Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Don't We Get a Say In This?

Did you get the memo? I didn't. That's why it came as a surprise to hear the Dauphin proclaim Canada the world's first "postnational" country. He did it in a British newspaper, The Guardian.

This is Trudeau's brainfart. He didn't run on the idea. He didn't consult us about it. He didn't seek any "social licence" or the nod from our First Nations. He just did it and he let the Brits in on it first. That's a bit of a slap in the face.

What is a "postnational" state? Well it's probably a country purged of nationalism, not just the bad kind but also the good. Remember that good nationalism that brought us together for our country's centennial, back in the days of Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, that did so much to unite us and inspire us as a people? Well, for our nation's 150th birthday, Slick thinks it's time to ditch all that.

Multiculturalism is all well and good as is immigration when deftly managed for the betterment of the country and our communities. But surely that can't be a definition of postnational.

What is a state? It's generally recognized as comprising four qualities - sovereignty, population, territory and government. If an entity has political sovereignty  and a defined territory, an identified population living within that territory under their own government then it has achieved nationhood. It's not a colony, it's a country. We distinguish citizens from residents. We know, and supposedly defend, our defined territory. We have established a government to lead the country. A, B, C and D - the nation of Canada.

So what incidents of this nationalism are we supposed to have jettisoned or moved beyond to achieve this postnationalism and, better yet, why? The way our prime minister put it in his gushy interview with The Guardian a little while back, we've moved past national, i.e. "Canadian" values. We don't really have core values now.

Where the fuck did Junior get that idea? Did he ask you? He sure didn't ask me? His dad seemed to think we had Canadian values, fine and essential values, some of which he enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These were the same values we celebrated during the Centennial that brought us together and made us feel proud to be Canadians. How proud do you feel when you're told that you're postnational, liberated from all those core values you only imagined were real?

If we're post national, we're taxpayers, not citizens. We are consumers and this thing we call government is the ultimate Big Box store. We have no core values any more which begs the question of why we should bother defending our diminished way of life? The invisible hand of the marketplace can guide Justin as it did Harper.

My take? This is bullshit, another enfeebled proclamation from a mildly addled mind. This could be a dangerous assumption.

Here's the thing. We're entering an extremely dangerous century where we will face the synergy of novel impacts never before experienced be they political, economic, social and environmental. Overconsumption, overpopulation, and environmental impacts - they're all coming barreling down the same tunnel straight for us.

There won't be any country that isn't hammered by these impacts even if only indirectly. Yet, of all the world's nations there are a handful, five or perhaps six by some estimations, that are different than all the others and that are positioned to better deflect or absorb these several blows. One of that handful is Canada.

It's not been our doing. We're just lucky, like most of the other high northern latitude countries in this group. Whether it's northern Russia, the Scandinavians, or Canada we've got something in common - a lot of empty space reaching to the far north. That could just be our lifeboat.

The rest of the planet? In the 12 thousand year history of civilization, mankind expanded through, populated and developed the "rest of the planet," especially the tropical and subtropical belts. It was a lot easier to live and farm and settle and wage war where it was warm than where it got really, really cold. Better growing seasons, better transportation and communications, that sort of thing. That was a major factor in how the US came to have ten times the population of Canada and why the majority of Canadians live in that narrow belt along our southern territory. It's why you don't find Ottawa on the shores of James Bay (unfortunately).

To meet these coming challenges and take full advantage of Canada's fortunate circumstances, we're going to need as much social cohesion as we can muster. That's going to take a population, no matter their ethnicity, who can coalesce around, uphold and defend clearly understood core values.

Trudeau has decided to take Canada in precisely the wrong direction and we didn't even get a say in it.


Unknown said...

Trudeau talks alot about neoliberalism and now postnationalism and he knows nothing about either subject. Someone is really pitching him on these subjects, but they have pitched to him that neoliberalism and postnationalism are really good for the country.

He sounds ridiculous Mound. He actually is bragging about Canada being the first postnational country.He can't even connect the dots, that if Canada becomes postnational, it will be at the sacrifice of our sovereignty.

The domestic and global neoliberal elite must just love him.I know I've said this before, but when he speaks on any serious subject he really sounds like a grade 8 student who is reciting from his memorized lesson from the night before. No one challenges him, they just let him blather on.

He never will consult Canadians on whether they want to become a postnational country. This is a guy that is taking us down a road where we could end up having no country, because having no sovereignty means having no country.People were afraid this would happen under Harpers regime, but as it's turning out our sovereignty could be destroyed by this village idiot.

Trudeau has no political philosophy, because he holds no philosophical ideas. That's quite an achievement considering his fathers philosophical motto was Reason over passion, who if I'm not mistaken was from Rene Decarte, who was Trudeau Sr's favourite philosopher.

I'm hoping sooner rather than later that Canadians realize that Justin Trudeau as PM is in way over his head. I find it hard to even listen to him anymore.

Unknown said...

I agree that Justin is full of neo-liberal cant. But remember his daddy was an outspoken anti nationalist - "Pierre Trudeau citizen of the world" he posted on his dorm door. He only advanced nationalist causes when he had to because he was dependent on NDP support. The apple does not fall far.

the salamander said...

.. Canadians have a lot of work to do.. to get 'our' politicians under control.. The key is to wake up and insist that elected politicians are 'our public servants' & not annointed wondergilz n boyz of their respective political parties. That's how America ended up with a Donald Trump as Commander in Chief. I like how Iceland just jailed the creeps n nincompoops who thought they were above the law.

'You work for us' .. and so do the unelected appointees.. The PMO are not the high altar boyz n girlz with tickets to ride. Ray Novak comes to mind.. and Jenni Byrne who flitted back and forth from paid Reform Party creepo to taxpayer paid bureaucrat, on the whim or direction of Herr Harper and Ray - Ray being at one dismal point, the 2nd most powerful politician in Canada. That's not 'politics' that's not public service.. that's power structure run amok, on our dime.. and telling us to grin, bear it, wear it..

That evangelical mythology has to end.. Forget 'electoral reform' .. the entire process has become so convoluted and twisted.. by political parties that as a country - Canada has become a dysfunctional faux wannabe democracy - Oh I trust the citizenry.. but once we vote it all goes in the shitter.. and the horses are out of the barn, the stable doors swingin in the wind & hogs in the trough, rats in th granary.

We have creeps like Kellie hiring creeps like Kouvalis who was hired by Christy - We get creeps like Ken Boessenkool working in the political closets.. the invisibles like Stephen Lecce.. the creepy leagle beagles like Hamilton interfering regarding Election Fraud & from within the highest circles of politics.. the Tom Flanagans.. PM's accepting paper bags of cash at clandestine coffee shop meetings !

.. dirtbag reality .. captured government r us ...

susansmith said...

Trudeau reminds me of Margaret Thatcher when she opined that "there is no such thing as society". Post nationalism is about individualism and the cosmopolitan - post national world, it's polyannish, with failure to acknowledge - meaningfully - that in an unequal world, change that comes in the form of a homogenizing neo-imperial agenda is done in a cosmopolitanism way.

It's reveals arrogance of the cosmopolitan being who easily crosses borders & transcends cultures/classes because of privilege.

chris said...

How awful!

The Mound of Sound said...

I wonder if the emergence of today's neoliberal political caste doesn't spell the end of liberal democracy. As John Ralston Saul observed, neoliberalism is a cult, a very powerful cult.

Readers of this blog know that I've addressed the issue and blight of neoliberalism repeatedly and at some depth. It's fairly easy to trace its progression from Mulroney and his successors, Chretien, Harper and now Trudeau. They all accept it as orthodox in a purely belief-driven construct which is why they're tightly bound to their faith even as evidence masses that it's a deeply flawed and failed ideology.

Last summer, Harvard prof, Dani Rodrik, put it this way: "democracy, national sovereignty and global economic integration are mutually incompatible: we can combine any two of the three but never have all three simultaneously and in full”

In my opinion, Trudeau, like his predecessors, is all too willing to shed aspects of both our democracy and our national sovereignty in the obsessive pursuit of global economic integration. I expect his view of a "postnational" Canada merely confirms this.

I think Jan is onto something when she describes Trudeau and his caste as "cosmopolitan" - detached from the electorate even while grabbing every photo op to suggest otherwise. This seems to be the way of the autocrat. Sad, really.

Hugh said...

Decades of deficits and growing debt are projected, but it's ok as long as GDP grows every year.

If GDP doesn't grow, that's a major problem.

GDP absolutely must grow.

Anonymous said...

This is classed as gdp..

The movement of does not necessarily bring improvements to our lives..


Hugh said...

Who benefits from growing debt? Some ones are receiving interest payments.

The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting point, TB. I think it was JRS in "The End of Globalism" who chronicles that nearly half of all economic activity recognized as GDP is really just moving money from one account to the next, shifting revenue from one subsidiary to another.

We now exist in a world in which wealth is notional, gossamer thin at best, while debt and degradation are as hard as concrete. Bubble economics now sustain the neoliberal order.