Home > News > Feature/Profile > Opinion/Column > A year older – are we any wiser?
Opinion/ColumnReader Contributions

A year older – are we any wiser?

Map: Canada.ca

By David Anderson

What a beautiful thing it is to be a year older.

If done well, experience and wisdom will have tempered the brash and impetuous sides of our nature, producing a calmer, gentler, more forgiving demeanor; this is called “aging gracefully.”

Every birthday is a celebration, but it is also a time of reflection. An assessment of our position in the world, our achievements and, as prudence dictates, a tally of the errors and the knowledge the preceding year has produced.

A country’s milestone is no different; so let’s take a stroll down the lane called Canada and be honest about what we see.

Canada is regularly listed as one of the most livable countries in the world, meaning:

  • life expectancy is high, relative to the global population;
  • economic opportunities (jobs) are plentiful; 
  • the standard of living is good;
  • access to education is open to all; and,
  • a universal healthcare system  underpins every person in the country.

For a country, these attributes combined make Canada one of the most sought after destinations for the balance of the world’s population. So much so that, per capita, Canada boasts the highest immigration of the G7 countries. Fully 22 per cent of the population of Canada now identifies as an immigrant. This immigration is fueling population growth as the current birth rate of Canadian citizens is failing to keep pace with the death rate.

So let’s come back to the birthday at hand. What exactly are we celebrating?

The Canadian anthem would patriotically vaunt qualities like “The true north, strong and free,” but is that accurate? Or is it yet another clever way of stirring emotion to have a populous believe a narrative and thus remain docile, obedient, or productive? (And, in a very Canadian fashion, “nice.”)

A question of character

If you were to ask what kind of person I was, you would be seeking clarification of my character: my beliefs, tolerances, ethics, whether I was fair and loyal. In short, where my lines in the sand are, and what I will or won’t do.

This is the same question for the country, and it couples nicely with the annual assessment due on the birthday. A country is made up of more than its citizens, so that along with a demographic overview, the systems of government, media, corporate endeavors, culture and social drivers must also be examined.

It has been said that “all government is downstream of culture.” I agree with that concept but I will augment in this fashion: what was once a linear process, a flow from one to the other, has become a circular process propagandists have harnessed akin to a flywheel, gaining momentum with each new campaign. They use the energy of vocal segments of the culture to create the very things the government wants; and what do all governments want? More government, more spending and more dependence, for government is a very insecure establishment, it needs constant reassurance of its relevance in your life, and will go to any length to receive that validation.

As the behemoth of government grows, the greater its appetite for control and funding becomes. This dirty little secret is all around you, it has become so pervasive and insidious that for fear of persecution from the beast itself, or its faithful minions, most will “just go along to get along;” and that is why you get to keep some 39-45 per cent of the fruits of your labour. It is why the education system is not its namesake, but rather more aptly described as indoctrination factories producing the obedient cogs needed to keep the ever-growing government satiated.

This is why the highly skilled propagandist racks up victory after victory of dribble, having just enough truth within to be defensible.

The propaganda machine

I have long thought that the machine of government mimicked that of the corporate strategy room or of an advertising brainstorming session. In these places, there is a presented goal: sell this product, mitigate that argument and so on. If that mirroring is true, your tax dollars, your money, is spent to make you conform, to make you relinquish even more, to provide the system the needed resources  to extract even more in its quest of your obedience. The difference in the outcome between the corporate and the governmental worlds are, in one you receive an actual good or service you want, the other you are force-fed compliance, perhaps receiving some fraction of value for the monies extracted from you.

I have recently had it confirmed that these rooms with their whiteboards exist, at all levels, being highly coordinated within the multiple levels of the bureaucracy. One could argue the need for such a system of control, emphasizing its necessity, citing its efficiency and prudent expenditure of tax dollars. I would agree up to the point of examination of the real goals and the lack of transparency in these processes. When was the last time you saw a line-by-line expenditures statement from any level of government? Transparency is not just a talking point or a campaign slogan, but appears to have become one.

The propagandists: these are what the average Canadian would call “the media.” Make no mistake, they are all in on the growth of the governmental beast; they directly benefit from it. Consider this: you work, you pay taxes, you pay taxes, you pay taxes. Those hard-earned monies are willfully given to an organization bent on its own survival.  In turn, the tax collector distributes your money to propagandists drafting narratives and campaigns designed to bewilder and emotionally charge the taxpayer into believing that both the beast of government and the propagandists are there for your benefit. This scheme is to motivate you to give them more of your hard-earned labour, your emotions, your children, your undivided attention and defense of the overlords. Failure to worship at this altar will eventually be met with scorn and retribution.

So successful is this dyad, that the corporation has now seen the light and boarded the train headed towards feudalism. The addition of the corporate world is nothing new, per se, there has been a smaller scale in place for decades, if not longer, but as with the propagandists, the buy-in is now complete. The slush funds that pose as legitimate propping up for the betterment of society are a vailed system of racketeering. The beast would say: “If you tow the line, our line, then it will go well for you, failure to do so could mean the weight of government and all its bureaucratic minions descending upon you?” Who can stand under that weight?

You think I exaggerate? Ask any small business person what their forced compliance looked like over the last two years. Ask them what would have happened if they embraced choice over conformity; that’s culture for ya.

Wake up, people!

Before I conclude this birthday appraisal, there will be some that need to hear about, and mount a defense of the beast’s altruism. Kudos to you I say! However, this defense comes from a place of blissful ignorance, a blindness regarding the true nature of the system’s goals.

It is not altruism, despite the fact a moniker of good drips from the spigot of bureaucracy, it is self preservation and growth as is with all living organisms.

These defenders are either so entrenched to the system being parasitical for their own livelihood or identity as to refuse to see the destruction of the host upon which they feed or, they possess the deadly combination of a lack of common sense, distraction through drugs and entertainment, and a decision making process predominately based in emotion. These are two sides of the same coin being spent by power-brokers ultimately interested in their own wellbeing.

Wake up, people!

So, where are we? We live in one of the greatest land masses in the world with no end to the resources and opportunities available. But, we have a national debt growing about six million dollars per hour, that’s right, six million! What a lovely thing to pass on to the next generation(s).

We have a stated culture of “hard working Canadians.” That is true, so tell me why we need passage of a counterproductive bill proposing universal basic income for anyone over the age of seventeen? What does that teach? What kind of culture does that create? Remember, the only thing the government really wants is relevance and security for its own growth. Government takes more, so government can provide more, and along the way if a few people get rich, eh, that’s the cost of being so great to you.

Well, how about the “free” part of the strong and free? That remains right? I mean we have a Bill of Rights, a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, laws and jurisprudence protecting those freedoms. Well, short answer: as long as the behaviour lines up with the stated, and unstated, wishes of the ruling elite, you can have your hockey and Netflix.

I encourage you to look at the recently debated Senate bill S-7. It is in direct conflict with the “land of the free.”

In closing, I simply ask, what is this thing called Canada we are celebrating? Is there a definitive answer that can be supported by evidence? And don’t give me the caricatures of hockey, toques, igloos and the over used cure-all of the Canadian “sorry.”

A mosaic can only remain cohesive with a larger vision; a cultural identity and values that transcend the special interests of each piece of the tapestry. I would love to see a dialogue commence surrounding this identity. Whatever the outcome of that discussion, at least there would be something objective to hang our collective hat on.

Happy Canada Day!

***

David Anderson has worked as a Truck Driver, Chef, Pastor, Counsellor, and in Program Development in the recovery community. Now he works to improve the quality of life through truth; he provides education and skills training in common sense, personal responsibility, quality decision-making skills and emotional management. David hopes Canada returns to sanity before the pending economic truth causes BC to be sold to China to cover the foreign-owned debt.