NZ Green Party
Consumerism may yet eat its own tail

Reading all the dire warnings that it is every New Zealander’s duty to spend less money to save the economy reminded me of an amusing piece of situationist troublemaking called “Decadent Action”.

The Decadent Action Manifesto would make Alan Bollard go as bald as his predecessor as Governor of the Reserve Bank. It appears to be copyleft, so here it is in its entirety below:

[Disclaimer, I present this as entertainment, it is NOT a recommendation ;)]

Decadent Action Manifesto (1996)

Decadent Action are the man and woman sitting next to you at the cocktail bar, they have money in their pockets and mischief on their minds.

Decadent Action are a High Street anarchist-guerrilla organisation whose main aim is to destroy the capitalist system by a leisurely campaign of good living and overspending. We plan to achieve our aims by making capitalism fall on it’ s own sword. If you neglect and ignore capitalism it will not go away, but feed it to excess for long enough and it will eventually burst.

We use the simple economic principles of supply and demand with their intrinsic link to inflation to establish our theories. The state must control these factors to run the economy efficiently; throw in the wild card of massive irrational overspending on seemingly random luxury goods and the government is unable to take control. This will lead to hyper inflation and large scale social unrest, leading to the collapse of the monetary system and disintegration of the state apparatus.

So how can you get involved in this conspiracy to otherthrow the government without making too much effort or getting your hands dirty? Well the answer is to spend, spend, spend! Get money, spend it, it’s as simple as that. Below we set out ten pointers to help you to become truly decadent and to destroy the monetary system at your leisure.

1. Savings are for losers, when the monetary system collapses your few pounds in the bank will become worthless. Get them out and blow the lot on a night out. We can recommend The Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner in London, The Stannary in Tavistock (Devon) or just choose the best place nearest to you and hit the vintage champagne.

2. Shopping is fun, and you can never have enough designer labels, buy that dress you’ ve been lusting after. The words ‘dry clean only’ are what we look out for, and good quality clothing is available in all major towns and cities. Stylish clothes can get you into all the right (and wrong) places and can help you convince others of your wealth in order to pull a fast one.

3. Government sponsorship is always a nice way to fund a spending spree. This comes in many forms – dole money, business start up grants, blackmail and bribery are all money for nothing. Try seeing how quickly you can blow your dole cheque in a cocktail bar.

4. Never, ever eat chocolate of less than 60% cocoa solids. Ackermans or Green and Blacks is what you should be eating.

5. Credit is the decadent’s friend. It is inflationary, it is free money, it is fun to spend. Credit cards are best, yours or someone else’s. Available now from high street banks, all you have to do is convince them that you can pay it back, piece of piss. When the monetary system collapses your bill will simply disappear. Keep several with you at all times.

6. Shopping without money is an essential part of our plan. See it, like it, have it. Never take no for an answer.

7. Pass on the decadent message at all possible opportunities. We recommend writing, rubber stamping or scalding on bank notes with appropriate pro- consumer slogans such as ‘spend, spend, spend’ and ‘shop now, riot later’.

8. Terrorism and violence against the state can be fun but make sure you get the right tools for the job. Sawn off shot guns are crude and could snag your clothes. In short, if you’re going to shoot a cop – make sure you use a nice gun.

9. Guilt and the morals of the Christian Right have no place in our plans. Get yourself out and buy some smut, get down to your local perve shop and kit out your dungeon.

10. Sort out the right heroes and influences – take a tip from us and spend the day of the next general election in bed with a jug of your favourite cocktail, a Combustible Edison soundtrack and read up on Baader, Meinhoff, Chomsky, Susie Bright, Harry Roberts, Valerie Solanas, Viv Nicholson and troublemakers the world over. The odd few pence on a meagre minimum wage is not our concern when we want to bring the whole system crashing down.

These are just a few of the things that may help you in the war against the monetary system. Invitations to exclusive restaurants, gifts of fine wines and champagne are also encouraged.

Now this is all, of course, a daft idea because decadent spending would, among other bad things, speed up the doom of the planet. But if you do feel the need to max out the credit card, please make sure you Buy Kiwi-Made :)

35 thoughts on “Consumerism may yet eat its own tail

  1. Pingback: Not PC
  2. I must say that I am revolted. This weblog, although I disagree largely with the content, used to be both reasonable and erudite. In recent months it has degenerated. This can be seen through a series of links to a series of anarcho-communist websites. Each link is ‘moderated’ by comments to the effect that it is only ‘interesting’ or, in this case, ‘present[ed] … as entertainment.

    I must say that I personally do not find this ‘entertaining’. Rather, as I mentioned above, I find it revolting. Here’s why:

    ‘Terrorism and violence against the state can be fun but make sure you get the right tools for the job. Sawn off shot guns are crude and could snag your clothes. In short, if you’re going to shoot a cop – make sure you use a nice gun.’

    Now, I am aware that you do not necessarily endorse all that is said – but you in no way actually try to distance the Greens from it. Moreover, this is a political blog, and during the election it was quite influential in terms of the media’s portrayal of the Greens. While that has been lost now (due to poor writing, in part), you actually threaten influencing the media negatively. The media could very well, and I hope do, run a story outlining all the revolting aspects of this post. It is made worse not only by you appearing to advocate terrorism, but this:

    “Sort out the right heroes and influences – take a tip from us and spend the day of the next general election in bed with a jug of your favourite cocktail, a Combustible Edison soundtrack and read up on Baader, Meinhoff, Chomsky, Susie Bright, Harry Roberts, Valerie Solanas, Viv Nicholson and troublemakers the world over. The odd few pence on a meagre minimum wage is not our concern when we want to bring the whole system crashing down.”

    Now, much as I dislike many of those named, such as Chomsky, there is one that all should find disdainful. And that is Harry Roberts. I quote from the entry on Roberts from Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Roberts_%28murderer%29)

    “Harry Maurice Roberts (born 1936) is one of the UK’s most notorious murderers and longest-serving prison inmates. He was the instigator of the Massacre of Braybrook Street, a triple-murder of policemen in 1966.”

    Or, let’s take a look at Valerie Solanos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Solanas

    “On June 3, 1968, she fired 3 shots from a handgun at Warhol as he entered his studio. Although the first two rounds missed, her third shot sent a bullet through Warhol’s left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus and right lung. She then shot art critic Mario Amaya and tried also to shoot Warhol’s manager Fred Hughes, but her gun jammed. (Solanas reportedly considered Warhol a vampire and spray-painted her bullets silver. She had previously experimented with wrapping them in aluminum foil, but the foil made her gun jam.)”

    And apparently reading up on these people are “just a few of the things that may help you in the war against the monetary system.”

    You sicken me.

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  3. I think the comment that he regards it as entertaining means he disagrees with at least part of it ;)

    Honestly, I don’t know why you want to read any sort of journalism if you don’t want to know about contrasting opinions. Frog is making it quite clear that the opinions are not his nor the Green Party’s, but he is not always bothering to attack the reasoning behind everything he or the Party disagrees with.

    I note and agree with the sentiment of your disgust of terrorism. To me it is a desperate and last resort, a failing of humankind that we cannot sort of differences without such extreme measures. The act itself is indeed a repugnant failure to the better sides of human nature.

    But to suggest that merely acknowledging the fact that it exists is “disgusting” greatly increases the threat of terrorism. In a state where people can joke and be comfortable with terrorism, its main weapon of fear has been extinguished. One of the best things we can actually do to weaken terrorists is to make them funny, to become comfortable with the threat of violence as a risk much like the threat of bad drivers. Your gut reaction is making terrorism more effective, and in THAT sense, your disgust of terrorism is aiding their cause. I would reccomend that you’d do better to learn to accept the reality that people are really that desperate, and be able to live disagreeing with them and finding them a failure, but without being afraid of them or stirring panic.

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  4. Lemme get this right Not PC, you’re objecting because it’s not cool to laugh about things you don’t find funny?

    Isn’t that kind of, well, I hesitate to use the term, but… Politically Correct?

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  5. Well, I don’t think that laughing at a site that supports terrorism and the killing of policemen is funny. And it’s another thing for the official blog of a party that has seats in our legislature to link to it.

    If the post was ‘Look, there are some people who think this’, then perhaps it would be fine. But that’s not what it is. It’s for our entertainment. It’s for us to laugh at how some people, (and this isn’t the first time Frog, or the recent version thereof) has linked to anarchist websites, think it’s a good idea to kill policemen.

    I also completely disagree that to laugh at terrorists somehow defeats them. No it doesn’t. Why would an islamic extremist care if he scares us or not, when he believes martyrdom will deliver him 72 virgins? And it’s completely irrational to expect humans to not fear the potential of death from terrorism.

    Reading something with which one disagrees is only ‘entertaining’ if it’s instinctively incorrect. Yet frog has linked to anarchist websites before. Moreover, it’s only amusing when it’s not serious – this is. And the things that it advocates are equally serious.

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  6. Adam Smith, Not PC

    You understand satire? Do you understand any of the rest of what we say and do here?

    The fact that it is in its entirety so bizarrely wasteful and anti-green should give you a clue that we who understand what is being wasted in detail are laughing at it. ROTFLMAO with cramps.

    BJ

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  7. Adam, “Moreover, it’s only amusing when it’s not serious – this is. And the things that it advocates are equally serious.”

    You think threatening to bring down the global capitalist order by ordering cocktails is serious? Are you mad?

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  8. Adam Smith: “This can be seen through a series of links to a series of anarcho-communist websites. Each link is ‘moderated’ by comments to the effect that it is only ‘interesting’ or, in this case, ‘present[ed] … as entertainment.”

    I’ve been reading frog throughout and have had a quick scan back through frog’s posts “in recent months”, and I can’t see what you’re on about with this statement. Frog did debate with an anarchist blog, but then he also debates with DPF. Please provide links that show this *series*.

    BTW, satire such as this has a long history, for the classic example check out Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ from 1729 – http://www.online-literature.com/swift/947/.

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  9. THis is patently not satiric in nature. Actually follow the link he provides – then take a look around the site. You’ll see that you’re sorely mistaken.

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  10. And actually do some research into the organisation. I highly doubt that a ‘satiric post’ would actually be backed up by a monthly magazine that ran for two years.

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  11. Adam, that’s your “series of links to a series of anarcho-communist websites”??? A series of one?

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  12. That is definitely not going to bring down the capitalist order. What it relies upon is a large amount of the population doing it intentionally. If that was the case, a majority of the population trying to bring down capitalism, why not just revolt? All it needs is a reasonable number of people not involved in it, and they’ll simply capture the profits. Of course, you’ll all whinge about how inequal everything is after you’ve deliberately wasted all your resources, and demand a bailout :)

    Seriously, that lifestyle is not far removed from a significant amount of the country/world.

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  13. Adam Smith: Are you completely bereft of comedy sensors? I thought the Scottish knew how to laugh at English jokes?

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  14. Adam Smith is obviously unfamiliar with the situationists and appears totally devoid of a sense of humor. How sad.

    Bigups to Adam tho, for making me go and look at the site http://www.monoculartimes.co.uk. Here is a random sample:

    “We now own the human genome” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft’s chairman, Bill Gates, added: “This will allow us to innovate a range of new products. For the first time, our customers will be able to buy a licence from us enabling them to have sexual intercourse. Truly we are the world leaders in innovation!”

    It is a great site!

    But Adam has missed the point with ‘Decadent Action’. It describes the behavior of decadent westerners (in this case ‘decadent’ is a descriptive, not a pejorative term). Thus describing the main beneficiaries and supporters of the system as undermining it. Typical situationist stuff.

    “8. Terrorism and violence against the state can be fun but make sure you get the right tools for the job. Sawn off shot guns are crude and could snag your clothes. In short, if you’re going to shoot a cop – make sure you use a nice gun.” Hardly Jihad is it? A nice gun?

    My advice to Adam is take a chill pill.

    G’night all

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  15. I think that you are all dismissing Adam Smith and Not PC’s concerns too glibly. Clearly the article IS serious, not satire, and I for one am very concerned about the crypto anarchists hidden in our midsts passing themselves off as National Party supporters. I recently attended a cocktail bar and, with the benefit of hindsight, can clearly see how the obnoxious yuppies in expensive suits getting drunk on outlandish cocktails were in reality the advance guard of a gloabl conspiracy to undermine capitalism.

    Perhaps we should leak all this to the SIS and get conspicuous consumers listed in the A-Z of terrorists guide thingy that they use to designate the enemies of international decency. We could even get them to pay for their own rendering, if we flew them concorde.

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  16. I also completely disagree that to laugh at terrorists somehow defeats them. No it doesn’t. Why would an islamic extremist care if he scares us or not, when he believes martyrdom will deliver him 72 virgins? And it’s completely irrational to expect humans to not fear the potential of death from terrorism.

    The cause itself cares if we’re scared. If we’re scared, we’re easier targets. We can be frightened into submission. They can use their effect on our lives to manipulate us. This is precisely the sort of attention they are trying to gain. By refusing to be scared, you’re fighting terrorism. You’re hurting their cause. Being able to laugh at things related to terrorism is a great human ability, and it’s something I would regard as a strength of character.

    As for the stuff being funny: Of course it is! It is so ridiculous to anyone with Green beliefs that we can only regard it as humour. Or perhaps some sort of parody on the beliefs of our political opposition.

