Thursday, December 3, 2009

My City Councilor and the vagaries of Capitalist Ideology

Today I got my weekly update email from my city councilor, a one Mr. Glen Brooks, a man who instead of engaging in real political discourse once sent me an email telling me that on my next vacation abroad I should only purchase a one-way ticket. This weekly update is voicing his support for a legislated wage freeze for public sector workers. Now, Mr. Brooks isn’t all bad, he does make the concession that he thinks that instead of a total freeze he believes that it should be tied to the rate of inflation. Then he makes that always nauseating claim that he too is willing to take a wage freeze. Isn’t that big of him?

Well I will never support a legislative wage freeze because it goes against the very principle of collective bargaining which is one of the central mechanisms responsible for most of the workers’ rights and decent working conditions that people enjoy today. However, I will tell you what Mr. Brooks, if you vote to cut the City Councilor’s pay to the same rate as, say, the person who mops your office floor, then we will talk.

I am sick and tired of right-wing ideologues, whose very political impetus is the pursuit of personal greed, try to prevent people of earning even decent wages that allow them to raise a family and live in acceptable housing. Today’s right-wingers have really come no further than the ideological drivel expounded by Thomas Malthus two hundred years ago have they?! They continue to be guilty of the worst kind of conceptual idiocy and reification while at the same time parading themselves as intellectuals and genuine leaders. Well, my friends, if Edmund Burke, a man of remarkable eloquence and occasional brilliance, couldn’t make right-wing coherent, then what chance do intellectual midgets such as Glen Brooks have?  But put the reification aside people; our society does not consist of relations between things but between people. We build our society and we can take control of it as we wish. If our economy is not providing for people, it is not the people that need to change – it is the economy. And anyone who argues that this cannot happen is either hiding their own ideological greed behind conceptual clap-trap, is half-witted, or is the worst kind of materialist (philosophical and economic) and foolishly believes that as human beings we are simply subject to abstract laws of mechanism and have no control over our destiny. But if we can take hold of our individual destinies, then we can administer a significant influence on our collective destiny too. But you see, ironically right-wingers know this or they wouldn’t take part in government and pass legislation etc. It is only when average working people say we need to pass legislation that ensures that they cannot be exploited that right-wingers suddenly set the limits of our legislative possibilities. But this is just an ideological game played by greedy, self-serving people who set the limits of our collective power at the protection of corporations to enhance their bottom-line. 

No comments: