ie nominal and non-transferable shares held by participants that revert back to the collective should they disengage from the collective. There would have to be a commitment to skill sharing as well as income sharing.

              Philosophically or politically, the collective would have to be committed to developing structures that embody and promote substantive expressions of democracy.

              Acknowledging that people may change their minds and wish to leave the collective, any assets a person had prior to joining the collective would be ‘frozen’ or realised as cash which would then be ‘frozen’. That is, their assets would remain theirs but they could not normally be able to use or access them while they were members of the collective. (This is more to do with internal dynamics of inequity …think of kid’s birthdays and so on…or private car ownership, or a home owner seeking to rent out their home in Auckland or wherever while being a part of the collective etc.) The collective could request that they loan to the collective at zero or low interest rates.

              And if all that had happened, I’d be living there and would invite you along to see if the set-up was to your liking.

    • g says 2.2

      zorr, more power (scuse the pun) to your arm. i assume the equity you speak of is not limited to $.
      there is the social equity (survival is a local issue) building the networks that will be far more valuable than a stack o cash.
      the knowledge of how to do various things (medicine, building, growing food etc) stockpile them books. especially the know how that is pre colonial times (eg our brown brothers)

      also remember when the trucks stop coming to the supermarkets keep a seat at your table free for those who may need feeding

      in terms of power probably better to scale things back there as almost all of the technology is based on cheap oil.

      i too would rather live in a rural aspect when the faeces slowly starts to hit the fan.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Although I agree with what you’re doing I don’t agree with solely focussing on you and yours. We need to move the entirety of society and we can’t do that if you work alone and don’t don’t try to teach others why you’re doing what you’re doing.

      • Zorr 2.3.1

        “hopefully influencing those I come in to contact with”

        I hope to help those I come in to contact with and can influence in their decisions and hopefully share the lessons that I will learn in the journey. I just don’t intend to aim outside my monkeysphere is all because I ultimately believe that leading from the front is the best form of leadership.

        Just thought of this though because it is one thing I keep bringing up when in discussions with the naysayers and devils advocates in my life. Tomorrow is always a new day for new beginnings. I have chosen to start my journey here and now but it is impossible to state that doing X thing by Y date is the correct action. Who knows what the future will bring for me and maybe I will have a larger role to play – just not willing to overextend myself as just looking after my family is more than enough of a stress atm!

      • g says 2.3.2

        dtb, people need to know that it is possible to be self-sustainable and the best way for that to happen is to see and experience what others have done.
        when you and yours are o.k. then you are in a far stronger place to help others.

        how about councils and local authorities plant fruit trees and vegetable plants rather than the ornamentals with a view that the loacals can eat them?

        you all are welcome to help us build the next cob (clay, sand and straw) oven we make.
        we are in the manawatu area.

      • Bill 2.3.3

        I can’t see what it is that people see in self sufficiency.

        Self sufficiency is essentially anti-social. (And impossible!) Self sufficiency would require growing all of your own food (cereals, vegetables etc) as well as building your own shelter from materials you manufacture yourself from raw materials that you can access with tools you have manufactured from resources that you can access. It would mean supplying yourself with drinking water, irrigation water and sewerage systems. It would mean using only that technology that you could develop yourself. And so on and so on.

        That’s why we form societies. Societies ( ie any conglomeration of people sharing common purposes) are greater than the sum total of their constituent parts.

        And we all benefit from that.

        • g says 2.3.3.1

          as in so many things the theory is an ideal while the practical does make compromises within those ideals.
          i dont buy the idea that suffiency is anti social. i would argue that the current nuclear family is a far more isolated set-up.
          when you are raising your own shelter you need your neighbours. nature abounds with materials for building shelters (clay, straw, wood, wool) without getting into recycling materials (amish-ish without the religious overtones).
          again with food, sure you dont grow all of your food for your family, this is done along co-operative lines.
          appropriate tools have been made for centuries, no need to start manufacturing them yaself.
          water, check.
          compost ya 1s ands 2s.

          this is a way to build society that is inclusive and equitable, connected to the creation and doable.
          in the meantime i will have a read up on parecon

        • RedLogix 2.3.3.2

          Self sufficiency is essentially anti-social.

          I can see where you are coming from. An authentic, mature ‘self-sufficiency’ would never be anything like the atomistic, isolationist scenario you describe.

          But for the small minority who want to re-purpose their lives outside the capitalist paradigm, they necessarily find themselves more or less having to ‘go it alone’, or at best part of a fringe community of ‘beardie-weirdie, tree-huggers’. It’s only understandable that their priorities lay with achieving self-sufficiency for themselves … it was what lay within reach.

          But times are changing. Lot’s of folk understand that the wheels are falling off the existing system and are looking about for a Plan B for when their day jobs come to an end. Interest in gardening, organics, permaculture, beekeeping etc has risen dramatically within the last few years. While the Green movement was born in the hearts of dreamers and idealists, the baton is being gradually picked up by pragmatists who’ve realised that change is in their own best interests.

          The real goal is sustainability, at every level. Personal sustainability is only possible in the context of a locality that supports it. Equally no one nation alone can survive in a world faced with challenges, such as AGW and biodiversity loss, that can only be solved globally.

