Black Caps vs. Australia, Champions Trophy Pool Match Preview

Trent Boult demolished the Australian lower order the last time these two sides met in an ODI, taking 6-33. The Black Caps will need something similar to concede less than 350 against this strong Australian side

The Black Caps had mixed fortunes in the Champions Trophy warm-up matches, but that will all be forgotten when their first pool match starts, against World Cup final opponents Australia, this Friday at 9:30p.m. (NZT).

Australia is a solid favourite on BetFair to win this encounter in Birmingham. They are only paying $1.53 compared to $2.84 for the Black Caps.

The main reason for this is their superb bowling. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are both ranked in the top 5 of ODI bowlers at the moment, and they will have both Pat Cummins and James Pattinson backing them up.

Because Starc is capable of batting 8, Australia might be tempted to go with all four of them in the same side – which would make for an exceptionally fearsome ODI pace battery, one of the strongest ever. There would be no respite.

The Black Caps may have three of their best ever ODI batsmen in the top 4 – Martin Guptill, captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, but question marks remain over Guptill’s opening partner and the middle order.

A number of players were tried in these positions in the warm-up matches and in the preceding tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh. The difficulty is that there were no performances that will have forced the hand of the selectors.

Guptill will open with either Luke Ronchi or Tom Latham. The desire from the brains trust might be to favour the big-hitting Ronchi, because English surfaces in recent years have tended towards very big scores.

A variety of players have been recently tried in the Black Caps middle order. Neil Broom, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Colin de Grandhomme are all possibilities for the middle order and allrounder slots.

The Black Caps bowling unit, however, is easy to select. The tried and true combination of Trent Boult (ranked 6th in the world for ODIs) and Tim Southee will no doubt share the new ball, and it’s likely that Mitchell McClenaghan will be in as third seamer.

McClenaghan’s T20 experience will help to lend him skills that are useful in death bowling, and he has been talked about in that role in particular. This should see him take the spot ahead of Adam Milne, who is improving rapidly but still lacks the knockout punch of the more established seamers.

The three seamers will be complimented by Mitchell Santner, whose relentless accuracy and subtle variations have seen him rise into the top 10 of ODI bowlers for the first time.

The Black Caps bowling strategy will be to take two or three poles early with the moving ball, and then to at least restrict the scoring in the middle overs with Santner and the variations of either McClenaghan or Milne.

This will lessen the potential impact of the Australians’ big middle order hitters like Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade.

The Australian batting lineup appears to be following the general ODI zeitgeist at the moment by being packed with hitters. Any of David Warner, Aaron Finch, Lynn, Head, Maxwell or Stoinis is capable of striking at well over 100 for as long as they can stay in.

Their strategy will probably be to use Steve Smith at 3 as the fulcrum around which the other batsmen can hit. If Smith can stay in long enough then the others around him can throw the bat and Australia will post a colossal score.

Considering that 300 has been a par score in England recently even for average sides, this match between the two World Cup finalists has the potential to see 700+ runs scored.

The winner of it will have the box seat in qualifying from this group, as they will probably then only have to beat Bangladesh in order to advance to the semifinals.

Did Richie McCaw Destroy International Rugby?

The Sydney Bledisloe Cup match of 2000 was a high water mark in international rugby. In front of 109,000 people, the world champion Australia team and the desperate, wounded All Blacks fought to the death like Ali and Frazier. Many who saw it said at the time it was the most extraordinary rugby match ever played, with an iconic match-winning performance from none other than Jonah Lomu.

The All Blacks prevailed on that night, 39-35, but the Wallabies would win by one point three weeks later to retain the Bledisloe Cup, and at the time it seemed like the advent of professional rugby was about to make for a titanic era of contests for this trophy.

Professional rugby seemed like it was going to bring a lot of razzamatazz to the Southern Hemisphere circuit – Super Rugby was also huge that year. The ACT Brumbies topped the table at the end of the pool stages, and ended up losing the final at home against the Canterbury Crusaders by one point.

The next year, 2001, marked the Super Rugby debut, also for the Crusaders, of one Richie Hugh McCaw. As it turned out, McCaw was not so much a rugby player as a genius that played rugby.

He only played eight minutes of Super Rugby that year, but he did play a full NPC season, and was good enough to win selection to the All Blacks’ end of year tour, where he was handed a debut against Ireland, and promptly won Man of the Match.

The next year, 2002, McCaw became a Crusaders regular. In an odd echo of the future, the Crusaders won every single match that year, taking the Super Rugby title undefeated – something never achieved before or since.

2003 might have been the end of the golden summer for Australian rugby. They lost the Bledisloe Cup, but managed to knock the All Blacks out of the World Cup, going on to take an all-conquering England team to extra time in the final.

Come 2017, and Australia has not won the Bledisloe Cup since. Richie McCaw may have retired two years ago, but in the same way that Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca depressed the price of gold in the Middle East for decades afterwards, McCaw’s decade of almost total dominance still depresses Australian rugby.

This year’s Super Rugby table makes for confusing reading. The current leaders of the Australian conference, the Brumbies, have fewer tournament points than the current wooden spooners of the New Zealand conference, the Blues.

New Zealand rugby is so dominant that the 4th-ranked Kiwi team, the Highlanders, has only lost three games all season. Despite this, they can’t climb any higher than 4th because the Hurricanes have only lost two, the Chiefs one and the Crusaders zero.

Even worse is the effect this dominance has had on the Internet rhetoric. At the turn of the century, trans-Tasman rugby banter was between equals. In recent years, however, it has taken a darker turn: the prison rape metaphor, once only applied to descriptions of All Blacks matches against the hapless Celts, crept into summaries of Bledisloe matches.

At its nadir, the Internet rhetoric was entirely based on the degree of sexual impotence the Australian players and fans would suffer as a consequence of the losses and for how many years afterwards. The jokes were that the children of Australian players would be too ashamed to admit their paternity to their classmates.

So the question is this: was Richie McCaw so good at rugby that he actually destroyed the international game? Did he set standards so high that all other nations just gave up on hoping to ever match them?

Probably not. After all, Australia made it to the World Cup final in 2015, and they did about as well there as any other side could have hoped to have done – namely, a loss by a two-try margin.

Alexander the Great died at age 33, and within months of the same age Richie McCaw retired from international rugby. The struggle for a successor to Alexander saw his empire shatter into four pieces and then to further disintegrate.

Kieran Read now leads the All Blacks, and his side might play the role of the Seleucid Empire, the early favourites to recreate the total world domination that McCaw once achieved.

However, no order can exist indefinitely, and it is in the nature of peaks to erode into valleys. The standards set by McCaw are unlikely to be maintained for the simple reason that the men tasked with doing so will not possess McCaw’s genius.

This column believes that it is in the Australian nature, despite a decade of denial, to recognise the smell of blood at the first opportunity and to take advantage of it. Therefore, it predicts that the current sorry state of Australian rugby will not last for much longer.

And as long as one side can stand up to the All Blacks the others will always believe themselves to have a hope.

The Great Division at the Heart of Generation X

The 1999 film Fight Club was highly prophetic for those too young to identify with the Baby Boomers and too old to identify with the Millennials: those of us who vaguely, apathetically, identify with being called Generation X. Speaking to us in the midst of a quarter-life crisis, Tyler Durden told us what we already suspected, but dreaded being forced to accept: we are the middle children of history, no purpose, no place.

It’s true. We stand for nothing. Nothing unites us, apart from this cynicism. We have no Great War – Afghanistan and Iraq will never define our generation like Vietnam did the one before us and World War II the one before that. Very few of us fought in it, and the body count incurred simply does not compare.

Neither do we have a Great Depression.

