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Author Topic: It's time to create a new thoughtful thread on change, for a change
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 04:52 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Now, since this thread started out on a positive invitation for insightful input from the real world...
May we resume in that vein? This chatter has had its positive, awakening effect, but has now become Much Ado About Nothing.

(End of Quote)

This request had all the effect of an invitation to a turkey-shoot last time out. Let's see if all the pent up, residual anger spewed at a self-made intellectual burlesque figure can be reworked into some thoughts about the real world we live in and how to move the great unread to consider the NDP in upcoming elections.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fitter660
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posted 05 August 2008 08:47 AM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
George victor said:
Let's see if all the pent up, residual anger spewed at a self-made intellectual burlesque figure can be reworked into some thoughts about the real world we live in and how to move the great unread to consider the NDP in upcoming elections.

The Canadian public is much more nationalistic than the media give them credit for. The NDP have to move away from trying to be a Liberal clone to provide a more radical and nationalistic platform that will resonate with Canadians. The average citizen knows that the nation is floundering. The NDP have to provide a real alternative to the status quo. Playing Ping-Pong between the Liberals and conservatives at election time has gotten us into the mess. What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It's time to paint the conlibs with the same brush and highlight to the electorate that there is no real difference between the two parties regardless of who the front men are.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 11:41 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You see, George, I don't think one will obtain change by voting NDP and I fail to appreciate how you could expect change by advocating for a status quo party.
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Zak Young
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posted 05 August 2008 11:46 AM      Profile for Zak Young        Edit/Delete Post
Why doesn't the NDP advocate full marijuana legalization. Wouldn't that be a very popular plank of the platform? Or would it only be popular amongst people who don't vote very much? It seems to me that this could become the next big wedge issue in Canadian politics.
From: London | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 August 2008 11:54 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Zak, in your proposal, would it be lawful to sell marijuana to people under 18 years of age?
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Zak Young
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posted 05 August 2008 11:58 AM      Profile for Zak Young        Edit/Delete Post
Well that certainly wouldn't be popular with the voters. If you're asking me if I think it's immoral to sell pot to a 15 year old, no I don't, but if the goal is to gain votes it's a bad idea.
From: London | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 03:39 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
posted 05 August 2008 04:37 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Fitter 660 and North Report
Our new friend is not ready to enter into serious discussion, only leave bits of his puerile position lying about. Christ I wish that Echo had got hold of him before he looked into that mirror pool and fell in love with himself.

I will try another startup on the question that we were getting into. Let's see if he has more respect for the objectives of others' threads and thoughts than indicated so far.

(end quote)

It's said the puerile can be the most persevering. Our selfish newcomer really is not about to drop the ego trip so we'll have to see what develops in his narcissistic pursuit of a following.

Ordinarily, I would be concerned about infering self-love was at work, but after reading that he sees nothing wrong with marijuana sold to kids, he's placed himself beneath contempt.

I am beginning to wonder, in fact, at the moral lassitude hereabouts. Like, name-calling is wrong but the public expression of amorality is okay?

Moms and dads, go figure.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 03:50 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Ordinarily, I would be concerned about infering self-love was at work, but after reading that he sees nothing wrong with marijuana sold to kids, he's placed himself beneath contempt.

I'm not sure he did infer that. George. And with what is sold to kids today, from junk sexuality, to junk food for the brain and the body, Mary Jane is probably pretty mild by comparison.

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 03:52 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
And FM, I have never felt that the NDP was totally on the straight and narrow path to the New Jerusalem. And I don't think that Tommy Douglas did either.

But by God he accomplished much.

Just once I would like to hear you outline, just outline, don't fill in all the blanks, just what policies should be formulated in some ideal situation.

Don't cop out by saying something like "of course it cannot be realized because...yatata, etc.

Just say WHAT you want to see.

Please.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 03:55 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I agree, he didn't infer it, FM. He bloody well said it! He's morally corrupt. Amoral, in fact.

I'M infering that he's in love with himself.
Totally!

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 04:10 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
He bloody well said it!

He said it was not immoral. That doesn't mean he doesn't think there is anything wrong with it. I don't think it is immoral for a dad to have a beer with his underage son watching a hockey game at home. But I don't necessarily agree with it either. My dad, by the way, never passed me a join and I'm still a little bitter.

quote:
Just once I would like to hear you outline, just outline, don't fill in all the blanks, just what policies should be formulated in some ideal situation.

I've done that before George.

I'm not trying to be "anti-NDP", I'm just saying the NDP is not a vehicle for the type of change I think you think is necessary for a long and sustainable future.

What I think, George, is that there is no future for industrial, consumer, capitalism. The question, for me, is do we manage the change or are we swept up in it? The NDP can't -- not won't but can't -- be a force for managing that change because the NDPs fortunes are as much tied to the traditional, industrial, consumer, capitalist model as is any of the other current parties (both large and small).

How can the NDP, for example, call for the end of the automobile culture when so many of its supporters are employed in the auto or parts plants (even as they are closing)?

How can the NDP call for an end to corporate capitalism when so many of its supporters have pension plans invested in those very same global corporations?

How can the NDP call for an end to industrial agriculture when so much of the NDP constituency is demanding discount grocers?

How can the NDP move toward a sustainable energy paradigm while at the same time pandering to the old paradigm lobbying for cheap gas to continue a wasteful culture?

Now, to be fair, I don't see that there is a party that will lead that change so I guess the NDP is as good as any. I just don't think you can expect real change them.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 04:26 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
He said it was not immoral. That doesn't mean he doesn't think there is anything wrong with it.
(end quote)

Can't imagine what else it could mean, FM.


What I think, George, is that there is no future for industrial, consumer, capitalism. The question, for me, is do we manage the change or are we swept up in it? The NDP can't -- not won't but can't
(end quote)

Agreed. And if you look around the threads of babble on any given day you see that very few have any idea of the dynamics at work out there.
But the Regina Manifesto was formulated to overcome just such lack of understanding 75 years back.

What we can do, here, rather than continue the endless rant about what IS, is formulate a way out. And while you have suggested "why not" to the present arrangement, I'd really like to hear you talk about the dynamics of our society.

Have a boo at Christina McCall (if you haven't already). Or any social commentator still "extant".


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 04:40 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Can't imagine what else it could mean, FM.
It is a question of degree. Do you think pre-marital sex is immoral? Would you recommend it to teens?

For me, the answer to the above is "no" and "no". Just because I don't think something is immoral doesn't mean I would advocate for it or even condone it.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 04:54 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Well that certainly wouldn't be popular with the voters. If you're asking me if I think it's immoral to sell pot to a 15 year old, no I don't, but if the goal is to gain votes it's a bad idea.
(end quote)


That goes beyond saying one just does not agree with accepted standards of morality (degree).
That places one in an amoral position, where, in fact, morality is not important. You could get into a search for morality in the act, like the utilitarians, but it's a mug's game.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
RevolutionPlease
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posted 05 August 2008 04:54 PM      Profile for RevolutionPlease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks FM, it's hard reading all the inferences.

George is a bit ageist expecting me to have been so well read.


From: Aurora | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 04:58 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
The "act" utilitarian.

It is wrong to kill, except when it's in defence of yourself or your family, etc. etc.

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 05:03 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is a different argument. The simple argument is in the questions I asked you above:

quote:

Do you think pre-marital sex is immoral? Would you recommend it to teens?

One doesn't need to find something immoral to still agree it may not be right. Conversely, one might still find something very wrong, something that is deemed moral such as 'an eye for an eye'.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
RevolutionPlease
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posted 05 August 2008 05:03 PM      Profile for RevolutionPlease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
More interesting, the more I reread this thread. What is the "why not" FM espouses and what discussion around society are you looking for GV?
From: Aurora | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 05:12 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
FM, I just find it damned wrong for kids. But "that's me"? Not objectively. Not really when you consider the societal ramifications. And we must go beyond the pleasure principle, eh?
From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 05:25 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Well, RP, we know something of the barriers to change at work out there in society.

Conspicuous consumption and the individualization of life chances (opportunities), have been uppermost. Somehow, we managed to introduce a welfare society on the heels of world war (the idea of it was proposed in a report by an English economist in 1943...whose name will come to this "aging" ageist.

