VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto VII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 426-573), Breivik discusses “Modern Jihad”, or how adherents of the Islamic religion fight for supremacy in the modern world. Opening with a quote of Surah 9 verse 5, in which Muslims are admonished to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”, this section details the existing Jihads carried out by Muslims against non-Muslims.

In his characteristic way, Breivik exhaustively catalogues the crimes committed by Muslims against non-Muslims. No offence, not even ones as prosaic as common assault, is too minor to be listed here. This is enough to give the impression that Islam is at war with every other culture that it shares a border with.

To some extent, Breivik has a point here. There are very few peaceful borders between Muslim-controlled areas and non-Muslim controlled ones, and prospects for there being more are very slim.

However, one glaring point is missed: if Islam is so ruthlessly aggressive when it comes to purging non-Muslims from Muslim lands, why are there still non-Muslims there? Nazi Germany managed to exterminate the vast bulk of European Jewry in fewer than six years of trying – how can it be that non-Muslim communities still exist in Muslim lands after what we are told has been 1,300 years of relentless extirpation?

Breivik mentions that one-sixth of the population of Egypt are Christians still. This seems like an extraordinarily high proportion for a group that has suffered 1,300 years of ethnic cleansing. The Native American population of the USA, the Aboriginal population of Australia and the Maori population of New Zealand are all much lower than this – and they were displaced over 400 years or less, meaning that the Christian exterminations of unwanted populations has been an order of magnitude more efficient and aggressive than those carried out by Muslims.

Moreover, the exhaustive list of Muslim crimes against non-Muslims is not compared to the list of non-Muslim crimes against non-Muslims, so there is no reference point against which to decide whether this list has any import. 800 Americans are shot dead by other Americans every single month – a monthly list of crimes much longer than the Muslim crimes detailed by Breivik in this document. And this is with a population one-fifth of the size of the Muslim world.

To some extent, Breivik is playing on the infamous persecution mania of Christians who see enemies everywhere and a never-ending infernal plot to drive them from the world in order to conquer it in the name of Satan. Ironically, although Breivik correctly points out that Muslims always try to cast themselves as the victims in order to gain sympathy, he does the exact same thing in this document.

There are many ways in which Breivik’s discontent with the current European situation is a consequence of the failure of European leaders. He correctly points out that part of the reason why Europeans are losing rights to increased security measures is because of the Islamic presence in Europe – had Europe never let the Muslims in, they never would have lost the freedoms that have been taken from them in the fight against extremism.

What needs to be done in response is clear. According to Breivik the terms of victory are “the total banishment of traditional Islam from a specific country. Widespread emigration/deportation and large scale conversion of Muslims in the country.”

This is necessary because “An objective analysis can never reach the conclusion that Islam is peaceful, tolerant and consistent with human rights.” Here, Breivik re-emphasises the point that Islam has never undergone a reformation of any kind. What Westerners foolishly call “moderate Muslims” are simply Muslims who are not particularly religious.

This section ends with a frightening question: “How was it possible that Immanuel Kant, who lived in a German state without liberal democracy, could criticise basic aspects of religion in the 18th century, while in the West of the 21st century there are social and legal consequences for criticising other religions and cultures?”

Have we really gone backwards since the Enlightenment?

Is It Now Time To Charge Peter Dunne With Manslaughter?

Withholding medicine from a sick person who needs it, leading to that person’s death, is manslaughter – should Peter Dunne face charges for withholding medicinal cannabis from sick Kiwis who needed it?

Peter Dunne announced today that he will be stepping down at next month’s election and will not contest his current Parliamentary seat of Ohariu. It’s apparent that the National ship is sinking and, like a rat, he’s getting off while the getting’s good. However, that doesn’t mean he should get away with the suffering he caused to innocent Kiwis while in office.

The New Zealand Crimes Act sets out the definition for culpable homicide, one form of which is the crime of manslaughter. One example of culpable homicide is “causing that person by threats or fear of violence, or by deception, to do an act which causes his or her death”.

The threat of using the criminal justice system to put a person in a cage for using medicinal cannabis definitely qualifies here. Peter Dunne has acted to uphold cannabis prohibition ever since his agreement to support the Fifth Labour Government in exchange for no progress on cannabis law reform.

This has had the effect of causing people to avoid using cannabis medicine for fear of arrest and imprisonment.

Lying about the medicinal qualities of cannabis also qualifies here. Telling the people of New Zealand that cannabis is not a medicine, when its medicinal use is saving lives in dozens of overseas jurisdictions, is a form of deception that has caused a number of deaths.

If New Zealand was a fair society, if justice existed here for every person and not just for the wealthy, Dunne would be charged with causing those deaths.

Studies have shown that in American states with legal medicinal cannabis, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by 25%. This is because many suffering people would rather use cannabis than the highly addictive opioid-based painkillers that frequently lead to death by overdose.

Because Dunne blocked medicinal cannabis law reform for so many years, the use of prescription opioids in New Zealand has soared. A mainstream media article from a couple of months ago, titled Serious pain coming as NZ’s prescription opioid use soars, details some statistics that point towards the looming health disaster that Peter Dunne has dumped in our laps.

There’s no doubt that if a New Zealander went into someone else’s house and took away their insulin, and then that person died, then the person who took that medicine away could be charged with manslaughter. So why can’t Peter Dunne be tried for the people who died because he kept medicinal cannabis out of their hands?

If the case of sick Kiwis dying from having an effective medicine withheld from them is not enough to press charges, the ongoing spate of deaths from people using recreational alternatives to natural cannabis might be. Peter Dunne’s action in delaying the legalisation of recreational cannabis, at the same time as opening the floodgates for a variety of mystery drugs cooked up in Chinese labs and labelled “legal highs”, has been linked with nine deaths last month alone.

The fact is that these people are only dying because their first choice of recreational drug – natural cannabis – has been denied to them, incentivising them to use alternatives. Therefore, it can be argued that Peter Dunne, insofar as he blocked cannabis law reform for so long, is responsible for these deaths.

His disastrous Psychoactive Substances Act, one of the most overreaching and totalitarian laws ever passed in New Zealand, has had the effect of making a huge range of safe cannabis alternatives illegal, delivering this massive industry directly into the hands of the black market and the criminal gangs that exploit it. Because of the total absence of quality controls in the black market, recreational drug consumers have absolutely no idea what they’re getting when they buy a cannabis alternative.

As the Minister chiefly responsible for this shambles, Peter Dunne ought to face manslaughter charges for the innocent Kiwis who have died through having cannabis denied to them.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto VI

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 366-425), Breivik traces some of the reasons for the weakness of the modern West. Although the reasons for the West’s decline are many, some weigh more heavily than others.

Curiously, from the perspective of 2017, the document points out that in the absence of a meaningful life people will gravitate towards mindless destruction. In this sense, the document appears to be somewhat prescient.

Breivik laments a lack of order and structure in the modern West. Society, he claims, has essentially broken down. Nobody wants to have children any more because they want to live carefree lives of perpetual adolescence. The plummeting birthrates have led to a demand from many quarters for mass immigration to replace the non-existent native children.

And so, conflict between the natives and immigrants becomes ever more likely, following the maxim “demography is destiny”.

Not that mass immigration is proposed merely for economic reasons. Breivik details a large conspiracy on the part of European elites to radically transform the make-up of their nations, especially in Britain under Tony Blair. Interestingly, Breivik is willing to criticise big business for their complicity in mass immigration – something that few on the right are willing to dare.

Perhaps unavoidably for a document of this length, the rhetoric swings from entirely reasonable libertarian critiques of Marxism to unreasonable demands, such as the total banning of the discipline of sociology. Sociology is inherently untrustworthy: “Their academic weapons are to deliberate spread their falsified and corrupted Marxist world view.”

Breivik makes an accurate criticism when he points out that the advocates of cultural Marxism are seldom the black, poor or disabled people that the Marxists claim to be agitating on behalf of. Instead, the vast majority of Marxists in the West are from privileged, wealthy families.

When Breivik writes that “Cultural Marxists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful” he agrees with some of the columnists of this newspaper, who have previously written about the overlap between modern leftist thought and slave morality, in particular the feeling of resentment that induces the weak to oppose anything strong.

This tendency is also equated with the feminine, with masochism and with suicidal ideation.

He also echoes this newspaper when he quotes a British politician as saying “When all the politicians agree, the rest of us should suspect a plot against the ordinary citizen.” Like this newspaper, the intent in raising such paranoid conjectures is to crystallise dissent against the system.