          And ultimately of course the entire planet has no choice but to be self-sufficient.

  3. A 3

    “Which in turn means that there can be no sensible question of bringing production and consumption under democratic control.”

    A truly horrible idea, since people would inevitably vote to maintain high levels of consumption. If you don’t believe that, then you must be living on another planet.

    I also don’t get why this should not be treated as an economic issue, assuming you mean economic in a sufficiently expansive sense. Insofar as economics includes determining the limitations of the market mechanism and responses to those limitations, it would seem to be relevant. If you want to rule out command economies or heavily regulated mixed economies, then there is no solution, because those are the only ones that we know how to do. The decentralised decisions of market actors don’t properly value the environment. We all know that. Democratic control of the environment would simply replace one market with another, because votes are a form of currency and elections are iterative markets where this currency is spent (on whichever policy brand the voter wishes).

    Of course, environmentalism would be much more effective if so many environmentalists didn’t spend a lot of the time indulging in countercultural fantasies of eco-anarchism (not that this is what is going on here, but it goes on all the time).

    • Bill 3.1

      A.

      Having experienced a workplace located within the wider context of a market economy that was under direct worker control, I can assure you that people do not ‘vote’ to work their arses off for the sake of enjoying ever higher consumption. Rather, people ‘vote’ for undertaking enough productive activity to live reasonably ( a subjective measure, for sure) and then use the enormous amount of time that is freed up to live a far higher quality of life…one not predicated on or solely focussed on consumption.

      You say “I also don’t get why this should not be treated as an economic issue, assuming you mean economic in a sufficiently expansive sense.”

      To reiterate the post “To be clear, generally disseminated prescriptions aren’t just economic, but are predicated on retaining market or command economies as the management mechanisms for production and distribution (consumption).”

      And that is that self same narrow economic focus (either market economy or command economy or a mix of the two) you then go on to claim as encompassing some expansive concept of economics. In the same way that there are a (how many?) ways to ‘skin a cat’, so it is with respect to the number of different economies that can be imagined and developed.

      My preference would be for a participatory economic model (parecon). I can provide the link to extensive literature on it if you’re interested. (Parecon is neither a market economy nor a command economy. Neither is it a mix of the two.) It is highly democratic, disavows private ownership of resources etc and treats production as a means to satisfy human and social needs and wants rather then profit or political power.

      • g says 3.1.1

        bill, is what you are describing similar to a resource based economy? i have read a little about that http://www.tzmnz.com and sounds a lot fairer and equitable than the current system.

        which ever happens next it needs to start from the people/community and grow up.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Wow. No, I don’t think so. The Zeitgeist Movements, on a quick first pass, smacks of vacuous spiritualism. ie it’s a ‘shopping list’ of alternative meanings for broad concepts such as psychology etc sprinkled throughout with fine sounding platitude and wishful thinking. There is no concrete analysis of our current economic or political situation and no serious attempt to map a trajectory of change that would lead us towards desirable end points.

          Parecon is much more pragmatic

      • A 3.1.2

        “I can assure you that people do not ‘vote’ to work their arses off for the sake of enjoying ever higher consumption.”

        And this is what makes me despair of the environmental movement. What you really mean is that people like you and me would not vote to do so, because we would be happy with a modestly prosperous living. Sadly, not everyone is like us. There are a great many people who have the pleonectic social dominator mentality of someone like Cactus Kate, and who just have to have more than other people. There are an awful lot of them, mostly not as obnoxious as the CK’s of this world, but similarly motivated. It’s not about consumption, but about status competition. Of course leftish people will be happy with egalitarianism, but the right wing social dominators will not be, and will do whatever they can (and they can be pretty evil when they do not get their own way) to reintroduce status competition (communism was authoritarian for a reason). What are you going to do about them?

        You say:

        “…treats production as a means to satisfy human and social needs and wants rather then profit or political power.”

        Profit and political power happen to human and social needs for a sector of the community. You can’t just wish these people and their wants out of existence.

        As for parecon, I’m somewhat familiar with the idea and it fairly reeks of bongwater. It faces the same problem I noted in my reply to Draco’s post. There seems no conceivable way of implementing it without requiring such authoritarian measures against dissenters as would destroy its integrity (I wouldn’t mind this, personally). Otherwise, people who wish to restore a system of social dominance and hierarchy will simply form coalitions aimed at subverting the system you propose.

        But this sort of democratic-anarchist solution ignores the fact that democratic decision making is simply another form of market, and so brings with it some of the failures of market based systems.

        So in summary, it will require massive authoritarian intervention and powers both to implement and sustain it, and a large section of the population will never accept it except at the barrel of a gun. Yet it proposes an anti-authoritarian society based on somewhat anarchist and egalitarian principles. It’s just a non-starter, given the materials you have to work with.

        There’s a much more practical way of solving the environmental crisis, which is to secure control of the centres of authority in our society, and use that power to impose the appropriate environmental controls on the economic behaviour of the population. This is consistent, practical and may actually work – three vices that automatically disqualify any measure in left wing circles.

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          If people really did choose to work harder and longer than others, then sure, reward them. But consider the difference in the factors determining reward as they pertain to participatory economies and a market economies.

          In a parecon remuneration is for effort and sacrifice expended in socially valued labours. Your income depends on how long you work, how hard you work, and on any hardships that are associated with your work. However, in a parecon jobs are balanced for empowerment and quality of life. Thus, save for minor variations, your job, my job, and everyone else’s job are similar regarding sacrifice. Our incomes therefore differ due to working longer or less long, or harder or less hard.

          In capitalism the first basis for remuneration is property ownership….The second basis for remuneration is power…How much your work produces often impacts your bargaining power, in turn impacting your income. But additional factors in this equation include your organizational power (such as unions or professional organizations), laws (minimum wage, property rights, etc.), social ascriptions (gender, race), your access to monopolies of information or skill or decision making access which in turn afford power, the relative power of the capitalist you are negotiating with, and so on.

          Can you see how what you term as ‘status competition’ is flattened in a parecon when compared to a market economy? There are no avenues to accrue power for the sake of ‘social domination’. I get what you are implying…that competition and inequity etc could be re-established at the point of a gun. But that applies as much to current social democracies located in a market economy as it would to a parpolity located in a parecon…maybe more so, since current orthodoxies underscore, encourage and reward the same mentalities and end goals that are a part and parcel of any armed coup (drives to achieve a position of power located in hierarchies; domination).

          You say that “democratic decision making is simply another form of market”. I disagree. Market decisions are predicated on power and competition. Democratic decision making (not our current social democratic system of competing to ‘represent’) is predicated on co-operation and arriving at decisions that are shaped by the input of all affected parties to a degree that the decision will impact upon them.

          Finally, the ‘materials we have to work with’ are ourselves. I’m not naive and have no doubt that were we to take over our workplaces and communities and begin to develop empowering participatory structures of governance that the state, in defence of the market, would bring all types of pressures to bear. Including, if required, armed oppression.

          So I guess where you see authoritarianism as being required to instigate systems of participation, I see the authoritarianism coming from reactionary quarters. Meanwhile, participatory workplaces and participatory communities already exist. Their presence is scattered and fragmentary…ie, they do not constitute a threat to the status quo.

          But their presence offers the possibility for their example being picked up and copied/developed by others. And as more examples of participatory workplaces come into being, so the profile of such organisational possibilities rises. And with an increasingly visible profile, more people will become aware of a functional alternative to their current situation…

          Parecon is not an economy that can ever become implemented in any imposing way (eg at the point of a gun) and remain in any way meaningful . An overarching parecon ( and an accompanying participatory polity) will only ever eventuate when enough workplaces have adopted or developed pareconish structures and are numerous enough that parecon achieves a position of ‘natural’ or evolutionary ascendency over the market economy. For some time to come, parecon workplaces are going to have to accommodate to a greater or lesser degree, the reality of a dominant market economy. The existing examples of workplaces using parecon principles already do this.

          • just saying 3.1.2.1.1

            Quote:”There are no avenues to accrue power for the sake of ‘social domination’.

            See that’s the kind of statement where parecon fails to convince me. In setting up such a system, I don’t believe there is a way the above can be achieved. I believe humans are well capable of overcoming such undesirable legacies of genetics +culture, we can (and often do) change ourselves by changing the ways we live, but in order to successfully set parecon up, we need people to have already “become” the changes it hopes to achieve.

            • Bill 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Just saying, if you think that such avenues exist in a parecon, then in fairness you need to point out where they are and how a person or people would or could utilise them to their advantage.

              • just saying

                Does a parecon exist?

                • just saying

                  What I’m getting at is, if there was a parecon, I believe I could spend less than 24 hours in it and tell you not just how people are “accruing power for the purposes of social domination”, but which people are actually doing so.
                  Inevitably so, for the reasons I’ve stated IMO.

                  • Bill

                    C’mon pal. Our existence is at stake. Not yours. Not mine. We die, but this: Our specific (species specific) expression of life. And you want to play games? Score points?

                    Read the parecon literature. Find the glitches and come back to me on it. Don’t make unsubstantiated assertions. They’re pointless.

                • Bill

                  A market economy, not a participatory economy, exists.

                  • just saying

                    “Play games, Score points?”

                    Not guilty Bill.

                    “…but in order to successfully set parecon up, we need people to have already “become” the changes it hopes to achieve.

                    How does parecon address this?

                    • Bill

                      ffs! Go look! There are parecon workplaces here there and everywhere! I was a part of one before the concept was even articulated…late 80’s early90’s.

                      But a parecon, as an overarching economic paradigm, will only come to fruition with mass participation. Meanwhile, isolated instances of workplaces running on participatory principles persist. Your “people to have already “become” the changes it hopes to achieve.” is already here and has existed for (as far as I know) 20 fucking years or more.

                      Why is that not common knowledge? Well, it’s not so difficult to go figure.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      A truly horrible idea, since people would inevitably vote to maintain high levels of consumption.

      That’s the problem with the free-market that we have ATM. People just aren’t informed that such high levels of consumption can’t be maintained and so continue to make irrational decisions.

      So, what we need to do is set up processes so that they know what the renewable resource base is and then let them vote as to how that is used but in such a way so that they can’t vote to use more than what’s available.

      If you want to rule out command economies or heavily regulated mixed economies, then there is no solution, because those are the only ones that we know how to do.

      Then we need to start thinking outside of the square.

      • A 3.2.1

        “So, what we need to do is set up processes so that they know what the renewable resource base is and then let them vote as to how that is used but in such a way so that they can’t vote to use more than what’s available.”

        In other words, “we” (who this “we” is, I cannot guess) need to set up the voting system so that people who have false beliefs about the environment cannot vote in favour of policies based on those false beliefs.

        This looks like it will mean a highly managed “democracy” in which voters have limited choices imposed on them by the authorities on the word of environmental scientists. People who attempt to set up political movements to challenge those limitations (and that is going to include a great many political conservatives and some others, even on the left) will have to be “persuaded” to back down, and if they will not, will have to be suppressed by force to maintain the environmental integrity of the system.

        It’s unlikely that enough people will be persuaded to accept the truth if they are presented with sufficient evidence. To assume that they will is to assume the Enlightenment view that sufficient education will turn everyone into a rational, scientifically minded citizen. Anyone who still believes that should be in an asylum, if they aren’t already.

        How would you propose that this system be established? People won’t vote for it until the world is actually frying in front of them, no matter what the experts say. Thus, it will have to be imposed by force (by whom, I do not know).

        I actually agree that this would work, provided it could be implemented, and provided that enemies of the system could be suitably discouraged from forming political movements to overthrow it. It will however, be highly authoritarian compared to our present system of government.

        To be honest, I think this will eventually happen, as political elites realize that there is no longer an alternative, and so simply agree to force the solution on the rest of us (in the same way that neoliberalism was forced on us). The problem is it will likely be too late.

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          What if we were empowered members of worker councils and consumer councils?

          As a member of a consumer council, I’d be formulating consumer demand. As a member of a worker council I’d be formulating industrial capacity. ( We’d all be members of worker and consumer councils)

          And if the consumer council demands exceed worker council industrial capacity, then the consumer council demands get modified to take that into account. And if the industrial capacity can satisfy the consumer demand, but the industrial capacity outstrips the possible supply of raw materials, then estimates of industrial capacity would have to be revised as well as consumer demands.

          Through to-ing and fro-ing of information between various worker councils and consumer councils related to inputs, desired inputs and outputs, a balance would eventuate that would inform the final possible extractive, productive and consumption levels.

          No authoritarianism necessary.

          Here’s a useful page of Q&A on participatory planning if you’re interested.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          We = Society. I thought that was fairly obvious.

          This looks like it will mean a highly managed “democracy” in which voters have limited choices imposed on them by the authorities on the word of environmental scientists.

          Limited choices imposed by the limited environment that we live in. Would you prefer the word of the scientists who have done the research (which can be challenged by further research) or the politicians who just think they know best (and who can also be bought by the corporations)?

          How would you propose that this system be established?

          Still working on it but here’s part 1. The important part is having people able to access the information.

          It will however, be highly authoritarian compared to our present system of government.

          No it won’t. It’ll be an informed democracy.

  4. just saying 4

    Hi Bill,

    Are you already a part of a collective of the kind you describe?
    What, other than not being a part of the problem, are you (plural?) doing exactly?
    I’ve been to znet, even found an unlikely uncle of mine to be a member, but couldn’t find groups working together, not in NZ anyway.

    Somehow this reads to me like a call to action and not just a call to stop doing….

    But what?
    Where?

    • Bill 4.1

      “Are you already a part of a collective of the kind you describe?”

      I was a part of such a collective during the late 80’s early 90’s. But not in NZ.

      “What, (…) are you (plural?) doing exactly?”

      Nothing to ‘write home about’.

      So what to do? Many possibilities, but it’s a numbers game. I can’t find any reasonable expressions of what I’d advocate anywhere in NZ. And believe me, I hunted! All examples I found that might have claimed to be exploring workable alternatives to living under the sway of the market were enmeshed in hippy nonsense or had degenerated to a point of being nothing more than intentional suburbs in the sticks or convenient cheap housing for clueless and ageing middle class ‘has beens’ from the late 60’s/early 70’s.

      Nowhere committed to income sharing and only one place held land and buildings in common ownership. I did come across instances where some form or other of worker collectives had existed. But they didn’t exist any more.

      Maybe a part of the problem is the difficulty of achieving a critical mass from a small population base. Like I say, it’s a numbers game.

      If I heard of a genuine workers collective with the structures I identified in place, I’d be there boots ‘n all. If I heard of a workers collective that encompassed the reality of a housing collective, you’d be pressed to keep me away. Such things can happen ‘anywhere’…my personal preference would be for somewhere rural but not isolated, ie within striking distance of one of the main centres of population.

  5. nzfp 5

    Bill,
    Good post. Some food for thought…

    Bill, Zorr, g
    I don’t agree with this comment

    … But when it comes to what can be done, possible prescriptions are limited by the singular use of an economic lens …

    Because the problem is entirely economic.

    The economic system we labour under requires continual over production and consequent consumption – growth – to pay the impossible debts. Excess production has created entire industries dedicated to creating “pull” to consume the products – such as to “encourage dairy consumption in China” – we call this marketing, advertising and selling.

    We accept that the vast majority of disposal consumption is unnecessary and wasteful and environmentally harmful, the “export orientated dairy industry” is a case in point.

    However what is not acknowledged are the reasons why, and consequently what can be done about it.

    Why is easy, Michael Rowbotham – author of “The grip of death : a study of modern money, debt slavery, and destructive economics” explains it best. The economic system forces companies and individuals to behave the way they do. The economic system defines the rules and the teams. Change the rules and you change the game.

    How we change it is much more difficult – but to start with it requires a change in the political system and an understanding that voting for political parties that do not promote a change in the economic system – i.e. the Greens (who don’t – see my comment about the greens on open mike 22 October 2010 at 1:10 pm for detail), Labour, National, Act – will achieve nothing.

    These parties and the rest like them need to be forced to change, or be changed for parties that will.

    We need real economic change such as those advocated by social credit and others:

    • Make the Reserve Bank the sole provider of new money.
    • Abolish GST and replace it with a Financial Transactions Tax which would mean the currency speculating “financial sharks” would pay their fair share of tax.
    • Make the Reserve Bank responsible for seeing that foreign debt is repaid, and overseas transactions are in balance.
    • Establish a social credit economy where people will be able to use the country’s resources without mortgaging their own or their children’s future.
    • Replace local body and D.H.B. debt with interest-free community credit.
    • Recover effective control of New Zealand’s economic affairs and establish greater political independence.
    • Ensure a property-owning democracy, in which the ownership of assets is spread as widely as possible amongst individuals.

    Until we get it, nothing will change.

    the problem is economic and the solution is economic.

    Captcha:lacked – the current National/Act/Maori Party government as well as the former Labour and National led governments lacked the balls to make the change.

    • Bill 5.1

      Way I see it, Social Credit is probably the best market capitalism possible. Far better than the Scandinavian models. But still wedded to, and therefore subvertable by, market dynamics.

      • Joachim's 5.1.1

        Compensate for this weakness by using a mix of highly free market areas for most products and general services, with highly regulated marketplaces @ public provision for special areas. Anything with a monopoly or critical utility type characteristic gets highly regulated or nationalised.

        If uneven market dynamics or profiteering were to still occur in say, the market for candles or landscape gardening, who cares. But it should never be allowed to happen in basic banking services, electricity or telecomms.

  6. Doug 6

    The CCX was the topic of thousands of MSM articles over the years, but not a single article reported their recent demise. Hmmm.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS83245215220101108?pageNumber=1

    Biofuel facing problems.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A62QN20101107?pageNumber=1

  7. jcuknz 7

    The past fifty or sixty years has seen such an explosion of population that I do not believe that we can hope to be self sustainable until we reduce world population to preWWII levels or less. We are in a contradictory situation that to progress we need population, but to survive we need fewer people.
    There are so many people living so close together that to return to self sufficiency is simply not possible with the limited productive area on earth and endangered, in hopefully the short term, by global warming etc. At least at a level that would be acceptable to those living in ‘the west’

    • Joachim's 7.1

      “We are in a contradictory situation that to progress we need population”

      Nope. That kind of ‘progress’ you define is what the capitalists see is needed to fuel their greed – year on year exponential growth in resource use and economic expansion. In fact that is not ‘progress’ at all, it is a road with a resource limited brick wall at the end of it.

      The only sustainable way ahead is significant reductions in energy and material consumption, combined with a more equal sharing of financial capital amongst people, within the boundaries of a relatively static state economy.

    • nzfp 7.2

      I do not believe that we can hope to be self sustainable until we reduce world population to preWWII levels or less

      Rubbish… You sound like the failed political economist and British toff nosed Elite – Malthus. However, since you suggested it – who do you think we should start the population reduction with? You? Your family? Your neighbours children?

      It’s not a population problem – its an economic problem.

      preWWII levels

      Any scientific reasoning for this figure – or did you hear some elite Malthusian pull it out of their backside? Seriously! This sort of talk gets continents of human beings holocausted – just ask the Bangladeshi's, Native Americans, Ukranians, Tasmanian Aborigines, Maori, etc… etc…

      Captcha:harms – Malthusian thinking harms children.

      • KJT 7.2.1

        If you want to reduce population there is an easy answer. The higher a women’s standard of living and status the less children she has.
        Increase equality and women’s rights and there will be less children

      • Zorr 7.2.2

        The stupid it burns…

        To turn it back on you though because it is more than just an economic problem and it cannot be solved by such a simplistic viewpoint. Who are you to tell people that because the West, in our greatness, have used up the majority of the planets resources and now everyone needs to be rationed?

        At the end of the day there is only so much population that is able to be sustained within any ecological system. We have, so far, been sustaining life far beyond its limits in our one as we have been using oil as a source of cheap energy to sustain ourselves in too many ways to count – pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, transport, plastics… To be clear here, we are reaching peak oil when that energy will no be cheap. What happens then? Do you have an economic solution that doesn’t involve the world tightening it’s belt a few notches and waiting to see what happens in the best scenario?

        “Tightening my belt one loop so that I don’t feel hunger pains, and your sister and mother will have to do likewise”

        • nzfp 7.2.2.1

          Stupid my ass – ad hominem bullshit! Or by stupid, maybe you meant this …
          “Flashback: UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents Scientist Finds” Thu, 11 Mar 2004 20:01 CST

          A UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigeria’s youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.

