New Zealand

In New Zealand, a Democracy Turns Against Itself

Under pressure, democracies have a nasty habit of acting like panicked crowds.



One of the oldest criticisms of democracy is that it's prone to degenerating into little more than mob rule, driven by the latest panic, hatred, or revulsion to consume people's attention. When it comes to stoking such strong emotions, it's difficult to top the effect of the brutal mass murders committed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the wake of that crime, the country's government has succumbed to blind reaction by restricting speech, depriving innocent people of arms, and heightening domestic surveillance—intrusions into individual rights that are inherent whether or not governments and majorities formally respect them.

It's a grim illustration of just how vulnerable the "liberal" element of liberal democracy can be—as our own country has itself demonstrated in the past.

"The greatest danger to democracy is a struggling population in search of easy answers," commented Philip Freeman, now a professor of classics at Pepperdine University, during a 2016 Arizona State University forum on demagoguery. As demagogues go, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern looks less like a Mussolini-type leading a mob and more like a participant in the panic trotting just a bit faster than the others and eager to mouth as many "easy answers" as it takes to avoid getting trampled by the rest.

Among those easy answers is a quickly introduced ban on semiautomatic firearms, with a few exceptions for .22 rifles and shotguns in order to minimize resistance from rural dwellers who need such tools. How enforceable the ban will be is anybody's guess, since the country doesn't currently have widespread registration to track who has which guns. Ardern proposes a national registry for firearms that remain in private hands, presumably to ease the task of confiscating them during the next unthinking panic.

Ironically, mass murderer Brenton Tarrant wanted just such a reaction. In his nasty, hate-filled "manifesto" he explained that, to commit his crimes:

I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states and thereby the political situation of the world… With enough pressure the left wing within the United states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the US will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty. This attempted abolishment of rights by the left will result in a dramatic polarization of the people in the United States and eventually a fracturing of the US along cultural and racial lines.

The effect on New Zealand law he considered a foregone conclusion, describing gun owners there as "a beaten, miserable bunch of baby boomers, who have long since given up the fight."

Do the people of New Zealand know that they're playing into the hands of a murderous, racist thug? Are they aware that that they're explicitly fulfilling the desires of a self-described "fascist" who admires the government of the People's Republic of China, and wants to "incite violence, retaliation" with the partial goal of "destabilizing and polarizing Western society?"

Perhaps they don't know because "Chief Censor" David Shanks banned possession of both the video record Tarrant made of his crimes, as well as the manifesto he produced explaining what he hoped to accomplish by slaughtering people. Shanks declared it "illegal to have a copy of the video or document, or to share these with others." Knowing possession of either the video or the manifesto by unauthorized individuals is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and NZ$50,000, while distribution can get you 14 years behind bars.

The video was banned, said the censor, because of its "depiction and promotion of extreme violence and terrorism." But similar content is also found in footage of bloody conflicts, such as the Vietnam War, which helped to spur opposition to the same by emphasizing the reality and consequences of violence. "Certainly, the war became a television event, a tragic serial drama stretched over thousands of nights in the American consciousness," wrote Michael A. Anderegg in Inventing Vietnam: The War in Film and Television, published in 2009.

As for the manifesto, "it promotes, encourages and justifies acts of murder and terrorist violence against identified groups of people," insists Shanks. "It crosses the line." Yes, it does cross the line—but no more so than the murderer himself. It just might be helpful to know what motivated the son of a bitch (and to see that Ardern and company are essentially following Tarrant's script in their reactions).

New Zealanders looking for relevant information about the massacre from overseas will encounter yet more censorship. ISPs are limiting access to websites elsewhere "following specific requests from the government."

They also may run afoul of their countries' spies, on the lookout for just such end-runs around the law. New Zealand's domestic surveillance apparatus, which Edward Snowden has already revealed as intrusive, says it has stepped up its efforts after the attack. No doubt much of that effort will be expended to find legitimate threats—although some innocent people may be rousted along the way. But people retaining newly illegal guns or perusing forbidden documents may want to be sure to draw the curtains.

Unfortunately, New Zealand isn't unique in surrendering individual rights and respect for liberty to the panic of the moment. We need look no further than our own country for examples that are as bad or worse.

Furious at opposition to World War I, the Wilson administration "took immediate steps at home to curtail one of the pillars of democracy–press freedom–by implementing a plan to control, manipulate and censor all news coverage," according to Christopher B. Daly, professor of journalism at Boston University. It was left to succeeding president Harding and Coolidge to release Wilson's political prisoners, including Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs.

Using the stresses of the Depression and the Second World War as his excuses, FDR also worked to squash dissent and investigate critics, though less brutally than Wilson. His biggest crime, though, was confining 117,000 Japanese-Americans to concentration camps for fear of what they might do, based on their ancestry.

"On what theory can an American citizen be locked up, with or without trial, because of his race?" the Chicago Tribune (which itself was investigated by the administration over repeated criticism of the president and his policies) asked at the time.

More recently and directly relevant to New Zealand's experience, national uproar over the 9/11 terrorist attacks let to the passage of the Patriot Act under President George W. Bush "without debate" as the American Civil Liberties Union points out. "The massive surveillance bill was hastily passed just 45 days after 9/11, and was the first of many changes to surveillance laws over the past decade that made it easier for the government to spy on innocent Americans," the group adds.

Under pressure, democracies have a nasty habit of acting like panicked crowds, suppressing anything frightening or just different in a search for security and conformity. That's true in the United States as well as in New Zealand. It's a habit worth breaking if liberal democracies are to rebut their critics and demonstrate their ability to remain bastions of freedom.

But to know that Brenton Tarrant himself chortled that "democracy is mob rule" in his manifesto, and that New Zealand's government is living down to his predictions with its authoritarian reactions, you'd have to be free to read his words for yourself. For the moment, anybody doing so in that country risks stiff fines and arrest.

NEXT: Brett Kavanaugh Explains Why He Voted to Grant Buddhist Inmate's Stay of Execution

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  1. Hysterics, hyperbole, and overreactions to completely irrational fears is totally acceptable on the left. Trump’s nonsensical fearmongering about illegal immigrants doesn’t even come close to as dangerous and severe as the apocalyptic, nonsensical fear-mongering about basically everything coming from the left nowadays.

    1. If we don’t stop using fossil fuels within 12 years, the planet is doomed. Nevermind that we’ve been saying this for over 20 years. The climate change wing is the most dangerous element in modern politics. Fortunately they decided to turn climate change into an element of the culture war, so it is doomed to political gridlock for the foreseeable future.

      1. Luckily the Climate Change Doomsday Clock was built by Ahmed Mohamed.

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      2. 20 years? The first paper was 83.

        1. It didn’t start out so alarmist, though. The alarmism didn’t really kick in until it got on the radar of politicians who realized they could use it to give themselves more power.

        2. They’ve been discussing it for a lot longer than that. Philip K. Dick refers to global warming in several of his books, and he died in ’82.

          1. You may not recall that, throughout the 1970s, the scientific consensus was around a new ice age. Carl Sagan was predicting such as late as 1980.

      3. If we don’t stop using fossil fuels within 12 years, the planet is doomed. Nevermind that we’ve been saying this for over 20 years.

        This is the liberal tell. It is never too late to spend other peoples’ money to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

      4. Remember: Peak oil?

        Oil will peak when it is so expensive to extract and refine it that alternatives are cheaper.

        All the antis should have been happy about “peak oil”. They would have finally gotten what they wanted.

        Instead, they went on (and own) throwing this out there as though it was a bad thing that supported their quest to eliminate hydrocarbons as an energy source. To date, I have yet to hear any of these religionists retract their claims.

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    3. Ahhhh….the ultimate in virtue signalling: Take away people’s rights in order to create a safer, more just environment.

      1. That’s just how much they care!

  2. Liberals have little interest in freedom. They demand you think like them or else.

    1. They are not “Liberals”; they are Fascists!

      1. I lived through the 60’s as a young teen. This was exactly the same then. You were either “cool” or you were an outcast. God forbid you questioned the revolutionary rhetoric.

    2. It’s a fallacy to believe this is a position unique to the left. The right is just as guilty but outside of the evanelicals is just left effective at e forcing it. It doesn’t remove their desire to do so.

      1. “It’s a fallacy to believe this is a position unique to the left….”

        Perhaps we should say the usage of Left or Right is obfuscating the more subtantive issue: the push to increase control of the population by the Government and by extension, those who control it’s agendas.

        The battle isn’t exactly left vs right as these are grossly abused terms. The issue is freedom vs state control. Laws, policies and actions should be evaluated along those lines first.

        The actions in New Zealand were ready-to-roll policy points from the government adhering to Rahm’s directive – waste no crisis in the crawl to state control. Over everything.

  3. If only there were some tool, some document, and some institutions in place to modulate that mob rule and legislative spasms created by fear and hatred…

    1. Yeah, but what do you do when the majority of the mob doesn’t care about what’s written on that document or is willing to re-interpret the document at will?

      1. You enjoy the decline.

      2. That’s where a 2nd amendment comes in quite handy.

      3. It’s time politicians start really feeling some pain for their treachery. They all feel too safe in their tyrannical behavior, that’s why they keep doing it. People who support freedom need to start doing the kind of shit leftists do (surrounding politicians houses, harassing them everywhere they go, etc) to put the fear of god back in them. Then maybe they wouldn’t act so arrogantly.

        1. Yeah. I really feel like things got out of control once we stopped with the tar and feathers.

          1. The sad thing is the THREAT of violence is often what prevents it turning into real and proper violence. The political class has felt too safe, hence the tyranny. They need to be reminded that there ARE limits to what the serfs will tolerate.

      4. What do you? Start showing them the door. If they won’t go, then start thinning the herd. You can’t have a mob without the mob.

    2. The Hamiltonians and others have been shredding it bit by bit for hundreds of years. Long live the republic state!

  4. The lefts real intentions are to ban speech, ban guns, ban everything they disagree with. They are lying when they say otherwise, and New Zealand is the perfect example.

    It’s like when the YouTube ceo was pissed her 13yo was listening to Ben Shapiro and said she would ban him if she could.

    These people should never be given power

    1. I mean, these are the same people that look to Cuba for inspiration because they have a 100% literacy rate and don’t even give a shit that they aren’t allowed to read anything that hasn’t been approved and censored by the government.

      1. Any stat, over any significantly sized population, that says 100% of X are Y is probably a false statistic.

        1. 100% of the women BUCS slept with were left completely satisified.

