economy, depression 

Partly I think I’m having a depressive bout due to personal stuff like my relationship ending. But partly I’m bricking it because we’re staring down the barrel of a heist to steal our future and we’re individually at the mercy of the owning class.

They are coming for your savings, and for your debt, and for your buying power, and for your job security. All four. How do we individually defend against that? We can’t! But where is the class consciousness?

economy, depression 

Your savings will get eaten up, either by inflation or KiwiSaver shenanigans or by haircuts. Your earnings go bye bye as inflation is turned up, and employers are pulling every dirty trick to undermine labour, even though they killed enough people to create a labour shortage.

Your debt is in some ways safer than your assets, but not if the debt interest rates go up. You better be able to service it or say goodbye to the mortgage.

economy, depression 

And who have we got in our court? Some (not all) of the unions. A couple of politicians within broadly Liberal parties.

A socialist network largely dismantled and sidelined by a labour peace that is now dead. The next few years are going to HURT, and not hurt equally, which is the point.

economy, depression 

And this in the context of a global pandemic (and death cult response), climate extinction, energy crisis, and the deliberate turn towards fascism to protect Capital in case the Left get too powerful.

And meanwhile I’m trying to convince my Liberal friends to become Leftists before it’s too late, but they don’t want to “contribute to polarisation or radicalisation” when it’s “a complex and nuanced situation”. Fuuuuuuuuck

economy, depression 

And we don’t have the luxury of 20th Communism as a successful model to reach towards. To be a socialist of any flavour today is to believe in values like universalism and integrity that mean we don’t get to lie, cheat or take short cuts, but to not have a surviving model to work towards. We can’t be utopians, and we can’t rely on 20thC ideology and vision. We’re back to improvising with the few tools we know can’t be coopted.

economy, depression 

So materially it comes down to harm reduction and risk mitigation. But there’s just no fucking money for it, so its all scraps and personal virtue. How many refugees can you shelter? How much of your income can you put aside for ko-fi and patreon and give a little? It’s not enough, never enough.

economy, depression 

And every regular, neurotypical person I talk to is like "you are correct, but don't worry about it, like me." and it's like... but people are going to suffer and die, and "people" doesn't mean "other people far enough away to pretend it doesn't matter" here, it means all of us. It's not a hypothetical, Darren.

economy, depression 

We don't even have a fucking newspaper, that's how bad it is. In Aotearoa NZ, we've got the basically-liberal Spinoff, and they are as likely to run a soft piece about riding along with the fucking police helicopter as to call out the RW.

economy, depression 

@dznz Yes, things are grim 😬 I do sense a growing intolerance towards the super rich and the extremes of inequality though. And climate activism is gathering force. 🤔 I find choosing a life of voluntary simplicity has helped my mental health, but I acknowledge my privilege to be able to do this. All the best to you :birdheart:

economy, depression 

@simplicitarian I agree we're seeing some positive movement, though half the climate activism is run by liberals like XR who just endorsed an NFT project.

I'll be okay, just needed to rant.

economy, depression 

@dznz @simplicitarian I share your discontent. The hypocrisy and inherent cognitive dissonance we all accommodate is staggering. And some of us have done a lot of work to be true to our values. In the end, all we can do is provide an example of the behaviour we want to see. And rant a bit, given the opportunity.

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economy, depression 

@lightweight @dznz Yes! Modelling a different way of living might make us eccentric, but it definitely challenges people to reflect on their own lives 🤔

economy, depression 

@simplicitarian @dznz Yes. We can have quite a big impact especially if they've previously developed the impression that we're 'normal' and perhaps even thriving before they find out we also have highly progressive 'values' up to which we sincerely endeavour to live, even if that requires quite daunting sacrifices on principle. :)

economy, depression 

@simplicitarian @lightweight @dznz In _The Nutmeg's Curse_ Amitav Ghosh mentions how important a new conception of "The Good Life" is, and how "mimetic" it is. He mentions XR and Pope Francis's Fratelli Tutti as important examples. I guess if the richer people in richer countries start leading satisfying lives without energy-guzzling McMansions and cars and polluting consumer products, the up-and-coming folks would strive for other betterments?
mstdn.jp/@bsmall2/108320667124

economy, depression 

@lightweight @dznz @bsmall2 Yes! And a key part of the Transition Towns movement is imagining a good sustainable future, and then building communities that start living in that way now.

economy, depression 

@simplicitarian @lightweight @dznz Do you have a good link that explains the Transition Towns movement. I imagine the real solutions are decent town planning, compact cities.. Something like Murray Bookchin's approach to politics.. But it's hard to get motivated to do the necessary organizing and politics.

economy, depression 

@dznz @lightweight @bsmall2 Rob Hopkins was an initiator of the concept in England and has written several books. Check out his own website and podcast for some inspiration! It’s really a community-led thing rather than a top-down one. An example in Dunedin is The Valley Project - see www.northeastvalley.org

@simplicitarian @dznz @lightweight
Thanks for the name and link. The link will help me talk with nice local people. The local welfare office, a buddhist temple, and local volunteers are doing some of the stuff mentioned on link's site. I'll have to ask if the locals are part of a larger movement, or organization. Until now it seemed like mostly one guy running himself into the ground doing half of it. The Children's Cafeteria movement is associatedwith anti-poverty activist Yuasa Makato...

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian I struggle with all these same issues. I had a lot of hope early in the pandemic when people were coming together and reassessing what is important in life. Unfortunately that quickly turned into "getting back to normal".

I do see some hope in people working together and creating community around environmental and social issues.

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian Though sometimes that makes me feel worse when I can see what is possible but being surrounded by people who care more about a new car or the value of their house.

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk Yep, I feel you. I am car free while my neighbours have his and hers SUVs, and that’s just the beginning 😬 Still, I have met more sympathetic neighbours through catching public transport and cycling 👍🏼

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk I agree so much about the time of reflection at the beginning of the pandemic too. I think some people did seriously review the way they lived, but others quickly returned to “normal” 😢

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk so many missed opportunities to be sure. I also feel it's tragic that we showed a tantalising glimpse of a 'better us' and then we fell right back into our bad old ways @simplicitarian

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk @lightweight Snap, just made a similar reply 😆 Agree 100% and I often think longingly of that time when private transport almost disappeared.

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian having lived through #eqnz here in Christchurch, too, I was heartbroken by the missed opportunities to build our city back better than it was. The lack of vision was staggering, along with the dogmatic (ignorant) 'conservatism' and general lack of grace of the local land-owners/power brokers (who have substantial influence in our city council and exerted it on the Cant'y EQ Recovery Authority, too). @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian seems that, like Gibson's "future" an informed, empathetic, Common Good-focused world view is already here... it's just very poorly distributed. It's largely absent from those with clout in society. @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight @alpinefolk Yep, those who are progressive and community-minded attract huge resistance if they get into powerful positions. Our Ōtepoti mayor is a very good person but some of the business lobby treat him like evil incarnate. The fact he got elected gives me hope though.

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian yes, his win was a big deal. We need to call out all interaction between local (and central) gov't and lobbyists - most of it is justified as 'more trade and a stronger economy is better for everyone'... but it's not necessarily true. Much of that is just implicit 'trickle down economics' . And it's bullshit that needs to be kicked to touch at every occurrence. @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk @lightweight Some of it is straight out resistance to change and really ignorant eg cycle lanes and pedestrianisation have been proved time and again to INCREASE trade for retailers, but many on George St believe its upgrade will be a disaster 😬

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian yeah, we have to pound out that ignorant perspective by beating people with evidence. The more people the better. Only overwhelming 'peer pressure' can change that sort of thinking. @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian the other thing we can do to help people change is gently but persistently point out when the powerful engage in selfish acts that actively disadvantage others. @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian @lightweight same tired incorrect arguments across the country.

“That won’t work here because…”

After they pedestrianised Trafalgar St in Nelson the retailers who weren’t in the zone complained those who were had a competitive advantage… almost guarantee they were the same ones who fought it for years 🙄

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight @alpinefolk I’ve been thinking it’s very quiet here recently, so big thanks to @dznz whose rant has led us into this monster thread 😆

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian there’s nothing like a passionate rant to get the discussion flowing 😂 @lightweight @dznz

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian @lightweight @alpinefolk @dznz It’s not just the obvious targets of people of power and property who resist change. The way we flipped back to ‘normal’ early in the pandemic showed how much inertia there is right across the system with ordinary people. Every progressive change is hard fought!

re: economy, depression 

@pkboi
the other force we need to discredit is the 'temporarily embarrassed' vote - the folks who vote for policies that they aspire to be affected by, e.g. tax breaks for the rich. A lot of poor folks buy into the prosperity gospel and related mythology. But they vote accordingly. We need to show people how daft that is. And how counter productive. @simplicitarian @alpinefolk @dznz

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight unfortunately I know a number of small business owners whose values more closely align with the left but vote National because that’s what business owners do. @pkboi @simplicitarian @dznz

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk @lightweight @pkboi @simplicitarian which of their values align with the Left, then? I'm guessing none of the important ones, hey?

re: economy, depression 

To be clear that is my perception that they align with the left, not theirs. Specifically their attitude to the environment, fairness, community etc. @dznz @lightweight @pkboi @simplicitarian

re: economy, depression 

@dznz Interestingly, I have a friend who moved here from California. She always voted Republican because that’s what the family had always done. When she did the political compass it aligned her with the Greens. @lightweight @pkboi @simplicitarian

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk
my father, in the US, was like that for many years - he voted GOP (long before Trump) because his dogmatic view was that the health of the economy trounced everything else. He's subsequently (in the past 30 years, since Regan) changed his tune markedly. The US screwed itself by letting the DNC shaft Sanders. But I digress :) @dznz @pkboi @simplicitarian

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight @simplicitarian @alpinefolk @dznz True. Plenty of people aspire to a state they are unlikely to achieve unless they win Lotto. I suspect many are also afraid of being losers in another system and vote to protect what they have, rather than take a risk on what might be.

re: economy, depression 

@pkboi @lightweight @simplicitarian @alpinefolk you’re on the money, I think, because there IS so much to lose and no guarantee that the disruption and loss that change brings will be worth it.

re: economy, depression 

@pkboi @lightweight @alpinefolk @dznz Yes. This is why visible small community and individual examples can be good in demonstrating positive alternatives. I’m thinking of things like community gardens, repair workshops, the neighbour who walks/bikes everywhere etc. I suspect it’s also why there’s so much irrational opposition to cycling infrastructure 🤷🏻‍♀️

re: economy, depression 

@simplicitarian I mean, just think: Chch city could've acquired the land corridors needed to provide really world-class light rail through the city down the track (so to speak) before everything got rebuilt... but they didn't and now it'll be well-neigh impossible to undo that failure of vision... @alpinefolk

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight @simplicitarian ugh There was so much potential after the Chch eqnz and it was squandered. I’m not even sure for what (other than making a few people richer)

re: economy, depression 

@alpinefolk yes, making some richer (or appeasing their utterly ignorant impression of 'risk' mitigation - most of the land holders in central Chch are *not* enlightened people. They've just inherited wealth), and to appease some National politicians' flimsy egos. @simplicitarian

re: economy, depression 

@lightweight @simplicitarian it is incredibly frustrating. I guess the positive that we can take is that it is possible to change peoples minds. We just need to make it stick.

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