Countdown trolley wrangler wants workers’ control

October 14, 2008

- Alastair Reith

Defenders of capitalism often claim that it is the most efficient, productive and effective system on offer. That for all its flaws (such as the misery that most of humanity is forced to endure), capitalism is at least capable of ensuring that everything operates the way it should, and all the jobs get done. However, this doesn’t stack up to reality.

I spend every Sunday pushing trolleys in the Countdown carpark. It’s a boring, monotonous job with very little to stimulate my mind - I walk outside, get trolleys, take them back inside, and repeat the process. Every now and again I shake things up a bit by taking a trolley into the store, collecting baskets and taking them out to the foyer.

Last Sunday, though, something was different. I don’t enjoy my job that much, and I don’t exactly pour every drop of energy I have into it, but over time I have become reasonably good at it. I can usually ensure that at all but the busiest times there are trolleys and baskets in the foyer and no major problems to do with supply of shopping bags, till rolls, etc. I can pretty much just zone out and let the day take its course as I get into my usual routine.

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The best type of government?

September 2, 2008

The Workers Party recently received an enquiry from a high school student trying to get in touch with the New Zealand Communist Party. The year 9 student wanted to ask a few questions “concerning a project on whether democracy is the best type of government.”

Philip Ferguson replied:

We’re actually the Workers Party, not the Communist Party. The CP no longer exists and we are not descended from it. Our organisation contains a variety of views on historical questions - some people are pro-Mao, some are pro-Trotsky and some have no particular historical identifications.

Does your party support independence from Britain, and if so, how could this benefit New Zealand?

New Zealand is independent from Britain and has been for quite a long time. The British monarch may be the formal head of state, but that is a mere formality. For instance, the governor-general, in whose person the monarch’s (limited) power is vested, is appointed by the New Zealand government. In fact, New Zealand gained representative institutions back in the 1850s and the major decisions about what happens politically in New Zealand have been made by the New Zealand state, government and ruling class ever since then.

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The truth about job losses

September 1, 2008

New Workers Party leaflet available for download here.

A Marxist critique of Postmodernism

August 25, 2008

- Byron Clark

This article was originally published in the University of Canterbury student magazine Canta under the title
‘Minimum wage is an objective truth: How postmodernism hurts the working class’.

If you’re an Arts student then theres no doubt that you will have encountered the term ‘postmodernism’ at some point during your time at university, perhaps though you haven’t been given an explanation of this school of thought or perhaps more likely you’ve had it explained to you by ten different people- probably in twelve different ways. Its this confusion on what postmodernism actually is that makes any attempt at critiquing it so difficult. In the intellectual discussions that can be found outside campus cafés one arguing against postmodernism will soon hear from their opponent “no thats not what postmodernism is!” at which point the discussion becomes a frustrating argument about semantics usually ending with someone dismissively scoffing “bloody undergrads” and walking away. No doubt this article will draw similar responses, however I’m going to attempt to define postmodernism as accurately as I can, based on the impressions of it I have gained in the course of my university education, as well as though my own study, and then outline my criticism of it. Let me first state that if you’re inclined to use the word ‘postmodern’ to describe architecture (indeed this was the original use of the word), a piece of art, music or your latest haircut, then my argument is not with you. Refer to contemporary art however you like, and it doesn’t worry me, my argument here is against the philosophy of postmodernism, a collection of ideas that I see as having negative consequences in our society.

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Don Franks on the importance of class in New Zealand

June 23, 2008

Appearing in a segment on yesterday’s Radio NZ “Ideas” program, Workers Party Wellington Central candidate Don Franks explains the reality behind the superficial rhetoric about New Zealand being a “classless” society.

Download the podcast here or the audio stream here