Thursday, November 10, 2011

What To Do?

I suppose that I could wax indignantly and at length about Dalton McGuinty's jaw-dropping hypocrisy when talking about whether the Occupy Toronto camp should obey Mayor Stupid's request to dismantle itself:
McGuinty said he would leave the matter in Ford’s hands, but asked protesters to exercise their rights “in a way that is respectful of the rights of others and respectful of the law.”
This from the premier who secretly gave lying thug Police Chief Bill Blair the Charter-shredding powers under the Public Works Protection Act at the G20 conference in Toronto.

Instead though, I'd like to address some tactics. Millions upon millions of Canadians are vaguely sympathetic to the Occupy protesters. A smaller number of millions are unaware of their existence. And a middling number of millions are opposed to them for some reason or other. But I'd like to ask how many millions of Canadians think a bunch of peaceful protester camps are going to alter Canada's current political-economic power structure one iota.

I'd say 99.9% would say that they won't achieve anything significant.

The Left has to get serious about how things actually work. Politics as usual doesn't work. Social movements as usual don't work. Social movements and full-time politicians have to work together at all levels of government to understand the power dynamics of capitalism's political, economic and media strengths and to figure out how to circumvent them.

Real change is only going to come through political-legal avenues. Real change has almost never happened as the result of an afternoon's protest, peaceful or otherwise. Standing around for an hour or two speechifying doesn't put any "pressure" on elected officials in thrall to the rich.

I have said it before and I'll say it again; we have nominal political democracy. It is the undemocratic nature of our economy that renders it only nominal. In the absence of a violent revolution to seize control of our economy from its present owners (which would be messy and unpredictable in any case) we should entrench the human rights of workers within their workplaces. This will simplify the problems of governments to a great degree as the independent generators of wealth will look after their own to a greater degree than at present, while their majority voters will vote to pay taxes to the state to obtain their collective goods (libraries, health care, education, roads, public transit, etc., ) that are important to them, but which wealthy elites do not care about.

It is better to work seriously with the system we have rather than engaging in useless "belling the cat" exercises.

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