A few quick questions for Joe Q. Canuck on this dreary and somewhat lackadaisically-named Flag Day:
1. Do you believe all of humankind should exist in a state free of human bondage?
2. Do you believe that the human animal is an innovative, adaptable and sentient being that may be in the midst of a significant moment of concentrated, technology-driven societal evolution?
3. Do you believe all women should have complete individual control over their reproductive systems, without interference by religious and lobby groups and with access to state-funded birth control assistance?
4. Do you believe individual citizens have a personal responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner so as to benefit the greater good?
5. Do you believe that xenophobia is a particularly destructive societal pathology that stands in the way of human evolution?
6. Do you believe the State, as a collection of human interests, has a responsibility to provide free and high-quality public education, healthcare and other social services so as to mitigate the sources of social pathologies and social inequity?
It seems to me that the answers to all these questions ought to be a resounding yes. I would hope that the overwhelming majority of my fellow citizens would state that they honestly believed that this is a set of values and ideals we share in as a particular, progressive, modern society.
And yet so many of our apparent leaders and leadership hopefuls, on either side of 49, in Europe and around the globe, are loathe to realize these crucial human truths. On the surface it may seem like this planet’s current crop of ‘influential’ political leaders is deliberately trying to sabotage voluntary, collaborative societal evolution by placing draconian restrictions on freedom of doubt, freedom of criticism, freedom of assembly and expression, let alone the freedom to openly question, dissent and oppose the status quo. All over the world reactionary, regressive and increasingly violent neo-conservative political groups are posing a clear and present danger to the greater good of all humankind.
This thinking is invasive and destructive – it feeds on our most basic fears and is globalized by design, and it’s beginning to paralyze the very institutions designed to prevent another slip into global warfare. If we think the bloodshed of recent American misadventures and their related destabilizing effects are significant, I can only say the death-toll statistics of World War III will make II look like I. The Cold War may seem over but we’re still baiting the Russian bear. If we keep bopping it on the nose, it will lash out and bite us.
There is a more or less direct line from low IQ to favouring socially conservative policies and xenophobia, and there’s a direct line between the nation which embraces a government built to satisfy the misguided notions of that vocal regressive minority with a nation all too often prepared to launch illegitimate and criminally negligent wars abroad. There are many excellent examples worldwide within the last hundred, if not twenty, years that more than prove the point. When the average citizen no longer feels any connection to the common good of the country, or to their fellow citizen, the special interest groups sneak into power.
Such is our contemporary example, such is the example of many progressive nations which have slid off into the self-destructive tendencies of fanatical nationalism and theocratic isolationism. How a nation such as ours could stand behind Israel and the United States while condemning Iran for being bellicose is a gross hypocrisy. We’re not the peacekeepers anymore; we’re the ally of the war-makers. God, what a state we’re in.
It seems as though many of the great experiments in progressive, democratized socialism run into the roadblock of war, of ultra-nationalism, of elite-sponsored class warfare. I find it unsettling how much the term is thrown around these days by the misinformation agents of the Corporate and Government Elite. They’d honestly like you to think the poor oppress the rich, or that gays and lesbians constitute a threat to our social stability, and that women, by their very nature, will become serial abortionists unless forced to look at ultrasounds of the unwanted life force developing inside them.
Again, we know the truth, but we also see the destructive effect these falsehoods have had in tainting the political discourse. We know why social conservatism is wrong, but we do far too little to proselytize the unwashed masses in the virtues of progressivism. Progress and socially-progressive actions are by their nature designed to provide the greater good.
What more could you want in a political ideology than idealism? And doing better for ourselves will orient our goals and aspirations for a better nation into the desire for a better world and then we will act as though it were our responsibility to share our wealth and security with those less fortunate than ourselves. If this isn’t the goal of our nation, then what is?
But we must strive, as citizens, to do what we can for each other so that our spirit will lead other nations away from the brink. If we regain our status amongst nations, if we were to complete the Pearson-Trudeau plan to have Canada lead the Third World as a viable alternative away from superpower-dominated mutual annihilation pacts, then we will not only establish our values internationally, but secure them in perpetuity as the defining element of our national character. And at last our country will have something worthwhile to pursue, for this admirable national dream of lifting the Third World from its bondage to secure a better tomorrow for all humankind will heretofore be known as the Era of the Canadian Dream.
It is not arrogant to dream, nor is it arrogant or patronizing to put such dreams into action. We owe the World for the stability we’ve built on the toiling masses – let us lead them to their salvation by breaking the grip of the monopolies, corporate and nationalist.
If we’d like such things to happen during our lifetime, if we want to be a part of the solution, then we must plant the seed at home first. We are threatened, our way of life is threatened, but it is still in its infancy. It is still little more than a ‘culture war’ in many ways, but the public has yet to see much proactive action from the protesting classes. Thus, it is time to respond, and we must overwhelm our adversaries.
Now is the time for progressives throughout Canada to declare themselves to the cause, and to spread the good word. We don’t need to beat people over the heads with orthodoxy, but we do need to take broad responsibility to effect political change in our nation to re-assert the prominence of progressivism and social democracy in our political dialogue. Let us steer the conversation and demand results. Let us reject spin and spite so that we may speak only truths.
If it’s a culture war you want, you got it. You’ll love how we’ll win.