Just a warning to all my friends. And everyone else as well.
I have decided to become radicalized. That’s right. Just like those kids who come from nice families who suddenly end up in ISIS or the Aryan Brotherhood or the Moonies.
How Did This Happen?
Well, it’s been coming on for quite a while. The main cause is frustration at the pace of change. Everyone knows at some level that change is necessary, but too few people are willing to make the move.
Been There, Done That
Once upon a time, I was a moderate. I believed in changing the system from within, in being reasonable and persuading people through logic.
It doesn’t work.
A 16-year-old standing in front of the United Nations and saying, “How dare you!”
But that wasn’t what persuaded me. What really fired me up was the reaction from the Powers That Be. Someone had dared to throw their greed for money and power in their faces, and they went into attack mode, as they always do. They said she was naive. They made fun of her handicap. They threatened her physically. A British businessman tweeted that he hoped her boat would sink during her sail across the Atlantic.
And this persuaded me that those people are never going to change of their own volition. You can’t persuade them, edge them gently into better behaviour. They need to have their faces rubbed in it.
The logical part of my brain tells me to be reasonable. I’ve had enough of that. Like a naive teenager, I’ve decided to ignore the reasonable. The enemies of humanity love reasonable people. You can keep rational folks talking, keep them hanging on with promises of progress while you continue to line your pockets.
This Time the Kids Are Right
We tell them, “You’re naive and you don’t know the permutations of this complicated situation.” Which is sophistry. Everyone knows that the first thing an organization has to do is set the goals. Simple goals stated in one sentence. Once you have done that, you go into the details of how to achieve your objectives.
If you start out with the details, you can get bogged down in negativity, which is exactly what the enemies of the people want.
And the young people have set the objective, as is their right. “We want a world to live in when we grow up.” That’s a rather simple request, isn’t it?
Does the End Justify the Means?
I think we need to remember that a moral stance is only relative to your own individual morals. So the enemies of the people have set a false morality that says, “What’s good for business is good for everyone.” Which may be true in the short run, but taking a longer view, which a sixteen-year-old has a right to do, it has proved to be pretty damaging. They also have a morality that says, “Good children don’t speak like that.” Well, Greta and I have an answer for that one.
The Bottom Line
So I have the same thing to say to Big Oil and the people of Alberta who benefit from their profits that we have all been saying to the Tobacco Industry for decades.
“Your way of earning a living is bad for everybody else. You have no right to do this. Stop.”
And whatever their answer, I say, “You have a big province full of natural resources, educated workers, and an infrastructure to accomplish anything you want. Use them.”
And whatever specious arguments they use after that, I have the scariest threat of all: I’m going to sic Greta Thunberg on you.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.