Onward Community Soldier…maybe a bit further, tho?

Overdue Rant:

Sal is on the alternative-worker list at the post office.  The main postmistress has a life as does the 2nd and third alternates so #4 gets called now and again.  Sal is on this week.  Sal never took the job for the money.  She is just an alternate postmistress for helping to keep community up here together.  The post office is part of our social glue.

And then Canada Post cut back their pay!  You know, that same post office that raises the price of stamps, delivers late, loses mail and generally is getting their butts handed to them by FedEx and the like?  Well, they decided that the problem was that the postmistresses in remote outposts were getting too much money so they took some back.  Yet another example of urban-based decisions that erode rural life.

For getting in her boat – even in winter storms – for traveling by sea to the post office, for bringing her own kindling to start the stove for heat, for working alone for 4.5 hours without electricity, not having the security of co-workers or even the comfort of a bathroom, the lone worker there gets $45.00.  That’s her day.  They take her time and effort and have high expectations of her and then compensate her $45.00.  And she reports that income to Revenue Canada!

$45.00 won’t fill the tank of your car.  Won’t buy two good pizzas.  Won’t buy a pair of good gumboots.  And will not even post 45 Xmas cards!

But Sal will carry on.  Why not?  Construction work with me is her alternative and I don’t even pay $45.00.  Mind you, with me she saves on marine gas and gets to practise her first aid not to mention being on the receiving end of steady overtures of affection (which she calls sexual harassment, if you can believe it!).

Top posties make hundreds of thousands of dollars and the CEO, Deepak Chopra, (seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!) makes $500,000 a year.  Deepak runs a company that lost $37 million last year and pays it’s employees $45.00 a day and Deepak takes home $500K and a helluva pension.

Can you say, Third World Sweat Shop!?

Oh, I know, I know…………”Dave, you can’t draw conclusions from such odd situations.  The economy is so much more complicated than your anecdote makes it out to be.  You are wasting my time!” 

Yeah.  You are right, of course.   Canada Post is trying to get better, grow their business, provide more service.  They are failing but they are trying.  So they say, anyway. Like the CBC is trying and failing.  Like BC Ferries.  Like Education, Health Care and even Veterans and Indian Affairs.  Like BC Hydro.  They are all dedicated to serving the people, right?  How ’bout them DFO, eh?

Don’t bet the farm on any of that, folks.  Methinks that myth has been thoroughly busted. 

So, if our institutions are no longer serving us primarily and are now just serving themselves, what does that mean for our society?”

Niall Fergusson, a right-ish-winged Libertarian Cambridge historian figures that history proves that empires failed first in their public institutions before the empire, itself failed.  And, even then, we-the-people never revolted, we just grew so apathetic that we were easily taken over by foreigners!  That’s right…..we all lost faith in our own system and then were taken in a war (historically, anyway).  He calls it the GREAT DEGENERATION.

How’s your faith in our system these days?

The government and our institutions are no longer about the common good, building a nation, healthy communities, social contracts and all that good Disney-esque crap.  They are just looking to make a buck. To sustain themselves!

They have rejected the social contract for the pursuit of money – for themselves.  It is that simple

Local markets and local people still pull together while our own elected leaders feed at the trough and sell out to corporations every chance they can get.  We have the image of the community minded postmistress, they have the images of Duffy, Wallin, Rob Ford and Deepak Chopra.  I’d love to see the poster.

So, who wins this one?

Do the people somehow pull together in alternative markets and public efforts to do good work? Do they stop pipelines, toss out the pigs-at-the-trough, do they reverse climate change?  Do they insist on saving their institutions even while the degenerative destructionists dismantle them?  Do we find justice in a system that simply mirrors the corruption it claims to resist – our legal and policing systems?  How, exactly, is DEGENERATION reversed?  Can we do it?

Most of us don’t see it.  The media is of little help.  Only a few show awareness, even fewer show concern and, seemingly, very, very few are actually doing anything about it.  The best we have on the front lines, it seems, are the postmistresses!  According to Niall, the greater ‘we’ won’t do anything.  We will watch hockey while Canada crumbles.

According to Niall, ‘Get ready for the GREAT MARCH’ (which, by the way, he sees happening in some form or another by 2020 or thereabouts)

Makes me wonder if I have previously marched far enough?    


6 thoughts on “Onward Community Soldier…maybe a bit further, tho?

  1. That’s how capitalism works; ergo four persons willing to do the post office job means a surplus of labour competing for the job therefore they can pay less and still find someone prepared to work for minimum wage.


    • I’d argue that (albeit weakly): first they didn’t sign on at that rate, it was reduced arbitrarily. Secondly, most of them do it for the sake of the community- altho being ‘dissed’ like that may make them angry enough to quit – indicating that the $ meant something. So, in that way, you are right, I guess. And, I suppose if money is the only issue, then Capitalism is the right fit. Civil and public service? Tax dollars at work? Public good? They seem way down (if not OFF) the list. Fairness? Ethics? Fuggedabout it!
      But I do ‘get it’. Really. Fewer people are using the mail. Canada Post has less revenue. Cuts have to be made. But some poor, lone postmistress getting pittance out in the middle of nowhere…………..doesn’t that seem a bit out of whack for even the most entitled of corrupt bastards?


  2. You right it is not really about money I’m sure some folks would work for free if faced with let’s close the post office. Post Offices are about communities and provide some of the glue that holds communities together. What I was alluding to is the propensity of conservatives to monertarize all social goods. Prime Minister Laurier knew that his promise to deliver mail to every farm gate in Canada was a exercise in nation building. Conservatives want to cut post offices free and those that are picked up by private enterprise then well and good but those that are remote they would close. Fini! The concept of a societal good is not on their money making radar. We can not afford etc, etc…all bogus and destructive.


    • Yeah. And it is not just the so-called Conservatives. Everything, it seems, is reduced to monetary terms in our larger society. Even the law assigns a value in tort law to the damages from negligence. “Oh, you lost a leg? We’ll give you some money to make up for it.” Sometimes, even criminal law. “Oh, you are a drug dealer selling to children? We’ll fine you $100,000!” There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that reduces all things to dollars. Kinder Morgan (pipeline people) recently said, “Oh, well, even an oil spill can have a silver lining. The clean-up puts money back into the community in jobs and more jobs!”
      Is it any wonder we left?


  3. Total agreement.
    The beaurocracy in govt is no more than self serving empire building.

    I once heard a joke that a Dept of agriculture division manager was walking to his office one morning and he heard sobbing and crying coming from another office. He stopped and asked his coworker ( another division manager) what was wrong.
    “Our farmer died!”

    When politicians are dispised. The courts are looked at with disgust. The police arent trusted. The beaurocrats in EVERY dept are viewed with barely contained fury……where will this end?

    Angus Reid did a poll about 15 years ago asking generalized questions about politics in Canada. They were shoked at the fury, disgust and visceral hatered in the responses they recieved. They had never seen anything like it.
    And politics hasnt improved since then.
    I truly believe that there will be a day of reckoning for all these self serving pricks and it wont be pretty.
    All the money in the world cant save a rich man from a mob carrying pitchforks and torches. Especially if the mob just wants to eat.


    • I also wondered aloud one day to a friend as to why “Zombies” are so popular these days on TV and in movies.
      His response, ” Think about it. It’s every persons deep down fantasy.
      The world has gone to shit ( pollution, deadly viruses, wars, corruption) and there are these anonymous “people” (beaurocrats, officials, anyone with authority) that can “eat” you. (hence take everything you have, your money, your freedom, your life) .
      The “solution”?
      You can “kill” them with no repercussions.

      His response was a bit of pseudo Freudian psychiatry but it got me to thinking……..

      Time for a home in the willy wags i guess….. 😉


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