The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “progressive centre” Category

Christmas and Trust

Posted on December 14, 2018

Living in a more jaded world, where things no longer feel as secure and where the news feels predominately negative, has magnified the loss of trust in our generation.  We see institutions as failing us.  Relationships lie in ruins.  People become undependable.  It leads many to agree with researchers who say that trust is a dying commodity. Except that it’s not. Humanity is still capable of great trust and faith; it’s just that such things become lost in the din of dysfunction. We still count on friends, trust our workmates to get the job done and believe most of those around us will remain with us when tough times descend.  And that goes for our faith in institutions as well.  We count on our banks or credit unions to safely keep and…

On Christmas, Capitalism and Compassion

Posted on December 12, 2018

This past week, we found ourselves transported to the era of Charles Dickens as we attending opening night of the Grand Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.  The inspiration largely came from female lead Jan Alexandra Smith in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.  In a Canadian first, Scrooge was portrayed by a woman, not in the role of a man, but of a seasoned woman fully capable of transformation.  It was a revelation. The Victorian era found Dickens interpreting a world of great wealth, great poverty and the struggle of these two realities in defining society.  Capitalism was undergoing a rapid rise in production, but was plagued by a kind of emerging poverty Dickens wrote about in his Christmas classic. In this past 50 years, much has been made of Adam…

The Most Terrible Poverty

Posted on November 30, 2018

We probably all know this, but in an increasingly economic world we make poverty to be something about money, or the lack of it.  Yet it’s more.  It’s one thing to lack capital, but it inevitably leads to a shortage of social capital as well. In recent decades access to economic well-being has increasingly split our modern societies into two – better known as the haves and the have-nots.  That distinction has always been there, but in recent years it has become a wide chasm that few can cross.  That leads to making difficult choices or not being able to make any choices at all. Increasingly, those being pushed to society’s margins find themselves not only economically bereft but socially struggling as well.  Regardless…

Capitalism vs the Environment – Guess Who Wins?

Posted on November 22, 2018

It’s been no secret that one of the great outliers when it comes to climate change has been corporatism specifically and capitalism generally.  Every time something like this is stated – a frequent event – apologists list various examples of where business has made positive and productive progress in sustainability.  Fair enough, but these are exceptions and not the rule. When we speak of capitalism, there is an important distinction because it includes corporations and consumers – a huge difference.  The capitalist culture is one that speaks to the penchant for business to overproduce and consumers to overconsume.  Together, both of these have made the hopes of putting a serious curb in climate change a rather remote one. Recently a group of scientists, put together…

The World We Want

Posted on November 15, 2018

Over lunch with a civil society leader in our community last week, there was concern expressed over how she feels our Canadian cities are becoming increasingly split over ideologies, never-ending opinions, online mischief and a rampant kind of identity politics.  She asked if I could send her any writings that could give her some hope for a future kind of citizenship that can overcome forces seeking to pull us apart through a rededication to community life.  I sent her the following quotes from Mark Kingwell’s book The World We Want, among others.  Written almost 20 years ago, it remains more relevant than ever and I thought I’d pass them along. “We must trust to listen to the other whom we do not yet know,…

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