web analytics

We say we want a revolution…

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, June 27th, 2020 - 73 comments
Categories: activism - Tags: , , , , , ,

Destroy capitalism, right? But what’s the replacement?

Before anyone thinks this is an argument for not ending capitalism, it’s not. It’s a post designed to break the false dichotomy that currently exists within the left over capitalism and what to do about it.

  • Capitalism isn’t so bad
  • It’s better (safer) than the alternatives
  • It’s given us many good things
  • We can fix it
  • Things will be way worse without it
VS
  • Capitalism is the root of all evil
  • It’s fundamentally broken and can’t be fixed
  • It has to be smashed for there to be any hope of economic, social, environmental justice

Instead of that same old back and forth argument, what if we talked about what we want instead?

Watching what is happening with the Black Lives Matter movements currently, it’s hard not to feel a sense of both hope and despair. The actions are righteous, timely and inspiring. The dilemma is whether the neoliberal systems will adapt around BLM, allowing just enough change to ensure neoliberalism’s survival. Hence at the point of all hell breaking loose in the US some prominent conservatives finally started speaking out against Trump, as the choices were fast narrowing to anarchy or fascism.

We are seeing change in some parts of the States around police powers and funding, as well as a welling up of activism around the world. These are necessary changes and there is much potential for people of colour and other progressives to push forward and hold a line. But this is not the same as system change if neoliberalism simply expands a bit and then recolonises.

Think the co-option of feminism, where the overculture cherry picks the bits that serve it or that it can no longer constrain and then rejects the rest. Or climate action where neoliberalism is placating us with electric cars and carbon offsetting. We can have our current, comfortable lives and save the planet! This is a deadly dead end, but paved with roses, good intentions and netflix.

Enter stage left: coronavirus. The great leveler of neoliberalism, and probably one of the few chances we’ve had in the past 40 years to turn things around. I’m wondering if the reason so many white people have taken to the streets in the US and elsewhere is because covid taught us that our security isn’t what we have been told. It shone a lens on society’s neoliberal skeleton, exposing just how fragile it is and white liberals suddenly feel motivated to join those who’ve long known the system is unstable.

For many years people, including some on the left, have said that various movements have failed because they didn’t bring down the man. In the West Occupy, Standing Rock, BLM, XR and SS4C have all been analysed as failures because they didn’t bring about an immediate utopia or a revolution. But there are strong threads running through all those and building cumulatively every time a new action or a new uprising happens. Those modern movements are in turn built upon the mahi of generations before who figured out what was necessary and possible in their own time to create the best chance of radical and meaningful change even if it doesn’t happen immediately. Something else needs to happen as well.

BLM protest in Melbourne, photo by Leeroy Te Hira

The leading edge social change ideas that interest me most at the moment are saying that for deep change to happen we have to imagine what we are changing to. Not in its entirety, but that we create a frame that is inviting and desirable, that we feel and ‘get’.

Most people aren’t revolutionaries. We have more drivers of radical change at the moment thanks to covid, but we’re still not at the point of enough people being willing to give up the comforts of capitalism. We have models waiting in the wings, including transition ones that aren’t so scary to the horses, but we don’t yet have a compelling set of narratives that appeal to enough people for them to act. What we have is the torrent of stories of just how bad shit is. Most people will seek security in the face of that, not positive radical change.

We also have the basis of political activist movements that are critical to the leading edge that parliaments and mainstream culture will eventually follow. BLM and the climate movements in particular seem organised in a way to sustain themselves over time. But they are still largely protest movements without a coherent offering of something better, a way out of the shit show.

If we can’t articulate credible alternatives, how can people be expected to give up the systems that currently offer them the best chance of a decent life? So what do we want? What do we see that could be different? Can we imagine a shared future where things work out and that appeals enough to work towards together?

73 comments on “We say we want a revolution… ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Best way forward is to synthesise the left & right to create a viable amalgum. Use the elements that have proven to be effective. Discard the ideological drivel.

    • PIerre 1.1

      We are all eating from the trash can my friend.

    • Chris 1.2

      What's an example from the right or of right wing thinking you'd like to see 'synthesised' with something?

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        You've probably heard of `the spirit of free enterprise'. There was a boat in the news with that name back awhile (early '90s?), here. I see that as the driver of business – operating in the individual psyche as profit motivator, and in the culture as ethos.

        Obviously much business is unethical. If you impose ethical constraints, such as tolerating business only if it provides for the common good as well as rewarding the owner/operators, it becomes possible to reduce and eventually eliminate parasites.

        Social engineering is only a good idea if it works on a consensus basis. Imposed by partisans, it just alienates too many people. Has to be win/win all around. Synthesis of wealth generation with wealth distribution can be rationalised via this method.

        You can articulate it further via metaphysics: from the left, we take the principle of universal equity. Everyone's a stakeholder in society. The UN mandated a covenant of economic and social civil rights which we signed up to back in the 1970s – you can look that up & read the equity provision clauses.

        The historical problem involved derives from private property rights: legal sanctification thereof. To solve this problem humanity must do what Alexander the Great did to the Gordian Knot – whack it straight through with a sharp sword. Too hard to untie! Public property rights is that sword. People must conceive and articulate them. That's the revolution we await.

        Someone here has referred to Ostrom's work on the commons once or twice in recent days. An essential text, her book (I have a copy). "In 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her "analysis of economic governance, especially the commons", which she shared with Oliver E. Williamson." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Ostrom

    • Rae 1.3

      A mixed economy, that is what most are. We do, however, scrap over the bits in the middle, over what should be taken care of by the collective and what is left to the market. I believe it is the best of both worlds, but some things do need setting in stone, so they are pretty much a no-go area for any govt.
      To me, the actual bogey man are the giant multinational corporations who are, if closely examined, really the ones running the show. That is the true enemy.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Yes, Rae, I often feel that way too. However the more time one invests in learning about how the power game is played at the top level, the more one is likely to see the global elites pulling the strings of the politicians behind the scenes. The control system operates independently from the capitalist behemoths – although there is a collegial to & fro among the personnel often that make them seem a cabal to the superficial viewer…

  2. Andre 2

    Just a reminder: capitalism is merely the existence of private ownership of means of production. There is nowhere in the world that operates under pure capitalism, there are merely varying degrees of mixed economies with some collective ownership of some means of production.

    Capitalism is not necessarily the fucked up system of hidden oligopolies and monopolies we currently have. Nor does it necessarily produce a society that vastly overpays some activities that do nothing for societal good and even probably cause harm, like we have now.

    Society will always have within it individuals that feel compelled to live in the biggest house and find other ways of attention-seeking by somehow flaunting "success". There will always be those compelled to try to have sex with the most attractive partners, to eat the tenderest, tastiest. scarcest foods, and so on. Capitalism does well at providing means for these driven individuals to achieve that "success" by creating things that the rest of society values. Yes, see "Tesla" or "Apple" among many other examples.

    That we have allowed our society to develop to the point where antisocial extractive arseholes like Gina Rinehart also flourish is not a failing of capitalism, it is a failure of our society to express our priorities in rules and regulations that incentivise things we value and discourage activities we don't value.

    So yeah, if you want to replace capitalism, you really do need to present a convincing alternative that clearly provides a path for driven individuals to make their contributions and reap their rewards in a way that also contributes to society.

    That convincing alternative also needs to overcome the simple problem that there have been many recent attempts at creating non-capitalist societies that have been ugly dismal failures. If anyone thinks there is a successful non-capitalist society (as in, not a mixed economy that includes both private and collective elements) anywhere in the world now or even in relatively recent history we could use as a model, please point to it.

    Until someone points to a very convincing alternative, I'll prefer to stick with our current model of a mixed economy and focus on trying to improve it, thanks.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      “I'll prefer to stick with our current model of a mixed economy and focus on trying to improve it”

      Like cooking, eh? Improve the mix of ingredients, food tastes better & can be made more nourishing. In your reasoning, the profit incentive motivates enterprise. In mine, the hunger incentive combines with the survival incentive, and the enterprise is demonstrated in the cooking. Cook for others as well, you get socialism…

    • weka 2.2

      Come on Andre, we already know you sit on the capitalism isn't so bad side of the chart. Maybe adam will be around today to post about why it is so bad, but the post requires us to step out of that binary and look for something else.

      If you are happy with the status quo, then it's not the post for you. If you want something different, then tell us what that is, and how we might get there. Revolution or not revolution, if we want change we're going to have to explain what is better and how it can be done.

      • Chris 2.2.1

        I think Andre's saying the question assumes there is a binary to think outside of, when perhaps there isn't one? The history of capitalism and how it has developed suggests this is the case. The answer, therefore wouldn't be so much an alternative to capitalism, but a shift in values to those that embrace societal good, shun greed, excess etc.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          I wrote the post thinking about the anti-capitalists inability to articulate an alternative, but it could just as easily have been written thinking about the centre lefty inability to articulate an alternative. Destroying capitalism isn't the antidote to the binary, nor is making capitalism nicer. Stopping seeing it as binary is.

          I personally don't see capitalism as the primary problem, if we want to talk political systems, let's destroy the patriarchy. But that's not even it for me, it's more the disconnect from nature. My point here would be that it doesn't matter what our personal favourite analysis is. We're deep in the shit. For those of us that believe we're at the end game, bickering back and forth about capitalism and anti-capitalism is a cul de sac. I'm suggesting that talking about what we want is one way to take us somewhere better.

          It's instructive that some have been able to do that in comments and others haven't. I probably haven't explained it very well, but I think some people just get what I mean, and others want to stay in the old politics (or don't see a different way).

          If Andre's vision is a shift in values, then I'd like to hear about that (rather than going over the whole rationale for why capitalism is inevitable yet again).

      • Andre 2.2.2

        Dunno why you might think I'm happy with the status quo. I'm not. But the long replete history of even crappier alternatives makes me very wary of alternatives invented from the whole cloth that are essentially stories of unicorns frolicking in meadows with rainbows and daffodils.

        I think much more use of Pigovian taxes (emission taxes, junk food taxes, congestion charges etc) would be a very good thing. Ditto for much higher royalties charged to extractive industries. Taxes on tobacco have been very successful in reducing harmful behaviour, no reason why they shouldn't be successful elsewhere (although I'd also argue that tobacco taxes have probably gone so high that they are causing other societal problems and further hikes are probably of negligible effectiveness in further reducing smoking).

        I'd be all for much wider adoption of the idea that high incomes and high wealth are very much products of the society that enables them, complemented by the efforts of the individuals responsible for creating them. And that therefore those in possession of those good fortunes should be contributing a lot more back to maintaining the society that enabled those good fortunes.

        I'd advocate for taxes on unearned income (capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, inheritances, gifts etc) to be much higher than income earned from an individual's personal efforts – whether those efforts be manual or intellectual activities. Because it seems to me that "success" that is simply the result of who happened to spawn a particular person correlates strongly with antisocial outcomes. At the moment, taxes on unearned income have drifted to very low levels by historical standards – that's not the result of capitalism but the result of who we have chosen to be our governments over the past few decades.

