The Harper Conservatives and their policies are the logical outcome of a social, political, and economic system that teaches us to desire alienation and isolation, and teaches us to give up our power – elect the right person, and they’ll fix everything.
Long-term resistance to austerity requires changing this status quo logic by strengthening our communities and social ties so that they are based on solidarity, instead of consumption and production relationships. The panelists have already discussed building collective power, reclaiming agency, and learning from history to unite the left, and to do this, we need to navigate real tensions. How can we make change within the existing political and economic systems, while organizing alternatives to those systems? What’s an organizing model that would resonate across the country, while enabling self-organization and follow through on collective decisions?
By organizing to simply defeat Harper, we perpetuate the logic of our current reality, but we can look at the 2015 election like we would any other crisis or shock – it’s an opportunity, where for a moment, the space for change opens up. The question is: how can we use the attention and energy that will be focused on the next election to change paradigms and not just parties?