I haven't blogged much lately. I don't know about the others out there but the situation (at least here in Canada) is increasingly disheartening. When you live under a government that is essentially fraudulent and does absolutely everything in its power to undermine discourse and debate while simultaneously dismantling every aspect of government except those that benefit large corporations and the ultra-rich, one would think that this would be a perfect time for angry rebellion. However, when so many people seem indifferent to the radically anti-democratic agenda of their own government, it is difficult to maintain the energy to keep up with the vocal dissent.
A good example of the disheartening political events in recent months has been the outrageous attacks on trade unionism by government officials as wells as people in the mainstream media and so many painfully ignorant political observers in general. My own MP (and I confess that I shudder at the thought of this guy representing anyone anywhere at anytime) Pierre Poillievre mounted a visceral attack on unionism just the other day because unions in Quebec had the gaul to exercise their basic rights and support a party to which he is opposed. Mr. Poillievre appealed to the worn-out old argument that people who work in a unionized workplace should not have to pay dues because they may not agree with everything or every political position that their union takes. I don't know about the rest of you out there but I get so tired of hearing this insipid, anti-democratic argument that I just want to (excuse my language) 'bitch-slap' any fool that makes it. I plan to write to my right-honorable half-witted MP to tell him that I plan to stop paying taxes because I didn't vote for him and disagree with everything he says and does. This is, after all, the same position. Despite many particular drawbacks, unions are non-profit, democratic institutions and to be meaningful they must function much like the government does in terms of their institutional process and fiscal operation. If Mr. Poillievre really believes that only those who support every action of a union should pay dues, he must similarly believe that only those who support every action of a government should pay taxes. And this means, of course, no one, should pay any taxes since no one ever agrees with 100% percent of a government's actions.
So it goes.
The fact is that it has become increasingly acceptable for politicians to take such positions and make outrageous statements about society and capitalism. Take, as a topical example, Mitt Romeny's remarks this week. The rightwing essentially believes that most people are shiftless and lazy and that all they want is to do sit around living off the dole. Despite the fact that this is simply a blatantly counterfactual position, it is typical of their elitism and the fact that people like Romney and his ilk really want society to function as a plutocracy in which the majority of people are poor, uneducated, and powerless. They want society to consist of 95% of people who are struggling workers at the beck and call of the rich and must do their bidding at any and all times. This is what the attack on trade unionism really represents. Unions are one of the only institutions in society that represent a collective effort of average people, and the rightwing hates any worker power.
So it goes.
In contrast to all this ugliness, this week we saw the small collective effort of one man go viral. A Winnipeg bus driver stopped his bus when he saw a homeless man struggling along the street without any shoes. Passangers sat in amazement as the driver, after a brief conversation with the man, took off his own shoes and gave them to the man. When questioned by the media the driver said he believes in a society in which we all take care of each other.
Imagine that. A society in which people take care of each other! An economics as if people mattered .