OnPoint by Keith Ng

Read Post

OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

966 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 25 26 27 28 29 39 Newer→ Last

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    Class isn’t about categories, it’s about barriers to entry (we don’t invite those people) and barriers to exit (where were you? All the rest of the gang where there).

    That’s why I believe we have an upper class, because I’ve seen the restricted entry groups in action.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    hat’s why I believe we have an upper class, because I’ve seen the restricted entry groups in action.

    I was brought up largely in ChChCh...you get to learn about those groups quite early on-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    In my lifetime I've seen the growth of a "Winz" class, a class you know when you are in when you get married to those horrible offices. 40 hours a week within weeks makes me feel middleclass , I start to plan middle class shit.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Class isn’t about categories, it’s about barriers to entry (we don’t invite those people) and barriers to exit (where were you? All the rest of the gang where there).

    To-mah-to. To-may-to. I reckon.

    On what basis do those barriers function? According to the category you’ve been assigned to. Or somehow managed to assign yourself to.

    The degree of fluidity between those categories determines social mobility. In some societies, your birth determines your category, and nothing you can do will change that. Those societies have very little social mobility.

    (I’m a big fan of overly reductive simplicity, but let’s not go into that.)

    I submit that ours is such a society. If you’re born into certain kinds of family, your options are extremely limited. You are almost certainly going to end up just like your parents. Or, if you are socially mobile, it’s usually in a downwards direction.

    Other societies are different. I’ve just been writing about Piero della Francesca, who was born the son of a leather worker. Piero’s dad spent all his days in a tannery and so was shunned by all the ‘right’-thinking people (‘Ew, stay away from the dirty smelly semi-criminal!’). And this feudal society (highly arguably) had more social mobility than ours now. Piero’s was by no means an isolated or exceptional case.

    So, I reckon, our contemporary NZ society is fundamentally broken. Where even the supposedly upper middle class educated elite are corporate serfs. Where basic foodstuffs such as bread and milk are unaffordable for many, as are basic community-owned amenities such as swimming pools.

    At the start of the documentary film ‘Someone else’s country’, there is a line I’m fond of quoting. It’s something like:

    ‘The South American dictator Pinochet had to stage a military coup in order to implement the same reforms that a democratically elected Labour government implemented here.’

    With no mandate whatsoever.

    And what have we done about it!?! Even now, 25-odd years later?

    Conformed.

    But, yeah, Labour vs. National. Left vs. Right. Rogernomics vs. Ruthanasia. Those crucially important differences.

    I mean, the underclass has always been with us and always will, right? Nothing to be done about that, obviously. Dirty smelly criminal scum anyway, so who cares? As long as we’ve still got chardonnay to drink and are seen to be caring people, nothing else matters, right?

    I reckon Prince Kropotkin had the right idea. He grew up in a similar society to ours.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That’s why I believe we have an upper class, because I’ve seen the restricted entry groups in action.

    I used to work at a nightclub where only certain Sneetches could get in. And it had fuck all to do with money, class, race or anything other than whether you had the right attitude. Complete fucking wank of course, but it was fun and everyone was happy and on E, and the rest of the time they were bitching about each other.

    Point is, class or no class, we will always try and find ways of restricting each other on various bases. Money may sometimes be one of those, other times breeding, other times race, or simply how 'cool' you are.

    But yes, I have a very wealthy friend - like Rich List rich - and I never felt quite so alienated as when he and his other wealthy friends were discussing which families owned the houses in a certain holiday resort, and they all knew who those families were (I didn't) etc. Still, didn't stop us hanging out together, but then I wonder what occasions I'm not getting invited to. I don't lose any sleep over it though. I'm sure they're dicks.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Or, if you are socially mobile, it’s usually in a downwards direction.

    Yes, this is a fluidity that goes back at least three generations in my extended families, of course that's when they all arrived.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I used to work at a nightclub where only certain Sneetches could get in. And it had fuck all to do with money, class, race or anything other than whether you had the right attitude. Complete fucking wank of course, but it was fun and everyone was happy and on E, and the rest of the time they were bitching about each other.

    Which one? Is it the one I'm probably thinking of? The nineties? I agree.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Point is, class or no class, we will always try and find ways of restricting each other on various bases.

    Heh, that’s being a social species for you. Hierarchies everywhere you look.

    Ask any teacher, the kids rank themselves. Remarkably fairly apparently. If we had a proper society, none of those restrictions would affect your physical well-being. They’d all be based purely on complete fucking wank, inconsequential.

    How hard is it to organise things so that no-one starves? So that those for whom buying social status is important harm no-one while indulging themselves?

    Would a guaranteed minimum income do it? Only tax income over it perhaps? At a flat rate even?

    How else do we break the cycle? Or is that in the ‘too hard’ basket? Not even thinkable?

    Or is it simply politically unacceptable because people are generally far too punitive towards those unlike themselves? Grossly misapply the fairness principle (‘Why should I be expected to work really hard just to keep some scuzzbucket in fag and booze money!!!?!’ or ‘How dare you be interested in useless intellectual things, you snob, dreamer!’ et cetera ad nauseum).

    If it’s the last, the entire goddamn species should hang its head in shame.

    Atheists can dismiss religion as primitive superstition as much as they like (and we do, oh how we do!), but at least it (in principle) treats every human being as a human being. Unlike most political ideologies. Or science.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Or is it simply politically unacceptable because people are generally far too punitive towards those unlike themselves?

    Yep, this is a core of the fear of the Winz class. As Johnny Banks reminded us only a few months ago, they be smoking P, watching porn and then running out of money to do that, so they will ROB EPSOM.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Atheists can dismiss religion as primitive superstition as much as they like (and we do, oh how we do!), but at least it (in principle) treats every human being as a human being. Unlike most political ideologies. Or science.

    Atheists love because it's the highest exploration of their existence. Love is nice. Harmony is nice. Science is the religion of the Atheist. It's fucking amazing, far more spiritual than stained glass and wine.

    But Jesus would be very welcome at my bbq. What a motherfucker and Muhammad.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Harmony is nice. Science is the religion of the Atheist. It’s fucking amazing, far more spiritual than stained glass and wine.

    Oh, but now we're getting into the Secret Knowledge of the Ancient Temple-Builders.

    Let's not go there. Don't get me started.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I love secret knowledge. It's like insider trading for the mind. What are you DCB? Does your religion have a name. I'm looking.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Yep, this is a core of the fear of the Winz class. As Johnny Banks reminded us only a few months ago, they be smoking P, watching porn and then running out of money to do that, so they will ROB EPSOM.

    I remember as a kid someone telling me the difference between Left and Right was in perception of humanity. The Left see people as flawed but perfectible, needing encouragement. The Right see people as inherently irredeemably flawed and in need of firm guidance.

    I remember thinking, hmm, well one of these positions meets the observable facts much better than the other. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong one.

    Bloody unresolvable contradictions.

    Surely, the basic political question, how to organise society, comes down to how do we resolve conflicting interests?

    I want this and you want that, but if I have this you can’t have that and if you have that I can’t have this. What do we do?

    The classic political answer to this question is whoever has the biggest stick gets both this and that.

    All the time in conversation (I have an annoying habit of butting into conversations in pubs), people will say to me ‘But majority rules.’ As if purely by virtue of being the majority they get to impose their will on the minority as they wish.

    Bollocks to that. Ask a class of five year olds if that’s fair.

    (And, in response to something else entirely, I have no religion, just insanity.)

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    The Right see people as inherently irredeemably flawed and in need of firm guidance.

    Yeh, harsh but I can't see any other conclusion. John Key is the dream Pakeha.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    hey Jeremy I understand you were trying to start a discussion about Paul Ifill's influence on the nascent middle class football culture in New Zealand, but perhaps Ben "Scores winners" Sigmund, or Manny "God with us" Muscat may have been a better place to start- golly am I hoping for 3 'Nix wins plus beating the Aussie's at cricket!

    Dear I say it my girlfriend should go on overseas trips more often for these important sporting weeks!

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to martinb,

    I just dig Ifill. He could be premiership but he's here.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    John Key is the dream Pakeha.

    He may be the dream "New Zealand European" but I doubt he's earned the other label.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    The ASBP?? heh.

    Sport and class in NZ is interesting, or class and ethnicity.

    This discussion: from the ashes.

    I remember this coming up as a discussion point in my 5th form English class after studying Pygmalion.

    I was one of two students who argued for the proposition "that New Zealand wasn't a society where class mattered."

    I, the idealist, argued equality of opportunities, assistance to achieve (eg Ms Bennet) and the justice system so that there was a fairness in way the law was applied irrespective of who you are, at that time citing the catching of tax evaders.

    The other student argued that we had shrugged the historical shackles of the English or European class system and the basis for it there wasn't relevant here.

    Other students, from memory, argued about the importance of connections, schools, knowing the right people (particularly given say a Kings preball- Norgate, Key and so on...!) ...and other things I have forgotten.

    Gee, this is one to go dig out those academicky articles or smart folk right? I've think I've got Belich on this somewhere...

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    +1

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    Surely, the basic political question, how to organise society, comes down to how do we resolve conflicting interests?

    I want this and you want that, but if I have this you can’t have that and if you have that I can’t have this. What do we do?

    The classic political answer to this question is whoever has the biggest stick gets both this and that.

    In the case of Japan and Germany – two nations with a long tradition of militarism – it sadly took complete devastation to make them realise the futility of weaponised demagoguery.

    Likewise, within industrialised nations, people can be Stepfordishly blind or Bunkerishly contemptuous to the seething underclasses, until a giant fireball of anger and despair erupts on their doorstep – LA in 1992, Paris 2005, London 2011, you name it. They’d either pause and think, or they’ll retreat further into their barb wired comfort blankets.

    With apologies to Paul Weller, I can’t think of a more fitting song to illustrate the divide.

    Sup up your beer and collect your fags,
    There’s a row going on down near Manukau.
    Get out your mat and pray to the West.
    I’ll get out mine and pray for myself.

    Thought you were smart when you took them on,
    But you didn’t take a peep in their artillery room.
    All that rugby puts hairs on your chest.
    What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?

    Hello-Hurrah – what a nice day for the Grammar Rifles.
    Hello-Hurrah – I hope rain stops play for the Grammar Rifles.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    He may be the dream "New Zealand European" but I doubt he's earned the other label.

    I was under the illusion they were the same word.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Bennett wins back Waitakere in judicial recount, Sepuloni down the road.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    New Zealand 'Europeans' call themselves that. They abhor the name given by the
    first settlers for people of European descent *born here* because - dammit man! Our chosen name is what we are, right?

    So, they are permanantly torn-in-half people...with a permanant resentment of uppity 'natives'-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    O shit-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Waitakere is a strange electorate, new lynn nek door , even with mr smarmypants is labour .

    Paula Bennett is a basher and its sad to see her winning that electorate.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 25 26 27 28 29 39 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.