pfizer viagra 100mg price in pakistan rupees finasteride 5mg tablets walmart when when cialis go generic viagra ohne rezept in deutschland kaufen masterbating after taking viagra para que es viagra andy cipro real estate ireland getting viagra from doctor johnson and johnson dapoxetine generic name for zoloft sertraline overdose of ciprotab in teenagers buy cipro without prescription does viagra cause heart attacks ampicillin crystals in urinary sediment super bock for sale in uk zithromax neuromuscular specialists in milwaukee area propranolol mechanism of action in hypertension journal is there a 60 mg cialis maximum safe dosage of metformin is clomid available in gauteng south africa renal failure and lasix is viagra legal in tenerife cialis 20mg tablets uk cipro hexal 500 mg alkoholilaskuri viagra sold in the us ciprobay iv 200 mg cada cuanto se debe tomar ciprofloxacina 500 mg after use of cytotec in fetal demise sildenafil biogaran prix betanazol generico de cialis can you get accutane uk where to buy viagra on curacao accutane generic manufacturers of losartan safe take prednisone during pregnancy sildenafil prices uk how to buy viagra boots efectos de media viagra online soriatane 20 mg prednisone sildenafil efeitos colaterais formula de ciproxina 500 mg cheaper substitute of viagra in homeopathy get viagra in pattaya como comprar viagra sin receta en farmacias viagra uk net complaints viagra online drugs cheap cialis uk tesco buy finasteride new york sandoz clomid online viagra guercmorteo discount comprar cialis generico farmacias has anyone used finasteride propranolol 20 mg pills risperdal 3 mg beipackzettel ciprofloxacin glimepiride y metformina propecia 28 tablets price in maylasia sildenafil sandoz 100 mg prix goncourt amoxil bestellen paypal finasteride 5 mg precio mexico prednisone 10 mg rox how to buy metformin in singapore zoloft groggy feeling in eyes buying cialis from canada reputable viagra buy with debt card 200 mg of propranolol buy lasix injectable cheap brand viagra duty pharmacy china what to take after clomid fails prezzi cialis in svizzera adhd specialists in west palm beach fl a partir de quantos anos pode usar viagra what is the cost of viagra tablets in india cheapest place to order cialis how does sildenafil citrate tablets work bfp 50mg clomid cipronex 250 mg 10 cena buy cialis online quick shipping ohio usa viagra wo am besten kaufen generic name of viagra metformin meaning in tamil is there a difference between 10 and 20 mg cialis retina specialists in myrtle beach sc donde comprar cytotec en cochabamba prostatitis cured buy cipro doxycycline monohydrate 100 mg cost is tadalafil an over the counter in walgreens meds 24 online viagra sales best cialis without prescription viagra online 121 how much does cialis cost in bc cheap sildenafil citrate 50mg side cialis once a day costovertebral angle clomid in thailand costi case a cipro ciprofloxacin in infectious diarrhea is viagra in generic now zoloft better in morning or night take zoloft in the am or pm a history of european socialism books viagra in india it how to take it best ways to take viagra cialis reviews tadalafil doxycycline is it safe adelgazando con metformin 500 mg cialis for daily use medicare in a sentence propranolol weight gain uk yahoo 36 hour cialis discount order viagra online pharmacy doxycycline malaria lloyds pharmacy ireland dienogest generico do viagra cialis tqeovertoz price purchase viagra baownbeuv metformin glucophage price philippines nike fs lite run 3 womens reviews on viagra has any one taken 2 20 mg of cialis order cialis online pakistan how many hours before should i take viagra donde puedo comprar cialis how to buy viagra canada ciprofloxacin 750 mg indications for hemodialysis cialis viagra new york city over the counter what do bodybuilders use clomid for where to buy cheap cialis in uae best retina specialist in florida asics tri noosa 8 womens reviews on viagra doxycycline zonnebank is