The proportion of Baby Boomers raised in absolute poverty dwarfs the proportion of Generation X raised in absolute poverty, as the several decades of technological advancements and massive industrial and economic expansion after World War II all but eliminated childhood poverty by the 1970s, save for the unfortunates born to mentally or physically ill parents.

Where the Baby Boomers used the political system as a weapon to enslave the coming generations and to keep them working to maintain Boomer leisure and privilege, Generation X mostly refused to engage.

And where the Millennials are taking measures to overthrow the current political and economic systems and to replace them something not borne of the poverty mentality of the Boomers, again Generation X mostly refuses to engage.

In this sense, Generation X is a generation of springtime, in that we comprise the part of the sine wave where yin transforms to yang, and life begins to blossom but without direction, owing to its inexperience.

But in the same way that the springtime is a season of broken weather, so too is Generation X naturally unstable, and so too will we break apart.

But can we really like ourselves without knowing who we are, and doesn’t that require a purpose and a place?

The natural division at our heart is like this: half of us are like the Boomers, half are like the Millennials.

It might be that the Boomers end up representing the “old left” in the exact same way that they once represented the “new left” against the “old right” of the Greatest Generation, with the Silent Generation playing the role of autumn.

This suggests that half of Generation X will sell out and throw their lot in with their parents, resisting change and acting to perpetuate the same injustices on the Millennials that the Boomers imposed on them.

In this way, half of us will become the “old left”. Probably this means that, as we age and become the leaders of industry alongside the Boomers, we will advocate for more governmental control and regulation, fewer entrepreneurial freedoms and the continued importation of millions of third-world people to destroy the solidarity and so also the wages of those we employ, screaming “racism” every time a Millennial or Generation Z complains about anything.

The other half of us will become the “new right”. Probably this means that, as the Millennials also age and gain in economic and political influence, they will still look primarily to members of Generation X for immediate guidance, and those of us willing and able to fill these roles will naturally do so.

It’s very possible both that the Millennials and Generation Z, having been raised in an abundance mentality that sharply contrasts with the poverty mentality of the Boomers and their immediate predecessors, will demand a radical transformation of society and revaluation of values, and that they will look to members of Generation X for moral, philosophical and spiritual guidance.

This column predicts that half of us will succeed in reciprocating these expectations from the next generations, whereas the other half will cling to the old ways out of fear and fail.

The next generations might well be horrified at the sexual permissiveness, the suicidally reckless obsession with alcohol, the negligent attitude to the potential negative consequences of mass immigration, the indifference to the mental damage of exposure to suggestive television advertising and the brutally cognitively restrictive education system that all combine to characterise the culture that we have become used to – after all, none of these phenomena are caused by the expression of universal or eternal moral truths.

Will we stand aside for the next generation, or will we try and strangle it in the crib in order to shore up our own positions? That is the essential question that will divide Generation X over the coming decades.

How Individualism Defends the Anglosphere

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, a couple of extremely virulent and aggressive political movements swept the Western world – communism and national socialism – eventually leading to the deaths of some 50 million people. How did the Anglosphere avoid getting sucked up in these murderous, psychopathic insanities?

The soul-grinding deprivation of the Great Depression caused horrific trauma all around the world. Perhaps on account of an absence of historical guidance and precedent, a number of countries voted extremists, demagogues or lunatics into power on the grounds that desperate times called for desperate measures.

But none of the core Anglosphere nations of Britain, America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand came close to voting a totalitarian into power before World War Two, and none of them have since.

As the European Theatre of World War Two dawned, there seemed to be three major forces. The central powers, represented by Germany, Italy, Austria and Romania, were fascist; the eastern powers, represented by Russia, were communist; and the western powers, represented by the British Empire, America, France, Holland and Scandinavia, were liberal democracies.

The liberal democracies won, and won an opportunity to reshape the world in their image in the coming decades – which they mostly seized.

But ninety years after the streets of Europe were once filled with running battles between communists and national socialists, it looks like they’re going back to the same stupidity.

So why didn’t the Anglosphere put a totalitarian in power before World War Two, and why aren’t we going to put one in power in the coming decade, as the inexorable laws of demography push Europe closer to civil war?

There is a different culture in the Anglosphere. Namely: we are not a slave race, and so we do not tremble in worship before power. In fact, almost uniquely in the world (along with Holland and Scandinavia), we openly express contempt for those who wield it.

Because of this, we don’t get swept up in mass movements and personality cults like the Europeans. There is no concept in the Anglosphere of awaiting some great leader to free us from a terrible and unfortunate state of disgrace, such as which put Hitler in power. Neither is there the kind of entrenched, systematic corruption that leads to the mass resentment of the wealthy that puts Marxists in power.

In fact, if anyone stands up with even vaguely Hitler-like rhetoric, that person is immediately shut down for being a crackpot. There’s no way that you can stand on a street corner and rant about Jews without getting jeered at or having garbage thrown at you.

The trajectory of the British Union of Fascists was much different to that of the Nazi Party: “As the party became increasingly radical, however, support declined. The Olympia Rally of 1934, in which a number of anti-Fascist protestors were attacked, isolated the party from much of its following.”

Even at the apogee of British fascism, The Battle of Cable Street, a maximum of 3,000 fascists were met by 20,000 counter-demonstrators. They were even outnumbered two to one by the Metropolitan Police, which made them, at peak strength, orders of magnitude weaker than the Sturmabteilung in Germany.

And no fascist movement in America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand became anywhere near as strong as the BUF.

There seems to be an inherent wisdom in the Anglosphere consciousness that is capable of recognising massively dangerous egos and imposing a kind of order upon them before they become capable of doing too much damage. It is not in our nature to grovel before a big man; our nature is pulling the fingers, flipping the bird, saying “fuck you”.

It seems to be the natural gift of the Anglo people to keep order without the need for totalitarianism – perhaps a function of having the right amount (not too much, not too little) of diversity of thought, much like the Swedes with their lagom or the Dutch with their famous tolerance, care is taken to act with the correct proportionality.

This is probably a combination of the concept of fair play, which prevent anyone from falling too far down, and the concept of the tall poppy syndrome (Swedish: Jantelagen), which prevents anyone from developing a disruptively large ego.

Anglos generally don’t brook shadowy, sinister conspiracies like other Westerners, and are prone to instantly reject ideologies that require that human nature fundamentally be reshaped, believing in almost all cases that such a thing is simply not possible.

This column has long predicted that natural demographic laws will force Europe into a kind of civil war when Muslims in Europe realise they have the numbers to enforce their religious proscriptions on the natives. This will probably lead to the coming to power of another tyrant, because it is the nature of Europeans to swing from one extreme to another.

Whether the Anglosphere will shed the blood of its young men another time to put the European continent to order is another consideration.

A Look at the Black Caps Squad For The Champions Trophy

The Black Caps squad for June’s Champions Trophy has been announced. The full squad is: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitch McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.

The Black Caps have a tough group to get out of. They must qualify in the top two of the pool to progress, and their group of four contains world champions Australia, home favourites England, and giant-killers Bangladesh. Finishing last is a realistic possibility.

Matt Henry might be the big omission from the squad. Over his 30-match career Henry has 58 wickets at 25.10, which makes the case for his inclusion about as compelling as the case for Trent Boult before the 2015 CWC. It is certainly a significantly better record than any of McClenaghan, Milne and even Southee.

Despite this, the Black Caps pace battery will be very strong. It looks as though the pace bowling attack will be based around Trent Boult (as could be expected up until the 2023 CWC), with Adam Milne returning to his pre-CWC injury third seamer role and one of McClenaghan or Southee sharing the new ball.

Adam Milne has the potential to be a tremendous bowler, as he has both the pace and accuracy. All he needs to learn is the subtlety that divides the cricket master from the journeyman and New Zealand will have another weapon in the bag.

Mitch McClenaghan has surprised a lot of people and continues to do so. He has been excellent for the Mumbai Indians in this season’s IPL and the Black Caps selection panel appears to believe that this white-ball success will translate well to English conditions.

English conditions will also suit the tricky Tim Southee. So in all cases, Kane Williamson knows he has 30 overs of top-drawer pace bowling available to him.

The Guptill-Williamson-Taylor axis comprises three of New Zealand’s best ODI batsmen ever and, if anything, these three players are better than the ones that took the Black Caps to a CWC final. So most of the top order picks itself.

Tom Latham is enduring a horror season with the bat, but he is still likely to open the batting alongside Guptill. His current average of just under 30 might make his place in the order look questionable, but with six Test centuries by age 25, his experience and skill against the new ball will be useful in English conditions with high levels of lateral movement.

The real selection questions are around the middle order.

The Black Caps are yet to find a dependable replacement for Grant Elliott, although the squad does include a number of possibilities. Neil Broom might be considered the front-runner for the position but Jimmy Neesham has recently been surprisingly good in the last batsman’s position.

Any number of players could take the allrounder’s position at 6. Probably the Black Caps will go with Corey Anderson, whose awful run with injuries seems to be over. Anderson, like McClenaghan, has been impressive in the IPL, and Williamson ought to be able to depend on him for four overs at least.

The other allrounder’s position at 7 is another open question. If Tom Latham opens the batting, there may be little advantage in choosing Luke Ronchi at 7, as Ronchi has been very poor with the bat for a long time and does not offer more than Latham with the gloves.

Mitchell Santner might have fallen out of favour slightly in the regard of the current set-up, and this could mean that Colin de Grandhomme takes his place as the bowling all-rounder, if the brains trust decides to go with Luke Ronchi at 7.

Given the strength of the top order with the bat, the smart thing to do might to pack the middle order with hard-hitting allrounders.

Likely team for the first match versus Australia on the 2nd of June, starting at 9.30p.m. New Zealand Time:

1. Martin Guptill
2. Tom Latham (wk)
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Neil Broom
6. Corey Anderson (5/6)
7. Colin de Grandhomme (5/6)
8. Mitchell Santner (4)
9. Mitchell McClenaghan (2)
10. Adam Milne (3)
11. Trent Boult (1)

Alt-Centrism: A Political Philosophy Whose Time Has Come

The cozy political paradigm that most of us went into 2016 with has now been completely shattered. Way back then, there was still some vague kind of belief that it was possible to strike a meaningful compromise between the various political actors on the world stage.

Now, everyone to the left of Adolf Hitler is screaming “Nazi!” at everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders, and those people are screaming “Cuck!” right back.

This means that most people are both Nazis and cucks, depending on the degree of political fanaticism of whoever is screaming at them at any given time and to which pole that person happens to have gravitated towards.

It’s an ugly scene all round.

Simply speaking, the left is a reaction to the right. The right are the same people who naturally have all the power (namely, the orderly) and the left is a reaction to this. In particular, it is a recognition by the disorderly that they have to impose some order upon themselves or lose ground in the political battlefield.

The centre is a reaction to both the left and the right. More precisely, it is a reaction to the constant fighting that once characterised the two-party (or two-pole) system. It’s an attempt to put peacefulness above all.

The alt-right is similar. The alt-right is a reaction to the left being shit and then a counter-reaction to the right being also shit. The alt-right cannot be understood unless it is seen as a double rejection, of both the left and the right.

The alt-centre, therefore, is a rejection of all of the left and the right and the centre, not to mention the alt-right and – in anticipation of it ever standing up – the alt-left: in other words, it’s a rejection of the entire political system.

This triple rejection of tired old political dogmas makes alt-centrism the real alternative way of political movements. It finally provides a solution to the balance fallacy when applied to politics.

The balance fallacy in politics occurs when a person or voting bloc decides that some kind of vague middle ground between the demands of capital (right wing) and the demands of labour (left wing) is necessarily the best compromise solution.

Note that pointing out this fallacious reasoning here does not mean that one is saying that a balance is bad in and of itself, or that either of the two extremes of left and right would be better in charge.

That is a false trilemma, which is what you get if you see through the false dilemma posed with left and right.

All three positions – pro-capital, pro-labour, and pro-compromise – are all terrible positions because they are all necessarily pro-political system. They are all positions within the broader paradigm of legitimising the use of the political system as a mechanism by which one can exploit one’s class enemies.

The reason why it is impossible to simply strike a balance is that the two wings of the political system co-operate to take power incrementally away from the populace under the pretense of striking a balance. This works in the same way that a cartel works – the members of the cartel agree to offer an equally bad deal to different groups of people.

The way forward will be the way promoted by neophyte political movements like Not A Party. This rag-tag bunch of New Zealanders, led by whoever a random number generator says is the leader on any given day, run in elections with the specific intent of losing.

They then claim the people who have not voted are their supporters, which gives them the largest number of seats in the Not A Parliament. Control of Not A Parliament allows them to not pass any laws, which makes them not responsible for things like cannabis prohibition, which costs New Zealand $400,000,000 per year.

The delusion that all questions of human suffering must be solved first and foremost through the political system is one that has to be rejected if we are actually to make any progress on those questions.

Because there are very, very, very few politicians who could rightly claim that their actions as a politician resulted in a net win for the human survival project.

The Use of Major Psychedelics in Healing Psychological Trauma

At some point in the near future, the potential for using psychedelic medicines to help heal the major psychological traumas that cause most mental illnesses will be a hot topic. Unfortunately, we will have to begin almost from the beginning, as the bulk of our historical knowledge about these substances has been destroyed.

Despite this, there is still a considerable amount of shamanic knowledge in the underground culture, certainly much more than what exists in the mainstream medical establishment, for whom the retarded calculus of “drugs = brain damage” still dominates thinking.

The essential thing that has to be understood is that psychedelics, like cannabis, serve to decondition the mind and brain, only in a much deeper and more sudden way than cannabis.

Deconditioning is here used in the clinical psychology sense to mean a process of unlearning – in particular, of unlearning involuntary subconscious reactions to things that may have been useful to deal with the problems of the past but which no longer are.

This is principally why the psychedelic experience is so difficult. It is also why the psychedelic experience is so exhilarating. One sees things as they actually are, as one did when a child, without the experience being filtered through hundreds of layers of conditioning collected over many forgotten years.

It is possible to condition oneself into a mental illness by thinking too hard about things, because the brain (crudely speaking) works like muscles in the sense that the more it is exercised the stronger it becomes.

Because anxiety and depression are often little more than a habitual fixation of thinking on either the future or the past, respectively, a psychedelic experience often has the effect of deconditioning a person from thought patterns that made them unhappy.

This is why a lot of practiced psychedelic users take them when they feel it’s time to reset the thinking. Usually this is after a certain amount of time has passed since the last experience.

Likewise, many people have suppressed traumatic memories. The suppression often makes good short-term sense in that it allows the damaged person to deal with their immediate problems of survival, but it often makes bad long-term sense in that the warping effect it has on someone’s personality magnifies over time.

This points the way to the major positive use of psychedelics in healing mental illness. Any mental illness that has been caused by overconditioning in an area of the brain/mind could be helped by a medicine that deconditions a person from the thoughts they did not want to have.

It could also give them an opportunity to bring up the suppressed memories and to consider them in a new light, free of the conditioned anxiety response that usually accompanies recollection of past traumas.

Where more research will be necessary is to make sure that the patient does not lose conditioning in areas of the brain/mind that actually helped them in their life.

There are many concepts and habits that people have learned for good reasons, in particular concepts around good social conduct that make life much easier for all of us. An 18-year old adult will have been conditioned for almost their entire life about many things.

