A Place to Stand
On Green Island
"Father, dear Father!" cried Gullible's sweet boy.
"Yes, what is it, my lad?" answered Gullible, putting down his paper and looking fondly at the bright-eyed boy.
"Father," said the boy, climbing swiftly to his father's familiar knee and settling himself comfortably in his favorite place to learn the ways of life and the world, and get the odd comforting hug if for some reason he was feeling unhappy, which did happen at times although infrequently, "you have told me that in days long past, our society was starting to get quite good for everyone, but then there was some sort of problem, some revolution I think you said, and we entered into a long period of time when things got worse for We the People, although the Banks and Investors had lots of money, as they always did in the bad old days. Well, Father, you see, I was talking with Ronnie and Maggie down at the Sandbox, and they said I was crazy not to mention stupid and to leave it behind - they said that things were always in a bad way because of the Dirty Socialists, and it was only when the Banks and big-hearted, generous Capitalists saved their asses that things got better. I am afraid, Father, I do not understand - I know you would never lie to me, but you have told me that I should always be polite to my friends in the Sandbox too, and to other children who are not as lucky as I - so I thought, since it was sort of a rainy Friday outside, and I don't have anything special to do, I would come and see if you had time to enlighten me on this part of history that I am as yet somewhat unlearned of. If, indeed, Father, I am crazy or stupid, then maybe I will have to go to Ronnie and Maggie and humble myself at their feet for the smack I gave them, but I don't wish to do that, Father - they're not very nice children at all and I think they had it coming, I really do, Father."
Gullible's young lad really did say all that - he was raised to be a smart lad, and young human beings can grow and learn very fast if such is expected of them, and their intelligence is nurtured rather than starved or beaten out of them with schools and televisions, both of which this most fortunate young lad had never experienced.
"Well, Son," said Gullible, shifting the boy around to a comfortable position, as this looked to be a considerably longer discussion than the last one, which had simply involved the business of procreation, which the boy would be wondering about soon, although it didn't seem to concern him much yet and he thought the whole thing rather 'yucky', "first you shouldn't worry about humbling yourself to those other children, you have been well raised I know, and if you thought a smack was necessary then it was the right thing to do - some children do indeed require such a thing at times, as long as you did it out of love and a desire to teach rather than simple anger. But as for the situation you raise, it has ever been so, in the annals (that means history books, I guess you could say, but annals has such a nicer ring to it) of our kind, our species, we Human Beings, that some of our members had a kind of weaker human side to them, a stronger influence you might say from our animal or even reptilian roots - you do remember your genetics lessons, and evolution? - and felt that they must strive to be the 'alpha male' in whatever group they found themselves in (yes, some females had this desire also - you recall your sliding genes, I am sure). I think your young playmates are victims of this somewhat uneven, somewhat retarded you might say, evolution, unfortunately for all of us, really. The history is somewhat unclear and speculative, as for many millennia our species had not evolved enough to keep written records, and even after we did figure out writing - well, heh heh, as the old saying goes, the winners write the history books about almost everything, be it paintings on cave walls or hieroglyphics in pyramids or the National Pispot, so one must do quite a bit of deduction (you remember your Holmes, right?) as well as reading.
"Well - I know you didn't ask for a history of the human species - we'll work our way through that slowly, as we have been doing - but this part you do need to know - that the kind of people I mentioned, mostly men but a few females as well, always feel they should be the leaders of our societies, our countries, our planet even, either the 'leaders of record' you might say, or acting behind the scenes to arrange things for their own benefit, and in pursuit of that goal, they will do anything they have to - steal, lie, plot nasty schemes, even kill others - actions which those of us who have a more civilized sort of brain, more advanced, more human, are very, very reluctant to do - most people throughout our history, as far as we can tell, have been fairly decent sorts, and have tried to make a good community or society to live in, for they and their children - most people want to look after themselves, and their families, and their communities as well - they understand that if everybody is looked after, then they are looked after too, if everyone around them is safe from fear and hunger, then they are safe too. Which is opposed to the 'leader' types, who feel that they need to look after themselves, and everyone else can do the same, and those who are too weak or old or too soft (like socialists always thinking of others - compassion is a serious weakness to the alpha sorts, which they are more than ready to take advantage of when they find it in others) to look after themselves can die or live under bridges or whatever - their fate has never been of much concern to these 'elitists', as we often call them, sort of politely - sort of the law of the jungle, as some of their apologists like to say, where the strongest survive and the weakest perish, although as you will recall from your readings of Darwin, that is a considerable mis-statement of his ideas - but mis-statements of other people's ideas in attempting to justify their behavior has ever been a tool of these Elitists - truth and gullibility are just weaknesses in others to be exploited. So these people, these Elitists, have always felt that they have some sort of right to make slaves of one type or another of the common people, those too weak to resist them, or with an inbred reluctance to do the things that the Elitists do such as stealing or killing or physical violence and intimidation to take advantage of others, in order to make their lives as comfortable as possible, live in fine houses and never have to work for anything like the rest of us - this seems to feed their small egos in some way, although the high degree of psychosis they show would seem to indicate they still are far from satisfied with their lot. They actually need a good smacking sometimes, a little encouragement to grow up and quit acting so childishly all the time.
"Well, then, let's see, jumping ahead a bit - the whole story would take days, and we're just looking at our own small corner of history and the world right now - for we people of English descent, we can point to a place in history where 'We the People', in a way, started to fight back, that the excesses of the Elite were finally becoming too out of control, to tell those who wanted to be Kings with no limit on their powers that they had to follow at least some rules, kind of saying 'This far and no further, dear King' - We the People wanted to be left alone to our farms and communities and families, and it just would not do for these people who saw themselves as some sort of gods on the planet, to be continually raiding us and stealing and killing - we needed some good Laws that the Elite themselves would have to obey to stop this sort of thing, and so a lot of us - our ancient ancestors, that is, even I was not around that long ago! - got together and forced the King of the time, King John, to sign what they called a Great Charter."
Gullible's son was entranced in the story, and when Gullible stopped for a second, looking out the window at the blowing leaves and raindrops with a thoughtful sort of look, and even though he had been oft told about patience, waited only a few seconds before prodding Gullible's arm.
"So - what did the evil King John who thought he was a god on earth do, Dear Father?" he asked, just a bit impatiently.
Gullible started, looking back at the boy with a slightly startled laugh.
"Oh! Yes, King John, of course," he said. "Well, King John somewhat reluctantly signed the Great Charter, which recognized that there were actually limits to the power of those who called themselves king, and that was a big step in forming the system we call Democracy in the western world, where the leaders had to make some concessions to We the People (one might note, to be accurate, that this confrontation was between the 'king' and the 'lesser nobles' - the peasants of the time were still little more than sheep to either group - but the principle that was established was important). After the Great Charter, and some other developments in England, more and more people were recognized as being part of We the People and something more than chattels of those who called themselves 'lords', although it took a long time, slowly, slowly, slowly over the centuries, as the battle was waged between the wealthy and powerful who never, never, never have stopped believing in their special 'rights' to be treated far, far better than most people, and the common folk - many of us, few of them, but they always maintained the upper hand, usually through fear and physical violence, in the final analysis, and the willingness of many of our common folk, through fear or greed or ignorance, to be their paid enforcers of various types - just like your friends in the Sandbox - you remember last year when you had that problem, their ability, and willingness, to punch you in the nose and send you home crying was the final word, right?"
"Well, yes, Father," answered the lad, looking into his Father's eyes, "the final word until you showed me how to defend myself, and how strong I really was, and how weak they actually were, and they can't do that anymore!"
Gullible smiled fondly (and perhaps with just a touch of pride) at his lad. "No, of course, they can't - they really don't have all that much power, but they work hard to make us believe they have much more - so very, very much of the world they would have us all live in is simply lies and mythologies of various sorts, and once people see the truth, their power will evaporate - not unlike one of the earlier fables about this - you remember the Great Wizard of Oz?
"Right! Well then, as I said, the battle went on and the years and decades and centuries passed and passed, with the rich and powerful living in one world, and the common folk in another, although side by side, never the twain would meet, as one philosopher-type put it, at least in any amicable or equal sense, although the powerful used the poor as fodder for their battles of supremacy, and caused no end of death and suffering for all in pursuit of their own selfish little ends - one of the signs of their power, among themselves, was how many of we common folk they could command to their orders, and to die for them, and how willingly they would do so. But then came the 20th century, you see, the last century, and with developments of science and technology, the rich and powerful gained ever more powerful weapons with which to not only subdue we the people, but with which they could wage the great territorial wars between themselves, as the most powerful of the powerful all vied for the title of Zeus on Earth - the single most powerful person on the planet, Commander of the Bilderberg Gate through which all mortal power on Earth flowed. And eventually, through their arrogance and psychosis, they entered into the two so-called World Wars of the 20th century, the worst stage of which formally ended more or less in 1945, having killed over 100 million people, the hugest carnage the planet had seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs, the last great vertebrate species with a claim to ruling the planet - but at least when they died, they did not take all other forms of life with them, as the Elite of our species seems determined to do....
"And the world was shocked at the depth of this destruction, and We the People were not happy with what our rulers had wrought in their great hubris and insanity, not happy at all. And so, over the next few years, popular leaders came forth, popular leaders with roots not in the Elite, as had always been the case before, but with roots shared with We the People, with new ideas and dreams born from the fiery ashes of those wars, new ideas of a new stage in our history, where We the People would have some safety and security and protection from the often crazy whims of the Elite, and We the People began to demand some accountability from our leaders, and at least a bit of responsibility and sanity - no more would we tolerate having millions of us butchered - and butchering one another! - because a few of our leaders were playing high-stakes games among themselves, and using the lives of We the People as disposable gambling chips of some sort!
"And during the 50s and 60s of the last century, some great things happened in our lands. So let us turn our talk now to our land of Canada, as different peoples have taken different paths, at times, although many followed a similar one to ours. I think even our Elite were a bit shocked at what they had accomplished, and while in that subdued mode, the outraged leaders of We the People, believing in their rights as a people not to suffer so, began to stand taller and demand the right to have a voice in the halls of our government - a real voice, that is, not the voices of those former leaders who had pretended to speak for the people, while really speaking for their own class interests. With the system of Democracy the Elite had allowed to develop during the previous decades, a system which they claimed to represent the democratic will of the people but was in reality very much under their control, through various means, suddenly began to work FOR We the People, as people all over the country began to understand that they COULD vote for good leaders who would work for them, leaders OF the people, such as a great man named Tommy Douglas and another named George Diefenbaker, and a certain Pierre Trudeau, much beloved of the people (as he was hated by the Elite, as although he was something of an Elite himself, his support for things to better the lives of We the People angered his peers greatly, and such people do not easily forgive those who threaten their power), and many lesser names - none without fault, of course, but still feeling some need to work with We the People as one of us rather than one of the Elite. All of the people were allowed to vote for who they wanted in the governments, and the people they elected, such as those I have named and some others, began, here in Canada, to build a great nation, a nation that would look after all of its people well, with a peaceful society, well-educated, free and good healthcare, a world-class, modern infrastructure in this wealthy country that was OURS - not the property of a few kings and princes, but belonging to We the People, who worked to create the wealth, and shared in that wealth."
Gullible paused again, to gather his thoughts, and give the lad a few seconds to reflect as well, and ask questions if he had any.
"Yes, it sounds wonderful, Father, We the People working together to create a wealthy and strong society, and all of us being happy - sort of like a Dr. Seuss story from Whoville, Father, or even the Mythical Society we are taught about in the Canadian social studies texts called Green Island!"
