Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy This!

Let's get one thing straight: if this were not the weekend that we are picking up my sister from the airport in Calgary, I would be joining 'Occupy Nelson'. I doubt occupying Nakusp (pop 1800) would have much impact.

Nelson has the disadvantage of having a large population of a certain type of wannabe hippie that gives any movement a bad name. Stoned kids with a scruffy floaty appearance that seems designed to deter any chance of gainful employment, and a whiny attitude of entitlement. I am all in favor of sharing, but in some cases it usually means "You have, I get". I am not thinking of a particular person, more a certain type. 
Demonstrating in a crowd of them would not be my first choice.

Nevertheless, this is a movement I want to be part of. Thoughts of my dear departed friend Beth have been much on my mind. She would so have loved to see this. We would have gone down together, with bells on. Though we couldn't have stayed overnight, Beth would have had to go home to feed the goats and other critters.

Anyway, family matters took care of any dilemma. We are here in Bearspaw enjoying, once again, the hospitality of our beloved young (to us) relatives, who earn their living in the corporate world. Their formative years took place in the same leftish society as ours, the Netherlands. They share our core social-democratic values, but have a different perspective on the whole "corporations are evil" meme. 

In particular, it was pointed out that earning money for shareholders is simply the job description of corporations, so protesting "corporate greed" makes no sense. Pension plans are among the major shareholders. Be careful of unexpected side effects when you start to unravel the tangled web of the economic status quo. Point granted.

However, my main beef is that governments, instead of guarding the Commons and being a counter force to corporate power, have aligned themselves with the rich and left the rest  of us to scramble in the dirt for the crumbs from the table.

The trouble with revolutions is that they often have unexpected and undesirable results. Think of the Terror in 1793 in France, or Iran in in 1979.

None of us has easy answers. But at least the occupations are forcing the Powers That Be to face some tough questions.

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