The Power of Anger

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, January 28th, 2019 - 75 comments
Categories: activism, Deep stuff, Politics, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

We’ve all felt it, anger, simmering or raging inside us. We have experienced it, at the hands of parents, partners, friends, teachers, colleagues, bosses, strangers, you name it. Most of us do almost anything to avoid it, to risk confrontation with another angry person or our angry self. Some of us can’t control it; they have so-called anger issues like Jake the Muss.

Generally, anger is perceived as a negative and even destructive emotion. Daily events that make us angry, e.g. the angry driver who cuts us off on the motorway and gives us the finger, are quickly and all too easily neutralised by going on-line and watching a ‘healthy’ dose of fluffy kittens (no offence to Mort) or smiling babies on social media or a violent movie in which the ‘good’ girl/guy (with whom we inevitably identify) always comes out on top. Suffice to say that this is often helped with a drink or some other mind-altering substance, i.e. self-medicating to de-stress. Life may not be perfect but it is tolerable this way, right?

Given that we have been brought up to treat anger with suspicion and fear even and thus something to be avoided, it comes as no surprise that many people have no idea how to deal with their own anger let alone that of others. Politicians are no exception. In fact, an angry politician is a bad or at least ineffective politician (e.g. “angry Andy”) because he or she is less rational and thus inferior because the thinking process and decision making is contaminated with/by emotions. Keep your emotions under control or even better, keep them out of the political process altogether, seems to be the dogma.

This perception of the role of anger in politics was confirmed again in a recent short discussion thread here on TS. Luckily, one commenter argued the opposite, that anger can be a catalyst for change. Indeed, anger can be a very powerful energy when harnessed and channelled appropriately. In fact, I’d argue that there’s not enough political anger in New Zealand. Instead, we have an apathetic populace and electorate and we have politicians who tippy-toe around the voters in fear of upsetting anybody and least of all the business community.

Anger can be an excellent motivator for action, e.g. when one is faced with an injustice be it a personal or social one. Instead of whinging & whining, moaning & complaining, criticising & ridiculing, we can all become activists in our own right to make this a better world, for ourselves and for others.

But here’s the thing, it is essential that our anger does not get its own voice. Rather, we need to get a handle on it and integrate into everything we think, say and do. And this is not a small task! The PC brigade is lurking around every corner. We must not upset anybody and even provide safe havens in universities for the precious little snowflakes who cannot handle too much human emotion on display. The latest fad on show on Netflix is the MMA (Mind Martial Art) of Tae Kondo which goes by the motto “Don’t be angry, be tidy”. The presumption is, I assume, that a tidy organized outer life with everything folded neatly away in tiny boxes in drawers leads to a serene peaceful inner life of joy and happiness. Hardly the world in which our raw emotions try to turn us into a raging Hulk in a blink of an eye.

This is nothing new but seems to come more to the fore around this time of the year when people feel (more) inclined to reflect and plan (dream) for the future. Yes, weed out harmful and (self-) damaging ideas but do not pretend you can or should throw away the negative stuff inside your head. There is no way we can shove the stuff we don’t like about ourselves in a rubbish bin or a drawer in the basement or attic and throw away the key thinking (hoping) that we’ll never have to deal with it again. The human psyche doesn’t work this way, apparently, and we would deny a large part of ourselves and stymie our psychological growth and development. Sweat the small stuff, it doesn’t matter how trivial it seems. If it helps us realise that there are no inner demons other than (only!) our shadow side then it becomes a very valuable thing or experience indeed.

However, there’s a more dangerous and sinister problem with not facing up to our ‘negative’ side. Some people are very good finding those messy drawers hidden in the basements of our psyche and they can use the contents to exploit our weakness and play us like a fiddle. Think of it like a computer hack in which the hacker can, in some cases, gain full control of your device, sometimes even without you realising it. Such people used to be called demagogues but nowadays they are most commonly called and known as populists.

We and politicians alike should face up (or down) to the side of ourselves we’d rather not know and use it to our advance. The energy that becomes available, instead of being used to keep the lid on our shadow side firmly down & closed, can be used to accomplish much-needed action for change. We will also gain a better understanding and appreciation of another person’s drive and passion and we will be better able to build bridges, find common ground, and collaborate instead of staying polarised and being defensive and competitive at the same time.

So, when you are angry, do not count till 10, but look inside and dig deep to find the origin of this anger, become aware and conscious of it. Then embrace it and make it your tool, your Stormbreaker so to speak, which only you can control. Alternatively, stick with the status quo and live long and prosper.

75 comments on “The Power of Anger”

  1. Gosman 1

    The trouble is that in searching for the ‘origin’ of the anger people are prone to being convinced that the cause is something that then leads to rather unpleasant and damaging consequences. Trump uses anger to motivate his support base in the USA. Maduro uses it for the same purpose in Venezuela. It becomes easy for despotic rulers and political movements to manipulate anger to serve their own ends because usually rationality and logic goes out the window when anger is involved.

    • Chris T 1.1

      “Trump uses anger to motivate his support base in the USA.”

      Disagree with this

      Yes he does a few times, but think he more often uses irrational fear.

      Those different and unknown – Illegal immigrants
      Genuinely scary people he hypes up the likelihood of attacking the US en masse – Terrorists (But tbf every president has used this one since 9/11
      Everyone you hear apart from me is lying to you – His “fake news”. Congress etc etc

      Nutter, but you can’t deny he is a clever one

  2. Morrissey 2

    Maduro = Trump?!??!??

    Te Reo, LPrent—this idiocy has to stop.

    • Adrian Thornton 2.1

      +1, Gosman is pure trolling, of the most vile and revolting type.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        You are quite right. Madure is much worse than Trump. At least Trump has democratic legitimacy.

        • te reo putake 2.1.1.1

          To be fair, Maduro got the majority of votes in his Presidential election. Trump … not so much.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            Except Trump won in an election that wasn’t boycotted by the main opposition parties and that the opposition and many local and international election observers did not declare as being fixed.

            However I digress from the OP. I will refrain from further refererences to Trump or Maduro as I have made my point about them.

            • Morrissey 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In contrast to the likes of Nosmag, the editors of Forbes are serious and respected analysts. No friends of democratic government in South America, they were nonetheless left with no option but to praise the integrity and honesty of the 2013 Venezuelan election….

              Forbes praised the technology, the encryption, the multiple checks and proofs against vote-rigging of the Venezuela system – supported by the fact that in an election the international community expected Hugo Chavez’s preferred successor Nicolas Maduro to win easily, he scraped through by a mere 1.83%.

              Eugenio Martinez, writing for Forbes, had set out looking to prove that Maduro’s narrow win was a result of rigging – yet by the end of his investigation he had to conclude that it was proof of a world-class, democratic system:

              The system Venezuela uses has some of the most advanced and voter-friendly security features in modern elections. Voters use a touch-sensitive electronic pad to make and confirm their choices. After confirmation, the electronic vote is encrypted and randomly stored in the machine’s memories. Voters audit their own vote by reviewing a printed receipt that they then place into a physical ballot box.

              At the end of Election Day, each voting machine computes and prints an official tally, called a precinct count. It transmits an electronic copy of the precinct count to the servers in the National Electoral Council’s central facility, where overall totals are computed.

              By mutual agreement between the contenders, 52.98% of the ballot boxes are chosen at random, opened, and their tallies compared with the corresponding precinct counts. This audit step ensures that no vote manipulation has occurred at the polling place. The extent of this audit, the widest in automatic elections, leaves little room for questioning.

              The series of tests before, during, and after a Venezuelan election is thorough and intense, conducted in the presence of election officials and political parties to ensure proper functionality and full confidence in the system. When it comes to elections, Venezuela has become a highly advanced nation of auditors, with the most advanced audit tools at its disposal and a voting process that is as transparent as any in the world.
              Eugenio Martinez for Forbes”

              http://i2.wp.com/skwawkbox.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/forbes-venez.png?w=470&ssl=1

              http://i2.wp.com/skwawkbox.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/forbes-venez.png?w=470&ssl=1

              • Gosman

                Ummm…. check the year and check when Maduro was re-elected.

              • And the 2018 election? Where he was re-elected to a second term, but the elections were controversial, with many opposition candidates barred from running or jailed, an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging, triggering large protests.

                Almost the electoral definition of illegitimate.

                • Morrissey

                  Key word: “allegations.” All unfounded. The Communists used to boycott elections in many countries; did their absence from the polling invalidate the results?

                  • el chubbo thanks you for your blind faith and continued support

                    • Morrissey

                      You really are clueless. I don’t blindly support Maduro; the Venezuelan government, like every other government is deeply flawed.

                      Do you think a bloody insurrection against the Trump regime is justified? It is only in power because of massive voter disenfranchisement in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, and many other states. Unlike the allegations by the extreme right in Venezuela, the evidence against the Republicans is documented and overwhelming.

                      So when will you join the uprising? Or are you all mouth?

                    • Gosman

                      Everybody seems to be clueless on Venezuela except Morrisey and his small band of like minded hard core one-eyed leftists. Fair enough.

                    • I don’t agree with your politics, Gosman, but you make much more sense on some of these issues than Breen ever will, and at least you’re not dishonest in how you put points over.

                      I mean look how he has linked voter disenfranchisement in the u.s presidential election with the massive vote rigging and jailing members of opposition by maduro in Venezuela, and asks if there’s a need for a bloody coup in the states 🙄

                      Classic morrissey.

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        Vide his witless and illiterate—“Madure”—answer on this very thread.

    • Gosman doesn’t make that case, Moz. He is saying that both politicians use anger as a motivating tool, which is probably correct.

      I know that unions use the phrase ‘Anger, Hope, Action’ as a strategic definition. That doesn’t mean they’re equivalent to Maduro or Trump either.

      So, the takeaway here is that if there is any idiocy on this post so far, it’s not coming from Gosman.

    • james 2.3

      You need to work on your comprehension. He said both use anger to motivate their support base.

      Not saying Maduro = Trump.

    • DJ Ward 2.4

      Gosman was pointing out the use of the supporters anger. Both Trump and Maduro do it. So they are equal in that respect. There is differences between Trump and Maduro that they are not equal on.

      Clearly Maduro is a stereotype leftist dictator, while Trump is brilliant.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    ” Democracy will always marginalise radicals.”
    Dennis Frank

    Open Mike 28/01/2019


    “Democracy will always marginalise the angry”
    Robert Guyton

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Hmm. I notice you didn’t cite Angry Andrew as an example. Possibly because shifting him from leader to Minister of Justice & #8 in cabinet ranking isn’t marginalising?

      Then there’s JLR. Well and truly marginalised. Yet somehow still has his handle on Aristotle’s lever, and a place to stand from which he can move the National world.

      • patricia bremner 3.1.1

        Perhaps Frank because that anger was a right construct. “Angry Andy”
        It was how the right wanted one of our thoughtful fair politicians viewed.

        • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1

          Yes it was framing by the right. And he’s become moderate since. Still, his anger at social injustice is typical of the chip-on-the-shoulder syndrome (which I carried a long time too)…

      • It was the worse mistake Little ever made in his political career IMO, I don’t know who or why he softened his image, got rid of his glasses etc…probably one of the worse pieces of political advise for a while, but then I guess he went along with it.

        NZ was ready for a leader to be outraged at what had happened to our country, he could have made National own all their terrible and destructive policies (or lack of), instead National have waked away absolutely scott free, and now attack Labour on housing, but Labour ineptly left that door wide open for them, so they probably deserve it.

        The right Labour leader ( and party) would have relentlessly attacked Nationals housing record, and made them scared to even talk on the subject for at least a couple of years..but no yet another fail for positive pragmatism, pah!

        • Dennis Frank 3.1.2.1

          I agree re righteous anger. It can be used to power social crusades and political programs very effectively. But it often isn’t effective, so learning about the downside is important too. Polarising is counter-productive.

          I do agree also re pragmatism having a downside too. There’s a trade-off, often. What is a useful tactical compromise to some will seem like a sell-out to others. Human nature both ways, and we waste time being unrealistic if we get bogged down in trying to assert that one is right and the other isn’t. Better to forge common ground where possible.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Thanks for that general view of the relevance of anger to politics. It suggests deeper dimensions to be explored, such as the relation of anger to evil. There’s the issue of how it operates as a handicap to political effectiveness, by making political activities part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    There’s also the relevance of class analysis to contemporary society: how some social groups are disadvantaged structurally, and why, historically, and how comprehension can defuse collective anger by opening up a better path to the future for the group.

    Individual activists powered by anger easily go off the rails. Maduro doesn’t seem evil. He was a bus-driver. A sense of grievance motivating him into solidarity in politics with Chavez & others was totally understandable & valid. Crossing the line into unethical behaviour was not. Anger drives so many politicos into excess, and actions warped by the group belief-system occur when it over-rides conscience.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    People and politicians that should be, in New Zealand are definitely not angry and outraged nearly enough, most boring kiwis show and display far more feelings and emotion to their favorite sport than they would ever to any political issue..

    look at the ’81 Springbok Tour one of NZ greatest moments…politicians should always at the back of their minds have an inbuilt fear of the population.

    The Left has traditionally one of the natural homes for political anger and dissent, but with the recent rise over the past few decades of the ‘centre left’ liberal political cancer that has rendered this space toothless…much of this anger has moved to the Right…witness the rise of the extreme Right in Europe, but the demise of it in the UK where Corbyn’s Left has been an effective voice for angry disenfranchised citizens.

  6. Jenny - How to get there? 6

    The power of anger vs. the weakness of appeasement.

    Todd Muller the National Party Climate Change Spokesperson  has accused the government of being “blinded by Green Ideology’. 

    Instead of meekly keeping their silence, I have suggested that the Green Party needed to forcefully answer Todd Muller’s attack on the government. 

    I was told, that to answer Muller’s attack piece, would put in jeopardy any chance of a by-partisan accord with the National Party.

    In his public attack piece Todd Muller strongly and repeatedly and forcefully argued that New Zealand should not lead the world on climate change.

    While his party is still engaged in negotiation with the government, in so called ‘Good Faith’, for a bi-partisan climate accord. (An act of bad faith in itself). Todd Muller National’s climate change spokesperson repeatedly stated, and restated, one of his party’s bottom line demands – New Zealand must not lead the world on climate change.

