THE DEFICIT OF DEMOCRACY: WHAT WOULD LORD ELGIN THINK OF JUSTIN TRUDEAU AND THE CURRENT POSTMODERN STATE OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN CANADA?
I remember well my dearly-beloved High School Canadian History teacher Miss Monica Marston teaching us about how the achievement of Responsible Government in Canada was such a great hoo ha in the dialectical evolutionary process of our country’s slow, yet inexorable march towards full nationhood during the first half of the 19th century. I remember the moment in class when Miss Marston came to the apex of her elocutionary discourse in front of the class and essentially concluded with something to the effect of ‘and finally the achievement of Responsible Government’ with a sort of sigh of relief and of ‘what took so long?’ kind of frustration in her voice at just how agonizingly slowly things moved in Canada regarding the pace of dialectical change and instrumentalization of ideas, and getting those ideas accepted and validated at the official legislative and juridico-legal level so as to be entrenched within the social fabric of society in a normative way.
This made me think of the state of Parliamentary democracy today, and what former Prime Minister Paul Martin called the ‘deficit of democracy’, with Parliament losing its lustre and its legitimacy not only in Canada but throughout the western world, wherever the influences of corporate ascendancy have been growing in the face of the diminishing power and relative autonomy of the civil and secular state, through subtle and outright frontal assaults on the power of the state to tax and spend, nay to even exist as a morally legitimate and autonomous public entity which exists not to instrumentalize secular atheistic and monopolistic state-centric tyranny upon God fearing, law-abiding, gun-toting, freedom and liberty-loving people everywhere so as to suppress their inalienable right to arrogate private property and money to themselves, drive egregiously gas-guzzling SUVs and ‘light-duty’ trucks, eat and drink prodigious quantities of agro-industrial comestible pollutants rich in fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates, and binge consume a disproportionate amount of secular pop-cultural media content; but rather as an instrument of the common good and the greater good. Like duh! Who would have thought, eh?
It made me think back to what Lord Acton said, that ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ We now find ourselves in a postmodern paradigm where tyranny is no longer the instrument of theocratic monarchical plutocracy, which combined the worst elements of absolute monarchy’s bombastic high-handedness and the Church’s ecclesiastical turgidity writ large, but rather a question of postmodern neo-feudal, plutocratic, neo-fascist, corporate ascendancy and global hegemonic domination, which essentially not only is ‘willing to work with the laws and governments of whatever country we operate in’, as any corporate CEO is proud to say, which essentially means that the postmodern corporation is loyal to no flag of any one country, to any ideology, secular or religious, recognizes no power greater than itself, except the power of money and its instrumentalization for the purpose of the maximization of pecuniary gain for itself and its board of directors and unit holders through the maximization of the extraction, to the potential point of total exhaustion, of all animal, vegetable and mineral resources on this planet, for the purposes of the maximization of the production and consumption of goods and services for the purpose of consumption by ‘consumers’ (not humans with an immortal soul), for whom the ultimate goal is that they be paid as little as possible for their labour, or if possible in an ideal ‘free enterprise’ wet dream, not be paid at all, because, as we all know, ‘the cost of labour is the biggest single cost of running a business’, and therefore we should ideally try to cut costs as much as possible, which necessarily means cutting labour costs, ideally to zero through automation, whilst trying to maximize consumption of goods and services to people who are supposed to garner great gobs of disposable income from some unknown source, obviously not from producing goods and services because they’ve all been replaced by machines.
Wow! Isn’t free enterprise awesome? No wonder there are so many people on welfare! And then we turn around and let the corporations, through their government handmaidens, blame the poor for their own misfortune, which is essentially way beyond their own control and more a product of macro-level forces of a malfeasant and malevolent nature whose scope and depth we are only now beginning to fathom. Which brings me back to Responsible Government in Canada. This crucial development in Canadian history was achieved in 1849 with the passage of the Rebellion Losses Act, which Lord Elgin, for whom there is a street named for him in many Canadian cities, and who was Governor of the Province of Canada at the time, gave Royal Assent to in the midst of a very tumultuous conjunctural moment in our nation’s history.
Let’s back up for a moment and look at the Genesis of Responsible Government and the Act which precipitated its coming into being as a Parliamentary tradition. After the British Conquest of arms of 1759 and the official ceding of New France by the French government to Britain via the Treaty of Paris in 1763, there was immediate pressure from the Anglo-Scottish merchants who came to this new British possession on the coattails of the British Army, to institute British Parliamentary-style democracy to represent their commercial interests, as per the meaning of the word ‘House of Commons’, which is an institution to represent the pecuniary interests of common men of property, as opposed to the landed aristocracy, and for which, at the time, depending on what jurisdiction we are talking about in what country, there was a property requirement to not only run for office, but also to vote for those in office, as well as religious restrictions which excluded Jews, and gender-based discrimination which excluded women, except in cases wherein a man of property loved his wife enough to cede all his temporal wealth to his wife upon his passing from this world, whereupon his widow therein acquired the rights of the realm. To our more secular sense of liberty in the postmodern paradigm, this may seem rather outrageously exclusionary, but in late 18th century early post-absolutist Europe, this unto itself was considered an outrageous dilution of aristocratic and royalist rights and privilege to ‘high born’ men and women of wealth and property from the landed hereditary peerage, who, from my reading of the sources, felt besieged and beleaguered by ‘all this levelling’, and uttered such phrases such as ‘is there no more respect for rank?’
This state of affairs was thus transferred to Canada, and the Anglo-Scottish merchants lobbied hard in early Post-Conquest Canada to have a Parliament established to represent their economic interests, and also to act as an instrument of Protestantization and Anglicization of French-Canadian Roman Catholics, whom it was esteemed by such men, that being conquered peoples, should humbly submit to British rule, and accept their fate as conquered peoples and become good, English-speaking British Protestant subjects. However, the French-Canadian Catholic majority in what is now Quebec thought differently, and their civilization had already been firmly implanted on Canadian soil for 151 years since 1608, and was not budging in its way of thinking or doing. Furthermore, practically speaking, the Conquest had wrought such an egregious amount of loss of life, limb and property damage in the former French colony, that 75-80% of all the buildings in Quebec City had been totally destroyed by a non-stop artillery bombardment during the entire summer of 1759, leading up to the battle of the Plains of Abraham, and the spread of death and disease caused by this was still a factor and needed to be contained quickly if the French-Canadians were to be brought on side with this new state of affairs. Tens of thousands of cannon balls and incendiary bombs had been mercilessly lobbed into Quebec City by the British artillery into a city filled with defenceless women and children, and furthermore, General James Wolfe had gone up and down the St. Lawrence River valley during the entire summer of 1759 with his men, burning the French-Canadian’s crops, and killing their livestock, and burning their farm houses in an attempt to wage total war upon a people who absolutely refused to submit to British rule.
So when the first couple of British Governors came to what was now British North America, they did not send Englishmen, but rather an Irishman, albeit Protestant, in the form of Lord Dorchester, who spoke fluent French, and was sympathetic to the plight of the French-Canadian Catholics, and James Murray, a Scottish man, who also harbored pro-Catholic sentiments. These two men helped forestall the implementation of British Parliamentary democracy and its perception as an instrument of White Anglo Saxon Protestant commercial ascendancy in Canada, until such time as Dorchester got the rights of French-Canadian Catholics protected with the passage of the Quebec Act of 1774, which re-established French Civil Law in Quebec, which enabled the French language to survive by virtue of the courts, government administration, and education continuing to be able to be dispensed in the language of Moliere. This eventually paved the way for the Constitution Act of 1791, which established Canada’s first British-style Parliament with a legislature in both Upper Canada, now Ontario, and Lower Canada, now Quebec.
These two Parliaments were not fully sovereign, and the Colonial Office in Britain still appointed not only the governor in each colony, but also the so-called Executive Council (now the Cabinet), which did not sit in the Parliamentary Chamber, and was thus not responsible to it, as well as the Legislative Council, (now the Senate, which is still appointed, but no longer by the Colonial Office, but rather by the Prime Minister). And ultimately, from a Responsible Government point of view, the Crown, represented by the Governor (now the Governor General), could still veto any piece of legislation passed by the Parliament even if a majority of members voted in favour of it!
So obviously, Canadians, did not like this, and these things, among others led to the Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837-38 against all this British colonial high handedness. It was particularly virulent in Lower Canada, seeing that the memory of the Conquest was still fresh in people’s minds, and the American and French Revolutions had begun to give French-Canadians such as Louis-Joseph Papineau a member of the Lower Canadian Legislature and eventual leader of the Lower Canadian Rebellion, something to use as ammunition against British rule in his quest for greater liberty against the British. He dreamed of secular liberal Republican style American or French style democracy, free of the Monarchy and royal high handedness, and got his people whipped up into a patriotic frenzy, only to back off when push came to shove, and he fled to the USA, and a man called Wolfred Nelson, a physician, led the Lower Canadian rebels into battle against the British army.
The Patriotes, as the Lower Canadian rebels were known, who were mostly French-Canadians and some Irish Republicans, were eventually defeated and those who were not hanged at the gallows in Montreal at Place d’Armes in 1839 were summarily shipped off to the Australian penal colony. So when the British investigated the causes of the Rebellions, they sent a man called Lord Durham to report on the situation, and his famous Report made three recommendations: Unite Upper and Lower Canada into one colony to simplify and streamline colonial administration to save money and ease the burdens and complexities of administration, assimilate the French-Canadians (guess how well that went over!), and implement Responsible Government.
The first recommendation was implemented with the Act of Union of 1840, which eventually led to the gridlocking of Canada’s government, because each colony had already been used to running its own affairs since the beginning, so the capital, with all the civil servants, kept moving from Quebec City, to Toronto, to Montreal, to Kingston, then back again, in a game of musical chairs which was only solved by having Queen Victoria choose Ottawa, a muddy little lumber town formerly called By Town to be the Capital of Canada in 1857, primarily because it was right on the border between the French and English-speaking part of the colony, and it was far enough north that it would be safe from a possible third US invasion, which was a concern after the two previous invasions in the US Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
The second recommendation, to assimilate the French Canadians, went over like a lead balloon, and was resisted from the beginning, and is still being resisted to this day, and rightly so. The third recommendation, was to implement Responsible Government, which, ironically came about in 1849, when, in a period of time when the colony’s economy was in the toilet because of Britain’s decision in 1846 to repeal the Corn Laws, which subsidized wheat production in the British Empire, because of a domestic issue regarding the British House of Commons’ refusal to raise wages in response to the first major backlash against the Industrial Revolution’s poor working conditions, wherein the men of property of the Commons instead chose to reduce the cost of food by lowering bread prices by reducing the cost of wheat by eliminating grain subsidies, which rendered the cultivation of wheat in Canada and export of wheat from the Port of Montreal so eminently unviable, that commercial activity in Montreal had virtually ground to a halt by 1849 when the Rebellion Losses Bill was being debated (Who says Globalization is a new phenomenon?). Ultimately, the repeal of the Corn Laws had many other class-based implications regarding commercial interests of land owners versus industrialists, city-dwellers versus country dwellers, and competing interests of men of money, power, property, prestige and personalities, but the way it played out regarding the consequences it had on the economic well-being of Canada’s economy, (or lack thereof should I say), regarding our ability to raise ourselves out of the mire of the social and economic as well as the ethno-linguistic quagmire which was exacerbated by the tanking of the wheat economy in Canada, only served to underline the ongoing issues regarding the parsimonious pecuniary elements within so-called ‘free enterprise’, which enabled some people to arrogate vast sums of wealth to themselves, often at the egregious expense of others, including working people, and the Great Famine in Ireland in 1846 to name just another example. It had gotten so bad in Canada that the merchants of Montreal and the French-Canadian Nationalists (the prototypical 19th century version of sovereigntists and federalists by the way), had affixed their pen to what is known in Canadian history as the Annexation Manifesto of 1849, petitioning the Crown to have Canada annexed to the USA, simply so that trade could resume by giving our merchants access to the American wheat market! We were literally ready to sell our souls and our birthrights for a morsel of bread. (Sounds like Free Trade, eh Justin?).
Cooler heads prevailed and the British negotiated an early Free Trade deal for us called the Canadian American Reciprocity Treaty, which gave Canada access to American markets for fish, timber, and wheat from 1854 to 1865, after which time it was abrogated by the US Congress in 1866 (sound familiar Donald? You’re fired!) over issues related to a protectionist Congress and its dislike of Britain’s tacit support for the South in the American Civil War. Which was one of the factors which spurred us to Confederation on the east-west axis with the National Policy of 1879 with Sir John A. McDonald’s CPR project and his National Dream of a united Canada with trade on an east–west axis. Funny how the Conservatives were originally the east-west protectionists and the Liberals of Sir Wilfrid Laurier were originally the Free Traders on the North South axis in the 1911 election, then it got switched around and Brian Mulroney became the evil Free Trader and poor John Turner had to defend east-west protectionism, a policy which his party was historically against!!! Whew!!!
But getting back to good ol’ Lord Elgin for a minute, he found himself in a bit of a pickle in an absolutely gridlocked remote British colonial outpost, with the economy almost at a standstill, the English-speaking locals of ‘loyal British subjects’ within the minority of Lower Canada’s constituency of the French-Canadian majority, ironically enough, being the ones who were the most incensed at the spectre of Responsible Government being established as a Parliamentary tradition in Canada within the context of the Crown giving Royal Assent to a bill which, even more ironically was designed to economically compensate mostly French-Canadian British subjects for loss property during the course of a civil disturbance which the afore-mentioned ‘loyal British subjects’ speaking the English language considered, in their humble estimation, to be tantamount to being disloyal to the very institution of the Crown which was on the verge of granting these very same French-Canadians compensation for their putative disloyalty!!! And who ever said that Canadian history was ‘boring?’ The situation in Montreal got so out of hand that Lord Elgin must’ve been so fed up with the whole mess at this point that he probably would’ve been ready to give Royal Assent to a bill making Mr. Dressup, the Friendly Giant, Casey, Finnegan and Rusty the Rooster the official figures on our money if he were living today. I mean, who needs a looney or a tooney when you can have a wooden puppet, a stuffed dog, a dude in a funky suit playing the flute, an artificial piece of poultry, or a dude who gets all dolled up in stuff out of his ‘tickle trunk’ to entertain kids on TV on your money instead of a bird nobody sees all that often, a silver-tongued French-Canadian dead guy, a rip-roarin’ alcoholic Scottish dead guy, a ninety plus year old bird from across the pond that hardly anybody ever sees in this neck of the woods anymore, a short-assed dude with halitosis who communicated with the spirit of his dead mother through mediums and who would replace his beloved Scottish terrier with an exact replica every time the old one croacked, and a really obscure dude from Nova Scotia who won for us the right to be equal within the British Empire and who signed the Treaty of Versailles as an independent country despite not officially being in charge of his country’s own foreign policy, but who is on the bank note which almost nobody uses, and which merchants most often steadfastly refuse to accept, despite being written, ‘this note is legal tender’ on it?
Sigh, poor Lord Elgin! The poor bugger ended up getting assaulted by an angry mob of English-speaking ‘loyal British subjects’, who pelted his carriage with rotten eggs as he made his way from the Parliament in Montreal after having given Royal Assent to the Rebellion Losses Act, whereupon the unruly mob, promptly and unceremoniously torched the Parliament of Canada, burning it to the ground in what has become known in Canadian history as the Montreal Riots of 1849, thereby making the 1993 Stanley Cup Riots, and the FLQ October Crisis of 1970 look like choir practice in comparison, seeing that it was the English-speaking ‘loyal British subjects’ of Lower Canada who so willfully and deliberately attacked and destroyed the very institution of Parliamentary democracy which was originally conceived to defend and promote their propertied interests, and which now, seeing that those interests were reputedly being either diminished, or in this case, expanded to include the interests of those hitherto excluded or marginalized from the aegis of British democratic institutions, now chose to lash out and to attempt, in an act of desperation and of defiance of the reality of the facts as they presented themselves to them, to destroy the very institution which was originally created to defend and promote the very rights and privileges they themselves so enjoyed as British subjects, for fear and in anger at seeing those rights extended to those they considered in their humble estimation to be unworthy of such rights.
I think that ultimately, Responsible Government’s attainment in Canada was a quintessentially Canadian anti-climactic moment in a maelstrom of linguisto-cultural, ethno-cultural, socio-political, socio-religious, and socio-economic factors, all dovetailing in unison to create a dialectical synthesis of sort which was excruciatingly painful in its process of thesis/antithesis, synthesis from the time of the Conquest to 1849, and which renewed unabated from there on in up until the present day. I think we can draw many parallels between what happened in that period and the current debate about the ‘deficit of democracy’, and Justin Trudeau’s attack on the fundamental rights of citizens of conscience and of the sanctity of Parliament and of Parliamentarians, to be free from outside mercenary influences, who threaten to ‘burn down’ the halls of democracy and who now use much more insidious forms of instrumentality than fire to usurp and pervert the hallowed halls of Parliament, such as alt-right corporate lobbying and its gobs of money, so-called ‘progressive’ alt-left secular brow beating and muzzling of democratic expression and voices in such issues as women’s rights, reproductive issues, religious freedom and the place of religion, especially Christianity’s place within the public forum, and the outright banning and suppression, either juridico-legally or through the social construction of secular custom and convention, of certain words, ideas, opinions, behaviours, through outright censorship on the radio, television, in films, and on the internet.
All of these ‘incendiary’ forms of postmodern rabble-rousing and mob-rules mentality, which are currently being instrumentalized more and more by alt-right and alt-left stakeholders, with an equal and opposing ferocity and unwillingness to yield, listen to the other, or to even consider sitting down and speaking in a civil manner with one another, is tearing postmodern western civilization apart with this unrelenting ‘culture war.’ Sting said in the song ‘Russians’, ‘there is no such thing as a winnable war, it’s a lie we don’t believe anymore.’ He was singing about the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the assuredness of MAD (Mutually-Assured Destruction), the doctrine that in a nuclear exchange between east and west, that if one party struck first, that the ensuing retaliation would lead to total annihilation of humanity.
Pink Floyd sang of the same thing in their song ‘Us and Them’: ‘Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words, and most of them are lies.’ Again, they were speaking of the binary dichotomy of the Cold War and of the ‘rhetoric of failure’, as Sting called it in the song ‘Spirits in the Material World’ off the Ghost in the Machine album from 1982. US Senator Hiram Johnson, a staunch isolationist from California during America’s debate about its entry into WWI, reputedly said, that ‘the first casualty of war is always the truth.’ Although this quote has also been ascribed to both Arthur Ponsonby in 1928’s ‘Falsehood in Wartime’, as well as a 1758 edition of ‘the Idler’, its meaning is nevertheless that the war of words which precedes the actual fighting, and which continues during the hostilities, usually involves propaganda designed to demonize one’s enemy so as to make them less than human, thereby legitimizing the instrumentalization of the weapons of all-out war to totally annihilate the enemy with the impunity of taking the moral high ground to legitimize such barbarity.
The culture wars are essentially leading us nowhere but to perdition and to further anger, violence, resentment fear and hatred of women by men, and vice versa, mass shootings, unemployment, underemployment, economic precariousness, addiction, abuse, mental health problems, sexual deviance and perversion, moral depravity as yet unheard of, spiritual vacuity and metaphysical torpor and emptiness on a scale heretofore unheard of in the history of humanity, all resulting in the egregious and disproportionate temporal and pecuniary enrichment of an ever smaller and ever more weaponized, entrenched, defensive, aggressive, beleaguered, demographically and socio-culturally and socio-economically incestuous plutocratic, neo-medieval, neo-fascist corporate elite and their government apparatchik handmaidens who do their bidding. This prophecy was foretold long ago by none other than such elite stakeholders as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, on the eve of his departure from office in the late 1950s, gave a speech saying, ‘beware the military-industrial complex.’ JFK, right after him, in a famous speech which is all over social media, warns society of the undue influence of secret societies in America, and of their usurpation of the agenda in society. Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, the son of a US Navy Admiral and therefore a product of its white Anglo Saxon Christian plutocracy, warned, in his swan song album, ‘American Prayer’, released posthumously in 1978, that America was run by ‘mad men’ in the midst of a ‘white Protestant maelstrom.’
I wonder what advice Lord Elgin would have to give to Justin Trudeau if the two were to meet on a sunny afternoon somewhere on Main Street in any town in Canada. Lord Elgin had already knicked some statues off the Greeks between 1801-1812 through the legerdemain of an Ottoman Empire decree called a ‘Firman’ which allowed him to use the Turkish government, who ruled Greece at the time as an agent to allow him to remove some cultural treasures from not only the Parthenon, but also the Propylaea and the Erechtheum, which the Greeks are still hollering about getting back from the British Museum, then went off to China after his time in Canada and did some less than savoury stuff over there such as ordering his men to burn and loot the Old Summer Palace in Bejing in 1860 during the Second Opium War. So I guess ol’ Lord Elgin was simply a product of his times and the man of the hour in a very difficult far off outpost of the British Empire, who, despite his aristocratic leanings, did what needed to be done to move things along on the right path, despite the mercenary sabre-rattling of all manner of hoi-poloi constituencies of unwashed rabble-rousing doo doo disturbers who were attempting to throw the ship of state further off course and into the weeds. Lord Elgin, as a man of the elite and a servant of the Crown, did the right thing at the right time and the right place to help make Canada a better place. I can only hope that Canada’s new postmodern second generation ‘Royal Family’ of Northern Magi can hope to act with equal firmness and fairness of purpose within the context of the new postmodern ‘maelstrom’ of competing, conflicting, antagonistic, and often virulently diametrically opposed viewpoints in today’s gridlocked culture war of WWI style ‘trench warfare’ rules of engagement, whereby we seem to be engaged in an unrelenting and never-ending zero-sum game of tit for tat wave after wave of alt-right and alt-left culture warriors facing off against each other in a sea of info-cyber-techno political and corporate machine gun and artillery mass slaughter on a static front in a la la land reminiscent of the worst elements of the killing fields of Belgium in WWI.
Enough is enough I say. It’s time for our Prime Minister to truly show some leadership both at home and abroad and to call a truce and a cease fire in the Culture Wars, and to call on both sides in the debate to lay down their weapons of mass slaughter in this zero sum Game of Thrones, where everybody gets killed off and nobody’s contract gets renewed with the network, and where Me Too and the Fourth Wave feminism only leads to more instances of Donald Trumps and neo-Nazis, white supremacists, young late-teen and early twenty something white socio-economically marginalized and psycho-sexually and psycho-socially and socially-emotionally frustrated men to take such predictably desperate measures as arming themselves with automatic weapons and emulating the only real behavioural solution they have ever truly learned in life, which is to enter a building fully armed with loads of ammunition and to fire at will at anything and anybody that moves, with the explicit intent of slaughtering as many living creatures as possible, before turning the weapon upon themselves whence inevitably corned by the authorities.
Newton’s laws of motion apply not only to raw matter but to humans and to human society as well. Newton’s third law says that for every force, there is an equal and opposing force. We cannot expect that alt right and alt left forces will continue to be instrumentalized without being ferociously opposed in an equal and opposing manner by each camp, leading to the current state of gridlock. We have to arrive at some form of compromise, wherein each side agrees to back off and back down from their respective stridently and ardently militant and unwaveringly and uncompromisingly, even aggressive and violent positions and to essentially each agree that neither side is going to categorically win against the other, that neither side is all right nor all wrong, that each side has elements of truth to their viewpoints, and that ultimately, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about being able to live with each other and to cope with each other without feeling it somehow absolutely necessary to tell the other person or party that they are wrong, and to explain why this is so, and to ‘educate’ them and to ‘raise awareness’ about why this is so, and to ‘change things’ more to suit the way our camp thinks is ‘better’ or the ‘right way’ of thinking or doing things.
Ultimately we are all going to have to put at least a couple of drops of water into our holy wine of partisan ‘truth’ and to come to the realization that our ‘cup of salvation’ that we drink at the altar of the Eucharistic table of subjective relativistic partisan political miltantism is essentially driven not so much by an objective quest for Captial ‘T’ Truth, but usually driven more by some temporal or secular ideological mindset which has been socially constructed through space and through time by a dialectical form of evolutionary ‘drift’, which often has little or no bearing on the epistemologically ontological and objective quest, process, and outcome of objective capital ‘T’ Truth, which, in the final analysis, is unwavering in its constancy, and not subject to the vagaries of linguisto-cultural subjective relativism. I can only compare it to the album cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, wherein the thin shaft of the white light of objective truth enters the prism of linguisto-cultural subjective relativism, and is subsequently refracted into a beautiful spectrum of multicultural colours of language, cultural and socio-religious specificity and subjective relativism, all the result of the refractive nature of the medium of language and culture in our temporal world. However, the thin shaft of the white light of objective Truth remains constant coming in from the left hand side of the album cover, against a backdrop of the pitch darkness of an all-black background for the rest of the album cover, representing, not the darkness of evil, or the ‘Dark Side’ of the Force, or of the evil God of Zoroastrianism, but rather the absence of light, thereby creating the vacuum of the darkness of sin, death, solitude and the utter desolation and emptiness of Hell, as described by the Spanish mystic St. Teresa of Avila, who in her visions of Hell, described it not, as Dante’s inferno depicted it as fire and brimstone with demons with Neptune and Poseidon-like horns and pointed tails and trident-like pitch forks reminiscent of some syncretized early Christian depiction of the Pagan netherworld, designed to ‘sell’ Christianity to the pagans of the early Christian era, but rather, an utterly empty place of utter desolation, devoid of all forms of love, warmth and affection.
Herein lays the Heart of the Matter, as Graham Greene put it. To truly seek objective truth while subjectively accommodating oneself to the realities of temporal imperatives. I wish Justin Trudeau well, as I do Donald Trump and Kathleen Wynne in the upcoming election, they have very difficult decisions to make as men and women of power. Let us pray that they be guided by the same willingness and pragmatic ability that guided Lord Elgin in his hour of need to seek out the best possible compromise in their quest for the objective shaft of white light of truth within the subjective diffusion pattern of the spectrum of linguisto-cultural and socio-economic subjectivity which so beleaguers our postmodern society.
I think our deficit of democracy has long since outstripped any pecuniary deficit or debt we owe to any money lenders or leveragers of sovereign debt who have sought to instrumentalize the power of money in the service of the power of human guile, hubris and the vainglorious quest for temporal aggrandizement in the name of the people, of the common good, the greater good, of the Revolution, or even of the Almighty himself. Let us henceforth pledge to make it our unwavering vocation to serve our fellow creatures for the greater good of all, irrespective of mercenary intent or gain, and to truly make the instrument of Government one which is truly Responsible in the sense of being accountable, not to the power of money, but to a Higher Power, one whom we all must most humbly obey, and one to whom we must all most humbly submit.