What I Believe: A Social-Democrat’s Credo

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Challenged by the uncompromising content of my latest posting, “Capitalism Kills”, some readers of The Daily Blog, have challenged me to state my own beliefs. Accordingly, I have hunted out part of a presentation I delivered to the Labour Party Summer School held near Thames in January 2007. For all those who have been asking me to spell out what I stand for – this is my answer.
I BELIEVE that human societies arise out of need. The need for food and shelter, the need for intimacy, the need for nurturing, and the need for protection – both from natural dangers, and the aggression of our own species. To secure these needs, human beings must work, individually or collectively, but always with the ultimate purpose of keeping strong those innumerable threads that bind our communities into a functioning wholeness.
The source of fulfilment of these human needs is the natural bounty of the planet on which our species dwells. Human beings are but one of the countless life-forms which inhabit the Earth’s surface, and we share with them a fundamental dependency on the planet’s life-giving properties.
Alone among all the creatures of the Earth, humankind possesses the power to radically alter the fragile environment of its home. Such power bears with it an awesome responsibility: our own future, and the future of all other living things, depends upon our willingness to accept that what is possible is not always desirable. To ensure its survival, the human species must recognise the limits of its power.
In New Zealand, two peoples co-exist in differing states of awareness of the essential collectivism and dependency of human communities. The indigenous people possess a clear and poignant vision of humanity’s place in these islands. But the colonising peoples would not rest until the ideas and institutions of their respective cultures had taken root in New Zealand. To the extent they succeeded, the conflicts and contradictions of their homelands were also transplanted here. Resolving these conflicts and contradictions, and discovering the best means of prospering together, is the historic task of the two peoples fated to share these islands – Maori and Pakeha.
As a social-democrat I am dedicated to furthering in all aspects of my country’s social, political and economic organisation the essential equality of human beings. Social-democracy defines equality in terms of the universality of human need. Old or young, male or female, Maori or Pakeha, we are all defined by the human and ecological relationships indispensable to our existence. None of us live but by the bounty of nature and the collective exertion of our fellow human beings.
That being so, we must reject all claims hostile to the reality of our interdependence. Individuals and groups who through inherited advantage or simple good fortune are endowed with disproportionate wealth and resources, enjoy their property on the sufferance of that vast majority whose daily labours make possible a functioning society. Only for as long as, in the judgement of the many, the accumulation of property by a fortunate few serves the interests of the community as a whole, will the private control of wealth be permitted to endure. Any attempt by a minority to transform this dispensation into a system of permanent and unchallengeable privilege cannot be deemed just.
As a social-democrat I look to the state, as the institutional expression of our interdependence, to secure for all citizens a healthy and abundant life. The provision of gainful employment, education, health, housing, and the guarantee of protection against the arbitrary curtailment of the citizens’ capacity, individually, to determine freely, within the constraints imposed by their interdependence, how best to pursue their own happiness, are rights due to all New Zealanders. Political institutions and the laws they create exist to secure these rights, drawing their authority from the freely given consent of all responsible citizens. Those charged with governing our country, hold in trust the resources – both natural and social – that are the common property of all our people.
Being a social-democrat, I cannot countenance the arbitrary dispersal of the New Zealand people’s resources, nor the slow fragmentation and dilution of their rights. Neither will I surrender the sovereignty of my nation to the interests of foreigners. Though the fundamental kinship of all human beings is indisputable, New Zealand’s destiny, finally, must be the enterprise of New Zealanders alone.

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Chris – it is now time for us all to stop believing most all media outlets about Paris and 9 / 11 and so much more that we have been lied to and brainwashed about. Urgent and important info in the following 2 links.

    The following two links need to be listened to in their entirety and all of those interested – please have an open mind because Ken O’Keefe is in ” the know ” and has the knowledge and background and is no nutter as many will want to portray him to be. He speaks the truths that most will have difficulty hearing and believing. HAVE AN OPEN MIND.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPiMzSQCtG8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRCJ7lEk2Xo

      • Whooah I did not realize how many were truly asleep.
        Even the mention of the truths being exposed around 9 / 11 brings up fear and hate and false incantations in some folks minds.

        I now see why those who are all about exposing the truth and encouraging a just and peaceful world are so threatening to the trolls who misjudge and try to kill the messenger and unwittingly defend the evil behind these international psychopaths.

        Maybe there are more open minded playgrounds.

        Please consider keeping an open mind about the LATEST to come from KEN O’KEEFE. He is the one worth quoting & learning from.
        He has nothing to sell but the truth and a heart full of love and compassion. A man of integrity and they are so very rare indeed ! !

        • You pasted an hour long link with no explanation of what is in it.

          That’s bad form.

          Don’t get your nose out of order when someone else does everybody a service by letting them decide as whether to waste an hour of their time on conspiracy theories before having to sit through a good proportion of it.

  2. Count me in here,

    “Neither will I surrender the sovereignty of my nation to the interests of foreigners.”

    Chris in the dictionary “National means for the people of the country”
    Not what this national misnamed Government is doing selling our interests to foreigners at breakneck speed.

  3. Excellent. And as it should be ,- and yet is a clear juxtaposition of what has been allowed to happen in this country for the last 31 going on 32 years since 1984.

    And all those who say they support social democracy should then know how and who to vote for come next election.

  4. ” New Zealand’s destiny, finally, must be the enterprise of New Zealanders alone. ”

    Well, it was until a NZ fucker like roger douglas sold our stuff and things to off-shore wankers looking for a killer deal at our expense and if you’ve paid a power bill lately, you’ll know they’re cleaning up.

    And what have we done to roger douglas ? Nothing. The prick’s still at large.

    Where does he live? What are his movements ? If we don’t k now these simple things then we’re still a long way off healing and moving on as the NZ Utopia you wish for .

    When you get pushed ? You must shove back.

    To use a spring metaphore.

    Or you’ll end up the dead fledgling on the ground as your siblings grow fat on all the grubs.

    • Some time after the collpse of the former-USSR, Douglas went to the newly formed “Russian Federation” to lecture on his free market theories.

      This was in the mid-1990s?

      I wrote to the then Minister for Immigration (National was in power) pointing out that Douglas was in Russia.

      I asked, do we have to let him back in again?

      I never got a reply. 🙁

      • I think they had to turn over the Treasons Act before thay could start liquidating State Assets, the BNZ was a real money spinner and the boys had a Field Day with it. Very profitable now under National Bank of Australia.

  5. Interestingly, one of the many premises of the “free market” is that Citizens become Consumers, and are given more “choice”.

    With the partial privatisation of Genesis, Meridian, and Mighty River Power, there is now no 100% state-owned powerco that I can choose to have as my electricity supplier.

    That choice has been removed from me.

    The “choices” offered by the “free market” are limited to what the over-arcing ideology dictates I am allowed to have. Neo-liberalism maintains that the State should not be involved in offering a service to the public; ergo, neo-liberalism denies me choice.

    It is a flawed system.

    • The “choices” offered by the “free market” are limited to what the over-arcing ideology dictates I am allowed to have.

      Oh yes.

      Once the TPPA is in place I suspect it will be impossible to renationalise any of the infrastructure that has been stolen from the public.

      As we speak, neoliberalism, by using fear of international ostricism and claims of damages, is setting in concrete its acts of theft, denying us any way back.

      • TPPA is locking in corporate greed and free enterprise will cease to exist, obviously the US Bankers and Corporations want guaranteed revenue streams for the future and do not want any competition.

        Key is a product of corporate USA and wants to protect the wealth of the brotherhood, he worships the $ and does not give a rats arse about the average NZer.

    • Frank you need to be one of the 1% percenters to understand how this economic theory works, only the members of the club understand this form of economics.

  6. To secure these needs, human beings must work, individually or collectively, but always with the ultimate purpose of keeping strong those innumerable threads that bind our communities into a functioning wholeness.

    Neo-liberalism and their supporters deny that humans are primarily a group-oriented species. To them, we are individuals, coming and going from discrete contracts, and interacting only in those terms of primary self-interest.

    Which is a flawed ideology.

    For one thing, put a group of 100 people together; acting collectively to survive; in the middle of jungle or desert,.

    Then put 100 people – dispersed widely so they have no contact with each other – in a similar jungle or desert.

    See which has the best chance of survival.

    In an urban context, a neo-lib will vociferously demand the right to do what s/he wishes with their own property.

    Right up until the time someone buys an adjacent property and sets up a tyre-burning or fat-rending business next to their home.

    Then watch the neo-lib splutter and about impinging on his/her rights…

    Selfishness/neo-liberalism, is not the best way to form a cohesive society in which to transact personal, business, or social interactions.

    • Max Bradford told us all power prices would come down with the freeing up of the electricity market, obviously he was full of BS.

  7. The last sentence of the 3rd last paragraph really says it all. The problem then becomes how do you stop the greedy referred to in that sentence from having more of the world’s goods than their labours entitle them to? And the obvious answer is through a fair tax system. Definition of democracy for me is that everyone’s labours are for the common good, so those who have more should pay a bit more so that all can have the basics we need. The parable of the widow’s mite in the Christian bible is the basis for a fair minded democracy. This should be the aim of all politicians but the trouble is thst those who already have more than they need, think everyone who doesn’t is lazy and good for nothing.

  8. So Chris, you’re NOT a National Party supporter?

    Never mind, that is a lovely succinct explanation of your beliefs and they are certainly not a million miles from my own.

    Isn’t it interesting how the influence of neo-liberal nonsense changes our perceptions of statehood? We are no longer a nation, a state or community: we are an assemblage of individuals and consumers all.

    I like your ideal of a nation and the purpose of government. It’s what I experienced growing up in 1950s Britain.

    How can we sell this idea to the free market yobos who have taken over everywhere?

    Good luck with that…

  9. The sad truth I fear is that it will require violence to repossess our stolen assets.

    Look at Carter – this unlovely specimen is certainly educated, but clearly he is not constrained by any principle or moral scruple or constitutional precedent. He and his allies will steal what they can until they are prevented from doing so.

    We like to believe the unions secured our workers and human rights, and while their work was important, this is only partly true. The communist states lurked as a palpable threat to the worst kind of capitalists that there were limits to the inhumanity society would tolerate.

    Our current generation of neo-liberals are brazen, they do not fear any consequences, and the rational conclusion is that it will require sanctions to curb sociopathies like asset theft, property speculation, and beneficiary bashing.

    Political realism demands the recognition of this uncomfortable truth, though as a society we had hoped we had progressed far beyond such atavistic necessities.

  10. I have been binge watching both seasons of Breaking Bad for the first time over last week and weekend. Wow so many really clever truths about mainstream society.

    It reminds me of the true story and movie The Silk Road about the dark web. The illusion mainstream was ever looking after us is rubbish especially the American version which we are on fast track implementing here. What are we here? Crazy? Why do we want there system here?

    We are all just meat robots with blinkers on and that’s just how the system wants us until we are all replaced by real robots that is. Then we will all be lost lambs off to the meat works.

    Find the hideous Silver Fern Farm’s automated meat work robots deboning on YouTube, if that doesn’t give you a chill up your spine nothing will. Just like the movie Cloud Atlas which has a scene just the same but with human carcasses.

    Start running away from this horror show mainstream revoltion we are all born into this gross inhuman captivity with no escape. It makes my skin crawl, just another day in the human zoo. Happy happy joy joy, enjoy your lunch today, a meat deboning robot may have chopped it out of a lamb for you, yummy, not! (All made in the NZ horror show).

  11. It all comes down in the end to the question: on what philosophical basis is the country ruled?
    Two or three centuries ago there was “:the right divine of kings to govern wrong.”
    Nowadays we would say we are governed by consent of the governed.
    This both empowers a government, and limits it.
    There will always be the hare-brained “visionary”. But until we become slaves there is still eventually the ballot box.

    The problem at present is that too many people are happy to sing in their chains. But time eventually takes care of that. the only hope is that not too much damage is done in the meanwhile.

    Another issue is that too much is made of our rights, and maybe not nearly enough of our responsibilities to each other. Sometimes each generation has to relearn what it means to be responsible for a country.

    • Iv said this many times to different people for different reasons. Am happy to be corrected if not applicable in this instance.

      Your philosophies are right. Except for one floor. Evolution can not talk legs onto fish. Our political systems will eat Big Macs, drink whisky and drive BMWs into extinction.

      We can not help the next generation solve problems. Because we created them, climate change, war, energy dependency ect ect.

      All we can do is get out of the way and hope the next generation produce enough engineers to keep the electrical grids going with killing the planet that sustains us. Or God forbid, enough brains are around to turn the electricity back on in the event of an extreme event.

      We have failed to turn the electricity back on in Iraq and Afghanistan, this generations track record is very poor.

      It’s probably best if we stop hitting and dicking around with our children right about now.

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