Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oct. 8" Let's not talk about the Irving press...

The rain has stopped. The sun is coming out. The TandT is its usual, wretched self - except for NewsToday.  It is so good, it is almost mediocre.

But let's be positive today, and talk about principles.What are they? Why do we need them?

You'll find principles expressed most commonly in religions. And it really doesn't matter which of the major religions you choose. You'll find more agreement than disagreement in them. Whether you think those principles came from a God or from a more earthly source doesn't matter. What matters is that most of them make good sense.

Us humans have to live within some sytem of values. The ones that one commonly finds in religions work. If you don't think so, try to imagine a world without - well - we'll take the ten commandments since those are the ones more readers willl be familiar with.

Inagine a world in which murder is acceptable, greed is admired, indifference to others and their needs - is normal, children have contempt for parents and pay not the slightest attention to them, everyone is envious of what everyone else has - and wants it, stealing is quite acceptable, - and what would you have?

Exactly. We would have the world as it is today. And societies that live as we do have been destroying themselves for thousands of years. They produce leaders interested only in power and wealth for themselves. That greed and interest only in oneself creates a leadership that is short-sighted and interested only in itself with the result that the society crumbles - and the emperors and lords go down with it.

We are now watching the collapse of the US. Big business has impoverished Americans by the millions. It's getting worse. And it's not going to get better. Big business has done it for short term profit based in greed.

In the course of it, democracy has been destroyed as government is controlled by the bribery of the rich. The United States, which geography has made the most difficult country in the world to invade, impoverishes its own people to build the world's most expensive military. It doesn't need that much  power for defence. So why does it have it?

So it can force the rest of the world to accept the economic dominance of American big business.

That's been the prime motivation for every empire that ever there was. And every one of them has killed itself.

So before you  look at a party's policies, look for the principles on which it is based.

In Canada, neither the Liberal party nor the Conservative party has ever been based on any principle. There have been some good people in both parties. But both parties have essentially been the creatures of big business throughout the history of Canada.

The first, significant  party in Canada to be founded on a set of social principles was the old CCF. It arose out of a movement of the early nineteenth century called the Social Gospel. Not surprisingly, it is the only major political party of Canada with significant numbers of clergy who played leading roles in it. The best known of them are J.S.Woodsworth, a clergyman who turned against his own church for its failure to be more active in connecting its beliefs with the daily world - (a situation I also find myself in.I have limited patience with people who bawl out their faith in church, then abandon it as soon as they walk out the door.)

The other "best-known" of the NDP is Tommy Douglas, the man who led the way for medicare.

The CCF later became the NDP. However, I don't say that as an endorsement. As the NDP, it has steadily been abandoning its principles to become a party more like the others. It's not, like the Liberals and Conservatives, a patsy for big business. But it has become a party thath plays down its principles rather than making the centrepiece. Mulcair, whom I knew slightly in Montreal,  has been a great disappointment in that respect.  When you do that, all you get is a party like the Nova Scotia NDP.

We need a party that declares its principles. We need the voters to start thinking in terms of principles, rather than the scattered pieces of propaganda and bias that get thrown at them.

The Green Party has a principle. It's an important one. But one isn't enough. So long as it is so limited, it is never going to be much of an influence.

So we need two things.

We need a party whose main plank is it statement of what values it believes in, what principles it would govern by. Without that, expect a world that is going to get a hell of  a lot worse. And it already is hell - as a direct result of the policies we vote for.

And, first, we need a democracy. In New Brunswick, as in much of the world, we are governed by a puppet head of government who is controlled by an aristocracy of big business. That aristocracy governs only to satisfy its own greed.

That has never worked. The pages of history are littered by the record of the damage and grief they have caused. By their own greed and arrogance, such people make themselves incompetent as government.

And they fail.

And they take us with them.


Okay. Just a short comment on the news.

There's a hilarious column in the National Post that Harper is backing away from the commonwealth because he's lost patience with dictators and abusers of human rights. Sure. I wait now for his attacks on Saudi Arabia, perhaps the tightest dictatorship in the world, and his warning to Obama to lay off on torture.

Actually, he's backing off from the commonwealth because there's no longer much advantage for him to being in it.

More worrying is the news that we operate an international spying network with the US and others that is aimed not at military threats. It's aimed at industrial and mining secrets. Gee. I wonder who that information gets handed over to.  I'm sure any Irving would refuse even to look at it.

Apparently, we also have a very large domestic spying  department checking on you and me, just like the American NSA.

What's more interesting is that Harper claims to know nothing about what they're doing. If he doesn't know, he's utterly imcompetent. If he does know, he's a liar. Put your money down, folks. My bet is on option two.

If you think we don't need principles, if you don't think there's any possibility of our society facing a crisis, look at how governments are thinking. The US and Canada are both spying on their own people. The US is supplying domestic police forces with heavy, military weapons - even including tanks and is training them in street fighting.

You may kid yourself there is no danger of social breakdown. But the US government most certainly thinks there is.

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