        And the thing is, none of those are difficult changes. Indeed, most of those things have had very recent history within western mixed economies. The outcomes were in general pretty good. Certainly they weren't the unmitigated disasters wingnuts shriek about whenever returning to similar societal settings and values is suggested.

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          "Dunno why you might think I'm happy with the status quo."

          I don't. I was setting the boundaries for the post. Thanks for saying what you do want.

          Pigovian taxes. How might that happen in NZ?

          • Andre 2.2.2.1.1

            Probably the Greens are the closest to being Pigovian tax enthusiasts. So like many other things, it's quite simple: vote Green.

          • Craig H 2.2.2.1.2

            By listening to economists more (oddly).

  3. Maybe Covid is the stimulus, this is real, this is now, whereas climate change seems to have been pushed out to 2050.

    Global debt has risen to impossible levels .Maybe we need to look to ancient Greece, Rome and Babylon for a solution .Periodically the rulers of these countries would announce debt forgiveness, particularly for agrarian debt, so that the economy could recharge again

    Here's Scoop once again coming up with the goods back in 2012

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1204/S00101/debt-jubilee-for-new-zealand-the-great-reset.htm

    Australian economist Steve Keen is amongst a growing group of economic renegades who believe things are so far gone with the global economy that a debt jubilee and a total reset of the financial system is required. He proposes nationalizing the banks and wiping the slate clean because he contends that it is now mathematically impossible for most countries to repay the combination of their sovereign and private debt.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Great post weka.

    Can I just jump in here and remind everyone that before Te Virus they were predicting a recession?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/396724/share-market-tumbles-as-us-recession-fears-grow (plus many other articles that are fast disappearing in the google pit.)

    Seems to have been largely forgotten…capitalists were having a group shit- themselves session this time last year.

    Back when 'coronavirus' was just one of the causes of the common cold.

  5. Melacon 5

    Gene Sperling in Economic Dignity, Steve King in Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? and Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century provide some thoughtful ideas.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      While reading thoughtful books and pieces. Paul Mason and Clear Bright Future should be included.

      Human beings were redesigned to be coerced, governed and pitted against each other in enforced competition. They were told history had ended – but now it’s back with a vengeance. This is no longer a once-in-fifty years economic crisis, nor simply the fraying of the post-war global order.

      It is an all out attack on values that have underpinned Western societies for 400 years.

      https://www.paulmason.org/clear-bright-future-a-radical-defence-of-the-human-being/#more-145

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Writing Clear Bright Future led Paul Mason to a conclusion he did not expect: that it’s not enough to impose ethical rules, safety standards and prudent regulations on the new technologies. We have to rekindle something close to a shared moral philosophy, a collective concept of our human nature that he believes is vital to shaping our resistance.

        Ethos, he means, I think. I've often reflected on it in recent years. Seems to operate in the tacit part of the psyche, and is shared by many.

        In modern usage, ethos denotes the disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, corporation, culture, or movement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethos

  6. PIerre 6

    Big late-80s Marxism Today euro vibes coming off this post! We don't do politics, we're really involved in environmentalism, feminism, refugee justice, and nothing but a multitude of diffuse and disconnected social movements. While police brutality is a concern, the question of state power is not. While global poverty is a concern, economic control is not. Be the change you want to see, but what we don't want to see, is a socialist country. Shop organic, forget about class struggle. Who would be willing to give up the sweet comforts of capitalism? My landlord is a friendly guy.

    In seriousness, there is a point here about political strategy. The movements mentioned – Occupy/Extinction Rebellion/Black Lives Matter – didn't achieve revolutionary change. Yet they can't be counted as failures on their own terms because they never set out on a revolutionary process. They lacked disciplined organisation, a coherent programme, and on a basic level they lacked an understanding of who they were trying to defeat. They had no idea for how to take power by both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means, and how to make use of power once you have it.

    There are groups who fight for the socialist cause, they sit in an arena with great social forces seeking to alter the direction of history. Meanwhile there is a fashionable myth on the left that these kinds of power struggles are not relevant to our modern life. Yet, I think the large multinational corporations understand clearly that they are fighting a class war, they are not at all confused about it. Try to get in their way and see what happens.

    I agree that cultural transformation is important, we need to have the correct narratives, the correct systems of meaning. But building an independent narrative is only the precursor to transforming social reality. Without that insistence on concrete praxis there's a risk you end up fitting the narrative to justify or somehow legitimise the status-quo.

    • weka 6.1

      I'd be interested to hear a vision of how the class politics left will convince mainstream NZ to adopt socialist principles. Or even just left/liberal NZ.

      If we all line up with our preferred political ideology and position it as the best that everyone else should agree with, then we will end up pretty much where we are now. Unable to work together and losing ground in a rising tide of neoliberalism, fascism, panic and fear based politics when the shit hits the fan.

      So tell me what you want and then start explaining how that might work. Trad solialist ideas should be brought to the table, and like all the other positions it still needs to bring a coherent story that people can engage with and be inspired by.

      • Craig H 6.1.1

        Join the Labour Party and move policies and arguments leftwards. The more charismatic sorts can get elected as well and push Caucus leftwards. It's easier to get the policies accepted in the Greens, but Labour are the only party likely to actually have the numbers to do it.

