On December 10, 1926, at 9 P.M. at the Prophet cafe, the surrealists met to decide whether to form an alliance with the Communist party. Antonin Artaud, for whom all political parties were equally irrelevant, displayed a noticeable lack of enthusiasm that prompted one of the left-leaning surrealists to ask: Doesn’t Artaud give a damn about the revolution?” “I don’t give a damn about yours but I do give a damn about mine,” Artaud said, and walked out, never to return to the surrealist fold…How hard it is, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.( Artaud )
Rick Salutin:In India, where I was recently, elections have the quality of a national festival that displays what Ramachandra Guha calls “Indians’ love of voting.” And it’s the poor, the vast majority of a vast electorate, who are more likely to vote than the rich and middle classes. At the least, this disproves the notion that democracy is a western invention ill at ease elsewhere. It’s more likely, as anthropologist Jack Goody argues, a universal human impulse. But add in this: Indian politics has been hopelessly corrupt for decades. People there seem to know and expect it, but keep voting joyously anyway.
Does this mean the illusion of democracy and freedom is as powerful as the real thing? To some extent, yes. If you think you’re free and choosing your fate, it probably gives you the same kick as the reality would, if it existed. Americans think they’re the freeest, most democratic country “in the history of the world,” as they like to say. Yet their range of political choice is very narrow compared to others. …Personally, I wouldn’t deride this kind of delusion. It’s like religion. Whatever gets you through the night, especially in hard times, personally or nationally.Read More:http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/967091–salutin-the-romance-of-elections-seriously
Fifty percent of the people in this country don’t vote. They simply don’t want to be implicated in organized society. With, in most cases, a kind of animal instinct, they know that they cannot really do anything about it, that the participation offered them is a hoax. & even if it weren’t, they know that if they don’t participate, they aren’t implicated, at least not voluntarily. It is for these people, the submerged fifty percent, that Miller speaks. — Kenneth Rexroth, “The Reality of Henry Miller,” Bird in the Bush….”They tell me I’m the most powerful man in the world. I don’t believe that. Over there in the White House someplace, there’s a fellow that puts a piece of paper on my desk every day that tells me what I’m going to be doing every 15 minutes. He’s the most powerful man in the world.” (Ronald Reagan)
Whether the election is necessary or not is superfluous. It gives all the parties an excuse to clean house and engender new rounds of desperate maneuvering towards murky goals which hold little promise. The goal of power is the control over appointments and discretionary spending. There has been no government in Belgium for over three hundred days and the state is not collapsing. There has been almost no difference and little squabbling over new initiatives since there are none. Call it a consolidation phase. Of course, Belgium is a smaller and more limited ghetto than Canada is, but…. it does suggest an emotional tone deafness on the part of politicians. The gene of narcissism, an emotional deep freeze that creates individuals aspiring to power that are oblivious to signals sent by others about how they perceive you, leading, one fears, to an eventually dumping by the electorate or party faithful. Being politically correct, this precludes bouts of egomania, which is plausible in politics since it requires the candidate to be cogniscant at least control or manipulate them. With narcissism, it passes imperceptibly that the candidate assumes the electorate will equally bask in your presence.
Quebec form the 1930′s to 1960 had, almost uninterruptedly, Maurice Duplessis as premier. Dubbed the “nigger king” who would keep the population as peasan
nd manual workers rather than “masters in their own house”. Although this “humiliation” as been bandied and exhausted, one has to question if ultimately, all Canadian wannabe leaders are “nigger kings” serving higher interests and in competition with one another as to who has the whitest backside.
“A prince therefore who desires to maintain himself must learn not always to be good.” “Politics have no relations to morals.” “The promise given was a necessity of the past; the word broken is a necessity of the present.” “Before all else, be armed.” “Men ought never give way to despair; since they do not know their end and it comes through indirect and unknown ways, they always have reason to hope.” Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) “The Prince”
Rick Salutin:A Liberal-NDP merger. This has often been a subject of speculation. It has now moved into serious discussions. However, an anonymous Liberal organizer told the Toronto Star it won’t happen, because “They’re socialists, we’re not.” Would that it were so, as they say in the Talmud. It would be nice to have someone at least make the case. But most NDP-like parties in the West long ago abandoned socialism to embrace free-market orthodoxy. Some, like New Zealand’s Labour government in the 1980s, were more zealous than the official right-wingers. In the U.K., Labour leader Tony Blair admired Margaret Thatcher; he modelled New Labour in imitation. In Canada, Bob Rae’s Ontario NDP government killed its own 1990 election promise of public auto insurance. I once asked Jack Layton what distinguished the federal NDP’s views from Stéphane Dion’s Liberals. He replied, it’s that people can believe those things when we say them. That may be arrogant and implausible, but it’s not socialist. Let the merging begin. Read More:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-phantom-canadian-left/article1608192/