The Need to Organize for the People to Speak for Themselves
– Yvon Breton –
The September 27 demonstrations in Canada and around the world calling for immediate action on climate change brought forth the absurdity of a situation where the vast majority of the people demand one thing in a very clear voice and the tiny minority who hold power continue to do another. Many placards have appeared in the marches across Canada linking the lack of action in the face of climate change to the lack of power of the people.
Whatever the outcome of the October 21 election may be, it is clear that the measures needed to turn things around in the battle against climate change will not be implemented. Following his meeting with Greta Thunberg, Prime Minister Trudeau said that his government may not be doing enough to protect the environment but a Conservative government would be much worse. To say that a different government would do much worse is of no consolation.
The crisis of representative democracy is such that those running for re-election openly say that they will not abide by the will of the people and will continue to abide by the will of a tiny rich minority whose narrow and private interests must prevail at all times. Not to speak of the fact that those who would “do worse” can be brought in at the whim of the rich minority. One camp, with the complicity of the media, can simply publish damning photos or evidence against the other camp and a “switch in orientation” can be effected without the will of the people having any impact whatsoever.
In the marches on September 27, talk about having an impact was widespread. Marchers felt the historic character of being able to gather such a broad unity around such an important issue and pronounce such a clear verdict of the people. The real impact is that neither the current Liberal government nor the Conservatives or any others who have claims to represent the people can now pretend that they are abiding by the will of the people, that they “represent” Canadians. This has forced Trudeau to go around like a shameless arrogant corrupt politician who can only reply that “the other party is worse” and Andrew Scheer to simply disappear for the day.
The other impact is that it gives the youth and workers confidence in their ability to speak for themselves. It shows what it means to speak for themselves, as opposed to giving the authority to someone else to speak on their behalf. Those they authorize to speak for them will necessarily betray them time after time because the time is now for the people to organize to themselves become the decision-makers in all things that affect their lives. That is what is meant by humanizing the social and natural environment. The youth provided what the face of the democratic personality looks like, that is the personality of modern social human beings.
(Photos: RU, U. Lemerise)