We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, July 3, 2016

On Canada Day, What Does Humanity Have To Look Forward To? Not What Canada Represents

Click here to access article by Stephen Gowans from his blog What's Left
Today is Canada Day, an annual fete in Canada to honour the birth of the country. In Ottawa, the capital, Canadians dress in the red and white of their country’s flag, set baseball caps with CANADA emblazoned across the front atop their heads, clutch mini Canadian flags in their hands, and make their way to the annual Parliament Hill spectacle, which features massive flags, marching soldiers, and Canadian war planes roaring overhead....
I regard Gowans as one of the leading thinkers in today's US-led Empire. In this essay he reflects on the traditional orgy of patriotic displays that are celebrated on Canada Day (July 1) that we in the US are so familiar with on July 4th. He examines the many contradictions between the celebrated ideological themes on their nationalistic holiday and the disturbing realities of his country's history and that of Great Britain, the mother country. It's clear that these contradictions are the same for the US because the same transnational capitalist class rules in the US. 

The devastating world wars of the 20th century largely settled the issue of competing centers of capitalist ruling classes. Previously there was a true multipolar capitalist world which nowadays we find so many "progressives" wanting to re-establish. The British Empire joined the powerful US capitalists to defeat the German affiliated nations of the capitalist world. Only the Soviet Union remained after WWII, and the Cold War and their own contradictions soon put an end to them. But what has arisen to compete with the US-led Empire are Russia and China whose mixed economies have mixed ruling classes who refuse to bow to the dictates of the Empire, and as a consequence are constantly hounded by the dogs of the Empire. But I digress.

What I really wanted to express is that all the nations of today's Empire are ruled by a tiny transnational class whose representatives come from all countries under the domination of the Empire's army of NATO. The behavior of this class has always been influenced by the drugs that they are addicted to: profit and power. Hence their foreign policies are imperialistic and their domestic policies exploitative, and all this has been hidden under a thick blanket of ideology.

In order to secure their workers allegiance to their rule, their agendas, and to fight in their wars, capitalists have always had to construct an elaborate ideological structure that appealed to workers in addition to supplying key leaders of the working class with a little of their imperialist plunder. This is what is celebrated most effusively on national holidays. Of course these ideologies are overwhelming filled with deceptions, and in this piece Gowans exposes the fakery of Canadian and British nationalistic ideology by revealing the true histories of their imperialist crimes.

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