During the Vietnam war, American draft resisters found refuge in Canada. Those days are long gone. I’m not con-vinced that it’s just be-cause Canada has a Conservative Prime Minister that the country has emulated so much of our Homeland Security provisions, extending them to cover domestic dissent.
Whatever the reason, this much is certain: Canada is now more than ever an extension of the United States, and while it is probable that the North American Free Trade Agreement has something to do with it, the more deeper reasons are more worrisome. Sooner or later, the conflictive situation with Mexico will make it part of a North American Colossus – a desperate but probably futile effort to meet the challenges of China, India and Brazil.
What should make us take notice is that this is part of a larger conflictive situation: the grass roots of the world (no longer the workers or proletarians of the world), are finally getting it together. As it reports on efforts of the G8 and the G20 in Toronto to save the world economic system, the American media ignores the fact that 15,000 people are camping in tents in the industrial wasteland of Detroit, a predominantly black city that is finding new ways to live with the newly liberated land. Much less are Americans aware of similar experiments going on across their country – and nost others.
Today, in the tight credit market, CNN revealed to its viewers the existence of micro-finance, a concept for which a Bangladeshi, Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank that makes loans to peasants, mainly women, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Only ten years behind, CNN! Bravo! A few weeks ago your founder, Ted Turner, long ago ousted, was given a tour of the Atlanta headquarters after a remake, and when he was asked by your friendliest anchor, Fredricka Whitfield, whether he had any unfulfilled wishes, he said he had always wished that CNN would cover more foreign news. Alas!
The fact that political junkies can turn to the internet hardly makes up for the failure of the Mainstream Media (or MSM as it is known), to bridge the oceans that have for two hundred years complacently separated Americans from the rest of the messy world. Why? Because even the most highly regarded on-line resources such as Huffington Post, Truth-Digg, Common Dreams, to name but a few, are mainly concerned with who said what to whom on the domestic front.
I’m lucky to receive internet newsletters and blogs in other lan-guages that I read, and although many of these, like their American counterparts, are mainly concerned with national issues, there are a growing number of on-line news publications that have an international focus, and some of them make the effort to publish in several languages.
This is not where I meant to go with this blog, so the names of these multi-lingual newsletters will have to wait for my next blog. I want to get back to the idea of a North American colossus, in which Mexican manpower plays a similar role to that of China’s rural population.
The two sides in the immigration debate are irreconcilable as things now stand: But one could imagine the creation of a political entity similar to the European Union, that would link the U.S. with Canada and Mexico in such a way as to get around that problem and create a more competitive economy. One would have to hope that such an entity would not more closely resemble the authoritarian Chinese regime than the European.