Carefully Constructed Lies: Moving in the direction of Neoliberalism

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HOW ANGRY “CENTRISTS” GET when they’re referred to in anything less than the most congratulatory terms. As if their appalling ignorance of, and disdain for, politics is something to be proud of. And yet, proud they are – very proud – of their refusal to shoulder even the most basic responsibilities of citizenship. Day after day, these people are fed statements by their political leaders which cannot, in any way, be reconciled with the facts – but which, their obvious falsity notwithstanding, they accept as true.

George Orwell had their measure. In his dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he presented characters who are actually very thankful for the ability to behave as though the lies their political leaders tell them are true. After all, people convinced they’re being lied to might start demanding the truth – and that could lead to all kinds of trouble. Orwell even invented a name for this condition: doublethink.

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”

In short: “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

The all-pervasive ideological system which required the citizens of “Airstrip One” [Great Britain] to practice doublethink was “Ingsoc” [English Socialism]. Though no centrist would accept for a moment that New Zealand society is in any way comparable to Orwell’s dystopia, it is not at all difficult to see in the all-pervasive influence of neoliberalism a polity more than a little analogous to Big Brother’s totalitarian regime.

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It is one of the most frightening features of totalitarian systems that their effectiveness relies less upon naked force than it does upon the ordinary person’s realisation that, in practical terms, going with the flow of the new system makes much more sense than attempting to stand against it. In Nazi Germany, this was called “moving in the direction of the Fuhrer”. Adolf Hitler’s beliefs being well known and understood, it was unnecessary for his ministers to issue precise instructions concerning the implementation of his new government’s policies. Bureaucrats and other authority figures simply acted as they believed the Fuhrer would wish them to act.

Is it not possible to see in the appalling treatment meted out to beneficiaries of all kinds by MSD and WINZ bureaucrats more than a little of this “moving in the direction of the Fuhrer” phenomenon? No detailed memos will have been sent out to MSD employees – indeed, it would’ve been most unwise to put such sentiments down in writing – but everyone in that bureaucracy knows exactly what is expected of them. Government ministers, editorial writers and talkback hosts have made it very clear what the appropriate demeanour towards their beneficiary “clients” should be. They all know how their bosses would wish them to act.

If any centrists are still reading this, their blood pressure will no doubt be rising rapidly. “I’m not like that! This isn’t Nazi Germany! You’re out of you mind!” The great problem, of course, for these outraged folk, is that between 1933 and 1938 Nazi Germany wasn’t like Nazi Germany. For most German citizens, and in the eyes of the rest of the world, Hitler was a hero, and his regime’s achievements – full-employment especially – the envy of all those nations still mired in economic depression.

No, we don’t have concentration camps filled with John Key’s opponents. But that is not, of itself, proof that our democracy survives unscathed. It might just as easily point to the extraordinary success of what is, indisputably, the most successful totalitarian ideology in human history. Neoliberalism is a brilliantly conceived edifice of lies which, in order to have a successful career, it is in the intelligent citizen’s interest to affirm as an unanswerable collection of self-evident truths.

If you can do this without demonstrating the slightest traces of amusement, stress or guilt, then there’s a better than even chance that you call yourself a centrist.

 

107 COMMENTS

      • The Nazi party’s German initials were NSDAP, short for National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The Khmer Rouge was led by Pol Pot who was the leader of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Mao Tse tung etc, etc, etc.

        • Yes – that is correct – but you need to learn a little more of history mate – they were fascist through and through. In fact extremism on both sides of the political spectrum leads to totalitarianism (that is what the word comes from after all). Our political Right – especially the ideologues in ACT and the far right of National are not so far removed now from extremism.

          • So Macro, you seem to oppose extremism on both sides – does that make you a centrist?

            Do you agree with Chris’s opinions about centrists?

          • Act was the only party in parliament that was consistent in it’s opposition to the Harmful digital communications Bill due to the risks involved in that shutting down genuine debate. Does this mean you regard standing up for free speech as extreme?

            • Just a pity that same civic sense of duty wasn’t extended to a former leader of Act , though isn’t it?

              How is Rodney getting on ?

              So now we see there is no loyalty whatsoever from the far right .

              So why should we give them any credence?

              • What??? I’m sorry but what does how a former leader of Act is treated (by who exactly is unclear) have to do with what is being discussed?

                I’m not sure why you bring loyalty in to the equation. It isn’t as if the left are huge on loyalty. I can name a long list of ex-leaders that are no longer mentioned by lefties.

          • Glad you pointed out that extremes of BOTH left and right can lead to totalitarianism. The version to the right is entirely market driven (laisez faire capitalism) while the version to the left is entirely driven by government (communism)

        • Iceberg, I’d take Macro’s advice on boning up on your history. The Nazi concept of “socialism” was not the leftist variety.

          You’re either lacking in history, or are being wilfully mischievious.

          • It’s difficult to learn history when you re write it so fast. The ruling ideology in Orwells 1984 was Ingsoc, or English Socialism. Not English Neoliberalism.

            • I think you are deliberately playing dumb in trying to convince people you don’t know the difference between a social democracy , fascism , communism or totalitarianism.

              Not a good tactic.

              And the thrust of this article is how in fact , neo liberalism is now getting to the point in this country where there are definitely some quite alarming elements of totalitarian thinking emerging because of the neo liberal ideology.

              THAT …is the issue at hand.

            • Animal Farm is literature – not ‘history’

              And at the time of writing the centrists were taking over the movement – just as they did here.

              I take it from your comments you are not a student of any history.

              For your next study, try the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff with particular reference to the decisive action of the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff. He surely had a deft way with trolls…

          • exactly Frank! The SA were the radical revolutionary wing that were too extreme for Hitler thus were removed. These violent thugs would think nothing of beating you up if they thought you were a Jew, communist of homosexual.
            Not the sort of thing you’d find in most socialist cultures.

        • Oh dear…I up ticked this silly clown in my haste !!!!

          But yes…the reason why they called it the National Socialist German Workers party while on the side cutting deals with the leading German elite’s of industry was to not alienate the huge worker base Germany had.

          If you recall the NAZI party did not hold any majority for a very long time. And it was only when they brought on its benefactors in the form of bankers and industrialists that they made headway.

          Many in the THULE society and Dietrich Eckhardt were in that number.

          So they were hardly ‘socialist ‘ at all. They were Fascists. Or more correctly – TOTALITARIANS.

        • There is a rather large difference between socialism and communism.

          And there are a great number of successful socialist countries which are not totalitarian.

          Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark…. all socialist. None totalitarian.

          Just because Nazi Germany began as a socialist country and ended up a totalitarian state does not mean all socialist countries will therefore follow the same path.

        • All of the above are a bit like the neoliberalist right who masqueraded as Labour in 1980’s New Zealand. Labour by name intentionally and deceptively so.

      • What Trotter also forgets is that the ruling ideology in Orwells 1984, was Insoc, short for English Socialism, modelled on life in the Soviet Union, another socialist paradise.

        • Iceberg – you seem to have a blind spot for fascism (eg; Hitler, Franco, Pinochet, et al.)

          The USSR was not “socialism”, any more than Nazi Germany was a western capitalist democracy. Look up oligarchy and plutocracy.

          Learn your history, you are seriously embarrassing yourself.

            • By the way, Iceberg, I note that you don’t bother to repudiate anything Chris has written. You’ve simply engaged in deflection and silly attempts at smart-aleckery.

              It’s obvious you have no intelligent counter-argument to Chris’s points.

              If you did, you would have shared your wisdom with us by now.

            • Iceberg let us not forget Goebbels.
              Propaganda the art of taking a little portion of truth spinning a web of deceit around it repeat it often enough and you believe your own spin the Cult of iceberg only the tip protrudes the danger lruks in the dark deapths of his double thinking double speaking mind.

        • Whats the difference between the intent of the lies from this government and that of 1984 or of East Germany or the US, etc? They are still designed to mislead and quell the masses and keep the liars in power.

          Classic Key after NZ received a credit downgrade, was to lie and tell us that if Labour had been in the downgrade would have happened sooner, vis-a-vis, we’re not as bad as the other guys. But he just plain made it up, but bought time with the lie to deflect attention from his governments incompetence.

          Another Keyism, leading up to the 2014 election, “wages are strong”. Think about it, an illogical meaningless sentence delivered with subtle ease in the middle of a 100 other meaningless words, designed to make the audience think “wage growth is strong”, which is was not, but then Key could honestly say he never claimed such a thing!

          Iceberg, we’re living the 1984 doublethink dream, right here right now!

        • F**k up iceberg, you’re a broken record.
          This has already been discussed.
          Let me spell it out for you. True socialism is democratic by definition. Russia and China and Pol Pot were dictators, the system they instituted was actually state run capitalism.
          Neoliberalism is corporate fascism. On the other side of the coin, but a corporate dictatorship.
          I usually think of Huxleys, Brave New World as more akin to a neoliberal distopia, than Orwells 1984.
          If we are going to talk about distopian novels.
          But anyway, the point is that neoliberal free market economics are based on flawed models and bad ideas that have long since shown themselves to be utterly flawed…
          Any thinking person must know this, to deny it means double think, supporting an ideology while also being cognisant of its deleterious effects.
          Just as baby boomers happily watch their children go into thousands of dollars worth of debt for their educations, and come out unable to find work, take low paid jobs, and pay exorbitant rents, with home ownership a distant dream, while they themselves continue to invest in the housing market and rip off other peoples kids, and vote for parties that promise more of the same.

    • Except of course, that it’s socialism that leads to totalitarianism, not neoliberalism.

      No, neo-liberalisam is far more subtle and insidious.

      In totalitarian Russia and China, journos were threatened with imprisonment or worse. The stick.

      Under neo-liberalism, they are paid off to become mouthpieces for corporations, ministers, SOEs, and government departments. The carrot.

      • A totalitarian state in which opposition journalists are punished with well paid jobs which they are free to leave at any time.

        Such horror!

        This really is a subtle form of totalitarianism – so subtle its indistinguishable from freedom!

        • Well put Sceptic.

          I’m sure all NZ journos secretly wish they could time-travel back to the Soviet Union and exercise their increased freedoms!

        • “This really is a subtle form of totalitarianism – so subtle its indistinguishable from freedom”

          Modern marketing and modern right wing political tactics are all about selling the concept of choice and freedom via thinking about “what i want” instead of “what we need” – (if you look at the history of advertising there is a definate period where this happened)

          and yes – now the major left wing parties do the same. Because its easier to move people when they are thinking about themselves and not their community

          Yet are we really free – or are we slaves to invented choice and debt in order to keep exercising our choice regarding wants – at the expense of needs and a wider perspective?

          Im not saying we are a totalitarian state – but your comment is closer to the truth than you at first thought

          • “Yet are we really free – or are we slaves to invented choice and debt”

            You may think you’re a slave to marketing and propaganda, but I don’t. Other people are free to persuade us to buy their products or support their politics, and we’re free to ignore them.

            After every election the losing side always complains that they voters were tricked by the lying propaganda of the other side, never admitting the possibility that people understood their message and rejected it.

      • Agreed Frank, but I have a nasty feeling that we could very well see some totalitarian ideas coming into play here

      • That may be the case , my old son – but this neo liberalism can only make things worse for indigenous people or those who aren’t . I reckon its either you join em and stop bleating or get over it and start opposing em.

        Now is not the time to encourage even further division.

    • Communism and fascism are bedfellows, they rely on fear, the heavy hand of force.
      It’s a long-bow to equate your neoliberalism to the Orwellian vision of 1984. No matter what you think of the current socio-economic system.

      You’re right Chris, most ‘centrist’ would find your moral equivalence Nazi Germany to today’s liberal democracy, hard to stomach. It would give historical revisionism a bad name. Nazi Germany was a top down, centrally planned economy with a oligarchy, nationalist bent. Scapegoating of Jews and extreme social darwinism at its core. It’s methods are more similar to Communism than the neoclassical economics which were the thought of its day, or the ‘neoliberalism’ of today.
      Orwell was writing about totalitarianism inherent in communism in his political writings. He was disgusted by “double speak” of the apologist of the left-wing supporters of communism in England, who would make mass murder sound respectable and totally justifiable. As a fighter against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, he became totally disillusioned by the Communists.

      Everyone has co-opted Orwell legacy in supporting their world view, the left-wing of his time and right-wing/CIA.
      Chris is just another to follow.
      Double-speak is definitely present in your piece, you make today’s liberal democracy sound like Nazi totalitarianism. Black is White.

      • “they rely on fear, the heavy hand of force.”

        i would say that applies to any system with a ruling elite – regardless of whatever name they go by or the form their power takes.

        I dont care what any one calls it – if it creates an elite, with an upwards flow of wealth and power – its bad for the rest of us

      • Communism and fascism are bedfellows, they rely on fear, the heavy hand of force.
        It’s a long-bow to equate your neoliberalism to the Orwellian vision of 1984. No matter what you think of the current socio-economic system.

        David, as I wrote above, neo-liberalism does it with more subtlety. Think Maggie Thatcher’s fist in a velvet glove. With plenty of shiny consumer goods to distract the eye.

        If you want examples of fear and intimidation in our current climate, I give you several examples;

        1. Workers who are intimidated into bowing to employer pressure, such as Talley’s workers and Auckland maritime workers.

        2. These good folk;

        July, 2009

        Natasha Fuller & Jennifer Johnston, solo-mothers

        Personal WINZ details released to the media by Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett, to discredit both women after they criticised National for canning the Training Incentive Allowance (which Bennett herself used to pay her way through University).

        May, 2011

        Jon Stephenson, journalist
        John Key derides Stephenson’s research into NZ activities in Afghanistan: “I’ve got no reason for NZDF to be lying, and I’ve found [Stephenson] myself personally not to be credible.”

        September, 2011

        Nicky Hager, writer, researcher
        John Key dismisses Hager’s book, on CIA involvement in NZ military activities in Afghanistan: “I don’t have time to read fiction,” quipped the Prime Minister, adding that the book contained “no smoking gun”, just supposition, which, “makes it business as normal for Nicky Hager”. (Despite the book having 1300 footnotes to referencing documentation.)

        October, 2011

        Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, broadcaster, blogger
        Criticised John Key on Radio NZ. Subsequently banned/ “uninvited” from returning to Radio NZ as a panellist for the Afternoons with Jim Mora segment.

        November, 2011

        Robyn Malcolm, actor
        Criticises the John Key led National government for it’s failures at a Green Party campaign launch, and is, in turn, vilified by the ‘NZ Herald’, and by one-time National Party aspiring-candidate, Cameron Brewer.

        November, 2011

        Bradley Ambrose, journalist/photographer
        Investigated by police after complaint laid by the Prime Minister, over the “Teapot Tape” affair. Ambrose investigated and interviewed by Police. Media office raided. Property seized. Eventually, no charges laid. Government considered seeking costs of $13,669.45 from Ambrose – but eventually decided not to.

        March 2012

        ACC Claimant, Bronwyn’s Pullar’s personal details are leaked to the media and to a right wing blogger, who has been given her full files, emails, etc. ACC Minister, Judith Collins, and her office are implicated.

        November 2012

        Dr Mike Joy, environmentalist, scientist, academic. Attacked by both John Key and right wing “media relations/publicist”, Mark Unsworth, for daring to tell the public the truth about New Zealand’s polluted waterways. On 21 November, Unsworth sent a vicious email to Dr Joy that showed the state of mind of Unsworth to be bordering on unhinged.

        March, 2013

        Annette Sykes, lawyer, activist, President of Mana Party

        When Annette Sykes criticised the appointment of sportswoman Susan Devoy to the role of Race Relations Commissioner, Minister Judith Collins responded with “Annette Sykes is a stupid person”.

        May, 2014

        Katie Bradford, Parliamentary Press Gallery, and TV1 journalist. Judith Collins makes allegations to a TV3 journalist, that Ms Bradford asked the Minister to intervene on behalf of her (Bradford’s) husband to join the police force. This is refuted by Ms Bradford as untrue. Collins later apologises.

        September, 2014

        John Key refers to to visiting US journalist, Glenn Greenwald, as Kim “Dotcom’s little henchman” and a “loser”.

        Add to the list, Judith Collins passing the name and phone numbers of public servant Simon Pleasants, to extremist right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater, in 2009. Slater later published those contact details, and Mr Pleasants received vile death threats from Slater’s deranged “Whale Army” supporters.

        3. John Campbell, Mihingarangi Forbes, and Dita De Boni being side-lined from their jobs. The price of speaking truth to power?

        Do I accept that it is a coincidence that three of the most critical voices, who have often challenged the status quo, have been removed from their positions?

        Not for one minute.

        4. You yourself, David. You use a pseudonym instead of your full name. What is it you are wary off?

        Oft times, David, the most insidious disease is the one invisible to the naked eye, but which exists nevertheless. Like many forms of cancer which exist far below the surface; without painful symptoms; but which relentless eat away at the body.

        The metaphor works just as well for the Body Democratic.

        • It’s best not use your full name on these posts, there are some crazies out there. You can tell by some of the tangential ramblings from a manic state.

          Interesting, that you ask for my name as opposed to the others.

          I am no sycophant. I think for myself. Not that I am accusing you, I like your posts Frank, generally very thoughtful, multidimensional. Don’t have to agree all the time.

        • So, activists from the left should get immunity from criticism and attack? Is that on account of their objectivity and balance?

