This may come as a surprise to many, but the economic upheavals we’re experiencing today were destined to happen long ago. They’ve just been made more profound and extreme by the pandemic.
But we came so close to getting it. So close. The inherent weaknesses in capitalism’s true form, neoliberalism, were laid bare for all to see.
Civic planners and emergency protocols forced the hand of governments to place mobility restrictions and interrupted the economy at the outset of the pandemic. Government responded with some short term assistance, but has largely pulled back everything.
What has happened is that the biggest corporations and wealthiest among us made off with the trillions of assistance dollars made available while housing is pushed even further out of reach for most people.
Workers are just awakening to their actual power just at a time that the inflationary bubble is about to be popped by Wall street and impoverish millions of us.
Mark my words, in the coming weeks and months, neoliberals in their pet parties (federal Liberal and Conservatives) will push the talking point that “we’re living beyond our means” and shift to austerity mode.
We didn’t cause this financial mess. They did.
This was the opportunity to correct some historic wrongs. We could have created a basic income – at the very least for folks living with disabilities. We could have imposed significant wealth taxes. We could have expanded the social safety net to include dental care. We could have made billions of dollars in investments to public transportation, shifting away from fossil fuels. We could have done so much.
Instead, we’re having arguments whether women should have the right to make independent medical decisions for themselves. (of course they should, this shouldn’t even be a thing).
We’re back to a culture war that divides folks along emotional/religious boundaries while the bandits run off with our national wealth and power.
To be clear, there is no ‘both sides’ of human rights. You are either for the protection of human rights or you’re in favour of taking them away from folks. This isn’t a ‘difference of opinion’ matter. Expanding and protecting human rights is right, taking them away is simply wrong.
The disgusting part of this social culture war is that conservatives have seen fit to include pandemic politics into this madhouse. Once upon a time, conservatives were rational leaders too, while many had different social views than the rest of us – they didn’t question vaccine science.
By crass opportunism or calculation, they’ve moved their big tent posts to grab some of those vaccine skeptical voters along with conspiracy theorists to push narratives that defy logic. Narratives that paint their opposition as fascist, etc.
To any educated mind, this is absolutely bonkers. Conservatives for a long time have positioned themselves as a party of ‘law and order’; only to now embrace defiance of (since repealed) health and safety measures. They do this as part of their recasting of ‘freedom’ vs ‘fascist’ (read: Liberal/NDP arrangement).
It doesn’t matter that every law, regulation, rule that has been imposed on a temporary measure has met a constitutional test and validated by every court where its been challenged. To the Conservatives, its a culture war that draws in votes for their side. To most rational people, it a party headed for the same crazy-ville that the GOP finds itself stuck in thanks to Trump.
It doesn’t matter that the science behind the various Covid19 vaccines is sound and verified. Its true that they’re not perfect, but the overwhelming use of said vaccines, upholding safe practices is how we navigate our way out of this pandemic. But it doesn’t matter to Conservatives.
They’ve latched on to an explosive, emotionally charged, traumatizing issue for which they’re pretending to be on the side of the ‘little guy’ on.
They’re not. They’ve capitalized on this issue because its so explosive and divisive; pandemic fatigue is real. They do this because it blinds voters to all else that moves…including the machinations of the actual corporate elite who just want to get even wealthier at our expense.
Conservatives are ok with this.
Also, so are the Liberals.
The Liberals are complicit in this culture war, not because some might agree with conservative held views, but that it serves them just as well to distract voters from all else that moves.
Liberals agenda is to permanently paint themselves as the only salvation from conservative social dinosaurs, and its largely been successful. The Federal Liberal Party has governed Canada far more often than the PC or CPC party have; and for longer stretches of time too.
But there is a hunger for substantial change; one that re-formats the system. A redistribution of power (not just wealth). That’s not something that neither the Liberals nor Conservatives are prepared to give up on.
This is because they are both supporters of the neoliberal economic philosophy. A philosophy that has driven a wedge between rich and poor like no other. Their wealthy benefactors in corporate Canada fund parties that maintain the status quo.
If team red and blue can keep folks angry about social issues, then there’s no need to worry about changing the system.
Got it now?