Cricket Is More of a Global Sport Than Soccer Is

Geographical spread of Soccer World Cup winners

Another Soccer World Cup, another champion from Europe. Everyone is waxing lyrical at the moment about how wonderful the Soccer World Cup is, and how it bring all nations together in harmony with a common goal. The truth, as this essay will demonstrate, is that cricket is more of a global sport than soccer by at least three major measures.

Geographic representation

As can be seen by the quarterfinalists of the recently concluded Soccer World Cup, soccer is still very much a European sport. Six of the eight quarterfinalists came from this one continent that contains less than 10% of the world’s population.

Over the last three FIFA World Cups, 23 of the 24 quarterfinalists have come from either Europe or Latin America. The single exception was Ghana, back in 2010. So only two continents are ever really represented by the finalists in Soccer World Cups. Asia, Africa, Anglo America, Australia and Oceania don’t feature – a group of countries that includes the world’s five most populous.

For the most part, only Europeans and South Americans really play soccer, but they are capable of getting an extremely high level of performance out of Africans that have been integrated into European structures. Sufficient evidence for this comes from the fact that France won the 2018 World Cup just now.

Since World War Two, only one team from outside Europe and Latin America has ever made a Soccer World Cup semifinal: South Korea in 2002, and they only advanced that far thanks to some extremely questionable refereeing decisions. Every single other semifinalist has been from one of two continents. This is hardly befitting of “the world sport”.

The Cricket World Cup, by contrast, brings the entire world together. The last Cricket World Cup, in 2015, featured teams from four different continents at the semifinal stage: Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania. Teams from North America and Europe have previously contested finals, meaning the overall reach of the sport is greater than that of soccer.

Population

Some people object to the statement made in the first section of this essay. Although most are willing to concede that the geographical representation of soccer is not great, many will nevertheless insist that Europe is a great population centre and therefore can’t merely be counted as one continent. This may have been true a century ago, but no longer is.

The population of Europe is 741,000,000. The population of Latin America is 640,000,000. This means that virtually all of the Soccer World Cup quarterfinalists throughout history come from a bloc of 1,381,000,000 people, roughly 20% of the world’s population.

The remaining 80% of the world’s population – comprising China, India, Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan – essentially never get representation among the final eight teams of Soccer World Cups. India and Pakistan have both won Cricket World Cups, by contrast, and are perennial quarterfinalists along with Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The population of India, where cricket is the only game in town, is 1,325,000,000, essentially the same as the combined populations of Europe and Latin America. This is a fact that needs repeating for those who think that soccer is the global game: the combined populations of the only places capable of competing at the top level of soccer only just equals the population of India alone.

Measuring population properly requires that we add, to the cricket-fanatic side of the ledger, Pakistan (pop. 208,000,000), Bangladesh (pop. 163,000,000), Sri Lanka and Australia (c. 60,000,000), plus several million others in England, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and the West Indies, where cricket might not be the national sport but is still one of the major ones.

Against this, soccer has much less overall market share in the countries in which it is popular than cricket does. In Europe and Latin America, soccer has to compete with volleyball, basketball, tennis, handball and golf; in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, cricket is completely dominant. Therefore, it must have more total fans in the world than soccer does.

Appeal within nations

Possibly the most crucial of the three difference between the sports is this one. Soccer mostly appeals to a lower socioeconomic demographic, for who the sport is an escape from the drudgery of everyday life, akin to a circus. Cricket, by contrast, appeals to a higher socioeconomic demographic, for who the sport is the complete test of mental and physical strength and skill and more akin to improvisational theatre.

Soccer players are frequently crude, brutal, thuggish. They cheat so shamelessly that many consider it part of the game. Cricket is a sharp contrast. Men like Rahul Dravid, Ross Taylor and AB de Villiers are complete gentlemen: gracious in victory and defeat, magnanimous, charismatic, serene. Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is literally a prince. He is the upper class of the upper class, an aristocrat by any measure.

If any doubt remains that soccer fans are inherently more base than cricket fans, simply examine the writings of former cricketers like Martin Crowe and Kumar Sangakkara on CricInfo. There is no soccer equivalent.

What soccer is – and this is the cornerstone of its apparent popularity – is the McDonald’s of world sports. It’s a corporatised appeal to the dopamine-deprived brains of society’s lowest common denominator, which is all it can really be on account of its simplistic and luck-based nature. Soccer fans like to tout the ease of understanding the sport as one of its drawcards, but it reality this simply makes it boring to anyone with an IQ over 110 or so.

Over a billion people watched the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to FIFA themselves. However, more people saw the India vs. Pakistan match during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The world record for concurrent viewers to a live-streaming platform was set at 10,700,000 earlier this year, not by the final of a European soccer league but by the Indian Premier League of T20 cricket.

What does it mean that more people watch a group match in the Cricket World Cup than the final of the hypefest that is the Soccer World Cup? What does it mean that more people watch the final of an Indian cricket league than the final of any European soccer league? It can only mean that cricket appeals to more human beings than soccer does.

In summary, the delusion that soccer is the “global game”, simply because it’s played in Europe, Latin America and Africa, has to end. Europe is now less than 10% of the world’s population, barely more than half of the population of India alone. If those Indians are to be considered people of equal value to the Europeans, it must be conceded that their passions are of equal value. If so, cricket is a more passionately-followed sport than soccer, measured on a global basis.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

How Mass Immigration Leads to The Loss of Freedom

The right to free expression is not a universally held cultural value, and can only be maintained as long as a sufficient proportion of the population support it

Historically speaking, the main reason why people have resisted mass immigration into their territories is because it usually leads to a loss of freedoms, in particular freedom to practice one’s culture. In recent decades, Westerners have been told that mass immigration to the West would not cause them to lose freedoms, but this turned out to be lies. This essay will examine how immigration, especially from undeveloped countries, leads to a loss of freedoms for the host population.

For people to have any freedoms at all they have to value those freedoms highly enough to assert them. If they cannot assert them, the ruling class will take them away. It can be seen in every society that, in order for people to value those freedoms highly enough to assert them in the faces of the ruling class, they have to share them in common, enough so to call it a culture.

Without a shared belief in the value of certain freedoms, they cannot be maintained. If only part of a population believes in a freedom, then the ruling class can ban it and not enough of the population will believe in it to assert it. Therefore, it will be lost. We can see, then, that freedoms are lost as soon as the proportion of the population that supports them falls below a certain level.

For example, naturally speaking, people are free to walk the land. There is no private property in a state of Nature, and originally there were no prohibitions on where one could go. Over the past 5,000 years, as something called civilisation got invented, this freedom was eventually stripped from the people by rulers who commanded men of iron able to use violence to drive undesired people away from certain territories.

The Swedes, possibly on account of the hard-won lessons of solidarity learned by their Viking forebears, were not willing to lose their right to walk the land freely. Thus, they asserted that right in the face of enclosures, and won what they call the allemansrätt (this was known as the Freedom to Roam back when Anglos used to assert this right). This means that Swedish people have the right to walk through property owned by other people as long as they do not come within sight of the main house (and some other restrictions).

Immigration is not likely to threaten allemansrätt anytime soon, but it is threatening (or has already destroyed) other freedoms, all over the West.

New Zealand Federation of Islam Associations president Hazim Arafeh voiced his opposition to a talk by journalist Lauren Southern in Auckland earlier this month, leading to it effectively getting banned by Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s refusal to approve a venue for it. Arafeh, in his attempt to get the talk banned, stated that “I don’t think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that’s an abuse of freedom of speech.”

As everyone who actually values free speech knows, free speech is precisely what that is. The cultural value of free speech entails that the responsibility is on the listener to not chimp out when they hear something provoking. The reason why this is important is that it makes it possible to talk about things like rational human beings instead of keeping quiet out of fear, because this leads to resentment and then violence.

Satire, windups and pisstaking necessarily come under this umbrella, as do insults and criticisms of governments and religions.

Free speech acts as a safety valve that releases political pressure when the ruling class starts veering off path. An incompetent ruling class will always try to crack down on criticism rather than accept that they have been incompetent, and for this reason free speech must be ardently defended. The alternative is that ruling class corruption and incompetence becomes entrenched.

It is because the Anglosphere values free speech that we have never had a fascist or communist dictatorship come to power in any of our countries. None of Britain, America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand have ever had a totalitarian government, for the reason that our right to free expression enables us to criticise the bastards, and thereby to organise opposition, before they fuck everything up. Thus, no Hitlers, no Stalins, no Pol Pots, no mass starvation of tens of millions.

Arafeh, not being a Kiwi, doesn’t understand any of this. It’s not important to him. He will not defend it.

Islamic culture forces women to cover up because it considers those women responsible for the urges that their appearance might induce in men. The onus of responsibility is not on the Muslims, but on women, who are inferior, to moderate themselves. By the same token, the culture forces people whose speech it disapproves of to keep their mouths shut because it considers those people responsible for the violent urges that their speech might induce in Muslims.

The onus of responsibility is on us Westerners, as inferior, to moderate ourselves. We can see from what happened with Lauren Southern that Muslims are forcing us to shut our mouths in the same way they force their women to cover up – under the implicit threat of violence.

It’s obvious that if we had not allowed any Muslims to immigrate to this country, Arafeh could not have written a letter to Goff “on behalf of 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims in New Zealand”. It’s equally obvious that if we let in another 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims, we will lose even more rights, because we can see this happening in other countries that have made the mistake of opening themselves to mass Muslim immigration.

Multiculturalism necessarily means that the only freedoms that remain are universal values that are supported by all people. What Westerners have failed to understand is that free speech is not a universal value. Most people on this planet are pathetic slave-creatures, not educated citizen-orators that can be expected to assert their rights through reasoned debate.

In short, we’re losing our freedom to speak freely because we’ve let in a lot of people who do not value free speech, and this is just one example. As shown by Europe, if we continue to let these people in, our rights to free expression will be further curtailed, and then the rights of people to walk certain neighbourhoods free of molestation will be curtailed, and then the rights of women to walk in public without covering up will be curtailed.

As long as banks continue to demand mass immigration for the sake of propping up house prices, gutless politicians will continue to placate those making the threats of violence for the sake of appearing to maintain order. We need to take care that our immigration policies don’t end up robbing us of our hard-won rights of free expression.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Six Stages of Societal Collapse

Coming to a society near you: Brazilianisation

As Plato wrote over 2,300 years ago, societies tend to follow a predictable arc of decline after they are established. After being founded by philosopher-kings, states tend to degenerate as ever-greedier, stupider and baser people come to power. This essay charts the collapse of societies into six stages, each stage represented by a society from the world of 2018 A.D.

These six stages can be chunked into three larger stages when viewed on another level. In the first of these, the people help the Government and the wealthy and are helped in return. In the second two stages, the people are indifferent to the Government and the wealthy, and receive indifference in return. In the latter two stages, the people and the Government and the wealthy actively fight each other.

The initial stage of society can be called the Japan stage. South Korea is also here. In this stage, there are extremely high levels of solidarity. For a member of such a society, the entire nation might feel like one large extended family, where every new person you meet is like a cousin. Here there are no nations-within-nations made up of foreigners.

When a population is at this level, they will not vote for extremist parties, and the average citizen will hold a lot of faith in what they read in the newspapers and in the proclamations of Government. Political discussion is widely conducted without violence. People in these societies tend to walk around with smiles on their faces, unafraid of the future.

Europe was at this level until the turn of the century, when a combination of pressure from business interests looking for cheap labour and Marxist ideologues looking to destroy the nation state for the sake of a global command structure led to mass importation of Africans and Muslims. Many European states did not need minimum wage laws then, because solidarity was so high.

The first stage of collapse can be called the New Zealand stage. At this stage there are so many minorities and competing interests that social cohesion is beginning to falter. Big cities no longer feel like part of the nation but more like a patchwork of racial ghettoes. There is no longer a typical appearance for someone from this society, because in order to have typical anything you have to have common bonds, and those have been lost.

‘Solidarity’ as a concept is starting to be forgotten. People start to forget what it was that led to high levels of solidarity in the first place, and it’s simply assumed that the current levels will continue indefinitely. Europe is now at this stage. Major cities such as Paris and London are now so diverse that there are areas where natives cannot freely walk without being harassed, sometimes violently.

The population in this stage is split between those who benefit from the small amount of corruption and those who do not. Usually this split happens along generational lines, with an elderly group who were raised in good times thinking things are still good, versus a young group who are more aware of the state of decline. When this younger, more cynical group grows up to take power, this usually leads to the next stage of collapse.

The second stage of collapse is the America stage. At this stage, not only are there a lot of minorities but there is a waning sense of everybody being on the same team. People care more about money, and about making money, than about the nation. Actions that benefit the tribe, or the self, at the expense of the nation are taken without a second thought. Nations-within-nations are common, the “average American” merely a good-natured rube to be exploited.

At this stage, it’s possible for large moneyed interests to import millions of cheap labourers and to have the population accept it under the assumption that it’s “good for business”. It’s inevitable that the national myth will get changed at this point, from being a nation tied to an ethnicity to “a nation of immigrants”, or something else that suggests an extreme level of egalitarianism (and even fewer common bonds).

Here, people are aware of the lack of solidarity but feel powerless to do anything about it, because the term ‘solidarity’ has itself taken connotations of Communism and totalitarianism. The seeds for the next stage of collapse are sown when people stop even pretending that they belong to a coherent society, and it starts to become tacitly accepted that it’s every race, ethnicity or tribe for itself.

The third stage of collapse is the Brazil stage. This is where severe racial ghettoisation starts to begin, and solidarity starts breaking down completely, leading to an “urban jungle”. If life started to become cheap in some places in the America stage, by the Brazil stage this is a widespread sentiment. Robbery deaths from people being shot dead over a pair of shoes or a phone become common.

No-one thinks about the nation at this stage of collapse. Most people have degenerated so far that even the most enlightened can only think in terms of tribe. For most people it’s family at the most, and pure self-aggrandisement is standard practice. Greed is now the major motivating principle, with power and status closely following.

At this stage, pretenses to higher values are still made. People in general have long since stopped believing in God, but they still go through the motions; they still have hope. They just don’t have very much hope, because priests and policemen and politicians are happy to demonstrate every day that life has very little value. Many people are seen as superfluous at this stage, fit to be eliminated.

The fourth stage of collapse is the South Africa stage. Racial rhetoric is now openly antagonistic, with themes of revenge frequent. Things have gone well beyond the race-baiting of the America stage – here, politicians openly sing songs about killing members of the opposition. Many people talk openly of civil war, some looking forward to it.

Here there are no pretenses to higher values. It is accepted that God has forsaken the people. An atmosphere of hate pervades everyday relations, although this paradoxically can lead to increased solidarity among members of persecuted or beleaguered groups. Many people at this stage will be stocking up on guns and ammunition in preparation for some climactic final battle.

At this stage there is a pronounced exodus of the most productive and capable groups, who can see the writing on the wall. This immigration pattern – of the productive people leaving while more unproductive people join the society at the bottom – will trigger a positive feedback loop until the society ends up disintegrating entirely.

The final stage of collapse can be called the Haiti stage. At this stage the poor actively band together to destroy the wealthy. Here there is widespread violence, not for resources but simply out of savagery. Revenge or simple bloodlust are the motivating factors here. A society at this stage of collapse can be said to have utterly failed; a state at this level is a “failed state”.

The Haiti stage references the 1804 Haiti massacre, in which a slave revolt led to the slaughter of 5,000 men, women and children. In the total absence of interpersonal solidarity, murder and rape become standard. Any noticeable difference between groups is liable to trigger violence at a moment’s notice. A society that collapses this far will produce horrors that will be remembered for centuries.

This is, after all, the path that South Africa is on, and which Brazil will sooner or later fall into. One could even make the argument that America was on this path, and that collapsing in this manner may be inevitable. However, it might also be possible that collapse can be averted at any stage by a philosophical revolution that introduces a new paradigm and which leads to an increase in solidarity between groups in the society.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Conduct Disorder

Unlike most of the conditions in this book, Conduct Disorder (CD) is only diagnosed in children and adolescents. As the name implies, people who get diagnosed with it conduct themselves in ways that the clinician considers disorderly, in particular when it comes to respecting the rights of other people. This article looks at how to write believable and interesting characters with the condition.

The most important thing is to distinguish CD from Antisocial Personality Disorder. CD is the developmental precursor to Antisocial Personality Disorder – it can only be diagnosed in those too young to have a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder (i.e. 18 years of age). It is therefore a developmental condition.

One of the key symptoms of CD is a lower level of fear. This will express itself in a wide variety of ways.

The most notable way that a lower level of fear expresses itself in young people is when it comes to transgressions. A young person has not yet had time to internalise knowledge about the effects that their actions have on other people. They therefore have to learn to be afraid of punishment. This corresponds to Level 1 of Kohlberg’s Scale of Moral Reasoning.

A young person with CD will have a hard time internalising rules about those transgressions, in part because they don’t feel much fear, and so don’t have as much inhibition when primitive impulses towards violence and destruction start playing up on them. Because of this, they regularly violate boundaries relating to other people’s personal space and property.

Another way low levels of fear find expression is in transgressions against one’s own health. Young people already play fast and loose with their health when it comes to having a good time; young people with Conduct Disorder are nihilistically reckless. If the protagonist of your story has Conduct Disorder, chances are that they will be into the booze, weed and pills from their early teenage years.

A character with CD will likely be something of a daredevil. If they are male, they might find themselves drawn to racing motor vehicles or street fighting; if female, to shoplifting and starting trouble between men.

A story with a protagonist who has Conduct Disorder might read like J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Care must be taken here, therefore, not to sound cliched. Anti-hero stories mostly appeal to the same young audience, because they will most readily identify with the spirit of rebellion expressed by such a character. People with Conduct Disorder push the boundaries, for good or ill.

Punk stories, in particular cyberpunk, often feature protagonists who would appear (at least from the authorities’ perspective) to have Conduct Disorder. Young men like John Case of Neuromancer or Jonty Gillespie of The Verity Key are unrepentant criminals, usually because they have to be in order to make a living in the cracks of the edifice of respectable society.

After all, one man’s Conduct Disorder is another man’s righteous rebellion against a tyrannical oppressor. So a character with the condition might be the perfect choice of protagonist if your story involves going up against a large, faceless, totalitarian entity. After all, most of us have a point which, if pushed beyond, we will no longer behave in a co-operative manner.

If a character with CD is pitted against a malicious, evil entity (corporation or government), much of the difficulty in writing your story will come from making that entity unsympathetic enough that the reader readily comes to identify with that character. The more credibly this can be done, the less that character will look like a CD sufferer and more like a righteous hardarse.

Unsurprisingly, Conduct Disorder is highly correlated with all forms of early childhood abuse. A character with the condition might have learned by way of mimicry of their parents that violence and cruelty are perfectly acceptable ways to advance one’s interests, and that fear is for the weak and an invitation to be destroyed.

So if you are writing a character with CD they might not necessarily be a cool, daring and adventurous antihero. Realistically they are more likely to be somewhat brutal. If your protagonist encounters such a character, they might find them intimidating – the class bully, or local street thug.

If your protagonist encounters a character with CD, they could respond in a wide variety of ways, depending on how they themselves are (and their decision will be very revealing to the reader). They might consider that character a cool rebel to be befriended, they might consider them a danger to be avoided, or they might consider them a little brat to be corrected.

Conduct Disorder often occurs at the same time as Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s likely, therefore, that any character with it will have extreme difficulty at school, at work, or with either friends of family. Their life will probably be very chaotic, and will considerable Police or social worker involvement.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

New Zealand is a Military Outpost Masquerading as a Country

New Zealand: plenty of money for guns, no money to feed kids

Many of the decisions made by New Zealand politicians are baffling to the average Kiwi. How can it be possible that we can find $400 million a year to enforce cannabis prohibition, which the people don’t want, but we can’t find $100 million to feed our own children, which the people definitely do want? This essay explains why so many of these decisions are made: New Zealand is not a real country, but a military outpost masquerading as one.

Key to understanding this is understanding the guns and butter model of government spending. Essentially, we can measure the degree to which a government acts as a steward of its people – compared to using them as tools to achieve the economic ambitions of the ruling classes – by measuring how much of the nation’s production is diverted to consumer goods as opposed to military goods.

Understanding this helps explain why our Government would approve a $20 billion military spending bill while rejecting a $100 million proposal to feed hungry New Zealand children.

Why is buying weapons two hundred times more important than feeding our own children?

The answer is grim, and dark. New Zealand isn’t really a country, in the sense that other countries are countries. We’re not an association of families that formed a tribe and then met other tribes to form a clan and then made peace with other clans to form a nation. Most of us just washed up here, many of us without the consent of the people who already lived here.

It’s obvious that New Zealand itself has no need to spend $20 billion on armaments, any more than Iceland does. But to think like this is to commit the error of seeing New Zealand as an actual nation, whose will is that of individual New Zealanders and made manifest through its leaders, like European nations. That isn’t how it is.

The accurate way to conceptualise New Zealand is as an Anglo-American military outpost in the South Pacific, something like a forward operating base for moneyed interests that mostly operate out of the City of London, who have enslaved the New Zealand population by way of a debt-based central banking system.

Most Kiwis don’t understand the geostrategic importance of the archipelago they live on. It’s very easy to look at a static map and think that New Zealand is a long way from anywhere, and therefore that it can’t have much strategic value. This way of thinking reflects a myopia that’s typical of New Zealanders. The truth is much more involved.

Firstly, whoever controls New Zealand controls Australia, in effect, because controlling New Zealand enables one to project force into the East and South of Australia, which is where all the people live. The Japanese Empire realised that landing an expeditionary force in Northern Australia and then marching to Sydney was not practical, and so their Imperial Navy’s invasion plans assumed a prior invasion of New Zealand. It just makes sense.

Secondly, whoever controls Australia controls Asia. This is because Northern Australia serves as a staging ground for the projection of power into South Asia, in particular naval power into the South Asian Sea, which is necessary in order to keep the main sealanes open (and therefore the global economy humming). Given that the Anglo-American Empire already has effective bases in Japan and the Philippines, being able to project power into the Southern South China Sea is the last piece of the puzzle.

Seen like that, it’s obvious why the New Zealand Government would vote for guns sooner than food for its own children. Because New Zealand isn’t a real country, there’s no incentive for the Government to act in the interest of increasing the well-being of its people – the Government doesn’t represent those people. New Zealand is first and foremost a military outpost run by imperial interests, and as such the mental health of its citizens is far from the top priority, as evinced by our OECD-leading homelessness and youth suicide rates.

If growing up poor, scared or traumatised means that a person will be more useful in a military capacity, then that is what the Government will encourage. Inequality correlates positively with psychopathy, with America being the obvious example. The rulers of New Zealand have also calculated that an underclass of poor and desperate people will make it much easier to recruit the necessary numbers for a professional volunteer armed force, and have structured society accordingly.

Hermann Goering once said “Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.” Understanding this sentiment is the key to understanding the spending decisions of the New Zealand Government.

The New Zealand ruling class is simply not interested in keeping the population in good physical or mental health, which is why nothing is ever done about our suicide rate or housing crisis. All that matters is keeping the population in a state of war readiness in case it should later be necessary to use them to achieve some geopolitical objective.

The cannabis laws follow the same principle. Every idiot knows that it’s worse for the people to have alcohol legal than to have cannabis legal, given the plague of violence, sex crimes and drunk driving deaths that follow in the wake of alcohol use. So why have that legal, while criminalising a recreational alternative that doesn’t make people aggressive, impulsive and violent? The answer is, sadly, because our ruling class wants broken, damaged, fearful and violent people.

Unfortunately for us, the reason why New Zealand is not run along the lines of Switzerland or Japan or even South Korea is because our supposed leaders are beholden to foreign interests. We are not an independent nation, and we will never be, for our independence would pose too great of a threat to the military position of the Anglo-American Empire. Kiwis are, as Dwight Eisenhower put it when he warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex over 55 years ago, hanging from a cross of iron.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future V

A Liberal Vision for New Zealand in 2017

This reading carries on from here.

The fourth chapter in Own Your Future is ‘Education’. Seymour opens this essay with a mention of Vanguard Military School, the establishment of which he credits to ACT. This is an “exceptional” story because New Zealand’s education system is “a mess”. Although he writes that no-one begrudges the $12,000,000,000 yearly cost of educating New Zealand’s 800,000 students, many people have problems with the outcome.

New Zealand has a lot of problems because people aren’t literate enough, Seymour says. This is why employers “prefer a stream of immigrants”. There is a long, rambling passage here where Seymour touches on a variety of themes, including having a go at Hekia Parata. Apparently New Zealand is going backwards in PISA rankings. It’s hard to tell who Seymour is blaming for the mess in question.

Without a hint of irony, Seymour writes that “the outcomes have got worse for kids from poorer backgrounds”. Most Kiwis could tell him that the reason for these worsening outcomes were the policies of the Fifth National Government, which raised GST on those kids from poorer backgrounds while cutting other people’s taxes, and cutting services to those same poor.

What Seymour pushes here is the idea of a variety of schools with different cultures, which he believes will better suit the individual needs of the various students than the current “one size fits all” model. It follows from this that the Government is not the best provider of education services, because they don’t tend to tailor things to the individual needs of the citizens.

Much of this section reveals the specifically Auckland-centric focus that ACT has always had, and which leads it to get very, very few votes outside of that city. The logic behind the school zoning system is dissected at length, but this only really applies to Auckland and, to a small extent, Christchurch and Wellington. Perhaps Seymour is writing more as Epsom representative here.

True to form as a politician, Seymour demands that teachers be better trained and better resourced, but doesn’t explain where this money will come from. Despite this budget hole, it’s hard to deny that Seymour has several good points here. The cultures of individual schools are usually too sclerotic to adjust to the changing needs of pupils, so they could be supplemented by Partnership Schools that more specifically meet the needs of their students.

These Partnership Schools would be run more like private schools and could be easily closed down at any time if they were underperforming. Seymour touts this as a major feature, on account of the difficulty with doing so in the public sector. Students would be best served by flexibility in the educator sector, which is an intelligent way of increasing value without spending more money.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Why Neoliberals Love Mass Immigration

Mass immigration is often supported by the left, but it happens to also achieve a number of major right-wing goals

Neoliberalism is a right-wing movement in the sense that the ultimate aim of it is to take power away from the poor and give it to the rich. However, it is not a conservative movement, because neoliberals don’t care at all about the disruption that their policies have on people’s lives. So some of their positions are hard to understand at first. This essay seeks to explain why neoliberals love mass immigration so much.

Classical conservatism recognises that the wealthy already have the power, and so the wealthy try to keep things the same to preserve their good position. Change is therefore considered bad. Where this differs from neoliberalism is that the neoliberal tries to entrench the already strong position of the wealthy by further weakening the position of the poor. Accordingly, changes to the social structure are permissible if they make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The basics of labour solidarity work like this. The rate of pay is a function of the supply and demand of labour. As long as labour is not available below a certain level of pay, then the rate of pay must rise above this to meet a higher equilibrium. So if all the workers in a certain area or industry get together and agree to not work for less than, say, $15/hour, this constricts the supply of cheap labour, which presses the price of labour upward.

To counter this, employers like to import cheap labour from outside of the area. The most infamous example of this is the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but the importation of labour doesn’t have to be involuntary. To the contrary – there is a virtually infinite supply of cheap labour in the world that can willingly be brought in to work for less, because there are always impoverished shitholes with high birth rates that people want to escape from in exchange for the McDonalds lifestyle.

Seen in union-busting terms, immigrants who are brought into the country by capitalist interests to work for less money than the locals are effectively scab labour. After all, there’s no real difference between scab labour that breaks a picket line and someone willing to immigrate to another country to do work at a wage lower than the locals would accept: both push wages down.

Not only does this outside labour have the effect of lowering wages through the scab effect, but it also makes future labour organisation more difficult. It’s much harder to conduct the conversations necessary to start a union when the workplace has no common language, and no-one is going to start a union anyway if their work visa is dependent on pleasing their employer.

It can be seen, then, that liberalising immigration through globalising the workforce has the immediate effect of not only driving wages down by increasing the supply of labour, but it also makes it harder to agitate for a higher wage, a double effect.

In other words, mass immigration is simply another example of the same union-busting behaviour that the ruling class has always used. The only difference is that it destroys the bonds of solidarity on the national level, instead of only destroying them in a certain area or industry. With a menagerie of different languages and cultures in the same area, the solidarity necessary to resist the divide and conquer attempts of the ruling class cannot be achieved. If that area is the whole nation so much the better.

Regular conservatives are a bit leery about destroying the working class in quite so brazen and irreparable a manner. The fear seems to be that they might rise up in anger and riot. Neoliberals have to be understood as significantly different to regular conservatives in this manner. They’re not at all shy about rubbing the faces of the Western working class in dogshit, knowing that their complete media domination makes the threat of retaliation essentially nil.

The real beauty of the mass immigration issue, from the neoliberal perspective, is that they can destroy the Western working class in this manner with the kindest of rhetoric. Mass immigration is presented by the mainstream media – almost completely owned by banks – as a compassionate solution to foreign poverty, only opposed by racists, bigots and rednecks.

This means that the already disadvantaged classes tear themselves in half as the globalists feel solidarity with the immigrants and refugees and the nationalists with the indigenous people. The neoliberals laugh all the way to the bank.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future IV

A Liberal Vision for New Zealand in 2017

This reading carries on from here.

The third chapter in Own Your Future is ‘Superannuation and the Gold Card’. This essay starts with a dig at Winston Peters, who was once investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Seymour doesn’t like the wasteful spending he sees in the Gold Card, especially as many of the recipients of the largesse of it are already millionaires.

Universal super is set to cost us around $20,000,000,000 per year by 2031, Seymour informs us. Here he makes a play for younger voters by having a go at the Baby Boomers. He references the suspicion of the younger generations that they aren’t going to get the same sweet pension deal that their parents got – after all, we didn’t get the same free tertiary education that they got.

He raises the spectre of a Greece-style economic apocalypse happening as a result of a debt spiral triggered by having to pay these lavish pension funds up to and past 2060. It’s hard to deny Seymour’s maths, as it appears to be true that we will soon reach a point where there are only two workers for every pensioner (as opposed to today’s four).

The options, as he sees it, are: raising taxes by about a quarter or raising the retirement age, neither likely to happen because young people don’t vote. Seymour here criticises both John Key and Bill English for lacking the courage to deal with the issue, and makes an entreaty to the young to not become disengaged from politics.

This seems baldly hypocritical, considering that ACT spent all of the last nine years voting alongside the National Party, who are the party that represents all the Baby Boomers. As Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand, the vast majority of Baby Boomers vote for National, whose efforts to fuck over the young were eagerly supported, for nine years straight, by all ACT MPs including David Seymour.

National closed down rape crisis centres and gutted mental health funding, leading to New Zealand having the developed world’s highest youth suicide rate, and Seymour supported them all the way, despite that many young people voted ACT in 2014. He does not acknowledge that this may have contributed to the low turnout rate among the young.