        • If I was Jewish, I would find the comparison of Nazi Germany to today’s New Zealand, offensive. It belittles the horrors of that period.

          That is exactly what Chris’s article does. He tries to conflate the two societies together, using Nazi imagery.
          He ignores:
          Today’s emancipation of minorities to Nazi’s subjugation.
          Today welfare safety net to the Nazi’s extermination of undesirables.
          Today’s United Nations relative peace to the catastrophe of WW2.

          The more subtle ‘influence’ of media is like of the Nazis? You forget the thousands of years of history predating the Nazis: patronage, networking, groupthink. The more recent experience of stagflation of the 1970’s. The relative outperformance of capitalist states versus communist state that inform the body-politic.

          The Nazi analogy is offensive and is used too commonly to these days.

          It normalises, make mundane, the horrific.

          • The whole point of the evil of Nazi Germany IS the normalisation of the horrific.

            Don’t think for one moment that Germany was turned in one blistering Nazi revolution.

            It was a slow steady process of incremental corruption; just as in present day Aotearoa/New Zealand.

            (And I am aware of the position of Jewish people to this event. They choose to see it as an exceptional evil that arose and persecuted them. I can understand that to some degree but my family was never persecuted in WW2 so we can never really understand what it was like for the Jewish people.)

            And since the final crushing of this great evil in 1945 the world has witnessed a steady state of war somewhere.

            And it continues today.

          • David, there is an old adage; those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

            The lesson that Nazism teaches us is that evil can infect any society, any time, and that only eternal vigilance will be any measure of safeguard.

            Remember how the evil that Nazis wrought were described? As banal.

            It can never happen here in New Zealand, right?

            I’m sure many in Germany thought the same thing.

            However, it can happen here, if the conditions are right. This was brought home to me on 23 August, 2004, when I witnessed something I never thought to see in this country – black shirted men marching en masse along Wellington’s Lambton Quay; as per their Leader’s instructions; giving extended-arm (with clecnched fists, not open palms) salutes.

            http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/p-21123-pc.jpg

            It can’t happen here, until it does.

            • Anyone who wants a real feel for what the Nazi regime was could do worse than to read “A Man Called Intrepid”.

          • but you are not [by your own admission]. What do you know? Have you studied that history? and if so to what depth? Denial is acquiescence.

            • I find Nazi comparison offensive as a human being. I should’ve state, Jews are especially sensitive to the wanton abuse of Nazi terminology which trivalizes their experience. I have empathy.
              Studied that history? You must especially ignorant not to be aware of the rise totalitarianism in germany, soviet union. Commissars? Political indoctrination.
              ‘Evil’ comparisons with the NZ politics is becoming ridiculous, there is definitely a loss of perspective. The comments are becoming more extreme. It sounds like there are commissars in the anti-neoliberal wing, they will shout you down if you don’t prescribe to their ideology.
              None of the examples that Frank gave was egregious;
              No state sanctioned abuse of power characteristic of a police state. This blog is not going to be shut down anytime. Has anyone try to boycott the sponsors?
              Need to have long cuppa, i think.

    • Well said iceberg

      Chris talks about ‘angry centrists’ but they’re anything but! You might say we’re smug or self satisfied but never angry.

      Just take a look around this site and you’ll see where the anger truly lies.

    • “Except of course, that it’s socialism that leads to totalitarianism, not neoliberalism”…. If this is sarcasm, then it.s rather too dry to be funny, and if this is just an attempt at humour, fine…. Tasteless, but not a job for the humour police…. If it isn’t, then either a better therapist, or an organised hunt for the missing soul is needed..

      point your eyes north young hobbit…most of south america had right wing totalitarian regimes installed by american empire builders. And that’s just the Americas…. South east asia has had multiple right wing fascist/military dictatorships since the second world war…. The worldwide list is endless….

      So, here endeth the lesson on false labelling…. A subject, no doubt you are cognizant of, as your basic premise is to doggedly point to the labels as truth….
      Engaging depth perception lacking when compared to cardboard when attempting to “debate” anything more complex than the menu at McDonalds, defines futile….

      I’ll give you a starter for 10 points.. Look up “neo”…. Digest that for a few weeks, then we can do lesson 2….

  1. Brilliant insight Chris!
    I view the backbenchers on tv and the nat rep just repeats we have a lot more work to do and one night peter Dunne came out with the same rubbish. Many in good jobs won’t get involved politically because they’re afraid they’ll be singled out in the next lay off. They use language to hide and confuse and they show a monumental contempt for the Public.

    The smart guy conforms and stays away from controversy to them that’s potential death. Fuhrer Shonkey knows best.

  2. Yes Chris … I have been reading your brilliant article on your Bowalley Road site detailing the origins of the neo liberal takeover of New Zealand.

    The article titled : Something In The Air : Examining The Precursors Of Past Labour Victory’s.

    But this then is the reality …of where we are presently.

    And it is a strange thing to see that progressively through the years…it is almost as if they had either not noticed it or made a deliberate choice borne out of despondency that they cannot do anything to change it… that these friends and family members have quietly slipped into giving allegiance to a system that …if one was to engage in conversation quietly with … one would find not far beneath the surface , remnants of the sentiments of the days of when this country was truly based on a social democracy.

    Certainly among those old enough to remember those days…

    Its been around 31 years since the 1984 forth Labour govt , and we now have people in their 20’s and 30’s that have no means of forming a backdrop with which to compare the former to the neo liberal system we have now.

    Progressively we have seen the incredible arrogance with which this doctrine – and Ill call it that – or ideology if you will – has permeated both Labour and the National party. The brute force used in the 1980’s and then the 1990’s has given way to a more subtle ( although under Key not so subtle ) and pernicious from.

    Pernicious because the foundations have been laid , and the practitioners of neo liberalism are now simply just adding the finishing touches…safe in the assumed knowledge that after several decades… the people will have given weary acquiescence that there is no other way…

    Which is , of course … not only a set up for a monumental economic fall,… but a set up for the most humiliating of all defeats for neo liberalism.

    All it would take … would be the fulfillment of conditions such as the like of the Great Depression of the 1930’s. And that should be taken very , very seriously by those who feel that this situation that currently favours them will go on indefinitely.

    We came perilously close to that scenario in 2008.

    As the Laissez Faire of the 1920’s is almost the same as the neo liberalism we have today. The same extreme wealth for the few and the same crushing poverty for the poor. All fueled by credit. And when that house of cards did finally crash – it wasn’t more of the same that rescued the global economy…

    It was the economic policy’s of John Maynard Keynes .

    And it was this that formed the basis of the social democracy that New Zealanders enjoyed from the 1930’s through to 1984. It was also the most prosperous time the global economy had seen – at least for those workers and middle classes of the West.

    This is why current day neo liberals hate both Keynesianism and Social Democracy …because it redistributed that wealth and created conditions whereby that crushing poverty was dealt to and all sectors could look forwards to living a decent , productive life ,- not just the small minority who formerly had increased in wealth and power at the expense of the majority.

    But as neo liberalism creates ever more extremes between those with wealth and those without , as it creates ever more dis-empowerment and social distinction … the more we will see an increasing move by neo liberal govts to become ever more caught up in bolstering up and justifying their stance …

    This is what we are experiencing now with this National govt .

    And therein lies its inherent weakness …. it is this constant having to bolster itself up with yet more facades and doublethinking that the people – eventually – will grow weary of.

    And that process can come in either one of two forms…either a slow grinding down of the public’s acceptance of privations and poverty ….or,… as a spark that sets off an explosion such as a major economic downturn .

    Either way ,…their position remains tenuous … and becoming less and less defensible.

    And eventually , …. they will lose.

  3. It annoys me no end that people like Iceburg seem to assume that Socialism & Communism are the same thing

    • Don’t get too excited about Iceberg. He is a fascist troll, a moron, whose job is to derail the debate away from the facts. He is a slave to his ‘doublethink’ master-Keynocchio.
      But to get back on point again…the gathering pace of restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom to associate/organise, freedom of information, and a controlled, propagandised mainstream media acting on behalf of a Government which predominantly acts in the interests of corporations……..I’d say that we’re fast approaching fascist totalitarianism, wouldn’t you?

  4. What if … the whole damn political system is just a huge con.
    What if … we are now imploding – markets, economy, belief systems giving ourselves a clean slate to start afresh without hackneyed political rhetoric and cliches.
    What if … this is our time as people (not the politicians) to start anew remembering the past but taking forward absolutely nothing from it.

    Here’s an interesting write up on our so-called “humanitarian” United Nations, which is nothing but a crock. It would seem even our Helen Clarke must now be viewed with more than a degree of suspicion. Our jonkey was, is and will always be just a bankster.

    https://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/unicefs-role-in-sterilizing-and-killing-sephardic-children/

  5. Not sure why centrists are singled out for Double Speak as Doublespeakers they are right through the spectrum from far right to far left.

    My feeling is that people want to believe and trust in the person who offers them the easiest option in their life.

    John Key offers the public the idea that we are in a rock star economy – this is manufactured and supported by MSM. Personally I look to blame people in power first before the public. The politicians who do this, the opposition who offer little resistance, the journalists that perpetuate the myths.

    In my view the centre are not the enemy it is the catalyst politicians, their backers and the propaganda brigade that are most at fault.

    • True…very true.

      However the onus is still upon the populace who elects their representatives. We , the public of New Zealand cannot let ourselves off the hook for giving these subversive neo liberals not only the vote ,…but by sheer disinterest and apathy a free reign to ride roughshod over our general public decency.

      We have a apart to play in a democracy.

      And the fact that in the 1980’s and 1990’s they ignored the mass demonstrations of what the people were saying to them proves beyond a shadow of a doubt these people are not fit to govern.

      And that neo liberal tradition of ignorance and deceit continues til this very day.

      And again … politicians who behave in this manner have no right to call themselves representatives of the people let alone consider themselves fit for office.

      We are engaged now in a very war for our fundamental democracy with these subversives.

    • The “Rockstar” economy was a 2014 election year gift phrase from a supposedly objective HSBC economist. A classic example of doublespeak if you ever there was!

      But you would have to be forgiven if you thought the coincidence of this well connected individual and a greatful banking industry making zillions from Nationals laissez faire economic vision was a bit too coincidental!

  6. The big problem with turning the neo- liberal super- tanker around is whether people can admit to themselves that they got it wrong.
    Neo- liberals are easy to spot . They have the same deeply entrenched glazed wide-eyed look of a religious zealot .
    Having invested so much emotional capital into their belief system , even if they or their family were going backwards at a great rate, they would not bend or look at other alternatives.
    I’m seeing examples of this every day.
    The rampant Auckland housing market is a classic case in point.
    Knowing full well the long term damage it is doing to future generations ( including the neo-libs adult children) and how it will permanently and substantially effect their standard of living and therefore quality of life, they will not admit that there is a problem .
    Every single indicator and piece of research is screaming that there is a huge problem , but no, rather than do some sensible regulating ‘the market’ must decide.
    ‘The market’ of course is just a bunch of people who like to make easy money at other peoples expense.
    And boy , if you want a vicious nonsensical irrational response, try telling them Key is not the leader they probably thought he was.
    It’s akin to telling a religious person that God may not exist .
    I sight his lack of leadership over the housing crisis, the poverty crisis, the work safety crisis etc. etc. the list is endless.
    They won’t have a bar of it.
    So i say to them . Don’t think of yourself for a second . Think of your children’s future and what do you see.
    Their answer ,” the market will decide”.

  7. Yes Chris correctly shown again today as the great 2015 global market crash continues toady to become the worst depression since 1028””’

    Nothing shown today on our MSM “carefully constructed lies” tonight on MSM where every TV Network fails to cover todays massive global stock market meltdown, all over global continents today it is regarded by Aljazeera news as the worst in over ten years!!!!!

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/aug/24/global-stocks-sell-off-deepens-as-panic-grips-markets-live

    Shares, commodities and currencies under pressure across the globe as concern grows over China’s economy, and Beijing’s ability to handle the crisis
    Summary: European market slide after Asian rout
    FTSE 100 loses £40bn of value
    Chinese stock market suffers biggest fall since 2007

    Analyst: Beijing isn’t in control
    Beijing poised to flood the market with cash, says WSJ

    Japan’s Nikkei tumbles 4.6%
    Australia share market has worst day in six years
    So you are right Chris keep the sleepy hobbits unaware again and don’t tell them the truth as they may wake up m and ask some questions about what is going wrong. “Double think.” is well alive.

  8. “….to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies” has never better summed up the Key National government.

    Dictionary meaning of Lie, ” To convey a false image or impression”

    And from our government the two most recent examples yesterday was their farcical justifications for all but leaving farming out of health and safety laws guaranteeing more unneccesary injuries and deaths there, why, because their donor base doesn’t want any such law (who thinks NZ isn’t corrupt? ) and their lying reassurances workers will not have to work Easter Sunday, because thanks to National employers hold all the power and workers none.

    The thing is the lying is so continous, the misinformation delivered so seamlessly that it seems just another ordinary day.

    • The thing is the lying is so continuous, the misinformation delivered so seamlessly that it seems just another ordinary day.

      Indeed @Xray, that is what is so pernicious about it. It’s training the populace to accept lies and dishonesty as the norm. This has happened in other countries and leaves a legacy of dis-empowered, cynical people. That’s not what we want New Zealand to be.

  9. Very odd for a left-winger to quote Orwell and 1984 in an attack on centrists and the right – its all about individual rights and the danger of big socialist governments controlling every aspect of people’s lives.

    Does anyone really think that centrists are “thankful for the ability to behave as though the lies their political leaders tell them are true” – on the contrary, centrists see both sides as liars, which is why they change sides occasionally to replace them. Its the ideologically pure who are as blind to the lies of their own side as they are to the good points in their opponents philosophies.

    Neoliberalism is “indisputably, the most successful totalitarian ideology in human history” – only someone who has never experienced a truly totalitarian society could write that.

    • “Neoliberalism is “indisputably, the most successful totalitarian ideology in human history” – only someone who has never experienced a truly totalitarian society could write that.”

      not really

      all it takes is seeing neo-lib as a totalitarian system and a comparison of life span relative to other totalitarian systems

      not saying its correct – more that its a question of how you view neo-lib in the first place that makes the statement work or not

        • Sceptic – do you comprehend the concept of subtlety? Do you understand that the best way to engineer a society and to change behaviour and thinking, is when the subjects are unaware of it happening?

          No, I know you don’t.

          But that is the most insidious form of totalitarianism – the totality of change inflicted on a society oblivious to the change it is experiencing.

          The former Soviets were clumsy in their overt attempts to social engineering. Which is one reason they failed.

          The other reason is apathy; their subjects simply didn’t care about the system they lived under.

          Stop watching “Masterchef” or “The Batchelor” and think it through.

          It’ll come to you.

          • You’re as subtle as a sledgehammer Frank – can you make a case without insulting people?

            You describe the usual techniques of democratic politics used by both sides and call it totalitarianism just because the other side is successful.

            My suggestion would be to learn the art of persuasion – start with not insulting the people you’re trying to persuade.

            Why do you show contempt for reality TV? I hope you’re not one of the left wing who claim to represent low income Kiwis, but at heart are an elitist and have contempt for them and everything they enjoy?

          • As you put in in relation to global warming – a consensus of 97% of political scientists agree that John Key’s government is not totalitarian!

  10. Great article Chris.
    I think NZrs have been fooled for a long time and are hipnozised by the charm of the Snake. Today they are clapping as their world is collapsing but their Snake Leader is telling them” its all OK”.
    Hope they don’t wake up, so we don’t hear their shaking and their trembling again. They don’t needed Nanny State, they have No State and they love selling their homes. Hope they disappeared now into the horizon…(will continue)

  11. Being an activist in the area of professional care for abuse victims I agree with the Orwellian references. Eg. reforms – austerity against poor; ACC disgruntled claimants – suicidal & desperate abuse victims begging for health care (many of them parents).

    Neo-liberalism is not my culture and in a moment of indignation yesterday I sent away a formal complaint of economic terrorism by government neo-liberals against New Zealand disabled poor citizens to the NZ SIS. Not sure if it should go to the police – might send one to them anyway, I’ve had enough of watching people around me suffer and suicide.

    If politicians won’t change things, because they won’t, then I’ll see if I can use the law. Groan, sadly most lawyers in NZ are on the neo-liberal gravy train, which is how our country got to the state its in. Along with neo-liberals in Health & Disability Commission and Human Rights Commission, etc.

    Kia kaha to us all

  12. But we are a Rockstar Economy just ask John Key and Mike Hoskings?

    The fall in Dairy Prices is only a short term thing, once China reduces its surpluses things will bounce back, and after all it is only 5% of the NZ Economy.

  13. Re @ Iceberg et al . ” When one argues with a fool , who is the most foolish ? ” One of mine . What do you reckon ?
    The moment we open our metaphorical mouths , these fools win. @ Iceberg could care less for being right of wrong. He/she just craves attention. Perhaps like all psychopaths ?
    Fabulous work @ Chris Trotter .

  14. Admin – Your contact us feature (as well as the suggestion one) does not seem to be working. Would you be able to advise another way to contact yourself?

  15. We might not have concentration camps filled with John Key’s opponents, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the idea hasn’t crossed his mind at several stages in his emerging dictatorship.

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