VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future I

A Liberal Vision for New Zealand in 2017

Today, VJMP Reads has a look at Own Your Future, by ACT Party Leader David Seymour. This is a 192-page book of essays published by the ACT Party along the lines of previous ACT Party efforts such as Closing the Gaps and I’ve Been Thinking.

Previous VJM Publishing publications, such as Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand, tells us some basic facts about the ACT-voting demographic. Although few in number (a mere 13,075 in 2017), they were the wealthiest voter base of any party, as well as the most likely to be born overseas and one of the best educated (along with the Greens). Asians like them the most, white people the next most, and Maoris the least.

We have also seen that people who donate to the ACT Party get the worst return on their investment, with the party gaining 22 votes per $1,000 spent on the 2017 campaign. This compares to 388 votes per $1,000 for Labour, 452 for National and 4,761 for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (even the vanity project that was The Opportunities Party managed 62 votes per $1,000 spent).

So who are ACT, in the words of their own leader?

The Introduction runs to sixteen pages, and is worth studying on its own. It starts off by telling the story of the struggles of a wealthy couple to subdivide their land. Hilariously, by the third page there’s already a reference to how, under communism, “people starved by the million”, so it’s already a fair bet at this early stage that the book will be full of far-right-wing American-style libertarianism.

On page 12, Seymour states that he grew up “not rich”, and also states that the first time he realised that the Government might not have our best interests at heart was at age sixteen. Seymour was born in 1983, which would make him around 8 years old at the time of Ruth Richardson’s infamous 1991 Budget, which ripped the heart out of the New Zealand poor. Had it not occurred to him in the aftermath of the social destruction wrought by this that the Government is not on the people’s side, then it can fairly be said that he was unusually privileged, if not actually sheltered.

In fact, the truly sheltered nature of Seymour’s life comes through in lines that would be comic genius in any other context. How else to read “Auckland Grammar is a particularly barbaric place for some kids. I vividly remember one kid getting a tennis ball to the head, it bounced lightly but its power was symbolic”?

Like most men of his time, Seymour is a materialist. He is proud to have supported liberalising the abortion laws. ACT wanted to introduce laws that would make New Zealand a better place, in Seymour’s estimation, hence his support for them. This is stated very matter-of-factly, with no explanation as to why he thought that ACT in particular were best suited to make New Zealand a better place.

Inevitably, Seymour has a go here at the eternal ACT bugbear, the Resource Management Act. He writes that the poorest fifth of New Zealanders spend almost half of their income on housing today, compared to only a quarter of their income 26 years ago. All of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the RMA, which has strangled the rate of house building. “That’s why people are living in cars and garages.”

The obvious rejoinder to this claim is to point out that New Zealand has the highest rate of immigration of any OECD country. Seymour anticipates this, and writes of the immigration question that opinion is divided between “National’s naivete vs. the racism of New Zealand First.” Like many middle-class white people, Seymour appears to be unaware that New Zealand First’s strongest supporters are Maoris.

Seymour generally doesn’t seem bothered by anti-Maori racism, as shown by his rant about “million after million for various Maori centric projects and separatist legislation”. Racism is, perhaps, only real to Seymour when it prevents wealthy foreigners from immigrating here (after all, as noted above, Maoris don’t vote for the ACT Party).

Going by the introduction, this book seems like the closest thing to a neoliberalist manifesto New Zealand has seen recently. What Seymour appears to be about, fittingly for someone who represents foreign wealth, is freedom for money. He’s not interested in freedom for people. Freedom for people comes incidentally, in so far as those people have money.

One gets the impression that if Seymour could stuff the entire South Island into a giant machine that sorted it out into its constituent minerals for the sake of most efficiently selling it all off to foreign speculators, he would be happy to do so. This book, therefore, promises to be a journey into the mind of an absolutely fanatical die-hard neoliberal.

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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 the 2018 Labour Budget Was so Underwhelming

The 2018 Budget, like the 2000 one, was extremely tight; the 2020 Budget will be a lolly scramble, as the 2002 one was

“Yet, for all the hype, [the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister] were at pains to reassure big business and employer groups that this was above all a ‘fiscally responsible’ budget. Its commitments to social spending would not jeopardise Labour’s intention to maintain a surplus, they emphasised…” The two Labour Party politicians mentioned here are Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern, speaking in 2018 right? Wrong – they are Michael Cullen and Helen Clark, speaking 18 years ago in the year 2000.

The quote in the opening paragraph comes from this article from 2000, discussing the first Budget of the new Fifth Labour Government. Other quotes of interest from the same source are: “the increases fall far short of what is required to address the acute levels of social and economic inequality now embedded deep within the social structure”, “The majority of families forced to rent from private landlords will be no better off than before” and “Labour and the Alliance have done nothing to restore the vicious cuts to unemployment benefits and welfare that were implemented by the National Party”.

So if you’ve been listening to the Sixth Labour Government explain why this year’s Budget helps almost no-one and you’re starting to realise that you’ve heard this exact same bullshit story before, sit tight while we explain why – and what’s going to happen next.

After nine of years of neglect, including closing down rape crisis centres and overseeing the world’s highest youth suicide rate, the Fifth National Government was finally – although narrowly – voted out of power. The Sixth Labour Government came to power with a strong commitment and mandate to do something about the rape and pillage of the New Zealand populace by the plutocrats.

So the 2018 Budget surprised many commentators with how weak it was. The consensus described it as “National-lite”, and, indeed, it did almost nothing to help anyone. Many asked themselves why it was that an incoming Labour Government would deliver such a weak Budget. Didn’t they want to create the impression that they were doing something to help? Why miss this golden opportunity to set things right?

The answer to this conundrum comes from examining the 2002 Budget, which was released a few months before the General Election that year. That year’s Budget sent the New Zealand business community into paroxysms of rage.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association complained that “The huge $3.31 billion increase in new spending in the Budget for the next financial year is more than double the increase in new spending for the past two years combined”, and then National Party leader Bill English was enraged by “Labour and their higher operating balances, as well as higher taxes, increasing debt and billions of taxpayers’ dollars invested overseas”. There was even money for pure luxury items like refugee resettlement.

These increases impressed the population, as they were the first real relief Kiwis had been given in 18 years of relentless neoliberalism, and they duly returned the Labour Party to power. Kiwis contrasted this big spend-up with the cruelty of the National Party Budgets under Ruth Richardson, and the Nats were duly slaughtered, falling to 21% of the votes, their lowest result in 100 years.

It was a lesson for all, not least the Labour Party.

So the reason why the Sixth Labour Government did next to nothing to fix the nine years of neglect that the Fifth National Government put us through is simple: they’re saving the lolly scramble until just before the 2020 General Election. You can almost guarantee that, when the 2020 Budget rolls around, the grip of the New Zealand ruling class around the throat of the population will be loosened just enough to enable us to express our gratitude by returning Jacinda Ardern’s Government to power for a second term.

This is not a nefarious new trick, dreamed up by a crack team of political consultants – it’s straight out of the Helen Clark playbook. We can confidently predict another weak Budget in 2019 before the conspicuous generosity of the 2020 one, and we can also almost guarantee that if Labour wins a second term this would see us having two more weak Budgets in 2021 and 2022 before another lolly scramble in time for the 2023 General Election. Then, if they win a third, there will be weak Budgets in 2024 and 2025 before yet another lolly scramble in 2026.

This pattern is no less predictable than the General Electoral Cycle itself is, and could even be said to be part of it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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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 New Zealand is Now Behind Zimbabwe On Cannabis Law Reform

For all the gloating about how incredibly progressive New Zealand is on issues relating to race and sexual orientation, we Kiwis sometimes fail to notice that we are lagging behind the rest of the world on many other human rights issues. Incredibly, New Zealand is more backwards than Zimbabwe now when it comes to cannabis law reform. This essay examines why.

You read correctly: New Zealand is now behind Zimbabwe on cannabis law reform. The despotic Southern African state announced recently that both individuals and companies can apply to the Minister of Health for a licence to grow medicinal cannabis. You don’t have to be dying, as is the criteria in New Zealand.

