Thursday, 8 November 2012

Our twilight?

“No society ever thrived because it had a large and
growing class of parasites living off those who produce.”
- Thomas Sowell

American commentators have been talking all morning about the reasons for Obama’s electoral success. It all comes down, most say, to his amazing ability to attract African-American voters, Asian-American voters, Latino voters …. In other words, it’s all about race.

This is nauseating. 

Allow me to quote further from Michael Hurd, from whom I quoted yesterday:

The primary issue is not race. It’s outlook. You have basically two types of people, when considered in the context of electoral politics. One wants to do, and wants to be left alone to do it. The other wants to get, not in the traditional American sense of pursuing happiness...but to have goodies to which one is entitled, and provided for by others.
    Since the welfare/entitlement state began in earnest, back in the 1930s, the trend has been consistent and steady… Before Obama [however], presidential elections were [still] usually decided by the state of the economy. This is because most people, before Obama, wanted a thriving economy above all else.
    Things have changed.
    The fact that Obama—an open redistributer of wealth—won the first time was an indication that perhaps something had changed in American society…
    The electorate of America now cares more about being cared for than about having the freedom to care for themselves.
    This is so not the America of 1776. There are still good and great people to be found in this society, and some of them will perhaps still manage to flourish, unless liberty perishes altogether and some kind of a dictatorship takes hold in coming decades. (It certainly can, on our current course, especially with continued debt, deficits and economic decline.)
    One thing is for sure. Those of us who yearn to think, live self-responsibly and independently must share a society with a plurality of people who would rather force others to take care of them…
    It’s not an “economic system” that most Americans feel is stacked against them. It’s reality. They want a shield from reality, and they think that politicians can provide it for them…
    I often wonder what's next for this country. Now we know. Half the country is in some form committed to freedom and individual rights, and half committed to the "freedom" to have what they want, actually or potentially provided by others. It seems to me like this is a recipe if not for a civil war, for a steady disintegration of the society and political system we have up until now taken for granted. How much longer can we take it all for granted?
    Obama has won, and it's twilight in America.
    It's not twilight in America because Obama won. Obama won because it was, sadly, already twilight in America.

I read that again this morning and began to wonder: when did it become twilight here in NZ?

New Zealand never had the heroes of freedom America had. New Zealand was never the America of 1776, or anything anywhere like that. But values like independence, self-reliance, productivity have always been prized. Mooching, especially in small-town NZ, was sternly discouraged.

Until recently.

Mooching is now a local pastime.  A valid lifestyle choice. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

When did that change?

If the 2012 US election was the time when the American twilight became most obvious, then perhaps here at home it was the 2005 ‘lolly-scramble’ election, when Michael Cullen and Helen Clark offered the middle class the opportunity—via Working for Families and Interest-Free Student Loans—which at the time John Key referred to as “socialism by stealth”—to become welfare beneficiaries.

This was an out-and-out election bribe, the election when the bung was taken well-and-truly out of the pork barrel, and the middle class all but took their arm off. So much so, it’s now apparently electorally unacceptable to get rid of either.  Three-quarters of New Zealand families are now on the mooch,and they’ll never be voting again to become self-responsible.

It seems to me now in retrospect that was the milestone election here in NZ; our twilight.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I think you are right to talk of civil war in America. I am reading Amanda Foreman's excellent book about the American Civil War (actually about Britain's role in it), A World on Fire. The overwhelming impression is that of a nation split down the middle. People hoped for a political solution, but the sides were evenly matched in political strength and so intractable in views that civil war was inevitable. The parallels with America today are obvious.

    The difference in New Zealand is that the battle was lost here a long time ago - at least as far back as Norman Kirk and Rob Muldoon, but perhaps you need to go back to Michael J Savage to find the moment when most people's irrational self-interest trumped their rational self-interest.


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