A lot of thought has seemingly gone into answering the question of why this country is so fucked up. Most of it coalesces around ideologies, with liberal capitalism, globohomo, ethnonationalism and anarcho-nihilism being the foremost. None of these theories have as much explanatory power as the psychohistory model, as this essay will show.
The British Empire found itself with some severe problems in the 18th century. Because of industrialisation and modern science leading to advances in medicine and sanitation, there was a population explosion in Britain. This led to overcrowding, a problem that was alleviated by emigration. In some cases this was voluntary, in the form of gentleman settlers; in other cases it was involuntary, in the form of penal transportation and indentured servitude.
Like Australia, New Zealand came into being as a place for the rapidly expanding British Empire to dump some of its surplus cannon fodder, in case it needed to be called upon later. With the American Revolution of 1776, it became a lot harder for them to dispose of their convicts in North America, which is why, 12 years later, the First Fleet landed in Sydney Harbour to begin the colonisation of Australasia.
Within a few decades, the strategic imperative of colonising New Zealand had become apparent to the commanders of Empire back in London. Not only would it facilitate the projection of British military force into Asia, but it would also prevent the French from getting hold of it (as they later would New Caledonia).
To that end, Britain resolved to populate this new territory with some of its surplus people. This was not done with convicts, as Australia, but with free settlers exclusively, many of who were victims of the Highland Clearances (a little-known truth about New Zealand history is that many of its early settlers were people who were “encouraged” to emigrate to New Zealand because of unusual sexual proclivities that weren’t technically illegal in Britain, but which made the others want to get rid of them, such as homosexuality and pederasty).
This means that New Zealand is not, and never has been, a nation. Right from the very beginning it was nothing more than an artificial construct – a company. Indeed, the people chiefly responsible for the early settlement of New Zealand were called The New Zealand Company. Like Australia, and America before it, the people it initially attracted were Britain’s expendables.
Real nations don’t know who settled them or why, or where their name comes from. In a real nation, the people have been there since the beginning of time as far as they are concerned, and the stories of their ancestors are not hard historical facts but myths. Their founders are demigods, not Colonial Secretaries.
A nation is a group of people who are united by ties of kinhood, and who therefore all share a common goal (the perpetuation of their kin). Nation refers not to a geographical space (as does country) but to the people who populate that space. Consequently, one speaks of France and the French nation.
The beautiful thing about nations is that, being based on extended kinhood, each one is like one large family. Consequently, the ties that bind each citizen to each other are strong. In places like Japan and Sweden this leads to an unwillingness to commit violent and property crimes against other people, and a willingness to pay taxes for the sake of other people getting proper healthcare and a proper education.
In a place like New Zealand, the ties that bind are weak. As a result, people don’t care very much about the suffering of the other members of the collective. Although bullying exists in all other countries, it’s rare that it’s quite as vicious as what is tolerated in New Zealand, one reason why we have the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world, and the second-highest rate of workplace bullying in the world.
The other reason why our suicide rates are poor is because we don’t have a mental health system. In 2016, our mental health funding was a pitiful $1.3 billion – for the entire country. This is why many New Zealanders who present to the mental health authorities are just told to fuck off and die. When you’re a company and not a nation, the death of an unproductive person is preferable to paying out a long-term benefit to them.
Simply put, being expendable, it’s not considered important if we suffer and die – and it never has been.
This is why New Zealand troops went to Europe to fight the German Empire in World War II, instead of fighting against the Japanese Empire in the Pacific. Had New Zealand been a nation, we would have defended ourselves, and dealt to the main threat to us, which was Japan. It’s also why we fought in World War I and the Boer War, instead of staying at home, which would have been far better.
Because we are a company and not a nation, we do what our shareholders tell us to do, which was to attack who they tell us to attack. It doesn’t matter if its the Boers, the Ottomans, the Germans, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Afghanistanis or the Iraqis – if it serves the interests of global financial capital, we’re ready to pick up our rifles and die for it.
Australia and New Zealand lost around 1.5% of our entire population in World War I, almost as much as Belgium, where many of the battles took place. Australia suffered more combat deaths than Belgium, despite a smaller population and despite being 20,000 kilometres distant from the fighting. 42% of all New Zealand men of military age served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in World War One, meaning that experience of mortal combat was almost normal for an entire generation of men.
The reason for all this was that our men were conscripted into battle by ruling classes that served imperial interests, and not national ones. This national history of being used as cannon fodder for imperial military adventures (despite it being the reason for us being brought into existence in the first place) is the main reason why Aussies and Kiwis have so many psychiatric problems.
The immensely heavy exposure to combat fucked up our country in two major ways.
The first is obvious: the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Called “shellshock” in World War I and “battlefield fatigue” in World War II, this refers to the dissociation that can arise from the trauma of combat. It is because of the heavy incidence of PTSD that we developed a culture of drinking ourselves to oblivion and indifference to domestic violence. Unfortunately for us, this is the sort of trauma that gets passed on down through the generations.
The second was that it created our infamous “harden up” culture. The deprivations of war are no place for preciousness. Any man who expressed grief at what he had seen or done had to be made to shut the fuck up in no uncertain terms, lest the morale of the unit become affected. The battlefield is no time to talk about one’s feelings. While in the realm of iron, the ability to suppress emotions is often the difference between life and death.
This is all well and good if there is a war that needs to be won, but our cultures seem to have made permanent what should have been a temporary indifference to the suffering of our fellows. Genuine nations don’t do this. Because New Zealand isn’t a proper nation, however, the New Zealand Government doesn’t take this into account when it makes decisions.
If we had a proper nation, we would have spent the money to fix our psychiatric casualties. As it is, we have a nation where crying children are as likely to be bashed or sworn at as comforted. Young people seeking mental healthcare are excoriated for being weak. This is brilliant for raising a country of warriors, but it isn’t how a nation naturally raises its next generation, which is with firm, but relentless, compassion.
Not having a proper nation to keep check on them and to inspire their will, the New Zealand Government runs the country according to the will of foreign moneyed interests. These are essentially the same interests that own the New Zealand media, and just about everything else.
The New Zealand people never, ever wanted to double the refugee quota, and especially not when the number of New Zealand families on the housing waitlist already exceeds 12,000. The New Zealand people also wanted cannabis law reform decades ago. The New Zealand people wanted a sharp cut to our immigration intake. None of it matters.
The fact is that, not being a nation, Kiwis have very little solidarity with each other, and so we don’t stand up for each other. This is why it’s so easy for politicians like the Sixth Labour Government to strip away our rights to free expression and to firearms ownership. Because we don’t stand together, we have no way to resist aggression, whether from outside or inside the country. Thus, we remain divided and conquered.
There is only one way to unfuck New Zealand, and that is for us to come to operate as a nation. This is impossible as long as multiculturalism and mass immigration exists, and stopping those things are all but impossible as long as an industrial society with an economy based around eternal growth exists. But if we can come together as an extended kin group, we can develop the solidarity necessary to make ending each other’s suffering a primary goal.
The reality is that this will take several hundred years, and will not begin until after the collapse of the current economic paradigm. Some hundred years after this, both Kupe and Captain Cook will be mythological figures, and most of the rest of the world, Britain included, will be forgotten. At that point, a great race of bronze and copper will arise, and the nature of their influence will be to move inwards, towards the centre of the world.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.