Tag Archives: capitalism

A brief reflection on conspiracies

John Key has responded to Hager’s claims saying: “So Nicky Hager says we’re a tax haven, well with the greatest respect, Nicky Hager is a left-wing conspiracy theorist.” Newstalk ZB, 9 May, 2016 “Last time he came out with all this … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Freedom, International Politics, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

On the very idea of ISIS – Part I

The very idea of wanting to explain a practice–for example, the killing of the priest-king–seems wrong to me. All that Frazer does is to make them plausible to people who think as he does. It is very remarkable that in … Continue reading

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Selling rope

There’s an anecdote, probably apocryphal, that in the early 1920s Lenin claimed that capitalism would provide the rope to hang itself. When some wag (reputedly Grigori Zinoviev, a close associate) responded by asking ‘Where will we get the rope?’ – at … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Labour, Maori, Media, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adam Smith and the Left and Right of Moral Sentiment – A Christmas Tale

[I’m on holiday in a place with very limited and irregular cellphone coverage and access to the internet. That means I haven’t included links in this post but, when I’ve quoted from Adam Smith’s work, I’ve referenced the ‘Part’ and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, National Identity, New Zealand Politics, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Democracy under attack – by democracy

Paradoxes are fascinating things. Some are especially so on the day of local body elections. The famous ‘Liar Paradox‘ poses the intriguing claim by a Cretan that ‘All Cretans are always liars’. Of course, if it’s true, it’s false. And, … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spotlight on Christchurch: Epilogue – ‘Trickle up theory’ a confirmed success

It seems that with every day that passes more pieces fall into place. Jig-saw addicts know the feeling well: A piece seemingly no different from any other catches your eye and, as you place it down, it fits snugly into … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Earthquakes, Economics, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Varieties of poverty in New Zealand

The debate over various ‘food in school’ programmes is remarkably lively, especially now that the Government is seemingly covering its flank on the issue – and perhaps even attempting to outflank those on the left. In fact, it’s now gone well beyond being … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, New Zealand Politics, Poverty, Welfare | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

‘Human capital depreciation’ and the Pike River Mining Disaster

There are moments when a few words can open up a vista on an entire worldview. The words shoot through the air for a few days like a rapidly fading spark on Guy Fawkes night but, every so often, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Underneath the ‘underclass’

Joe Bageant died on the 26th of March last year. Apparently, he was sometimes referred to as an American ‘leftneck’ – which is not a bad label for him. Bageant’s book (and, more generally, his literary life) has been devoted to laying … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Water, Waitangi, ownership and power

There’s a reason why we talk about property rights. Owning property without having any rights to it makes as much sense as having rights to something without owning it in some way. ‘Water rights’ and ‘water ownership’ are, in all … Continue reading

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