Where is Humanity on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a famous psychological theory based on the observation that people as a rule take care of their most pressing needs first, and only when those are satisfied do they develop an ambition to move to the next level.

The most common way to represent this is as a coloured pyramid – one can see an example as the title image of this essay. The ‘lower’ desires represent the more fundamental ones. The need represented by each level must be satisfied before a person is motivated to move on to the next one.

The lowest level is physiological needs. This basically means air, water and food. When the need for these are met a person moves on to safety needs, such as physical and economic security. Meeting those needs will mean a person advances to the level of love and belonging, where they try and satisfy a need for friendship, intimacy and belonging.

Above these three levels are two that are arguably not so much ‘needs’ as ‘decencies’. The first is the need for self-esteem. This relates to the human desire to be accepted and appreciated by others and by oneself. Generally the lower one’s self-regard the greater one’s need for fame or respect.

The last level is self-actualisation. This involves fulfilling one’s greatest potential; becoming the best version of oneself that it is possible to be.

It’s common for individuals to look at where they are themselves on Maslow’s hierarchy. It certainly is an interesting theory for anyone curious about how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

Some people are further than others. What we generally consider wealthy, fortunate, or “doing good” correlates pretty strongly with where a person is on the hierarchy of needs. If we take a look at humanity, though, we can see that as a whole we have not come very far.

According to the World Food Programme, 842 million people go to bed hungry on any given night. This represents about one in every eight people, all of whom have fallen at the first hurdle when it comes to the hierarchy of needs.

If one thinks about what that means in practice, it is one in every eight people who have no realistic chance of ever making progress in any of the other needs. After all, someone who goes to bed hungry will hardly be concerned with their bank account, because if they had any money they would have bought food with it.

It’s worth thinking that one in every eight people are that desperate – possibly that means one in every eight people are desperate enough to have a strong incentive to do serious harm to another human being, should an opportunity for a robbery arise.

After all, the major incentive a person has for not robbing someone is their desire for physical security, in the form of not going to jail, and their desire for social esteem, in the form of not being thought to be a robber.

As both of those needs are less fundamental than the need for food, a hungry person is unlikely to care about them very much. The desire for food is even more fundamental than the desire for peace, and so one in every eight of us is too hungry to care at all about all the war in the world.

A global universal basic income would raise us up the hierarchy, as it would take care of most basic physiological needs. It is the inability to fulfill the need for these that causes the vast majority of human suffering in the world.

It does, however, raise the spectre of overpopulation, at least in the minds of those who believe that some of the tropical peoples are incapable of keeping their breeding in check. If a person believes this, then it is natural to also believe that a global basic income will lead to ecological collapse.

Maybe humankind is doomed to remain at a reasonably low level because of the belief that if we co-operate too closely, factions within humanity will take advantage of this peace to wage war against other factions, perhaps even without those factions knowing about it.

The False Dichotomy of Nihilism vs. Fanaticism

Why is the world so fucking crazy? Here’s the short answer: people prefer the certitude of moral fanaticism to the yawning, howling chasm of despair that is nihilism. This essay argues that this false dilemma will always arise in the hearts and minds of people who have failed to dial their frequency into the range of gold, for whatever reason.

As any existentialist can tell you, nihilism is an inevitable part of being human. If one is not dull in the head, one soon observes that the vast majority of politicians, rulers, religious men and media figures are liars and thieves, essentially just master pirates, and one turns from there quickly to despair.

This despair tends to neither last nor transmute directly to nihilism. It doesn’t last because the naivete into which one was brainwashed soon reasserts itself. Because it reasserts itself, the despair does not transmute into nihilism.

A dull person will cling to this naivete once it is reasserted, and will not let it go again for fear of the despair that filled that gap last time. An intelligent person will break it down again, choosing by an act of will or intuition to understand that their suspicions about the true order of things were correct, and that one can never trust a person claiming to be one’s superior.

If the child-like naivete cannot reassert itself, usually because a person has developed a deep cynicism towards it, then despair will eventually turn to nihilism. This only occurs once a state of learned helplessness has been achieved. From here, things will go one of two ways depending on the philosophical sophistication of the person involved.

One way is to reach a kind of philosophical maturity. This way is really, really hard and is outside the scope of this essay. Essentially it is the same task as creating the Philosopher’s Stone, or reaching nirvana, or spiritual absolution, or becoming the Overman.

The second way is to become a fanatic about something. In practice, it doesn’t actually matter what one becomes a fanatic about, although each individual fanatic will doubtlessly have a number of illogical, contradictory or spurious reasons to support their supposedly heartfelt belief. All that matters is that it feels better than nihilism.

It can be observed in many people that they have become fanatics about something in order to distract their minds from the ennui that arises from considering existence authentically. Honest philosophical thought seems to lead directly to panic as nothing appears to matter and we appear to die.

One absolves oneself of the moral imperative to be authentic once one becomes a fanatic. The life of a fanatic is defined. It is defined primarily by those one stands in opposition to.

If a National Socialist, one opposes Commies; if a Communist, one opposes Nazis. If a supporter of one’s military, one opposes all other militaries. If a supporter of one’s soccer team, one opposes all other soccer teams. If a feminist, one opposes the patriarchy, if a men’s rights activist one opposes feminists, if a Muslim one opposes the infidel, if a Catholic one opposes the heathen, and so it goes.

This process is as true of groups as it is of individuals. Thus we can see that, ironically, the mass rejection of the mainstream moral narrative that followed World War I laid the furrow for the mass fanaticism that led to World War II.

Becoming a fanatic in this manner leads to a very soothing and very temporary kind of peace. One soon becomes surrounded by like-minded fanatics and, from there, it is trivial to convince oneself that the mission all of you are on is the true and righteous one and that by rebuilding the world in your image you will genuinely create a utopia for all.

Doing so, however, comes at a bitter cost. In refusing to act authentically by becoming a fanatic, one inevitably finds oneself forced to either tell lies or to commit violence, for all falsehood finds expression in the human world in one of those two ways.

Observing the reality around you before taking action usually gives you necessary clues about who you are and what your role in this place is. This is the basis of Pyrrhonic wisdom, which is to ask what the nature of things actually is before you react to it.

This column contends that the way to peace is to look beyond; to look beyond the reasons people say they do things and the moral superiority they claim motivates their actions and see the true frequency of their spirits. And then apply that same caustic cynicism to oneself, usually in meditation.

Only by doing this can a person correctly observe the terrain before them and move accordingly.

Understanding New Zealand: Turnout Rate of Party Supporters

What sort of political party supporter actually turns out to vote? It’s not as straightforward and simple as just old, rich, male and white. However, turnout rate can serve as a useful indicator of general disenfranchisement.

Interestingly, the correlation matrix gives us a clue about a line of information that is completely closed off to anyone running a simpler analysis: we can know which party has the supporters that are most likely to vote by looking at the correlation between party vote in each electorate and the turnout rate in that electorate.

It seems fair to assume that, all other things being equal, the turnout rate of any party’s supporters is roughly equal to the degree that those supporters feel their needs and desires will be taken seriously by the eventual representatives. After all, if your vote will not count for anything because your MP will ignore you anyway, why bother to cast it?

Perhaps more than any other set of correlations, this one tells us who is running the country. If you have money and wealth, you can vote knowing that whoever wins the election will listen to you out of natural shared solidarity. If you are disadvantaged – poor, physically or mentally ill, female in some cases, the wrong religion or race in many others, you can’t.

Unsurprisingly, there is a strong correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and voting for National – this was 0.76. The Labour one, at -0.67, was almost as strong in the other direction. This difference represented by this correlation arguably reflects the most fundamental political division in society – between the haves and the have-nots.

This correlation is large enough that we can predict the vast majority of people who do not turn out to vote are Labour supporters.

Reflecting that the average Green voter is significantly wealthier than the average Kiwi, there is a significant correlation between turnout rate and voting Green – this is 0.26. Probably this would be higher if it reflected the level of class privilege of the average Green voter, but because the average Green supporter is also so young the turnout rate is somewhat suppressed.

The turnout rate was, as it was for Labour, significantly negatively correlated with New Zealand First support. The correlation here was a moderately strong -0.40, which is possibly even a little less negative than one might have expected based on the income of the average New Zealand First voter. Even though the bulk of New Zealand First supporters are working-class Maoris and thus have a low turnout rate, the party has a core of elderly white voters who can be counted on to vote.

The turnout rate was moderately correlated with voting for the Conservative Party in 2014 – this was 0.55, easily the second highest of all the correlations between turnout rate and voting for a party. This is even though voting Conservative in 2014 did not have a significant correlation with median personal income.

The main reason for this is the strong correlation between voting Conservative in 2014 and median age, which was 0.75. Because old people vote at significantly greater rates than the young, and because old people are religious fundamentalists at significantly greater rates than the young, old people will vote for a party (like the Conservatives) that appeals to religious fundamentalism.

All of the parties that had a high proportion of Maori voters had a significantly negative correlation with turnout rate. The correlation between turnout rate and voting Maori Party in 2014 was -0.74, with voting Internet MANA it was -0.69, with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.68 and with voting New Zealand First it was -0.40.

None of these are surprising considering the strong negative correlation between turnout rate and being Maori (-0.74). It may be that the natural support levels of both the Maori Party and Internet MANA are closer to what the Conservative Party is pulling in, but because of massive disenfranchisement among Maori are unable to translate that support into seats in Parliament.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

A Look at the Fashions This Political Season

With a General Election called for the 23rd of September this year, the political fashion season is now upon us. Kiwis everywhere are asking themselves “What political cause do I have to pretend to support this season in order to virtue signal my advanced and Christ-like moral sophistication?” This article has the inside goss.

The first thing that everyone needs to know is that gays are out, refugees are in. Gays have been fashionable for long enough – homosexual law reform has been fashionable since the 1970s – and have now become an entrenched part of the Establishment, fielding more than twice as many MPs as would be proportionate for their numbers in the population.

Cynics might point out that the sort of refugees that have the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to make it to New Zealand are probably middle class anyway, but the trendy thing to do is to blame it all on American bombing.

Now that America has a white man in the big chair once again, it will now once again be fashionable to talk about the drone strike campaign that killed hundreds of thousands of people during the reign of Barack Obama.

Talking about this was exceptionally fashionable during the last years of George W. Bush, because the indiscriminate nature of the killing naturally upset human rights fans. Drone strikes regularly claim dozens of ancillary fatalities that are written off as ‘collateral damage.’

It was highly unfashionable to speak about this during the reign of Obama because he was just so goddamn ball-achingly cool. But now that it’s trendy to compare Trump to Hitler it will also be trendy to talk about the drone strikes again, as one can have little doubt that drones are something Hitler would have gleefully used had he been able.

Women are also out, and this has made it even more fashionable to be pro-Islam this season.

The fact is that, despite the rhetoric about the gender gap (almost entirely produced by yuppie lesbians trying to smooth the path to a C-suite position), it is really hard to get away with paying a woman less for literally the same work in New Zealand.

The vast majority of the feminists who were fashionable at university are now middle-class and assuming positions of power themselves – and often at greater rates than the males of Generation X because the females tend to have higher educational standards.

And what’s less cool than a competent, educated middle-class person in a position of power?

Throwing women under the bus is probably the only way we political fashionistas can cope with the cognitive dissonance that would be brought about by simultaneously supporting them and an aggressively male supremacist religious tradition that considers women barely better than animals.

Do note that transsexuals are not the hot new thing this political fashion season. It seemed for a long time as if they would be, because of all the noise they had been making.

But New Zealand has long ago had an openly transsexual Member of Parliament – a Georgina Beyer, assigned male at birth, who completed two terms as an MP for the Labour Party from 1999.

On the clearly unfashionable side of things is the economy. Bill English said that the economy was the primary issue this political fashion season, and he’s the epitome of uncool.

So whatever you do this political fashion season, don’t point out the fact that refugees cost the country $100,000 per year each, and so taking even as many as a thousand per year costs more money than the Feed the Kids Bill would have done.

Hungry kids are out, unless they are foreigners. So mentioning the $100,000,000 per year expense of taking in 1,000 refugees might be this season’s biggest faux pas.

Cannabis users will have to continue their forty-year wait to become fashionable, because most of them are poor, mentally ill and Maori and all of those are associated with being grotty and poor and uncool.

Alcohol will still be fashionable, though, because the alcohol industry will continue to dump tens of millions into advertising until the plebs can’t talk or think about anything else.

So get ready to crack some chardonnay with your newly-made Syrian friends on the 23rd September this year.

The Four Faces of the Adversary

The four books of the Satanic Bible are named after four faces of the adversary, and the four that most readers would have a surface familiarity with. The Satanic Bible briefly draws a parallel with these names and with the four basic alchemical elements. This essay discusses that parallel at length.

Central to Luciferian or Satanic thought is the concept of the adversary. This is not, in essence, much different to the Abrahamist concept of the adversary as someone who opposes the will of God. The major difference is really the conception of the God that the adversary has rebelled against.

In Abrahamist faith, the will of God is perfect and any opposition to it is evil. Because any opposition to it is evil, anyone opposing it can righteously be destroyed. Because the will of God has to be interpreted by the priesthood, then anyone decreed to be an enemy by the priesthood can be righteously destroyed.

This line of reasoning obviously gives a lot of power to the priesthood, which is why that profession has been instrumental in rotting the brains of the rest of us for thousands of years.

Anyone rejecting that line of reasoning is necessarily a devil in the eyes of the priesthood and those they have hypnotised into doing their bidding. In cultures where the priesthood is dominant, they are able to criminalise opposition to their lies, as with blasphemy laws, mandatory dress laws for women and drug control laws.

The obscene degree of subservience demanded by the priesthood before they will cease their aggression against the populace causes many, many people to start to feel loyalty to the adversary. If God demands the genital mutilation of infant children and the total submission of women, then any person who has not been bred for slavery from birth will naturally oppose God.

Understandably, such a fundamental archetype as he who opposes God will manifest, in the Great Fractal, as a wide range of various beings, depending on the cultural context of whoever views him and their state of mind and individual frequency.

Satan is the archetypal demon of the element of Fire

The first book of the Satanic Bible – the Infernal Diatribe or the Book of Satan – is linked to fire. This is perhaps because fire is the most rebellious of all elements.

Like fire, Satan is seen by the Abrahamists as an exceptionally destructive force, because the world as created by their God was naturally perfect and so Satan, who wished to change it, naturally wished to destroy perfection.

This also explains why Satan is always at, or near, the top of the pantheon of those who identify with the adversary. After all, when the Biblical Satan was commanded by God to prostrate himself before Adam, Satan responded: “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”

The destructive effect of fire is not seen by Satanists as a thing that destroys the correct order of God. Generally it, and Satan, represent a liberating force that dissolves acid-like the foundations of corruption in the world.

The archetype of Lucifer is closer to aristocrat or philosopher-king than demon or ruler of Hell

The second book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Lucifer, which is associated with the sign of air. Lucifer is the Latin word for light-bearer, and so he also bears similarities with figures such as Prometheus, Mercury, Maui and even Jesus Christ.

Fittingly, the literary style of this book strikes a change from the fiery diatribe of the first. Instead of poetry it is comprised of intellectual essays, which are Luciferian in the sense that their iconoclastic style tear away the webs of lies that blind us and let the light of truth in.

Appropriate to an air sign, Lucifer represents the thinkers of the Earth. Not the thinkers of heaven, the theologists, who are the worst bullshitters of all, who compound lie upon lie upon lie like a blacksmith forging a weapon with layers of iron.

Rather, Lucifer represents the philosopher and the scientist, both of whom have had to fight for the right to tell the truth in the face of Abrahamist dogma.

Of course, that doesn’t matter for the Abrahamists. If the only acceptable moral position is complete and total submission to the every word of the priests, then so much as thinking for oneself is a sin, because it opens the door to possible subversion of the will of God.

Belial is the repulsive Lord of the Flies, also known as the Prince of Lies

The third book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Belial, otherwise known as Beliar by some in the Abrahamic tradition. The etymology of the world relates to “lacking value”. This is because the statements of Belial have no truth value – he is the father of lies.

It was said of Belial in Paradise Lost that “all was false and hollow” and that he “could make the worse appear / The better reason” – in other words, he told believable lies.

Naturally, if one is a liar oneself, and the objective is to bullshit the population into submission to your chosen God, then anyone telling the truth about you or your bullshit will have to be branded a liar for you to survive.

In this way Belial represents the adversary as scapegoat. If the population have been lied to so badly that they have become confused, then anyone who speaks the truth will appear to be speaking lies, and naturally because those lies are actually true they are also believable.

What are “believable lies” to the Abrahamist are often the stone-cold truth to the freethinker. In this sense Belial represents the courage to always speak the truth regardless of the social pressure that might be exerted in the other direction.

