Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Recent Discoveries...

Read any good books lately? Particularly, I'm referring to polemics(?) Recently, I finished Paul Martin: CEO For Canada? by Murray Dobbin. Also, I started reading another book I bought a few years ago called The Last Guardians by Paul Pelango. I'm almost halfway finished at the moment, but I notice a recurring theme in polemics lately, that governments have adopted the buisiness model and a business approach to absolutely everything.

I believe that it's an old expression to run such and such a thing "as a buisiness" meaning professionally and organized, but I really don't think that it was meant to be taken literally for EVERYTHING! I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it does seem that the business and corporate way of thinking is thisclose to taking over everything. It's sort of a reverse Red Scare, back in the '40s and '50s that people had gotten it into their heads that the communists had in fact taken over the government, and we just didn't know who they were.

I have no great love for communism myself, since it has caused immesurable destruction and terror in the world, and I'm suprised that some people still stand by it. Forget about the Stalinists, I'm talking about the more moderate commies who say that real communism has never actually been tried. That may be the case, but I'm sure that is the line that the neo-cons are saying about capitalism. Well, I haven't actually heard any of them say it yet, but they probably will eventually, whetether they believe it themselves or not.

They Are The Walrus
 
I recently read an article in the October edition of Walrus magazine explaining Stephen Harper. Up till then, I just didn't know what all the fuss was about him, I figured that anything is better than Stockwell Day. It turns out, though, that Harper is as radical as Day and not a little bit more politically savvy. Also, Mr. Harper is part of the neo-con movement, and actually here in Canada the neo-cons have their very own puppetmaster, a political Svengali if you will, our own equivalent of Karl Rove. His name is Tom Flanagan in case you didn't know.

No, he's not the liar character that Jon Lovitz played on SNL, but he is nonetheless American born, and as ardent a believer in the capitalist orthodoxy as anyone ever was. He is a professor of the University of Calgary, whose Political Science Department is the de facto Canadian headquarters of the neo-con movement. Until I read the Walrus article, I thought that Paul Martin was the final nail in the coffin for Canada, but I don't think he will be. He'll probably be the penultimate nail, but Harper would be the final nail. That's how I feel about the neo-cons, they do scare the hell out of me. But why? Ask, and I will answer.

So who delivered the first nails in the coffin? My guess is the first government to adopt a business approach to government. So who's government was that? Paul Pelango's explanation would suprise you. It was apparently just after Diefenbaker was defeated, when the recommendations of the Glassco Commission called for a more businesslike approach to government. Unless I'm mistaken, he said that the Mike Pearson government took the first steps in that direction, and that it really took off under Trudeau. That's right, PIERRE Trudeau.

Pelango was a fan of his until he did the research for writing his book, which I think came out around the turn of the millenium. I had gotten the book because I had heard of the RCMP's ineffectiveness in enforcing white collar crime. I won't go into that here, but he called a chapter of his book "The Trudeau Effect", which was enlightening if not depressing. So far, it seems that Trudeau was the first prime minister to adopt the business approach of government, and that Mulroney, Chretien, and now Martin were natural successors that continued on the exact same path that their predecessor had left off. In short, God help us.

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