    “It is absolutely critical that we move – but let’s not move at a pace that leaves businesses and communities behind and puts our economy at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world…..” Todd Muller

    “…..allowing science to paint the picture, with technology leading the way, pacing ourselves at the pace of our competitors, and being relentlessly honest about the economic implications of the transition.” Todd Muller

    “When our total emissions account for 0.17 per cent of total global emissions, leadership isn’t being first, fast and famous.” Todd Muller

    “Future generations will thank us for working with, and at the pace of, global partners….” Todd Muller

    National’s position as outlined by Todd Muller is in direct opposition to the advice of the recent past top scientific adviser to the National Government, Professor Gluckman, who wrote on the government website. That because of this country’s relatively small emissions our greatest contribution to fighting climate change will be by setting an example.

    In my opinion the negotiations between the government and the opposition for a climate accord need to be called off until National changes their position that we lag behind the world on climate change action.

    Muller’s argument is a rehash of John Key’s “Fast Follower” doctrine.  Any accord on climate change with the National Party pointless while they hold this position.

    If you take Muller’s cowardly argument to its logical conclusion, every country would/should follow every other country, just in case they give their competitors an advantage. 
    Muller’s nationalist right-wing viewpoint was put most bluntly by Donald Trump, who said, “climate change was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”  

    This fear of losing competitive advantage, is why the globe cannot agree on taking unified action on climate change. Every country, is waiting on every other country to do something before they act, in case they give their competitors an advantage.

    From a time when New Zealand led the world.

    “The Hunger Strike Medal”

    Claire Regnault is showing me a tiny object from 1914….

    It’s a little suffragette medal, and it was awarded to Frances Parker who was a New Zealander living in London. And coloquelly it’s known as “The Hunger Strike Medal”….

    It is an emblem of incredible courage and suffering and valor. Francis Parker was imprisoned several times between 1908 and 1914 in increasingly dire conditions for her protests….

    She was born in New Zealand her parents were English but they lived in Curow in Otago, and when she was about 22 she was sent to  the UK to go to university

    Francis Parker graduated from Cambridge 1899, by the turn of the 20 Century New Zealand women had already had the vote for three electoral cycles. But they were still the only women in the world to have that right….

    In Britain, some of them were starting to take the lead…..

    There are wonderful articles in the papers of when the New Zealand contingent would lead the marches to Hyde Park for these sort of big rallies, as whole possessors of the vote….

    ……She gives the example of a window smashing campaign in London that resulted in Parker’s arrest.

    “[It was] co-ordinated for a Friday at 5.45 [pm] exactly, all these women who seemed to be peacefully going around town shopping suddenly – and the newspaper descriptions are wonderful – from their handbags and their muffs came stones and batons and sticks and they began violently smashing windows,” Regnault says….

    ……Parker and her fellow demonstrators were treated as criminally insane or as hysterics.

    “Which is something that’s really emblematic of women who fought for their rights all through history, they’re always diminished or demeaned and it’s implied they’re mad or insane or criminals.”

    McFall describes Parker as a “political prisoner”, saying there was a “sadistic quality” to the way Parker was treated in prison.

    “With the force feeding, first of all from the cup then through a nose tube and then rectally – I had no idea that happened, I actually found that quite difficult to read in her account of it, that was printed afterwards under a pseudonym.

    “And then of course she talks about being violated vaginally as well, it’s very hard not to see this as a political act.”

    Today, the fight for women’s rights around the world continues. 

    In January 2017, after Donald Trump’s inauguration as US President, McFall took to the streets of Wellington as part of the global Women’s March.

    She held a sign saying: ‘Kate Sheppard sent me’. 

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/ours/story/2018642777/leah-mcfall-and-the-suffragette-medal

    • Jenny - How to get there? 6.1

      Speaking of righteous anger moral outrage and hunger strikes;

      Why are our elected political leaders once so vocal on this issue before their election not speaking out about this?

      Have they lost their moral compass?

      Man dies at detention centre where New Zealanders are on hunger protest
      Mathew Theunissen – Radio New Zealand, January 26, 2019

      A man has taken his own life at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre, where detainees have been on a hunger protest for what they say is their unjust incarceration….

      …..”It’s an absolute tragedy that there should be another death. There’s been so many offshore and so many onshore and this is just going to add to the list of victims of mandatory detention in Australia.”

      Detainee Ali Yousuf, who’s being held at Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation facility, said that just before the suicide, the young man had a meeting with immigration officials who said he would be deported.

      “It was an African bloke, a young bloke,” he said.

      “He was seen by immigration and refused a visa. He wanted just to return to his family but they didn’t let him, they wanted to deport him … next week. And he killed himself.”….

      ……New Zealanders make up a large portion of detainees refusing meals at detention centres in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

      Some are now entering their 12th day with little or no food.

      Australian authorities deny there is a mass hunger strike taking place.

      RNZ approached the office of [Australian] Immigration Minister David Coleman on Tuesday for comment, but is yet to receive a reply……

      Why are MPs not demanding some answers from Coleman?

