Maybe Karl Marx was right after all

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, October 22nd, 2016 - 43 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags: , , , ,

It has been many decades since I have read anything about Karl Marx but a recent Guardian article made me think about his writing again. The article by John Harris was about the failure of British political leadership and suggested, perhaps unfairly in the case of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, that both major parties had lost their way and were not even thinking of the inevitable societal change being caused by new technologies.

The article starts off reviewing a conversation between Barack Obama and Joi Ito who is the director of the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology’s Media Lab. The article then sets out how Obama thinks a universal basic income may become a necessity:

Obama’s contributions are all about an acute, worldly kind of cleverness being tentatively applied to things he probably regrets not having enough time to think about. And when he turns his attention to the mess of stuff usually subsumed under the increasingly cliched heading of “automation”, he gets interesting. “As AI gets further incorporated, and the society potentially gets wealthier, the link between production and distribution, how much you work and how much you make, gets further and further attenuated – the computers are doing a lot of the work,” says Obama. “As a consequence, we have to make some tougher decisions.” One is whether it is time to consider a universal basic income, “a debate that we’ll be having over the next 10 or 20 years”.

Harris then sets out demographic change that may mean that the UK society is less able to achieve radical change which may be required.  He also hints at reasons why social media may not be heralding in a new participatory democracy despite our wishes to the contrary.

The electorate is growing older, and politics is clearly being reoriented accordingly. And in any case, Britain – or, rather, England – has long had an ingrained conservatism, there in everything from our eternal fondness for the idea of some lost Arcadian age, to the clarion call of the great English radical William Cobbett, which suits the time of Brexit as well as it fitted the late 18th and early 19th centuries: “We want great alteration, but we want nothing new.” But something more insidious is also going on. Increasingly, the orthodoxies of government and politics are so marginal to the way advanced economies work that if politicians fail to keep up, they simply get pushed aside. Obviously, the corporations concerned are global. The amazing interactions many of them facilitate between people are now direct – with no role for any intermediate organisations, whether they be traditional retailers or the regulatory state.

The result is a kind of anarchy, overseen by unaccountable monarchs: we engage with each other via eBay, Facebook and the rest, while the turbo-philanthropy of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates superficially fills the moral vacuum that would once have pointed to oversight and regulation by the state.

He then sets out starkly the level of change that is occurring and why urgent radical decisions are needed now.

I wonder whether May, Corbyn and others – including, it has to be said, most of the media – grasp that the realities of what Obama talks about are already here. When it comes to automation, do they understand the incredible symbolism of the new Rolls-Royce factory near Rotherham, which covers 150,000 square feet and produces some parts for jet engines in a quarter of the time the processes used to take, but needs a mere 150 people on site?

Do they get the bracing view of the future contained in the same company’s claim about a plant in Tyne and Wear, where the machines run for “between 12 and 45 hours without any [human] intervention, compared to every half-hour before”?

With every turn of those machines and each bleep of a self-service checkout, we get nearer the future in which the Bank of England’s chief economist has said that technology might take 15 million jobs. If that sounds too abstract, try the projections of the Israeli sage Yuval Noah Harari: “Billions of people are likely to have no military or economic function. Providing food and shelter should be possible but how to give meaning to their lives will be the huge political question.”

The article feeds neatly into Labour’s future of work project and shows why the work is so important.

So what did Karl Marx think about technology?  He was not against technology per se, he foresaw a future where everyone would own the means of production and share in the wealth generated so any machine that lessened the need for work was a good thing.  But concentrating the advantages of technology in the hands of the few he thought was retrograde and a continuation of the problem that pure capitalism poses.

From a paper by Mokyr, Vickers, and Ziebarth:

Karl Marx, from a rather different perspective, also argued that technological unemployment was a serious problem in the short run, in the broader context of the immiseration of workers under a capitalist system. But for Marx as well, technological improvement was part of a social and political process that would lead eventually to widespread prosperity. (Of course, the Marxist vision of progress also eventually required a wholesale over- throw of the existing capitalist economic system.)

Before anyone writes me off as a card carrying member of the Communist Party can they say how providing universal basic income is so different to the state owning a larger part of the economy.  It is possible that we can achieve one by increasing taxation but multinational corporations have proved themselves to be very adept at avoiding paying their fair share.

Maybe Marx was right after all.

43 comments on “Maybe Karl Marx was right after all”

  1. Siobhan 1

    The Americans can’t even manage Universal Health Coverage, and Obama has done next to nothing to reign in the Financial Markets and the Tax ‘minimising’ Corporations. In fact he has reneged on a number of his core promises for the benefit of Corporations, the GMO bill, anti whistle blower legislation etc etc.

    So if they can’t get those issues sorted there is no chance of a UBI.

    Unless of course it serves the purposes of our politicians real masters. In which case we need to figure out what they are really up to, because, let’s face it, they are not our friends.

  2. Gristle 2

    By having billions of people with “no military or economic function,” does that make them expendable?

    By the way doesn’t the phrase “military or economic function” strike you as odd?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    If that sounds too abstract, try the projections of the Israeli sage Yuval Noah Harari: “Billions of people are likely to have no military or economic function. Providing food and shelter should be possible but how to give meaning to their lives will be the huge political question.”

    Isn’t amazing just how limited some people’s view of life is? You’re either in the military or have a job else your life is worthless.

    The job of the government is to ensure that everyone that lives in a nation has all that they need to live at a reasonable standard of living that is also sustainable. It is not to give those people’s lives meaning.

    Unfortunately, the government has come to the conclusion that their job is to make a few people rich and to ignore everyone else.

    (Of course, the Marxist vision of progress also eventually required a wholesale over- throw of the existing capitalist economic system.)

    They say as if that’s a bad thing but history shows us that capitalism simply doesn’t work and always results in the collapse of the society that becomes capitalist.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    the politics that dare not speak its name eh Micky…

    Marx and subsequent practitioners of dialectical and historical materialism could not foresee the particulars of say finance capitalists using virtually instantaneous digital transfers across the globe

    but they did get right the basic class analysis of how minority capitalist ownership of the means of production leads to global monopolies maintained by the 1%ers (in modern parlance) by armed force and institutions enforcing the capitalist model-media, schools, banks, the bourgeois parliament etc.

  5. Peter 5

    I am sorry to say this but I believe in the future 5 billion people will have to go.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      and you will be leading by example?

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Doesn’t have to happen. We just need to learn to share and look after the planet.

      • jcuknz 5.2.1

        and engage with birth control instead of irresponsible procreation.
        and stupid games like Maori having lots of kids to preserve their % in the population as one Green leader is reputed to advocate.

      • AmaKiwi 5.2.2

        “We just need to learn to share and look after the planet.”

        By virtue of disability (and to some degree age), I am effectively “retired.”

        I have never been busier. It is unpaid, but it is important work for my family, my community, and the environment.

        The UBI does NOTHING to rebuild communities. I recently stayed in one of our hundreds economically abandoned provincial towns. It does NOT need bigger welfare checks (UBI). It needs a focus and purpose so small businesses can return to Main St.

        • AmaKiwi 5.2.2.1

          P.S. The epidemic of emotional depression, youth suicide, and drug dependency is about the breakdown of social relationships. UBI will do nothing to solve that. But destroying neo-liberalism will.

        • jcuknz 5.2.2.2

          UBI is NOT a welfare cheque but rather a compensation for the work place being largely deestroyed because of automation and over population.
          If everybody is to receive the benefits of western development then there have to be fewer around for the sharing.
          As I mentioned at one group I associate with ‘Trouble these days is everybody knows their rights but not their responsibilities”
          Sadly we cannot have a responsible society without a similar population.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.2.1

            UBI is NOT a welfare cheque but rather a compensation for the work place being largely deestroyed because of automation and over population.

            You’re correct in that a UBI isn’t a welfare check but it’s not compensation for work being destroyed by automation either.

            It is recognition that the economy is there to provide a reasonable living standard for everyone.

            • Rae 5.2.2.2.1.1

              A UBI done right is all citizens being shareholders in the technology/machinery that is doing the work.
              What will germinate from a UBI will be small boutique businesses that no machine can replace and creativity.
              BRING IT ON!

  6. greg 6

    there will be civil unrest and civil wars no society can function or survive that future what is work has to be redefined the current economic monetary system will need to be redesigned . when there millions of young people with no future you get gangs, isis Syria i honestly hope we don’t head down that path .the rich better learn to share or the pitch forks will come out.

  7. Conal 7

    Marx wrote some very interesting (and literally prescient) stuff about the evolution of industrial automation and what it would mean for capitalism and for wage-workers. There were some notebooks of Marx’s which contained rough notes which he never intended for publication but which were eventually published in the 20th C under the title “Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy”, AKA “Grundrisse”. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/

    The part that’s particularly relevant to this topic is a part sometimes called “The Fragment on Machines”. http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf

    It discusses how relatively independent workers using tools (the “means of labour”) are gradually replaced by workers whose role is reduced to supervising automated systems of machinery.

    But, once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the machine, or rather, an automatic system of machinery (system of machinery: the automatic one is merely its most complete, most adequate form, and alone transforms machinery into a system), set in motion by an automaton, a moving power that moves itself; this automaton consisting of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages

    This means the contribution of labourers in production is massively reduced while the contribution of machines grows; that production levels reflect more and more the general level of science and technology in society, and depend less and less on the efforts of labourers, and that this reduction in the need for labour would be a necessary condition for workers to win their freedom from wage-slavery:

    Through this process, the amount of labour necessary for the production of a given object is indeed reduced to a minimum, but only in order to realize a maximum of labour in the maximum number of such objects. The first aspect is important, because capital here — quite unintentionally — reduces human labour, expenditure of energy, to a minimum. This will redound to the benefit of emancipated labour, and is the condition of its emancipation.

    Maybe not even Obama would disagree with that. But I think where Marx went further was in arguing that the replacement of “direct labour” with automation would necessarily undermine the commercial relationship of wage-slavery that exists between bosses and workers, and that this would break capitalism as a system.

    As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure, and hence exchange value [must cease to be the measure] of use value. The surplus labour of the mass has ceased to be the condition for the development of general wealth, just as the non-labour of the few, for the development of the general powers of the human head. With that, production based on exchange value breaks down, and the direct, material production process is stripped of the form of penury and antithesis. The free development of individualities, and hence not the reduction of necessary labour time so as to posit surplus labour, but rather the general reduction of the necessary labour of society to a minimum, which then corresponds to the artistic, scientific etc. development of the individuals in the time set free, and with the means created, for all of them.

    • Incognito 7.1

      It is obvious that production is the source of wealth.

      How did Marx envision paying for production & consumption once labour ceased to exist as the source of wealth (income)? How are we supposed to support our artistic and scientific endeavours? How are we supposed to disseminate & share these endeavours and ‘products’ thereof without proper infrastructure and who’s to pay for it?

      • weka 7.1.1

        “It is obvious that production is the source of wealth.”

        What is meant by wealth there? Because it’s not obvious to me that production is the source of wealth.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          I don’t know what Marx meant by “wealth” but I second-guess that it is anything surplus to individual and social-collective need. Or perhaps it is held in reserve to be used for public (and/or individual?) good if/when the situation requires it.

          I also suppose that Marx also envisioned that society would own the production rather than a few wealthy capitalists that hold all power.

          I get the impression that Marx was thinking of AI but I am not familiar with his works or his thinking.

      • Conal Tuohy 7.1.2

        By ‘proper infrastructure’ (for distribution) I take it you’re referring to markets? But Marx’s point would be that the labour market (whose role is to compensate workers for hours worked) would no longer be ‘proper’ when the wealth produced is not in fact dependent on those hours worked, but on a socially shared infrastructure of scientific and technological knowledge.

