Not Kiwi Enough? If You Don’t Have Roots Here You’re Not a Kiwi At All

Very few New Zealanders would have the arrogance to move to another country and then lecture those people about who they are, and we shouldn’t accept it when it’s done to us

Three years as an immigrant in Europe taught me a lot about the concept of roots. This is a familiar concept to Maori people, who for a couple of centuries have had to tell the difference between Pakeha who were loyal to New Zealand and Pakeha who weren’t. The short of it is that one’s degree of belonging to a nation is a function of the roots that you have there.

In Sweden, like almost everywhere in the Old World, there is little question about who counts as a Swede. If you are Swedish then you have Swedish ancestors going back to the dawn of time, like all other Swedes. This is the common bond that gives rise to the Swedish nation.

If you do not have these roots you are not Swedish. This is a very simple and near-universally accepted belief. You can get a Swedish passport and become a ‘paper Swede’, and if you also speak Swedish this will entitle you to be treated with full dignity and as if your presence has as much value as anyone else – but you still won’t be Swedish.

Maoris in New Zealand have a similar concept. The depth of your roots tell you whether or not you can be trusted to stick around, or if you’re the sort of person who just wants to make a quick buck and then disappear (for obvious historical reasons, Maoris tend to be exceptionally wary of the latter sort of person).

The only real way to determine if a person is a Kiwi or not is whether or not they would stick by other Kiwis should a calamity befall the nation. This is a measure of the amount of solidarity that person has with other Kiwis. Would they stay to defend the country if it was attacked by foreign military forces? Or would they run away and leave Kiwis to their fate?

Fundamentally this is a question of solidarity. People with roots in New Zealand have cousins here, they have family friends in other cities, they have stories of how their great-great-grandparents or earlier descendants tamed the land, and this naturally leads to solidarity with other people who have similar roots and similar stories.

Golriz Ghahraman, who made the headlines today for lecturing Kiwis about our “internalised self-hate”, has no roots in New Zealand in any case, which is part of the explanation for the lack of solidarity she feels that she has received. Everything suggests that if the Kiwi people were ever truly in danger, she would rather move to another country than to stay and help out. If things got tough here, she would rather abandon us than face personal disadvantage by remaining here.

After all, she and her family have already done this once, so they have a track record of it.

She has no moral right to turn up in New Zealand as a migrant and then start lecturing us about what a Kiwi is or isn’t. The thought of a Kiwi moving to Iran and then presuming to tell the Iranians what’s what about who they are is ludicrous – so why do we accept the same in reverse? For someone with no roots in the country to act as if their verdict about our true nature has any weight represents an incredible arrogance and sense of entitlement.

Moreover, her implication that a refusal to allow New Zealand to become a dumping ground for the world’s human refuse is “race supremacy” is disgusting in light of the strong bonds of solidarity that exist between the descendants of British colonists and Maoris. These two groups get along as well as they do because they have shared roots in the country – it has nothing to do with race.

Obviously Ghahraman has spoken to very few Maoris in her lifetime, for if she had she would be aware that the strongest nationalist and anti-refugee sentiments in the country are harboured by them.

None of this is to argue that the National Front are correct or that they represent an appealing face of New Zealand. A New Zealand identity must not be based on a hatred of the other.

But for a Kiwi identity to exist, a certain degree of exclusivity is necessary. There is no other way of achieving this but to declare that people without roots in New Zealand are not Kiwis.

To make the argument that Kiwis with hundreds of years of roots in New Zealand are in the same category as people who just stepped off a plane and got a passport is preposterous. For one thing, it presumes to decide for those long-established New Zealanders who they are permitted to feel solidarity with. For another, it ignores the fact that almost every other culture in the world does the opposite.

Kiwis who are either Maoris or descended from colonists have a couple of centuries of family lore that relates to New Zealand that newcomers simply cannot have. They can tell you stories about how their great-grandmother cut her thumb off with an axe here, or how their grandmother broke her arm falling off a bicycle here, or how their grandfather used to go pig hunting here. Newcomers do not and cannot represent this culture.

At the end of the day, if people with deep roots in New Zealand want to exclude those who don’t, that’s their prerogative, and Iranian social justice warriors admonishing us to hate ourselves for it won’t make a mouseshit of difference.

