I started blogging here in April 2006 after Dave kindly offered me a space for my voice. Thank you Dave! That's pretty much SEVEN years ago. I'm not sure how that's happened, but there it is.
I've had much less energy for blogging over the past while, my posts have gotten shorter and from my view, aren't the same class as some of my earlier stuff. I've shifted quite a bit in my thinking over the years. I look around Canadian politics and society, and see the mainstream in a different light than maybe I did a back in 2006 or 2008. Then, I had some naive hope that our institutions and public were strong enough. But thrice times Harper, and well folks, the rot is set. Our political institutions are a gangrenous limb and won't recover even if we manage to send the current group of hagfish back to the depths from whence they came.
If you ask me, I'll say bluntly that on the whole we are a country that has grown too self-satisfied, too rich, and too idle. Too many generations of ease have passed, and the liberal and social ideals that drove the Grits and Dippers have hollowed out into mere platitudes. All are caught up in that same mindless Ottawa Shore TV series, its own fantastical deviation from realities of the world we're in. I suppose I should stop being surprised at the complete lack of balls eminating from the elected government as well as the civil service. There's barely a peep despite the loss of the long form, muzzling of scientists, and other vandalisations. Docile and complacent, thinking it all end someday, few act - like when they're out of jobs. As I've said before on this blog, they way to beat the Harper crowd is come down hard and fast. They win because they play on our docility and our niceness. Hell, they even rigged the last election and didn't even need to use the army and secret policy to do it or repress the aftermath.
Efforts focussed on the politicians and their silly little games are wasted, and probably do much to perpetuate the problem. The national high-level
big-picture asylum that is our politics now feels increasingly
irrelevant. The Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Greens, etc are all part
of the same problem. They all feed into a system of governance that has
changed little since the days before the telephone and universal
suffrage, when states were often part of Empires, and wealthy elites by
birth or audacity ran the show until this point. We're beyond that now,
here at the forward edge of social evolution. In this universally connected world, there's little need for states and the nationalisms and othering they inspire. For the first time in human evolutionary history we are not strangers to the world we live in and each other. We have a pretty good idea of our origins, both as a species and as life. We're written into the DNA of stars. The means now exist to have us standing almost anywhere on the planet in about 24 hours. The chance to be the first person to set foot on Mars actually exists for many of us. We now, beyond any doubt, have shattered the legs of arguments promoting bigotry of all kinds.
There is no reason to fear each other anymore. There is no "other," and hence no reason to continue to rely on institutions and people that embrace the "othering" of anyone, including adversarial politics. Our best interests, means of universal survival in the face of climate change, depleting oceans, nuclear weapons, economic disparity, etc, is to focus on the intersections, the commonground and our shared identity as human beings. We cannot afford anymore the sophisticaed tribal warfare that defines state relations, community relationships, and our blinkered political systems and cultures.
Yet we are still stuck with these laggards, these old gods of conflict and anger. Best to bypass them and their institutions as much as possible. And resist them where they actively try to impede this new world we're building. Progressive change here won't come from them. If you listen carefully you can even hear them desperately try to justify themselves to us, or in the case of the Cons especially, force themselves upon us and then demand tribute for their trouble.
As is happening now, it'll come from the margins, the outliers, the Idle No More and Occupy types of movement, the students in Quebec arrested in the hundreds for daring to act for their future, and the people who will put their lives down to stop a pipeline and tanker jamboree from savaging the West Coast. It'll come from scientists who speak out. It'll come from the small groups of dedicated people promoting progressive change in their own communities through such simple things community gardens, Transition Towns, and a social justice that does not seek restribution but inclusiveness, compasssion, and understanding. It'll come from the growing number of people who simply live and act as the change they want to see.
So I'm going to take some time to take advantage of a few life changes in this vein. I may periodically return to the Beaver, and will likely comment on others' blogs, but blogging from me will be rare and quiet for the foreseeable future. If you'd like to carry on the conversation, I may still be reached at boris.gallopingbeaver at gmail.com.
Thank you all for reading all these years.