Does New Zealand need a revolt?

Bryce Edwards in NZ Herald: Will Trump effect be felt Downunder too?

Donald Trump is the latest political success to highlight the power of anti-establishment politics – but he’s not the best advert for it.

Instead, Trump is a reminder that revolts against the Establishment emerging around the world at the moment take many different forms. Some are left-wing, others right-wing, nationalist, populist, and so forth. So to be anti-establishment doesn’t necessarily mean being a supporter of reactionary politics.

What all these revolts have in common is their rebellion against the status quo and those in power.

Such a revolt could be beneficial in New Zealand – especially if it took a much more progressive orientation, compared to Trump and other more populist, reactionary and nationalist demagogues who sometimes surf the wave of public disenchantment with mainstream politics.

While political commentators and media may long for a revolt, boring same old doesn’t put them in the limelight, do people in New Zealand generally want a revolt against the system? I don’t see any sign of it apart from the likes of Edwards and Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury and a few radicals in social media.

It’s interesting to see Edwards wish for a specific type of revolt – “a much more progressive orientation”. As in socialist?

Much as they might like to I don’t know that media commentators get to pick the nature of revolutions.

Anti-establishment politicians and movements are a necessary part of politics. They shake things up and open up possibilities with radical ideas.

By asking difficult questions, putting forward unfashionable ideas and questioning authority, an anti-establishment force can highlight problems in the system and give voice to the powerless and forgotten.

From what I see they tend to give voice to themselves, frustrated activists on the margins who think they represent the will and the needs of masses but are far removed from reality and ordinary New Zealand.

Such a movement here is likely to be more left-wing. Earlier in the year when a UMR opinion poll on the US presidential candidates gave a choice between radicals, 77 per cent of New Zealanders chose Bernie Sanders, compared to 8 per cent for Trump.

Why is it likely to be more left wing?

Mana failed last election when they joined forces with Kim Dotcom, they went backwards rather than forwards with their hopes of revolution.

Labour and Greens are hardly likely to precipitate a revolution, they are trying to look united and a mainstream alternative. Their leadership seems entrenched and hardly El Che.

Edwards then details his “10-point manifesto for change in New Zealand”. Is he a political scientist and commentator, or a political activist?

He is leaving Otago University next year and moving to Wellington.

ODT: Politics lecturer leaving amid humanities cuts

Dr Edwards used Twitter to announce his voluntary resignation after 10 years in the politics department.

“Sad to be saying goodbye to @otago — just signed my voluntary redundancy from Politics Dept. Finish in April, appreciative of 10 great years”.

On leaving the role in April he planned to move to Wellington to complete a book about problems in New Zealand democracy and take “a very active role” analysing the general election.

Will the book be launched in the election  campaign?

I think Bryce is hoping for something exciting to happen in New Zealand politics to give him more to write about and talk about.

But with this revolutionary talk does he hope to spark the revolution?

I don’t think New Zealand needs a revolt, we could do with a few tweaks to a system that is generally working quite well.

Leave a comment

91 Comments

  1. Geoffrey

     /  20th November 2016

    Trouble is, that without some real electoral pain the establishment will not make the “few tweaks” necessary: they like it the way it is.

    Reply
    • Probably. It’s happened before, hence our MMP.

      But it’s hard to see what could happen here that would create enough pressure to force significant change.

      The most likely upheaval in NZ is not from revolution but rather from something like a coalition like National+NZ First or Labour+Greens+Nz First turning to custard.

      Reply
      • Geoffrey

         /  20th November 2016

        When a government persistently creates policy that is counter to the best interests of the nation, and the wishes of the majority of its people, solely for the purpose of retaining power, something has to change. Perhaps 2017 is the year that the usually silent and largely inactive majority indicate that they have had enough. I reckon any halfway decent party that promises electoral reform along the lines previously agreed to and a thorough sanitising of all race-based legislated concessions to vested interest groups, will wreak great change to the seating arrangements in the House. Is that revolution or is it simply holding our elected representatives to account?

        Reply
    • If someone did manage to rise to the top of National or Labour and do a Trump, or hold the balance of power and wag the dog, and set about draining the faultline, who would take the professional politicians’ and bureaucrats’ places?

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th November 2016

    So much ridiculous hype and nonsense from the media this year. The “revolution” amounted to a few percentage points shift in the voting balance between left and right but more importantly the enthusiasm for anti-establishment candidates and policies.

    Whether that translates into any revolutionary policy changes in the US, UK and EU we will have to wait to see. Possibly the most revolutionary change is that the media and their beautiful people lost the election, possibly their heaviest commitment and loss in living memory. The people have given them the fingers sign big time and it will be fascinating to see what the consequences will be. At the moment they are in full, hair-tearing, clothes-renting, sack-cloth and ashes melt down. They’ve thrown their toys out of their cot and jumped out after them. Delightful.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  20th November 2016

      Who are they renting their clothes from or to? 😳

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  20th November 2016

        Can’t expect a good Catholic boy to have read the King James version?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  20th November 2016

          👍

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  20th November 2016

          Clothes-rending, not renting. One rends clothes, the clothes are then rent. It’s like lending and lent.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  20th November 2016

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th November 2016

              The dog is coming over to treat you to a special Maltese stinkbomb. I am thinking of hiring him out to whoever does chemical weapons.

              Der Fahrter fahrt und fahrt. I bet that you don’t know what that means.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th November 2016

              Google translate tells me it means

              Der Fahrer fahrt und fahrt
              The driver drives and drives

              I’m guessing that isn’t entirely accurate 😉

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  20th November 2016

            1 Kings 11:30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
            Joshua 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes,
            Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins,

            etc,etc

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st November 2016

              Thank you 🙂
              Rend; rend, v.t. pret. and pp. rent [A. Sax rendan, hrendan to tear, to rend= O. Fris. renda, randa =N. Fris. renne to cut, to rend (and so on)
              To separate into parts by force or sudden violence; to tear (and so on and so on)

              Then there’s ‘heart-rending’.:

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st November 2016

              Jews still rend their clothes at funerals, but now, of course, it’s a token cut or tear.

  3. @ ODT – ” … he planned to move to Wellington to complete a book about problems in New Zealand democracy”

    All strength to anyone who takes on this imperative and urgently needed task. I don’t care what ‘side’ they’re on, although one largely expects Righties to support the system ‘as is where is’ …

    There’s such a thing as peaceful revolution and, IMHO, identifying the “problems in Aotearoa NZ democracy” and rectifying them if humanly possible is the prime candidate … including, as a matter of course, a new codified Constitution …

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th November 2016

      The main problem the Left have with NZ democracy is that people don’t vote for them. I wonder if Edwards will notice that?

      Reply
      • @ Alan – The main problem the Right have is that in order to prevent the Left being voted for, they have to bend-and-shift (and sometimes Kow Tow) to the Left, which this National government clearly and blatantly evidences …. [Are you happy with the RMA reforms?]

        They do so reluctantly and “take it out on” those at the bottom of the Race-Class food chain – somehow or other – perhaps by a kind of ‘Ministerial Veto’ – to appease the Far Righters in their ranks … THe Right Brigade … whose votes and above all financial support they need …

        The situation is therefore unsatisfactory for ALL concerned … from Far-Left thru Centre to Far-Right … Everyone!!! This is as plain as day … every day … daily …

        I reckon that’s what Edwards has noticed … and ALL STRENGTH to him in evaluating it …

        Instead of being a collaborative effort to satisfy “the whole of society” politics and ‘democracy as we know it’ is a two-faced (or multi-faced) game to maintain “power and wealth” …. with governments effectively becoming “managers” of the economy on behalf of elitist groupings and cartels … now globalised … Our borders in this regard are gossamer thin and virtually transparent … a veil of leverage and gratuity …

        That’s why we need significant reform of democracy …

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th November 2016

          A problem with democracy is a problem with its people. The problem with our people is principally educational failure for too many: not enough being taught and wrong stuff being taught. Getting the wrong parents is a huge hurdle to overcome. What is in their heads matters much more than what is in their wallets.

          If you want to fix our democracy, that is what we have to fix.

          Reply
  4. PDB

     /  20th November 2016

    “… he planned to move to Wellington to complete a book about problems in New Zealand democracy”

    For people like Bryce Edwards the problem with New Zealand is that IT IS a democracy……

    Reply
  5. @ PG – “Edwards then details his “10-point manifesto for change in New Zealand”.

    If I was going to have an open discussion about something, especially something as important as ‘democratic governance’, I’d be perfectly happy with those 10 points …

    Is there something in his list to be afraid of …? Fresh ideas perhaps? Shake things up? Reform, e.g. 5% threshold? Remove dead wood? Challenge the political elite? Prevent ‘Big Money’? Concerns of the masses? E.g. perhaps use digital referenda or big-sample polling to identify ‘concerns’ democratically? Mobilize voters? Everyone wants everyone who is elligible to exercise their vote, don’t they? Unfortunate language here – “kick against the pricks” – although he explains what he means and anticipates positive outcomes. Take seriously the struggles of those at the bottom?

    “Is he a political scientist and commentator, or a political activist?”

    Frankly the Right’s double-standard here never ceases to amaze me. Unravel your own legitimacy in one fell swoop! What do the folks at NZ Initiative or NZCPR or Kiwi Front Line do, aside from scientific research and [political] commentary? Does this make them political activists too?

    Of course it does! Personally I think Bryce Edwards, all these ‘think tank’ lobby groups and many more are all of these things; scientists and philosophers, commentators AND activists ….

    I don’t really have a problem with that, except for the possible influence of ‘Big Money’, elitism, lack of ‘mass concern’ and missing identification with those at the bottom; perhaps resulting in a vested interest in maintaining the Status Quo; amongst those groups [“think tanks” – for what else is a university?] whose “values tend to reflect a libertarian, neo-conservative political outlook” ….?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Initiative

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th November 2016

      I read his list and found it unconvincing and uninspiring. He seems to be a typical top-down Lefty who thinks the Government and pseudo-intellectuals can solve the problems of life rather than just make it possible for people to solve them for themselves. The irony of course is that that belief is the epitome of the establishment that ordinary folk are reacting against.

      Reply
      • You’re correct in some respects Alan, and you’re safe in that belief provided the portion of society ‘gradually’ prevented by ‘historic residue’, cultural bias, institutionalised prejudice, accident of birth et al from “solving things for themselves” remains a minority … I estimate it at around 35% presently and growing …

        In Donald Trump’s case – which is suitably symbolic for NZ IMHO except no-one’s mounted the podium yet – another notable irony is that the ‘leader’ your “ordinary folk” see as championing their “reaction” is a financial elitist proposing “top down” solutions to ‘their’ problems … and some of those solutions, like import tariffs, are kinda ‘Lefty’, don’t you think …?

        Lefties, like anyone else, are capable of undertaking sound research and consultative processes. I notice when NZ Initiative, NZCPR and the like ‘research’ things like housing – NZCPR’s ‘housing warrants-of-fitness’ for example – they ask “industry experts”, landlords and estate agents, but you seldom hear from the struggling tenants, hopeful owners and people experiencing real hardship … Instead, they occasionally appear on ‘Story’ and you automatically rubbish it … and by extension “them” …

        To believe that NZI, NZCPR and cohorts are unbiased because they are essentially members of the same Lodge is to deny the existence of reason …

        Reply
        • Also I suspect that by “solving things for themselves” you mean solving things [only] economically and only each for their individual isolated self … [think ‘survivalism’ and ‘cultural narcissism’ combined] …

          But as soon as people form a group, and a leader emerges, and perhaps expresses their communal ‘agreed’ or shared opinion, its “top down” and presumably ‘bad’ … ?

          Does this apply to families, whanau, hapu, iwi, intentional communities, local communities, regions, local government, industries, lobby groups and think tanks …?

          Or only to Lefties suggesting things in the widest arena, the mass media …?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism#Cultural_narcissism

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th November 2016

          Everyone is “biased”, PZ. I judge the quality of their data and reasoning, not their bias.

          As for the ‘leader’ your “ordinary folk” see as championing their “reaction” is a financial elitist proposing “top down” solutions to ‘their’ problems, Trump’s three priority policies are reported to be: cracking down on illegal immigration (particularly criminals), reducing taxes and abolishing Obamacare.

          All of those are better characterised as enabling people to find their own solutions than as top down implementations.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  20th November 2016

            Well, really, his campaign biggies included, especially, jobs, jobs, jobs – by reducing company taxes, yes, but also, and he kept highlighting this, by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US by putting 35% tariffs on anything imported back into the US by American manufacturing companies. Protectionism.

            And he promised, constantly, to “repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better”.

            They sound like top down solutions as much as anything else.

            He also made a big campaign issue out of getting rid of the lobbying & corporate influence on the political system. So far, no sign of that.

            But he’s also quite happy to say anything to win without necessarily having any idea whether it’s doable or not, and he lies without compunction. His objective is to win and his strategy is ‘anything goes’ to do so.

            So, nobody knows what he’ll actually do, or what he’ll actually achieve yet – good or bad.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  20th November 2016

            The voters read protectionism as an opportunity to run their own local businesses so they don’t see it as a top-down solution, just as an enabler.

            We’ll see on Obamacare, but essentially it is a rollback of a top-down solution.

            Will you be pleased or angry if his promises are implemented?

            Reply
            • @ Alan – Here’s the very fabric of Rightiness coming apart at the seams before our eyes: ” …voters read protectionism as an opportunity to run their own local businesses so they don’t see it as a top-down solution, just as an enabler.”

              An enabler!? Yes, like it enabled all those businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand for all those years … now long gone … long lost … Where thousands of especially retail small business owners made a decent living, now a tiny few retail magnates and corporates like Tindall make obscene incomes and wealth … and employ the old business owners’ children and children’s children on individual employment contracts at minimum wage …

              If Trump rolls back Obamacare he’ll simply re-expose the old top-down problem where a top-down solution stood …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              Actually I worked at The Warehouse when Stephen Tindall was building it and far from your misconceptions he gave opportunities to lots of ordinary young people to work there and succeed. Moreover he treated them and those he worked with very well.

              Yes, I disagree with protectionism as a solution to joblessness, but maybe it will be a stopgap for some of those affected.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              @ Alan
              “Will you be pleased or angry if his promises are implemented?”

              I you meant me, neither. I’m just an observer living in another country & curious to see what he does, what he said he would but doesn’t do, what appointments he makes and what advice he gets, whether he takes it, what America does diplomatically – whether they have a coherent or incoherent foreign policy – and militarily, and just generally what happens to the US domestically and internationally over the next few years with a volatile narcissist in charge.

            • Tindall & The Warehouse are certainly the archetypal economic reform and de-regulation success story … But at what ‘true cost’ …?

              http://nzbooks.org.nz/2007/non-fiction/not-everyone-gets-a-bargain-linda-burgess/

              The review doesn’t read very favourably for the author. Written by someone who clearly accepts the inevitability of ‘Rogernomics’ and ‘Ruthanasia’ … I don’t and I never will.

              What’s are some alternatives to protectionism?

            • “What” … I meant: What are alternatives to protectionism?

              I know the Rothbardian ones … anarcho-capitalism …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              The alternatives to protectionism are investment in education and innovation. Or as Earnest Rutherford put it: “We have no money, therefore we have to think.”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              The alternatives to protectionism are investment in education and innovation. Or, as Earnest Rutherford put it: “We have no money, therefore we have to think”.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              Oops, I didn’t think the first comment had gone thru as my link broke. Sorry.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              @Gezza, is narcissism in the eye of the beholder?: https://drhurd.com/2015/11/29/is-trump-a-narcissist-what-about-obama/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              If you think about Hurd’s definition of narcissism there is very little evidence that Trump is narcissist. He gets on well with other successful people and has shown himself to be civil and accommodating to those who have attacked him and fought with him. He certainly has shown himself able to take as much as he gives. Seems to me it is his critics who can’t and who probably deserve their own label.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              @ Al. Clearly Dr Hurd feels a need to come up with his own definition of a narcissist because most of the other ordinary definitions don’t fit HIS anti-Obama sentiments. I don’t think Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That is a particular psychiatric category of Personality Disorder with several clinical features he doesn’t demonstrate.

              But I do think Trump shows all or most of the traits of a narcissist by most ordinary, and even some professional psychological descriptions of that personality type.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              Care to elaborate on your definition and diagnosis?

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Enjoy. I could find simpler definitions but this covers the entire psychological & psychiatric territory I think.
              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  20th November 2016

            The more I’ve read on the subject, the less I think Trump fits the definition – clinical or popular. Just a slur the Lefty echo chamber has invented to make themselves feel better. In that, classic narcissism.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Yes, but you’re looking for definitions that suggest he isn’t a narcissist. I’m looking for the ones that suggest he is. So we can both be happy I suppose.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Well, exactly. 👍

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              But surely we can agree on two things?
              1. Whether Trumpy’s reign results in making things better, little different, or worse for all the folks he said he’d make it better for remains to be seen, and that requires mainly observation over the next four years.
              2. Whatever outcome, good, bad, or indifferent, The Donald himself has, I would guess, a 99.99% probability of declaring it an oustanding success that has been terrific, beautiful, and that made America great again, big league.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              No, you are quite wrong, Gezza. I have looked at all the definitions, not just Hurd’s, and consider Trump does not meet any of them. In contrast, many of his critics do.

              As for what Trump will say after 4 years, I suggest that will depend almost entirely on whether he is running for election or otherwise involved in politics at that time.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              See above about confirmation bias Al, and stop pretending you are uniquely unaffected by it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              I’m not pretending anything, just noting your inability to demonstrate it doesn’t inhibit your enthusiasm for claiming it.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Alan to say psychiatry is an inexact science is understating it these days. But he appears to tick so many of the boxes for so many basic traits of a narcissit covered by at least two definitions of narcissist in that link that he’s reputedly satisfied several clinical psychologists and/or psychiatrists that he is one. Whether or not some others agree or disagree is pretty clearly in some cases determined by their own particular viewpoints and possibly political persuasions. I’m inclined to go with those who say he is narcissistic, you’re inclined to go with one who says he’s not, but who has his own definition which is pretty obviously slanted to his own prejudices too.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th November 2016

              To be fair G, have you ever met him in person? If not, you are forming an opinion based solely on what has been told to you, by people who either want to sell you something, or make you think a certain way…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              I think Hurd’s definition is insightful and encompasses lack of empathy and self-awareness expressed in many of the more complex descriptions.

              However, simply take the one you cited: “Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.”

              I don’t see evidence of this in Trump. He seems to me to have a genuine wish to reverse the decline in American power and accomplishment, and in so doing help those affected by that decline. In consequence the stock markets have risen in expectation of infrastructural investment as well as lower taxes and reduced costs of foreign wars and armaments. Likewise the working classes supported him in expectation of more jobs and less competition from desperate or ruthless illegal immigrants.

              In contrast many of his critics both from the media and the celebrity belt seem to demonstrate extreme intellectual and social vanity in the course and exercise of their vilification of him as well as their contempt for those who supported him.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th November 2016

              @ Alan
              Read what I said to G above, & apply it to yourself. Have you met Mr Trump in person, or are you forming an opinion, based solely on what you have read, or been told? I am not saying you are right or wrong BTW

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              @ Patu, no I just formed that opinion from reading his Wikipedia and some other histories, and from watching quite a lot of his speeches and debates against the other Republican candidates, and listening to his “locker room” interview, and reading his twitter tweets.

              @ Al. I don’t recall citing that? I’m not sure how the stock markets assist in determining whether he’s narcissistic, but I suppose they might seem relevant to someone insisting that he’s not?

              Those ratbag illegal immigrants eh? Ruthlessly Insisting on working for unscrupulous employers for as little as they could get. It’s the American way Al. Once they’ve got rid of them they might be replaced by other legally resident unemployed, inskilled folk prepared to ruthlessly work for as little as they can get. That’s what we have to see. Trump’s plan so far is essentially trickledown theory I think.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              I am making a judgement based on what I have read from a wide variety of sources and on what he himself has said and done. I reject your insinuation that that is unreasonable. Had I met him in person that would have provided only a very small window of opportunity to gather relevant information directly.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              @G, do you not read your own links? That is the first line of the one you provided when I asked for your definition.

              Since the definition you cited depends on motivation the issue is whether he is really intent on achieving something good or merely personal aggrandisement. The markets believe it to be good as did his voters.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th November 2016

              Oh settle down Alan! All I ‘insinuated’ was that you formed an opinion, based on the information you had available at the time. I do the same thing myself, quite regularly. And I don’t think it is ‘unreasonable’, at all..

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              If you think creating jobs by building infrastructure is trickle down theory then you must think that creating government jobs and handing out welfare is also trickle down theory.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Can you point me to where I have quoted what you say I cited Al?
              I also reject your assertion that I have insinuated that you are being unreasonable to draw the conclusion that you have, which I have emphatically not done, and suggest to you that you pull your head in for implying I have not reached my conclusion on essentially the same basis that you did.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              Don’t feign innocence, patu. You implied very directly that I was relying on biased and unreliable sources. But I accept your apology.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th November 2016

              @G: https://yournz.org/2016/11/20/does-new-zealand-need-a-revolt/#comment-145427

              I haven’t implied anything about your rationale, simply because discovering what it is, such as it is, is still a work in progress.

            • Gezza

               /  20th November 2016

              Hang on, I’m getting lost. Who’s insulting who at the moment?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  21st November 2016

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st November 2016

              Wouldn’t dream of it, patu. Which reminds me it’s time to hit the sack.

              G will have to find a definition of narcissism he likes by himself.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  21st November 2016

              I’m off, so you two can insult each other, just to avoid any confusion 😛

            • patupaiarehe

               /  21st November 2016

              Try not to ‘hit your sack’ too hard Alan, you are old enough to know better 😀

            • Gezza

               /  21st November 2016

              @ Al
              “If you think creating jobs by building infrastructure is trickle down theory then you must think that creating government jobs and handing out welfare is also trickle down theory.”

              No I don’t think that. How he’s going to pay for it, and increased military expenditure, and whatever else he’s promised seems to me to be all based on the assumption that cutting business taxes and stopping companies from exporting more jobs offshore (and by the sound of it cutting some existing goverment jobs) is going to result in the funds for everything becoming available, and deliver better paying jobs for everybody. That’s trickledown theory isn’t it?

              This from somebody who paid some of his building workers as little as he could, didn’t pay some contractors at all, and who walked away from several (legal) bankruptcies that were fundamentally the result of bad business decisions and cost employees their jobs.

              I’m not saying it won’t work. I’m saying we have no idea yet whether it will.

      • Gezza

         /  21st November 2016

        Oh, ok, fair enough Al. The wikipedia article I referred you to was quite extensive, I wasn’t referring to the introductory section, but meaning to point you the various different definitions of narcissist that now abound. The psychological and psychiatric fields these days tie themselves in knots with equivocations that enable many diagnoses, none of which are universally accepted – for example I don’t believe that it is universal for those professions to regard narcissistic people as necessarily suffering from NPD. There were two sets of descriptors in there that I perceive Trump to display many apparent manifestations of:

        “Four dimensions of narcissism as a personality variable have been delineated: leadership/authority, superiority/arrogance, self-absorption/self-admiration, and exploitativeness/entitlement.[6]

        A 2012 book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:[7]

        An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
        Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
        A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
        Difficulty with empathy
        Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
        Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
        Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
        Haughty body language
        Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
        Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
        Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
        Pretending to be more important than they actually are
        Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
        Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
        Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
        Denial of remorse and gratitude
        These criteria have been criticized because they presume a knowledge of intention (for example, the phrase “pretending to be”).[8] Behavior is observable, but intention is not. Thus classification requires assumptions which need to be tested before they can be asserted as fact, especially considering multiple explanations could be made as to why a person exhibits these behaviors.

        And

        “Hotchkiss’ seven deadly sins of narcissism
        Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:[9]

        Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.[clarify]
        Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to “dump” shame onto others.
        Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may “reinflate” their sense of self-importance by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
        Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person or their achievements.
        Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
        Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other person is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
        Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.”

        Neither of us is a psychologist or psychiatrist. I am simply stating my opinion, and so are you, based on what we have read and seen and on the opinions of others in the field. I am not arguing that other prominent or famous people, media stars etc in the US are not also narcissistic, or that narcissists are unlikely to be successful in business or other endeavours. In fact the US seems to me to be a society which rewards and even admires narcissism in successful people and celebrities, for reasons I can’t really fathom, and in ways we don’t yet do here in NZ.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  21st November 2016

          Just one further point, your Dr Hurd doesn’t dismiss my or his colleagues contention.

          He focusses his article on arguing that Trump’s opponents are narcissists if he is (not very convincingly imo), but he does at least admit:

          “Is Donald Trump a narcissist?
          Perhaps, but that’s not the interesting question.”

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  21st November 2016

          I used the simple formulation because you said earlier you thought he fitted the popular meaning and not the clinical definition. Now you seem to have slid back to depending on random subjective slices of various clinical criteria.

          I look at it pretty simply. He obviously has very good relationships with his children and their spouses who are very successful in their own right. That is inconsistent with lack of empathy and selfishness. He has been magnanimous to his most bitter opponents after the battle. That is inconsistent with an inability to take criticism – and few people have ever been subject to so much and so intense. I think the claimed diagnosis is crap and entirely politically motivated by heavily biased professionals (who are obviously violating their profession’s code of ethics) eagerly grabbed and amplified by the Lefty echo chamber.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  21st November 2016

            Yes but his children are extensions of himself. I mean, he’s hardly likely to say my kids are crap is he? That would detract from his self-image image of perfection in every thing he does. His wives get a lot of money from him. I don’t think Marla is really all that keen on him.

            He is not magnanimous to his opponents after battle. He only pretends to be when he wins. Surely you can see this? How magnanimous has he ever been when he loses? Anyway, your expert witness concedes that perhaps he IS a narcissist so I am happy to leave the matter there and ignore your grudging refusal to accept my win.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st November 2016

              My expert witness was merely avoiding the trap yours fell into of making a diagnosis without seeing the patient – as his professional association forbids. It’s not Trump’s opinion of his children that is relevant but their opinion of him. I’m magnanimous when I win too. So I’ll accept your fish as a peace offering.

            • Gezza

               /  21st November 2016

              Don’t his kids all work for him in highly paid jobs? But fishwise I caught two last night. You can have the snapper. I’ll enjoy just watching the groper for a while.

              Did you laugh like I did when Mitt Romney had to crawl up his bottom? So embarrassing for him. Still, he’s obviously keen to hang on like grim death & just accept he looks like a jerk now.

              I wondered if any of Trump’s strongest Republican detractors will be facing a night of the short knives after Trump has got himself ensconced in the oval office (poor old Chris Christie eh? Outlived his usefulness already) but I think so long as they all now rush to grovel embarrassingly at his feet they might be ok. Hard to say. All good fun. Going to be great show to watch, America over the next few months.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st November 2016

              Thanks for the snapper. I’ll have it fresh fried with butter. I think Trump likes his catch on toast. Enjoy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st November 2016

              Separately, Pence said Trump and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a staunch opponent during the campaign, had a “warm and a substantive exchange” on Saturday. “I know he’s under active consideration to be the secretary of state,” Pence said.

              http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-pence-obamacare-231677

              Doesn’t sound like night of the short knives stuff at all.

  6. Dr Edwards statement are first-hand evidence of my stated claim that the New Zealand Tertiary level social scientists have been captured by left wing marxist socialists. Unfortunately this disease has also affected our MSM who are in the pocket of the academics. The big problem is that both groups have formed a global alliance and feed each other and encourage views of the world organisation that are not the best answer to New Zealand. For those who talk of a necessary revolution, I say you are preaching an ideology for the destruction of the real egalitarian values of New Zealand. We do not need an over-class tor rule this country. We are NOT the US, UK or Europe, and will do our thing in our way. New Zealand is not broken and should not be fixed in the lefty style, it just needs good people to lead and encourage into a future that is humane, prosperous and organised to allow individuals to live a safe and fulfilling life in a community that respects commonsense and common values.

    Reply
    • @ BJ – ” … it just needs good people to lead and encourage into a future that is humane, prosperous and organised to allow individuals to live a safe and fulfilling life in a community that respects commonsense and common values.”

      How do we know what the common values are? Because we elected a National government by a meagre 36.6% of eligible voters?

      And commonsense … Whose commonsense? Common sense to a business owner may be to expend labour in favour of mechanisation … Where does this leave the labourer?

      The “real egalitarian values” of Aotearoa New Zealand were probably last expounded by the Values and Social Credit Parties, the latter’s popularity remaining 20.55% of the popular vote even as they declined in 1981. What a pity we didn’t have MMP back then eh?

      Its been all downhill for egalitarianism since then. Remember the Roundtable sponsored, Peter Shirtcliffe fronted campaign against MMP at the second referendum? It was a campaign against the reassertion of any potential egalitarianism …

      We have an over-class BJ … Inverted Totalitarianism … government by the ‘wealth and power’ elite … as opposed to governance by the ‘equality and justice’ masses …

      Reply
  7. PZ, I do not for one second subscribe to your evaluation of the history present and future of New Zealand’s political thesis. I feel so sorry that you are so blind to the realities that surround you. I am happy in my skin and with my life philosophy and don’t need any further raving doctrinal speak from you. Thats what people mean when they tell you to get a life, you are obviously unhappy with the way things are here, have you thought about an alternative?

    Reply
    • Well BJ, as it happens, I think about it quite a lot. We might start with some (perhaps even lofty) human visions and goals for “the whole of society”, as opposed to an ‘atomised’, sectional, divisive, inherently polarised Darwinian jungle-primate theory?

      The Irish Constitution demonstrates that such goals can be illucidated in words.

      You yourself frequently innumerate some of these potential goals, which seem perfectly reasonable to me. Decent sustainable communities throughout the nation? Families which can be supported by a single income if desired? Shared communal infrastructure, provided at an agreed cost … and, IMHO, we know it costs a lot to have First World infrastructure … Some measure of social equity, perhaps most easily decided by progressive taxation, but there may be other ways?

      I don’t know all the answers, but I want to discuss it openly, not just within the narrow confines of what is essentially a failing neoliberal paradigm: Especially here in Aotearoa New Zealand where biculturalism and partnership must underpin any such discussion.

      My big question is: Does our present electoral system – including Parties and lobby groups – really constitute any sort of widespread discussion, individual, group, community and mass consultation, engagement and participation about the way-of-life we all want to have or the multitude of ways-of-life we variously want and provision for them all (if possible)? And how to realise them?

      I have a life thanks very much …

      Reply
  8. DOES NZ NEED A REVOLUTION? Well, after listening to what our Prime Minister said to the CEO of Facebook about tax payments and his use of the China card against Trump anti free trade politics, we have the sort of leader we need to protect our economic and trade interests. The noise you hear is the applause from the egalitarian, classless Kiwis who do not subscribe to Karl Marx’s model of society that is so dear to the Left. Me, I am firmly in the Centre. Well done John Key, you stood up for Kiwi interests, and what more could we ask for?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  20th November 2016

      Well, I think a higher minimum wage, no tax cuts (that don’t deliver much to the low-waged or beneficiaries) and no more cunning indirect taxes like levies on insurance policies would be good.

      Reply
  9. patupaiarehe

     /  20th November 2016

    I don’t think New Zealand needs a revolt, we could do with a few tweaks to a system that is generally working quite well.

    I beg to differ. Ask any smoker (and a few people who don’t) if they think it is fair to pay $20 for a pack that is actually worth under $5. Ask any trainee teacher or nurse (in private) if they think that the amount of time they spend learning about Maori culture benefits anyone, other than the so called academics who write the curriculum. Ask anyone who is currently living in a car….

    Reply
    • @ patupaiarehe – The “teacher or nurse” situation might depend on what part of the country the school or hospital is in? Knowledge of Maori culture [and language] is especially useful in some places ….

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  20th November 2016

        I think that a nurse would be far better off (as would her patients, of all ethnicities) spending a whole year of her education learning more about how the human body works.

        Reply
        • Patu, I wasn’t aware that a whole year of nursing training went on what you call “learning about Maori culture” or bicultural understanding? Surely you exaggerate?

          However, given that nursing involves a goodly degree of confidence, relationship building, ‘care’ and ‘bedside manner’ – in short ‘people skills’ – I would have thought that even biculturalism – which I doubt the training is restricted to – would benefit all ethnicities due to simple extrapolation of the empathy involved [or perhaps awoken or ‘learned’]?

          Of course, the other side of such training ‘issues’ is the predisposition and prejudice the student starts out with? A person with an inbred low opinion of Maori is likely to resist and contort such training in their own mind, and the ‘opportunity’ becomes a chore, a bore or worse, only further cements their prejudices …

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  20th November 2016

            Well PZ, since you asked…
            A good friend of my ataahua wahine is currently studying for her degree in ECE (Early Childhood Education). She has to spend the weekend at a Marae once a year, and to be fair, she enjoys her time there, and speaks highly of the experience. However, the urban Maori kids she deals with, in the centre she works at, are completely disconnected from ‘the culture’, as are their parents. The kids are in care all day, and have been since they were weaned, because mum & dad are both working, in low paid jobs to make ends meet. And some of these kids have SERIOUS behavioural issues. So much so, that our friend reckons that 3/4 of the kids in that centre would be removed by their parents, if they were aware of the disturbed individuals that their children spend all day with. Apparently disturbed children don’t get teacher aides in an ECE centre, they just get watched closely, and get put in ‘time out’ when they hurt another child… She dares not speak out publicly though, she knows that she would have to find a new profession if she did….
            Our friend thinks that it would be more helpful for her to learn a bit more about Indian culture, since there are more Indians than Maori where she works

            Reply
  10. patupaiarehe

     /  20th November 2016

    This is supposedly ‘the bible’ for ECE teachers. Funnily enough, our friend is a christian, and found it a little offensive to hear something other than what she considers to be ‘the truth’ described as such. Apparently I am ‘an arsehole’ for telling her she is a coward for not saying something at the time. I’m taking it as a compliment.. 😀
    http://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/teaching-and-learning/ece-curriculum/te-whariki/the-curriculum-whariki/

    Reply
    • I believe non-Christians are equally offended if Christianity is preached to their children patu? Perhaps the answer is ‘Charter Kindergartens & Playcentres’ as well as ‘partnership schools’?

      One of the several anomalies of making child-care [and many other things besides] into a form of paid employment is that the carer may need the job, the pay, more than they need to maintain or assert their beliefs and ideals …?

      Can she get a job elsewhere? Perhaps she can learn about Indian culture in her own time as well?

      What you describe above about her ECE situation is an outright indictment on our system for making two parent employment and paid child-care virtually compulsory. Whatever happened to grandparents, nanis, aunties and koros?

      The ECE cirriculum/whariki looks very diverse and comprehensive to me. How can it be otherwise?

      Written no doubt with the very best of intentions, this cirriculum/whariki will one day in the future be viewed more like a communist-totalitarian preschool-gulag manifesto IMHO.

      Modern so-called democratic governments just love to have complete control of education, don’t they? Its about the only area of society where Righties favour Statism, provided it isn’t unionised. In mitigation, it would have been a lot worse in bygone years when it was all Merry’Old’England … nursery rhymes, Pooh Bear, Noddy and The Famous Five amid narrow, hedge-lined country lanes between hay-ricked fields sheltered by giant Oak trees …

      Conversely, education operated as a private business is possibly more dubious and even potentially dangerous? Where ‘reducing costs’ is a prime motivating factor to achieve ‘productivity and efficiency’, ‘optimal staffing levels’ (read lowest cost &/or lowest qualifications) and digitalisation the generator of profit, and where consumer inclusion is purchased to begin with, how do cirriculums and agendas get set? By the Church or ‘partner’? And how is productivity and efficiency measured in ECE anyhow?

      I wonder what its like being a Church ‘partnership school’ educated graduate heading off to secular university or entering a secular workplace here in Aotearoa NZ? Or the only job available is with a Muslim employer …?

      I don’t know the answers … just raving on again …

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  21st November 2016

        Written no doubt with the very best of intentions, this cirriculum/whariki will one day in the future be viewed more like a communist-totalitarian preschool-gulag manifesto IMHO.

        Perhaps it will, but until people start voicing such thoughts, nothing will change. Most won’t though, as they are well aware of the consequences of challenging ‘groupthink’ publicly, and they have bills to pay.

        Reply
  11. I understand Winston peters was the last in New Zealand to gain a lot of success on this type of platform.

    Reply
    • All political parties do it to some extent I reckon A.C, me old Cobber …

      They all villify some group or other … with National it’s various cohorts of the beneficiary population … sole parents and the like … the long-term unemployed …

      There’s a big undercurrent of ‘Brown Privilege’ flowing among the Rabid Rightie Rapids at present, meaning Maori are the culprits …. Notably, they’re also the culprits for failing in the pakeha system …

      Everyone can’t win eh?
      That’s how the system works … Everyone can’t possibly win …

      Where would we find our ‘enemies’ … ?

      Reply
  12. Any revolt will happen in spite of the existing system of parliament and will be organised online in an underground part of the web that neither you or I know about, until then its business as usual

    Reply

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