Everything is a Matter of “Muh Feels”

It’s common for one side of an argument to demand from the other side a cold, logical, rational reason to justify their position, while at the same time decrying all appeals to emotion as fallacious. The problem with this line of reasoning is that there are no truly objective reasons to make moral judgments about anything. As this essay will investigate, all political motivations are based on emotion.

Usually the person dismissing an argument as emotional is the sort of person who is a bit autistic, perhaps themselves not really in touch with their own emotions. This sort of person has a tendency to dismiss the genuine outrage, horror or disgust of other people as illegitimate motivators. They also have a striking tendency to not realise how emotional their own arguments are.

For instance, on the question of taxation for the sake of paying for social services, many people on the left make the argument that the right are without emotion when it comes to child poverty, mental health services, rape crisis centres and the like. The usual rightist counter to this is to claim that them keeping the maximum amount of their own income is a moral imperative to oppose communism or the likes, and that left-wing “feels” about starving children etc. do not and cannot ever justify the government levying taxation upon people.

What these rightists usually miss when it comes to this line of reasoning are their own emotions that are tied up in the issue.

The government levying taxation upon people is not wrong by dint of some decree from God. It is usually only opposed by those who believe that their personal net return of government services received from this taxation is negative. For these people, a sense of anger arises from feelings of having one’s energy parasitised; a similar sort of anger arises in cases of property theft or gross disrespect.

It can thus be seen that the right wing opposes taxation for emotional reasons. In other words, “muh feels”.

Political questions, when it comes down to it, are all a matter of “muh feels”. Feelings of injustice motivate most of them, and for many people such feelings are unavoidable. After all, the feelings of the population about what is the optimum level of taxation fall along a bell curve with no taxation at one end and full communism at the other, but the actual overall level of taxation must fall on a point on that curve, meaning that many above it will be outraged that it isn’t higher and many below it will be outraged that it isn’t lower.

Even murder fulfills this criteria. After all, what’s wrong with murder other than that it makes us feel bad? If it wasn’t for the fact that a person likely feels terrified when they’re being murdered, or the fact that the people left behind feel bereaved when someone they love is murdered, or the fact that the people in the neighbourhood feel afraid by murders in case they are next, or the fact that other citizens feel disgusted by murder because they consider it a bestial act of brutality, then there would be no reason to even make murder illegal, much less anything else.

Indeed, it could even be argued that, without feels, none of us would be capable of feeling motivated to do anything, and we would simply lie about until we died of metabolic failure.

Although it’s often true that a person does not examine their own emotional impulses and makes political decisions by just lurching from one burst of neurotransmitters to the next, this does not by itself mean that emotional input into decision making is necessarily undesirable, or that a line of reasoning appealing to an emotion is necessarily fallacious.

It could even be that, for a social species, correct decisions cannot be made without some accounting for how people will emotionally react to them. If one drills deep enough, there may not be much more to life than “muh feels”.

Why the Religious Oppose Drug Use

The religious are closed-minded about a lot of things, and drug use is one of them

One oddity about the Western political landscape is taken for granted with no explanation given. It is that the religious, especially the fundamentally religious, oppose all drug law reform measures. Considering that drug prohibition does immense harm to drug users by subjecting them to a justice system built for murderers, rapists and thieves, it’s not clear why the religions would oppose this. This essay looks at why.

The religious prohibitions against drug use seem doubly strange if one considers that many of the world’s oldest religious traditions involve the use of cannabis. This is particularly true of the South Asian religions like Hinduism, which arose in the same general area in which cannabis was cultivated. Why would a tradition of behaviour intended to get one closer to God oppose the legalisation of an entheogen?

The truth is that religion, insofar as it’s practiced in our modern times, has degraded into the opposite of a spiritual practice. 21st century religion in the West no longer has anything to do with apotheosis or sharing any genuine insight into the nature of God that a person might have had.

21st century Western religion is just a sham, selling a communal sense of moral superiority, to people with low self esteem, for money. The people selling it don’t want their flock asking too many questions. They just want them regularly returning to be fleeced for a steady passive income.

In order for this ancient scam to be possible, people have to be separated from true spirituality. If a person is connected to true spirituality then they will instinctively understand that ridiculous stories like the need to mutilate the genitals of new-born babies, or that failure to worship God in the correct manner would doom someone to eternal punishment, or that a desert full of inbreds in Asia Minor was the holy land, are all ludicrous superstitions that serve only to distract people from genuine communion with God.

