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Slane sums up

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, June 8th, 2013 - 108 comments
Categories: capitalism, cartoons, class war, equality, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Brilliant cartoon from Chris Slane:


108 comments on “Slane sums up ”

  1. saarbo 1

    It certainly seems to reflect reality, in fact “The Centre Right” should probably be squeezed even more tightly against 100% axis. Then if you overlay National Party support(between 40% and 50%) and Green/Labour support (between 40% and 50%) you realise that National have 300,000 to 500,000 people voting for them that would be better off voting for Greens/Labour (The sleepy hobbit syndrome is it called?).

    It also highlights the need to re-introduce a strong progressive tax system!

    • Pasupial 1.1

      It’s a nice visual touch that the amount of money in each category appears to be 50% to centre right, and 50% to far left. However the reality would show a spike on the far right for the 1/% – the height and slope of which is incalculable, because our revenue minister has been distracted by other pursuits. So one could almost agree with slippery Key that; the bottom 25% are the far left (represented by the Greens, Mana, & the nonvote); next 25% are centre left (Labour); next 25% centre right (NZF & “wet” Nats); with the upper 25% far right (cleptoNats & ACT).

      But for that scheme to work we’d have to live in a plutocracy (1 dollar = 1 vote), not a democracy (1 person = 1 vote).

    • Peter 1.2

      A cartoon like this could win an election! Where can I buy the T-Shirt?

  2. mike e 2

    Saarbo time to help get those 1 million that didn’t vote last election

  3. just saying 3

    A clever picture.
    But to be strictly accurate it needs to have Shearer oafishly clinging with his arms around the money, nearly at the top of the hill, but unable to get purchase. And Norman holding up a Free Tibet flag from a comfortable, grassy knell on the top foothill.

    Btw is anyone else increasingly uncomfortable about this and many others depictions of Key’s nose?

    • CnrJoe 3.1

      increasingly uncomfortable?
      not uncomfortable at all

    • RexMason 3.2

      I don’t think anyone here will be too concerned. It wasn’t too long ago that commenters on this site were casually slurring him as ‘Shylock’ and you can often detect disdain for an apparent ‘rootless cosmopolitanism’ in attacks on the man.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        I’m not concerned. Delicate eggshells shouldn’t be in politics.

        • weka

          It’s not Key’s feelings that are at issue.

          • Colonial Viper

            What’s the issue then? Greedy jewish money lender banker stereotypes represented by cartoon noses drawn too big and hooked?

            • weka

              I guess that’s what js was meaning. It’s not like the nose is a Pinnochio nose, which presumably is just as easy to draw.

        • RexMason

          Well, I thought any uncomfortableness would have sprung from the imagery of depicting a Jewish politician as a hook-nosed, money grubber.

          • mac1

            I thought about this ‘big nosed issue’ and checked out google by inputting ‘big nose cartoons’ and came up as I thought with a whole series of cartoon styles and cartoonists who exaggerate nose shapes without any intent of racial stereotype but because cartoonists exaggerate certain features as part of the style and the comedic/cartoon effect. There was reference for example to Tom Scott’s work.

            • RexMason

              Isn’t that the Al Nisbet defence?

              • mac1

                Definitely not. There is a difference between exaggeration as cartoonists are wont and ‘irony’ as the Marlborough Express editor averred.

                With that in mind, it was lovely to see a former Express journo ‘gently’ (his words) admonish the Express editor for publishing Nisbet’s contribution to our racial consciousness, along with my less subtle contribution.

            • Mary

              It’s the hook in the nose that makes it distinctively Key. Without it his dead face especially his eyes would make him almost impossible to convey via a cartoon.

          • Colonial Viper

            Ok so we’ll just leave it at being a money grubbing bankster politician

    • hoom 3.3

      “Btw is anyone else increasingly uncomfortable about this and many others depictions of Key’s nose?”

      It *might* be unfair if he didn’t lie everytime he opened his mouth :p

      There was an article a while back ‘How do you tell when Key is lying?’ which was far longer than it needed to be: The ‘tell’ is that his mouth is open.

    • rob 3.4

      No didn’t Pinnochio’s grow?

    • Mary 3.5

      Including Shearer and Norman in the way you suggest would create the potential for confusion thereby removing all impact.

  4. Bill 4

    Only thing wrong with that cartoon is that the distribution it shows is far too equitable – quite a long way from reality. There was an interactive graphic on youtube(?) not so long ago – a few months or so – that showed the difference between perception and reality for wealth distribtion in the US. Was quite revealing and probably not too far from the situation in NZ.

    Found it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

  5. Ant 5

    The problem is the delusional/aspirational/??????? 30-40% who seem to constantly prop up the 1%.

    • Paul 5.1

      Yup they are taught to be scared of the bottom 50%, rather than look at the 1% who are the problem.
      And the dumbing down of society, education and the media has meant most people are unaware of the problem until it hits them. In this country we are taught to be obsessed by sport, celebrities and consumption.
      Then of course it’s too late….

  6. RedLogix 6

    Just to re-post:

    The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over

    Images of our time: ‘shock’ capitalism

    That is; eliminating the extreme poverty that 1 billion people live in, that 22,000 children die of every day from easily preventable causes. And not just doing it once, but again, and again …. and again. Four times over.

    The cartoon is excellent, but as more than a few people have pointed out above, reality is far more extreme.

    Capitalism has stopped “delivering the goods” for quite a while now, especially in its older bases (Europe, North America and Japan). Real wage stagnation, deepening wealth and income inequalities, unsustainable debt levels and export of jobs have been prevailing trends in those areas. The global crisis since 2007 only accelerated those trends. In response, more has happened than Keynesianism returning to challenge neoliberalism and critiques returning to challenge uncritical celebrations of capitalism. Capitalism’s development has raised a basic question again: What alternative economic system might be necessary and preferable for societies determined to do better than capitalism? That old mole, socialism, has thus returned for interrogation about its past to draw the lessons about its present and future.


    • “Capitalism has stopped delivering the goods”.
      Yes and despite that, in its death throes it is now delivering climate catastrophe and near term human extinction.
      “That old mole, socialism, has thus returned for interrogation about its past to draw the lessons about its present and future.”
      Yes, it’s nice that even Marx gets a mention (that old Mole), and socialism past, present and future, is really the only item on the agenda if we want to survive.
      Socialism past has failed because it was always socialism trapped inside a predatory, destructive capitalism. Stalin, Pol Pot, etc were the obscene progeny of such genetic manipulation.
      Socialism in the present, is already present inside capitalism in embryo waiting to be born. The 1% only stay in power by buying the loyalty of segments of the 99%. Their capacity to buy that loyalty is running out. In the global class war the big majority will win.
      Socialism in the future will save us provided we stick to its precepts. The working class (the vast majority) collectively owns and democratically controls the economy. No minority class or elite is allowed to undermine or expropriate that collective ownership. The economy is planned to provide for social needs on the principle of: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.
      The only thing standing between us and 21st century socialism is the tiny ruling class, its mercenaries, both military and political, and our own fear that we have something to lose.

      Note to NSA. This has been written so that even the densest of spies gets the message.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        Socialism in the future will save us provided we stick to its precepts.

        I agree, but we’ve tried that and it didn’t work out the way we had hoped. Perhaps we were putting the cart before the horse.

        In Jared Diamond’s latest book The World Until Yesterday he describes in great detail the contrast between pre-industrial life that was “emotionally and socially rich, but materially poor” and the modern WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Depressed) world that is the exact opposite; “materially rich but socially and emotionally impoverished”. On reading those words it occurred to me to wonder why no society on earth has managed to capture both states; both materially and socially rich.

        It seems to me that achieving this leap requires us to re-think completely what we are trying to achieve here. Maybe when we measure everything in terms of material wealth we preclude the possibility of leading emotionally rich, socially diverse and happy lives.

        • ghostrider888

          for what shall it profit a (person) if they gain the whole world, yet lose their soul.

          “money, money, money, its the root of all evil”.

          “Said said
          Said I remember when we used to sit
          In the government yard in Trenchtown
          Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites
          As they would mingle with the good people we meet
          Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way
          In this ‘bright’ future you can’t forget your past
          So dry your tears I say.”

          • RedLogix

            Almost. The actual quote from the New Testament (1 Timothy 6:10) is:

            “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.

            Wealth in of itself is not the evil. The absence of wealth, poverty, is indeed an evil of it’s own special, brutal kind. Equally however several centuries of capitalism have proven to us that Timothy was also correct, that when money became the prime motive and measurement of value and purpose in our lives, when materialism became the dominant philosophy …. then indeed all kinds of evil have been the demonstrable result.

        • Colonial Viper

          RL, I recommend you watch “What is a petrostate? Andrew Nikiforuk” on YouTube if you have not already.

          EDIT a note to say that socialism only provides a few of the answers needed for our nation to cope with the steep energy depletion of the next 25 years. New evolutions of strategies are also needed.

        • weka

          “On reading those words it occurred to me to wonder why no society on earth has managed to capture both states; both materially and socially rich.”

          We don’t need to be materially rich. We need our physical survival needs met, and then some material comfort (enough to enable us to meet our emotional and social needs). Material richness is not possible in a finite world (at least not sustainably over time).

          I’m tempted to start naming some societies that have been well enough off and socially wealthy, but I doubt that they would modern standards. There is always death involved, either through food failures, illness or war. I think that is the other thing we will find hard to adapt to – that if we live within our physical limits, there are no guarantees of the wellbeing of all individuals (not that we have that now, but we’re not very honest about it). But I also suspect that cultures that have more immediate dealings with death, also have more appreciation of life and thus more social wealth.

          • RedLogix

            We don’t need to be materially rich.

            Perhaps I should have been more specific. By ‘materially rich’ I meant sufficiently rich that we escape the brutal realities of pre-industrial life. In other words access to education, health care, safe food and water, safe civil environments and legal structures, freedom from war, slavery, superstition and exploitation, and the ability to fully participate in the life of community on your own terms.

            In the book I referenced above, Jared Diamond who has spent a good deal of his life working in the highlands of New Guinea, while expressing admiration and a fascination for the rich diversity for many aspects of their lives … is equally conscious of the many drawbacks and disadvantages of not having access to the material things I’ve listed above.

            I think we’re pretty much on the same page here.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I think that is the other thing we will find hard to adapt to – that if we live within our physical limits, there are no guarantees of the wellbeing of all individuals (not that we have that now, but we’re not very honest about it).

            Actually, within reason there is guarantees of well being for all individuals if we live within the physical limits. The bit that we don’t want to accept is that we need to live within those limits and that means population limits. Everything that we’re told is the opposite, we’re told that we can have what ever we want, that we can have as many children as we want and that telling is the lie and it’s a lie told by every single political party throughout NZ and the world.

        • red rattler

          RL its not about ‘rethinking’ its about ‘doing’.

          Socialism failed in the past not because the idea was wrong. It was because the idea was right that a revolution occurred. Taking power and creating a workers state was exactly what inspired the worlds workers and frightened the shit out of the bourgeoisie.

          Bill, a workers state is necessary to defeat a bourgeois state. What else is a state but class rule? You cannot have a revolution without one class overthrowing another class and ruling in its place. States will exist so long as classes do.

          The problem in Russia was not a workers state, but the failure of more workers states to emerge in Europe to prevent Russia’s isolation and destruction, during which process the workers state also degenerated into an instrument of workers oppression.
          The anarchist theory of the state is idealist since it ascribes to the state an abstract, ahistorical character, rather than a class character.

          Socialism confronted capitalism with a viable alternative to create a truly human society and so was isolated, cornered and destroyed by capitalism. If we understand these causes we can avoid them in future. This the extent of the ‘rethinking’ necessary and its been done already.

          Nor did socialism fail because of human nature. Greed etc is specific to social conditions which either encourage it or contain it. Under conditions of scarcity a dominant class inevitably arises. Socialism unless it creates plenty will also succumb to scarcity.

          Jared Diamond is a liberal utopian. The pre-industrial societies he values were weighed down by scarcity. They may have been organised as egalitarian clans until a class emerged, but they were violent as hell in disputes with other clans. Capitalist industry created the potential for plenty but the price was the expropriation of wealth by one class – an artificial scarcity for the masses that has become extreme. Yet in the process capitalism has created as well as the threat of human extinction, the means for human liberation, the material means to create plenty and, as Marx put it, its gravedigger, the proletariat.

          CV if socialism does not open up the alternative to capitalism today, what does?

          • RedLogix

            Jared Diamond is a liberal utopian. The pre-industrial societies he values were weighed down by scarcity. They may have been organised as egalitarian clans until a class emerged, but they were violent as hell in disputes with other clans.

            Having actually read the book I’d suggest that’s not what Diamond is saying at all. It’s perfectly plain that he is absolutely aware, indeed dwells on at some length, around exactly these features of pre-industrial life. A large part of one chapter is devoted to an anecdote about how an incident when working in a truly remote and unknown location, the discovery of just one small stick embedded in the ground, which may or may not have been a sign of hostile and dangerous locals who would object violently to their presence… and the lessons he drew from this experience.

            Diamond is not presenting the life of the New Guinea highlanders as utopian. Far from it. But in contrasting their lives with ours he also details exactly what part of our souls we sold in exchange for our wealth and security.

          • Populuxe1

            In case you hadn’t noticed, as Pierre-Paul Prud’hon noted in Marx’s own lifetime, if you expect a “workers’ state” to fix anything, you are delusional. Same shit, different day. The workers won’t demolish a state that they find themselves at the apex of. Powe corrupts…

            • Draco T Bastard

              And that’s why we won’t produce a hierarchical state.

