Skip to main content

Inequality Threatens Core of Democracy

As Tommy Douglas used to say: “We must never underestimate our opponents; nor should we forget that the closer we come to reaching our objectives, the more vicious and forthright will their opposition become.”

Ed Broadbent warns we "must renew our commitment to a more equal society to head off the spreading of disenchantment with its resultant intolerance and nativism."

Intolerance and hatred is the goal of those who seek fleeting feelings of power because they are, or at least feel politically powerless. Their rage percolates beneath the surface until a rhetoric becomes more vicious and incites attacks such as the murder of six people in Quebec targeted for simply being Muslim.

Right wing fanning of intolerance and hate benefits the ruling elite who fear their privileges will be taken away. When emancipation of the masses becomes normal, new wars, restrictive policies and social chaos are the devices used to shut down democracy.

"We need to change the game. And we have a longstanding injustice to address" says Broadbent. By defending the most vulnerable, we create hope for our children, grand-children, and our selves.

Democracy was not created so we could feel good but for the work that needs to be done to switch from privilege to participation and justice for all.  "A country’s true worth is not measured by how it enables the few" Broadbent reminds, "but by how it provides for the many. Our country needs all the restless, creative energy we can bring to bear to create a brighter future."

Although the task is overwhelming there are ways to find the steady ground to build a future on. Findingsteadyground.com is a website that lists seven things we can do today to defend democracy by being involved.

๐Ÿ˜  make a conscious decision about when and where you get news — and what you'll do afterwards.
๐Ÿ˜  get together with some people face-to-face to support each other and make sure you stay in               motion.
๐Ÿ˜   pray, meditate, or reflect on those who are being impacted by oppressive policies, and extend that love to all who may be suffering.
๐Ÿ˜  read, listen to, or share a story about how others have resisted injustice.
๐Ÿ˜  be aware of yourself as one who creates.
๐Ÿ˜  take a conscious break from social media
๐Ÿ˜ commit to sharing with others what’s helping you.

If you have no more resources to focus on anything else but your family and job - just do those things with empathy and compassion. That alone is huge.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

Creating Chaos

A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men.  "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."

In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5. 

"So the experiment is: he takes monkey three out of the cage and he shoots him up with testosterone, off the scale, and puts him back in. What do you think happens? When I tell this story my students always guess that he immediately becomes number-one monkey. But that’s not true. What happens is that when he goes back in the cage he still avoids monkeys number one and two – but he beats the …

Albert Camus: Our task