The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “society

Witnessing Change is Never Enough

Posted on January 19, 2016

YESTERDAY WAS MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY, so we spent some time watching his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, only three months before John F. Kennedy was slain. The rhythm and passion of his phrases still struck deep chords. He wasn’t trying merely to reconcile various groups of people, but was striving for a world that had a more equitable future. It’s only proper that we appoint special days to remind us of our ideals and what we believe to be our greatest aspirations, but there’s a difference between honouring someone and participating in changing the world by following in their footsteps. Some people like King and his wife, Coretta, naturally accomplished that, but for…

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…

Leaders Without Followers

Posted on July 28, 2015

YOU CAN TELL LEADERSHIP IS IN TROUBLE when the leadership industry itself is worth some $50 billion dollars in the America alone. It’s not so much that more and more people are seeking out leadership positions, but that it is growing increasingly difficult to guide others, especially when our greatest problems never get solved. According to Harvard University professor, Barbara Kellerman, in her new book, The End of Leadership, following years of research, she has become convinced leaders are no longer up to the greater tasks and that today’s present leadership training, while suitable four decades ago, no longer functions well today. The reason? Average people themselves have changed. They no longer trust authority in the way they used to, and they definitely harbour great…

Is Leadership Dead?

Posted on July 23, 2015

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DAYS WHEN LEADERS, through hard work, ingenuity, and personality, could apply themselves to our greatest problems and solve them? Of course there are numerous factors, but the reality remains that our greatest difficulties are hardly matched by visionary leadership. As a society we quibble over minutiae and increments, but the bigger tasks escape us. Our present leadership at varying levels, and to greater or lesser degrees, bears much of the responsibility for that failure. There is something different about today’s leaders. As with any election season, they continue to offer us boutique initiatives that cater to our self-interest, believing that it’s the best way to attract our attention. Sadly, they are largely correct, but it still doesn’t change the reality that…

The Long Road From Charity to Justice

Posted on July 7, 2015

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAD EXACTLY one year left before an assassin’s bullet struck him down and traumatized a nation. He had spent recent months attempting to break through the “indifference barrier” by drawing a direct link between racism to poverty. It wasn’t enough, he would maintain, to seek equal rights for black Americans if they remained mired in poverty. And so on this particular night, April 4, 1967, at New York City’s Riverside Church, he laid it out as he had seen and experienced it: “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside,…

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