What – you mean – the lefties were right?

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, July 11th, 2016 - 141 comments
Categories: activism, class war, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Trump. Brexit. A rising tide of anger, violence, and political instability. Even “the market” has noticed, according to Liam Dann in the Business Herald:

It’s a mad, mad world

From Britain, to the US to Australia, voters are punishing politicians. Why the anger and what does it mean for markets?

The UK is in turmoil, Australia is in turmoil. Who is next? Donald Trump and the US elections are looming large. Then there is Italy, where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has offered angry voters the chance to chuck him out with a referendum on political reform in October. And what about New Zealand – could we follow the trend?

“What we are seeing is a push back against, some would say, the whole post-World War II movement – globalisation and free trade,”

Mark Lister, head of research at Craigs Investment Partners, says “the Brexit was a wake-up call for politicians and investors and I think we’ll see plenty more of it.

“It’s simply a reflection of the fact so many people feel like they are missing out on their share of the boom.”

Inequality, poverty, the rise of the working poor – yeah, people are pissed.

We’re used to hearing this kind of thing from left-wing commentators and politicians. But neither Peacock nor Lister has a political axe to grind. Their analysis is matter-of-fact and born of concerns for investors.

Or in other words – the lefties have been right all along. But now Serious Market People can see it too. (Those poor damn investors – haven’t they suffered enough?)

“The low interest rate thing hasn’t really fired up economies or seen any wage growth come through,” Lister says. “All we’ve done is make house prices and share prices go up. The wealthy end of town feel wealthier, the bottom end and the middle end haven’t really benefited at all and people are just getting sick of it and are feeling very disenfranchised.” …

Reality, as the saying goes, has a well-known liberal bias. If only we didn’t have to bang our heads against a brick wall for quite so long to get the message through.

141 comments on “What – you mean – the lefties were right?”

  1. Greg 1

    Kiwi workers have never recovered from Rogernomics have we, its just one successive hit after another.
    Helen Clark had a economic boom period and tore down debt, yet didnt make much of a difference to workers economy. Who does working for families really benefit, employers, or the middle class, again it leaves poorer workers behind.

    Now after 8 yours of Key’s government, whats improved, barely inflationary wage rise for most workers.
    Did Dairy industry increase its employment costs on the back of the much lauded Rock Star economy, evidence is lacking, or for that matter any employment cost rises in any primary industry.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/81788403/the-struggle-to-balance-budgets-for-todays-working-poor

    Finance Minister Bill English dismissed the significance of the figures. English said in a statement that “there is no evidence in the latest Statistics NZ release of any increase in wealth inequality over time”.

    Prime Minister John Key said the figures were consistent over the past 20-30 years and were similar to when Labour was in office

    Working less hours to enjoy what I can earn.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      “Helen Clark had a economic boom period and tore down debt”

      No, she transferred the public debt to the students.

      When she left office the student debt was almost exactly what the government debt had been at the beginning of her government: $8 – $9 billion.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Yep. Accounting sleight of hand. The country’s mortgage debt also went up by billions during her reign. And of course, in our absurd accounting system, “student debt” is counted as a public “asset”

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Debt is always counted as an asset to those that hold the debt. For non-government actors, though, there’s a chance that they won’t get it back if the holder of the debt goes into bankruptcy whereas debts held by the government can’t be dropped at all ever – unless you’re a major corporation that’s been caught fiddling the books and then large amounts will be forgiven.

          It’s not that holding the debt as an asset is delusional – it’s that it can’t be defaulted upon.

          Of course, students shouldn’t be going into debt to get an education anyway. The country should be providing that education freely and, in fact, encouraging people into education rather than have them languishing on the ‘unemployment benefit’.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        Not sure what you’re talking about. In 1999, government debt was $21.7B.

  2. Fustercluck 2

    WW2 was won by organized labor fighting fascism and fascism has been fighting back ever since.

      • Fustercluck 2.1.1

        Yep. Agree with that finer point on it!

      • Corokia 2.1.2

        Ooooh making positive comments about women today then Greg

      • Bill 2.1.3

        Not that the Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks had anything to do with organised labour (they brutally crushed any hint of labour organising) but that non-aggression pact rode off the back of a Soviet/German trade deal…

        …that existed at the same time as an Soviet/Italian ‘friendship accord’ (Italian warships docked in Soviet ports).

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        An interesting point about that non-aggression pact is that both sides knew that it wasn’t going to last when they signed it. Russia signed it because they weren’t in a position to do anything about the Germans and the Germans signed it because they wanted to get ready for their invasion of Russia.

        Basically, both sides wanted to build up their military first.

        • Greg 2.1.4.1

          The Invasion took Stalin by complete surprise,

          Stalins failure to prepare for the German onslaught primarily reflected the unappealing political choices which the Soviet Union faced before the outbreak of the Second World War, and even more so on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. It was however aggravated by Stalins self-deception and miscalculation, a reflection of his authoritarian rule. And yet, even with hindsight, it is hard to devise alternatives which Stalin could have safely pursued. If he had made a pre-emptive strike, the blow would at best have been softened but definitely not averted.

          http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/93

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.4.1.1

            The Soviet Union was definitely not ready for the German invasion, but they also definitely knew it was inevitable. However they did not know when, where and with what strength the Germans would attack.

            The Russian produced doco Soviet Storm records the events from the Soviet perspective.

          • Bill 2.1.4.1.2

            I’m not surprised it took him by surprise.

            For all the talk of the political regimes they headed being diametrically opposed, the truth is that they were very, very similar from the perspective of ordinary working men and women…and definitely the same if you had the misfortune to have formed any meaningful socialist understanding of the world.

            In essence, Hitler and Stalin made for excellent bed fellows – and it would have been just the same if Lenin had still been alive and been the Bolshevik’s head honcho.

            • Stuart Munro 2.1.4.1.2.1

              It’s not the quite the RT version but some expat Russian intelligentsia consider that the revolution grew out of a German intelligence destabilisation campaign. If so, small wonder the finer and important left issues formed no part of it.

              • Bill

                Well yeah there was that. All the countries in WWI were trying to foment revolution in every other country. Germany was successful. The Russian Revolution, if it had happened anyway, might not have been captured by the Bolsheviks if it hadn’t been for Germany aiding and abetting Lenin.

                I think that was a part of a WWI history programme shown on Maori TV – a damned good series. Based on the studies or writings of an English historian.

                • Not just German help. The Bolsheviks were financed by top Wall Street capitalists, Rockefeller & the Fed, you name it. Entire books have been published with all the historical details of this. Always a considerable shock to students of history indoctrinated with a binary world-view in which capitalists & communists are perennial enemies.

                  It reminds us that conspiracy theorists can be subdivided into the delusional and the realistic: the former spend all their time promoting a simple scenario, the latter spend time developing an in-depth view of both current & past sociopolitical complexities…

                  • In Vino

                    Sociopolitical complexities? I like that. Conspiracies must thrive there regardless. But it is true that scorn is often poured upon any conspiracist who unwisely rears his head in the world of the gullible. Our world, where being gullible to the right people makes you sensible, but being gullible to a conspiracy theory makes you a way-out moron… I cannot help but feel that somewhere, somehow, somebody is constantly trying to deceive me.

                  • In Vino

                    Sociopolitical complexities? I like that. Conspiracies must thrive there regardless. But it is true that scorn is often poured upon any conspiracist who unwisely rears his head in the world of the gullible. Our world, where being gullible to the right people makes you sensible, but being gullible to a conspiracy theory makes you a way-out moron… I cannot help but feel that somewhere, somehow, somebody is constantly trying to deceive me.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.4.2

          Russia signed it because they weren’t in a position to do anything about the Germans and the Germans signed it because they wanted to get ready for their invasion of Russia.

          The idea that the Soviet Union wasn’t in a position to do anything about fascism is a myth peddled by Soviet historians. Leaving aside the fact that it could have “done something about the Germans” simply by siding with Britain and France in guaranteeing Poland’s security, its armed forces were a lot larger and better equipped than Germany’s. Also, the Germans never did get ready for an invasion of the Soviet Union, they ended up attacking it with what they had lying about, which was nowhere near good enough.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4.2.1

            The idea that the Soviet Union wasn’t in a position to do anything about fascism is a myth peddled by Soviet historians.

            Not according to the lessons I got at university on it.

            Leaving aside the fact that it could have “done something about the Germans” simply by siding with Britain and France in guaranteeing Poland’s security…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)

            This, as well as the reluctance of the British and French governments to sign a full-scale anti-German political and military alliance with the USSR,[33] led to the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact between the Soviet Union and Germany in late August 1939.[34]

            It seems that the Allies didn’t want such an agreement.

            … its armed forces were a lot larger and better equipped than Germany’s. Also, the Germans never did get ready for an invasion of the Soviet Union, they ended up attacking it with what they had lying about, which was nowhere near good enough.

            Yes, that would so explain how the Germans managed to take out all of the Ukraine before the Soviets stopped them…

            Oh, wait, no it doesn’t.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.4.2.1.1

              It seems that the Allies didn’t want such an agreement.

              They didn’t want an agreement that gave the Soviet Union the kind of deal over Poland that Germany was willing to give it, no.

              Yes, that would so explain how the Germans managed to take out all of the Ukraine before the Soviets stopped them…

              A surprise attack on superior forces can be devastating if those superior forces are so confident of no threat that they don’t set up any defensive positions. Once the surprise attack’s over though, you’re fucked if you haven’t actually prepared for the conflict – like, for instance, assembling the necessary transport and logistics, stockpiling enough fuel, ammunition and parts for more than a few months of operations, gathering the equipment needed to conduct military operations in sub-zero temperatures etc. There were no such preparations, they just sent in the few thousand obsolete tanks they had and hoped for a knockout blow (said hope being a fine illustration of just how poor the intelligence was on which they based their invasion plan).

              • Colonial Viper

                A surprise attack on superior forces can be devastating if those superior forces are so confident of no threat that they don’t set up any defensive positions.

                Uh, the Soviet forces were still at a low level of mobilisation when Barbarossa was launched. The STAVKA had given most of their front line units only a few hours warning of the possibility that some German offensive actions might be possible.

                In general terms, yes the Soviets had known that the Germans were going to attack at some stage that year, but that was not what we would call these days “actionable intelligence.”

                Where the hell are you getting your information from?

                • I read stuff, like everyone else. In a few weeks the Jerries managed to destroy or capture armed forces at least as large as their own invasion force, said destroyed or captured forces being equipped at least as well as the Wehrmacht, and when it came to tanks and artillery, hugely better equipped than the Wehrmacht. That doesn’t happen if the other side’s set up effective defensive positions.

            • Greg 2.1.4.2.1.2

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Japanese_Neutrality_Pact

              note the dates of this pact, ignored by history,
              Japan then turned towards America…

          • Sanctary 2.1.4.2.2

            This one of those “normally smart person makes a fool of himself” posts.

            I suggest you read the works of David M Glantz.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.4.2.3

            Also, the Germans never did get ready for an invasion of the Soviet Union, they ended up attacking it with what they had lying about, which was nowhere near good enough.

            Sure, whatever you say. The Germans must have had a lot of fully equipped and fully mobilised divisions just milling about eh.

            Adapted from wikipedia:

            Operation Barbarossa.
            German frontline strength (initial)

            3.8 million personnel[1][2]
            3,350 tanks[3][1]
            2,770 aircraft[3]
            7,200 artillery pieces

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.4.2.3.1

              From the same Wikipedia article, the Red Army faced that invasion force with 11,000 tanks, all of which were superior to their German equivalents, between 7 and 9000 aircraft that were of similar capability to their German equivalents, and an undeclared portion of the Soviet Union’s 117,000 artillery pieces.

              As to “preparation,” see above. It doesn’t consist of shoving a whole lot of troops up to the border, it consists of arranging transport and logistics, ensuring sufficient supply of fuel and ammunition to deal with a well-equipped 5-million-man army, and above all the ability to conduct military operations in sub-zero conditions. None of those “preparations” occurred – it was just one more Hitler roll of the dice and hoping for the best.

              • Colonial Viper

                From the same Wikipedia article, the Red Army faced that invasion force with 11,000 tanks, all of which were superior to their German equivalents, between 7 and 9000 aircraft that were of similar capability to their German equivalents, and an undeclared portion of the Soviet Union’s 117,000 artillery pieces.

                OK so you’re a civvy who has never studied warfare. I get that now.

                It doesn’t consist of shoving a whole lot of troops up to the border, it consists of arranging transport and logistics, ensuring sufficient supply of fuel and ammunition to deal with a well-equipped 5-million-man army, and above all the ability to conduct military operations in sub-zero conditions. None of those “preparations” occurred

                For various reasons, Hitler delayed the launch of Barbarossa by at least two months waiting for…get this…preparations to be finalised.

                It meant that amongst other things, an offensive that was supposed to be finished in Autumn, dragged on into the deep Russian winter.

                By the way…each German tank participating in Barabarossa was matched with roughly a dozen support vehicles carrying fuel, ammunition and food.

                German tanks of the day could only carry enough fuel to travel 200km or so, and much less under combat conditions. The armoured divisions Hitler used required massive logistics chains of fuel and parts simply to keep moving more than a day at a time.

              • Colonial Viper

                For any one who wants to understand a bit more about Germany’s opening Operation Barbarossa campaign against the Soviet Union, this Russia doco is excellent

              • GregJ

                Planning had been going on for “Barbarossa” since before “Sealion” was called off in September 1940. The problem for the Germans was they had to delay the offensive by 6 weeks and re-deploy forces to the Balkans to bail Mussolini out. That meant by the start of “Barbarossa” some of the German forces were unprepared as they re-deployed and shuffled units around but they soon caught up in the first few weeks of the offensive.

                The Soviets & Stalin were anticipating a possible attack toward the end of April 1941 but when the Germans attacked the Balkans they concluded the preparations had just been a feint to cover the real objective and by mid-June concluded that Hitler was now too late to launch a summer offensive. (Those 6 weeks probably meant Moscow & Leningrad was saved from being captured).

                Some of the Soviet armour was superior on a tank by tank basis – the T-34 & KV1 were but the Soviets had almost as many T-26, BT-7 & T-60s which weren’t really up to the new PzIII & PIV and could barely hold up against the PzII & (Czech-built) Pz 38(t). Soviet armour doctrine was way behind the Germans though particularly in co-ordination with air power.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The T-34 had only started mass production in 1941. Most front line units did not have any significant numbers of T-34s and certainly very few crew experienced with the new machine.

                  The success of Barbarossa in its first few weeks meant that these tank factories had to be quickly shut down and moved east – delaying the availability of significant numbers of additional units to the Red Army for some time.

                  • GregJ

                    Yep. Even by the Russian offensive of early 1942 T-34s weren’t anywhere near as plentiful as commanders wanted. There tactical use was still the most important element – poor command and control or training in mobile warfare – few Russian tanks even had radios until mid 1942 and they were deployed in small groups rather en masse with (some exceptions among the Guard Tankovy Battalions). They were better frontally than the Germans and had better guns but the Germans didn’t fight them frontally if they could help it (and they still couldn’t stand up to the German 88mm or PaK40 75mm Anti-Tank guns).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep. Yet all this talk about the relative merits of German weaponry vs Russian weaponry is but one part of the story.

                      The Soviet Union lost 1/6 of its population to the Nazis. But they kept going until they had captured Berlin.

                • All of the Soviet armour was superior on a tank-by-tank basis. Half the German tanks were completely obsolete Pzkpfw I and IIs, and captured Czech tanks – the equivalent Soviet tanks were superior to these in horsepower, armour and armament. The stories about how few T-34s and KV tanks there were is also a canard – they had only a thousand or two of tanks which were so superior there was no German equivalent.

                  Soviet armour doctrine was not way behind the Germans – have a look at Kalkhin Gol, which was as good an example of combined-operations penetration in depth using armoured vehicles as anything the Germans managed, and this before the Germans had even invaded Poland.

          • AmaKiwi 2.1.4.2.4

            “The Soviet Union’s armed forces were a lot larger and better equipped than Germany’s.”

            According to whom? At the time Germany was the leading scientific power in the WORLD. Russia was struggling to become industrialized.

            4 key ingredients for winning a war:

            1. technology, 2. capital, 3. population, and 4. natural resources.

            At the outset of the war, Germany had huge advantages over the USSR in technology (#1), capital (#2), and the outstanding quality of its soldiers (#3).

            Germany eventually lost because the USSR mobilized its massive population (#3) and the USSR (and Allies) reduced Germany’s access to essential natural resources (#4).

            Because the USSR had war production east of the Urals out of range of German bombers, one could argue they approached a sort of technological parity (#1). They couldn’t make high tech weapons like V2 rockets, but they could produce vastly more conventional weapons than Germany.

            • Stuart Munro 2.1.4.2.4.1

              There was also the thing that German staff had read and implemented Liddel Hart’s better ideas on tank warfare, and German forces had had an opportunity to consolidate operational efficiency after Spain. Early war Russian units and commanders were relatively green – easy meat for combined arms ops especially in relatively open ground like the Ukraine.

              • Colonial Viper

                Early war Russian units and commanders were relatively green

                It didn’t help that Stalin had murdered hundreds of his most senior, experienced and capable military officers…

                • Stuart Munro

                  The intelligence war and fifth column activities were also extremely significant – read “A Man Called Intrepid” https://www.amazon.com/Man-Called-Intrepid-Incredible-Narrative/dp/159921170X if you have not done so. It’s a bit triumphalist, but the fascism of Hitler and that of Stalin were rather different in character – the Germans were much more successful at influencing other countries early on, and the allied intelligence effort was significant on a strategic level – delaying Barbarossa out till the edge of winter for example. The supported resistance in France and Yugoslavia was also extremely cost effective for the allies, tying up German resources that in conventional theatres tended to outperform their opponents.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.4.2.4.2

              At the time Germany was the leading scientific power in the WORLD. Russia was struggling to become industrialized.

              If you were a German soldier marching into the Soviet Union on foot behind horse-drawn artillery, I doubt Germany’s leading scientific role counted for much. As for the Soviet Union struggling to become industrialised, do a comparison of the relative merits of the Pzkpfw IV Ausf. E vs the T-34 and ask yourself which one you’d rather be sitting in on June 22 1941. The answer ain’t “Pzkpfw IV,” let me tell you.

              • Colonial Viper

                If you were a German soldier marching into the Soviet Union on foot behind horse-drawn artillery, I doubt Germany’s leading scientific role counted for much.

                You’re not familiar with the German blitzkrieg tactic which Hitler used to take over the whole of western Europe in 1940/early 1941?

              • Pat

                I think you mean a Panzer III….the long barreled IV wasn’t deployed until spring 42 and was superior to the T34-76…..trainspotting.

              • Grant

                Despite this, the Soviet corps equipped with these new tanks lost most of them within weeks.[79] The combat statistics for 1941 show that the Soviets lost an average of over seven tanks for every German tank lost.[80][81] The Soviets lost a total of 20,500 tanks in 1941 (approximately 2,300 of them T-34s, as well as over 900 heavy tanks, mostly KVs).[82] The destruction of the Soviet tank force was accomplished not only by the glaring disparity in the tactical and operational skills of the opponents, but also by the mechanical defects that affected the Soviet armour pool.[83] Beside the poor state of older tanks, the new T-34s and KVs suffered from teething problems, particularly with regard to clutches and transmissions. Mechanical breakdowns accounted for at least 50 percent of the tank losses in the summer fighting, and recovery or repair equipment was not to be found.[83] The shortage of repair equipment and recovery vehicles led the early T-34 crews to enter combat carrying a spare transmission on the engine deck.[84]
                Other key factors diminishing the initial impact of T-34s on the battlefield were the poor state of leadership, tank tactics, and crew training; these factors were partially consequences of Stalin’s purges of the Soviet officer corps in 1937, reducing the army’s efficiency and morale.[85] This was aggravated as the campaign progressed by the loss of many of the properly trained personnel during the Red Army’s disastrous defeats early in the invasion. Typical crews went into combat with only their basic military training plus 72 hours of classroom instruction; according to armour historian Steven J. Zaloga:
                The weakness of mechanized corps lay not in the design of their equipment, but rather in its poor mechanical state, the inadequate training of their crews, and the abysmal quality of Soviet military leaderships in the first month of the war.[86]

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34#Operation_Barbarossa_.281941.29

              • RedLogix

                Funny you should mention the T-34. I’ve actually been one of the key the factories where they were made at Uralmash in Yekaterinburg. On the page linked to below is a Visitors Book being signed by a Vietnamese Consul just last year. I’ve was shown this book in 2001; it’s the most extraordinary thing with entries by every key Soviet, Communist or allied political leader of the last century. From Stalin, Castro, Ghandi … the lot.

                https://www.uralmash.ru/en/press-center/news/1537/

                I was told, and I’m not sure if it is true, that Uralmash were the first to succeed in casting tank turrents 60mm thick in a single component, and this was one of their key technical advantages. Earlier riveted designs were terribly prone to spalling off the rivet heads inside the turret when hit by anything at all. Rendering the armour almost useless.

                Fortunately, the engineers at »Uralmash« could make use of »Shleman«, a huge 10,000-ton steel press capable of forming almost any shape required. So, as a way to accelerate production, a new slightly larger »stamped« cast turret out of 60mm hardened steel was developed with a rounded upper hexagonal shape that was simply welded onto the lower turret ring.
                The result not only was faster to assemble but showed better armour protection during artillery tests as well.

                Production started in October 1942, resulting in no less than 2,670 stamped turrets completed by March 1944, the last batches with the new commander copula installed.
                As »Uralmash« itself only completed approx. 700 tanks in 1942/3, the majority of roughly 2,000 turrets were sent to »Tankograd« and »Krasnoye Sormovo« for assemble, resulting in the »T-34 ChTZ« as it is commonly called.

                http://www.o5m6.de/t-34_76_uztm.html

                I can’t find a link to any other pics from inside the museum (which was a really interesting day visit) but I do vividly recall the sight of an un-mounted T-34 turrent on display. But here is a pic of them being assembled in the factory during the war:

    • Bill 2.2

      WW2 wasn’t a fight against fascism. WW2 was simply one set of threatened elites sacrificing the lives of millions to protect their own privileged arses. And when it was all done, fascism in Spain was allowed to remain, and fascism in Portugal was allowed to remain, and fascist regimes were installed in Chili, Iran, Korea, Indonesia…

      Organised labour and peasants fought fascism in Spain in the 30s. And organised labour and peasants lost, thanks in no small part to the Bolsheviks, and thanks in no small part to a wink and a nod from the same politicians who would a few years later, claim to be fighting fascism.

      And in case you’ve forgotten, the game plan of the USA was to sit back and take advantage of whatever weakened victor emerged from it all.

      • Fustercluck 2.2.1

        The elites did not win the war, labor’s production at home and battle in theatre did. The elites just worked hard to exploit that victory.

        • Bill 2.2.1.1

          The same elites in power in the UK and elsewhere before the war were in power after the war. And of course they didn’t take up arms to protect their privilege – they used proxies.

          What do you reckon the political leanings were of most conscientious objectors who objected for political reasons as opposed to religious ones? Hint. They were socialists.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            Yeah the NZ Labour Govt loved conscientious objectors. Not.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Labour has been in favour of capitalism throughout most of it’s 100 year history. In WWI they were getting locked up for being against conscription. In WWII they were the ones doing the locking up.

              • Yeah, Draco, but isn’t it more a love/hate relationship? How can a leftist politician have a successful career without presenting as a lapdog of the capitalists? Blair, Clinton & Helen Clark didn’t invent the model, nor did Lange or Douglas.

                To be fair, the excuse always offered by the left for this historical collusion with the right derives from the basic concept of state authorisation of private business: `okay, we’ll let you guys do your thing as long as you let us redistribute the tax portion when we get elected’. That originated in the ruler’s royal prerogative in allowing commerce.

                It was the left’s refusal to provide a positive alternative to capitalism that made me reject them in the early ’70s. Their posture of eternal subservience just seems cowardly. Their reluctance to enter into a creative endeavour of the intellect to design a better economy seems a recipe for perpetual impotence. I wish they’d get over these hang-ups…

          • Poission 2.2.1.1.2

            The roll of honour from the house of lords,which includes the duke of kent son of george the fifth.

            http://www.parliament.uk/documents/War-Memorial-Lists/War-Memorials-Royal-Gallery-WW2.pdf

            • Bill 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Uh-huh. Plane crashed into a hillside in the north of Scotland while on non-operational duties…apparently on its way to Iceland. (It’s all on ‘wiki’)

              I’m not suggesting that no elites served as Air Vice-Marshals, Rear Admirals or Field Marshals and the like- but y’know, they tended to be out of harm’s way.

      • AmaKiwi 2.2.2

        “WW2 wasn’t a fight against fascism.”

        The best description I’ve read of WW2 in Europe:

        “A continuation of the European civil war which has been going on intermittently for 1,500 years.”

        As the EU unravels remember that Russia has always been a European power.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The establishment Left has consistently failed the people over the last 4 decades. That’s why the masses are turning away from parties like UK Labour, and towards more radical and angrier alternatives.

    • Greg 3.1

      Ever poorer workers benefits no one.
      Is it with more women in the workforce since WW2, they now realize just how poor workers mostly are, by constant claims of inequality etc.= living wage?

      middle class problems.:

      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/02/a-letter-to-my-wife-who-wont-get-a-job-while-i-work-myself-to-death

    • ropata 3.2

      True dat.

      “the masses will only remain loyal to their leaders if the leaders remain loyal to them”

      The growing anti establishment trend (Brexit and Trump and the Tea Party and Occupy) represent a huge disaffected public and the ruling classes better pay attention or they won’t be in charge much longer.

      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2016/06/outside-hall-of-mirrors.html

      The problem with this kind of government of the affluent, by the affluent, and for the affluent was outlined in uncompromising detail many years ago in the pages of Arnold Toynbee’s monumental A Study of History. Societies in decline, he pointed out, schism into two unequal parts: a dominant minority that monopolizes the political system and its payoffs, and an internal proletariat that carries most of the costs of the existing order of things and is denied access to most of its benefits. As the schism develops, the dominant minority loses track of the fundamental law of politics—the masses will only remain loyal to their leaders if the leaders remain loyal to them—and the internal proletariat responds by rejecting not only the dominant minority’s leadership but its values and ideals as well.

      The enduring symbol of the resulting disconnect is the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, where the last three French kings before the Revolution secluded themselves from an increasingly troubled and impoverished nation in order to gaze admiringly at their own resplendent reflections. While Marie Antoinette apparently never said the famous sentence attributed to her—“Let them eat cake”—the cluelessness about the realities of life outside the Hall of Mirrors that utterance suggests was certainly present as France stumbled toward ruin, and a growing number of ordinary Frenchmen and Frenchwomen turned their backs on their supposed leaders and went looking for new options.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        The growing anti establishment trend (Brexit and Trump and the Tea Party and Occupy) represent a huge disaffected public and the ruling classes better pay attention or they won’t be in charge much longer.

        If you look at the photo in the “America” post, you’ll get a perfect understanding of what the reaction of the ruling elites is going to be.

        Are they going to make honest attempts to reverse massive income inequality and the relentless destruction of the working class and now the middle class?

        No, of course not.

        They going to equip their police forces with guns, storm trooper outfits, water cannon, CS gas and armoured transports. As well as a massive spying and surveillance state.

    • Peter Swift 3.3

      “That’s why the masses are turning away from parties like UK Labour, and towards more radical and angrier alternatives.”

      Although there isn’t a kiwi example to draw upon, unless after three terms of HC labour, you’re suggesting national are the radical, angrier alternative.

      I’m picking some poll results suit your narrative and you selectively pounce on them to back up your fruity spiel.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        My prediction is that NZ First will be the only winner in 2017.

        • Peter Swift 3.3.1.1

          So you’re saying disaffected left voters in 2017 will turn to NZF, who in your opinion, based on your previous post, are the NZs version of radical angrier alternatives?

          Okay lol

          • KJT 3.3.1.1.1

            New Zealanders were not called “the passionless people” for nothing.

            Peters is very popular with the “working class”.

            • Peter Swift 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Peters is very popular with the “working class”.

              With the working class right, perhaps, but I can’t see fed up with the mainstream left lefties settling at Winston’s door as that’s going the other way completely.

              I’d more put NZF’s current polling down to disaffected farmers and anti flagger nat voters from the regions rather than the Wolfies and Riks of the nation giving one to the man.

              • Colonial Viper

                Former Labour supporters.

                • Peter Swift

                  Like you are. I can feel the burn from here.

                  So are you a NZ1st voter now? Or just a non aligned bitter and twisted labour hater on a mission? lol

                • red-blooded

                  “Former Labour supporters.”

                  Get off the grass, CV. NZ 1st has always ebbed and flowed and is a bit of a grab-bag party; socially conservative, many older voters, anti-“special privileges” for Māori, mixed with some populist stuff like building bridges in Northland. They’re by no means extreme enough to be linked to Trump or angry enough to be linked to Brexit. They sometimes “take votes” from National-leaning folk, and sometimes from Labour-leaning, but they also have their own core vote who’ve been with them a long time. Yes, they sometimes register a spike as a protest vote, but in general people don’t protest against the opposition – they just don’t get out and vote.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    from swordfish:

                    There’s a good deal of cumulative evidence to suggest that NZFers are disproportionately former Labour voters, with polls also suggesting they harbour a strong antipathy towards John Key, National’s recent history of Dirty Politics, the attempt to change the Flag and the TPPA amongst other things.

                    Happy Birthday Labour – 100 Years!

                    • red-blooded

                      How about some evidence (as opposed to a link to a comment that you happen to agree with)? Plus, if you look at my comment you’ll see I was taking a longer view.

                      You don’t have to vote Labour, CV (indeed, as someone who’s said they’d choose Trump in the current US contest, I wouldn’t expect you to have the maturity to stick with a party that functions democratically and so – shock! horror! – will sometimes not be shaped entirely by your distinctive world view), but you could try to pull back on the automatic criticism and vitriol once in a while. Just a suggestion…🤔

          • AmaKiwi 3.3.1.1.2

            ‘As the economy worsens the size of people’s unit of allegiance becomes smaller. The “in group” with whom we identify gets ever smaller moving from the universe to the world to the nation to the ethnic, religious, or regional group.’ (adapted from Peter Kendall & Steve Hochberg.)

            There are only TWO parties that resonate with increasingly localized loyalties:

            New Zealand First and the Maori Party.

  4. Ad 4

    Also note that the research department of the International Monetary Fund dropped a political bombshell last month. They published an article “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” – which went through advocates of free market policies like a jalapeno eating contest.

    The piece concluded that, over the past 30 years, the proponents of the economic philosophy known as “neoliberalism” have been systematically overselling the benefits of the two planks at its heart – namely, fiscal austerity during economic downturns, and the deregulation of financial markets.

    This is a huge concession for an institution long known for its ideological self-assuredness. The research found that those two core policies have not delivered. Now, I’m not suggesting that the IMF suits have gone full Bikram Yoga on us. And for the masses of unemployed and generally screwed who were part and parcel of the glorious “structural adjustments” that they could force onto every postcolonial and post-socialist country they could find like New Zealand, it’s pretty damn cold comfort.

    But just to support Anthony and his post: the IMF says the left was right as well. For 30 years.

    Don’t sneeze your coffee onto your keyboard.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      They are simply preparing a justification for a new round of macro restructuring.

      Further, what the IMF analysts say has no bearing on what the IMF actually does. Look at the IMFs role in the Troika.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        According to then Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis, Christine Lagarde confided in him that it was known the plan the Troika had would be a disaster.

        I think (from memory) the reason it had to go ahead was so that financial institutions could save face (at least in the short term) and so that an example could be provided for the benefit of Spaniards and Italians who might be entertaining any silly notions.

        It’s all in various presentations and discussions that Varoufakis is a part of that are posted on youtube

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          The irony being that they will spend one hundred billion saving Deutsche Bank, but hardly a cent on the Greek people themselves. And I have no doubt that Deutsche Bank’s finances are heavily affected by Greek Spanish Italian and Portuguese debt.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        Like I said I’m not expecting the IMF to go all Bikram Yoga on us.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          The founder of which seems to be a serial rapist… No kidding…so the parallels with the IMF…

    • In Vino 4.2

      I think it sounds clearer if you say that the Left was correct. Because, sad to say, the Left has been conned into being Right so often…

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    “What we are seeing is a push back against, some would say, the whole post-World War II movement – globalisation and free trade,”

    It’s not a movement against post WWII policies. That happened in the 1970s/80s and was led by business and people like Douglas, Thatcher and Reagan. What we’re now seeing is a movement against that revolution which has brought about so much poverty and despair.

    Reality, as the saying goes, has a well-known liberal bias.

    Reality is a bit more radical than that. Reality doesn’t allow for capitalism at all which is why capitalism has brought about the downfall of so many previous civilisations and empires.

    Of course, it’s not that Reality is radical or extreme – it’s that capitalism is as it tries to deny reality.

    • Bill 5.1

      Yup. The blanket of compromise the elites felt compelled to cover themselves with post WW2 was thrown aside in the 70s and 80s.

      And yes again. Liberalism is a sop to ‘capitalism as normal and natural’.

      • Poission 5.1.1

        The elites misread the effects of globalisation and trade,that it implied unfettered mass migration.

        American policymakers—like their U.K. and EU counterparts—have taken for granted that an open global economy implies (and even requires) the mass migration of people. Yet this same mass migration is generating populist, nativist reactions that threaten that same open economy: The anti-EU vote in the U.K., the Donald Trump campaign for president in the United States.

        Is it possible that leaders and elites had it all wrong? If they’re to save the open global economy, maybe they need to protect their populations better against globalization’s most unwelcome consequences—of which mass migration is the very least welcome of them all?

        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/06/brexit-eu/488597/

        The rbnz has come out swinging on this,but well renown global expert on this English says they do not understand policy.

        http://www.interest.co.nz/news/82529/rbnzs-spencer-toughens-call-review-migration-settings-english-says-rbnz-doesnt-have

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          There was no mis-reading of the effects of globalisation.

          You don’t get increased profits from moving production to low wage economies if labour can up sticks and move away from those countries or economies.

          The architects of globalisation knew this very well and so made sure that nation states remained a strait jacket for people while becoming permeable to production and finance.

          And once you’ve applied the thumb screws to a large proportion of the population of wealthier countries for long enough, then yes – you can play the racist or xenophobic card in the expectation that your victims become the willing if unwitting defenders of a situation that was created by you and that benefits you.

          It’s just the same old divide and conquer that even the liberal left used to have a half hearted counter to with their nod to notions of internationalism. It’s a bit of a forbidden perspective these days though. (Just peruse thestandard’s comments on almost any given day if you’ve any doubts on that front or pay attention to some of the bile that parliamentary parties direct at supposedly nefarious foreigners and hold it up for comparison against notions of internationalism)

          Ain’t the rich that are doing us over guv. It’s them bloody foreigners taking low wages and shit conditions that’s doing for us. And those bloody Chinese buying expensive properties to leave empty when it should be the right of rich Kiwis to buy expensive properties to leave empty., And it should be rich Kiwis who should be able to buy screeds of farmland. Protect the rich! End immigration!! Eat the poor!!!

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            The architects of globalisation knew this very well and so made sure that nation states remained a strait jacket for people while becoming permeable to production and finance.

            Actually, I’m pretty sure that the ‘global elites’ understood that full open borders would rapidly have the developed world looking like the undeveloped world in poverty and chaos. So they left the immigration controls in place and simply allowed the competition from undeveloped countries for developed producing developed country goods and services to trash developed country wages in a slower, but still inevitable, way.

            Due to the neo-liberal changes of the 1980s on NZ is looking more and more like one of those undeveloped countries up to and including the unaccountable rich, the Banana Republic political system.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Open borders – as in freedom of movement for people – means that financiers and industrialists can’t silo populations. It means that wages and conditions rise as employers seek to retain workers or entice them, as opposed to exploiting an essentially incarcerated workforce.

              That’s why immigration controls exist – not because of some supposed nonsense about the spread of ever deeper poverty. That’s the observable result of hemming populations in.

              • Draco T Bastard

                If NZ opened its borders as you say that we should within 6 months to a year our society would be as bad as some of the countries that the new immigrants are fleeing. This is because we simply would not be able to handle the influx of people. Our infrastructure and resources would be strained beyond breaking.

                This is simple physical result of limited resources and we’re already seeing it just from bloody tourism. It would be far, far worse if we opened our borders.

                I find it truly amazing how far some people will go to ignore reality but you idiots that we should simply open the borders and everything will be hunky dory take the fucken cake. Pure bloody delusion.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think we should plan towards a max population of between 5M and 6M.

                • Bill

                  Given that most immigrants emigrate for simple economic reasons, I’d be interested in what you think it is about the NZ economy that would suddenly attract hordes of millions – given that in an open border scenario there would be a general leveling of economic prospects across the globe and all of that.

                  Maybe they’d just want a piece of our filfy green image to call their own?

                  edit – Think this through a little draco. Would you rush off to find a job in a country that had high unemployment? Would you rush to find work elsewhere when your prospects are improving markedly just where you are?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’d be interested in what you think it is about the NZ economy that would suddenly attract hordes of millions –

                    The same reason that NZ keeps appearing on billionaires’ bolthole lists.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    …given that in an open border scenario there would be a general leveling of economic prospects across the globe and all of that.
                    No there wouldn’t because
                    1. There wouldn’t be a general open border policy
                    2. People would be leaving oppressive regimes ASAP

                    Would you rush off to find a job in a country that had high unemployment?

                    But that’s not the only point is it?
                    Would you leave an oppressive regime for unemployment in a non-oppressive country where you would get massive state support?
                    What if you didn’t know that there was high unemployment?
                    What if it’s simply anywhere is better than here?

                    You’re acting as there’s only one driver when there are multiple.

                    And then there is the effect on the people and resources here. As I pointed out, tourism is already putting stress on those. And so is the high immigration that we already have and that’s only a few tens of thousands per year. If we opened our borders we would have tens and hundreds of thousands more.

                    We really could not handle that.

                    • Bill

                      I didn’t suggest that only one country opens its borders. I’m talking about that central feature of leftist thought – at least it used to be – of internationalism as opposed to globalisation.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I didn’t suggest that only one country opens its borders.

                      I’m aware of that which is why I said isn’t going to happen. Most countries simply won’t do it.

                      I’m talking about that central feature of leftist thought – at least it used to be…

                      Most people have learned that we simply can’t do that, that no country can possibly keep up with the demand for infrastructure and resources that would be needed for an open borders policy. We actually learned that back in the 19th century.

                      You’re holding onto an ideology that doesn’t work because of physical reality.

                  • weka

                    Given that most immigrants emigrate for simple economic reasons, I’d be interested in what you think it is about the NZ economy that would suddenly attract hordes of millions – given that in an open border scenario there would be a general leveling of economic prospects across the globe and all of that.

                    NZ at any one time has a lot of medium length visa workers from Europe, UK and the US who would love to live here. They can’t and so eventually they leave. Yes, they work while they are here, generally happy for the lower wages and conditions than Kiwis can manage.

                    There are also a lot of migrants from the UK and the US who make good use of the exchange rate to buy land here. I wouldn’t see that stopping.

                    The big issue is that those migrants (UK, Europe, US) are indeed coming here for NZ’s clean green image, because as bad as it is, it’s still better than what they have at home. They also want the lower population, and more space, as well as much of the cultural/lifestyle stuff. NZ is a very desirable place to live for the middle classes.

                    Open NZ’s borders and there will be many many more arriving and not many going the other way. Contrary to what you are saying, most people I know who migrated here or who are trying to, do so because of reasons other than economics. They want the lifestyle and values and because they don’t like what is happening where they live. I don’t think there will be a reciprocal flow the other way precisely because of that.

                    • Bill

                      With open borders there are no visas, either for Kiwis working elsewhere or for those from elsewhere working here.

                      With open borders the opportunity for employers to exploit those from overseas diminishes markedly.

                      With open borders pushing wages and conditions upwards on a global scale and so leveling the disparity between economies currently partially fenced behind borders, any difference in exchange rates diminishes.

                      With open borders the advantage enjoyed by some foreign middle classes in relation to NZers diminishes – can’t sell that house in Manchester and use the proceeds to buy two houses here plus a boat and a couple of horses with money left in the bank…

                      How many years has there been a net outflow of NZers? It cycles.

                      Beyond that – what about an end to shit factories in China or Mexico or wherever? An end to people in dire poverty being trapped by borders and, in the not too distant future, the chance for people in places like Bangladesh to actually move away from rising seas?

                      You think they’ll all want to come to NZ and so should remain trapped where they are and in the situation they’re in and just die – or what?

                    • weka

                      All other things being equal, I still think there will be a lot of Brits, Europeans and USians who will want to live here because of the factors I mentioned which you have ignored, but you wouldn’t get corresponding numbers of NZers wanting to leave.

                      If you think that there will be a general levelling across the globe, NZ population will rise, because we are underpopulated relative to most of the world.

                      Not sure what you mean by the last two paragraphs. You appear to be saying that people will want to come here in greater numbers.

                      I personally don’t think that open borders would inherently solve the economic problems you name. It’s a pretty abstract debate because the political conditions needed to make it happen would mean there would be other ways to solve the problems anyway. So if we were getting out a political magic wand, then of course let’s address the parts of the world that are in poverty or will have mass CC migration. Myself, I’d prefer NZ (and other wealth countries) to take a cut in its standard of living and offer support via other resources.

                      Besides all that, humans have always maintained boundaries around culture and resource. There are good reasons for that (alongside the bad ones), and they’re largely ignored in the open borders argument from what I can tell.

                      Edit, just to throw this into the mix, in pre-colonisation NZ, where there were no financiers controlling populations as a way to control capital, you couldn’t just go where you wanted. There were rights of occupation, and systems of resource management based on those rights that included respondibility for the resources in that area so that they were (relatively) sustainable. In other words, in a finite world humans have traditionally developped rules for how to live as groups with respect to each other. That’s not capitalism by any means, but it’s also not a free for all either.

                    • Bill

                      Open borders would have massive economic ripples. So engaging from an ‘all other things being equal’ standpoint makes no sense.

                      Again, in spite of any anecdotal claim to the contrary, the vast majority of people move for economic reasons. And, for the most part, people would far rather live out their lives in the places and cultures they are born into.

                      If you’re going to contend that people want to flock to supposedly clean or green pastures, then Norway would be inundated today – Alaska would be heavily populated – so would NZ. But that isn’t the case, even though massive incentives exist to try and access some of those places in order to escape poverty or to improve prospects.

                      Open borders diminishes those negative incentives because, as said before, hemmed in populations can’t be played off one another by elites seeking ever greater economic economic returns.

