Co-Governance Is Our Path To An Illiberal Future

This article was originally published for paying subscribers for The BFD INSIGHT: Politics and is reproduced here for all Right Minds readers on a delayed basis.

Dieuwe de Boer

Jacinda Ardern resigned suddenly as Prime Minister on Thursday, bringing back into focus the power of the Maori Caucus. In many ways the inevitable end to the liberal order that must come with co-governance had made Jacinda's position untenable. While I could be proven wrong in the next 24 hours, it also seems inevitable that Labour's next leader must be Maori.

There's a big lesson here in how a small minority managed to become massive power brokers. While Maori make up about 13% of the population, from voting habits we can estimate that perhaps 40% are committed to political ethno-nationalism at the ballot box as swing voters. Their geographical concentration helps their cause in the ability to procure electorate seats, but regardless, the success of the Maori Caucus is a good lesson for conservatives. Maori ethno-centrists know they'll never be a majority in a liberal democracy, so they need other paths to by-pass the rule of the liberal mob. Their votes can never be taken for granted and they'll happily sink a government that doesn't give in to their demands.

This is why they've been raking in the wins on Three Waters and all other co-governance issues for decades. This is why TV programmes and preschools are full of openly pagan content, and why media organisations have to agree to cover certain issues in certain ways to get government funding. This is what a commitment to the use of power looks like.

The issue that co-governance wants to solve is a real one: Maori chiefs signed the treaty with an expectation that they would get to maintain internal autonomy and territorial integrity. That's not what happened, but there's no easy way back for Maori who want to stop their traditions and culture from being globalised. What they see in the liberal "we are all one people" pledge is the total genocide of their ancestral way of life and irrevocable absorption into the globohomo.

Yet the alternative pursued by the left is likely to annihilate New Zealand's social cohesion, leave Maori collectively responsible for a bureaucratic nightmare, and bring an end to liberal democracy. The latter I'm not so cut up about, but everything else will be destructive and chaotic for New Zealand. For Maoridom's elites it's a deal with the devil: this is the path opened to them by the global order of the United Nations seeking to empower indigenous people in former colonies. The path is a risky and ugly one, but they have decided to walk it, damned what may lie ahead.

Ethnic separation or segregation isn't compatible with the liberal order. It always fails when implemented in the hierarchy of governance. A good king can reign peaceably over segregated peoples because he lives above them rather than among them, but segregated peoples cannot govern each other.

Many on the right have absorbed liberal critiques of the co-governance programme: it is illiberal, un-democratic, minority rule, ethno-separatist, and apartheid.

These things are assumed to be wrong—but according to who? The general concepts at play here are common and traditional on the right-wing. It would bring an end to mob rule and usher in government by an aristocratic elite. There would be institutional and legal protection of the interests of the indigenous people who seek to regain their traditional culture and ancestral lands before the opportunity slips away forever. Could England exist if the English were a minority? Could Japan exist if the Japanese were a minority? Could Israel exist with Jews as a minority? Maori can see that no Maoriland could ever exist in a democratic New Zealand.

Many people mourn the destruction of colonial states in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East where minority rule gave way to majority rule. Historically, mob rule has always left these countries devastated. The blessings of democracy destroyed nations that didn't have sufficient social cohesion to keep them together. Many such errors were made during European decolonisation in the 1900s and also during American imperialism in the 2000s. Toppling dictators to "bless" nations with democracy was one of the greatest moral failings of the neo-conservative/neo-liberal foreign policy era. In fact, these failures were so bad that neocon policy is unelectable anywhere in the Western world.

The worship of democracy has now turned inward. Politicians and journalists vainly preach about our "sacred democracy" and spread hate about various groups or persons who "undermine democracy". To them, democracy is synonymous with the liberal world order and the advance of progressivism.

Co-governance will shatter this egalitarian and liberal order in New Zealand, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

There is an alternative to co-governance that can work: federalism or confederacy. Greater expression of the prerequisite localism is not on the cards here though. The kind of progress the left wants will not be ensured without greater centralisation. Yet there is no guarantee that once they have the power, Maori elites will show any concern for the progressive agenda—which necessarily has a homogenising effect of its own. The totalitarian threat presented by the progressives may be on the chopping block sooner than they think. Co-governance has been firmly entrenched in the political calculations of both Labour and National, who in recent times have been unable to govern without the backing of a power-savvy Maori Caucus.

Jacinda Ardern may be gone, but ironically she leaves New Zealand firmly on the path to an illiberal future. Perhaps even on the path to a conservative future, if we are willing to watch and learn.


About the author

Dieuwe de Boer

Editor of Right Minds NZ, host of The Dialogue on RCR, and columnist at The BFD. Follow me on Telegram and Twitter. In addition to writing about conservative politics and reactionary thought, I like books, gardening, biking, tech, reformed theology, beauty, and tradition.

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