        I could write out a basic manifesto, but it's summed up as:

        • easy access to state housing
        • free public transport
        • free health
        • free education
        • better income adequacy (that might be UBI, UBS, job guarantee, social insurance, higher benefits that are much easier to qualify for, or some combination of these)
        • taxation reform to support these
        • environmentalism (including climate change in this)
    • Dennis Frank 6.2

      they never set out on a revolutionary process. They lacked disciplined organisation, a coherent programme, and on a basic level they lacked an understanding of who they were trying to defeat. They had no idea for how to take power by both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means, and how to make use of power once you have it.

      Yeah, protest movements always come across to others as pathetic for those reasons. That's why Sue Bradford launched her leftist think-tank several years ago. It's also why the output of the thing remains zero. Participants haven't been able to change themselves from born whingers to contenders in the political game…

      Re insistence on concrete praxis they would have to make an intellectual effort to even get their head around the concept. The prospect probably terrifies them.

      • weka 6.2.1

        XR is utterly a revolutionary movement. It is organised, has a coherent programme, and a deep analysis of the situation we are in that most of the left is still struggling to catch up with. Importantly in the context of this post, it presents and works on what is wrong while having a strong and competent vision of what we can do instead, both in its own kaupapa and by its allying with the progressive regenerative movements.

        Solid praxis that shifted the overton window on climate in a year that nothing else had been able to achieve. Didn't do that alone, it was built on the work of many other activists and movements. But it's a complete ignorance to say it has no concrete praxis, or useful analysis of the political situation, or strategy around parliamentary and extra-parliamentary power and change.

        Maybe instead of whinging about the leftists you don't like, you could attend to the point of the post and tell us what you want and put out some ideas on how to get there.

        • Dennis Frank 6.2.1.1

          Solid praxis that shifted the overton window on climate in a year

          Is that merely your subjective view or is objective proof available? Only results count – all other praxis that doesn't produce the intended result can be useful, but will be seen by the influential players as marginal.

          you could attend to the point of the post and tell us what you want and put out some ideas on how to get there

          I was first cab off the rank with that. Perhaps so brief that you missed it?? 🙂

          • weka 6.2.1.1.1

            I read it, but its brevity probably didn't convey much in the way of an imagined shared future where things work out, and that appeals enough to lots of people to get us work towards it together. Everyone has great ideas, how to use them to effect change is a different thing.

            Speaking of which, yes, there is evidence that XR shifted the discourse on climate. Not sure how I can prove that to you without having to do a whole lot of work you could do yourself, but it's not hard to see the big jump in public and political awareness that happened that year. Reading the process that happened in the UK makes it more obvious.

            • Dennis Frank 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh, okay, I'll take your word for it. Re #1, just a succinct summation of what I've advocated here in the past. Transcending binary framing imposed by representative democracy is the initial essential shift, seems to me. We can do that via synthesis.

              For instance, the economy generates wealth via business, and redistributes that via govt, currently. Why not articulate that as a principle? Everyone knows that it has been standard political practice all our lives. Doing so confers intellectual/philosophical legitimacy as well. Not doing so leaves this extremely important element of cross-party consensus tacit.

              The metanarrative I'm pointing to is political psychology: if you engage people by explaining how it actually works, they make progress by proceeding on that basis, unencumbered by the shibboleths of the past…

              • weka

                When I started writing for TS in the winter of 2016, there was climate conversation here, but it was like pushing against conservatism only amongst progressives. People knew climate change was real, but talking about urgency wasn't yet on the agenda. I was on hiatus when XR did their first actions, and I literally watched the whole ball game change. Like I said, there were other activisms that were also important, but they did something no-one else had been able to do. If you read their strategy, it makes sense, it was intentional and they achieved it.

                Now the MSM is full of the urgency of CC. I can see the change in the commentariat on TS too. Likewise twitter.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.1.2

          IMHO, attempting to 'out-praxis' Dennis is a mistake, in praxis.

          Might this be his tipple?
          https://www.goldmedalwineclub.com/store/item/praxis-2015-pinot-noir

          But seriously, Pierre @6 made some good points.

          "Yet, I think the large multinational corporations understand clearly that they are fighting a class war, they are not at all confused about it. Try to get in their way and see what happens."

          The world is heading towards 10+ billion 'cogs'. Cogs by and large can't do much to change the massive 'machines' our multi-layered societies run on now; none of us are here for that long anyway.

          This is part of the creative process. A problem means you have to adjust something. The solution is there, waiting to be discovered. But if you don’t solve it in the here and now, it remains like a thorn in the skin, and can ultimately lead to other problems. Conversely, when a problem is resolved, the rest of the work moves more easily and is always better, by which I mean deeper in its implications and more revealing.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillip_Mann

          I have no large-scale solutions, but at an individual level this 'cog' knows there are problems that are best addressed sooner rather than later – such as I really shouldn't put off getting that lump checked out. And that's one of 'our' problems, IMHO – we are confused (to the point of panic) about what's important and urgent.

          Education is key, trying to shift our collective focus to the longer term. Keep asking the question(s) "What do you hope (and what can you do now) for family, community, environment et al., one hundred years from now?" A relentless and realistic focus on the longer term may (paradoxically?) fuel a much-needed sense of urgency – we need to build sufficient resilience now to make the ‘ride down‘ for future generations as bearable as possible.

          This this developing into a scattergun comment (sorry), but a week ago I saw an interesting Doc Edge film: "Once You Know". What can I do to become a more resilient cog, and contribute to greater 'cog resilience'? "How to live in a collapsing world?" – oh, my aching back!

          "Once You Know" Permanent Crowfunding (sic) Campaign
          "Once You Know" Trailer

  7. barry 7

    It would help if wee used less woolly terms.

