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

  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago