Skip to main content

Social democracy versus “populism”

From the Broadbent Institute:

"Contemporary right populism succeeds by weaving together two forces. On the one hand, a sense of identity threat among majorities directed against ethnic, cultural or religious minorities, or immigrants in general; a threat which plays to attitudes that often lie dormant beneath appeals for tolerance and openness. On the other, a sense of grievance at growing inequality, or a loss of status, income, or security in relation to the recent past." Charles Taylor.


After WWII workers and other non-elite citizens believed they could act effectively within the political arena to meet their needs and to invest in a system of social justice. Left, Labour parties in the UK, and social democratic parties in Europe relied on the engagement of people for support and the people believed they had the power and responsibility to be involved by learning about the issues and voting. 

The emphasis on the economy created a fear that social responsibility would make  jobs scarce, and mainstream propaganda ignored voices of reason, and replaced meaningful conversation with sensational coverage of the most demeaning behaviours.  Entertainment promoted "exciting" drama with more graphic violence and pornographic images.  All this lead to people turning away from social organizing and becoming cynical. 

Each decade revealed a widening gap between the haves and have-nots, until the hope that our children would lead a happy, safe and comfortable life was difficult to sustain. Furthermore, people believed this is because media offered what people wanted, therefore this was the choice of the people.  

Charles Taylor writes that we cannot go back to the post-war era of social democracy, but "the work that parties did in that era has to be secured through a synergy of parties, social movements, grass-roots protests, local community organizations, among other instruments."

This means if we don't care enough to work through our social problems, if we don't meet, listen, express ourselves honestly, and organize - the instruments of oppression will make it very difficult to reclaim later.


Read more here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…