        In the last quote above, where ‘exchange value’ must cease to be the measure of ‘use value’, you can essentially read ‘exchange value’ to mean ‘money’ or ‘price’, and ‘use value’ as ‘wealth’ (it means the practical value that goods and services have to their consumers).

        Obviously there needs to be accounting, but his insight there (remember this was written a century and a half ago) is that the wages system would cease to reflect what was really going on in production.

        A UBI is one gradual step towards the abolition of the wages system; even though it’s a step that can be achieved within a capitalist economy.

        • Incognito 7.1.2.1

          Thank you for your reply; it is much appreciated.

          No, I was not referring to “markets” but to the physical reality of getting things (and people) moved from one to another point; not everything can be transported via fibre. (NB I consider myself relatively naive & ignorant when it comes to political, economic, and social theories & practices)

          I like to think some more about exchange vs. use vs. practical value; somewhere there also has to be creative or aesthetic value, which is (entirely?) subjective. Similarly, something that is rare and ‘valued’ by many, by definition, has a higher value. These kinds of discussions will have to go beyond mere practical need (for survival & existence).

          FWIIW, I tend to be strongly supportive of the UBI concept and am, at the same time, a little disappointed that NZLP has gone very quiet on this after the initial flurry of activity & fanfare with its Future of Work Commission. With an election year coming up I can only hope the UBI will reappear firmly (back) on the agenda.

          PS I missed the last sentence:

          … in the time set free, and with the means created, for all of them.

          • Conal 7.1.2.1.1

            Cheers, Incognito. FYI in Marx’s economic analysis the concept of “use value” does include purely subjective and aesthetic value; anything which satisfies a person’s desire has a “use value”. Wikipedia has a good article on Use value that contrasts it with “exchange value”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_value

            • Incognito 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Thank you but I have to say that I found that very heavy going.

              The following sentence stood out most:

              In the case of information or communication as use-values, transforming them into commodities may be a complex and problem-fraught process.

              One could add to this “experience” as use-value, e.g. a (special) holiday or enjoying a superb live concert.

              The outputs of scientific research that add/contribute to our collective scientific knowledge are tricky to commodify; the value goes up the more it is shared and “consumed”. Unfortunately, publishers of scientific literature and journals have found a very effective way of commodifying scientific knowledge even though most of it is funded by public good money.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3

        Get rid of money. It’s no longer needed.

    • Rae 7.2

      Nail/head. What Marx wrote about was not a political system but just how he saw what our future progress would be and how it might play out.

  8. Philj 8

    Thanks Conal
    Would you be able to provide a translation of this for public consumption? This is nigh unintelligible.

    • Sacha 8.1

      ‘Machines will set the workers free’ seems to be about it.

      • weka 8.1.1

        And it’s an inevitability that this will happen under capitalism. I don’t quite follow that, because if that’s true by bother overthrowing capitalism?

        • Sacha 8.1.1.1

          Seems our leveraged, financialised economy was beyond his imagining, understandably.

        • Conal Tuohy 8.1.1.2

          The ‘inevitability’ is that capitalist automation will continue to improve productivity and reduce the length of the necessary working week, and that this is inevitably a growing problem for capitalism as a system based on wage labour.

          That ‘growing problem’ is not an alternative to replacing capitalism; it’s actually a precondition for being able to do so.

          • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1.2.1

            true collective ownership of all the world’s productive activity (the definition would have to be changed to include caring, research/science, culture, personal development, homelife etc.!) would see many concerns about managing a transition to a post capitalist future covered

            but, the question asked since Marx’s time will no doubt be asked again-is a peaceful transition to a new way of organising society possible?-will the 1%ers and their armed force, control of finance capital’s digital money transfers, control of mass media, control of the bourgeois parliament etc. hand over their ill gotten gains voluntarily by the ballot box or negotiation?

  9. Bill 9

    Two quick thought s for the day….

    Yuval Noah Harari: “Billions of people are likely to have no military or economic function. Providing food and shelter should be possible but how to give meaning to their lives will be the huge political question.”

    It’s not too unreasonable to suggest that people all across Africa were viewed as having no military or economic function. And we could have provided food and shelter to all of them, but we didn’t. So why will we suddenly change our ways and provide food and shelter to billions in the future if those billions have no military or economic function?

    Second thought.

    ….can they say how providing universal basic income is so different to the state owning a larger part of the economy.

    A UBI is predicated on notions around equality of opportunity. State welfare is predicated on notions around equality of access/outcome. Under a UBI, there is a very real possibility that many, many people get ‘thrown under the bus’ of (for example) profit driven private health care provisions that they can’t afford, while the fitter and healthier shake their heads at those people having an apparent inability to utilise their equal opportunity. There was a very good reason why UBI was very much ‘flavour of the day’ among some of the most rancid and rabid right wing economists….the welfare state ‘dies’ and everything falls back to personal responsibility and the decisions individuals make in a supposed environment of equal opportunity.

    • Olwyn 9.1

      That is my concern about the UBI Bill – that under the current ethos it might be used to kill off what remains of the welfare state, and then let wither to the point where it cannot fulfill the function we are being assured it will. While capitalism does not have much interest in supporting those with no “military or economic function”, it does not want them to be free either – free people are not forced to be compliant. So under current conditions it seems unlikely that a UBI will turn out to be quite what we hope it will.

      It is perhaps worth remembering that the sub-prime mortgage disaster began its life with Bill Clinton being sold the appealing idea of a “property-owning democracy” by the banking industry. We know how that turned out. I will only be happy when I see neoliberal capitalism either losing or conceding ground. I am not much reassured by the solutions that it believes it can afford.

  10. jcuknz 10

    There has to be a change from the welfare state which breeds mental state of “whatever I do the state will look after me” to a combination of capitalism and welfare softening the hard edges off capitalism.
    Without consumers to use capitalism is doomed.
    Likewise without consumers having sufficient money to pay.

    • aerobubble 10.1

      Whatever they do the state will look after them… …what!

      Doctor visits cost money. Cas cost money. Homes are cold damp. Food sucks, fast food abounds.

      What exactly is govt looking after them, giving a paltry amount of cash to keep them from living in ghettos, from eating poorly,fromental and other problems.

      Who the frack believes the state will look afer them. Facts are that what passes for welfare nowadays is designed to keep a underclass lethargic, keep disease down, citizens avaliable to new drugs etc that make wealthy people live longer. Every aspect of welfare has a greater payoff for the wealthest.

      Take our roading network, those who profit the most are the wealthiest, yet we all pay the same. Take diplomatic services, wealthy people us them more, yet we all pay the same for a passport. Progressive taxes have been dropping, the giant tax switch, gave wealthy people more financial freedom and no compareable benefit to the other 90%.

      So you want to talk about welfare, tlk about the free ride monied people have thanks to the majorities taxes paying for them. Using our colectively paid resources far more than anyone with less cost thanks to Key. Its as if they think the govt will look after their rich smug behinds.

  11. Rae 11

    Maybe we would get further if we ditched the term “welfare state” and used another, perhaps something like “interdependent state”.

  12. trendy leftie 12

    A UBI is not necessarily based around notions of equality of opportunity. As much as anything, conservatives propose it as a way to put money in the hands of displaced workers to ensure they continue to consume, thus propping up a market economy, which cannot be sustained if no-one has money to buy anything.

    Famous non-Marxists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman were proponents of the UBI.

    • Chris 12.1

      “Famous non-Marxists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman were proponents of the UBI.”

      Yeah, but paid at a pittance. Enough to see people eating 4 and a half days out of 7. Just like what benefits do now, but better because no admin costs. Very rational.

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    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • More disappointment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
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    7 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
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    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
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    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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