Belial is related to the element of Earth in the Satanic Bible, and he plays this role by way of being stable. As everything that lives rises from the Earth and falls back to the Earth, so is the truth about reality more fundamental than any lies told about it.

Who the Abrahamist calls Belial is he who brings people back down to Earth and to reality after they have been swept away by the lies, promises and threats of Abrahamism.

Leviathan represents the awesome and relentless power of the forces of Nature, which all freethinkers know will out

The fourth book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Leviathan. This is the face of the adversary when seen through the aspect of water. In this manner, water represents the emotions, which flow back and forth throughout the world, giving life where things had been too dry.

There is a strong ascetic streak to much of Abrahamism, especially in regards to sex. This asceticism is shared, not only by other religious traditions (in particular Buddhism), but also in regards to other avenues of worldly enjoyment, such as dancing, music, gambling and the interaction of unmarried men and women.

You name it, Abrahamists have tried to ban it – and the more enjoyable it was, the harder they tried. Even now, with all of dancing, music, prostitution and homosexuality legal, they continue to insist that the laws putting people in cages for cannabis offences are upheld for spurious reasons like protecting the mental health of the young.

There is a particular reason for this, and like most religious “culture” it has a superstitious origin. The essential delusion is that anything that feels good will cause a person to identify with the material world, and this – because the spiritual and material worlds are believed to be in constant opposition instead of harmony – will then make them become less spiritual and more like a vicious animal.

The reality that suffering causes a greater attachment to the material world than pleasure, because suffering when present is always at the forefront of the mind of the sufferer whereas pleasure is fleeting, is entirely lost on the followers of slave religions.

In this manner, Leviathan represents an entity like Dionysus, Pan, Mercury or Loki. You can thank Leviathan for every delicious recipe ever remembered, every lovemaking technique ever passed on, every joke worth repeating and every joyful ditty ever learned by heart.

One could say that there were as many faces of the devil as there are people who oppose their local conception of what God is. And in the right time and place that could be any of us.

If You Want Cannabis Law Reform in 2017, Pray Bill English Gets Cancer

National Party MPs are known for their kindness in the same way that Waffen-SS soldiers were known for theirs – not. Conservative politicians speak a language of fear to their constituents, who duly wet their pants and give all their power away in the hope that some mighty ruler will put it right, like their parents did back in the day.

What characterises the true right wing from the left is the degree of distance between the top and the bottom of the preferred hierarchy. Right-wing voters are generally more than happy to debase themselves before a ruler, and are thus far more likely to bow the head to one, but are at the same time far more likely to abuse or neglect someone they consider beneath them.

Essentially this is a primitive kind of social logic that has probably carried over into modern culture from brain circuits that evolved to meet the challenges of an era during which humans were much more like chimpanzees. Before the Stone Age began, your competition had to be kept down by whatever means necessary lest they kill you for your territory or women.

This suggests that, for conservative politicians, pain and misery is the only language they’ll ever understand.

The sort of person who becomes a National Party supporter is generally someone of a fairly limited degree of life experience. It’s rare that a New Zealander ever goes travelling and sees the world only to come back and vote for a conservative party, and it’s rare that one ever goes to university to mingle with a wide range of people from everywhere only to vote conservative.

The National Party psychology is a particularly unfeminine one; it prizes order above all other values. It’s as if they were taught while very young that empathy invites chaos, and is something only for the foolish.

Correspondingly, women vote National significantly less than men do, primarily because women tend to vote more in community interest and less in self-interest. Why would a woman vote for a party that cut funding to rape crisis centres? On the face of it, that seems very odd, like an unusually low degree of gender solidarity.

So if you look at National Party women like Paula Bennett, Jenny Shipley, Ruth Richardson, Michelle Boag and Judith Collins, they stand out as a particular breed. There’s clearly something missing from them, something that corresponds pretty closely to what a healthy person would consider empathy.

A normal woman is a person who one feels comfortable leaving in charge of a small child; a National Party woman is a person who feels more comfortable with a glass of bubbly in one hand and that small child on a spit roast being rotated by the other.

So when Nicky Kaye came out this week and said her diagnosis of breast cancer had changed her attitude to medicinal cannabis, the sudden change of heart demonstrates the degree of separation between the people making laws about medicinal cannabis and those needing it.

