The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “history

Looks Like History Didn’t End After All

Posted on November 12, 2015

ALMOST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IT BECAME a literary sensation. I devoured the book in three days on the coast of Nova Scotia. The premise of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man was provocative, if not audacious. He reasoned that it was clear that capitalist democracy has basically beaten back every other form of government and stood pre-eminent over history itself. He viewed history as a winding experimentation of various forms of governance that eventually fended off unworthy contenders to claim democracy itself as the ultimate victor. In that sense, history needed to look no further; it had reached the most free, refined, and prosperous political management system that would likely never be transcended. Admittedly, it was a heady time. Communism…

Basic Income and Transforming a Generation

Posted on November 5, 2015

THE CONCEPT OF A BASIC INCOME ISN’T ONE simple construct but a wide range of ideas of which all or some could end up in a final policy proposal. Even its name isn’t a sure thing. In recent years it has been labeled a Guaranteed Annual Income, a Guaranteed Income Supplement, Basic Income Guarantee, a Social Wage, or even a Citizen’s Dividend. While many have fought for such an initiative for various reasons, it has been primarily its potential for eliminating poverty that has become the focus for recent Basic Income activity. The ability to provide low-income Canadians with a guaranteed level of funding, proponents say, would eliminate the need for the heavy programming and bureaucratic expenses related to administering initiatives to help the…

Basic Income: An Idea With a History

Posted on November 4, 2015

ARTIST ANDY WARHOL OFTEN EXHIBITED FASCINATING INSIGHTS into the human condition that, at times, became colloquialisms. At one point he noted, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” And that is true. Yet there are those occasions when time itself can be of assistance. Take the concept of a basic income as a measure of that truth. Yesterday we noted how the idea of some kind of baseline income could be of great help to the marginalized. Many progressives are shocked when they discover that libertarian economist Milton Friedman threw his support behind early efforts of what was then called a “Guaranteed Annual Income,” but which he preferred to label a “negative income tax.” From across the…

Election 2015: What in the World?

Posted on September 29, 2015

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL, and was even marked “secret” on its cover page, but the contents were obtained by the Globe and Mail. It wasn’t pretty. Neither was it inconsequential. In a presentation prepared by senior Foreign Affairs officials for a high level meeting two weeks ago, the analysis could be wrapped up in one sentence: “Despite Canada’s reputation as an active player on the world stage, by many measures, its relative influence has declined or is under threat.” It wasn’t a conclusion the government would have liked to hear, and so it sought to keep it quiet. And yet we know it; Canadians have felt the slippage over recent years, but because these issues are at a global level they have felt there…

Forgetting Our History

Posted on March 12, 2015

My new Huffington Post piece talks about how we forget history in many fashions, not just through the kind of destruction we are seeing in Iraq and Syria.  The direct link to the column is here. “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it,” said Winston Churchill — a great quote and just like him. But what of those who seek to destroy history altogether, who endeavor to wipe the words from a page already written? The sight of historic relics preserved from humankind’s earliest era being purposefully destroyed forever by determined ISIS forces is jarring to our sensibilities and a sacrilege on almost every level It’s happened many times in other centuries. The destruction of the Epang Palace great…

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