Hide on the new religion of the state

Rodney Hide discusses how the state is the new religion:

The state has become New Zealand’s de facto religion with its magical powers and beneficence accepted without question. The state can feed the poor, care for little children, make us rich, cool the earth and direct the oceans.

The state’s unlimited power is the subtext in all news reports, our state education system and daily discourse. It is implicit and unquestioned in editorials and opinion pieces. It’s the metaphysic of political debate.

The state does nothing well except take taxes. In all other respects they just hinder progress or prevent it all together.

The cleaner at my local mall thinks voting John Minto for mayor will boost his wages and make the rivers swimmable. “It needs a shake up,” he tells me. “The ones there don’t care.”

They clearly don’t. They have the state’s awesome power yet don’t use it to any good purpose. But for self-serving politicians and incompetent bureaucrats we would have heaven on earth.

The disillusionment is understandable. We keep voting but our problems don’t go away. We pray every morning and every night and attend church every Sunday but still poor children suffer terribly and die horrible deaths. It shakes belief.

But instead of becoming atheistic or even agnostic, voters shift their faith to the wild outsiders, the true charlatans.

People like John Minto think they have all the answers, but they don’t. If their way worked then Venezuela would be a vibrant and thriving economy. Cuba would be creating huge medical and technical advances and socialism and communism would never have been overthrown by their impoverished people.

The suspension of reason is so total that New Zealand’s angry outsider is our longest serving MP – he was in Parliament ahead of three recent prime ministers. That Winston Peters is seen as saviour shows how unshakeable the belief in government truly is.

He’s the only one you can trust!

I am the opposite. I would be amazed if government got anything remotely right even at vast expense. It’s a blundering bully without guidance or sense.

The state’s only distinguishing feature is its power to take and to destroy. That’s its only means of operation. It’s what it does every minute, day and night, week in, week out.

The government is the biggest bully of them all.

It is run by politicians driven by public opinion that’s breathtakingly ignorant of the issues and government operation. Politicians are rabbits caught in the headlights of public opinion not sure where the car will jump next.

The great, massive government departments that turn the cogs and wheels do so completely in the dark. They have no clue what people want, the cost of anything, the trade-offs involved and don’t know what those in their own departments actually do.

They lack guidance, information and incentive.

I’m with Rodney, shame he left parliament.

No one mind or group can grasp all the country’s laws and regulations or even name all the government departments and quangos the state operates.

The system is quite out of control and totally uncontrollable.

There was a time people’s foolish belief made me angry and despairing. It now only amuses me. I keep as far away from government as I possibly can and whenever I get the chance I poke the nasty bully with a stick.

I can understand that sentiment.

 – NBR


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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