          1. No one is every completely satisfied with anything (first rule of economics, restated), so you aren’t really saying much.

            1. But to have seller’s remorse… it must sting.

            2. Unlimited desires balanced by limited resources. The very definition of economics.

        2. While that skepticism is a good general rule, the literacy rate in Cuba might be a valid exception. That doesn’t mean that absolutely every adult in Cuba is literate – but from what I’ve seen, the answer could well be north of 99.5% which would round up in general conversation to 100%.

          (Note that the usual international statistics are based on the UNESCO definition of literacy – a measure that is in some dispute.)

          1. Dictators typically like literacy, because it means they can issue orders in writing.

            1. North Korea probably has a higher literacy rate than the US, but only so the government can more effectively control them.

          2. Literacy rate as a brag always puzzled me. The US has a 90%+ rate and we aren’t even trying.

            Or is it ‘look at how well those backward thirdworlders are doing’ thing?

            1. The real truth is how literate are they? I know plenty of morons I went to high school with who are counted as being literate… But they can’t REALLY spell, or write, or read at a level a proper adult should. It’s not their fault mind you, they’re just really low IQ. But if you count “See spot run” as being literate then it’s a meaningless stat.

              1. if you all attended a government funded indoctrination and training centre, NONE of you learned to be literate from what was taught there. They simply cannot and do not. Some managed to persue it and really become literate, but that is a vanishingly small percentage. Media, film, etc, don’t help, either, nor do the things that masquerade as “literature” bring cranked out by the tonne these days.

                Then there are the vast majority of today’s school graduates who CAN read and write, but simply don’r…… we are rapidly becoming a post-literate society. All the easier to manipulate you all,my dear…….

              2. Saw this in college myself. AA students who read at a third grade level. It was embarrassing for them, as well as the rest of us, when they were called upon in an Eng Lit class to read a passage out loud and they were outed.

                I barely got into my college with solid SAT scores and a 3.8 HS GPA. How the hell did they get admitted?

                This did them no favors.

                This was circa 1976.

                1. You had a lot of semi literate students who were in Alcholics Anonymous?

            2. I don’t agree that public schools don’t teach people the most basic level basics… In my experience they do. I went to school in a lower middle income suburb, a wealthy suburb, and a small town. Honestly I think it comes down to the delusion people have that all people are CAPABLE of becoming “whatever they want man!”

              It’s a lie. The truth is many people are just not cut out for doing anything beyond basic, menial tasks. It’s cool to teach them the 3 Rs… But they’ll never get far. I learned more than enough at public schools, dumb kids didn’t. I think people see these people and think the system failed, but those people were doomed from the start, no matter what system they were put in.

              MAYBE in super shit inner city schools this might not be a thing… But I know friends who went to such schools, and they learned to read and write… So I suspect the biggest difference even there is just the percentage of people born to fail going to those schools more than anything.

          3. Cuba had one if the highest levels of development among Spanish colonies, so I am not sure the high literacy level is necessarily the merit of Castro. Koreans have one of the highest IQs in the world, and one of the easiest writing systems in East Asia, so again, I don’t think communism is the causation factor for North Korea’s literacy rate. South Korea does quite fine in the literacy department, without requiring the state to own the means of production and without all the gulags.

    2. The left may be evil but they are not stupid.
      They know their socialist policies will deliver the same results over and over and over.
      Sooner or later, you end up Venezuela.
      They know that before that happens they need to disarm the people.
      You don’t want armed fathers with starving children blaming you for what has gone wrong.
      Their goal is to disarm us.
      Everything they do is working toward that goal.
      Every other excuse they offer is a lie.
      They know it. We know it. They know we know and we know they know we know.
      They won’t stop.
      Arm up.

      1. You have to differentiate here: I’m sure you mean Lefty Pols & Bureaucrats in your 1st sentence, NOT the brain-washed propagandized Lefty citizens….Those citizens, despite all evidence to the contrary, believe socialism/communism is great & will deliver to us a great & just & equal & prosperous nation!

        Actually, to take it to its rightful conclusion , most of these Lefty Pols do not just want a socialist nation they want a Global 1-world Govt. & alas, there are many Righty Pols in America & the world that want the same & want yer guns too like Lindsey Graham Cracker & Marco Rubio, et. al.

  5. It’s a habit worth breaking if liberal democracies are to rebut their critics and demonstrate their ability to remain bastions of freedom.

    It looks like the critics have the better end of the argument.

  6. The worst part of all is that the more NZ pushes their authoritarian agenda, the more people will believe Tarrant was right. Critics of accelerationism claim that it is proves itself true by shocking society to react in a way that society might not have acted otherwise, but it’s also true that these actions prove the Kiwi govt wanted to ban and seize guns; if not now, eventually. They only needed a reason.

    1. I agree there will always be that some one to commit a crime that those in power just wait with baited breath for so they can enact their laws of control

      1. Never let a good crisis go to waste!

        1. Can we say “The Patriot Act!”

          1. *USA PATRIOT Act

    2. Yeah, all of this is just giving extremists more ammunition for propaganda. They get to portray themselves as victims of persecution. And trying to ban possession of a piece of media is the best way to make sure more people see it.

    3. Well, methods being naughty or not, he IS right about a lot of the rantings in his manifesto. THAT is why that document is banned.

      Many subjects and statistics are basically 100% blacklisted from the mainstream media, but they’re things that if the average person knew them, they’d be PISSED. He rambles about a lot of such subjects.