    As for being “fanatical”, I only think that applies in that many Green people deeply care and believe in the philosophy behind the party. We do listen to other people, even if we have different value judgements to them. As we are liberals, we have a little in common with anarchists, as we both want the state to butt out of social affairs a bit, but they’re a much more extreme (in terms of being far from the centre) belief than we are. Thus, it is appropriate to discuss our thoughts in reference to people with more extreme views than us, much as National supporters might discuss the views of the United Future party.

    I personally think you’re getting way too worked up by those links. They’re just links man. They’re here for discussion relevant to the greens. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to follow them. I know I certainly don’t follow every link to David Farrar or whoever else that I see when wandering NZ blogs ;)

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  17. I think it is absolutely apalling that frog has quoted something that recommends that we listen to Combustible Edison. This sort of filth should not be encouraged in any way.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combustible_Edison

    Seriously though, the objectionable violence parts of this are but two paragraphs out of 15 (or 4 sentences out of 39). I note that PC-not-PC and Adam Smith fail to attack the other 13 paragraphs – i.e. the parargraphs that are actually relevant to the point that frog was making.

    Meanwhile did you spot that the piece was originally published in the idler magazine, which is a very fine British publication that celebrates the Catholic work ethic.
    http://www.idler.co.uk/

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  18. Speaking of links, the one I find most offensive from Frogblog is Powerline.

    Never quite got why you link to those crazy loons. Guess it’s for the humour value.

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  19. stuey…”..celebrates the catholic work ethic…”

    stuey…i never realised you were an anti-papist…..cor!..

    btw…what is the pc spin on that..?….is that one of the ‘allowables’..?

    are we allowed to still air age-old prejudices/slurs…?.as long as they are anti-catholic…?

    (do you have any anti-jewish ones you still use..?..)

    and could we please have a list of those it is ok to slag…?.

    and of those those who slighting will raise indignant/shocked eyebrows…..?
    (this will help us from getting it wrong…:)…eh..?

    (policing the pc universe..so you don’t have to…)..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  20. As a sattire writer, I find this enormously frustrating. It seems there’s nothing you can write that so ridiculous that some erm person can’t be personally offended by it. Dealing with it is a huge waste of time that I’m currently supposed to be spending writing an article on Alberta becoming the 51st US state.

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  21. erm person here…just checking in…sheesh….lighten up ghet….it’s a piss-take…(obviously my satirical swipe was too subtle for you…..or i could take the back seat and say…..what..?..)

    i could note that i am a big fan of the idler ethic….in fact..some would argue i’ve structured a life around it..somehow…:)(keeps you young at heart..didn’t ya know..:)

    and as for the ‘catholic work ethic’ jibe…it comes from the same era as ‘no catholics, no coloureds, no dogs’…

    and the ethic in practice was one of the only rebellions on offer for the opressed…against the opressor….(c’mon..we’ve all had jobs like that…)

    yours (in good humour…guess whos blog got mentioned on the newsweek website ‘what the blogs are saying’….link at myplace…:)

    it is an aside i made on a story they did on the ‘irritable male’ syndrome..where i noted i preferred the ‘big brain short fuse’ excuse..for obvious reasons…:)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    btw ghet…if you’d like me to proof-read your alberta piece..i’d be happy to offer a few suggestions…

    and that’s over and out from erm person…:)

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  22. I’m off to Kirkaldie and Stains right now, to buy me the most expensive thing clothing can find… nothing but the best for me!

    Seriously though, where can find a Dolce and Gabanna semi-automatic weapon? I don’t want to be part of your revolution if I can’t rule the world in style. Perhaps I’ll just have to make do with accesories.

    Yours for in decadence
    resistantsoy

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  23. I’d like to point out yet another “In America, TV Watches You” moment.

    When the economic problems of 2001 took a huge worsening immediately after 9/11, we were told that the patriotic thing to do was to go out to the shopping malls and spend.

    America still has a negative net average personal savings.

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  24. I would argue that the difference between this article and a Swiftian satire is this: Swift’s ‘Modest Proposal’ was just that… a proposal. He did not pick out actual examples – and encourage them. Instead, to demonstrate that logic is often instinctively repugnant (which I would argue makes it illogical, but others may not), he proposed something that, logically, seemed to be a good idea.

    Here, if it is to be taken as satire, then I would respectfully suggest that those trying to satirise should not do so using examples of cruel and cold blooded murder. Maybe that’s just me – I don’t really think the taking of life is comical.

    If it is not satire (given the content of the rest of the site), then I stand by my belief that it is revolting.

    I would also suggest that the blogger of frogblog is probably more in line with anarcho-ecologists than the Greens. I would also suggest that it is rather tragic how many readers – generally ardent Green supporters, have failed to notice the post-election change in frog blog. The writing is poor, as are the things of which the blog discusses. But I think the raison d’être of this blog was far more than to communicate with greenies – it was to influence the media’s portrayal of the Greens. This did once occur. Many times did I read the NZ Herald and recognise lines of argument derived from this blog. Now, this does not occur. The people that matter have noticed. It’s sad that the ardent supporters are so blinded.

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  25. Adam – Since you’re not willing to admit that you took something way too seriously and aren’t part of this party (and I certainly hope we can arrange not to take this persons application should he ever submit it), perhaps the time has come to SUGGEST that you take your extraordinary lack of perception away from ours. Frog does just fine by my lights, and I doubt seriously that the rest of the people here would bother with this blog if frog’s posts weren’t relevant and amusing for us. Yours on the other hand, fill a much needed silence.

    BJ

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  26. Um Adam Smith appears to think that eating Irish babies is perfectly reasonable thing to laugh at but cop killing is cold blooded murder…

    Would that be right?

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  27. Quite. Swift’s’Modest Proposal’ was not some piece of pure fiction, but an extrapolation from the real and hideous conditions of the Irish living under the English landlord system.

    As for Mr Smith’s comments on anarchists:”As if the Greens don’t suffer enough from being labelled fanatics, it’s ridiculous that they’d then encourage it by posting links to such utter trash.”

    Wasn’t the whole point of putting in the link to the anarchist SNAP! site (http://snap.enzyme.org.nz/) – with its incisive comments on the nature of international copper markets, radical radishes and Fun Ho! toys – a cheap attempt to change the public image of the Greens from being considered fanatics, to that of reasonable, considered and thinking people? After all, anarchists make no bones about rejecting the scurrilous violence of the state and the economic oppression of the capitalist system, while the Greens seem quite ready to work with it. No wonder they are dubbed fanatics.

    Mr Frog’s attempt to publicly cosy up to the anarchists is no more likely to fool the masses than ‘Adam Smith’s’ attempts to gain credibility by cribbing the name of a pretty decent and insightful economist.

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  28. Dear Phil,

    I don’t think “Catholic work ethic” is an insult, I think it is a complement.

    Practising my catholic work ethic is exactly what I’m doing now, posting on a blog instead of doing some work!

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  29. stuey…aye…

    (i’m ‘catholicing’ bigtime..just at the moment….intoxicants and all…:)..it being a monday night and all…you have to ease into the week ..eh…?..when running under the strictures of the catholic.work ethic..

    and of course it’s a compliment….what’s the alternative..?….the dour/sour begrudging protestant work ethic..?.um..no thanks…the ‘live to work’ mantra never did ring true…:)..too many books to read…and thoughts to think..and ideas to argue..and converations to have…to bother with that nonsense…eh..?

    bj said….”…and I certainly hope we can arrange not to take this persons application should he ever submit it)..”

    bj..i ‘ve heard tell there’s some people in the auckland greens with minds as closed to diversity as you obviously are…..i’ll introduce you some time…you’ll get on like a house on fire…you could all sit around and make up new rules of exclusion….that’ll get things done..eh..?

    btw..what are the current rules of admission to the greens .?.or..in this case..non-admission?….
    are the grounds of ‘we just don’t like that person’ enough to get them ‘banned’..?.?
    .is there someone in wellington greens who could clear that up…?..ta..

    and if say..(just hypothetically speaking..of course) a group of auckland greens decided they didn’t like me…could they stop me from joining the party…?.could they stop me joining in another part of the country…?..could/should i send my application (and a/p..:)?..directly to wellington..?

    and what is an effective quorum in that ‘banning’ situation..?….what is the tipping point..?

    how many would they have to mass against me.?….to get me declared a non-person…..?…..

    and are there any grounds of appeal for an individual… who some others decide they just don’t like the cut of his jib…?..or whatever..?

    or will a defendant-in-abstentia kangeroo court do the trick for them…?

    mmm?..just wondering..eh..?….

    ‘cos i’m thinking of becoming active in the ak greens again…and i have a feeling in my bones …that the prospect of me sticking my hand up and going..”..um..what about…?.” again could well have a few of them so un-nerved ..i fell such precipitate action on their part against me just may be contemplated…

    that’s why i thought i’d ask…:)

    just so i know where i stand…eh…?..if at all…:)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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