Breivik makes no effort to hide his dissatisfaction with the political process. Electoral politics is dismissed as an “empty ritual” directed by the collusion of the political and media classes. Important issues are not discussed by the media, who has failed to do its job as a Fourth Estate holding the government to account. Instead, they are decided upon “behind closed doors”.

In this section, Breivik manages to list who his enemies are. In short, his three major groups of enemies to the European people are:

1. The media and academia, who have an anti-Western bias
2. The political elites, who seek to remake the world in their image regardless of the cost, and
3. Muslims.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto V

This reading carries on from here.

This section (pages c. 286-415) is entitled “Europe Burning” and details a deliberate strategy, on the part of Breivik’s enemies, to destablise the European continent. This is achieved through a variety of political and sociological means.

Breivik appears to be an ardent believer in the Eurabia theory. This theory has it that the elites of the European and Muslim spheres have secretly agreed to come together in order to act as a counterweight to the influence of America and Israel.

The Eurabia theory sounds plausible on the face of it. But much of the rhetoric around it is misleading. A cynic might argue that the Eurabia rhetoric was deliberately dishonest.

Mass Muslim immigration to France happened not because of a conspiracy but because of economic reasons. We can surmise this because other Western nations also saw an influx of poorly educated third-worlders to work the jobs that the natives had become too highly educated to want to do.

Likewise, European prejudice against Jews and Israel did not arise as a consequence of Muslim and Arab leverage on European politicians. Anyone with so much as a passing knowledge of European history will be aware that native Europeans were more than capable of hating Jews without outside encouragement.

This document exhaustively references antisocial actions taken on behalf of certain Muslims and explains them in terms of collective Islamic anti-Western action. It’s certainly true that if a person would read a several hundred page list of crimes committed by Muslims they could come away thinking that such an agenda existed, but the document does not make an effort to determine whether such a list of crimes is unusual.

Another place in which the document makes implausible assertions is with regards to the sentiment that Judaism and Christianity are traditional European religions and Islam is not. Why Christianity and Judaism should be considered any more European than Islam, when all three Abrahamic sects come from the same place and exhibit similar characteristics, is not discussed by Breivik.

Neither does Breivik explain why he can so ardently attack Communism, Marxism, liberalism, globalism and feminism, but defend the very same Judaism that is most commonly associated with those ideologies.

This unusually benevolent stance towards Judaism is underlined by the multiple references to the work of Bat Ye’or, – who is the most energetic proponent of the Eurabia conspiracy theory – and the claim that Israel is a “cultural cousin” to Europe.

It is, true, however, that Breivik’s grasp of history is much deeper than those of the mainstream commentators whose political opinions inform the masses. He points out that the advent of the nation state, this enemy of the globalist, was itself a reaction to the religious wars that plagued Europe until the mid 17th century, and that wars predated the nation state by thousands of years.

Therefore, there is no reason to agree with the lazy consensus pushed by mainstream leftists that the end of the nation state will bring about a greater level of peace.

Ironically, Breivik “the neo-Nazi” comes across as decidedly less totalitarian than some of his enemies in certain regards. His dislike of the European Union is based in part on the phenomenon of unelected Eurocrats having more power than elected representatives of national governments.

He is correct to point out that critics of the unelected Eurocrats are often dismissed as “anti-democratic” elements – an absurdity on its face.

Although Europe has many enemies in Breivik’s analysis of the world, from the European Union to the mainstream media to mainstream academia to right-wing libertarians who deny the pull of culture, the major enemy is undoubtedly Islam: “The Islamic world always has been our enemy and always will be.”

Throughout this section, Breivik demonstrates an acute historical knowledge on the one hand, and a tendency to rapidly jump over several logic steps on the other. This leads to a number of uneasy conclusions.

Why Anarcho-Homicidalism Is Not Terrorism

The obvious reaction of someone trapped in a slave mindset, when told that they have the right to kill anyone who is trying to enslave them, is to protest that such a thing must be “terrorism” or some other crime against good order. Learning to think like a free person means learning when your rights have to be defended, and an anarcho-homicidalist has taken steps to ensure that his actions are legitimate resistance and not terrorism.

They might overlap in a lot of ways, because both use violence to bring about a vision of correct order in the world, but anarcho-homicidalism is very distinct from terrorism.

The primary difference is that anarcho-homicidalism, being a branch of anarchy, does not tolerate either hierarchy or forced collectivism. This means that, not only is the anarcho-homicidalist forbidden from killing on command, but he is also forbidden from justifying an act of anarcho-homicidalism on the grounds that his target merely shared a demographic category with someone trying to enslave him.

