Open Letter of Tribute to Brigette DePape … with video
There is something I can feel that is going on in this picture of you holding the ‘Stop Harper’ sign that is not showing up in the picture.
It is ‘tension’.
‘Tension’ associates with ‘awareness’. A baby would not necessarily feel ‘tension’ the way that adults do because the baby is not necessarily aware they are doing something that ‘they are not supposed to’.
If it were not for ‘tensions’, society would not function the way it does. For example, the colonized indigenous peoples who do not have the same belief systems as the colonizer’s, don’t believe in the ‘secularized theological concept’ of the ‘sovereign state’ with its imaginary line boundaries (a ‘belief’ for ‘the believers’). This is where Harper [the ‘Prime’ Minister] gets all his power from, … from ‘believers’ and from the sovereigntist ‘belief system’.
The indigenous people may not believe that the imaginary line boundaries are ‘really there’ but there will be a tension if one is in the presence of ‘those who do believe’ because one knows that they expect everyone else to respect their beliefs; to ‘genuflect’ at the places where the believers have put their mark where the supposed ‘boundaries’ are.
To ‘not genuflect’ is considered disrespectful and even ‘treasonous’ behaviour.
I am not ‘making anything up’ about sovereigntism, where Harper gets his power from, does indeed derive from religious beliefs. Law historians are agreed that this is the case;
“[T]hat the ultimate moving force which inspires and controls political action is a spiritual force — a common conviction that makes for righteousness, a common conscience …. —Ahmad, Ilyas. Sovereignty: Islamic and Modern.
This suggestion is startling because we are used to the western notion of separation of church and state. Western discussion can speak of “common will,” but gets nervous with the thought that this phrase only acquires meaning in spiritual terms. As we have seen, however, western political thinking itself is grounded in theological concepts of “Christian nationalism.” The notion of “absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original” is a definition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. This “God died around the time of Machiavelli…. Sovereignty was … His earthly replacement.” —Walker, R. B. J. and Mendlovitz, Saul H. “Interrogating State Sovereignty.”
This ‘common will’ is a strange dude. It can be like a horse running with the bit in its teeth. It often begs us to make a stand and ‘stop the horse’ but few of us do [even if one is buoyed by the ‘bullet-proofness’ of youth or age]. The tensions permeate us like an invisible magnetic field. If we are of this one polarity and we move too deeply into a region in which another polarity predominates, we may attract iron filings like a magnet and come out of it looking like a porcupine, particularly if the ‘iron filings’ are sharply pointed and backed with feathered flights.
We all need to ‘get honest’ and acknowledge that our individual and collective behaviours are shaped more by the tensional fields we share inclusion in, than by our own internally-seated authoring source.
We may insist that we have ‘free will’ and that we only do ‘what we ourselves choose to do’, … but where do ‘the choices’ come from?
The ‘respected traditions of sovereigntist democracy’ were a short while ago infusing ‘racism’, ‘genocide’ and ‘gender bias’ in their top-down fields of expectation. We were all asked, at that time, to ‘be respectful of the democratic tradition’. Who stepped in to help First Nations families avoid having to ship their children to residential schools as part of a democratically-elected government strategy aimed at exterminating an unwanted and deemed ‘undesirable’ culture, not to mention ‘race’.
I suppose we could in theory ‘vote’ ‘in favour of’ genocide or ‘opposed’ to genocide, but the genocide was never put to a vote. Only the election of a ‘trusted leader’ was put to the vote, and that is a ‘democratic tradition’ that must be respected, right? It is like one of those software agreements we sign on the internet with ten pages of legalese in it which confounds and confuses more than it informs [though such jargon feigns clarity, the proof that it is not at all clear is that it takes expensive litigation to figure out what, if anything, was violated]. ‘All in favour, tick this box, all opposed, tick that box’, and once you have done your ticking, be respectful of those who are going to unleash the processes you ‘have agreed to’.
The system is ‘not working’! That is, ‘this system does not work; neither ‘on paper’ nor ‘in practice’. The problem with changing it out has been compared with changing the tires on your car, while you are speeding down the highway in it.
