, 24 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Classical economic theory is built on the premise that individuals will act in self-interest. The slave will obey to avoid being beaten. The worker will work to gain compensation. The owner of the means of production will do anything to maximize profit. #cdnpoli 1/24
Politicians will steer policy to benefit those donors that compensate them. Basic economic theory has interfered with the progress of civilization. 2/24
This belief in the primacy of self-interest runs counter to the tenets of pretty well all world religions, and counter to traditional cultural norms around the world. 3/24
We have been steeped in this, in the western world at least, since birth. 4/24
This theoretical framework denies our natural inclinations towards altruism, sharing, co-operation, kindness, compassion, and empathy. 5/24
Those who support political parties whose platforms are based on personal advancement over the advancement of society, over raising up even the "least" among us, have truly absorbed the message that greed is good. 6/24
But many of us find that economic theory sadly wanting when we look within ourselves. We do not feel good about accumulating wealth side by side with those who have so little. We seek a system whereby we can share our good fortune with those who have less. 7/24
That does not mean we don't want to be rewarded for our hard work. But it does mean that we find abject poverty unacceptable in our society. We recognise that life's cards are dealt unequally. 8/24
And for most of us who enjoy a higher standard of living, we recognise that factors that had nothing to do with our own efforts came into play. Accident of birth (country/parents/ethnicity), access to a good education, someone who saw potential in us... 9/24
When you recognise this and accept it, it becomes intolerable that some children will fall behind because of the opposite sort of luck. Throw in systemic racism, multi-generational trauma, and a concerted effort of some to keep the scales tipped in their own favour... 10/24
And you wind up with a divide in how society views the world. There are those who see themselves as deserving of every benefit and screw everyone else. As long as I get mine, I'm happy, and... 11/24
Those who are troubled by issues of homelessness, of addiction, of children being raised by people whose childhood was stolen (i.e. families who need culturally appropriate support), children going to school in mold-contaminated buildings... 12/24
Those who are troubled by the fact that some people work 3 part-time jobs to keep a roof over their heads and can never get out of that trap unless things change dramatically... 13/24
Those who are troubled by inequality, by discrimination, by cruelty, by corporate bottom lines that need to be buoyed up by cutting environmental protection, worker protection, consumer protection... 14/24
Those who are concerned about the environment, by what we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren and other people's grandchildren... 15/24
I heard a guy on the Alberta at noon call-in show say he was sick and tired of everyone getting benefits and services from the government. His wife was in hospital so she could not work. And socialism was ruining his life. 16/24
He said he was sick of paying taxes for education because he has no kids. He was sick of his taxes going to low-income families to help their kids...17/24
That hospital his wife is in is funded by "socialism". He doesn't realise it. Those education taxes he pays, pay for the future doctors and engineers who will look after his community and his family in the future. Those children who are raised out of poverty by his taxes 18/24
and other people's taxes, will grow up to be contributing members of society, rather than contributing to gangs and violence and criminality. Safer communities comes from raising people up out of desperation, not from incarcerating them after the fact. 19/24
We have been ruled for over 100 years by an economic theory that is not humanist, is not moral, is not sustainable. Rational actors realise that they are not islands, that maximising their own benefit at a cost to others is not sustainable... 20/24
We need one another, as equals. We need to provide all members of our society opportunities to achieve their potential. We need an educated populace. We need to address inequality, health issues (both physical and mental), resource inequality, addiction and trauma... 21/24
We need one another as fellow travelers in this life and we need to respect others. We need to revel in the diversity that a country like Canada embodies. We need to cast off old ideas and be better at supporting and sustaining our wonderfully diverse culture. 22/24
We need to find and embrace our natural inclinations towards kindness and acceptance. Bigotry is not born, it is learned. And it is reinforced by an artificial metric that values the wealthy life over the impoverished life. 23/24
I have been criticized in the past for writing 24-part threads, so here endeth the epistle. 24/24
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