Several opinion pieces have appeared in the mainstream media in recent days exhorting Kiwis to vote in next month’s election. With choice phrases like “not voting won’t solve anything”, “the 2014 result was determined by the people who turned up” and “Voting builds our political power”, all mainstream propaganda organs are doing their best to get you to consent to the status quo.
Because that is all that voting is – you giving your consent for things to carry on pretty much exactly as they already are. The political class will interpret the fact that you voted as a sign that you are content with the overall system – and therefore as a sign that nothing need be changed.
And so, your vote has a zero percent chance of changing anything. You might as well dance naked in a thunderstorm praying for the lightning gods to strike down the enemies of the nation.
How the country will be run for the next three years has already been decided by the mutual agreement of the sort of person who politicians really do listen to – rich old people, who have got together long ago with those politicians and hashed out the precise details of how things are going to be, whether the masses like it or not.
If you’re not a wealthy Baby Boomer, the politicians couldn’t give a fuck what you think. But they do want your consent for what they’re going to do to you.
If they don’t have that then they run the risk of provoking the rise of some kind of revolutionary movement that might actually make a difference to how society is run. Such as: a movement that campaigned on an expensive universal basic income, or on an equally expensive capital gains tax, or on an immigration policy that reflected the will of all Kiwis instead of just multiple property owners and those looking for cheap labour.
And this is the reason why there is all the propaganda right now to get people to vote. Voting in a democratic system is the same as you giving your consent to how the country is governed – and to the people who own both sides of the political system, the consent of the population they’re exploiting is the only thing left that they don’t already have.
If you do vote, then politicians of both the left and right wings of the ruling party tend to naturally assume that you’re more or less happy with the direction of things.
Knowing in advance that the winner of the election is going to ignore your will in favour of those who have money, your only means of protest is to not vote at all. Past a certain level of disenfranchisement, the only action one can take to affect the system is to not vote. A refusal to vote is the only way your voice can really be heard.
If the turnout rate in next month’s General Election was less than 50%, the measured degree of public discontent would be too great to just shrug off, it would then become possible for some hard questions to be asked about the direction the country was going. The mainstream media would be forced to ask whether or not the political system was really a democracy or just an oligarchy masquerading as one.
The higher it is, the more likely it becomes that political discourse is replaced with photos of spaghetti on pizzas, videos of dropping in to London for a sister’s wedding, and witch-hunts against outsider candidates.
You can help force New Zealand politicians to take the will of New Zealanders seriously by withholding your vote this September 23rd.
You’ve got the power to choose who will rule the country after September 23rd – we’re all waiting on your input! Your vote will help elect a Prime Minister and ruling party. You will have a range of choices of both electorate and party candidates – some voters will have over 25 options. That’s democracy, right? The people choose, right? Not really.
The tricky thing is that your input regarding the selection of the candidates is not asked for. The process that led to either Bill English or Andrew Little becoming one of your only two choices for Prime Minister is not under your influence, not even in the slightest.
As Richard Goode of Not A Party pointed out in a recent address, New Zealand has had either a National Party Prime Minister or a Labour Party Prime Minister for the past 80 years.
And you don’t get to select either of those. You get to vote for one list of people that you have zero input into, or another list of people that you have zero input into.
So what your vote amounts to, as an elector, is little more than a ceremonial acknowledgement of the completion of a process that started a long time before election day. Like the Queen cutting a ribbon to open a new library, it’s merely a show for the cameras.
The process that matters – where the political power is – is the process that puts a person into the position of leading their party in the first place. And the Establishment will have seen to it, as it does every other time, that both the National leader and the Labour leader are their puppets.
So it doesn’t matter if you vote for the left wing or the right wing of the shitbird – the leaders of both wings have been selected by the people who really have all the power in society, and it isn’t you.
That’s why Andrew Little and Bill English are indistinguishable when it comes to several major social issues. On the issue of cannabis law reform, Little is no less conservative than English, constantly harping on about brain damage, and the Labour Party policy webpage makes no mention of cannabis law reform whatsoever (although funding a motion-capture studio in Dunedin was important enough to mention).
In the end, we shouldn’t expect Little and English to be distinguishable. What the rulers of this country want is to frighten the markets as little as possible, and that means reducing democracy to a sham election between two candidates pre-selected for their total absence of any capacity for novel thought.
Ultimately, the people who benefit from the status quo have far too much invested in it to allow it to be upset by plebs like you!
