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?

           

  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.

Leave a Comment

Use WYSIWYG comments on next comment (inactive new feature)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    3 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    4 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    5 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    6 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    1 week ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago