Thursday, December 09, 2010

Going from a Democracy to an Empire

We live in interesting times... at least I think we do. Have you watched Star Wars episodes one to three recently? No, well maybe you should and then have a look at your local news paper and check out what the heck is going on in the world. See any similarities? No, well you should and here is why. Ever since September 11, 2001 (a tragic day in the history of the world); the United States and the western or "modernized" countries have to some respects become police states constantly in a state of emergency at least compared to pre 9/11. I highly recommend reading a post from Robert Elias, professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco era 2001, for a great article about Today's terrorism and what was/is America's foreign policy. Now if I'm going to compare today with what happened in Star Wars let's go back to 2001. The Bush administration was in power, and life was going along just fine there were many international disagreements, perhaps more so then before. The United States and the Western Countries are in a relatively Utopian State much like the Republic in Star Wars. So now this is going to get a little complicated here but I will try to explain it. Some bad stuff happens in Star Wars like the deaths of Jedi, and the realization of "rogue countries and companies (The Trade Federation)" that become a threat to the republic.

Now the extremist are the "Trade Federation", we lived with them bought things from them used them and now they want to kill us. Now in Star Wars the republic and Trade Federation have their little war (Iraq and Afghanistan) where the armies fight on the battle ground. However here is where the Terrorist are very cleaver. If Terrorist hate the way we live our lives, having technology, consumerism, etc, then they are as good if not more cleaver then Emperor Palpatine. We have democracy for now1 but I don't know if we will for much longer; we now live about two steps from being in a police state. Issues where common sense should prevail are trumped by over zealous calls for patriotism and security. We the people have allowed this to happen, making our countries almost no different then the corrupt "Dictatorships" our "governments" say are evil (except we have more technology). I do recognize that we still do have elections their for we are still technically a democracy but when only a small percentage of people come out to vote I seriously question that. Like in star wars where the government took away all the power from the people in the name of security, because of a war, then the Terrorists have already won.

The best examples of this I can give you is the conduct of the police at the G20 meeting in Toronto2, the reaction by The US Government and companies to Wikileaks. Here is a great example of optics. The Harper Government is all about Anti-Corruption but when they appoint a public sector whistleblower commissioner who is to busy berating their staff amongst other things then to do her job (See the Toronto Star Post). Like in Star Wars, where The Republic goes from being a republic to an Empire; I fear we maybe on the same path giving up our freedoms for temporary security. It has happened before heard of the great republic of Rome?

There is hope, there are many more political parties propping up like the Pirate Party and the Alberta Party. I hope that we can return to our governments governing with common sense, good will and reason instead of fear, and ideology. We have to make these changes before it's to late.

That's just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong.

1 - In Canada since in 2008 and 2009 Prime Minister Steven Harper Prorogued Parliament to avoid no-confidence votes. It basically set a precedent for how the Governor General (queen's representative) handles these kind of issues in the future.

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