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

  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
    speech to Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit Te Papa,  Wellington Introduction Nau mai, haere mai Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, Ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Thank you Tourism Industry Aotearoa for hosting today’s Summit. In particular, my acknowledgements to TIA Chair Gráinne Troute and Chief Executive Chris Roberts. You ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets announced as Government’s second market study
    The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries.   “Supermarkets are an integral part of our communities and economy, so it’s important to ensure that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Masks to be worn on Auckland public transport and all domestic flights
    Masks will need to be worn on all public transport in Auckland and in and out of Auckland and on domestic flights throughout the country from this Thursday, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “I will be issuing an Order under the COVID-19 Response Act requiring the wearing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand signs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
    Increase to New Zealand’s GDP by around $2 billion each year Increase opportunities for NZ exporters to access regional markets Cuts red tape and offers one set of trade rules across the Asia Pacific region New government procurement, competition policy and electronic commerce offers NZ exporters increased business opportunities Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister acknowledges students as exams begin
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has recognised the extraordinary challenges students have faced this year, ahead of NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin on Monday. “I want to congratulate students for their hard work during a year of unprecedented disruption, and I wish students all the best as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister meets with key ASEAN and East Asia Summit partners
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today attended the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit and discussed with Leaders a range of shared challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region, including: The ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic; The importance of working collectively to accelerate economic recovery; and Exploring further opportunities for partners to work more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Veterans Affairs Summit held in Korea
    A Ministerial Summit on Veterans’ Affairs was held in the Republic of Korea this week. Ministers with veteran responsibilities were invited from all 22 countries that had been part of the United Nations Forces during the Korean War (1950 – 1953). The Summit marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear direction set for the education system, skills prioritised
    The Government has released a set of priorities for early learning through to tertiary education and lifelong learning to build a stronger, fairer education system that delivers for all New Zealanders. “The election delivered a clear mandate from New Zealanders to accelerate our plan to reduce inequalities and make more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A Progressive Agenda
    Speech to the Climate Change + Business Conference, November 12, 2020 Tena koutou katoa Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. It is great to see us all come together for a common cause: to redefine our future in the face of unprecedented times.  Covid-19 and climate change are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago