From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, September 2, 2018

And, you know, there is such a thing as society

As a society ( yes despite Thatcher's contention society does exist) we have a responsibility to each other, a responsibility to set a floor under which no member of our society can fall.

A floor that says no one goes unfed 
A floor that says everyone has the right to adequate housing
A floor that says ensuring everyone regardless of income has access to quality post secondary education is in society's thus our best interests

We have the resources to easily accomplish this, it merely comes down to priorities. Do we prioritize low corporate taxes which today make up the smallest percentage of overall taxation in over a century or do we prioritize ourselves the people who make up our society?

That is but one example of how our priorities have become skewed.  Trans Mountain if it is built will cost upwards of $20 billion and likely higher when the delay from the court ruling is factored in. That cash could help a lot of people instead of enriching a few of the richest among us.

When I think back to when and how we let our priorities become so wrongheaded I always come back to Thatcher's no society comment.  It was vital to the project of neoliberalism to convince us that there is no society only individuals looking out for their own self interest.

Once that was accomplished it was but a small step to convince us that our self interest lies in low taxes and austerity.

Decades on we see the evidence of what this has wrought. Inequality and poverty not seen since the beginning of the 20th century, record levels of migration as millions flee war and violence and governments so neutered by so called trade agreements that they are incapable of addressing the world's ills. 

Yet despite all the evidence many still cling to this failed ideology and the notion that society doesn't exist.  

Society does exist , is worth fighting for and we will all be better off for it 

1 comment:

  1. "I don't think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime." – as education secretary in 1973

    "People from my sort of background needed grammar schools to compete with children from privileged homes like Shirley Williams and Anthony Wedgwood Benn." – as Conservative leader in 1977

    "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope." – on her election as prime minister in 1979

    "We are not asking for a penny piece of community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back, over and above what we contribute to the community, which is covered by our receipts from the community." – when negotiating the European community budget rebate in 1979
    for more information go here