Tag Archives: ideology

On the very idea of ISIS – Part II

In the first part of this post I argued that beliefs held by individuals are not a good basis on which to analyse geopolitical events. Both beliefs and their associated collective-level behaviours are the result of other forces operating in the environment … Continue reading

Posted in Human Nature, International Politics, Media, Military, Philosophy, Political Psychology | 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

Flagging interest in ‘folly’ of vexillology

John Key seems like an unlikely vexillologist – or should that be vexillographer?. That aside, what was John Key ‘flagging’ when he proposed a referendum on New Zealand’s national flag to coincide with this year’s election – without having already … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, National Identity, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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

Disdaining democracy

All those years ago – you know, way back when John Key wasn’t the Prime Minister – the populace, so we found out, was getting restless. Its main complaint about the government of the day was that it was ‘off … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What ground is ‘left’ when it comes to land, assets – and nationalism?

It’s the issue that won’t go away [and here], so it’s probably a good time to ask “Where should the left stand on the land (and ‘our’ assets)?” “Stand in the place where you live” – so sang REM in what … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, National Identity, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of control

Sometimes, you just can’t keep things under control in politics. You know how it goes –  somehow Treasury documents get accidentally posted on websites; somehow the government’s majority ‘control’ over partially privatised state assets just isn’t what you thought it … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Believing what you need to believe

It’s a common belief that politics and policy-making would be better if it availed itself of the fruits of scientific endeavour. Some call it ‘evidence-based policy‘ and it is often those on the left who call for much more of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Right’s Dependence on Welfare

A recent comment by Don Brash [about 7mins45secs into the video] gave me the clue as to why the right are so dependent on the ‘welfare’ argument. They are, to put it bluntly, dependent on ‘welfare’ as the explanation for all … Continue reading

Posted in Free Market, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments