A Reawakening

After the near collapse of the global economy and its financial institutions in 2008 there was much talk about “green shoots” of recovery emerging.  They are having great difficulty germinating in the corrosive soil of austerity being imposed by extremist right wing agendas in many countries, including our own.

The reason for this collapse can be placed at the feet of those in power who diminished democratic rule in favour of total control.  This is as true in the corporate world as in the political spheres of government.  The basic tenets of democratic process have gradually been eroded by the power wielded by corporate elite and political leaders of all persuasions.

Representative democracy is rapidly becoming a charade as leaders consider a majority as the right to dictate and not just permission to govern in concert with an opposition or the electorate. Nowhere is this more evident than in Canada where the Prime Minister requires total allegiance of his party, the elected members, his senate appointees and latterly the bureaucracy to his ideologies.  In Newfoundland the Premier dismissed the very foundation of democratic government; debate and engagement.  Discussion, dialogue and compromise appear anathemas to both of them in their belief in total control.

In Newfoundland and Labrador there is much talk of this province becoming a colonial outpost, as a result of the dramatic and radical cuts being imposed by the stealth of the Harper government.  What appears not to be understood is that our provincial government is already operating as colonial overlords, as it forces its own agendas on the people of this province by decree, without due process or engagement of its people.

While Canadians, for the most part, may not be genuinely unaware of the implications of colonial rule, many in Newfoundland still have vivid and painful memories of the way it used to be.

One could suggest that there are democratic “green shoots” emerging in Canada and in the world as people awaken to their plight and begin the process of taking back their power.  It was most evident in Alberta with the failure of the Wild Rose party to win the election.  It is visible in France and Greece as more social responsible politicians gain support and it was the reason that the Conservative coalition lost most of its local government base in Britain.

Extremists of both the right and left (and other convictions) are being exposed for the destructive forces that they are.  One would hope that this is the ‘reawakening” of the masses to the inequities of extremist ideologies and ideologues of any affiliation. It is evident that such fanatics have a following; but it is obvious that they are the minority.  The majority of people in most democratic countries still believe in basis of freedom and the necessity of balance in governance and government; albeit they have been mostly silent.

There are many visible examples of the devastation caused when austerity replaces common sense, when the poor are punished for the ills of the rich and when unregulated markets replace balanced economies.  No intelligent person would deny the need for markets, as they have been around since people saw the benefits of sharing.  But unfettered markets result in greed and ruthless controls by those most powerful.  This is evident in the markets that are engaged in illegal economies (of which there are many).  These are controlled, not by regulation, but by brutal force and violent means.

As the occupy movement was quickly neutered, it is evident a much broader reawakening is required to bring the world back from the edge of being controlled by those who worship power of the few over the many.  There appears a movement growing to bring this back into balance.

The silent majorities are awakening, as people realize the crushing results of ultra conservative agendas and austerity upon normal folks.  They realize that no matter their current security, they may be the next ones in distress.  There appears an urgency building to take back power before it is completely usurped.

There is also concern that as the despair grows and people’s security is threatened that a quiet revolution might become something more violent and destructive as is being witnessed in some areas of Canada and in countries throughout the Middle East and Europe.

There has to be recognition that the issues at play are not confined to the realms of the economic, social, environmental or the religious for this awakening to really take root.  They are deeply related to the spiritual realm, requiring a reach into human consciousness whereby respect and reverence of life and living become fundamental.   These are human issues pertaining to caring, sharing and compassion and how we treat others, our physical world and nature itself.

These elements comprise the true basis of humanness.  They have been used by many religions over time to control, by governments to contain, and by businesses and organizations of all sorts to exploit.  But it must be remembered that these basics are genuinely the foundation of civility, civilized society and has to be the basis of what is now referred to as civil society.  These fundamentals belong to all humans, not just to those who would control.

Written by Bill Pardy

May 6th, 2012


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