Monday, 16 May 2011

Natural welfare "queens"

The "Welfare Queen" moniker is an American meme with both racist and sexist components that was intended to arouse the ire of ordinary people against small-time free riders in order to distract from the long-standing effort to make it possible for big-time free riders to get away with robbing the American public blind.

What does this have to do with Canada?

We keep hearing that the "political center" of Canada is shifting Westward, and that Ontario's manufacturing economy is in the doldrums and that it is a have-not province. And we keep hearing that this is fuelling the political shift to the right. If so, this situation is merely confirmation of something we already knew: that right-wing populist politics is only possible in the presence of large-scale free riding. In this case, the free riding is on oil, oil, and more oil---because it no longer pays to be an actual entrepreneur in (foolishly) export-dependent Canada.

The Canadian right is all about being the true welfare "queens"*---the welfare "queens" of nature, of the dinosaur plants that died so long ago. Of course, it is always the case that we living things subsist on and affect the world in unpredictable ways; but we must never pretend that it is anything other than what it is.

Now if there's anything that will fracture the Reformatory crypto-coalition, it is that fact: will Ontario and the Rest-of-Canada (relative to resource extracting provinces) share in that welfare-"queendom"? I thought that was taboo.

*In reality, welfare "kings" more than anything else.

1 comment:

Mark Francis said...

Conservatives are huge on subsidizing the economy. All the environmental damage being caused -- especially climate change -- is a subsidy the present is collecting from the future. Also, keep a watch on the economic concessions Harper will make to keep the Tar Sands exploitation exempt from international trade sanctions.

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