Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hey, Let's make it worse, that will make it better!...

If one is a regular reader of history one knows that the lead up to almost every revolution in history shares this much in common - the ruling elite payed little or no attention to the roots of the coming crisis, and instead was more concerned with maintaining their own wealth and power. In fact, as one reads the history of such events it gets sort of monotonous. Social and economic crisis looms on the horizon and instead of looking at ways to eleviate inequalities and injustices, the ruling elites almost always attempt another power-grab amid the coming conflagration. You read about it and after a while you find it difficult to believe that the rich and powerful have learned so little from history!

In recent years we see the pattern once again repeating itself. For thirty years or so economic and social inequalities have been getting considerably worse. The wealth of the majority has stagnated, their pensions (where they have them) have eroded, their futures (and that of their children) has grown increasingly unstable, their stake in the economy has shrunk, and their democratic rights have gradually curtailed. Meanwhile, the richest people have grown astronomically richer and more powerful. And now as the inevitable crisis is obvious to everyone the rich and powerful (and their lapdogs) are not addressing the problem but actually turning the screws! While the rich have never had so much, governments are actively preaching austerity and telling average people that capitalism can't afford for everyone to have a pension or for people to enjoy any kind of economic stability. They want to actually get rid of pensions, loosen the regulations on corporations, and get rid of unions - all policies which will not only entrench the economic crisis but will inflame the social crisis which is now seething just beneath the surface.

Yesterday Ontario Conservative leader had the gall to say that if he were elected premier he would radically increase the power of corporations while essentially killing unions. (We must, for the moment, overlook the fact that Mr. Hudak is so misinformed on the subject that the doesn't actually understand a number of basic labor laws which are de facto federally sanction by SC decisions.) Once again, amid a growing crisis, conservative leaders want to increase the very powers that have led to the crisis in the first place!

What conservatives consistently fail to understand are the basic social and economic relations of capitalism. Corporations seek to maximize profit and they do so primarily by reducing the cost of labor. Therefore capitalist enterprise seeks to minimize the number of people they employ while at the same time maximizing the number of products they sell. One needn't be an expert in algebraic equations to understand that there is a problem here. They are simultaneously reducing the very consumers that they need to have. Now, in a non-globalized context this process of capitalism can work moderately effectively for quite a while. But in a globalized context it is increasingly problematic. Furthermore, in a context of high levels of technology in which entrance to production can be exceptionally expensive, this problem deepens considerably.

As I have said before, as the revolution in France neared, the aristocracy attempted to entrench their power, to extract more wealth from the peasants, and it became fashionable to build ever larger, more elaborate carriages to show off their wealth. The results were predictable to anyone who had any sense. Today the results are equally predictable. Take away people's hope in the future, make them work evermore unstable and miserable jobs, while in the meantime the elite have ever greater amounts of wealth - and you'd have to be stupid not to be able to see what is coming. 

Laugh it up conservatives, all you are doing is constructing your own guillotine! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Political Swagger and Justin Trudeau. . . .

Swagger makes me nervous. It always has. In novels and movies swagger is always a harbinger of doom. And undue confidence in "real" life is equally an omen. Whenever someone displays excessive swagger I am always reminded of George Bush now infamous "bring'em on" remark, and the insistence by the Titanic builders that "this ship is unsinkable." It just seems that glib and blithe over-confidence is an invitation to disaster, as though one is tempting fate - and fate, as we all know, can be cruel.

The levels of swagger on the part of the Conservative Party has gradually increased over the past few years, and it has gone into overdrive since the Harpercons got their much vaunted majority. It is easy for even the most saintly among us to fall into over-confidence when we are in a position of power, Couple that difficult-to-resist tendency with an angry, glib personality (as one sees with most of the Harpercons) and you have a recipe for disaster. Over-confidence leads to righteousness, righteousness leads to smugness, and smugness leads to ethical and normative blindness.

Today I was listening to a talk radio programe where there was a political panel discussing this season's parliamentary session. The conversation inevitably turned to the subject of Justin Trudeau and the Conservative on the panel became almost giddy with glee at the prospect that the Liberal Party might eventually adopt the young Trudeau as a leader. He could barely contain himself and actually used the expression "bring him on" more than once. This excessive swagger set bells off in my head. Now, I confess to being terrible at political prediction. When I was young I was sure Ronald Reagan wouldn't get elected and in 2006, two year before the US election, I was positive that the US would  never elect a president with "Hussein" for a middle-name. My predictions are wrong at least as often as they are right and at this point I think it would take a lot to surprise me. We are cursed with living in "interesting" times and such times make predictions even more difficult than they might otherwise be.

Furthermore, as my dad used to say, we all think we have life more or less under control but then history throw us a curve-ball. And swagger always seems to be a warning sign of one of those curve-balls. And people who are busy swaggering are apt to get struck by a line-drive which has gone unnoticed as they wave to the crowd.

I don't know what is going to happen in Canadian politics. I wouldn't be surprised by a Conservative Party coup, a resurgence of the Liberal Party, or even an NDP government. But as this Conservative spokesman blithely laughed and said "bring him on" about Justin Trudeau, all I could think of was that old adage "be careful what you wish for!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Egypt and the Disease of Power. . . .

Events in Egypt over the past 18 months have been sadly comical. First we have the initial rebellion. For over forty years the people of Egypt endured ruthless tyranny (which Western countries, including Canada, supported and called democracy), and it was not until the price of food spiked amid feelings of general unrest that the people took to the streets. It is a sad commentary on politics that people will endure the most outrageous abuses of human rights for over a generation, that others would actively support that suppression, and it is only when the daily routine of the majority is affected by something like food prices that they say that they have had enough. Are we in for the same fate (and given our support of tyrannical regimes, do we deserve that fate)? Are we going to let Harper - our own Mubarak - dismantle our system of rights and democracy with litte concern as long as we have ample amounts of bread and circus? Given people's sad reaction to the protests in Quebec I suspect we are in some fairly deep trouble. Apparently not nearly enough Canadians really care about rights and democracy (the right  - and obligation - of dissent being one of the most important ones).

After the initial rebellion in Egypt I was very skeptical and my partner, whose family is Egyptian, was - I think - irritated by my apparent jaded misanthropy. My reaction was that the power system in Egypt was far too complex and comfortable to let people actually have democracy just like that. Power has a life of its own and it tends to be self-replicating, which is what makes it so dangerous. Once power entrenches itself, it is very difficult to unseat (a lesson Canadians should be taking to heart in a big way). Thus you will often see power, like a virus, change bodies but remain just as virolent and deadly. So I figured that the power held by Mubarak and his cronies wouldn't dissipate, it would simply change hands. Sadly, time has proven my conjecture to be correct. What you have seen in the past two weeks in Egypt is a quite coup in which the Army has made it perfectly clear that they are in charge. Pure and simple. Power has ceded nothing and will continue to cede nothing.

The most unfortunate part of the story of power is that when it becomes deeply entrenched it often takes a violent, bloody effort to unseat it. And this violent, bloody effort creates a new virus of power that is just as dangerous as the first.

Canadians be warned. Stephen Mubarak Harper is a dangerous virus of power and the disease that he is creating at the heart of our government can destroy our rights and our democracy. And even if he lets us have another election it will only be if he believes that whoever takes his place will carry that disease forward and will not return to the Canadian tradition of democracy. (Disclaimer: for the Indigenous people of Canada the disease of power has plagued them continually for our entire history and they have enjoyed little of the traditions of freedom I speak of.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Weakness of Tyranny. . . .

It is an interesting irony that Margaret Thatcher is one of the great heroes of many of the members of the Conservative Party of Canada. The irony comes in large part from the fact that Thatcher's leadership style is much like Harper's - she brooked no dissent, she tried to muzzle her own Cabinet Members, and she would override any decisions she didn't like. But, of course, Thatcher's strengths eventually became her weaknesses as other politicians who hoped to express themselves were never allowed to do so. She gradually built up great resentment in her own party and eventually left the House of Commons in tears when she was pushed out in what she considered to be a serious betrayal by her onetime allies. But if, as a politician, you can't rely on your leader, why should he or she be able to rely on you?? As the Conservative Party support in England crumbled with Thatcher as leader, her members turned on her. Once she was a liability rather than an asset her party jettisoned her like so much garbage (which is a polite word for what she was).

So (as Mound of Sound talked mentioned here), how long until Harper faces the same kind of ignominious rejection from his party? In the end, despite the image she has among some, Margaret Thatcher was a desperately weak leader. She alienated people where she should have created solidarity, she fostered only obedience where she should have fostered loyalty, she created resentment where she should have maintained respect. History will, and to a degree already has, judged Thatcher quite harshly. One needn't be a careful reader of history to understand that Harper is facing a similar fate. He possesses very little of the kind of loyalty that a great leader needs to be considered well by history's standard, and none of the sort that he will need to maintain power once his sheen has worn off. It will only take one or two serious challengers to Harper's leadership and the entire facade will crumble like a house of cards.

The difference between Harper and a leader like, say, Pierre Trudeau or Jack Layton is that while they all might be strongly opposed by the members of other parties, in the long run the real leaders engender real respect by their opponents.

Harper learning from the Best????

It emerged the other day that with his fortunes apparently fading, Harper had a secret meeting with Brian Mulroney in the hopes of improving his political future.

In related news Haper has a number of other meetings coming up; these include -

-Meeting with the Italians to learn how win wars.
-Meeting with a Jamaican delegation on how to improve Canada's Bobsledding techniques.
-Meeting with Simon Cowell for suggestions on how to be more polite and personable.
-Meeting with Rod McKuen on how to be a genuine poet.
-Meeting with Howard Stern for advice on how to be more sensitive to women's issues.

Friday, June 22, 2012

This Island Isn't Sinking. . . .

Peter Kent, the Harpercon's chief denier, claims that he needs to counter the "misinformation"  and the "ideological agenda" of the ecologists.


This guy has the nerve to accuse others of being driven by an ideological agenda? It really is so rich that one's head just begins to spin in total disbelief.

Meanwhile, one cannot help but be reminded of Terry Jones in Erik the Viking. "This island isn't sinking" he says as he slowly submerges into the deep.

What a laugh. A sad, sad laugh.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Look for Solutions to the Real crisis or continue in Irrelevance. . ..

I was watching The Agenda with Steve Pakin on TVO this evening (always an interesting program) while sewing a large shiny heart on my daughter's shirt (a father's work is never done), when I was struck by a conversation that Mr. Pakin was having with a number of Liberal Party strategists. It was mostly the same old nonsense about "how does the Liberal Party bring itself back to relevance," and once again it was remarkable the degree to which many Liberals really aren't facing what is happening.

Now, this much I understand - anyone, regardless of his or her political stripes, would have to be largely brain-dead not to understand that the Harpercon approach to our economic future is custom-made disaster for the majority of people in this country. As I, and many more acute commentators, have demonstrated,  the Harpercon economic plan is intended to turn Canada into a third-world nation dependent largely on resource exports and the profit of large, foreign multi-nationals. This is where they are taking us - it is just a simple fact.

There are, I believe, many Liberals who don't want to go down that path. However, the real fact is that the Liberal Party set the groundwork for the Harpercon approach to our economic future.

As I listened to the Liberal strategists I realized that the real problem is that most Liberals (and even many NDP members for that matter) simply fail to realize that capitalism as an economic and social system is deep in crisis. And I am not talking here simply about the so-called 'credit' crisis, or the banking difficulties in Europe. The real crisis is that corporations and financial institutions have simply become too powerful and as a result of their mindless ideological impulses they are destroying the very thing that made capitalism work in the West during the long post-war boom. It was the gradual redistribution of wealth, greater levels of social and economic equality, more social responsibility overall, and checks on the power of large corporations that allowed the long post-war boom to translate into real economic success. (It should be said that there was an element of global exploitation at stake too, but I believe that the model could still work without such exploitation.) Unjust tax policies and large corporate give-aways are simply creating a situation in which large corporations are killing the principles that created the middle-class and more generalized prosperity.

These are the facts that most Liberals seem to overlook. Unless a political party begins to face up to these problems and look for solutions to the growing social and economic inequalities and the growing power of corporatism that is leading to the decline, that party might as well give up now because it will simply be a vague carbon copy of the Conservative Party. I have still to hear a single Liberal Party member talk about this basic problem. Instead they are essentially burying their heads in the sands and imagining that they can simply tweak their policies a bit and then get elected again. But even if the Harper Conservatives were to go down in a big way and the Liberals were to come up the middle and gain power again - that power would mean very little just as the victory of "New Labour" or of Obama meant almost nothing in the long run. Income inequality in Britain got significantly worse under Blair and it is not improving under Obama.

Liberals (and NDP supporters) have to face up to the fact that the option is to seriously challenge global corporatism or to continue down the hole of economic disaster.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Struggle Against Evil Continues . . .

Today the Lapdogs of the Corporatists, the human trash that are the Harpercons, passed the single worst piece of legislation this country has ever seen. It is a piece of legislation designed specifically to destroy workers' rights, women's rights, and to reduce this country to an undemocratic, third-world nation. Believe it!

Today I choose to remember Joe Hill, his work, his legacy, and his final words. . . . 

"Don't waste time in mourning. Organize!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

If I were a Liberal . . . .

I have thought and said for a while now, (not than anyone really listens to me on the matter, seeing that I am not a Liberal and have certainly been wrong in the past), that if the LPC has any chance of returning to its former status as the number one party in the country, it needs to do two things; one, shift slightly back to the left where their historical power is, and two, pick a young leader who is forward-looking and ready to introduce real reforms into the party and into the political system in general - reforms that really make our system less top-heavy and more accountable.

Large organizations almost always have trouble reinvigorating themselves when they have gotten too powerful, too comfortable, and frankly too accustomed to their position of advantage. Losing their status as either the first or second party in the country was, it seems to me a result of two basic problems on the part of Liberals. The Liberals shifted a little too far into the rightwing corporatist ideology and they let their position of comfort in power essentially corrupt the political system. Harper's shenanigans are distasteful for sure, but they are really only an extenuation of Chretien's top-heavy, overly strategic approach to the PMO. Canadians have clearly gotten fed-up with the corruption and lack of accountability in our political system, but no party (even the NDP) is presently offering up real solutions to these problems. I believe that the Harpercon's will pay the same price as the Liberals have paid. After a while, they will become the symbol of corruption and lack of accountability. But unless someone does something to change the political culture, we are in a downward spiral to 20 or 30 percent voter turnout and essentially a complete destruction of our democracy.

Since the advent of modern theories of history, beginning with Hegel, many philosophers have thought, especially since the best work of Marx, that real historical changes usually come about by pressure from those outside of the mainstream institutions of power. I am not sure if this is true. I am sure that if the Liberals have any hope of coming back from the political wilderness they need to actually be noticeably left of the Conservatives on economic issues and they need to move into new territory on the democratic and political front.

Though I am not a Liberal, if I were I would be holding out hope that Justin Trudeau would take the helm of the party. But whoever it is who takes the party needs to be a young, forward-looking believer in democracy and the universality that the Liberal Party once stood for. Otherwise, Liberal can just thrown in the towel and realize that without these shifts they are just another version of the Conservative Party.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Harpercons and the Sad case of Kitty Genovese...

Upon leaving a note on a blogpost of my fellow blogger Owen Gray, it occurred to me that recent events in Canadian political culture mirrors what is known as "by-stander effect" or, more sadly, the Genovese syndrome. The Genovese syndrome is named after the tragic case of Kitty Genovese, a woman who was brutally murdered while a few dozen people looked on, not one of them intervening or even calling the police. Since the murder of Kitty Genovese, many psychologists have studied the phenomenon in which terrible acts can be perpetrated while on-lookers, knowing all the while that what is happening is wrong, fail to inteven. Why people fail to stand-up is complex and varies from fear to the feelings that if many others are not speaking up concerning events, the events must have a certain social acceptability.

I contend that the Genovese Syndrome is precisely what is happening the government today. The present government has travelled far afield from its election stance, its conservative party traditions,  and the democratic traditions of the House of Commons and Canada in general. However, no matter how ruthlessly anti-democratic and abusive of our parliament the government gets, not a single Conservative Party member is standing up to condemn what many of them surely know is deeply wrong. I would think little of these events if the Harpercons were simply pursuing traditionally conservative programes and values. However, the Harpercons have simply led an all-out attack on many of the very principles that conservatives (and the Conservative parties in Canada) have stood for.

Canadian democracy and the Constitution of this nation is our own Kitty Genovese. We are witnessing a brutal murder and the very people who could do something to stop it are startlingly silent. I suggest that these Conservative MPs who are watching the murder of our democracy will be judged very severely by future generations. And just as psychologists were eager to understand how poor Kitty could be murdered amid so many on-lookers, future political scientists will shake their heads in amazement at how MPs let democracy simply be killed before their very eyes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Few More Notes on Women Writers. . .

Last week I posted a list of English women writers from the 19th century. Though I got very little response to the post, confirming the lack of literary interests on the part of my handful of regular readers, I thought I would make a few more remarks on the subject anyway.

I failed to include in my list the somewhat famous writer Anne Radcliffe who was integral to the formation of the so-called gothic novel. Though the source of the gothic novel is usually put down to Horace Walpole, with the publication of his Castle of Otranto (1764), Radcliffe is arguably most responsible for its popularization with the publication of six important novels, all but one of which was published in a short ten year period at the end of the 18th century. Radcliffe's only 19th century novel, entitled Gaston de Blondeville, was  published posthumously in 1826, and for this reason Radcliffe is usually not considered a 19th century author. (An interesting side not is that Mary Mitford, whose biography I am just finishing, wrote a drama based upon a manuscript version of this novel which she was shown by Radcliffe's literary executor Thomas Noon Talfourd). The gothic novel was a very popular form for a while and the most popular (and arguably the most interesting) of these novels was a book entitled The Monk by Matthew Lewis, perhaps the most successful English book of the 18th century. Lewis became so identified with his novel that he became know by the name "Monk" Lewis. (Incidentally, this book, despite being unknown to most people today has enjoyed a profound, almost cult-like popularity in literary circles and the remarkable, sometimes mentally unstable, Surrealist writer Antonin Artaud wrote a version of the book which began as a translation of Lewis' book but ended up being a book in its own right) Radcliffe's novels are not as interesting as The Monk and are a little bit like 18th century versions of an episode of Scooby Doo in which a young woman is tormented by some rogue, then apparently haunted by preternatural forces which turn out to be either figments of an over-heated imagination or a plot to disturb her by her pursuer. But they are still interesting reading and given Radcliffe's influence on many 19the century writers, she deserves to be remembered.

One of the most popular writers on my list, though again not commonly remembered today is Felicia Hemans who was probably the most successful women poet up until that point. Hemans' work attracted the attention of both Sir Walter Scott and Percy Shelley who exchanged a number of letters with her. Though Hemans was born in England, she lived most of her life in Wales and has been adopted by the Welsh as one of their own, and the only biography of Hemans that I know of is a short book written as part of the "Writers of Wales" series published by the University of Wales. Hemans is an excellent poet in her way and developed a very effective poetical style. Her weakness as a writer, and one of the primary reasons, I believe, that she has not fared well with posterity, is the overt nationalism which emerges in much of her work as she champions all things British and is rather disparaging of anything 'foreign.' However, Hemans still deserves credit and attention as a writer as well as a remarkable women who raised five sons almost entirely on her own and with the money she earned with her pen.

Another interesting writer on the list is the poet Adelaide Anne Procter. Procter was the daughter of Bryan Procter who published under the pseudonym Barry Cornwall and was a friend of, and one of the first biographers of, Charles Lamb. Bryan Procter was also a friend of Charles Dickens which gave his daughter, who was an aspiring poet, an important potential connection in the literary world. However, Adelaide chose to forgo her connections and instead sent her poems to Dickens anonymously for consideration for his journal "Household Words." With no idea that the poems had been written by the daughter of his friend, Dickens published Adelaide Procter's poetry and she went on to a successful career and one of the few women writers up to that point who was primarily known as a poet.

Incedently, another name that I inadvertently left off the original list is Charlotte Dacre (1771 - 1825). Dacre is primarily known as a gothic novelist and her book Zafloya was an important influence on Shelley in his early years. Even though Dacre was the daughter of John King, who was a radical and, I believe, a member of the London Corresponding Society, Charlotte regrettably married a Tory (Nicholas Byrne) and named one of her sons after William Pitt, one of Tories whom I most despise.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

John Gotti for Prime Minister . . .

Our current government is looking more like an organized crime syndicate all the time. Virtually the whole country knows that they are guilty of violence, corruption, graft, conspiracy, and fraud, but like a good syndicate they know how to manipulate the system to avoid indictment and conviction. But Harper is worse than a modern gangster like John Gotti. He is more like an old-fashioned crime boss like Al Capone because he, like Capone, has control of those who are supposed to protect the public interest against his crimes.

Now, I am the first to advocate for the principle of innocent; it is arguably the most important principle in our justice system. But there is an incredible irony in the fact that the very people who are working to destroy the equality and independence of our system of justice are taking advantage in order to stay in power and destroy it. The whole thing is strange, twisted and depressing.

The comparison to organized crime is clear to everyone who is paying attention. The Conservatives can get away with all sorts of crimes and acts of corruption, like organized crime groups, the only chance of really convicting them of the crime is if one of their own finally turn against them This is the way both Capone and Gotti were finally convicted. In the meantime they can take advantage of the fact that they control the RCMP, they can cut the budget of Elections Canada and continue to refuse to cooperate with such investigations, they can do all sorts of thing to avoid being accountable. And as with many organized crime syndicates, this can go on for years before they finally go too far and their crimes become so overwhelming that they can no longer hide from their own corruption. Until then we all feel like the FBI and Treasury agents who continually try to bring down a crime boss but the evidence they need is always just beyond their grasp. We know where they, we know what they've done, but we are essentially powerless to stop them. And as the Harpercons make efforts to gerrymander the system, the only possibility for holding them accountable may soon be beyond our power too.

(And, of course, I didn't even go into the fact that the Quebec Government is widely known to have actual ties to organized crime. And as Amir Khadir points out, there is a real irony in the fact that here is a government that actually be part of organized crime making laws that heavily restrict the ability of the people to hold them accountable.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Can You Be a Misanthrope and Laugh?

"I wish I loved the Human race, I wish I loved its silly face, and when I am introduced to one, I wish I thought 'what jolly fun!'"

Thank you Sir Raleigh

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Is the Earth Really Flat??

I woke up this morning when the rest of the house was asleep and went into my studio to work on my latest shadow box. I turned on my TV and what greeted me but the celebrations on the Thames of the Queen's diamond jubilee. It was a true spectacle with tens of thousands of people lining the river and jolly BBC commentators telling us that this is a "major event in the 21st century."

What a depressing way to start an already rainy Sunday! Is there an opposite of the expression "we've come a long way"?? Well if there is, that is exactly what we should apply in this situation. Despite great progress, we really haven't come that far have we. Mega celebrations of hereditary wealth and power in the midst of a crumbling socio-economic system really is a sign that we are, in many ways, stuck in the past, unwilling to embrace a better future for our race.

My father, who was born and raised in England in a communist family, used to say "Give them uniforms and a marching band and the English will follow you anywhere." But he knew that such demonstrations were by no means confined to the people of Briton. People everywhere are simply loath to abandon hierarchy and authority. I don't know this phenomenon is a result of people's unwillingness to trust themselves or what, but it is depressingly pronounced everywhere you look.

Two Faces of London. . . 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How Far Will this Crisis Take us??

I believe that there can be little doubt now that Western Capitalism is on the brink of some sort of crisis, the only question is how deep is the crisis and will it force a significant shift in the economic and political principles on which our society is run. For the past couple of generations Western nations have experienced an attack against the principles of equality, both political and economic, and the effort (which has been led by the corporations and their rightwing lapdogs), which has created incredible wealth and power for the few on the backs of the many, is now beginning to unravel. This unravelling was, of course, inevitable. The ruling-class cannot allow discrepancies of financial and political power to grow to levels beyond which people will accept them in a democratic society without risking real and genuine revolution. Meanwhile, corporations and the rich have taken so much money out of the system while governments have attempted to maintain a degree of social commitment that will placate the general population, that financial disaster is knocking at the door of capitalism itself. Governments like the Harper cabal have become conduits for shifting social wealth from average people to the rich and the corporations. They are pulling apart as many social guarantees, environmental regulations, and democratic processes as they can in order to continue the very act of society-killing that is causing the bankruptcy in the first place. Men like Harper are doing this for complex reasons. First of all they are psychopaths who are filled with hatred for progress and human-kind. Second, they understand so little about human society and civilization that they really believe that it will continue in a depleted state of social degradation. Third, they love the idea of a return to ancient power relations in which a small group of people can command and abuse the rest of the race.

For the whole history of human civilization, a group of alpha-males have tried to hold back human progress and maintain relations of primitive power. Meanwhile, another group of people, the indispensable progressives have sought to push our race forward toward a better and more progressive and collective future.

We know what side men like Harper are on. How far will we let him take our society back into the past before we stop him by any means necessary?