      Have our MPs fully briefed of the situation by the Australian Government and are just keeping silent?

      Do they believe the Australian Government denials that the New Zealand detainees are on hunger strike?

  7. Ad 7

    The right simply does anger better than the left.
    Leave them to it.

    We’ve seen anger unleashed in the United States and across elsewhere and its extremism is pretty much irrevocable.

    The best the left can muster is teenagers at conferences going weepie.
    Much more effective for the left because the left manipulates feminine-dominant emotions far better.

    • DJ Ward 7.1

      Antifa?

    • Jenny - How to get there? 7.2

      “….the left manipulates feminine-dominant emotions far better.” Ad

      A disgustingly patronisingly sexist comment if I ever saw one.

      Wonder you haven’t copped a ban. And a bloody long one.

      “…… women who fought for their rights all through history, they’re always diminished or demeaned …..”

      The Hunger Strike Medal

  8. RedLogix 8

    Well written and thoughtful post Incognito. It rates a careful read, because I suspect most people here will skim through it and then append their own misapprehensions in the comments.

    The energy that becomes available, instead of being used to keep the lid on our shadow side firmly down & closed, can be used to accomplish much-needed action for change. We will also gain a better understanding and appreciation of another person’s drive and passion and we will be better able to build bridges, find common ground, and collaborate instead of staying polarised and being defensive and competitive at the same time.

    Love it!

    • Hate it!

      Why is it that the (so called) Left have always got to find common ground with the Right, do any of you really think the Right ever sit around hand wringing about building bridges with the Left…of course not, never, and why would they? they know how weak the Centre Left have become, how shit scared of perceived middle class backlash the Left is, so even the tiniest bit of pressure from National or the press always results in Labour shifting Right, never the other way around.

      The truth is that Right believe in their ideology and ideas and absolutely believe they are right in what they do, that is the one and only thing I admire about them…

      When will we ever have a Labour with that sort of conviction in what it believes again? I guess we will know when the Right start coming to us looking for common ground and compromise, so in other words, not any time soon.

      Fuck pragmatism.

      Turn Labour Left!

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Maybe we keep losing ground because the left has forgotten how to negotiate political compromises everyone can live with.

        Instead of accepting that we aren’t going to get our way all the time, the left throws resentful little tantrums and whines a lot. And then wonder why no-one takes us seriously.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          Yup.

          Evangelicals stick by dolt45 through almost all his BS, even though he’s going to hell by their estimation. The opposite end of the spectrum despise anyone slightly to their right or too far to their left.

        • No one takes us seriously because no one knows what we actually stand for or believe in or would get into the trenches and get dirty and fight for..that is exactly why we lose ground..that one reason and nothing else.

          No lines lines in the sand for the pragmatists.

          All that the Centre Lefts bending over and taking one for the team has got us is stagnant wages for most workers o for 20+ years, criminally unaffordable housing across the whole country, the largest blowout of wealth inequality recorded, our water and rivers fucked etc etc…yep that ol’ centrist pragmatism is such a powerful tool, a political movement that will empower and motivate the disenfranchised LOL…whatever, maybe you should make the time and go down to a building site or a orchard and talk with some workers sometime, and see what they make of your pragmatic Labour…you might well get a little shock pal.

          BTW I love the way that you centrists always frame the idea of standing absolutely by some sort set of Left wing principles or manifesto as something like this… “the left throws resentful little tantrums and whines a lot.” which is of course you buying right into and parrorting their narrative…isn’t that stange.

        • Siobhan 8.1.1.3

          Our Left wing politicians have been very good at ‘not whining’ and negotiating political compromises for the last 40 years. And with Ardern ‘we’ are going nuclear on compromise.

          So tell me…hows the average workers wages and employment rights going? Up or down do you think?

          And how’s the average persons ability to pay the rent going?

          And the working classes…hows it going for them sending kids to University?

          https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/14/real-wages-the-brutal-truth/

          “The report said the lowest 20 percent of earners spent 54 percent of their income on housing in 2015, compared with just 29 percent in the late 1980s.”

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12122733

          https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/lifestyle/career/dame-jenny-shipley-and-helen-clark-talk-about-their-friendship-38775

          You might not be angry, and our politicians aren’t angry, because this stuff doesn’t effect them or their friends, but someone out there is probably getting pretty disillusioned, and its just a matter of time before Right wing nutters start tapping into that resentment in a way nz hasn’t seen in a long time.

          (though, given the Wellington Student ‘rent crisis’ with nice kids from nice homes struggling, maybe our leaders will be forced into ‘anger’- ha!)

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.3.1

            @Siobhan.

            I’ve no idea if you live with a partner or not, but I ask you to consider the last time you ‘won’ an argument with them, defeated them completely and got your own way entirely. How did that work out long term?

            Now of course if a couple really disagree and cannot live with it, then they can always go their own separate ways. Always unpleasant, sometimes ugly.