              • Populuxe1

                Because you’re magic? Or just a utopian fantasist.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You really are unimaginative. If you can’t see possibilities for the future except what has already been done in the past, what the frak are you following politics for?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Probably because I’m more interested in practical change in the here and now than I am in ideological cults. Also your rants amuse me.

          • Colonial Viper

            CV if socialism does not open up the alternative to capitalism today, what does?

            Dunno, but socialism has no inherent political or management philosophy around guiding a civilisation entering energy and resource decline.

            Put another way. People have been promised a lot of things. Those promises can no longer be delivered. There’s going to be some upset.

            • red rattler

              “Dunno, but socialism has no inherent political or management philosophy around guiding a civilisation entering energy and resource decline.”

              Well socialism hasn’t happened yet. Why don’t you suggest how we could go about translating the precepts of “from each…to each etc” and what we need to get there, to the tasks at hand?
              Bill McKibbon is visiting NZ, his solution to sell big oil shares falls a long way short.
              Guy McPherson wants to collapse industrial society. That’s at start. I like his proactive approach. How to?
              So far lots of democratic uprisings in squares and sporadic strikes around the world are testimony to capitalism’s impending collapse. They are pointed in the right direction, but they need a bit of philosophy and administration to push things along.
              What do you suggest?

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Socialism past has failed because..

        .. because it was predicated upon gaining control of the state and elevating the state to a primary position with regards the economy. By some that’s kindly labelled a ‘command economy’ and a dictatorial/tyrannical pile of bullshit by others.

        And unless you missed it, under the command economy model there was still a ‘1%’…just they were Party big cheeses instead of business/banker big cheeses.

        And under the auspices of a command economy, political freedoms withered….as a necessity.

        You want socialism…political and economic freedoms…political and economic parities? Then stop wandering around within various authoritarian contexts doffing the fucking cap and demand democracy.

        edit. Red rattler. you say the economy should be planned. My question is who draws up the plan in your scenario – who maintains the plan and how?

        • RedLogix

          I could not agree with your sentiments more Bill. But where do all these “authoritarian contexts” come from? Why do they thrive, when all the alternatives wither?

          • ghostrider888

            the human motivations for dominance and submission; evolutionarily maintained / selected I would imagine, having read The Selfish Gene and the work of John Tooby and Leda Cosmides one Canterbury summer;

            then, there are questions around which sytems come to organise a given culture, “forming the basis of every aspect of social behaviour” see Fiske
            http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/fiske/pubs/UCLA_College_Report_4_Systems_2005.pdf (excellent article)
            -market pricing (see the research into white women 😉 )
            -equity matching
            -communal sharing

            then there are an individuals social responses to conformity;
            then there are social response to Conformity
            Costs of Dominance
            and the benefits of Submission

            -people often not much removed from animals, really. 😀

            • RedLogix

              All those links do indeed tell us a lot about our instinctive motivations, and indeed how close to animals we are.

              Yet somehow we also have other motivations such as; justice, fairness, reciprocity, inalienable rights, dignity, modesty, empathy and integrity. These are not closely correlated with the game of dominance and submission.

              My point is that humans are capable of alternative behaviours.

              Update: Oh and I enjoyed that Alan Fiske article. Thanks.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not just capable, but in healthy environments prefer them.

              • ghostrider888

                well Red (no need to mention ‘scores’, I am only a servant) yet, (immodestly, I aced Animal Behaviour at Uni, designed my own experiment under tuition from a primatologist) and have watched people and animals all my life; let’s call ‘hyper-vigilence’ the ‘up-side’ of CAN, anyway,
                consider, compare and contrast human ‘justice’ as practiced in our modern punitive, surveillence states, and in more tribal societies (Arabian comes to mind) as compared to animal ‘justice’
                human ‘fairness’ (as epitomised by the socialist prescription of the rattler’s above) and animal ‘fairness’ (flocks of birds, herds of herbivores, carnivores sharing the ‘kill’).

                human ‘reciprocity’ and the altruism of animals.

                inalienable rights-culturally and historically established, maintained, and eroded. versus ‘territories’, ‘pack-membership’ ‘survival’, the roles and memberships within hives.

                the ‘dignity’ of the wage-slave in conformist apparel and the cat preening itself in the sun (gonna’ join Fatboy for a cuppa soon).

                ‘modesty’, well, that probably was not your best exemplar.

                ’empathy’; we know that ‘higher mammals’ display and demonstrate this towards their own and other species, and to humans.

                ‘integrity”? do you mean of the majority of the human species who knowingly, or not, betray their fellows and descendents in the pursuit and maintenance of a socially-constructed, marketed-to-them lifestyle?

                now, I am far from ‘perfect’; I gotta’ eat, keep warm, dry and stimulated, yet it was not a difficult Fall into misanthropy until I read and ‘met’ some masters. 😉 (hears Chris Cornell in his mind singing “Save me, save me from myself) 😀 (great ‘talking’ wit’ choo).

