by Kevin D. Annett
Illusion is the most tenacious trait in humanity. History teaches but it has no pupils.
- Antonio Gramsci
Two millenia ago, the emperors of the Chin dynasty developed the earliest known type of crowd control. An especially hated minister of the government would periodically be thrown to the mob and ripped to pieces, thereby satiating the restlessness and rage of the people while keeping Imperial power safely intact.
This system was later perfected into something we call voting.
I can’t say I was surprised yesterday when a majority Liberal government was appointed over the ashes of one of the most hated political regimes in Canadian history. That’s how the game works, after all: the old tag-team operation of manufactured change designed to convince the mob that it’s really achieved something by bringing in the new guy.
Like those similarly deposed rulers named “Pope” Benedict and President George Bush junior, Prime Minister Stephen Harper increasingly and expertly played his role of irredeemable villain in order to draw upon himself the hatred of a majority of the electorate, allowing his attractive, smiling Liberal replacement to be acclaimed and loved by the crowd simply for looking nicer. This kind of puppet show worked admirably for those other Villains’ appointed successors, President Obama and “Pope Francis”; and now it’s worked equally well for Justin Trudeau, that paltry reincarnation of his wife beating and child molesting father Pierre.
Meanwhile, the election game concluded, the Empire will carry on, for now: the mob “democratically” satiated, the Corporatocracy preserved.
Any Canadian who has the semblance of a political memory must find the entire thing more than repulsive, especially if we remember how the same apparent changing of the guard happened not so long ago after an equally despised Tory Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, saw his party wiped out and reduced to two seats in Parliament on the wave of the same kind of Liberal landslide. Then, after years of the same kind of mob-ruled corruption, the Tories under Stephen Harper took over again with the same promising of goodness.
And so on.
I’ve always hated ping pong. It seems so mindless and repetitive – just like Canadian voting patterns. Strait jacketed by a two party bi-polarism, Canadians exhibit the cyclical behavior pattern of an untreated manic depressive, feverishly handing total power first to one palliative and then to another, and never learning a thing in the process. The farce is almost like American politics, except it’s a hell of a lot more boring north of the border.
Like mashed potatoes without the gravy, to quote Canuckophobe Billy Bob Thornton.
I don’t imagine any of this reality will register with the smug electorate who think they did something on October 19, even when their momentarily shiny and new Prime Minister stands up in Parliament and with all the other neophyte Pigs at the Trough takes his oath of loyalty not to those who elected him or to a Constitution, but to a senile pederast in London. But surely it’s time for those of us who call ourselves awakened to do something more than gripe about the tragic-comedy called Canada, Ltd.
Blasted out of my own accommodation to Canadiana by what I discovered up close about the masses of little corpses upon which this nation is built, I have called for a Republic for years now: not as a nice idea but as a moral and lawful necessity. It’s not a new call: MacKenzie, Papineau, my ancestor Philip Annett and lots of other folks tried unsuccessfully to create such a Republic in arms in 1837. But history and our own recent efforts show us the truth that regardless of what opinion polls will tell you, Canadians aren’t ready for self-government – including the ones who say they are.
Simply put, they lack the courage.
I’ve met and worked with a lot of smart, militant and good-hearted Canadians over the decades, but I know very few courageous ones. Many of the paper members of our fledgling Republic of Kanata movement are experts in common law court procedure and how to wangle yourself out of paying personal income taxes. Some of them even tepidly challenge the system as one man shows and become internet celebrities. But the valor and the consistent will that breaks down every obstacle and forces a revolutionary movement into being is rarely to be found in Canada.
We can, and do, blame our upbringing for this, of course. Who of us in Canadian schools didn’t have pumped into our vulnerable little brains the recurring refrain that we are not free citizens, but “loyal subjects” of someone calling herself a Queen? The hilariously accurate scene from the comedy “Canadian Bacon”, in which every Canuck in a crowd keeps saying “Sorry!” to the rowdy American who keeps slamming into all of them, tells it all, in a way. Canadian “niceness” is in reality just veiled over cowardice.
During the critical years from 2005 to 2008 when a few of us forced our home grown Genocide into mainstream consciousness, I couldn’t find many other Canadians to occupy churches with us. It was mostly aboriginals who did so, and a host of them paid for their courage with their lives. White Canada hung back and watched our actions in trepidation – especially the “progressives”. Still to this day, the idea that we, the people, have the power to nullify criminal institutions, convene our own courts and take back our country is one that frightens most Canadians – including those in our Kanata network.
In that sense, it’s perhaps small wonder that the recent October 19 election witnessed one of the biggest voter turnouts in Canadian history, if you believe the corporate media. “Change” for Canadians still means timidly handing over their authority to somebody else – even to unaccountable servants of a foreign criminal power, and to the real rulers like Power Corporation and the Bronfman and Desmarais families.
Nevertheless, as Sun Tzu reminds us, change and uncertainty is the only constant in the universe. There is a new spirit in the land, even here in Canada: but it can only be detected close up.
So, in closing, some words from the wise: when you see that spirit becoming embodied and emerging in your own neighborhood – in closed down crown courts and reclaimed property, in the citizen arrests of child rapists and criminally convicted church and state officials, and even in new Peoples’ Assemblies of local self-governance – be sure not to act like a Canadian. Don’t draw the curtains, or run for help to see if it’s all “legal”. Instead, have the fortitude to forget who you think you are and stand with us, and risk everything for our one improbable chance at liberty.
October 20, 2015
Written from free territory in the Republic of Kanata