            Consider a nation; both the conservative and liberal minded people will tend to disagree with each other and the whole point of politics is to find solutions both groups can live with. The idea the left can ‘win’ or defeat the right in the long run is a dangerous delusion.

            Because if a nation cannot agree on the middle path, there is no option to walk away.

            • veutoviper 8.1.1.3.1.1

              Another regular here might want to participate in that one. LOL.

            • Siobhan 8.1.1.3.1.2

              That sounds like a great argument for co dependency.

              If I had a partner who was ‘philosophical’ about seeing me homeless and ending up in the street, earning less than a livable wage, unable to access an urgent operation , and swamped with debt from some half arsed qualification , I would not present them with a compromise…I would divorce them.

              We are not on a middle path…we are on the road to nowhere…

              • RedLogix

                I would divorce them.

                Fair enough, that’s what I proposed a couple might do in such circumstances. But a whole nation? I’m not sure exactly how you think we might ‘divorce’ the roughly 40% of the population who are conservative.

                I’m not being pedantic here; if we want the left to make enduring gains, we have to find a way to take most people with us.

      • Gosman 8.1.2

        Do you actually understand any right wing ideology or are you caught up in your cartoonish view of what it is they want to do?

      • OnceWasTim 8.1.3

        Calm down Adrian! Rome wasn’t built in a day !
        And there’s a mountain of savs to suck, a load of ‘isms’ to consider in the deepest of detail), a number of horses in the stables to determine which is the best pronunciation of “EEEE ORRR”, as well as a Davos or two to get through before we can begin to address the issues (going forward)

        Do you think you could possibly benefit from an anger management course? In the meantime I might be able to offer you some relief from your frustration to give us a little time to schedule you an appointment with a counselor.

        • @OnceWasTim
          Calm down Adrian! Rome wasn’t built in a day ! it is so easy for you to just say those few words, but why don’t you go and say that to the orchard workers out there today, sweating in 35+ degree heat, working for pretty much the same rates as they where getting 20+ years ago, and now paying half that hard earned money in fucking rent,…that is where all your bullshit compromise and pragmatism gets them..not you, so no I won’t calm down, maybe it is you who should be getting angry..ever thought about that.

          And maybe you should get some counselling to see what avoidance mechanisms you have unknowingly put into place in your sub conscience, that lets you so serenely live with your fellow citizens suffering.

          BTW mate you haven’t seen me angry yet, not even close.

          • OnceWasTim 8.1.3.1.1

            I was debating whether or not to put in a “/sarc” at the end of that comment but thought you’d have got that anyway.
            I’m very familiar with orchard workers btw. You mention the 35 degree heat and shit money. You forgot to mention the shit accommodation many are living in, not to mention some working days on end because they’re expected to work while the weather holds because if it rains there can be no income.

            And as for the “BTW mate you haven’t seen me angry yet, not even close.”, that’s the thing I can’t understand why the caring and sharing government hasn’t yet picked up on – or at least just how bad things have become. Boiling point has been reached – not just with orchard workers, but with junior doctors and teachers and courier drivers and truck drivers and, and, and others.
            Good will goes only so far

            • OnceWasTim 8.1.3.1.1.1

              Oh, btw, I just heard of a case of someone in the Nelson area.
              A 55 year old living in a shitty boarding house with a bedroom not much bigger than a telephone box with all his worldly goods – that is those that have not yet been sold off in order to pay for some pretty basic things like buying a Christmas present for his daughter, and buying a much needed tyre for the shit heap that is used to get him from a – b.
              Severely depressed with past suicidal events and disabilities.
              WINZ’s outsourced ticket clipper “workbroker” sucking on a series of cream cakes, and who is never avaialable, and who doesn’t keep appointments (the one that states ” we link the right people to the right jobs”) seems to think that some of that orchard work would be just the ticket.

      • Morrissey 8.1.4

        Here’s John Pagani finding “common ground” with a couple of right wing thugs….

        https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/01/wimp-walloping-williams-and-ralston-vs.html

        In the following link, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry as Jeremy Elwood bends over backwards to Nevil “Breivik” Gibson, Tim Watkin bows down to Michael Bassett, Duncan Webb genuflects to Neil Miller, and Brian Edwards agrees to everything snarled out by Michelle Boag….

        https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/wimp-walloping.html

    • veutoviper 8.2

      Incognito, I am with RedLogix on your post. Thanks Red – again you have said it better than I could have.

      A well thought out post that has left me still thinking, particularly about the paragraph that RedLogix has quoted.

      Based on the second half of that para, I drafted a long comment reflecting on some aspects of the way people interact here on the Standard – but it is one of those that I cannot decide whether to post or not!

      So I am following that old adage – sleep on it overnight …

      Pity I cannot run it by you first because I would welcome your views. But it is something I have been thinking about for some time recently and your post has really helped me clarify my thoughts, and change my focus somewhat.

      Tomorrow I will look at it again with fresh eyes.

  9. patricia bremner 9

    This may be on a “personal” level but I had a flash of that dark anger this morning.

    Apparently the billionaires at Davos consider extra taxes won’t help inequality.

    I paused and a flood of repugnance and fury swept over me. “The feck they don’t!!”

    I continued reading. Their rationalisation was they trusted private entities more than the government to spend their money.

    They warned the precariat could become dangerous. They could cause the rise of populism or socialism, and many didn’t realise the free stuff they got with democracy and how globalism could be under threat.

    Wow, it is all there in one bloody sentence. The middle class could be dangerous.
    Globalism with light taxes must be maintained.

    What great scheme did they offer to overcome inequality? Upskilling.

    Some admitted poaching employees wasn’t working any more , and there was a need to invest or offer incentives to employees to upskill, especially in the digital area. So how long will this last? Till they have built their A I? What then?

    So the most wealthy who are gaining wealth at an ever increasing rate believe extra tax won’t help inequality, while the precariat and the poor face shrinking worth.

    Here in NZ, Please Labour, introduce capital gains tax, also a more graduated tax table similar to Australia where the top rate is 45% and have a special rate for income over *million. say *two/ *five / *ten??

    Key used to call this anger “envy”…. the feck it is, you bumptious prat. It is disgust.

    • Gosman 9.1

      A good example of where anger isn’t really very helpful. You just got yourself worked up to little effect.

    • james 9.2

      “Here in NZ, Please Labour, introduce capital gains tax”.

      Here in NZ, Please Labour campaign on introducing a capital gains tax.

      Go on, please, please, please.

      You will lose so much of your vote it wont be fuuny (for them anyway)

  10. WeTheBleeple 10

    If you are not outraged you’re just not paying attention. Sure, one can be philosophical about things but if your bullshit detector isn’t getting more hits than some pop tarts sex tape every time you turn on the news or listen to Gosman… you’re part of the problem.

    Hell, I was fed up decades ago. We were on the Waipa Council, clear felling riversides of trees enabling stock access while the goal was ‘to keep the water clean’, and all manner of other dumb shit. Watched all the regional rail disappearing – bah, screw these guys, I’m going bush.

  11. McFlock 11

    The phrase drilled into me back in the day was “controlled aggression”, rather than anger.

    Anger can take control, skew your perceptions, make you do dumb mistakes or focus on the wrong target as more immediate threats emerge. It also burns out.

    You need to be controlled, assessing the situation and planning new ways to achieve your objective in a changing environment. Aggression provides energy and focus, but you need to keep your brain in control, not your glands.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      “In many humans the reptilian cortex (agenda: territory and reproduction [in humans that translates to power and sex] is out of control and the amygdala stokes the fear that leads to more bad behavior. The prefrontal cortex is the key to our future if we can harness its power.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain

      “Howard Bloom, in his book The Lucifer Principle, references the concept of the triune brain in his explanations of certain aspects of human behavior. Arthur Koestler made MacLean’s concept of the triune brain the centerpiece of much of his later work, notably The Ghost in the Machine.” Both are essential reading!

      “Glynda-Lee Hoffmann, in her book, “The Secret Dowry of Eve, Women’s Role in the Development of Consciousness,” references the triune theory explored by MacLean, and she goes one step further. Her theory about human behavior and the problems we create with that behavior, distinguishes the prefrontal cortex as uniquely different from the rest of the neocortex. The prefrontal cortex, with its agenda of integration, is the part of the brain that can get the other parts to work together for the good of the individual.” Haven’t read that, but intend to.

      “The triune model of the mammalian brain is seen as an oversimplified organizing theme by some in the field of comparative neuroscience. It continues to hold public interest because of its simplicity. While technically inaccurate in many respects as an explanation for brain activity, it remains one of very few approximations of the truth we have to work with: the “neocortex” represents that cluster of brain structures involved in advanced cognition, including planning, modeling and simulation; the “limbic brain” refers to those brain structures, wherever located, associated with social and nurturing behaviors, mutual reciprocity, and other behaviors and affects that arose during the age of the mammals; and the “reptilian brain” refers to those brain structures related to territoriality, ritual behavior and other “reptile” behaviors.”

      So, a model that maps reality reasonably well. Anger is part of the mammalian contribution, driven by hormones, as far as I can tell. The key question: how does the mind rule the brain?

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Realistic training, stress inoculation, and more training.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.1

          Do you just mean self-discipline? Experientially, I’d agree, but I actually meant in respect of mind/brain interface. Reductionists don’t believe in mind, so their explanation is mechanistic. Part of the brain organises the whole. Their problem? No proof. Perhaps not even any evidence…

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1

            All a bit beyond me today.

            But no, it’s not just “self-discipline”.

