Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Harper And The "October Elitist Uprising"
Stephen Harper - our "Sub-Prime" Minister - was able to spend his years in Parliament (and well before) calling various groups elitist. As a matter of fact all neoCons when trying to be "populist" and appealing to the beer-drinking, "average Joe" crowd, try to label anyone else as an "elitist". If you're creative, if you're intellectual, if you've been to University, or College, you may be an "elitist", in the eyes of a Conservative.
To attract the "MidWest", "Middle-America" "lunch box" types, Conservatives have used the "elitist" label. Stolen it right out of the Karl Marx lexicon, and turned it on the very socialists who used to use it on them. You see, those "hard-working" "lunch-box" types were typically card-carrying union members - who should rightly have voted for the party of the left (typically NDP). They would typically have referred to the "old money", business owning, corporate Conservative types as the elitists... You know, the Conrad Blacks and Rupert Murdochs of the world - who hobnobbed with the rich and famous, and cross the world in private jets. These elitists (true to the definition) were the "better than us" bunch who were always at odds with the unions who operated their shops, newspapers, factories, etc.
Conservatives knew they had to do something about this left-wing block of votes. They began to erode it with a macho image of "hard decisions", "tough thinking", and using the military as the "common bond" between the poor (who are the cannon-fodder) and rich (who sell the weapons to both sides). They dubbed the leading thinkers of the Western Liberal Democracies as "elitists". They claimed that these teachers, professors, lawyers/adjudicators, and artists were "elite". Never mind the true definition of elite, these guys used it like a dirty word.
You see, Conservatives know that if anyone questions them and their neoCon principles, it won't be the 12-14 hr/day laborer, or the equally hard-working business owner (corporate denizens won't either - they're part of the philosophy - the real elitists). No, it will be the teachers, professors, scientists, and artists who will question conservatives and Conservative ideology. It will be these groups who have done the research to know the differing realities. It will be these groups who study the repurcussions of different policies and ideologies.
So Conservatives have spent lifetimes bashing innocent, hard-working, intelligent citizens, who want nothing better than to advance society - to see progression in our institutions, and in our nation.
In a nation controlled by a corporate media - flooding the average citizen with "anti-liberal" sentiment, this strategy would work. In the US, the word "liberal" has become a dirty word. Anyone more liberal than that is labeled a "communist". The military/industrial/media complex controls US "group-think" completely. Only outside - world - influences will change America. The collapse of their economy, and their reliance on foreign capital will cause internal change. In Canada, we are still lucky to have an active social consciousness, active unions, and some free media (meaning not corporate controlled). Journalists in Canada seem to still have some scrupples left.
What we've seen in the past two years has been Harper and the Canadian Reform movement's attempts to weaken our nation, make way for North American Union, and basically become a "branch office" for Washington, and US "Big Oil/Big Industry".
In the past couple of weeks we have seen the wheels fall off Harper's plan. He has called people "liberal elitists" once too often. When you call people something they aren't, they might just get angry. When you call struggling artists "elitists who go to tax-payer funded galas" you really start to piss people off. When you call Canada's top scientists and economists "ivory tower elitists", you HAVE to know it is going to come back and bite you in the ass.
The fact is Harper has been hoodwinking Canadians by scapegoating an entire section of Canadian society as "ivory tower elitists" - when they are the farthest thing from elitists. Sure, some of us like a glass of wine over beer. Sure some of us have university degrees or better. Sure some of us attend fund-raising dinners. And certainly, some of us prefer Cafe Artegianno over "Tim's"... But we're all still "regular" people. Not the "ivory tower elitists" that people like Harper take their marching orders from. You know THOSE elitists. They control the media: people like Conrad Black. They control Big Oil. They run companies like Enron (into the ground), or Halliburton, or NBC/GE, or ABC/Disney, etc.
This week the "elitists" came home to roost. Artists held concerts across Canada to combat the Conservative attack on their livelihoods. Scientists spoke out about the Harper government's failures in the Lysteriosis outbreak. Scientists spoke out about the benefits of a carbon tax. Lastly, but not least, ECONOMISTS - 230 of Canada's TOP economists - spoke in FAVOR OF a carbon tax in combatting climate change, and how it is better for the economy.
Harper has woken a hornet's nest, and now he will pay. Let's just hope there is a change in government, or we'll be back to the bullying tactics of the past two years - and another $300000000 to change it!
The Conservative scapegoating mentality is dangerous for democracy, and Harper's abuse of it has proven that... Allowing Canada to go down the US path (something the Harper Reformers tried to do here) will mean control of our country handed to MNCs, mega-media, and Big Oil (primarily), with other bit-player ideologues taking their piece - until nothing is left but the 51st state.
The October "Elitist Uprising" may just have staved off the first serious effort to destroy Canada since the 1812 War.