Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: In defence of the centre

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to ,

    Ah, but… who would then clean John Key’s toilet?.

    The exclusive bretheran?

    Aren't they forbidden to share common drains with ordinary mortals? Whatever, I have a horrible feeling that there's a hardcore of Blue devotees out there for whom the experience would be akin to Catholics taking the waters at Lourdes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to ,

    The exclusive bretheran?

    Hmmm, good point. Now who else do we know that doesn't wear the required tie with those smart business suits? Ah yes... Mike, the psycho, Hosking, bog scrubber to the powerful.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Mike, the psycho

    I thought Steve Braunias's having him hide under Key's house was pretty good.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    or say you used to vote Labour but now because (insert inflammatory accusation here) you don't.

    pa-ra-noia

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Steve Braunias's having him hide under Key's house was pretty good

    a fitting grovel

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    here's a timely Salon article .... basically our growing income disparity is a symptom of us not handling technological change well - yes the robots are coming to take away our jobs, and if we can figure out how to spread the resulting wealth, rather than creating a 1% and an underclass they we're all going to be better off - don't we all want a 4 day week?

    There's been similar arguments floating around for a good few years now:

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Meanwhile, the #greatfallofchina seems to be gaining pace: over 8% down today - I wonder if the market propping cash has run out, or the government has just given up on it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Graeber has things to say on this.

    Mightily impressed with Graeber's The Utopia of Rules. He's a bit like John Pilger, in that he's irrefutably insightful with most of his big-picture analyses, while seeming a little naively indulgent of some of his apparent fellow-travelers. For example, Crimethinc Collective, "probably the most inspiring young anarchist propagandists operating in the Situationist tradition today" can appear as a bunch of sterile and privileged lifestylers to someone whose understanding of the Situationists lies outside of academia.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    pa-ra-noia

    Just around the corner from me.
    http://www.maplandia.com/new-zealand/northland/paranui/
    Well, its close.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Incognito, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    My blog is anonymous for several reasons, the most serious is because of family reasons. My immediate family all use pseudonyms online. We don't want to be contacted by a certain relative, and we are easy to find due to our unusual last name. I'm more than happy to email you my name/age/workplace/sexual preference/colour of underwear if it means that much to you.

    Colombia • Since Aug 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich Lock,

    There's been similar arguments floating around for a good few years now:

    Now that's what I'm talking about... (Jeeze, I hate that phrase)
    This is one of the reasons Labour are caught between a Black Hole and a Dark Place, the people who actually labour are few and far between and becoming as rare as dodo puppies. So what do we do with all those unemployable people? this is worth thinking about and is the province of the Labour Party because...
    They shoot horses, don't they?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Aaron Incognito,

    You're fine. Nobody needs to justify pseudonyms.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Aaron Incognito,

    Sorry Aaron, I didn't mean it to be personal. I do think it is important for people to exchange ideas and those ideas do not have to be backed up by anything.
    I guess I am just too tired of the likes of D4J and Undecided Voter and all the rest of those nameless and cowardly mouthpieces of the Nats that whenever I see an anonymous blogger I think the worst.
    Cheers and welcome to PAS.

    eta. What size shoes do you wear?.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Tangata twitch...

    So what do we do with all those unemployable people?

    Hang on a minute - ain't we the new 'Leisured Masses' they promised we'd become, along with the 'Paperless office', back when the machines (and then other countries) started taking our jobs away...
    ...if only National hadn't got rid of night classes and had actually expanded the community education programmes, we may not be where we are now, we might all feel included and possibly in possession of some self worth and self esteem.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    f only National hadn’t got rid of night classes and had actually expanded the community education programmes,

    ...and, perhaps, had encouraged the Telly Barons to screen educational, informative and intellectually stimulating programmes....?

    But no....we have eyes glued to Shorty Street and brains disengaged.

    SNAFU

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Welcome to the future train Ian, take a seat.
    You will be travelling in first class because your ticket says "has a clue". Perhaps those of us in this, relatively, small group may have some influence with the guy in the signal box, who, it may be noted, is not on the train. Hopefully that influence may prevent the whole train, third class included, going to that wonderful camp that tells us that "Work Will Set You Free" above the gate.
    Harsh and abhorrent as that analogy may sound I feel that no warning of our potential future is too extreme.
    Rob Salmond, over on another thread, says "Guess where the rest comes from? The middle.," I disagree. I believe the rest come from a complacent and wilfully ignorant populace dumbed down by celebrity and circus, by envy and false hope. Those that believe that aspiring to be rich is the way to go and bugger those who don't believe.

    ...if only National hadn't got rid of night classes and had actually expanded the community education programmes, we may not be where we are now, we might all feel included and possibly in possession of some self worth and self esteem.

    Why would they want an informed and educated populace? wouldn't they prefer a compliant and ignorant GST paying herd of consumers?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Incognito, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    All good, I can see your point. Thanks for the welcome :)

    Colombia • Since Aug 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    So what do we do with all those unemployable people? this is worth thinking about and is the province of the Labour Party because...
    They shoot horses, don't they?

    This offers one theory. Strays a bit to far over the paranoia line, in my opinon (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

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

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Attachment

    (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    As far as I can see the article doesn't specifically say that and, although the conspiracy theorist in me craves that conclusion, I don't believe that.
    I think it is just a product of the human condition, survival taken to extremes though uncertainty and thus insecurity.
    Sure, no company or manager is going to employ somebody to do a bullshit job if it is not going to improve the bottom line of the company, well they would never admit that would they?. Perhaps the old Empire Building strategy comes into play here, Manager wants to appear productive so hires more people to write TP Reports, later, the company employs an HR person because they seek more efficiency and the HR person recommends laying off staff, the Manager then decides which staff and they will never come from his admin department. Greed or survival, it makes no difference to the overall picture.
    I read somewhere that during the Depression in '29 the unemployment rate was only 25% of the workforce but that was enough to upset the applecart and in the accompanying graph here it is claimed, for the UK, that an underlying 18-20% of the economy is core bullshit.
    I think there is something worth thinking about here but it seems those with the power have other fish to fry, as it were.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Perhaps the old Empire Building strategy comes into play here

    First thing that jumped out at me. There's a lot of departments in organizations that are cost centers in the first place, with negative bottom lines at all times. Excellent places for bullshit jobs. Thinking back, the whole Y2K team in one business I was in was like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Sure, no company or manager is going to employ somebody to do a bullshit job if it is not going to improve the bottom line of the company

    It might improve the bottom line of the company, in isolation, but not add anything useful in totality.

    My first job, we had one secretary with a typewriter to a factory of a hundred people. Sales and marketing material was generally plain old typescript – anything flash would have to go out to specialist printers. Now, sales collateral involves websites, full colour proposals (in one case I saw, perfect bound on glossy paper, like a book) and presentations. That might add value for the business, because they get the deal over a slightly less shiny competitor, but it does nothing for the customer, who is ultimately paying for this.

    Or look at the electricity industry. Dozens of companies competing intensively to supply the same commodity which costs them all roughly the same to acquire. It’s an entirely artificial market – and to a large extent, it *is* by design that government made it work that way. When the fourth National Government set it up that way, did the thought of creating lots of middle class jobs not enter their head?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich Lock,

    This offers one theory. Strays a bit to far over the paranoia line, in my opinon (I don’t (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    We've been conditioned to blame everyone below us for holding us back instead of those above us, for the simple fact that the delusion that anyone can be a CEO just happens to be a very powerful one. And people generally don't like to admit that they've been on a fool's gold rush.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I read somewhere that during the Depression in '29 the unemployment rate was only 25% of the workforce

    Thinking out loud, but the workforce in '29 would have (I assume) mostly been male (with certain industries such as the garment industry in New York/Chicago being exceptions), and family sizes would have been bigger - more children, and potentially more seniors for the family to look after, too (no pensions in those days).

    So 25% unemployment back then would have had a disproportionally greater knock-on effect.

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

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    (I don't (quite) think the system was designed like this by some sort of shadowy billionaire illuminati cabal).

    As far as I can see the article doesn't specifically say that

    No, but it does say: "It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working."

    and: "The ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger".

    and: "it is the peculiar genius of our society that its rulers have figured out a way ... to ensure that rage is directed precisely against those who actually do get to do meaningful work."

    Which is sailing pretty close to the line.

    I think it probably has more to do with having no motivation (and in fact more or less the exact opposite) to challenge natural human psychology and the existing status quo.

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

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    When the fourth National Government set it up that way, did the thought of creating lots of middle class jobs not enter their head?

    I would like to think that the reason for doing it were as stated, increasing competition leading to lower prices, at least that what Bill Birch said at the time and maybe they believed it. It just goes to show that the free market economy that is the backbone of neo-lib economics didn't work that time and, to my knowledge rarely does.
    Personally I think they have no intention of creating jobs, that is for the market. But if those jobs magically appear they will, inevitably, take the credit.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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