                • prism

                  Some good stuff on animal psychology and genetic traits today on Radionz. One point was how dogs became domesticated – did humans do this. No – they domesticated themselves with the powerful drawcard of human leftovers spread around for the wolfing.

                  • RedLogix

                    That was indeed a really fascinating interview; that evolution has driven dogs to have a fantastic ability to solve problems, not on their own account (they’re actually rather poor at that) … but by learning from humans.

                    In the last decade the science around genetics, epigenetics and evolutionary behaviour has opened many, many fascinating ideas.

                    Yet in Steven Jones excellent book Almost Like a Whale, he describes humans as the first post-evolutionary species. That while evolution still applies in a purely biological sense; the remarkable history of our civilisations over the last 10,000 years has brought into play a whole other set of forces as well.

                    • ghostrider888

                      ahhh, yet cats can solve problems; through trial and error, from memory.

                    • Poission

                      ahhh, yet cats can solve problems; through trial and error, from memory.

                      Trial and success,the errors being roadkill.The evolutionary basis for the solution to the yang Mills equation is an interesting problem (the falling cat problem) and non rigid bodies.


                      There is also an interesting relationship,the higher the fall the greater the probability for feline survivability.

                    • prism

                      My friend has a cat with its leg in a splint in an orthopaedic cage for weeks so it can’t move too much. It fell from a roof onto concrete from quite high so there’s a limit on their falling recovery system. It cries out pitifully and the other cat talks to it trying to cheer it up. Very affecting.

                  • ghostrider888

                    Interesting prism (and I lost the first draft of this reply, pushing the wrong button). I was just thinking about the outcomes for members of species that do not submit to the ‘order of things’; Cast-off (Castaway 😉 ) or Lone Wolf (Shrek, Flockie) came to mind; with either unfortunate (for the individual) or beneficial (for the individual, pack or species) outcomes. Resilience is one of the traits Gluckman would like to see research carried out into with the ‘social’ National Science Challenges. Consider the resilience developed amongst, for example, the Slavs, the Asiatics, the Chinese, the Jewish, and many maori. Not so much in the ‘WEIRD’ -aligned nations. Was just refreshing on the SSSM (Standard Social Science Model) and if one considers the range of genetic variability in populations in contrast with the range of outcomes likely to be expressed, experienced, then the role of environment and culture appears to carry the weight, or not. Unfortunately, governments, their lackies, and a consumer-culture continue to choose alignment with the US, and to feed the people’s love-affair with vicarious Information gadgets and labour-devaluing technology. Therefore we can expect to see the continuation of this exponential decline in ‘human values / virtues in my opinion. Then, there are the well-experienced and documented outcomes of Solitude; I only use the computer for The Standard, Current Events and learning from more-than-worthy peers such as your good selves now; many other on-line social forums seem comparitively futile. Although, while I still do not own a working computer, I’m thinking of getting a phone; as xtasy reminds, better start looking for suitable employment.
                    And, Jack White is a worthy candidate for the title of “Guitar God”. 😀

                    • prism

                      Good on you for rewriting that. I have been losing too much stuff lately – one with quite a lot of links on the housing situation. What a bummer. I am likely to use my word processing for building a more detailed comment I think, then just copy it. Hopefully I can’t mess that up.

                      It’s not too late to learn or relearn human skills! Talking about animals I have been interested in the Japanese monkeys washing their food, picking up the idea from one who set the pattern. I work in a place with volunteers mostly mature and find some take very little notice of what they are told and don’t learn by observing what others have done as a guide to right method.

                    • ghostrider888

                      prism- one of the most telling lessons of may bright, yet short, burst across the CPIT Faculty of Nursing was that even among candidates interviewed and selected for Nursing Studies, the capacity to empathize was far from universal and appeared to be very difficult for some to develop, regardless of the efforts of tutors. (still, may have been some corrupted modelling going on by them too) 😀

                      ps. I too have been a volunteer for a wide variety of organizations and it is experiences such as you describe that make me think arrrrrrrrrgh! and stay away.

                • RedLogix

                  consider, compare and contrast human ‘justice’ as practiced in our modern punitive, surveillence states, and in more tribal societies

                  Still implicitly underlying your perfectly valid comparison of differing legal systems is an idea of justice. It’s perfectly plain that our modern western legal system violently diverges from the principles of natural justice … but that’s a statement about the legal system.

                  I agree that the notion of “fairness” is certainly not exclusive to humans; nonetheless it is a remarkable fact that it lies absolutely at the heart of the left’s entire political philosophy.

                  inalienable rights-culturally and historically established, maintained, and eroded

                  A right that can be eroded is therefore not ‘inalienable’. Not quite what I had in mind.

                  ‘modesty’, well, that probably was not your best exemplar.

                  Actually it was my best one. I didn’t mean it in the usual narrow sense of ‘sexual modesty’, but in the wider sense of something that is perhaps best described as the opposite of narcissism.

                  Many creatures are capable of empathy. But in the human world we label a person devoid of empathy as a psychopath.

                  do you mean of the majority of the human species who knowingly, or not, betray their fellows and descendents in the pursuit and maintenance of a socially-constructed, marketed-to-them lifestyle?

                  Exactly. Most of us are deficient in the integrity department. My definition of integrity is the ability to hold to principle despite any self-interest that might persuade us otherwise.

                  For if we cynically dismiss these values as some form of socio-biological baggage; what else do we cling to?

                  • prism

                    There was an attempt to have some values through church teachings. We have never dealt with philosophies and values and civics (understanding fair society systems) at school have we? I don’t remember it. T

                    hen once we did well and started making money as a country after WW2 but at the same time were being threatened with nuclear disasters, I think the whole idea of having a set of values went in the too-hard basket. It’s having money that counts now I think . Society-wide though, reputable individuals still grow up like tall poppies to be admired here and there.

          • Bill

            What’s social democracy other than a balancing act between two authoritarian extremes? (ie, a state centered dictatorship running a command economy or a corporate centred dictatorship in control of a market economy)

            How succesfully do you reckon our institutions inculcate within us a deference and respect for authority? How much of that habit goes back to (say) the structures of the early christian church – its need to maintain its hold over society – or even pre-christian power structures?

            And is it not reasonable to contest that the habit of allowing for authority to thrive, though a powerful and ‘time honoured’ habit is a hellova narrow way to view and conduct human affairs?

            As for alternatives…the obvious (only?) alternative is democracy – y’know, not the election tick to choose who excercises a degree of dominance over society and our affairs for three or four years or whatever – but an insistence that those affected or likely to be affected by any given proposition have a real input into shaping and deciding any outcomes. And that means absolutley no steering committee, central committee, bureaucracy or any such like.

            And a lot of hands on practice!

            • KJT

              A socialist democracy is where the citizens control the Government. The best example is Switzerland.

              New Zealand has never been a democracy though it came close, when it was ruled by a Labour party directed by trade unions, run on a democratic system of remits and votes.

              “Representative democracy” is an oxymoron. Changing the names of the dictators every three years is no more democratic than having a absolute ruler.
              Especially when we have only two real choices with very little difference between them.

              • Populuxe1

                Switzerland is nowhere near being a pure direct democracy – it makes fairly extensive use of representative structures. And I find the notion that being ruled by unions is somehow more desirable than being ruled by crony capitalists, to be laughable.

                • KJT

                  Seemed to work rather well in New Zealand for a long time.

                  Unions are democratic organisations, unlike crony capitalists. Or any other sort of capitalists.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Theoretically our government is supposed to be a democratic organisation as well – not sure what your point is there. Unions do fuck all for the unemployed. Unions split workers into sections rather than organising them as a class and are dominated by relatively privileged skilled workers who are mainly concerned with defending their sectional interests. They prevent any organised attempt being made by the workers as a class to form a definite party of their own, apart from existing factions, with a view to dominate the social conditions.

                    • KJT

                      Crap. What was the Labour party in the past , then!

                      Notice that under Union dominated partys in NZ, the right wing measure of success, GDP growth, has always been 30% higher than under RW parties.
                      And they didn’t have to do much for the unemployed, because there wasn’t any!

                      Minimum wage, state schools, social welfare in NZ welfare, and unemployment benefits were all Union initiatives, from the Unions behind labour. Which sort of gives the lie to your idea that Unions were not interested in the welfare of non members.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      democratic socialism, ftw.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I’d still rather not have my government didctated to by organised groups and syndicates of any stripe, thanks

                    • KJT

                      Does that include those who have the money to buy political parties. Which is what we have, now.

                      Or. Are you saying you are really a closet anarchist?

                      I want to see real democracy.

                      I suspect most other people do also, given the enthusiasm for any measure which reduces politicians power and increases ours, such as MMP.

                  • prism

                    Concerning unions. There has been mention of a past event in Southland where farmers had sheep that should have been sent to the works months earlier but had been prevented because of continual strikes by meatworkers over union issues. There wasn’t feed for the sheep because of a drought, and the farmers demonstrated for themselves by driving their problem sheep through the streets and then slaughtering them.

