Monday, January 2, 2012

Ignorance, learned stupidity and a Happy New Year

From The Tyee, hollinm: "When he (PM Harper) starts giving himself more powers, banning opposition parties and outlawing the media then we can talk"

OK, let's talk.

Did you hear about Canada and the USA agreeing to the Beyond the Border Pact this past holiday season? Probably not considering it was signed without any democratic oversight or involvement.

This Pact formally makes Canada de facto a security state. Meanwhile our media remains effectively mute on this point. At best the Pact's been sold to the population as a way to streamline the transportation industry and to prevent that bastard child called Employment Insurance fraud from spawning. Still, it is hard to imagine that is worth a thousand-million dollars to anyone but the powers that be.

A couple other things one likely won't hear about the Pact is that it allows the authorities to chase bad guys into the reciprocating nation. On first blush, this might not alarm too many folks. But the more egregious offense comes to light when considering the recent American signing of section 1867 of the NDAA, which codifies the dismissal of habeas corpus amongst other legal safeguards. Today, the USA can apprehend and detain without trial anyone it deems a terrorist on a simple allegation. And now that includes you.

The Pact also agrees to a comprehensive exchange of information between the nations of everyone crossing the line. And in the USA, its border patrol systemically turns over all collected information to such bodies as the CIA, FBI, DEA, FEMA, Immigration and other investigative branches. So now each file will be considered in accordance with these various bureaus' visions about their specific security needs.

Further, the Pact allows the Prime Minister to hold a sort of Imperial-esque homecoming, one where he can call upon the US military to help suppress any domestic unrest, arguably even any peaceful dissent, against the Canadian state. This single fact alone should make us all take pause. Just consider why any Canadian government would feel it had the authority, let alone the democratic right, to enter such an agreement designed to oppress its own democratic forces?

Does Canadian democracy only exist if one complies with state? More often of late, this democracy falls dangerously short when one asks to invoke one's fundamental freedoms or democratic rights. It seems that when one's civil rights are most needed, the rights don't count. Who can forget the Toronto G-20 fiasco with its agent provocateurs, its enforcement of wholly fictional laws, its billion dollar budget largely used to train and spend on militarizing the police, and its 1100+ arrests securing a whopping 24 convictions?

Let's also reflect on Canada's unlawful warring adventures under the cover of NATO so we can march lock-step with the leader of the US killing machine.

Mix in some of the torture allegations, now virtually facts, levelled against the government lead by the Conservative Party of Canada and Stephen Harper since 2006.

Add a dash of the easily forgotten double prorogation of Parliament by Harper, actions clearly in contravention of the spirit of the law, (used solely to avoid the constituents' democracy in its representative form) and to retain its death grip on power.

Need I mention the CPC's de-funding of other political parties and of the largely propagandizing CBC, the national broadcaster (ironically a rag that is little more than a stenographer for the status quo in the first place)?

I wonder, are you getting the picture?

The acts of the Canadian state against the people are long and ongoing. Certainly this Harper-led Canadian government is worse than the last. But if we do not respond intelligently, if we refuse to see what the larger geopolitical picture is and how it has an immediate impact on our domestic politics with weak leadership, the next Prime Minister will be even worse.

The evidence of the Canadian government centralizing power in the last number of decades is vast. And without paying too much attention to the collective importance of these individual pieces of legislation and the like, we tend to miss what is really happening right before our very eyes. So now, more than ever, the affairs of government and power are demanding we each seek a more comprehensive explanation than the very restricted one disseminated by the usual sources, We need to re-discover our political history. We need to trace back through time to see how we have got caught up in such an entanglement, one where absolutely everything is commodified. Everything considered valuable to the people whom appraise such matters, that is. To make meaning of it all, this Gordian Knot of propaganda and state showmanship must be unravelled.

For these reasons, when Murray Dobbin says in The Tyee:

No prime minister in Canadian history has come to power with such a ruthless determination to implement an agenda so at odds with the interests of the country and the values of its citizens,

I must take some exception. Most Canadians believe their propaganda. Most Canadians remain enticed by the national rhetoric massaged daily by the tentacles of the corporate media. Who can accurately say what Canadian values or interests are any more? I believe, in short, 'the truth is in the pudding'. And the sniff test tells me our pudding has turned.

For example, I suspect that if Canadians were asked, "Should the prison population be used as a free or very cheap work-force to help pay for inmate incarceration?", the majority would resoundingly say 'Yes'.

Case closed.

Or maybe not. For if the question were posed, "Should we grant the prison population jobs from the labour pool, leaving an equivalent number of innocent people unemployed?", I suspect this time the majority would resoundingly say "No".

And that, folks, is but a simple example of how politics and propaganda work hand-in-hand to shape the discussion we are directed to see.

Canadians, predominantly through the mis-guided leadership of government, have such a poor understanding about political matters that the majority will agree to support just about anything. Anything except, perhaps,the excesses of state which actually impose upon them personally. A fraudulent banking system oppressing everyone but the elite simply goes unrecognized. In fact it's been off the collective radar now for more than three generations.

And there is the rub. Being 'effected personally' is only comprehended relative to other persons very nearby; not to the unknown and certainly not to the unseen, statistically the other 7 billion inhabitants of the planet. And until we see the matrix of humanity and start behaving with that in mind, we will continue marching in the wrong direction.

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