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Chch spontaneity likely to ruin NZ's planned parasitic culture: ethical human rights for a revolution in ideas.


Chch spontaneity likely to ruin NZ's planned parasitic culture: ethical human rights for a revolution in ideas.

Anthony Ravlich
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
Auckland City.
Ph: (0064) (09) (940.9658)

Most of the following comments were made on Michelle Helliwell's 'Christchurch Earthquake Stories' Facebook page, my Facebook page as well as twitter and linkedin.

Because some of the following comments includes a number of important truths I have not written about before I decided to compile the comments (including some others) into an article which I have also sent to various political leaders, MPs, and others.

Also, another reason it is important to inform people is because the ethical human rights approach involves an emphasis on ‘bottom-up’ development, independent minds seeking truth, in contrast to the extreme ‘top-down’ neoliberal control of development, collective minds wanting to control.

But neoliberalism is in decline in the West e.g. the crisis in the European Union and ‘nil growth’ outcomes for many States, so professionals with a social conscience in the establishment are beginning to show support for the ethical human rights approach.

The ethical human rights, development, globalization (to replace neoliberalism) is gaining increasing high profile support on the social networking sites on twitter (embedded tweets), even including the US government (remarkable as they pursue neoliberalism), while on my linkedin there are a number of high-profile New Zealand professionals using the social networking sites to help effect ‘system change’.

Thomas Paine, a famous 19th Century Philosopher often credited with inventing the term “human rights”, considered that ‘instead of seeking to reform the individual the wisdom of the State should apply itself to reform the system’ (see my book, Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights (Lexington Books, 2008), recommended on the United Nations website for about 2 years, p56).

Personally, I am disgusted with what I see as the deliberate attempt to change New Zealand from a ‘me’ culture into the ‘we’ cultures found in Asia. This involves changing individuals into more ‘tribal’ individuals, with ‘collective minds’, incapable of making any significant progress which invariably requires ‘independent minds’. What do you want to tell your children ‘think like everyone else’ or ‘think for yourself’?

The ethical human rights approach merely requires individuals and groups have a ‘duty to the community’ (Section 29(1), Universal Declaration of Human Rights), largely only affecting people in hard times e.g. large numbers of beneficiaries, but retains the emphasis on individual human rights while duties ensure all individuals and groups belongs to the great collective, the human family.

But, in my view, the ‘we’ cultures often can involve abject obedience to authority and ignorant dominant elites (seeking an easy life which does not exist, in my view) to ensure no real progress or ‘innovative and radical thinking’ takes place which might threaten their positions or the status quo.

These are often, in my view, cultures which are parasitic on other cultures for any significant originality e.g. the No.8 wire known to New Zealanders.

And New Zealand in continuing to develop such a ‘parasitic culture’ would prove, in my view, very detrimental to the rebuilding of Christchurch as well as helping those who suffered the consequences of the ‘New Zealand Tragedy’ which I have described has having happened lower on the social scale. But as hardship increases spontaneous responses would seems likely to also grow disrupting extreme top-down control.

The proposed ‘system change’ would involve a revolution in human rights ideas replacing the extreme top-down control of neoliberalism, requiring many human rights omissions, by an emphasis on bottom-up empowerment and ethical human rights.

The latter involves including all the rights omissions and ensuring all have, at the very least, their core minimum human rights i.e. both being able to survive with dignity and having the added dignity of being able to help oneself (without any form of discrimination).

I am presently researching the proposed East Asia Regional Bloc (akin to the European Union and the Amercias) which New Zealand, likely involving the forging of much sovereignty, is meant to be a part of.

I consider that the ethical human rights approach, very likely to gain the support of those subjected to extreme containment assisted by the social networking sites as in the Arab Spring, is a very important reason why the rise of Asia and the proposed bloc, driven by the ASEAN Master Plan on Collectivity, will last far less time than the European Union if it happens at all.

The Facebook comments are as follows:

Property Discrimination

July 6, 2012

This is a very interesting page Michelle. When I get the chance I want to research the exclusion of the right to property and non-discrimination with respect to property (the additional exclusion of social class/socio-economic (wealth) discrimination means that people at different levels of society can be treated differently wrt property). Gordon Copeland introduced a private member's bill to have the right to property included in the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 but it failed. NZers are simply not being told how this bill of rights which while can be overridden by ordinary law is none the less constitutional and constitutes the bureaucrat’s ‘bible’ while parliament only overrides the bill about once per year because they want to look good in terms of human rights. Roger Douglas voted for this bill of rights and Rogernomics reflects this bill of rights which omits many human rights (see anthony ravlich's blog, guerilla media). I should add I am very very suspicious of these omissions with respect to property. Also, I am not anti-human rights I have been fighting for many years to get all the human rights included. Our council promotes an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism which is getting high profile support on twitter and linkedin. There is hope. Tony

July 7, 2012

I have further concerns which are really still work-in-progress but rather than wait, perhaps a long time, they might be best expressed now although you should know I am not an expert on property law, merely a novice, but with 21 years experience in human rights (my book was recommended on the UN website for about 2 years).
I am concerned about what appears to be discrimination taking place with respect to property with Maori and the Corporations receiving favored treatment.
With respect to the omission of non-discrimination on the grounds of property -when NZ appeared before the UN Human Rights Committee on 15 March 2010 a committee member raised this matter “Ms. Majodina, 33 On the specific question of whether New Zealand law currently prohibited discrimination on the full range of Covenant grounds, the written replies seemed to concede that discrimination on the basis of social origin and property was still not expressly prohibited. In that connection, more information on progress made towards a review of the grounds of discrimination, proposed in the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights, would be welcome” (UN Human Rights Committee, Summary records 2696th meeting).
Also, on the 6 June I received an email from Judith Collins, Minister of Justice when she stated: “Both the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights legislation form a part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework. New Zealand’s constitution is not based solely on one piece of legislation or document but rather it is to be found in a range of formal legal documents, in decisions of the courts, and in practices (some of which are described as conventions)”.
So if, as I understand to be the case, Maori have their right to property protected under the Treaty of Waitangi in the constitutional framework shouldn’t all New Zealanders have their right to property protected in the bill of rights? But because non-discrimination with respect to property has been excluded from the bill of rights this apparent discrimination cannot be challenged in court.

Also, I am also aware that the right to property in the early days of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was not included in the two covenants which reflect the declaration but was put into the hands of the United Nations specialized agencies – now called the World Bank and the IMF. The latter implemented what was known as Structural Adjustment Programs which ensured open borders and free markets – States either adopted this voluntarily (I understand NZ was in this category) or it was imposed upon them. The point is it would appear that the IMF and the World Bank also discriminate on the grounds of property given the dominance of the Corporations over the past 25 years consequently the efficiencies of big business where being favored over any really new ideas and real progress which small business, independent minds seeking truth, are capable of i.e. at present progress largely seems limited to improvements to old ideas i.e. computers and cell phones. Christchurch could become a real entrepreneurial city, emphasizing bottom-up development rather than the top-down development, and make real progress but a free market requires no discrimination so all the omitted rights would need to be included (also you have to be able to challenge bureaucratic red tape in court and the omissions do not allow this). Also, human rights need to be properly interpreted also to ensure a meritocracy. And afterall who are best motivated to MAKE IT HAPPEN – they are your children. See the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism (anthony ravlich’s blog, guerilla media – I visited Chch twice after the first two major earthquakes such was my concern re that the bill of rights would seriously curb progress, see my articles on Chch. Also my human rights activities began in Chch in 1991 when I attracted national media coverage. They have kept me hidden since – too afraid to debate in public with me)

The State will probably claim that people’s right to property are protected elsewhere but how do they justify the apparent discrimination?

