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Why are the “Right” terrified of equality?

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, February 14th, 2011 - 78 comments
Categories: class war, equality, making shit up - Tags: , ,

Economic inequality is damaging to the fabric of society. If this is news to you, then you need to catch up on a book called The Spirit Level (here is a good place to start).

It’s a simple and compelling message, and it seems to have the political “Right” in a complete panic. The Spirit level is “The book that has the Tories running scared”. Our own local tories are floundering all over the place trying to work out how to respond.

Why are some people so scared that this message of equality will catch on? Deborah Coddington’s piece yesterday provides clues to Right wing “thinking”. It starts off almost rationally:

Actually I have no problem with closing the gaps. I think that’s an admirable objective, but I suspect my aspirations are vastly different from those of some of my colleagues. Because when most people talk about closing gaps between rich and poor, they want to drag the successful down to the level of the lowest, whereas I’d lift everyone up to the top, if I could.

Given those two alternatives why pick the bad one? Why assume that most people “want to drag the successful down to the level of the lowest”. What the hell are you basing that assertion on Deborah, other than your own fear and ignorance? I was puzzled at this point, but reading on things became a bit clearer:

But that’s not what spirit-levellers want. They would take money off the successful (the “rich”, as they prefer to spit at them) and give it to those they call the “vulnerable”. …

If the gaps are really to be closed, spirit-levellers would have to go further and place handicaps on successful people to ensure they don’t find ways to break the mould. Clever brains like Sam Morgan’s, for instance, which enabled him to come up with Trade Me, would have to be dulled with drugs. Fashion designers like Denise L’Estrange Corbet, who sees beauty where I see bolts of cloth, would have to be blinded. Cut out Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice box – I think you get my drift.

Yup, it’s perfectly clear now. Deborah Coddington is a loony. I don’t recall when I have ever read such a crazy, nasty, stupid piece of nonsense in a supposedly mainstream publication. In fact I was going to say that she’s so completely nuts that it would be wrong to quote her views as representative of the Right, but lo and behold up pops National Party blogger DPF to endorse the piece.

How is it possible to have a rational political debate with people who ooze drivel like this? And what is it about the concept of equality that terrifies the political Right to the point of derangement?

78 comments on “Why are the “Right” terrified of equality? ”

  1. Descendant Of Smith 1

    Because they live in fear – whether they admit it or not.

    Their primeval instincts kick in and it’s flight or fight – they rely on the inherent goodness of the rest of us to not rise up against them – it takes many many more years of oppression before ordinarily people revolt.

    Fortunately we don’t need to revolt – we can do it via the ballot box – I just wish we had an egalitarian or level spirit type Labour party who knew how to make the rich less afraid – get them to understand that paying more tax is a positive thing for our society, to treat them fairly with assistance a la universal family benefit instead 0of income tested WFF.

    There’s much that could be done to bridge the gulf in thinking.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Hmmmm change vs the ballot box, but unfortunately its too easy to change the talking heads, hard to change the system. As we see in Egypt, Mubarak and probably his no. 2 are gone, but the system of controls, incentives, enforcement he set up is perfectly intact.

      Yes agree we could do with a truly progressive spirit-level style Labour Party. But we can’t avoid the distinct possibility that NZ’ers will not support it at the ballot box.

      No political party can do what we are hoping for without a true groundswell of support. Hmmmmm, if not a physical revolt, one in ideas and values is needed.

    • just saying 1.2

      God forbid DoS. Labour has been bending over backwards to appease even the slightest of anxieties felt by the rich for decades now. Time for the back rubs and hot toddies to stop. Time to say “harden up” – this won’t kill you, and you’ll be better off in the long run. Time to release its most controversial policies.

      Ever hear of “The mere exposure effect?”

    • BLiP 1.3

      Because they live in fear – whether they admit it or not.

      Their primeval instincts kick in and it’s flight or fight – they rely on the inherent goodness of the rest of us to not rise up against them – it takes many many more years of oppression before ordinarily people revolt.

      Yep. The science is in.

      • Descendant Of Smith 1.3.1

        Actually I prefer this type of scientific endeavour

        The link between emotion and reasoning is both interesting and powerful and the emotional outbursts of the right, the increasing resort to policing and imprisonment and security and war all speak of fear.

        There was a good documentary some years ago about how they use the use of fear to sell high wheel based four wheel drives to people using the politics of fear. Although the vehicle was less safe the advertising campaign played on peoples fears and the fight or flight instinct took over.

        Some people couldn’t even explain why they bought one when they walked off the lot.

        The exploitation of fear ( or the non assurance that things are OK) are powerful hidden motivators.

        As someone who does change management finding what is remaining stable while other stuff is changing is often the key to managing this well.

        Just saying: I don’t think Labour have been bending over backwards – they were the right. I’ve posted before about their meanness in re-instating the $20-00 per week for NZS but not for benefits.

        What they need to do is work out if they are left and articulate that – and some damn policies that articulate that.

        Til now we continue to be exposed to their past cause we don’t actually know what their future direction is.

  2. Nick K 2

    The Right aren’t terrified of equality at all. The Right, mostly, are realists, as opposed to the idealism of the Left. Realists understand that equality is impossible. Idealists don’t. That’s essentially it in 33 words!

    • Marty G 2.1

      the problem with that so-called ‘realism’ is it allows no room for human progress. In fact, it expresses no faith in humanity at all. That realism would have (and did) oppose women getting the vote, basic education and healthcare for all, and even the idea that the people should rule, not a monarch ordained by god.

      It’s not actually ‘realism’. Its conservatism – the ideology of conserving the status quo for fear of what change will bring, especially regarding the privileges enjoyed by elites.

      • Bunji 2.1.1

        True Marty, definite conservatism rather than realism.

        And where the Right aren’t preaching Conservatism they’re preaching a pure belief in the ideology of the ‘invisible hand’ of the market… Which isn’t very ‘realistic’ at all.

        • jimmy

          Indeed, realism and neoliberalism share the same conservative values as they are what Robert Cox (who works in International Relations) calls problem-solving theory. They take the existing world as a given (including the distribution of wealth and power) and propose technical ‘solutions’ to maintaining that order.

          Realism sees the world in in anarchy, or in other words a ‘state of nature’, and thus the only option available is the use of force.

          Neoliberalism sees its role as institutionalising the ‘free market’ and ‘individual liberty’ as economics sees itself as the ‘queen of the social sciences’ taking ‘solved’ political problems as its starting point and proposes measures such as removing democratic control (at the national and international level) over the economy in order to lock in these ideals.

          Mix the two together and you get shit like the Multilateral Agreement on Investment and TPP or at a more local level a reserve bank that sees its only task as controling inflation.

          Critical Theory on the otherhand sees that these positions are not objective as they represent a particular social force (conservatism) and thus the task is to identify emerging social forces and the contradictions entailed by the clash between ascendant and decendant social forces in order to see what change might look like.

          You can never predict exactly what this change will look like but you can hypothesize the problems they might entail and furthermore by promoting the ‘good’ social forces (i.e. indigenous rights rather than the National Front) decision-makers can have a clearer idea of the results of their actions. Overall it is based on the simple fact that much of life is humanly constituted, when taking a realist position one reproduces that very idea leading to a self-fufilling prophecy.

        • ZeeBop

          Invisible hand or cheap magic hand trick. The right claim to have control of the invisible hand beast, but the beastie by its very nature losses its value when controlled. So the right loosened fiscal controls to stimulate economies in the 80s, to seize the wealth from cheap oil. They then claimed to control the beastie, so they could claim the bragging rights for the growth that followed. But turns out it wasn’t them, if anything their lack of control of government, their reforms have actually hurt the economy! A banking crisis! All because the right weren’t held to account, and we all blindly trusted them that the growth was something we had to keep supporting the right to keep going! The right does not own the invisible hand, or control it, and are exposed now because they have failed and their prescriptions are wrong.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Not sure how in a country with a GDP measured in the hundreds of billions, we need to despise and hold down an underclass trying to survive on less than $300 pw. and have the likes of you tell us that’s ‘realistic’.

      Or why John Key deserves a tax cut which could have paid for home help for 50 elderly people a week who now have to do without. In your eyes, why is that ‘realistic’?

      Also surely its not that ‘idealistic’ to see each New Zealander as a human being who deserves the support, environment and opportunities to achieve to the level that they wish to in life?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.3

      Whats so idealistic about hoping that the state support the individual and not corporate interests?

      Corporate interests, most of whom are not even NZ citizens have the power of the media, the courts, access to politicians and can donate to their parties. Individuals have errr themselves and their voice.

      Isn’t that why we have a government- to protect the vulnerable and the disenfranchised, to represent the public interest. Or an I just too ideological hoping for such things?

      Do you think those protesting for demcracy in Egypt are too ideological to be listened to?

    • r0b 2.4

      Yo Nick K – would you mind telling me what on this good green earth is even remotely “realistic” about Coddington’s drivel?

      You’re really here to argue that it is the Right that are realistic? Mostly they just want to hide their heads in the sand an pretend that the problems of the world don’t exist.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

      You wouldn’t know reality if it hit you. Hell, like any conservative you’d do you’re utmost to deny it did.

  3. marsman 3

    It is astounding that a supposedly serious newspaper ( haha) not only prints Coddington’s demented drivel but presumably pays her for it. What an abominable waste of money and paper and ink!

  4. It’s unrealistic to think everyone can be lifted to the top as it is to think those at the bottom wish to drag everyone down.

    As a self confessed bottom dweller, i’d like to see a meeting in the middle ground. A balance between wanting to better oneself and not desiring more than one needs at the expense of others.

    Is that really to much to ask for ?

    • prism 4.1

      One of your really sensible comments pollywog! A reasonable aspirational goal I think, and one that I aspire to.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      I would be happy if this country organised things so that people did not struggle with power bills, buying good food or living somewhere decent and warm. And anyone who wanted to could sort themselves out with some quals without too much hardship and land themselves a $20-$25/hr job at the end of a bit of training with no problems, hold ups or unfair treatment.

      Not asking that everyone suddenly become top tax bracket.

      • pollywog 4.2.1

        I would be happy if Pasifikans in particular weren’t so reliant on God to provide for us.

        If more of the tithing and church donations went to collective sponsored scholarships and venture capital for aspiring Pasifikan initiatives.

        …and people wonder where welfare dependency amongst Pasifikan inclusive of Maori has it’s roots ?

        God provides gov’t, gov’t provides welfare…erego God provides welfare. Hallelujah, Rejoice and be thankful for God’s merciful bounty!!!

        Here’s a message for the bro’s and cuzzies.

        God helps those who help themselves doesn’t mean help yourself to other peoples property and services for free. Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch somebody always has to pick up the tab.

        Last time i felt Mana from heaven it turned out to be birdshit.

        • Colonial Viper

          …and people wonder where welfare dependency amongst Pasifikan inclusive of Maori has it’s roots ?

          Ha, you always get into trouble for this conceptualisation of Pasifika/Maori. I think you make good sense but people like their own familiar badges, as you well know. What’s the history between Pasifikans and the tribes of east and south east Asia?

          • pollywog

            Ha, you always get into trouble for this conceptualisation of Pasifika/Maori.

            yeah, trouble is my middle name…polly ‘trouble’ wog 🙂

            What’s the history between Pasifikans and the tribes of east and south east Asia?

            Now that is an intriguing secret i wouldn’t mind knowing more of.

            I would think the Lapita people were somehow aligned with the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan who were colonised and forced retreat to Hokkaido, much as the Moriori were here in NZ to the Chathams by the later Maori.

            It’s also the history between Polynesians and the Haida of Nth America via Hawai’i and the Meso americans and Sth Americans via Rapa Nui that interest me.

            It’s like in supplanting Pasifikan mysticism and traditions with Christian parables and teaching something got lost but needs to be found again.

            One just needs to know where to start looking ?

  5. orange whip? 5

    I’ll tell you why.

    It’s because the only way they know they’re doing well is by comparing themselves to someone worse off.

    Nasty and primitive but there it is.

