There appears little by way of intelligence remaining in our world, much less compassion or care. We appear to have entered into an age that makes no sense, and which is full of nonsense.
What would those wise generations of long ago have thought about the current state of the world? Indeed, would any of it make sense to them. Yet, in justifying many current decisions, those long ago intellectuals, thinkers, artists, writers and others are quoted or referenced.
So much of what is offered as knowledge and wisdom today appears very shallow, used to disguise and deflect, rather than to probe and solve. There are studies relating to everything, many conflicting, offering at best, superficial understanding.
A wise old friend of mine once told me that “we have educated people beyond their intelligence”. This appears so true in relationship to the swirl of issues impacting the world. I will reference a few examples, which are close to home, but there are numerous others that are emanating from all over that could be added.
Take for instance the oil fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico. It is continuing unabated because there is apparently no knowledge or technology that can fix it. Yet, here in Newfoundland we allow another company to drill a well twice as deep as the one causing the destruction. Apparently, there are only this company’s assurances that they have put in place the security measures to prevent the same scenario being repeated off our coast. Who would trust them, when it is obvious that proven security mechanisms have yet to be invented?
In Canada we are seeing another gigantic financial boondoggle, like so many before. This time it relates to meetings of the G8 and G20. The rational for much of the largesse that is flowing is that it will profile Canada’s tourism potential. At the same time, the government declares as surplus all of the lighthouses in Canada, even though they are a significant part of our maritime history and known to be one of our greatest tourist attractions.
It was such blatant extravagance and waste by financiers and bankers that brought the whole world to the brink of financial ruin. The bailouts were enormous. The response has been to not penalize the perpetrators and the rich for whom they worked, but to cut social programs, foreign aid, education and health services, mostly affecting the poor. Once again the poor will have to pay for the folly of those with wealth.
How does one comprehend that after one of Newfoundland’s gravest travesties, the destruction of most of our fisheries, governments still allow overfishing of the food stocks of much of the ground fish (capelin, in particular). Scientists decry the fact that many of the species face extinction, yet politicians choose to turn a blind eye to the few than now control this resource, as they rape and plunder what’s left. Small independent fishers, once the backbone of this industry are cast adrift without recompense. The fact that this resource once provided nutrition for much of the world and the basis for many of its communities appears lost to those now in charge.
It appears that the sense of the common individual is now ridiculed and dismissed by those that purport to know, while dissent is silenced by control and pressure. In fact, privacy laws have become so strict that individuals appear not to be able to access their own information.
There is more sense to be found within those who strive everyday to make an honest living using their gifts and the resources that have been provided, than in all the nonsense espoused by those who claim to know. The few fore-mentioned examples demonstrate how little they really do know.
Through all this, people continue to elect governments that espouse democracy, openness and accountable while practicing repressive approaches more associated with dictatorial regimes. Each new government wants more control, not less and compliance not dissent.
The question is: When will common folks begin to use their sense to reclaim some semblance of democratic governance, genuine openness and accountability and more control over their own lives?
The answer perhaps lies in the deepening financial crisis being faced by more and more countries in the world. This will necessitate people having to rely more on their own sense, and less on the nonsense being fed them, in order to decide what is best for them, their families, communities and countries.
Necessity will demand this, but it will only become possible when people, once again, find the courage to believe in themselves like prior generations.
Written by Bill Pardy,
June 15th, 2010