Monday, October 26, 2015
Back to Reality, People, and Put Your Shoulder Into It.
It's magical thinking, belief-based opinion making that can be completely detached from fact, reality.
It was the thought process that guided our outgoing prime minister. The world and everyone and thing in it were what he believed them to be. His was a mind not heavily burdened with the pursuit of fact. The fight against climate change was a socialist plot, that sort of thing. That's not to say he wasn't also a duplicitous, secretive, manipulative swine. He was all that and more.
I regularly indulge in belief-based constructs. It happens throughout the night as I sleep. We call it dreaming. Sometimes I imagine I can do the most amazing things as though I had never endured the toll exacted by six decades of life. Then I wake up and the switch is flipped back to consciousness and reality.
My point is that nap time is over. Back to reality. Facts in, fantasy out. Evidence in, belief out. Rationality in, ideology out. There'll still be plenty of speculation, opinion but it has to be informed opinion - expert opinion - and measured speculation, not gut instinct faith.
The embrace of magical thinking by our former prime minister and his dutiful minions has left us in a bad place - economically, politically, environmentally and even socially. This has given rise to any number of failures - on climate change; inequality in all its guises (wealth, income, opportunity); the rise of corporatism, neoliberalism and illiberal democracy; futile militarism in lieu of peacekeeping; unsustainable exponential growth; energy policy; Canada's now sullied international reputation - on and on and on.
We have to begin to halt the slide on all of these issues/threats. That's a truly Herculean chore beyond any prime minister. Trudeau cannot set all these things right. He has neither the resources nor the time. What he can do, however, is struggle to slow them down as much as possible. He can buy us time so that perhaps we can find solutions, new approaches to some, perhaps even most of them.
When you explore these looming threats it's amazing how you'll find most of them are rooted in ideology. Not only are they conceived out of ideology but that same ideology nurtures and defends them by encouraging denialism. As a nation, a people, we can't live like this any more.
Justin's father had a motto: Reason over Passion. We could use a return to that now.