Both of these qualities are distinct from terrorism. Although there are terrorists who act on their own initiative, the majority of terrorist deeds are carried out by individuals who have been coerced, intimidated or tricked into action.

Also, a clear majority of terrorist actions are carried out to further one side in some “us vs. them” narrative. The Muslims who kill themselves in suicide bombings are able to motivate themselves to take action by rationalising that the collective benefit to Islam of killing many of Islam’s enemies outweighs the individual loss of life.

The anarcho-homicidalist is different from these in that he must arrive at the decision to kill out of his own philosophical reasoning, and that his efforts must be targeted upwards at an authority figure, not sideways at the lackeys of one.

The secondary difference is that anarcho-homicidalism leads to less violence – in contrast to terrorism, which leads to more violence.

In fact, a crucial element of anarcho-homicidalism is that the action ought to decrease the amount of suffering in the world. Therefore, it is legitimate to kill a politician whose actions are causing suffering, but not to start a blood feud between one group and another group that the politician just happens to belong to.

The usual example given when arguing for the merits of anarcho-homicidalism is that of conscription. It’s trivially easy to see how widespread anarcho-homicidalism would make raising slave armies impossible, because an anarcho-homicidalist would simply shoot any conscription officer that came to their house.

A terrorist, by contrast, is unlikely to shoot a conscription officer. This is because nothing about terrorism explicitly goes against the idea of hierarchy. A terrorist is more likely to bend the knee and take orders from a conscription officer, in the hope that they will get the chance to kill the enemies of whatever collective the terrorist considers themselves part of.

Another stark difference is that a terrorist is usually happy to create collateral damage. Bombing a civilian airliner is a common terrorist act, for the reason that it makes people afraid to get into planes, and because the targeted country tends to waste enormous resources on security in the aftermath.

All of these terrorist actions have the effect of causing more violence to happen, because they will either provoke the authorities into crackdowns or provoke the groups whose members were killed to violently retaliate.

An anarcho-homicidalist, by contrast, will not cross the boundary into terrorism. His action is surgical, clinical, unpredictable, unstoppable. The only terror created by the anarcho-homicidalist is in the hearts of those who would rule, and the effectiveness of his action is not determined by the destruction of an enemy but by whether it persuades the ruling authorities to treat their subjects correctly.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto IV

This reading carries on from here.

Much of this section (pages c. 200-286) relates to further elucidation of the nature of the relations between Muslims and Christians. Here Breivik takes care to ensure that the Christians are always cast as the victims. When recounting the Muslim conquest of Lebanon, he draws special attention to the fact that the percentage of Christians there has declined from roughly 79% to 25% in the last century.

One point that is hard to refute is that Islam conquered immense swathes of territory in the century after the death of Muhammad. Breivik points out the unlikelihood of a fundamentally peaceful religion spreading so rapidly and so violently so quickly – indeed, such a rapid, aggressive expansion can only be explained by the religion being fundamentally violent.

This perhaps has led to the world-view expressed in the early part of the document as being one of noble resistance against the plundering Islamic hordes. It also explains why much of this document painstakingly recounts the specifics of the conflicts.

This world-view has led to some far-reaching conclusions, such as that a reluctance on the part of European leaders to protect Christian communities in the Middle East is the equivalent of high treason. This might make some sense if a person considers themselves part of the Christian yang locked into an eternal struggle with the Islamic yin, where all Christians are part of the same “team”.

Most of Breivik’s rhetoric appears designed specifically to appeal to Christians: the “us and them” nature of relations between Christendom and the Islamic world is emphasised. There doesn’t seem to be much room for people who aren’t particularly enthusiastic about Christianity – if these people are Westerners, they have let Team Christian down by refusing to join them in their eternal struggle against Islam.

That concludes this section of Breivik’s manifesto. The next section looks at the problems currently besieging Europe.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto III

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages c. 90-200), Breivik details the history of relations between the West and Islam. In his analysis here, there is nothing peaceful – Islam has been attempting to conquer the West since its inception, and would have succeeded already if not repelled at either Tours or Vienna, or other places.

The destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One, Breivik claims, is how the West has earned some breathing space against this relentless assault. The Caliphate was shattered after the Battle of Megido in 1917, and only because of this has Islam been unable to attack Europe in recent decades.

With sentences such as “the Islamic sources make clear that engaging in violence against non-Muslims is a central and indispensable principle to Islam,” and “Those cultures and individuals who do not submit to Islamic governance exist in an ipso facto state of rebellion with Allah and must be forcibly brought into submission,” a particular kind of Nordic bleakness shines through in this document.

It’s a kind of bleakness that has resigned itself to violence as a grim but inevitable outcome of the play of natural forces. They are attacking us is Breivik’s message. They always have been attacking us and they always will be.

Perhaps the following paragraph summarises this section of the document best:

The spectacular acts of Islamic terrorism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are but the most recent manifestation of a global war of conquest that Islam has been waging since the days of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century AD and that continues apace today. This is the simple, glaring truth that is staring the world today in the face — and which has stared it in the face numerous times in the past — but which it seems few today are willing to contemplate.

In this section Breivik continues to emphasise the point that no reformation of Islam is possible, for the reason that would-be reformers are unable to refer to any scriptural injunctions towards peace with non-believers. The example set by Muhammad himself was an example of war and of violence, so anyone with a will to reform is snookered from the beginning.

Essentially, anyone trying to move Islam away from violence has to work against the scriptures. Therefore, Islam cannot be used as a civilising force in the same way that Christianity could; no-one could discover through serendipity a message of peace and tolerance in their study of the Koran.

From reading this section there are two elements of Breivik’s reasoning that seem objectionable.

The first is that, although the list of historical atrocities by Muslims and modern apologies for these atrocities by Muslims is long, there are over a billion Muslims and Islam stretches back to the seventh century. As an inevitable consequence of existing for that long on a planet as violent as Earth, a cherry-picked list of bad things committed by or in the name of a group that large and old is going to be lengthy.

There’s no doubt, for example, that one could compile a hundred pages of grossly supremacist and chauvinistic admonitions to violence from a number of nationalities, including the Spanish, the French, the Germans, the British, the Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mongols, Huns, Persians and others, not to mention every other major Abrahamic sect.

Breivik may well have a point that most Westerners are not taught a deep general historical knowledge of Islam, but this only reveals a kind of autism on his part – after all, most people couldn’t care less about history full stop, let alone someone else’s.

The second obvious point of objection is that, although Breivik is correct in many ways when he criticises the unwillingness of Western historians, historical educators, or politicians to write or speak honestly about Islam, he doesn’t say much about an alternative.

If his contentions about the warlike nature of Muhammad and of Islam are accurate, and that they intend to subjugate the entire rest of the world, then there is a very good reason to not acknowledge this: doing so would be tantamount to an immediate declaration of war.

If Western leaders chose to go on television and say that the Prophet Muhammad was a pedophile and that the history of Islam was one of bloodshed, it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy in short order.

They appear to be gambling on the idea that, if left for long enough without provocation, Islam could reform itself. In this they stand in complete opposition to Breivik.

However, a wiser head might make the claim that if faced with an apocalyptic war today, just about any alternative is preferable, and therefore if there’s any doubt about the willingness of Islam to subjugate the world we should accommodate that doubt in our conversations with them.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto I

Few are aware that the manifesto of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik has already had a considerable impact on the narratives within Western popular culture, but over the next few months we will have a close look at how. Today we introduce the VJMP Reads column, in which we try to get to grips with lesser-known or suppressed works of philosophy, especially those of a political bent.

Titled 2083: A Declaration of European Independence and published in 2011, the manifesto is not a light read. The version we are using weighs in at 1,515 pages – a similar length to War and Peace or The Stand.

Neither does it have any ambitions to be a light read. The vast scope of the document can be appreciated from a cursory glance at the table of contents, which runs to over 300 items.

The introduction starts off with a very powerful, and very unsettling, argument: that all ideologies are necessarily false. All ideologies, according to Breivik, declare a model of reality to be reality itself, and, when inevitably proven false, attempt to suppress that reality to the extent that they have the power to do so.

Their ultimate goal is to suppress the very thinking of thoughts that, although they may reflect reality, do not further the ideology.

Breivik is very direct about approaching these questions from a conservative perspective. Like many other conservatives, he harkens back to an idyllic Golden Age in the past – in Breivik’s 1950s,

“Our homes were safe, to the point where many people did not bother to lock their doors. Public schools were generally excellent, and their problems were things like talking in class and running in the halls. Most men treated women like ladies, and most ladies devoted their time and effort to making good homes…”

Western Europe, he laments, has been conquered by ideology. The dominant ideology – variously referred to as ‘Marxism’, ‘political correctness’, ‘cultural Marxism’ and ‘feminism’ among others – is one that seeks a classless society where the outcome for every person is the same.

Because people are different, they will end up with different outcomes as a consequence of natural laws. Therefore, in order for equal outcomes to be reality, people have to be forced into this reality against their will and against nature.

Variants of this basic argument are made by most conservative commentators, and to that end Breivik is not unusual.

Much of the introduction to the manifesto is taken up with a history of the ideology of political correctness and Marxism, which Breivik treats as having waged a many-decades long war against the order of the West.

What Breivik is decrying, fundamentally, is chaos; what he fundamentally desires is order. The current order is correct, and therefore efforts to destabilise it are wrong. Although the situation is grim – there is a distinctly paranoid tinge to the introduction – Western Europe can still be saved through a sufficient effort of will.

One curiosity is that Breivik, who is approaching the issue from a conservative perspective, uses many arguments that echo George Orwell, who was a leftist libertarian. “Whatever controls language also controls thought” is a paraphrasing of a famous line from 1984.

This explains why many of his arguments have broad appeal. His criticisms about how the emphasis of higher education has changed over time, from providing an education in the liberal arts to providing a cultural uniform that one learns to wear to display one’s political virtue, ring home with any freethinker that has been through university.

Breivik also identifies with Christianity, decrying a university course “designed to denigrate the Bible as cleverly crafted fiction instead of God’s truth.” The patriarchal nature of this Abrahamic cult is considered by Breivik to be a positive thing.

Indeed, the enemy, in summary, is “anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-nationalist, anti-patriot, anti-conservative, anti-hereditarian, anti-ethnocentric, anti-masculine, anti-tradition, and anti-morality.”

And it’s these qualities, Breivik contends, that have weakened European culture and society to a point where Islamic conquest becomes possible.

What’s clear from the introduction to this document is that, if there’s a team yin and a team yang, Breivik is fully committed to team yang. For him it is order, not free expression, that is the foundation of all that’s good and moral in the world, and threats to that order cannot be improvements but are necessarily evil.

*

The VJMP Reads column will continue with Part II of Anders Breivik’s manifesto.

Election is Not the Same As Selection!

You’ve got the power to choose who will rule the country after September 23rd – we’re all waiting on your input! Your vote will help elect a Prime Minister and ruling party. You will have a range of choices of both electorate and party candidates – some voters will have over 25 options. That’s democracy, right? The people choose, right? Not really.

The tricky thing is that your input regarding the selection of the candidates is not asked for. The process that led to either Bill English or Andrew Little becoming one of your only two choices for Prime Minister is not under your influence, not even in the slightest.

As Richard Goode of Not A Party pointed out in a recent address, New Zealand has had either a National Party Prime Minister or a Labour Party Prime Minister for the past 80 years.

And you don’t get to select either of those. You get to vote for one list of people that you have zero input into, or another list of people that you have zero input into.

So what your vote amounts to, as an elector, is little more than a ceremonial acknowledgement of the completion of a process that started a long time before election day. Like the Queen cutting a ribbon to open a new library, it’s merely a show for the cameras.

The process that matters – where the political power is – is the process that puts a person into the position of leading their party in the first place. And the Establishment will have seen to it, as it does every other time, that both the National leader and the Labour leader are their puppets.

So it doesn’t matter if you vote for the left wing or the right wing of the shitbird – the leaders of both wings have been selected by the people who really have all the power in society, and it isn’t you.

That’s why Andrew Little and Bill English are indistinguishable when it comes to several major social issues. On the issue of cannabis law reform, Little is no less conservative than English, constantly harping on about brain damage, and the Labour Party policy webpage makes no mention of cannabis law reform whatsoever (although funding a motion-capture studio in Dunedin was important enough to mention).

In the end, we shouldn’t expect Little and English to be distinguishable. What the rulers of this country want is to frighten the markets as little as possible, and that means reducing democracy to a sham election between two candidates pre-selected for their total absence of any capacity for novel thought.

Ultimately, the people who benefit from the status quo have far too much invested in it to allow it to be upset by plebs like you!