    Capitalism is the concentration of wealth in a small number of hands – which is supposed to be efficient as it means that big things can be built. The share-market is an alternative in which lots of smaller players can club together to get bigger funds. Co-operatives are the same thing with different rules.

    Communism is concentration of wealth in the hands of the state to enable big things to get built.

    In capitalism people are rated according to their money, in communism people are rated according to their work. There is no other way of defining people in theory.

    Neo-liberalism is what used to be called "laisser-faire" and is the removal of controls on capital and industry. The post WWII consensus was that controls were necessary to stop excesses, but inefficient. It is a balance between extreme efficiency on the one hand and resiliency. Competition is supposed to give the best of both worlds as if conditions change, the old ways will fail and something new will rise up and disrupt the industry.

    This is of course bollocks, as humans are not widgets and people rebel if they can't eat – it is not their fault that they are inefficient. Which is why we have police and courts, which are the antithesis of neo-liberalism. Hence we get the truth that "libertarians" are in fact "propertarians". Where liberties are defined by how much property one owns. The true libertarians are anarchists who think that "property is theft"

    There is no true answer. Every perfect state devolves into something ossified which leads to revolution or dictatorship.

    I favour participatory democracy and co-operative ownership. However having privately owned media based on pay per clicks makes it hard to get reasoned discourse, which makes populism more likely.

    In the end we probably can't do much better than we had in the 60s/70s where taxes were high enough to enable governments to do things and look after people, but there was enough private industry and competition to keep things vibrant.

    The next question is how do we get enough money to everybody without over-consuming. We don't need to work as much as we do to feed everybody and a lot of consumption (especially tourism) is purely to keep people working. Sustainability means we need to live with less, but money needs to circulate. A UBI is probably the answer (unless we can learn to live without money). But to make it work, requires a more fundamental change to the way we think about value.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      having privately owned media based on pay per clicks makes it hard to get reasoned discourse, which makes populism more likely

      An important point. Social media, to make a positive contribution, must incorporate design incentives that motivate participants to produce the intended result. Facebook & Twitter have gotten a reputation for creating toxic culture as the result of bad design.

  8. greywarshark 8

    I should take a copy of everything I spend a lot of time on. I've lost a lengthy comment. Here are the links i used to talk about capitalism and money origins. You'll have to read through them without my thoughts trying to explain my ideas clearly.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_capitalism#Origins

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money

    • weka 8.1

      if you use the Reply tab on the right of the page, you will see where I replied and explained the missing comment.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        I saw that thanks, but it still had disappeared. And it might have done so anyway. from my misadventure and I think that I would be wise to do as I have suggested, take a copy. Thank you for advising.

  9. Obtrectator 9

    In an earlier post Dennis Frank quotes the following from Paul Mason's own website.

    Writing Clear Bright Future led Paul Mason to a conclusion he did not expect: that it’s not enough to impose ethical rules, safety standards and prudent regulations on the new technologies. We have to rekindle something close to a shared moral philosophy, a collective concept of our human nature that he believes is vital to shaping our resistance.

    Here's how Paul Johnson put it nearly fifty years ago:

    It takes enormous energy to change the entire course of world history, and such energy cannot be drawn exclusively from physical forces; something metaphysical is required too. (The Offshore Islanders, 1972)

    And let me add a conclusion that I came to some time back: legislation can usually serve only to formally confirm what has already become generally accepted. Attempts to impose social reform from above, even if they sometimes become law as a result of single-minded activity by some dedicated group (e.g. Prohibition in the USA), are nearly always doomed to widespread evasion and ultimate failure.

    Revolutions tend to be very good at destruction, less good at rebuilding. All that most of them succeed in doing is tearing up the rule-book, allowing the psychopaths free rein, with the inevitable distressing results.

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      something metaphysical

      Thanks for that reference. I've had a go at it several times here in the past but the deep stuff will always need concerted effort from many contributors. Zeitgeist, for instance, is just a mass shift when the time is right, yet it is clearly non-physical – and perhaps as much synchronistic as causal!

      And re your conclusion, I'm reminded of a parable attributed to Jesus – the sower of seeds learns that they only root on suitable ground.

  10. Mpk 10

    There's an interesting bloke by the name of Rupert Sheldrake who as a scientist is trying to move science away from the materialist determinist no free will position that it has been in for the last 400 years or so. In some respects science has become the new religion and research has gate keepers that make sure heretics don't have a platform.

    One of the biggest problems with material science is that it cant deal with conciousness and therefore can only place mind as something produced by the activity of the brain. In this sense, mind may have some evolutionary advantage but can largely be ignored as a phenomenon. Many contradictions arise from this position. One is simply the problem of vision since science holds that the image must be a hologram inside your brain though no one is able to locate it and also that when you look at the sky your skull must be somewhere beyond the sky!!

    Materialist science tends to ignore anything it cant make sense of with the view that one day all will be explained. It also tends to reduce everything to the smallest piece so that a process can be described by physical interactions.

    This is the model of the universe as a machine set in motion at the moment of the big bang after which everything follows like clockwork. Material scientists would say that if all the data could be collected and collated everything would be predictable. Quantum physics was the first major counter to this theory because it showed that at the very small there is uncertainty and a level of "choosing" because all "material" particles are a process from possibilities to coalescing facts.

    With regard to this post, the path ahead is to grasp this fact of the lack of solidity in the material world. Mind is the realm of possibility. It is the region from which we pull ourselves. Without recognising the conciousness of all self organising systems, from the small single celled through plants and animals to humans and beyond to the Earth as Gaia and the solar system, galaxy and universe we are destined to view everything as resources to be manipulated, consumed or provide personal satisfaction. Colonialism was justified by the thought that stuff was just lying around not being used. Wasteful savages. Capitalism is just a continuation of this. Materialism says that stuff doesnt have a purpose but the principle of the mind of self organising entities entails of necessity, purpose.

    I would say that the point of departure is to see ourselves as a small part of something much larger. Covd has been a lesson in this. Places that have a functioning society whereby the individual is part of a functioning self organising social system have done better than those that are atomised into seperate non interacting cells.

    https://www.sheldrake.org/

    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      I bought his first book when it showed up at the UBS, and as a physics grad liked his notion of morphogenetic fields – still do. Adding Lovelock's Gaia was the next step.

      However changemaking as praxis transcends science. One must include metaphysics, plus the spiritual dimension, plus mass psychology. Few go there. A multidisciplinary approach is the key to the future despite few being capable of using it. Here's a good question, then: "Knowing that, what do we do about it?" Points to the relation between gnosis & praxis, eh? 🤔

      • Mpk 10.1.1

        The post above by Obtrectator says revolution is mostly concerned with destruction. I would say that this is true and that mmp is quite a good indicator of where the general population sits on the revolutionary scale. It would be a far better indicator if the threshold for new parties were lower. So given most people coalesce somewhere near the center until something drastic happens the choices are either incremental or something radical that will include violent destruction. Many people are now leaning towards thinking that climate change is such an urgent issue that violence is required. Others will find it easier to justify war since culling populations must reduce anthropormorphic climate change.

        But heres the thing. Until we become extinct we have a chance. There is no now or never moment unless you are a materialist. Every time we reduce some use of fossil fuels is a victory and buys us more time. If we continue to exert ourselves we will be rewarded simply because we are part of local, global and universal self organising systems. Self organising entails the ability to make choices. Gaia can make choices and so too the sun. At present we are in a very low solar activity phase. Gaia may find it helpful to let off a few volcanoes to block some more solar heating. So you see we are not done until our habits and intractability make it so. Incremental until the critical mass of conciousness creates the cascade to some new awareness is the only way.

        What can you do? The best that you can. Become aware. Open your eyes

        • Grafton Gully 10.1.1.1

          "What can you do? The best that you can. Become aware. Open your eyes"

          Also, as Alexander Pope wrote in An Essay on Man.

          "Know then thyself; presume not God to scan,
          The proper study of mankind is Man.
          Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
          A being darkly wise and rudely great:
          With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
          And too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
          He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest;
          In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
          In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
          Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err.
          Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
          Whether he thinks too little or too much."

          • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1

            Thanks GG I've been thinking that quote about the proper study of man is man and wondering who wrote it. I thought it might be Kierkegaard but see it's Pope. What a lot of his wit has gone into common language, died in 1744 yet still applicable and fresh!

            No one should be ashamed to admit he is wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

            Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.

            The ruling passion, be it what it will. The ruling passion conquers reason still.

            Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
            Alexander Pope

            Biography
            Author Profession:Poet
            Nationality:English
            Born: May 21, 1688
            Died: May 30, 1744
            .

            Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
            Barack Obama

      • Tiger Mountain 10.1.2

        To paraphrase a marxist maxim regarding materialist versus other types of philosophy–“the point is not just to interpret the world, but to change it”. Post Modernism for example is not going to suffice, a slippery philosophical method where essentially, anything can mean anything.

        A fundamental change in class power is required in global society, and organised people power is what will achieve it. Call it revolution, or retiring capitalism, but the billionaire class and their reactionary, violent superstructures, have to go.

        When the squillionaires club are all banished to Richard Branson’s island, or a more deserving fate, life will go on, production, science, culture, will all go on–minus the parasite class.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.2.1

          Banishment is far to good for them IMHO, but are they bovvered, or even listening?

          https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-skills.html

        • Mpk 10.1.2.2

          Unless of course parasitism is a result of a materialist point of view. If materialists are unable to investigate non material phenomenem then how will they ever know how much of what happens is influenced by mind? I dont know the answer to this either but it certainly deserves investigating. Would you say that your accomplishments are the same no matter whether you are happy or sad? This cant just be reduced to chemicals because that omits the question of what promotes the production of these chemicals. In the end it is still an effect of the mind. So as a materialist do you just ignore these kinds of problems. I'm sure that those with power will be quite happy with that state of affairs because they are well aware of the power of a narrative.

          If the only motivation for change is material then it is bound to fail. Small material benefits are how you stop this change and then you just take them away again over time. Or you buy out the leaders since all they wanted was material gain anyway. Its an old ploy on union leaders.

          If you want buy in from the dispossessed you gonna have to offer something more meaningful than a new car or a bit of extra cash

    • roblogic 10.2

      Good points, economics and democracy are linked to culture and the values of individuals in society. We see a breakdown of social cohesion and trust when elites allow inequality and (white collar) crime to rampage unchecked.

      The materialist worldview offers no meaning and purpose, no greater narrative for individuals and society, and no vision of the future other than more of the same. Western culture is being colonised by other, more confident and vibrant belief systems. Our cultural idiocies of career over family, landlording and rent-seeking over productive work, individual over community, are a house of cards waiting to fall.

      The stresses tearing the USA apart right now are present right here in Aotearoa as well. IMO the solution is more democracy, more protection of our own people rather than hordes of foreigners, far more help for those falling by the wayside, and revival of culture. (my personal take would be a blend of Maoritanga and moderate Christianity)

    • Robert Guyton 10.3

      I enjoy Rupert's ideas very much, Mpk and enjoy watching video that feature him, along with Terence McKenna; both have a wry sort of humour and a willingness to explore the outer-edges of thought.

