Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Forgotten posts from the past: Compulsory welfare - a quaint remnant of nationalism?

With the whole debate about welfare one question is rarely raised - why does compulsory state welfare only apply to the poor in your own country? Why are the poor in other countries less needy?

Now the obvious answer is that it would be unaffordable to tax everyone to pay for people in other countries to be relieved of poverty, then, in which case, as with anything that you fund, you prioritise.

What is more important, a family with a TV, bed, clothes, car and ample nutrition, or a starving family with nothing?

For to simply say it is "none of our business" you're admitting you're a nationalist.  Human beings not residing in the country you live in are a lower priority to you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating a global taxpayer funded welfare system.  I don't advocate the state based one.

However, given it is the left that is the source of the welfare state and defender of it on moral grounds, on what moral grounds is there to give money to people who, by any measure, are better off than the vast majority of humanity?

Could it simply be that socialism is nationalist too?

and isn't that rather racist?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chris Trotter: the Greens are the last hope for "we" ?

It is rare that a commentator on the left exposes so readily the fundamental difference in understanding and approach to politics as Chris Trotter most recently did in The Press.  In that article he posits almost exactly the narrative the Green Party would want you to understand - which is that the Greens, and only the Greens, are revolutionary and wise, and out for the good of the many, unlike the other parties out to sustain the status quo and the "counter narrative" of "neo-liberalism" - the pejorative term originating from the left, used to dismiss and debase any and all who promote capitalism.

The notion that the Greens are fighting a lonely vanguard in a fundamental struggle is understandably appealing to an aging Marxist, who has witnessed with almost endless bitter dismay, at the edifice of New Zealand's own - and dare I say carefully worded - national democratic socialism - crumble after it nearly bankrupted the country.  You see the autarchic, egalitarian, isolationist, "full employment" "golden age" Trotter harks back to, is reminiscent of the same sort of nationalist "golden ages" that autocrats all over the world point to.  An age that was destroyed by traitors to the cause, who "sold us out" to foreign capital.

Never fear, the Greens are here, because the new threat is global annihilation, and they alone are "dedicated to the practical application of ecological wisdom".  The "politics of ecological denial boasts some extremely powerful backers".

What untrammelled nonsense.   A ridiculously simple view that fits the intellect of someone who regards The Simpsons as a comprehensive social narrative, but one that doesn't actually fit facts.  It isn't Montgomery Burns vs. the people, as much as Trotter wishes it were.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Forgotten posts from the past: Nicky Hager's communist sympathies

Remember Nicky Hager?  Called "journalist" by so much of the NZ broadcast media, but who would be called at best an "activist" elsewhere, well hardline anti-communist activist Trevor Loudon has outed some of Nicky Hager's radical leftwing past. 

I started writing about him, but simply got bored.

It's well known Hager is the poor little rich boy, who has been able to avoid having a real job through his family's comfortable assets - accumulated through capitalism, which he has since spent much time criticising taking a fairly standard hard-left, anti-Western line politically.  Most recently being known for his book that claimed to be outing a "scandal" that the National Party hired consultants to assist in campaigning strategy.  The xenophobic boogie man that New Zealand voters were conned by lying politicians on the right - which stopped them voting for the parties that are really in their interests - i.e. the Greens.

Besides supporting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua (hey Helen Clark did too), he also was a key contact in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - a pro-Soviet organisation that largely lamblasted the US, UK and France for their nuclear arsenals, calling for unilateral disarmament by the West (but never expecting the USSR, nor China, to do so).   He allied himself with the late geriatric Stalinist Ron Smith.

Of course anything Hager utters should be seen in the light that he is just a political lobbyist, he is no more "investigative journalist" than any other activist, but a supporter of the Green Party and everything he produces is intended to further his political goals.   Therefore, you'd hope that when he next comes out with some "shock horror" probe into how awful some business, centre-right politician or Western power is, that a real journalist would ask him some probing questions and take a critical look at his work.

However, such journalists are literally the proverbial hen's teeth in New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Does Nigel Farage love Vladimir Putin?

No.

However, it looks that way, and in politics that's almost all that matters.

He's made a blunder, in his venal hatred of the EU he's made it the scapegoat and the driving force for the revolution in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, he is wrong and hopefully he wont make the mistake again, as I write on my UK blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crimea matters, for all sorts of reasons

I don't know what has appalled me more - Putin's cynical opportunistic land-grab of Crimea, the almost complete abrogation of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Guarantees for Ukraine by the UK and US, or the extent of leftwing and rightwing moral relativism about the whole thing.

I started by writing an article about how Crimea is what happens when isolationists are in charge.  However, the reaction of much of the public is not just the isolationism that has been bred by the left (the "the West is evil as as bad as anyone else" brigade) and the right ("we're safe, they aren't coming for us, just our friends, who we can ignore"), but the moral relativism attached to what is going on.

In this age of competing media, it is easy to turn on Kremlin propaganda in English from Russia Today, and for critics of the status quo on left and right to cynically dismiss reports from the plurality of Western media sources as propaganda, but it's naive and delusional.  What is going on in Ukraine is old-fashioned power politics, because Vladimir Putin has sniffed weakness from the West and knows it will do little - as long as Barack Obama is in power, David Cameron remains beholden to the appeasement loving Liberal Democrats and the Germans remain paralysed by their own history.

So let's first knock out some of the lazy assertions, promoted by Putin's regime: