On the contrary, voting can bring about great social change
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” ~ Malcolm X
With the upcoming Ontario provincial election I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a member of the electorate. I firmly believe that the greatest power that we hold as citizens is the right to vote.
But few of us in Canada exercise a privilege residents of other nations have killed for. Foolishly we take our democratic rights for granted, and we shouldn’t because the framework that Canada was built on is crumbling.
Democracy is possibly the greatest revolutionary idea the world has ever seen. It gave the poor the vote. Democracy is a revolutionary idea because if you have power you use it to meet the needs of your community.
Governments know this, and in a world where 1% of the population controls 80% of the world’s wealth it’s mind-numbing that we allow them to get away with it. We could have stopped it long ago, with the vote. We can stop it now. By informing ourselves, and voting.
Corporations and governments have been working tirelessly together in an effort to demoralize the poor. One only has to look at the work force to see how this plays out.
A typical university student will graduate with an average of $27,000 worth of student loans to pay off. Then they’ll most likely get married, then they’ll buy a home. Already, in their early twenties they are shackled with debt. They need a job to pay off this looming burden, and every employer loves to employ someone with insufferable debt because it means they won’t cause any trouble.
As an employer you can get away with almost anything if all your employees are dependent on their steady pay cheque. The fear of termination surrenders an employee to almost any type of treatment, and believe me, it’s usually poor.
If you’re shackled with debt you become hopeless and hopeless people don’t vote. Keeping people hopeless and pessimistic controls them, it frightens, and demoralizes them.
And that’s what’s happening throughout the Western world. Unions are busted, pensions and benefits rescinded, salaries decreased, hours increased while a handful of people, always at the top the corporate hierarchy, who work the least, earn millions. It’s absolutely crazy that we let them get away with all of this deception.
We’ve come to believe that CEOs and board members are somehow smarter than we are. In most cases they have gotten where they are through nepotism, cronyism and because they were born with more advantages than the average person.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We have power. An educated, healthy, confident people are more challenging to govern. To get around this problem governments, now largely controlled by corporations, will do anything, stoop to the lowest level, to keep you, its people, disenfranchised. They mostly do this by controlling the media, and the news that you receive. Just look at Fox as evidence of how ignorant most Americans are.
I mean, Americans have to be ignorant for its leaders to get away with such malevolence. Maybe most American citizens are unfamiliar of their governments actions because their televised media does not accurately report the news? To get the truth they have to go outside of their own country, to news outlets like the CBC and BBC to know what’s really happening. But most Americans don’t do this because they’ve been raised on flashy screens, pharma commercials, sex-kitten-like female anchors and pundits who yell, but don’t listen to each other. They hear a good sound bite, repeat it, and think they know something.
To keep Americans in the dark the media has perfected the art of distraction. Make them feel insecure for not possessing. That way they’ll go out, buy crap, make old white men rich, and remain poor. Or it can be even more blatant, lead the news hour with celebrity marriages. Americans are more concerned with Kim Kardashian’s third wedding than the corruption of power that has repressed them.
And I don’t mean to pick on America. It is however, a nation that is run and operated by greedy corporations, more than any other country in the world. It’s a falling empire, and at the moment the world’s only superpower. Politicians are only too quick to profit along with the CEOs of these toxic companies.
Their health care is a great example of what I mean. Most Americans don’t even know what socialism is, they’ve been trained by propaganda promoted by their own elected officials, to believe that it is evil. But almost every Western country has adopted socialized medicine. And it’s far from evil, in fact, it’s loyal to what Jesus preached.
I hear American pundits trash Canadian health care all the time, but none of them have ever experienced what it’s like. As a Canadian, I can assure you that I have never had a problem with our system, and believe it to be one of the best in the world. It’s not perfect, but nothing is.
Despite all the knowledge of how effective universal health care is, Americans allow insurance corporations to make decisions for them. Who receives coverage, what procedures are covered, are all determined by companies trying to save money. That’s ludicrous! And with 30 million Americans without health insurance, it’s criminal.
Citizens allow all of this to happen out of fear. They’re afraid of socialism, but don’t know what it really is. But that’s how most of America has operated for decades now. Keep people afraid with simple repeated messages, and they’ll do almost anything. As a government, you cannot respect your citizens if you continue to lie to them.
People are being managed by their governments, to fit into the system rather than the opposite. The world is now run by corporations, not political leaders. People have become cynical and voter turn out is low in an attempt to reverse the power, and the purpose of the vote.
And that’s a shame, because with the vote comes tremendous power. A cross on a ballot ticket can destroy a government without killing anyone. That is insane when you think about it.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that we’re not living in a real democracy. Political leaders are continually cutting corporate taxes, preferring instead to gouge the poor. How do they get away with this? It benefits them, let us not be distracted by that. Power corrupts the moment a person is elected. Anyone who covets power is corruptible. We’re electing the wrong leaders, the ones who see money as their primarily goal.
These are common sense arguments that I’m presenting. A healthy nation is in the interest of all of us. Same with education. I benefit by the training of my doctor, the bus driver, etc. Educate people, and we could solve half the world’s problems.
Rather, we commodify people. The word customer is all the rave now, you hear it being used all the time. The ticket collector on the train now calls you a customer. But you’re not, you’re a passenger. Customer is only for people who have money. And what if you don’t have money? You’re no longer a person. Economic language classifies according to our money and not our need which leads to unhappiness. It dehumanizes the poor.
But wait. You’re unhappy, so here’s a pill you can take. It’s a vicious circle that makes zombies out of all of us.
Our values are currently made up of who is strong and weak, not right or wrong. Money is not a key to happiness, it is a corruption. Its focus is to compete, and to compete you must defeat someone. The human race will not survive on this ideology, and it isn’t thriving at the moment either.
We as people need to wise up to all of this. We need to stop being distracted by shiny objects that we can possess and regain power of the world. We’re now living in the age of the working poor. People are terribly unhappy, rates of mental illness are on the rise, obesity, diabetes, and a host of other chronic diseases continue to increase because we feel beaten by our governments.
We come home, we sit on the couch, we turn on the television, we self-medicate, and we zone out. With one vote, the power of that vote, if used in unison, can change the very way our world is run. It will give power back to the people, but first we need to change our priorities and learn to think for ourselves.