  6. Rosy 6

    I made the mistake of clicking on the DF link. Those people have absolutely no understanding of how people who want to see the wealth gap narrowed think. They take it personally – as if anger directed at global bankers similarly directed at SMEs, they ignore rising disparity, at best or else don’t consider it a problem. And they certainly have no understanding or empathy for people that can’t get on to the ‘success’ ladder, nor their children, nor they know any of them. Deborah Coddington is in the same category.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Interestingly, a lot of NZ SME’s (<20 staff) are really struggling at the moment. Can’t expect any different if the ordinary worke (i.e. consumer) has been a victim of wage suppression, has been sold too much debt and is overleveraged, and has no spare discretionary cash to spend on goods and services.

      Its the big multinationals which have really benefitted from the global recovery, but every other part of the real economy (including unemployment) is still in the dumps.

      • Jasper 6.1.1

        You’ve bought me out of hibernation CV.

        I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I come back to the point that if the minimum wage were raised to $15 per hour, the arguments against it don’t stack up (as you know). Higher wages means higher discretionary spending, which would alleviate the current problems we are seeing.

        The corporations, mostly foreign owned, would have very little, if any, financial ramifications in being able to afford $15 p/h. Hell, they can still afford $20 p/h.
        Just move a few dollars on the balance sheet, lower the tax liability, presto, more profits.

        Its the SME’s that would struggle, as they currently are. So, in the spirit of equality, could there be any possibility, however remote, that if we were to reduce the tax burden for businesses earning a gross profit of under say, $100,000 p/a, to 0% – 10%, they would be able to pay their staff $15 – $20 ph?

        It not only means that SMEs would have greater capital, but also, it means that we would be supporting KIWI businesses, and helping them to achieve their potential. After all, $100,000 isn’t that much, and SME owners that would increase their drawings to remain under the arbitrary $100K in business profits would be impacted by paying higher taxes on their personal income.

        Its incredibly selfish, I know, and definitely means we’d be essentially differentiating between foreign/kiwi owned companies, but isn’t it our businesses we want to see succeed?

        • Colonial Viper

          Hi Jasper. There will be ways to do it, but the WTO and the new TPP agreement exist specifically as parts of a framework to advantage the big boys. SMEs simply do not have the lobbying power to get changes made in their favour.

          The Business Roundtable doesn’t give a damn about the small employer, that much is obvious.

      • burt 6.1.2

        Can’t expect any different if the ordinary worke (i.e. consumer) has been a victim of wage suppression, has been sold too much debt and is overleveraged, and has no spare discretionary cash to spend on goods and services.

        And Cullen said we needed fiscal drag to keep the govt in surplus. IE: The govt took the spare cash from the economy over the last decade to reduce govt debt which made it more difficult for people to reduce their own personal debt. No spare discretionary spending indeed – That dim-bulb Cullen took it all so the govt could be rich while the people stayed poor, exactly what you expect from a socialist.

  7. Olwyn 7

    A more lateral question concerning realism and equality pertains to the NZ rich and their apparent desire to be “equal” to the wealthy from larger and more vibrant economies. How is this achieved? By suppressing the incomes of locals, talking up the international value of NZ land, and bludging off Australia for employment opportunities among other things. In this sense our rich are more and more like the spoiled kids in an increasingly impoverished household: we have to live on nail soup and borrow money from uncle so Sharon can cut a swathe at the school ball.

  8. ianmac 8

    One of the problems is that it might be easier for Coddington and DPF and cohort to argue that if you work hard you are entitled to your riches. It has been the basic of National and Act for ever. It will be hard to argue that a just society is where the gap between rich and poor is less. A person who just got a pay rise to $40,000pa feels empowered (briefly) and feels that it is his right and why should ……etc etc.
    I by the way and very much in favour of The Spirit Level.

    • Bunji 8.1

      Danyl at Dimpost has a couple of good posts on that.

      • joe90 8.1.1

        Best blog comment ever.

        • LoveWitchYo

          the argument that if you work hard then you should get to keep all your money. Implies that the rich work harder than the poor which is so so not true. I have worked in corporations where the CEOs are never to be seen because the golf course is there conference room, and in hopsitals where the cleaners work long hours and put there lives at risk cleaning up contaminated blood etc.
          I beleive everyone in this country and the world should have a safe home, food, education, clothing and healthcare. That is a human right.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Why are the “Right” terrified of equality?

