(Ed. 2, Dec. 10/17)
I feel that we need to take the topic of strategies more seriously and pursue these different options when we feel strongly about what is going wrong in our society, whether it is one issue or many.
The main idea is to find our voice and use it.
1) Petitions through official channels – such as through the Canadian federal parliament or through the appropriate provincial legislature, or at other levels of government.
In combination, we should publicize the petition at the same time, which is an appropriate use of the Internet and social media in addition to print media if possible.
I don’t feel that Internet social media is an adequate mode of protest in itself because social media can be censored or marginalized (corralled), and it is not the same as interacting in the real world.
In this strategy, I feel it is best to keep the petition message simple, for example:
“Repeal [Name of Particular Law or Policy or Agreement]”
“Ban [Name of Particular Toxin or Activity]”
An individual can always explain their reasoning on a particular issue. Why waste time on long-winded appeals to evidence and arguments in a petition if enough people agree on such a clear and simple point. A political representative who sees such a petition can figure out the possible reasons and evidence for themselves by searching online or talking to their constituents or those who submitted the petition. The will of members of the public is what is important if that has been ignored. That is enough to show them up and make them think twice about what they are doing as politicians. The point is to embarrass and rebuke them as well as the corporations, think-tanks and media who back particular policies and laws.
2) Affidavits involving possible violations of the Criminal Code or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or Common Law, etc. These are presented to the police and especially to Crown Attorneys/prosecutors. It’s worth going through the Canadian Criminal Code and looking at the laws that might be applied directly to certain toxic chemicals, violations that involve health and property, and also to certain toxic forms of entertainment available to children and certain medical practices (I don’t believe freedom of speech should apply to indecent exposure). Possibly certain actions by governments are violating the Criminal Code also when it comes to torture and propaganda, etc, not to mention the policies that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
3) Law suits. I think individual lawsuits may be a good idea for those who have the resources (instead of or in addition to waiting around for others to arrange class action lawsuits).
4) Boycotts of products and organizations combined with letter-writing directly to those organizations (public or private, local or provincial or federal). In this case, individuals can express themselves freely and share their communications with the media – who can decide to ignore them if they want to do that (discredit themselves further, or maybe some will break ranks and join in the campaign).
Another Idea About the Use of the Political System
There is a problem with political parties. A political party is a centrally controlled organization and becomes ineffective as an organization controlled privately by the oligarchy–as with the major parties–they divide people into the camps of the false left-right paradigm and pretend to be very different while pursuing the same major policies–the same wars overall and the same trade agreements overall–the same internationalist agenda–protecting and supporting the same corporations, the same military-industrial and banking system, and the same population control policies to one degree or another, the same erosion of rights and freedoms, the same policies that destroy the value of human life, and the same fake environmental policies which are really for the purpose of resource monopoly.
The smaller political parties usually attract people who are more idealistic in my opinion, but they are also hedged in with ideologies that may include lots of truths (which is the case with the more traditional parties also by the way) but have been created already by third parties who have already laid out these ideologies in books and on websites–telling adherents what to believe. There is nothing wrong with expressing one’s views. This is a very valuable thing, but if the ideology is designed to exclude certain legitimate concerns so that a person’s view of reality is skewed, then the organization is always going to appear to be wrong or half wrong to many people. Many people will perceive the political party and its ideology as flawed and not join or be involved in it.
This was my experience with libertarianism (the right-wing North American kind). Libertarianism had room for many types of people, but it is definitely not conducive for the expression of certain very serious concerns.
Some of the concerns I had in mind, for example, were not the sort of thing libertarianism would easily accept because it’s too difficult to argue against the ideological biases of libertarians. Although other concerns about rights and freedoms would usually be accepted by libertarians, these other ones would be problematic for most of them:
a) “Free Trade” agreements that destroy jobs in Canada and erode our standard of living
b) Possible laws that need to be enforced to control pornography and some forms of violence in entertainment. Actually it seems that pornography is being subsidized by some entities and that a lot of it really is unacceptable and out of control, but the main issue is that the entertainment industry is not being held accountable for exposing children to nudity for decades. For decades, people have claimed that obscene lyrics in “music” and obscenities in films is some form of “free speech.” But it actually has nothing to do with the freedom of being able to express ideas about many topics clearly. Certain laws, even changes to the Criminal Code, concerning speech, are actually violations of the principle of free speech, which is supposed to be protected by the Charter and is part of our tradition as a people.
c) Education policies that sexualize and propagandize children. (Many libertarians would agree with this point I’m sure if they could as they tend to be opposed to government education anyway).
d) Wars that have no basis in truth and reality, that are not about self-defence. It was always hard to find agreement with libertarians concerning certain wars like Afghanistan, because so many believe the official story about 9/11 for example.
e) And the big one. Certain toxic substances that are used by governments, including the toxic waste called “fluoride,” genetically modified corn, endocrine-disrupting plastics, glyphosate, other pesticides and herbicides case by case, and many other things. Probably certain communications technologies and medical technologies and practices need to be challenged based on the harm they may be causing. This is too big a subject to get into here.
In other words, regardless of whether you agree with all of these points, you probably feel strongly about something that requires us (or a government) to defend our natural rights. Is there a way to slowly build up a parallel system based on the will of ordinary people that gradually takes control over some of the structure of the present system? Do we need to agree on everything? No, we don’t. And we won’t. So what? But I bet there’s more agreement to be found than people think.
These concerns usually require some kind of government–yes, it would be good to see the ideal form of government and I have newer ideas about that now which I could discuss at some point-possibly involving the formulation of a basic natural law that is enforced through community-elected judges–because some kind of government is necessary for our self-defence–for the defence of our lives, our health, our rights, our freedoms and laws that hold up and defend the value of human life. No, we don’t want an authoritarian, top-down government that pretends to be democratic and does whatever it wants, its members having sworn oaths to royal families and/or their corporations and banks. And those are the official oaths. Everyone who runs for office needs to be challenged also about the oaths and pledges they have already taken to whatever “friendly societies” they are members of.
And of course, by the way, if a person is elected to office, they would be faced with the prospect of having to swear such an official oath to royalty. But the people need to confront this issue anyway. The main goal is to “protest” so to speak, but to protest effectively and meaningfully, to show the system up, to show up the politicians as frauds, to show up the institutions and media as fraudulent also. If a candidate wins an election, that’s great.
In any case, the overhead with running a political party is too great (in terms of the extra work in collecting signatures for example) and the weakness involved in having it easily taken over and infiltrated by agents is a clear and likely possibility at all times.
So, I would recommend the following idea, that people who are willing to do this, run as independent candidates (provincially, federally or municipally).
These independent candidates are accountable to everyone they talk to. They can publicize their policies and present them to the public–having to follow the Elections Act is a big limitation of this, but whatever, this what it involves.
If others want to endorse these independent candidates, they go ahead and endorse them and promote them. At the moment, we have the Internet. If others find fault with them, they go ahead and find fault with them. And so, we have accountability–without a political party–and without a leader.
These candidates will not have a political party on their ballot, so the casual public will not know who they are. Those who are interested in them can look them up–the various independent candidates on a ballot–to see if they are part of this potential movement or not and they can see if what they say is to their liking and they can see what others say about them.
Candidates who have unrelated agendas won’t be of interest to the concerned segment of the public we are talking about and can be ignored.
If there are competing candidates in this movement of concerned people in the same district (“riding”), they can talk it over with each other to see if one will run in another district, or they can compete directly on the ballot based on their policies. If their differences really matter, those who are concerned among the public can evaluate each of them and pick the one they prefer.
Also, another point is that candidates who are associated with other parties (either members or ex-members) or even actual candidates for other political parties! (shock) –could potentially become choices for members of the public who are concerned about having a healthy society based on natural principles of truth, justice and rights–based on what the candidate actually says in their platform.
And I think this is an additional suggestion that seems reasonable to me as a method for meaningfully and effectively communicating opposition to a system that is more and more run on lies, tyranny and brutality.