False-flags right here at home

Posted 5.25.18

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | People using more than Facebook as their news source will have noted that what we read and hear is not always what it seems. Most political events have multiple objectives, many below our radar.

If that sounds cynical, it is, and these hidden agendas drive today's wide political cynicism. Very little in the political sphere is spontaneous. Hidden objectives are a sorry fact in municipal, provincial and federal politics, with few exemptions.

The most cynical of false-flag events are "public consultations." It's a rare one that actually consults with anyone. Usually they're public announcements: "this is how it's going to be - - and how do you feel about it?". That's no consultation, although there's a smidgeon of feedback requested. Substantive changes rarely are birthed in public consultations except in very dramatic circumstances - - say, as a close election approaches.

Pre-election promises are classic examples of multiple-purposed events. Political parties have this down to an art form, strangling budgets for years (health system, anyone?) only to announce big "initiatives" (gifts) just before voting time. In a corrupt nation this is called vote-buying, but we call them called multi-objective actions.

Despite all this, we can't blame only party-politicians. Civil society in general shares in these false-flag or multi-purposed events and programs.

In civil society we have a special case of multi-purpose organizations or campaigns. These organizations are ones we'd least suspect because they are, so often, warm and cuddly. They're our do-good organizations - - protect the environment or species or regions or reefs or peoples or genders or - - you name it.

Organizations like Greenpeace or the WWF are often accused of hidden motives - - by their economic enemies. Others can even include short-term fund-raisers to rebuild a burned home, send a child for cancer treatment, or protect Belugas. All merit a close look. This gets confusing since the accusers are often the duplicitous ones. Ranchers attack wolf-protection plans, and the fascist-minded accuse the UN of subversion and money-grabbing.

Many groups seem less suspicious, protecting an eco-sphere, river, caribou herd, badgers or natural hair-colour. Most do good work on tiny budgets. But some represent negative forces, because they take up space, preventing the formation of a more effective group or program. They suck out the oxygen, energy, funding, volunteers and media-attention, leaving nothing for real activists. That is purposeful - - attempts to control a situation, not remedy anything.

You and I have to upgrade our political literacy so we can distinguish between groups' claims and actual accomplishments (forget their self-promotional spin). Some groups exist to take up space on the political spectrum. Just as we didn't recognize fake news, we aren't recognizing fake groups, and many have won popular acclaim.

Our lesson is to participate - - with eyes peeled. Study the group's actual accomplishments, using an outside source, ask "What has, say, the Riverkeeper actually 'kept'?" Which environment has an environmental group actually improved? What goals have they already, actually attained?

And, remember, holding public consultations isn't enough.


Copyright © 2018 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/5.18