Monday, December 13, 2010

fortune telling for north america

Actually, you don't need to be a fortune teller to make a pretty good guess about the future. You just have to see - really see - what is going on around us. When you see a staggering drunk getting into his car to head  onto the highway, you don't have to be a fortune teller to make a pretty good guess about what will happen. Our problem, all us people, is that we just don't see what's really happening all around us - perhaps that's because we don't want to see it.

The growth of corporations and the wealthy in political affairs in North America has been phenomenal over the past forty years. In the process, the growth of private wealth has been stunning. So has the growth of poverty. There was no need for a crystal ball to see where that was leading. The gluttony of the rich was acheived by the starvation of the poor. As the numbers of poor grew, it simply became impossible for them to continue buying the things their corporations nade. As well, regulations slipped away, so that banks and other mortgagers had a field day. Obviously, this was going to cause a financial crisis.

A few days ago, New Brunswick's leading industrialist wrote that people like him with his other friends in neo-conservative "think tanks" and various people like university presidents  are now in "a coalition" with government. That means they now share power with the government we just elected. But we did not elect industiralists or members of think tanks.

The basic concept of democracy is that we all have the same rights. Because we are all equal, we all get an equal say in who governs us. But not any more. Not in New Brunswick. Some people now have a direct hand in government without the bother of being elected. They're there because they put themselves there.

It must have been like this in Italy in the 1920s - the rich and the military moving in on a wave if group power, closing down individual freedoms, and imposing what was called fascism. And the public stood around with their faces hanging out, neither concerned with or understanding what was happening before their own eyes.

It should have been obvious. They were watching the end of freedom and equal rights. But few saw it. People don't like seeing seeing things they don't want to see. So they simply refuse to see them.

Nothing has changed. Mention fascism or corporatism, and most New Brunswickers will give you a blank stare. Mention that people we did not elect are now effectively and openly in control of our government - and  you will get a shrug. People will not see what they don't want to see. That's why they cannot grasp where we are heading.

The movement, sponsored by a thousand untra right wing "think tanks", is gaining credibility across North America  thanks to the help of our news media in pretending these are serious research groups, and thanks to the general ignorance of what corporatism and fascism mean And hanks to an ignorance of what democracy and equality mean.

You don't need a fortune teller to figure out where this is heading. I shall be very surprised if any real democracy in North America can survive as much as ten years longer.

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