            I’ve seen someone freak out and start to get the adrenaline shivers over a cut toe, mostly because their (also drunk) friend was panicking right next to them. Had someone with an even worse foot injury start to do little teary-eyed smiles on the way to ED, simply because everyone around was calm, collected, and reassuring.

            When I was in one accident, I was fine, but a couple of bystanders were concerned because I was shaking. I knew that was just the adrenaline rush taking my fine motor skills, because that’s how people react to stress. I was fine. But I could have screwed myself up if I’d panicked, it compounds itself.

            I actually find it a constant source of fascination as to why I might experience even a small frisson of this or that emotion. Why am I defensive about X? Am I jealous? Why was my impulse to react like Y? And if I’m doing those things, do i need to break the pattern?

            It’s not so much toughing it out with self-discipline, it’s just removing “my body makes me feels this” from the list of “new shit I need to learn how to handle really fast”. If I know that feeling X is a physiological reaction that I will get over, I can remove that from the situation I am assessing – but use that energy if I need it.

            • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I know what you mean. I’ve experienced that sense of self as objective observer on & off since I was a teenager, and experienced the tugging effect of emotions-driven responses attempting to dislodge my clarity of overview of contentious situations. I had a big anger problem, deriving from childhood. My second wife persuaded me to do psychotherapy on it. That was during ’83. Took a little more than a year & never been a problem since.

        • greywarshark 11.1.1.2

          Putting the triune brain into an individual context which people can use is perhaps like the transactional analysis I have mentioned.

          Three main aspects to our thinking – Child, Adult, Parent. A lot of Adult thinking and explanation here today. Probably some Parent – embedded rules and guidelines some of which might be out of date or time. The Child allows creative desires to come forward, tries out different styles, allows unfettered brainstorming sessions.

          I’m OK – You’re OK Thomas Antony Harris
          and Games People Play by Eric Berne
          and Games Alcoholics Play
          are all on TradeMe at present from $20.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 11.2

      “Depression is anger turned inward”
      Sigmund Freud

      Get me a sledge hammer: Depression is anger turned inward
      Christine Stapleton – PsychCentral, May 15, 2014

      About 8 years ago, during my last major depression, I was told that depression was anger turned inward and that if I did not get rid of my anger, I would not get better.

      This baffled me because at the time I felt nothing but hopelessness. I had emotionally flatlined. I didn’t feel angry. I felt exhausted. However, the people who told me this – my psych nurse and therapist – knew what they were talking about. They had spent decades treating people with depression. If they said I would not get well until I got rid of my anger, then I would get rid of my [depression*] [sic].

      My therapist gave me a whiffle bat and wanted me to beat a pillow. Really? A whiffle bat? A pillow? I figured that if the amount of anger in me was enough to reduce me to a listless, despondent lump of flesh, a whiffle bat was not going to do the trick.

      I put on my steel-toed work boots, found a metal baseball bat in the shed and drove to a junkyard. I asked the guys if I could have a few minutes alone with one of their vehicles. They raised their eyebrows and took me to a green truck. They left me alone.

      I have no idea how long I was there but when I had finished, there were no windows in the truck. The side-view mirrors were gone and there were some serious dents on the hood and quarter-panels where my bat and boots had seen some action.

      Being the good little doobee I am, I asked the guys if they wanted me to clean up my mess. They raised their eyebrows and said, “Don’t worry about it.”……

      It took nearly a week for the sore muscles to heal but I felt better. My therapist helped me learn ways to release my anger without shredding every muscle in my body. Screaming underwater in my pool or with the car windows rolled up and Alanis Morrisette blaring worked. Taking a metal baseball bat to a few pillows worked, too. Although replacing pillows started to add up.

      Today, I am dealing with some anger/rage again. I need to get rid of it before I can return to my regularly scheduled program: my job. The screaming underwater or destroying pillows ain’t going to be enough. I need to hit something…..

      Christine Stapleton has been a journalist for 35 years. She is now an investigative … for The Palm Beach Post. In 2006, began writing a blog for PsychCentral called Depression on My Mind….

      Speaking for myself, I would rather channel my righteous anger into something productive.

      At the political level if the Left don’t respond to people’s anger over inequality, climate change, The Right will

  12. greywarshark 12

    Something to get angry about in NZ.
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/381133/tourist-demands-mean-rural-practices-left-without-gp-for-hours

    In an emergency, doctors have to abandon the patients at their practices to go out to help.

    They are worried that will happen more often as tourist numbers increase – and they will not have any extra support.

    Nestled near Aoraki-Mt Cook in the Mackenzie District is the rural town of Twizel. It has a population of fewer than 1500 but it swells dramatically during the summer months as tourists descend.

    Rural General Practice Network chief executive Dalton Kelly said in an emergency the doctor might have to go out with an ambulance or by themselves.

    “What that means is that the people who normally would be going to see the doctor in their practice or the nurse, they won’t have access to that person.

    “They may sit there for five to six hours not able to see their GP. But the tourist will be well looked after in bad circumstances.”

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