So how did our human rights decay to the point where Zimbabwe is beating us on major human rights issues like medicinal cannabis law reform?

Crucial to understanding this is understanding that the National Party has always been the pisshead’s friend. When drinkers wanted pub hours extended for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the National Party was eager to help. But when Kiwi medicinal cannabis users petitioned them for nine years to allow them equal rights to people in California, they were utterly unmoving, despite the evidence in the research journals and from the examples set overseas.

When the Electoral Commission revealed the list of each party’s donations last month, it became clear why New Zealand is now more backwards than Zimbabwe when it comes to cannabis law reform. Simply put, the National Party has whored itself out to the same alcohol and pharmaceutical interests that have opposed cannabis medicine from the beginning.

In 2017, the National Party got $41,945 in donations from Stoneyridge Vineyard, $25,438 from Gibbston Valley Winery, $16,700 from Spirits NZ and $42,000 from Graeme Douglas of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, whose morphine product is competing with medicinal cannabis for the billion-dollar analgesic market. This totals $126,083 in donations from industries that are implacably opposed to cannabis law reform.

The National Party spent around $2,500,000 on their 2017 General Election campaign, which means that these donations are reasonably small in the overall scheme of things, amounting to only c. 5% of the total spending. But this has to be contrasted with the fact that the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, the only party seriously promoting the will of the 80% of Kiwis who want a change to the cannabis laws, spent less than $1,700.

In other words, anti-cannabis forces spent over 70 times as much on bribing National Party MPs as pro-cannabis forces spent in total during the 2017 General Election. Little wonder, then, that National Party MPs unanimously voted against Chloe Swarbrick’s bill that would have allowed sick Kiwis to grow their own medicinal cannabis at home without fear of prosecution.

This all sounds very cynical but unfortunately, this is how the game is played in politics, which belongs ultimately to the paradigm of silver. Our politicians are literally whores – this is a truth universally acknowledged by anyone who has had cause to observe the politically ambitious at close range for any length of time. They will say whatever someone wants to be said for money, so their tongues are for hire as much as those of any streetwalker.

Despite all that, this situation may not last. The experience of American states that have liberalised their cannabis laws (beginning with medicinal cannabis in California in 1996), suggests that money talks both ways.

East Coast medicinal cannabis operation Hikurangi Enterprises recently raised $2,000,000 in their share offering and were heavily oversubscribed – so much so that the crowdfunding site handling it crashed twice. Considering that most people who are interested in medicinal cannabis are sick and therefore poor, being able to raise two million dollars speaks to a tremendous level of support among the population.

What this means is that, sooner or later, there will be a player with extremely deep pockets who wants to break into the New Zealand cannabis market, and this player will see fit to make a “donation” to a reformist party in return for that party supporting some form of repeal of cannabis prohibition. It will probably be a while before this donation matches the six-figure sum that the booze and pills industries are spending on keeping medicinal cannabis illegal, but the gap ought to keep closing.

New Zealanders have fewer rights to access medicinal cannabis than people in Zimbabwe, and the reason for it is alcohol and pharmaceutical industry bribe money going to the National Party. Until we can remove this blatant corruption from our political system, sick Kiwis can only access their medicine in secret.

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Vince McLeod is a former Membership Secretary of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

The 2017 New Zealand Political Whores Index

A bar chart of the Political Whores Index, calculated as votes received in the 2017 General Election per $1,000 spent

The New Zealand Electoral Commission has now returned its list of party expenses for the 2017 General Election. This enables us here at VJM Publishing to update 2014’s Political Whores Index. 2017’s Political Whores Index tells us who tried to earn a place in Parliament, and who tried to buy one.

The logic of the Political Whores Index works like this. Political parties spend money at election time to get media exposure, because the more media exposure a party gets, the more votes it gets. This is usually easier and cheaper than actually talking to people and hearing their concerns. Effectively, parties just turn on the media funding tap and votes come out.

The correlation between dollars spent on campaign expenses for the 2017 General Election and votes received is 0.95, which pretty much tells us that our democracy is for sale. The more money you can spend, the more votes, is the hard and fast rule.