July 8, 2012

‘Action for Christchurch East’ posted the following on July 7, 2012: “In recent days EQC [Earthquake Commission] have announced, "property owners opting out of the Fletchers repair scheme must pay all bills themselves and wait to be reimbursed by the commission". When before you could chose to opt out, find your own builder and have EQC cover the cost, home owners are now left to foot the bill. It's anyone's guess when the home owner will be reimbursed. The knock on effects of this decision could be devastating”

Michelle, just posted the following on your Chch earthquake site re u-turn by EQC re discrimination against small business by bill of rights: I checked out my articles where I state: “By contrast small business was suppressed and this became clearly evident in the first Christchurch earthquake in September 2010 which required the government to assume greater executive power, using ‘orders in council’, to cut though the red tape (involving 22 statutes) in order to assist small business (see the Canterbury Earthquake Response and recovery Act 2010, Section 6, 14 September 2010). But the Key government failed to take the opportunity of extending this to small business throughout the country but still could”.
And in a present article I am writing I state: “The ethical approach to human rights, development, globalization to replace neoliberalism is a radically new approach proposed for New Zealand and the World e.g. emphasizing bottom-up development (independent minds seeking truth), rather than extreme top-down development of neoliberalism (collective minds exercising extreme social control)”.

July 7, 2012

The following were discussions between myself and Michelle who just shared an Anonymous ART of Revolution’s photo entitled “Starve the Ego Feed the Soul”. .

Anthony Ravlich Michelle, a head/heart balance is very important in the ethical human rights approach which is achieved by exercising duties to the community while holding onto what I believe in, no compromise (your soul). We have to fight to get the omitted human rights included in the bill of rights - you see from the EQC u-turn it majorly affects people lives. Why do you think so many discontented around the world are fighting for their human rights. Rather than 'safety' (a timid society) and upholding the status quo I prefer 'he/she who dares wins' and 'fortune favors the brave'.

Michelle Helliwell I am a human. Freedom is birthright. We are free. I am not violent. I treat others the way I expect to be treated... except for teasing politicians until I get it out of my system. I am well balanced, but this system is not and as a result the earth suffering... and people are suffering.

However, the illusion tries to take those rights away through their false structures and laws and our consent is assumed unless we say otherwise through our birth certificates, IRD numbers and passports since 1933.

I agree with your fight in essence Anthony, and I support fully what you are doing. However, I am not willing to consent to a system that has one law for us and another for themselves... and I have seen the biggest human rights abuses in my life in NZ over the past 2 years, through Hubbardgate, Pike River Miners and Rena... so that can shove their fancy little laws right up their .......[edited] because I'm not having a bar of it. That's how I feel about their 'system'.

Michelle Helliwell As for the ego and soul... ideally they are balanced and the soul leads the ego and is useful. If it goes the other way around, it's positively dangerous.

Michelle Helliwell ‎and Christchurch re human rights abuses. There is a voice of love or a voice of fear... and they have their own resonating vibration as well. Maybe my journey is different from others... and I have definitely spent time working on myself through the years to have deep understanding and connection... so I won’t be asking for or expecting others to agree with me. I'm just letting you know how it is for me... and maybe tomorrow it will be different. I don't judge things much... just stay in the present as best I can.

Anthony Ravlich It's just that following the great depression, the second world war and the concentration camps I consider those that devised the universal declaration of human rights were human, had some sincerity, rose above their class and created what is credited as the best humankind has so far devised even though, like human beings, not perfect. I consider that ethical human rights, which I think is also realistic, is the way the aspirational UDHR is meant to be interpreted and no one so far has challenged me on this. And I have also proved the latter true for myself. I have lived it. A universal plan which includes everybody is necessary otherwise it is just about your side and there is little concern about how many on the other side die either through direct violence or gross neglect. By the way article one of the UDHR states: "Humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights' - you seem to believe in this but some consider that the collective, greater good is everything and the individual nothing, merely a number and expendable.