          Using WHO-recommended technologies like Gas Chromatography (GC) and Radio-Immuno assay, Dr. Kaita, upon analysis, found evidence of serious contamination. “Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are harmful, toxic; some have direct effects on the human reproductive system,” he said in an interview with Kaduna’s Weekly Trust. “I and some other professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not believe the discovery,” he said

          … (more)

          … Like I said, that sort of talk gets continents holocausted! But seriously, start with yourselves before wishing “population reduction” on anybody else.

          As for an economic solution that doesn’t involve tightening the belt – absolutely and I linked to it in my original post – you may care to follow it and read it. Along with the book I mentioned that details the behaviour of our corporations in our current economic system.

          Like I said, the excessive growth – production and consumption – is a factor of our debt based economy. Change the economy and you fundamentally change society. However until you change the economic system – absolutely nothing you propose will work – consequently you are pissing into the wind.

          Like I said originally – find out which politicians and political parties are endorsing / promoting economic change and support them. If none of them are in your area – get off your ass and do it yourself!

          By the way – sex is more fun then dying.

          Captcha:responsibility – says it all really.

          • Zorr 7.2.2.1.1

            Simple question there nzfp – that link and that quote don’t match. Would love to see the actual article that the quote comes from so I can put it in to context.

            • nzfp 7.2.2.1.1.1

              My apologies Zorr and others…
              I had two links open at the same time and I copied the wrong one. I knew about this scandal and googled it and found a couple of links – in this case I linked the page to the wrong headline. You can google the title itself – but the link is below.

              I sourced it from sott.net which is down at the time of writing this. However you can find it on many sites (google search results).

              While you are looking at that you may be interested in reading Nobel Peace Prize winner – Henry Kissinger’s 1974 document (reported on Tehran Times in 2008) “National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests” which concluded that:

              … the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 “key countries” in which the United States had a “special political and strategic interest”: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

              For example, Nigeria: “Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria’s population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa.” Or Brazil: “Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically.” The study warned of a “growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the world scene over the next 25 years.

              Nigeria, polio vaccines … Bangladesh, holocausts …

              • Joachim's

                In the meantime the Americans conducted a financial firestorm on their own populace. Forget the failure of subprime mortgage securities, prime mortgage defaults are where the damage is going to come from next.

          • NickS 7.2.2.1.2

            Unfortunately for you, the contamination is just as dodgy as claims of vaccines causing autism, on top of sott.net setting off crank heuristics trained off years of dealing with cranks of all types and political views. Only it’s going to take me time I don’t have and recovering 4hrs of sleep debt before I’m going to delve into the data mines. Suffice to say though, the same contamination was not reported in any other lab, and the fertility impacts of estrogen are short term, i.e. unless a child has long term exposure, any effects will be short term, even in childhood, irrespective of dosage. As generally all steroid hormones break down in weeks.

            Also, I can’t find anything on what other contaminates Kaita supposedly found, which makes me somewhat sceptical about the results he’s claimed. Then there’s the metion of Beta-HCG containing vaccines, which are still in the works due to a lack of actual clinical success in terms of actually limiting fertility and avoiding immunological response to other proteins in the same family. Making any claims of it being an anti-fertility agent when included in vaccines firmly on the “did not do the fucking research side”.

            And given your previous bullshit over climate change, I’m understandably sceptical about anything you make claims about.

            Meh, need shower, sleep and more sleep.

            • nzfp 7.2.2.1.2.1

              Meh…

              Your comment is ad hominem and nothing else and can be disregarded. Here is another wee gem for people who believe in population reduction – or in your case deny that it exists…
              “Health officials in Israel are subjecting many female Ethiopian immigrants to a controversial long-term birth control drug in what Israeli womens groups allege is a racist policy to reduce the number of black babies.”

              Captcha:fix – fix those blacks and other useless eaters so they stop consuming precious resources, oh hang on – my skin might be described as black by some people – maybe you Nick.

              As for climate change – don’t change the subject Nick – you advocate Human Caused Global Warming fool – anthropogenic global warming, not climate change. Big difference – you misframe the debate – which in itself is also a fallacy – which is a lie – meaning you use lies to construct your debate making you irrelevant.

            • nzfp 7.2.2.1.2.2

              Unfortunately for you, the contamination is just as dodgy as claims of vaccines causing autism

              “Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court – Now What?” February 25, 2008 12:42 PM

              Do you know how to use a search engine Nick?

              After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

              The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff’s identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

              The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal “Vaccine Court,” was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the “defendant” in all Vaccine Court cases.

              […]

              The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

              Days later, the girl began spiraling downward into a cascade of illnesses and setbacks that, within months, presented as symptoms of autism, including: No response to verbal direction; loss of language skills; no eye contact; loss of “relatedness;” insomnia; incessant screaming; arching; and “watching the florescent lights repeatedly during examination.”

              […]

              In its written concession, the government said the child had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was “aggravated” by her shots, and which ultimately resulted in an ASD diagnosis.

              “The vaccinations received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder,” the concession says, “which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of ASD.”

              […]

              Mitochondrial disorders are now thought to be the most common disease associated with ASD. Some journal articles and other analyses have estimated that 10% to 20% of all autism cases may involve mitochondrial disorders, which would make them one thousand times more common among people with ASD than the general population.

              The doctors know more then you Nick S, does that mean everything else you’ve ever said on these forums is bullshit too – that’s what you just said to me.

              Seriously!

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3

        Any scientific reasoning for this figure

        Quite a lot actually. The original Limits to Growth and it’s updates have addressed it and so have numerous others. It seems that the maximum population while maintaining a high standard of living is between 1 and 2 billion people. Quite a bit less than the present 7 billion.

        • nzfp 7.2.3.1

          I hate quoting Wikipedia:

          The book echoes some of the concerns and predictions of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)

          In 2010, Professors Peet, Nørgård, and Ragnarsdóttir called the book a “pioneering report”, but said that, “unfortunately the report has been largely dismissed by critics as a doomsday prophecy that has not held up to scrutiny.”

          Come on Draco – you know as well as I do that Malthus was an elite who’s economic theories have been proven completely wrong – considering we have 7 Billion people which is a bit more then 500 million slaves to an elite class of toff nosed British aristocracy.

          If the club of rome want to promote population reduction – lets start with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan, Lloyds, Barclays, etc… and all their employees.

          You also know as well as I, that a change in the economic system allows our Government as well as others around the world to create the capital needed to research new energy systems.

          What the others responding to my post don’t understand is that a non debt based society will promote sustainable and local economies – drastically reducing the requirement for oil – hence pushing out the effects of peak everything until
          far into the future – giving our government – with unlimited research capital – to research solutions to the problems life presents us.

          However, I agree with KJT above – we can achieve a stable population and/or population reduction via a voluntarily low birthrate, by simply raising the level of the quality of life for everybody.

          How do we do this – simple, we change the economic system!

          • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3.1.1

            http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5330

            According to Hall and Day, “The values predicted by the limits-to-growth model and actual data for 2008 are very close.”

            If you don’t like using Wikipedia then don’t.

            considering we have 7 Billion people

            Yes, we presently have 7 billion people supported by one resource which has just hit peak.

            You also know as well as I, that a change in the economic system allows our Government as well as others around the world to create the capital needed to research new energy systems.

            Incorrect. What printing of interest free money by the government allows is the distribution of the real resources to support such research. No amount of printing money though can actually create the resources needed for an infinite expansion of humanity. And it’s not just energy that’s the issue but also land and water availability, the ability of the ecology to maintain a living environment and other resources needed to maintain a society with a high standard of living. All of these are limited and we need to live within those limits and there is nothing, quite literally nothing, we can do to change those limits.

            However, I agree with KJT above – we can achieve a stable population and/or population reduction via a voluntarily low birthrate, by simply raising the level of the quality of life for everybody.

            That is the best way to achieve it but we should have started doing so about 60 years ago. We didn’t though, we went for the exponential growth/beggar thy neighbour model that’s put us on a path of ecological collapse and mass death.

            • Joachim's 7.2.3.1.1.1

              “he exponential growth/beggar thy neighbour model that’s put us on a path of ecological collapse and mass death.”

              You are a bundle of laughs, aren’t you? You make an important point though: money is NOT a natural resource (in fact it has become far too disconnected from natural resources) and people should stop treating it as if it is.

            • nzfp 7.2.3.1.1.2

              Hey Draco

              No amount of printing money though can actually create the resources needed for an infinite expansion of humanity

              Which is not what I’m talking about – as I’m sure you can tell from every other comment I’ve ever made here. The point I’m making is that without economic democracy we are unable to redistribute any resources towards researching the solutions to the current problems. Without economic and political freedom we will get nowhere at all.

              We need to frame the debate in a manner that allows us to devise a strategy to solve the problems – merely whining about the planet being over-run by too many useless eaters is pointless. Hence my assertion that the problem is economic. Once we have full economic democracy we can assign the resources we need where they are needed. Not only that, the change in our economic system will immediately lower our reliance on precious resources giving us more time to solve the problem.

              we should have started doing so about 60 years ago

              And so we should have – tough – we should have stopped WW1 and WW2 too, we should have done many things 60 years ago but we weren’t here to do that. We are here now, we need to change the system now.

              there is nothing, quite literally nothing, we can do to change those limits

              And I’m not attempting to change those. What I am proposing is a shift in thinking, changing the economic system changes the way we consume the resources we have. It changes the way we live and interact with our environment. A fair economic system makes it advantageous and economically viable to live in a sustainable manner – individually as well as nationally and ultimately globally.

              The point I keep making is that we will achieve nothing without changing the economic system first – everything else is pissing in the wind. Consequently unless a political party or politician is promoting or advocating the necessary changes they are part of the problem. The Green party have no such economic policies – consequently they are part of the problem – as are Labour, National, Act and many other parties. It is up to us individually and collectively to drive the necessary change in these parties and politicians to make the economic situation the paramount topic of debate.

              We can continue to cry on about oil shocks while the Hegelian dialectic controlled debate gives us the thesis (human caused global warming / peak oil etc…), the antithesis (CO2 trading, drastic population reduction, austerity) and the synthesis (saviour of mankind and mother Earth GAIA), with all sides controlled by the same Big Money, Big Energy, Corporate Media interest distracting us from the real debate (economics) and the real solution (synthesis – economic democracy) … or … we can get on with the solution – which I assert starts with economic democracy.

              Draco have you read Rowbothams book “The grip of death : a study of modern money, debt slavery, and destructive economics” ? If you can find it I would be interested in your opinion.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The point I keep making is that we will achieve nothing without changing the economic system first – everything else is pissing in the wind.

                I agree, we really do need to change our socio-economic system but knowing what to change it to also requires knowing the limits that it needs to fit within.

                And I’m not attempting to change those.

                And yet you denied those limits “Any scientific reasoning for this figure”.
                Research has been done and the carrying capacity of Earth is between 1 and 2 billion humans. More research needs to be done to narrow it down from that.

                It doesn’t have to be like this …

                It didn’t have to be like that 60 years ago when the population was still below 2 billion and the extinction rate wasn’t a thousand times higher than normal. Now? yeah, we’re fucked.

                Draco have you read Rowbothams book…

                I’ve put it on my to do list – I’ll get round to it at some point.

                • Joachim's

                  “I agree, we really do need to change our socio-economic system but knowing what to change it to also requires knowing the limits that it needs to fit within.”

                  You won’t be able to accurately plan the end state even 10 years in advance. You just need to start making significant changes in approximately the right direction and take it from there.

                  Anything which lowers resource and energy consumption, evens out the distribution of financial capital and increases community resilience can be considered in “the right direction”.

                  • Bill

                    Go here for potential inspiration, joachim’s.

                    • Joachim's

                      Thank you Bill.

                    • Bill

                      Your welcome. The video presentation at the top of the middle column is worth the viewing for an overview/intro.

                    • just saying

                      Replying down here cos there’s no reply button up there yet.

                      quote: “I was a part of one before the concept was even articulated”

                      So was I Bill, as I’ve said before. It didn’t last because of power struggles. How long have the co-ops you speak of been going? In my experience they have a kind of built-in obsolescence because hierarchical thinking/acting (with socialisation on top of an evolutionary tendency) can’t be structurally precluded. Even with external rewards for such behaviour structurally minimised, the way we are as a species now, it’s an end in itself.

                      quote; “You just need to start making significant changes in approximately the right direction and take it from there.”

                      Imo that’s what we need to be doing. In our own communities, right here, right now. Taking those necessary intermediate steps (and inevitable missteps), Parecon needs to evolve from somewhere. It’s not going to successfully emerge fully formed anywhere without them.

                    • Bill

                      Hierarchy can be structurally precluded. It’s not so difficult to do. The collective I alluded to continues to this day (under different auspices to those which I experienced), and was formed in the early to mid 70’s.

                      Common ownership of land and structures plus a commitment to income sharing and skill sharing precluded any devolution to a state of hierarchies and those tenets basically eradicated the potential the formation of power bases.

                      That’s not to say there won’t be power based social conflict predicated on personalities. And the minimisation of that depends on ‘institutional memory’, ie people conversant with conflict resolution strategies (which are developed over time and through experience) bringing their experience to bear on any emerging personality based conflict.

                      Your lead on from your second quote(which wasn’t mine)…I agree. And for the parecon angle, I have never said it is anything other than a process of evolutionary growth that will (hopefully) someday supplant the current market economy.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You won’t be able to accurately plan the end state even 10 years in advance.

                    I don’t expect to but knowing that we need to exist within resource limits helps to show the path and we already know that resource limits are over-stretched with human population above 2 billion.

                    • KJT

                      It depends how consumerist a society is. The estimates I have seen from credible researchers are in the order of 2.5 earths to live like Northern Europeans. 7 Earths to live like North Americans.
                      If you consider income distribution in Northern Europe. 1 Earth may well be close to being able to support 7 Billion at median Northern European standards given a major increase in sustainable energy sources.
                      If global warming reaches runaway forcing though, earth may support no humans.

                • nzfp

                  Now? yeah, we’re fucked.

                  Bro – we are not fucked – the Dinosaurs that died in the mass extinctions – they were fucked – but we ‘re not in the same boat as them – ironic really because we are spinning around the same sun, on the same planet, in the same corner of the same galaxy in the same universe as they were.

                  So lets start solving the problem. I’ve already written the Maori party, Social Credit, Labour and the Greens. It would be good to see some letters to the editor popping up in the major corporate News Papers covering the economic issues – especially considering the state of the G20.

                  we could get some real play in the papers and bring the meme of economic change to our fellow citizens.

                  I look forward to reading your letters (whether I know it’s you or not) in the papers.

                  Anyone else care to join in? Any other ideas – I’m open to some ideas.

                • nzfp

                  Need some inspiration to promote economic and political change? How about some good fine New Zealand music:

                  Shapeshifter – Bring Change (Official Music Video, Youtube)

                  A great fan video of the song – highlighting everything we need to change, right here…

                  Shapeshifter- Bring Change (fan video, Youtube)

            • nzfp 7.2.3.1.1.3

              ecological collapse and mass death

              It doesn’t have to be like this …

  8. Jeremy Harris 8

    We must defeat ManBearPig…

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    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 days ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    6 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    9 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
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