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Is Anarchy So Bad?

I can’t help but notice that I have become increasingly anti-establishment recently. Is this simply due to me getting grumpy because of my advancing years? Well maybe, except I was also this way earlier in life, especially in my 20s. So it seems that I started off being a bit of a rebel, became more moderate later on, and have now come back to my wild ways again!

Why? Is it something to do with me or is it the way the world has changed in the last 30 years? Few people are prepared to accept that their opinions come from deficiencies in their own character and I’m no exception, so I’m going to blame modern society!

Before I go on I do have to say that despite many major global problems (terrorism, inequality, climate change, peak oil, pollution, etc) in many ways the world is getting better all the time (see my blog post “An Optimistic Message” from 2014-03-16). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t specific areas where things aren’t so good, could be a lot better than they are, or are even getting worse.

I should also say that when criticising institutions I don’t mean to say that every person involved with that organisation is a bad person, just that the net effect is bad.

So let me list some areas of the current establishment (specifically here in New Zealand, but similar issues exist in most other modern democracies) that I object to…


Yes, nothing new here, of course because politicians have always been near the bottom of trusted professions and you can see why. We do have a particularly dishonest and cynical political establishment here today though and it is epitomised by our prime minister, John Key. The way he spins issues is just so cynical that it makes me cringe.

His hypocrisy and dishonesty seem to be obvious to everyone at the climate change talks where he recently won the “Fossil of the Day” award, yet most people here can’t see it and they continue to be taken in by his (admittedly very well executed) spin.

We could vote this current government out and get another one but they would soon sink to the same levels of self-serving cynical dishonesty. It’s the establishment which is at fault.


The police here are turning into nothing much more than a bunch of thugs. I have already talked about how their raid on Kim Dotcom’s home a few years back should be a big warning to everyone. If any person gets in the way of big business or our relationship with powerful overseas allies then there is no limit to the bullying and violence they can expect from police.

More recently they invaded journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan’s house over something totally trivial. They wanted a sample of her writing apparently in relation to an incident (some would say a stunt) where she highlighted the incompetence of police on her TV program. Obviously the police don’t like criticism and are using their powers to intimidate their enemies.

Why are the police so afraid of criticism? There’s only one reason I can think of: because they know they are incompetent and don’t like that fact being highlighted on national television. We could throw out the current police management but they would soon be replaced by some others who are just as morally corrupt. It’s the establishment which is at fault.

Big business.

Every dealing I have with large organisations (mainly businesses) and every incident I hear about indirectly shows the bumbling incompetence and calculated corruption in almost every big corporation. Almost every person I talk to reports poor service and hopeless inefficiency in their dealings with large corporations.

Just today the large multinational Serco has had its pure negligence and incompetence revealed in how it has managed the prison which the government foolishly allowed it to run. The government did this through the pure ideological belief that private companies always perform better – an idea which is clearly untrue. Mt Eden Prison, run by Serco, is now at the bottom of the performance list and we all know the only reason it was previously at the top was because the company lied to us.

What kind of company wants to make a profit by taking other people’s liberty and treating them so badly? I can possibly accept that the state might want do this just to maintain order. But to torture people for profit – that really is evil.

But it doesn’t really matter which large corporation we have operating here because, to a large extent, they are all the same. It’s the establishment which is at fault.

About a year ago I was debating an extreme libertarian and when he described his preferred socio-economic structure I said something like: “we can’t do that – it’s anarchy”. He said “sure it is, what’s the problem?”. I’m beginning to see his point. Is anarchy so bad?

  1. November 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Interesting. If I didn’t know you were describing New Zealand, I would have thought you were describing America. I find it interesting that you wrote this before the anti-establishment moves of Brexit and Donald Trump.

  2. OJB
    November 15, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Many of these issues are global. Obviously they apply more in some countries than others. For example, the excessive power of corporations and police corruption are probably worse in the US than here.

    But I am a strong believer in the zeitgeist. Different political, philosophical, and social ideas seem to come and go with little apparent reason, but their effect is global, or at least very extensive.

    I would like to think that I am a bit ahead of the curve on seeing future trends. Maybe that’s just conceit, who really knows. No one seems to be great at predicting the future.

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