                    Unions like any power institution get drunk on the power and can’t see when they don’t need to be Olivers. Now they have to fight their way up again. They are very necessary for workers, but no-one should be too sentimental about unions. At the least when they let Douglas and his mob of sheep through, they lacked strategy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There has been mention of a past event in Southland where farmers had sheep that should have been sent to the works months earlier but had been prevented because of continual strikes by meatworkers over union issues.

                      Which is what happens when meat companies screw up the prices they have paid for carcasses the previous season, end up losing money, and decide to take it out on workers conditions, workers who had no say over those management and accounting decisions in the first place.

                    • KJT

                      Also been personally involved in not being able to send sheep to the works because the works owners were playing games to try and pay less to the farmer. They, the owners, then deliberately precipitated a strike to put more pressure on the farmers to accept even lower prices. The managers probably got a bonus for screwing both suppliers and workers at the same time.

                      It’s called “good business”, when companies do it. Seem to remember it happening around a casino and a conference centre lately.

                      The big advantage farmers have in owning Fonterra, is the certainty, and fairness, of payment.

                      And yes, some Union bosses abused power.
                      And I never had much time for the Cooks and Stewards, giving the rest of the movement a bad name.
                      However a great many employers and politicians are guilty of much worse abuses. Abuses which in the past were often ameliorated by having the opposing power base of the Unions.

                      One employer is in court right now for stealing thousands of extra work hours from their employees, without payment. Without a Union employees would have no redress at all.

                      The lack of any Union power is one of the main reasons why workers share of the economy has dropped from 60% to less than 40% since 1984. And most of that remaining share has gone to managers and directors rather than workers.

                      The biggest abuse of power by Union bosses I ever saw was when the employment contracts act came in.
                      The whole meeting in Christchurch, combined trade Unions, wanted a general strike. The Union hierarchy, shut any democratic discussion down. I am sure it was no coincidence the “leadership” got directorships and other positions shortly afterwards. In other words they appear to have been bought off.
                      That is not an argument against unions. It is also an argument for REAL democracy in any collective organisation, including a country!.

                      Of course after the act came in striking was effectively illegal, and any power union members had totally gone.

                      Note that New Zealand is the only “non-totalitarian” state (sarc) where the right to withdraw your labour is so restricted.

                      Not many people realise that the collective action taken by Samual Parnell and the tradesmen, in Wellington for a 40 hour week, would be illegal today.

                • KJT

                  And. In Switzerland, the representatives do what the population fucking well tell them too. Otherwise they know it will be overturned in a referendum. Unlike our lot who do whatever they want.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Legislative referendums are only possible on laws passed by the legislature; citizens cannot initiate legislation of their own crafting.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Your comment ignores the leverage that those referendums give the population to pressure politicians to put up legislation that the public wants.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Which works about as well as it does here. lol.

                    • KJT

                      Switzerland has been one of the most stable and prosperous societies on earth for decades, even centuries, and you say it works just as well here?


              • Murray Olsen

                If Switzerland was a person it would be in prison for receiving stolen goods. Switzerland is a country which enables its citizens to all be boringly middle class on the profits made by allowing corrupt politicians to hide their stolen money there. Just like Pontius Pilate, it has the cleanest hands in the world. No thanks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You steal the wealth of the jews and from the IRS or you steal it from the Maori, the land and the seas.

                  If Switzerland was a person it would be in prison for receiving stolen goods.

                  Thing is, sovereigns are not persons. And the difference is very much apparent in both peace and war.

                • KJT

                  NZ seems to be rather a popular destination for money laundering also.

                  Unfortunately, in New Zealand, the banks do not work for us.

        • weka

          It might also be worth looking at non-Western models of how societies manage themselves. We live in a country where up until 170 years ago there were systems of management that had nothing to do with capitalism or socialism. What is there to learn from them?

          • Populuxe1

            Well, what? Feudal hierarchies and intertribal warefare?

            • weka

              Is that all you can see about pre-European cultures here?

              • Populuxe1

                To reiterate, what can we learn from them? The misty-eyed romanticisation is just killing me. It’s the equivalent of me pining for the days of absolute monarchy and burning people as witches.

                • RedLogix

                  To reiterate, what can we learn from them?

                  Well unless you are willing to look at the evidence (eg read Jared Diamond’s book) then there is zero chance of learning anything …is there?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Except what I would learn may very well be colonialist and racist nonsense


                    • RedLogix

                      Interestingly if you actually read your reference it makes a nonsense of the argument you have been putting forward.

                      On a book tour of the UK last week, Diamond, 75, was drawn into a dispute with the campaign group after its director, Stephen Corry, condemned Diamond’s book as “completely wrong – both factually and morally – and extremely dangerous” for portraying tribal societies as more violent than western ones.

                      While Diamond’s response is:

                      In a lengthy and angry rebuttal on Saturday, Diamond confirmed his finding that “tribal warfare tends to be chronic, because there are not strong central governments that can enforce peace”. He accused Survival of falling into the thinking that views tribal people either as “primitive brutish barbarians” or as “noble savages, peaceful paragons of virtue living in harmony with their environment, and admirable compared to us, who are the real brutes”.

                      He added: “An occupational hazard facing authors like me, who try to steer a middle course between these two extremes, is the likelihood of being criticised from either direction.”

                      umm… so exactly who is the liberal utopian fantasist here? I’ve noticed that googling for a link without actually reading your reference is a remarkably common thing.

                • weka

                  “To reiterate, what can we learn from them? The misty-eyed romanticisation is just killing me. It’s the equivalent of me pining for the days of absolute monarchy and burning people as witches.”

                  So, just to be clear, you consider that there is nothing useful in pre-contact Maori culture that might help us now?

                  • ghostrider888

                    Pop takes both sides; that is one of the tricks in the Sophists handbag.

                    • weka

                      ‘cept s/he’s not taking sides, s/he’s just being antagonistic, as well as putting assumptions in my mouth that weren’t actually there (the misty-eyed romanticisation/nasty brutish and short dichotomy is entirely in their own head).

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      “The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over”

      At current prices, perhaps. But if those 100 billionaires actually spent all that money into the economy, there’d be massive inflation and the money would in fact purchase a lot less than this simplistic calculation would imply.

      Obviously this is being used to give people an idea of the ‘scale’ of the wealth (although I don’t know that anyone has a good handle on what “make extreme poverty history” means, let alone doing it “4 times over”), but that doesn’t excuse the fact that it is actually a misleading thing to say that doesn’t take in economic realities.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Don’t worry about such complexities Lanth it won’t cause catastrophic inflation to give everyone access to clean running water and a sanitary toilet.

        And the point remains very simple. Lack of money to invest in social good, which we hear about all the time, is merely an excuse. Lack of will and moral fibre gets closer to the uncomfortable mark.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Don’t worry about such complexities Lanth it won’t cause catastrophic inflation to give everyone access to clean running water and a sanitary toilet.

          No, it would cause massive systemic failure as the resources necessary to remove everybody from poverty just aren’t there.

      • RedLogix 6.2.2

        But if those 100 billionaires actually spent all that money into the economy, there’d be massive inflation and the money would in fact purchase a lot less than this simplistic calculation would imply.

        Interesting. Excuse me for being too lazy to find the reference right now, but sometime back I recall reading something along these lines: the some U$30 trillion of cash hoarded in tax haven banks controlled by the top 50,000 wealthiest people in the world … is almost equal to the amount of money the US, European and Japanese central banks have had to print in order to prevent economic meltdown post the 2008 crisis.

  7. ghostrider888 7

    The Nation 8.6.13
    Judith Collins “that darling of the right”;
    -“I will not serve in any cabinet with Metiria Turei and Russell Norman as Minister of Finance”.
    -“my mother could give Margaret Thatcher (who she admires greatly) a run for her money”.
    -“that Whaleoil is well-informed”. 😉

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      So she shut the door hard on Turei. But left it open for Norman as Assoc Minister of Finance or Minister of another portfolio.

      It’d be death for the Greens of course, but Collins would have no issue with that.

      • ghostrider888 7.1.1

        that is an interesting take; when I first started watching Parliament (the Tories in particular), it was pretty transparent that many of their number appeared to bear the developmental and emotional truncations of Domineering matriarchal influences; Collins a leader? pfft, more like a Dominatrix in drag.
        -some Petrostate links above (just more procrastinating dead-ends to keep the pumps flowing.
        -interesting link to a Bowalley Road essay on yesterdays O.M (from memory) by ‘Winston Smith’;and Trotter’s adaptation of ‘Easy Rider’ was clever
        Here’s a cover of (up against the wall) “Redneck Mother”

        • Colonial Viper

          The video graphics in that music video are mildly disturbing

          Thanks for your materials above

          The commentators on the Sewer seems to go into orgasmic paroxysms whenever Collins snaps her fingers…

      • Ad 7.1.2

        excellent link there

  8. infused 8

    So obviously more people need to move to the right 😉

    • ghostrider888 8.1

      that is funny, even from you infused; difficulty being, the ‘right’ wanna take up the both sides of the road and exhaust the planet ‘getting to wherever they think they better be going’. (usually where their neighbour holidays, schools their children, what air Left is fresher and there are less brown, or yellow, faces.). 😉

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