Occupy Yourself!

I am getting a little sick of the Occupy Wall Street people. They are bad. But the fact is, Occupy Auckland or Occupy Queen Street, depending on who you talk to, are much, much worse.

New Zealand does not have the issue that is being protested in the United States. In the United States, 1% of the population control approximately 40% of the wealth. In New Zealand, that figure is approximately 1% controlling 16%.

The fact is, the richest 1% of our society should have more wealth than others. Firstly, they are more rich – if every 1% of the population had 1% of the wealth then there would be no rich or poor and we’d be in a situation called theoretical communism. And I put “theoretical” there because it’s a situation that will never happen in a society of human beings. Anyway, secondly, the top 1% general have do more or have done more work for their money. I say generally because there are people who are only there because of inheritances and the likes, but the vast majority in this country is through hard work. Finally, they contribute more to the economy.

I have no problem with New Zealanders supporting Americans in their Occupy Wall Street campaign – while I don’t agree with it, I can see where they are coming from. However, I cannot see where New Zealanders who want change in New Zealand are coming from. We don’t have the problem, so how are we meant to fix it?

Yes, New Zealand is in a economic crisis at the moment, whether John Key wants to accept it or not, and while I think National has done more to fix that than Labour would have, I still don’t think they have done enough. However, that is not caused by an excessive pool of wealth at the top of the chain. It is because of businesses in general thinking about short term profits rather than long term earnings. However, that’s for another post (and it will come before the election – don’t worry about that).

So, let’s get realistic, New Zealand. You can Occupy Queen Street all you want, but it’s not going to fix the problem as the problem you’re trying to fix simply isn’t there. New Zealand is still, generally, a country where you can work very hard and succeed. No, not everyone who works hard ends up in the position they deserve, mostly because when people get knocked down there isn’t a very good system to help them back up again. But in general, if you work hard, you can be successful. The people who are in the bottom 10% are those who have been lost by the welfare system or those who refuse to work hard.

However, these people are not the ones protesting. It’s people who see a protest overseas have must get involved. John Minto is one of them. While I haven’t seen him involved with these protests, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually was there. Unite Union is another. The Communist League have, as far as I know, been involved with this too. That’s not a surprise, given the result of these demands would be communism. Do we really want a system in this country that has been proven to fail every time it has happened? It either becomes socialism or capitalism – the socialists destroy their people (see Russia) and the capitalists deny they are capitalist and put minor socialist measures in place to look like they are still communist (see China).

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Posted on October 17, 2011, in New Zealand Politics, United States Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Occupation Queen Street isn’t modelling itself on Occupation Wall Street in any way, we face a unique set of challenges here and the Occupiers, (easily defined as the 99%), acknowledge that. Our Social problems predominantly effect the lower and working class New Zealanders and then we have environmental problems as well, but overall, the overriding factor in ALL New Zealand grievances boils down to Corporate/government greed and corruption. Why not keep an open mind about it and go speak to the Media crew there? You might just walk away with a different attitude and opinion…

    • In New Zealand, the lower and working class are much better off than the middle class. The upper class have their money, the lower class have their welfare, but what do the middle class have? If anyone has problems in this country, it’s them. So fighting for the lower and working class and blaming banks and financial institutions is a stupid thing to do in this country.

      Do you have any details of the media crew? I would be interested in having a chat with them…

      • christ, I’d ask for a fees refund if I were your parents… obviously didnt take any political sciences programmes as an elective.

      • Hi Nan,

        I would suggest that, given you’re not from New Zealand (or at least, your IP address suggests you aren’t) you don’t understand the context. New Zealand is a very different system to the US, UK etc.

        Thanks for commenting

        DF

  2. One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and the “occupations” in other cities is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation — its dynamics, its (spatial) globality, its (temporal) modernity. They equate anti-capitalism with simple anti-Americanism, and ignore the international basis of the capitalist world economy. To some extent, they have even reified its spatial metonym in the NYSE on Wall Street. Capitalism is an inherently global phenomenon; it does not admit of localization to any single nation, city, or financial district.

    Another problem pervasive amongst OWS demonstrators is a general lack of historical consciousness. Not only are they almost completely unaware of past revolutionary movements, but their thinking has become so enslaved to the conditions of the present that they can no longer imagine a society fundamentally different from our own. Instead of liberation and emancipation, all they offer is the vague notion of “resistance” or “subversion.”

    Moreover, many of the more moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures: steeper taxes on the rich, more bureaucratic regulation and oversight of business practices, broader government social programs (welfare, Social Security), and projects of rebuilding infrastructure to create jobs. Moderate “progressives” dream of a return to the Clinton boom years, or better yet, a Rooseveltian new “New Deal.” All this amounts to petty reformism, which only serves to perpetuate the global capitalist order rather than to overcome it. They fail to see the same thing that the libertarians in the Tea Party are blind to: laissez-faire economics is not essential to capitalism. State-interventionist capitalism is just as capitalist as free-market capitalism.

    Though Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. To this point, most of the protests have only expressed a sort of intuitive discontent with the status quo. In order to get a better sense of what they are up against, they must develop a more adequate understanding of the prevailing social order. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation.

    To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:

    “Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What it Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies

  3. The media crew are sited at the Occupation in Aotea Square, go in there and talk to them, you may change your perspective…

  4. 150,000 unemployed, 200,000 children living in poverty, that’s a huge population to lay blame on, not to mention cuts to health and education, permanently disabled people, the scrapping of the Training Incentive allowance by Paula Bennett, who got where she is today of that very same allowance, student loans the size of mortgages, a proposed food bill that will criminalise people for growing and sharing their own food/bills, cost cutting measures and bullshit red tape delaying an effective salavage mission of Rena and the list goes on, meanwhile, coroporations like Vodaphone get away with evading 7 billion dollars in tax to add to their profits, sure, things are just fine in New Zealand, think about it, every grievance people have, whether it be economical or environmental, all boils down to corporate greed and corruption., p.s. I am speaking as an individual and not behalf of every other individual and organisation who are joining in with the Occupation.

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