"Heh heh heh! Yes, I suppose it is - we must always remember our Dr. Seuss, a most intelligent and perceptive writer! But alas, we also have a Grinch in our Canadian story - or many of them actually, all working to steal our Christmas and our presents because their hearts are too small, not to mention their brains. For the elite and powerful of our society, although I think even they were perhaps a bit shocked at the horrors they had wrought in the first part of the century, were far, far, far from ready to give up their status as Rulers of the Land, living off the labour of others (you do remember the parable of Work and Not Work, don't you? Yes Father...) - and as the 50s turned into the 60s in our fair land of Canada, and the 60s became the 70s, and life was Good and Getting Better for most of us because of the good people we were electing to our government, the new generation of Princes in our country, those to whom the recent wars were fading from memory, decided that these advances for the common people, the education and health care and pensions and shorter work weeks and so on - were getting quite out of hand - indeed, they came to believe, there was a 'Crisis of Democracy' developing - not, as one might suppose from the phrase, too little democracy - oh, no, no - from the point of view of the Princes, there was too MUCH democracy starting to happen, and the people - We the People - were starting to get altogether too prosperous, and intelligent, and demanding - for when a person has a place to live, and food on the table, and a good job, and a good education, and lots of independent newspapers and books to read, and opportunities to talk with her neighbors about what is happening all around, and some security concerning the future of her family - why, they start thinking they have a right to such things! and start thinking about even more rights, and more leisure time, and, much more dangerously, start looking at the structure of their society and how wealthy it really is, and asking some very difficult questions, such as why there is some kind of Elite over them, and what these Elite are actually doing to earn their keep and all the money they have, and why indeed there should BE an 'elite' in a democracy and if they maybe shouldn't just get rid of them! Well, any such ideas, or 'rights' of We the People, are quite obviously very, very dangerous to the unlimited power of the Princes and those who would be King.
"And so, finally, my lad, we come to what you asked about at the first - the Corporate Reactionary Revolution of the 1970s (you will remember that 'reactionary' refers to the re-actions of a 'right-wing' ruling class to defend themselves against a revolution of the 'left-wing' poor people against them...).
"Now, you see, in Canada at that time, with the Great Peaceful Democratic Just Society that our country was becoming, the Princes could hardly call out the army and start shooting Canadians on the streets and reinstalling their Elite-controlled governments such as they had had earlier in the century without arousing the outrage of We the People here as well as the rest of the world, in which many countries, especially in Europe, were undergoing their own Democratic Revolutions and would have been most angry with our Elite, and possibly done something to stop them to assure their own peoples that they were indeed democratic and supported other democratic places, so they had to formulate a new plan of some sort. Also, as always, We the People were present in much, much greater numbers than the Elite, and this idea of Democracy had become so well entrenched in We the People since the carnage of the Great Wars, that a direct physical confrontation with a population of intelligent, angry citizens who felt 'entitled' to what they had and even aspired to more might well have gone against them, a result simply not to be contemplated. So a new plan had to be devised, to deal with this 'Crisis of Democracy' of the early 70s in Canada (it was happening in many countries around the world as well, but all stories are different, and you can research the various forms of this Crisis and the Responses of the various Elites on your own - good practice lad! - you can start with, say, the Trilateral Commission, and the US...).
"Anyhoo, as they say, time grows late, and to make a long story shorter, you can fill in what you like when you have time, now that the secret door is opened and the blinders of the information gatekeepers no longer rule your eyes or brain, the Elites (apparently as part of a much wider plan in the world - you need to check out the Washington Consensus as well, and 3rd world debt dating from this time, and the removal of the Bretton Woods gold standard by Nixon, and the 'dumbing down' movement put in place through the television and lower class school system - this ought to keep you busy for a few weeks, but you will take a major step in your education by the time you are finished, my lad!) decided upon a fairly simple policy to reinstate their control of the government of Canada, and begin the process of rolling back this rapidly getting out-of-control idea of a true 'Democracy of We the People'. All of the programs that We the People had been using, in our great country, to improve our lives - the high quality education and health care, the security derived from such things as unemployment insurance and pensions, the other infrastructure programs that made us a strong society, the existence of a more-or-less free and responsible media anchored and kept honest by our once-great, now sadly fallen on hard times, CBC - all were, of course, based on money! - and our government got that money largely from, of course, as do all governments, our taxes, as We the People naturally contribute a bit of our money to the common weal, and by issuing new money as we have more people and businesses as required through our 'We the People's' Bank, the Bank of Canada. It is no secret that people who are secure and intelligent and have leisure time and good sources of information, are the very people who cause trouble for elites, in terms of questioning their very right to exist as an elite, while poorer, less secure, less educated people are, generally speaking, much more concerned simply with feeding and sheltering their families, and if jobs are hard to come by, then a considerable amount of control can also be exercised by threatening such jobs. So the solution the Elite arrived at to roll back this dangerous move to democracy in Canada was simply to remove the money that enabled this progress - not all of it, of course, but enough so that we would have to make some "hard choices" about how we spent what was left.
"This was a two-step process - for, you see, it would not do to simply take back some money that could be replaced, but it was necessary to put a program in place that would ensure that money would be scarce for the foreseeable future, to keep this nasty Dragon of We the People Democracy from rearing its head once again. So the first step was a "corporate tax revolt" - this is another branch of history you must study some time, but by now, most of the nation's wealth was passing through huge corporations, and the tax dollars on their profits were a significant amount of the federal budget. So the corporations - all of which are owned by the elite, of course, and which form one of the main sources of their ongoing wealth - formed a lobby group (which we have talked about before - the Trolls, headed by the very powerful Chief Evil Orc Akwino) to petition and influence the federal government to get their taxes lowered - they had much bigger plans, of course, but that was the first step. The means through which they paid bribes to high-level politicians have not yet been made generally public but there were many rounds of golf played in other countries at 5* resorts while attending 'meetings' to discuss public affairs and work on other affairs, but suffice it to say that their efforts were successful, and during the 70s corporate taxes were substantially reduced, substantially reducing, in turn, the tax income of the federal government (at the time they were paying close to half of all federal taxes - nowadays they pay around 20%, so you can see that they have been quite successful in this project).
"And the government then had a choice to make - due to this reduced income, it could tell Canadians that it no longer had money for the health care and education and other programs and cut them back, or look elsewhere for money. For reasons you can think about yourself in the light of what I have been telling you, but concerning the use of corporate money to buy things and people to enforce its wishes by any means fair or foul, it did not choose the former path, but the latter. And this is where the second part of the conspiracy begins - making sure the government would be unable to simply increase taxes a bit some day in the future under a government more responsive to the demands of We the People, who still had the power to elect such persons if we wished, and restore its former income and programs. For our country, even though the government was temporarily a bit short of money from the reduction in corporate taxes, was still a prosperous and growing economy, one of the strongest in the world, indeed, and could even have weathered this small problem easily enough through careful management and the use of the Bank of Canada, the bank of We the People - which was and is empowered to create money for the government, if and when needed, after responsible decisions are made by appropriate financial officers - after all, if the government is reliable enough to borrow a dollar, then the same factors make it reliable to print a dollar - the only difference being, if it prints the dollar, it does not have to pay that dollar back to a bank, with another dollar of compounded interest spiralling down through the generations, compound upon compound through time everlasting.
"But a decision was taken behind the scenes to NOT use the Bank of Canada for the purpose which it had been created in another desperate time in our history, to stabilize the money supply in Canada, but instead to turn to private banks and 'borrow' the money it needed to maintain the government programs (I should note that I say 'borrow' a bit cynically, since what actually happened was that the banks simply punched a few numbers on their computers, creating huge sums of money which they then 'loaned' to the government, at of course commercial rates of interest - money our own government could have created precisely the same way at the Bank of Canada, except that then we would be paying interest to ourself which, of course, is the same as not paying interest at all - reflect on this at length, my sweet son, as this is the key to everything, and will change everything about the way you think of 'your' government once you understand it fully, it saddens me to think of the terrible betrayal you will feel, but we must all grow up at some time). And over the next few years, with the help of a few years of usurious interest rates mandated by the Bank of Canada - 'our' bank working directly against We the People instead of helping us - oh evil trolls!!! - that small amount of original borrowing, supplemented over a few years with other equally un-necessary borrowing, mostly to pay the interest on this new debt!, skyrocketed into a huge "national debt" - a debt upon which we were required to pay equally huge 'service charges' each and every year to those private banks - service charges which often amounted to 20% or more of the entire national income - and which we continue to pay to this day - I do believe we have talked before of the evilness of compound interest and banks. A trillion dollars these evil banks thus stole from us, a sum unimaginable to most people.
"And then the government, which by this time was dominated by the politicians the Elite had continued to accumulate - we have had Corporate Government in Canada since 1984, although it had its roots some years before that, and although the corporations also bought up all the newspapers so the new regime has never been officially acknowledged by anyone out loud in official medialand - began, in the name of this huge debt, cutting back on all of the government programs that had made our people healthy and educated and secure. And have continued doing so to this day, hand in hand with other programs which have one and only one objective - to firmly entrench the Elite once and for all as the god-class of our planet, with We the People set forever in our role as serfs and laborers for the Gods - pretty much as it was 800 years ago when the "commoners" of the time forced another King to sign the Great Charter. How long it will be before we manage to achieve another Great Charter? I do not know. The evil king is much, much more powerful now, in every way. But still, there is always hope. At the most unexpected times, a David emerges from someplace nobody expects, like Siam, to slay apparently undefeatable giants.
"And that is about all, I suppose, in a general sense, of the Corporate Reactionary Revolution of the 1970s in Canada. There are, of course, many more details and particulars, but you can fill them in as you wish, now that you have the outline, and can see where things fit. Privatisation, for instance, is a rather brazen theft of the assets of We the People, turning public property over to private interests usually at pennies on the dollar and then replaceable only at great cost, unless, of course, We the People regain control of our Legal System, and return the stolen property to its rightful owners while tossing the lowly thieves in jail for a considerable period of time, as we would any common thief. But that is a step further in the future, as first we need to regain control of our government, which is quite enough to be working on at one time."
"So, Father, if I might summarize, as you have taught us to do to be sure we understand - our society, We the People, were making good progress towards being a Just Society for all, which the Elite did not want, so they sabotaged our government by corrupting our politicians, then lowering the money the government had available to spend on Good Deeds for We the People (Our Collective Money, that is) by reducing their taxes, and then creating a large artificial debt to keep our government in thrall to them for the foreseeable future (and also, if I might add a small observation, making themselves even wealthier - for I presume it was the same Elite who had their taxes reduced, who then loaned the money to the government, and thus verily unto this very day collect all that interest) - and once again the policies of the government are being set to favor the Elite, rather than We the People. And this was the Corporate Reactionary Revolution of the 1970s.
"Well said, my beloved Son, well said!" answered Gullible, a large smile on his face, "If only we had a few more citizens who understood this as well as you, we might convince them to start voting for some different people - for as long as we do have an honest voting system - even if a poor one such as this First-Past-The-Post thing - we do have a chance to vote the bums out, and return to the days when government really was Of, By and For We the People, at least a little bit.
"Now let me tell you a final thing too, son, that what I have told you is, necessarily, broad strokes with a broad brush, and I have only touched on some highlights of the story, and much more is left unsaid than said (the 20th century experiments with totalitarian-rule-through-force in countries such as Russia vs democratic-rule-through-propaganda governments in the US and Canada and elsewhere, for instance) - but what I have told you is entirely true as a foundation, a framework, for the Big Picture in which you can paint many other things. Many, of course, would call me crazy for thinking like this - you remember we talked about “conspiracy theories” before - and many others will agree with the general ideas, but want to add many more details - and all of that is fine - you must make up your own mind, son, about how things are in YOUR world, and you must read as much history as you can, from all sorts of different people who have different interpretations of what happened, and come to your own conclusions about what happened - and that is all that can be asked of any citizen."
"Oh Father, thank you so very much - you have given me a great deal to think about! I think you too must have had a very good Father, because you are such a good one yourself!"
Gullible's son jumped down off his knee, having had enough learning for one day, as Gullible held his sides and his face turned red and his cheeks puffed out. As the lad closed the door behind him, thinking he ought to go back and see if Ronnie and Maggie were at the Sandbox now that the sun was out again, he thought he heard a small burst of laughter - with, perhaps, just the trace of a sob mixed with it. Or perhaps it was a big sob, with just a trace of laughter, somehow the sound of one who, at an unexpected moment, is reminded of something painful from the past. I suppose we will never know for sure. All we know for sure is that there are many paths to the light, and many to the darkness.