—Joseph J. Fullerton, The Burnside Polemic
New Zealanders, in general, tend towards support of the ‘underdog’. This has evolved to the point where it is almost considered a tradition by the everyday New Zealander. But this only extends to sporting events and spectator activities. In international politics, New Zealand supports hegemony. The few times New Zealand has chosen to back the ‘underdog’, it has done so incorrectly. It is true, New Zealand supported the ‘underdog’ in the Salisbury Poisoning case—Russia, when Russia was plainly guilty for an attempted murder. New Zealand was soon forced to retract this opinion. Evidently, New Zealand’s commitment to supporting the ‘underdog’ is superficial at best.
Jacinda Ardern’s coalition government has recently established a ‘Fuel Tax’. Much maligned by the New Zealand public-at-large and by the opposition parties, it raises the costs of fuel. The coalition government claims that the fuel companies are using this tax as an opportunity to fleece consumers by subtly increasing their margins under cover of the tax. This may well be true—after all, it has happened before. And this goes on to increase profit margins for fuel companies—fuel companies with a monopoly on petrol. New Zealand’s fuel tax increasing the companies’ margins yet again empowers the ‘big man’—the companies—over the ‘underdog’, or the New Zealand public-at-large. Yet again, New Zealand’s public policy hurts the ‘underdog’ to maintain the extant power structures. But the ‘fuel tax’ has barely any effect on this. Even without this tax, petrol purchases feed this monopoly.
This is a hegemony is supported by New Zealand; the only hegemony that exists. The oil hegemony. O.P.E.C.—the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries—controls 50% of the world’s oil supply. Its de facto leader is Saudi Arabia, its two lieutenants Iran and Iraq. These countries may be fractious and disaligned, but they have one thing in common. They are regressive and illiberal fundamentalist Islamic dictatorships. They oppress their citizenry to benefit a small elite—the cabals who lead these nations.
United States Shale Oil is the other piece of the hegemonial puzzle. The United States of America, supposedly the beacon and bastion of western civilisation, has formed an axis of evil—to take a Bushism—with the O.P.E.C. This unholy alliance allows the promulgation of the oil hegemony and facilitates a process known as ‘petrodollar recycling’: the process whereby oil money goes around and around but keeps filtering back to the cabal elites of the O.P.E.C. nations. In other words, the O.P.E.C. cabals have an obscene amount of money. With this money in the hands of the U.S.-O.P.E.C. axis of evil, the hegemonial structure whereby they exert their petroleum-based influence over the world continues to percolate and promulgate.
The reality of the matter is that this hegemony can never be resisted—international travel depends on it, except for those who are willing to return to steam-powered ships and zeppelins. But with rampant consumption of petrol for cars on roads, it is a wonder that anybody in New Zealand can really claim to support the underdog—revenue from petrol reinforces the pillars of the oil-based hegemony. And with constant financial contribution to the hegemony, no ‘underdog’ is supported regardless of the presence of a fuel tax. But this is not only reprehensible for the support of the hegemony. As stated earlier, half of the hegemony is led by fundamentalist Islamic dictatorships with tendencies towards the stoning of women, gays, and most recently the murder and dismemberment of journalists.
Every dollar spent on fuel supports the reprehensible hegemony. The U.S.-O.P.E.C. axis of evil constantly exerts its influence worldwide; and this is supported by every purchase of fuel. This hegemony funds conflict in the Middle East and Near Orient; roadblocks and dements the due processes of the United Nations. Furthermore, it directly crushes the ‘underdog’. Nations like Syria are battlefields due to the machinations of the top players of the oil hegemony game. Every dollar spent on fuel supports these deadly games. So why do people willingly continue to support the U.S.-O.P.E.C. hegemony, which crushes underdogs within and without their own borders, with every dollar spent on fuel?
There are many alternatives to petrol-based transport, such as electric busses, whose numbers will only increase, given demand; bicycles, which are much more economical and better for one’s health; and everybody’s bipedal locomotion—walking, which is free and excellent exercise. Every person in New Zealand should consider doing their part to support the underdog by forgoing petrol purchases which only feed the corrupt hegemony, and switching to a non-petroleum based transportation method.
If New Zealanders truly wished to act in ways which befitted supporters of the ‘underdog’, New Zealanders would not so willingly contribute to the global oil hegemony. Remember this next time you complain about the fuel tax and its perceived ill effects—as the problem is not only surface-deep.