It’s interesting to me that a Conservative prime minister like Stephen Harper could be so anti-nationalist while constantly protesting his love of Canada. He had good teachers, however, in Brian Mulroney and the Liberals Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien, who, each in their own way, undermined Canadian sovereignty. It seems odd, doesn’t it, that the ‘leader’ of a developed country like Canada would be so intent on seeing it marginalized in the name of capital. I’ve written about this in previous blogs. Of course, there’s always been tension between the interests of the nation-state and that of capital. Now it seems we are living in the end times of the much-beloved institutions we call countries and the Harper government is leading the charge over the cliff, carving off bits and pieces of the resources of this country and making them available at rock bottom prices to global finance capital while we, the citizens of Canada, must sit by and watch our country being slowly dismantled.
Not that I’m a huge nationalist myself. I’m not any kind of ‘ist’ in this discourse. I understand the dynamics of history, particularly the political economy of capital accumulation, the impoverishment of greater and greater segments of the global population and the destruction of the environment along with the disappearance of countless species of animals. Studying all of this has been my life’s work.
Historically, we’re on a course, a course that will not be reversed and at best can be slightly mitigated in its negative effects on all of the global inhabitants, especially humans. Things will eventually get better for everyone, but not before they get a lot worse. The Harper government is the handmaiden of your disenfranchisement and the leading thrust in the destruction of the democratic process. We’re inevitably on our way to a world government with the global population having no voice in governance. Oh, there may be elections in the future, but they will be token nods to the concepts of real democracy, just as in Canada today. Our education system is designed largely by people who have drunk the Kool-Aid of national sovereignty, trade between countries and parliamentary political representation. Our youth know nothing about global capital accumulation and the inevitable intensive concentration of capital. If anyone learns anything these days about how the world really works, it’s in spite of the education system not because of it.
Private capital accumulation created countries during the bourgeois revolutions in Europe starting in the 11th century or thereabouts, but that evolutionary process was not without variation. Some European countries got a leg up with the early concentration of political power in fewer and fewer hands in larger and larger political units. Countries as we know them slowly evolved out of the amalgamation of small, independent political units. France was, for hundreds of years, made up of clans, the Breton, the Normand, the Alsaciens, the Savoyards, etc… Britain was, as we know, an amalgamation of many, sometimes warring factions, such as the Normans, the Saxons, the Angles, the Danes, the Welsh, Scottish, etc… In the 19th Century, these same countries imposed the same kind of political organization on much of the rest of the world with virtually all of Africa split up between European colonial powers between 1873 and 1896. Same thing happened all over the rest of the world. Now the process is being rationalized with the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund among many other organizations encouraging the global release of restrictions on global capital accumulation. The indebtedness of many countries is contrived and used as a means of disenfranchising national sovereignty, and that process proceeds apace. As I noted above, private capital accumulation created countries, and it will lead to their destruction.
Look forward to a more concerted assault on national sovereignty by national governments and, in response, the need for greater and greater vigilance and social action. What we’ve come to know as the Arab Spring will look like a picnic compared to what we will can expect in the future. Syria is a case study in how national leadership can make war on its own people. Expect more of that, much more.