Not even voting for a third party is possible. Watching the Green Party mortgage their soul at ever-increasing rates of interest over the past 18 years taught us one thing: a maverick third party can only win power in our system to the degree that it makes itself indistinguishable from those who already have it.
That the country will be led by someone who sees you as a unit of livestock to be milked for productivity and taxes is a given. It might appear that the only reasonable course of action was to refuse to vote and to work on building a parallel society away from the gaze of psychopaths beholden to international banking or ideological interests.
Many young Kiwis have felt a sense of relief after Julie Anne Genter and The Opportunities Party decided to champion cannabis law reform. Finally it seemed like the political class were going to grant the New Zealand people some of their rights back. But, as this essay will examine, dealing with politicians is never that simple.
Both Genter and TOP broke with the New Zealand political convention of treating cannabis law reform as a taboo subject earlier this year as the foreshadow of the General Election loomed, incentivising new policy directions that attracted media attention.
Both of them also broke with convention by bringing logic and evidence to this discussion, instead of the usual fear-mongering and hysteria. As has long been argued by the present author (most notably in the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook), once the narrative on cannabis shifted from lies to truth, the days of prohibition were numbered.
Once the sheeple of New Zealand came to realise that cannabis was a medicine and not really the devil’s lettuce, it didn’t seem right to put people in cages for it anymore, and that led directly to the need for law reform being taken seriously by everyone today.
So does this mean that New Zealand is moving out of the Puritanical mindset when it comes to psychoactive substances and will now be discussing the issue sensibly?
Of course not! Morgan wants to put the drinking age back up to 20.
Even though his entire message is that prohibition of cannabis isn’t working, and even though it’s widely understood that prohibition of alcohol didn’t work, voting for cannabis law reform through TOP is also going to be a vote for some Kiwis to lose the freedom to consume alcohol.
Some people might not think too much of this, but Morgan’s actions here reveal the strategy that politicians have used to seize control of the plebs throughout all times and places.
Politicians do this by offering you some of your freedoms back at the cost of others. Their trick is to always take away more freedoms than they offer, but to present it in a way that tricks the plebs into thinking that it’s the other way around.
Another example of it also pertains to cannabis: the fact that almost every cannabis user in the country who has a driver’s licence is also a criminal, because it is a crime to drive with any amount of THC in the system, and anyone who has smoked cannabis within the last six weeks will have THC in their system—even if they are not at all impaired.
If the politicians decided to legalise cannabis tomorrow they could simply bring in more punitive consequences for driving a motor vehicle, such as regular checkpoints with saliva swabs to detect for THC in the system.
Enough checkpoints and saliva swabs and it simply wouldn’t matter that cannabis was technically fully legal—the degree of damage done to the population by the state would remain the same. It could potentially even be increased.
And then we’d end up like the states of Australia and America that have “decriminalised cannabis” but made it criminal to drive with THC in the system, impaired or otherwise.
Either that, or we’ll lose our rights to speak freely on the Internet. It’s possible that the wholesale criminalisation of the young that came about as a consequence of the cannabis laws will be replicated with criminal trials for “hate speech” and “harmful digital communication”.
In any case, we can guarantee that the freedom of politicians to lie to the nation—and to cause them great suffering as a consequence of the despair and confusion—will not be impeded by anything.
There was some excitement in the New Zealand cannabis community this week after the news that the Government would remove restrictions on doctors who wanted to prescribe cannabidiol (CBD) in the form of an oil. It was the first admission from the Government, ever, that cannabis actually had medicinal value, and for this reason it was significant.
Those of us who are not enamoured of politicians are naturally eager to point out that, after twenty years of sick Kiwis being completely ignored when it came to the cannabis question, progress is only now being made in the foreshadow of a general election.
Neither are we surprised to see hordes of Green Party hacks swarm the battlefields of social media to play down the magnitude of this change. The consensus tactic appears to be describing the changes as “not medicinal cannabis”, despite the fact that CBD is the component of cannabis that has shown by far the greatest medicinal promise.
After all, it’s important for the Green Party – now that the will of Kiwis for some cannabis law reform is undeniably clear – to craft a narrative of having been at the forefront of cannabis law reform all along.
Politicians being what they are, the Greens will deny at all costs the truth: that they sucked up cannabis law reform votes from 1999 and gave back nothing but contempt, until a few months before Peter Dunne (of all people) changed the law himself, without Green Party input.
All of this shitfighting distracts, and is intended to distract, from the fact that if the Greens do get into Government and change the cannabis laws to something intelligent and reasonable, they will, at the same time, make some other aspect of legislation stupid and unreasonable – and this is the necessary flipside of the deal.
