Tuesday 13 February 2024

Chris Trotter's brain hasn't melted

After the 2017 election, the brains of some folks on the NZ right seemed to melt. They imagined that Ardern was controlled by Davos, or the World Economic Forum, or the International Socialist Youth of which she had been President, or Soros. 

It was all just stupid. Labour had won the election, there were no conspiracies, and that people with similar outlooks chat with each other is hardly scandalous no matter how much crazy people want to claim that it is. 

Same thing's happening now with National's election. 

Chris Trotter figures it fills a psychological need on the left: someone external to blame for the loss.

THE ATLAS NETWORK has been trending lately – in the minds of the New Zealand Left. Devastated by the election result, and further demoralised by recent polling showing the Right increasing its grip on New Zealanders’ political imagination, the Atlas Network has provided the Left with what it most needs – an explanation for its failure.

I expect that's a reasonable part of it. But also a general view that throwing mud can make one's ideological opponents less effective regardless of whether any of it makes a darned bit of sense.

Trotter concludes, but read the whole thing:

It is highly instructive that left-wing politicians with CVs that show them working for “progressive” organisations, NGOs and yes, even left-wing think tanks with links to billionaire donors, are not portrayed as evil-doers by the mainstream media. Having a background in the trade unions, student organisations, environmental groups, etc, is seen as perfectly natural. Where else are left-wingers going to learn their trade? Exxon? British & American Tobacco? Pfizer?

David Seymour’s links to the Atlas Network do not make him a villain. Working for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy is not the same as working for Hamas. Morally speaking, is taking money from oil companies really all that distinguishable from giving money to oil companies every time we fill up our petrol tank? Getting from A to B; winning the battle of ideas; the Devil clips our tickets either way.

The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made more convincing by a sympathetic think tank, then the Left should not be getting mad at their opponent’s effective apparatus, it should be getting mad at itself for not having one of its own.

After you've read Trotter, watch this excellent 1985 documentary about a real conspiracy. 

1 comment:

  1. Labour's did not win that election. National did. Labour' with the least votes, was selected by a 7 percent party. They won the selection, not the election. There is a big difference. Bribery and utu was what it was about.