True to neoliberal form, Seymour’s solution to this looming pension crisis is to squeeze some extra labour out of the working class, by raising the age of retirement to 67, and soon. No means testing, despite that 25% of people claiming the pension are also either claiming a salary or run their own business (as admitted by Seymour himself) and at that point the chapter abruptly ends.

One realises here that Seymour is primarily trying to win votes from people too young to know anything other than neoliberalism. Old people are too conservative to vote anything other than National or sometimes New Zealand first, and it’s the young and well-heeled (who don’t expect to be reliant on a public pension in old age) who are the most amenable to Seymour’s suggestions here.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) are colloquially known as “drama queens” or “shit-stirrers”. Fundamental to the disorder is a desire for attention that borders on the narcissistic, as well as strong, shallow, rapidly-changing emotions. This article looks at how to write realistic and believable characters with HPD.

As is the case with many of the conditions in this book (and especially the personality disorders), people with HPD are often high-functioning in several ways. As with most of the conditions in this book, people with HPD can often be entirely competent and effective in their niche. For instance, they excel at screen and theatre acting.

A simple (if crude) way of conceptualising HPD is that, for people with it, drama is like a drug. They get hooked on it, they seek it out compulsively, they try to get bigger and bigger doses of it. The more attention they can draw to themselves the better. A cynic might call them a “psychic vampire” because dealing with them frequently leaves a person tired.

For these reasons, HPD is a fitting and excellent choice for some of the characters in your fiction. A character with HPD will naturally liven things up – even if they end up causing chaos. Because they seek drama out, it is never far from them. Not only do they like drama, but they tend to have just enough narcissism to bring some truly dark emotions out of others.

From the perspective of other characters who might encounter a character with HPD, one of the most difficult things about them is their apparent need to be overly emotional and dramatic all the time. Because emotional reactions are contagious to some extent, a person with HPD will tend to trigger those around them – a great quality in a bartender perhaps, but if there is a need for calmness and order this is usually unhelpful.

Other characters might also find the constant self-aggrandisement extremely tiresome. People with HPD like to use elaborate and flowery speech when unnecessary or even unhelpful, and love to tell stories that feature themselves looking good or being heroic. Such typically unsubtle attempts to draw praise are sometimes described as “needy”. Indeed, it is common for people with HPD to display symptoms typical of Dependent Personality Disorder.

Several common characteristics of HPD overlap with common characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. One of these in particular is the usual reaction to criticism. For the histrionic, any and all criticism is a brutal personal attack, an act of the utmost cruelty. It is so bad that any retaliatory measures are justified (although a character with HPD will tend toward passive-aggressive revenge tactics).

Related to this is the constant seeking of reassurance or approval. A protagonist with HPD might have compulsive thoughts about not being a good enough person and so seeks out ways of being told that they’re worthwhile. If a character has HPD, there might also be very clear ways that this can be shown through their clothing choice: “Loud and proud” would sum up their dress style.

Other characters might find it very stressful to be around a character with HPD, partially because of the narcissism but mostly because they don’t leave other people in peace. Because of their need to be the centre of attention, a character with HPD might continually butt into other people’s conversations, or make it all about them. They’re also generally happy to spread rumours around, especially if they think that doing so will make someone angry.

A character with HPD might strike other characters as superficial or false. After all, their emotions might strongly rise, but they also strongly fall and quickly transform into other ones. A second character might come to feel that they can’t really trust the histrionic one. It’s hard to know whether they’re acting or genuine.

One area in which the lives of people with HPD tend to be in particular disarray is romantically. They commonly perceive sexual interest where none exists. This makes their own lives difficult, as they often end up misreading the signals and making a move on someone who then rejects them. It can also make other people’s lives difficult, as people with HPD tend to perceive sexual infidelity where it doesn’t exist. This jealousy can fuel untold dramas.

On a darker note, people with HPD are well-known for hitting on people who are already in established relationships. This is partly because of the aforementioned tendency to perceive sexual interest where none exists, but this can also be influenced by a narcissistic refusal to respect other people’s boundaries and an inability to delay gratification.

Having said that, people with HPD are often very engaging to make love to. Excessive sensitivity and dependence on other people’s approval can make for a powerful contribution to the bedroom magic.

Adding a character with HPD to your story, or adding aspects of it to a character in your story, has the potential to liven things up but there is a risk that it can also make things more trivial. Because histrionic characters can get upset over small things, they can be hard for the reader to relate to, and therefore are often better as a foil to another character or as comic relief.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.