Today’s most shameless example of corporate propaganda masquerading as journalism comes, as it often does, from Stuff. The article discusses the subject of whether New Zealand’s welfare system is too generous and whether this is responsible for the difficulty that employers are currently having retaining staff.
What distinguishes the corporate whores like Susan Edmunds – who write pieces like this – from people who used to practice what was known as journalism is that, here, no effort is made to provide any kind of balance to the piece.
The only people quoted in the piece are business owners and right-wing thinkers, such as the Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. Nowhere are any worker’s representatives or even any workers given a voice.
The obvious rebuttal to the slant of this piece is to point out that the free market dictates that if you can’t get workers then you have to pay better wages, so that employers are themselves to blame if no-one wants to work for them.
In 2001, I worked at a variety of bars and cafes in Christchurch to save money for a move to Northern Europe. At the time I was generally paid $8 an hour, as that was the minimum wage at the time.
Later that year I was working in Sweden, where they paid me $22 an hour for equally unskilled work and apologised for it being such a low wage.
When I was in Northern Europe, I was surprised to learn that they do not have minimum wage legislation. They were surprised to hear me tell that such an implicit deal is not universal.
My stories about being paid barely enough after tax to buy a Big Mac after an hour’s work were met with surprise – after all, isn’t New Zealand supposed to be a wealthy country?
The reason for this is cultural: it’s not culturally permissible in Northern Europe to employ a person to work full-time for you and then to not pay them enough money to live on.
Kiwis don’t afford each other the same degree of respect. Ultimately, the reason why there has to be minimum wage laws in New Zealand is that in our culture it’s not considered immoral to pay someone less than they can live on for their full-time labour.
This is even though such an arrangement is the norm in societies where the interactions between employer and employee are between free men. New Zealand has been influenced by the master-slave employment relationship that characterises the New World of which we are a part. We have been influenced by America, Australia and Brazil.
The reason why Bill English lies about how all Kiwis are on drugs is so that his owners in the National Party membership can import third world workers on temporary visas to work for wages that Kiwis know too well are unfair.
In terms of profitability, there’s not that much of a difference between a slave who can be beaten at a whim without consequence and a worker on a temporary visa who can also be abused without consequence because if they complain about it they will get sent home. Because the former is illegal in New Zealand our employer class has to settle for the latter.
All of this raises a question.
In Saudi Arabia they have solved this problem by importing a slave class (that now outnumber the native Saudis by over two to one, just like in ancient Rome). It’s easy to get into Saudi Arabia as a worker from Pakistan, Bangladesh or the Philippines – it’s just that you have no rights and can be disposed of at any time.
A similar arrangement would suit the mentality of New Zealand employers down to the ground. After all, if you don’t want to pay your workers enough so that they can eat and send their kids to school with shoes on, why not just import slaves?
Perhaps all Kiwis can agree that, if our economy won’t work without a steady supply of fuel in the form of cheap temporary workers who get disposed of as soon as they get sick or complain, it’s best that we use foreigners for the purpose?
Making slavery legal again in New Zealand would also make it possible for the New Zealand middle class to have domestic servants, which is, after all, the fantasy of every National voter.
A New Zealand family is torn in half because draconian laws prevent them from accessing the natural medicine their daughter needs to prevents seizures. Corporate interests have made all alternatives to pharmaceuticals illegal, so the family is forced to flee to South Africa to get healthcare.
It sounds like a dystopian cyberpunk novel along the lines of The Verity Key, but this is actually the reality of New Zealand today.
Kiwis like to smugly think that their country is more socially advanced than the others: after all, we gave women the right to vote in 1893. Surely we’re more advanced than South Africa, in any case. But on the major moral issues of the day, New Zealand is already more backwards than South Africa.
A court in the Western Cape just ruled that cannabis can be used in the home without fear of prosecution. This means that South Africa has a more enlightened, compassionate and mature approach to the War on Drugs than New Zealand.
Does any court in New Zealand have the courage to do that? Not a chance in hell. Our judges and justice system representatives happily lick the arses of the politicians who command them to put Kiwis in cages for their use of a medicinal plant.
This comes after Uruguay fully legalised cannabis in 2013.
It might come as a blow to the pride of Kiwi readers to hear that their country, long considered forwards-thinking, is now more culturally backwards than South Africa and parts of South America. But it’s true, and we’re going to have to get used to it. They have surpassed us in cultural advancement, because we have stagnated so badly.
The total failure of the New Zealand Baby Boomers to hold the political class to account has meant that New Zealanders actually lack rights than people in certain parts of Africa enjoy.
When South Africa legalised gay marriage in 2006, Kiwis who knew about it mostly wrote it off as a fluke, one that went against the run of play. But now that a South African court has ruled cannabis legal – again, well in advance of any New Zealand court doing so – we Kiwis have to accept that we are now the socially and culturally retarded cousin in the relationship. They have surpassed us.
Even prisoners in Uruguayan jails have access to medicinal cannabis.
Considering that one of the major psychiatric uses for medicinal cannabis is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and considering that misbehaving on account of having complications from PTSD is one of the major reasons why people end up in prison, withholding it from prisoners in New Zealand seems inhumanely cruel.
Cruel, but reflective of who we really are, not who we pretend to be. Our reputation as a world leader on social issues is gone, gone, gone. We pissed it down the toilet for tax cuts and a lift in the value of our property portfolios.
The third world country at the bottom of Africa that had apartheid based on race until 1994 is now more socially advanced than New Zealand. That’s how far behind we have fallen. That’s how badly the Baby Boomer intellectuals have failed us.
Kiwis, we are now more backwards than South Africa, and this is not a new idea that has fluttered into the consciousness but a grim reality that has been bitterly chewed over for a decade. Is there anyone left with the will to challenge this?
If a person is slapped awake for even the briefest of moments they might come to look around and ask why a parasitic class of politicians wields power of life and death over them despite a total lack of historical evidence that they are wise enough for the responsibility or even intelligent enough to comprehend that it exists.
The truth is that the ruling classes maintain their position in every time and place in the same simple way, and have done so ever since the first chimpanzee established a dominance hierarchy in the primeval jungle: by taking rights away from the people they rule, and then giving some of them back in exchange for submission.
This essay will describe the method of enslavement known as “democracy” – a method that has reached acute levels of sophistication in the modern West.
As described above, the essential pattern is bipartite: first, take rights away from the people; second, promise to give some of those rights back to the people in exchange for their submission.
What’s crucial to understand is that the relationship described here is that of the rulers towards the ruled. Which flavour of political party the rulers use to swindle the rights of the ruled away from them is not relevant, as all political parties are tools of the ruling class.
Any political party is capable of taking rights away and giving rights back, because in a democratic system the masses have submitted to the rulers of that party. All that matters is that more rights are taken away than are given back.
This can be seen when the National Party takes away people’s rights to use medicinal cannabis, but gives them back some of their right to keep the money they have earned.
The Labour and Green Parties, by contrast, will promise to give you your rights to use medicinal cannabis back, but they will take away some of your right to keep the money you have earned.
And both parties will team up to give you back your rights to have sex with people of the same gender as you, but will team up to take away your rights to recreational use of tobacco and alcohol. At least today – it was the other way around 80 years ago and probably will be again in 80 years’ time.
The trick is that as long as both wings of the political machine take away more rights than what they give back, the machine itself can stay in power forever, because there will always be an unjust deficit of rights somewhere and therefore always grounds for a politician to come in and start promising things.
Helen Clark, for example, knew that she could not make any progress on cannabis law reform between 1999 and 2008, because then the Labour Party would not be able to gain votes by promising to look at reforming the medicinal cannabis laws in 2017.
Likewise, Andrew Little in 2017 knows that, if he is to be elected to power, he must make the smallest possible amount of progress on the issue.
This is why he only makes vague mumblings about sorting out medicinal cannabis, but will not under any circumstances discuss the incredible success of the Colorado model, and how adopting it in NZ would save us $400,000,000 per year.
That is something that has to be left to Jacinda Ardern’s Seventh Labour Government in 2035 or so. If the Labour Party gave too many rights back to the people too quickly, they would lose the leverage that they are currently exploiting to stay in power.
Unfortunately, New Zealanders (like voters everywhere) reward this kind of carry-on by continuing to vote for whichever of its number the ruling class puts forward to rule them that electoral cycle.
After all, it doesn’t matter which party a politician claims to represent – as long as they are from the ruling class, nothing will change.
It can confidently be predicted that many New Zealanders will vote for the Green Party this year for the sake of relief from cannabis prohibition, and that little thought will be given to the people who will lose rights under a Labour-Greens Government – namely, taxpayers.
And it can be confidently predicted that the National Party will rely on the outrage of taxpayers to get back into power in 2026.
Likewise, it can be predicted that any rights that Kiwis can claw back from the ruling class regarding the use of cannabis will be outweighed by the loss of rights to access alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational alternatives.
As before; so after – the Hermetic axioms apply to time as well as space.
Here’s a grim, meathook reality so grim that you might want to sit down for it in case you can’t sit down pain-free for the next week: There is nothing in the whole world as profitable as human suffering. In every time and in every place, human misery offers unparalled opportunity to make dollars.
Understanding this is a matter of understanding some psychology.
A person’s level of motivation to take any given action is a function of the amount of pleasure they expect to gain or the amount of suffering they expect to avoid.
If they come to believe that a previously favoured course of action will lead to a decrease in future pleasure or an increase in future suffering, they will come to change their behaviour.
The psychology of advertising is little more than causing the reader, listener or viewer of the advert to suffer in some way and to then create an association between the product that you are trying to sell and the alleviation of that suffering.
This is done with a simple two-step procedure.
The first is to get the reader to feel bad for some reason. In practice, there are an almost unlimited number of ways that you can make a person feel bad. The really big ticket items, though, are a fear of disease, a fear of low social status and the fear of not being attractive to the opposite sex.
These fears play into the ultimate biological reason why human beings feel fear – namely, when the biological organism calculates, consciously or otherwise, that its potential to maintain or to spread its genes is threatened.
The second is to promote a product as the solution to that feeling bad.
In the case of fear of disease, you can sell medicine and insurance. You can manipulate the target’s fear of germs by exaggerating the prevalence of them to sell cleaning products. You can manipulate the target’s fear of dying by exaggerating the degree of anxiety that a reasonable person ought to feel if they do not have life insurance.
In the case of fear of low social status, you can sell flash cars, expensive clothing, jewellery, houses, golf clubs, yachts and more. Basically anything that appears to compensate for any kind of erectile dysfunction or small penis will attract people who are willing to pay money for it.
In the case of fear of not being attractive to the opposite sex, you can sell just about anything. The use of sex to sell a product is almost universal in advertising. After all, it plays at the fundamental male fear.
The psychologists who conduct advertising campaigns know that the human male – in the vast majority of circumstances – is permanently in a state of subconscious anxiety about his capacity to pass his genes on through a fertile female of his species. This will make him reliably dumb in ways that can be anticipated and profited from.
All the advertiser has to do is to associate the lack of their product with a lack of mating opportunities, and the presence of their product with the presence of mating opportunities. When this is achieved, the male will be willing to pay money for the advertiser’s product in order to alleviate the anxiety the advertiser has created.
It can therefore be seen that the purpose of advertising is literally to make you suffer for money.
This column is no exception. We make a living from telling you when you’ve been lied to – and then selling you what we claim to be the truth. The more we can aggravate your sense of outrage at the lies of politicians, priests and psychiatrists, the more likely you will become to spend money on our books.
Of course, we claim to be doing it out of solidarity, in your own interest – but then so did the priests who burned Giordano Bruno at the stake.
As above; so below – but don’t forget that anyone who is trying to make you suffer is probably not doing it out of sadism but simply for the $$$$$.
Andrew Little has been the Labour Party leader since 2014, and has struggled so far to gain much traction with prospective Labour voters. A recent poll brought some very bad news for him – namely that he has now fallen behind his deputy Jacinda Ardern in the preferred Prime Minister stakes.
No doubt the Labour Leader will have a team of pollsters working overtime ringing people up to ask why they’re not interested. However, they won’t ask the large numbers of Kiwis who are disenfranchised from the political and economic systems – and this is supposed to be Labour’s constituency and is the key to their recent failure.
These disenfranchised people are mostly the young, the invalid’s beneficiaries and Maori. These three groups will all tell you that they are crying out for a change to New Zealand’s cannabis laws.
The young are crying out for a recreational alternative to alcohol. All young people have had the unpleasant experience of watching people in their parents’ generation destroy themselves with alcohol, while noting that people who preferred cannabis generally had a much better time of things.
Invalid’s beneficiaries are crying out for medicinal relief for their suffering. Huge numbers of invalid’s beneficiaries in New Zealand have found that cannabis is a better medicine for alleviating the suffering that comes with their condition than the pharmaceutical alternatives.
They will point that since medicinal cannabis is now legal in 28 states of the USA there’s no continuing to deny that it is a medicine.
Maori are probably the group worst brutalised by cannabis prohibition, for a number of reasons. The foremost is the lack of genetic resistance to alcoholism that has seen so many Maori come to prefer cannabis as a recreational alternative to cannabis.
Not only Maori – there are many, many New Zealanders whose close family history has a detailed history of either alcoholism or violence related to drinking. All of these people are desperate for a recreational alternative to booze.
Andrew Little’s refusal to even consider a 21st century approach to the cannabis laws is causing him to bleed support among all of the Labour Party’s major demographics – all of which are crying out for some kind of cannabis law reform.
On the cannabis issue, Little appears to hover somewhere between cowardice and supporting a National party-style prohibition. This hits hard against exactly those sort of people who like to vote Labour.
As has been described in an excerpt to Dan McGlashan’s upcoming book Understanding New Zealand, the sort of person who votes Labour is the same sort of person who is likely to be adversely affected by the country’s cannabis laws.
The correlation between median age and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 was -0.55, which tells us that the bulk of ALCP voters were young. The correlation between median age and voting for the Labour Party was -0.70, so that tells us that Labour and the ALCP are competing for the same voters to a large extent.
The correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and voting for the ALCP in 2014 was a very strong 0.76. This is because many, if not most, people on an invalid’s benefit would be greatly helped by any change to the law that made cannabis more readily available.
Finally, the correlation between being Maori and voting for the ALCP in 2014 was a whopping 0.89. This is not at all surprising considering that Maori suffer by far the worst of the abuse from cannabis prohibition. This is enough to suggest that a mature, intelligent cannabis law reform policy would attract masses of Maori voters.
All three of these groups also have very strong correlations with not voting at all in 2014 – because of the total failure of any of the mainstream political options to represent their needs.
What this tells us is that there are legions of disaffected, disenfranchised New Zealanders who will not support the Labour Party as long as it has a leader who is too timid to support a definitive change to the country’s cannabis laws.
Going by the large numbers of young, sick and Maori non-voters who are desperate for a change, we can predict that the Labour Party will lose the General Election this year unless it adopts an intelligent, modern, compassionate cannabis law reform policy.
In the words of Doug Stanhope: “Boredom is a disease. Drugs cure it.” This might be a throw-away line from a famously irreverent standup comedian, but it points to a truth that our society lacks the sophistication to debate: boredom causes legitimate human suffering, and this costs money and even lives.
Some psychologists are aware of the consequences of boredom. It’s now believed that boredom literally causes the brain to degenerate, as it requires a certain minimum amount of excitory stimulation to maintain the strength of existing neuron connections.
This is why it seems to actually hurt. The mental pain associated with boredom is the pain of your brain dying from a lack of stimulation, in the same way that a newborn infant neglected by its mother may die of hospitalism from a lack of oxytocin.
It’s not likely that anyone in Nelson will go as far as shooting someone out of sheer boredom, as happened to the unfortunate Chris Lane in Oklahoma. But the more boring this city becomes, the further we move towards forcing people to become violent in order to combat the pain that comes from so many fun things being illegal.
Boredom is a real thing that makes people misbehave. It has been observed in British prisons that boredom leads to misbehaviour.
The reason for this ought to be clear by now, especially if the reader knew any juvenile delinquents while growing up. Because boredom is painful, people suffer from it, and as a result of the suffering they become willing to destroy in order to alleviate it.
Almost everyone has done something recklessly stupid at some point because it felt good on account of that it relieved boredom.
Unfortunately, the people making the laws in New Zealand are whores, not psychologists. They have whored themselves out to the pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol industries, and these industries have commanded the politicians to make recreational alternatives to their products illegal for the sake of wiping out their competitors.
Neither is the Nelson City Council any better. They have proven themselves utterly incapable of taking care of a single homeless protester outside the Farmers building, so the expectation that they could comprehend an end to the War on Drugs is far too much to ask for.
Nelson, like all provincial New Zealand towns, is not an easy place to live in when a person is aged between 18 and 30 or thereabouts. If you’re a young person and consequently have a high point of homeostasis for excitement, there are not many really good options.
Cannabis is illegal, the drinking culture is violent and disgusting, the hookup culture is vile and depressing, and the control freaks have even taken away the simple pleasure of having a cigarette to relax by making it too expensive to be enjoyable.
Well, this is the price. This is how we end up with burnt-out cars sitting on the side of Maitai Valley Road.
As this column has previously argued, there ought to be cannabis cafes on Bridge Street. Giving the young people of Nelson greater recreational options than booze and television would result in less boredom, which would result in fewer burnt-out cars.
This would necessarily require a change to New Zealand’s cannabis laws, which would have ancillary benefits, not least putting a stop to the current wastage of $400,000,000 of tax money every year.
Perhaps some of the estimated $120,000,000 of Police funding that would be saved from cannabis legalisation could then be used to clean up the mess on the side of Maitai Valley Road, as it has been sitting there for over a week.
A common sentiment among many leftists today is that the working class is fundamentally deplorable, as if everyone who works with their hands or rides the bus is something out of Romper Stomper, just waiting for the chance to bash some poor transsexual or Muslim and get away with it.
These regressive leftists even use codewords like “fascist” to disguise their contempt for the working class. That this has been allowed to happen is the reason why left-wing politics are in such a state of complete disarray in the modern West.
In many ways this is deliberate. The children of the political elite know that the more effectively they can destroy working-class movements, the more power they will inherit when they inevitably do inherit it, and so they have gone to some effort to cause them to rot from within.
This is why social justice movements are so often full of middle-class people who aren’t really serious about the issue. It’s also why so much mainstream media attention is given to leftists who are fighting for issues that only, or primarily, affect the middle class.
Essentially, the middle and upper classes have infiltrated the political and media structures that used to give a voice to working-class people, and have twisted them to middle-class interests, or simply destroyed them where this was not possible.
This is how we have ended up with a situation where the white working class votes for a Republican like Trump, and those claiming to be in favour of the disadvantaged force those same disadvantaged to compete with refugees for housing, jobs and public space.
No-one in the working class could give a damn about gay adoption, or Syrian refugees, or transsexual toilet rights, or global warming.
If you’re hungry, the only thing you care about is food.
If you’re sick, the only thing you care about is medicine.
If you’re cold, the only thing you care about is shelter.
If you’re broke, the only thing you care about is money.
If you’ve had a hard day, the only thing you care about is chilling out for a bit.
Watching Jacinda Ardern on television passionately arguing the need for homosexuals to be allowed to adopt kids, while her party has gone silent on meaningful questions like cannabis law reform and the TPPA, is a disgusting sight to the working-class people who used to be represented by the Labour Party.
As mentioned above, much of this is deliberate. The Labour Party are, despite their rhetoric, ultimately as conservative as National, because ultimately they are part of the same establishment. Just look at the ease with which Shane Jones shifts from one wing to the other if you doubt that the ruling class is on the side of the ruling class and the rest of us are on our fucking own.
Ardern’s objective, as it was for the multimillionaire David Cunliffe, is to waste the energy of the people who wish for social change, and to misdirect it to where it can do no damage to the establishment.
This is why the Labour Party promotes gay adoption, which affects perhaps a hundred Kiwis, and ignores cannabis law reform, which affects four hundred thousand.
After all, fucking another man in the arse does not generally bring about patterns of thought that are dangerous to the control systems of the establishment, whereas taking psychoactive chemicals regularly does.
A far higher proportion of cannabis users than prospective gay adoptive parents are societal outcasts, which is hardly surprising when you can be put in prison for being one.
Until such a time as the left goes back to its roots – which is giving a voice to the truly disadvantaged, not merely to whoever’s cause is the most fashionable this moment – it will continue to lose influence.