They're Building a Box -
and you're in it
pull back the wizard's curtain and throw the chains from your brain
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On Green Island
They're Building a Box and you're in it
Dave Patterson
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From Hastings to Green Island
a word on the Writer

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair

- all over the English speaking world it's not as good as they want you to believe -
Ground-down Britons reveal the strain of modern living
Number of pensioners going bankrupt increases 700%

We all 'work' - right??? But - Should being a CEO making 50 million bucks a year, or being a baseball player getting a couple of million bucks a year, be called 'work' the same way we call cleaning toilets in bus stations or punching a timeclock for all of your life at some job you hate is called 'work'??? Is there a scam of some sort happening here???? Is there some difference between 'good' work that people like and 'bad' work they'd get out of in a second if they could? How many people are doing good and how many bad? That might be relevant here as we consider how 'great' the country is, for surely a 'great' country wouldn't be full of people doing 'work' they hated ....

For in an exact sense the present crisis of western democracy is a crisis of journalism... - Walter Lippmann

Canadian happy beaver book cover - poverty and policy in Canada Poverty and Policy in Canada stress road rage

Center for Social Justice (Canada)

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. - Bertrand Russell..

Pogo - what if the 10,000 is wrong and the one guy is right and the one guy is right?

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers. - Thomas Pynchon

Chapter 8 - They're Building a Box - and you're in it

It's a nice farm, but don't confuse being a well-fed cow with being a farmer....

Ok, but still - so what does all that add up to?

The massive money supply fraud and theft, the stealing of people's work, the false democracy, the indoctrination,the untrustworthy media and traitorous politicians and many other things, all these things seem real enough - and yet Canadians still apparently live in a very free and prosperous country just like we are told, keeping enough of the money they earn to have a pretty good life it seems overall, admired all around the world for the high quality of life here in general, rather than some Stalinesque miserable totalitarian kind of poverty-ridden society full of shambling shackled slaves - so -

- what's happening here? There seems to be a fundamental and serious contradiction between the two ideas that really needs to be explained if anyone is going to take all of this seriously.

Well, quite a lot of things are happening, as usual. It's a busy and very complicated thing, human society, an almost countless number of people and situations, changing constantly through even the short time of maybe the last 200 years of history, small changes and big changes, slow changes and fast changes, shifting boundaries for everything as old influences recede and new influences become dominant, a huge, endlessly morphing and shifting kaleidoscope of human activity.

But there are some big currents that can be traced through time as well.

Things like the overall power structure in societies, which is what I write about here. I think a big change is underway right now, and seeing it in hindsight is not going to do much good. It's a change very much for the worse for 'we the people', and if we don't understand it now, and stop it - it will be too late. Think, perhaps, of the German people in the late 1930s - do you think they might have done more to stop Hitler if they could have seen what was coming for their country? They knew by ten years later that Hitler had been making some very bad plans that were going to have some very serious repercussions on them all, but figuring that out in the late 1940s didn't do them much good. Hindsight may be 20-20, but it cannot change history. Remember the Titanic, the ‘unsinkable’ ship.

We are, I think, in something of a similar situation - things seemed to be going great in Germany in the 1930s under Hitler - things seem to be going pretty great in Canada today in many ways, at least according to the MSM and the 'isn't life great!?!' advertisements we see on the tv most of the time.

But. Are things as great as they seem, or....????

First, about the apparent contradiction between the 'great Canada' you see on the media, and the not-so-great Canada I talk about in this book - consider that the contradiction between the great, free democratic Canada and the not-so-great, not-so-democratic one I describe may be somewhat more apparent than real.

Two different things can exist in the same place at the same time, especially during transitions, or one thing can display two different faces (or more). Think of any of the mass murderers we know about in recent history - almost always, the neighbors have said he, or rarely she, was just such a fine and caring person, or something like that. And yet the same person, from another perspective, was a psychopathic monster with no regard for human life at all. A certain Paul Bernardo comes to mind, a fitting enough metaphor for this entire idea here, a good-looking, smiling, well-admired, successful businessman (and, we should note, in our superficial society, largely admired because he was young and good-looking and apparently successful with a smiling conman's geniality - we do far, far, far too much judging in our society based on superficial appearances like this, and are of course encouraged to do so by our indoctrination and media) - doing and plotting evil things. Very much like our current rulers in Canada. The toothy conman, grinning as he steals all you have. With you grinning back to be polite.

Or think of standing in the middle of Saskatchewan, and how flat the world looks. Think of looking at the world from the moon - very obviously a big ball, not at all flat. Both things are true, it just depends on where you're standing, what your perception is. From inside a box, or a room, your vision is constrained and you see only what is within that box or room. From outside the box or the house, you see lots more.

And remember just how much your perceptions in and of the modern world are shaped by your education and media, the indoctrination I talked about in the last chapters, and how misled you have been by those entities concerning the very important things I talked about at the first - and consider that there may be other things they have been giving you false information about as well; I am sure you can think of at least a few from your own experience. Consider that the things you see on the television, where most people get most of their ideas about how things are in Canada or elsewhere these days, may not be the entire truth.

So consider another new idea you may find a bit unbelievable - the greatness of your country, of Canada, no matter how much you want to believe this or have been taught to believe it, or how great it may appear on the surface, or how great the talking heads on the tv constantly tell you it is - may be another of these deceptions, another bit of legerdemain promoted by those with a vested sort of interest in having you believe this. Canada may indeed be 'great' from a certain perspective - but not so great from some others. Maybe in some senses a bit like the mass murderer - presenting a friendly face on the outside, but with a cancer growing around its heart, making that heart as black as night, not to be trusted in a dark place alone. If indeed, as I believe, capitalists are running Canada, then surely you would not want to be caught alone in a dark place with one of that breed, who would cut your throat to steal whatever pennies you had in your pocket the second your back was turned.

The thing we need to do is figure which parts of what we see and experience in Canada are a real perception, and which parts false. And perhaps more importantly, perhaps we need to consider which way we are moving - is Canada getting better, or getting worse? Are we moving towards a greater and greater Canada, or a worse and worse Canada? Is the good stuff in our society and lives getting better and the bad stuff decreasing as time goes by - or is the good taking a beating as the bad becomes dominant? And from whose perspective are we making this judgement? It is important to consider this as well, for the perspective of the capitalist elite concerning such things will surely be different from the perspective of the average Canadian - pretty much opposite, in truth, since what is good for the average person in Canadian society is bad for the capitalist, and vice versa. And it is, of course, the perspective the capitalist elite want us to have that we get in their media, no matter what kind of 'common folk' makeup they put on the outside.

The good life in Canada?

Well, first let's remember we're not all the same.

There's no denying that life is ok or even pretty good for at least a few people in Canada. For most of the people in the major professions, or the upper levels of the media, government, sports and entertainment worlds, etc, it's probably close to great - top-level professionals in our very modern and safe country make good money doing 'work' they like and find rewarding , and have lots of opportunity for travel and otherwise participating in the best things our society can offer. These are, of course, the people you see in the commercials and other places telling you how great Canada is, how happy you should be to be living in this great place.

The Sidebar about 'Work' goes somewhere around here....

Such people, however, make up maybe 5, no more than 10% of the population, and if the goal of a country is providing a good life for the top 5-10% of its people, then there's probably not much we need to be talking about, all the money scam and democracy scam and indoctrination don't matter, since they don't affect this small group at the top - actually, they are the ones benefitting from such scams, mostly.

These people at the top are also the people with the most ability to change the system - and of course the ones with the least incentive to change it, who actually would work against change to keep their gold-plated lives and pensions and the rest of it.

There's also another group who either think the country is great as is or who do not complain much about anything, for various reasons; perhaps they're natural born followers who refuse, or are afraid, to do or say anything that might upset any authority figures around them, or perhaps they're weak enough of mind and spirit to appreciate any rulers who remove any responsibility from them for having to make any decisions for themselves, or perhaps the indoctrination has been particularly effective and they truly believe that no world could be better than Canada, with their factory job and Wonderland and great television shows and no desire to look beyond going to the mall on weekends and evenings for other entertainment. I can't put a precise number on this group, but I don't think it would get much bigger than 20-30% - and I am not sure how they should be counted in the debate about the future, as many of them don't seem to have any real thoughts of their own, and others seem to simply be blind followers of whoever happens to be in power at any given time, meaning they would be just as happy in the kind of 'real' democracy I speak of as they are in the pseudo-democracy we live in at present. I'll write no more about them, but wanted to note their presence in the interests of not appearing to not understand that they were there, and their numbers needed to be acknowledged - and that it would be fallacious, I think, to say that because they seem to not complain, they are happy with the way things are.

But - if you think Canada should be providing a good life for more than 10% of its people, and is not necessarily fine just because a few others don't complain, maybe you should consider the perception of the country from perspectives other than that of the wealthiest 10% or the 20-30% who know nothing and care less, and judge its 'greatness' from the perspective of the majority of Canadians who do not have 6 or 7 (or 8 or 9) figure incomes, and whose faces are not in the tv commercials or tourist brochures talking about how great or whatever everything is for them.

Think, for instance, of the number of people living in poverty in prosperous Canada - depending on how you measure things, as many as 20% of Canadians are poor, but no matter which figure you use, the lives of poor people, or people close to poor, in no way resemble the wonderful lives you see on tv advertisements or tourist brochures or other forms of modern corporate full-spectrum social propaganda - nor do you ever get a look at the cheap, dark, dirty, cold, dangerous spaces they, and the many children being raised in such places, are forced to call 'home', nor a look into the empty fridges and cupboards nor do you taste the despair most of them feel almost every day at the hopeless futures and miserable jobs they face and feel the anger and pain they feel at begging 'social assistance' for food, knowing their children have no more hope than they do in 'great' Canada, nor do you ever see them NOT having wonderful vacations at the cottage with boats and beers and beautiful young laughing girls and BBQs and the rest - not something many of us not working for the Fraser Institute would dare call 'the good life'. And you might think about how many people you know who might not statistically qualify as 'poor', who might have an ok place to live and half-decent food to eat, but who are still pretty stressed at the lives they have to lead to secure that minimally acceptable standard of living in 'great' Canada, both financially and about a lot of other things, whose smiles rarely make it into their eyes as they live year after year one paycheque away from disaster for they and their families. You could also think about the road rage and incivility and gang and youth violence and other things like that that are ever more common in Canada (such things indicating, of course, that the lives of such people are very much not so wonderful, and this behaviour is their way of letting everyone know that), the number of people on mood-altering drugs or chemicals to help them deal with their lives, and many other things that indicate there is quite a lot of 'life's not THAT damn great' going on under the radar of the media reports and their smiling happy faces.

And as a lesser but still not unimportant point, remember human nature as well, and the inner compulsion many people have to 'keep up with the Joneses', to show that 'sure, I'm fine!!' - there's a lot of people who get their idea of how life should be from the tv pretending their lives are pretty good, while they're not that happy at all (this instinct has deep roots, this desire to put on the good face for your fellow citizens - in nature, it's always the weak who get cast aside whenever herds get thinned, and individuals of any group fight to survive, and lying is no great sin when fighting to survive). I have no doubt you know some, perhaps many, such people. In this way it's kind of a self-replicating fantasy, this 'great life' that 'everybody' has here. We all know such people, with the big smiles that get nowhere near their tortured eyes.

You may also have noticed that 'great Canada' is getting less great the last few years, going backwards instead of forwards in various obvious ways. The signs are everywhere, although the current deterioration in comparison to decades of the recent past is never discussed in any of the MSM commentary or stories. [[ Empty promises: the hard truth about getting rich ]] For instance, think of things like the crumbling health care system (longer waiting lines, closed hospitals, fewer doctors and nurses, higher and higher user fees for various things, more and more 'delisted' services, etc) and sub-standard infrastructure maintenance (bridges falling down, Walkerton, crumbling roadways, electrical grids stressed to the point of collapse, etc), increasing amounts of things like decreasing civility (more road rage etc) and more dangerous streets, almost everyone working harder each year for less (many of us still remember the days when one working adult could provide comfortably for a family), university fees increasing and higher and higher student debt making university unavailable for more and more young people, and many other things like that.

We all ought to be asking is what is going on here? What the HELL is going on here?!? Why are things getting worse instead of better?

It is, or should be, just a natural part of a normal life that as we get older, and have more accumulated years of work and knowledge and savings, things should get better, both individually and as a society - so what's going on here that things are getting worse in our society that has been developing for over 200 years? In any natural order of events, after close to 40 years of medicare, for instance, decently funded through a growing economy, administrated by highly competent public employees such as we used to have in Canada assisted by the great advances in computers and other modern technology, all the major problems would be ironed out, and rather than dealing with ever longer waiting times and delisted services, waiting lines anywhere anytime would be the rare exception rather than the rule they are currently, and we'd be adding things like basic dental care or drug plans and helping everyone get and stay healthier with various programs from birth! - better and better, not worse and worse! The required amount of work to provide a decent life for a family should be going in the direction of less hours per week for more benefits and more comfort, not more hours for less benefits and decreasing security, shouldn't it? Do we work all of our lives so we can pass on a world to our children that is less than what we began with (for everyone except the corporate and banker overlords, that is), a world which requires the children to work even more hours than the parents did for a less secure, less good lifestyle? In any normal order of events, the lives of individual Canadians would be getting better (as they very obviously were between 1945 and 1975, or 1850 and 1925, for instance) as technology progresses and we create more and more wealth each year, with improving technology and less work required and more security, less poverty overall in society as 'the country' gets richer and richer and everyone benefits.

But for some odd reason, after about 30 years of solid, clear progress following WWII, things stopped getting better in these most fundamental ways sometime in the 70s, actually, and have been getting worse. And worse. And worse. For most of us, I repeat - better, of course, for the banks and 'investors' raking in all of 'our' money I talked about earlier.

And it's odder still that noone in the media, or 'your' government, ever wants to talk about this, to look with concern at this backwardness and get people talking about it. (As you may have gathered from earlier chapters, if the media, or 'your' government, isn't talking about something, it's not necessarily because there is nothing to talk about .... it may be indeed that there is a great deal to talk about that they do not want you talking about....)

And it's not because the country is getting less wealthy overall - the constantly soaring bank profits and investor 'takings'and CEO salaries and GDP figures and politicians' basic pay and benefits packages all show we are doing very, very well as a country - so why is life getting so much more difficult for almost everyone who is not a wealthy investor of some sort - most of us, that is to say? Why is all that prosperity not making the life of average Canadians more secure and prosperous, rather than seeing ever more people one small paycheque away from total disaster?

The Sidebar about 'National Debt - Not!!' goes somewhere around here....

So that is the first part of the answer to 'what is happening here?', the apparent contradiction between the 'great' Canada you hear about on the media, and the not-so-great Canada you have been reading about here - it's not really a contradiction. We are living in the dying years of the once-great-and-getting-greater Canada of the post-WWII years, but the not-so-great-and-getting-worse-for-most-of-us Canada that displaced the earlier Canada in the 1970s is taking over, doing its part in the not-so-great-for-we-the-people-but-great-for-the-capitalists New World Order of globalisation. Your leaders, and their media, are keeping you blind to this metamorphosis as long as possible, knowing that you would object greatly if you understood the true story of the great theft of your country that is underway, painting a completely false picture of what is happening through the endless propaganda you see every day in the media, especially the television.

The underlying idea of the things I am talking about in this book is that this place we call Canada, that used to be one of the leading progressive countries in the world, is being taken away from us. Quite openly in some ways, but quite stealthily in others. Openly in that we can all see what they are doing, they brag about it really, with their TINA and 'globalisation' and 'privatisation' and 'letting the market rule', with the weakening of the health care system and programs for the benefit of every citizen and slashed corporate taxes and the pot laws and the 'free trade' treaties and the increased 'security' being imposed 'in response to the 'terrorist' threat', and so on, all endlessly promoted as 'really good stuff for everyone!!!' through the media (the media selling the con, as they always do, working for their real masters) - but stealthily in that they lie about what they are really doing, as they use our education and media systems to encourage us to believe in various things that we should not be believing at all such as I described in the first chapters, things that have the goal of making Canadians accept without complaining this descent into darkness, turning most Canadians into little more than obedient, faceless robots, work-shop-watchtv, work-shop-watchtv, do-as-you-are-told-citizen, unquestioningly powering the great money-making treadmill for the enrichment of those controlling the country. They are given enough comfort and distractions along with their daily propaganda to make them accept the idea that they are a 'democracy', and not ask questions the leaders do not want asked.

What I think is that all of the things I have talked about earlier, and especially including this getting worse and worse stuff which is actually a key indicator, a key clue for those who are trying to understand what is happening here, can be explained quite easily, if you can stand back a bit and take a big-picture perspective look at things, as -

- they're building a box, and you're in it.

This is like an imaginary box placed around peoples' brains that has the purpose of allowing a small group of people - those who used to be called warlords and emperors, along with their mandarins who enable and enforce their rule, but who now call themselves 'investors' and 'bankers' and 'capitalists' and 'free market entrepreneurs' - to rule from behind closed boardroom doors high in the corporate/bank towers of Toronto and Calgary and Vancouver in a less overt but no less omnipotent way than the previous kings and emperors. The purpose of the modern financial warlords is no different than the earlier sword-and-blood warlords - to claim the wealth produced by the people of the country as their own to do with as they please, to have essentially omnipotent power over the lives of their subjects, and to have the power to keep the mass of the people working all of their lives to continue producing that wealth.

The Box is a new system of running a country, of controlling the people in the country. In the I-am-king-over-all-I-see! days, everyone knew the King ruled and his orders were to be obeyed or he'd just send off some of his armed thugs ('soldiers') to kill you, but in the last couple of hundred years 'we the people' have managed to fight back against these powerful kings, and grow this system called 'democracy' in which we are supposed to be running our own countries, free from the unquestionable rule of omnipotent kings. But those-who-believe-they-deserve-to-be-kings have never given up on their desires, and Canada is an example of a new way for the kings-now-called-investors-and-bankers-and-capitalists to maintain their claim on the wealth of a country, Canada in this instance, in which the people inside the box think they are free and running their own lives and country, but in reality they are not allowed to make any of the really important decisions about the running of 'their' country, and are more or less forced to work all of their lives producing wealth, of which most is skimmed off in various 'legal' ways by those actually organizing and in control of the economic and political systems of the country.

The major decisions about how the country is run, and how the economic system is organized, and the jobs available to people, and of course the control of the education and media systems which indoctrinate the people into accepting the way things are done, and the police and justice systems which control those who protest and endanger the rulers for whatever reason, are made by a small but very wealthy group of people who are very rich and getting richer because they are stealing these huge amounts of the wealth that the people of Canada produce.

In order to maintain their power, and to keep this stealing and their wealth going on, and even substantially increase their share of the national pie as the greed of this type of person has no limits, they have slowly fashioned this 'box' to control the popular movement in Canada towards true democracy that has been going on for the last couple of hundred years and began to get positively dangerous to them during the 1960s. Inside the box are all the trappings of 'democracy' that had been fashioned over the last couple of hundred years, elections and parliaments and 'representatives' and a 'free' media and 'free' speech and so on - but as the box rulers slowly took over, these institutions all have become very much for show, as real control is exercised from outside the box, from some place that most Canadians know nothing of.

It's a metaphorical box, of course, as obviously we have considerable freedom to travel around Canada, and even various parts of the world if we are lucky enough to be able to afford to do so, but it is still easy enough to see or understand its metaphorical walls, which are in place to keep the average citizen from understanding important things in the same way the walls of a real box keep those inside from seeing important things on the other side of the box walls.

people in a box The walls of this box, or perhaps the pretty curtains that cover and conceal the presence of the metaphorical walls, are primarily the things I noted earlier - the illusion that the country is a democracy, so the people believe that everything that happens is simply because a majority of the people want it that way and thus there is nothing to complain about. Knowing no better, noone thinks to question the control of the money supply by the box rulers, which can be manipulated to keep people working all of their lives producing wealth for the rulers to steal, control of the mainstream media so nobody ever learns what is really happening, control of the education system to ensure the young people are 'taught' the 'right' things about 'their' country and what to expect of their lives, some sort of collusion with the major religions because they do such a good job of indoctrinating people, and finally control of the police and courts to have a 'legitimate' means of controlling anyone who looks like they might be about to seriously impede the box rulers in any way.

And as long as you don't try to stick your head outside of any of those box walls, and get to work each day producing wealth for the box owners, they let you have a pretty good life inside your box, just like the well-fed cow with a nice barn in the wintertime. But don't confuse being a cow with being a farmer.

And there you have it. The idea will be mocked, of course, by those who are controlling the box, as they mock anyone who dares oppose them or tries to talk truth to anyone - but the evidence is plain enough for anyone to see, who looks.

And since you still have your eyes here, and not in front of the television set - we have some hope.

Ch 9 - Why Should I Care?

On Green Island

Ch 1: As good as it gets, or ...??? / Ch 2: The Money Supply Scam / Ch 3: The Work Scam / Ch 4: The Democracy Scam / Ch 5: How do they do this? Indoctrination / Ch 6: Indoctrination II: Get them early.. / Ch 7: Lifelong Maintenance - Full Spectrum Propaganda / Ch 8: They're Building a Box - / Ch 9: Why should I care? / Ch 10: What can I do? / Appendix 1: The National Debt Scam / Appendix 2: The Corporate Reactionary Revolution of the 70s / Appendix 3: Behind the Mask - What Capitalism Really Is / Appendix 4: Some places to start reading / Appendix 5: Perverse capitalist lies

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