Kaye might not have encountered many cannabis users before. She might not have spent so much as one minute ever hanging out with a personal friend who had a need for medicinal cannabis. In fact, Kaye probably moved in circles that considered all cannabis users to be criminal scum, medicinal need be damned.

There’s always been that iron edge in the blue soul of the National Party, the one that believes that anyone weak deserves it, that any momentary failure or backwards step is an invite to be destroyed.

It’s why pleas to repeal cannabis prohibition on the basis of compassion will never succeed. It’s mostly the poor, Maori and mentally ill who suffer from cannabis prohibition, and none of the poor, Maori or mentally ill vote National.

Someone else’s suffering is not real suffering to the sort of person who is a National supporter. If anything, someone else’s suffering is considered by them a good thing because it keeps that someone else down and makes them much less likely to rock the boat.

So appeals to other people’s suffering, now matter how much of it there is, will not motivate a repeal of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand in 2017.

If New Zealanders want a change to our cannabis laws before the end of the year, there is only one way it will happen: if the Prime Minister Bill English himself gets cancer and comes to appreciate the value of medicinal cannabis in the same way that Nicky Kaye did.

Helen Kelly wasn’t enough. Paul Holmes wasn’t enough. Even Martin Crowe wasn’t enough. Nicky Kaye won’t be enough either. If New Zealanders want any reform to our barbaric cannabis laws in 2017 they have little option but to pray that Bill English gets cancer for the greater good of the Kiwi nation.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of European New Zealanders

Who do the honkies vote for? Most people could have guessed that there was a correlation between voting for the National Party in 2014 and being of European descent, but few would have guessed that it was quite as strong as 0.60. The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and being of European descent is even stronger, but negative: -0.76.

These are strong correlations, and they ilustrate the degree to which the National Party upholds racial advantages as a consequence of upholding class advantages. Being of European descent has a correlation of 0.35 with median personal income, which conflates the effect of race and class in the National vote.

Voting for the Conservative Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.46 with being of European descent, and the other party that had a significant positive correlation with being of European descent was the Greens – this was 0.24.

Some might find this latter point surprising considering that the Greens produce a lot of rhetoric about being left-wing and about supporting marginalised groups in society. But marginalised groups generally do not vote Green – they vote Labour. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and median personal income is a significant 0.31.

This tells us that the Green Party is a curiosity in the paradoxical sense that it represents a class that does not often belong to the race it represents and a race that does not often belong to the class it represents.

Voting for any of the remaining four parties in 2014 has a negative correlation with being of European descent. Three of those four correlations can be explained simply by noting that they are parties which get a lot of Maori support: the ALCP (-0.15), the Maori Party (-0.35) and Internet MANA (-0.37).

The ACT Party stands apart from those three on that basis. The correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being of European descent is a significantly negative -0.28. This suggests that there is a natural division on the right between the heavily European National and Conservative parties, and the heavily non-European ACT Party.

The natural division on the left, meanwhile, is between the also heavily European Green Party, and the moderately non-European Labour Party. Although this has more to do with education than class, it’s noteworthy that barring a token Maori in the leadership position, only Marama Davidson of the Green MPs has any non-European ancestry.

This is the basis for the observation that a National-Greens Government might be possible after 2017. Essentially this would be a European coup of the political system, knocking out the Maoris in NZF and Labour, the Pacific Islanders in Labour and the Asians in ACT.

Media commentators might talk about crucial demographics and the need to win them to capture the middle ground, but the fact is that the vast bulk of New Zealand voters are people of European descent and a small shift of the balancing point within this major demographic can have nationwide consequences.

European people love to vote, no doubt a reflection of their integration into the system and their confidence that their voices will be heard by the eventual representatives. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being of European descent is a strong 0.71, which is enough to say that, as a general rule, white people vote.

Many might have been able to guess that; few could guess the extent that the flag referendum was a mission for people of European descent only. Turnout rate for the first flag referendum had a correlation of 0.85 with being of European descent, and turnout rate for the second flag referendum had a correlation of 0.88.

The correlation between being of European descent and voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum was 0.60 – exactly the same as the correlation between being of European descent and voting National in 2014. This further supports what we already know about the extent that the flag referendum was a National Party vehicle.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.