Monday, July 19, 2010

The Grand Political Question. . . . .

With few exceptions, the great moments of social progress have been inspired by, and come about because of, the work of so-called radicals who have fought against impossible odds to make the world a better place, a more just place, a place where the strong can't simply trample on the weak, and where those who are vulnerable and often helpless have a chance at a decent life. And this struggle has been waged against the conservatives of the world who, all along the way, have defended the powerful, the capitalists, and those who wield arbitrary power. You have a five day work week because of 'radicals,' you have safe workplace legislation because of 'radicals,' you have the vote because of 'radicals,' everything we treasure in social legislation as well as the great growth in social tolerance is because radicals have fought for those things. So what I am unable to determine is why so many are so eager to uphold the organizations of arbitrary power, so willing to attempt to ensure that the weak and the vulnerable stay that way, so happy to undermine the basic principles of justice.

Why are ignorant, racist jackals like, say, Pierre Poillievre eager to eliminate the long-form census, which will further erode the position of minorities and make municipal planning infinitely more difficult? Why do these bullies and thugs want to build a society in which the little people and the small 'players' have little or no voice and in which they cannot adequately struggle against the increasing power of big business and multinational corporations? Why do they pay lip-service to democracy only to clearly oppose the results of democratic processes wherein they don't like the outcomes? Why do they want a world in which the rich stay rich and the rest get screwed? What is the payoff?



Anonymous said...

Bellum omnium contra omnes?


kirbycairo said...

Ah, but its not. It is the war of the few against the many and Hobbes, despite his realism, didn't understand that.

But thanks for the comment Leo.

Anonymous said...

Thom Hartmann mentioned on his radio show the other day that every revolution that occurred in history was supported by a relatively strong middle class and the no revolution has ever occured without one.

If one sees the social change you reference as revolutionary, in a sense, then the destruction of the middle class is a paramount goal in establishing an unchallenged rule of the wealthy and their tools, the political elite (yes you Pierre).

As one of the fathers of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, once said:
"The occupation of a hairdresser or of a working tallow-chandler cannot be a matter of honor to any person- to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Such descriptions of men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule. "

kirbycairo said...

I am not sure if this is really important but Mr Hartmann is simply wrong. Both the French and Russian revolution occured in the absence of a strong middle-class. As for Edmund Burke, he is indeed often called the "father" of modern Toryism, but he started his career as a significant Whig so one must be careful about the motivation of his many political statements.