A Catholic Marriage

What will save New Zealand from the kind of racial strife we have seen in the United States and elsewhere is the treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840. It is a kind of marriage license that has kept the European settlers (mainly the British) and the earlier Polynesian settlers (mainly the Maoris) together even though their relationship is a rocky one. By the terms of the Waitangi Treaty the Maoris recognized the sovereignty of the British Queen. The Queen guaranteed the Maoris the rights to their land holdings, including estates, forests and fisheries. It is a Catholic marriage. Divorce is out of the question.

There is an interesting book I recently read by an historian from the University of California at Berkeley, Yuri Slezkhine. It is called “The Jewish Century.” He sees the world divided into two groups; the Appollonians and the Mercurians. The Appollonians are the ones who control the resources, factories, banks, in other words, the money. The Mercurians are the ones the Appollonians employ to mediate with the rest of the world, doing the jobs that they are unwilling or unable to do. The Mercurians are typically in entertainment, sports, commerce, the arts. In medieval England, for example, money-lending was delegated by the king to the Jews because to engage in it oneself was demeaning. Slezhine argues that every society has its Jews. In Southeast Asia it is the Chinese. In Africa it is the Indians. In Europe it was the Jews and the Gypsies. And in New Zealand it appears to be the Maoris. Of the occupations in which Maoris succeed, every one is on Slezkine's list of suitable occupations for a Mercurian; entertainment, athletics, art, commerce. Ownership of the means of production is not among them.

That will change soon enough, I suspect. If I were at a party with a young Maori counterpart to Dustin Hoffman's character in “The Graduate,” I would stand by the swimming pool and call the young Maori over.

“Young man,” I would whisper. “The future is in one word. Forty years ago that word was ‘Plastics.’ Today, it is ‘Internet.’”

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