Friday, November 15, 2013

Not In The West? (a reply to PLG)

Yesterday I asked out of frustration just how the progressive "tactic" of isolated protests (which is the chosen form of activism by the people whose politics I mostly share) is supposed to provide any sort of real change to the world we all describe as veering towards some sort of apocalypse.The always worthwhile Purple Library Guy responded in a way I was not expecting:
Thwap, if you want to make a difference, move to Latin America. If you want to win, go to Venezuela. If you want to struggle with a chance of winning, try one of the places where there's some progress but it's hard to say what might happen, like Argentina or Brazil. If the world changes it will start from there.

If you're a bit more audacious, go to Spain or Greece and fight austerity with Syriza etc.

Canada is the place change will reach last, probably slower even than the US itself. As the old order crumbles across the globe, we'll be largely unaware of the news. I don't think radicals can do much here except on a very local basis, trying to build little enclaves less affected by the cold neoliberal winds and gradually grow and connect them.
I have a couple of problems with this: First of all, it removes our responsibility as radicals for the failure of North Americans to adequately respond to the outrages of our short-sighted, self-centered elites. I've always asked how apolitical people who are busy living their lives are supposed to behave differently if we're not giving them some sort of realistic program that speaks to their own experiences. Secondly,.it is my belief that if changes are going to be lasting, they have to originate from within the wealthiest, most powerful countries.

The USA is not as powerful as it once was, and it has become distracted by its own desperate efforts to maintain control over Middle East oil supplies, and has therefore lost control of many South American countries. But Colombia remains a powerful enemy; one which could probably destroy Venezuela militarily. And Obama showed he can still make short work of non-compliant Central American governments in Honduras. I think the corporate state is too powerful to be met by "people power" in the USA, but this isn't the case in Canada yet. We Canadians could tame our own state elites and serve as an example for the benighted people of the United Police States of America.

This is not to criticize PLG, who I have tons of admiration for. These are just my own thoughts on the subjects he raised.


Purple library guy said...

I'm extremely willing to be proved wrong, oh yes.
You're not the only one frustrated, old bean.

the salamander said...

.. exceptional .. !! .. post .. riposte ..

You're both right of course .. or maybe not ..

Last time I took a breath.. it was as a Canadian
and surely the same for the two of you ..
and if my heart aint glowin bright.. at least its tryin ..

But how this astounding land got saddled with Stephen Harper & a garbage bag of complicits, is a question for the ages, historians & mood disorder specialists..

We thought we ordered up solution..
n got delusion instead.

Marching behind Harper we have Ray Novak, Jenni Byrne, Stephen Lecce et al .. all with Arthur 'trench warfare' Hamilton on speed dial and their burner cel phones and their secret Gmail email accounts.. if you can't beat em , litigate em .. or put a pipeline over them

Don't recall any of them droogs being elected, nor Tom Flanagan, who come up from America & whispered (steal the injun's lands, Stevie) in Harper's ear.. either.

Let me know if us Canadians should roll over for any whipped dog MP's, PMO pimps/for/Harper, think tank wanks, pollster pricks, live/robo cranks

No .. didn't think so ..

Harper is just Rob Ford, with more insulation, more immunity, more 'power', more strategists, more flacks n flunkies, more lawyers, the RCMP, more electoral scumbags .. and shining examples of wisdom like Joe Oliver, Dean Del Mastro, Pierre Polievre

No glowing hearts there .. deadheart sellouts only ..

thwap said...


There's enough failure, all across the board. From the elites who forgot the lessons of the 1930s and 1940s; to capitalist democrats who have lost all their principles, to unions who are stuck in the past, to social democrats who are corrupted, to radicals who are delusional.

thwap said...


The sick thing is that if not for election fraud, we could have squeaked out a victory over harper.

When he is defeated there MUST be a reckoning.