Not even voting for a third party is possible. Watching the Green Party mortgage their soul at ever-increasing rates of interest over the past 18 years taught us one thing: a maverick third party can only win power in our system to the degree that it makes itself indistinguishable from those who already have it.

That the country will be led by someone who sees you as a unit of livestock to be milked for productivity and taxes is a given. It might appear that the only reasonable course of action was to refuse to vote and to work on building a parallel society away from the gaze of psychopaths beholden to international banking or ideological interests.

Is New Zealand The Worst Country On Earth?

New Zealand – paradise if you’re wealthy, but if you’re not (and especially if you’re also young), living here is a curious psychological torture. We have the highest teen suicide rates in the developed world, and this essay looks at some reasons why.

Like every other country on Earth, our mainstream media likes to paint a picture of everything being excellent and the country having never done better – this being the well-known strategy for putting the receivers of such media in the optimal mindset for buying the products advertised in it.

Our mainstream media has a unique level of shamelessness in doing so, however, because in no other country in the developed world are teenagers as likely to decide that they’d rather be dead than living here.

New Zealand is close to the worst country on Earth to be young. There’s nothing to do here, we’re all psychologically damaged and our authority figures lie to us all the time.

This is especially true for the current generation of youth, who grew up in the wake of Ruthanasia, the sadistic welfare policies of the Fourth National Government. These policies taught our youth that the country couldn’t give two shits about them and that empathy is for the weak – once you’re born, you’re on your fucken own.

The consequence of this lack of empathy is a generation of youth without much empathy, and a consequence of that is that they kill themselves at world-record rates. There’s nothing surprising about it – they’ve simply internalised the lack of worth with which they were treated.

Understanding how we got like this requires that we understand how isolated New Zealand is. Australia is itself an isolated country at the arse-end of the world, but they’re practically Greece compared to us.

In almost any other country on Earth, it’s possible to get into a car, drive a short distance across a border and have an entirely different cultural experience, with new people, new thoughts and new ideas.

We don’t have any of that in New Zealand. We’re stuck here. For all of the generations before the one that grew up with the Internet, all we had was the television, and that taught us to consume, not to think.

And as we stagnated, we turned our rages on each other.

Perhaps the worst thing about New Zealand is the petty, vicious, cowardly streak in the national character that has us always lashing out at the person at the bottom of society rather than daring to criticise the people at the top.

This is reflected in our obscene school bullying culture. Unfortunately for New Zealand teenagers, our culture of abuse is so deeply entrenched that many teachers will argue that bullying is a good thing because it forces kids to develop social skills or “toughens them up for the real world” (or some other 19th-century logic).

It’s also reflected in our third-world mental health system, which regularly throws sick people out onto the street with no help or funding. Many teenagers have committed suicide after trying to get help from the New Zealand mental health system only to find that no-one working in it could care less about them.

Unfortunately for this country’s mentally ill, especially if they are also young and poor, being mentally ill is still seen as a personal failure in New Zealand – depression is a failure to harden the fuck up, bipolar disorder is a failure to calm down, schizophrenia is a failure to sort your shit out.

In this way, New Zealand has failed to move on from the 1950s, in contrast to almost everywhere else.

A natural consequence of this brutal, brain-dead attitude is a national unwillingness to talk about mental illness. Doing so engenders so little natural sympathy that our youth would rather kill themselves than try and broach the subject with an adult New Zealander.

Not only do we have less of an influence from without, but we actively stomp down any new thought that might arise from within – and not only through the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

New Zealand managed to produce an intellect great enough to win a Booker Prize recently in Eleanor Catton, and Prime Minister John Key bullied her out of the country by publicly stating that her opinion on intellectual matters wasn’t worth more than that of a rugby player.

No other country is shit enough to do that. Almost anywhere else, it would be recognised that intellects like Catton’s are necessary to prevent a culture from rotting from the inside, and especially so in New Zealand where new ideas do not flow in from across the border.

We weren’t always like this: studies have shown that our teen suicide rate actually used to be lower than that of other countries.

But in the mid-80s we got sucked into the con job that was neoliberalism, and none of our current politicians have the guts to suggest any change of track.

The country that once led the world on social issues like women’s suffrage and old-age pensions is now more backwards than South Africa on social issues like gay marriage and cannabis law reform.

Without a fundamental change of attitude that brings us into 21st-century modes of thinking, the standard of living here will only continue to deteriorate, and our teen suicide rates will only increase.