How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific.
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day.
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. Because if you are in any serious way concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary in capitalism’s coal mine who also happens to have profited lavishly from his stake in the mining concern itself.
Photo: Lake Wanaka, NZ – Pixabay
Lower your gaze from the blackened husk of Grenfell Tower and you see the flowers and the signs decorating the streets. Many are photocopied pleas to help find the missing: 12-year-old Jessica, baby Amaya. Steve. Moses. Nestled among them are the others: scribbles and boards and A4 sheets reading Cuts Cost Lives and Corporate Murder, and People’s Lives Don’t Matter Under Capitalism.
This, Theresa May, is what a people’s public inquiry looks like. The sign-writers and passersby talking in the streets around Grenfell have grasped a truth that cabinet ministers are still fumbling towards: whatever and whoever a judge finds at fault – this procedure or that subcontractor – the true causes of the failures go far wider. They lie in the way Britain is run.
While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.
Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.
Photo Credit (header): Wikipedia
Here we have an article from the Manawatu Standard (under ‘opinion’) that is rare in its honesty, about the machinations of our environmental ‘protection’ agencies in drawing environmental protection groups into their fold. It’s called ‘collaboration’ but is not what it seems, as the article very honestly points out, titling the collaboration process ‘unmitigated bull faeces’. How refreshing to hear such truth. Our Councils and Horizons pay lip service to environmental protection, bandying around the Agenda 21 catchwords, ‘sustainable development’ and ‘smart growth’ all the while continuing on their ‘polluting for personal profit’ trajectory. If you want to see extreme water pollution, check out Lake Horowhenua, once the pristine food basket of local people Muaupoko, it’s been polluted for decades with human faeces, never mind bull faeces, although some of that goes in there as well. We’ve
also watched this recently with the leachate saga at the Bonny Glen landfill where the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ has allowed unknown amounts of toxic leachate, over and beyond the consent levels, into the Rangitikei waterways. And the powers that be continue to drag the chain with their hands firmly in the pockets of the landfill corporation. Equally farcical was the ‘independent’ consent hearing; it was held 45 minutes travel from those it affected most, and anybody who attended could see it was a done deal, the chair saying on one occasion ‘when the consents are granted’, a Freudian slip he quickly corrected. This has all been going on since the late ’80s and particularly since our country became a registered corporation owned by Queen Elizabeth II. Corporations require profits not clean environments, however they strategically put up a smokescreen that provides the illusion they want to protect the environment, pretending to collaborate, as this article from the Manawatu Standard points out, particularly in the fact that one of the collaborators has resigned … “Fish & Game’s chief executive Bryce Johnson said changes to the forum’s rules around membership and restrictions on the ability to speak out had “essentially compelled us to resign”… ” read more
You can read the Standard’s article here
A collaborative process can be a sham
“You know that feeling when you’re part of a ‘collaborative’ process?
You get convinced to be involved by people who say annoying things like “it’s better to be in the tent than outside of it” and “you can’t score any points if you’re not in the game”.
Often, at the beginning, you truly believe that there just might be a chance to really make a difference.
After a time it begins to dawn on you that, actually, it’s all a crock of pure, unmitigated bull faeces. You’re being ‘played’….”
“Fish & Game’s chief executive Bryce Johnson said changes to the forum’s rules around membership and restrictions on the ability to speak out had “essentially compelled us to resign”… “
Check out the pollution that is going on in the Manawatu’s waterways. (The Manawatu once earned the dubious honour of being the most polluted in the Southern Hemisphere).
This article from filmsforaction echoes the entire philosophy of this website. Yes … it is very do-able. Very. This is life without the middle men in the form of profiteering banksters who not only create money out of thin air (as in type your loan onto their computer screen) and then charge you interest for it. The Spanish town of Marinaleda has a local Mayor of 35+ years who has been known to seize food from the local supermarket & give it to the poor…. and people get a cheaply priced, comfortable house to live in, so long as it’s never sold for a profit (as in speculation)…
“With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian village in southern Spain that is prosperous thanks to its farming cooperative…..
Since the financial crisis began in 2008, Marinaleda has shot to fame — and so has its maverick mayor Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, who earned the nickname,”The Spanish Robin Hood,” after organizing and carrying out a series of supermarket raids in a direct action protest last August. Basic groceries such as oil, rice and beans were loaded into carts, wheeled from the store and taken to a local food bank to help the poor, as helpless cashiers looked on, some crying….”
Read the article from the filmsforaction website: http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/welcome-to-marinaleda-the-spanish-anticapitalist-town-with-equal-wage-full-employment-and-19-housing/
Other Links on Marinaleda: