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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crap Shoot Electoral Politics
by Coyote

"Ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by giving you a big welcome to Canada. Let's start up with a compliment. You're here from the second greatest nation on earth. But seriously, your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world.”  Taken from a speech Harper gave to a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the right-wing U.S. Council for National Policy… reprinted in the esteemed online rag, The Tyee. I recommend, if you have not already, check out Tyee and read this speech. It is very enlightening. http://thetyee.ca/News/2011/03/23/StephenHarpersEyes/
Here we are again, in another round of choosing the lesser of Evil political choices, in what passes for “parliamentary democracy” here in suddenly neo-conservative capitalism Canada.  And while the alternative party choices to Harper’s fascists are “perhaps”, or may seem not quite so extreme in their right wing views as this quote from Harper above, since the late ‘70s, they have all acted more or less the same “in actual power… And the "drift" direction of development of all the parties to capitalism, without exception, has been toward their neo-liberal ideology, less in words than practise.

 The right wing Blairite NDP, who have themselves sought to be ever more overtly “busines friendly”, code for accepting the neo-liberal economic paradigm's parameters, have largely enabled and gone along with the dismantling of the postwar Social Democratic State of Capitalism, offering token resistance only, or at best working to slow it down. The Greens largely likewise on the dismantling of the Social Democratic State, saying pretty much nothing, have only an offer of “green capitalism” to mitigate “some” against the harm of “endless growth capitalism” upon population growth and environmental degradation. Nonetheless accepting that the endless growth, so much an integral part of the status quo and its casino capitalism, so-called "free market", will nonetheless continue unchallenged.

Finally then, there is the Liberals who much first introduced this extreme right wing period to us with NAFTA, which ties us closer to Neocon America, to tighter integration into and participation  in their war plans, in Afghanistan, the shifting of the tax load to the working class (GST) from corporations, and to cuts in social safety net spending. All these so-called “vanguard parties” to capitalism and its bullshit democracy have been, to one degree or another, enablers of its ruling class neo-liberal economic agenda. None have challenged it straight up, and up front, let alone to seriously organize the citizenry against it. (Which will take a serious "revolutionary" party, or preferably "movement".) 

Which describes pretty much, I think, regardless of what the “average Canadian” is currently thinking at this unravelling of their postwar prosperity period world, how at least what remains of a “serious Left” in this country must be seeing the economic and political realities of this sudden late neo-conservative capitalism Canada. At least I just can’t believe it is only I. I know for myself, there is even a certain despair at this retrogressive development going on across not only capitalism in this country, but across the full reach of global capitalism entirely, evidenced by the G20 demonstrations here, Wisconsin and other States in the US, in Greece and elsewhere throughout “advanced western capitalism”..

I can’t think, in fact, of one exception that has been left untouched… including Sweden and the other citadels of hereto Social Democracy. All have bent before and effectively submitted, to one degree or another, to the new neo-conservative/fascist wind blowing across the entire capitalist economy and its political institutions, and what has and is happening to the little even that passed for “bourgeois democracy” in the postwar II. Such as which period included waves of anti-communist and anti-socialist hysteria of course, as has placed the “Serious Left” in the decimated condition it is in, and needing to rebuild, in most “advanced” countries… including Canada.

Now, in the lead up to, and as this country finally goes into this federal election, we have the spectacle of Layton, the leader of the NDP, first trying to make a budget peace with the Conservatives, which effectively placed them to the right of the Liberal Party. (Even if they argue it was purely for “tactical” reasons, true or not, the optics were terrible, and has sown even more popular distrust of this Party.) Foreign policy-wise they are virtually deadpan silent, mouthing liberal niceties but raising no serious opposition to the country’s participation in Afghanistan, NAFTA and the Northern Command Agreements which sets the tone for further military integration and dependence. Now, they are fully onboard with the Anglo-American Empire intervention into Libya, while it is more and more fully clear that it is largely a Britain and France grab for the largest “proven” oil reserves in North Africa. (The US may itself also have ambitions of extending its current 1% share of Libya’s oil.  Certainly they have all been silent, including Canada, on the slaughters of civilians in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia etc… the US Empires choice held oil source  and port for its 5th Fleet. Such as is part of the Russian and Chinese claim of what is actually happening.

In any case, the NDP is saying even less of what it stands for or even “optically” indicating what it would do in power than the Liberals.

Liberal MP Ralph Goodale for example, while I don’t have his exact words immediately before me, on CBG News this morning, which I watched, was sounding more and more Left of the NDP… sounding like they were taking advantage of the NDP attempt to place itself to their right, in the early discussions leading to the budget. They are themselves angling for this, what passes for “left social democratic” vote, it sounded very much to me. Judge for yourself, from his Facebook page, which pretty much says the same thing.

“The Conservatives are using up every bit of Canada’s financial capacity on three big, risky, expensive projects: 
·      buying stealth warplanes without even the semblance of decent competition ($30 billion);
·     building US-style mega jails ($10 billion); and
·      extra corporate tax cuts for the six big banks and other large businesses that have already had their taxes cut by 35% ($6 billion/year). 
The net result is nothing left for families – for education, healthcare, pensions, child care or family caregivers.

The Harper regime is spending 1,000-times more to buy warplanes than they’re investing in helping students get to university or technical school.They’re spending 1,000-times more on jails than on youth crime prevention.
 The Harper regime wasted more on one-day of G-20 extravagance in Toronto last summer than they’ll spend in a whole year to help low-income senior citizens.
 This is just not good enough.  Even more pathetic is the Harper regime’s appalling lack of ethics. “

On the surface of it, sounding about where the NDP should be, rather than seeking a budget deal or "understanding" with the Conservatives.

The reality is of course, we’ve heard all this shit coming out of all these same “political players” to capitalism before. Meanwhile nothing changes, and our nation and world drains away and slides deeper and deeper into the fascist dead-end we are being led into with no serious existing options or prospects for a different political/economic course. Except for the Conservatives, there is only the sound of a great homogenous "suck" across the landscape. All of which leaves us with the net result of a diminsihed society from the postwar II even, costly blood and treasure draining engagements in the war schemes of The Anglo-American Empire, and the declining wellbeing of the environment and “the people”... as we’ve got.

This is where the Left practise for the near entire postwar period of capitalism, of buying into voting for the Lesser Evil at bullshit ruling class manipulated election times, code for voting NDP, has led. For the brief period of the Social Democratic State, or the Welfare State of Capitalism, as you wish, when capitalism did “seem”, and I would say “was”, by nth degree by degree evolving “in the direction of” a “kind of” State Socialism/Capitalism, there did again “seem” to be a good rationale for. That rationale however, long ago dissipated, starting in the late 1970s, with the effective movement of all the parties to capitalism, more and more, to the neo-liberal/neocon Right, including the NDP model of  hereto Social Democracy. Its previous vision is now nearly completely compromised... co-opted into full acceptance of the status quo.

The country is being betrayed, by NAFTA and the Northern Command and other economic, military and “security” agreements with the US, into “continental integration” or, more accuarately, absorption into the most extreme and dangerous example of capitalist economic and political conservatism in the advanced capitalist world… the United States of America. And as part of that agenda, we are being step by step “harmonized” economically and socially with them, meaning our hereto Welfare or Social Democratic State is being dismantled, and our citizens thrown into their system of Socialism for the wealthy and Corporations, and the most lean and mean Capitalism for everyone else, certainly the great mass of the working class.

In my view, as desperately decimated as the “Serious Left” is, in this late stage of capitalist development in Canada, in large part a consequende of all the anti-Left pogroms of our postwar history, it is necessary for it to recognize and come to fully understand, if there is to ever be any hope of its recovery to a new greatness, that this practise of wasting our material and human energy resources on a Lesser Evil NDP needs to end. It is past time. As relatively minor, perhaps even aged demographically as what remains of The Serious Left might be in this country, it is time at least, for it to begin to agitate and work as best it can, against this chain as ties us and “the people” down, and hampers the creation of a political pressure for any other alternative and more serious progressive development model.

For myself, I will not give any money donations to the NDP, or any other party to capitalism. And such energies as I still have, I will not squander away on them either. Nor any of the other old vanguard parties of The Left still wed to now ancient notions of revolutions from another time… for all their historical lesson value. Nor will I vote for them.
And if that means that I will not vote at all… so be it.

I will, however, do everything I can for the creation of a movement or movements of defense, agitation, and the street challenging power of “the people”… the great mass of the working class. I will do everything I can to contribute to the building of a mass movement and organization of the people, to transform society away from capitalism, and in the direction of a more truly democratic, co-operative and egalitarian economy and larger political society.

But as for voting any further for what is, and the people who speak for it… it holds absolutely nothing, not even hope for me. Not any longer.

I will no longer play Crap Shoot Politics with The System’s players.

Next: Towards a Serious Left Political Programme Development for Canada.

build the movement of the people...


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