CANZUK

I’ve been intrigued by the CANZUK proposition for some time.  In their own words,

CANZUK International was founded in January 2015 …and is the world’s leading non-profit organisation advocating freedom of movement, free trade and foreign policy coordination between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (the “CANZUK” countries).

Our campaign advocates closer cooperation between these four nations so they may build upon existing economic, diplomatic and institutional ties to forge a cohesive alliance of nation-states with a truly global outlook.

There is an online petition, and when I checked a few minutes ago 273,872 people had signed it.  Not insignificant numbers, although the total population of the four countries is over 125 million people.

I’m interested for multiple reasons:

  • I’m fascinated by British imperial history, think that in large part it is something to be proud of, and find cross-country comparisons of the experiences of other former British territories helps shed light on our own history,
  • 50 years ago I’d probably have found the CANZUK proposition almost self-evidently sensible (and at least around the movement of people it more or less described how things had been, at least among Australia, New Zealand and the UK since European settlement here),
  • My scepticism around the economic impact of New Zealand’s immigration policies, going back at least as far as the immediate post World War Two period.

On top of which, I discovered recently that one of the more vocal champions of CANZUK is a pro-Brexit British economist (New Zealand born apparently) who is related to my wife.  He takes every opportunity to champion the cause, as this tweet from earlier this morning.

lilico

There has been some public opinion polling on the CANZUK idea, and the movement really rather liked the results.    This was the question (for New Zealand)

“At present,citizens of the European Union have the right to live and work freely in other European Union countries. Would you support or oppose similar rights for New Zealand citizens to live and work in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, with citizens of  Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom granted reciprocal rights to live and work in New Zealand?”

And this chart summarised the answers.

CANZUK

I wrote about the CANZUK proposal last year, when I observed (of the people-movement element of the proposal)

I’ve never been quite sure what to make of the CANZUK cause. I read a lot of imperial/Commonwealth history, and ideas like this sort of free movement area among the old ‘white Dominions’ are strikingly reminiscent of calls for an imperial federation or, much later, for imperial trade preferences (which became a big thing as the UK moved away from free trade itself). I could be a little provocative and suggest that is wasn’t entirely dissimilar to the sort of immigration policies New Zealand and Australia ran until a few decades ago, that could be – not entirely inaccurately – characterised as “white Australia” or “white New Zealand” policies.   …..even as an example of Commonwealth sentiment, not even South Africa – let alone Zimbabwe, Kenya or Namibia – appears in the CANZUK proposal.

Of course, there is a pretty straightforward answer. Almost invariably, public opinion in almost any country is going to be more open to large scale (or at least unrestricted) migration when it involves culturally similar countries than when it involves culturally dissimilar ones. In fact, there are good arguments that, if there are gains from immigration they could be greatest from people with similar backgrounds (and of course counter-arguments to that). Reframe the question as “would you support reciprocal work and residence rights among New Zealand, France, Belgium and Italy?”, and I suspect the support found in the CANZUK poll would drop pretty substantially – my pick would be something no higher than 50 per cent. Reframe it again to this time include Costa Rica, Iran, and Ecuador (let alone Bangladesh, India, and China – three very large, quite poor, countries) and people will start looking at you oddly, and the numbers will drop rapidly towards the total ACT Party vote (less than 1 per cent from memory).

And thus my own ambivalence about the CANZUK proposition. If I were a Canadian (of otherwise similar Anglo background to my own) I’d say yes. The historical and sentimental ties across these four countries – less so Canada – mean something to me. I’d probably even add the US into the mix. And across Australia, Canada, and the UK incomes and productivity levels are pretty similar – although the prediction would still presumably be that there would be an increased net flow of people from the UK to Australia (in particular) and Canada.

But I’m a New Zealander, and for us it would appear that there are two forces in conflict.  The ability to move freely to the UK or Canada might be a real gain to some New Zealanders –  as the ability to go to Australia has been over the decades –  but the quid pro quo could be that a lot more Brits could move here.

As it is, I’ve repeatedly noted that my economics of immigration argument doesn’t distinguish between whether the migrants come from Birmingham, Brisbane, Bangalore, Buenos Aires, or Beijing. We’ve made life tougher (poorer, less productive) for ourselves by the repeated waves of migrants since World War Two – in the early decades, predominantly from the UK, and in the last quarter century more evenly spread. Even though we are now materially poorer than the UK, enough people from the UK still regard New Zealand as attractive, that free movement – the CANZUK proposition – would probably see a big increase in the number of Brits moving here (big by our standards, not theirs). That might be good for them – that’s up to them – but wouldn’t be good for us. Perhaps the effect would be outweighed by more New Zealanders moving to the UK long-term, but I’d be surprised if that were so.

The CANZUK proposition is an interesting one, and is worth further debate. Apart from anything else, it might tease out what people think about nationhood, identity, and some of the non-economic factors around immigration.  ….at present public opinion appears to be strongly in favour, but on the specific question asked in isolation. It would be interesting to know, if at all, how responses would change if the option was free CANZUK movement on top of existing immigration policy, or (to the extent of the new CANZUK net flow) in partial substitution for existing immigration policy. The two might have quite different economic and social implications.

The CANZUK movement does appear to have an element about it – at least among some British advocates –  of an outward-oriented replacement for the EU.  But there are supporters elsewhere.   Most notably, the main opposition political party in Canada –  currently leading in the polls –  has CANZUK as one of its principal foreign policy platforms.     Closer to home, David Seymour has expressed support and –  somewhat to my surprise – I learned from the CANZUK website that Simon Bridges had done so too (pretty lukewarmly I suspect?).  The CANZUK people point out that even the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement has a provision that might be thought to have something to do with CANZUK (emphasis added).

Work towards a Free Trade Agreement with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union and initiate Closer Commonwealth Economic Relations.

What of the other dimensions of the proposal (free trade and foreign policy)?  My own position is that free trade is a good thing, and should try it.     We should remove all remaining tariffs, but not just on imports from Canada and the UK (we already have CER with Australia), but from anywhere and everywhere.  Doing so would benefit consumers.  And I’m sceptical of preferential trade agreements, and see little reason (sadly) to suppose that Canada (in particular) or the UK would be at all keen on open access for New Zealand agricultural exports.

And what of foreign policy?  I’d like to think that the four countries would stand together on many issues (bearing in mind that the North Atlantic and Arctic aren’t terribly important to New Zealand) but for now the four governments show little ability (interest?) in a common approach to, for example, the People’s Republic of China. In New Zealand’s case, not even any support when the PRC authorities abduct Canadia citizens.

Fairly or not, there is quite a sense about the CANZUK cause that is redolent of the 1950s.  I don’t mean that in a particularly negative sense –  there was, after all, a great deal to like about New Zealand’s relative economic performance in the 1950s, and about the still mostly quite close ties among the four countries, including the considerable freedom of movement (then again, Suez was hardly a great advert for NZ/Australia/UK foreign policy coordination).    As a citizen and voter, I feel a considerable affection for each of those countries –  probably more so than for any other countries, decent, worthy and prosperous as many of them are –  but it is the 2010s (almost the 2020s) not the 1950s.

And, at least from a New Zealand perspective, we’d be better off  –  economically, and probably on other dimensions – with materially fewer migrants, not with schemes that might only increase our average net non-citizen migrant flow (and reduce our ability to manage the flows, in a country where the housing and urban land market in particular is badly dysfunctional).

 

21 thoughts on “CANZUK

  1. Immigration seems to have been focused in business requirements and investment but not as also a form of territorial exchange as when parents agree who can play in their backyard. For example,suppose it was a different world and there was a low population tropical paradise with unlike peoples who we decided to allow both ways immigration?

    It is clear from an RNZ interview that demographic change by Chinese and Indians is behind our cooling of relations with Australia.

