Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 13. 12th June 1975
Politics or Piss
Politics or Piss
The university can well be proud of itself having gained another soul, namely that of John Grainer. The ideology of the university is the ideology of the status quo — it teaches that to question and criticise is to become disillusioned. The solution to this situation is to withdraw back into the security of the status quo, and get pissed. John follows these steps methodically. He begins by questioning and criticising SRC and rightly so. However, his analysis becomes faulty when he defines the problem as people and groups, namely left versus right. If he had read Kevin Wright's analysis in Salient May issue, he may have gained an insight into the problem areas. So, beginning with a faulty analysis he becomes disillusioned. He supports American imperialism by default, yet in the next breath he rejects it. He can't decide on the question of Britain in the death throes of colonisation because there is no NZUSA policy on it. This disillusionment then leads him to the absurd conclusion that 'the only politics I can support is New Zealand because we don't have any yet.' The masters of the right-wing philosophy including Bob Jones and Weddell would strongly disagree on this point. Finally, after reflecting on his false problems and absurd conclusions, he decides that the only thing left to do is to retreat into the pub. Yet John may feel comforted in that he is not alone after all. The breweries show a profit every year.
However, to more serious matters, namely, the logical flaws in John's argument. Firstly, he uses the 'right-wing' principle that if you' re not for something, you're against it. To be anti-commie is to be right-wing. However, I am not for the right-wing ideology — I am against it. So, to be anti-right-wing is to be right-wing — an interesting conclusion. Secondly, he suggests that right-wingers are defenders rather than attackers, but defenders of what? Yes, the right-wing ideology. So, John may be suprised to learn that the right have an ideology (Ayn Rand, Talcott-Parsons, etc.) that has been put forward positively and forcefully since the death of feudalism (e.g. America and Vietnam). Hence, although John says that right-wingers by definition don't attack, it would seem imperative, if Indo-China teaches us anything, that they do attack if the tentacles of socialism aren't going to snuff out their ideology once and for all.
So where does all this lead us with respect to the sterile nature of SRC? Kevin Wright suggests that 'if people don't have to sit through some of the boring shit that comes up, we would get more people at SRC'. This seems to be a far more constructive suggestion than hitting yourself over the head with a bottle of DB Bitter.
It would seem that the left have won by default and consequently SRCs are boring. So let's have a bit of opposition. I know that to win fairly and squarely is far more personally satisfying than winning by default.
One last little point ... John has moved from SRC down to the Royal Tiger. However, if he had had a meal before he left, he would notice that food prices have gone up. If he rides his bike to the pub, he will notice that the price of petrol has risen. If he wants to get pissed it will cost him more than it did a year ago. Yet, being of the right, he will defend this. On the other hand, NZUSA are in the process of negotiating for more money in order to allow him to do these things. He will defend this too. Such are the contradictions of the defensive right-wing, defending different ideologies so that the individual may profit. I suggest that John, if he is serious, study up the right-wing ideology and make a stand. For if history is to show us anything, the right-wing eventually will defend itself out of existence.
Yours in Mao,
Paul D. Swain.