So all of our political parties are whores, but it can be said that the more money a party spends and the fewer votes they get, the more of a whore they are. This can be considered whoring because the parties that do it try to buy votes by transmitting a manufactured impression through the media, rather than honestly trying to build goodwill among the people by meeting and talking to them so that they can form their own impression.

This willingness to whore oneself out instead of honestly building a positive reputation among the New Zealand people can be expressed as a ratio of dollars spent on election expenses to votes returned by the populace. As was true of our effort in 2014, which saw the ACT party crowned the whoriest party in New Zealand and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party the most honest one, we will present those ratios in an ordered list.

In the following table, PWI stands for ‘Political Whores Index’ and is calculated by dividing the number of votes each party received in the 2017 General Election by the declared party expenses for each party contesting the 2017 General Election (in dollars), multiplying the remainder by 1,000, then rounding to the nearest whole number.

In other words, it represents the number of votes won per $1,000 spent.

PARTY $ SPENT VOTES PWI
ALCP 1696 8075 4761
National 2546742 1152075 452
Ban1080 7749 3005 388
Labour 2580523 956184 371
NZ First 679095 186706 275
Internet 2322 499 215
MANA 17921 3642 203
Greens 818525 162443 198
United Future 12963 1782 137
Maori 225552 30580 136
Conservative 71764 6253 87
TOP 1013714 63261 62
Democrats 13761 806 59
NZ Outdoors Party 43508 1620 37
ACT 601487 13075 22
NZ People’s Party 274541 1890 7

For the second election running, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was, by far, the least whoriest of all the parties that contested in 2017. They returned a staggering 4,761 votes for every $1,000 spent – unarguable evidence that cannabis law reform is an issue that the New Zealand people are demanding. As shown elsewhere, cannabis law reform is the issue that unites real Kiwis.

No other party achieved so much as 10% of this ratio. Many will be surprised to hear that the National Party was second, with 452 votes for every $1,000 spent. In short, the electorate wasn’t particularly displeased with how National was running things, despite that National lost power. Yes, there was widespread misery among the poor and we have the highest youth suicide rate in the world, but people who vote don’t care much about that.

The Ban 1010 Party was 3rd, just edging out Labour, who won 371 votes for every $1,000 spent. It’s curious, perhaps, that Labour and National are both doing quite well by this measure, as they are both mainstream parties. But this simply speaks further to how there was no real appetite for change among Kiwis. People weren’t particularly interested in upsetting the apple cart.

The New Zealand First Party did moderately well, gathering 271 votes per $1,000 spent. Unlike 2014, this was considerably poorer than the National and Labour parties, probably reflecting Winston Peters’s decline as a public speaker, as many of their votes in 2014 were gained through town hall meetings.

The Green Party were the whoriest of the four major parties. They only got 198 votes per $1,000 spent. So they spent about as third as much as National for about one-seventh of the votes. This tells us that the electorate has partially turned against the Green Party message, despite their strong support of the cannabis law reform issue. It may have been that the Green proposal to raise the refugee quota drove a lot of Maori and working class voters to Labour and New Zealand First.

The Opportunities Party was a poor return on investment, although as it was essentially a vanity project it could not be said to have failed simply on that basis. With wall-to-wall saturation coverage on FaceBook and other Internet portals, they spent over a million dollars for a little over 60,000 votes, thereby achieving a PWI of 62 votes for every $1,000 spent.

It’s illuminating to compare the PWI of The Opportunities Party with that of the ALCP. The Opportunities Party spent almost 600 times as much as the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and won less than 8 times the number of voters. Considering that most TOP voters were voting for legal cannabis anyway, this figure shows that TOP was really a joke party that tried to buy its way into Parliament.

Speaking of joke parties that try to buy their way into Parliament, the Conservative Party scored a PWI of 87, only slightly better than TOP. This tells us that the 5% threshold is really an outstanding idea, because it prevents wealthy, narcissistic freaks from assembling a coterie of arselickers and simply spending so much money on media exposure that they can brainwash the mentally weakest twenty thousand of the population into casting a vote for them.

Worst of all, however, was the New Zealand People’s Party. Also the vanity project of a rich Baby Boomer, they pissed away over quarter of a million dollars for a paltry 1,890 votes. This left them with a PWI of 7, which means that their message was 660 times less appealing to the New Zealand people (all factors equalised) than that of the ALCP.

MANA (203), United Future (137) and the Maori Party (136) all had reasonably poor PWIs, but were still significantly higher than the “fuckwit” parties.

Ultimately, the Political Whores Index suggests that the New Zealand people are quite happy with our current arrangement of two major parties and two minor ones, because none of the more radical parties were able to gain any particularly high level of traction for their amount of electoral spending. It was mostly dollars in, votes out.

Just give us some real cannabis law reform.

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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).

Legalising Cannabis Would More Than Fix The Hole in New Zealand’s Education Budget

The Labour Party is crying loudly about the hole in the education budget, but is silent about the potential savings from repealing cannabis prohibition

Every week the Labour Party goes back on another one of its election promises, claiming that there’s much less money in the budget than anyone realised and so they won’t be able to fund anything: not education, not health, not welfare. What the criminal bullshitters in the Government don’t admit is that they could save 400 million dollars every year, starting tomorrow, simply by legalising cannabis.

The net benefits of repealing cannabis prohibition are no longer disputable. Eight US states now have fully legal cannabis, with further legalisation referendums to come, and no-one has any regrets. According to calculations by the New Zealand Treasury, this country is flushing $400,000,000 down the toilet every year in order to enforce a law that the New Zealand people do not want. That’s no small sum of money.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has come out and said that there is a $1,100,000,000 shortfall in the education budget. The linked article cites Hipkins as claiming that “Over the next three budgets, $929m was needed to cover the cost of new schools and classrooms and to meet the cost of the Christchurch rebuild. The remaining $166m was needed for urgent remediation and demolition of classrooms and buildings that are unusable.”

In the linked article, Hipkins blames the former National-led Government for neglecting capital spending on educational buildings, claiming that Labour is not going to be able to meet its election promises as a consequence. But it’s absolutely absurd that the Labour Government is crying about funding shortfalls when it’s wasting such an incredible amount of money on conducting a War on Drugs against the New Zealand people.

According to the Treasury’s own calculations, if we legalised cannabis today, we would save $1,200,000,000 over the course of the next three Budgets, primarily through not having to fund the Police and “Justice” Systems to piss all that money up the wall on persecuting medicinal cannabis users. So it makes no sense at all for Labour to cry about a shortage of money when it’s wasting incredible sums on enforcing a law that the New Zealand people don’t want.

A study conducted in Colorado from last month has shown that even if one accounts for the increases in social costs that come in the wake of legalisation, there is still a large net gain to the economy. Moreover, “The researchers found no evidence that legal cannabis contributed to increased homelessness or increased youth use of marijuana.”

There are other costs to cannabis prohibition that don’t fall into the $400,000,000 of damages. By withholding a widely-recognised exit drug from people struggling with opiate addiction, we are literally killing the most vulnerable New Zealanders. Studies of American states that have liberalised their cannabis laws have shown that, given the choice between opiates or cannabis, many people with severe pain disorders prefer to use cannabis. This has led to thousands fewer deaths from opiate overdoses.

It’s absolutely insane that our school buildings are falling into disrepair, our hospitals have mold on the walls, and that our rape crisis centres are being closed down, all because of a lack of funding, when we’re wasting over a billion dollars every electoral cycle on cannabis prohibition. If the Labour Party were any less neoliberal than the National Party they replaced, they would open an honest discussion on the subject with the stated intention of legalising cannabis as Colorado did in 2012.

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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).

Our Mental Health System Shouldn’t Run on WINZ Logic

A lot of people complain about the way WINZ treats its clients, but their logic makes a certain sense. By verbally and psychologically abusing many of the people who come to them for help, WINZ staff sharply reduce demand for WINZ services and thereby save taxpayer money. This is called WINZ logic, and our mental health system runs by the same principles.

WINZ logic seems to appeal to the vast majority of New Zealanders. We like to consider ourselves a people who have “hardened up”, and who don’t need faggy things like welfare. Moreover, the high levels of diversity in our society mean that those at the top are unwilling to pay taxes for the greater good, because those taxes won’t be helping people like them. So we make sure that WINZ runs an extremely tight ship, where there is absolutely no wastage.

Somewhere along the way, someone working at WINZ realised that many of their clients could easily be discouraged from seeking WINZ services. Many people who need WINZ services are socially outcast or psychologically damaged, and so they are easily disheartened by abuse. If these people were spoken to like thieving, bludging, malingering scum, instead of being treated like fellow humans who need help, they were less likely to come back and ask for more money.

Ultimately, the essence of WINZ logic is this: the more unpleasant the experience of being a WINZ client can be made, the fewer resources WINZ clients will collectively consume.

With ever-tightening social welfare budgets under nine years of a National-led Government, treating the clients badly became the default way to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. If someone really needed a benefit, WINZ logic claimed, they’d keep coming back despite the mistreatment. So treating the clients badly achieves the twin goals of saving money while still helping the needy.

Unfortunately, our mental health system works on the same logic. In order to save money, patients are systematically verbally and emotionally abused by support workers. They don’t admit to this, and nowhere is it written that this is official policy, but it’s apparent from collating the experiences of many users of the mental health services that this is the case.

The logic appears to be that it’s better for a hundred schizophrenics to starve in the street than it is for one person to perhaps get a benefit that they didn’t 100% need. After all, a severely mentally ill young person who is unlikely to work again is liable to cost the country up to half a million dollars in benefit payments alone over the course of their lives. If people like this could be convinced to commit suicide instead, the potential savings could run into the hundreds of millions.

This might sound implausible to some, but it’s a natural consequence of neoliberal reasoning. Human life has a dollar value. If mentally ill people can’t contribute to the tax farm, and if we can’t just kill them directly, we have to encourage them to kill themselves. This reasoning was introduced to New Zealand by Ruth Richardson in the 1991 Budget and it’s now an indelible part of our culture. After all, we already have “by far the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world”.

If this wasn’t true, then the experience of being a user of the mental health services would be entirely different. One would be treated much like a person ill with a physical illness – as a fellow human being who had had something unfortunate happen to them and required care in order to recover to normal function. Doctors would answer your questions honestly. Consultations would work towards improving your mental health rather than merely assessing your work readiness.

Further evidence for this comes from the refusal to acknowledge cannabis medicine. Despite the fact that there was enough evidence for the medicinal value of cannabis for California to make it legal already in 1996, New Zealand politicians and doctors still have their heads up their arses. Now even Zimbabwe has legal medicinal cannabis.

What this approach to cannabis tells the mentally ill in New Zealand is that the mental health system isn’t really interested in helping them. It’s just: “Take these sedatives and get back to picking cotton.” It wouldn’t matter if 100,000 people all lined up to tell doctors that cannabis had helped them sleep or had helped with anxiety, depression or suicidal ideation. No-one’s listening, no-one cares.

Our mental health system shouldn’t run on the WINZ logic of withholding aid to as many people as possible. It should be recognised that an investment in a person’s mental health now will have excellent returns in both their future productivity and future unwillingness to use mental health services. The emphasis should be on treating them well so that they can get better and we can save money over their lifetime, not treating them like shit to save money this month.

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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).

Have You Realised Yet That We’re The Bad Guys Now?

In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime, the Police first have to be presented with enough evidence to justify an arrest, and then that person has to be tried in front of an impartial jury summoned to examine the evidence. In realpolitik however, as this essay will examine, such trivialities can be cast aside at the first sound of the war drums – provided you accept you’re the bad guys.

The leaders of the Anglo-French alliance just started a war without the approval of the representatives of their people. The US Congress, by law, has to give its approval before wars can be started. The precedent set by George W. Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, is that the American armed forces will do whatever the fuck they’re told to do. Donald Trump, in ordering airstrikes in co-operation with British and French forces, is simply following this precedent.

Supposedly the reason for the missile strikes was to respond to a chemical strike allegedly ordered by the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the civilian population of Douma. The difficulty comes from the fact that the leaders of the Anglo-French alliance did not wait for widely accepted proof of the chemical attack to be made public. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has yet to complete its fact-finding mission, meaning that there is no expert opinion yet on who was responsible.

Proof doesn’t matter for those leading the Anglo-French countries. Proof only matters to those who care about their reputation, and bad guys have no need to care about their reputation, long since lost. Worst of all, these countries have no credibility when it comes to claiming that the actions of a second party were heinous enough to justify military action – they’ve gone to war on utterly fictitious casus belli several times before.

New Zealand says it “accepts” what has happened, on the grounds that any attempt to go through the United Nations Security Council for approval would have been vetoed by Russia. This threat of veto is considered justification for ignoring the UN entirely. No questions are asked by the mainstream media. Neither do they mention where the New Zealand special forces are right now, or what they are doing there, or how long they have been there.

Nobody in any of the countries whose armed forces just committed an act of war without Congressional or Parliamentary approval (i.e. legal approval) will take any action to hold the politicians who gave the orders to account. We don’t care that our countries are run by war criminals. We didn’t lift a finger to make either Bush or Tony Blair pay for Iraq, and we won’t lift one here either.

It’s time to chew on a bitter realisation: we are now the bad guys. The Anglo-French alliance is not fighting for freedom or liberty or human rights or anything like it. We’re not fighting to reduce the amount of human suffering in the world. Such considerations are inconsequential. What matters is silver and iron – i.e. money and strategic positioning.

We’re fighting for power, or what of it we can hold onto as the West slides into irrelevance from our own greed, hubris and crapulence. We’re not fighting for any higher moral value. Proof for this contention comes from simply reviewing the evidence.

The American soldiers who just fired cruise missiles into Syria don’t get paid in one decade what one of those missiles costs. Some American cities – Detroit the most notable – already look worse than Damascus, without having to get bombed. This decay of physical infrastructure simply reflects the decay in psychological infrastructure that is the root cause of our civilisational failure.

We know this because we can observe how poorly we treat our psychologically vulnerable. We don’t invest anything into healing them, and the collective psychological damage incurred by this negligence has grown to monstrous proportions. America regularly denies housing or benefit coverage to the veterans of its military adventures, and the thought of them getting proper mental health care for their PTSD is a bitter joke. There’s only money for defence contractors.

New Zealand is no better, spending $400,000,000 of its own citizens’ money every year (over $100 per adult) to persecute them for using medicinal cannabis, while thousands of its children go to school too hungry to concentrate on studies. In a double cruelty, many of those children going to school hungry are the same children of the parents imprisoned for medicinal cannabis growing. How could we possibly be the good guys?

This pattern of gross indifference to the suffering within their own borders is characteristic of the fading powers of the West and the cowardice of its population. The political class uses our tax money to build missiles to fire into Syria, and they use our votes to give themselves permission, and we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re too scared, too lazy, too weak – we’re the bad guys now.

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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 Immigration Is a Weapon Of The Parasitic Rich

The parasitic class has many different strategies for destroying the mutual trust among the people – and opening the borders achieves several of them at once

Many were surprised, and many were not, by the news that the New Zealand Bus Drivers Union was opposing the request of Ritchies to import 110 indentured servants in the form of “migrant bus drivers”. Those who were surprised were those who thought that the union, being comprised ostensibly of leftists, ought to support bringing third-world people in to compete with the indigenous working class, because leftists are supposed to be all about solidarity for poor brown people.

Those who were not surprised were those who understand how reality works. The reality is that Ritchies put in such a low bid for the bus drivers’ contract that they couldn’t fill the positions with Kiwi staff, because the supply of people willing to work at wages that they can’t live off is almost nil. There is now an established precedent, however, for Kiwi employers who can’t find enough local suckers to subsidise their parasitic lifestyles: immigration.

Much like American employers with illegal Mexicans, Kiwi employers have cottoned on to the fact that maximising profitability is a function of minimising wages, and that minimising wages is a function of the leverage the employer has in the negotiation, and that this leverage is vastly increased if the worker is illegally in the country or wholly dependent on the whims of the employer for future work.

Not only does immigration give the local ruling class great power by populating the land with people dependent on them, but it also strengthens their economic position by destroying the leverage that local workers have in employment negotiations. This destruction of leverage is achieved by destroying the amount of trust that people have for each other, because solidarity is necessary to resist the depredations of the parasitic class and solidarity is primarily a matter of trust.

Game theory* tells us about the factors necessary for the evolution of trust.

The first is repeated interaction. People rarely trust others if they believe that they will never meet that other again, and for good reason: it makes sense from a game theory perspective to be more likely to exploit a person who you will never see again, for the reason that they will not be able to take revenge.

The greater the flow of people, the less repeated interaction there is. At one extreme end, there is very little solidarity in an airport terminal, for the reason that the vast majority of interactions here will not be repeated. At the other extreme, there is immense solidarity among members of a pioneer family deep in the Canadian wilderness, for the reason that virtually all interactions will be repeated.

The second important factor is the capacity for social interactions to be non-zero-sum games. In other words, trust only develops when social interactions result in clear mutual benefit. If either side feels like they lost out from the exchange, trust will dissipate.

Many people will make the claim here that immigration grows the overall size of the pie, for the reason that each new immigrant, even if they take up a job, creates at least one job’s worth of demand for other goods and services. This argument is often touted as a counter to the “Lump of Labour Fallacy” and, to that end, it has merit. But this argument ignores the impact of social status on a person’s well-being.

Social status is a zero-sum game in the sense that the higher one person is up the dominance hierarchy, the lower someone else must be. Low social status is extremely stressful – perhaps it wouldn’t have to be experienced as such in an ideal world, but we don’t live in one. In our world, a native person having to accept a lower social status than an immigrant is regularly experienced as a humiliation, for the reason that the native feels pushed out, as if by a cuckoo hatchling.

In a social environment where immigration means that the natives have to accept lower positions (such as an unemployment benefit in lieu of a living wage, as in the case of the indigenous bus drivers in the opening paragraph), there will naturally and understandably be resistance from those natives. This means that forcing it on those natives, against their will, will inevitably have the effect of causing those natives to hate the immigrants instead of trusting them.

The third important factor for the development of trust is to have low levels of miscommunication. As everyone who has spent any time on the Internet knows, clarity and precision are the cornerstones of communication, and when you have hordes of jabbering retards you end up having arguments and fights.

The greater the diversity, the greater the levels of miscommunication. This is because you have more languages and dialects to contend with, and any given person has an upper limit as to how many of these various forms of communication they can master. Exceeding this limit – which is guaranteed to happen if diversity keeps increasing – will cause miscommunication to happen.

Increasing the rates of immigration has the effect of bringing a diverse range of different forms of communication into everyday life, which increases the likelihood of someone misunderstanding someone else. So the greater the levels of immigration, the greater the levels of miscommunication and therefore the lower the levels of trust.

Who benefits from all this destruction of trust? The cheaters. The very same parasite class who entreats the Government to let them import indentured servants instead of paying a fair wage to local workers who are looking for employment. They benefit immensely from the destruction of trust, because an environment of distrust makes the people less able to organise to resist the hoarding of wealth, and this shifts the balance of power in favour of the wealthy.

The greatest trick the rich ever pulled on the poor was to convince them to open the net of solidarity so wide that no-one in it has anything in common with each other any more. The circle of trust has been cast so wide that it has fallen apart, and the traditional ways of re-forming bonds of trust have been destroyed or are severely discouraged.

This makes about as much sense as opening your pantry for the neighbourhood rats and mice to come and take their fill, on the grounds that rodents are disadvantaged compared to humans and therefore solidarity with other humans is a form of supremacism.

* For an outstandingly brilliant demonstration of the basic principles of game theory as it pertains to trust, see http://ncase.me/trust/

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