    I’ve been reading
    Muslim Integration: Pluralism and Multiculturalism in New Zealand and Australia
    edited by Erich Kolig, Malcolm Voyce

    The current sociological literature by and large uses an optimistic tone in discussing multiculturalism and its effect on the socially cohesive situation.28 Quoting a governmental brief, Spoonley and Peace29 aver that “New Zealand becomes an increasingly cohesive society with a climate of collaboration because all groups have a sense of belonging, participation, inclusion, recognition and legitimacy.” Rather than seeing a difficult road ahead because of increasing diversity (through the demographic growth of cultural minority groups), people of diverse cultures and ethnicities are perceived that they are becoming inspired by a sense of solidarity. It stands to reason that this optimistic view arises from a liberal notion of social cohesion—one that does not see close interactiveness and emotional attachment as vital preconditions and integral expressions of social cohesion.

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    • Some of the scholarly materiel used by New Zealand agencies promoting the benefits of diversity are in fact using gender diversity research and extrapolating to different kinds of diversity. Keep checking the footnotes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are describing something similar to UK and Ireland pre-EU. I remember when the UK devalued and 20 minutes later so did Ireland.

    There is a danger this will be seen in terms of skin colour so I would add Barbados and several of the english speaking Pacific Island nations with small populations.

    Relative wealth and relative numbers are critical. Much as Ii love PNG a similar free movement of peoples would have five million melanesians here by the start of the next school year. It already happens within PNG with Highlanders moving to the coastal cities – they would be happier back home in the village and the local Motu Koita would be glad to see the back of them too but they flood into Port Moresby for money paying jobs and schooling for their chldren.

    It is interesting reviewing England’s experience with immigration; as a child Enoch was raging against Caribbean immigrants but they are now just part of life whereas the Bengalis and Kasmiris have tended to maintain separate development – not diversity, more like ghettos and of course unexpected in my childhood the Irish started a bombing campaign and Scottish nationalism came from nowhere. As per Yugoslavia just when you think cultures have merged peacefully they can diverge explosively which is why I share Sorethumb’s skepticism about academics preaching diversity and social cohesion simultaneously. Academics do not live in the real world.

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  3. It’s not quite on the subject but could NZ and the UK have a deal that for each Brit we give residency to then that gives the right to have one NZer to get the same in the UK. This would be outside other migration arrangements like the the young persons work visa for the UK (does that even exist still?)

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    • I like that idea and it does not need to be restricted to the UK – probably any country that permits dual citizenship.

      There are PNG nationals who would thrive in NZ (we already have a few) and although not everyone’s paradise PNG has significant attractions for certain New Zealanders; for example best dive waters in the world, biggest and strongest fish, rivers and white water way beyond anything in NZ, unique tropical wildlife and for business wonderful opportunities to make a fortune if you are tough enough.

      Take a country that in general has a culture that mixes with modern NZ like oil and water: Pakistan – it permits dual citizenship with NZ; so for each NZ citizen who obtains residency in Pakistan we would permit one applicant from Pakistan. The cultural worries would not apply since it is probable more Pakistanis wish to live in NZ than New Zealanders in Pakistan so there would be a waiting list and NZ can choose the best candidate who might be a Christian Surgeon or a Muslim maths professor or a relative of a Pakistani family who migrated to NZ successfully.

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  4. Having seen the conflict in the Former Yugoslavia at first hand in the mid 90s I can only echo the words of Angela Merkel in 2010: “Of course the tendency had been to say, ‘Let’s adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other.’ But this concept has failed, and failed utterly,” In 2015, after the influx of Middle Eastern migrants into Europe, she went on to describe multiculturalism as a “sham” and moved to stem the flow. Diversity without a binding sense of national unity and purpose, as expressed in the American motto “e pluribus unum”, has shown it can rip countries apart and cause immense suffering.

    I also share your scepticism that unfettered immigration is some kind of economic panacea. The downsides which have been much rehearsed here are potentially substantial.

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  5. This post seems to have echoes of the appalling ‘white Australia’ policy that was shamefully pursued by the Aussie racists for decades. Given the choice between having more poms and other ‘white club’ commonwealth cohorts immigrate to NZ or having a glorious mix of ethnicities from Asia, Europe and Africa, I would choose the latter any day. We are, blessedly, a multicultural society, and all the better for it. Our future lies increasingly with Asia than with the tired old (and increasingly dysfunctional and sad) Britain. And as for your affection for imperialist Britain, may I remind you what a bunch of racist, arrogant, conceited pricks they were. It is nothing to look back on fondly, given the imperialist raping of ethic cultures, brutal dominance, imposition of borders that later created dreadful ethic violence and the theft of wealth and artefacts. The british empire was shameful, as were all imperial invasions of countries for utterly self serving purposes. It is now rather satisfying to see the UK diminished, impotent and humilated in the brexit mess.

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    • You are right about ‘white Australia policy’ being bad. And you are right about racism being a bad thing – but it does seem still firmly embedded in places the British never ruled. And you may be right about the UK being dysfunctional; certainly NZ should never leave its economy depending on England again (nor any specific Asian country either).
      Now please name an imperial invasion that was not for self-serving purposes? China claims to be in Tibet to help Tibetans. Are there any others?

      Disreali argued that empire would be expensive and Britain’s objectives were better met by trade. He seems to have been right with the UK sinking economically just when it achieved peak pink on the map and America attaining its ends in Central and South America without having an empire.
      It is not much of a defence but the UK empire did leave a legacy of transport, hospitals, schools and unlike earlier empires it made an effort to rediscover the past of the countries it conquered. It consistently reduced the rate at which people died violently – in the Highlands of PNG violent death is estimated to have been over 30% before first contact. It did the same even in the advanced civilisation of India.
      I think Empire was inevitable and had some virtues and many faults including many you didn’t mention. It main fault was legitimacy; which is why it rolled back so quickly. So agreeing all empires are bad compare UK with Portugese and Belgium empires or the countries which had home rule: Haiti, Liberia, Thailand. It is not crystal clear that UK Empire => suffering. I prefer to think of small virtues such as outlawing cannibalism in Melanesia, suttee in India, translating Sanskrit. Of course if I was an Indian I’m sure I would spend more time contemplating grievances. It was said in 1900 a woman and child could walk the length of the Sudan in safety; now Sudan has its own government but it is not a safe country for a single woman on a journey. If you identify with Sudanese intelligensia then home rule is a good thing. My Melanesian wife has many doubts about whether her tribe weren’t better off under Australian rule (til 1975). Doubts relating to maintenance of health services; quality of schooling; personal security.

      The arguments about UK Empire: total bad or greed leading to an inevitable step forwards may go on forever. It is worth pointing out that to have this argument we need education, democracy and a language in common and all three are relics of empire.

      Don’t spend too long gloating over the UK diminished, impotent and humilated. Judging by failure of NZ economic growth and an economy dependant on livestock which are about to be superceded by artifical meat and milk (probably produced in the centre of Shanghai) then NZ could join then anytime. Of course you will move to Australia which is where this subject started.

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    • Hi Geof,

      Just to be fair to our Australian cousins, NZ had much the same immigration policy as them in days gone by.

      Presumably you noticed that, even though I’m an Anglophile, conservative etc, I don’t favour the CANZUK model – in fact, I’m intrigued by it because despite being an Anglophile conservative it seems to retro to me.

      As for British imperial history, I guess we can add it to the long list of things we disagree strongly about. I take pride in our heritage, probably in much the same way I do my own ancestors. They weren’t perfect, but they were mine, and – for all its faults – Britain was largely a force for good in the second half of the last millennium. If I shared your view, I would be very uncomfortable being a New Zealander – modern NZ being a colonial creation – and doing my utmost to get back to Britain.

