This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked

…. They can win.

Radical Movements

Radical Movements

In Quebec It’s Official: Mass Movement Leads to Victory for Students – Naomi Klein: ‘This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.’

“After a year of revolt which became known as the “Maple Spring”—including massive street protests that received global attention—university students across Quebec were celebrating victory on Thursday night following the announcement from newly elected Premier Pauline Marois that the government was cancelling the proposed tuition hike that led to the student uprising and nullifying the contentious Bill 78 law which was introduced to curb the powerful protests.

“It’s a total victory!” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which is the largest student association with about 125,000 students. “It’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation.”

“Together we’ve written a chapter in the history of Quebec,” she added. “It’s a triumph of justice and equity.”

Well-known Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, responded to the news by tweeting: ‘This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.’


Comment: What was done in Quebec can be done in other provinces as well. Not just with student tuition fees, but with today’s social inequalities and injustices, remaking society in the image of people, not corporations.

Quebec students are now setting their sights on Stephen Harper, and making alliances with social movements across the country to build a broad and popular movement against austerity.

It’s time the rest of Canada got some balls and stood up, like Quebec did, to the Fascism of corporatocracy sweeping our nation and the world. The race to the bottom can be stopped, if more people open their eyes, stand up, and step up! Quebec has shown us it can be done!!

I’m proud to have been a supporter (see sidebar) of the Quebec student protest movement. Almost from day one, with the Montreal Pots and Pans (casserole protests), I saw the significance of this protest as something more than just about tuition fees. It’s about our freedoms and liberties, and our way of life being stolen from us from under our feet by greedy corporations, and their minions in public office.

Capitalism’s ultimate goal behind their austerity plan is to “plunge mankind into a state of neofeudalism, endless war, and more draconian forms of internal repression.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. For some of us, a life of wage and debt slavery is not an option. Wake up people! Because “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.


People who have power are sure that it is only violence that guides people, and so they use violence to support the existing order. But the existing order is not based on violence, but on public opinion.

from John Prince
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10 Responses to This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked

  1. Anonymous says:

    CON Menzies 35,333 77.36
    GRN McCollum 4,160 9.11

    NDP Knowlton 3,055 6.69

    LIB Paynter 2,701 5.91

    CHP Slingerland 422 0.92
    Having that political activist conversation with myself again.
    Had to refind the last election results
    Seems this little corner of the world is already pretty much occupied…
    Factor in a provincial wildrose leaning and i get that occupied france feeling.
    Best i can do is resistance (in that covert not from the market square manner) and watch the horizon for liberation.

  2. John Prince says:

    Anon @10:46
    Even France, my friend, in its darkest days, had its resistance fighters.

    “The indifference to the plight of others and the cult of the self is what the corporate state seeks to instill in us. That state appeals to pleasure, as well as fear, to crush compassion. We will have to continue to fight the mechanisms of that dominant culture, if for no other rea¬son than to preserve, through small, even tiny acts, our common humanity. We will have to resist the temptation to fold in on ourselves and to ignore the injustice visited on others, especially those we do not know. As distinct and moral beings, we will endure only through these small, sometimes imperceptible acts of defiance. This defiance, this capacity to say no, is what mass culture and mass propaganda seeks to eradicate. As long as we are willing to defy these forces, we have a chance, if not for ourselves, then at least for those who follow. As long as we defy these forces, we remain alive. And, for now, this is the only victory possible.” – Chris Hedges


  3. John Prince says:

    We seemed to have lost, at least until the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, not only all personal responsibility but all capacity for personal judgment. Corporate culture absolves all of responsibility. This is part of its ap¬peal. It relieves all from moral choice. There is an unequivocal acceptance of principles such as unregulated capitalism and globalization as a kind of natural law. The steady march of corporate capitalism requires a passive acceptance of new laws and demolished regulations, of bailouts in the trillions of dollars and the systematic looting of public funds, of lies and deceit. The corporate culture, epitomized by Goldman Sachs, has seeped into our classrooms, our news¬rooms, our entertainment systems, and our consciousness. This corporate cul¬ture has stripped us of the right to express ourselves outside of the narrow confines of the established political order. We are forced to surrender our voice. Corporate culture serves a faceless system. It is, as Hannah Arendt wrote, the rule of nobody and for this very reason perhaps the least human and most cruel form of rulership.”

    Those who resist – the doubters, outcasts, artists, renegades, skeptics, and rebels -rarely come from the elite. They ask different questions. They seek something else: a life of meaning. They have grasped Immanuel Kant’s dictum, “If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” And in their ¬search they come to the conclusion that, as Socrates said, it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. This conclusion makes a leap into the moral. It refuses to place a monetary value on human life. It acknowledges human life, indeed all life, as sacred. And this is why, as Arendt points out, the only morally reliable people are not those who say “this is wrong,” or “this should not be done,” but those who say “I can’t.” – Chris Hedges


  4. lungta says:

    Study after study has told us that Canadians are among the happiest people in the world.

    Well, here’s another one.

    According to the Ottawa based Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 92.3 per cent of us are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with our lives. That is a 1 per cent increase from 2003.

    Interestingly, the happiest Canadians are those in their awkward, yet carefree, teenage years — 96.9 per cent of them purport to be happy. In contrast, seniors over the age of 65 are the least happy demographic with only 89.1 per cent of them being satisfied or very satisfied.

  5. Anonymous says:

    And your point is?

  6. lungta says:

    The point?
    Well it seems pretty hard to invoke radical change if for the most part people are happy.
    Propaganda? maybe
    The students resisted 5000 dollars…nice one on one confrontation.
    And 2 years from now when it goes up that much and more?
    (corporations just jacked your food bill by at least 5K over the next 5 years…..wheres the rage?)
    The .001% those 92000 people that own everything are quite willing to holiday in Jamaica while occupy clogs the streets..
    The real owner of this country just visits, the Canadian government merely administers for her. Dig deep enough and by default everything reverts to the crown.
    Got the freedom of land ownership? ….just miss your rent(taxes)…taxes make you a wage slave…that is your option.
    Corporations with Canadians cheering just bombed the most democratic nation on earth.
    Canadians could have taken lessons from Libya of all places with their jamahiriya, their 2000 peoples congresses and 40 year focus to have every Libyan involved in politics and vote on every issue.
    Historically it exists (if you care to look) to now be liberated into meatsack (vote for a rep) democracy.
    So i guess i’m saying that with a compliant uneducated population plus ….the happiness factor and the willingness of the rich to let you starve in the street for 100 years til everything reverts back to them
    Occupy has the feeling of a contained prison riot.
    post script:
    i am 100% behind the compassionate and humanistic ideals and live by them to the best of my ability.
    on the other hand our owners are not going to grant us freedom any more than we would free our (happy) pets.

  7. John Prince says:

    Corporatism, or the 1%ers, declared war on us some two decades or so back. The problem is most people don’t know we’re at war? That’s what’s so insane! Workers by the millions in North America (1/2 million in Canada alone, and counting) have seen their good paying, family supporting, manufacturing jobs transferred to third world countries, who desperate for jobs have races to the bottom, basically selling their people out as slave labourers, in order to compete as the most competitive cheap labour available.

    Having hollowed out our manufacturing base, sending our jobs overseas, corporations then started firing people in North America by the tens of thousands only to rehire them back again through contractors and/or temp placement agencies, usually at half the salary they made before, and with little to no benefits, pension plans, health care, etc.

    Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in the states (here in Canada too, probably). Today, ¾ of workers work in the retail and the service industry as part-timers for companies that won’t hire them full-time, while paying them minimum wage or little better, with little to no benefits. Only 25% of workers today enjoy traditional full-time work with full benefits and a pension plan. Youth unemployment in Canada 28.7%, and in the U.S. it’s 35.9% (1997). Undoubtedly, much higher today.

    Now with what I have just given you, do you really believe in polls that suggest only 3.1% of teenagers and 9.9% of seniors are “unhappy” with their present situation? Never mind, that 1 in 7 children in this country go to bed hungry each and every night.

    No my friend, only the propaganda machine and our empire of illusion by way of our entertainment industry and corportocracy bought and paid for media give people the illusion of “happiness”. The fact is there are a lot of ‘UNHAPPY’ people out there that won’t need much to set them off when they finally come to realize what has happened to them and their sold out country, while they were asleep. Or, when today’s reality hits home for them personally with a job loss and serious hard economic times. Painted Potemkin villages can only distract for so long before people realize they have been duped.

    As time goes on more people will wake up to the realization that we are in fact already in a Class War (one we did not start). The sooner we start fighting back, the sooner we can take back what has been stolen from us. This will be nothing new, as it happens in cycles throughout history whereby the oppressed take back from the greedy oppressors that which they stole from them in the first place. It is inevitable. Only the timing is questionable? At the end of the day it won’t matter whether the Queen owns the land we stand on and corporations own the means of production, it will be the workers by their very numbers who will decide how things will soon be.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t she campaign on getting rid of the tuition increase? So basically she ‘bought’ their votes.

  9. John Prince says:

    Another way of looking at it is they helped put in a government more to their liking, willing to do their bidding, with respect to tuition fees? Democracy in action.


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