TDB’s own Professor Wayne Hope calls it a ‘Polycrisis‘…
Everything seems to be going wrong, everywhere all at once—COVID-19, Ukraine, bank failures, inflation, extreme weather events.
Crisis afflicts the geopolitical system, global financial system, global climate system and global health system. The interconnectedness of different crises across overlapping systems has been termed a ‘polycrisis’. In these circumstances, governments confront multiple unfolding emergencies. Elaborations of the concept appear in the blogs of economic historian Adam Tooze and in research from the Cascade Institute.
Never-ending crises and emergencies disrupt the election cycle in different countries. Traditionally, popular governments, recently elected, serve two, maybe three terms before departing office. Before that point, mainstream political journalists and the commentariat declare that the incumbents are infighting/out of touch/losing credibility/tired/making mistakes/out of ideas. Public disquiet/anxiety/resentment with the government and ‘disappointing’ opinion poll results feed into each other. Meanwhile, the major opposition party, their leader (and coalition bloc under MMP) are deemed, implicitly as fit-to-govern – judgments which opinion poll trends seem to confirm.
…we are now in an age of consequences whereby the failure to act in the past has borne a harvest of spite we are all forced to bitterly pick from.
The problem is we are never allowed to ever reconsider the 40 year Neoliberal experiment of deregulation and privatisation that infects the NZ public service and State.
That’s what these BIM reports point to, a hollowed out State with barely the capacity to respond let alone get ahead of our problems…
Concerns over gangs, extremist views by prisoners, migration numbers and disassociation from school following Covid-19 have been raised by government department officials in briefings to new ministers.
The Bims are produced by public servants after each change of government or change of minister and usually set out trouble spots and challenges looming in each portfolio area, some preliminary advice on government policy as well as a basic introduction to how the government department operates and the ministers’ responsibilities.
…Our corporate led media and their Public Broadcasting quislings are there to enforce the fundamental lie of NZInc, that cut throat free market neoliberalism supersedes all else and that regulation is the filthy abortion of a stillborn egalitarianism that once held pretensions upon these far flung shores.
NZInc has become an interwoven tapestry of parochial self interest and corporate malfeasance, a warren of monopolies and duopolies endlessly molesting NZ for tino rangatiratanga rentals.
Right now the Australian Banks are exploiting billions annually from our us.
Right now the wealthy manipulate regulations to exploit our dependence upon them.
Right now politicians and consultants and a self interested public service manipulate legislation in order to give vast sums of public money to private interests and pretend that’s due process.
Right now under regulated markets are held hostage to the vested interests of the old boys club.
Right now the shopping Duopoly is milking a million per day in profits from hungry desperate NZers.
John Key sold 49% of our Hydro power using taxpayer sweeteners that triggered Māori water claims and created a $400million irrigation slush fund to Dairy intensify the South Island. Not only did he rob NZ of our hydro assets, his privatisation damaged our climate for private interests that left us geopolitically exposed to China.
This never ending vandalisation of the egalitarian pillars of our society has created the neoliberal wasteland of vulnerable people as ‘clients’ and a public service managerial class more focused on micro aggression policing contracts than doing the mahi.
We are not allowed to challenge the neoliberal dystopia that NZ has become despite its failure being everywhere all at once.
The new government is determined to reduce the number of public servants, decrying the serious growth seen under Labour. But the debate usually skips past who they are and what they do. Henry Cooke explains what a public servant is, what they do all day, how they grew under the last government, and how ours compare to others.
The first problem is working out who on earth we mean when we talk about “public servants”.
Do we strictly mean people in Wellington helping ministers develop policy? Or do we include, say, the caseworker at the MSD office down the road, or the security guard outside the door? It’s clear that someone writing policy at the Ministry of Education is a “public servant” – but what about the teachers? What about the folks at State Owned Enterprises like Transpower which runs the national electricity grid? What about the cops?
The lesson from Covid was that we need more State Capacity, NOT LESS, yet we never pause to evaluate the 40 year neoliberal revolution of the Lange/Douglas Fourth Labour Government.
We don’t just need more teachers, drs and nurses, we need new hospitals, now schools and new capacity!
New Zealand has an egregious infrastructure deficit in NZ!
The Left have to make the argument for a bigger capacity State funded by taxing the mega wealthy. They have to show where the money will come from and they have to show they will have a plan ready to go.
Because our under regulated capitalism has been robbed of revenue by a rigged economic system that benefits the rich, we are desperately needing more hospitals, more passenger rail, roads, schools, storm repair, tens of thousands still waiting for State Houses.
The reality is that we are not spending nearly enough and we need a far larger State capacity, not less of it!
There is a class war happening right in front of our eyes as the wealthy pour millions in donations to National and ACT while Climate Denying Federated Farmers join ACT and National push for landlords to have the power to evict when some of their biggest donors are Real Estate pimps.
The political project of the right is to amputate the State’s capacity to raise revenue so that it can’t be redistributed in the first place.
There are 14 Billionaires in NZ + 3118 ultra-high net worth individuals with over $50million each, why not start start with them, then move onto the Banks, then the Property Speculators, the Climate Change polluters and big industry to pay their fair share before making workers pay more tax!
When Treasury is begging for a capital Gains tax, you know shit gone cray…
Are those stats that live up to the egalitarian dream of NZ?
The ‘cash was splashed around’ by Labour during Covid as the price paid to prevent a mass death event from a once in a century pandemic.
Pretending otherwise is simply rewriting history while denying the underfunded present which dooms us in the future.
We need a bigger State, not a smaller one.
This is the time for the political Left to walk away from woke pure temple politics and embrace Broadchurch class solidarity.
Our under funded social infrastructure, our ‘me first’ consumerism, our 40 years of neoliberal mythology, our disconnection from one another, our untreated pain, our lack of hope from grinding poverty in a first world country, our damaged masculinity, the intergenerational consequences of colonialism, our unspoken rage culture, our inability to express emotion beyond anger – all of this demands questions we don’t want to hear as a society.
If we don’t provide people with Hope that there is a better way of being for us all, if we don’t provide vision that actually addresses the material well being of our voters, if we aren’t prepared to debate the expansion of State Capacity by taxing the mega wealthy and funding the climate change adaptation, if we don’t do all that, this hard right racist climate denying Government will win again.
The 40 year neoliberal experiment has been a spectacular failure and we now have the data to prove it…
- New data shows New Zealand is failing on every social and economic human rights metric
- The country is not delivering adequate rights to education, health, housing and work, based on what it could be achieving with the money available
- When it comes to the right to food, New Zealand’s record is steadily declining
- Māori, people with disabilities, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds are most likely to experience human rights violations
…The danger of woke middle class identity politics replacing class left analysis is that the politics devolve into a micro aggression deplatforming campaign that alienates rather than builds solidarity against free market capitalism.
The true demarcation of power in a democratic capitalist state is the 1% richest + their 9% enablers Vs the 90% rest of us.
Identity Politics simply cements into place a caste system of intersectionism alongside a terminal tribal affiliation to your skin colour, gender or identity.
There needs to be far more common ground and shared values.
We need a new taxation and regulation model to stop the neoliberal rot. We need to remove the yoke of taxation from the 90% and reset it to the 10% richest.
In 2010, the 388 richest individuals owned more wealth than half of the entire human population on Earth
By 2015, this number was reduced to only 62 individuals
In 2018, it was 42
In 2019, it was down to only 26 individuals who own more wealth than 3.8 billion people.
And in 2021, 20 people owned more than 50% of the entire planet.
The Big Tech Tzars have manipulated our collective fear, ego, anger and insecurities through social media in a way that has led to the largest psychological civil war ever launched against one another.
Meanwhile, the planet burns and every aspect of our existence is monetarised for big data to sell us more stuff we can’t afford. We are alienated and anesthetized by a consumer culture that keeps us neurotic and disconnected. Our work, our existence, every move we make are all built to suck money to a minority class that sits above us while under neoliberalism, globalization, financialization, and automation, our existence as individuals has only become more disposable.
This isn’t progress.
We either attack the economic settings of this madness now and fight to retain our egalitarianism or we are doomed to live in the shadow of Capitalist greed.
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