Thursday, May 24, 2012

Repression is in the eye of the beholder

When is a person officially "repressed"? Everyone seems to have a different idea of when repression warrants retaliation and revolt. For some, it seems that nothing less of 20 years of dictatorship can do. Unless there are daily disappearances, secret police, and killings - there is no repression. Others see forced financial hardship as repression or the small steps as repression.

When it comes to the worst examples in history (IE: Nazi Germany), often we ask: "How did the people let it get so bad?" Yet here at home we take the opposite perception: "We're not anything remotely close to Nazi Germany, what are these people doing?". The latter point-of-view answers the former question.

It must be understood also that not all forms of repression are political, often they are financial. If you look at the IMF riots which have occured in other parts of the world (IE: Brazil), the people were not really fighting their government, they were fighting foreign financial policies being dictated to them. They were angry because the IMF was lending their government money at interest while allowing IMF corporate partners access to privatize and increase the cost of everything. In Greece as well the people see the source of repression as foreign and financial in nature.

The financial repression here in Canada isn't hard to see if you look beyond the tuition hikes. From the EI reforms, to OAS, to tuition, and all of the other service cuts this generation has had to deal with over the years.People need to keep in mind this is the first generation in a very long time which is expected to have less wealth than their parents. It's being made clear to this generation that while their parents competed for higher wages, they will be competing against foreign workers for lower wages. The conditions being added to EI that you will eventually have to find a job that pays less should put this all in to perspective. The economic rules this generation must play by are certainly a lot more economically repressive than those their parents had the luxury of enjoying. Start adding it all up, plus the sky-high cost of goods, and it's not hard to see where the idea of repression comes from.

Almost every avenue for financial success has been roadblocked for this generation unless you happen to Zuckerberg yourself to the top. Add to this record low interest rates and of course saving is now off the table too. Think back over the last 20 years at all of the services and support that has been taken from this generation, and replaced with what? Military spending, bank bailouts, etc. Each individual item seems insignificant, but compound them all together and it's fairly obvious this generation is at a significant disadvantage and is significantly poorer than the previous one and many boomer's don't plan on leaving their children an inheritance.

Our political system can be repressive too.
He explains, however, that his vote — like that of the entire Conservative caucus — is subject to a “three-line whip.” That means, says Wilks, he would likely be evicted from caucus for dissenting from the budget decisions already made by the prime minister and cabinet.
He adds Conservative MPs during their first year of majority government have not been allowed one free vote. “I haven’t seen one in a year yet.”
“It’s been done like that since 1867,” Wilks says.
What does it say about our "representative democracy" if the politicians can not represent you? What good is voicing your concern to your representative if they will simply be voting along party lines anyway? All political parties these days seem to have no problem billing the youth for their expenses and in the same breath tell them they are too entitled. It seems to me that the only thing they are entitled to is debt & risk, and lots of it. Those in politics across the board have made it clear this generation will be paying for their mistaken decisions in one form or another.

For an older generation who grew up playing by a different set of economic rules there is no repression, well at least until you have a complaint of your own. But for a generation which already has expectations of a much lower standard of living, the repression is everywhere. Tuitions are just the straw that broke the camel's back. We have a clear multi-tiered economy forming. The youth are being asked to foot the bill for irresponsible spending which was none of their doing and yes, that is most certainly repressive.

I don't support the student violence, and as always it's questionable how many of the "black bloc" really are students. As G20 2010 has shown, there is nothing stopping the government from instigating violence to allow them to declare a protest illegal and this tactic is never investigated after the fact. Journalists ignore it as conspiracy. However, even if it is actually the students being violent, I can't really blame them for it. For years numerous fees and cost increases have hit this generation while wages continue to stagnate. They are being backed in to a corner, face a bleak future, and unlike the previous generation - don't have respect for a repressive financial system. Many see a life of debt servitude ahead of them and as Gerald Celente says: "When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it.".

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous24/5/12 17:03

    Repression is also living in a dictatorship regime. It's also repression, when Canadians see billions of their tax dollars being given to, banks, mines, gas and oil corporations and big business. It creates anger when, they are also given huge tax reductions. We feel we are thieved from, to give to the wealthiest outfits in the world. It really angers Canadians, they can shop in the U.S. and save $7,000 per year. We pay more for our own goods, than other country's do. Harper could care less. He is encouraging people to shop in the U.S. Then I read: Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations. This was Sept 25/2007. So Harper permitting price gouging in Canada, now makes perfect sense as to why, he is willing to lose billions in revenue to the U.S.

    It is also said. Harper is no Conservative. He is a Neo-Nazi Reformer, of his Northern Foundation Party, from 1989. The skinheads were supposed to have, organized that party.

    The oil sands are pretty much foreign owned. China has bought up huge chunks of the tar sands. They refuse to pay Canadian wages. Harper is allowing China to bring their own people over, to work their vast tar sands projects. China refuses to have the oil refined in Canada. They can pay their own people starvation wages, to refine the oil in China. Harper is permitting China, to bring thousands of their people, to build the Enbridge pipeline.

    Richard is totally right. When people lose everything they have, and have nothing left to lose...they lose it. Quebec is far from, the only angry province.