It is not a universal human trait, to commit mass suicide through stupidity and greed. Some democratic countries practice responsible and fair policies for the protection and wellbeing of all, keeping their economies solvent while pursuing enlightened social policies.
Not that democracy is the universal path to justice. In the past, many benevolent dictatorships provided wise leadership for their people with a combination of wisdom, realism, and intelligence; qualities which can be totally lacking in a democracy. Is that the fault of the people? Are we stupefying ourselves into oblivion?
The European inheritance of “democracy” has produced chaos. Look for instance at Great Britain, which has beggared itself through Thatcher’s neoliberalism; at the United States, whose people go hungry and homeless under a system which is as corrupt as corporate control can make it; at Canada, whose colonial expectation that its citizens will be looked after by a benevolent government with no thought or effort on the part of the citizenry, has dropped us into the clutches of an unscrupulous sociopath who is leading us towards civil war and destruction of our fishery; and at Europe, whose privileged leadership has beggared its populations with a debt load which could be swept away in a moment by confronting the man-made mythologies of ersatz finance.
How is it that the Internet, so full of real information, appears to inhabit a different universe from that of the pundits who serve up supposition and propaganda in place of truth? How is it that it takes a WikiLeaks to penetrate the web of lies spun by our governments? How is it that a determined group of corporations can so distort reality that most of the population of North America is unaware of the grave danger of climate change?
The only group of people facing reality? As Gwyn Dyer has discovered – it is the soldiers among us. Not our leaders. And certainly not us, the people.
The military the world over knows that climate change is no longer a probability, but a reality. Generals all over the planet are already planning for the chaos and mass starvation caused by the wilful blindness and irresponsible cowardice of the leadership of our so called “democracies”. Leaders whom We, The People, elected, eyes supposedly open.
No military is run on democratic lines. It is a hierarchy, and if it has been honed by the reality of battle, it is a meritocracy, rewarding intelligence and sanity. To win battles, it must be totally cognisant not only of the map of reality, but of the real terrain. It cannot practice denial. That way lies certain defeat. And so the military respects science.
What the world needs now is not ‘love sweet love’, but the courage to face reality. Courage is a military virtue not shared by many of our elected leaders, who reflect the cowardly denial of their electors.
And balancing that cowardice and wilful ignorance in Canada’s parliament? A solitary woman. Elizabeth May.
Muriel Wiens is the product of generations of staunch Canadian democrats.
Opinions expressed in this column will usually be those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Shingle.
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