  11. Brigid 11

    There's Social Credit Weka

    • The economic, political and social system should be established and built on the foundations of loving care, truth, justice and honest endeavour.

    • What is physically possible and desirable for the happiness of humanity can always be financially possible.

    • Systems should be made for people, not people for systems; any that fail to serve people should be reformed or discarded.

    • The individual is more important than the state. Communism, fascism, and political authoritarianism in any form should be opposed.

    • Individual and co-operative enterprise should be the basis of economic organisation. Where state-owned enterprises are necessary or desirable, they should conform to the same conditions and rules as privately owned concerns.

    • The proper purpose of industry is the production of goods and not the provision of employment. The proper purpose of production is consumption. The opportunity for self-development and the enjoyment of leisure is the true purpose of labour-saving inventions.

    • The only way our principles can be implemented is by the reform of the present monetary system, which is the major cause of war, poverty, inflation and many other social problems.

    https://www.socialcredit.nz/fundamental-tenets

  12. adam 12

    Economics should be called its rightful name – political economy, the first victory of capitalism was to change the name. The second was to make people think economies need to work for business and money – rather than directly for people. The third was to think this is how it has always been.

    That said, you can't argue with people who embrace a economic system which is actually destroying our ability to exist on this planet. They are not rational, and whilst they are the first to throw the label extremist around, they are the ones who are extreme. All societies fall, and because we can't, or won't engage our brains to change how we run our economy, we get to watch the slow but inevitable destruction of this one.

    As for solutions, try The Ecology of Freedom or Brother Malcolm X I'm not one for capturing the state. The only real revolution option is to build new structures alongside and outside it. Some of us are doing that hard work, join in, or keep telling yourself your not supporting the destruction.

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      I read the biography of Bookchin several years ago & appreciated it. The author was a female activist who became his wife or partner. Given that origin myths have been the most powerful operators in mass psychology for ever, his origin story of social ecology is essential (from your link):

      This book was written to satisfy the need for a consistently radical social ecology: an ecology of freedom. It had been maturing in my mind since 1952 when I first became acutely conscious of the growing environmental crisis that was to assume such monumental proportions a generation later.

      In that year, I published a volume-sized article, "The Problems of Chemicals in Food" (later to be republished in book form in Germany as Lebensgefiihrliche Lebensmittel). Owing to my early Marxian intellectual training, the article examined not merely environmental pollution but also its deep-seated social origins. Environmental issues had developed in my mind as social issues, and problems of natural ecology had become problems of "social ecology" — an expression hardly in use at the time.

      Inasmuch as the Greens often cite their leftist orientation as rooted in social justice issues (never citing Bookchin – probably never heard of him) they have a sound historical intellectual tradition in which to ground their political praxis…

      • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1.1

        "Inasmuch as the Greens often cite their leftist orientation as rooted in social justice issues (never citing Bookchin – probably never heard of him)" – yes yes Dennis, you're more widely read than all "the Greens" put together. You've implied this so many times that it must be true, in praxis.

        Sometime after the start of NZ's 'out of ANZUS' era (so long ago that the quote may not be accurate), this brief amusing letter appeared in The (now ex-)Listener:

        "So the United States has cut off our intelligence. Now we must all be cabbages."

        • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.1

          Well, for the second time this month I must point out that cabbages are green, so all good. Last time it flushed out the response that some are red, so I must now acknowledge their right to minority identity lest a master of identity politics raps my knuckles. 😉

          I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to assume I'm that widely read – widely read Greens who fail to acknowledge Bookchin may well be thick on the ground, eh? If they don't contribute to our media discourse we'll never know if they exist! Russel Norman was a marxist before going Green, like Bookchin. Did you ever hear or see him informing people of Bookchin's seminal relevance??

          • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1.1.1.1

            Are you not widely read, Dennis? Why would a man of your years and interests consider it presumptuous to embrace such a descriptor? Maybe some false modesty? Others can judge.

            Maybe Dr Norman considered doing so, and then thought better of it? Maybe there's a time and place for acknowledging seminal anarchists, although (according to Wikipedia) in the late 1990s Bookchin shed the anarchist label.

            Dr Bradford has at least heard of Bookchin (she writes about and cites him in her PhD thesis), so you're in good Green/Mana company.

            • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I've been reading adult books since age 7 (1956), continuously. I just thought the way you put it was OTT, and it was essential to be more realistic. Not false modesty. You've reminded me that his anarchism persisted way beyond his marxism, thanks. I'm not familiar with the topic of her thesis, but intrigued…

  13. georgecom 13

    There is a interesting perspective on a feasible socialism here http://digamo.free.fr/nove91.pdf

    written by a guy called Alec Nove. He looks at what might be realistic to expect rather than utopian. He is no fan of state socialism like that practised in the USSR but neither is he a fan of neoliberal extremism.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Good post weka.

    Capitalism is a tool; one that had delivered both remarkable good and harm at the same time. In the past 400 year period when it has been part of the transformation of our economic life, human life expectancy has more or less doubled.

    We should not be so careless of this gift.

    Capitalism has essentially solve the problem of absolute poverty, that was the normal condition for most people until about 200 years ago. But it never claimed any competency at solving the problem of relative poverty, or gross inequality. Nor does it have any inherent mechanism to balance short term gain against long term loss, the old privatisation of profit and socialisation of loss demon.

    The left also frequently omits the other crucial player in the economic transformation; the role of energy and industrialisation. In this I see capitalism as only one layer of a much deeper more complex system.

    The question you pose might be differently posed as this; what do we want capitalism to evolve into? We all roughly agree on the desired destination, but we all tend to point to the small part of the system we understand best, and argue this is what needs to change first.

    We might want to start thinking more holistically than this, that the roles of technology, energy, engineering, communication, media, finance, markets, politics and ethics are all interdependently linked. That the evolution we want will come from the evolution of each of these component parts of the whole.

    I agree whole-heartedly that it is time to demand much better of our economic systems, and we should take great hope from how much we have already achieved. But almost all of our big problems are global in nature, and will demand solution at the same scope; but first we must widen our moral horizon one last time … to embrace the wholeness of humanity.

    Cheers

  15. Pat 15

    bread and circuses… until there's not

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    "The Answer" in so much as there is one, is not in the systems themselves, but in how they are applied. A better government and society applauds generosity of spirit, and disparages meanness. NZ was capitalist under Savage, but still a roaring economic and social success. Were ecology a bit more mainstream at the time, or human relations, it could have been an environmental and inclusive success too.

    Capitalism that does not strive to make the quickest buck at any cost can fit into quite good societies – there is no inherent conflict with craftsman values or the dignity of work. But in the absence of that generosity of spirit, when fraud and meanness prospers, capitalism possesses no innate mechanisms for self-correction. Those must come from human sources.

    Lest we be trapped in the Marxist dichotomy, the same is true of churches. They have often been at the forefront of important social changes – Martin Luther King, or the Vietnamese Buddhists are obvious examples. Equally, they have often harboured a cruel and discreditable conservatism. The difference lies in that generosity of spirit.

    The current PM's adoption of a kindness ethic, though arguably patchy here and there, is nevertheless more sophisticated than is popularly supposed. If it is restored to its once significant place in NZ society it could do much to rub the harsh edges off institutional and corporate behaviour, and make a genuinely better and happier society.

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    Revolutionary theory has evolved, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution

    Clearly "multi-class coalitions" is a phenomenon that transcends and disposes of marxism, for instance!

    From the late 1980s a new body of scholarly work began questioning the dominance of the third generation's theories. The old theories were also dealt a significant blow by new revolutionary events that could not be easily explain by them. The Iranian and Nicaraguan Revolutions of 1979, the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines and the 1989 Autumn of Nations in Europe saw multi-class coalitions topple seemingly powerful regimes amidst popular demonstrations and mass strikes in nonviolent revolutions.

    Defining revolutions as mostly European violent state versus people and class struggles conflicts was no longer sufficient. The study of revolutions thus evolved in three directions, firstly, some researchers were applying previous or updated structuralist theories of revolutions to events beyond the previously analyzed, mostly European conflicts. Secondly, scholars called for greater attention to conscious agency in the form of ideology and culture in shaping revolutionary mobilization and objectives. Third, analysts of both revolutions and social movements realized that those phenomena have much in common, and a new 'fourth generation' literature on contentious politics has developed that attempts to combine insights from the study of social movements and revolutions in hopes of understanding both phenomena.

    So "conscious agency in the form of ideology and culture" is the operative shared motivator. However the political psychology that produces a revolution must have more to it than just this combination. Shared vision of a better world envisaged, for instance. Gnosis of how to actualize it is essential to success in manifesting that ideal world. What replaces a manifesto now that everyone agrees too many long words don't work?? How do we constellate a common plan? Co-design.

    Working together to make it happen is what armchair political commentators don't do. Work becomes political praxis via consistency of effort and application. Most people see the work required to make a revolution happen as being way too hard.

    • Ad 17.1

      Agree.

      I'm thinking about a post on Black Lives Matter and its myriad effects for the same reason.

  18. Rae 18

    Capitalism is what it's name suggests, the accumulation of capital. It is not that people should not be free to pursue their own dreams, it is just the acquisition of far, far more than you will ever need should not be lauded, in fact it should be seen as some sort of personality disorder, after all, in order to achieve great wealth, you have to put aside a lot of normal, life enhancing pursuits, you need to have something lacking in you to be able to do that, surely.

    Big is the enemy (too much wealth accumulating in too few places and giant corporations calling the shots) not individuals pursuing their own life goals.

  19. millsy 19

    I think we need to focus on ending scarcity more than anything else.

    This is what it all comes down to.

  20. Craig H 20

    The Green Party poverty action plan:

    • A Guaranteed Minimum Income of $325 per week for students and people out of work, no matter what.
    • A Universal Child Benefit for kids under three of $100 per week.
    • A simplified Family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for subsequent children to replace the Working for Families tax credits with a higher abatement threshold and lower abatement rate.
    • Additional support for single parents through a $110 per week top-up.
    • Reforming ACC to become the Agency for Comprehensive Care, creating equitable social support for everyone with a work-impairing health condition or disability, with a minimum payment of 80% of the full time minimum wage.
    • Changes to abatement and relationship rules so people can earn more from paid work before their income support entitlements are reduced.
    • A 1% wealth tax for those with a net-worth over $1 million.
    • And two new top income tax brackets for a more progressive tax system which redistributes wealth (37% on income over $100,000 and 42% on income over $150,000).

    Stuff reports some details.

    Not sure if this fits here as part of the revolution, or if it’s less revolution and more Open Mike, but this plan would definitely help significantly in reducing poverty.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission report shows progress
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s assessment that transformation of New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction is underway. “This is an important step in the Government’s work to provide better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all people in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago