Trudeau’s shabby “dire warning”
When governance becomes self-indulgent sophistry
As part of his four-day visit to China Canada’s prime minister gave a speech in which he pronounced the world is at a “pivot point.” He is dead wrong in this judgement as the world is past any number of pivot points and is in crisis on too many fronts. The crisis’ range from climate change, to rampant militarism, to global poverty, to the persistent threat of nuclear war.
There is also a crisis of leadership endemic to governments of the Western world and beyond. Where politicians are elected to lead, they follow. They exist as courtesans to the global corporate warfare state. Rather than disassembling the tyrannies that haunt our existence they cater to them . Governance becomes self-indulgent sophistry, an abdication of responsibility and betrayal of populations.
He claimed we must embrace openness and free trade. It is odd that he should speak of openness when this government has the openness and transparency of a lead brick. He can’t sign on to pipelines and trade trade agreements fast enough. I have yet to hear him make an intelligent comment on the substance of the TPP, now mutated into TPP-ll. He does not deal in substance. He is a shill for every trade deal that comes along.
The Council of Canadians (we should all be much more supportive of their efforts) ran a very effective and well-informed campaign against the TPP. In Ottawa it hit the brick wall of leaden indifference. I ran my online petition against the TPP. It was well peppered with background material on the TPP. Virtually every signer who added a comment saw the TPP as the final resignation of our sovereignty. World renown economist, and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz while in Ottawa warned the TPP was the very worst of trade deals and our government should have nothing to do with it. His warning also hit the wall of Ottawa’s leaden indifference. Our neoliberal government is determined to embrace every tyranny that comes along.
When Ottawa’s leaden indifference, and consummate diffidence, runs up against the likes of Joseph Stiglitz and Michael Hudson the shame is overwhelming. Stiglitz and Hudson are two of a small minority of economists who have not whored their souls to the sham ideology of neoliberalism. They are formidable truthseekers whose writings lay bare the true state of the world’s economic crisis.
Our feckless prime minister is still touting the line that free trade agreements (a tool of neoliberalism) create economic equality and are beneficial to the middle class. The opposite is true. These economists, along with others, provided the evidence The only beneficiaries of these agreements are the corporations that concoct them as they continue the economic, societal and environmental rape of nation states.
What Trudeau and so many other leaders fail to acknowledge is that the 2008 Wall Street meltdown was the death knell of neoliberalism, Even so, they continue to perpetrate this debilitating ideology.
Canada’s delegation arrived in China to make the incredibly impertinent demand that gender equality and labor standards are a pre-condition of any Canada-China free trade deal. This is comparable to arriving in Washington and asking the Americans to give up their guns and quit waging war. Where the Americans are the ultimate military imperialists the Chinese are economic imperialists on the verge of becoming the world’s leading economy, relegating the US to second place. To think they are going to heed demands coming from a pipsqueak appendage to the American Empire is just a bit naïve. China is an authoritarian communist state of over a billion people; like America it isn’t going to change anytime soon. It is an interesting paradox a Canadian prime minister would arrive in China with such audacious demands when he cowers in Washington’s presence.
While gender equality and labor standards are worthy concerns global poverty trumps them as the priority. Food on the table will be the primary concern of the world’s poor for some time. To deny this stark reality is no more than self-indulgent sophistry. We empower Governments to disassemble tyrannies not cater to them. Where they relinquish the powers and responsibilities vested in them they become no more than useful idiots serving prevailing tyrannies.
Under the Harper government Canada lost a lot of stature in the global community. Now we are losing even more as this government blunders from one disaster to another. We do not have a cogent view of the world we live in; or our place in it.