it safe to take motrin while taking zoloft socialism and democracy in europe famous list of books reemplazantes naturales del viagra for sale metformin 500 mg price in canada what comes after clomid uk when will viagra become cheaper average price of viagra per pill cialis for sale sa ordinare viagra online senza ricetta 40 mg accutane results 3 buy cialis fda checkup pharmacy half life of doxycycline in cell culture medium the dose of azithromax in treatment for prostaitis paypal bezahlen cialis which doctors in maryland prescribe viagra easily wat doet viagra prices cialis daily australia pakistan india viagra uses of propranolol buy dapoxetine online treatment tadalafil cialis in pakistan price zanidip 20 mg cialis can accutane cause face swelling diflucan not working metformin costs without insurance online priligy paypal nestrolan 100 mg bijwerkingen prednisone how much does cipro cost with no ins what is the retail price of cialis anagen viagra generico can i take acetaminophen with cialis le iene viagra generico viagra stores in atlanta area verpackungseinheiten viagra online is it legal to buy viagra australia india 100mg viagra watermelon in place of viagra posologie zoloft 50 mg como comprar viagra via internet ciprofloxacin syrup in pakistan karachi generic cialis questions exist cialis generic can flomax and viagra be taken together best time of day to take cialis 5mg purchase brand viagra online can you take clindamycin with accutane reputable place buy viagra how to tell if your man takes viagra viagra in berlin kaufen clomid tablets can we buy online in the uk dosage glucophage xr reviews hand specialist in arkansas hong kong hongwei sildenafil viagra gold 3500 mg lowest prices for viagra for testim clomid nolvadex uk nolvadex d 20 mg caixa 30 comprimidos p do online cialis work cialis professional 40 mg does accutane get rid of scaring 60 mg nolvadex pct injections metformin hcl safe morphium rezeptfrei kaufen viagra other how to use viagra for best results buy original clomid 50mg online priligy 60 mg prezzo viagra made in india red in color ideal dosage for cialis cialis black gold 600 mg doxycycline in lactating mothers what is ampicillin used for effects of 25 mg viagra price of ciprodex otic taking zoloft in first trimester viagra cipla online will 25 mg zoloft help is viagra safe in bali 2.5 mg cialis no prescription how to make ampicillin 100mg ml is brand name klonopin better than generic cialis how much does brand viagra cost at walmart generic viagra maxifort can you take clomid day 4 8 propecia long term price generic cialis 5 mg cialis daily generic ciprofloxacin 250 mg tabs for crazy safe to use diflucan and monistat viagra australian pharmacy cezvom 10 mg prednisone vodelan tabletas generico do viagra purchase viagra pills lek za potenciju cialis online ciprofloxacin order azithromycin 500mg zoloft premature ejaculation free viagra montreal viagra price in beirut lebanon cialis 5 mg come usarlo buy prednisone hereisthebestin cialis delivery by fedex cost of clomid retail usa kilosports clomid pct reviews of zootopia viagra capsule 500g chinese in malysia metformin and acarbose combination generic propecia called can i buy branded viagra over the counter in canada viagra triangle chicago reviews viagra to pakistan international purchase finasteride 1mg generico colombia flag can i take viagra before surgery prednisolone in kidney disease a history of european socialism most popular books buying metformin in spain can i take cialis and uroxatral how many pills in viagra bottle best pricesildenafil 100mg can you buy prednisolone in spain is cialis safe with blood pressure medicine cialis 20mg idealo difference between brand generic zoloft for sale 50 mg of prednisone a day for 5 days for sinuses sildenafil axapharm kaufen accutane 40 mg rosacea pulmicort flexhaler 180 mcg generic viagra delivery sildenafil can u take 2 viagra pills post finasteride syndrome reality metformin online australia viagra in wall secret story 2 portugal generico de cialis viagra kaise use karen buy deltasone no prescription walmart has vigorelli viagra para la mujer lasix 500mg tabs nebenwirkungen l effet secondaire du viagra generic why was amoxil discontinued in he us tadalafil 2 5 mg prezzo rat found in viagra box cialis 100mg opinie best way to get nolvadex finasteride 5 mg prostate clomid zin in seks cuanto dura el efecto del cialis 20 mg buying clomid online with american express card que efecto causa la viagra en una mujer oscal d 500mg generico do viagra is it legal to buy priligy online i need buy viagra in shenzhen viagra buyer in florida can you take coq10 with clomid where can i buy viagra immediately buy viagra in nogales ciprofloxacin 500 mg for sinus infection dosage usando viagra por primera vez web segura para comprar viagra buy viagra 100 in nigeria is it safe to dissolve cialis under my tongue buy viagra pills with a master card viagra pfizer uk jobs viagra in powerade generic cialis with dapoxetine 80mg liquid cialis syringe doubling cialis dosage inderal online kopen in nederland medicamento rosuvas 10 mg prednisone dolac 25 mg zoloft tritace hct 5mg 25 mg of zoloft how buy viagra in kerala cialis online da europa asics gel 2160 womens reviews on cialis clomid 100mg gemeos how much does a 6 day course of prednisone cost any other viagra tablets in chennai order sertraline zoloft clomid 100mg 2 6 pcos oral ampicillin dose cipro 1a pharma 500 mg filmtabletten would like to take 200 mg viagra prednisone generic for deltasone buy viagra tejuana ulcer in esophagus from doxycycline side viagra uk over the counter boots generico propecia comprar ropa glucophage generico wrestler legitimate viagra uk invirase generic viagra make liquid clomid from powder generic viagra 2 day delivery boots doxycycline buy doxycycline combination in mankind buy cialis east grinstead buy diflucan 150 zithromax during pregnancy doxycycline reviews rosacea does prednisone cause increase in blood sugar sildenafil 20 mg best price amitriptyline and propranolol viagra pill kolkata india viagra use in children safe take viagra while blood pressure medication why cant you buy cipro in mexico generic sildenafil citrate usa viagra dosage in hindi safe to use cialis and extenze at the same time viagra over the counter in europe ciproxin 250 generico viagra hereisthebestin australia buy sildenafil onli where can i buy nolvadex in uk acheter cialis en ligne farmacia online italia priligy online zoloft cost australia whats viagra used for synacthen depot generic cialis original viagra next day delivery were to buy cialis in philippines cheap antibiotics doxycycline no prescription doxycycline dosage webmd cialis prices walmart what is per tablet cost of viagra viagra prices central ohio pharmacies zoloft for sale on criaglist generic finasteride 5mg reviews on garcinia vitamin shoppe herbal viagra sildenafil 100 mg duration paint roxar tablets 150 mg zoloft generic cialis tadalafil 20mg india flagyl and cipro taken together indian viagra tablets names of angels pattaya buying viagra buy cialis within canada clomid uk steroids sites zovirax tablets 800 mg price should i take prednisone in the morning or at night paroxetine 40 mg bijwerkingen cialis llardons donde comprar viagra comprar cytotec misoprostol 200 mg cialis daily 5 mg taken with 20 mg i want to buy a viagra in kolkata dapoxetine price in pakistan of keo review accutane zithromax over the counter substitute en cuanto salen las pastillas cytotec was kostet viagra in argentinien walmart pharmacy zovirax kamasutra viagra online how to buy viagra by paypal use by date for viagra pantoprazole nome generico do viagra where to buy herbal viagra in london new holland 6635 for sale in uk zithromax cheap cialis online in canada 80 mg propranolol anxiety viagra online kaufen legal brooks adrenaline asr 11 womens reviews on viagra despues de usar cytotec me puedo embarazar where to buy cialis at gnc is cipro from mexico safe how to use viagra professional where can u buy unprescribed clomid tafil tabletas de 0 25 mgs of clomid uk tadalafil over the counter maximum safe dosage metformin buy nolvadex research pharmaceuticals hunter boots buy online uk viagra precisa receita comprar viagra generico sildenafil generico farmacias similares chihuahua buy cialis daily in hong kong price of roaccutane in australia doxycycline hyclate 100 mg for eye infection zithromax 500 mg treatment for pertussis kudzu and antabuse generic cialis for canadians order viagra medicine aspen zithromax in asthma amoxil liquid how supplied means generic propecia approved fda clomid late ovulation where to buy zithromax online with mastercard diflucan liquid buy amoxil generic name sildenafil teva price are you allowed to bring viagra into australia cannot buy viagra online with mastercard cialis in frankreich rezeptfrei paypal payment to buy cialis finasteride 5mg tab generic does it work for hair loss does canada require a prescription for viagra 6best deal for propecia amoxil 250 mg 5ml dosage calculator azithromax price philippines vidalista tadalafil 20mg usa non prescription sildenafil citrate vyvanse generic substitute for viagra what does 400 mg viagra cost per pill at walmart generic lowest price viagra what does generic zoloft 50 mg look like can prednisone be bought over the counter in sa 100mg viagra vs 20 mg cialis cost canada pharmacy cialis india viagra generico en farmacias del ahorro queretaro best viagra prices with prescription metformin 250 mg sustained release tablets viagra no prior prescription canada prednisone dosing in ra can u ovulate 3 days after last clomid pill for sale off the counter cialis dandiya sticks for sale in uk zithromax can you buy cialis over the counter in turkey generic finasteride order paypal at what age can you take viagra buy cialis 5 mg online canada pinazan 25 mg of zoloft natulan 50 mg zoloft comprare cialis generico in contrassegno provvisorio cialis 50mg suppliers ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablets cause yeast infection clomid early pregnancy signs where do you find metformin in nature do chemist sell viagra without a prescription what happens when a child takes viagra nolvadex 10mg uk zovirax cream price in pakistan platina viagra counter act with lisinopril iv dose zithromax in infants propranolol mg discussion boards philippines metformin cost specialist jobs in evansville in usage du cytotec im selling viagra in toronto is buspar safe to take with zoloft ovulation pain and clomid how much is viagra london viagra generic status can a man in his 20s take viagra diflucan effets secondaires buy viagra online 50mg 36 hour cialis dosage cialis de 5 mgs best pill price viagra viagra 50mg price australia prix du cialis 5mg en pharmacie en france hyoscine butyl bromide 20 mg prednisone cironex 10 mg prednisone propranolol safe anxiety prednisone acetate ophthalmic suspension price prednisone generic name for will generic viagra clear us customs accutane for treatment of rosacea how to find tadalafil online 25 mg of viagra not effective all the names for generic viagra how long does viagra take 2 work ampicillin endocarditis dose zithromax order online uk sildenafil tablets boots price which is cheaper cialis or viagra maximum dose amoxil rilatine mr 30 mg bijsluiter viagra where can i get viagra over the counter in south africa silagra brand name viagra cum with us com generic cialis sold canada generic lasix 40 mg ciprodex in trach site follicle size day 11 clomid for sale stanze in affitto roma cipro cheap generic cialis pills online buy propecia in nz socialist programs united states viagra market price slip a viagra in his drink order zithromax liquid online sildenafil ranbaxy 50 mg alguien ha usado priligy buying viagra at boots in edinburgh zithromax 600 mg 5 day Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » Frayed at the edges.

