Why Adam John Holland is the Only Sensible Choice For Auckland Mayor

Auckland, North Island, New Zealand skyline

Adam Holland is the only one of the 18 Auckland mayoral candidates whose candidacy doesn’t have some kind of gross defect. If the mayoral campaigns were embryos, most of them would be terminated by the mother after the doctor made clear that there was no chance of viable offspring. Holland stands out from this rabble in a number of ways.

The first is that he is the only one interested in using his position as mayor to enrich Auckland, instead of just enriching himself. Holland has promised to “donate every last penny of my salary to various charities as suggested to me by the people of Auckland“. Considering that the salary of the Auckland mayor is NZD250,000+, this represents a considerable sum of money that charities need.

Coupled to this is the likelihood that the mayor would make it fashionable to donate salary money to charity, which is what this ever more unequal society needs. Considering how shallow and trend-conscious Aucklanders are, magnanimity on the order of Holland’s gesture might be worth tens of millions to the various charities of New Zealand.

Many politicians are fanatically devoted to an ideology and are happy to destroy everything in their path in order to force that ideology upon everyone else. Holland is the opposite of this – his suspension of judgment is so strong that he doesn’t know if he is representing Not A Party or Legalise Cannabis Auckland. Perhaps it is both, or even neither.

Holland is the only candidate with genuine philosopher-king credentials. He says “I won’t do a single thing as mayor just as I haven’t done a single thing for the past seven years of my retirement. Decisions shall be left up to the people, not an elected official in a farcical ‘democratic’ ceremony.”

Here Holland is referencing Book VIII of Plato’s Republic, in particular the passage that covers the five forms of government. For those who have not read The Republic, the belief of Plato was that government begins as an aristocracy and degrades over time, passing through the less perfect stages of timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and eventually tyranny.

The astute listener would interpret Holland’s words here as a warning to us about the further deterioration of our society, especially in this age of greed. Once democracy degrades further, it becomes tyranny. It’s possible to read Holland’s words here as a warning against the darker side of human nature, one that has almost surfaced thanks to the short sighted mismanagement of the Key Government.

Auckland is fortunate to have such an extraordinarily educated individual run for mayor.

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If the above is somehow not convincing enough, consider the state of the field that Holland is running against. Each candidate was offered a free shot of publicity here, and all of them bar Holland disqualified themselves with their responses.

Mario Alupis – professional wrestler. Attached photo suggests a large number of serious knocks to the head. Can’t be trusted to remember what he’s doing.

Aileen Austin – probably too old to survive the term as mayor. Also, Auckland would never vote for a hippie – this isn’t Nelson, dear.

Penny Bright – “Crooked” Penny Bright is running for mayor to distract the public from her impending imprisonment for dodging her rates bill. Auckland doesn’t need a mayor that shifts their debts onto the public.

Patrick Brown – Couldn’t be bothered supplying a photo. Also a communist.

Tricia Cheel – Another old hippie. Will split Aileen Austin’s votes and vice-versa, meaning that a vote for either is a waste.

Victoria Crone – has claimed to “bring 20 years’ experience running major New Zealand companies to the Auckland mayoralty.” What this means is that Auckland will be sold to the Chinese and everyone working in Auckland will be paid $5 per hour.

Phil Goff – no good unless he has Helen Clark telling him what to do.

David Hay – yet another old hippie, Hay is a former Green and thus probably a communist.

Alezix Heneti – serial failure. Eccentric name sure-fire sign of a rampant narcissist.

Stan Martin – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor.

Bin Thanh Nguyen – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor. Almost literally nothing is even known about this guy.

Phil O’Connor – Bible-thumper. Hates women. Vote for this guy and you can kiss goodbye to being allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays in Auckland.

John Palino – American, thus disqualified on the ground that we need a Kiwi to be the mayor of our biggest city.

Tyrone Raumati – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo or to respond to social media advances, clearly not up to being mayor.

Chloe Swarbrick – probably the next most sensible choice apart from Holland, wants to use the mayoralty as a platform to reshape the world in her image though and therefore cannot be trusted.

Mark Thomas – a plastic candidate in the John Key/Aldo Miccio mold. Soulless.

Wayne Young – basically a complete bum who would have been euthanised in a less tolerant society.

Many, many people have been saying that these reasons make Adam John Holland the sensible choice for Auckland mayor on 09 OCT.

Why Adam John Holland is the Only Sensible Choice For Auckland Mayor

If You Have Ever Obeyed an Authority Figure, You Are Capable of Murder

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The title of this article is the subject of today’s psychology lesson. When we read about history, and we read about the sort of thing that humans are capable of doing to each other, we often come to ask ourselves how it came to be that humans are so willing to do terrible things to each other, and if there is any way that the rest of us could prevent it.

Almost implicit in this line of reasoning is that we, ourselves, would of course not have done such terrible things had we been there. We would not do those evil things because if an authority figure told us to, we would simply refuse. Simple as that, right?

Evidence suggests that this line of reasoning is based on a flawed understanding of human psychology. When it comes down to it, the vast majority of people will obey almost any order given to them by someone they consider an authority figure, even if that order is to directly cause the suffering of another human being. This was demonstrated by the Milgram experiments conducted in the 1960s.

The most surprising thing about the Milgram experiments may not have been how willing people were to hurt other people on command from an authority figure. Arguably more surprising was the fact that very few people, not even those with an education in psychology, anticipated this result. The vast majority of people believed that very few experiment participants would go as far as inflicting a high voltage electric shock to someone who had already been electrocuted unconscious, merely because the person telling them to do so was wearing a lab coat and therefore looked like an authority figure.

The truth is this: human beings are, for the most part, craven, arse-licking cowards. Mostly it’s our own egos that prevent us from accepting this fact.

If this argument is not fully convincing, consider the following thought experiment.

You are at war. You have not slept for 72 hours as you have seen constant combat. Your body is agony from adrenaline shock. The inside of your pants are covered in sticky shit, as you shat yourself when a shell went off near you yesterday and the shockwave almost stopped your heart, and you haven’t had a chance to do anything about it. Every time you catch a moment to breathe, you see an image of your buddy who had his head blown off about 200 metres back.

Your squad has taken some men captives, and your officer is trying to work out if they are combatants or the civilians they say they are. The people you have detained are young men, some probably teenagers, just boys.

Then a message comes through the radio. Your forces have suffered a setback on a nearby ridge and your company is to be pulled out from their current location to plug the breach. There is no longer any time to determine if the men are combatants or not, and if you let them go they might come back and kill you or your buddies.

Your commanding officer decides that most of them are of fighting age, and those who are not soon would be anyway. The next thing you know, the captives are up against a wall, you’re looking at them over the barrel of your rifle, and your commanding officer gives you an order to fire. The last thought you have before you hear the order is that there are certainly some innocents among them.

In that situation, do you pull the trigger?

If you know much about human psychology, you will know that fewer than one person in ten thousand would refuse to pull the trigger in a situation like that. Not out of hatred, not out of sadism, not out of inherent malice or anything like that.

Because it isn’t hatred that leads to mass murders. It isn’t prejudice. It isn’t things like saying that blacks have low IQs, or that Asians are cruel, or that Europeans produce an inordinate amount of sex offenders.

The human quality that leads to millions of innocent people being stuffed into gas chambers is obedience.

If you believe that any other person has the right to decide who you should kill and when, you are already a murderer in potential if not in deed.

