We no longer live in a democracy, we live in a plutocracy – a state which serves the wealthy. It borders on the comical to hear Paul Godfrey, Chairman of Postmedia and CFL plutocrat whining about the Huffington Post. Any competition is too much competition. Why can’t it all be like Lansdowne Park? No competition.
It was the chattering classes which used to buy newspapers, now they chatter on-line and they circulate news on-line. This is what the latest Friends of Lansdowne have to say about moving the Horticulture building at Lansdowne Park. You won’t find it in print:
“The City also alleges it is moving the building to permit public use. You
don’t have to move a building to renovate it and open it to the public. It
would have cost taxpayers a lot less to leave it where it is, renovate it
and open it to the public.
So why can’t the City be honest? It has decided to spend about $9 million
of taxpayers money to move the Horticulture Building (this doesn’t include
the money for renovating the building), because OSEG wants a bigger
commercial development on the site—it’s that simple. Why can’t the City
Good question. Unfortunately, it’s just a tiny, local example of what goes on every day in every way. You won’t find in print that the cost of a university education has steadily increased faster than the cost of living until it’s now out of reach out of ordinary Canadians, or that this has already happened south of the border where governments have turned their excellent State university system into a private one. Governments are anxious to spend money on jails but the private sector can take care of students and schools. Our neighbours now have 25 per cent of all the incarcerated people on the planet with 5 per cent of the population. Mr. Harper, Mr. Charest et al. are anxious to catch up.
Education is being turned into a consumer product. It doesn’t serve plutocrats to have popular, well attended, independent institutions of higher learning. The wealthy don’t need low tuition fees. Ordinary Canadians do. The Quebec students through their incredible tenacity have outed just how far the politicians in Quebec City will go to retain and advance a university education that serves the wealthy but not others. It’s not funny. It’s even less amusing to contemplate what would happen nationally if Canadians outside of Quebec decided to oppose Mr. Harper on a specific issue with the same kind of determination.
The more that information critical of the plutocracy circulates on the Web, the more pressure there will be to control it. Hence, Mr. Godfrey’s screed against the Huffington. It was revealing to see the educational Ted lecture group refuse to post to the web a harmless little talk by an entrepreneur who had the temerity to make the point it was middle class and ordinary consumers that created successful markets, not more money going to the already richest segments of society. Apparently this was just too radical for Ted.
Welcome to the plutocracy.