I made a small promise to myself and to you that I wouldn’t rant and rave about political issues anymore and I intend to keep that promise. But I don’t consider the following observation a breach of that trust. I think I am just pointing out the obvious, callin’ it as I see it. Still, fair warning – there is a hint of politics about it. I admit that.
Even tho Sal and I left for the outback primarily as a way of seeking to ‘feel alive’ again and to have-to-learn once more and to have adventure, there has always been a sense (for me, anyway) that eventually there would be some kind of revolution. I am a child of the 60’s after all. A romantic. In retrospect, I think that such an expectation or vision of revolt is overly romantic in nature, though, and not likely at all so long as gas flows and there is food in the fridge. Nobody is going to be running rioting through the streets – not anytime soon, anyway.
One can only hope.
I am always encouraged by the ‘Battles in Seatle’, the Occupy Movement, Idle No More and other forms of demonstration that puts the spotlight on world powers, institutions and corporations. Although I can see why they were created in the first place and I can even see some merit in them at times, I tend to believe that, by the time the organization has become the establishment, it is time to tear it down and renew it. To me, life is constant change and institutions are not. Ergo – change them. All the time.
Even better, tear ém down and build new ones.
Imagine my surprise when I read that Chairman Mao said the same thing!
Anyway………the Occupy movement isn’t dead but they no longer have momentum on their side. Not media momentum, anyway. The Arab Spring is still alive but not doing anyone much good at the moment. And the common people’s rebellion is no more potent at this writing than it has ever been. Or so it seems to me.
Possible exception: First Nations. We currently have chief Spence on a hunger strike and she seems to be winning – whatever that means in a hunger strike situation. For me, it would be weight loss. For her, who knows? But her dispute with the Feds is over her particular reserve at Attawapiskat in northern Ontario and she is clearly rebelling and getting somewhere.
Add to that the recent court decision of the Metis and off-reserve natives being included as First Nations. Whatever that comes to mean, it is a unifying decision. First Nations just got bigger.
And then we have the First Nations-of-the-North resisting the Northern Gateway project. While that is a non-united front of resistance, the majority of the reserves are speaking as one. And so is much of the mainstream community. That is another ‘front’ in the rebellion. And yesterday, some group self-described as ‘grass roots’ Indians threatened to “shut down the Canadian economy” if they don’t get what they want.
Of course, we have had the ‘at-the-trough’ chiefs of the Assembly Of First Nations (AFN) for years demanding more and getting some of it. They would have to be seen as standing on the other side of the line even if they are taking as much as they can while standing there.
Bottom line: the natives are restless, getting more so and getting some support from mainstream Canadians. Could it possibly be that – given the majority of Canadian’s dislike for Harper and his way of doing things – that resistance will grow beyond the First Nations? And could those resistors – given that it was First Nations who stood up first and loudest – become the leaders of a larger Canadian revolution? Are we seeing the people who have been dealt the harshest hand historically leading those whose middle class lives have been also thoroughly disrupted into some kind of political conflict with a very vulnerable government? Could the Indians manage to recruit the cavalry to battle against Custer?
Frankly, I doubt it. People, it seems, vote and act entirely with their wallets. See HST. Long term vision, morality, common cause and decent human values don’t seem to move us enough to act. Not usually. Harper first has to tax us a few more bucks to get our juices flowing and, even then, we simply complain. Rebellions just aren’t us.
But if there ever is one……….? Well, I am thinking it might be the First Nations who lead it. Do you see anyone else?