    Because then they wouldn’t have any way to prove that they’re “special”.

    Yup, it’s perfectly clear now. Deborah Coddington is a loony…. In fact I was going to say that she’s so completely nuts that it would be wrong to quote her views as representative of the Right, but lo and behold up pops National Party blogger DPF to endorse the piece.

    Research has shown that the majority of people on the right of the political spectrum, especially of those who are “successful”, are psychopaths.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      I am clearly a better human than you Draco because I can afford the New BMW X5 bi-turbo V8 whereas you could only afford the normally aspirated V6 version at $115K. Loser.

  10. The right isnt terrified of inequality, they celebrate it.
    What they are terrified of is the revolution that sooner or later inquality brings.
    They don’t want to see people using their privately owned media to overturn their private property and profits. They don’t want people waking up to the reality and walking like Egytpians.

  11. the_antichris 11

    Straw men, plagiarism and total misunderstanding of what she’s plagiarising all in one paragraph? This may be her best column yet.

  12. rightwinggloater 12

    I’m not terrified of inequality! Rather….it’s the spice of life! I always feel richer and more chosen when I see poor useless bastards struggling doing a pathetic low paid donkey job to make ends meet. In fact the problem with the poorer classes is they make ends meet too much for their own good.! I always feel great visiting Asia where young women go for me just ’cause I’ve got the Baht, makes me feel great! If there was equality there that just wouldn’t happen I’d have to marry them! Having wealth I can generate more wealth effortlessly! No probs the bank lends me money to buy more investment properties which are then paid off by the dumb wage slaves and I cash in on the CAPITAL GAIN! Just great and effortless. You can keep your lefty equality I am having a fantastic time the way it is specially as I can look down on you! INEQUALITY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE! I know!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1

      Nice one!

      You forgot to add that inequality is good for the security industry (more and better burglar alarms in gated communities), more prisons, gun sales and really good for loan sharks.

      If only JK had the guts to enact a flat tax rate and sell off all state assets we could be in economic nirvana!

      • prism 12.1.1

        Sounds like you want to start The Flat Earth Society again. Wipe out everything we have built like a major earthquake, won[‘t that make us all feel better.

  13. NX 14

    Deborah Coddington is a loony. I don’t recall when I have ever read such a crazy, nasty, stupid piece of nonsense. . . . . completely nuts blah blah blah

    Way to go addressing the argument.

    I think Nikki Kaye said it best, “I believe in equality of opportunity for all, not the equality of outcome.”

    History records Russia’s experiment with ‘equality of outcome’ & how damaging that was to the fabric of society.

    • jimmy 14.1

      @ NX “I believe in equality of opportunity for all”

      Excellent, glad to have you on our team as we all support public education, fully funded ECE, public health, and generally making sure that every kid in New Zealand has the ability to achieve their full potential.

      And in regards to Soviet Russia, there would hardly be a Marxist out there today who believes the ownership of the means of production translates into workers paradise. The soviets essentially became a parasitic class completely removed from the worker making the USSR a state capitalist country as the worker had no democratic control over the means of production.

      The ‘Golden Age’ of Western capitalism (i.e. the Keynsian post-war era that lasted until the 1980’s) where there was power held by both worker and business was a much better balance between opportunity and outcome and one which served the interests everybody and not just the few (i.e. neoliberalism and soviet communism).

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Yeah basically in the USSR a whole lot of central planners and party bureaucrats ended up being the upper class.

        Workers did not get an increased say in societal or commercial decision making at all.

        Hence the concept of Democratic Socialism as a major step forwards learning from the lessons of authoritarian Leninism/Maoism. Democracy should extend into the work place, the private sector and into commerce, not just Government and political arenas.

        If we truly trust people to think through decisions and get involved, we should trust them to participate in both private and public spheres.

    • r0b 14.2

      Way to go addressing the argument.

      What argument? That people who want to reduce socioeconomic inequality in NZ must also want to cut out Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice box?

      I say again – what argument?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      If their is truly equality of opportunity* then equality of outcome must follow*. We do not have equality of opportunity and so we have inequality that happens to be getting worse as the system is further biased in favour of those with the most opportunity (the rich). This is, of course, a death spiral as more and more people are disenfranchised by the system. The result can be one of two things: 1) a conscious rebalancing or 2) revolution.

      NACT is consciously and purposefully making the situation worse.

      * Within a reasonable margin of error.

    • Roger 14.4

      OK, lets address her stupid argument. It uses straw man tactics, especially using Aroha’s mum from McGleehan Close as a reference of the left. She makes no attempt to illustrate exactly how the most successful are dragged down or how the authors of the Spirit Level suggest the wealthiest should be brought down. She makes reference to capital gains tax as a way that the wealthy are dragged down but the absence of one is what is diverting investment into property rather than productive capital. She takes the position to an extreme by suggesting that only perfect equality is the end objective, not merely closing the gaps to a level that allows everybody the opportunity to live an economically dignified life and that radicalisation of class is eradicted.

      Now to tear her argument to pieces. These are some of the ways the left advocates to close the gaps. Universal access to public health care, education, and childcare. A decent minimum wage, safe working conditions, and sociable working hours. Protection of the environment which we rely on for our food and economic resources. Human rights and the absence of discrimination. A fair and strong justice system. Perhaps either you or Deborah Coddington can explain to me how these things are bringing down the wealthy rather than lifting people up.

    • NX 14.5

      making the USSR a state capitalist country as the worker had no democratic control over the means of production.

      Your interpretation is golden. I’d love to see a history lecturer’s critique 😉

      @Viper – the USSR had ‘equality of outcome’, everyone was destitute.

      @Draco T Bastard – in theory you are correct. But your shocking omission is choice. People often make bad decisions – take drugs, smoke, too much fast-food etc. Thank goodness for fat people, because without fat people there won’t be lean people.

      • Colonial Viper 14.5.1

        @Viper – the USSR had ‘equality of outcome’, everyone was destitute.

        Not bad for a country which rivalled the United States for 40 years, and had leadership of many fields of science and industry throughout that time, eh?

        But in reality the USSR is not the example of socialism that democratic socialists wish to follow.

        • NX

          Ha, I read your original comment – which I see you’ve resiled from somewhat ;).

          I agree, the USSR is not a good example of socialism. The best example of socialism at work is Star Trek.

          • Colonial Viper

            NX-01 anyone 😀

            At the end of the day the USSR collapsed under the weight of a central bureaucracy more interested in self advantage and turf wars than looking after the welfare of the people.

            If the USA survives the USSR by 40-50 years, will that really be considered a victory for capitalism? The US appears to be on the same road as the British Empire of 75 years ago. The loss of Ireland, Egypt, India, the Suez, Hong Kong, a definitive degree of independence for Scotland and Wales in retrospect marked a gradual decline of empire spanning decades.

            • M

              CV, I believe that the US also had a hand in the USSR’s collapse by being able to manipulate the price of oil on the international market to be artificially low.

              Lower returns for Soviet oil hastened the crash.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.5.2

        Your interpretation is golden. I’d love to see a history lecturer’s critique

        Academics have already concluded that commun1sm didn’t last beyond the first 50 days of the USSR. The authoritarian hierarchy that stayed in power there for the next 70 odd years can only be described as state capitalism as it shares all the hallmarks of capitalism run at a national level.

        the USSR had ‘equality of outcome’, everyone was destitute.

        Nope, the elite lived like kings.

        But your shocking omission is choice. People often make bad decisions…

        The Irrationality of the Free-Market

        People do make bad decisions but there’s this thing called society that can act as an effective insurance policy for those.

        • NX

          @Viper – technically the USA is not an empire (second time I’ve said that today). It has elected leaders, rather than rulers. The UK is the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, is an important player in world events, & is a key voice is the world’s largest economy (the EU). I’m sure the US will reinvent itself – thanks to it’s democratic system. After all, for most of the USA’s existence it hasn’t been the top dog. It was only around the early 1900s (maybe after WWI) that it took that crown.
          Secondly, the loss in US power is not something you should celebrate (unless you’re into self loathing).

          @DTB – commun1sm, authoritarianism – one in the same. As I said to Viper, the best sample of commun1sm is Star Trek.

          A decent society – ain’t that a David Cameron idea…

          • Colonial Viper

            A decent society – ain’t that a David Cameron idea…

            Yes it is. He might even be forced to provide adequate funding now.

            PS yeah agreed with you on another thread that the US does not fit into the definition of a classical Empire. There is no single autocrat but IMO the country is directed by <10,000 people. 700 billionaires, a few thousand people sitting on major corporate/banking boards, running the big hedge funds, the senior peeps from old networks and assorted hangers-ons, the odd elected politician etc.

            Secondly, the loss in US power is not something you should celebrate (unless you’re into self loathing).

            I always thought it a shame that the US never lived up to the ideals of its own rhetoric and constitution when dealing with other nations and other peoples. It really could have set the example for the world to follow, back in the day.

          • Marty G

            The roman republic and the british, french, dutch all had elected leaders while having empires. The defining feature of empire is vassel states ruled often by proxy and lacking full rights

            • NX

              @Marty – ahhh the VRWC. Why didn’t you just say so. . . .

              @Viper – in spite of not being a billionaire, I guess I just don’t hate them as much as you.

              • Colonial Viper

                Dude, easy cheap shot.

                Seriously what’s there to like about billionaires who get their money from poisoning, stealing from, extorting or otherwise sending to the poor house masses of ordinary people? Or who in general work real hard to make life worse for the poor and the vulnerable so that they can skim off an additional fifty basis points from their investments?

                • NX

                  I dunno Viper. Bill Gates is a billionaire & I generally find the products his company makes friggin amazing. I brought my smart phone off eBay – who’s founder Meg Whitman is probably a billionaire. And the Facebook founder, what’s his face, I use his site lots – keep in touch with friends overseas & found my current place thanks to it.
                  The Major of New York – Bloomberg, he’s a good chap (liberal too). Oh, that Branson guy brought cheap air travel to millions.

                  I guess if I were to hate billionaires, I’d have to stop using all those things; otherwise I’d be a hypocrite.

                  Edit: and yes, that was a cheap shot on my part.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah FB founder guy is typical. He could actually take the privacy of his users seriously. He could actually give them tools to delete their information permanently. He could actually make it so that when they change their privacy options, they defaulted to “high privacy” not “everyone can see my grundies”.

                    But no, he reckons he make a few more bucks doing his shit his way.

                    So yeah I use FaceBook too mate, but pretty much in the same way I use a toilet roll.

                    I guess if I were to hate billionaires, I’d have to stop using all those things; otherwise I’d be a hypocrite.

                    I don’t think so; e.g. I hate the idea of privatising the country’s strategic energy assets, but if they go it doesn’t mean that I’m going to disconnect from the grid and live in the cold and dark for the rest of my adult life.

              • Marty G

                I didn’t allege empire was a rightwing conspiracy, it’s simply a form of political organisation.

  14. JonL 15

    Basically they are shit scared that the plebs will take some money off them – money they “earned” by fair means or foul. They like the feeling of superiority that having lots of money gives them, and they are scared of losing that as well – they don’t want to feel at ease with their fellow humanity – they want to feel superior!

  15. Vicky32 16

    Coddington’s nonsense about blinding designers, and removing the larynx of a singer, is straight out of Ayn Rand! (I had the misfortune of reading Ms Rand’s entire ouvre back in the 1980s.) Coddington ought to have credited Ms Rand… if she was honest, which she’s not… 😀

    • Drakula 16.1

      Vicky; I have just had my cup of tea after the post below and now have fresh insight into Coddingtons universe.

      In Coddingtons’ universe it is all about the survival of the fittest, never mind that socialsm be misrepresented and mistaken for communism and promoted as the ‘big bogey’!!!!

      I her universe there will be no level playing ground Atlas will survive against all the odds to be the hero of her dreams, the very man she will choose as her mate, whereas the Atlas in our reality may be the man we SHRUG and ask ourselves;

      Who is John Galt?

  16. Drakula 17

    Deborough Coddington is an intellectual dullard; the genius’ that she is talking about are mainly in the ‘great unwashed’ with their potential unrealized!!!!!!

    Especially with government cuts in Early Childhood Education ECE, those kids are going to be deprived in the very building blocks of their future.

    If society is going down that road then in the future we will have a large unskilled workforce open to global exploitation!!!!

    That’s probably what the ruling global elite want a slave state!!!!

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Yep at this moment we have Rutherfords, Munros, Hillarys and Fitzpatricks going unrecognised in our youth population, simply because of underprivileged neglect and child poverty.

      However I suppose that leaving those NZ’ers in the dirt will make the lives of rich kids easier and less competitive.

      Thanks for being an elitist asshat Coddington.

    • Vicky32 17.2

      You’re absolutely right, Drakula. I am ashamed to share a (real) name with the silly cow!
      Yes, she thinks she’s Dagny Taggart…

  17. Jenny 18

    Clever brains like Sam Morgan’s, for instance, which enabled him to come up with Trade Me, would have to be dulled with drugs.
    Fashion designers like Denise L’Estrange Corbet, who sees beauty where I see bolts of cloth, would have to be blinded. Cut out Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice box – I think you get my drift.

    Yes I think I think I get your drift Debra

    Using your poison pen to conjure up extremely violent imagery of terrible crimes being perpetrated on people like yourself is both a threat and a warning.

    It’s about time someone started championing the rich and successful in this country – they’re a persecuted minority.

    Debra Coddington

    As a previous post from Eddy has pointed out, when those in privileged positions start to claim they are being “persecuted”, and the rich and powerful start playing the victim, then the rest of society better watch out.

    Debra, picturing those horrible crimes being perpetrated on those you consider your own, tells me that you think that this justifies the same and worse for those you think capable of such crimes.

    This is what is termed “Hate Speech”. The aim of hate speech is to rally your supporters to take action against those your tirade is directed against.

    Don’t worry Debra we get your drift allright.

  18. CJJack 19

    I’m what you’d call a righty and I’m not terrified of equality, in fact I try my best to treat everyone equally.

    Reading through the comments though it seems that quite a few of the commenters don’t want to have equal treatment meted out and there are even a few who describe anyone who is right leaning and successful as ‘psychopaths” I’m not sure that this kind of comment is useful in trying to get people to discuss things in an open forum

  19. Mike 20

    Coddington blows in the wind depending on who she is listening to. At present she is all over the Fascist Lindsay Perigo at http:/solopassion.com. Perigo is an intellectual and financial failure. A ‘D’ list conservative of interest to no one.

    Both his radio station – Radio Liberty, and his magazine , The Free Radical went broke.

  20. M 21

    Seems that the well-off forget many of the lucky breaks they’ve enjoyed even if they started off in less than ideal circumstances.

    I worked with a guy who went through university and had his tuition paid for by being bonded to the firm responsible for five years and had a flat mate at university who got free meat from her father’s farm for the people in the flat.

    Upon graduation he was able to purchase a home shortly thereafter with his healthy pay from being an engineer and then proceeded to build his property empire. He had no time for people who did not have the same talents or opportunities that he did and was a fervent ACT supporter.

    What people like Deborah Coddington don’t get is that even the hint that someone is successful whether it is actual or mere puffery can open far more many doors than those who can’t create the same effect.

    Really, who would they look down their noses at or revel in the catty superiority with without an underclass to vilify?

  21. Drakula 22

    Responding to mike isn’t it ironical that Lindsay Perigo’s grand mother was a member of the Communist party!!!

    Rodger Douglas’ father was a staunch member of the Labour party, Richard Prebble grew up in the welfare state school.

    It seems to be a common theme with the ACT lot they don’t seem to appreciate the education that got them where they are today, nor do they have any empathy for those who are trying to get on in life.

    And as M said they have no time for those who don’t share the same talents as they do.
    Yet they can’t even begin to understand what intelligence is, so the only criteria they would apply is the ‘one cap fitts all’ logic, mathematics, science as opposed to art poetry and language.

    These are the people who get the top positions and yet they are not necessarily the best eg.
    Acccording to Thompson (of the Thompson Twins) who wrote about the scientific thinking and discoveries of Leonardo da Vinci had discovered that Leonardo had made many mistakes when it came to adding up his shopping list.

    Should the mind behind the helicopter fall through the cracks as Richard Pierce did?

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