Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The crybaby philosopher

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  • Ianmac,

    As for the lower grades allocated to these quota seats; this is simply a recognition that most Māori come from lower socio-economic areas and we know, from the statistics, that grades on average are lower across the board in lower socio-economic areas.

    This is to improve the <b> entry</b> into those special courses. The pass rate once in, has just as high a standard regardless of race.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    "It's utterly bizarre - either she hasn't read it or she can't think straight. It's very very strange. I'm dumbfounded. Sometimes there's just nothing you can say."

    Horse's mouth, etc.

    source

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    The Treaty of Waitangi gave Maori property rights over the land they occupied.
    Incorrect. Maori already had property rights that had nothing to do with tauiwi law. Even if we take Whyte's assertion that property rights were only extant on colonisation by Europeans, it is still wrong because aboriginal title existed regardless of Te Tiriti.

    So, Whyte is not only philosophically challenged, but also misrepresents history.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Petyt,

    As an ‘intellectual’ you’d think Whyte was familiar with what ‘privilege’ means in a social science context. I’d wager when he saw (or heard) the word ‘privilege’ in the criticism he provoked he was thinking only of the generic ‘material privilege’ that he spoke of when often that was probably not what his critics were talking about at all. Of course, he’s been proven disingenuous in that use of the word too.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Will the people of Epsom suck it up and vote for him, regardless?

    Forgive me if I've got it wrong, but aren't the people of Epsom being mustered into voting for this wannabe seatwarmer? Whatever useful idiot status Whyte currently enjoys will surely have evaporated by xmas.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    Tantrums and meltdowns aside, I think that unfortunately Mr Whyte's ignorant point of view about so-called Maori privilege is shared by many Pakeha New Zealanders, and plenty of them may live in Epsom.

    So yes, with that alongside Key's endorsement, I think Epsom will "suck it up" and vote Act, regrettably.

    Whyte's rant is nothing new. It reflects the dearly held Protestant notions of the meritocracy - if you work hard you'll do well, and if you're not doing well you must be doing something wrong.

    On a brighter note - Labour's up in the polls!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Forgive me if I’ve got it wrong, but aren’t the people of Epsom being mustered into voting for this wannabe seatwarmer? Whatever useful idiot status Whyte currently enjoys will surely have evaporated by xmas

    I'm really hoping all the non-Nats vote for Goldsmith. That would screw up National's plan.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I guess the thing that has pissed me off the most about this guy was his claim to represent "white atheists" on the radio the other day - as a white atheist I don't want some know nothing racist twat, whose political philosophy seems to be driven by a belief that Atlas Shrugged is not a work of fiction, claiming to represent me.

    I guess that what's really happened is that last election ACT was taken over by the National right in order to claim their seat, and this time aroiund, now that Libertarianz are defunct, they've been taken over by their culty right

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    What strikes me about his arguments in political philosophy is that they are largely context free ie. he sees only very minimal premises, and as a result of that a rather threadbare conclusion.

    Yes. He's not alone in that -- there are some very agitated libertarians on the local internet clinging to the same thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Incorrect. Maori already had property rights that had nothing to do with tauiwi law. Even if we take Whyte’s assertion that property rights were only extant on colonisation by Europeans, it is still wrong because aboriginal title existed regardless of Te Tiriti.

    Damn right. I'm actually surprised that no one else -- me included -- has picked up on that claim.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to llew40,

    I am starting to think Devoy may have the capacity to do the job, and that is a pleasant surprise. My views on the irregularity of her appointment are unchanged.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    It may be wishful thinking but I don't think this position will work for ACT they may be an insignificant and spent political force and they may be greedy, blue meanies, but the liberals generally don't seem to see themselves as outright racists. The speech may well backfire on their polling and on the Team Key by association.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Dog whistles are supposed to be silent not the two fingered screech.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    The point of the ACT branch of the National party is to give voice to the things the National party wants to do, but cannot risk saying for alienating the less rabid of their fan base. It's the same when they agree to implement "ACT" policies that happen to precisely match older and less electable National Party policies that they "dropped".

    Also, it's half a seat for free. If they could get away with giving ten seats to ACT they would.

    So this isn't a strange game of gathering up the racist votes, it's policy in the waiting. Don Brash wasn't an anomaly, the people behind the Nacts know better than you do about facts and things. They know better about buying food than poor people. They know better about educating children than mere teachers. They know more about healthcare than doctors. And they know more about dangerous legal precedents than some Māori. Jamie White's just making the mistake of saying so out loud.


    It's because we're all jealous. Envious of their hard-earned success. Can't even think strait, you see. Obviously the best way to raise incomes (of the select few) is to drive down wages (of everyone else). Makes perfect sense, you just don't say the bits that the lesser folk can't bear.

    People vote for them, really, because "well, yes, but we're doing alright". The harder the Nacts kick the poor, the more their voters perceive themselves as being lucky by comparison. The whole point of even having a middle class is to shield real power from the masses.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I've just discovered the existence of a newly registered party (as of 24 July) called 1Law4All. Le sigh. Needless to say, they are in agreement with Whyte.

    If their Facebook page is anything to go by, it's very much a party for angry middle-aged people who have good lives but are convinced that undeserving people have it better. At the moment the party is mysteriously faceless, with the website proclaiming, "Our party leader will be announced at a later time."

    But the thing I'm most interested in knowing - is the spelling of their party name inspired by '90s text message styles or personalised number plates?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I think they're trying to be down with the kids. I actually read once on one of those sites a sort of strategy that involved attempting to recruit the grandkids (presumably the ones over 18). Because there's nothing that shapes the views of young people like their racist grandparents.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Pete, in reply to MxDEJ,

    I would turn that logic around a bit. Act have shown themselves to be so loopy and swivel-eyed for the last, well, decade that their leader has to work harder to convince the voting public of NZ that he can actually be rational rather than Randian
    Pasport pilferers, perk buster porkers and individuals who didn't come down the river in the last (banana?cabbage? I forget) boat have demonstrated that ACT have been consistently more irrational than rational. Or at least more criminal.

    Given that, why on earth should we take anything they say seriously?

    Since Apr 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to william blake,

    but the liberals generally don’t seem to see themselves as outright racists. The speech may well backfire on their polling and on the Team Key by association.

    Agreed. The people devoutly defending Whyte in the internet public square at the moment aren’t mainstream centre-right. His own Epsom candidate has seemed somewhat ambivalent too.

    Whyte has fired up the base, no doubt about that. But being an Act member is probably like being part of a crowd where everyone watches Netflix via a VPN -- you start to assume it's normal when it actually isn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Whyte needed to study some history and sociology along with philosophy.

    However, I agree with Tussock that ACT’s role is to pretend to force the Nats into passing legislation that they really wanted to pass but didn’t dare propose themselves. We’ve see that ACT’s coalition “conditions” last election ensured an embarrassing and ultimately very damaging failure of our climate change policies, and now we see that Fish & Game is to be emasculated at ACT’s bidding; something that the Minister of Conservation would clearly love to do himself but now doesn’t dare.

    Imagine the conversations between ACT and the Nats: “What policy would you like us to insist on next, Johnny?” Maybe removing affirmative action for Maori was next on the Nats' hidden agenda.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I can't decide whether I'd rather they went the full contrails and Celts monty, thus alienating 99% of the electorate, or toned it down, stopped contributing to racial disharmony and got more influence as a result. It's easier to be academic about it when I'm not the one facing negative stereotypes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • kw, in reply to tussock,

    Yup, last time all the Nats got out of Act was half a seat and a policy laundering mechanism. And this time, if Epsom voters do as requested, they might still get nothing more than David Seymour. Arguably, if they got Whyte, they'd be even worse off, because he does seem to be a fairly loose cannon.

    But ultimately it's not up to Epsom if Jamie Whyte gets in. It's up to all of us, because coattailing is a provision that's very easy for voters to reject. It may very well be one reason Act only got one seat last time, because their party vote share was abysmal. Last election - I am nerdy enough to have looked this up - Act's highest party vote count was in Epsom, and it was still under four figures. In the Maori seats - they will probably be pleased to know their disdain is mutual - their vote share ranged from 46 down to 23 for a princely total of 230 votes across 7 seats. They didn't get over 100 votes in any of the South Auckland seats, and hardly did better in the South Island. Andrew might have some thoughts about that, but my perspective is that they just don't try hard enough. This is true about most of the minor parties, who don't bother us much down here. (This is also true of National, and don't think I'm complaining.)

    Because the party's so small, Voting for Act on the party side of the ballot this year is really simply a vote for Jamie Whyte. Would you bet on that working for them?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    belief that Atlas Shrugged is not a work of fiction

    He may have even been able to read it to the end! … god knows I couldn’t! others of Ayn’s tomes were more readable. I hear The Fountain Head is better literarily. I might just wait till the movie, or not.
    I guess this thought could have be given light by anyone, independent of their circumstance, tho’ I’d guess it more likely to be aired by a particular kind/type of person. Who probably needs thought police (shiver) ’cause they seem incapable of policing their own thoughts and incapable of keeping mum.
    But I s'ppose he's in the "political area". cough, cough..

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to andin,

    I might just wait till the movie

    We have Netflix, and it keeps popping up on there as a suggested popular choice for me. I've been half-tempted a couple of times just to see what an awful trainwreck* of a movie it is, but I'm not entirely sure there's enough alcohol in the world for me to cleanse my brain afterwards.

    *see what I did there? Boom, nailed it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’ve been posting this around all over the place lately, and can’t remember where it came to me from (was it here? If so, oops, sorry.) but it’s relevant and I really like it so I’m going to post it again.

    I originally saw that on The Guardian, here, back in June. Could have been where this wave came from, although I think they've been doing 'fear of a brown planet' since 2011.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks, in reply to Michael J. Parry,

    A real New Zealander looks and sounds like Anand Satyanand - well one of them does anyway...

    Cox’s Creek • Since Apr 2011 • 60 posts Report Reply

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