web analytics

There is Hope.

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, November 10th, 2015 - 65 comments
Categories: class, class war, democracy under attack, democratic participation, political alternatives, Revolution, socialism - Tags: , , ,

“Smash the State” was a well know maxim of anarchism for a long time. The state is the point where-by the forces of capitalism and reaction can bring overbearing force onto the population – generally violently and always with a level of malice reminiscent of a two year old who was not getting their way. What is most interesting moving into the 21 first century is the commitment by elements of the right to wholesale destruction of the state. Anarchism has called for just that for much of it’s history, relying on working people to spontaneously create co-operative units, and democratic forms at every turn.

Losing the civil war in Spain was a wake up call that many anarchists missed. Working people did not spontaneously create or co-operate (in all but a few exceptions). And democratic forces were not embedded. The smashed state brought them nothing. The lack of democratic replacements in all but a few exceptions meant that anti democratic forces have at every turn weakened democracy and democratic participation ever since.

At heart, anarchism is a voice of reason; a voice for all that is good in humanity and a voice to offer hope. Democracy is a system which needs people to engage on a regular basis. It’s not a system, which can be brought and sold for 30 pieces of silver, once ever few years.

The road to democracy, freedom and liberty is not born of a spontaneous inbuilt desire that will spawn when the state is smashed. Far from it. Anarchists have had to realise that the road to freedom, liberty and democracy is hard work; that people who live in a anti-democratic environment do not have the skills, nor the drive to embrace a full blown democratic environment. For some, there’s acknowledgement of the need for more democracy. But cynicism and a sense of hopelessness is generally the main outcome of living in this type of system. The will to power should be the will to have power over our own life and its affairs. But the will to have power over our own affairs has been sucked out of most people. It is simpler to just reach for the bottle, or the TV remote – and not have to think about what it means to participate in a fulsome, rich and free society.

When the debased desires of destruction and power are the only point to politics, then politics is rotten. If you respond to that assertion with hopelessness or a feeling of dis-empowerment, then the forces of reaction and capitalism have done their propaganda job well. But if you can think of a society and a better community which does not embrace destruction and power for powers sake – then you stand with democracy. Democracy is not perfect. That should be seen as a positive. Without it, all we have to rule the day is authoritarianism and ideologies that refuse to be critiqued because they believe in there own perfection. Our history is littered with the dead and maimed at the hands of individuals and groups who embraced authoritarianism and ideology. Today an old type of authoritarianism is on the rise – the theocratic state. These states, are just as nasty and vicious as any in the past. They also represent a new high point by anti-democratic forces in the use of fear and terror.

An old adage was that fear is the mind killer. In this age, that has been reaffirmed. A society that embraces the visual medium, can be controlled by fear. Through fear, the mind becomes disengaged, so our base desires and emotions can be manipulated. This is the whole point of propaganda – the drive to control the population. The accumulation of wealth, the divide and rule approach to ruling society – all have at there base in fear. Your choice is to live with fear and let your emotions be manipulated and follow what is prescribed. Or you can face your fear, remove yourself from the constant emotional bombardment and embrace freedom.

Live free or be a serf. This is fast becoming the only options that the forces of capitalism and reaction are leaving society with. We can give up and just roll through this day and into the next, then the next. Sleep, follow orders, do nothing but consume. Or we could try and engage with freedom. We could try thinking for ourselves and become fully engaged members of a true democracy. There will be pain and fatigue and setbacks. That’s part of the price of freedom alongside diligence, vigilance, and a working mind.

Adam

65 comments on “There is Hope. ”

  1. Anno1701 1

    a lot of people mistake Anarchy (ism) for chaos

    they are very different things

  2. Ad 2

    Great to hear a fresh voice.

    I don’t yet get how you define freedom.

    It’s easy to define freedom as “against constraints”. James Dean was asked what are you rebelling against? “What have you got?”.

    Freedom defined as against. Against poverty, against force, against stuff.

    Whereas defining freedom as “for” is harder.
    Freedom for a generative life.
    Freedom for creating stuff that lasts beyond one’s own lifetime, so that benefits accumulate intergenerationally.
    Freedom for whole groups, cohorts, and societies is stuff that requires organizing. Freedom to daily and annually defeat entropy with the will to improve one’s lot.

    Up the organisers.

    • weka 2.1

      I thought Adam was pretty clear about what he is for. Freedom via rejecting authoritarianism and embracing real democracy. It’s not just against, it’s very much ‘for’.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Not to me.
        You can’t paint the Constitution with a house brush.
        Hope this writer keeps going, but it has a bad case of Leftie Buzzword Bingo going on.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          It’s alright, he just speaking a language you’re not fluent in, no need to be rude about it.

  3. gsays 3

    cheers adam, plenty of food for thought.
    personally, i feel i am an anarchist.

    two things come to mind:
    i will not be governed nor will i govern.
    and,
    where there is law, there is no love,
    where there is love there is no law.

    i haven’t got there through any political theory more from a spiritual angle.

    i think, as a species, we need to evolove to anarchism.

    meanwhile time is best spent getting our brothers and sisters, and communities ready and resilient (gardens, independent energy and water supply, empowering youth) for any change.

    • Bill 3.1

      where there is law, there is no love,
      where there is love there is no law.

      The danger of that sort of thinking is that it can lead straight back to individualism and the ‘orrible spectacle of ‘life-stylers’.

      If my society has limits or rules, that’s okay as long as I and everyone else plays a meaningful role in the formation and development of those rules and limits.

      A banal example – because I like banal examples 😉

      I grew cauliflowers. I raised them from seed, watered them and what not. Can someone just come along out of the blue some day and harvest them? No. The limit on their freedom is an expectation that we by and large, defer to the judgement of those who took responsibility for a particular act. Now sure, if I’m of a persuasion to let the whole lot go to seed instead of harvesting them, and society wants them harvested, then a dialogue starts.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Every person who goes onto tank water or off-grid photovoltaics is one more cut to the publicly-regulated services being available as consistent services for all ie those with the money and conscience to go off-grid undercut the public good.

        • gsays 3.1.1.1

          hi ad,
          i relocated a whare about 12yrs ago,
          the motivation for going off grid was max bradford ‘reforms’ in the elecricity area.

          before then i viewed the ‘line’ charge as an obscenity.
          the infrastructure built by our parents tax dollars (owned by us),
          then being charged for access to this infrastructure…

          i would gently suggest the public good has had a far greater disservice visited on it by pollys.

        • Bill 3.1.1.2

          What’s to stop people going off-grid in a community or collective way rather than in an individual fashion?

          Nothing is stopping people from shifting away from notions of individual wealth to communal wealth. If I have money and a spring, then what stops me tapping that spring and thereafter seeing it as a community asset rather than something that I alone have?

          If I can afford a photovoltaic array, or have a particularly good location for one, then what is to stop it being hooked up to those around here, or of my location being used by some-one else who has the money that I haven’t got?

          Undercutting of the public good only happens in a somewhat crippling and shitty world of individualism that, funnily enough, looks precisely like what we have right now.

        • weka 3.1.1.3

          “Every person who goes onto tank water or off-grid photovoltaics is one more cut to the publicly-regulated services being available as consistent services for all ie those with the money and conscience to go off-grid undercut the public good.”

          Water is funded by rates, so unless you stop paying your rates the water infrastructure is still being paid for. People with water tanks are generally those with no access town supply. I’ve not heard of anyone with town supply access refusing it tbh.

          Electricity, that’s an interesting one. Enough people going off grid, or having grid tied local generation, will collapse the current commercial system and may force the authorities to change back to electricity as common good resource.

          I get your general point about indiviudalism, but it’s the off grid people that are going to help the rest of us survive when the shit hits the fan. It will vary from person to person as to how good they are at sharing (which is why I count social intelligence highly in resliency skills). A friend of mine living in central Chch after the quakes said that their neighbourhood worked eg the people who still had power shared that, likewise the people who still had water etc. I’m sure that would vary from place to place.

          • Ad 3.1.1.3.1

            When the shit hits the fan the individual survivalists are the ones most at risk. Collective wins.

            • weka 3.1.1.3.1.1

              not everyone off grid is an individualist survivalist, esp in NZ. I’d say many of the people off grid in NZ are the ones also involved in transition towns and other community building intiatives that are no longer waiting for the govt and local bodies to get their shit together. It’s changing a bit in recent years, there are definitely more city escapees in the country, who don’t have traditional rural values around connectivity and helping each other out. But I’d still say the balance falls in favour of people who will co-operate.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2

        Reminds me of Lao Tsu

        When the way is lost there is love.
        When love is lost there is kindness.
        When kindness is lost there is justice,
        and when justice is lost there is religion.

        With regard to the cauliflowers, if society wants them harvested the very least society can do is maintain a system of justice, lest priests of one stripe or another take the lot.

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          How does society (or community) maintain a system of justice? I can’t see any way other than ultimately it comes down to force. Who gets to decide about that? Of course the need for force can be lessened hugely depending on how the system of justice is designed and maintained, but it’s still there isn’t it?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1.1

            Of necessity, otherwise the swamp kauri exports (to name something completely at random) are decided by bleach attacks.

            • weka 3.1.2.1.1.1

              which just takes us back to what kind of system of force we want. I never hear how that is supposed to work.

              • gsays

                as i stated earlier i have come to anarchy from the spiritual angle rather than politically, so..
                the force aspect of the state becomes redundent as people evolve to anarchy.
                when we are concerned for the well being of our neighbour.

                this is the hard work that is referred to can apply.
                the work on the self, the sacrifice of my idea of myself.

                you love your neighbour as you love yourself.
                this is law, is doesn’t matter if you believe it or not.

                • weka

                  I suppose that is predicated on the idea that all humans are capable of something between Lao Tsu’s love and justice, but I’m not sure that is true. This is the biggest stumbling block for me regarding anarchism. The theory sounds good (and is probably getting close to my own personal views), but when we get down to brass tacks I don’t see how it would work.

                  For instance, if it takes time for enough people to learn kindness, what system of organisation do we use in the meantime? How do you see the transition from a state system to an anarchistic one?

                  btw, I wasn’t talk about state force alone. If you remove the state, you still need to have a system that will enforce anarchy at some point. Otherwise you are assuming that everyone will want that system and I can’t see that happening either. What for instance would you do with BM who can’t stand the idea?

                  • Bill

                    If you remove the state, you still need to have a system that will enforce anarchy at some point

                    You mean the terrible situation where society voluntarily ‘enforces’ its collective will on…well, itself – society. Hmm. I just can’t imagine how that would occur in a democratic society that can only be a shifting and developing, freely adopted reflection or expression of the aggregate democratic will of the people who comprise the society at any given moment in time.

                    • weka

                      I don’t understand what you just said. And to be honest, if you can’t explain it clearly to someone like me who is close to being on board I can’t see how there is a hope of explaining it to the wider community.

                      I think you have taken my sentence out of context. I was asking gsays how anarchy would arise if the state collapses or is dismantled and you have a population made up of primarily non-anarchists, some of whom who will be actively against anarchy. I’ve not seen this adequately answered.

                    • Bill

                      Okay. So democracy (anarchy) cannot be enforced. ‘You’ either participate or don’t. If you don’t participate, then your willfully not exercising your will and will probably wind up sad, isolated and lonely.

                      As Adam says in the post, democracy doesn’t just spontaneously happen. It requires hard work and diligence etc. And many people at present have no experience of living in any meaningful democratic context. All that can be done then is that people ‘do’ and people fuck up and people learn from newly discovered experiences.

                      Oddly, if you’d asked the people I lived with in the most democratic situation I ever experienced (the workers/housing collective in the UK), they’d almost all state an aversion or antipathy to anarchy….yet they were participating in and developing (by default?) anarchist ways of living and organising.

                  • gsays

                    well the way i see the transition to anarchy is that it works the other way around.
                    the example of society i am working towards will just be worked on and will slowly draw more and more to it. then the other way will thrash and lash out and then cease to be relevant

                    this is not in isolation: bearing in mind the challenges we face, climate change/weather events, growing inequality, dodgy monetary/financial ponzi sceme,etc the movement towards another way may not be slow.

                    the likes are bm have to be welcome.
                    i have had this chat with a mate in a community in a northland valley.
                    when it all goes down and a stranger arrives, do you greet them with a hug or a gun?
                    it has to be a hug or you have just started back on the path that gets us to where we are now.

              • Bill

                No force. A possible exercise of power, for sure – but no force. You want to willfully go against the society you are an integral part of? Sure – that’s going to work out really well for you. Actually, I can’t even follow the logic of someone taking such a stance – they really would be going against themselves in quite a fundamental way.

                Anyway, in medieval England, the peasantry ran the justice system and ran it rather well…and that was while under the yoke of feudalism. Now, if England’s peasants worked out ways to do it effectively in a ‘less than democratic’ scenario, then in the democratic situation implied by the post, we’d have no trouble in developing just systems…’n fact it would be what society was all about.

                On the kauri example, I’m not talking hippy mung-bean shite here, but think about it.

                Who exactly is going to bleach any kauri, what do they think they will do with it, where do they think they will send it?

                In a democracy there simply cannot be a market economy. If there is a market economy, there is a lack of democracy. So given democracy, there go the incentives and means for harvesting kauri and selling it – it’s unimaginable in post market, democratic societies.

                Justice – much like everything else – isn’t ‘maintained’, it’s developed and refined and reworked by the people it impacts on. You want it all laid out in beautiful detail? Can’t be done…that would be back to demanding people adhere to authoritarianism and ideology.

                • weka

                  I’m not asking for it to be laid out in beautiful detail, but I think it’s reasonable to be asking questions about how it might work. Ideas on how it might work, not dictating how it would work.

                  Are you suggesting that medieval peasants didn’t use force?

                  There are always going to be people who go against the society they live in. Not only is that necessary to balance the inherent conservative nature of long standing groups, you are always going to have people that don’t fit in and those who are sociopathic to one degree or another. That covers a wide range of behaviours that the rest of the group might find unacceptable to varying degrees, but it’s not too hard to imagine scenarios where force is necessary.

                  Besides all that I think any potential society evolving is going to have to explain to most women and quite a few men how they will be safe. Saying oh it will all just work out because we will all care about each other (gsays) or it will all work out because people will realise that going against the group is counter-productive is really not going to convince many people.

                  • Bill

                    People come together in their societies and try a whole heap of shit, a lot of which won’t work, and keep developing, redeveloping and moving things. One thing about democracy is that it is never static.

                    Why the hell would anyone be against the very society, the fundamental fabric and make up of which they make a meaningful contribution towards? Democratic societies are not imposed and therefore offer no leverage for the reactionary type stuff you seem to be suggesting.

                    As I said before a long time back in relation to all the terrible stuff that people imagine might happen in a democratic scenario – yes, it will (or some of it will). We’re going to be reaping the harvest of what grows in this current society – many fucked up expressions of humanity for (oh – I dunno) – a couple or few generations maybe? Them’s the breaks.

                    But we’re also going to be witnessing many more decent expressions of humanity given that the strange twisting pressures of our current society won’t exist any more. Them’s also the breaks.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Actually, I can’t even follow the logic of someone taking such a stance – they really would be going against themselves in quite a fundamental way.

                  And yet we have people doing that all the time. No, I can’t follow it either but but you hear their cries all the time from Act and National about their need not to be dictated to from everyone else. Of course, in their demand to do whatever they like they always ignore other people right not to be dictated to by them.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.2

            How does society (or community) maintain a system of justice?

            By discussing and agreeing to a set of rules about how it should work.

            I can’t see any way other than ultimately it comes down to force. Who gets to decide about that?

            The community democratically. Pretty much the opposite of what we have now where the businesses and the rich make up the rules through our elected representatives.

        • gsays 3.1.2.2

          hi oab,
          i should know better than to doubt a thinker like lao tsu.

          something seems outta whack coz i would run those examples in the opposite order.

          love is paramount.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.2.1

            Clearly not to Lao Tsu’s way of thinking, although he certainly has a lot to say on the subject 😉

        • Bill 3.1.2.3

          Hmm. You seem to suggesting that ‘priests’ would sit apart from or above society? I mean, I can’t even imagine the survival of any ‘priest-hood’ in a democracy, but hey.

          Anyway. Of course there are systems of justice. And they are constantly decided upon and developed by society as opposed to being imposed on society….it’s called (wait for it) – democracy.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.3.1

            Indeed.

            Priests come in many forms. Legge translates the same character as “propriety”.

          • weka 3.1.2.3.2

            The difficulty there is that even in egalitarian societies there are people who are held as skilled in certain areas and who hold important to the tribe knowledge, and so how does the society relate to them and they with the rest of society?

            ‘Priests’ before they became powermongers were most likely the group of people who put the time in and had the natural talent to become adept in certain areas. As I understand it Māori tohunga historically weren’t just ‘priests’ (and weren’t just religious), they were the people trained in specific areas of expertise. Those areas of expertise being critical to the survival and functioning of the community, and in that sense attributed more importance than others.

            I think the challenge is how to work with that fairly natural situation and prevent it from becoming a system of power-wielding that entrenches power and then needs to exist for its own sake (patriarchy/kyriarchy). But power is always going to be there, and priests too.

            • Bill 3.1.2.3.2.1

              they were the people trained in specific areas of expertise

              The answer to your question is right there. Who is doing the training? Who decides who gets trained? Is the training bound around by secrecy or a route to privilege?

              You ask that type of question and move forward (redevelop, change shit etc) based on the answers you get.

  4. left for deadshark 4

    Good stuff mate, wondered were you might be. Al

  5. gsays 5

    hi bill,
    “I grew cauliflowers. I raised them from seed, watered them and what not. Can someone just come along out of the blue some day and harvest them? No”

    to say no there seems to be a property right being claimed.

    what i am getting at is, at its purest, there is no “other” when love is operating.
    they arent ‘your’ cauliflowers.
    i get the frustration of not having food after expressing stewardship over the cauli seeds, but maybe this is the hard work that is talked about in the post.

    • Bill 5.1

      I’d view it as a responsibility being exercised rather than a property being defended. They aren’t ‘my’ cauliflowers any more or less than they are anyone else’s cauliflowers.

      But since it was agreed (and this would always have been decided at some collective level beforehand) that I was ‘doing the caulis’ this year, then questions of trust and respect (and a whole lot more besides) arise if some seek to impose a chaotic, individualistic ‘free for all’ scenario .

      • gsays 5.1.1

        mmm… (scratching chin)
        perhaps then the next time the caulis are done then there some easy to share ones then another patch harder to get at..?

        ” if some seek to impose a chaotic, individualistic ‘free for all’ scenario .”
        perhaps these folk are just trying to keep hold of the individualistic viewpoint we tend to see nowadays.

        hey anyhows, being a leftie you should be used to the fruits of yr labour being taken by an undeserving few.

        btw i much prefer these conversations (discussing ideas, organizing, future etc) than outrgae at what the pm has done.
        fwiw opposition parties could well do by articulating a future vision and a path to it (ubi! ubi!).

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          btw i much prefer these conversations (discussing ideas, organizing, future etc) than outrgae at what the pm has done.

          Too.

          Back to the caulis 😉

          In the workers and housing collective where I lived pre- NZ, that was exactly what happened. Those who wanted to be involved in growing stuff organised it among themselves. People would generally take responsibility for given crops/beds.

          If someone wanted a particular veg for the kitchen (each person took their turn in cooking for everyone btw), they’d ask the person who had been growing them if they could be picked yet (obviously, once the green light had been given, the question didn’t have to asked nest time a [say] cauli was wanted)

        • weka 5.1.1.2

          btw i much prefer these conversations (discussing ideas, organizing, future etc) than outrgae at what the pm has done.
          fwiw opposition parties could well do by articulating a future vision and a path to it (ubi! ubi!).

          me three re last two sentences (apparently Labour are getting serious about a UBI, that’s the rumour anyway).

          • gsays 5.1.1.2.1

            hi weka,
            best news i’ve heard in ages!

            • weka 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes! I hope I got it right (actually it might have been something Bomber Bradbury said, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m pretty sure that Little has signalled in the past that Labour will look at this).

              • gsays

                without wanting to derail the post, (ha! its about anarchy, who’s gunna tell me off) the ubi ticks so many boxes:
                a degree of financial independence,
                renumeration for un paid work,
                for some freeing up time to organize,
                maybe even guard bills caulis from ne’er do wells.

                • Bill

                  ha! its about anarchy, who’s gunna tell me off

                  heh – remember that bit about individual freedom being bound or prescribed by the society one belongs to or participates in? 😉

                  • weka

                    in this case, a leftie, anarcho collective with most members too nice to do a decent telling off, a few members who do a decent telling off as the occassion calls for it, all overseen by a benign and sometimes ruthless dictator who appears to be awol, plus the various ragtag commentariat who have varying degrees of desire to do said telling off.

                  • gsays

                    well done, bill !
                    thats as gentle, effective ‘telling off’ i’ve seen here.
                    point taken.

                    just it’s two of my faves: anarchy and the ubi, the possibility of a game-changer, the chance to take control of the dialogue, and have the tories dancing to someone elses tune .

                    • weka

                      might be time for another UBI thread then.

                      You can always put a comment in Open Mike or the evening slot, with a few links and see if you can get a convo going.

                    • Bill

                      Fuck. It was? I wasn’t…I mean… I was only trying to use your comment to explore a little the whole notion of what freedom is or might be. But anyway, feel free to feel told off.

                    • Bill

                      See comment 15 on Open Mike for something on UBI.

                  • Anno1701

                    “individual freedom being bound or prescribed by the society one belongs to or participates in?”

                    “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.”

                    Abraham Lincoln …

    • greywarshark 5.2

      There is a child/folk tale about the little red hen that applies here. She asked for help from others at each stage of growing something, but others only came along when it was time to harvest the produce.

      People can’t have anything they decide they want. If they try to do this they just become robbers victimising and stripping an area and are as negative and destructive as locusts. There has to be respect for others ownership, or others stewardship, or others’ claim arising from care and nurturing of something.

      Anything else is just a cunning way of getting something for nothing, a sort of universal share cropping by people who don’t have anything and don’t take responsibility for anything. Buddhist and other religious monks sometimes have begged food from others while they set themselves to live a holy, simple, contemplative life. But free-loaders don’t fall into this category.

      • gsays 5.2.1

        interesting you used the little red hen analogy.

        when i ‘woke up’ a few years back, (banksters, monsanto monoploizing food supply, freeman/strawman choice) i went round like chicken little: the sky is falling!

        people didn’t want to know or knew and didn’t want their boat rocked.
        after a while i realized how unnattractive this was.

        the the little red hen took hold. (food supply, non ge, sharing, working nurturing)
        far more attractive to be known for fresh baked bread than half baked fears.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.2

        “Buddhist and other religious monks sometimes have begged food from others while they set themselves to live a holy, simple, contemplative life. ”

        Asked for offerings of alms; not begged for food…a seemingly minor but very important difference.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Thanks Adam. We have to start looking towards neighbourhoods and local communities doing things and making decisions for themselves again. Centralised authority in Wellington is run by the 1% for the 1% and will be providing us with very few of the right answers.

    • BM 6.1

      I could just imagine you as a neighbor, you’d be over every 5 seconds trying to tell you how to do everything and being a complete pain in the arse.

      Everyone would be like, “Jeez I wish that CV would fuck off and mind his own business”.

      • weka 6.1.1

        and you’d be the one out with the nightsticks as you saw fit, living out your mad max fantasy, so I’m pretty sure you can’t throw stones at CV without breaking glass.

        I’d much rather have an overzealous, potentially annoying but community minded neighbour* than one who lives in hatred and scares people.

        *not that I think CV particularly fits your description.

      • left for deadshark 6.1.2

        Does BM stand for (bloody minded) because if you can’t say something constructive, why don’t you piss off back to whalespew or somesuch. 👿

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.3

        I could just imagine you as a neighbor, you’d be over every 5 seconds trying to tell you how to do everything and being a complete pain in the arse.

        Uh, then the neighbourhood can make a joint decision to ignore me duh, that’s how localised decision making works.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Someone asked: what is freedom?

    At the most basic level I would say it is freedom not to be lied to and freedom not to be manipulated or coerced to go in directions counter to our own conscience and humanity.

  8. weka 8

    Lovely post Adam, that is generating some good conversation.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    “But cynicism and a sense of hopelessness is generally the main outcome of living in this type of system. The will to power should be the will to have power over our own life and its affairs. But the will to have power over our own affairs has been sucked out of most people. It is simpler to just reach for the bottle, or the TV remote – and not have to think about what it means to participate in a fulsome, rich and free society.”

    I’m guilty of the first sentence.

    Circumstances have forced me and mine well on the way to the second sentence.

    But the rest is the real problem. It’s lonely.

    Ever tried socialising when you’re the only one without a bottle in hand?

    When the conversation is mired in the latest crap telly, and talking politics is considered rude?

    At a time when talking about the way we are going as a species has never been more important.

    Could be the case that the rest know its time to eat, drink and be merry.

    Great post Adam. Thank you.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Youth Court Judge appointed
    Judge Ida Malosi, District Court Judge of Wellington, has been appointed as the new Principal Youth Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Born and raised in Southland, Judge Malosi graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and spent her legal career in South Auckland.  She was a founding partner of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Visitor arrivals highest since pandemic began
    Overseas visitor arrivals exceeded 100,000 in July, for the first time since the borders closed in March 2020 Strong ski season lifts arrivals to Queenstown to at least 90% of the same period in 2019 Australia holiday recovery has continued to trend upwards New Zealand’s tourism recovery is on its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
    Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said. The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister Sio to attend Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila. “The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago