Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, April 25th, 2017 - 43 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: , , , , ,

Although many of us feel relatively happy & content there seems to be an increasing feeling of ‘unease’, that something is not quite right in/with our society and where things might be heading.

In a typical human fashion, we point the finger to certain (external) factors, failed ideologies (be it capitalism, neo-liberalism, communism, or whatever), and we love to blame (the) politicians. Our usual instinctive reaction is therefore to run or turn away from the ‘wrongs’, the ‘dangers’, to give in to our fears and biases. We run away rather than make a stand and formulate an alternative, a blueprint for a better world, which is so much harder as it takes time to think, to reflect, and a lot of courage.

If I had to make a wish-list of what I’d like to see more of, in my more immediate circle, but also in our society at large than it would be companionship, community spirit, compassion, and passion. Let me explain.

One of the strongest human desires is to belong, to be part of something bigger and/or unifying. Exclusion and becoming a ‘social pariah’ can have tragic consequences and be fatal, literally. Paradoxically, therefore, is the ever-increasing focus on the individual, the personal choice & responsibility, the egotistical pursuit of success, instant gratification, happiness, that slowly but surely undo the fine fabric of our society that used to be more cohesive.

Which human interactions or values are still resisting the onslaught of neo-liberal ideology and capitalist free-market conditioning? Are these perhaps the most essential to our survival and thus to our evolution?

Besides the urge to find a mate to procreate and be intimate with the closest & deepest bonds we form are with friends and family. We do things for friends without being asked or expecting even anything in return – it is almost (?) instinctively understood and accepted as part and foundation of (the) friendship. In other words, friendship is priceless! Still. I don’t want to quibble about semantics and for the sake of convenience I consider mateship, friendship, companionship as synonymous.

Instead of looking after number One and trying to get one up on/over the other we should look after each other, and show more collegiality and companionship. The benefits are huge, mentally, psychologically, socially, and will shift the focus away from tiresome and often counter-productive competition. When the focus is on the interaction with a fellow human rather on what we can get from the interaction, as in a ‘transaction’, we cannot fail to ‘gain’ from it and become ‘enriched’ – suffice to say that these terms are now removed from their usual neo-liberal context.

The bonds we form with our own kin may have a strong evolutionary basis. Again, we do not expect a pecuniary return from everything we do; it is instinctive. We don’t (need to) keep a tally of ‘favours’ we have given or received; we do what needs to be done and because the personal boundaries are less clear giving often feels like receiving at the same time. This may not be altruism in its purest sense but I don’t see any problem with a simultaneous act of giving-receiving and please-thank you because you feel more one with the other person(s) beforehand and because through the act itself makes you feel even closer afterwards. It is actually amazingly simple when you think about it (or even better: when you experience it).

If in future work is to take a less important role, by choice or by force, then we need to have a safety net. Not in terms of a financial buffer (or worse: WINZ), which is a separate issue, as inconceivable as this may sound, but an environment that gives us a sense of worth, dignity, respect, purpose, and belonging (certainly not WINZ!). It makes sense that the (local) community can provide this kind of safety net and support. This support should be mutual; you give back to the community what you receive, although this may sounds very much like a business deal/transaction or an insurance contract. However, it is more multi-dimensional than materialism alone could ever be; it includes all levels & dimensions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A community is a place & environment where people can develop and create as individuals but also co-create and explore their full human potential.

If people have no work to commute to, if they can find more services and goods locally, it may ease pressures on the environment. Modern technology can be used to streamline the logistics of trafficking in goods that have to come from elsewhere. Obviously, virtual communities do already exist without geographical boundaries and with the light speed of the internet.

It goes without saying, I think, that feeling close to others, be they friends, family, or the wider (local) community, should go hand-in-hand with compassion. However, this compassion should go beyond one’s nearest & dearest and include ‘strangers’ alike. I also like to think that the World we live in would instantly become a better place if we were to feel and show more compassion towards animals as well as to the long-suffering (!) environment. Perhaps this kind of attitude goes under a different name(s) bsocialut my point is that if we don’t change our attitudes we cannot expect things to change in a (the?) direction we wish.

This brings me to passion. If we were to do things with more conviction, and upon reflection, and to put our hearts & souls into it, i.e. with passion, we would have more rewarding and authentic experiences. Our actions should align with our being and by our actions we constantly create and re-create ourselves and our World. We might ditch the superficial stuff, the stuff that neither defines us nor gets us anywhere that is meaningful. Passion is considered a powerful emotion that we can choose to guide us and we can choose to invoke. Our power stems from our internal strength, because we know who we are and we choose, willingly & knowingly, and with passion & purpose.

Airy-fairy? Flights of fancy? Wishful thinking? Dreaming? Perhaps yes, but we need to have Utopian ideals and dreams to get us to a better World so we have to start somewhere, don’t we? It is up to each of us.

Incognito


Footnotes:

1) A special thanks to RedLogix for the inspiring comment but also for many very good comments by others on my first Guest Post on TS.

2) Obviously, the first letters of the four title words abbreviate to CCCP. A little contrived but for some reason it appeals to me and it is a nod to Jean-Luc Mélenchon who had to bow out of the French presidential election.

43 comments on “Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion”

  1. Ant 1

    Passion, compassion, giving, community, one another: all the standard “stuff” of religion, – without reference to the “sky fairy.”

    Like it or not this IS the direction for a post socialism, communism, capitalism humanity.
    The Buddha, the Nazarene, Mohammed all emphasized these directives. References to God (except in the case of the Buddha) may have been to accommodate the limited levels of consciousness in those times, emerging as they were from eras of worship of luminaries, animals, the sun etc. The Nazarene gave a hint of the future by introducing the concept of an impersonal God (who “made his rain fall on the just and well as the unjust”).

    The new era will emphasize the transition made by individual consciousness which discovers the extraordinary satisfaction/inspiration of living the substance of this article.

    Even if there was a “sky fairy” such a lifestyle would be pleasing to him.

    • Incognito 1.1

      Thank you.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Incognito
        I feel that Ant’s comment puts our concerns as people well. One thing though, we all overestimate our depths and heights of understanding. We need to keep a feeling of awe to keep ourselves in check. None of us know everything, and if we did still wouldn’t be able to hold it all and make powerful decisions that would always use all that knowledge for the best result – which would be?

        There would be so many variants that would have to allow for chaos theory (pictured often I think, as a butterfly flying in Brazil having an effect across the world eventually). There may be a god, and it would be wise to remember that even if there isn’t, we need to have a mind to all the understanding of everything that we can never achieve, and try being a bit humble about making finite and precise statements about things beyond our ken.

        If there isn’t a god, we have it in our power to raise ourselves to a level of consciousness and behaviour using all our potential, to bring us close to what that wonderful personage or creative spirit would be. But every step forward or upward is followed by a half to one and a half steps in the other direction! We may be trying, but objectively, we are very trying and that is just by our own reflective judgments of ourselves. Could do better, class!

        • Incognito 1.1.1.1

          Hi greywarshark,

          I have to admit that I don’t follow everything you were saying.

          I agree that we don’t and possibly cannot know and understand ‘everything’ but that is not really our purpose, is it, if there is a purpose?

          Jung introduced the concept of the collective unconscious – to him it was more than a concept. Teilhard de Chardin came up with idea of the noosphere. Bergson introduced élan vital. Others have different names for it but I believe that all these ideas and faiths circle around a core truth. As long as we humans have been thinking and verbalising our thoughts the same theme has reoccurred, time after time. So, what is all this telling us? I have no idea whatsoever; it’s a big mystery to me and I am in awe of it.

          For a long (!) time I have been obsessively looking for answers and knowledge & understanding but for me it turned out to be largely an exercise in futility and frustration; it leads away from increased awareness and consciousness. Rather than constantly asking questions and chasing answers it might be helpful to sometimes silence the rational thought and logical reasoning and have faith in that other part of us that we seem to have ignored and perhaps even have come to fear.

          I don’t know whether this in any way addresses your comment but it is all good, isn’t it?

        • Ant 1.1.1.2

          You mention awe and humility, – again cornerstones of religion. Esoteric traditions assert the rational mind whilst essential to coherent life in form can and must be superseded by a more subtle element of consciousness whose attributes mobilize the qualities emphasised by incognito. The rational mind then becomes the instrument of this transformed element. May attest to this reality, via so-called religious conversion, and experience profound life changes. .

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.2.1

            Ant
            Interasting and meaningful discussion. You may find new piece on Bowalley Road on social generators has some points.

  2. Ad 2

    Incog, Max Harris beat you to it with very similar utopian musings, except with policies attached:

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/22-04-2017/the-nz-project-offers-a-bold-urgent-idealistic-vision-i-found-it-deeply-depressing/

    • Sacha 2.1

      For a more accurate rendition (including a useful exploration of what he means by “love”), here’s Mr Harris himself: https://aeon.co/essays/it-is-time-for-love-to-become-a-radical-force-in-politics

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Jesus had the market cornered on that a couple of millennia ago.
        Mr Harris could start with the first sentence in the book of John and work it out from there. It starts: “In the beginning was …”

        Or maybe Harris is just another repressed Christian.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        I will read that with interest and thank you for the link.

    • Incognito 2.2

      Hi Ad,

      I have been reading a few things about Max Harris, which have piqued my interest, and did read Danyl Mclauchlan’s book review yesterday. I have yet to read The New Zealand Project, and it might be a while before I get to it, but Danyl’s comments and some others here on TS very recently made me dust off this Guest Post, which I had first submitted late December 2015 but Lynn was just too busy to deal with it and I let it slide into oblivion.

      Policies are important for political parties but I am more interested in the perspective of each individual person who belongs to various groupings and is a member of the same society I happen to live in as well. I am interested in the relationship between the individual and society and the ongoing tension between individualism and collectivism. Obviously, this is reflected in the political spectrum, i.e. Left & Right. I know that these opposing traits can be reconciled within an individual person (e.g. me; a work in progress) and that the tension dissipates.

      I’d be keen to hear what Harris has to say about this if anything.

  3. Bill 3

    Well, what if we were to identify those structural or systemic dynamics that acted against community etc and simply rejected them from from our suite of behaviours?

    What if we were to discover that many of the dynamics that reward us at the individual level, when and where we sacrifice the community or social good, have been gathered under the auspices of an identifiable and named paradigm?

    Wouldn’t we get a fair way down a road towards decency by simply rejecting that paradigm?

    I believe socialists, autonomous marxists, communists and anarchists were saying something along those lines more than 100 years ago. And the name of the thing they pointed to or at was ‘capitalism’.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Hi Bill,

      Sure, we can reject the paradigm but we cannot reject the root cause why it came to be and become the dominant paradigm of modern time. It is a human construct.

      I believe it is about change, change of behaviour, change of attitudes & mentality, change of perceptions at the individual level in the first place.

      My impression is that actually quite a few people feeling this change in the air but it is fragile and easily suppressed and hijacked by politicians. In my view other politicians are hopelessly behind or insensitive to it and my guess is that change will come from grassroots level and not from our politicians or political leaders, or (public) intellectuals & scientists for that matter although they all have a role to play.

      I don’t think we need a revolution; in my view this is the natural (!) evolution of humans and the human race. This doesn’t mean that everything will be o.k. but it puts things in a much larger perspective than an election cycle, for example, or even one human generation.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Hmm. It’s a human construct – ie, thought of by us, designed by us, imposed on us and by us, and therefore not anything to do with ‘unavoidable’ natural causes.

        I don’t subscribe to the Marxist notion of ‘historical determinism’ or any liberal variation of it (which is what the evolution portion of your comment implies to me) – that’s a deeply flawed notion that Marx could only come to by interpreting the past through the necessarily warped or partial lens of his present before vainly casting his line of ‘connections’ into an imagined linear future. (A bit like putting a room full of computers to task on a shattered glass and then turning around and saying the pieces could only ever have fractured and scattered as they did…an exercise in banality.) There is no over-arching ‘progress’ arising from the so-called enlightenment as liberals too, with their adherence to never ending reforms of the existing system like to believe.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Indeed, not determined by natural causes but undoubtedly influenced by those. I guess we can and do agree that change is possible (and necessary).

          I don’t know anything about the stuff you wrote about Marx and ‘historical determinism’ and so on; my thoughts are mine but obviously influenced by many things, especially thoughts & writings by many many others. BTW, I have never read anything from or studied Marx – my professional ‘field’ is devoid of anything Marx, etc.

          I do think there is a process happening that is called evolution in the line of thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and others. At an individual level there is personal evolution AKA development or growth or awareness. The collective and individual processes cannot be treated as completely separate.

          Only when people ‘wake up’ will we see real changes in society, changes that might help to mitigate the size and impact of ACC, for example. Simply showing people the facts and knowledge of pending doom is effectively no different from the Sunday sermon and threating fire & brimstone. It might work for a wee while on a number of people but as we know it won’t last and it won’t be enough. In fact, it can be divisive and counter-productive. To me it is obvious that we need something better and it is coming, slowly …

          • Ant 3.1.1.1.1

            Far as I can make out de Chardin carried the impersonal God hinted at by the Nazarene a step further, – implying that under the evolutionary urge the race had reached ‘peduncle time’ where many millions stand poised with massed intent at the threshold of enriching the noosphere with a genuine expansion of consciousness. There’s no shortage of hints abroad that this expansion transcends all formal religion; an online search will find many groups (e.g. Spiritual Atheists!!) responding to the inner promptings of this time.

            .

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.1

              My own personal journey has been ‘tracking’ more with Jung than with religion but they say that all roads lead to Rome. I have met a few fellow travellers along the way and it is always a joy to compare notes.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Other things that make a strong and good community are essential. Such as the ability to trust.
    Respect the good in others and to look for it instead of doing the tall poppy, finding fault, scoring off.
    Awareness that everyone has faults and to be aware of your own, while not denying those of others, perhaps through PC.
    Being aware of the good things that you have and being thankful and knowing when to say enough.

    Not allowing other people to demand stuff all the time from you while putting you last too often, and then festering with this. Saying what you want, standing up for yourself, putting your own case though not all the time, is essential. Community is good but some have the idea that serving the community or family means becoming the gofer, a sort of reliable slave.

    Helping people to empower themselves, not doling out charity and patronising others who are perceived to have less or be disadvantaged. Help people be strong in themselves and don’t underestimate their capacity to make decisions, do things.
    Give people tools and a helping hand if needed.

    These are all important as defined examples of value generalisations.

  5. gsays 5

    Well said incognito.

    Sharing is natural, it accords with our nature.
    It feels good to share and it feels good to be shared with.

    Couldn’t agree more about the sacrifice of the individual for the community.
    A way of looking at it is: when making a decision
    for the individual, consider the family,
    for the family, consider community,
    for the community, consider the nation etc.

    • Grafton Gully 5.1

      Our great welfare system is more than just charity because we do not say to the rich: Please give something to the poor. Instead we say: German people, help yourselves! Everyone must help, whether you are rich or poor! Everyone must have the belief that there’s always someone in a much worse situation than I am, and this is the person I want to help as a comrade. If one should say: Yes, but do I have to sacrifice a lot? That is the glory of giving! When you sacrifice for your community, then you can walk with your head held up high. ”
      — Adolf Hitler speech at the Winter Relief in 1937

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        GG
        Interesting that. It sounds very reasonable at first. Perhaps the ‘German’ people is a giveaway. If he is only talking about a percentage of the population it is not a great welfare system.

        And Yes, but do I have to sacrifice a lot? That is the glory of giving! When you sacrifice for your community, then you can walk with your head held up high. ”

        My earlier point was that the individual and the community should be in balance. Sacrificing a lot is for emergencies, and even then it should be in balance. A Christchurch man left his wife and children and went off in the family car to help others coming down the Port Hills and was killed. So he deserted his family for others’ benefit. Good hearted, but not fair. Balance, there is a limit to what can be done by one person or a group. And there is an economic-efficiency term for it called ‘opportunity cost’, which means that if you spend your time on one thing, you lose the opportunity to employ your time somewhere else.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.2

        Charlatans in politics is not a new thing – maybe why Incognito is looking to mobilisation of people in grassroots communities.

      • Incognito 5.1.3

        Well, I hadn’t seen this one coming.

        Firstly, I don’t think I ever used the word “sacrifice” or even implied it. Doing something for another or for the community is not a sacrifice as such if it is the right thing to do for all involved and if it is about the interaction rather than the transaction. This doesn’t mean everything is easy but the burden gets lighter or disappears completely depending on how you perceive the action. A parent raising a child knows full-well that it can be very hard at times and yet no parent expects an award or glorification. I like the pay-it-forward concept or random acts of kindness but it is better encapsulated by Buddhist altruism in which the dualism between giver and receiver takes on a whole different dimension. However, I was keen to avoid religious or similar references in my post.

        • gsays 5.1.3.1

          Hi incognito, I assume you are responding to me about sacrifice.
          By sacrifice I mean things like getting up before dawn for Anzac service, what parents sacrifice for the betterment of their children.
          Perhaps the biggest sacrifice is to forgo the idea of self and look for the unity in any situation.

          • Incognito 5.1.3.1.1

            Hi gsays,

            No, my reply @ 5.1.3 was to Grafton Gully @ 5.1 although Bill @ 3 also used the word, which is actually fascinating.

            That said, I am in complete agreement with you.

            I also think that our Western dualism of you vs. me and us vs. them can block the way forward.

    • One Two 5.2

      Yes and No..

      The individual is the smallest community and must first learn about ‘the self’

      If ‘the self’ is not understood or given priority in the ‘correct’ manner, then the likely hood of the so called functional community…is what can been witnessed at the present time..malfunctioning

      The individual has been stripped, turned inside out and discombobulated onto a form which is far from ‘the self’..’humanity’ mostly has little to no idea who, or what ‘we are’

      It is a common misunderstanding that the individual is the ‘problem’..

      That perspective is misplaced and problematic..

      • gsays 5.2.1

        hi 1 2,
        it is the belief that the indivdual is paramount that has gotten us to where we are today.
        i would argue that the individual (self?), far from being stripped, is overly adorned with wants, opinions, attitudes, desires etc.
        all legitimate, partly as a by product of many billions of dollars spent over a century, telling us so.

        • greywarshark 5.2.1.1

          The individual being lauded and being appealed to by business and RW economists, is carrying out a campaign that is counter to the apparent goal. In creating a mindset that stresses that the individual is me getting king or queen treatment, and me-first is how it should be, that attitude becomes a mass attitude which conforms to whatever approach is presented to individuals to satisfy themselves.

          So we have a mass of individuals conforming like a school of fish. Then the individual who wants to present a new approach is rejected. Often you will come across the answer to a question by someone that ‘They are only just one person, or or a small and vocal group of dissenters’.

          Human nature is very devious, and nothing is as straightfoward as it may seem.
          If it seems obvious and TINA, look for suppression of awkward, disagreeing, individuals who may have a valid point that would give policy a completeness for most situations, if the points could be taken into account.

  6. Kay 6

    Capitalism dictates that everything and everyone has a monetary value; the neoliberal experiment has thrown many of even the most community minded people into survival mode simply to survive, so unintentionally it ends up becoming “me first” because the harsh reality is a roof over one’s head and a way to pay the bills don’t go away. When all one’s time is taken up on basic survival then of course disconnect from even your immediate community is inevitable.

    Of course, this is no excuse for a fit young man in his business suit not to give up his seat on a packed bus for an elderly person.

    Or for those who don’t teach their kids common courtesy, like giving gran a call and saying thanks for the birthday card. Or even just phoning to say hi. You know, being nice. These are nothing to do with survival/stress; but examples of the wider societal sickness (I don’t know what else to call it) that’s taken hold. I feel if these types of basic behaviours can’t be reversed then within a couple of generations we can forget about the concept of community completely.

  7. Philj 7

    Thanks for stating what would appear to be fundamental to becoming fully human, which has to be a collective awareness. Consciousness is slowly evolving and if we don’t realise it soon, we may collectively, lose any opportunity to. There is no ‘other’

    • Incognito 7.1

      Thank you.

      You’re well ahead of me but I’m slowly catching up.

      • Philj 7.1.1

        Cheers Ad. I don’t see that I’m ahead of anyone. We behave as individuals but in a shared reality which is relationship. It’s the bit in between. Martin Buber is worth reading on this.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          Thanks.

          I have never heard of Martin Buber and will check it out.

          I agree about the shared reality but in this reality I am called Incognito, not Ad 😉

          You’re ahead in the sense that I have many thoughts on this topic, as you can tell, but have not yet found the right words to put it together for another Guest Post, for example. These posts, and my comments here on TS, are a great self-test; writing what I mean is no mean feat.

          • Philj 7.1.1.1.1

            “I agree about the shared reality but in this reality I am called Incognito, not Ad 😉”
            Lol. Apologies Incognito, my mistake. Yes, I thank you for raising this topic as it goes deeper than the veneer of MSM political discourse which I am finding increasingly irrelevant and obstructive. The traditional right / left dichotomy is injurious to a healthy society, local and global. We, collectively must create a new ethic for ourselves. The planet will still be here regardless…

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.2

          Only when people wake up. Well many will not ever, while they ‘sleep on’ they are not obliged to have troubling thoughts and limit their lifestyles which are comfortable. Then there are others who are set on blaming the system, or themselves, for their low position in society. They are oppressed and need to do a lot of rethinking on how to climb out of their rut. So they have to apply troubling thoughts to themselves, and why they are in the state they are in.

          I am reading Alan Duff’s book about himself and his highs and lows. Out of the Mist and the Steam 1999. Troubling thoughts there, could never settle into a lifestyle which was comfortable, fell down, got up, done much, got MBE.
          But it’s taken thought and action and philosophising along the way.

          It is essential that there is talk about philosophy, starting early in life, beyond limiting bad behaviour (in a generally agreed way) , sharing toys, not spitting and biting other little children etc. (I would like not stealing other kids sports shoes added to the list of unacceptables! But that is just looking at the immediate and practical, this need for a better philosophy is beyond these.) More than just following what everyone is doing as if that is ‘natural’ and, permanent and where our social evolution has led us.

          When one looks at how NZ has lost its commitment to each other, respecting the need for each to have a satisfactory life, which goal has been abandoned in exchange for the promise of more money and also the fear of not being able to export and increase business enterprise, it is shocking how what was regarded as permanent and natural has been lost.

          Now people go round chanting slogans, and that is not in protest marches either. The wealthy have been chanting Key knows what to do, how to run the country, or we have to dairy farm to the max or die, or we must have casinos, be a hub for international finance, or become a backwater.

          I note that various times in civilisation have been named ie the Age of Enlightenment, but it seems we are sliding back to conditions and thinking that we thought had been passed, so that we were moving on progressively.
          Are we going back? Is there a trend line that can be traced through the upward and downward movements, and where is it headed?

          Wikipedia on sociocultural evolution:
          Enlightenment and later thinkers often speculated that societies progressed through stages: in other words, they saw history as stadial. While expecting humankind to show increasing development, theorists looked for what determined the course of human history.

          Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), for example, saw social development as an inevitable process.[citation needed] It was assumed that societies start out primitive, perhaps in a state of nature, and could progress toward something resembling industrial Europe.

          While earlier authors such as Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) had discussed how societies change through time, the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century proved key in the development of the idea of sociocultural evolution.[citation needed] In relation to Scotland’s union with England in 1707, several[quantify] Scottish thinkers pondered the relationship between progress and the affluence brought about by increased trade with England. They understood the changes Scotland was undergoing as involving transition from an agricultural to a mercantile society.

          In “conjectural histories”, authors such as Adam Ferguson (1723–1816), John Millar (1735–1801) and Adam Smith (1723–1790) argued that societies all pass through a series of four stages: hunting and gathering, pastoralism and nomadism, agriculture, and finally a stage of commerce.
          Auguste Comte (1798–1857)

          Philosophical concepts of progress, such as that of Hegel, developed as well during this period. In France, authors such as Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715–1771) and other philosophers were influenced by the Scottish tradition. Later thinkers such as Comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825) developed these ideas.[citation needed] Auguste Comte (1798–1857) in particular presented a coherent view of social progress and a new discipline to study it: sociology.

          I read John Christopher’s Prince in Waiting was the first one of the series.
          This was about a young man who has been chosen to lead his people by the elders. But he is affected by his wife falling in love with another man who replaces him. He is for progress and science, the people reject his ideas.
          There are three books, developing the story which deal with different ways of society.

          Incognito says 3 1 1 1: I do think there is a process happening that is called evolution in the line of thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and others. At an individual level there is personal evolution AKA development or growth or awareness. The collective and individual processes cannot be treated as completely separate.

          Perhaps we should do a mass reading of Teilhard de Chardin and others mentioned above and go for a second book club discussion. Trying to get a workable policy on how we shape our thinking for our life’s reality will not be something that can be brought about by a quick discussion, a bill to be talked about in a select committee. Getting down to the nitty gritty of the ideas and thoughts and opinions of what might be good to have will only be the first stage of this essential, life-changing project. Many of the ideas may be impractical when meeting with our intractable deeply-held unconscious and sub-conscious thinking and reacting. I do not think we actually understand our deep drives, our unconscious etc, even after centuries of self-examination and objective discussion and the exploration and theories of Freud, Jung, Adler? and others.

          • Philj 7.1.1.2.1

            Thank you for your thoughts. I find this discussion more interesting than the drudgery of the usual daily political smorgasbord. Teilhard de Chardin was regarded by Sir Lloyd Geering as influencing his thinking about the evolution of human consciousness.

  8. RightWingAndProud 8

    The key to happiness is not getting what you’ve always wanted (you’ll always want more) but being satisfied with what you have.

    ===================================
    “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
    We eject the people who violate our rules.”

    • Incognito 8.1

      The key to happiness is to be who you want to be and become who you want to become. The verb “have” has got very little bearing on happiness as such, although it can temporarily satisfy; it is nice to have a roof over your head and a nice soft bed to sleep in. Satisfaction does not equal happiness.

    • Philj 8.2

      Thanks for the ‘key to happiness’ RWAP. It explains in part, why people vote right wing. Please excuse the generalization.

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  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    11 hours ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    12 hours ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    19 hours ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    2 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    5 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    5 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
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    1 week ago