If You Have Ever Obeyed an Authority Figure, You Are Capable of Murder

Government Does Not Exist

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Most people believe that “government” is necessary, though they also acknowledge that “authority” often leads to corruption and abuse. They know that “government” can be inefficient, unfair, unreasonable and oppressive, but they still believe that “authority” can be a force for good. What they fail to realize is that the problem is not just that “government” produces inferior results, or that “authority” is often abused. The problem is that the concept itself is utterly irrational and self-contradictory. It is nothing but a superstition, devoid of any logical or evidentiary support, which people hold only as a result of constant cult-like indoctrination designed to hide the logical absurdity of the concept, It is not a matter of degree, or how it is used; the truth is that “authority” does not and cannot exist at all, and failure to recognize that fact has led billions of people to believe things and do things that are horrendously destructive. There can be no such thing as good “authority”– in fact, there is no such thing as “authority” at all. As strange as that may sound, it can easily be proven.

In short, government does not exist. It never has and it never will. The politicians are real, the soldiers and police who enforce the politicians’ will are real, the buildings they inhabit are real, the weapons they wield are very real, but their supposed “authority” is not. And without that “authority,” without the right to do what they do, they are nothing but a gang of thugs. The term “government” implies legitimacy – it means the exercise of “authority” over a certain people or place. The way people speak of those in power, calling their commands “laws,” referring to disobedience to them as a “crime,” and so on, implies the right of” government” to rule, and a corresponding obligation on the part of its subjects to obey. Without the right to rule (”authority”), there is no reason to call the entity “government,” and all of the politicians and their mercenaries become utterly indistinguishable from a giant organized crime syndicate, their “laws” no more valid than the threats of muggers and carjackers. And that, in reality, is what every “government” is: an illegitimate gang of thugs, thieves and murderers, masquerading as a rightful ruling body.

(The reason the terms “government” and “authority” appear inside quotation marks throughout this book is because there is never a legitimate right to rule, so government and authority never actually exist. In this book such terms refer only to the people and gangs erroneously imagined to have the right to rule.)

All mainstream political discussion – all debate about what should be “legal” and “illegal,” who should be put into power, what “national policy” should be, how “government” should handle various issues – all of it is utterly irrational and a complete waste of time, as it is all based upon the false premise that one person can have the right to rule another, that “authority” can even exist. The entire debate about how “authority” should be used, and what “government” should do, is exactly as useful as debating how Santa Claus should handle Christmas. But it is infinitely more dangerous. On the bright side, removing that danger – the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced, in fact – does not require changing the fundamental nature of man, or converting all hatred to love, or performing any other drastic alteration to the state of the universe. Instead, it requires only that people recognize and then let go of one particular superstition, one irrational lie that almost everyone has been taught to believe. In one sense, most of the world’s problems could be solved overnight if everyone did something akin to giving up the belief in Santa Claus.

Any idea or proposed solution to a problem that depends upon the existence of “government,” and that includes absolutely everything within the realm of politics, is inherently invalid. To use an analogy, two people could engage in a useful, rational discussion about whether nuclear power or hydroelectric dams are the better way to produce electricity for their town. But if someone suggested that a better option would be to generate electricity using magic pixie dust, his comments would be and should be dismissed as ridiculous, because real problems cannot be solved by mythical entities, Yet almost all modem discussion of societal problems is nothing but an argument about which type of magic pixie dust will save humanity. All political discussion rests upon an unquestioned but false assumption, which everyone takes on faith simply because they see and hear everyone else repeating the myth: the notion that there can be such a thing as legitimate “government.”

The problem with popular misconceptions is just that: they are popular. When any belief – even the most ridiculous, illogical belief – is held by most people, it will not feel unreasonable to the believers. Continuing in the belief will feel easy and safe, while questioning it will be uncomfortable and very difficult, if not impossible. Even abundant evidence of the horrendously destructive power of the myth of “authority,” on a nearly incomprehensible level and stretching back for thousands of years, has not been enough to make more than a handful of people even begin to question the fundamental concept. And so, believing themselves to be enlightened and wise, human beings continue to stumble into one colossal disaster after another, as a result of their inability to shake off the most dangerous superstition: the belief in “authority.”

The Most Dangerous Superstition

Taxation is theft

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Taxation is theft.

It’s a sentiment shared by most voluntaryists. (Voluntaryists advocate a social system based on voluntary cooperation. Not A Party people are voluntaryists.)

But is it true? Taxation is theft, it’s a sentiment, but is it a fact? Is taxation really theft?

I’m going to give some reasons for thinking that taxation is theft, and then a couple of reasons for thinking that it isn’t. And then ask you to please feel free to make up your own mind.

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Here’s the basic argument for the proposition that taxation is theft.

1. Theft is when someone takes your money or property without your consent.
2. Taxation is when the government takes your money or property without your consent.

Therefore,

3. Taxation is theft.

Seems legit.

Consider the following progression (due to theologian J. Budziszewski). Is taxation theft?

  1. On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs.
  2. Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church.
  3. Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who acts as bagman.
  4. Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says.
  5. Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government.

If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft. Expropriation is wrong not because its causes are wrong, but because it is a violation of the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.

Consider the following progression (due to Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano). How many men?

  1. Is it theft if one man steals a car?
  2. What if a gang of five men steal the car?
  3. What if a gang of ten men take a vote (allowing the victim to vote as well) on whether to steal the car before stealing it?
  4. What if one hundred men take the car and give the victim back a bicycle?
  5. What if two hundred men not only give the victim back a bicycle but buy a poor person a bicycle, as well?

The experiment challenges an individual to determine how large a group is required before the taking of an individual’s property becomes the “democratic right” of the majority

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Now, here are a couple of reasons for thinking that taxation isn’t theft.

The first objection is a pedantic one. Taxation isn’t theft, because the government doesn’t take your money, you give your money to the government, albeit under duress. Taxation isn’t theft, it’s extortion!

Well, I see where the pedant is coming from. But I still think that taxation is theft in a broad sense of the word ‘theft’. Theft is when you acquire something that doesn’t rightfully belong to you by immoral means. Robbery, fraud, extortion, even inflation—these are all forms of theft in the broad sense. Taxation is theft!

The second is an objection to the basic argument I gave above. Yes, it’s theft when your money is taken without your consent—except when it’s the government doing the taking. The progressions above don’t work, because at some point the taking stops being theft and starts being taxation. How’s that supposed to work? Well, so the objection goes, you implicitly consented to be governed simply by living here in New Zealand. And you’re bound by something called the social contract.

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I think it’s not a good objection. I think we already dealt to it. Try not to leave civilisation.

But here’s a better version of the objection. It’s the best objection I can think of to the proposition that taxation is theft. Ready? Here it is. The chunk of money the government takes out of your income (as income tax) or out of your grocery bill (as GST) was never really yours in the first place. So taxation isn’t theft, tax evasion is!

It’s an objection worth considering. Is it a good objection tho? To answer that question we need to consider another. What is property? And that’s for another time.

A final thought. Just because taxation is theft, doesn’t mean that you don’t have some sort of personal obligation to help pay for some of the social services (health, welfare, etc.) that the government currently provides, if it’s within your means to do so.

Do you think George ought to help? Voluntarily, of course.

Edward Bernays, father of lies

Diabolical bullshit merchant Edward Bernays was the nephew of well known repressed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

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After a well played career as a government administrator, Bernays realised from his uncle’s work that, with an understanding of manipulation and people’s innermost desires, companies could design their advertisements and marketing campaigns to tell people exactly what it was that they wanted, and then make them feel like tragic losers who would miss out if they didn’t go out and buy it immediately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74ofI3Zz8hM

He was the first to coin the term “public relations,” when referring to propaganda, and also introduced corporations to the concept of focus groups.

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Edward said that he believed those in power had an obligation to control the general public in order to prevent them from reverting to what he regarded as a dangerous “herd instinct” that would see society descend into primal chaos.  But… (cough), Edward said a lot of things…

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However, Bernays depended on this “herd mentality” to dupe the population into believing capitalist consumerism was a grand idea and that communism was a clear and present danger to America which required the installation of U.S. friendly government regimes in countries that had desirable populations and resources to exploit and pillage.  Let me introduce you to the United Fruit Company.

