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 measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
    Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies MNZM is the new Chief of Defence Force, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. The Chief of Defence Force commands the Navy, Army and Air Force and is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister and other Ministers with relevant portfolio responsibilities in the defence ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government puts children first by repealing 7AA
    Legislation to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has been introduced to Parliament. The Bill’s introduction reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the safety of children in care, says Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “While section 7AA was introduced with good intentions, it creates a conflict for Oranga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
    Defence Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to the UK and Italy to meet with her defence counterparts, and to attend Battles of Cassino commemorations. “I am humbled to be able to represent the New Zealand Government in Italy at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of what was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
    The upcoming Budget will include funding for up to 50 charter schools to help lift declining educational performance, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today. $153 million in new funding will be provided over four years to establish and operate up to 15 new charter schools and convert 35 state ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference consultation results received
    “The results of the public consultation on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons has now been received, with results indicating over 13,000 submissions were made from members of the public,” Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says. “We heard feedback about the extended lockdowns in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • The Pacific family of nations – the changing security outlook
    Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, other Members of Parliament Acting Chief of Defence Force, Secretary of Defence Distinguished Guests  Defence and Diplomatic Colleagues  Ladies and Gentlemen,  Good afternoon, tēna koutou, apinun tru    It’s a pleasure to be back in Port Moresby today, and to speak here at the Kumul Leadership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and Papua New Guinea to work more closely together
    Health, infrastructure, renewable energy, and stability are among the themes of the current visit to Papua New Guinea by a New Zealand political delegation, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Papua New Guinea carries serious weight in the Pacific, and New Zealand deeply values our relationship with it,” Mr Peters ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving ahead with Roads of Regional Significance
    The coalition Government is launching Roads of Regional Significance to sit alongside Roads of National Significance as part of its plan to deliver priority roading projects across the country, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “The Roads of National Significance (RoNS) built by the previous National Government are some of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand congratulates new Solomon Islands government
    A high-level New Zealand political delegation in Honiara today congratulated the new Government of Solomon Islands, led by Jeremiah Manele, on taking office.    “We are privileged to meet the new Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet during his government’s first ten days in office,” Deputy Prime Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand supports UN Palestine resolution
    New Zealand voted in favour of a resolution broadening Palestine’s participation at the United Nations General Assembly overnight, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The resolution enhances the rights of Palestine to participate in the work of the UN General Assembly while stopping short of admitting Palestine as a full ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the 2024 Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Good morning. It’s a great privilege to be here at the 2024 Infrastructure Symposium. I was extremely happy when the Prime Minister asked me to be his Minister for Infrastructure. It is one of the great barriers holding the New Zealand economy back from achieving its potential. Building high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $571 million for Defence pay and projects
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today announced the upcoming Budget will include new funding of $571 million for Defence Force pay and projects. “Our servicemen and women do New Zealand proud throughout the world and this funding will help ensure we retain their services and expertise as we navigate an increasingly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change – mitigating the risks and costs
    New Zealand’s ability to cope with climate change will be strengthened as part of the Government’s focus to build resilience as we rebuild the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “An enduring and long-term approach is needed to provide New Zealanders and the economy with certainty as the climate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting new job seekers on the pathway to work
    Jobseeker beneficiaries who have work obligations must now meet with MSD within two weeks of their benefit starting to determine their next step towards finding a job, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “A key part of the coalition Government’s plan to have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Accelerating Social Investment
    A new standalone Social Investment Agency will power-up the social investment approach, driving positive change for our most vulnerable New Zealanders, Social Investment Minister Nicola Willis says.  “Despite the Government currently investing more than $70 billion every year into social services, we are not seeing the outcomes we want for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting Back on Track
    Check against delivery Good morning. It is a pleasure to be with you to outline the Coalition Government’s approach to our first Budget. Thank you Mark Skelly, President of the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, together with  your Board and team, for hosting me.   I’d like to acknowledge His Worship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ – European Union ties more critical than ever
    Your Excellency Ambassador Meredith,   Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassadors from European Union Member States,   Ministerial colleagues, Members of Parliament, and other distinguished guests, Thank you everyone for joining us.   Ladies and gentlemen -    In diplomacy, we often speak of ‘close’ and ‘long-standing’ relations.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Therapeutic Products Act to be repealed
    The Therapeutic Products Act (TPA) will be repealed this year so that a better regime can be put in place to provide New Zealanders safe and timely access to medicines, medical devices and health products, Associate Health Minister Casey Costello announced today. “The medicines and products we are talking about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-05-19T05:51:12+00:00