Skip to make comment
Send to a friend
5 April 2009
Amalgamation – Did anyone expect this?
Many of us
are scared this global depression will lead to the abandoning
of free trade and a rash of protectionism – like the last
should be more afraid that this global depression will lead to
the widespread adoption of fascism – like the last one did.
all, the European Fascists opposed laissez-faire economic
policies dominant in the era prior to the Great Depression.
After the Great Depression began, many people from across the
political spectrum blamed laissez-faire capitalism for their
distress. History appears to be repeating itself.
Royal Commission’s report on Auckland reflects much fascist
thought, minus the promotion of the use of violence and
external expansion. (You have to read the whole 800 pages, and
know something about the theory of Fascism to appreciate
this.) I suspect the authors had little idea that they were
resurrecting the thoughts of Friedrick List, and other fascist
theorists when they wrote their report. That is probably
because, since the Cold War began, political debate has been
played out between parties of the ‘left’ (socialist) and
‘right’ (capitalist). We tend to be unaware of fascist
thought, even when it stares us in the face.
during the sixties, ‘fascist’ became a general term of
abuse for anyone you disagreed with, which has tended to deter
rational discussion of fascist thought and ideology.
promotion of a single Uber-City with a single Uber-Mayor,
reflects the classic fascist advocacy of “strength through
The term ‘fascism’ comes from the Latin fasces which were a symbol carried by the early Estruscan Lictors
– an axe wrapped in a bundle of bound sticks. The bundle of
sticks reminds us that a collection of sticks can be broken
one at a time, but when bound together the sticks become
of the advocates of the Unified City State argue that Auckland
needs to be ‘strong’ to deal with Wellington, and to be
able to “speak with one voice”. Amalgamation is normally
driven by the desire to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
We cross an important line when the amalgamation is designed
to increase the ‘strength’ of the City, the unity of its
leadership, and the presumed unity of the people who are being
course the presumed unity is a fiction.
Plan, One Rate, One Leader, One Voice to promote a Monocentric
we now have a proposal for a single Uber-City, with a single
Uber-Mayor, so that the City State “speaks” with one
voice. The Uber-City Council will strike one rate, and write
one plan. There is no right of appeal against the Plan’s
objectives policies and rules. The One Plan must be put in
place directly, and be firmly enforced to direct all the
people’s actions in accordance with the plan. And of course
the plan must promote the monocentric city model even though
Auckland is naturally becoming multi-nodal as are the vast
majority of cities in the world.
approve of one RMA plan with one set of environmental
standards, but we are talking about a plan to manage “Urban
form” to reflect an aesthetic ideal of the vision for
Uber-Auckland. We need to be aware that fascism is largely an
report recommends that the symbol of the Uber-City is the old
Town Hall in Queen Street. Many people in the region have
hardly ever seen it, and many never will.
and the Economy
is primarily an economic theory that requires the
nationalization of the means of production, distribution and
exchange. Fascism is much less econocentric and allows
property to remain in private hands but requires property
owners to use their property to promote the interests of the
Commission says we must all live at high density to ensure the
viability of public transport because high-density living and
public transport is more energy-efficient than low density and
motor cars. Neither statement is true.
require a total transformation of the City which will never
happen and will never achieve its goals because technology
change will outpace the rate of structural and form change by
decades. Cities are not rebuilt overnight unless they are
subject to rapid and intensive “Urban Renewal Programmes”
such as the Blitz and the bombing of Dresden.
of course the Commission tells us we must build no more roads
– because cars set us free. (And make us fat.)
the Uber-Mayor will get the trains to run on time.
Assault on Property Rights.
page 533 the Commission recommends an Urban Development
Agency, and says:
Urban Development Agency would give effect to the spatial
plan and infrastructure plan, and its activities must be
consistent with the RPS, regional transport plan, and
regional economic development plan. This agency could also
have a role in ensuring that the more complex urban
renewal in planned nodes and corridors is achieved. Compulsory
acquisition powers for the Urban Development Agency should
be considered under the Public Works Act.
other words we should adopt the Keno
vs New London decision of the US Supreme
Court, in spite of the outrage that decision has caused in
those US states which have accepted the decision rather than
written their own legislation to overturn it.
bother owning property if the Urban Development Agency can use
a modified Public Works Act to compulsorily purchase your
property and sell it to another developer who will develop it
according to Council's whims rather than to your own
the 1960 Hunn Report that wanted to confiscate
‘under-productive’ Maori land? Maori should be wary of
such ‘new’ ideas too.
know that the worst thing to do during a recession is reduce
investors’ confidence in their property rights. Such
agencies have been tried in the US and found severely wanting.
We should not be surprised. The Council proposed to exercise
these powers is simply a larger one than the one that
brought David Beckham to Auckland.
must be Socially Engineered.
the commission recognises that this re-organisation of our
style of living is difficult and will require rigorous
“enforcement” because we have the wrong “attitudes”.
these “bad attitudes” must change – or be changed. So
Aucklanders must be socially engineered to gain the “correct
attitudes” towards living in apartments and using public
transport, presumably using the social budget allocation
recommended in the report.
are the Polluters who threaten Aucklanders Purity?
fascist states of Europe feared the “mongrelisation” of
their race and the Nazis feared the Jewish threat to the
“purity” of the Aryan race. Because fascism is the dark
side of the Romantic movement it looks back to tribal beliefs
which strongly advocate purity and build a structure of taboo
to enforce it.
people of Auckland are probably among the least anti-Semitic
in the Western World. Many Aucklanders voted for Mayor Robbie
without being even vaguely aware he was Jewish.
the fascist concerns about purity and pollution remain to be
exploited. The people who threaten our 100% purity in the 21st
century are those who don’t turn their lights out for Earth
hour, who want to have a decent shower, use plastic bags,
disposable nappies and drive cars – and of course farm
must therefore unite to serve the “Sustainable
Commission’s Report never mentions the wants or desires of
the people. Aucklanders’ needs and desires are to be
subservient to the needs of the new City-State.
report sets up a powerful republic with an all-powerful
“President” unrestrained by the countervailing discipline
of the US constitution and Bill of Rights. The Sub-City mayors
and councilors would be a joke. The Uber-Mayor collects all
the rating revenue which is then distributed to the councils
who would challenge the Uber-Mayor at their peril. They will
be like children who depend on their parents for their pocket
money. Why would anyone stand for election to such a thankless
the other hand, anyone who seeks the position of Uber-Mayor
should immediately be disqualified from standing.
Urban Design Panel.
is largely an aesthetic theory so, predictably, the Commission
recommends that every significant development in the Region
must be approved by an Urban Design Panel. (i.e. an urban
design censorship board.) The Uber-Mayor will undoubtedly have
a smart uniform.
the Infrastructure Problems about to be solved by RMA Reforms?
genuine and identifiable problems with the development of
Auckland’s infrastructure may well be solved by a
combination of the proposed RMA reforms and by setting up a
few region-wide service organisations to manage water and
sewage etc – preferably on a fifteen year franchise so they
compete like the French do.
present Government also seems to be taking a realistic
attitude to transport and will build some roads – preferably
at-grade rather than in expensive deep tunnels.
tend to confuse democratic form and function with engineering
form and function - but that too reflects a fascist world view
which sees Government largely as a process of design.
should be done with the Plan for Uber-Auckland?
Lange Government decided to use the famous 4000 page Social
Services review as a doorstop.
latest piece of Labour (or work) is only 800 pages long but
could well be used to keep the door open for some sensible
ideas and more democratic reform.
this Government would be ill-advised to burden itself
with a remnant of the last Government which was so committed
to central planning and interventionism.
economy and our people are under considerable stress and
should not be tempted by the false fruit of fascism.
will lead us down the road to serfdom and to ruin.
Skip to top |
Skip to make comment |
Send to a friend
To comment go to
letters to editor
Skip to top |