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rolling out neoliberalism in New Zealand

While the opposition party engages in spectacular self-immolation, the governing Labour Party, under Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern, despite a stated commitment to rolling back the worst of neoliberal measures towards privatisation, decentralisation, marketisation and financialisation, continues to roll out policy consistent with the neoliberal agenda of the Mont Pelerin Thought Collective. The latest is a “new independent infrastructure body” steered by corporate interests, independent, as far as possible, from government and public oversight.

Submissions have been called for in a gesture towards public consultation. But the move has been given little publicity. The media are part of the problem. Having become a part of the market they are supposed to critique, they eat their own young.

Please go here: https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/infrastructure/new-independent-infrastructure-body/consultation

Please go here: https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/infrastructure/new-independent-infrastructure-body/consultation

And this what it says here: https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-statement/have-your-say-new-independent-infrastructure-body:

“Until 26 October the Treasury is seeking public and sector feedback on what a new independent infrastructure body might look like, Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf announced today.

“In August, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones announced the creation of a new independent infrastructure body, to ensure New Zealand gets the quality of infrastructure investment it needs to improve long-term economic performance and social wellbeing.

“A consultation document released today outlines proposed functions and features for the new body.

“Treasury Deputy Secretary Jon Grayson said that over the next three weeks the Treasury, working in partnership with the National Infrastructure Advisory Board, will meet representatives from the sector to discuss the proposals.  There will also be an online survey and the opportunity to make written statements, to ensure a wide range of views are canvassed, said Mr Grayson.

““I know the sector will welcome the chance to be directly involved in the detail of how this new body will work. The market, wider construction industry and local government all agree with the Government’s view that we need far greater visibility over our long-term infrastructure needs.

““The sector needs certainty about where and when investment will occur, so it can organise to meet demand. The new body will help provide that certainty while also ensuring Ministers get better advice to improve our long-term planning and investment.

““This is really important for New Zealand’s future and I strongly encourage the sector and the wider public to share their views with us by 26 October.”

“Mr Grayson said a panel of private and public sector experts would guide the Treasury in shaping advice on key issues, and support the Treasury in the delivery of the project.

“The new body will be up and running by mid-late 2019.  In advance of that date, an interim Infrastructure Transactions Unit will be established within Treasury from 1 November 2018, to provide support to agencies in planning and delivering major infrastructure projects

“Media contact: all media enquiries should be directed to media@treasury.govt.nz

“Notes to editors:

“The consultation document can be found at Consultation on a new independent infrastructure body, along with details on how to make submissions, and background papers. Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones’ August media release announcing the creation of a new independent infrastructure body can be found here.

“The panel members are:  Simon Allen (Chair, Crown Infrastructure Partners), Jim Betts (Chief Executive, Infrastructure New South Wales), Jenny Chetwynd (Strategy, Policy and Planning General Manager, NZ Transport Agency), Fiona Mules (Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Board), John Rae (Chair, National Infrastructure Advisory Board) and Sarah Sinclair (Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Lawyers and Board Member, Infrastructure New Zealand) Biographical information on the panel can be found at Experts supporting and guiding establishment of the new body).”

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what began as neoliberalism ends in fascism {or: FAKE NEWS=TWO TRUTHS}

once there are two truths, established by Friedrich Hayek in 1954, then the way is clear: all the ingroup has to do is maintain control over economic policy–and the outgroup, even to the whole of Brazil, can be told this is freedom, Bolsonaro’s fascism is fake news.

see here

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how many does it take to turn things around?

a billion people

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ZAD — zone à défendre

“All the things you dream of: do them now, while your enemies are reeling, trying to figure out their next angle of attack. There won’t ever be less repression, less police and private security, less drones and dogs. I personally regret not pushing harder before our possibilities shifted, not taking things to the fullest expression they could have reached. I hope you won’t have these same regrets.”

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No. XXIII

XXIII.

the extreme poverty of Moerewa

a poverty that not poverty

contrasts with a smell

not te ika the eel tuna not that

neither a full range of offals

and associated products

including foetal blood not the smell of

the freezing works

 

the fronted up houses the shops boarded

nor the café boarded where stones on every table

fresh smoked eel we said taking pride of place

taking pride in place the whenua

whenua

 

a poverty at the roots of the hills

haunting porcelain animals

on windowsills

 

in the lightning trees

at the tips of each darkness

nodding recognition

 

my grandfather built my grandmother

nana

a similar house

rich for being stucco

in another works’ town

Konini

Konini Street from folded blueprints

he proudly kept

 

rich for having a porch

deep enough sunlight

never penetrated no

 

not that smell of rosewater oil of Ulan

that overtakes me now of ripening fruit

in the laundry loo and pile of mags

I’d sometimes find a porn one

overripe in the pale green tongue and groove

 

the meatworks where he

call him boompa not poppa

rode to every morning

on the fixed gear black bike

for sixty years

 

and sweet smell fruit rotting in the grass

the Bay so fertile call it the fruitbowl of a nation

so fertile it rotted

what nation

 

he dreamed of travelling to the Rhine one day

and on the aeroplane sedated and confused

the drugs for Parkinson’s Lorelei

he left his seat in his socks

and shoes behind padding down the aisle

to the door and with intent and pride intact

he turned the handle opening the hatch

to walk outside

 

no what smell but health and hygiene

a compression of hedges

Kerikeri

with no outside.

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Puerto Rico’s Sol or Puertopia (if it didn’t translate as eternal boy): a new society founded by believers in virtual currency

proposed site for crypto-utopian city-within-a-city:

and:

Read “Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico” by Nellie Bowles 2/2/2018

 

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neoliberalism = monism. liberalism = dualism.

…doing a keyword search for ‘neoliberal’ books, I am once more struck by the repetition of the two primary angles of approach to the neoliberal episteme. The first claims to have Foucault as inspiration, particularly in light of his genealogical work from the 1970s–so long ago, but not long either. It analyzes neoliberalism as thought collective (Mirowski & co.) or goes from symptoms to diagnosis; but both serve to critique from the angle of abjection: there is no affirmation but counter-affirmation. The work done does not get as far as affirmation. It finds sufficient a Nietzschean critique–genealogy–that identifies the enemy, analyzes its strategies, its behaviours, its break-out moments. But neither does it destroy, nor, from the ensuing destruction, does it create something new. The second angle of approach sets out forthrightly to serve resistance to neoliberalism, to give it weapons. Once again, that a putative we, we of the left, need to combat neoliberalism, must struggle and seek to overcome it, is taken for granted. The object of affirmative action is effective reaction. And so I ask myself what is the motor, can we get at the generative condition, engage the creative moment of neoliberalism, rather than go from abjection and reaction?

Foucault I think does this. He is objective, not normative or prescriptive. But in being so, he can also be seen as not taking sides, at least, as not taking the right left side. His analysis of power without a concept of power (see here) produces and does not simply reproduce or react, is productive inasmuch as power, like desire for Deleuze and Guattari, connects–or like the media, for McCluhan, in which we swim, invisible to us as water to fish. Foucault, I think, affirms power in this new modality, of its proliferation, its generative and creative capability, one without capacity, one purely expressive–or, more properly, virtual. Foucault does not repeat or repudiate a power that is connective, participatory and performative. He attends to a networked power, the powers of networked subjects, of which the network is greater than any one, the power one to the nth power, assembly or multitude, or, naturally, society–and because greater than any one, without subject, without concept.

I would hazard that the generative condition for neoliberalism is already given in liberalism to be the free will. Except that of the two forms, of the two epistemic arrangements, liberalism articulates a dualism, while neoliberalism articulates a monism centring on the market. The dualism articulated in liberalism owes its existence to the coexistence in it of freedom of the will with the equality and reciprocity of those who will, whose will will be free.

There is a religious conviction behind this formulation. Siedentop makes it his theme in Inventing the Individual (2017), where he calls neoliberalism a liberal heresy. This conviction entails the creation of a private sphere, not the household, or family or marketable lifestyle, but the conscience, the moral status of the individual. The monism of neoliberalism does away with the individual as a separate sphere, a sphere separate to society in even its moral claims and tenets, usages and principles. The individual becomes, as Foucault shows, a node in the network, or a communicating vector of sociability: the garrulous performance of everyday corpocratic existence.

What is suggested is not simply to see Foucault as the first theorist of the neoliberal struggle, because he is so both for and against, but a return to an individualism individuating society, standing against every enforced morality as contradiction in terms. Individual conscience is flattened through its universal appropriation to economic freedom–is not thereby made religious because the free practice of religion is itself moralised away. This explains what Siedentop refers to happening in Europe as a ‘civil war’, since the religious antecedence of a moral intuition both of the individual’s freedom as well as of the reciprocity, free association and equality of individuals, is disavowed.

 

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celebrating Santiago Gamboa, as well as stating the obvious & wondering once again at the sentimental Left, melting even before it gets to the battlefield–were we fantasizing? grinning stupidly, terrifyingly

…the reasons someone who’s about to shoot another man thinks he has may vary, but the deed is the same, someone will press the trigger, and when the lead breaks the skin and drills into the cranium and damages a lobe and perforates it and opens a path in the brain, a life with a history and past will be cut short and a body transformed into a bloodstained mass that will fall to the ground, and that fact, which is horrible in itself and can’t in any way be explained or justified, makes all the reasons equivalent; in the middle of the twentieth century it was ideologies, then it was land or the control of resources, reserves of hydrocarbons. …

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Saturday.

Do you know the contemporary name for perversity? It’s democracy. If a chimpanzee with a drum becomes popular and amusing, he could be elected president.

– Santiago Gamboa, Night Prayers, trans. Howard Curtis, Europa Editions, 2016, p. 222

…the world wasn’t made for harmony and kindness, but quite the contrary, for confrontation. The world is a boxing ring, a battlefield. And you don’t go to battlefields with smiles and soft words, no, sir, you go armed to the teeth.

– ibid., p. 232

We played with madness (were we fantasizing?) until the afternoon gave my mouth the terrifying smile of the idiot.

– ibid., p. 290

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Since remarkably little has changed in the intervening 17 years in respect of arts and cultural policy in NZ, I have forwarded the letter linked to below to our current Prime Minister & Minister for the Arts, Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern

Letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

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of course as a contributing writer you may find yourself on a beautiful site (designed) with some beautiful writing (actual critique) and you may ask yourself…

the answer is:

the perverse

delights of

artistic incest

& nepotism

in NZ

introducing

the pantograph punch

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