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    tottefan is offline Senior Member
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    I've often heard Australia and NZ referred to as egalitarian societies. That is to say, that everyone is equal, has the same chances in life etc (obviously only in comparison to other countries).

    It seems to me that this is nothing but a myth. After all, the Maoris were denied the right to an education until the 1970s by the white Europeans (i.e. English :icon_evil: ). Even today they earn less, are more likely to be unemployed etc.

    If what I've read is correct then the UK is probably more egalitarian than NZ!

    tottefan.

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    ag28com is offline Member
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    As George Orwell wrote, "All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others...................."

    Egalitarian societies can't exist, because there always has to be a ruling class - the "Alphas", that retains most of the wealth and opportunity for itself.

    Those governments that have sought to bring about or enforce equality have historically been the most corrupt, and continue to be so.

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    [quote:27f1c97110="tottefan"]I've often heard Australia and NZ referred to as egalitarian societies. That is to say, that everyone is equal, has the same chances in life etc (obviously only in comparison to other countries).

    It seems to me that this is nothing but a myth. After all, the Maoris were denied the right to an education until the 1970s by the white Europeans (i.e. English :icon_evil: ). Even today they earn less, are more likely to be unemployed etc.

    If what I've read is correct then the UK is probably more egalitarian than NZ!

    tottefan.[/quote:27f1c97110]

    I'm curious ... why do you think the "evil" English have been denying Maoris an education until the 1970's? :icon_confused: The Europeans who moved to NZ were certainly not all English - what about the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Danes, Swedes, Germans, etc.? Obviously, NZ society has been influenced by the British, more so in the beginning, but (according to my history book) by 1915 there were more pakeha-born New Zealanders than immigrants. New Zealanders have been running their own country long enough to have their own impact on their country - including giving the vote to women in 1893 (before anyone else in the world bar the women of Wyoming) and guaranteeing old age pensions in 1898.

    The Maoris have not exactly been a quiet minority (unlike the Australian Aborigines) and NZ governments have had to listen to them. From the beginning they were "given every right to which a white citizen is entitled" but in reality had to be given more assistance to be an equal member of society, a process which took generations. Help was given with Maori health and education, and the Maori was encouraged to farm instead of selling off their land. Naturally, there was many a white man eager to buy their land, and some unscrupulous men often did at price below its value. There was also some inequality at one stage in the benefit rates given to Maori and Pakeha on the premise that Maoris did not need it so much as they basically 'lived off their land'. In the 1940's, however, the government realised they needed to spend much more money on Maori education, housing and welfare.

    The trouble then, and now, is that in order to compete successfully in society, particularly the business world, Maoris have to accept to some degree to become a "brown pakeha" and many did not and some still do not want to. Getting an education, going to university and working up to promotion and prosperity is considered "white" by a few and unpatriotic to Maori "culture". Governments try ... giving schools a decile rating and pouring money into the poorer (high percentage of Maori ) ones, and giving almost free university education to Maori whilst pakehas have to take out student loans.

    This is a difficult issue, almost on a par with the black population in the UK. The opportunities are there for both but culture, history, background and environment can make them less accessible. I am not going to bring in the 'race' issue as Maoris are an integral part of NZ society and their culture accepted as an important part of NZ's identity. 'Race' is rarely an issue with NZers ... it is other 'cultures' they feel threatened by. If a black, brown, Chinese, or a little green man from outer space :icon_lol: moved to NZ to 'become proper All Black-loving Kiwis' they would be generally accepted ... after a while. But NZers are prickly about their cultural identity (or lack of it) and don't want people moving here to change things.

    Just a little history and my thoughts ... no doubt there are a lot of other issues I've missed. I won't be offended if someone disagrees or says I am talking a load of rubbish. :icon_biggrin:

    ::):
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    selchie's Avatar
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    Wow, Glenda - fantastic post. And a good observation by Ag28com. I agree that in any society, egalitarian or not, there will be portions of the population which are less or more "advantaged" as the norm. Sometimes it is based approximately on race, religion, gender, and so on. Sometimes it is due to a group holding itself apart, as Glenda noted. But it appears that NZ is making an effort to not bar one group or another from participating in society. Oz, on the otherhand, has a historically bad record of the treatment of its Aborigones. No idea if they're improving, though. I hope so.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
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    [quote:821651e2ff] Oz, on the otherhand, has a historically bad record of the treatment of its Aborigones. No idea if they're improving, though. I hope so.[/quote:821651e2ff]

    I might be wrong but the treatment of the Native American Indian has hardly been anything to shout about down the years...

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    Surely an egalitarian society is one in which certain people will rise to the top, all have the same chances which brings it all down to effort and determination in the first instance. I wish someone could adequately explain that to our 15 year old who, despite being a very intelligent lad, can't grasp the need and necessity to revise for exams because he already knows enough to slide him past the post.

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    I'm sure your 15 year old will realise that you were right but only in about 20 years when it's too late.

    I'm fairly sure if he's a clever lad he will rise to the top anyway..

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    selchie's Avatar
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    [quote:a4e0fd3f6e="nattydread"]I might be wrong but the treatment of the Native American Indian has hardly been anything to shout about down the years...[/quote:a4e0fd3f6e]
    No, it hasn't been. My mother told me that when she was little, being part Amerind was something shameful. Fortunately I grew up at a time when Red Pride was blossoming. Not all the Rezes are thriving even now, but many tribes have found ways to profit from some form of "sovereign nation" status. Casinos have been a popular first step, but some tribes have progressed to operating truck stops, hotels and free trade manufacturies.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    ag28com is offline Member
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    It isn't just the pakeha or white Americans who have a lot to answer for. Britain has a massive amount to explain. India, Egypt, the African continent, all have suffered massively in British hands as a result of colonialism (otherwise known as the rape of foreign nations).

    I make no apologies for my phraseology. Britain virtually destroyed all the nations it colonised through the theft of priceless aretfacts, the destruction of local culture, and complete subjugation and degradation of the people. It's amazing to think that most of the nations Britain colonised are now amongst the poorest in the world......

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    Mea culpa from us all - can we move into the 21st century without self guilt, accusation and flagellation? I suspect that none of us are any more responsible for the history of our world than the Germans are for the atrocities committed in their name by their fathers and grandfathers. Retrospection appears less productive than introspection and a desire to do the right thing in our own time. As for the indigenous folk of whatever land we happen to be living in, they are already a helpless product of their history and need to find ways to break free and move forward. Here in New Zealand the Maori would deem themselves oppressed when the time is propitious as would the Irish, Scottish. Welsh, Cornishmen, Liverpuddlians etc. etc. etc. We all like to play that card at one time or another along with similar ploys such as colour or creed.
    The British Empire was not the first of its kind, and they all came about via military conquest. Just about every land on earth contains a mixture of immigrant and aboriginal and the mixture here seesm to be working better than most.

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