Compromise and the Possible in Politics

If you wanted to create a compromise position that would address the concerns of the Freedom Convoy and also the political/managerial class in Canada, would it be possible? The Prime Minister says no (through Twitter and Zoom, continuing not to explain exactly where he is physically located). This is because:
  • His opponents cannot be compromised with because they are racist Nazis (the Managers seem to encounter a highly improbable number of Nazis in the world; this time the evidence seems to be that some placards compare vax mandates with the treatment of Jews by the Nazis -- which hardly puts the Nazis in the position of good guys, I notice, oddly for those who are supposedly Nazis themselves); 
  • who lie and insult (and apparently threaten, although they assert they will be peaceful he shows no signs of being willing to appear in public anywhere near any of them, regardless of security arrangements); 
  • and who desecrate war memorials (this latter apparently referring to a single woman who was dancing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Canada).
This definitely requires thinking the absolute worst it is possible to think of tens of thousands of your fellow citizens who normally work for a living and pay the taxes that funds your salary. Politics was supposed to be the art of the possible, which meant seeking compromise in spite of differences.

The attitude is nevertheless common among the Convoy opponents. If you ask the Manager whom the Washington Post hired to explain the situation to Americans, there can be absolutely no compromise because opponents are too irrational to formulate a position: instead, the government must be "a strict line of resistance that doubles down" on everything they hate -- which, actually, suggests to me that the author knows perfectly well what they want and could easily compromise with them if inclined. (Is it appropriate for a party allegedly aligned with the common man, in a democratic society, to 'strictly resist' the people while 'doubling down' on everything they hate?)

Weirdly, to me, a compromise position appears to be quite obviously in reach because they both want the same thing. Ottawa's mayor put it this way (quote in first link, above): "You have the right to protest, you've had your protest, please move on. Our city has to get back in normal stead." 

The protest itself is merely a demand to "get back to normal." That's literally all they want: they want the Canada of the last hundred years back. (Cf. "Make America Great Again," which likewise merely demanded a return to the normal condition before we started making trade deals against our interests and policing the global economic order instead of pursuing national interests like defense). You could give them at least some of their normal back, in return for them giving you at least some of yours.

The Managers do not want that normal, which is also very odd. Canada has always been described to me as a pretty happy place, where people are exceedingly polite and the health care system is supposed to be enviable compared to our own. 

That is now how the Managers describe their own society. It's almost as bad as ours, to hear them tell it. 
The convoy speaks of threats to liberty. It would be close to something if the participants weren’t so far off. Threats to liberty are rampant in Canada, but not because of vaccine mandates. Rather, it is income and wealth inequality; worker exploitation; gendered, religious, racialized and other forms of hate violence; ongoing settler colonialism; and other forms of structural marginalization and oppression that compromise liberty. Same as it ever was.

The “Freedom Convoy” is a regrettable movement that offers a reminder that open societies will produce protest movements — as they should. However, when those movements are toxic, they must be denounced and resisted. 

I think I may have to adopt the policy of referring to this class as 'the Managers' on a semi-permanent basis, and to this sort of I-hate-my-country description as "the Litany of Bullshit." Canada is a perfectly nice place that is having some hard times that are self-inflicted by its own government, which apparently hates it, its people, and its history. Such a government cannot have any claim to democratic legitimacy, which at minimum requires loyalty to and love of the demos of which one is a part. 


Anonymous said...

I've been keeping up with the Freedom Convoy since it first appeared on the internet, and keeping up with Canadian politics for five or six years now, at least. The damage that the Liberal's [political party] policies have done to freedom of speech [hate-speech laws, and who defines hate speech], ignoring real problems in favor of apologizing for things that seem not to have happened, or that are being done by the very people demanding apologies and funds, the very high taxes on energy (heating prices have more than tripled since 2014), and the absolutely draconian and harsh lock-downs, mandates, and vaccine passes (no vaccination? no food [New Brunswick, later quietly revoked because the grocery stores did not want to go through the work of enforcing it]) . . . When you pile all that and more, it is no wonder that the Silent Majority is now outside Parliament honking and waving flags.

I especially like the "Don't Tread on Me" angry Canada goose.


Christopher B said...

Tangentially related, Remember last summer when a mass grave containing the remains of hundreds of children was found on the grounds of a former government boarding school for indigenous children in British Columbia, Canada?

In the seven months since this shocking news broke, not one body has been found, and not a single shovel-full of dirt has been excavated from the site in question. Contrary to the worldwide media coverage last summer, nothing, in fact, has been “discovered” on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.


That was more than seven months ago. Not a single corpse has been exhumed from the site since then. No human remains, of children or anyone else, have been found and confirmed as a result of the radar search.

Aggie said...

Listening to the hate rhetoric on racist/violent etc etc protestors, one might get the idea it's made up of knuckle-dragging white men. The pictures and videos suggest something very different. Not a single arrest yet, nationwide I read. Now that some kind of cognitive dissonance the politicians are getting on board with. I wonder how much of Canada is buying it when the evidence-to-the-contrary is just a few blocks over in many cases.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

They think that "toxic" protests should be "denounced and resisted." Private citizens should be able to do just that. When a government starts doing the same thing it is quite different. A fairly elementary distinction that is being overlooked.

ymarsakar said...

Publicly execute Prime Minister J Castro. Then the next dark state successor.Then the next. And then the next. After awhile, they will give it up and let the fools risk their lives, and then the system will lose grip of the top elites.

ymarsakar said...

"That was more than seven months ago. Not a single corpse has been exhumed from the site since then. No human remains, of children or anyone else, have been found and confirmed as a result of the radar search."

These are orders given to the media to create conspiracies to cover up the other conspiracies. It is based on a real fundamental set of hidden facts and events.

In the US, it would be the case of Fauci torturing children to death, which happened.

A cover up would be distracting the public by focusing only on animals or saying that all these are Project Veritas cons. Discrediting conspiracists is not that hard for teh CIA. They been doing it for decades. The public laps it up.

douglas said...

"I especially like the "Don't Tread on Me" angry Canada goose."
That's not bad. I also like the version with a beaver and catchphrase "Mind Your Own Dam Business".
They've been coming up with some pretty good memes.