…the louder our voices.” (do you recognize this quote? I can only remember it from my uni days, but not who said/wrote it. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have it exactly right because Google couldn’t find it for me)
If you’re keeping up with the news at all recently, you know about the protests in Tunisia, Egypt and half a dozen other middle Eastern countries, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets seeking democracy and better lives. You know about the tens of thousands of people massing in Italy to protest the bunga bunga parties of their prime minister (there’s a part of me, a tiny little reactionary part of me that almost wishes Stephen Harper would host his own bunga bunga party. Hell, I’d accept a bunga party. Anything to muss up that hair!) You know about the tens of thousands of people protesting in Madison Wisconsin and the rising up again of the labour movement and all right thinking people in Ohio & Indiana, fighting to retain the labour rights of so many of their friends, neighbours, colleagues. You know about the hue & outcry over the (26-yr old) cop who told the law students at Osgoode Hall that if women don’t dress like sluts, they won’t get raped, because men are so weak that they have no self-control leaving women to punished for the male weakness.
Revolution is not in the history books. It’s in our heart and minds, it’s our computers and our social networks, and it’s in our wallets and it’s coming to our streets, if it’s not already there. There is great discontent in the world, and there are far too many reactionary political and social leaders who cannot see it, who are afraid of it, and who will ignore it at their peril.
I don’t think it’s coming in the near future to Canada, but then three weeks ago, wouldn’t most of the world have said the same thing about Egypt? And I’m not rallying on my own part. While I deplore the dictatorships of the middle East and loathe the Republican governors in the US who are leading with closed eyes, I do not claim any intense and personal attachment to the causes and protests. What I do claim, what I do believe, is that swinging one from extreme to another – either in the streets of Cairo or the streets of Madison – moving in a single week, a single day, from a strict dictatorship to an open market, is a dangerous, volatile thing that will lead to further, greater problems. And this applies whether the swing is from left to right, or right to left.
The huge and immediate cut-backs in budgets, in order to control deficits and debts, has been tried and failed to spectacular results. Look to 30s Germany and ask yourself, when people of “different” political beliefs or religious faith or skin colour are being blamed for the state of the world and at the same time the financial markets are roiling and people cannot afford to buy bread, what happens?
I’m being too simplistic. But I’m not completely wrong. And I think when you watch the news tonight, and you read your favourite news feed in the morning, you might want to consider what happens when we don’t learn from history and/or we insist on our own version of history & ignore everything else.