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Hope

Those few who have been reading this blog have probably reached the conclusion that I carry a lot of anger around with me. I'm sure some of you dismiss it as sour grapes, well he's obviously poor, not part of the power structure etc. So he feels left out and has no option but to criticise. Maybe that does have something to do with it, but the thing is I come from a very privileged background(upper middle class) and live in one of the most privileged societies in the world. Unlike the majority of the world's population, including countries such as the United States) I have access to free medical care, a social welfare system that supports the disabled maintain a marginal standard of living, have the freedom to speak my mind, and live relatively without fear of death or injury.

That being the case, why all the anger? A prevailing attitude is that you should just be grateful for what you have and not bite the hand that feeds you. This attitude has filtered down into the public consciences from the top recently as an attempt by governments to provide a target for the frustrations of the middle class who have seen their true earning power erode over the years. By deflecting the blame away from failures in our system, and themselves, the powers that be have created a scapegoat of those most unlikely too defend themselves. By blaming society's woes on it's victims you not only justify any actions taken against them but you ensure, at the least, benign complicity from the public at large. It also gives the added benefit of making people like me seem like ungrateful whiners.

Its a very cynical take on the divide and conquer technique. Instead of simply insuring that the disparate elements of society stay separate through laws of status, class and culture, an us and them attitude is generated that ensures support for policies comes from people who are nominally opposed to your. An example of this was in the province where I live in Canada, Ontario, a conservative government siphoned union rank and file support away from a pro labour party by slashing taxes at the expense of social programs while demonising the poor as cheats, drunks and lazy. This type of policy only works if you can count on people being selfish enough to not care about those less fortunate then themselves.

Unfortunately that is something that governments seem to be able to count upon in more and more situations. The environment, health care, and education are just three areas that I can think of off the top of my head where they have or are attempting to play this card. Sacrificing the air we breath with dire warnings of the economic fall out of lowering greenhouse gases; closing half the hospitals to save tax dollars, declaring a health care crises because of increased waiting times for care, then promising better service if only we could have a system where people with the money to afford private insurance would be able to go to private hospitals; and tying funding for Universities to numbers of students graduating in so called professional programs while gutting the grant and loan system, in an attempt to get more "bang" for the taxpayers dollar.

In each instance there is dependence on the short-sightedness of the public at large for these policies to work. Those chickens are going to come home to roost as real ugly turkey vultures one day soon. Our air will be unpredictable, the costs for health care will actually increase as more and more people are unable to get regular medical attention they will eventually need expensive long term care to deal with illnesses that could have been prevented with timely intervention, and with universities turned into factories to produce a professional class, affordable to professionals only, the gap between the rich and poor will continue to widen, and any hope that people may have had of bettering themselves will disappear.

I guess this begs the question of why I've called this post Hope. It's not sarcasm, its genuine. You see there is hope. Look at the things that make me angry. Look at what they're dependent upon. Everything is dependent on us doing and being the way governments want us to be. They cynically manipulate our emotions to contrive situations that will elicit the response they want from us. They couldn't do any of the things they do without our acquiescence. That's where the hope lies. That we can change the world. We are not powerless. Our leaders are the ones without power, all that they are they get from us. If we want health care then we must demand it. Don't take no for an answer.

The time of excuses is over. Stop blaming the politicians, look at yourself in the mirror and ask what is more important to you. A little extra money in your pocket or your child staying healthy, having a chance at an education, and being able to grow up in a world with fresh air. You are your own best hope for a better world, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and don't trade it away for the false hope of instant gratification.

cheers
gypsyman


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