From October 12th until October 17th, I travelled to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, to attend the first Annual General Meeting of the recently-formed Young New Zealand First. I enjoyed the experience immensely; I was able to fit in some training, some shopping, and plenty of sight-seeing on top of my regular course work. By far, the best part about that weekend was catching up with many of the guys I met at a previous YNZF function in Carterton. However, the whole affair felt more formal than it should have.
To provide some context, the two ‘main’ political parties of New Zealand are the National Party and the Labour Party, where the former represents the centre-right and the latter represents the centre-left. New Zealand First is a party founded by Winston Peters after leaving National and represents ordinary New Zealanders, whilst remaining centrist. Due to the nature of kiwi politics, third parties can occupy significant portions of the vote and enact equally significant policies, and New Zealand First is a prime example of this. Many parties in New Zealand choose to have official youth wings; Young New Zealand First was only formed in early 2016, but other youth wings such as the Young Nats and Young Labour have been around for quite some time. I don’t know the exact time, but I believe the inaugural meeting of YNZF was eight months ago as of this writing. This introduction lacks many important details, nuances and history, and I have left out many other, similarly significant third parties. I’ll elaborate on these things in future articles.
I’m not a fan of formality. The proceedings had me tense; maybe it was because this was my first AGM, or because I sat next to a lot of guys wearing suits. I can understand why it’s necessary to maintain a professional environment, especially within an official political wing, but it was an overbearing feeling nonetheless. In retrospect, this was probably an overreaction on my part. I expected something more freeform, due to my earlier — and first — experience with the party. As I mentioned earlier, I had met many of the guests at a previous function. It was the first annual youth retreat, wherein we socialised, campaigned and met with sitting Members of Parliament over drinks. I should have expected otherwise; the meeting took place in a university lecture room, not a pub. As for what happened in the meeting, we:
- elected seven members to office positions,
- discussed the role and structure of YNZF,
- formed a policy committee,
- were given presentations by sitting MPs Ron Mark and Tracey Martin.
Unfortunately, we did miss out on a workshop with Darroch Ball due to time constraints.
Perhaps I got my hopes up when we were waiting for the meeting to start. In the lead-up to it, several attendees and I began to banter amongst ourselves about Victoria University’s cancerous student magazine, Salient. “Stop Liking and Commenting on You Mates’ New Facebook Friendships,” “Spongebob will be okay,” “Ten things I wish my friends knew about being Māori,” and my personal favourite, “I Wrote for Salient for Four Years for Dick and Free Speech.” These are some of the titles for articles written by, I’d imagine, aposematic college girls who are probably majoring in sociology or journalism. We all had a couple of digs at this HPV-infected rag, and I may have gotten too comfortable with such an environment. The transition between the pre-meeting banter and the meeting itself was jarring; it didn’t help that I decided to purchase and consume an energy drink during the meeting.
After the meeting, I learned that the majority of the youth wing that attend tertiary education were studying some kind of sociological degree. All but myself and another, who is studying radio broadcasting, are getting BAs in history, sociology, political science or something similar. There may be a couple who are getting business degrees, but that’s it. The most divergent of degrees being studied are radio broadcasting and animation — guess who’s studying the latter? This is probably another thing I should have expected, yet I was still surprised to find out that this was the case. Upon learning this, I began to think about the place that the arts have in the nationalist movement. Save for the literary arts, we’re pretty bad at it. Our music is cringeworthy, so we latch onto Classical music, Future Funk, Vaporwave and Cloud Rap. Our performance art is nearly non-existent, so we rely on MillionDollarExtreme to fill the void. Visually, we’re stuck on Pepes, Ben Garrison comics and shitty OC. Oddly enough, the area where nationalists have made great progress with is Comedy and yet we only have MDE to show for it. Everyone else is trying to do some Jon Leibowitz knock-off or run a mildly successful meme page on Facebook, but even with such minimal effort, it’s made large reverberations.
Nobody likes Social Justice lunatics. Why would you? They stifle the very things which made the West great in the first place. They hold and define the zeitgeist, but not for much longer. They’re losing the grips of power and we’re primed to take it from them, but we cannot so long as we lack a proper culture. A culture cannot be consumed by a counter-culture if the counter-culture is not sufficiently robust. They will fail and die and the dominant culture will not change. For the movement to be a counter-culture, it needs to be a culture in its own right. For the time being, the movement has been trying to find its cultural legs — what it believes, what it represents, its size and scope — but it’s only really being explored in the literary sense. Few are exploring this in other areas, and it is to the detriment of the movement that they do so. In fact, so many are exploring it literarily that some have become navel-gazers and deviants because of it; or rather, they use the nomenclature of the movement to justify their navel-gazing or deviance. Examples such as the “trad-wives” business, “implicit last stand” and that post which Greg Johnson made about homophobia being Semitic in nature pop to mind.
Why do the communists have the support that they do? It was heavily literary-based, but it “succeeded” in Russia and China with a well-established counter-culture. In China, specifically, they had an aesthetic with music, chants, talking points and a well-established belief system and scope. This was well after Marx died, taking generations before its culmination. Of course, these examples also involved the forceful overthrow of the existing establishments, but these would not have happened if it wasn’t both politically expedient and culturally supported. You can’t just overthrow a government, you have to do the prep work first. This prep work is building a culture that is appealing and not simply predicated on the Classics. You have to be new, fresh, relevant, or you will fail. The Classics, as important as they are, simply are not relevant. Reference them as much as you like, but you need to start building a solid and relevant body of work or you will only survive as an intellectual movement.
Communism was a solely intellectual movement until it figured out the importance of cultural influence; that took generations to happen. Do we have generations to spare? No? Then pick up the bloody paintbrush.