Monday, 25 September 2017

Salvation through politics? [updated]

SOME PEOPLE PUT THEIR faith in lotteries to change their lives and transform their dull daily existence. An equal number seek salvation through politics, and for similar reasons.

At least the Lotto buyers mostly keep their delusions to themselves.

The seekers of political salvation however are everywhere, and the last few weeks they’ve been insufferable, desperate to change their lives, and ours.

They've been on the streets for weeks, focussed laser-like upon redemption last Saturday night. And on Saturday night, after the votes were counted, they were out on social media in their multitudes, bitching and boasting and gnashing their teeth about what those votes had delivered.

But mostly bitching.

For those hoping this election would deliver the political transformation “Jacindamania" were after, and had been reliably told would be delivered, their lot on Saturday night, (as it was for most of the buyers of Lotto tickets), was a very sorrowful one indeed. The results came to them like a kick in the teeth. Where was the “missing million” who were supposed to front up, hungry for “change"? Where was the “youthquake” the media had promised? What had happened to all the “Jacindamania” over which they’d salivated? Turns out, it seems, that a majority of New Zealand voters simply didn’t buy the “narrative” about change, and didn’t believe the fairytale of political salvation she was peddling.

Sorrowful? These salvation-seekers were apoplectic. It was "a victory for lies, media thuggery and lazy prejudice” ranted one. In rejecting the illusory salvation she had offered, NZers had voted for “greed,” many were saying. Or, to mash together some of the outrage, “greedy selfish, uncaring rich c***s who think of no one but themselves had voted to shaft us all.” Voters who "didn’t give a stuff" about “the planet.” Or the rivers. Or the homeless. Or the beneficiaries who had to commit fraud to stay alive. Or the “300,000” children they alleged to be in poverty. So they were angry. One offered voters he disagreed with (most of you) the delights of intercourse with barbed wire dildoes. Others just a straightforward punch in the face (it being okay to punch fascists -- as you must be if you voted, or non-voted, in ways not endorsed by this mini-commissariat of bickerers and salvation-seekers).

How dare the blue team, agreed all these bitchers, take a victory that every one knew was supposed to be theirs. You know, like What The Actual F**k! Gosh, these people were angry. How dare the plurality of voters reject the dream and vote instead for "selfishness" and "greed." (Why, I wondered, is it greed to want to keep your own money, but not greed to demand others hand it over for your chosen causes?) "This is not my New Zealand," they bitched (and in so bitching they were, let's observe, uneeringly though unwittingly accurate).

YET IN TRUTH THERE was very little to choose between either of the alleged sides of the political fence: one sought to give marginally more power to bureacrats and unions, and the other to continue with the welfare state as we currently know it.

One side sought to meddle with taxes and political handouts to deliver salvation. The other had already meddled with taxes, and and talked about something called "social investment" --which looks like little more than using megadata to decide whose meaningless lives they were going to transform with more politic handouts.

And they both talked about child poverty. One side talked about giving away more money. And so did the other. Salvation for the children will, they both agreed, be achieved through more politics and more handouts.

Yet what they and the salvation-seekers seem blind to is that almost every one of us gets up every morning and, as part of the nationwide (and worldwide!) division of labour --- all organised almost entirely without the benefit of politicians or those who dream big political dreams — goes out and does the only thing that has ever, anywhere ended poverty: we go out there and we produce and we trade and we deliver the things that have transformed the world. In 1981, for example, 43.9% of the world’s people lived on less than $1.90 a day. Today it is less than 9.6%. The only political transformation needed to help that happen was to get out of the way and let it happen.

In our own lives, we transform existence every day.

And most of those days, the political classes and salvation-seekers are simply in our way.

What a blessing then that for a few weeks at least we will have dowm here in NZ a politically inert central government.

If only we could enjoy that same freedom every day.


MICHAEL HURD: Why Politics Has Ruined Everything 

"Why is everything so political? Hollywood, the Emmys, the movies, the NFL – everywhere you turn these days, it’s politics. What happened?… Put simply, politics matters more when government grows. "



  1. All I can say is "yep". The level of outrage from "the left" seems to increase with every election, according to them we are living in a country with a living standard comparable to Somalia and most voters have made the wrong choice in a binary decision between good and evil. In reality we are really choosing between two center left parties. The older I get it simply seems politics has replaced the corrosive tribal influence of the church, and as such, my interest wanes.

  2. It is only a matter of time before National starts gassing the poor.

  3. guffaws all around Simon, you are a laugh a minute... so, you're theme is N is for National, as it is for national socialist? you are a wit!


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