From today’s Herald, Hat Tip Rodney Hide
Boorish Kiwis could all be the fault of the fourth Labour Government, says Auckland University sociologist David Bedggood.
He believes the sweeping market reforms that began with the advent of the David Lange-led Labour Government in 1984 moved people’s mindset away from egalitarian ideals of the past to an “every man for himself” individualism.
“Rudeness and boorishness is a consequence of that,” Dr Bedggood said this week.
Dr Bedggood, who lectures on New Zealand society and its future, said rampant individualism was an international phenomenon, but one particularly noticeable in NZ and Australia because of their strong history of providing social welfare support.
“In the past people saw some kind of collective responsibility … Today, there’s a much more ruthless attitude to that.”
Many NZers believed they were responsible only to themselves.
Dr Bedggood said people living in larger cities were more likely to suffer the ill-effects of individualism, chiefly because bigger centres offered more anonymity.
“It doesn’t matter if you are rude. Who cares? They are not going to come back at you, they don’t know you.”
Dr Bedggood said the best way to stop our increasing rudeness was to “stand up and reclaim control over our own lives, and the way to do that is resist the international market”.