Monday, January 07, 2019

Thoughts on the BC Referendum

Many of who are radical or anarchistic regret the failure of the latest attempt to extend democracy in BC. We do so, not out of any naive faith in the parliamentary system. Rather, we wish that the alleviation of the deadly serious social, environmental and economic problems occur with the minimum of disruption and violence. While some of us wish for peaceful solutions for moral reasons – and these must be respected – I do so for pragmatic reasons – the more peaceful social change, the less likely the lasting bitterness that poisons the social body and the less harm that will occur to my friends and myself.

The kleptocrat, dominator minority plainly do not want peaceful change, and thus have struggled successfully to prevent the installation of a system that would make such change more likely. As our socio-economic-environmental problems mount, so too will the pressure for change. The parliamentary road, while perhaps not totally blocked, will continue to face serious obstructions. What must we do? 

We must acknowledge the problems with the parliamentary route without taking the dogmatic stance of throwing the baby out with the bath. The semi-democracy which is the parliamentary system evolved out of a system of oligarchic rule 200 years ago. It is essentially the Dominator System's adaptation to the growing desire for democracy that arose in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The focus of this evolution was to allow for a certain amount of change without uprooting the dominator class. The ideology of neoliberalism imposed post-1980s seeks to make change impossible and thus helps create and maintain an essentially klepocratic dominator system.

The parliamentary struggle is therefore essentially on the dominator system's terrain.
Centuries of domination can only have an important psychological impact upon the populace. This results in a combination of servility and a mixture of ignorance and acceptance. The former will believe whatever their masters tell them, the latter will be oblivious, with few if any political ideas, motivated more by a fear of change or an attitude of "yeah, there are problems, just don't bother me about them." Taken together, these groups can be a majority, or a minority large enough, given our FPTP system, to allow the formation of right-wing governments.

This is the social base from which the klepotcrats draw support and prevent change. There is a difficulty for the dominator system, in that its supporters are largely passive – voting for them and not much else. (there are the fascists, but they remain a tiny ineffective minority) Let's just say that direct action is not their terrain. 

Direct action, is OUR terrain, whether that action takes the form of building cooperative alternatives, strikes, civil disobedience, blockades etc. (And it goes without saying, given our cultural-historical background that such direct action must be non-violent) Some 1,017,00 people voted for the Greens, and the NDP. If only 10% of those people were to engage in direct action, we could bring the system to its knees should the kleptocrats regain power.


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