      He was surely a wack job in a lot of ways, but he wasn’t 100% wrong.

    4. Isn’t Tarrant getting exactly the results he wanted as stated in his rambling manifesto?

    5. Some people believe the mosque shooting was a false flag scenario. The speed at which the gun restrictions were introduced lends that theory some credibility.

  7. Has George Orwell been banned in New Zealand yet?

    1. When they do ban him they’ll probably get Kafka too.

    2. He’s dead, so it doesn’t matter. Unless someone is taking his bones for a world tour.

      1. I’m setting up a gofundme right now.

    3. You don’t have to BAN 1984… You just have to spin it as being a POSITIVE story about the state catching a subversive traitor who doesn’t love big brother!

      1. Don’t forget Brave New World.

        Huxley warned us as well.

        1. The interesting thing about these dystopian works is that the left in the US believes they are warning us against the evils of the Republican party and Christian Conservatives.

          There is no grasp of the specific history and movements they are warning against, nor of the more general warning against the concentration of too much power in a central government.

          In fact, folks like those who join antifa believe with all their hearts that they are doing the lord’s work in opposing Orwellian forces by violently oppressing the speech of others, pushing for government bans on the speech of others, et. al.

          1. Right after the 2016 election two old socialists and I mean octogenarian started a book club at the library and promptly read 1984. All I could think was how they had become confused as to their role in the book. Nothing like a group of people who control most of the media, get more votes in the election, and have cheered on government largess their entire life somehow identify with the persecuted.

          2. Yup.

            How anybody in the modern left can believe they’re in favor of freedom in any form is beyond me. I guess the right to kill your unborn baby is a freedom*… But that’s the only one they’re for.

            *I don’t even mind abortion being legal… But let’s just be honest and call it what it is.

          3. Yup.

            How anybody in the modern left can believe they’re in favor of freedom in any form is beyond me. I guess the right to kill your unborn baby is a freedom*… But that’s the only one they’re for.

            *I don’t even mind abortion being legal… But let’s just be honest and call it what it is.

          4. Yup.

            How anybody in the modern left can believe they’re in favor of freedom in any form is beyond me. I guess the right to kill your unborn baby is a freedom*… But that’s the only one they’re for.

            *I don’t even mind abortion being legal… But let’s just be honest and call it what it is.

          5. Yup.

            How anybody in the modern left can believe they’re in favor of freedom in any form is beyond me. I guess the right to kill your unborn baby is a freedom*… But that’s the only one they’re for.

            *I don’t even mind abortion being legal… But let’s just be honest and call it what it is.

  8. Nasty cowards.

    Yup. Pretty much sums up progressives.

    New Zealand should be embarrassed by their behaviour.

  9. “It’s a grim illustration of just how vulnerable the “liberal” element of liberal democracy can be?as our own country has itself demonstrated in the past.”

    We’re still suffering for FDR, that slimy tin-pot wannabe.

  10. >>>I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states

    haha fuck you, boy-o. that’s the effect.

  11. whenever a government works to fulfill the goals of a terrorist, Brenton Tarrant in this case, then maybe its not such a wild conspiracy to assume he was acting on behalf of said government. A false flag operation to get people to acquiesce to their goals of gun control and total censorship.

    1. They do really happen… But not every case as some conspiracy theory folks think.

      I think the chemical weapons with Assad thing seemed to be false flags committed by the rebels from the limited reading I did on that.

  12. Jacinda looks so sad. Don’t you just wanna give her a hug?

    1. I think she looks like a harridan.

      1. In which case a hug is the last thing I’d like to giver her.

        But never mind me, go with whatever Crusty thinks.

    2. How hard am I allowed to squeeze?

    3. wanna give her a sandwich … maybe a pot roast

    4. I wanna give her a lot of things.

    5. I’d rather punch her in the face… Punching Nazis is cool now right??? She’s more of a Nazi than the terrorist.

    6. I thought she looks like an older, sadder, AOC.

  13. At the risk of getting banned again by Reason (and having all my comments deleted again) for supporting free speech and opposing censorship, thank you Reason for supporting free speech and opposing censorship. I’m also glad to see that Pepperdine is repudiating its authoritarian tendencies. The problem in the US is that while we have free speech, for the most part, private companies like Facebook and Reason are censoring social media. However there is nothing the government can do to fix this, despise Devin Nunes’ misguided ploys. It is up to ‘we the people’ to stand up to it. Just yesterday the Economist attempted to smear Ben Shapiro as alt-right. The goal is to get him banned. Yes it was retracted, but the next guy will not be so lucky.

    1. “At the risk of getting banned again by Reason (and having all my comments deleted again) for supporting free speech and opposing censorship…”


      1. “At the risk of getting banned again by Reason (and having all my comments deleted again) due to false accusations of being a ‘liar’ and having no one stand up for me…”

  14. This isn’t democracy turning on itself. This is something more common: Democratically elected leaders turning on democracy.

    Adam Smith used to say, “”People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” ”

    Politics is a trade in this sense, too.

  15. Good thing we’re a republic, not a democracy.

    1. You are happy with your representatives, then?

      1. Yeah, its everyone else’s representatives that are a problem, obviously.

    2. Just like New Zealand.

      Although I guess they are technically a monarchy.

  16. Jacinda Ardern is far left except, ironically, for immigration. She wanted to lower the numbers admitted.

    1. That sounds remarkably similar to the New Zealand terrorist’s politics…

    2. Well, at least she is correct on one policy position! That’s better than a lot of the leftists in the USA!

    3. Lowering immigration was merely an election ploy, which has been forgotten now that she is prime minister. I live in New Zealand, so I can watch the horror unfolding from my bunker.

  17. So I guess nazi-saluting dog videos are verboten too in NZ.

  18. So I checked out this Manifesto, the only danger it poses is boring someone to death.

    1. LOL, calling it a “manifesto” covered that.

    2. I know I’m suspicious by nature, but why would a New Zealander, even a crazy one, care that much about bringing about change in the US? I’m surprised his manifesto even named the 2A directly. I know that, as the biggest player in world affairs, it’s natural for small far flung countries to know/care more about the US than the reverse, but this level of fixation coming from literally the far side of the globe is a bit odd.

      1. You clearly haven’t checked YouTube lately, there’s a whole sub-genre of foreign videos (UK, NZ, Australia etc.), often excerpts from native TV shows on those “exotic” Americans and their alien habits. It’s often accompanied by commentary that betrays a complete ignorance of the US Constitution or American government or is clearly motivated by a desire to draw a distinction between their local customs and the US variety.

        1. Or a purposeful attempt to slander The U.S.

      2. Well, he was Australian, wasn’t he? So perhaps he takes a broad international view of things. And far side of the globe doesn’t matter when you speak the same language and the internet is a thing.

      3. Maybe the DNC couldn’t find somebody willing to attack a mosque in the US, so they had to settle for a Kiwi?

      4. It’s because the USA sets the tone for the whole world.

        We’re the Britain or Rome of our time.

        Also, for people who are slaves in other European (or colonized by Europeans) countries, we’re still relatively free compared to them… So they look up to us as an example of improvements that could be made etc.

        A lot of political movements have also gone more global lately thanks to the net. Nationalist politics has (amusingly since the name!) become a community of like minded people globally supporting each other in their endeavors to save their nations from destruction by globalist shit heels.

  19. The US’s own knee jerk reaction after 9/11 dwarfs anything NZ has done.

    Just sayin.

    1. True enough, particularly from the big-picture perspective of the reaction advancing the objectives of the terrorists that attacked. But here’s another analogy :

      If you want a Reason post with the headline “Democracy Turns Against Itself” why not a Brexit update? It definitely fits the bill. Consider all the salient features :

      (1) Populism sold on empty lies & vacuous promises
      (2) Conservative Stupid on an epic scale
      (3) Secret Russian support for national self-immolation
      (4) Buffoonish guy with comical blonde hair
      (5) Making the country great again (not)
      (6) Total abdication of all rational thought
      (7) Immigration panic in the driver’s seat
      (8) National policy via cliche slogans
      (9) Not the slightest clue of a plan

      1. (3) Secret Russian support for national self-immolation


        1. I guess it’s possible you’re unaware of the facts. Although the covert Russia support for a pro-Brexit vote received less press here than the covert Russian aid to elect Trump, it’s equally well established by evidence. Try a little research & you’ll see.

          It will be good for you – maybe encourage that sort of thing more often.

          Besides, you’d almost expect it. Look at the return :

          (1) NATO is weakened (support for Trump & Brexit)
          (2) Britain is damaged (support for Brexit)
          (3) A clown was elected President of the United States (support for Trump)

      2. A miss on almost every point.

        1. Hey man, don’t leave me hanging : It was Item Four – “Buffoonish guy with comical blonde hair” – right? That’s one everybody has to agree on, regardless of their ideological blinders……

      3. Except for Brexit is about a nation protecting its sovereignty against foreign rule… The truth is, even if the GDP does grow slower by a small amount, which IS NOT a given, it would be well worth it to be able to chart your own course going forward, instead of being bossed around by the Krauts and the Frogs. Supernational government is BULLSHIT in any and all forms, and will never be conducive to freedom.

      4. I find it hilarious, and revealing, how lock step progressives are on any subject.
        Brexit is a funny example

        1. And I find it depressing, the trail of wreckage today’s Right leaves in its wake.

          From George W Bush, who bungled everything he touched
          To Donald John Trump, whose toxic buffoonery is only leavened by his incompetence
          To the moronic imbecility of Brexit, and all the damage it will do Great Britain
          To the thug-Right politicians of East Europe, busy degrading democracies so hard won.

          1. LOL

            Wow, you really are an idiot. I’ll give you Bush II being completely useless… But reading between the lines, you must be one piece of work!

            1. Is grb a new incarnation of Reverend Arthur Kirkland?

      5. As usual, progtard Grb gets it exactly wrong. Fucking moron.

  20. Leftists want a disarmed citizenry for their future totalitarian state.

    1. Nobody gonna take ur precious Hahahaaaaaahaha!

  21. You know, as one who tends to not seek out manifestos of people whose notoriety is predicated on seeking attention through heinous disregard for the rights of others, I hadn’t actually read any of the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto. Sure, I’d heard several in the mainstream media and various internet platforms’ mouthpieces patting themselves on the back for “not spreading his hateful ideas” by publishing or hosting it.

    Now I can see why they’ve been doing so. It’s a lot easier and satisfying than to basically publish that their bad behavior contributed to this dude’s motive and perpetuates his deranged plan.

    1. Well, the truth is he’s also RIGHT about a lot of stuff. He says crazy stuff too, but a lot of it is pretty typical anti globalist/progtard stuff which has a lot of merit.

  22. The God That Failed

  23. In the long run, a nation does not keep the rights people are ready to kill for. It keeps the rights people are ready to die for. Free nations last longer, because they have a much shorter list of rights people hold dear. “Live free or die,” is a slogan some people might sign up for. “Half price rice on Tuesdays, and the police will take all the cauliflower rice off the shelves so that no one gets confused; or die,” is a shakier foundation for a national consensus.

  24. I’m tired of shitting all over Reason in the comments section. J D Tuccille has to be the best thing going here now. Maybe he should be given more to do

  25. There’s plenty of us here who are aware that right now the government is running in “shit your pants” mode. They’ve panicked and they have very few competent members within the governments cabinet who might be in a position to say “hold up a minute, let’s think about this”. Hence the random banning of stuff and the cries of “how dare you” when the firearms community tries to say “don’t try dumb stuff”.

    The media are currently in the mood of “let’s praise them for being so supportive” rather than looking deeper into why this fuckwit obtained a firearm in the first place, why things are being banned, or how effective new legislation is likely to be. I don’t expect that to last – there is only so long that headlines of “Jacinda hugs person” can sell papers.

  26. Democracy is bullshit… Even democratic republics with UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE are bullshit.

    This is what sent American down the road to ruin. We should have changed the rules on who could vote, but we NEVER should have given into the idea that EVERYBODY should vote. Most people are too stupid and irrational, and the Founders knew this.

    Unless we return to only allowing a subset of people to vote, we’re doomed.

    1. And, just who would this subset be?

      1. It is not “just like New Zealand.” The US has three separate federal parts of the government. New Zealand and most other parliamentary systems have two: the combined legislative/executive and the judicial. The US, therefore, has more competition between the parts.

        When I lived in New Zealand back in the late 1990s, I found that even lawyers would offer a cash price. That is a sign of a messed up country.

      2. Personally, I have a couple ideas on how we should decide voting rights.

        First, I think the voting age should be higher. Maybe 25? Even if we keep it at 18 the other points will make it not matter much.

        But in short, perhaps requiring somebody be a net positive tax payer is a good start. The land ownership requirement was what the founders did to essentially equate to this, since landowners tended to pay most of the taxes. It also showed they were generally responsible people compared to saaay the town drunk who lived in an alley.

        And/or a history/civics test. People who don’t know the year the country was founded, can’t name the 3 branches of government, who the previous president was, etc SHOULD NOT BE VOTING. There’s room for chicanery here, but if it is even just generic normal questions, it would weed out LOTS of idiots.

        I’d be fine with a straight up IQ test… But it’ll never happen.

        The bottom line is ANYTHING that skews it towards smarter/more educated/etc people would be an improvement. It it literally impossible to make it worse than universal suffrage.

  27. It’s good to have rights clearly identified in the constitution of a nation.

    However, lest they become outdated and recognized as ideologies from bygone times, people would be wise to recognize and identify the criteria that makes something a right as well.

    Only with criteria, using logic and science, can rights become living and dynamic and always defended against emotional propaganda and panic.

  28. Yet NZers have a Bill of Rights. It has some quite magnificent statements in it, viz Sec. 14 regarding freedom of expression:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

    That’s it. Pretty good. No messing around. Except the NZ Bill of Rights is just regular law, easily overridden, and this is how the Chief Censor deemed the video and manifesto illegal, simply because they were “objectionable” and “injurious to the public good”. These are the words in the act that empowers the censor. That was all that was required. Just his opinion, a mere official, and bang! you’re liable for imprisonment.

    Imagine such an official operating in the United States. Imagine every video, film and game being required to have a government rating before it is released to the public, and the Censor’s office having the power to make cuts to material before it is released.

    The NZ Censor has more power than the president of the United States in these matters. Actually the president has none. Remember that next time Trump is portrayed as a bully. All he has is words. The Constitution has pulled his teeth.

    Yes, it’s all relative, but real rights only obtain from strong legal protection of rights, not some nebulous idea of natural rights. The people of New Zealand have those natural rights, too. They just don’t mean shit when push comes to shove.

    1. A strong legal protection of rights is important. More important, ultimately, is a citizenry who are jealous of the their rights and will punish politicians who do not guard them.

      What is worrisome is the worldwide praise the NZ government has been receiving, even up to suggesting a Nobel Orize nomination for the PM.

      1. Indeed.

        The praise is expected since most media and international orgs are sympathetic to the idea of speech suppression in the name of identity politics.

        NZ will be seen as a laboratory of sorts, like a canary in a coal mine; how far can things be pushed. Well, in NZ, things can be pushed a long way.

        Related, the Green agenda is currently being rolled out, and very quickly, in NZ. Much like the cosy relationship between media, ISPs and government over speech suppression, the same relationship exists regarding environmental legislation in NZ.

        And there’s very little push-back.

  29. Interesting how much New Zealand’s PM looks like AOC.

    1. One of her nicknames is My Little Pony.

      1. Also Taxcinda, Jacinderella, Jaspinda, to name a few.

  30. How many New Zealanders know that one of the reasons the lunatic carried out his massacre was precisely to provoke the govt. to pass stringent gun control laws?

    1. Plenty of us. And when it’s been pointed out to the government they’ve said that they don’t care.

  31. The United States is not a Democracy! The United States is a Constitutional Republic! The article was very good, however!

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  33. Article left out the greatest U S Constitution destroyer of all, good old (dis) honest Abe! He pretty well set the stage for the ones mentioned.

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  36. Wilson was the worst.

  37. Some of the leftiest people I have known moved to NZ decades ago. The fate of NZ and Australia is to be subsumed by Greater Chinese Empire (coming soon) which will mean that Islamophobia and homophobia will make strong comebacks, but gun confiscation and the office of the censor are there to stay.

    At least the power grids will likely stay on more reliably. The Chinese are rapidly abandoning green alternative energy mythology as experience proves how drastically impractical and oversold most concepts were. That could change when and if true breakthroughs come.

    1. China WILL subsume them… Unless the western world grows its balls back and starts standing up for itself and defending its own future. Things like that are likely on the current trajectory, but easily avoidable if people stop being idiots.

  38. Do the people of New Zealand know that they’re playing into the hands of a murderous, racist thug?

    I don’t know, J.D., do you? You’re engaged in exactly the same kind of polarized rhetoric that Tarrant wanted to elicit, from the right, and you even cite the passage where he predicts that you’ll do so.

    Query what the appropriate reaction to a mass slaughter like this is. Move along, nothing to see here, just another day of random, terrifying violence?

    1. Whats the number killed that dictates the need for societal change? Hundreds of thousands have dies to protect liberties so if 10 people die in a tragedy does that mitigate the others. I think everyone wants to avert things like this from happening but violating the many for the few seems like a bad idea.

  39. A society virtue signaling itself to death.

  40. “…Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern looks less like a Mussolini-type leading a mob…” and remarkably more like the literal and spiritual granddaughter of Josef Goebbels.

  41. Great article as always. But the missed point is that what Kiwis use by way of gauntlet-style “voting” is hardly democracy. The at-gunpoint-“preference”-voting enacted in Australia has infected six countries with bad results. Like many other stupid ideas, this sort of plan was recently tried out by the Libertarian Party with very unsatisfactory results. Few party members are aware of the resolution creating such dangerous frippery, or of the form of government that has overtaken the six countries that have succumbed to it. Suffice to say that none of them see fit to allow a libertarian party to operate. A seventh, Brazil, adopted forced voting without the “preference” gauntlet, and is in economic chaos. Citizens are forced under duress to vote for at least 32 subsidized political parties, NONE of them remotely libertarian. The outcome of this sort of manipulation is the added manipulation Tuccille so eloquently describes.

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  43. New Zealand has gone insane . they literally can’t take any rational comments about the episode. I got banned from r/New Zealand because I posted some comments suggesting the police were unprepared to respond. the sub was a circle jerk of comments about how terrified people were of guns, right wing Fascists and of course laying the blame on trump.

    1. Censoring comments is the problem.

      We participate in social media with the expectation of free speech.

      Some of us work hard to discern and share the truth, reality, with others only to watch it deleted as lies are propagated.

      It is a slippery slope because most people are influenced by the opinions of the majority in a democracy. Censoring comments is like interfering with elections.

      That is why we are on a downward spiral. It is also why the real odds are stacked against free speech, truth and reality without most people even realizing it.

      1. I imagine you see a lot of that when you try claim the holocaust never happened.

        1. You demonstrate your fear and brainwashing and I’ll provide the facts that terrify you, coward.


          The link above references an official letter from the head of British propaganda warning the war office from referencing “gassing, for which there is no evidence”.

          When the people who made the claim admit that it was bullshit propaganda, it takes mental gymnastics NOT to believe them.

          When the official story is protected from conflicting evidence, censored by law, it takes myopia not to be suspicious.

          There is so much more evidence that refutes the story.

          Try reading a copy of Nickolas Kollerstroms book “Breaking the spell”. You might learn something. But your a fucking coward, aren’t you?


    2. The more the media are censored to block a viewpoint, the more shocking it becomes if somebody expresses it. That’s actually part of the purpose in censoring it.

  44. New Zealand, an object lesson, and an abject lesson, for Americans.

  45. New Zealand is a nation of sheep and sheeple. Been there several times and while the scenery is outstanding the air is rife with the stink of sheep shit and Kiwis do there best to out British the British. Most Kiwis are a bland, boring and banal bunch of former subjects that never fought for their independence nor Natural Rights. The NZ national motto …… Comply, Submit, Obey.

  46. “The rabble of Gondor and its deluded allies shall withdraw at once beyond the Anduin, first taking oaths never again to assail Sauron the Great in arms, open or secret. All lands east of Anduin shall be Sauron’s for ever, solely. West of the Anduin as far as the Misty Mountains and the Gap of Rohan shall be tributary to Mordor, and men there shall bear no weapons, but shall have leave to govern their own affairs. But they shall help to rebuild Isengard which they have wantonly destroyed, and that shall be Sauron’s, and there his lieutenant shall dwell: not Saruman, but one more worthy of trust.”

  47. Freedom is deaths door due to free people electing men and women of duplicity who will run to totalitarian action in a crisis. “Never waste a good crisis” as Raum Emmanuel is said to have declared. This is no different than what Hiltler and the nazi party did after the Reichstag was torched. Same exact thing.

