FTLComm - Tisdale - November 5, 2000
It is almost a Canadian tradition, we expect to see snow by Halloween and only rarely do we have no snow on the ground Remembrance Day. Last year and the one before we had early surprise snow falls but permanent winter snow was late. So much so that it was January before the ground got a proper covering. This skiff this morning is really just a warning, a sort of gentle reminder that the season has changed and its is time.

There is a time for all things, and this is the time for winter. Canadians appreciate the winter, oh they complain about it but it is a harsh reality that tests each individual, is endured and comes and just as surely goes away leaving us all a year older.

This morning I discussed the lamentable condition of our political and social world with an e-mail correspondent and both of us feel a deep concern for the apparent lack of fundamental values demonstrated by politicians and public officials. The harsh and uncaring attitudes that seem to flourish in organisations like SGI and Workers Compensation are the norm rather than the exception while we see politicians advocating punitive attacks on offenders to act as deterrents and to raise the level of fear in the population.

What sort of progress are we making as a people, is our society not benefiting from intellectual growth, have we lost sight of better things? Perhaps not, there has been the growing adoption of chamber of commerce mentality and one of the most distressing elements in our society has been the definite attempt by the financial and economic forces to break the back of the middle class.

The French Revolution and to a certain extent the freedom movement in the United States, that lead to the forming of that country, was lead by the middle class. To help you understand the importance of this faction of society we must understand that the middle class is aware of their position, knowing they have risen slightly above poverty but are not enjoying the careless and ruthless life of the upper class. For this reason, the middle class wants things to be stable,e so that they can help their children progress toward financial freedom, but they want the world to be pleasant and ordered.

The German sociologist Max Webber is the writer who best described the power of this portion of society and established how it would produce by its upwardly mobile
attitudes and need for stability, a democratic and charitable caring society. The social world that emerged after world war two throughout Western Europe and in North America was largely the result of this very strong part of the population. Their values were those of Tommy Douglas, John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

But things change and the wealthy upper class decided during the years of the Thatcher regime in England, the US Regan period and the Mulroney times in Canada to end the domination of the middle class. They were taxed more, put under more pressure and virtually eliminated during the past thirty years. As in the 1920s and 1930s the middle of the income bracket in Canada and the United States has been reduced, as the majority of the population become either poor, or very poor, while leaving a dandy bunch of happy bastards very rich, or stinking rich. So with this shift ,the values and morality of the middle class, has ceased to be important.

However, a change is a foot. The recent boost in the US and Canadian economies once more is seeing the middle class emerge from its oppressed situation and politicians are breaking their backs trying to bend over further and further to get tax relief to the middle class. The middle class can almost guarantee prosperity for the long term, they like things to be steady and calm, so that they can appreciate the results of their hard work and they want a good life for themselves and their children. So does the lower class, but they have no choice but to scramble just to stay alive and rarely vote or are able to, with their meager earnings, play any important role in society, other than provide cheap labour for the wealthy business owners.

We are at a time of change, winter is coming, it is time for it to come, just as it is time for the Mulroney doctrine of oppressing the middle class has reached an end, and no matter what politicians say, this portion of society will once again rise to the position of directing the traffic of social change in North American society and things will get better.
Timothy W. Shire