So much for right wing myths

I have to confess that I read the gospel according to Giede whenever his writings on the wall appear in the Citizen. However, I must remember that the Bible warns us about false prophets in the end times and while I trust that the majority of Citizen readers see through Giede's prolific "red baiting" and that I shouldn't dignify his ravings with a response, sometimes silence is considered agreement.

Giede's gospel suggests that all persons on the political left are hell bent on creating a tyrannical society, a socialist dystopia of the kind warned about in books like 1984, Brave New World and Animal Farm. Nothing could be further from truth. In fact with social media evolving as it is, the future will be a right wing corporate dystopia.

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After the Second World War, British Tory and war leader Winston Churchill was defeated in the post war election by Clement Atlee. One campaign slogan declared "We trusted you to win the war but we don't trust you to win the peace." The soldiers returning from the war fighting fascism remembered the hardships they had endured during the failure of capitalism called the Great Depression that precipitated the war and may have been a major contributing factor, and decided they wanted a more equitable society and elected a government that started to build social safety nets. Interestingly, Churchill tagged Atlee as an aspiring socialist tyrant.

The post war world is called "the golden age" in some economic discussions due to strong economic growth and the rise of what we now call the middle class. It's my view that the capitalist class tolerated this redistribution of wealth because the "red threat" of communism haunted them.

However, the golden age ended in the early 1970s when the OPEC oil crisis jolted the western economies. Oil prices quadrupled and along with the rising cost of the U.S. war in Vietnam stimulated inflation, which resulted in some draconian economic reactions like wage and price controls that didn't work and the crippling increases in interest rates, which eventually did work but it was painful.

The 1980s brought the Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney triad that adopted Milton Friedman's "trickle down" economic theory in the west. Meanwhile, the communist world was starting to unravel culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall. The 80s also brought the great hue and cry about government expenditures and the national debt and deficit. The right wing clamoured to cut social programs. In the end, the deficit miraculously shrunk in the early 1990s and in Canada Paul Martin is credited for it.

However, it is no coincidence that interest rates came down significantly at that time and have remained low ever since. The right wing credit austerity but declining interest rates played a huge part.

The 1990s was the decade of global free trade agreements, where democratic governments surrendered their sovereign rights to global corporations. Unelected global organizations like the WTO and the World Bank began to influence if not direct local economies. These are not left-wing creations. Many of us on the left wing opposed the FTA and NAFTA precisely because they overrode the ability of democratic governments to make decisions without corporate approval.

Critics of the carbon tax calling its proponents left wing totalitarians are off base because the carbon tax is a capitalist concoction for dealing with pollution. No left wing totalitarian country that I know of has a carbon tax. They are usually unabashed polluters.

As for recycling, we've left that to the free market and it turns out they just ship it overseas and dump it or leave it on container ships in foreign harbours.

We are not facing a struggle between democracy and socialist dictatorship or even between democratic capitalism versus democratic socialism. We are facing democracy versus global corporatocracy.

Roy Olsen

Prince George

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