Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Alienating People

I have been accused of being cynical. My condemnations of the left's incompetence is based on cynicism. Personally, I have always thought that a cynic is someone who sees ulterior motives behind other people's actions, or who acts dishonestly, not believing in the task that he or she is undertaking, believing that it will fail.

Here's the dictionary definition of "cynicism":
1. distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.
2. showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
3. bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
So, taking one part of this definition ("bitterly pessimistic") and, perhaps ("bitterly contemptuous") I suppose the term applies to me. But it also doesn't apply to me, if we consider how much faith I put in our institutions and the ability of the Canadian people to live up to them and utilize them. In that, I was idealistic. I actually believed that Canada, having inherited the traditions of British parliamentary democracy, and being on such familiar terms with the American culture, could have been an important example for the world on how to tame corporate criminality and elite lawlessness in general.

Alas. My ideals and hopes were totally unfounded. In my earlier post I asked three questions of my progressive critics who believe that I'm a useless downer who is discouraging the troops (who, presumably, would be leaping from victory to victory but for my negativism). I present them again in case anyone would care to point out the hidden triumphs that the left has, in fact, achieved on these issues:

1. How successful was the peace movement at preventing or monitoring or ending the Canadian occupation of Afghanistan?

2. What exactly have Canadian progressives done to "Stop Harper" and how successful has it been?

3. How effective have Canadian environmentalists and progressives been at blocking the devastation of the Tar Sands project?

For my money, the peace movement was unable to prevent our joining the occupation. We had no impact on the troop levels or the behaviour of our forces during the occupation. We might have given vital moral support to the opposition parties that tried to shine some daylight on our atrocious handling of detainees, but when the harpercons invented their brazen cover-up (to which the Liberals and the Bloc signed-off on) our influence fell to zero once more. To the extent that the harpercons finally ended this costly debacle and pulled out our exhausted troops, it was as much do to growing discontent among the population as a whole, as to our influence. That and the spiralling costs, and the schedules of our US masters who were drawing down their efforts with their special forces terrorists and what-not.

What have we achieved in the way of stopping harper as he defecates on responsible government and the rule of law? Aside from the Council of Canadians' important lawsuits, I can't think of any effective actions we've taken. At present, we are hoping that harper's own corruption and incompetence will alienate enough of the electorate and discourage enough of his own base of ignorant or vile people, that some party (probably the pro-Tar Sands, pro-"War on Terror" Liberal Party) will overcome vote-splitting and harpercon election fraud, to defeat him in the next election. Please note that in this scenario, we progressives are merely spectators, having little influence over either opposition party behaviour or voter behaviour.

With regards to the Tar Sands and the hateful Keystone pipeline project environmentalists have at least been able to impact the national conversation about these ecological monstrosities. So far as practically limiting the expansion and therefore, continued toxic devastation from the Tar Sands or blocking the pipeline, our impact has been negligible. (It remains to be seen whether the furious opposition to the pipeline in British Columbia itself will amount to anything. I suspect it might. The First Nations and B.C. environmentalists have been willing to put their bodies on the line to fight deforestation and pollution in the past. If they do so here, it will be evidence that direct action works.)

Actually, "direct action" is what is sorely lacking from most of the left's strategy and tactics on all these files. Unless one considers afternoon protest rallies as "direct action," which I don't. "Direct Action" is what I, the defeatist cynic had tried to organize with no resources and no influence. I could not overcome the tendency of the online "activists" to bitch pointlessly and to prophesize stunning victories out of nowhere.


Anonymous said...

Harper is taking Canada with him, down to his Ninth Ring of Dante's Inferno.

Canadians are well known for, sleeping through absolutely everything. Harper knows this and counts on it.

Harper is every bit as hateful as, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini. They too were dictators and control freaks. All of them lied, deceived, were corrupt, thieves, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and, all of them cheated to win. Does that remind us of anyone? Sure in the hell does me.

thwap said...

Well, that was certainly illuminating.

What do you hope to accomplish by typing the same thing on lefty blogs day-in/day-out?

Anonymous said... could ask you the same question, thwap.

And, hey now- I did NOT call
you a "useless downer, whilst
we leap from victory to victory".

Please don't misquote me, thwap,
when I've said plenty you CAN
legitimately tear apart!


Go fishin' ok?


thwap said...

Fair enough. As I've said many times before, I'm trying to shake the left out of its complacency.

I'm chipping away on this armour of delusion that "OUR POWER IS IN THE STREETS!" when nothing of the sort is true.

That dude, on the other hand, is informing us that harper is a bad person. We're already in agreement. The question is "What are we going to do about it?"

Also, fair enough, I exaggerated your words. But I still have to ask what the results of encouragement will be, given the absence of coherent strategy.