This comes from the notes of a presentation given to the Fabian Society recently. It is a very interesting explanation of how both Labour and National embraced biculturalism and led the nation down the garden path.
There are parallels in Rata’s depiction of biculturalism as having a religious character and modern progressive idealism.
Modern progressivism is nothing more than mainline New England protestantism – Pilgrims and Mayflower stuff all round. The going to church, submission to God and other blatantly religious memes were discarded in the New Deal era. Progressive idealists are unreconstructed Calvinists. The Ayatollah of Geneva would be in a state of disbelief at their influence.
New Zealand’s progressives inhabit both Labour and National, and their most virulent strain inhabits the Green party. But it is interesting to note that Russel Norman does not understand where the power lies in New Zealand – particularly Maoridom and baby boomers who pulled the ladder up after themselves. His speech the other week showed how he is not actually a threat – but his rhetoric will lead is party into a position of power in the coming decades.
The progressive Christianity of New Zealand’s progressives has been injected with biculturalism as the key differentiating factor from US progressive idealism.
Elizabeth Rata is an interesting academic. I particularly like her Herald article a while back where she explains that tribalism and democracy are incompatible.