You have to appreciate the social dynamics that existed at the end of a period of total war to appreciate the meaning of social change. Then you compare that with recent electoral appeals for lower taxes.

So I'm suggesting we winkle out the newly emerging dynamics as economies go down the tubes and ecological systems collapse around us. Seems to me, we have the media "potentially" on side for the first time in decades.

That, I think, is what has to be tried for. The formulation of a real plan of attack.

If you read the work that was published a couple of years back on how the evangelicals set about turning reality on its head with the new means of communication (including the IT one), you'll see waht determined folks can do. (and let me, again, mull over the title to that work).

Anyway, let me know if that makes any sense (or not). Read the manifesto.

It's just that a simple critique of the status quo is so....depressing and without use?

And there is so much out there in the way of critical analysis (like Naomi Klein's) to make use of.

For instance, this last piece from China (today) is one of the more important bits of information, confirming a theoretical position.


(quote)
Chinese who have access to the Internet can view the webpages of some Western newspapers and news networks; they certainly have access to the CBC website. They can learn about significant events in China as they are reported outside of the country such as the controversial policies that have emerged out of the preparations for the Olympics. However, generally the persons who can access foreign viewpoints are often not affected by the reported abuses and will too often claim that the journalists are biased. Such reactions are rooted in a person's socialization which includes strong nationalism and exceptionalism, and placing the group before the individual. Even if it was a Chinese journalist reporting such events, he or she would be placed under suspicion by more than a few readers. All of this means that a free press, as essential to the birth and maintenance of democracy and pluralism, is useless if the privileged groups of a society are not willing to question or abandon their prejudices. So the obstacle toward a free press is not to convince only the government, but to convince privileged Chinese to at least be critical of their society and country.
(end quote)
So, how does one "get to" those people? And the same social strata here, essentially the people who call the shots?

When the leading industrial CEOs admitted here, last year, that climate change was the number one issue for humanity, the job had been made easier for us. Pity Jiajie in a society where only a handful through the millenia had enjoyed real material wealth.

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fitter660
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posted 05 August 2008 05:40 PM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When Canada votes for real change and the NDP is the chosen party to provide it we should be ready for an extremely rough ride. Our corporate elite is very used to being served by the state. They would make the full spectrum persecution of an NDP government a full time effort. If you think the attack journalism we see today is bad, you ain't seen nothin yet.

An NDP government would first be confronted with a drop in the stock market not to mention our currency.

I think that the best defense is a good offense and we should take our cue from the shock and awe tactics of disaster capitalism. If we get a majority the parliment should be recalled immediately to abrogate NAFTA, pass a tobin tax, restrict capital mobility and legislation to break up the media cartels that exist in virtually every market in Canada. The governor of the Bank of Canada would directed to adopt a post-keyensian economic policy (which amounts to a demand for his resignation) and replaced. All of this would need to be done as quickly as possible after the election to head off the certain capitalist assault.

[ 05 August 2008: Message edited by: Fitter660 ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 05:47 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
FM, I just find it damned wrong for kids. But "that's me"? Not objectively. Not really when you consider the societal ramifications. And we must go beyond the pleasure principle, eh?

It's off topic anyway. Consider it dropped. Back to change ...

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
RevolutionPlease
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posted 05 August 2008 05:47 PM      Profile for RevolutionPlease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks George and pardon my inability to read some of your posts. You're saying then that I need to read the "Regina Manifesto" thread?
From: Aurora | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 August 2008 05:56 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think he is suggesting you read the Regina Manifesto but how could you go wrong if you read both?
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 05:58 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I would think so, but only to give you an idea of the audaciousness of the CCF in the middle of the Great Depression.

Do we need a society-shattering experience to be able to formulate a big-picture response? Perhaps. But there's lots happening that demands an answer right now, and out if it, some policy proposals.

Sorry about the fuzzy word picture. I try to condense and I guess assume too much in that way.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 05 August 2008 06:07 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I agree with your objectives, Fitter.

It's the moving into the position to do that, that I find problematic.

Where are the allies - organized labour brought to a level of understanding that escaped the autoworkers?

The unorganized, more and more subjected to part-time work without benefits or the hope of even a defined pension amount at the end of the road?

(To name only two changing situations....There are the DYNAMICS.


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 06 August 2008 04:24 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Any problem with the concept "dynamics for change"?

Any problem with having a back and forth on the concerns forming now in the average working class household and what the NDP could propose to overcome or ameliorate the condition while keeping the books balanced, provincially or federally?

I'm beginning to think that the original call for another Regina Manifesto might have been a mite optimistic.

How about the need for a working plan to overcome the worst effects of climate change while thinking about what to do besides carp?


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fitter660
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posted 06 August 2008 05:11 PM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
George victor said:
Any problem with having a back and forth on the concerns forming now in the average working class household and what the NDP could propose to overcome or ameliorate the condition while keeping the books balanced, provincially or federally.

George, I can only speak from my own experience, but my most pressing concern is the outsourcing of my job. I’ve had to train workers in India to do my job for the last three years without much success I might add. The latest rumour has us being transferred to a branch-plant operation of the Indian company here in Canada.
It is interesting to note that the foreign-owned corporation I work for has received hundreds of millions of our tax dollars in loans and guarantees from the federal government.

The point I’m making is that outsourcing is a major concern to today’s working class.

It is so bad that my co-workers are counselling their children to look for careers which are difficult to outsource rather than those that they would prefer to train for.
In my previous post I suggested a much more nationalistic approach which, hopefully, would throw the spotlight on the comprador agenda of the conlibs. (Sorry about the rant regarding NDP actions after our election win – I kinda got carried away there.)

The right wing has made the terms 'nationalistic' and 'protectionist' dirty words somewhat akin to 'red' in the fifties. I will defer to a retired U.S. senator on this point:

quote:
But ex-U.S. senator Ernest Hollings this week, when accused of being a protectionist, said, more or less: Darn right I am. We protect our borders, our streets, our kids and our health. Why wouldn't we protect our jobs and our economy?

Source – Rick Salutin column, Globe and Mail, 01 Aug 2008.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 07 August 2008 03:57 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Right.
Here in Waterloo Region, where 11,000 jobs have gone by the board in the last three years, there is talk of adaptation and the local RIM phenom as saving the day. However, that's becoming a bit of a broken reed.

What has the NDP done locally to reassure?

As an old retired fart - but subscribing to two newspapers - my main recollection is of visits by retiring provincial leader, Howard Hampton, addressing the newly unemployed and talking about the need for provincial input, perhaps attempting to shore up the company before it decides to vacate. It worked for a steel company in Northern Ontario and for a local faux-stone manufacturer facing bankruptcy, but there's been no revival of faith in social democratic measures.

Perhaps someone else out there recalls more reassuring appeals from the party in this area, or theirs? Some means of avoiding that now global imperative driving the need for an ever-greater bottom line? And all our investments seeking out the successful?

It's a big one.

Other countries have managed to manage their exchange rate so that their currency isn't making their manufacturing product non-competitive.

But then there's Alberta. We've got a petro-dollar. Can Ontario and Quebec go beyond the gesture of a common front on electricity and move the west? Does the NDP link with a PQ that's not going to go for another referendum.

One thing sure. The NDP has to be able to confront the big economic questions and reassure worker and investor that reform is founded on security for both. While being greener than Greens.

quote:
The right wing has made the terms 'nationalistic' and 'protectionist' dirty words somewhat akin to 'red' in the fifties. I will defer to a retired U.S. senator on this point:


quote: (Note by GV...he is an EXsenator.

But ex-U.S. senator Ernest Hollings this week, when accused of being a protectionist, said, more or less: Darn right I am. We protect our borders, our streets, our kids and our health. Why wouldn't we protect our jobs and our economy?

That's what we need, Fitter. But I think the guy had to retire before saying it. He would not have been re-elected. The workers have become market watchers. Understand "imperatives".

He have to manage the beast of international investment imperatives that I saw coming out of Chicago in '75.

New Democrats have to provide an answer to it, or let the Greens "leave it up to the market" idea to reign. And every time I hear that lying huckster Jim Harris singing it, I have to retch.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 07 August 2008 05:04 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I insert a post from a review of "Bad Money" in the book lounge, in the hope that the post's author will come aboard :
(quote)
Class society, whatever ilk and whoever the ruling class is, provides a justification for itself that is virtually total. There is no room in the capitalist universe for a socialist, or any other, rival. The elaboration of what we are up against, therefore, must take a back seat to that which mobilizes people to fight back. That's basic social psychology, methinks; or, perhaps, it's simply the difference between the author of a book and, say, a political organization with radical social aims like overturning the capitalist applecart.
(end of quote)


To which I replied:
The "elaboration of what we are up against" seems to me to avoid our own commitment to investments in the market.
Isn't the "capitalist universe" sort of muddied, NB? The weapons for fighting it sort of blunted?

As this book makes clear, reforms (regulation) are required, and should be called for by people who hold their nose at talk of markets while reading the market reports.

I've been trying to develop ongoing conversation with an Ontario guy who, like most of us, has become sort of dependent and disillusioned about depending on returns from investments for the golden years.

Theory of revolution aside, how does one come to grips with the need to come to grips with this taboo subject?

I think the fate of democratic socialism depends on an answer.
(end of my quote)

But that post's author - for whose humanity I have the greatest regard - would leave this most important political consideration out of his analysis:

(quote)
I don't see that there is anything taboo about discussing a retiree's source of income. But if you want to claim that this is an important subject for socialists, of whatever stripe, you need to make a stronger case.
(end quote)


I offer up this thread for consideration of that "stronger case" and other socialist "irrelevancies" - trembling at the thought of inviting exchange with a socialist "element" that at one time would have caused this New Democrat to first consider seppucu (hope that's close to spelling (nope, it's with a "k" , seppuku)

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 08 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
It's Me D
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posted 07 August 2008 05:26 AM      Profile for It's Me D     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, I've read through this and the previous thread and I'd like to participate but, as RevolutionPlease noted, it is a bit hard to follow...

George are you are saying the NDP needs to be a vehicle for change as it was in the CCF days and to do this the party needs to be more willing to embrace radicalism such as that contained in the Regina Manifesto? And FM has said that the NDP cannot do this as it is beholden to the existing system, particularly for the well-being of its current supporters in organized labour; Fitter appeared to agree.

If that summary is at all correct I have the following to add: George you are right about the need for change and that the NDP would need to become at least as radical as in the days of the Manifesto; FM and Fitter are, however, right that the party is currently beholden to interests such as organized labour which are fighting defensive battles for their own piece of the capitalist pie and thus unable to see radicalizing the party as positive. For me the solution is for the NDP to re-investigate who the disenfranchised working people of this country really are today and realize that this majority is not the reasonably well-off organized labour of Ontario's shrinking manufacturing sector but rather the poor minimum-wage-working unskilled, the migrant Maritimers and immigrants, and first nations, without education and skills working in call centers and McDonald's with no real hope for advancement. This is a huge group of people in Canada and these are truly the wage-slaves who desperately need a radical political alternative. I think if the NDP is to bring about change it'll have to ditch that relatively well-to-do sliver of organized labour (most of whom appear to vote Liberal anyway) for the much larger, angrier, and more disenfranchised mass of "disorganized" labor. I think there is plenty of radicalism amongst the working poor, the people who truly have nothing to loose but their chains; the NDP should tap into this as activist groups do.


From: Parrsboro, NS | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 07 August 2008 11:51 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Yes, I entered this in NorthReport's thread before the kid blew through the other day and excited the house. The event described by McCall was an attempt to bring a nationalist perspective to bear. It was shot down by the unions and NDP leadership, and caused many of us to decamp. But what the hell else is there?

Now, it's resistance to a very forward commitment to battling climate change. And for the same reasons. But let's try to describe just what would be required in the age of climate change and approaching recession.

The NorthReport thread piece:
Christina McCall does a pretty good job of describing "How Mel Watkins Brought Socialism to the NDP" (Saturday Night, September 1970). It was a time of Canadian nationalism, and the Waffle, headed by Watkins and James Laxer,historian.

Watkins was a McGill and M.I.T.-trained economist, and began lecturing at the U of T in 1958. There he linked up with Abraham Rotstein, another economist out of Montreal, and "the most important single influence on my thinking of any man I've met", Watkins told McCall.

They reactivated the University League for Social Reform and published papers under the heading of The Prospect of Change.

Then Walter Gordon (Liberal minister) asked Rotstein who should head his Task Force on Foreign Investment in early 1967 and Watkins got the nod. And in preparing the report, "I came to realize...that radicalism in Canada has to mean nationalism...that we must survive outside the American orbit."

McCall's assessment in 1970: "After thirty-five years of assuring itself that 'victory is within out grasp' and living down the stigma of nationalization, which has scared off two generations of Canadian voters, the NDP has now awakened to find that Watkins and his manifesto have made nationalization once more the party's central issue. Almost overnight, Watkins has returned the NDP to socialism."
(end quote from McCall)

But in 2008, the dominance of investment capital would make a Gordon/Watkins nationalization more than difficult. Rotstein, however, felt that nationalization was not necessary. Would he today propose creation of investment vehicles for our own infrastructural development and maintenance? Do it before those hovering pension funds from abroad make inroads? Fashion a made-in-Canada economy in this way?

We don't have a Great Depression (yet), but we have something even more enormous in the shaping battle against climate change - self immolation, if you will.

We also have the need to take actions that are now curbed by the hold of investment capital on all nation states, effectively undermining their sovereignty - another major difference between now and the 30s, but a very compelling reason for demanding change.

[ 07 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
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posted 07 August 2008 05:32 PM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If the NDP leadership refuses to take a more nationalistic tack then perhaps it is time to resurrect the National Party of Canada, with Mr. Hurtig's consent of course. (Who actually owns the name anyway?)

In my opinion, a truly nationalistic party would have a left wing bent regarding social programs and a centre/right bias regarding foreign policy, defence and business.

Left wing regarding social policy because such a party would have the best interests of the people as its core purpose.

Centre/right regarding foreign policy and defence because, once again, with the best interests of the people as a core purpose it would recognize that the alleviation of poverty and strife around the world contributes to our prosperity (peace is always more profitable long-term).
A nationalistic approach to defence issues would have Canada acting more like Switzerland, Finland or Sweden rather than the coat-tail hugging joke we've become. A truly independent nation the size of Canada needs a military sufficiently capable to deter aggression from all likely nations the same size and smaller and while having just enough capability to ensure a world power would receive an embarrassingly painful black eye without becoming a credible threat to their world power status.

A nationalistic government would foster business through investment in Canadian-owned companies and entrepreneurs while putting policies in place to reduce the foreign ownership of our economy. I know that defence production is an abomination to the left but it can be a significant catalyst in the nation’s economy without becoming a home grown military/industrial complex. (I think the key is to remove the profit bomb by keeping the production in crown corporations)

Comments?


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George Victor
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posted 07 August 2008 07:28 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Could we start with that last para Fitter?:
quote:
A nationalistic government would foster business through investment in Canadian-owned companies and entrepreneurs while putting policies in place to reduce the foreign ownership of our economy. I know that defence production is an abomination to the left but it can be a significant catalyst in the nation’s economy without becoming a home grown military/industrial complex. (I think the key is to remove the profit bomb by keeping the production in crown corporations)

Comments

Having the world's fourth largest navy at the end of WWII did not make us militarists. We decided against having our own "bomb", even though we had the scientific knowhow.

So I see nothing wrong with a military for defence - and fronting on three oceans, a navy ought to have more than a half-dozen frigates. Lots of coastal craft would be good. Built on both coasts. That kind of rational for an effective military.

We now spend about 1.25 per cent of the GDP on "defense" (that's the dept. title), and most of the NATO people commit some 2 per cent. Maybe if not operating in Europe or the middle east we could escape expanding the budget.

I think that a national/industrial program could focus on home-grown savings for investment in green infrastructural development (as Germany does now) in the way that we built things with an economy and work force committed to total war.In fact, I'm convinced we'll have to.

Foreign investment here? I think that it could be restricted - in the way that the U.S. now isn't about to let China buy into its resource industry - and we certainly must not let those growing sovereign funds (or private) invade here. They smell long-term stability in our infastructural rebuilding and maintenance, and that must not be allowed. Not in our utilities or anywhere.

And those old crown corporations that left us with a nice mixed economy at the end of war would be just fine - if they perform competitively within national, wartime prices and incomes constraints. The agenda would be the survival of our population in somewhat more sparse circumstances - sustainable is the catchword.

The "natiionalism" would be demanded by a survivalist ethic, one would suppose.

Comments.


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posted 08 August 2008 08:15 AM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
George Victor said:

quote:
The "nationalism" would be demanded by a survivalist ethic, one would suppose.

I guess that depends on if we wish, as a people, to survive as (become again?) a sovereign nation.


More comments later if I get time.


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posted 08 August 2008 08:54 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
I was thinking of species survival and nationalism helping make that possible. But if you let your imagination plunk you down in a warming North America where folks to the south don't have much water left and the corn isn't as high as that proverbial elephant's eye anymore, I don't see a confrontational nationalism doing much about the elephant heading north. It's gotta be Ghandi's method and a proven, sustaining economy and lifestyle.

I was Waffle. Had dinner with Laxer. Dig sovereignty. Can sing "Here's to the American Eagle ..." ending "We don't need the turd from your noble bird..." But our fellow beavers are sometimes not too selective about which goddamn tree they fell, or where.


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posted 08 August 2008 06:40 PM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
George, I truly think that it’s time for a blatantly nationalistic party that puts Canada's well being first. The NDP could be that party but chooses not to. (A remnant of the socialist international perhaps?) Canadians know that they have been short-changed by the current (and past) crop of political parties and they are looking for a credible alternative.

So how do we start such a party?

What can we learn from the sabotage experienced by the National Party of Canada?

Not being able to fight for Canada’s sovereign future in a meaningful, effective way is driving me nuts! I had to stop reading Mel Hurtig’s latest book because I found it too upsetting. I need a positive outlet for my outrage at the criminal sellout of Canada.

[ 08 August 2008: Message edited by: Fitter660 ]


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posted 09 August 2008 03:05 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, I can't read Hurtig (only his encyclopedia) and I couldn't do Farley Mowat's Sea of Slaughter for the same reason. You want to come out of the chair, grab something and do damage. NOT good for the heart.

Although Sea got Farley banned from entry into the U.S. as you'll recall. Perhaps along with his admission that he fired his .22 at B52s from the south passing over him 7 miles up.

You'll remember that Trudeau biography with him paddling around in fringed buckskins on the cover - I always thought of it as more a Grey Owl/Dan'l Boone composite - presented as the adman's true Canadian?

We have to do better.

We have to present pictures of Rosie the Riveter happily at work while the country, with belts notched somewhat tighter (tightening belts is a good old expression) survives. And the kids have a future. And the beaver have some trees left to chew down and water to float the cuttings.

My daughter has invited me to go canoeing/camping for a couple of days near Algonquin next weekend. Perhaps inspiration will hit in a serendipitous moment while listening to loon calls. Or when that black bear comes nosing into camp at night looking for goodies - we've been told to take spray. Hope the berries were good this year.

It's going to be tough, roughing out the outline of a formula to present to the New Democrats over an IT network, Fitter. But that's how I'm going to avoid throwing things.

And I'm not up for the idea of a new party from scratch. I was one of a handful that birthed the Green Party of Ontario in the spring of '83. Once burnt, I won't do it twice (as "Dubya" might tell it in revision).

[ 09 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 09 August 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
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posted 09 August 2008 05:09 AM      Profile for Fitter660     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
George, I'd love to hear the saga of the Green Party of Ontario's birthday.

I'd also very much like to get the inside scoop on what happened to Hurtig's National Party of Canada. Something about fifth-columns and sabotage I hear?

I'm reminded of the old saw about a wise man learning from his mistakes but the wisest of men learning from the mistakes of others

[ 09 August 2008: Message edited by: Fitter660 ]


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