So in order to be able to use these tools effectively, mental health practitioners will have to educate themselves past the barbaric superstitions that currently inform our approach to pre-pharmaceutical medicines.

Much of this will involve sitting down with drug users and talking to them to discover what benefits they have found in the use of various substances in their explorations of the mind.

This cannot happen until society comes to appreciate both that psychoactive drug users are people who have followed the prehistoric shamanic path, and that this path is still necessary in our society to protects us from the excesses of groupthink, of tradition and of mindless, knee-jerk programmed reactions and thinking.

Chains of Clay and a Universal Basic Income

A universal basic income could be expected to drastically reduce the number of women forced into prostitution by poverty

Some forward-thinking people are starting to discuss the idea of a universal basic income. This is the idea that the Government would make a small but weekly payment to each adult resident citizen, just enough to keep them alive but not enough for any luxuries or even any decencies.

Predictably, the idea that the Government might help the poor in some new fashion has resulted in cries of communism from those who expect to inherit large amounts of property.

But there are reasons to believe that bringing in a universal basic income, even if it was as little as the current unemployment benefit, would significantly raise the standard of living of the average New Zealander.

For instance, a universal basic income would, at a stroke, remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of desperate poverty.

One might object here that they would not remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of greed – and that’s true in some cases – but consider this.

Every great dictator or tyrant who convinced a mass of people to go against their better nature, and to later regret that they had done so, convinced those people by offering them money.

How?

They just looked for desperately poor people. Poverty is control. That’s the way it has to be understood for the psychological reactions of people to the question of a universal basic income to be understood.

Hitler could not have achieved what he did without the Great Depression and the economic restrictions imposed on Germany as a consequence of the Versailles Treaty.

People like to make a big deal about Hitler’s rhetoric and oratory skills, but the naked fact is that the NSDAP paid men to serve in the military, and they could pay a lot of men for not much money because those men were all as poor as shit.

This is why getting the rich to give up some of the money they have extorted out of the poor through their control of the Police and of private property is not a simple matter of appealing to the simple fact that it would reduce the sum total of human suffering.

One must also take into account the loss of power this entails.

Think of all the women in history who were forced to accept the sexual advances of a man they didn’t like because they needed the money.

Think of all the men in history who have wound up doing violence to strangers because they were forced to be obedient to someone violent for the sake of money.

Think of all the kings and queens who were able to raise an army to invade some other peaceful place because the peasants of their kingdom had no access to the commons on account of enclosure, and therefore were forced to take the monarch’s silver or starve.

Think of all the times a parent who, on account of stress from worry about where the next meal was coming from, took a short-sighted decision in the heat of the moment and came to regret it.

Go back as far in history as you like. How many robberies, how many burglaries, how many thefts, how many assaults and murders could have been prevented had we merely seen to it that people didn’t need to go hungry, and did so with a similar effort to what we already put into punishing and protecting ourselves from robbers, burglars, thieves and murderers?

We’re not talking about an equal distribution of luxuries, or even decencies. A person living merely on a universal basic income will be too poor to afford much beyond food and shelter – but at least they will not be so poor that they will take violent actions out of desperation.

One might raise an objection to this on the grounds that, if people were willing to look after each other enough to introduce a universal basic income, they would have done so already and would not need coercion through Government taxation.

This objection is only reasonable up to a certain historical point. When the productivity of the average citizen has advanced to such a degree that simply by pressing a button they can cause machines and computers to produce a million dollars worth of goods, there’s no reason barring a sadistic need for control to cut non-machine-owners out of this cornucopia.

Of course, much of this discussion is academic in the case of New Zealand, which is 20 years behind the rest of the world in progress on questions like this and getting worse. Medicinal cannabis was legalised in California in 1996 and we are yet to even have a proper discussion about it, so we will likely be several decades behind the rest of the world on the basic income question too.