Remember What?

Here it comes again. The poppy to remind us of an institutionalized sacrosanct history.


Our war vets fought for our rights and freedoms.

Someone needs to say: Poppy sales are sacrosanct. They’re a right as surely as religion, free speech and allegiance to the Leafs.

Try handing out leaflets (for free) in a privatized (public) space… Seriously why do we repeat yearly that our rights were secured by the military, when it’s clear, even in this story, that those rights (and our freedom) are anything but won. If veterans can’t rest on their laurels, what are we undecorated citizens to do when it comes to exercising our rights?

(Hint: You don’t fight for democracy in a uniform.)

Oh, and Media Democracy Day is Nov.7 Here in Vancouver. (and Chicago as well: )

I think that the point is that those vets fought for and did secure our rights, but they are now being victimized by the erosion of those rights, typically in the name of ‘political correctness’.

Furthermore, I find it perversely ironic that ‘Democracy Day’ organizers are pre-selecting participants:“progressive (i.e. leftist) media professionals and media activists”. What kind of a ‘democracy’ does that?

That’s a great question. “What kind of ‘democracy’ does that?” How’s this for an answer? — an emerging democracy? Two propositions: 1) We do not live in a democracy. 2) There are people who don’t want democracy.

The basis for democracy is equality in participatory decision making. Do you deny that you are excluded from the process of making decisions that directly affect your life? And thinking it’s ok that other more qualified people are making decisions for us is thinking that not having a democracy is ok. People who think it’s ok to live under an oligarchical (pastoral) government and people who think business decision are beyond the scope of a democratic process can’t be seen as friends of democracy. Sure there is “an irony” that a movement seeking total inclusion in the decision making process, would exclude (see proposition 2), but the conditions for total inclusion do not yet exist (see proposition 1).

If you want to participate in business decisions either start your own business or buy stocks. Any claim to a ‘democratic’ right to make decisions with other peoples’ private money is the antithesis of democracy; it’s either Obama’s new fascism (government buying/bullying businesses & smearing/terrorizing opponents) or old fashioned Communism.
Furthermore, we live in a constitutional, representative democracy. We elect and pay people to make decisions for us; that’s how it works – and it works better (particularly in Canada) than any other system. To suggest that every citizen should get his hands on every decision is self indulgent.
By the way, you seem to be arguing for less gov’t (more direct participation in decisions) and more (putting ‘business decisions’ in the hands of somebody other than the owner/s, i.e. the government).

Democracy is not politically neutral.

“Any claim to a ‘democratic’ right to make decisions with other peoples’ private money is the antithesis of democracy”

Do you have any idea what democracy means?

When money creates a power imbalance in social decision making, you’ve got an oligarchy. That means a government (deciders) of the few rich. Democrats recognize money as a social good/creation. They recognize the unfair distribution of that social good as exploitation. There are no other people in a democracy, only “We, the people.” There’s nothing self-indulgent about that idea.

By the way, where did this idea that capitalism should be ‘democratic’ come from? Capitalism is competitive, not collaborative. In fact, collaboration in capitalism is often considered criminal (e.g.collusion). Free-minded citizens should certainly consider government seizure of private assets criminal.
We all participate freely in the market, but not with rights beyond fair treatment (which you can easily find if you look for it). There is no right to a good outcome… unless you’re a child playing some kind of beginner sport. By the time you’re an adult you should be able to compete and succeed, at least to some degree, more or less on your own. That’s the beauty and power of capitalism that has propelled Western civilization to previously unimaginable heights.

“By the way, where did this idea that capitalism should be ‘democratic’ come from?”

More irony. Didn’t it come from the capitalists themselves? Democracy was revived as an idea (the Greeks tossed the idea around a while back) by the capitalists, to take power from the monarchy. (Imagine an apologist for monarchy writing “If you want to participate the rule of my dominion, why not become king or something….anyway) Democracy is taking on capital itself (too much democracy!?!?). Democracy is a challenge to hierarchy.

As for your history of capitalism, I think that some folks would champion the role of Christianity, specifically the Church, which advocated for free will as (in their words) granted us by God. In fact, there was an undeniable co-evolution of Christianity, capitalism (fruit of the Protestant Work Ethic) and democracy. I know, it’s difficult for the Left to respect the role of the Church in Western history, but it’s there! 😉

John 10:34 (This is an important passage in on the power of understanding) The connection between Christianity (soul/self/individualism) and capitalism and the destruction of community, thinking as a part of a community needs to be considered. Christianity and democracy can be linked, but capitalism is anti-democratic.

Quite simply, democracy means that you get a vote; it does NOT mean that you get your way. Sadly, the left has somehow forgotten their Gr. 9 Civics classes. They have chosen to disavow election results that they don’t like – oddly enough, basically disenfranchising themselves. Thus, they can claim that ‘democracy is broken’. It’s a very self-indulgent argument. (Yes, I do see that as a recurring theme in leftism.)
As I have said before, the core problem with collectivism/socialism is that it ultimately depends upon coercion: free citizens will ultimately do what they feel is best for themselves and their families, at some point contradicting the collective. (Really, who’s to say that the ‘collective’ knows what’s best for every individual or family?) Of course, all such folks need is the right education, right? A little nudge in the right direction? If need be, just send them off to camp, right?
That democracy does not yield the results you desire is not proof that democracy is broken, or that we don’t live in a real democracy. In fact, I take it as proof that democracy is working just fine!

Check out Beyond Elections. It’s a documentary about the community councils that are forming in different Latin American countries. This is the idea of democracy I’m talking about. Good ol’ fashioned communism/socialism and Good ol’ fashioned Canadian values are both centered in the state. You’ll see what they’re working for in the Latin American countries that are trying to take democracy seriously is a more dispersed/localized decision making practice. One of the more interesting lines says that we can start anywhere to live more democratically. Our families can be made more democratic.

You’ll also see why I never mention right or left, or parties when I talk about democracy. It’s not about centralizing power, taking or winning, but sharing, participating, communicating.

And I don’t think there’s a contradiction between living in community and living how you think/feel best. Coercion happens as a result of a difference in power. Military and police forces are coercive. I wrote about these ideas three years ago.

Remember veterans are not friends of Labour. They are friends of an order that exploits labour. There is another history.


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