So religions need to deny people their spiritual birthright in order to make them confused enough to exploit them. Therefore, they need to deny them the entheogenic sacraments that the people have used since prehistory to connect themselves with God.

Entheogenic drug use leads to novel states of consciousness, which lead to original perspectives, which have a deconditioning effect on previous brainwashing, obsession or delusion. In this sense it is very similar to meditation, which also leads to novel states of consciousness that have a deconditioning effect (and it’s no coincidence that the religious have also tried to replace meditation with ineffective lizard-brain rituals such as prayer, chanting, contemplation etc.).

The religious oppose entheogenic drug use because it leads to genuine spirituality, because once this is achieved a person can no longer be scammed with fairy tales that are only convincing to the ignorant. It’s just a rehash of the many-thousands of years old story of wealth and power and the lies told to secure them.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Kitchen Words

Spoon – koko

An old woman spoons cocoa out of a tin and into a cup.

Cup – ipu

A creature shaped like the letter E takes a cup, puts it on the floor and does a poo in it. In the cup is an E poo.

Door – tatau

A man shows off a tattoo on his arm. It is of a door that looks as though it leads to extradimensional places.

Oven – umu

A man tries to wrestle an emu into an oven.

Fork – paoka

A man is eating a casserole with a fork. Another man asks him what he’s eating, and he answers “Pork.”

Knife – naihi

A woman takes a knife and cuts her own knee.

The Maori word for ‘Door’ – tatau – sounds like the English word ‘tattoo’

Kettle – tīkera

(loan) A woman boils a kettle to make a cup of tea that has a carrot in it. The kettle boils the water in which floats the tea carrot.

Frypan – parai

A frypan is stuck to stovetop, so a woman tries to pry it off with a crowbar.

Towel – tāora

A princess is wearing a tiara on her head and nothing but a beach towel around her body.

Plate – pereti

A plate says to a woman “You are very pretty.”

Saucepan – hōpane

Someone knocks the bottom out of a saucepan and affixes it to a basketball backboard, where it serves as the hooping.

Broom – puruma

A puma is cleaning its house with a broom.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

New Zealand in India 2017 ODI Series, Second ODI Preview

The previous ODI at this venue saw England post 350 batting first – and then lose

The Black Caps landed the first blow on their 2017 tour to India with a thumping six-wicket win in the first ODI in Mumbai, and a win in Pune tonight will see them inflict on India their first home series loss in two years. If the Black Caps can win both of the remaining matches (as unlikely as it might sound), they will go up to 3rd place in the official ODI team rankings – higher than Australia.

There is certainly a solid case that the Black Caps’ batting line-up is stronger than Australia’s, in Indian conditions at least. Martin Guptill does not have a high average in ODIs in Asia, and Colin Munro is so far unproven at the top in any conditions, but Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham are all superb players of spin. Good enough so that India can’t simply rely on bamboozling them with drift and turn as for past Kiwi batting lineups.

In the previous ODI at this ground, earlier this year, England batted first and scored 350/7, and then India chased it down thanks to a Virat Kohli century and 120 off 76 balls from Kedar Yadhav. It’s not believed that the wickets in India will be as run-heavy this season, but in any case the Black Caps might be happier batting second.

Batting second confers a distinct advantage if the wicket turns out to be much more productive than initially believed. This is because of psychology. Generally speaking, a batsman will be reasonably satisfied with a big score batting first and might be more reluctant to accelerate if they feel they are already above par and don’t want to risk their lead by losing wickets.

This often leads to the team batting first not pushing hard enough for runs, and is why some massive totals have been chased down since the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Apart from what to do in Pune if he wins the toss, Kane Williamson also has to think about which bowlers to take into the match. The batting lineup is settled and, apart from possibly Colin Munro as opener, the current top 5 will go all the way through to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but there are two major questions about the bowlers.

The first is whether it might be a good idea to bring the legspin of Ish Sodhi into the equation to compliment the left arm orthodox of Mitchell Santner. India and Bangladesh have recently had plenty of success playing two spinners in subcontinent conditions, and Sodhi has improved majorly over the past 12 months, finally discovering the consistency he needed to be a genuine threat.

The second is whether or not they can keep leaving Matt Henry out of the starting lineup. Although Trent Boult’s place is assured it’s not at all clear that either Tim Southee or Adam Milne offer more threat than Henry with the ball. In fact, Henry averages 14 runs per wicket less than Milne in this stage of their careers, and Southee’s returns in recent years are not much better.

If Colin de Grandhomme cannot acclimatise to Indian conditions in time to reliably bowl 10 overs, the Black Caps might decide that the top six is strong enough that either Henry or Milne – who both average in the 20s in first class cricket – could be promoted to 7.

The Black Caps bowled well in the first ODI but the risk for the lineup they picked is that only Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner offer any realistic threat with the ball, considering the quality of the Indian batting. None of Southee, Milne or de Grandhomme were able to pose a consistent danger so perhaps the inclusion of Henry and Sodhi could make the bowling attack more dangerous at little extra risk of being bowled out.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XIV

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1153-1234), Breivik gives his thoughts on the Knights Templar and ethnocentricism. The ultimate goal appears to be the institution of a cultural conservative society akin to that of Japan or South Korea, or what Breivik believes Europe to have been like in the 1950s.

Again, an element of paranoia comes through in Breivik’s writings, evidenced through extremely cynical conclusions to otherwise intelligent paths of reasoning. He correctly notes that the Nazi loss in World War II made any nationalist or racial conservative sentiments start to look a bit dangerous, and that this gave the initiative in the culture wars to the Marxists, but it’s not necessarily true that what happened to the West was due to some nefarious master plan.

It’s more likely to be simple superstition – such a thing happens to the ideology of the losers of every war.

Despite the paranoia, Breivik’s cold Nordic honesty shines through as some points, such as when he concedes that the Marxists have up until now been better propagandists than the cultural conservatives.

Although Breivik decries Nazism as a hate ideology at many points in this document, this section, if read in isolation, could easily give the reader the impression he was a racial supremacist. He decries what he believes to be an attempt by the cultural Marxists to cause the extinction of the Nordic genotype on the grounds that this genotype is evil, and he justifies an ethnostate on the basis that one would preserve the indigenous rights of the European people in the face of high Muslim breeding rates.

At some points, Breivik’s argument shows a distinct lack of deeper coherence. At one point he correctly points out that women like Pamela Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift attained fame due to their distinctively Nordic appearance, but the fact that this is true is evidence against a global media conspiracy to exterminate the Nordic genotype. Why would a media conspiracy put forward the Nordic genotype as a beauty standard when they could put forward an Asian or an African genotype and convince white men to ignore their women?

If the media puts the Nordic look forward as a beauty ideal this will simply shift the pressure of sexual selection to favour Nordic people, which means that the Nordic genotype would reproduce at a higher rate than it otherwise would have done.

The Nordic genotype is not really faced with extinction. People of Nordic genotypes control 30 million square kilometres of territory across Europe, North America and Australia and number close to 400 million (USA 180 million, Germany 75 million, Britain 55 million, Canada 20 million, Low Countries 25 million, Scandinavia 20 million, Australia and New Zealand 20 million). Their combined economic output is three times the closest competitor (either the Japanese or the Han Chinese).

Any idea that Breivik is a neo-Nazi can be decisively put to bed when he writes that “If there is one historical figure and past Germanic leader I hate it is Adolf Hitler.” However, he concedes that there is a 60% overlap between his ideal policy and that of the Nazis.

In a passage about sexual morality, Breivik writes “Approximately 50% of my female friends end up under the definition/category; promiscuous (female sluts) as they have engaged in sexual activity with more than 20 partners…” This sort of lifestyle was not for him, however, despite that “I could easily have chosen the same path if I wanted to, due to my looks, status, resourcefulness and charm.” This invites one to wonder how Breivik would have turned out if someone had given him some MDMA at age 18 or so.

Curiously, there is a passage where Breivik writes about the need to use “reprogenetics” to create a race of humans free from hereditary diseases in which he sounds very similar to the megalomaniacal Sigurd Mastersen in The Verity Key. Breivik wants to use women in third-world countries as surrogate mothers for embryos engineered to create a child of the Nordic genotype.

Further underlying Breivik’s inability to comprehend irony, he writes in one passage about the dangers of hip hop and how the lyrics can easily lead to a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude. Well, it’s apparent that Breivik himself fulfills the criteria of having a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude.

Notably, Breivik writes that “I never tried drugs myself as I never wanted to break that threshold.” Perhaps if he had been willing to try some drugs he would have broken out of the paranoid, obsessive, repetitive thought-loops of vengeance and justice that led him to kill over 70 people.

We Don’t Need a Cannabis Referendum – Just Legalise It

Conducting a referendum about a liberty that should already be guaranteed by human rights legislation has proven to be highly divisive in Australia

Kiwi cannabis users have been buoyed by the demise of the Fifth National Government. It is already clear from the change in rhetoric that the incoming Sixth Labour Government will approach the issue with honesty, in contrast to the John Key/Bill English/Peter Dunne approach. However, honesty doesn’t prevent one from making errors – and the decision to hold a referendum about legalising the personal use of cannabis is one such error.

It’s widely accepted that the actions of the New Zealand Parliament in passing gay marriage legislation was a wiser, less divisive move than the actions of the Australian Parliament in holding a referendum on the subject. The Australian experience of having a referendum on such an emotive subject was that the country tore itself in two, with many people eventually choosing to vote against gay marriage out of sheer bitterness and resentment.

The New Zealand experience of making it legal by Parliamentary decree gave the country an opportunity to come together in mutual desire to right the wrongs of the past. Even conservatives like Maurice Williamson saw the need to give a passionate speech in favour of a law change, and the Parliament itself went as far as singing a song out of a will to demonstrate that the old days of hate were over.

It’s also widely acknowledged – by the New Zealand people, if not by the New Zealand ruling classes – that withholding cannabis medicine from sick people who need it is an extremely cruel thing to do, and something only done because of hate. Certainly it’s much crueler than withholding marriage rights from people, which, while inconvenient, are hardly a matter of life and death or daily suffering and misery.

Moreover, it’s obvious from the experience of the half a dozen American states that have already legalised the recreational use of cannabis that the downsides of doing so have been massively overstated for decades. The predicted crime explosion and spates of suicides never eventuated – indeed, some research suggests that suicide rates can drop by almost 5% in the wake of legalising medicinal cannabis, and this rises to almost 10% in the cases of young males.

So why not just do the obvious thing, acknowledge the evident truth, stop lying and just make the personal use of cannabis legal by Parliamentary decree, as the Labour Government intends to do with medicinal cannabis?

This way we can avoid giving a platform to moronic bigots like Bob McCroskie to further divide our society with fearmongering and lies. The Australian equivalents to McCroskie have polluted media space with hysterical predictions of doom, further alienating gay people from the mainstream, and the same will happen in New Zealand if we also put a question of basic human rights to referendum.

Ultimately, no-one has the right to prevent anyone else from using cannabis. No-one has the right to take this freedom away from other people, any more than they have the right to prevent them from watching cricket or eating parmesan. Therefore, there is no good reason to have a referendum about whether it should be legal or not, because there’s ultimately no good reason to obey any law prohibiting the use of cannabis.

Our law should simply reflect this reality and make it legal.

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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.

New Zealand in India ODI Series 2017, First ODI Preview

Colin Munro’s T20 form has seen him elevated to open for the ODI side in the hope that he can replicate Brendon McCullum

A lot of things are going against the Black Caps before their One Day International series against India in India starts tonight (Sunday) at 9p.m. NZT. Ominously, India sit atop the ICC ODI team rankings table, equal to South Africa with 120 ratings points, while the Black Caps are currently a mid-table side at 5th. Worse, the matches are in India, where India just demolished the world champion Australia side 4-1.

On the other hand, a lot is going in their favour. New Zealand scored 343/9 in their last warm-up match against an Indian Board President’s XI, with centuries to Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who in all likelihood will comprise the 4-5 axis over the series. Considering that Kane Williamson will bat at three, this suggests that India might have difficulty bowling the Black Caps out.

Colin Munro is expected to open the batting with Martin Guptill, which is an experimental measure intended to fill the gap left by Brendon McCullum at the top of the order. McCullum’s explosive starts made it possible for Williamson and Taylor to build innings without risk, and Munro has a T20 strike rate of close to 150 – close to what McCullum was striking at for the last 2 years of his ODI career.

It looks as though Williamson will try and get 10 overs out of Colin de Grandhomme, who will bat 7, and with Latham at 5 doing the wicketkeeping this leaves a spot for a pure batsman at 6. This spot might get filled by Henry Nicholls, as it was during the final warm-up match, or the Black Caps might start playing hitters from there, which would probably mean Glenn Phillips.

The other question mark is whether or not Tim Southee is still good enough to command a starting spot in this ODI squad. Although he has been a first-choice seamer for a handful of years, his ODI bowling average over the past three years – which includes the great run at the 2015 Cricket World Cup – is 36.47, which is only good enough for 33rd place on the official ODI bowling rankings.

Damningly, there are four players from Afghanistan alone higher than Southee on the official rankings, which is probably not good enough for a Black Caps side that made the final of the last Cricket World Cup and is aiming to go one better in England in 2019.

It’s very possible that the Black Caps play two spinners on the slow Indian decks, which means they take both Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi. Assuming then that they still need de Grandhomme at 7 for the sake of the batting, and that Trent Boult is undroppable, that means Southee will be competing with Adam Milne and Matt Henry for that second seamer’s position.

India, for their part, have two extremely crafty bowlers. With the new ball is Jasprit Bumrah, who isn’t quick but has a Nathan Bracken-style range of subtle variations that make him hard to hit off the square, and with the older ball is Axar Patel, whose wily orthodox is also a difficult proposition on Indian surfaces.

The likely winning of the game, however, will be in India’s power-packed top order. They have four batsmen ranked in the top 14 in the world, with two of them – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – ranked higher than Kane Williamson. Kohli averages a monstrous 55.13 from almost 200 matches, and getting rid of him early is simply a necessity if the Black Caps are to win.

Alongside them are the silky skillful Ajinkya Rahane and the brutal Shikhar Dhawan at the top and MS Dhoni with his 50+ average down the order. India have also found a genuine allrounder in Hardik Pandya so have no obvious weaknesses anywhere.

The Black Caps are only playing three ODIs and they are paying $3.80 on BetFair to win the first one, compared to India’s $1.35. This suggests that the market is expecting a 2-1 or 3-0 win to India.

Cannabis Law Reform Appears Imminent Under The New “Afghanistan” Government

The Afghanistan flag is black, red and green, like the alliance supporting the Sixth Labour Government

A black-red-green “Afghanistan” coalition has replaced National in the halls of New Zealand power, and so the absolute, mindless refusal of the outgoing National Government to countenance any kind of cannabis law reform is now no longer relevant. This means that the wasted decade might be at an end. This article looks at the prospects for cannabis law reform over the next three years.

Labour had already pledged to introduce medicinal cannabis within the first 100 days of taking power, at least to “people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain”, but questions remain.

It isn’t yet clear what definition of medicinal cannabis Labour intends to use when they change the law. What constitutes “medicinal” use of cannabis is a subject of considerable debate, not least among medical and mental health professionals. That it could be prescribed to people with terminal illnesses seems straightforward enough, but what qualifies as “chronic pain” could vary from a small number of acute conditions on the one hand, to a California-style wide range of ailments on the other (California has had legal medicinal cannabis since 1996).

The best outcome for cannabis users would be that the Labour Party adopts the same definition of cannabis, and treats cannabis the same way, as in Julie Anne Genter’s medicinal cannabis bill, currently before Parliament. This bill contains a very broad conception of medicinal cannabis and provides for users to grow their own medicine at home if they have approval from a doctor who believes that cannabis would prevent suffering.

A jackpot outcome for medicinal cannabis users would be for the home grow provisions of Julie Anne Genter’s bill to be made legal within the first hundred days of the Sixth Labour Government. Although we can be sure that all of the Green MPs and most of the Labour MPs would support this, Winston Peters and New Zealand First might prefer a narrower definition of medicinal cannabis in the first hundred days with a broader definition put to referendum as part of the deal with the Greens.

Recently it was learned that the Green Party had successfully negotiated to hold a referendum on personal use of cannabis at or before the 2020 General Election. Although it isn’t clear at this stage whether this will be similar to the referendum that successfully legalised recreational cannabis in Colorado in 2012, or if it will be some watered-down offer of decriminalisation, the very fact that a referendum is happening is excellent news for New Zealand cannabis users.

Although James Shaw is maintaining the lie that the Greens have supported legalising cannabis for 20 years, rather than tell the truth that they abandoned cannabis users for many years in an effort to appeal to the middle class, the fact that he feels the desire to take credit for the change in public perception regarding cannabis is a sign that he is sure that the wind has changed.

This column pointed out some years ago that it would be possible to tell when the public perception of cannabis had definitively shifted because politicians would start publicly claiming to have always supported a law change. Shaw is lying when he says that the Greens have had cannabis law reform as part of their policy for the past 20 years, because cannabis law reform activists have been challenging the Greens that whole time to update their cannabis policy to something similar to that of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and they have only done so in the past year.

But that doesn’t matter any more. The important thing is that a lot of cannabis law reform should be happening in the next three years, under a governing alliance that does not suffer from the fear-based myopia of the National Party around the substance. It appears that the efforts of cannabis law reform activists to persuade the centre-left parties of the merits of reform have been broadly successful, and that the ruling powers are now of a mind to make change to the laws.

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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 Conscript’s Dilemma

No forced hierarchy could ever form if those conscripted into it at the bottom killed those doing the conscripting

The thought experiment known as the Conscript’s Dilemma is at the very core of anarcho-homicidalism. It poses a very basic and very primal question that invites the listener to question their inherent attitudes to hierarchy, violence and submission. This essay discusses it from an anarcho-homicidalist perspective.

Imagine that you are a young man entering the prime of his life. Your village lies in the territory of a despotic king who regularly raises conscript troops to go and fight for treasure in overseas adventures. Those sort of adventures are foreign to you. You have you own life to live in the village – obligations to discharge, maidens to court etc. Life is orderly and good.

One day a conscription officer rides into your village. He explains that it’s war time again, and that he has come to round up for the army all fighting age men – which means you. The penalty for refusing to heed the king’s call is death.

This scenario has played out millions of times throughout the history of the Earth. It’s well-known what happens in the vast majority of cases: the villagers, cowed by fear of the distant king, willingly give up their sons to the war machine for fear of incurring the king’s wrath.

After all, if incurring the king’s wrath means certain death, and going to war only means the possibility of death, and there is no third option, going to war is the obvious correct choice.

Or so it might seem.

An anarcho-homicidalist thinks otherwise. Central to the idea of anarcho-homicidalism is that dominance hierarchies could not form without the consent of the dominated, and that anyone trying to enslave you can rightfully be killed if necessary to protect one’s own liberty. This means that the conscript at the centre of this dilemma has a third option: kill the conscription officer and trust that his fellows are also anarcho-homicidalists.

If the others are also anarcho-homicidalists, they will back him up. They will understand that killing the conscription officer was necessary to protect the village and its residents from the kingdom’s hierarchy. They will understand that the king’s actions are tantamount to an attempt to enslave, because they are implicitly claiming that the bodies of the villagers are the property of the king.

If they are not anarcho-homicidalists, that is to say they are normal men, that is to say they are cowards, they will be terrified of getting into trouble from killing one of the king’s men. They will turn the anarcho-homicidalist in, probably for the inevitable reward, or perhaps even kill him themselves out of a belief that he is a murderer and that the conscription attempt was legitimate.

The anarcho-homicidalist knows that if he killed the conscription officer, the punishment is unlikely to be much more severe than the worst potential cost of obeying the demand for conscription, which is to go to war and get slaughtered.

However the potential reward, should he find enough support in his actions that he is not simply taken down by the king’s local sheriffs, is total freedom.

Ultimately, this is what the question of anarcho-homicidalism often boils down to. If you’re not willing to kill to maintain your freedom, then you can’t maintain it in the face of someone willing to kill to take it away.

The Conscript’s Dilemma could be described in much the same way as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, with which it shares much of the same meathook logic. Essentially it’s a question of game theory, and it’s a curious one because the people involved, despite being best served by co-operation, are challenged by powerful incentives that incline them towards not co-operating.

More precisely, the dilemma is that if everyone was an anarcho-homicidalist, and everyone had confidence in everyone else’s faith in anarcho-homicidalism, they would all choose to kill any conscription officer who tried to force them into the army and thereby make slavery impossible, but if sufficiently few of them are anarcho-homicidalists then they will not resist enslavement efforts out of fear that the slavers will punish them, and so slavery becomes possible.

It is a useful rebuttal to those who reject anarcho-homicidalism right off the bat on account of that it explicitly calls for killing people. Very often, the alternative to having a will to kill in self-defence is to become a slave.