The Tigers of Wrath

November 6th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve been looking forward to the Tigers of Wrath for a couple of months. The publicity blurb is:

Beijing, 1974 – Trish and Pauline are Maoists on a New Zealand Students’ Association trip to Red China. Also on the trip is Oliver, a radical would-be writer.

Twenty years later Trish is a second term labour MP, plotting the dumping of Labour Party leader, Mike Moore.

I was not disappointed. It was a great play. Political geeks especially will love the second act – but it will appeal to a wider audience.

You first see Neenah Dekkers-Reihana as a young Chinese revolutionary brandishing a wooden rifle. Then we’re in the bunkroom of Trish and Pauline.

Pauline and Trish are fighting as only comrades of the left can – over purity. Trish wants to see the Great Wall of China, but Pauline lectures here that they are not here as tourists – they are here to learn Maoism and spread the revolution.

It soon becomes clear Pauline and Trish are lovers, not just comrades. Heather O’Carroll plays the staunch Pauline and Kate Prior plays Trish.  After a flaming argument, Heather storms out and the long haired Oliver (played by Nathan Meister) enters to check if Trish is okay.

The resulting scene is comedy gold. Oliver ignores her demands to go away, and tries to make apparent that he also likes Trish. After commenting on how remarkable her eyes are, and being challenged by her on what he means by that, he says “They are beautiful like two street lights outside a brothel”. She spends many minutes ridiculing him on this, and Prior does a superb job of portraying Trish as playful and vulnerable. She reacts better to another of his cheesy lines and they eventually bond over discovering they both have the book Middlemarch as their favourite read.

Act II is 20 years later in 1994. Trish is now a Labour MP married to Oliver, a lawyer. Neenah plays their teenage daughter, and she adds great comedy value to the act. We see Trish plotting with a colleague on rolling Mike Moore to replace him with Helen. The dialogue is absolutely credible, the list of who will vote which way pretty spot on, and the critique of Moore hilarious. They had actual quotes from the past such as Lange saying Moore is a pinball machine designed by a colour blind person. Also a great quote of how Michael Cullen is the sort of person who enters a revolving door behind you and comes out in front.

The line that got the most laughs was after Trish’s phone call, when she goes back to asking Oliver if he is cheating on her. She calls him a sell out as he is no longer doing work helping migrants for free, but is now an immigration consultant. He responds by proclaiming “Well what the hell is the Labour MP for New Lynn doing living in Herne Bay”. Huge laughter from the audience, as most (including Labour MPs there) correctly concluded that that line was not necessarily directed at Trish!

Act III in 2009 sees Oliver run into Pauline in a Mangere pub. They have not seen each other in 35 years and this is the first time they appear on screen together. Finally she recognises him as the “cunt who stole my girlfriend”. I won’t give the rest of Act III away, but its a good finale to the play.

The actors all performed really well. Quite a challenge to portray the same character 20 and then 35 years later. But the use of wigs on Oliver and a nice corporate suit for Trish helps them do the job.

An interesting profile on playwright Dean Parker in the Listener. He says he never went to China himself as he was a Trot not a Maoist! He obviously has some good sources in Labour as Act II was all too believable.

A very enjoyable play with some great acting which is a must see for political geeks.

Theatreview liked the play also. It is on until 1 December.

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69 Responses to “The Tigers of Wrath”

  1. Positan (377 comments) says:

    Aside from the “married to Oliver with daughter, Neenah” bit – was Trish supposed to be a Helen Clark look-alike – of course, suitably disguised for the sake of tender Labourite feelings or possible libel potential?

    The “planning a coup on Mike Moore” bit seemed a complete giveaway.

    [DPF: I spoke to the playwright and asked him if Trish was based on an actual MP. He replied "Trevor Mallard". I should note Trevor was there when I asked!]

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  2. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Autobioraphical of Helen? Her favourite book is “Motorcycle Diaries” by —you guessed it — Chez Guava.

    She probably went on one of those trips to China as did much of the current aristocracy, for example NZ/WHO epidemiologists and Robert Sragg and Ruth Bonita.

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  3. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Does it end happilly? (with all commies and their supporters dead)

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  4. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Pauline and Trish are fighting as only comrades of the left can – over purity.

    I’ve seen a fair few debates over ideological purity from the brotherhood of the true right on here over the years! :-P

    Nice write up nevertheless.

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  5. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Does it end happilly? (with all commies and their supporters dead)

    Yeah, that’s it! DEATH to all those I disagree with! :roll:

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  6. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    > Yeah, that’s it! DEATH to all those I disagree with!

    Mao killed millions of his own people during peace time. Go have a look at the offical records (recently released) of what went on.

    Here is a taste: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/opinion/16iht-eddikotter16.html

    Yes I DO disagree with it.

    If you dont, then you need to elminate yourself from the gene pool. Take any supporters with you.

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  7. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Oops Robert Beaglehole not Scragg, sorry.

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  8. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    If you dont, then you need to elminate yourself from the gene pool. Take any supporters with you.

    So you advocate killing the likes of Minto, Bradford et al?

    Rather than just ignoring them?

    Far out – you’re closer to the Communists than you probably think you are!

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  9. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Yes.

    I also advocate the killing of cancer cells in a healthy body.

    I prefer to ignore them too, but they have taken control, due to people like yourself.

    [DPF: 50 demerits. If you really advocate killing people on the basis of their political views - go elsewhere]

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  10. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Thank you forum user ‘Kea’ for confirming that you advocate the killing of New Zealand communist activists.

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  11. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    My sincere pleasure.

    Thank you RRM for identifying yourself as one of them. You seem to think the deaths of 150 million humans (still rising daily) is less important than the removal of a few dead commies.

    Would you allow a cancer to grow in the chest of a baby, on the basis the cancer had a “right to exist” knowing it will ultimately kill its self and the host ?

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  12. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    RRM

    Kea is just preparing for the day when the world sees reason. Then socialists, rather than being executed, will be rehoused in padded buildings where people will pay to point at them & laugh on Sunday afternoons. To this end “Ko Ko” in The Mikado had a suggestion:

    As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
    I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground,
    And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
    There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs —
    All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs —
    All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ‘em flat —
    All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that —
    And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist —
    They’d none of ‘em be missed — they’d none of ‘em be missed!

    CHORUS

    He’s got ‘em on the list — he’s got ‘em on the list;
    And they’ll none of ‘em be missed — they’ll none of ‘em be missed.

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  13. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Oh btw RRM, what I am suggesting is very mild compared to what you are trying to defend.

    I would never suggest doing what your socialist mates have done (and are doing) to their opponents.

    Don’t try for the moral high ground you repulsive creep.

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  14. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    nasska, there are two types of socialist, the ignorant and the evil. The ignorant socialist can be given knowledge, and their condition may improve.

    The evil socialist seeks only power and control over others. They could just as easily be on the far right, but like socialism for the extreme control is has exerted over its millions of victims. You may find them attracted to jobs like policing. They are not very political people, they just want control.

    They are very damaged and evil people who can never be cured and are best euthanized. Fortunately they are rare.

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  15. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Oh btw RRM, what I am suggesting is very mild compared to what you are trying to defend.

    Don’t try for the moral high ground you repulsive creep.

    :lol: You sad, simple little dumbfuck.

    Could you please indicate where I’ve defended the crimes of the communist regime in China? (Or any other communist regime?

    As always, just one quote that supports your bullshit allegations would do.

    While you’re looking, try to imagine if you can, a space where people can be opposed to the crimes of totalitarian communist states, BUT at the same time also not conflate the bluster of feckless little pinko activists in safe little countries like NZ with culpability for the atrocities of real communists with real power?

    If you can comprehend this level of “subtlety” then you are starting to make real progress towards not being a complete idiot on these threads.

    If you can’t, then I fear there is still a long, long way to go…

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  16. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Ouch
    Red will be proud of his protegé. :twisted:

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  17. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Griff –

    There’s none of the intellectual rigour and depth of background reading that you get with Redbaiter, here…. :-(

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  18. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    50 demerits for denouncing communism. Yeah I can take that DPF.

    What I cant take is people like RRM defending some of the most evil people in history. There is no justifying it and no compromise on my part. The facts are widely known and even China is releasing some official records.

    Anyone with any decency would be sick with shame defending it or defending its supporters.

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  19. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    Kea

    Not all socialists are proponents of genocide as you point out. I think you may find RRM would fit well into the left of National or the right of Labour. His native intelligence & his mentors on this forum have prevented him from sliding into the cesspool of rabid socialism.

    He has mellowed considerably over the time he has spent on Kiwiblog & it is highly likely that he will take over from John Hayes as MP for the Wairarapa when the nondescript one steps down. :)

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  20. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Hit a nerve did I RRM ?

    Tell you what, try replacing the word “socialist” with “Nazi”. Whats the bet your not so upset about it now? Whats the bet if I suggested killing “Nazis” I would get no demerits.

    Of course I don’t advocate killing people for their political ideas. I love debating different views. But I do like a bit of sincerity and integrity. Something your a bit short on.

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  21. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    We still suffer from all the paranoid policies and human rights legislation these dopers dreamed up at university when they we trying to find their pathetic messiahs – Mao, Trotsky, che, Maharishi yogis.

    Good god what a basis for a modern democratic government these elite baby boomers have left us with. Many in national too.

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  22. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    The folly of seeing the world from within a very narrow spectrum so as to not be aware of the subtle differences that makes commenting interesting :grin:

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  23. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Not all socialists are proponents of genocide

    Here are some who were NOT proponents of genocide: Mao, Stalin, Pot Pot….

    I am not worried about what is said, good or bad. I am concerned about what is done.

    Why are we so tolerant of socialists in NZ but not neo Nazis? We are tolerant knowing full well the political legacy of socialism in modern history. What is behind the thinking of people like RRM?

    I do not understand it.

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  24. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Kea wants to kill communists.

    DPF brings out the demerit stick.

    Kea didn’t REALLY want to kill communists.

    :lol: LOL

    Tell us more about the Nazis, Kea.
    Somehow I get the feeling our evening’s entertainment isn’t over yet…

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  25. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    The modern new zealand socialist lives in remuera behind high fences and holds down a 6 figure job in a feeding trough, and pretends they are,for the workers by building up a cv of paper calluses in case the revolution comes. At least the old commits were honest. They pretend to be liberal but long for totalitarianism

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  26. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I over estimated your intelligence RRM, or under estimated your stupidity. I was making a point.

    I spoke out against those who oppose free speech……….. and got the “demerit stick”

    Priceless :)

    [DPF: No you advocated killing those of a different political view to you. That is the risk to free speech]

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  27. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    The scary aspect of the commies ie minty, mattress and the rest of the manaless socialists is that they believe when the finical collapse comes the proletariat will rise up and revolt . Their view of humanity is revolting :grin:

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  28. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Yes Kevin, you got it.

    I have said it before, I have been to former commie countries, dated girls from commie countries, but have only met people who defend it here in the liberal West.

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  29. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Telling little porkies like that does not work in this format kea.

    The bit where you said domestic nz communists are a cancer that need to be killed is there in black & white a few posts up the page. You weren’t talking about free speech.

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  30. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    Kea

    It’s not hard to argue that Mao, Stalin, Pot Pot, et al used Communism or Socialism as a conduit to power in the same way Hitler for the Nazi & Franco for the Spanish Nationalists clawed their ways to the top over bodies killed in the name of various “isms”. My personal opinion is that megalomaniacs such as these would have used any means to attain their ambitions……in the case of Mao & Pol Pot for instance socialism/communism was last car in the driveway.

    Socialists may have an upper hand in NZ because of the egalitarian nature of the people. The “Jack’s as good as his master” attitude of many of our parents & grandparents has influenced many of our present politicians from both sides of the political spectrum.

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  31. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Yes RRM, that is my view too. It is what I was hinting at by saying that those people just want power over others. Socialism is a very attractive idea, when the gap between the haves and the have nots is big enough. People only experiment with it when they are on their knees economically and socially.

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  32. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Give it a rest rrm, we all know what he meant. The polis in New Zealand have wages a war of subterfuge and lies with the obvious aim of destroying the middle,class by wealth redistribution and creating mayhem and dysfunction.

    They are like cancer, can’t live with them, can’t kill them.

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  33. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Whoops, I was addressing nasska, not Chairman RRM, in my last post.

    DPF, thanks for telling me what I think/meant. I was speaking out against that, by reflecting the values those people appear to hold.

    [DPF: You are judged on what you write, not what you claim it meant]

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  34. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    But kea

    “People only experiment with it when they are on their knees economically and socially.”

    Then why do we,experiment with it so badly? Partly what nasska said but the other answer is POWER, mmmmm, pure and simple. It is disgusting what these attitudes have done to NZ, trying to equalise people by pulling everyone down. I blame national almost as much as labour. It will take,generations to fix,it, if ever.

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  35. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    It is about power. It is about nothing else. Based upon its history and available evidence, how could anyone claim socialists are about peoples rights? When given total control, socialist regimes abuse their power on an epic scale.

    There are many in NZ that are social misfits and think socialism will magically change that and make them more valued. It will not. They advocate this ideology while enjoying a liberal capitalist society and all its benefits.

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  36. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Hence my inability to see the funny side of this play. Perhaps if the message,is the playwright has now seen the error of his ways – ie when he was young and foolish he had no money and that was very foolish, but now he’s in the trough he’s whistling a,different tune.

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  37. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Have a look at the index posted today and the others out there to rate the success of Individual society’s . The best places to live over a range of indicators are The Scandinavian country’s and The Anglo sphere of Canada Australia and New Zealand.
    They all have a more socialist lean than say the USA and defiantly are not commies like the former USSR or pre capitalism China
    The ACT party the most extreme party for representation on the right did not endorse doing away social welfare Just an even tighter regime then the center right national version. Along with a reliance on the commercial sectors to deliver service cheaper than a government dept. We all know that government departments are not the best source of business acumen.

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  38. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Bullshit griff that is crap. Deferring to Scandinavia is the last resort of a desperate socialist. I know people who live in those countries and they have all the problems we do, enormous tax burden and and ever increasing hostile state making the workers pay twice through user pays and “targeting assistance”. It’s bollocks.

    But clintons welfare,reforms,in the 90s now mean crime is plummeting in the US, aong with a far better work ethic than the great unwashed here have.

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  39. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    No we are not the Scandinavian we are the anglosphere version. Subtle difference :grin:

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  40. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    On board the gravy train to the third world!

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  41. Cactus Kate (538 comments) says:

    Another leftist play
    100 VRWC demerits

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  42. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I never did get an answer if the play had a happy ending with all commies dead (or otherwise cured) ?

    Just like all the Nazis die in war movies (happy ending)

    Of course we can not compare Hitler with Mao. Mao killed more than the entire death toll of WWII (all sides) in his own country during PEACE TIME. So I would never compare

    National Socialists with the ordinary socialist. Hitler was a light weight and the holocaust a foot note. Stalin killed more than the holocaust total in one year in the Ukraine.

    I would never recommend killing Nazis, because I would get more demerits ha ha ha……………. Yeah Right ! :)

    Also wiping out and nuking Muslims is ok too. As long as they are not socialists Muslims !

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  43. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Crikey! This is all a bit extreme for discussion of a firkin play! Demerits left right and blooody centre (extra “o” deliberate)…You’re not suffering from jet lag are you kind host?

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  44. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    This is all a bit extreme

    David, I am a “moderate” righty/lefty/libertarian and denounce all violence, usually.

    I am not worried about the demerits and I can’t wait to tell Red next time he calls me a marxist, homo loving, liberal ;)

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  45. Longknives (4,047 comments) says:

    Personally I think the demerits are a bit harsh- On the basis that if Kea came on here and said that he wished all skinhead Neo-Nazis dead then he would likely be applauded…
    I wouldn’t shed too many tears if someone slipped arsenic into the herbal tea at a Green Party conference, or maybe marinated the lentil snacks in cyanide….

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  46. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    You got my point Longknives.

    At least someone got my, rather dramatic, point. I thought DPF liked plays and drama that challenge the way we look at things. Maybe if I wore a gay jersey and pranced around a stage….

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  47. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    Longknives

    Make sure it’s organic arsenic…the Greens get very sensitive about these things you know. :)

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  48. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    …”Maybe if I wore a gay jersey and pranced around a stage….”……

    Dear God no! We’re getting a bit short of straights round here now…..we can’t afford to lose any more. :)

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  49. mikenmild (8,786 comments) says:

    Kea didn’t really mean to be believed when he said it would be good to kill his political. He is a bit like Mao or Pol Pot really, it is quite difficult to purge the body politic of those troublesome cells without destroying a fair amount of healthy tissue. I am quite sure that Kea actually shares something quite important with Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot: the fundamental belief that his ideas are correct and that acting on them would be in the best interests of everyone, including the corpses.

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  50. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    mikenmild, you are certainly an expert on the minds of your fellow socialists, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler.

    But you are not so good at guessing mine. Keep trying though, I need a laugh.

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  51. cha (3,533 comments) says:

    and the holocaust a foot note

    Oh look!, an admirer.

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  52. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Not an admirer of your fellow socialist Hitler, sorry cha.

    But it is a bit insensitive to compare 9 million holocaust dead, with the 40 + million in the USSR or the 70 + million in China. That is just two countries…

    The holocaust is not even close to being the worst thing in modern times. Stick with the facts.

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  53. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Always back to the Nazis
    Kea is right that the foul deeds of the far left dwarf those of the so-called far right National Socialist German Workers’ Party!!
    Its the fascism of enforcing a view with violence that is abhorrent. Some of our socialist posters are worth considering in their attempts to justified a point of view. Of course on economics and social issues they are always trying to spend my money to fix their self created problems.

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  54. cha (3,533 comments) says:

    Yup, you’d fit right in.

    “The main plank in the Nationalist Socialist program is to abolish the liberalistic concept of the individual and the Marxist concept of humanity and to substitute for them the folk community, rooted in the soil and bound together by the bond of its common blood.”