Michelle Helliwell You would be a great person to have on board helping to write a constiitution Anthony. The individual/collective is a balance too, to my mind... and different from person to person.

I'm a believer in people doing what makes them happiest, and it's been interesting in previous work helping individuals work out what makes them happy... and by an overwhelming majority, they are usually driven by the desire to help others. That's humanity... and it's a great thing.

Thank goodness that greed hasn't killed it entirely yet... but we all know that there are forces trying to confuse people about what makes them happy and what they need in order to be happy. As well as that, said forces raise sense of fear and create insecurity to divide and conquer. So it's often confusing and scarey for people... and interferes with the natural desire for joy and happiness.

The following was prepared for a meeting of the Human Rights Council (NewZealand) on July 5, 2012.

Duty to the Community

Council Meeting. How far should our ‘duty to the community’ (Article 29(1), Universal Declaration of Human Rights) extend in States in social decline? As society goes into decline a very unfair burden, as the State devolves many social problems to be addressed by citizens in the community, is often placed on kind individuals with a social conscience.
Nearly all States ‘cunningly’ have economic, social and cultural rights, which are concerned with many social problems involving ‘survival with dignity’, dealt with at the level of virtual invisibility at the United Nations.
This allows the State to avoid any domestic human rights constitutional obligations which would hold them to account.
By failing to educate in human rights (see my articles on blog, see below) people are kept ignorant of these rights and therefore that it is the responsibility of the State to ensure ‘survival with dignity’. Also, the duty of individuals to the community, which would ensure the burden is shared throughout society, is also left out. Consequently a heavy burden is left to a small number while the rest of society ‘free load’ on their efforts.
The ethical approach to human rights requires the inclusion of the above rights as well as a duty to the community.
One way of exercising a duty to the community would be to support the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism which is best done by making it widely known e.g. circulating articles (see anthony ravlich’s blog, guerilla media). While directly helping victims is important informing the public of the real causes of the social problems and what is need to address them means there will be a far greater likelihood of preventing these social problems from occurring in the first place. For example, the inclusion of the ‘progress rights’ (see my articles) will enable the State to grow human knowledge and wealth to address these problems rather than pursue the present ‘nil growth’ policy that exists under neoliberalism with the latter’s solution of redistribution of the wealth simply resulting in redistributing the problems elsewhere.

In addition, Article 29(1) of the UDHR states: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible”. Those interested in their holistic development may be interested in ‘Wholism for World Peace’, ). Also while directly helping victims is important, from my experience, unless it constitutes a vocation or a ‘calling’, for the ordinary person while best done consistently it should not be too onerous because as my work shows the State is generally far more interested in preventing you from helping yourself than any help you may give to others.

The following comment was made on June 26 in a discussion on Facebook with Susan Fowden re ‘Contraception move ‘offensive’ which led to a discussion on the bill of rights:

Affirmative Action

Yes Sue, the bill of rights is meant to only apply to public bodies but when there are human rights omissions you cannot hold them to account on many important matters e.g. children, family, bureaucratic red tape, benefits well-below the poverty line and many more.This very discriminatory human rights agenda permeates the whole culture thu' the bureaucracy, academia, education system etc.preached by fundamentalists - but that's OK I am one myself - but the ethical human rights I promote incl all the human rights based on the universal declaration. What they promote is their personal opinion as to what constitutes human rights and my work shows it is v.much in their interests.But now this discriminatory agenda is not just applying to public bodies - affirmative action is now to apply in the board rooms. Because the prohibited ground of non-discrim wrt social class is left out this affirmative action (permitted by the bill of rights) can be directed to only those higher on the social scale while the numbers at the bottom increase dramatically e.g. invalid's beneficiaries. In my view, any discrimination re those higher on the social scale where small proportions of females, ethnic groups suggest discrimination is best dealt with by way of education (naming and shaming can be very effective) not affirmative action . This is because at that level it is just so very important that people are chosen on merit - you can see from the shocking social stats what happens when you have people in powerful positions who simply do not know what they are doing.This is all part of creating the ignorant society involving undermining individual worth so as to ensure no challenge to the hegemonic ambitions of the bureaucratic elites (e.g. the proposed East Asia Regional bloc which I am presently writing about - if it eventuates it will involve NZ forging much sovereignty to regional bureaucratic elites) which I have described in my work. Rather affirmative should apply where it is meant to apply to those without even their core minimum human rights. Where is the pride of a nation when many of its young women are pressured into prostitution (human trafficking?) and many of its young men have to leave the country because of lack of opportunities ('progress rights' left out of bill of rights) . Because of the shocking way many at the bottom have been treated over many years they are the most deserving of affirmative action (and as a matter of justice even more). But because the very discriminatory agenda requires a fundamentalist frame of mind and abject conformity to stay on message- many talented middle class (and other classes) who like to think for themselves, have a conscience, of their own, speak their own truth, have their own beliefs, and want to seek truth/dreams and reach their full potential are isolated and as we both know Sue a number have suffered serious mental illness and/or seen as requiring treatment because they have a different view. But these are the people we need because they are most likely to know what they are doing. Tony


Can you explain in more detail

@Antony, I have read (or attempted to read) a number of the articles about "ethical human rights" and "excluded rights" you have posted on Indymedia over the years. Your articles (like many of mine) tend to be very long, are you very difficult to pinpoint politically, which I suspect is why you receive very few comments here.

Antony writes:

>> Personally, I am disgusted with what I see as the deliberate attempt to change New Zealand from a ‘me’ culture into the ‘we’ cultures found in Asia. This involves changing individuals into more ‘tribal’ individuals, with ‘collective minds’, incapable of making any significant progress which invariably requires ‘independent minds’. What do you want to tell your children ‘think like everyone else’ or ‘think for yourself’? <<

This last sentence is clearly a false dichotomy, a rhetorical question designed to have only one viable answer. In practice, people do both. Any attempt to "think for yourself" is shaped by the mothertongue you are most likely thinking in, your cultural background, your social environment, your level of education (whether through schooling or self-study) and so many other factors. This makes it inevitable that even if you achieve some level of original thought, you will still, for the most part, be "thinking like everyone else". Thought (producing patterns of meaning) is always both an individual *and* a collective process. 

>> So if, as I understand to be the case, Maori have their right to property protected under the Treaty of Waitangi in the constitutional framework shouldn’t all New Zealanders have their right to property protected in the bill of rights? <<

What the Treaty guarantees tangata whenua is "undisturbed possession" ie a right of occupation and use of the common wealth (including but not limited to territory) they had access to when the first Europeans arrived. Modern realpolitic has turned this into a set of European-styled "property rights", to be held in trust and developed by iwi incorporations, whose leaders and main trustees form bodies like the Iwi Leaders Forum/Group, and whose elite interests are represented by the Māori Party. My conversations with members of hapū, from whose sovereignty these iwi derive in tikanga (customary lore), is that these "property rights" benefit that elite, and the businesses with whom they spend their money, much more than they do the average members of hapū.  

 I always thought the whole idea of human rights was that rights in land and other property are implicit in human rights such as the right to food, housing, clothing etc (all of which required land, and other means of production). The neoliberal assumption is the reverse - that the human rights are derived from the right to own property, and profit from that ownership. Your solution of enshrining "property rights" for all residents of Aotearoa, as part of the human rights framework, comes across as a confused hybrid of the two. This, along with your rhetorical division all cultures into "me" (western, progressive, enlightened, civilised etc) and "we" (eastern, backwards, superstitious, tribal), makes it easy to dismiss you as an eccentric variant on the neo-liberal propertarianism you claim to oppose. However, I suspect that the truth is more complex. Please, enlighten me (ideally without reiterating your key messages or referring to your book being on the UN website).