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/23/tye.php

When you spend a lifetime betraying your fellow man and generally behaving like a smug asshole you might end up looking like Edward (the father of lies) Bernays. It’s not a pretty picture.

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The Century of the Self is a documentary worth watching if you want to fully appreciate the depth of this wreched man’s unbridled depravity.

Thoughts on Brexit

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There seems to be two main strands of the pro-Brexit argument. The first is that Brexit will better allow Britain to control its borders. Although EU citizens have the right to live and work in the UK, Britain is not part of the Schengen Area (the part of Europe where border controls have basically been abolished) and therefore retains a high degree of border control.

But more interesting is the claim that Brexit restores Britain’s national sovereignty, and returns political decisions that were once made in Brussels back to British shores. The motivating belief behind this reason to support Brexit is that local decision making by British politicians and officials is better than decision making by people from other European countries, whose values and interests do not coincide with those of the British populace. According to this line of reasoning, political decisions made on your behalf (and to which you are subject) are better made by people who (at least broadly) share your values and interests; the closer they are aligned, the better. This is also in large part the motivation behind nationalist and anti-imperialist movements.

(It should be noted that this same line of argument is being used by people who support Scotland’s independence, or even London’s (!) independence, in the wake of the Brexit referendum. The people who voted for Brexit, according to them, do not share the political values of people in Scotland and London who voted heavily to remain.)

But if this is a good argument, surely it applies to decisions made in Westminster as much as in Belgium: the United Kingdom contains some 63 million diverse souls whose values, beliefs and interests diverge wildly. The same can be said on a local level: my interests and values may be radically different from that of my neighbour. If so, then according to this argument, the fact that they do not share my interests and values means that they should *not* be in charge of making political decisions on my behalf. The geographic fact that they live in essentially the same area as me makes no difference, any more than the fact that Britain is part of the geographic area known as Europe.

The natural conclusion of this argument, if followed to its logical conclusion, is a thoroughgoing philosophical anarchism. Only my interests and values match my own, and therefore only I am fully competent to make political decisions on my behalf, including deciding which laws to live under. (At any rate, more competent than anyone else.)

What this means is that, unless you genuinely support a single world government – if you agree with the reasoning above as an argument against the existence of a single, worldwide government, you really ought to support anarchism. No other position is coherent.

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Try Not To Move To Somalia.

Africa, Somalia, Bosaso. 05/10/2015. Bosaso: the coastal city of 700,000 inhabitants. It is the main port of Somalia and it is the capital of Puntland; this macro-northern region, compare to the rest of the country, enjoys of a relative political and military stability. A kid look at the Buulo Mingis Settlement IDP camp.

First up, let’s have a gander at why anyone would make such an alarming suggestion in the first place. When you’re discussing tyranny with someone on the internet (as you do), and you bring up the fact that it’s not about who’s in power as much as it’s about there being someone in power at all (as you do), a common response you’ll be likely to hear is “well if you don’t like it, move to Somalia”.

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This is (of course) a highly amusing (albeit lazy) way of telling you they don’t wish to discuss tyranny after all. It shuts down the discourse and proves that they can’t think of a proper argument.

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So why Somalia? In 1991 the Siad Barre regime crumbled to pieces. See the hollywood blockbuster Black Hawk Down for details. Or… look below for a quick summary of “actual” information.

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/World-Leaders-2003/Somalia-THE-FALL-OF-SIAD-BARRE-AND-DESCENT-INTO-CIVIL-WAR.html

The intended inference is that Somalia has no government, so anybody who aspires to living their life without being governed should appreciate living in the warlords wet dream that we know as Somalia.

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But Somalia got it’s so called anarchy by default. It didn’t arrive through any process of anarchistic revolution, or agorism, or anything like that. It was born from the gut shot bowles of a big punch up between the various megalomaniacs and their armies (known as factions) trying to seize power by military force. Exactly the kind of behaviour Anarchists are morally and fundamentally against.

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Telling people to move to somalia if they don’t like it is as foolish as suggesting that if the political party you voted for didn’t get in, you should move to Somalia. Or if you don’t like how the guy down the road has all night parties after the rugby club closes, you should move to Somalia.

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And that is why telling people to move to Somalia if they don’t like it is nothing but an epic, laughworthy fail.

The Concept of “Left vs. Right” is Hate Machine Propaganda

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In order to control a population, that population has to be divided against itself by fear. Absent fear, a population cannot be ruled for the simple reason that they will not submit to the rule of any other person and will naturally destroy anyone who tries to force them to. Anyone fancying themselves as a ruler, then, needs to divide the population anyway they can – and the concept of “left and right” is one of those divisions.

What does left and right even mean? Originally the terms referred to the position of politicians in the French National Assembly during the French Revolution. Supporters of the king sat to the right of the President, and supporters of the revolution sat to the left. This convention continued into later assemblies, with supporters of the status quo sitting to the right and supporters of change sitting to the left.

This relation to the status quo is said by some to be the very definition of left and right. More precisely, the right wing is in favour of the status quo, which in practical terms means being in favour of the landowners and the rich, as once a person becomes a member of this class they feel little desire to change. The left wing in favour of change, which in practical terms means being in favour of the renters and the poor, as members of this class generally experience having a low social status and naturally seek to “fix” this.

Some others, particularly Americans, relate the terms left and right to the size of the state, roughly measured by the proportion of the national GDP that is taken in by the government in the form of taxation. In this sense, leftists want to increase taxes and social services while rightists want to increase freedom and liberty from government interference.

Others might say that left and right correlated with feminine and masculine. The feminine left (which sometimes gets called the “Nanny State”) is associated with nurturing and co-operation, and tends towards sharing and egalitarianism. The masculine right is associated with competition and inequality, and tends towards hierarchies and harsh punishments.

Yet another distinction – which is a particularly modern one – has it that the left is in favour of the underdog, while the right is in favour of the dominant party. This line of thinking defines the left as a broad tent of various interests that include those of ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, drug users, autists and anyone else with a grievance. The right is then the natural party of heterosexual white men, especially old and Christian ones.

These are just four of the many different axes upon which the terms left and right have been drawn. It’s apparent, then, that left and right have become so conflated over the decades that the terms are almost meaningless; no matter what someone claims to be a defining characteristic of either left or right, there will always be someone who can mount a well-reasoned (at least on superficial appearance) argument against that. After all, it’s impossible to be both against big government and for building a large military, and it’s also impossible to be for freedom and for the government taxing the citizenry to pay for it.

Moreover, anyone associating with so broad a label as either left or right will find themselves inevitably set against things they actually support, and vice-versa. Legion are the leftists against mass immigration to the West on account of the effect of this on local wages. Legion are the rightists who wouldn’t mind paying a bit more tax as long as it went to schools or hospitals.

Whatever the origins of the terms left and right, it is clear that nowadays both terms are Hate Machine propaganda. We know this is true because neither term is associated in the minds of anyone with anything positive. Supporters of both left and right are relatively neutral about their own side. But their opinion of the other side is regularly driven by fear. American leftists fear that Donald Trump will alienate Muslims and attract terrorist attacks. American rightists fear that Barack Obama will take their guns away. New Zealand leftists fear that John Key will sell the country to the Chinese. New Zealand rightists fear that they will soon need permission from the local Maori to visit the beach.

Both leftists and rightists fear these things because the mainstream political narrative is a torrent of fear (politicians are black magicians, therefore they work using fear, and the media uses black magic to attract attention). Behind the torrent of fear is a system of control. The Hate Machine doesn’t care if you are left or right, so long as you pick a side and enter the melee, because the more people fighting the more fear and the more fear the more hate and the more hate the more control.

A better way to judge the merits of any political proposal would be to ignore which party proposed it, and to consider the effects of the proposal in terms of whether it brings fear into the world or takes fear out of the world.

I tried voting but it didn’t work

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My pet issue has always been cannabis law reform. I’ve always voted for cannabis law reform.

In 1996 I voted in the first New Zealand general election held under the MMP voting system. Naturally, I gave my party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, who gained 1.66% of the party vote. Their result was simultaneously disappointing and encouraging. Disappointing, because it fell well short of the 5% threshold required to gain seats in Parliament under MMP. Encouraging because it was a solid base of support on which to build.

So in 1999 I voted for the ALCP again. But this time their share of the party vote fell by about half a percentage point to 1.10%. Instead of voting harder, people were realising that a vote for the ALCP is a wasted vote under MMP. But in a sudden plot twist, former ALCP candidate Nándor Tánczos entered Parliament as a Green Party MP and started making noises about cannabis law reform.

Clearly, I hadn’t been paying attention. Here was a party with a serious cannabis law reform policy that was actually in Parliament. So in 2002 I voted Green. Nándor was returned to Parliament and the Greens gained two more seats. Meanwhile, the ALCP’s share of the party vote fell again to 0.64%.

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Then I discovered what seemed to be my natural political home, the Libertarianz Party. I became their Spokesman on Health and stood for Parliament for the first time on the Libertarianz Party list in 2005. We gained a solid 0.04% of the party vote. Meanwhile, the ALCP’s share of the party vote fell to a record low of 0.25% and Nándor lost his seat. The Greens had lost interest in cannabis law reform and the dreadlocked skateboarder was now being seen by some as increasingly out of favour. He’d been moved down to 7th place on the Green Party list and the Greens were now down to 6 seats. But Green Co-Leader Rod Donald died tragically in late 2005 which meant that Nándor got to re-enter Parliament for one final term, during which he achieved the cannabis law reform movement’s one and only small success, new licensing rules for industrial hemp.

After the 2005 election I came out fully as a drug user and became the Libertarianz Party’s Spokesman on Drugs. In 2008 I stood again on the Libertarianz Party list and also as the Libertarianz Party candidate for the Mana electorate. I got 64 votes. The Libz gained 1% of a percentage point, skyrocketing to 0.05% of the party vote. Meanwhile, the ALCP rebounded from their record 2002 low and got a 0.41% share of the party vote. Nándor quit Parliament and went away to cleanse his soul. After the 2008 election I jumped waka and joined the ALCP.

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In 2011 I stood for Parliament again, this time on the ALCP list and as the ALCP candidate for the Mana electorate. Of course, by this time I fully realised that my chances of ever getting into Parliament on a cannabis law reform ticket were close to zero. I now regarded what I was doing as an exercise in educating the public and getting the cannabis law reform message out there, and my electoral results as a barometer of my success in that regard. I was simply taking a stand and speaking out against the injustice of the War on Drugs. I’d figured that I’d get more bang for my buck, as it were, campaigning under the ALCP banner instead of the Libz banner, and I was right. I got 334 votes as an ALCP candidate, up from 64 votes as a Libz candidate, and the ALCP’s share of the party vote went up 0.05% to 0.51%, its best result since 1999. The Libz once again barely registered with a mere 0.05% of the party vote, and soon after called it quits and disappeared from the New Zealand political scene.

Significant and sensible cannabis law reform started to happen elsewhere in the world. On 1 January 2014 cannabis law reform activist and Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti became the first person to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use in Colorado. I was sure in my own mind that this could only bode well for the ALCP’s electoral prospects here in New Zealand. In 2014 I stood for Parliament again, again on the ALCP list and as the ALCP candidate for the Mana electorate. I got my best result yet with 403 votes as the ALCP candidate, but the ALCP’s share of the party vote dropped back down to 0.46%, much to my surprise and chagrin. And, also much to my surprise and chagrin, John Key’s National Party was returned for a third term. Worst of all, National’s lapdog Peter Dunne was returned as Associate Minister of Health, thereby ensuring that there would be no cannabis law reform for a further three years.

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I’ve become very cynical. To me it doesn’t seem like a very big ask to be allowed to grow and use a harmless medicinal herb. I’ve been advocating for safe, sane and sensible drug law reform for three decades and seen nothing happen except some farmers who were prepared to jump through bureaucratic hoops being allowed to grow industrial hemp.

I’ve participated in our democracy, at some considerable financial and emotional cost to myself. And achieved precisely nothing in terms of legislative gains. Meanwhile, arch-prohibitionist Peter Dunne, in league with Satan, pushed through the Psychoactive Substances Act. Instead of drug law reform, New Zealand got landed with peak prohibition. What a total fustercluck.

I’ve always voted for cannabis law reform but I’ve never gotten what I voted for. Insanity is voting for the same thing over and over and expecting a different result every time. But I’m not crazy, just a bit of a slow learner. I tried voting but it didn’t work. So now I don’t vote. I’m plotting to overgrow the government instead.

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Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!

The ever elusive 1% (give or take a square mile when you adjust your fedora) are the morally destitute few who reside at the apex, profiting profoundly from all forms of tyranny.

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If we are not challenging all forms of tyranny (especially our own, if you have kids you know what I’m talking about) that means we have been divided and conquered and are distracted by subsets and definitions in our search for freedom and enlightenment.  The thing about tyranny is, you can’t legislate against it because legislation is tyranny however well meaning it might have been at the outset.

We have to look further for solutions to our problems, and stop thinking that somebody else should do something.  What can I do to help us all move towards a community that finds all forms of wretched, swaggering authoritarianism abhorrent and socially dangerous?  The argument against capitalism or socialism or communism by themselves is a confused one because people aren’t even speaking the same language and it becomes a battle of definitions.  If we talk about the plutocracy that runs reckless in each of those ideologies we can get closer to moving the mindsets that enslave us in our own heads.

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When considering viable socio-political options it has to be, not just okay, but also appreciated that people have differing aspirations and want different outcomes from the same general existence.  If we try to bend others to our will or exploit others unfairly for either our own gain or for a supposed greater good we are missing the point of what freedom from tyranny means and continuing the cycle of social chaos …moving in directions that aren’t forwards.

It’s great to experiment by cutting straws on the diagonal and being imaginative but acting out a process that TELLS PEOPLE WHAT TO DO, and even simply tolerating such a performance,  is how we keep ourselves from rising up and moving on as a species.

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But how do we deal with obvious wrongs like theft, rape and murder without telling people what to do?  There are two enemies here. Acts of rape and murder are included in the crime of TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO, whilst theft is about dishonesty.  Dishonesty is a lot more complicated to draw moral conclusions about in a world where involuntary directives and dishonest tactics are accepted and venerated by voting populations.

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The contradiction of power structures that punish theft and violence with theft and violence instead of leading by example should be glaringly obvious but it seems they well and truly are not.  Why is that?  Is it because there is very little encouragement for honest critical thinking and self responsibility?  Is it because mistrust is easier than curiosity in matters we don’t understand?

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It seems fashionably acceptable for people to get offended and lash out instead of exploring why we feel offended.  Another option besides chimping out and getting uppity is to ask ourselves if this feeling is rational and fair, or if it’s just a belligerent non acceptance of someone elses point of view.  Even if it’s the most thoughtlessly bigoted and backwoods retarded thing we’ve ever heard in our life, playing the victim of someone’s boorish stupidity and reacting in kind is, well …what does that say about us?

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My political question is this:

>>>How do we tell people to stop telling people what to do without telling them what to do?<<<

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