Do I think some, or any, government is perfect? Of course not. Do I think that some
governments are bad? Hell yes!
What disturbs me, and what I may not have clearly stated in Why Canadians frighten
Americans, is I am most concerned that no competition is allowed in different forms of
Yeah, yeah, I know the argument: only one system works, and it works the best. The
Washington consensus is the only way to go. Or the Davos ethic is the only good
way--concluded by the CEO’s and heads of government that go there.
But the last time anyone tried really hard to explain the things that work, or used to
work in Canada--I’m thinking of single-payer medicare--the entire weight of the
American health care industry was brought to bear. Mere facts could not sustain.
Even the likes of Ralph Nader, nearly, but not even him quite perfect, urges us to
keep what we have here, what we have different, different. But the oligarchy ruling
North America cannot allow a demonstration of what is different to survive.
This attack is from two directions: starve public sector enterprises of money, alienate
public sector workers, and create crises (as Mike Harris has done in the Ontario
public education system and medicare); and maintain an unrelenting, all-out public
relations campaign against anything that runs counter to the Washington consensus.
Even to the point of using trade agreements to eliminate them.
The first is rather obvious: Without funds, no enterprise, public or
private, can continue. Cut the functions you ideologically decide shouldn’t be done--the
reasons for public sector enterprise in the first place--then it isn’t hard to say,
disingenuously, "There’s nothing here."
Or, when it’s politically expedient, go against your own political philosophy to exert
control over all the details of a public enterprise, and make it fail. Mike Harris is
an expert at this, as are other politicians of his ilk.
But the other end of this political onslaught is much more insidious. The, so-called
liberal media rarely portrays an alternative in anything approaching a favourable light, if it
presents it at all. Why would they bother? Their owners are, of course, part of the
oligarchy. And silence is not hard to justify.
In the United States, where is the coverage of third-party candidates? They’re
unimportant, so what’s the need? Right. Don’t present the alternative, no one will be
interested. No one is interested, why present the alternative. A vicious circle.
In Canada, there is no coverage of the New Democratic Party nationally. Why bother, it is so low in
the opinion polls. And it just happens to be the only party somewhat on the left. Canadian
media, so dominated by the left, somehow can only manage to cover the Liberal
Party of Canada, not what I would call left-wing, the Conservative Party of Canada,
also not a left-wing party, and the Canadian Alliance a self-proclaimed conservative
Canadian media would rather cover the Bloc Quebecois which has no seats, and no
interest in having any seats, outside of Quebec. If there is truely an
interest in a marketplace of ideas, wouldn’t it be different?
Economics is not just about making money. As political economy has always told
us, economics is also about political structures. About how money is
made. Who makes it. Who losses it.
Our thought police, the media, have become so effective, we can hardly conceive
of an alternative that is not a joke. We are all of us bought off. We are relentlessly
shown how GOOD it is to buy, to fend for ourselves, to stomp on
anyone who gets in our way. And if they fall by the wayside, that’s what they
wanted anyway. This makes us feel “good” about ourselves.
It is so hard to think against this! This is the first step.
Think against all this stuff!
And the rest? It will begin to be seen for the nonsense it is--for the vast majority of us
who are not members of the oligarchy.
Without a competition of ideas, how can there be democracy?
Without democracy, how can any economic system be but tyranny?