Soft Prohibition is Still Prohibition, and It Will Still Fail

The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.

The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.

The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.

The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.

As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.

It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.

Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.

Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.

So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?

The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.

Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.

Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.

This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.

The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.

The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.

Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.

Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Age

The electoral divide between Labour and National is usually characterised as one of wealth, and to a major extent it is. But it is also about age to a major extent, and some of the correlations between age and party allegiance are surprisingly strong.

The correlation between being in the 50-64 age group and voting for National in 2014 was a very strong 0.74. The correlation between being in this age group and voting Labour in 2014, by contrast, was also very strong but negative, at -0.68.

These correlations are especially strong if they are compared with the respective ones for the 30-49 age group. This age group is almost entirely indifferent to the mainstream parties. The correlation between being aged 30-49 and voting National in 2014 was 0.19, and for voting Labour in 2014 it was -0.04.

Really old people like to vote Conservative more than anything else. The correlation between being aged 65+ and voting Conservative in 2014 was 0.71. Even the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting National was weaker, at 0.65.

Some might be surprised to see that the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting New Zealand First was not near as strong – only 0.10. However, as mentioned in the section about the party, the association between crotchety old pensioners and New Zealand First support is mostly a fabrication.

Indeed, at the other end of the age range, support for New Zealand First was about the same level – the correlation between being aged 15-19 and voting New Zealand First in 2014 was 0.05. This suggests that the early signs of Generation Z being a conservative throwback to a previous mentality may well be replicated in New Zealand.

Young people, for their part, prefer to vote Green more than anything else. The correlation between being aged 15-19 and voting Green in 2014 was 0.22, and between being aged 20-29 and voting Green in 2014 it was 0.56.

The big two parties appear to have very little support among young people in general. The correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting National in 2014 was -0.34, and with voting Labour it was only 0.32. Worryingly for them, the correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting for a party as unlike them as ACT was 0.25.

Taking this into account alongside the strong correlation between being young and voting Green, it appears that the big two parties are fated to fall into ever weaker positions as the Greens absorb the discontents from Labour, ACT absorbs the discontents from National and New Zealand First absorbs the discontents from the entire system.

The very youngest two age brackets obviously does not tell us about the voting preferences of those aged under 15, but they do tell us about the voting preferences of their parents and therefore gives us a clue as to what influences will be at work on the next generation.

In particular, we can see the influence that the higher birth rate of Maoris has. All of the parties generally associated with a high degree of Maori support (Maori Party, Internet MANA, New Zealand First, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and Labour) had correlations of at least 0.45 with both of the age groups of 0-4 and 5-14 years of age.

The Maori Party and the ALCP were the strongest of these, New Zealand First and Labour were the weakest, and Internet MANA was in between.

The degree of disenfranchisement that the young suffer can be seen from the fact that there is a very strong correlation of 0.77 between median age and turnout rate in the 2014 General Election. This correlation is so strong that it speaks of a widespread perception among the young that there really is no point in voting on account of that the entire system is set up specifically to serve people other than them.

The strongest negative correlation between median age and voting for any party in 2014 was with the Labour Party, which was -0.70. The reflection of this was that the strongest positive correlation was with the National Party, which was a whopping 0.81.

The only other party that generally appealed to old people was the Conservatives. The correlation between voting for them in 2014 and median age was 0.75.

Definitively underlining the fact that the stereotype of creeping swarms of pensioners voting New Zealand First every three years is totally false, the correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and median age was actually negative (although not significant) at -0.08.

The Greens, despite that they are the mutual nemesis of the New Zealand First Party, appeal to a similar average age of voter. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and median age was -0.17.

Predictably, there were significant negative correlations between median age and voting for any of the minor Maori-heavy parties. These were Maori Party (-0.66), Internet MANA (-0.65) and ALCP (-0.55).


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

The Many Manifestations of Kek

Kek is more than most people realise. He is not something that can be entirely understood with a five-minute Google. Very little is known about exoteric Kekism, even less about the esoteric forms. This essay is an attempt to share some insight into the esoteric elements of this tradition.

In the ancient Egyptian Ogdoad cosmogony, Kek represented the primordial darkness. Darkness is the colour used to describe the chaos from which the order of our reality arose, and Kek is therefore a chaos god that represents yin forces.

Kek is male, but in representing chaos he represents a female principle. This might explain why he is depicted in the form of a frog – because the genders of amphibians are extremely loose and indeterminate. Like a Bangkok ladyboy, the gender of a frog is not necessarily what a person might think it is.

This might also explain why the word ‘Kek’ is often used where one would expect a pronoun – because a gendered pronoun makes a firm decision about which gender the subject is and this is not appropriate for a frog chaos god.

The use of ‘Kek’ as an adjective, such as in the forms “Top Kek” or “Royal Kek”, is oddly similar in both sound and meaning to the Irish word craic, a catch-all term covering “news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation”.

There appears to be no actual link between ‘craic’ and ‘Kek’ despite the phonetic and semantic similarities. But that sort of weird maybe-coincidence maybe-synchronicity is just what one has to expect in one’s life as a follower of Kek.

All of this suggests that Kek himself is an original – perhaps even the archetypal – trickster god, and in this sense the cult of Kek has had many manifestations throughout history. It is said of the trickster gods that they “…violate principles of social and natural order, playfully disrupting normal life and then re-establishing it on a new basis.”

In Scandinavia, Kek manifests in the form of Loki. Loki is generally depicted as male, but little more than generalities are known about him. Fittingly for a chaos god, Loki “sometimes assists the gods and sometimes behaves in a malicious manner towards them.”

However, Loki is the also mother of an eight-legged horse, as told in the Gylfaginning. I think we can all agree that being a tranny who births octopedal horses is top kek.

Kek manifests as Maui in Maori and Polynesian folklore. His most famous exploit was beating the shit out of the Sun with a jawbone to make it go slower through the sky so that the people had more time to enjoy their day.

Maui also has a story in which he attempts to win immortality for humankind by transforming himself into a worm and slithering into the vagina of the goddess Hine-nui-te-pō, in the belief that if he can come out of her mouth then humanity would become immortal.

In the end, he is chopped in half by a set of obsidian teeth contained within the goddess’s pussy. Clearly, whoever dreamed this story up was touched by the spirit of Kek.

In Roman folklore, Kek manifests as Mercury, the patron saint of tricksters. Mercury was once tasked with escorting a nymph to the underworld but fell in love with her and ended up getting her pregnant. This is the sort of thing that regularly seems to happen to chaos gods.

Alchemically, Mercury represents the gender fluidity also represented by the frog god. Mercury is alchemically between the divine masculine represented by Gold and the divine feminine represented by Silver, and he is therefore also somewhere between the two commonly accepted poles.

In modern culture, Kek has manifested in the form of Pepe, the cartoon frog in the title image. Pepe, fittingly for a chaos god, has an unclear origin. He started to rise to prominence on 4chan and the Shroomery about a decade ago, finding a place in the mainstream consciousness in the lead up to the 2016 US Presidential Election.

He achieved this by being used in the Great Meme War that saw the defeat of Hillary “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Clinton. It was believed by followers of Kek that Clinton represented the hateful, oppressive forces of the Establishment, and that the maverick Donald Trump getting into the White House would be top kek – and so it came to pass.

But in much the same way that Kek, as chaos God, was naturally opposed by the earthly interests that tried to oppress the citizenry with an excessive degree of order, so too has Kek in his manifestation as Pepe been designated an official hate symbol by those same control freaks.

But because the meme magic of the control freaks and the dominator culture is weak, we know that this action has merely assured the place of Kek in the hearts of free-thinkers around the world.

Perhaps we can all be glad that the spirit of Kek shines brightly through into our lives once more in his manifestation as Pepe.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Men and Women

There has been plenty of talk about the “gender gap”, which is the fact that the average Kiwi woman earns less per hour of labour than the average Kiwi man. This article looks into why this might have come about.

The correlation between being male and median personal income was on the border of statistical significance, at 0.23. That tells us that the average Kiwi male controls an income that is a fair bit larger than what the average Kiwi female controls. Looking at this on a more granular level, we can understand why.

There is very little difference between men and women when it comes to the plum jobs. The correlation between being male and having a personal income between $100-150K was 0.01 and with having a personal income of $150K+ it was 0.03.

So being a male and working in a plum job is essentially uncorrelated. However, as one goes down the income bands, it is possible to see that there are more men in middle income jobs than women, and more women in lower income jobs than men.

The strength of the correlation with being male peaks at $50-60K, where it is 0.22. A person in this income band is likely earning between $25 and $30 per hour, or at least 50 hours a week, so this is where a solid part of the full-time work force is cranking away.

As one goes even further down the income bands, however, we can see that an ever higher proportion of the workers are women. In the $30-35K income band there is a perfect absence of correlation with regard to male or female, but every income band lower than this has a positive correlation with being female.

The most significant is having a loss or no income, which has a correlation of 0.27 with being female.

By far the heaviest contributor to the fact that men occupy disproportionately more middle income bands than women is the moderately significant correlation between being male and working full-time (0.48), and the moderately significant negative correlation between being male and being unemployed (-0.48).

After all, it’s hardly suprising that a man’s paycheck is 20% bigger if he also works 20% more hours. In fact, the gap perhaps ought to be even larger than this because men work the vast majority of overtime hours.

There is no significant correlation between being male and working for a wage or salary – this was 0.11. There were, however, significant correlations between being self-employed and male (0.40) and being self-employed with employees and male (0.50).

This tells us that a disproportionate amount of the risk in the area of employment is borne by men. Women are more likely to take a safe job that had slim prospects of both advancing and of being fired or made redundant, whereas men were more likely to take entrepreneurial risks or to take on jobs in highly competitive (and highly rewarding) environment.

For example, there were significant correlations between being female and working in the healthcare and social assistance industry (0.43) and the education and training industry (0.32), and a near significant one between being female and working in administrative or support services (0.17).

In all three of these industries it is common to have a regular, secure 9 to 5 job.

On the other side of the coin, there were significant correlations between being male and working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (0.45), the hospitality industry (0.28), the construction industry (0.25) and the rental, hiring and real estate services industry (0.24).

All of those industries are characterised by it being common for either workers to have the option of working longer hours or being more or less forced into it. The hospitality and rental, hiring and real estate industries in particular make it easy for anyone wanting to work 60+ hours a week to do so.

So talk of a “gender gap” that evinces an instituional and endemic underpayment of women across the nation is hyperbole. The best jobs are split evenly between men and women and, below that, men earn more because they choose to work themselves to death at a much higher rate.

Somewhat surprisingly, there is a correlation of 0.42 with being male and living on the South Island. That might seem very strange until one takes into account the vastly accelerated death rate of Maori and Pacific Islander males, especially past age 50 or so. Because most of these men live on the North Island, their early deaths leave a significant imbalance of women among the remaining communities.

Other facets of this same phenomenon can be observed in the significant correlation between being female and being Maori (0.32). Obviously, as males and females are born at roughly the same rate, much of this correlation has to be explained by a greater death rate among Maori men.

Some may be interested to observe that there were significant correlations between being female and belonging to a number of religious traditions generally associated with disadvantaged people. In particular, these were significant correlations between being female and following any of Mormonism, Ratana, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Maori Christian, Pentecostalism or Christian not further defined.

The main reason for this is the tendency for women to turn to religion or spirituality after a significant male other has left their lives, particularly in the case of Maori women.


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

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.

Poetry K-Hole 1: Down And Out in Nelson and Stoke

Down And Out in Nelson and Stoke

Hermes Trismestigus,

On the fuckin’ benefit.

His case manager Te Aroha gives him arseholes.

A right fuckin’ rark up.

Doesn’t want to thin apples,

Doesn’t want to fillet Hoki.

Just wants to write about the psychic elements

And the topography of impinging dimensions

Not much good being a smart cunt if he’s sitting at home on the dole

Not working for his money.

Te Aroha’s had a bloody gutsful

And so has Raelene

No more going to the drags,

No more car shows at Rangoon,

No more midget stock car racing

Til he gets his fuckin’ act together.

He thinks he a smart cunt,

Says he can invert mental polarities

And formulate a geometric model for translating

The operations of higher dimensions into the lower,

But he can’t even remember his 9-digit client number

Or where he last saw his community services card.

Te Aroha has just about lost all hope,

Raelene is sick of Hell’s Angels knocking on the door

Looking for Hermes after selling them a bad batch.

Maybe what he needs is to sort his shit out,

Go on an Outward Bound course,

Might get his foot in the door with the army,

Maybe even an apprenticeship.

Maybe he could do his fork-lift licence,

Or maybe go back and finish his School Certificate,

Instead of poring through the Necronomicon

Or scrying alien constellations.


Simon P. Murphy is the author of His Master’s Wretched Organ.

Understanding New Zealand: Internet MANA voters

As the Maori Party split away from Labour, so did the MANA Party split away from the Maori Party, and then it joined up with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party to become the Internet MANA chimera. But who did Hone Harawira’s machine end up appealing to?

Like the Maori Party, Internet MANA appealed to Maoris. The correlations between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and with both voting Maori Party in 2014 and being Maori were 0.84.

Correspondingly, there are strong correlations between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting for all of the Maori-heavy parties in 2014. Between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 the correlation was 0.76; with voting New Zealand First in 2014 it was 0.44; and with voting Labour in 2014 it was 0.41.

Curiously, Internet MANA voters were exactly as unlikely to have sympathies for National or Conservative as Maori Party voters. As with the Maori Party, the correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting National in 2014 was -0.75, and the correlation with voting Conservative in 2014 was -0.64.

Perhaps the major demographic difference between Maori Party voters and Internet MANA ones is that the latter were slightly less Maori and slightly more Pacific Islander and Asian. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and being a Pacific Islander was 0.07, and with being Asian it was -0.23 (compared to 0.01 and -0.30 for the correlations between these two groups and voting Maori Party).

In fact, the general demographic trend is that Internet MANA voters, despite being generally disenfranchised, are doing slightly better than Maori Party voters. Correspondingly, the correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and turnout rate in 2014 was, at -0.69, slightly weaker than for the Maori Party (-0.74).

Although most of the demographic distinctions are subtle, one of the clearest is when it comes to education. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and having no qualifications was 0.42, which was weaker than the equivalent for the Maori Party. Also, unlike with voting for the Maori Party in 2014, voting for Internet MANA in 2014 had no significant negative correlation with holding either of the two highest academic qualifications.

Further underlining the minor class differences, Internet MANA voters were marginally less likely to be on the unemployment or invalid’s benefits, and marginally more likely to be on the student allowance. Also, they were much less likely to work in manufacturing and slightly less likely to be regular tobacco smokers than Maori Party voters.

They were, however, essentially the same age. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and median age was -0.65, making them the smallest smidgen older than Maori Party voters. This underlines the degree to which Internet MANA differentiates itself from the Maori Party primarily through subtle class differences and not age.

Curiously, Internet MANA voters were more likely to be self-employed than Maori Party voters, but were less likely to be self-employed with employees. This might reflect the degree to which Internet MANA voters, or at least a significant cadre of them, are more likely to be immigrants and therefore less likely to be established than Maoris.

It may be that, in so far as Internet MANA appeals to a newer sort of New Zealander, it also appeals to a sort of person who does not have the intergenerational poverty and trauma that many Maoris suffer from. This may explain the small differences in wealth, health and educational outcomes.


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

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.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Employment Status

Knowing about the category of person who is self-employed with employees tells us a lot about the sort of person who has most of the power in New Zealand at the moment.

This sort of person has more power than anyone because they can legally cause more disruption than anyone. No politician cares too much if a single individual threatens to leave the electorate, but if an employer threatens to relocate their company with its 200 jobs then a politician will suddenly care very intently.

Surprisingly, there is no particularly strong difference between those who work for a wage or salary, those who are self-employed, and those who are self-employed with employees when it comes to median personal income.

These three groups have correlations of between 0.54 and 0.41 with median personal income, with the self-employed the strongest and the self-employed with employees the weakest.

However – as this section seeks to illuminate – holding political power is not merely a function of wealth, although wealth is a contributing factor.

There were very strong correlations between being of European descent and both being self-employed (0.58) and being self-employed with employees (0.70). This relates to the point made above about the power in an economy being held by a sort of person who was not necessarily the same as those who made the money.

Pacific Islanders were the least likely to be in either of those two categories. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being self-employed was -0.50, and with being self-employed with employees it was -0.61.

Being Maori was also negatively correlated with being in these categories of employment status: -0.44 with being self-employed and -0.36 with being self-employed with employees.

This reflects the fact that Islanders generally have less social capital than Maoris, despite often being better educated, and that Islanders generally have less financial capital than Asians, despite often having moved to New Zealand earlier and being more culturally established.

Anglicans comprise a large proportion of the power elite, as can be seen by the correlations between being Anglican and being self-employed (0.40) and being Anglican and being self-employed with employees (0.58).

This latter correlation is strong enough to tell us that Anglicans have a lot of political power in New Zealand through occupying essential positions in industry.

Other religious orientations with the strongest correlations with being self-employed with employees were Presbytarianism (0.45), having no religion (0.37) and Brethren (0.22).

These four groups: Anglicans, Presbytarians, those from no religious tradition and the Brethren, comprise the true power elite of New Zealand. The reason for this is because it is these people who own everything: generally they are directly descended from early settlers and owners of large farms.

Here it is possible to further illuminate the distinction within the highly-skilled occupations between the managers who run everything and the professionals they depend on to get things done.

Certain religious traditions had positive correlations with working for a wage or salary but negative correlations with being self-employed with employees.

Catholicism was the most notable of these. The correlation between being Catholic and working for a wage or salary was 0.30, with being self-employed it was -0.23 and with being self-employed with employees it was -0.31.

Other religious traditions which had positive or near neutral correlations with working for a wage or salary but negative correlations with being self-employed with employees were Buddhism (0.11 versus -0.24, respectively), Hinduism (-0.03 versus -0.44) and Islam (-0.03 versus -0.49).

Ultimately these statistics reflect how these latter traditions have higher proportions of recent immigrants who, despite often being highly educated and earning good money, have not had the time to establish themselves as part of the power elite. These immigrants often moved to New Zealand because their high skills were needed by the landowners and managers who were more established.

It’s also possible to observe the fault lines of a generational conflict between the Baby Boomers, whose education is patchy, and Generation X and the Millennials, who generally have modern educations but who are yet to dislodge the deeply entrenched Boomers.

The correlation between having a Master’s degree and working for a wage or salary was 0.33, and with being self-employed with employees it was actually negative, at -0.02. This latter correlation is incredible if one also considers that the correlation between having NZQA Level 1 (School Certificate) as one’s highest qualification and being self-employed with employees was 0.22.

Explaining much of this comes down to the fact that establishing oneself as a member of the power elite is more a function of age than of education.

The correlation between median age and being self-employed with employees was a strong 0.71, whereas with working for a wage or salary it was -0.37. This tells us that, over and above just about anything else, the power elite is old, and the people they hire to do their bidding are young.

To take a more granular perspective, the correlation between being aged 65+ and being self-employed with employees was 0.56, which is interesting if one considers that any person in this age bracket can also claim a pension of $350+ per week which is not means tested.

This is not just a function of greed, of course: realistically, many of the people running a company, especially if it’s one they own, cannot simply give up all of their responsibilities at one moment.

Generally they employ the under-50s. The correlation between being in the 20-29 age bracket and working for a wage or salary was 0.37, and between being in the 30-49 age bracket and working for a wage or salary was 0.52.

The power elite is also much more likely to be male than female. The correlation between being male and working for a wage or salary was 0.11, but the correlation between being male and being self-employed with employees was 0.50.

This isn’t simply a matter of male nepotism: the correlation between being male and doing unpaid work in the family business was 0.48. The truth is that it is in the nature of Kiwi men to work, and the vast majority of us would rather work than just sit around or have nothing to do.

The last point about the power elite that might not be well understood is the degree to which it is intergenerational, especially in the case of farming interests.

Some light can be shed on how strong this degree is by consideration of the correlation between working in agriculture, forestry and fishing and doing unpaid work in the family business, which was an extremely strong 0.90.


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