2023 will be fun. I can’t wait to watch one inept political party try ousting out another.  The challenger sides with the most disillusioned and left out members of society. If they get it right, they get to make up some new rules the rest of us have to follow. Meanwhile, the incumbent has a few tricks up their sleeves too – there’s no point giving away too much this far out though. It’s a fascinating game of chess at the very least.

Oscillating political ideologies never solve the problems in my opinion – not in the long term anyway. Why? Because it’s never been about left or right, it’s been about up or down all along. If we’re trying to pay down our more expensive mortgages on property values highly interfered with by government in every way, having at least a basic understanding of the state of play with regards to local politics may be quite useful this time around I think.

In a recent chat with Ashley Church,  I put on my tinfoil hat, turned on airplane mode, and took full advantage of the fact I was able to talk to someone completely unafraid to share his well-informed opinions. I probed him about the ultimate goals of those who reside on the left and right of the political spectrum. The reason why? I think there’s a shift that’s going to occur in 2023, which may soon be labelled a ‘conservative uprising’. What happens in the environment in which are dollars are generating a return in, is of utmost importance for the everyday investor to wrap their heads around.

Why are conservative-styled voters getting so upset about the left for though? And what are the ultimate objectives of the ‘left’? Ashley’s view is that there’s no clear objective or “Nirvana” in their ideology. Who needs ideologies though – especially with the apparent dominance of relativism? The concern here, is the vulnerability of a society without agreed upon values increases the odds of an authoritarian power taking control. On the “right”, like way off to the right, it’s not much better. Especially when there’s often little regard to the spiritual heritage of conservatism, what does it matter the world is losing it’s way to conservatives (what way is it they need to find?). It appears as though extremism on either end then is something to be on guard against. If only we could do something about it without tormenting fringe minorities who hold opposing views. Do we have this balance right yet?

And that brings us to the term ‘Conspiracy theories’.

A conspiracy theory is a belief in a secret, often sinister, plan or theory that provides an explanation for an event or situation which isn’t a widely held belief.

Likely in our best attempts to limit extremist hate speech, this term (originally made famous by left-wing conspiracy theorists following the JFK assassination) is often used to dismiss alternative viewpoints or ideas that challenge the mainstream narrative. No matter what you label me, just don’t accuse me of not being a mainstream thinker! Could you think of anything more dangerous than not thinking the same thoughts as everyone else?!

It sounds ridiculous, but you must admit critical thought felt like public enemy #1 last year at times. As the odds increase of society losing the ability to think critically, and be open to more than one view, the odds increase that what little power we as individuals currently hold, will be taken away. Think that doesn’t have anything to do with building wealth?

Shall we talk about the changing narratives surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand? While the government initially believed the virus was a “big killer,” as data emerged showing lower mortality rates than initially feared, the government doubled down on restrictions and lockdown measures instead of easing up. Time will tell if this was the best move or not, but in 2022-23, we’re in the thick of dealing with the fallout still from these decisions (in the form of labour supply issues, and rampant inflation with high interest rates too). Ashley believes the shift in the narrative though, caused a divide between the reality of the situation and the government’s actions. His view, and it’s a view I’m starting to become increasingly aware of, is that this may lead  to the ultimate decline in the government’s popularity with the next election. In fact, it’s not just New Zealand where the centre-right conservative voter is starting to rise-up.  Whether it’s a totalitarian left wing or authoritarian right wing – it’s important we all fight for our right to own our choices in the world to come. Without freedom, our wealth is useless.

The recent parliamentary protests in New Zealand and Canada had a significant impacts on the public’s perception of the issues at hand. While there were some unconventional elements to the protest, it was the government’s response that really sparked a shift in public opinion. The government’s labelling of the protesters as a “river of filth” and a “fringe-minority with unacceptable views”, combined with a general refusal to acknowledge everyday people as genuine citizens, were particularly striking to many people. This response ultimately changed the narrative and contributed to a shift in public mood.

Many people who may have previously held alternative views, tentatively and cautiously began to share those views after seeing the success of the protests. The protests gave people permission to change their minds, as they saw that there were many others who felt the same way. If I was to guess, it’s unlikely the bulk of New Zealand felt the same way as the protestors, but I would suggest it was a significant amount (possibly a lot more than what we were led to believe?).

Lately the battle line’s been drawn at misinformation and disinformation. While deception and distortion of the truth have always been present in human communication, the term “disinformation” specifically refers to the deliberate spreading of false or misleading information in order to manipulate public opinion. This can be a tactic used by governments or other powerful groups to maintain their control and influence over the people.

Being ‘smart’ or intellectual, doesn’t appear to offer immunity from the effects of disinformation either.

To separate deception from the truth, it’s important to consider the source of the information and the motivations behind it. Is it reasonable to rely on a government for the signal source of truth? What if it’s a government from the opposing side? It’s also crucial to verify information with multiple sources and to be wary of sensationalized or overly simplified narratives. We should stay critical and be open-minded, and to recognize that the truth can often be complex and multifaceted. Facts are facts – when something’s obvious, a narrative’s not always required.

We should seek out diverse sources of information and think critically about what we’re being told, all the while keeping our guards up from those influencers in every corner who may seek to control what we think. Only then can work towards a more informed and empowered society – a future where the wealth we’re currently trying to accumulate, has value.

The intellectually elite alt:left will naturally assume opposing views are only held by the ‘useless eaters’ among us. To be fair, on the alt:right’s no better.

While there may be an uprising of angry and disillusioned conservatives ready to storm the polls from next year, often they too ignore the risks concentration of power inevitably ushers in.

Maybe the core issue in all of this is that we indeed have strayed way too much off towards relativism and there really is no hope in finding our way back home. There are indeed voices calling out in what feels like a void of values in the wilderness. Will the people listen?

I hope you enjoyed the Ashley Church trilogy