Thursday, July 12, 2012

Climate Change? Blame Canada | | It's Enough to Make You Weep [slightly revised]

Climate Change? Blame Canada | | AlterNet

Some really disturbing figures and trends gathered here.

It's enough to make you weep. We are responsible for much of the destruction of the planet under the Harper Regime and its neoliberal policies, yet the beat goes on. Sad to say, we let it.

What good do clever protest rallies on Parliament Hill, well-organized marches along main street Canada, signing this petition or that, witty posts to Twitter and Facebook, well-argued blog entries, intelligent essays in well-known to progressives alternate media, and cogent letters to the editor in the mainstream media - all of which we witness just about every day -  really do when there is little if any efficacy in these well-intentioned actions?  What transformational changes are effected with these various conventional protest gestures? What political value do they really have aside from - as important as these are - reinforcing the morale of participants and thereby strengthening solidarity a tiny bit more in the process and, if you're lucky, brief notice in the media for the next 24-hour news cycle?  Is that a sufficient political pay-off?  More and more everyday, I think not. More and more everyday, I think the conventional rhetoric of protest is frighteningly inadequate - protest,smotest; blah, blah, blah; and yada, yada, do.

As I've argued before, the left must deghettoize itself, step outside its progressive bubble, get over its elitist disdain for those less plugged-in and find meaningful ways to engage with mainstream Canadians as fuzzy as that concept is.  I'm not sure how to define the mainstream, but I do know this:  it's not progressive activists. The mainstream does not read The Monitor, New Internationalist, The Nation, Yes, The GuardianCanadian Perspectives, or Canadian Dimension. They don't check Truthout, Truthdig, Democracy Now, Alternet, and The Real News Network on line.  They don't go to the CCPA or COC websites for the latest on new progressive Canadian actions and policy papers. Hell, the mainstream media don't even go to the these last.   And they certainly don't read this blog.

But without finding ways to have an open, urgent conversation with all Canadians, all is lost. The Regime and its destructive legacy cannot be undone.

There is, moreover, absolutely no hope for transformation from the left-centre parties, the NDP or GPC, since they too sit, consciously or unconsciously,  inside neoliberal ideology, seeking, alas, only reform, not real transformation. If either were to triumph, only self-deception and self-destruction would ensue. We need real substantial change, not tweaks to the existing neoliberal system.

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