- Date published:
11:17 am, September 3rd, 2015 - 70 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, im/migration, john key, Syria - Tags: danyl mclauchlan, market forces, refugee crisis, rosemary macleod
Rosemary McLeod has an excellent piece in stuff this morning. Partly it laments the travesty of the flag process, but it transitions into a general take on market forces:
We are sold market forces, and their friend branding, as rational things and therefore good. And with them comes that awesome thing, the printed business mission statement. You see it everywhere, stuck to the office wall while staff beneath it yawn and pick their noses.
Well, market forces made little kids chimney sweeps in the 19th century, because they’d work 15-hour days for next to nothing, and if they dropped dead it didn’t matter. Market forces had women crawling through mines half-naked to drag out the coal, and yet more tots employed to open and shut trap doors for the loaded coal carts.
Women were cheap labour. Even hookers earned peanuts, because there were so many desperate competitors. Starvation is a great motivator, as well as a great market force I dare say.
I’m on a roll now. Market forces had yet more small children crawling under giant looms in factories, untangling threads and gathering the falling lint while the machines whirred above them and they breathed in the dust that would eventually kill them. Kids were disposable. When they died there were lots of new ones.
Market forces had industrial cities swathed in toxic fog, and poisoned waterways with aniline dyes. They sent the poor from villages and countryside into cities to sell their labour, and die just as poor as they ever were. And this was all a fine thing, because it made a few people incredibly rich. That was a good idea, I can’t remember why. And then trade unions were invented. Briefly.
A pretty fair summary. In a searing piece at Dimpost today, Danyl Mclauchlan takes the refugee disaster and market forces straight to Key:
Key’s mother was a refugee from the Nazis though, and you’d think that if any politician could see the virtue of giving these families a new chance on the other side of the world and to sell that to the public it’d be him. But Key didn’t get to where he is today by empathising with and helping helpless people, even though he’s ultimately only here because someone else did that for his family. His instincts are to help those who can help him and then extract maximal benefits from the exchange. And this mentality works for him personally, obviously, but it points to the nihilism in the dark heart of the transactional politics Key is such a master of: impoverished refugees have nothing to offer him, so they get nothing.
Is this our New Zealand?
Which of these four flag designs do you feel best represent our refusal to help refugees?
— Su Yin Khoo (@ksuyin) September 2, 2015
The Two John Keys on refugees: pic.twitter.com/TFlVEUqL68
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) September 2, 2015