The Harperites want to build a memorial to "the victims of Communism." They're getting a lot of push back -- about where they plan to build it and what it looks like. But, Jeff Sallot writes, people are victims of other people, not "isms":
The people the Harper government wants to honour are victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by identifiable individuals. The abusers have names, like Lenin, Stalin, and Tito and Mao, Ceaușescu and Pol Pot, Castro and Kim Il-sung. All came to power in their homelands as leaders of nominal “communist” parties. All clung to power by violently curtailing rights to free speech, free elections, the rights to religious belief, rights to embrace ethnic or national identities, rights to property ownership and other basic human rights.
Given the government's record on these issues, it's more than a little ironic that they want to publicly shame these leaders. Using Harperian logic, perhaps we should build a monument to the victims of capitalism:
Let’s begin with the millions of Africans who were kidnapped, chained and sold into slavery to enrich the mercantile capitalists who owned cotton, rice and fruit plantations in North America and the Caribbean islands?
Let’s remember the 26 miners who were killed in the Westray Mine explosion in 1992 in Nova Scotia, along with the tens of thousands of other miners of gold, coal, diamonds, copper and asbestos around the world who have lost lives in preventable accidents in unsafe mines, or died of black lung disease or were simply shot by strike breakers.
Our list would include the more 1,200 people who where killed two years ago when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed. Most of the victims were women garment workers who were told.
The proposed monument displays the Harperite ignorance of history and its enslavement to ideology. Mr. Harper has a firm grasp of ideology but not of facts. He claims to be an economist. One would think that he understands the significance of facts.
Obviously, something has gone off the rails.