Skip to main content

We Don't Want Prosperity or Justice

Usually, all it takes is 30-40% of the population to determine the outcomes of our democracy. Less than half the population who have  chosen gadgets and toys above clean water, clean air, or good health. 40% who are not interested in equality, because, if they look closely at their preferences,  what they (we) want is superiority.

Superiority is a fantasy of being part of a tribe, race or nation that is wealthier, more intelligent, of good breeding, who are entitled to control others.

Political parties who claim to want equality have to be so careful how they phrase that. The word itself diminishes the hope of "getting ahead", "being on top", "control". Equality is a threat to the  massaged ego looking for any opportunity to win. How can anyone or anything prove itself in a world that values all?

There are many literary references to this ego. Othello, Death of a Salesman, and countless TV dramas.  George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, among many others, have offered the cautionary tale. Public intellectuals and journalists such as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomski, Naomi Klein, write about the cost of inequality, elitism and abuse of power.

Yet back in the early sixties Tommy Douglas managed to get medicare for the Canadian public, and CBC managed to broadcast the voices of ordinary people across Canada.  This was not too long after WWII where the call for equality and social justice was seen as a way to avoid the horrors of fascism that feeds off the vulnerable isolated people, in a world that values power more than justice and sustainability.

All that we have is under threat because of the ambitions of men and the rising gap between haves and have-nots. The battle is between the personal fantasies of our elite and the masses who have been robbed.

Trump's ability to win an election was because he had money, contacts, and a lack of conscience as he used every trick to divide and conquer the masses who are competing for survival.

To the ego that is so badly damaged through poverty, abuse and neglect, this feels like somebody will fix it all. This is what got Hitler elected and the result was death, torture and the destruction of an entire continent. The cost was millions of lives, herculean battles against despair, humility and cooperation.

Here we are facing this threat again and people can't be reached through facts, reason, justice or debate. As we look upon another election that threatens to return more power to large corporations, in a business climate that shows no conscience, willing to destroy the planet for the sake of profit, it appears as though we are ready to hand the reins again to the exclusive promise of jobs and the economy.

"Jobs and economy" has now moved away from living wages and healthy families, and is now shorthand for selling all of creation to the bottom line, sacrificing humanity to the tricksters of greed. We shall get sick in body and mind, angry and alienated from family and neighbours, in our pursuit of wealth.  We shall be starved of joy and peace, in a continual state of homelessness where violence and crime destabilize police forces, health care and education. And those human values dismissed as naive while politicians and business people think like lizards to compete for your vote.

How can we reach the emotions and integrity of those for whom politics is either an entertainment, irrelevant or a mystery?  How can we get the disenfranchised to care about what is really happening so they can see how their vulnerability is played against them?

For justice to find its voice, we have to care enough to read against ourselves. To find a way of resisting against the swamp like arguments and resurrect hope, compassion and cooperation for the greater good.


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 …

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …