Aristotle stated that the purpose of a State is not merely to allow for a life, but rather a GOOD life. This philosophy has led to various government programs that today the US derides as “Socialist”, as if it were a bad thing. So far has the pendulum swung away from Democratic and Republic Principles that Aristotle, Socrates and Plato have envisioned (each slightly differing in their views), that, under Trump, a new era of Despotism begins. At heart I am a Libertarian- I believe in the Privacy Rights of the Individual- in Canada these are “Guaranteed” under our current Charter of Rights and Freedoms- our Canadian Constitution, made Law under Pierre Elliott Trudeau (the father of our current PM, Justin Trudeau) in 1986. But I also see the validity of social programs such as police, coast guard, the Canada Health Act, etc, and various protections that strive both to protect Industry from exploiting consumers and employees, while also ensuring a sustainable longevity in the business (for example, a nuclear plant may decide to cut maintenance and site inspections when profits are down to appease shareholders, while in the long run will shorten the lifespan of the facility- to say nothing of the danger to nearby residents and employees inside the site; proper legislation that mandates an inspection program with tangible penalties for failing to comply tend toward a safer plant with a longer lifespan). Labour protections are ALSO important- it is not enough to simply allow employees to “negotiate” on their own, without some basic minimums. The idea of Industry “self- regulating” is absurd, as witnessed by the air quality in Beijing, and the working conditions of factories in China, India etc. One of the first regulations protecting workers came about after the Chicago Shirtwaist Garment Co. fire- at the time, it was common practice in the US to lock workers in factories overnight. During the fire, workers broke the windows and leapt to their deaths. 100 years later, a factory in India making clothes for Joe Fresh had a similar fire under a similar lack of regulation.The lesson here is that the companies will set up shop wherever they can get away with treating workers like slaves, and be unfettered by practices made to ensure the fair and safe treatment of their staff.
If this sounds like I am pro union, allow me to state for the record- as a philosophy, I support their Intent; as an existing body, I could find no union worthy of joining, who I could say truly represented a worker with a solid work ethic. Their tendency toward corruption is as notable as the Corporations they set to limit. Further they go to extremes to limit what one might say or think freely, while protecting workers engaged in theft from the company they work for.More importantly, their goal entirely one of self- interest: to drive up membership, to create profits for themselves. This pretty much guarantees that there will be few, if they still exist, full time workers entitled to the benefits they “win” during collective bargaining. If a non union shop of 40 fulltime workers votes to join a union, the membership would double within a year, and the hours available divided among them. The original 40 staff will see their pay cut, their hours reduced- despite having received the “privileges” of seniority.
Nationalism- while THIS philosophy is a “bad word” (images of flag waving in ww2 Germany come to mind), the emotional equivalent- Patriotism- remains a “good word” ( images of US flag waving, US armed forces parades, endless hollywood movies espousing ‘American values’, etc); it is important for ANY Nation to keep their National Laws intact, and place themselves before ANY foreign counterpart. Only within a Nation’s Constitution/ Charter can a FreeMan find protection from slavery. One must always distrust the notion of a ‘Economic Union’, as well as the next step, a global Government. We must rethink therefore what we think of when we consider Nationalism- it isn’t about race, but rather political boundaries, and the limits to which the Laws of our Nation can protect us. This brings me to “Free Trade”- when you deregulate Industry, you allow for the exploitation of the consumer- when you deregulate what a consumer can do, you grant too much freedom to rob the companies. Free trade is therefore an impractical idea that will never achieve fruition aside from those who appeal to the extremes.