Delirious Hatred: The Dystopic Tendencies of Twenty-First Century Progressivism.

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I THINK I’VE WORKED IT OUT – why writing about today’s version of “progressive” politics leaves me feeling so depressed. In the end, the reason I cannot bring myself to vote for either Labour or the Greens is very simple: it’s because they are joyless; because the logical end-point of the ideology they espouse is one of universal dissatisfaction and unending conflict. In other words, their direction-of-travel is dystopic. That’s why so many voters are pulling away from parties they’ve supported all their adult lives. They don’t like where Labour and the Greens are going, and they’ll be damned if they’ll go there with them.

Chippy can talk about “bread and butter” all he likes, but everybody knows that he and Grant Robertson have already committed themselves to less butter and thinner bread for at least the next three years. We also know that if, by some miracle, Labour-Green wins the election, then none of the initiatives which both parties signed-up to over the past six years: radical ethnic nationalism, censorship, transgenderism; are going to be abandoned. What looms ahead of New Zealand if Labour-Green wins is grinding economic austerity and relentless cultural warfare. Thinner bread and bloody roses.

The cynicism of the Greens is particularly galling. As the election looms ever closer, the party’s dominant ultra-progressive faction has been careful to remove the most off-putting of their policies from the party’s shop-front window. Barely tolerated by Green activists for most of the past three years, James Shaw has been thrust forward to sell the party’s popular and genuinely progressive policies to the electorate. Unfortunately, everybody who understands just how radical the Greens have become, also knows that the moment the votes are counted Shaw will be pushed aside and the party’s ultra-progressive priorities reclaimed from the backstage area and thrust forward.

It is precisely this sort of conscious deception, this deliberate “fooling” of the voters, that has transformed progressive politics from what used to be a joyful affirmation of idealism into a joyless exercise in dishonesty.

According to this sort of progressive, the liberation of the oppressed cannot be achieved if their would-be liberators are open and honest about their intentions. Just look at the trouble that Marama Davidson’s frank identification of “White Cis Males” as the ultimate cause of societal violence got the Greens into. In a world where White Cis Males still hold sway such frankness is self-defeating. The trick, they say, is to keep all these progressive truths safe in one’s heart, while telling those not ready to hear them a pack of lies.

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Far better to send out James Shaw – a White Cis Male – to sell the party’s Wealth Tax, its Universal Basic Income, and all the other inspirational policies on offer from the Greens in 2023. That way the voters will be much less likely to remember that the Green Party also favours sending those found guilty of uttering or publishing “Hate Speech” to prison for three years.

Not that Labour is guiltless in this regard. One has only to recall the secretive process by which the He Puapua Report was prepared and presented. Once again, it was assumed that Pakeha New Zealanders couldn’t “handle the truth”. Why else was the Labour Government so insistent that the report in no way represented a blueprint for New Zealand’s transformation into a bicultural state, when a steady stream of official policy decisions confirmed that’s exactly what it was?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that as far as today’s progressives are concerned the “truth” has changed. The unifying vision of human emancipation and equality which, for centuries, possessed the power to mobilise the downtrodden and oppressed is no longer considered to be either achievable or desirable.

Progressive politics has moved beyond the idea of uplifting and overcoming; of building a society in which there are no masters, no servants; no rich, no poor. Envisaged now is what can only be described as a perpetual theatre of cruelty, in which those to whom evil has been done, are encouraged to do evil in return. Far from serving as the emancipating “vanguard” of the Proletariat, as Karl Marx hoped, the intelligentsia of the Twenty-First Century are claiming for themselves the role of Grand Inquisitor. They have made themselves the pitiless torturers of all those whose privileges cannot be overcome or abandoned, only confessed to and punished.

The historical precedent which springs to mind most readily is the extreme form of Maoism promulgated by the murderous Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s. Starting where Mao’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” left off, the “Red Khmers” constructed an ideological system grounded in deception and death. Having been marched out of the cities and into the countryside, “bourgeois” Cambodians were encouraged to confess their “crimes against the people”. By no other means, the commissars told them, could they be welcomed into the rural utopia which the Red Khmers were bringing into existence. The moment they stepped forward, of course, they were denounced and suffocated.

Over the top? Barking mad? Grossly defamatory of activists who only want people to be free and equal? How I wish it were true! But one only has to visit the febrile world of social media to grasp the perverse enjoyment contemporary progressives derive from “flaming”, “de-platforming”, and “cancelling” – oh, what an ominous word that is – those who refuse to step forward and confess.

A woman like “Posie Parker”, perhaps?

Those who were in Albert Park on 25 March 2023, and those who watched the many video recordings made at the scene, could not help but note the delirious hatred of the mob, and the brutal behaviour it spawned. Such is the praxis of the post-modern progressive: telling the news media that theirs was a gathering of peace and love – while punching a 70-year-old woman in the face. And then, shamefully, having their lies accepted by the supposedly “independent” intellectuals appointed to expose and condemn media falsehoods.

Have a care when fighting monsters,” warned the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, “lest ye become a monster yourself.” Adding: “Stare not too long into the abyss – lest the abyss stare back into you.” Well, the horrific abyss of the bloody Twentieth Century has indisputably left its impression upon the children of the Twenty-First. Terrified that the monsters it spawned are returning to plague them, contemporary progressives have pre-emptively adopted the tactics of the fascists they profess to abhor.

That which Twenty-First Century progressives most feared, Twenty-First Century progressivism has become. No one old enough to have experienced the emancipatory power of true progressivism: in the factory or on the streets; in the university quad or in the “old school” newsroom; could possibly vote for the parties it has taken over.

126 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is, Chris, that you believe that 2 plus 2 equals 4. Even to say that 2+2=4 can be an act of violence against those who hold a different view.
    Even Baldrick had the sense to realize that 2 beans and 2 more beans can give you either ‘some’ beans or a very small stew.

    • Peter Your comment makes us laugh – you bring joy. Keep it up, with factual backgrounding.
      Keeping thinking is actually a challenge to world domination by PTB whatever. Laughing is so subversive.

  2. I’m afraid “woke” is a perversion of a grand emancipatory narrative.
    No amount of virtue signalling for new classes of “victims” puts food in hungry children’s mouths, or roofs over their heads. To paraphrase the Bard it is a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

  3. Thank you Chris,
    I would forward this to all my ultra progressive friends who are busy drinking the cool ade to enunciate far better than I, the sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse but they would reject it, so invested in their so called progressive cause as they are.
    The parallels with Mao’s cultural revolution and Pol Pots Cambodia is clearly on display when the upending and denial of truth and language is followed by denunciation, prosecution and unspeakable violence.

  4. The Third Way Neoliberals of which Mr. Trotter speaks are deeply unpopular. Such Trudeau/Macron clones only still exist because the party primaries are rigged against insurgent candidates — nearly all of whom reject the divisive post-structuralist propaganda.

    Bernie Sanders, who for years topped the polls as the most popular politician, is a socialist — but the D.N.C. rigged the primary against him.

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has now edged in front of Bernie to take #1 overall favorability (YouGov poll, June ’23). R.F.K. Jr. is a pro-union, anti-war New Deal Liberal — and we learnt this week that the D.N.C. has openly proposed measures to rig the primary against him also.

    Jeremy Corbyn, a socialist, is still the most popular politician in the U.K. (YouGov, July ’23) — even after he was thrown out of his own party by means of baseless allegations and smears from the corporate donors.

  5. Is it, perhaps, ever thus when the middle-class intelligentsia make the revolution, and those who have to get an early start are not involved?

      • I was just thinking the same thing, but you got it out first.. Good shot…
        It must be said that my experience of the “muddle classes” in NZ since getting trapped here has been akin to dealing with gangs of spoilt teenagers.. Teens without even a basic education level, yet sell themselves at a high price… Drones is the word that keeps coming back to me when I think about the level of discourse that people here seem to assume is going somewhere… It is.. Down the toilet bowl…

        • Intelligence is not bound by wealth.
          Intelligence is a useful attribute if you want to build wealth.

          Then there is luck….

  6. Agree 100%. The shocking authoritarianism, partially exemplified by the determination to strangle freedom of speech, is worse than the lack of joy. Joy can still pop up simply and unexpectedly in all sorts of places, but when words, and vocabulary, and hence thoughts, are subject to political control by a coterie of ill-educated sneaky dimwits, then the latter have to be dispensed with.

    • Snow White: “The shocking authoritarianism, partially exemplified by the determination to strangle freedom of speech….”

      Bang on. How the hell did we come to this parlous state?

    • ACT won’t reverse any of it. ACT is just as bad. The only party with a hope of getting into parliament who is standing in opposition to any of this is good old Winnie.

      • > “ACT it is then.” That it is. No other choice that I can see.

        What about TOP? Both Winston First and ACT are far to the right of the Nats economically, according to the politicalcompass.org assessment for this election. Surely we can sidestep toxic Safer Spaces Policing without voting for profoundly regressive economic policy?!?

        • No thanks, TOP are woke. And there’s no way NZF are to the right of the Nats economically – and more importantly, NZF are prepared to fight the culture war, unlike the Nats.

    • This is an amazing article Chris. I’ve shared it on both Facebook and Twitter/X. It sums up precisely the way I feel. I’m a lifelong Labour and Greens voter who now won’t vote for either of them. I’m just disgusted and that’s even without the completely unethical mandates of highly experimental injections.

    • “From time to time the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Jefferson. The fauxgressives seem, like ACT, to be among the latter.

  7. Most of us have our bad days Chris–sure you will bounce back from yours. You sound here like a gentler version of Norm Jones and his “poofter bashing” during the 80s campaign for Homosexual Law Reform.

    This is a travesty of a column by omission of what workers power has achieved over many decades. The Daily Blog seems to have made middle class people and the neo liberal Parliamentary Parties (but strangely not NActFirst) the main enemy.

    I say No–capital, finance capital and inter imperialist conflict are still the main enemies for working class people the world over.

    In 2023 it is clearly a vote for the lesser evil election if you value your free prescriptions, minimum Wage, FPA, PPL etc. NActFirst have a long list of shrinking the state, union busting and confrontation with Māori.

    A new political movement needs to be organised before 2026 because Parliamentary Politics are just one factor in life.

    • The difference between Trotter and you Tiger Mountain is that Trotter sees where the ultra left (where you have a seat also) is going and knows, as do the majority of voters, it’s a path to Pol Pot type scenarios and no one wants to go there.
      You may well in your old dottering old age wish it so, but the vast majority do not.
      You are in a small pool of die hards and it’s never going to get deeper.

    • A new political movement or a new political system?
      I’d suggest the later is probably well over due for a damn good suss.

      The system we have breeds lazy, it breeds contempt, it breeds self interest over the greater good. The worst part is that it is being infested with career politicians who have never lived the average persons life or have any understanding of what the majorities lives are actually like. As we can see starting now that is only going to lead down a path to seriously poor outcomes.

      • Indeed…Forget the nonsense that Third Way politics offers some hope of a path leading out of the swamp.

        As long as the frail stale pale males lead from behind we’re heading deeper into it with a gun in our back or a dick up our ass.

        If there is a 3rd way, it’s the old ways. The time worn traditions of indigenous cultures.

        It’s high time we assessed 200 years of liberal democracy under the Westminster system and decided if it really is the best we can do.

        And that indigenous baby we threw out with the bath water ? They’ve grown up, seen the world for what it is and like Moses or Maui are set to return, even if only in retrospect.

        When the student is ready, the teacher will appear and conversely when the teacher is ready, the student will appear.

        Live and learn. Adapt or die. Evolve !!!

    • That comment is unworthy of you, TM.

      By all means, call me out on the examples I have given – if you can. Tell me that Grant will not pursue an austerity programme if re-elected. Show me where the Greens are heavily promoting their anti-free speech policies. Prove to me that He Puapua wasn’t commissioned in secret and deliberately kept from NZ First. Demonstrate how all the video recordings made at Albert Park were actually the work of bad actors using AI.

      In short, TM, prove-me-wrong. Don’t indulge yourself in cheap shots about Norman Jones and “poofter-bashing”. [For all you under-60s out there, Norman Jones was a homespun Southland conservationist (he helped to save Lake Manapouri) as well as an outspoken (and often intemperate) social-conservative. He was the National Party MP for Invercargill from 1975 until 1987.]

      Argument ad hominem should be beneath the dignity of a genuine, “old school” progressive like yourself.

      • What raised my eyebrows was your statement…“I cannot bring myself to vote for either Labour or the Greens”–fine…though readers are no wiser on where your vote might be exercised which is rather important.

        No need to sea lion me Chris, no need to prove you wrong, it is not your opinion or knowledge on any of the “woke crimes” that you have been writing about for years that is the issue. To me it is about leadership as a long distance columnist with cachet among many–voting lesser evil–Labour/Green/TPM is the immediate task for working class people. Lesser Evil means “work with and struggle against”. Keep NActFirst out so people’s infrastructure and services are not laid waste, again, and organise for next time.

        ECA mkII style assaults will quickly descend on several million New Zealanders if NActFirst attain office.

        I have consistently attacked NZ Labour–Caucus and Party in the main–strongly over the years, and the long standing Parliamentary neo liberal consensus.

    • Tiger Mountain: “You sound here like a gentler version of Norm Jones and his “poofter bashing” during the 80s campaign for Homosexual Law Reform…”

      Oh dear…..it looks as if you’ve misread the entire post. What on earth has Norm Jones got to do with anything?

      “…inter imperialist conflict…”

      What does this mean? It sounds like a 19th century trope.

      “In 2023 it is clearly a vote for the lesser evil…”

      Lesser evil, my foot! What Labour, Greens and Maori party propose is very far from being benign. In virtue of what would you suggest that voters should choose taxpayer-funded freebies at the expense of democracy? A foolish move indeed.

      “…if you value your free prescriptions, minimum Wage…..”

      Who is paying for this? The apparently despised taxpayers, by no means all of whom are “rich” – whatever that means in modern-day NZ. Before you begin waving such promises about, kindly figure out how any government could fund such proposals.

      NActFirst have a long list of shrinking the state, union busting and confrontation with Māori.”

      Not sure how “shrinking the state” could be a bad thing, especially if it entails Joe Public paying less tax. As we’ve seen over the past six years, the state is expert at wasting our money, while sticking its nose unnecessarily into our private lives, and pants at implementing policy which will make a material difference to anybody’s lives.

      Union busting…. I’m a former union member. In the 90s, the unions brought much of that upon themselves. I note that the Clark administration did nothing particularly useful to reverse those changes.

      As to confrontation with Maori: nope. It was the Natz who got the Treaty settlement process properly under way. And we have John key to blame for contemporary activists’ reliance on UNDRIP as justification for attempting to undermine democracy in NZ.

      You need to make a well-found argument against what Chris Trotter writes here. You haven’t done that.

      • [“…if you value your free prescriptions, minimum Wage…..”

        Who is paying for this? The apparently despised taxpayers, by no means all of whom are “rich” – whatever that means in modern-day NZ. Before you begin waving such promises about, kindly figure out how any government could fund such proposals.]

        If the workers have to pay for these things themselves they will be demanding, and probably getting, higher wagers and salaries, which will make the firms they work for less profitable, less viable, and less competitive. It’s better these tings were paid for from taxes which, of course, can be made as progressive as one wishes.

        That’s just basic economics.

        • Mukesh: “If the workers have to pay for these things themselves….”

          Those who are taxpayers will be paying, both for themselves, and for others who are beneficiaries. So I’m taking a punt that in any event they’d be looking for higher wages and so on.

          “That’s just basic economics.”

          Governments spend taxes; taxes come from taxpayers. That’s basic economics.

      • I do not have to do anything on a blog filled to the brim with one sentence rejoinders, taunts and trolling. Chris Trotter has an opinion on certain events and trends as he sees them–no one else is obliged to accept his line.

        Inter Imperialist conflict is rather obvious–duh–USA, China, Russia, Euros, 5 Eyes etc.

        • Tiger Mountain: “Inter Imperialist conflict is rather obvious–duh–USA, China, Russia, Euros, 5 Eyes etc.”

          Leave Russia out of it. No imperialism going on there. If you believe otherwise, you’re in thrall to Western propaganda. Actually, the other entities aren’t involved in imperialism either. But they’re certainly attempting – with varying degrees of success – to stick their noses into the internal affairs of other polities. Unlovely, to be sure, but not imperialism.

      • D’Esterre:
        > Who is paying for this?

        If you look at the peer-reviewed evidence, the $5 prescription charges result in a lot of working class people not picking up their prescriptions. Which results in later hospitalisations that cost the public health system far more than the $5 charges bring in.

        By reimposing the $5 charges, the NatACTs would actually cost the public money. As you say, who pays for this?

        • If working people can’t afford 5 dollar prescription then maybe its time for some price controls. And labour had a full majority, and did nothing. In fact Labour removed that 5 dollar fee three month ago, until then it was quite ok under Labour for working class people to not be able to afford said prescription.

  8. 100% accurate in particular.

    “If Labour-Green wins the election, then none of the initiatives which both parties signed-up to over the past six years: radical ethnic nationalism, censorship, transgenderism; are going to be abandoned. What looms ahead of New Zealand if Labour-Green wins is grinding economic austerity and relentless cultural warfare. Thinner bread and bloody roses.”

    Most prefer to take the tax cut that directly helps their cost of living rather than Labours ‘trickle down’ laughably relying on the supermarkets to voluntarily give back the paltry $5 p/w for GST on fruit and veg. Do they have any idea of the costs of administration to change the GST for businesses, nope. It is likely to make the fruit and veg prices go up, just like their reckless policy on housing that has forced many into emergency housing costing a bomb to taxpayers but profitable to some https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Foon

    There is zero practical approach to help from Labour and Greens, and a borrow, borrow, borrow to witlessly spend, spend, spend on woke causes and separations in polytechs, health, housing and water that has taken it’s toll on lifelong Labour voters who can’t stomach total destruction of NZ services.

    Under ‘hug a crim’ we now know that you don’t actually need to pay for food and alcohol from the supermarkets – just walk out and not pay, it’s an offence to try and stop someone in NZ apparently. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckland-news-publisher-todd-scott-tackles-and-holds-thief-in-citizens-arrest-police-tell-him-to-let-crook-go/W5W6WJKOAFELVHGMMJJYIA7IDQ/

    What’s going to happen when 30% of the crims get let out of prison?

    What’s going to happen to the price of food as more and more people shoplift instead with police and justice permission to those who are too honest to shoplift? We already see supermarkets prices increasing week by week, for every person buying a block of cheese, now apparently supporting someones free alcohol purchase.

    What’s going to happen when another 100,000 new residents and visitors who may have criminal convictions and character references from their cat come to NZ to prey on others here. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/immigration/132853434/shambles-of-our-visa-regime-immigration-staff-reveal-their-truth

    Criminals rushing to NZ shores, and as NZ becomes an easy target more and more crims will come. Today HOP, victim of cyber attack, constant bank frauds and scams, axe attacks in restaurants, constant murders many of which seem random and so forth.

    Not even getting to the appalling education system in NZ, producing ideological, mentally damaged, illiterate people, ready to join the woke, red army…..

    • Under Labour and Greens, people seem to be encouraged to have zero filters by the justice system and cowardly attacks on children and vulnerable people are growing.

      Man, 30, seeking retribution attacks 13-year-old Whangārei schoolboy
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/crime/man-30-seeking-retribution-attacks-13-year-old-whangarei-school-boy/MZY6E5WLSRAQHHRLPNLVZL3JOQ/

      So two adults beating up a 13yo schoolboy, get a discharge with no conviction for one offender and 4 months home detention & $400 fine for the other, and apparently are still threatening and showing no remorse in court.

      Why should they, when NZ justice doesn’t seem to treat it as a crime!

    • saveNZ. “ appalling education system” – the gender ideology prematurely sexualising and confusing school children, and potentially criminalising minor’s parents, seems to be something which Mr Hipkins thinks is occurring overseas, but which Winston Peters knows is happening here and intends addressing, which is one of the reasons I’m 99% likely to be voting NZ First. Apart from that, the dumbing down of the education system is indefensible and tragic at every level, and the Nats and mad Greens are equally culpable here.

      • The shocking reality is that only 8 MP’s voted against that insidious “Conversion Practices” bill, and one of them has since retired from politics. They were all Nats: Bridges, Brown, Lee, McClay, O’Connor, Penk, Reti, Woodhouse. Kudos to those eight men and women who are possessed of a moral compass, shame on the rest of them.

    • Stephen: “The only ones truly practicing ethno-Nationalism are pakeha.”

      Oh nonsense! Do you actually know what ethno-nationalism is? No? Thought not.

  9. Thought provoking as usual Chris. The smoke and mirrors of politics, especially at election time is laid bare for all to see, and more than ever. With quick responses to events by journalists, and the across the board scrutiny by social media, we see no one caring whether facts are fact or just opinion. Regardless of destructive identity politics and opaque agendas, what is most likely to trigger change is the situation voters find themselves in. Economic hardship is number one and if solutions are not forth coming governments will fall. I would suggest that many of the monstrous leaders of history came to power simply because of the promise of better things for their people but the reality turned out so different. The description of who we are politically from Chris is spot on in my opinion. It’s sad but it’s all we have. To me MMP is a scourge but ‘first past the post’ wasn’t great either except for the fact that the party getting the majority of votes won the election. Like Iv’e said, the identity, gender, virtue signalling, and all the other distractions, are meaningless if the people are doing it hard. That’s why National are ahead in the polls. If they win and things don’t improve, the discontent will continue. crime will keep growing as will the unpleasant exchanges between the have and have nots. That may start to look like South Africa, where the well off have to barricade themselves in their homes and employ security to get them to work. IMO National won’t bring meaningful social change but they will get the economy working again. This Labour government had the chance to make sensible social change and blew it.

    • new view: “….‘first past the post’ wasn’t great either except for the fact that the party getting the majority of votes won the election.”

      Not necessarily. I recall an election – possibly that in 1981 – in which the opposition took more votes, but the governing party won more seats.

      No election system is perfect.

  10. Well put, Chris. Ka pai.

    I think with this sentence beginning the final para:

    That which Twenty-First Century progressives most feared, Twenty-First Century progressivism has become.

    …you likely meant to say: “That which Twentieth Century progressives most feared, Twenty-First Century progressivism has become.”

  11. Another impressive and thoughtful article Chris and I have also at times made the comparison on here between the ‘modern left’ and the Chinese Cultural Revolution . .

  12. An excellent article Chris! Thanks muchly.

    As an amateur student of history, I worry that in some ways we are reliving the 1920’s again. I’m specifically referring to how some frustrated and failing socialists found that ‘class’ wasn’t a very motivating factor among the masses, but that racial identity definitely was. This was how National Socialism was born. Those fascists didn’t pop out of nowhere: They were socialists who metastasized.

    >Take a hard look at those black-clad ANTIFA thugs – they operate exactly as Mussolini’s black shirts or Hitler’s SA did. The USA had its ‘Kristallnacht’ a few years ago in order to destabilize the Trump presidency and if the Republicans win next year, you can bet the billionaire sponsored BLM and ANTIFA will turn out again.

    >Look at how the left in the USA has joined forces with the billionaire class. It’s Soros & Co who are funding the radicals. That is straight out of the fascist playbook.

    > Look at the modern equivalent of the 1920’s book burnings, and yes Chris, the ‘cancellations’.

    > Consider how the left in this country have used race as a weapon in the last six years. Divide & Rule. Who’d have thought the left in NZ would be promoting their version of apartheid?

    So, I think you have a damned good reason to be depressed Chris: Because to carry on as we have been, is a path to a nightmare.

  13. I’d happily give that a like if we had a like button. You are something of a treasure Chris Trotter and your pieces are a must read even though I often think you don’t quite nail it but you have this time. Your view points always deserve consideration.

  14. A good analysis, mostly true (although there are factions in the Greens that are old-school progressives not identity politicians).

    None of this matters because, as the debate showed, every single party except for the Greens continues with this anti-science anti-reality delusion that climate action is a nice-to-have. None of them understand the scale of the problem, none of them understand that most people currently alive on the planet will die young, from ecosystem-collapse induced wars, diseases, and starvation due to simultaneous crop failures and supply chain collapses. In our lifetimes, these things will happen to us and our children.

    Sorry to drop some reality in here. Unfortunately I will vote for the Greens because at least some factions in the party get this. Nobody has any gender and there is no economy on a dead planet.

    • As a scientist, I thought of an analogy to describe how I feel about this post.

      If we were talking about a play, and the play has just started, it’s like a post from a very competent playwright describing how he thinks the play is going to go. These plots will develop; this character will do this; these characters will have this interaction. It’s a set of predictions about how the play is going to go, and they are good predictions because, competent playwright.

      However, playwrights are not carpenters, and what you haven’t spotted (because you don’t have the skills) is that the stage is badly constructed and riddled with holes. The stage WILL collapse halfway through the play, and from that point onwards, all your predictions are wrong. Character developments and plot devices that you predicted will not occur, because the play is over.

      Nothing about your post, wise though it is, addresses this reality.

    • Factions or fictions – I wonder. Let those great Greens now thrust out their chests of whatever gender and show themselves in plain sight and action for humans who are vulnerableto sapping on the one hand and vainglory on the other. We are inclined to self-destruction and without the fixed instinctive genetic guidance of godwits etc.

      Let those committed Greens lead us to a better place and help us to survive – now when we need them be like the enduring Irish: “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,”.
      Think W B Yeats – https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43281/the-lake-isle-of-innisfree

      The bird lovers helped them as they were displaced and confused and has lost their ancient memories for survival and creation –
      https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/operation-migration
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/13/jet-fighter-godwit-breaks-world-record-for-non-stop-bird-flight

      Fly Away Home dramatizes the actual experiences of Bill Lishman who, in 1986, started training Canada geese to follow his ultralight aircraft, and succeeded in leading their migration in 1993 through his program “Operation Migration”. The film is also based on the experience of Dr…..
      Fly Away Home – Wikipedia

    • The future is now, you can’t change it but you can prepare & adapt. Be thankful you’re on an island well away from the mass starvation & resource wars. Oh, and maybe learn to like eating jelly fish.

      • I can change it in a small way, by not voting for political parties that think that the laws of physics are negotiable.

        Vote Green: they are shit, there are some weirdos, but at least they don’t think Baby Jeebus is going to save us from the laws of physics.

        • Who you vote for is irrelevant (I’m actually a Green Party member), how you personally prepare is not. No politician anywhere will make the changes required, they send their thoughts & prayers, shake their heads & wring their hands, they’ll put on their best concerned expressions and carry on with business as usual.

          Laws & controls will get harsher, restrictions on everyday citizens tougher, but nothing will stop nature. Buckle up, learn how to grow your own food, harvest your own energy & collect your own water. Learn to be self sufficient because you certainly won’t be able to depend on a future government. Be prepared, the future is here.

        • I enjoy reading your comments.
          I knew from the start that you will find a way to justify voting for the greens. We are all human after all.
          Managing risks and consequences is a mainly human endeavour. Reality is, we stink at it and do little better than the antelope in a herd…

      • Rat You appear to be thinking along practicality and forward-looking capability. So if you can feed us more thoughts along those lines and stay off the actual political party that might get in you would be helpful.
        About those jellyfish, any info – like can the toxins be removed? What food value would they provide? How best to get rid of the tentacles safely?

        Your point about an island is right; the difficulty is that others have noticed our advantages. Advice on how to clear or limit ourselves from swarm of human locusts who will strip us of every resource we have? That is already happening and the gummint is encouraging it for payment in money, a provisional resource that might turn out to be of less value than milk tokens when the pinch comes.

    • That_guy: “….although there are factions in the Greens that are old-school progressives not identity politicians…”

      There may well be such people, but they’re not represented in parliament, from what I’ve seen, and their views carry no political weight with the contemporary Green party.

      I’m an old Lefty, have supported Greens in the past. But not now, not ever again. They appear to have completely abandoned any environmental values they once had.

      If you want substantive advocacy and action on environmental issues, don’t look to the Greens.

  15. I looked at the heading and registered ‘Delicious Hatred…’! On reflection I think that would be a suitable alternative that fits the enthusiastic almost orgiastic mental drive for many who want to live eternally on a high note; never to come down to the task of jarring self-cogitation bringing awareness of our human tendencies to both good and bad, that require self-governing.

    (I note the opposite of orgiastic is puritanical; this is one of our human tendencies – to swing like a pendulum, from one state of mind to another. – and go too far on whatever arc of its current direction.)

  16. Where do we go if NZ First holds the balance of power? Both extremes are stuffed because I am sure Winnie is going to have bar of the extreme stuff

  17. Bravo CT. I imagine that voters like me who have always favoured the progressive policies of Labour and Greens are feeling pretty sick at heart right now. It is the manifest dishonesty you speak of which I find so dismaying. That and the fact that neither party can be trusted to subject their radical agendas to fair and proper public scrutiny after the election.

    The Fourth Labour Govt ambushed Kiwis with their electorally undeclared neoliberal agenda. It feels like 1984 again, only this time we have a glimpse of what’s coming. I wrote to the PM and Attorney-General to explain that their dishonesty is why I would be voting to defeat Labour in October. No replies from either (perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned the Treaty).

    My voting choice is determined wholly by challenging the dishonesty which will inflict the most lasting damage on our prospects of a mutually peaceable future. The cultural politics of Labour, Greens and TPM are themselves germinated in a purposeful dissembling of Te Tiriti. The He Puapua agenda gives this deceit a voice. Their dishonesty propels us towards anti-democratic changes in our constitutional arrangements which will never be undone once enacted. On the other hand, the inevitable social, economic and environmental carnage of the regressive Right can be repaired.

  18. Encapsulates everything I have been thinking and feeling for the last few years. From the joylessness to the dangers to the propagandising – all delivered in a well articulated and coherent manner far beyond that which many of us here could rationalise so clearly.

    Compulsory reading for all NZers, I’d love to see this piece go up on Plain sight, The Platform and anywhere else that will have you CT. All democracy loving NZers see this threat and it is why so many are willing to move their support right despite the right having nothing to offer. Progressivism in NZ in it’s current incarnation is the greatest threat to democracy that we have faced since WW2.

  19. Sorry, this article is just histrionic. Unfortunately next week people will be catastrophizing over Posie Parker and Shaneel Lal, when Mahsa Amini is a much more worthy subject of interest. But she didn’t live in little NZ, so doesn’t matter.

    Incidentally, I know quite a few Greens who are traditional leftie environmentalists, from or in synch with the working class.

    • Claire W: “….Mahsa Amini is a much more worthy subject of interest.”

      If we do not want other governments lecturing us about our internal affairs, we should refrain from doing it to other polities. Especially when we don’t fully understand the political complexities of other societies.

      “…I know quite a few Greens who are traditional leftie environmentalists, from or in synch with the working class.”

      For all that this may be so, it’s indisputable that such people have no political heft whatsoever in the contemporary Green party.

      • I don’t think governments killing people involves much complexity, and were ours doing that, I’d expect other governments to call us out.

        I take the Green party as a mixed bag. Had they mostly been focused on identity politics, then Kerekere would still be there.

    • In a country that can’t define what a women is you expect someone to pay respect for a women who died on the grounds of her sex? My dear. Where have you been.
      Golriz from the queer party did a post on that women without ever mentioning that a. she was a women and b. she was killed for not wanting to wear a bedsheet over her head. Why would that be?

      • Where have I been? at the vigil last night in memory of Mahsa Amini and other victims in Iran. New Zealand isn’t at the centre of the universe.

  20. Chris Trotter, every now and then you write the perfect piece.

    “…then none of the initiatives which both parties signed-up to over the past six years: radical ethnic nationalism, censorship, transgenderism; are going to be abandoned”. 100% correct. And that’s why (principally amongst many issues), Labour must be expunged. Their insane ideology is a real threat to this countries constitutional values that must be stopped. It’s the number one reason why Labour fall flat on their faces with just about everything they try. The trouble
    is, we go down with their ship too.

    I thought, as a Labour voter, we’d get a continuation of the genuinely good government that Labour was from ’99 to ’08. Not perfect, but balanced and achieving. How very very wrong was I. What we ended up with was a nightmareish group of university trained politicians and individuals who put into practice all the falsehoods they ever imagined were real and disappeared down a black hole of ideology. Chippy is no more a practical Prime Minister for the people than Ardern was. From late January until he blew the 3 Waters revamp, we were lulled into a false sense that finally someone in Labours hierarchy got it. Wrong again.

    “Progressive” is now an expletive. A obscene word for all that is wrong in politics. A label if associated with a political brand is a deep red flag that screams avoid this lot at all costs.

    Again, well written!

    • The problem lies with people that really thought Mr. Right Hand of the Dame would be not like the dame whose policies and politics Mr. Chippy full heartedly supported.
      Why anyone expected him to be different then the dame escapes me?

  21. Bourgeois Puritan Cult … inherently self-interested (with desperate attempts to camouflage via ostentatious moral posturing) …. elitist, authoritarian, anti-Enlightenment … espousing a crude, distorted & divisive worldview grounded in a twisted moral compass … a top-down scapegoating of poor, working & lower-middle class Non-Maori into a degraded 2nd-class citizenship (health, housing, moves to disenfranchise) … a small but powerful cadre determined to get its way by stealth.

  22. You’re usually right before me about things. I think that’s how it goes. I’m always learning about ideas behind others. Rather sad when we want to think even a young adult can have a good perception. Amusing at 57 for me, but I was always anaerobic composting in my thoughts. University helps, I recommend.

    ‘But’ — yes, you always knew I’d say that, like any ego for that matter — Stephen Franks has just complimented you after 8 years. Then, dismissively, for your flourishes of rhetoric, now for this post.

    Haven’t read the post but I’ve been thinking about your attitude to climate change, not really expressed in your columns, and think you’re right, probably not much can be done to prevent it. But for a crisis that will probably end my life early, and all the ’84 elite’s kids (yep, I’m equating you with the 84ists) I think we need a crisis govt no matter that. Free speech shit for the rich doesn’t matter at all.

    And now, I have to ask have you got religion?

    • Who do we vote for then??
      I can recall a fellow student asking me whether it is OK to vote for himself? I said if you do not believe in yourself why did you put your name forward for election. One should be measured by the outcomes that one creates.
      I was never elected captain, yet, others often looked at me for leadership when the chips were down only to discard me as a leader once things were stabilised.

      Not all people selected to put their names forward for election are narcissists. Neither are any of them perfect.

  23. This article is arrant nonsense. I have been an active member of the New Zealand Labour Party since 1981, have attended many contference and observed it workings from the inside. Far from ‘joyless’ we are relentelssly optimistic and energised about creating a world that works for all. Egalitarianism. Equity. Celebrating diversity. All grounded in basic Kiwi values of a fair go for each of us to reach their potential.

    Dissatisfaction with the status quo is the human condition – a positive force for progress. The alternative is stagnation and complacency. It sure beats being a grumpy ols sourpuss like the writer of this artice.

    • … at this Labour Government has brought everyone together in a state of euphoric wellbeing? Would you like some Kool-aid?

    • Egalitarianism
      /ɪˌɡaləˈtɛːrɪənɪz(ə)m/
      noun
      the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

      How do you square that with LINO’s commitment to racial INequality before the law?

      Equity

      A progressive weaselword. What progs mean by “equity” is equality of average outcome across different demographic groups. That is incompatible with meritocracy, and can only guaranteed by draconian measures. For example, the TEC is threatening to fine universities if Maaori and Pasifika students continue to pass at lower rates than other students. How are universities supposed to magic away ethnic disparities in pass rates? The progressive answer if of course “by being less racist”.

      Celebrating diversity

      Why must we “celebrate” diversity? Accepting diversity as a reality is only sensible, but we must we celebrate it? I put it to you that NZ as a country has more pressing problems than insufficient celebrations of diversity.

    • Then why Michael is the current Labour Government doing its best to rid us of egalitarianism?
      Under Labour some people are more equal than others,one vote good two votes better.
      Add to that the dishonesty of Chippy and you have a Labour Party no one can vote for.

  24. Chris,thank you for articulating what many of my generation ( first voted in Norm Kirk’s era) are troubled by . The arrogance and verbal chicanery of labour / greens is shedding voters and a lot of us with many miles on the clock are not stupid enough to be deceived.
    Things like the sex Ed. ,gender ID ,free speech, women’s rights , Co governance ,te tiriti are discussed amongst my family and peers , and we are worried about the rash hasten implementation are often the talk over a cup of tea .
    The lack of public debate and almost total capture of the media are frightening . Albert Park was a manifestation of how progressive ideology has crept through our academic institutions creating thought police who as a catatonic rabid mob showed the world where we have got to ,truly nasty and foul . Corruption of the police not likely ( according to some poll )in little old God zone but their failure to protect women and public discourse was on display .
    Where have we come to as a nation ? With division and bitterness, the well of truth has been poisoned. Jesus wept the PM thinks a woman is anyone who identifies as one . There are a lot of us in the woodwork ,who call bullshit to this nonsense . My vote and people in my family and peers will be voting NZfirst . Thank you once again for being a voice for us …..champion

  25. Je ne comprend pas.

    As I’ve said before you’re often ahead of me. You’re speaking for voting for the Right. The beauty of your speech was it was as clear as light, as spring-water, and enthused us all. I don’t understand you here, it’s murk. No amount of learning will take me to vote for National, ACT or NZ First.

    What is the main thing? We’re in a climate change crisis. Probably, as you say, there is nothing we can do about the soon extinction of the species in my lifetime (57). But we certainly need a crisis govt, a war govt, to handle it. Churchill’s war govt was the most socialist the UK ever had, so Left v. Right is no longer in play. Our Right is saying everything can go on as normal, the Left wants major changes, or, in the case of Labour, is more open to it. And by the way, the Greens are just saying the absolute truth about this moment. So I will certainly be voting for the people (not Labour of course).

    Imagine the utter tripe you’d have to vote for to vote for the Right.

    • Climate change is the main issue this election? How so, when nothing we do in this tiny country will have the slightest impact on global temperature? You do know we contribute about 0.17% of global emissions, right? If the Ardern-Hipkins kakistocracy is returned to office, NZ will have “3rd World” problems long before global warming has any major effect on us.

      • PP II: “….nothing we do in this tiny country will have the slightest impact on global temperature?”

        Exactly so. This country’s population is too small to make any substantive difference to the global climate.

        “….NZ will have “3rd World” problems long before global warming has any major effect on us.”

        It looks as if we already have third world problems, in respect of crime, healthcare and education, regrettably. If any subsequent government imposes the sorts of climate-related restrictions on our country which have already been proposed, things will be even worse.

  26. Rolled through the comments. How bendable you supposed Lefties are. Do you hear Sanders, Corbyn or Reich talking about these minor matters in a rich-ruled world?

    These ‘minor matters’ are par for the course right-wing wedge issues by which they’ve divided and ruled us for the last 40 years. We might be over-emphasizing them but by no means are they a reason to vote Right.

    Ask yourself is this the main thing?

  27. Climate change is the main issue this election? How so, when nothing we do in this tiny country will have the slightest impact on global temperature? You do know we contribute about 0.17% of global emissions, right? If the Ardern-Hipkins kakistocracy is returned to office, NZ will have “3rd World” problems long before global warming has any major effect on us.

    • many ‘third world’ countries have better public transport then we do. Think about how you will get about if this current lot would get their wet dreams enabled. Just for once, people think how shit would affect you two/three/five/ten years down the track. Not tomorrow, not just an election away for a few years down the road.
      We already have 3rd world problems here.

  28. I was listening to a podcast by Peter Rollins the other day, and he was saying something relevant to the topic of Chris’ post here:

    “… [Camus] says the conservatives, they’re not happy until they get back to some golden age, and he says the revolutionaries aren’t happy until they get to some utopia… then he said, but the rebel; the rebel is the one who enjoys the struggle itself, and who doesn’t sacrifice people on the alter of the past or the future. But sees in the action of emancipatory struggle, liberation itself.”

    https://soundcloud.com/peter-rollins/grace

  29. Chris – you are not describing any real change in the world at all. You are (I think) projecting outwards some changes in yourself. What you actually wrote is mostly hyperbolic nonsense. I can see no real attacks on free speech other than the usual, longstanding problems that arise from unequal speech due to unequal wealth – such as who gets platformed and who does not by privately-owned media, or the right of the wealthy and business to influence election campaigns by massively disproportionate donations.
    Your point about “joy” is interesting though. I’m your age – and each time I’ve seen a leftish government voted out there is a feeling of lawless glee in how some people talk and behave, even in how they drive their cars. They are aching to be irresponsible and carefree – because it is too hard to be a moral being for any length of time. The left needs to find a way to sound less censorious – probably just having the courage to act and actually fix problems, rather than incrementalist tinkering and constant talk would help.

    • Brill.

      I always like to see that. Amid the murk and muck.

      I’d bow, but you’d see my bald patch.

      You appreciate the truth when your 4 sibs think Ardern was a tyrant during covid despite the community’s unified support then.

  30. I was going to move on but the headline ‘Delirious Hatred’ caught my eye. Headlines are puffery — the only reason in favour of this.

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