Anyone who has watched the news coverage of the “Idle No More” protests will be made aware that the First Nations people of Canada are unhappy. Even though the reports fail to explain the reasons for the protests (and the “Idle No More” website isn’t much more help), their demands to meet with the Prime Minister underline the fact that they are looking for increased assistance from the bureaucrats in Ottawa.
It is disconcerting to see people with their hands outstretched, unable to plan their own future independent of the state. However, the condition of the First Nations people is a look into the future for the rest of us. They represent the condition which occurs when the government claims sole custodianship of its citizens, when the state becomes the ultimate nanny. The First Nations people are suffering from the natural outcome of centralized, top-down control and management. Their future is our future because, increasingly, Canadian citizens and businesses are coming to the government with their hands outstretched in the same manner demanding greater financial benefit and state micromanagement.
The dis-benefits of the total nanny state are apparent if one observes that the government has endowed the First Nations people with the following:
- a homicide rate and a sexual assault rate of seven times the national average;
- three times the rate of spousal abuse compared to the national average;
- a rate of heavy drinking at twice the national average;
- a lower life expectancy by five to six years;
- an extraordinarily high rate of tuberculosis;
- an unemployment rate of up to four times that of the national average;
- a high rate of poverty (double the national rate of those making under $5,000/year);
- poor living conditions with 44% of on-reserve residences needing major repair, and;
- poorer educational achievements (¼ of the national rate of diplomas & degrees).
In spite of the relative misery that the average First Nations person endures, the current system does benefit a few. For example, there is full complement of consultants and special interests in Ottawa that live off of the system. Also, some band chiefs do very well for themselves. Such a result is indicative of all past socialist experiments: the top central planners benefit greatly while everyone else suffers from increasing poverty. This is not something that Louis Riel would have endured, is it?
What has happened to the First Nations people is a forewarning of what will happen to the rest of us as we become more and more dependent upon the state. After all, history has shown that government dependency crushes individual will including the will to help ourselves, our families and our community. One need only look back a few decades at the condition of the people of the USSR. It was a fait accompli that its population would suffer social decay, poverty, alcoholism, etc., while the few at the top prospered.
Will things change for the First Nations people now that their leaders have embraced the “Idle No More” initiative? Of course not, because they are asking the same organization for help that in the past has attempted to obliterate them and now has them on a short leash via handouts of money and other baubles. They are seeking help from the most immoral individuals a society can foster. As Friedrich A. Hayek wrote in “The Road to Serfdom”:
“There is thus in the positions of power little to attract those who hold moral beliefs of the kind which in the past have guided the European peoples, little which could compensate for the distastefulness of many of the particular tasks, and little opportunity to gratify any more idealistic desires, to recompense for the undeniable risk, the sacrifice of most of the pleasures of private life and of personal independence which the posts of great responsibility involve.”
It gets worse, though. Not only will Ottawa continue to deliver more of the same but it is clear that the “Idle No More” movement is bowing down to Agenda 21 special interests. The movement’s website regurgitates the modern-day socialist mantra of social justice and sustainable communities. The people have been duped into believing that the United Nations has their best interests in mind. On the contrary, the UN’s anti-growth agenda will only guarantee that the average person will continue to suffer from top-down design. Fortunately, Mohawknationnews.com has taken note of the implications of inviting the UN into their communities.
So, what are the First Nations communities to do?
Above all, the First Nations need economic sustainability that can be provided only through participation in a free economy where individuals are free to trade their labour and/or owned resources for a step-up in life; i.e., the opposite of socialism. The First Nations leaders and members need to come to understand that individual freedom and private property ownership are the keys to entrepreneurship, invention, capital investment and productivity which, in turn, are the keys to a better life. (Is it sad that “Idle No More” protesters have taken part in blockades of roads, something they call “economic slowdowns”. If these people understood the importance of economic activity, they would not be standing in the way of other free individuals who are in the process of being productive.)
The First Nations people must realize that their dependence upon the technocratic elite in Ottawa will guarantee their continued suffering. They must reject their masters, perhaps by simply declaring themselves no longer under the control of the Canadian Government, the RCMP and the Supreme Court of Canada. Each individual should lay claim to his or her land.
Sadly, the “Idle No More” initiative, if the approach stays the way it is, will ultimately benefit the politicians in Ottawa, the band chiefs, the hangers-on, the consultants, and the socialist self-promoters that pervade the First Nations industry. “Idle No More” will not amount to anything other than more idling and more of the same socialist pain with an Agenda 21 twist.
“Idle No More” is a red flag to all Canadians that warns us that as we become both more subservient to the will of the central technocrats and increasingly dependent upon them, we can expect an increase in social decay, poverty and disease. We can also expect the increased decimation of our economic wealth and prosperity. Let’s get the message out that we must reject the central planners and the diabolical socialist pretenders who promise wealth for everyone but deliver only wealth for themselves and misery and despair for the rest.