Jack Saturday

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 36 and 37

Missed last week, my motherboard died. My fatherboard was inconsolable.

Here's two, dedicated to the line of suffering men with their hats out as in the time of Dickens, standing (probably too cold to sit) one after the other against the buildings down Fort St yesterday in my prosperous Canadian city in a cold December-- to the people out Christmas shopping, many struggling with a discomfort of conscience as they walk past avoiding these men's eyes; to the young woman huddled in a corner on Johnson St.

To Christine Wellstead, who works in emerg at St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver who saved the life of a man whose blanket was burning around his hands and face near Starbucks at 19th and Cambie, and the well-dressed lady there who told her "forget it, he's just a homeless person."

To our millionaire Prime Minister Paul Martin, who in a leader's debate last night said “In Canada today, our economy is strong. Deficits are history.”

And later in the debate, on the subject of the growing problem of youth killing youth with handguns in Canadian cities: "… it is the hopelessness that poverty causes… I had a tremendous conversation the other day in Toronto with two young men, and that’s what they were talking about—‘I am excluded—I am poor, I may be poor forever, I don’t have a chance to reach up.’ –and we’ve got to deal with this, and that’s why we put in a place a major community program…”

To the other leaders in the debate who all agreed that poverty was a major factor leading to handgun deaths, Stephen Harper of the Conservatives who promises longer jail terms, and Jack Layton, head of the NDP, the left-leaning "people's party" who promises "training and education" in a world in which low-pay no-benefit service-sector jobs have supplied Paul Martin with his joyful annoucements of low unemployment (A large percentage of food-bank users work full time but can't feed their families, never mind spend some time with them)-- and who are, according to Marshall Brain, due to be automated out within ten years by the new robotics.

The job system is just that: a system, we invented it, we can change it. With wisdom and foresight we can fashion from the historic disintegration of the jobs culture a more cheerful, humane, vigorous and hopeful approach that will combine material abundance with human fulfilment. For more than two centuries, the job has been a kind of tyrant that has reduced human beings, curtailed their potential, exhausted and discouraged them. Now, thanks to advancing technology we stand on the threshold of being liberated from that tyranny and, instead of fearing it, we should be dancing in the streets and celebrating.
Frithjof Bergmann

There is no doubt that if the human race is to have their dearest wish and be free from the dread of mass destruction they could have, as an alternative, what many of them might prefer, namely, the swiftest expansion of material well-being that has ever been within their reach, or even within their dreams. By material well-being I mean not only abundance but a degree of leisure for the masses such as has never before been possible in our mortal struggle for life. The majestic possibilities ought to gleam and be made to gleam before the eyes of the toilers in every land and ought to inspire the actions of all who bear responsibility for their guidance.

Sir Winston Churchill
at the opening of Parliament, November 1953


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