Frayed at the edges.

datePosted on 15:15, July 13th, 2011 by Pablo

Coming home after witnessing the Singaporean elections in May, it has been interesting to watch the preludes to New Zealand’s elections in November. In SG it was a matter of all against one, with the “all” in opposition being heavily constrained in what they could  do or say by the ruling party. Even so, opposition to the PAP gained parliamentary seats and an increased popular vote. Voter turnout was higher than in previous years, and the youth vote was an important factor in the outcome. There was a clear dividing line between pro-regime and opposition parties, with political identities drawn over issues of authoritarian efficiency versus increased accountability, material entitlements, transparency and representation. There was a focus to the electoral debate.

It seems that in New Zealand there is no such clear-cut divide along the political centre. Instead there exists a political spectrum that is frayed along the edges and which has an ideological void in the middle.  ACT is splintering, as did the Maori Party once Hone Harawira quit. The common denominator is that on both ends of the New Zealand electoral divide, where the most ideological elements of political society reside, there is a complete lack of unity, much less understanding of the need for a common class line. This plays into the hands of the mainstream parties. At the risk of over-simplification and claiming no particular expertise, let me sketch the broad contours.

The putsch against Rodney Hide was a triumph of the market ideologues over the social conservatives in the ACT party. The Garrett scandal, the odd views of some of its MPs and Hide’s increasingly populist rhetoric are seen as deviations from the neoliberal market ideology that is supposedly the core of the ACT belief system. When Hide became vulnerable over his use of taxpayer money (the perk-buster was found to be more of a perk-consumer), the market ideologues moved against him. Concerned about demographics, ACT has managed to secure a commitment to stand from an influential female ex pat blogger with a reputation for brutal honesty and corporate savvy. It also recruited a farmer.

Once the Don was installed as the new Leader, ACT showed another face–that of racial revanchist. Crossing the market ideologue/social conservative divide, there is some serious opposition within ACT to maori redistributive claims and the erosion of Pakeha prerogatives under the banner of political correctness. Rather than delve into the reasons for its opposition, ACT has chosen to publicly focus on individual maori that it describes as extremists who are holding the country financially hostage with their ongoing demands. Among these is Hone Harawira. This is not a view shared by all market ideologues in the party, so the “white cowards” have been called out by the revanchists. What is lost in the intra-party discussion about identity and cultural claims is the common class line that ostensibly binds ACT together–that of the trade-oriented corporate elite. Whatever they think in private, this elite is bound to be horrified by the presence of racial revanchists in the Party, which could reduce the amount of material and political support that they will pledge to it. Absent a coherent structural underpinning to its other ideological claims, ACT has little to offer even them.

The Maori Party has done likewise. It was never a progressive party, but instead is a socially conservative vehicle that represents the interests of the maori economic elite and important iwi (specifically, leadership hierarchies). Its major focus is on ownership within the legal structures as given, and on specific budgetary earmarks for maori given Crown obligations under the Treaty. This is a source of division with the likes of Harawira, who sees things from a working class, indigenous sovereignty perspective.

The Mana Party is a reflection of the latter view, to which have been added those of assorted communists, socialists, anarchists and maori rights activists who can be roughly divided between (mostly Pakeha) anti-imperialists and (mostly maori)  indigenous sovereignty supporters. There is considerable overlap between the two camps, although the issue of native ownership is a thorny subject for the marxists. Here too there is a lack of a consistent class line, or structural foundation, upon which to build the cultural and socio-political bases of the party. Some in Mana put indigenous rights above all other things; others put working class interests to the fore. Neither side has a realistic economic agenda given New Zealand’s structural realities.

There is also a cult of personality aspect to Mana that belies its progressive label. Rather than represent a Kiwi version of Malcolm X as some have suggested, Hone is more akin to the Reverend Al Sharpton. He is loud, he is proud, but he is not exactly a revolutionary threat to the system. Unlike X, who did not allow whites into his party and who preached on the merits of  voluntary self-segregation and the need for a separate black state within the US based upon economic independence, Hone accepts Pakeha support while fulminating against colonial injustices and their modern legacies. He acts as an agent provocateur rather than an agent for change. Given the views of the anti-capitalists in the Mana party whose priorities are more class-based than identity-driven, this does not make for ideological coherence between the base and the leader.

The Greens have moved away from their Left origins and settled into the role of responsible middle class party with a focus on sustainable development. Having mostly removed the red from the party watermelon, the second generation of Green party leaders have become the preferred channel of expression for environmentally aware voters with an interest in universal rights, egalitarianism, sovereignty and non-intervention (to include opposition to trade agreements without environmental and human rights provisions). This makes it a comfortable partner for Labour, a bridge between the Maori and Mana parties in areas of common concern, and an inoffensive adversary of National that can be worked with on specific issues. In spite of their attractiveness to the enlightened bougeousie, the Greens have no class line.

The absence of strong class orientations, be it Right or Left, along the fringe of NZ politics is  in part a deliberate result of the blurring of class lines and focus on economic individualism promoted over the least two decades by the two major parties. Both parties subscribe to market-driven logics, tempered by populist appeals around election time. Both represent the interests of corporate, rather than class actors–National defends the logic of the Round Table while Labour defends that of the union movement and domestic market capitalists. Neither represents the interests of a given class, but instead attempt to cross over voter preferences with catch-all appeals oriented towards the economic centre: the salaried middle classes. The latter are the swing voters who are less inclined to see themselves as a distinct interest group, are less ideological in their views, and who have not collectively organised to that effect. By  targeting this segment of the electorate the mainstream parties are able to give the interests of their supporting corporate class fractions much broader political appeal.

In New Zealand the electoral fringe holds less popular sway than before, and has less of an influence on mainstream politics. It will not matter in November’s electoral math, and some parties may well disappear. This is a pity because at a minimum the ideological fringe in an MMP system is useful as a means of keeping the centrist parties more honest when it comes to issues of class, race and public policy interest. Ideally, fringe parties provide the outer ideological markers that frame policy debate at any given moment. Absent a coherent ideology embedded in a class line amongst fringe parties, the parameters for policy debate narrow considerably. Given non-ideological competition between the major parties, this leads to unrepresentative distortions in the way in which policy reform is argued and made.

Admittedly, this is a very broad, subjective and impressionistic overview. Supporters of the parties in question will no doubt take exception to my views. Others will see my emphasis misplaced or that I am just plain wrong on specifics. I will happily stand corrected where necessary. What I have tried to do is not argue the details but note the larger trend. The lack of a class line in New Zealand’s political fringe is both a product and a reinforcement of the corporatisation of mainstream politics and popular culture, with policy debates stripped of structurally-based ideological content and confined to those areas in which corporate solutions are possible. Stripping ideological content from public policy debates diminishes the quality of democracy. In a society anchored in structural inequalities (however mystified by issues of identity and post-modernism), the absence of class-based ideological debate leaves the field of politics open to corporate elite domination, no matter how much “trickle down” policy proposals are offered during political campaigns. There is, in other words, no substantive class focus to political debate even during elections.

In November we will be reminded of that fact.

 

10 Responses to “Frayed at the edges.”

  1. marty mars on July 13th, 2011 at 19:46

    Kia ora pablo,

    I think you have been a little bit tough on your analysis of Mana. The party is weeks old and after all they have not put out their list, have just won a by-election and registered as a political party, and have only put out one policy on the Treaty of Waitangi, as far as i am aware. Still fair enough, the challenges you highlight between the apparent factions and ideologies will indeed be interesting to watch unfold. I think they can be met and turned into advantages.

    The analogy of Hone with malcolm x is a bomber creation I think, that I don’t like personally – in fact I don’t know why we need to have some other figure to help contextualise where Hone sits and who he is – he is Hone. I believe the party is bigger than Hone although Hone is an inspirational leader and rightly holds the mana – he is not building a cult of personality around him IMO and the attraction of Sykes and Minto would support that assertion – I can’t imagine two more unlikely people to subsume to a personality cult – they just won’t or wouldn’t.

    The ‘assorted communists, socalists, anarchists and maori rights activists’ have supported Mana because the kaupapa is attractive and as you have nicely noted – those groups are made up of many ethnicities – that seems to me evidence of a Mana ‘class approach’ and that isn’t in conflict with tino rangatiratanga for me. I am excited that the Mana Party can, at this early stage, bind these issues of equality together – it bodes well for the future of the Party.

  2. Pablo on July 13th, 2011 at 20:00

    Thanks Marty. My post is just a rumination, and I hope that you are right and we will Mana a coherent ideological platform that reconciles its component parts. I think the political system as a whole needs it to do so in order to avoid corporate elite dominance and partisan stagnation.

  3. marty mars on July 13th, 2011 at 20:30

    Yes pablo I agree and thanks to you for your analysis – top shelf as usual.

  4. tochigi on July 13th, 2011 at 21:12

    until the 1960s, National was the party of–first and foremost–farmers, followed by small business, big business and some middle-class salaried workers. Labour was blue-collar workers and unions (including the large blue and white collar public sector), Maori and some private-secor salaried workers. 1984-90 changed all that, and MMP has really put paid to the old demarkation lines. similar to you, Pablo, my reading is that both parties have become completely co-opted by the neoliberal project, and are only distinguished by small biases toward either big business or collective savings. a good illustration would be to compare the situation in 1972 versus 2011. Jack Marshall and Rob Muldoon versus John Key and Bill English. Followed by Norm Kirk and Hugh Watt versus Phil Goff and Annette King. OMG!!!! anyway, the teevee and “news” (sic) papers keep most of the population docile with half of them waiting for the Lotto draw and the other half watching their investment property portfolios. elections are a shabby fairground sideshow, unfortunately.

  5. Luc Hansen on July 14th, 2011 at 03:25

    I think your analysis is pretty fair overall, Pablo, although like marty mars I though you were perhaps a bit tough on Mana. And I found the anti-imperialist tag a bit quaint – aren’t we all anti-imperialist these days? And are there any communists left, really?

    I do think the Greens, with the ditching of the red brigade, are sitting pretty to benefit as the developing effects of climate change become too obvious to ignore and the “enlightened bougeousie” gain critical mass.

    At least, I hope so, because, as regards climate change mitigation, neither of our two main parties have the political courage Gillard and Labor/Greens is demonstrating right now across the ditch.

  6. Sanctuary on July 14th, 2011 at 07:45

    I have to disagree with your third paragraph about the ACT party putsch. It seems that this wasn’t a victory of a “market ideologue” faction within ACT itself, but rather an external takeover of ACT engineered by Stephen Joyce and his preferred bag men to try and prop ACT up and provide National with a viable MMP coalition partner after the election.

    Mana and the Maori party look set on doing a Bele and Lokai on each other. ACT will vanish – the brand is so toxic I can’t see them winning Epsom no matter who the candidate is.

  7. dave brown on July 14th, 2011 at 11:53

    Pablo misses the class polarisation that is going on. Whatever the personal and internal divisions on the far left and right, global crisis is actually setting the agenda.

    There is no split between dry economics and social conservatives in ACT after Brash. Brash in 2004 showed that he was both. The Brash coup is about forcing unity and organisation onto a dysfunctional ACT to pull the NACT bloc (it is a bloc despite appearances) together to counter the emergence of a far left pole that can pull Labour to the left.

    Why? Well it obvious that the NACT economic agenda requires massive attacks on workers. The weakness of capital in NZ explains the increasing foreign domination by Australia, US and now China. The NACTs are mere agents for this penetration via the complete deregulation of capital and labour markets.

    This will inevitably revive working class resistance. Labour reflects that pressure weakly but has made some small shifts to the left to claim majority support for its economic management of capitalism. The Maori Party play for the iwi leaders to be indigenous agents for foreign capital took it far right and caused the split and formation of Mana, which despite its leaders baggage, is being forced be the class polarisation to fight on a united class line.

    Now the NACTs cannot defeat Labour on CGT which is a no brainer or privatisation which has been exposed, so to regain power to push its finance capital agenda, it has to disguise its dry economics in a cocktail of reactionary, and I would say proto-fascist, attacks on various components of the working class, Maori radicals, the underclass, women as inferior, youth as immature, boat people as terrorists etc to divide and disorganise that class.

    The centre of petty bourgeois and aspirant workers is not so much vacant as torn by class polarisation pulling in two directions. Usually in times of economic and social crisis whoever wins the petty bourgeois will win the class war. NZ has plenty of historic instances.

    On economics alone, the left would win easily as workers are under attack and the petty bourgeois are being badly squeezed. Its only in the domain of domination of cultural politics that the right can win the swinging middle. Key did it last time with smile and wave attacks on political correctness, but he has pretty much blown his stocks here.

    This time it will take a much more deliberate attempt deflect economics and mobilise the angry petty bourgeois and elements of the working class by blaming the tradition enemies of capital in the working class, the militant (Mana), the unruly (women and youth), the morally defective (underclass), the alien mob (boat people).

    Brash signalled in 2004 that he was the one to provide the ideological rational for this proto-fascist politics. One Law, One Nation, One People. This interprets the Treaty as a founding document for capitalist universality and therefore all those enemies of modernity who who must be excluded. So despite the apparent disarray of ACT and Mana, it is not the subjective elements of personalities and factions that in times of crisis set the agenda but the objective class struggle that to a large extent takes place behind our backs.

    We are now in a period of open class struggle such as NZ has experienced before of crisis in the period before WW1 and the 1930s, and the immediate post WW2 period. Today, like in each of these former times of upheaval the forces that propelled the classes into action in NZ are largely external.

  8. Sanctuary on July 14th, 2011 at 13:59

    Dave, class isn’t a good fit for New Zealand. My pet theory is the great engine of conflict in this country is largely between one group that is global, colonial and extractive in it’s world view and the mass of people who have made this country their home and regard the terms and conditions of living here as their primary focus. One only has to see the contrast in the globalised, outward looking anglosphere focus of TVNZ – mouthpiece of the former – and the local, popular and slightly hokey patriotism of Maori TV to see an illustration of my point. How this great cleaving is presented is often clothed in the ideological flavour of the time (a socialist narrative when it was Massey’s Cossacks vs. Miners or the 1951 waterfront strike, a liberal town vs. reactionary country identity politics fight in 1981) but fundamentally the conflict is actually between two different narratives of what it means to live in this country – something Bruce Jesson instinctively understood. Also, I would suggest the ebb and flow of this great undercurrent of conflict is quite predictable in it’s occurance based on analysis of the past. 1913, 1951, 1981 – the simmering confrontation explodes into violence about every thirty years (discounting WWII). If I were the Ken Ring of historical prediction, I would guess we are soon due another violent round in this fight.

  9. George D on July 14th, 2011 at 22:18

    I like your analysis, and it deserves more comment than I’ll give right now.

    I’ll just say that the drying up of minor parties is indeed harmful thing insomuch as it constrains policy debates. However, out of major parties during the 1970s and 80s came very significant breaks from what was seen to be a strong and unified policy consensus with small windows for disagreement. Time will tell whether this happens again, and yes, MMP was supposed to provide for smaller parties across a wider spectrum of positions. We’ll see what comes, but for the moment we have what we have.

  10. Pablo on July 15th, 2011 at 14:35

    Thanks all for the insightful comments and corrections. I think that Dave is being a wee bit optimistic in his assessment of the state of pre-revolutionary consciousness among the proletariat, although I much enjoyed his dissection.

    For those who may not have seen it, there is an interesting discussion going on over at Reading the Maps that parallels some of the commentary here.

    I should clarify that when I wrote of “corporate interests” in the post I was not referring to business elites. Instead I am using the notion of “corporatism” in its broad sense, whereby interest groups ideologically colonise the state apparatus responsible for administering their interests as a form of rent-seeking clientalism. Here it also refers to the appropriation of the policy debate by such corporate interests, only some of which are private firms or unions. Privileging these corporate interests over class interests occurs best when class conflict has been erased from the political lexicon, which is why I lament the absence of a class line on the NZ political fringe.

Leave a Reply

Name: (required)
Email: (required) (will not be published)
Website:
Comment: