The term 'rabble' defines a disorderly group without internal cohesion. It is often used as a term to refer to the inferiority of a group by someone who assumes superiority over them.
I have spent my life feeling inferior, being defined as not-organized despite the ability of my mind to work better when everything is out in front of me. Well, this world has been laying it's trash at everyone's feet since the dawn of time and I have grown sick of holding my tongue. Here's what I see when I take all the pieces I know about our province and country and region, and I consider them all together: as they are meant to be considered:
The only reason the system doesn't serve us is because it was never meant to.
As a Millennial, our future is pretty freaking bleak. We are set to be the worst off generation in Canada ever, being the first to be worse off than their parents for the first time in Canadian history.
Abacus Data says the following from their 2018 statistics about Millennials:
Among other things, our survey found:
70% of Millennial Canadians rate the economy as doing well, while only 16% describe themselves as very optimistic about their personal future (52% are at least mostly optimistic).
80% identify themselves as middle class, but only half or fewer have access to basic protections we associate with the security of a middle-class life: 55% have access to drug insurance, 53% to dental insurance, 36% to an RRSP, and only 29% to an employer provided pension plan.
While the share of pension plan and RRSP ownership may be expected to increase significantly with age, only 45% of Millennials over 30 have an RRSP and a mere 37% of this same group have a pension plan provided by an employer.
When asked what government could do to help them, Millennials are united in their clear desire for a solution to housing affordability. This is a big priority for Millennials regardless if they are living in suburban, urban, or rural Canada. This priority breaks through the traditional “jobs” and “healthcare” preoccupation and is the focal point of Millennial discontent. In other words, this is a generation that is looking for relief on table stakes just like any other – fixing their unique economic pain points in their day to day lives, be it housing, cost of services covered by benefits plans, or making post-secondary education more affordable.
There is strong and public support for a major social and economic shift away from what we have right now. Even the Liberals have adopted platform intentions on pursuing voting reform of some kind? (A little late dudes, but hey-welcome to the table.)
But voting reform isn't enough if the politicians we elect are allowed to take corporate bribes to begin with. Our disillusionment in the political system isn't just pre-revolution malaise, or is it?
I've studied the issues of madness and mental health in society and literature. A downward turn in general mental health, including the largest portions of our society believing they have little political effect? Oh, that's a revolution in the making. Think about it. Change is coming, the only decision we have to make about it is this: are we going to get organized, or are we going to be an unruly violent mob?
When I look at the northwest, I see my daughter. Who, at nine years old, is starting all over again in the referral cycle because her pediatrician disagrees with her mother (that's me.) I see my grandmother who died slowly and in a hospital instead of in a hospice ward or at home. I see my grandfather who died of a preventable disease. I see how the system failed to protect so many of my aboriginal friends, family and neighbours. I know too many people who have been hurt by men and I know too many times those men get to live on and perpetrate their crimes upon others. I see how institutions of power rarely make real change for those vulnerable, at risk or already injured. I see businesses perpetuate falsehoods that build their sales but siphon resources from the very community they claim to love.
I see how the cycle of violence lives on and is growing stronger when we don't shine the light on it because ultimately these are cycles of abuse. When people are immune to suffering because it doesn't affect them, or because treating them humanely hurts their bottom dollar, then those are the wrong people in power; these are people comfortable selling their ethics.
Terrace needs to start Making change.
Now, I don't believe in tearing ANYTHING down until you have something capable of replacing it, my daddy was a contractor after-all.
But I know that in life, sometimes you have to borrow ideas from other places.
Audre Lorde was pivotal in the 1960's. A black and feminist poet, she wrote:
“For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”
What I believe she is saying, is that by looking inside of ourselves and understanding why we make the choices we do, we can reclaim our individual power instead of running from ourselves. By facing the bullies, we truly find out what we are made of but we will never win if we agree to play by the rules of the powerful - their tools are meant to keep them powerful.
The tools to truly reform our system already live in each and everyone of us.
If we can vote for our favourite competitor on The Voice with our mobile phones then why can we not as easily vote on individual pieces of legislation through a citizen's portal? (That's my own name for it, but someone cooler than me will have a better name.)
Why do we allow our politics to be written and dictated by parties that confer closely with corporations?
This happens at all levels of governance. Think of the City of Terrace Council. There is only a single person on the council that's never owned, operated or worked for a business or corporate model before.
I don't believe in the corporate model.
I don't believe in relocating labour or tasks to other regions, or countries.
Many corporations operating in Terrace outsource portions of their operations. If they are a franchise then 100% of their marketing and content is not produced locally.
The Terrace Standard does not have a local editor.
To get a classified ad in the Terrace Standard you have to call a 1-800 number that is hosted down in Vancouver somewhere. Printing of the Terrace Standard happens south of Prince George, it's been typically from William's Lake, where Black Press media's main printing presses are. All of the design for the ads are done out of region.
So isn't it hypocritical for them to say "buy local" in their December 5th paper? And why are they still writing "editorials" without an editor? Okay, I digress.
This holiday season: think about what you want this world to actually look like, because whatever we leave here on earth before we take our dirt nap will be our legacy. Do Millennials want the same legacy as the Boomers? Do we want our children to have increasing levels of poverty, homelessness and a lack of live-able wages?
But "Buying local" doesn't mean buying from a business who can import items at a better rate, inflate them and then hire someone to sell them to you on commission
Real change comes from making real economic trade between neighbours, building opportunities for real economic development. Allowing neighbours to pool their resources and develop new things that haven't existed before.
Because let's face it. Stripping the land of its resources and gentrifying a town to make it unaffordable for low-income families should be criminal. Politicians pushing "jobs" to these same corporations as solutions to voters makes me angry. A solution to what, how to enslave us further to debt and lower the country's GDP.
The best thing a small rural community can do, is cooperate and get on the same page about issues that matter but that's never going to happen if we don't pop the fake-news Liberal bubble that's sitting like a Bell Jar over Terrace stifling its true potential.
Thanks for reading.