Here’s a short yet poignant reality check on why your property rights, human rights and every other “right” you thought was engrained in our existence as a “citizen of this once great Province” is a sham!
“Communitarianism” or as it used to be called “Communism” is the new “buzz word” for world leaders and U.N. advocates of “what’s good for you regardless of what’s wrong with the results”. The means of conveyance of this New World Order concept is all wrapped up in a macabre and frightening method called AGENDA 21.
Too “Orwellian” to be taken seriously?………………….then don’t go any further and rest assured you won’t have to experience a massive brain cramp wrapping your head around just how bad the leadership of this political gulag called planet Earth has become.
OR……………if you have ever asked yourself: “how the hell did the world become so upside down”……………then READ ON…………………..
At the time this article was written Pat Lorjé was a member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and Chair of the Government Caucus Committee on Employment and the Economy and Chair of the Crown Corporations Committee
Communitarianism is a modern social movement consisting of individuals and organizations who have come together to promote the view that individual liberties depend upon bolstering the foundations of civil society: community consensus on social and moral values; emphasis on the responsibilities of citizenship; and a focus on the community rather than on individuals or the state. Communitarianism is a non sectarian, and non partisan movement which held a Forum on February 16, 1996. Speakers included Professors Amitai Etzioni and Charles Taylor, Father Bill Ryan, Andrew Coyne and Pat Lorjé.The Forum was held on Parliament Hill through the co-operation of the Deputy Speaker, David Kilgour. In this article the author examines some of the new and creative approaches found in Communitarianism and offers some cautionary and practical notes.
In the excitement of embracing a “new movement”, we must not forget a basic truth embodied in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. Parents will recognize this cautionary tale of a curious and deep friendship between Wilbur, the very innocent pig, and Charlotte, the very wise spider. One line speaks to me and my ilk: “Wilbur ran again to the top of the manure pile, full of energy and hope.”
My re-election to a once honourable profession makes me keenly aware of the need to mix idealism and practicality as we trumpet the New Jerusalem. We need whisker-sharp antennae to know how far, and how fast to implement our ideas. If we are too far ahead of people, we lose. If we are too far behind, we atrophy. So, like Wilbur, politicians constantly run to the top of the manure pile, full of energy and hope.
Indeed, many communitarian ideas certainly fill me with energy and hope that the partisan debate can be transformed to a discourse on effective improvements. Nevertheless, I have been around the political game long enough to be wary of the shifting nature of the pile where I stand. Our modern task, to move the public agenda from the central level to the community level, will be most effectively accomplished if we engage the public in dialogue and action on the important and compelling notion of stewardship, the balance between citizens’ rights and responsibilities. Simultaneously, the discussion needs to move beyond individuals and also focus on the duties and obligations of our systems in this objective. This means we need to be acutely aware of some of the practical problems associated with devolving power and enhancing and enriching communities.
Although ideals and ideology are the elemental soul of politics, beliefs must be balanced with practicality.
It is wonderful, as we move beyond an international duel of command versus market economies, to come across fresh ideas that shift our thinking into completely new directions. My only caveat to the lure of communitarianism is one expected from an unapologetic social democrat: this movement, to succeed at all, must not rely simply upon attitudinal change. Economic change is equally important. Otherwise communitarianism will be seen as mere middle-class moralizing, and pompous rhetoric from those who already have their oar for the lifeboat. Enlightened self-interest is a tacky excuse for a social movement.
Governments today come in two forms – maintenance, or change. The former simply props up the status quo of the privileged. This leads to bitterness, cynicism, and disdain for the political process. The logical consequence is demands for direct democracy (which surely is the most easily manipulable tool of all) and government by referendum. In Saskatchewan, we try to buck the trend, and be a government of change – by design not default. It is not easy. Our key job is to involve people in a meaningful communal fashion, and to make sure that the politicians stay out of the way as much as possible.
These strategic changes aim to ensure that everyone feels a sense of stake. Citizens cannot be meaningfully engaged in change, or even in the day-to-day maintenance of systems unless they feel a sense of urgency and involvement. Who cares about their country’s economic or moral health if they do not feel a sense of belonging, of stake? It is not only the direct owners or shareholders of economic assets who have a legitimate interest in how those assets are used. For example, the weekly transfer of electronic funds equal to or greater than the 4 trillion dollar American debt is something that effects all of us directly.
It is too easy to get caught up in day-to-day political crises and titillations. We then tend to forget the larger context. Issues like the continued drift and anomie of our citizens. Issues like simplistic calls for boot camps and long gun registration to combat violence. Issues like work-for-welfare against a back-drop of tax write-off business lunches. What about the children born into poverty and despair, who have no voice? Or those who have no ears because of the clack-clack-clack of manufactured crises?