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  55. mikenmild (8,786 comments) says:

    Sounds like a Redbaiter manifesto…

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  56. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I am not about to enter a “linking match” with you cha.

    Hitlers party was not just socialist by name, but by policy. If I posted some his policies here, you would be right behind them, I think.

    The fact socialists clashed in their lust for power and control is not surprising. Just look at the number of countries the USSR occupied or dominated post the War.

    As Griff has remarked upon, I am opposed to advancing a political or social view with violence. You will see me, all over KB, denouncing the US and other capitalist countries being in the Muslim lands, for that exact same reason.

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  57. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Why does Marxism just keep popping up like mushrooms in a damp forest?

    The bigger question here is how on earth could this utterly discredited line of thought still be holding millions of academics in it’s sway?
    Worse than being discredited, it is the thought base that has led to the genocide of millions through both National Socialism and Communism, as well as the Mao path causing untold grief for further millions.

    Seriously – if a prominent Christian stood up and announced that the Crusades were a good idea, and worth trying again, they would rightly be hounded.

    If an English king stood up and suggested going back to Feudalism, they would be ridiculed, and rightly so.

    Yet people stand up every day and suggest Marxist ideas, and people head nod politely, whereas they should be saying ‘You’re crazy’.

    This is the big question for the 21st century – when can we leave this barbaric idea behind in the past, where it belongs?

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  58. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Sounds like a Redbaiter manifesto…

    Sounds like many parties in NZ today.

    “the folk community” is hardly the cry of capitalism !

    Harriet, It is shocking to think those people try and claim the moral high ground :(

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  59. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    Needs profanity & personal abuse edited in before anyone would accept it as genuine. :)

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  60. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    MM this Norway Manifesto :roll:

    He anticipates a European civil war taking place in three stages, ending in 2083 with the execution of cultural Marxists and the deportation of Muslims.

    –The first stage runs through 2030 and includes “open source warfare, military shock attacks by clandestine cell systems (and) further consolidation of conservative forces.”

    –Between 2030 and 2070, the author predicts “more advanced forms of resistance groups (and the) preparation for pan-European coup d’etats.”

    –The final stage — when the author anticipates Europe being 30%-50% Muslim by country — features the “execution of cultural Marxist/multiculturalist … traitors,” deportation of Muslims and “implementation of a Cultural Conservative political agenda” following the overthrow of existing governments across the continent.

    —He lists accused Bosnian Serb genocide suspect Radovan Karadzic among the people he would like to meet, denying that Karadzic is “a mass murderer and a racist,” saying instead that “for his efforts to rid Serbia of Islam he will always be considered and remembered as an honourable Crusader and a European war hero.”

    –The author accuses Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his Labour Party of perpetuating “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist ideals” and indoctrinating youth with those ideals.

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  61. cha (3,533 comments) says:

    number of countries the USSR occupied or dominated post the War

    LMGTFY

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  62. Scott Chris (5,676 comments) says:

    Thank you RRM for identifying yourself as one of them. You seem to think the deaths of 150 million humans (still rising daily) is less important than the removal of a few dead commies.

    Possibly the stupidest comment I’ve seen on Kblog.

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  63. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    The middle class socialists have learned to cloak themselves in the language of so called social justice, equality, equity, etc when in actual fact their,long term agenda is the exact opposite.

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  64. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Scott Chris, possibly you are confused about the difference between communists and their victims.

    Possibly you are yet another apologist for mass murdering commies. At least we know where you stand.

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  65. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Kea
    Both RRM and MM are left leaning centralist liberals not that far from your own standpoint. To confuse such politics with the history of Communism is a blatant disregard of the importance of the liberal ideals of freedom. That would be KB falling to the standard of no standards were PG is banned for being a RWNJ. :lol:

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  66. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Griff, What pisses me off is the moral grandstanding they indulge in, while defending the indefensible. Not so much RRM, but certainly mm. He is a self righteous poser much of the time.

    But your right, when the dust settles, we are probably standing in much the same position.

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  67. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Off to bed now cha. I looked up your quote using that google thingy you referred me to:

    http://www.wnd.com/2002/10/15387/

    Try not to have nightmares :)

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  68. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    BUT, those left leaning so called “liberals” are ideologically opposed to one of our great freedoms, the freedom of enterprise. There is no getting round that fact, they are either,nasty bastards doing the leading, those,that go along with them for the sake of expediency or a benefit handout, or the the,great,unwashed, the ignoramuses who have no political sense who the lefties prey on relentlessly for support by saying they will feel good to be “doing something”, even though it is slowly,doing the opposite.

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  69. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    A play about 1974, time to move on. Jus’sayn.

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