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Dissent, ethical human rights, taking NZ from a 'stupid culture' to a 'thinking culture'.
Dissent, 'shut down' under neoliberalism, while unwanted is needed to take New Zealand from a 'stupid culture' to a 'thinking culture' to enable progress to take place. This has been prompted by the need to rebuild Christchurch, NZ's second largest city, following massive earthquakes which first occurred in September 2010. The global ethical human rights approach, in my view a far superior plan than neoliberalism, would best enable this. The ethical approach can be applied in any part of the world.
Increasing dissent, and global ethical human rights truth, taking NZ from a “stupid culture’ to a ‘thinking culture’.
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.
Ph: (0064) (09) 940.9658
The following is a discussion between myself and Boz Za who set up the site ‘External Perspective: US’ on Facebook which describes itself as about ‘discussing and sharing news, history and articles related to US geopolitics, as well as other relevant topics such as capitalism and banking sector’.
Our council promotes an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization for World Peace - to replace neoliberalism. The latter omits many human rights to accommodate the neoliberal economic policies of the IMF while I consider the ethical approach, which also includes all human rights, is the proper interpretation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Global ethical human rights empowers people from the ‘bottom-up’, usually requiring independence of action and thought, whereas neoliberalism is concerned with ‘top-down’ control, often requiring collective action and collective thought.
In the economic and social sphere the ethical approach can forge new paths into the future while neoliberalism very largely perpetuates the status quo protecting the interests of powerful elites.
The following discussion is the first time since the introduction of the ethical approach in 2008 that anyone (apart from the Vinny Eastwood show, Guerilla Meida) has been prepared to debate the subject at any length because, in my view, the neoliberal interpretation of human rights has been designed to allow States to ‘shut down’ dissent (see anthony ravlich’s blog, guerilla media cited above).
Hopefully the discussion below will encourage others to overcome their fears – dissent may not be wanted but it is needed, in my view.
Although new ideas can take time to take hold the global establishments are still refusing, five years after its introduction, to discuss the ethical approach in the mainstream which is necessary if it is to reach the democratic majority – voters need to be informed.
While it has received some high profile support, even some NZ cross-political party support, on the social networking sites and has the support of one of NZ’s top academics, Bryan Gould and a few ‘brave’ others (see anthony ravlich’s blog, guerilla media for the support the ethical approach has so far received) the internet only reaches a very small section of the population.
Furthermore, my book, ‘Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights’ (Lexington Books, 2008), which sets out the foundations of the ethical approach, was recommended on the UN website for about two years so there would seem little justification for its continued exclusion from the mainstream.
People have a right to know that such a credible alternative to neoliberalism exists particularly given the perilous situation faced by many States. For example, about one fifth of the world’s States have unemployment rates of 20 per cent or, sometimes much more (see ‘Country comparisons to World’, unemployment rates, The World Fact Book, CIA, US, http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2129.html ).
Also, my recent article, ‘West rebellion justified: could ensure a global ethical human rights ‘bottom-line’, 28 December 2012, see blog cited above) strongly indicates that the UN’s rebalancing of global power from the West to Developing Asia, including China and India, will lead to a global human rights ‘race to the bottom’ given the terrible human rights performance of these latter States (see the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for China and India, Refworld, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,CESCR,CONCOBSERVATIONS,,,0.html ).
The recent decision of the NZ Labour Party to adopt a ‘bottom-up’ approach i.e. ‘from the grassroots up, not the Beehive down’, to the rebuilding of Christchurch following massive earthquakes in September 2010 reflects an essential dimension of the ethical approach and, in my view, is a very positive step forward but many other States have not had major earthquakes to prompt them to adopt an ethical development.
Consequently, I see the failure of the global establishments to inform people in the mainstream of the ethical human rights approach in the mainstream as constituting ‘a crime against humanity’.
Although we did make use of the public notices to inform Christchurch residents of the global ethical human rights approach such an extremely important truth should not fall back almost solely on our ‘outsider’, unfunded council (which I see as playing a very important independent human rights role) to inform the public.
The following is the discussion that took place between Boz Za and myself on Facebook, ‘External Perspective: US’, on February 4, 2013:
Anthony Ravlich: Good to see some thinking taking place. Thinkers seem to be a dying breed but its hard to come up with a better plan for a world in crisis if you do not think. In my NZ experience thinking can often be as tough as hard labour (and I have done a bit), sometimes much worse, hence the mass exodus of 'tall poppies', high suicide rate and many, from all social classes, receiving treatment in the mental health establishment. As one well-known, and it seems highly rated, UK Professor, Ted Honderich, said with typical British understatement: 'Finding the truth is harder than many people suppose'.
Boz Za: Speaking for myself and on behalf of the other admins, we wholeheartedly appreciate your support. Don't take this as disagreement, but my belief is that action must be married with thought. I know the vast majority of my friends and associates are unsatisfied with the state of the world caused by lack of democracy and mass-deception, however more action needs to take place and that's the long term intention I had when I made this group.
There was the Occupy movement which was a cry out for reevaluation of moral responsibilities in the business sector, but it was not specific enough and lacked leadership. The Occupy movement lacked leadership and a specific goal, so I never got involved with it.but I would like to be involved with something more specific, goal based and organized. so I intend to start the only way I know how, through social networking.
More people need to feel like they can in fact make a difference, if only they used their gift of sentience and creativity, then thought about how they can contribute. Now whether they fly, run, walk or even crawl it doesn't matter as long as they are moving in the right direction.
Anthony Ravlich: Yes, I agree thinking is not enough although I consider it is often avoided because its 'too hard'. In addition, to thinking, based on my universal belief in ethical human rights, I exercise duties to the community (1) to inform the public of important truths, (2) council meetings every two week, then I exercise specific duties where I consider something important so amongst a number of other of duties I went to Christchurch three times since the first earthquake, also I went to the occupation in Aotea Square on many occasions etc etc. But why thinking is so important is because the considerable majority of any State usually act in accordance with the ideology of the State and yet often this is the cause of the problem. In our societies one can be easily be deceived i.e. there is left wing neoliberalism and right wing neoliberalism but in my view whether it is left or right wing it is still neoliberalism which requires many human rights omissions ensuring compatibility with the neoliberal economic policies of the IMF.
Neoliberalism is political, ensuring high levels of human rights for some but exclusive of many whereas what I promote is universal and inclusive ensuring, at the very least, a minimum of human rights for all, sufficient for individuals to reach their full economic and social potential and therefore enabling society and the world to reach its full potential. Human development is important because I consider if the human species is to survive we need to travel to other planets. Neoliberals refuse to debate with me because I think they know they would be highly likely to lose.
But perhaps the most important reason for thinking is because in my view 'the ends do not justify the means' e.g. in my view, you will not achieve world peace through violence. I promote ethical human rights because I believe it will lead to greater world peace because it’s for all. Of course, having ethical human rights reflected in domestic and international human rights law can take a long time. But in the meantime States can execute policies to substitute for the human rights omissions e.g. last November the NZ Labour Party decided that the rebuilding of Christchurch was to be 'from the grassroots up not the Beehive down'. But they have to be strongly encouraged to do this because the human rights omissions are to ensure the continuation of the status quo which nearly all States and powerful elites strongly prefer. So 'Truth - seek, effect'.
Boz Za: haha, "from the grass roots up, not beehive down" seems illogical to me, if you are a family and you have savings, you use the savings during times of crisis or for long term investment for your family, government taxes everyone and uses that money on infrastructure investments which is fine, but also for crisis management, people vote in leaders to organize groups of people and give them direction, so why should the government expect culture + mass of anyone = reconstructed Christchurch. It was the biggest city in the South Island as well, even though the North Island has 80% of NZ's GDP, it makes sense to invest in the bigger Island and not assisting reconstructing the biggest city down there seems short sighted... a lot of infrastructure was there and now its gone, but the intangible infrastructure is still there and its certainly worth something, something that could be lost if action is not taken quickly enough.
I 110% agree with this and you could not have said it better "minimum of human rights for all, sufficient for individuals to reach their full economic and social potential and therefore enabling society and the world to reach its full potential". This is so important for the human race altogether, because most evil is created by poverty in some form, poverty is not something that has to exist inherently, there is actually a minimum that can be provided across the board if only more people had implementing that as their agenda. I think that a technocracy is the next thing to follow democracy, science has legal power above everything else in court i.e DNA evidence is much stronger than what anyone else says... 500 years ago, what they had of a legal system, scientific evidence had little power over say a royal/priest.
In India they had a president who was a scientist not so long ago, my friend told me he was one of their most celebrated and honored presidents in recent history. Another man in Czech republic, a professor with crazy tattoos all over his body is running third for president. People want radical change around the world and the people alive today have to make it happen, If everyone had the internet, they could find free education, media would not be such a linear oligopoly and enemies could talk easier then they could shoot.
Anthony Ravlich: People are individuals and different but broadly speaking you can describe two groups - there are those quite happy to make a buck and provide for a family, they can be happy to give up independence (including independence of thought), live a life of arrested development, and join groups which align with political parties to protect their interests - they prefer 'Beehive down' - but there other people who are prepared to work on their talents, seek truth, prepared to work very hard, follow their dreams and reach their full potential (sometimes such individuals work in their garage, the No.8 wire type) - they prefer 'grassroots up'. But the latter independent thinkers pose a threat to the status quo - over the past 30 years they have been subjected to enormous hatred (see my blog cite below). But there have been earthquakes (otherwise NZ would also have nil, minus growth, like the Eurozone i.e. no talent to take it forward), utter incompetence as evidenced by the social statistics, and, I strongly suspect, a gross decline in excellence with respect to work hence the leaky homes and Novopay (costing NZers an enormous amount) - but now the country is on the brink, talent is now wanted as evidenced by the Labour Party's policy of 'grassroots up not Beehive down' which will attract many expats back (Kea NZ estimate about 25% want to return if the conditions are right) to invest e.g. small business.
There is much more I could write but NZers need to make some effort themselves – they have become too dependent on others for answers and their so-called leaders have let them down very badly, in my view. So I refer you to anthony ravlich’s blog guerilla media. I have tried my best to make my work verifiable so people do not have to go on a 1000 mile journey in search of truth. Hopefully they now have a clear choice between the ethical human rights approach and neoliberalism. The residents of Christchurch got out and protested – I think the rest of NZ (and many States) will do so eventually – but the sooner the better.
Boz Za: I'll have a look at your blog, I found it on Google. I don't think that expecting support from the government means that you inherently are happy to give up independence for arrested freedom. I just think that the representative body of the people that collects our money for the purpose of bettering the country should consider it a responsibility to provide financial support of some shape or form. I'm not saying the govt should just take out a big slice of it's budget and rebuild everything and leave it at that.
They should subsidize and encourage people to rebuild, reward them for rebuilding not tell them to stand back and drink a beer while government funded construction groups do all the work.. but say if John Smith lost his profitable business to the earthquake and was not able to get insurance because the insurance company went under as well, why can't he get his business rebuilt with a loan from the government that he pays back at a low interest rate.. asking people to rebuild Christchurch means that many people will just move away because its easier than helping others and masses of people always behave more primitively than individuals.
It also makes sense from an investment point of view because of the intangible infrastructure already there, which will leak out slowly and then once people move away and find jobs elsewhere they lose flexibility to move back, while other NZers would avoid Christchurch because it has the reputation of a destroyed city with little government aid coming to it, what business opportunities would people without deep pockets find there?
Anthony Ravlich: I recently posted the following on the social networking sites:
"UN's Rebalancing of Power from West to Asia with very poor human rights records of China and India(see my article 'West rebellion justified',internet) means a Global human rights 'Race to Bottom'. Ethical human rights bottom-line required to enable individual to reach full economic and social potential with new ideas to lead way".
I had already hoped to call a public meeting in the near future to discuss my findings in the above article. I will explain just how easy it is to achieve a better world when you have the truth and the peaceful support of people. I find discussions on Facebook difficult because I require much the same standard as I would an article - so it takes some time which is difficult for me as I am writing another book. But at the meeting I am thinking of talking for about 15 minutes and then have an open discussion - I am very happy to have strong disagreement, in fact, I invite it as I am confident in my findings. But I'll let people know about the meeting in plenty of time.
Regarding the above, when I was in Christchurch there was some, I think Korean, guys providing food from a small caravan - only $5 for an excellent meal - I think they did quite well as there seems to be always customers. They could do this because they had few overheads. What's wrong with that! I was very happy and so were the Koreans and how does such small business hurt the environment (an alternative rarely mentioned by Greens who like the other parties have been captives of neoliberalism).
Small business, small economic and social entrepreneurs have been severely discriminated against. After the first earthquake in Sept 2010 the Key government had to assume higher executive power and through orders in council had to cut through the red tape of some 26 statutes to get small business up and running (also see American Small Business League on internet where mega-billions in contracts have been taken off small business and given to big business).
Boz Za: where/when do you plan on holding such a meeting?
Asians deserve a golden age for their economy because Europeans have had their time in the shine for too long and often at the expense of other nations and cultures, I doubt the economic contrast between EU and Asia will ever be reversed on its record highs.. but I don't think a shift of Power from West to East means a race to the bottom with human rights to try and gain a competitive advantage.. because India / China have more people, so they have to accept poorer conditions across their population because you can't just jump from having huge chunks of your population in poverty to being middle class by Western standards.
But hey even though China has 3x more people than America they have a lower unemployment rate than even New Zealand.. I think they are doing something good for human rights when they are keeping millions of people in work and making sure they have some sort of income although it may not be lavish... when you are used to living that way it not seem like poverty and they have many of the things we consider essential.. just not luxuries so we assume that without luxury they are poor which is a skewered and spoiled Western perspective.
In the near future there wont be much middle class left anywhere in the world, it will just be the rich and the poor... so I think its important for everyone to be involved in some sort of entrepreneurship because the whole employment system cannot exist for another 100 years.
Anthony Ravlich: Look it isn’t a matter of whose turn it is – it’s a matter of standing up for what you believe in. I try my best not to let my feelings interfere with what I consider to be human rights truth – so whether it’s the East or West who dominates is much less the major issue.
Unfortunately ‘whose turn it is’ has been the NZ approach. NZ became a ‘Stupid Culture’. For instance, there are those who get A passes and those who get E passes – well NZ decided to give those who get E passes a turn – but little to do with any sense of fairness but rather because in their 'ignorance' they believed they knew all the answers (terrible atrocities have occurred in history by those who believed ‘like-wise’) – that there was no other way (TINA) to neoliberalism so all they needed was obedience – and ‘looking good’ i.e. ‘cruelty with a smile’. Intelligent, often also concerned, people were ‘under the radar’.
I described the shocking consequence of incompetence above. The ethical human rights approach requires a meritocracy but with difference – there is a human rights ‘bottom-line’, described above, so that at all stages people have the opportunity to improve their levels of human rights and reach their full economic and social potential usually through hard work and perseverance - and that’s deserving and also, in my view, ‘a fair go’.
In fact, the ethical human rights approach promises, and I consider realistically, a ‘Golden Age’ for all humanity.