CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?

Despite the rhetoric about 'change', Internet Mana are offering nothing new.

I'VE STARTED to defriend  my Facebook people who insisted on posting 'I love Kim Dotcom' posts and which subsequently arrived in my timeline like those unwanted  advertising flyers that arrive in the mailbox almost everyday. I don't need any of it. It's all rubbish.

There's a lot of rubbish being written about the Internet Mana hybrid. Not least is the claim that this new political creature bolted  together in the Dotcom mansion will reach out to disaffected youth who have tuned out of mainstream politics and prefer not to vote for  any of the parliamentary parties that promise much but deliver very little.

I doubt that Internet Mana is going to change that. That's  because it just looks like another political party  of the establishment.

The Internet party's  leader Laila Harre, for instance, has been  in and around parliamentary politics for three decades or so.  Just recently she has  been working for the Green Party and the CTU.

You will have to look very hard to find anything radical left associated with Harre.  Someone characterised her on Twitter as Sue Bradford lite but I think that's an exaggeration as well.  That she is a  defender of the system  was highlighted to me  just recently when she argued on TVNZ's Q+A that the reason that so many people don't bother to vote anymore is because they don't know how to.

So, if you didn't vote last time round - Laila says you are stupid.

It didn't occur  to Harre that most people know exactly how to vote  - they just don't want to vote for any of the bastards they are presented with every three years.  To a man and a woman, the only real commitment they  ever make is that the neoliberal orthodoxy will remain in place.

Internet Mana's real problem is, that when you look beyond the hype, you realise that it actually  isn't saying anything new. Internet Mana may be the new party on the block but the song remains the same.

If you want to know what is wrong with Internet Mana  then  Martyn Bradbury of The Daily Dotcom  is worth referring to because he's invariably wrong about everything. Bradbury thinks we should all be thrilled by Internet Mana:

A Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority is a genuinely exciting prospect, and one that progressives would be foolish to ignore if they really want to see the back of John Key.

We don’t want to just replace a Government, we want to change it.


What Bradbury thinks is 'a genuinely  exciting prospect'  is a  government  led by a right wing Labour Party that has already  said that it has no intention of upsetting the neoliberal orthodoxy. It will be business as usual. 

 Meanwhile Russel Norman and the Green Party think  that the planet's deepening environmental crisis  can be solved within the very economic system that is the destroying the planet.

All I can say is that  Bradbury gets excited about very little.

Of course this dismal alternative to the National-led government will  be promoted as change you can believe in  but that's just glib rhetoric. When you promise 'change' you don't have to talk in specific terms about economic fairness or social and environmental justice. 

I don't pretend to be speak for youth or the disaffected  but I think they, like most of us,  want more than just 'change'. 

We  want specific transformation. We want the neoliberal orthodoxy overthrown.We  want an end to a 'representative democracy' that is neither representative or democratic.

None of these things are possible under a National led government but neither are they possible under a Labour-led government.

Slavoj Žižek, the  Marxist philosopher of the moment, wrote that “It’s easy to imagine the end of the world . . . but we cannot imagine the end of capitalism.”

I don't know if that's true anymore and while an anti-capitalist politics isn't always coherently articulated by disaffected youth they know what they don't want - a world where capital rules and they have to carry the burden of increasing debts, no jobs, crap jobs, axed welfare services and a planet being polluted and destroyed in the name of profit.

As Tracy Chapman sings; 'We're talking about a revolution'. But that's not what Internet Mana are talking about.

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