    “The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. it is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”
    ? G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State

  48. Looks like radical Muslims aren’t the only ones that can perform this trick.

  49. I always see Democrats say that the fears they wanna take away guns aren’t based in fact. Im not saying they are wrong, but I’m beginning to understand why some feel that way. They are praising NZ’s response to this tragedy.

    Yet part of that response is a mandatory gun buy back lol. And how can they cry when Trump does something they feel is unconstitutional…yet at the same time support unconstitutional measures?

  50. Need I say it again? government fucks everything up, all the time, and usually for their own wicked wants. Cut government world-wide by at least 50%

  51. Need I say it again? government fucks everything up, all the time, and usually for their own wicked wants. Cut government world-wide by at least 50%

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  53. To defeat an enemy, you must deny him his objectives. To win a victory, you must accomplish your own objectives. If your enemy achieves all of his objectives and you achieve none of yours, then he has won a total victory and you have suffered a total defeat. Only by denying the enemy all of his objectives while achieving all of your own can you win a total victory.

    This is just as true against terrorism as it is on a battlefield. The people of New Zealand are in a stampede to suffer a total defeat, uncaring that all they need to win a victory is to remain true to Western values. The fact that the perpetrator of the attack was killed is mostly irrelevant — if someone is willing to die or go to prison to achieve their goals and posthumously do so, then those outcomes are also a victory for them.

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  55. It is important for governments not to over-react with laws that give them more power, or more correctly for people to generally allow that to happen, so the point of this article stands…but it is also important for the media not to glorify and obsess on the nut jobs who do it. These incidents serve the political cause of gun banners and freedom takers who wish to lord it over us all… Here in the U.S. school shootings have seen ever increasing coverage and focus on the people who initiated & engaged in the terror, I think because it serves political ends for some, but also draws interest for monetary reasons. Their names or sick motivations would be better never of spoken again. The rate of increase in these incidents seems closely proportional to the rate of media coverage of each event, and in particular by making those who do it infamous. Who cares what they think, or why they did it? They are nuts, obviously! Innocent people are dying at increasing rates, and it may be indirect, but is encouraged by political motivations and media desire to attract interest in their reporting. People, kids, are dying. Think about it.

  56. As a concerned NZ citizen, can someone provide me with a link to the manifesto?

    1. Google? It was a bit of whack a mole when I tried to find a copy as they kept being taken down from various places… But I found it.

      Since it’s been declared illegal though by your shitty government, I wouldn’t post anything else about it again… Or mention you’re from NZ. And I would suggest using a VPN and private mode in your browser if you can. Good luck!

  57. JD Tuccile concludes:
    “But to know that Brenton Tarrant himself chortled that “democracy is mob rule” in his manifesto, and that New Zealand’s government is living down to his predictions with its authoritarian reactions, you’d have to be free to read his words for yourself. For the moment, anybody doing so in that country risks stiff fines and arrest.”

    And if you live elsewhere & post Tarrant’s name &/or a link to his manifesto to enable ppl to reach their own conclusions of why he committed the atrocity of killing those people, you will get your account suspended at Twitter & Facebook.

    On Apr 3 I received an email to that effect from Twitter for a Mar 23 tweet that was a response to @theintercept @mehdirhasan: “Not including Brenton Tarrant by name plays into rabbit-hole hiding of much of this horrendous incident. Also, selectively quoting Tarrant’s manifesto w/o a link to the full item eliminates reader’s ability to learn all he wrote. Ppl can read Mein Keimpf!

    The link is shown above as a Twitter short-link by Twitter which was in my original actually to: – see products & manifesto
    Simon Harris, the owner of that website had his FB account suspended for a week per his reply to me in comments.

  58. Contd from previous –
    I “appealed” my Twitter account suspension: the response begins:

    “We’re writing to let you know that your account features will remain locked or limited for the allotted time due to violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our hateful conduct policy.

    “We do not allow people to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”

    Links given to Twitter Rules:
    My tweet did none of the things listed. I have not removed it, which would have gotten me normalized immediately, but Twitter has disabled anyone seeing my tweet.

    [contd in following due to length]

  59. I am still suspended from Twitter & have no idea when they will reinstate my account that is ~10yrs old.
    My reply to Twitter’s Apr 6 email above (my 74th birthday!):

    “I have not at any time during my near 10 years of having a Twitter account made any tweets that can be reasonably assessed as “hateful conduct” – described at [link too long for Reason, similar to previous given]

    “In no way was my tweet of Mar 24, 2019, 12:20 PM a promotion of violence or direct attack or threat on anyone for any reason, It was a criticism of someone else not, and my actual, sharing of information about the perpetrator of an “horrendous” attack on others. Understanding the thinking of this individual – warped in very many ways – can only be had by others via information, including that person’s very words. Twitter does not enable its users to use their own evaluative processes – and even hinders them – when it prevents sharing of links to original sources of information.

    “Words are not violence; they are only information interpreted in different ways by various individuals. People’s actions can be violent, causing actual physical harm. Even so, I do not use verbiage – as do many I see on Twitter – that is mean, nasty or even rude. I find doing so does not encourage reasoned exchanges.

    “Therefore I strongly disagree that I have in any way violated “the Twitter Rules, specifically our hateful conduct policy.”

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