March 16, 2020
Premier Doug Ford (eeewwww….) can destroy what he wants in Ontario for a minimum of four years, and this tragic development is Ontarians’ (and Canadians’) own fault for being among the very few places on Earth that still use a neanderthal, First Past The Post electoral system.
Now I’m going to gargle and brush my teeth….
Miguel Cervantes, in a brilliant, caustic reaction to the addiction in Spain in the early 17th Century to a huge crop of silly, chivalrous romances, published Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 1 in 1605 and Part 2 in 1615). It is considered by some authorities as one of the first, and possibly the very best, novels ever written. Cervantes had a keen nose for farcical BS.
The knight-errant, Don Quixote, having read way too many such trashy stories, loses his mind and decides to take issue with almost anything he encounters in the desolate flatland of Spain called La Mancha. Suffering constantly from delusions of grandeur and hallucinatory visions, he sets off to right all imaginary, unchivalrous wrongs, accompanied by a tired old horse, Rocinante, having persuaded a humble neighbouring farmer, Sancho Panza, to be his squire.
As a Canadian surveying the political scene in February 2017, the comic analogy described in the above photo has burrowed rapidly into my consciousness. Where the metaphor breaks down a little:
Sancho Panza possesses a sharp, entertaining sense of burlesque, whereas “Sancho” Trudeau is comparatively dull-witted and a trifle narcissistic.
But, does the darkness of the surroundings ever work…
An Ojibway elder I met during the early Idle no More protests said that Canada’s opposition to the rape of our environment would be enabled through the First Nations and International Law that protects their powerful communal rights. But many laws have been squirrelled into a dozen omnibus bills by our previous Conservative government. They have been left scattered there by Justin Trudeau, who increasingly appears to be an agent of darkness with a phoney aura of light. These laws and amendments have smoothed the path for foreign and domestic developers by removing strong environmental laws that slowed down projects. They also foster the removal of sacred communal rights Continue reading “Our AFN and the Dakota Example”
In Jacobin Magazine this detailed examination, by Costas Lapavitsas, of the Brexit decision:
We in Canada would do well to read it for an appreciation of how Britain, a canary in our Western coal mine of corporate-led disenfranchisement of working people, has alienated all but the privileged as wages, health care and other social services disintegrate.
If the discontent that produced Brexit is recognized as a sign that revolutionary reforms to our global economic model are urgently needed, it may be the first step in a progressive movement.
If, alternatively, the powerful seize this crisis to preserve or fortify their oppressive corporate welfare state of affairs, it will become yet one more “shock” used by disaster capitalists to tighten their strangle hold on the rest of us. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine explains this brilliantly.
This is a quick summary of some stuff I tweeted today in response to a tweet by a concerned @inky_mark that links to a Globe and Mail article about the now or never aspect of this trade deal.
The Globe and Mail falsely holds up #TPP as vital to Canada’s future trade and growth.
What the Globe doesn’t say is that the TPP is anti-CBC, anti small farms, anti Canada Post, anti public utilities and any vital national service that is publicly funded and not “profitable.”
Wikileaks has exposed the TPP as a “backdoor to privatization” of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE’s).
The TPP would be an impregnable legal fortress defending the unsustainable, planet-killing growth of unfettered capitalism. A vehicle for corporations to sue countries for enacting laws that protect the environment or the marginalized if these laws impact the sacred “God-given” rights of multinational corporations (MNC’s).
In their otherwise useful article, the Globe and Mail deceives by omission as usual. It has shed light on some of the details, but has left out the dangerous points I raise above.
Then there is the overall picture:
In essence the TPP, led principally by U.S. corporations, including the beneficiaries of its obscene war machine, is America’s latest attempt to isolate China, Europe and BRICS Nations. It ignores issues of environmental sustainability. By replacing publicly-funded institutions with more expensive private corporations it wages a class war against the middle class and the planet’s poor. It will take us back to poverty, sickness and, ultimately, serfdom.
Finally, I fear, this competition about power and scarcity will take us into a military WWIII.
Decades ago (I’m guessing ca. 1980) an adult family conversation occurred in my parents apartment. My cousin’s husband was very successful, having studied computers and accounting at university before the digital age took off. He traveled the world setting up distribution systems for a major door-to-door cosmetic firm.
He had recently participated in a think-tank session on the future, in which young, forward-looking minds from Canadian industry, government, media and trade unions had been asked to participate. He had a piece of inside information to share:
Industry and government were, way back then, looking at the potential problems that would occur when the typical 40-hour work week shrunk due to information technology and the great unwashed found ourselves with time on our hands and an increased feeling of alienation from the sense that we were contributing to society through work that could be thought of as useful and worthwhile.
One major conclusion:
Ways must be found to keep the masses occupied and entertained.