The Government giveth; the Government taketh away. This is the nature of politics. The Government never simply gives freedoms back to the people it manages.
We are losing rights now, and will continue to lose them into the future, because the Government and all parties running for Government are in agreement about taking away our rights to use tobacco.
Many people have been able to predict that we will get legal cannabis at the same time as we lose legal tobacco. The rhetoric from the Government is for a “Smokefree New Zealand” by 2025, and we know that they will pursue this futile goal (previously described by this column as a sadistic idea dreamed up by morons) with the same mindless zealotry that they did the goal of making New Zealand cannabis-free.
And it will be equally as futile. Tobacco may be less fun to smoke than cannabis, but people still do it – not because they are “addicted”, as our moronic mental health establishment would have it, but because tobacco has a strong medicinal effect to people suffering from a wide range of mental problems, in particular psychosis and/or excess anxiety brought about from complications of trauma.
Statists and control freaks everywhere are mewling: “But we used to think tobacco was medicinal, but now science has advanced and now we know better.”
But this was exactly what they said when they made cannabis illegal.
Cannabis has been widely used by humans for centuries, and the propaganda against it early this century was all based on a two-pronged attack: first, deny any and all benefits of the substance, no matter how obvious; and second, attribute any and all detriments to the substance, no matter how peripherally related.
And so, in much the same way that we just had nearly a century of hearing that cannabis causes psychosis and schizophrenia and brain tumours and amotivational syndrome and blah blah blah, and how all of the positive effects that people had noticed from cannabis use were really just delusions brought about by the psychotogenic effects of the plant, now we’re going to hear all the same rubbish about tobacco.
Mental health patients will continue to tell politicians and doctors that tobacco use significantly alleviates their suffering, as it has done for mentally ill people for centuries, and they will increasingly be ignored as the devotion to the righteousness of the crusade against tobacco overrides all logic and reason.
We’re sure we banned the right thing this time!
Of course, at some point in the future we’ll get legal tobacco back, because the suppressed mental health benefits of its use will at some point be rediscovered, and then another campaign of spending decades trying to talk basic commonsense to goat-stubborn morons and brainwashed doctors will begin.
And when that process ends, we will lose legal alcohol, probably on the grounds that it causes too much violence and brain damage. At this point, the massive social and emotional benefits of alcohol will be suppressed and forgotten.
The end of authoritarianism.
It’s coming sooner than you think. Larken Rose says
Growth and progress often require experiencing discomfort, even pain. This is true of both physical and emotional growth. Often the things that grow people are pretty horrendous, and naturally people usually try to avoid them. There are exceptions, however. For example, a lot of people PAY a personal trainer to push the person to work out so hard that it hurts, during the work out and the next day. Of course, they do this for the long-term benefit (unless they’re just masochists). There is even an intellectual equivalent, where people PAY to have someone teach them difficult concepts that require serious mental effort to learn and understand, which along the way often involves mental exhaustion and discomfort. Again, people do this for the sake of the long-term results.
When it comes to philosophy, however, not many people ask someone else–much less pay someone else–to mess up their comfortable paradigms. The main reason is because, unlike with a gym membership or a college course, they don’t know that there is a positive outcome to be had. For someone to question what he knows and believes about truth and morality feels inherently scary and wrong. It basically amounts to hearing, “Consider accepting and embracing ideas that you now think are stupid or evil.”
The best solution I can see to this, when it comes to voluntaryism, is for anarchists to continually assure the statists they talk to, “Yes, I know it feels weird and uncomfortable thinking about a stateless society–I’ve been there myself–but you really will be glad you did in the long run.”
In short, the “Red Pill” needs a better ad campaign.
Yes, the “red pill” (or, in Not A Party‘s case, the “blood orange pill”, needs better marketing. And Larken Rose is leading the way. He’s actually doing a whole lot more than just continually assuring statists with the above one-liner. He’s organising and running a series of two day workshops called Candles in the Dark.
“Candles in the Dark” is a two-day event designed to teach voluntaryists/anarchists how to be far more effective in talking to their statist friends, co-workers, family members, etc., using techniques that, by taking into account the quirks and complexities of human psychology, give a far better chance of getting others to understand and accept the concepts of self-ownership, non-aggression, and a stateless society, and a far better chance of helping others to escape their own authoritarian indoctrination.
The first Candles in the Dark Seminar is in Phoenix, Arizona on the weekend of 6-7 May. You can register here. Larken Rose is the biggest voluntaryist activist out there, but of course he needs money to live and make it his full-time job to spread the word, so please consider registering to go along if there’s a seminar near you. Or buy his book, The Most Dangerous Superstition.
(Or you can simple download a copy for free here. There is no copyright on anarchist literature. You don’t need permission to copy Larken’s work. Or to copy my work. Or any anarchist’s work. But don’t be a dick. If you can afford it, try to flick us some koha. Always give due acknowledgement and attribute your source. And try to notify peeps that you’ve copied their work. They’ll be flattered.)
If a person is slapped awake for even the briefest of moments they might come to look around and ask why a parasitic class of politicians wields power of life and death over them despite a total lack of historical evidence that they are wise enough for the responsibility or even intelligent enough to comprehend that it exists.
The truth is that the ruling classes maintain their position in every time and place in the same simple way, and have done so ever since the first chimpanzee established a dominance hierarchy in the primeval jungle: by taking rights away from the people they rule, and then giving some of them back in exchange for submission.
This essay will describe the method of enslavement known as “democracy” – a method that has reached acute levels of sophistication in the modern West.
As described above, the essential pattern is bipartite: first, take rights away from the people; second, promise to give some of those rights back to the people in exchange for their submission.
What’s crucial to understand is that the relationship described here is that of the rulers towards the ruled. Which flavour of political party the rulers use to swindle the rights of the ruled away from them is not relevant, as all political parties are tools of the ruling class.
Any political party is capable of taking rights away and giving rights back, because in a democratic system the masses have submitted to the rulers of that party. All that matters is that more rights are taken away than are given back.
This can be seen when the National Party takes away people’s rights to use medicinal cannabis, but gives them back some of their right to keep the money they have earned.
The Labour and Green Parties, by contrast, will promise to give you your rights to use medicinal cannabis back, but they will take away some of your right to keep the money you have earned.
And both parties will team up to give you back your rights to have sex with people of the same gender as you, but will team up to take away your rights to recreational use of tobacco and alcohol. At least today – it was the other way around 80 years ago and probably will be again in 80 years’ time.
The trick is that as long as both wings of the political machine take away more rights than what they give back, the machine itself can stay in power forever, because there will always be an unjust deficit of rights somewhere and therefore always grounds for a politician to come in and start promising things.
Helen Clark, for example, knew that she could not make any progress on cannabis law reform between 1999 and 2008, because then the Labour Party would not be able to gain votes by promising to look at reforming the medicinal cannabis laws in 2017.
Likewise, Andrew Little in 2017 knows that, if he is to be elected to power, he must make the smallest possible amount of progress on the issue.
This is why he only makes vague mumblings about sorting out medicinal cannabis, but will not under any circumstances discuss the incredible success of the Colorado model, and how adopting it in NZ would save us $400,000,000 per year.
That is something that has to be left to Jacinda Ardern’s Seventh Labour Government in 2035 or so. If the Labour Party gave too many rights back to the people too quickly, they would lose the leverage that they are currently exploiting to stay in power.
Unfortunately, New Zealanders (like voters everywhere) reward this kind of carry-on by continuing to vote for whichever of its number the ruling class puts forward to rule them that electoral cycle.
After all, it doesn’t matter which party a politician claims to represent – as long as they are from the ruling class, nothing will change.
It can confidently be predicted that many New Zealanders will vote for the Green Party this year for the sake of relief from cannabis prohibition, and that little thought will be given to the people who will lose rights under a Labour-Greens Government – namely, taxpayers.
And it can be confidently predicted that the National Party will rely on the outrage of taxpayers to get back into power in 2026.
Likewise, it can be predicted that any rights that Kiwis can claw back from the ruling class regarding the use of cannabis will be outweighed by the loss of rights to access alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational alternatives.
As before; so after – the Hermetic axioms apply to time as well as space.
Not A Party
9 March 2017
Victory For NAPathy!
Hey look. Another landslide win for Not A Party (NAP). A 70% non-turnout. Who could have ever predicted it?
The official results of the Mt. Albert by-election were announced by the Electoral Commission today. On hearing the news of Not A Party’s second major coup, NAP candidate Simon Smythe responded, “What happened? Oh right. Makes sense. I’m thinking of making a nice roasted vegetable salad for dinner. Who wants some?”
The Saturday before last 13,763 voters went through the motions of Active Participation Fantasy Syndrome in the Mt. Albert by-election. NAP did its best to come last, but says thanks to the 19 cards who did vote for them as it resulted in a small trouncing of some communists. What hasn’t been mentioned at all is how 31,125 registered non-voters came out in support of Not A Party and steered clear of the polling booths altogether, exercising their democratic right to do whatever they wanted instead. Once the 19 votes for NAP were added to the 31,125 non-votes for NAP it made very little difference. Such is the process of voting.
Just as it was in Mt. Roskill last year, so has this been a delightful encouragement for proponents of a post-democratic New Zealand. The people of Mt. Albert have stayed home in force and conscientiously shunned the endorsement required to validate this “safe Labour seat”. How promising it is to see so many enlightened free thinkers non-voting for what they believe in. The future might not be all doom gloom and ginger ale after all. Hazzah!
If we look at the 13,763 who did vote and compare them to the 60,531 who live in Mt. Albert, there’s your representation right there folks. What kind of mandate is that for the pen and sword wielding ruling classes to continue darkening our lives with their Roman attitude towards population control? Long may the avalanche of sensibility and the fine show of being excellent to each other continue and be present at the upcoming general election in September.
NAP would also like to congratulate Hacienda Ardennes on her new job with the United Nations.
Having a by-election so close to an election stabs a thorn in my side every time. Can’t we just let everything slide in the interim? I don’t see any panic in the streets of Mt. Albert from constituents running around crying out about how everything is coming to a grinding halt without a colossal in charge. Have you been to Spain lately? Surprise! It’s still there.
But anyway, it’s happening. So here’s my bile-election promise. If I’m elected I’ll gut the electoral office and turn it into a soup kitchen. Not A Party are great at deconstruction.
If you don’t like this idea, don’t get mad. Just don’t vote for it. However, if you vote against it by voting for someone else, you should do so with the understanding that you helped legitimise something you didn’t want. That’s the beauty of democracy.
Why a soup kitchen?
Because cooking a feed for the local hungry folk is respectable, compassionate, and most of all, it’s achievable. And before anyone tries to get all governmenty about it, know this. Any talk of means testing for a toasted sandwich will be met with a well earned clap of derisive laughter. If anyone’s hungry enough to walk through the shame cloud entrance of a begrudging government soup kitchen, they already passed the means test. Do we think people are going to say they’re hungry when they’re not hungry? If they do they are obviously suffering from mental illness and should be offered a food immediately. Pakoras and sabji stat!
What’s in it for me if I’m not hungry?
Good question. Glad you asked. When a grimy footpath reprobate asks you for change, you can direct them to the soup kitchen instead of giving them money. Money that you’re worried they’ll only spend on drugs … because that’s probably what you would do if you were living on a footpath.
Why a “guerrilla” soup kitchen?
Because regardless of our commitment to serving fresh food cooked with safe handling practices in a clean kitchen, we refuse to pay any tithes to the local protection racket, aka Auckland City Council. Threats of being stood over by the latest stand over gang should never be complied with. Cowering only encourages them.
It’s long past time politicians started serving the people. Not A Party are here, happy to oblige.
Hello New Zealand.
My name is Simon Smythe. I put the myth in blacksmith. And the sigh in the unquestioned acceptance of a centralised government. Putting myself forward as the NAP candidate (Not A Party) in the upcoming Mt. Albert by-election happened yesterday about 4:20 pm in the convivial atmosphere of the Manners Mall Electoral Commission Office.
My motivation for hurling myself into the bi-elecectory stoplight comes from my humbly magnanimous sense of community spirit when it comes to reminding people of their democratic right to not vote if they don’t want to.
We hear whisperings on the winds that enough is enough. Which is true in itself because enough is neither too little nor too much. But let’s not go crazy and fool ourselves into thinking that voting will have any effect on this phenomenon of enough being enough. The sentiment leads to other sentiments like… ‘somebody should do something!’ and… ‘who let this happen?’
When we vote we let this happen.
The platform I’m campaigning on (with Richard Goode aka Agent Orange as my invaluable campaign manager) is all about representing the accused and maligned among us who are so often dismissed, called apathetic, and snidely looked down upon because we actively decline that most generous of invitations to vote.
As a dedicated and responsible non-voter I stand, with the rest of the NAP squad, at the vanguard of a serious and compassionate movement to illuminate and eliminate the irrational attacks of sanctimonious guilt and shame so often aimed at today’s forward thinking non-voter. The youth of today are just slackers. Somebody should make them do something.
Seriously though. The truth is, if you do vote you have no business complaining after the fact when your team lost. That’s just bad sportsmanship.
So basically our message is this:
#DontVote2017. Voting is NOT a victimless crime. And have an A1 day.
Your Representative: Simon Colin Smythe.