                      Balancing resources and population pressures doesn’t get thrown out of the window – I’ve no idea where you get the notion that I’m advocating some ‘free for all’. Open borders merely brings those decisions down to a local or community level instead of leaving them sitting at a remote and blunt state level.

                      CC’s a different ball game and I probably shouldn’t have thrown that into the mix. Refugees aren’t migrants. Personally I’m not into slamming my door in the face of desperate people ‘just because’ – I’d open that door to as many as I can reasonably open my door to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @Bill

                      With open borders pushing wages and conditions upwards on a global scale and so leveling the disparity between economies currently partially fenced behind borders, any difference in exchange rates diminishes.

                      It won’t be pushing them upwards, it will be pushing them down. Same as what we have now.

                      Beyond that – what about an end to shit factories in China or Mexico or wherever?

                      That’s going to come down to regulation in developed countries that prevents the importation of goods made from slave labour.

                      An end to people in dire poverty being trapped by borders…

                      It won’t do that. What it will do is export the dire poverty to more countries. It’s not moving that cures dire poverty but the building up of infrastructure (roads, rail, power, water, hospitals, factories, etc, etc) where they are.

                      …the chance for people in places like Bangladesh to actually move away from rising seas?

                      And the people in New York, and London, and Auckland, and Christchurch?

                      Rising seas aren’t just going to affect poor countries.

                      @weka

                      In other words, in a finite world humans have traditionally developped rules for how to live as groups with respect to each other. That’s not capitalism by any means, but it’s also not a free for all either.

                      Well said.

                    • weka

                      Open borders would have massive economic ripples. So engaging from an ‘all other things being equal’ standpoint makes no sense.

                      ‘All other things being equal’ was a direct response to your previous argument that there would be some kind of levelling out with open borders.

                      Again, in spite of any anecdotal claim to the contrary, the vast majority of people move for economic reasons. And, for the most part, people would far rather live out their lives in the places and cultures they are born into.

                      Do you have research on why people immigrate to NZ? Because if not, we’re both using anecdote and experience. I’ve known a lot of people that have tried to live here permanently and failed. It’s a pretty well known phenomenon.

                      If you’re going to contend that people want to flock to supposedly clean or green pastures, then Norway would be inundated today – Alaska would be heavily populated – so would NZ. But that isn’t the case, even though massive incentives exist to try and access some of those places in order to escape poverty or to improve prospects.

                      Much of Alaska is a harsh environment to live in, not to mention culturally. Pretty sure it doesn’t have open borders so I don’t understand your argument. Not sure about Norway, don’t know much about it. But I do know lots of people that want to live here and it’s not just about green pastures. It’s the whole package.

                      Are you seriously suggesting that the NZ population wouldn’t increase much?

                      Balancing resources and population pressures doesn’t get thrown out of the window – I’ve no idea where you get the notion that I’m advocating some ‘free for all’. Open borders merely brings those decisions down to a local or community level instead of leaving them sitting at a remote and blunt state level.

                      Ok, so locally we could still say no, you can’t live here?

                      CC’s a different ball game and I probably shouldn’t have thrown that into the mix. Refugees aren’t migrants. Personally I’m not into slamming my door in the face of desperate people ‘just because’ – I’d open that door to as many as I can reasonably open my door to.

                      Out of curiosity what do you consider reasonable?

                    • weka

                      @Draco

                      “Rising seas aren’t just going to affect poor countries.”

                      yeah but to be fair NZ is one the place that will have the least problems. We’ve got coast line, but we’ve also got resources and land. Shifting the coastal populations will be an issue but not massively like it will be elsewhere.

  6. The Real Matthew 6

    You have to love the left.

    It was the old fuddy duddies who voted for Brexit but in the fantasy land of the left it was “the rising working poor punishing politicians”. A lot of logic there.

    • weka 6.1

      Getting bored with the whole Brexit rhetoric each time someone claims that x voted Leave or Remain. As in, London voted Remain right? Except 40% of Londoners voted Leave. And how much people are using those misrepresentation shorthands to support their view. Pick whichever stats you like kind of thing.

      So when you make a claim that only, or even predominantly, old people voted Leave, I know that you have an agenda and are happy to misrepresent facts to push it.

      If Brexit has taught us one thing, it’s that the dynamics beneath it are complex. They do include class btw.

      • Some people have an ability to elide the phrase “somewhat more likely” or “somewhat less likely” out of descriptions, which results in bollocks like “old people voted for Brexit” or “London voted to remain in the EU.”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      Is there a reason you think the Left is a hive mind? Projecting much?

    • Sacha 6.3

      Plenty of old ‘lefties’ who are probably voting Winston First by now in between cursing furriners for stealing ‘our’ jobs (and even our houses!). Brexit? They wish.

  7. Ad 7

    If we really are due for a swing back into the other direction of stronger states, stronger institutional regulation, and stronger democratic reflexiveness, Norwegian economic historian Eric Reinert for one won’t be surprised:

    http://www.othercanon.org/board/about-Reinert.html

    He has noted that the popularity of free market policies has risen and fallen cyclically throughout history, such as:
    – before then after the French Revolution
    – before the 1847 financial crisis that was followed by a string of social revolutions across Europe in 1848, and
    – before the stock market crash of 1929 that was followed by the Great Depression.

    During each of these cycles, free markets were championed for a while but then abandoned as financial crisis became more frequent and economic inequality more pronounced.

    Now, my hope-muscle could clearly do with some exercise, but I really do like the idea of a political centre that continues to champion neoliberal policies for the last thirty years, is no longer holding.

    • b waghorn 7.1

      So at least 3 times in the past we’ve worked out that free markets don’t work because it doesn’t control the greed factor, and yet here we are?
      Foolish apes !

  8. Jack Ramaka 8

    The privatisation of State Assets was basically asset stripping cash cows owned by the taxpayers, Labour was hijacked by the extreme right wingers Douglas & co and we were all delivered the sucker punch.

    • In Vino 8.1

      Yep, you are on the money – except that the Right have milked most of the money away…

  9. Observer Toke 9

    .
    .There is only one important financial reality in the current world, It is that very few people have access to wealth.

    The recent Oxfam report (see: (www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/18/richest-62-billionaires-wealthy-half-world-population-combined) states that a mere 62 individuals own 50% of the wealth of the world.

    OXfam reports that the trend line indicates that 1% of the world will own 99% of the world’s wealth. The period 2010 to 2015 enabled the wealth of 62 persons to move out of the $billions into the $trillions.

    Even our corrupt Government’s provision of tax free Havens to their friends, will be peanuts to the really wealthy.

    So, quite clearly, the next world war will be launched against the glutinous wealthy in every major Democratic Nation in the world. It will continue to rage until the wealthy have been divested of their shocking greed – and placed in prison for the remainder of their miserable lives.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      … states that a mere 62 individuals own 50% of the wealth of the world.

      And merely shooting them will not make any difference. We have to change the system so as to prevent such massive ownership.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        I don’t think its going to happen.

        • Sacha 9.1.1.1

          Yes, good luck getting past the armies, security organisations and governments who defend them and those useful to their cause. Money buys a lot of muscle.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            Traditionally the only way these regimes fall is by a combination of dozens (or hundreds) of mid and high ranking internal players pushing it over.

            The first army Colonel who refuses the regime’s order to fire into the crowd…

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.2

        Shooting them might prove persuasive to their heirs on the virtues of moderation though. Gunpowder gradually ended forte main feudalism because armour no longer protected scumbags sufficiently.

        • Sacha 9.1.2.1

          Even shooting their heirs does not seem to have solved the systemic weaknesses. Funny how violence fails.

          • Stuart Munro 9.1.2.1.1

            I wasn’t talking about shooting the children – children can learn. Psychopaths aren’t that attached to their children anyway.

    • AmaKiwi 9.2

      Observer Toke

      “There is only one important financial reality in the current world, It is that very few people have access to wealth.”

      I suggest you add a second important financial reality: “Everyone is over their head in debts, debts which can NEVER be fully repaid.”

      The consequences will be:

      – a lot of borrowers will go bankrupt,
      – a lot of lenders will lose what they lent,
      – a lot of assets will end up with surprising new owners, and
      – barter will make a comeback.

  10. righty right 10

    john key should forget elections arrest all members of the opposition ,unionists ,labour party members and greens the left must never be allowed power
    kiwi build must never happen it must be blocked .

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      @ righty right

      You will feel much better if you can find a very small person and beat him/her up.

      By any chance do you have a firearms license?

      • Anne 10.1.1

        Don’t worry he’s only 10. Well, he has the literary and cognitive skills of a ten year old so he isn’t allowed a firearms license.

    • North 10.2

      @ 10 ? Should we call someone ?

    • Stuart Munro 10.3

      That is probably the Key government’s only viable strategy for retaining power.

      • fisiani 10.3.1

        Do you not realise that the National plan is to have John Key as the PM in 2017,2020,2023 and Chris Bishop in 2026.

        • Stuart Munro 10.3.1.1

          No surprise there – and force of arms is the only way a sleazy broken worthless government like this could achieve that aim. John will probably run away before that anyway – he’s too frightened to show his face without a sniper detachment now.

          • red-blooded 10.3.1.1.1

            Stuart, I think Key’s an arsehole and am prepared to work hard to help change the government. However, can I point out the irony of you, the person who was airily proclaiming the virtues of a “shoot the rich” policy further up this thread, correlating being sleazy, broken and worthless with the use of force of arms?

            • Stuart Munro 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Whatever else Redblooded, I am a student of political history. History frequently involves the removal of self-styled elites. This use of force is one of the foundations of democratic rule – the demos reserves the right to oust tyrants – and more recently in our own direct constitutional heritage, Knox promised the then monarch that he had better rule in the interests of the people, and that if he pretended to some divine right he would be bacon.

              I understand this is deeply upsetting to some people’s assumptions of what constitutes a civilised society – but since Rogergnomics all those rules are already broken. Economic violence is not privileged – but the conventions of the Standard are not conducive to a discussion of political realism. So spare me your assumptions of a deeper appreciation of irony – or nominate some other forum where we can discuss such matters in detail.

              • red-blooded

                Hey, Stuart, we covered quite a bit of political history in my Masters degree in Political Science. And, guess what? We get to form policy through activism in political parties and pressure groups, and voting. I don’t approve of a “kill the rich” philosophy, just as I don’t believe in killing infidels.

                • Stuart Munro

                  You need to separate the two subjects – one is the assertion that 50 people ‘own’ more than 50% of the world – which seems unlikely to be a just outcome of personal endeavour. Compelling them to abandon a proportion of that ill-gotten wealth seems not inappropriate to me.

                  The subversion of local democracy is another subject – but I put it to you that democracy is a continuum. Governments may be more or less democratic, and their legitimacy and hence their immunity to overthrow varies according to the degree to which they adhere to the principles of democracy.

                  Now, the Key government is pretty autocratic – that’s a minus. They’re incompetent – and it was incompetence that killed the Weimar republic. They’re kleptocrats – they frequently steal public assets and they operate for private, not public benefit, again, a big minus. They destroy crucial democratic institutions like speaker neutrality, ministerial questions, and media integrity – this does not count in their favour. And, on a personal level, I was disenfranchised by the corrupt actions of the Key government last election – you may be able to pretend that Key still enjoys a protective veneer of democratic pretence but I cannot.

                  I have only one life, and suffering corrupt and ineffectual governance does not benefit me or my country for a moment.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I don’t approve of a “kill the rich” philosophy, just as I don’t believe in killing infidels.

                  That’s very moral of you. Meanwhile, the rich have no problem killing, poisoning, sickening, maiming, abusing, starving, sanctioning the poor in society.

                  You have a Masters in Pol Sci?

                  You know history then? What has tended to happen to the elite when a society fails and the old order is swept away? Do you not approve of history then?

                  • red-blooded

                    So, how successful was this approach in China, then? Did it empower the poor and oppressed? How about that Red Guard? Gotta admire their determination to sweep away the educated and professional classes; give them a taste of a peasant’s life. In the meantime, what happens to the people who need their services? And how does this improve the lives of the peasants…? Well, maybe next time.

                    Great guy, that Pohl Pot, wasn’t he? The Khmer Rouge sure cleaned-up Cambodia! Power to the people (well, the ones who were left and were saying the right thing and behaving themselves, anyway)!

                    And yes, I know you can give me a list of revolutions that have improved the lives of the majority of people. However, we’re talking about a society that gives people other options for making change. If Rogernomics could happen without a blood-flowing-through-the-streets revolution (and that was the start of the discussion in this thread), then so can a rejection of neoliberalism and a new phase of economic and social policy and practice. We’re already (finally) seeing previously dyed-in-the-wool free-marketeers (like the IMO) finally starting to recognise its deficiencies and there are plenty of people and groups working for positive social change without bloodshed. (And let’s remember that it’s never only the “bad-guys and gals” who end up dead, plenty of revolutionaries die, as do others caught in collateral damage.)

                    BTW, what’s with the “approve of history” concept? I approve of some events and people in history and not others. It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it deal.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Naturally it is preferred that the corrupt entities who have usurped our democracy lay down their stolen authority and wealth. But often they will not.

        • weka 10.3.1.2

          Sure but we already know they have a massive disconnect from reality.

        • Sacha 10.3.1.3

          Bishop will have died of lung cancer by then, surely. And tis not like Key has no better things to have a go at. Think ambishus, man.

        • the pigman 10.3.1.4

          Oh, here’s C-2fis dropping by to pimp for Chris Bishop again – what a surprise!

  11. infused 11

    Just a note to CV. Good on you keeping these guys in line. You’re one of the few here that actually brings everything back to reality.

  12. Observer Toke 12

    . Hi AmaKiwi

    .” A lot of Borrowers will go bankrupt”
    .” A lot of Lenders will lose what they lent”

    . Hi Sacha
    . “Money buys a lot of muscle.”

    In my opinion, you are correct. But as recently as 1848 virtually all of the Principalities of Europe were demolished. This because, the populations were tired of “Long Live The King”. They were tired of begging. Democracy mushroomed from that crucial date.

    The merchants and the industrialists and the Parliaments took the place of of the Kings n Queens.

    The Earth is not for the few. It is for all. I do not know the shape of the forces that will divest the Wealthy few. But I feel it will happen. Billions of the Demos (THE PEOPLE) will claim their fair and equal share of Planet Earth’s wealth. They owe their children that. Don’t they !

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