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No, you leave YOUR ideology at the door

Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 49 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, economy, employment - Tags: ,

There’s all this rubbish at the moment about people moving beyond ideology. At the Jobs Summit, attendees were harangued to ‘leave your ideology at the door’.

Everything I’m hearing out of the Summit says they haven’t. The business leaders want weaker work rights, lower tax, and subsidies. The few workers’ representatives that were invited want higher wages, stronger work rights, and training allowances.

ideologyAn ideology is “a systematic body of concepts especially about human life”, it is rooted in ones idea of what how life ideally ought to be and how things need to change to get there. Broadly, there are two groups of ideologies, the Left that believes in collective strength, fairness, equality, and the Right that believes in individualism, the right to act in one’s own interest, the right to possess whatever you can win. The society and economy we live in, while ultimately supported and constrained by the natural world, is the product of the competition and compromise between these two fundamentally different ways of viewing the world.

Everyone has an ideology, whether they can articluate it or not, and that ideology informs, shapes what they think is the correct answer to any political question.

The people at the Jobs Summit haven’t put their ideologies to one side because they can’t. People can’t view problems ‘objectively’ because there is no objective reality, we can only ever view things through the prism of our ideologies.

So, what is really being said when people are told to drop their ideologies? Well, it’s a lot like journos and their ‘objectivity’; you can’t not have an ideology but if your ideology looks like the prevailing ideology most people won’t see it as anything but objective and fair. In reality, being ‘objective’ actually means ‘not being radical, reflecting the status quo’, in fact, being conservative. That has a certain resonance to it because conservatism is, after all, an anti-ist ideology, without set ideas of its own it merely tries to prevent change, to conserve the status quo. Conservatism is a right wing ideology because, in the main, it attempts to block the Left’s attempts at change but it is also opposed to the radicial Right.

And, so, this is the real message that attendees of the Jobs Summit were given: “this is a conservative show, mildly pro-business, mildy anti-government spending, nothing radical. If you have different ideas, especially left-wing ideas, keep them to yourself, you’re being ideological”.

49 comments on “No, you leave YOUR ideology at the door ”

  1. Redbaiter 1

    So OK. Here’s your chance. Where’s an idea that springs from left wing ideology that can get the economy up and going again. I’m waiting keenly to hear it.

    (In less than a hundred words please. This is the blogopshere, not some heavily curtained ivory tower academic refuge from reality full of pipe smoking professors and fat arsed feminists)

    • Matthew Pilott 1.1

      ‘Fewer’ than a hundred words. This isn’t playcentre.

    • @ work 1.2

      Is there a maximum number of sylables allowed per word in our response’s also?

    • Ari 1.3

      100% Renewable power, public transport upgrades, New-Zealand based recycling, beefing up public service contractors over the recession, retraining allowances, etc…

      In short, borrow some damn cash, cancel the extra tax cuts, and target your spending bloody carefully instead of buying votes.

    • lprent 1.4

      Workers. It is difficult to operate an economy without them.
      For that matter I could have said a currency and any number of other things.

      Perhaps you should define what you mean more clearly. There are reasons why academic’s and lawyers are so wordy – they are precise. You aren’t.

  2. Redbaiter 2

    “Is there a maximum number of sylables allowed per word in our response’s also?”

    I suggest you learn to spell “syllables” before worrying about the word count dickwad.

    C’mon. Enough smoke screening of your lack of initiative. Let’s hear something tangible.

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    No, but if you do that to an apostrophe again I’ll lock you up!

    And what is a ‘word count dickwad’, if not a prepubescent insult improperly attached to the end of ‘word count’…

  4. @ work 4

    Is there or is there not a syllables limit, yes or no?

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    I gather National are considering public funding of training, where there isn’t enough work to keep people fully employed. Strangely reminiscent of a Labour policy. It makes sense to encourage a surplus workforce to retrain instead of having them on benefits.

  6. Redbaiter 6

    Public transport is totally uneconomic. Recycling even worse. No such thing as 100% renewable power. (free energy, where from? Obama’s fingertips?) Borrowing will only prolong the recession and put an unconscionable load upon the shoulders of future generations. Next please. Public service contractors? Better to cut the public service and let the private sector do it. Gummint can ne’er do anything right. If they could, we wouldn’t be so far up shit creek without a paddle right now.

    • Ari 6.1

      100% renewable power means ditching coal and gas except as backup and increasing wind power, solar, hydro, and even working on implementing Tidal as demand increases. It’s actually highly practical for New Zealand and could be done easily within ten years, and starting now would be awesome. Renewables aren’t free, there’s actually quite an upfront cost, but they’re clean and over the lifetime of generation they are cheap and efficient, and best of all there are no security of supply issues, so if gas or coal prices go up, our power prices would stay roughly the same.

      Borrowing doesn’t prolong the recession- I refer you to Herbert Hoover, who drove America into the depression by trying to balance the budget rather than stimulate the economy. Better to borrow now and be in a position to pay it back in a term or two than to balance the budget now and shoot ourselves in the foot, prolonging and deepening the recession and letting the negativity spiral.

      Public transport is an economic enabler. It doesn’t make money of itself, but the infrastructure makes it easier for people to get jobs, save money, reduces cleanup costs for the environment, reduces health issues, and helps increase workplace participation by the disadvantaged. Overall it’s a great investment, and far better than new highways.

      Contractors often are the private sector, and this is a key way to get the government working for us where the government is going in the wrong direction. By all means demand better public service, but cutting government jobs does not necessarily mean the private sector will pick those people up- and in this environment you’d be a fool to bet on it

      “Gummint?” lol. 🙂 The government is actually in many ways more efficient than the private sector as it doesn’t have to duplicate infrastructure- the best way of thinking of it is this: The government tends to run the best monopolies, because they’re the most accountable monopoly you’ll ever find. Any service which isn’t fit for free or full competition (and there are plenty) tends to do well in government hands, provided it has competent management and good ministers.

    • Ari 6.2

      I’ve got a reply into this but it’s holed up in moderation.

      Probably because the way you said government is silly, and I quoted it 🙂

  7. Redbaiter 7

    Public transport is totally uneconomic. Recycling even worse. No such thing as 100% renewable power. (free energy, where from? Obama’s fingertips?) Borrowing will only prolong the recession and put an unconscionable load upon the shoulders of future generations. Public service contractors? Better to cut the public service and let the private sector do it. Gumm*nt can ne’er do anything right. If they could, we wouldn’t be so far up sh*t creek without a paddle right now.

    Next left wing idea please.

    Hmm. Caught by the filter again. I’ll try gumm*nt, but I can’t help wondering if its really “private sector” that’s blocked.

    OK, it was gumm*nt. Sorry.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    No such thing as 100% renewable power. (free energy, where from? Obama’s fingertips?)

    *opens the blinds*

    Redbaiter, meet the sun. No, don’t stare – not because it’s rude, but it will hurt your eyes.

    • lprent 8.1

      Meet entropy and the third law of thermodynamics. Perhaps you and redbaiter should define your terms of reference, especially around a earth scientist. The sun is also non-renewable – just operates on a different timescale. It just happens to be ‘free’ energy for us for the foreseeable future.

      • Matthew Pilott 8.1.1


        Though technically correct.

        H. J. Simpson: “In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!”

  9. Redbaiter 9

    “‘Fewer’ than a hundred words. This isn’t playcentre.”

    Gosh Ari. After the fact that you had a go, and made the target quite easily, Mr. Pillock thinks you’re an infant. How insulting.

    “Redbaiter, meet the sun.”

    OK, Mr. Pillock. So give me an example of *free* 100% renewable energy from the sun in practical use today.

    • Matthew Pilott 9.1

      Where does *free* come into it? You just made up that condition. You can hardly make things up, pretend they’re from the ‘left’ and expect answers.

      But you could plant a tree and rejoice in the miracle of photosynthesis.

      And since words aren’t continuous, but discrete, (to make it easy for you: you can count the number of words) I was more mocking your ‘less’ than Ari’s response. Clearly.

    • lprent 9.2

      Try farming. That translates sunlight and other feedstock into chemical energy.

      With the exception of fission (stored energy from previous nova and super nova stars), geothermal (ditto) and tidal (due to residual rotational energy after a rather large collision that killed earth version 1), all forms of energy in use derive from our local sun. Even fossil fuels derive their energy from old photosynthesis processes.

      Perhaps you should be a bit more precise and say what you mean?

  10. @ work 10

    Government funding of apprentiships. The government picks up between 2/3’s and 3/4’s on university degrees (and in most cases lends for the remaining portion), If this were extended to apprentiships, the government paying 2\3’s of the wage of an apprentice, and the employer paying the last 3rd, it would provide a good incentive for tradesmen to take on more apprentices, and lower the risks they face in taking on an apprentice, something that is desperately needed.

  11. BLiP 11

    Matthew Pilott:

    Hehehe. Excellent. Chances are, though, that by looking at the sun he’ll dissolve into a shower of fine powder.

  12. BLiP 12

    Master Bater said:

    ” . . . OK, So give me an example of *free* 100% renewable energy from the sun in practical use today. . . .”

    There’s a sign in Papakura that shows your speed as you drive past – its run by 100% renewable solar energy. I would say a dynamic sign reminding people to keep their speed down near a school is a practical example, wouldn’t you?

  13. Redbaiter 13

    “Government funding of apprentiships.”

    Hahaha.. Yeah that’ll work. In about twenty years time. Good grief.

    • @ work 13.1

      No, It will work now.

      • Felix 13.1.1

        For most, yeah, but it would take a retard like biter at least twenty years to get through an apprenticeship. Mainly because she doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.

  14. Redbaiter 14

    “There’s a sign that show’s your speed as you drive past – its run by 100% renewable solar energy.”

    and its free?

    (Leaving aside the fact that the sun is a dying star.)

    • BLiP 14.1

      Its free at the moment. It will stay free until the National government gets around to selling Aotearoa’s sunlight. Just as soon as they put in place the plethora of wisdom that’s resulted from today’s Goober Gab Fest.

    • Ari 14.2

      “free” in the sense of needing no active input of fuel? Yes. “free” as in appearing from magical self-funding pixie dust? No, but any stimulus for the economy is gonna cost you. Hell, even though insulating homes pays for itself in the long term, it’s still an investment with an upfront cost. If you want that second sort of “free”, you’re just ruling out any action at all.

      Especially the tax cuts you’re so keen on- they’re actually one of the most costly ways of stimulating the economy because a lot of it gets tied up with people whose jobs who then promptly save their tax cuts.

      Oh, and many of the suggestions at the jobs summit won’t be self-funding either. I might even venture that none of them will be.

    • lprent 14.3

      damn I made that point as well… about the sun.

  15. i must have missed something. Why is Redbaiter insisting that we provide him with a free renewable energy source?

    and would he settle for perpetual motion?

    • Ari 15.1

      A perpetual motion machine? You mean like digging holes and filling them in again? 😉

      I think Redbaiter is just moving the goalposts from “list me stuff” to “list me stuff that funds itself, har har!”

  16. lampie 16

    “There’s a sign that show’s your speed as you drive past – its run by 100% renewable solar energy.’

    and its free?

    (Leaving aside the fact that the sun is a dying star.)

    You are a git, waste of economic space

  17. Redbaiter 17

    “i must have missed something.”

    Ari listed what he thought were a number of good ideas for getting us out of the recession. Investing in 100% Renewable power was one such suggestion. I said there was no such thing. So far, we’ve had the usual band wasting blather from Mr. Pillock, but no example.

    He tried to pass off solar power as 100% renewable, but off course its not, given the sun is dying and that the technology used in converting sunshine to energy uses earth resources that cost money to process and the resources are not renewable. I dunno why I bother wiv Mr. Pillock. He’s such a trying little sod.

    “You are a git, waste of economic space”

    Thanks for that opinion. Given that you’re only another leftist dipshit, do you think something so partisan and therefore so valueless, was really worth the effort of posting here???

    ” I think Redbaiter is just moving the goalposts from “list me stuff’ to “list me stuff that funds itself, har har!'”

    Hey laffing boy, you’re the one who said 100%.

    • Ari 17.1

      I meant moving 100% of normal generation to renewable power. No power source is completely “renewable” in the sense that they all require maintenance, but “renewable power” is usually taken as power that receives passive fuel and doesn’t need active re-fuelling. Don’t be obtuse 😉

    • Matthew Pilott 17.2

      Redbaiter is the one who made up the condition that it had to be free, and here Redbaiter is dodging the point. I don’t know why you pretend to bother either, Redbaiter – you never even try to address any of my points, you just whimper behind your caustic, transparent facade…

      You actually suck at this.

  18. @ work 18

    “Steve Pierson

    i must have missed something. Why is Redbaiter insisting that we provide him with a free renewable energy source?”

    Cause hes one of them bloody energy bludgers

  19. “given the sun is dying and that the technology used in converting sunshine to energy uses earth resources that cost money to process and the resources are not renewable.”

    Wow, what a fundamentally flawed understanding of physics.

    The sun is dying in 5 billion years time, and by then the Earth won’t be here so, if we’re around, we won’t need the Sun.

    Also, it is possible to reuse many resources, such as the metals and minerals used in making solar panels. They don’t disappear, they merely need an application of energy to reconstitute them in their pure form after the product they are in has worn-out, just as energy was needed to convert separate them from their natural ore.

    Some things really aren’t renewable in any meaningful sense (oil, uranium, water aquifers and on and on) because the time frame and energy needed to make them is too immense but we’re not going to run out of gold or other metals, there’s still as much today as there ever was. The only problem is some of the rare minerals and metals are too rare for the scale of use we require from them – like Cadmium, which is used in cellphone batteries.

    If you can make solar panels using common elements, like silicon, which we can, then solar is renewable in any meaningful sense – we are not going to run out of the capacity to produce solar panels as long as the Earth exists.

  20. ieuan 20

    You know Redbaiter I’d like to see a world in which we actually lived within our means and paid our way.

    Like businesses that weren’t built on a mountain of debt, or that didn’t rely on positive growth forever as there only business plan. That there was a generation that actually paid its way and didn’t mortgage future generations for our life style today and that we actually left the planet in better shape than how we found it.

  21. northpaw 21

    beware all ye decent folks — The Great ASSerter hath been here again ..and indeed more times than welcome — to bait you for your ideas, his own so lacking..

    have a nice weekend…. I did hear some of Saturday but this week has been so busy and varied I can’t recall exactly what rated standout.. so I’ll say all good, most of the time.. can say I’m looking forward to topics on nutrition.. and futures.. and yes they’ve added Jobs to the tag-lines on RV.

  22. marco 22

    Best idea of the day came from Pita Sharples who mooted that engaging young Maori back into the Marae by teaching them skills then using them on the Marae, such as building, plumbing and electrical engineering would help upskill Maori and move them out of poverty.
    He mentioned that Te Wananga was in enough places to administer the scheme and that Pacific youth could also adopt the scheme in churchs. This wasnt mentioned but schools, sports clubs and other social infrastructure could also benefit from a training and work scheme such as this.
    What it would mean is that when the recession ended (and it will one day) New Zealand would be laden with skilled workers and low income youth would all of a sudden have skills jobs and a future. Also the social infrastructure would be strong enough to support others and eventually lower the crime rates in poor areas.

  23. The only way the government can generate wealth is by spending taxpayers’ money better than taxpayers would – that’s a high threshold, and pouring it into consumption not investments that generate net economic gains beyond a mere transfer, is a recipe for disaster as it destroys wealth.

    Almost all of the “clever” ideas around energy, education, health and transport destroy wealth. Remember where the money comes from – people who may otherwise invest or consume themselves. On top of that every dollar the government takes from people contains a portion of deadweight loss, which is the cost of collection and distribution.

    Sadly most plans for government spending are little more that optimistic wishlists from people who want these things themselves, and aren’t prepared to spend their own money or convince others to spend their own money on it, so have to force others to do so.

    • IrishBill 23.1

      liberty, it’s not a high threshold at all. In the last 9 years the government has invested its money more wisely than individuals have. That’s why we have such a low ration of debt to GDP. And the sense is still there. In a recession it makes sense as an individual to stash money away to gain a market advantage but if all individuals act rationally and do that then they all go down together. By taking a certain amount off them as tax and spending it a government ensures that the catastrophe of greater foolism is avoided for the general good.

      Also, your argument that people should have to spend their own money and convince other to spend theirs is absurd in light of the sub-prime fiasco. Your belief in the market is astounding.

  24. Redbaiter 24

    The thrust of this article was (broadly) that the right should leave their ideology at the door of the talk fest, and that left ideology, if it was acted on, would drive the recovery.

    Leaving aside the confusion caused by Ari’s imprecise language, there’s not been IMHO one idea produced here that would if it was ever implemented, stave off the disaster that looms.

    That’s because leftist ideology is the sickness not the cure.

    The bottom line is- you cannot continue to elect political zealots to government, and endow them with the right to turn that government from a function into a religion. Government has a role to play in society, but that role is limited to providing a defense force, law and order and recording births deaths and marriages and land transfers and a few other such functions.

    Government cannot be successfully used to shape political and economic outcomes, especially those based upon a religion dreamed up by some navel gazing German academic whose ideas are almost a century out of date.

    Its a concept that just does not work. The cataclysmic collapse that is coming is proof of this. Socialism (or mixed government as the left like to call it) has ruled the West now in one form or another for some decades, (except perhaps when Douglas prevailed for that fleeting period of time, so ironic) and now we face the inevitable outcome of this misuse of government.

    Socialists attempt to use government to promote their religion. This is why we face social Armageddon today, and why that ideology should be left at the door of any real attempt to come up with solutions. Government has to function free of any political ideology, and will function successfully if that simple principle is followed.

    It won’t be. As I have already said, Marxism is too endemic. There’s probably not a person at the talk fest who isn’t convinced that socialism deserves another chance.
    Its a good system they say, it just wasn’t done as it should be done.

    Yeah right.

    • Ari 24.1

      Red, 100% renewable power has been shorthand for ditching coal and gas for routine power generation since LAST election.

      I wasn’t imprecise.

  25. James 25

    “People can’t view problems ‘objectively’ because there is no objective reality, we can only ever view things through the prism of our ideologies’

    Bullshit….there most certainly IS an objective reality….to paraphrase Marge from back in the day….”You know you’re standing in it?’

    Objective reality is the playing field we all live on and act in….theres no escape from that for us but death.Its basic metaphysics dude…

    An ideology is only valid if it respects and concurs with the facts of this reality,the one we are in….and for human beings only free market capitalsim and individualism do so….every other way has failed precisly because they tried to ignore objective facts about man,his requirements to live and prosper and reality dealt out the consequences …..,misery,poverty,conflict and mass death.

    • Stever 25.1

      And the reason “free market capitalism and individualism” has failed (“look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”) is…..?

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