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      • Hi Michael. Yes, we do disagree on this. I think the forced colonisation of countries/territories is never justifiable and not something to be proud of. Empires did bring benefits to the colonised peoples but at huge cost, including massive loss of life in many cases, theft of land, a form of serfdom in many cases, a fundamental inequality of colonised and colonisers, disease and cultural destruction. Moreover, while empire might have led to economic and other advancements for the colonised peoples, that was never the motivation for empire. It was motivated primarily by greed and a desire for geopolitical dominance. Not much to be proud of there.

        NZ and other colonised countries could have evolved to economic and social development through more enlightened means, with far less brutality and other costs, such as through the gradual build up of trading and investing relationships over time, without the forced imposition of sovereignty and of home country cultural and religious values.

        Anyway, on this we can agree to disagree.

        Cheers

        Geof

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      • Geof. I agree with you first paragraph so long as you appreciate the really big loss of life was epidemics and these were not usually intentional and often arrived before the European; for example smallpox, influenza, typhus and measles had spread from Central America before the conquistadors. See Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
        The second paragraph would have NZ rather like Malaya – white man come and then go away; would NZ have ended up like Hawaii? .

        Emperial governments sometimes inhibited exploitation of native populations – ref PNG and land ownership – it was very unpopular with the traders.
        Recently I was looking for an example of an extinct tribe – on Wikipedia both Russia and USA have long lists of peoples who were either absorbed or simply died out.
        Wikipedia also lists hundreds of empires most I’ve never heard of and fifty that were ‘large’ (2% of earth surface) but the European empires were different. Were they an inevitable step to globalisation? Certainly there are places that will have barely noticed the existence of Empire and others where it will echo through their history as the Roman empire does through British history.

        Like Mr Reddell I’m rather proud of my ancestors and their achievements; virtually none of them queried the existence of Empire; we live in a different world.

        Would you interpret the treaty of Waitangi as ‘forced colonisation’? My knowledge is slight but I think I would because of the asymmetric knowledge of the parties involved.

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    • This post seems to have echoes of the appalling ‘white Australia’ policy that was shamefully pursued by the Aussie racists for decades.
      ……..

      For Bourne, the only solution was for WASPs to reject their ethnicity and become cosmopolitans while minorities ‘stick proudly’ to their faith and culture. This contradiction—between urging majority groups to disown their identity and minorities to cling to theirs—lies at the heart of multiculturalism. It reflects a paternalistic white-majority elite perspective: guilt over unearned privilege combined with a desire to assert cultural superiority by adopting a more sophisticated outlook than one’s country cousins. What Bell termed the new “adversary culture” of the twentieth century sprang from these loins.
      What has occurred since the 1960s is a scaling up: as Bell notes, the adversary culture migrated from the small circles of intellectuals Orwell wrote about to “the giant screen” of television and the mass higher education system. It has subsequently permeated K-12 education, Hollywood, large corporations, parts of the media, mass culture, government and the judiciary. Now that it has marched through the institutions, what was supposed to be a rebellious but marginal critical voice has become the dominant force in the culture: not a tolerant establishment but a punishing inquisition that casts out heretics like James Damore or Bret Weinstein.

      https://americanmind.org/features/justice-that-aint-it-chief/the-contradiction-at-the-heart-of-identity-politics/

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  6. Fascism and socialism lost out after the Second World War, but what of the victor, liberalism? The Allies’ victory did enlarge and protect the scope of negative liberty. But alongside this success a positive liberalism was smuggled in which advocated individuality and cosmopolitanism over community. Most, myself included, value individual autonomy, but one has to recognize that not all share this aim. Someone who prefers to wear a veil or dedicate their lives to religion is making a communitarian choice which negative liberalism respects but positive liberalism (whether of the modernist left Or burqa-banning right) does not. This turns sour when those who fail to support a socially dominant positive liberal virtue like pursuing autonomy or preferring diversity are shamed, shunned or persecuted. This is acceptable in a voluntary organization such as Scientology where you know what you’re signing up for, but not in a mainstream societal institution like a university, government bureau or large corporation. When mainstream institutions enforce positive liberal goals and punish deviation from sacred values, this shrinks the space for negative freedom in society.
    Enlightenment individualism, which consisted largely of the rational, Cognitive individualism of Descartes and Locke, gave way in the nine-teenth century to a more romantic, expressive form of individualism. Expressive individualism advocates that we channel our authentic inner nature, or what H. G. Wells or Henri Bergson termed our life force, unconstrained by tradition or reason. Aesthetically, it tended towards what the influential American sociologist Daniel Bell terms modernism, rejecting Christian or national traditions while spurning established tech-niques and motifs.22 Not only were traditions overturned but esteem was accorded to those whose innovations shocked sensibilities and subverted historic narratives and symbols the most. Clearly something happened between the nation-evoking historical and landscape painting of a Delac-roix or Constable in the early nineteenth century and Marcel Ducliamp s urinal of 1917. This ‘something’ was the rise, after 188o, of what Bell terms modernism and Anthony Giddens calls de-traditionalizat ion.
    Eric Kaufmann – Whiteshift

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  7. Hi Bob. Yes, I very much view the Treaty of Waitangi as an instrument of forced colonisation. It was expedient for the British as a way of taking sovereignty in the hope it would avoid bloody conflict. There was a marked inequality in power between the Maori (susceptible to divide and conquer, and much less equipped with military weaponry than the UK). There was a significant asymmetry of knowledge and capacity between the two sides. Had the Treaty not been signed, the UK would have used military force to seize control. As it turned out of course, there were a number of regional wars in following years and the Treaty was fundamentally breached by the colonizers. The Maori were treated appallingly by successive governments, with land stolen or cheated from them, disempowerment, pervasive racism, etc.

    I feel a sense of shame for my forebears. The British used brute power and negotiating advantage to seize control of NZ from the Maori, leading to the decimation of the Maori population as a result of war, disease and poverty.

    For all these reasons I have been a strong supporter of the settlement process and various other initiatives to right the wrongs of the past.

    Cheers

    Geof

    Liked by 1 person

    • My ignorance of NZ history is embarassing but I find your view rational. I’d emphasize competition with other empires – certain the English were very reluctant to take Papua despite encouragement from Queensland until the Dutch and Germans acted. If and when I study the treaty I would be looking for what extent we can assume Maori (or should that be various tribes) at that time were unsophisticated, childlike, guileless and naive and what were the immediate aims of the British – settlement, trade, Christianity, control of the Europeans who had settled pre-treaty, etc.

      The settlement of NZ with its fertile temperate climate can be compared with colonialisation in Chile, Argentina, Canada. It was less lethal than USA – having exterminated their native population they now focus on slavery guilt rather than their ruthless and effective dispossession of indigenous peoples.

      The only book I have read was ‘A short history of NZ’ a decade ago and its message to me was the significance of disease. But you are right that disease is related to war and poverty. A comparison of Maori population with the wars and breaches of the treaty would indicate whether it was disease or war that decimated their population. Certainly I was susprised how quickly it declined before the main wars and the discovery of gold.
      My suspicion is the govt in London would have been more supportive of Maori than govt in NZ and both would be continually subverted by settlers with their remarkably large families. It must have been a demographic timebomb.

      “”I have been a strong supporter of the settlement process and various other initiatives to right the wrongs of the past””. We certainly can and should make every effort to correct beaches of the treaty and any subsequent treaties. That may be the most important gift of the British Empire – the rule of law (and its biggest failure being failure to enforce the law?).
      However you can never right the wrongs of the past – think of the Jews in nazi Europe or the Scottish highlands after 1745 – all you can do is feel guilt and do your best.

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      • Bob

        However you can never right the wrongs of the past – think of the Jews in nazi Europe or the Scottish highlands after 1745 – all you can do is feel guilt and do your best.
        ————————

        And why should we feel guilt for the deeds of our distant ancestors?

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      • Taieri: Mr Mortlock says “”I feel a sense of shame for my forebears.”” with reference to Maori. I can understand it but as Obama said about his daughter’s ancestors on their mother side they were related to slaves who were auctioned in chains and also to the slave owners who bought them. Many Maori have English ancestors so making it a binary good guys and bad guys is a mistake. Better to read more history and put things into perspective.
        If my father was a thief I should/would not feel guilt but I would feel responsible for returning any ill-gotten gains that I may have inherited.

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    • This is frankly overblown. The British Government was reluctant to annex New Zealand. Its main purpose in doing so was to establish law and order. It gave Maori the rights and privileges of British subjects and sought to guarantee Maori property rights – these were very enlightened policies for the mid 19th century. There were indeed negative impacts from European settlement upon Maori but also positive outcomes such as an end to inter-tribal warfare, which had decimated the Maori population with the arrival of the musket, and the practice of cannibalism. Overall an industrialized culture with modern agricultural technology superseded a neolithic society and created a moderately successful multi-racial country within a short space of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. On segregation and integration, he shows how white behaviour is similar everywhere, from liberal Canada to restrictive Denmark. Most white British citizens want to live in areas that are 70%-plus white — and most still do: 80% of white Britons live in wards that are 90% white, while nearly half of minorities live in “majority minority” wards. We mainly still stick to our own.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/review-whiteshift-populism-immigration-and-the-future-of-white-majorities-by-eric-kaufmann-the-future-of-mixed-race-britain-9ckc6wbl6

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  9. Regardless of national history, the rise of left-modernism in the high culture prompted an attack on majority ethnicity. For settler societies, this meant a dual focus on aboriginals as dispossessed natives and non-white immigrants as a welcome source of diversity who experience discrimination. In Australia, it’s common for progressives to preface their talks by thanking the local aboriginal tribe as the ‘rightful owners of the land’, and this was also a demand of the Evergreen State protesters. In 1998, Australia formalized white repentance in the form of a National “Sorry Day’ [71] Genocide against aboriginals is important to expose but needs to be contextualised. As Jared Diamond outlines in Guns Germs and Steel,, agriculturalists have replaced hunter-gatherers — mainly due to differences in immunity to animal-borne diseases — throughout human history. This is as true of the Bantu cattle-herding ancestors of African Americans, largely wiped out the indigenous pygmy and San peoples of Central and Southern Africa, as it is of Europeans in the New World. We also know that the chance of being violently killed is ten times higher in hunter-gatherer societies than in agricultural civilizations [2] On the Great Plains, the Comanche were able to master the Western technology of horsemanship before white settlement and used this to brutally conquer other Amerindian groups, nearly wiping out the Apache. None of which means today’s Comanche should feel ashamed of their identity and dwell on the foibles of their ancestors. A balanced perspective which acknowledges positives and negatives of Western settlement rather than a ‘social-justice’ lens narrowly focused on white original sin would be considerably truer to the facts. It may also be the case that, as McWhorter writes for African-Americans, the focus on white guilt removes a sense of agency from aboriginal groups, worsening their plight. Victim status may bring lower resilience and worse social outcomes. As Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt point out, the ideology of victimhood elevates precisely those habits of mind — such as viewing others’ innocent statements as malign or relying on emotional reasoning (`I feel it, it must be true’) —which produce depression and anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is explicitly designed to correct such neuroses through building resilience, yet left-modernist ideology seems intent on doing the opposite. It’s certainly the case that the severe problems of suicide and substance abuse among Canadian and Australian aboriginal peoples haven’t improved since the 1960’s. Anti-Western tropes can also be used by developing-world politicians like Robert Mugabe who leaned on postcolonial leftist arguments to deflect attention from his misdeeds.
    Eric Kaufmann.

    The invasion of the Chathams was not very nice.

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