Sunday, 4 November 2012

Social Boxes...Political Boxes...They All Look Just the Same...


Here at the Political Road Map, I try and incorporate a continual theme that reflects on three fundamental questions: Where did we start? Where are we? Where are we going?

These questions are usually supported further by incorporating examples that show if our government is helping us get to where we are going and more importantly, is the path we are currently on politically, socially and morally, the path we want to be on?

I know...a lot of questions, but being as politics affects everything within our individual life and communal world, we cannot escape asking questions, for if we do we risk losing our way.

I recently stumbled upon Walk Off The Earth's (W.O.T.E.) cover of a satirical song that was originally written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962. The significance and meaning of the song seem almost obvious, however if your confused, continue reading or search the song on Wikipedia.

I found it interesting that at the time of this songs creation, America and Canada respectively were going through an intense era of urbanization. People were moving in droves from the country to the city and as city space began filling up, suburbs became the new norm. At the time, many homes were built quickly, cheaply and in a cookie cutter fashion in order to compete with the vast demand from the "Nuclear Family." Time's have changed, however some things still remain the same. Although fashions have turned away from solid coloured homes, people are still immensely pressured to conform on a daily basis. 

I especially enjoy how the song utilizes the word "Ticky-Tacky" in order to explain how cheaply made the homes were. The word became trendy in 1962 and I believe should become trendy in today's society as well. Why you might ask? We are currently experiencing another era of urbanization on the planet, except this time, the urbanization is occurring across continents. With the wonderful tool called the internet, people are now able to catch a glimpse of what occurs across the world with ease and as a result we are beginning to witness global Americanization. Well, I shouldn't really use Americanization, what we are really seeing is global capitalization if anything. Why capitalization? Capitalism has become so powerful a system within society, that some genius was able to convince the Chinese to adopt many of it's characteristics within an existing Communist system that was supposed to be the complete opposite of it.

Now, we are witnessing a vast urbanization of both China and Asia in general, all at the expense of the truth. People are now being convinced that conforming to this system is in their best interest and as a result cookie-cutter-ism has re-surged.

I cannot say with certainty that this is an entirely bad thing, simply because although many people are conforming to a strict state of politics and overall living, there are many beneficial consequences that have also arisen. For example, China can be proud to know that it has done what no other country in the world has done before, which is raise millions of people from zero income to a semi-middle class status. Many people acknowledge this benefit from China and think doing business with them is an amazing idea as income and prosperity is available. However, if your in China, you won't see "little boxes" made from different colours anywhere like you did here in Canada and America around the 1960's.

No, what you will see is a bunch of "government issued boxes" that are dressed in one colour, with people walking around dressed in one colour, speaking just the same and supposedly thinking all the same. China has taken what many American's were proud to call their own and incorporated it with the most destructive characteristics of Communism in order to become the most efficient country in the world, which has led many people to believe that they are.

I for one still stand on my belief that the current Chinese system is going to fail within this decade, simply because it restricts the most crucial element to any prosperous society...freedom. I would imagine that Malvina Reynolds would look at what American has become today and how it has inspired other countries to rise up in a more extreme way, only to look at her song as a sign of good times passed.

We need to continue asking ourselves where we are going in our life. More importantly, we need to ask our government where it intends to direct our country. There is still time to correct our mistakes and ensure that our future generations can rely on knowing that we have left them something stable and optimistic.

Looking at the state of today's economic world, can a democracy remain sustainable, when Capitalism is pushed to the extreme? Can our political system remain true, when money is given the most leverage?

Looking at modern America and Canada, I unfortunately cannot say this is the case. We are diminishing the very system we held our heads high for and although we know something is wrong, it seems people feel helpless to do anything. Some thing's do not change over the years and Malvina was right to create a satire regarding conformity, because today the flavour of conformity seems to be assuming the position of victim. It seems like no one wants to work for their success anymore or do the right thing. We just blame someone for our problems and here in Canada take it out of the government. As a result, we have spawned a generation of politicians who no longer look like leaders, but crooks. We have also spawned a generation of  people that disregard others in order for a quick buck.

Next time you buy something made in China, I want you to say that it is made of "Ticky-Tacky", because it most likely was. China builds cheap in order to optimize profits, it restrains it's people as it is currently creating it's own version of the 1%. However, as much as we can point the finger at China, we must also blame ourselves, because they saw someone else do it first before they adopted it themselves.

The 60's were full of problems, but one thing can be said about this time period that cannot be said now...although there existed a 1%, people did not mind, they embraced them and aspired to be them, because the 1% was not afraid of associating itself with the 99%, they even worked hard to watch out for them and naturally both parties were able to sustain each other. Today is a different story, but I do not need to explain in any more to your local news and you'll see why.

Until Next Time...

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