Your ‘Stop Harper’ plea makes sense, and though it would have been even more ‘sacrilegious’, you could have written ‘Stop this Runaway System’, because, as we have seen, there have been many different occupants of the cab on this locomotive and while we can argue over who the less destructive operators were, why do we continue to open ourselves to this exposure, when that locomotive has the power to bear down on everyone in the country and across the Atlantic in Libya and elsewhere? As you point out, three out of four eligible voters did not support putting Harper into the cab of the locomotive, and, returning to the example of the internet software agreement, how many does that suggest, have carefully examined what one was agreeing to when one ‘ticked the Harper box’?
Can we expect ‘hidden agendas’ on the part of the locomotive operator?
Maybe they are not so ‘hidden’.
It has been long recognized that two of the belief systems that ‘leaders’ [or, rather, ‘political-office-power-seekers’] commonly possess are finding their way into the driver’s seat.
1. Religious fundamentalism or ‘purificationism’ is a fairly widespread ‘belief system’; – The approach here is ‘to make the world a better place’ by ‘purification’, to develop a hair trigger in the identification of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and move ever more swiftly to reward/replicate what is ‘good’ and punish/eliminate what is ‘bad’. There is a problem, of course, in that not everyone has the same definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Many who the ‘elected authorities’ label as ‘bad’ or as ‘kooks’, are themselves labelled by those individuals as ‘bad’ or as ‘kooks’.
2. Neo-Darwinist ‘intellectual elitism’ is another ‘belief system’ that seeks the cab of the locomotive. This world view is successfully ‘preached’ by evolutionary biologists, scientific atheists [or those who put science before theism] in their attempt to purify the world of religious contamination that threatens to pollute carefully calculated logical models of ‘how to make the world a better place’. According to evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin, we must trust the intellectual elite;
“ It is one of the contradictions of a democratic society in a highly advanced technological world, … to make rational political decisions, you have to have a knowledge which is accessible only to a very few people.” [Lewontin continues by noting;] “that different people have different interests, and therefore the struggle is not a moral one, its a political one. It’s always a political one, and that’s the most important thing you have to recognize… that you may be struggling to make the world go in one direction, … [while] somebody else is struggling to make it go in another direction, and the question is; who has power? And if there’s a differential in power, and if you haven’t got it and they have, then you have to do something to gain power, which is to organize. “
As you point out, Brigette, there is a lot of stuff being done by the operator of the locomotive, ‘in the name of all Canadians’, that we are all supposed to go along with because we must all respect the ‘democratic tradition’. Well, the original ‘democratic tradition’ that emerged in naturally evolving communities, had little to do with this sort of ‘democratic process’ which opens the way to fundamentalist purification [reward/replicate ‘good’ and punish/eliminate ‘bad’, and be the definer of what’s good’ and what’s ‘bad’], and/or, as Lewontin’s neo-Darwinist world view advocates; ‘organize politically to gain the power to move things in the direction your group wants’.
While we may not have ‘all the answers in hand’, it is fair to say that we are launching runaway locomotives that are transforming the landscape that we all share inclusion in, in a manner that is nothing like the doer-deed political program results that the ‘political-office-power-seekers-aka-‘leaders’ are promising. As McLuhan observed, the machinery of doer-deed programs are not where we should be looking. We should be looking at how the habitat we are included in is being transformed; i.e. the ‘medium of our common living space is the message’;
“Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine [of government] altered our relations to one another and ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs. – Marshall McLuhan, ‘Understanding Media’
Finally, I felt that your comments on the following video clip from 03:40 to 04:10 were particularly ‘on the mark’;
CTV Interviewer: Are you a member of a political party?
Brigette: No, I’m not a member of any particular political party. I think that it’s important to get away from only thinking about politics within the realm of parties and politicians. I think that people have a responsibility, … and people from all walks of life can become engaged in politics and social movements.
CTV Interviewer: … And you took an oath, though, when you joined the Senate [as a page], not to be partisan or whatever. Do you feel badly about what you did though?
Brigette: I didn’t want to disrespect anybody that I was working with, or any programs. That wasn’t my intention at all. I wanted to really show that Harper’s agenda is extremely disrespectful.
Thank you Brigette!
Pender Island, B.C.