Across the globe healthy, sustainable agriculture has been uprooted and transformed to suit the profit margins of these transnational agribusiness concerns. If we continue to hand over the control of society's most important infrastructure -- food and agriculture -- to these wealthy private interests, what might the future look like? We don't need to imagine: We can see the effects right now.
Nyeleni (global congress for food sovereignty) produced The Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology. It advocated a model of food production radically opposed to the current corporate-controlled system. The declaration represents a challenge to transnational agribusiness. Rather than wanting to transform society and food and agriculture, these state-corporate interests require business as usual.
The lessons to draw from the Danish model are clear, even if they're not the ones Bernie Sanders would like us to draw. The Danes benefited from low taxes in order to get rich, and they remain fairly well-off thanks to a light regulatory touch, but their extensive welfare state is not the great success it's cracked up to be.
As a socialist, I was excited for this election as I hoped the NDP would stretch its wings and become a vocal proponent for the poor, the under-housed, the underemployed, etc.; that they would put front and centre the issues that carry the greatest ethical and moral weight for Canada's society. But no. The party of the little man -- Tommy Douglas's party of mice refusing to be led by cats -- is now courting middle-income Canadians. For me the crisis facing Canadians is not one of an attack on the middle class.
Bernie Sanders, an Independent Senator from Vermont, is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is a fighter, a politician of conviction who is not afraid to defy convention. Could an honest guy shake up the system? Is there a place for a politician who genuinely cares?
What worries me most in all this is the growing sense that the public, and the politicians who represent the public, have ever less capability to do anything about it. Between the influence of big money over politics and the desire to remain economically competitive with countries that provide few social services, there is little room to bring balance back to our extreme economy.
There are a number of human financial gurus working to help you become wealthy, and their advice is based on years if not decades of knowledge and experience. However, there are a number of microbial economic geniuses who have centuries of expertise developing "economic" success. Germs seem to have knowledge to keep economies solid.
While the effect of Election BC's ad on next week's election remains debatable, one thing's clear. Its message echoes NDP and/or Green Party rhetoric, and therefore, counters the candidacy of many BC Liberal and/or Conservative candidates, particularly in ridings outside Vancouver. Anyone interested in democracy should be concerned about that.
Our government's heavy-handed interventions in the labour market weaken basic labour rights, and that hurts all middle class Canadians. If workers are left with no outlet to seek fair compensation and working conditions, they will find other means of collective expression. Their frustration could result in spontaneous work disruptions, with a profound effect on productivity.
I saw two young men wearing red t-shirts with the letters "CCCP" emblazoned in yellow across their chests. They thought it was cool. The scope of the Soviet regime's atrocities should be widely known among both young and old. The fact that it is not widely known is a sad indictment of our educational systems.